Even though I still feel rather like I'm in the first trimester, my growing belly and the handy dandy spinning wheel calendar are calling incessantly that "we're halfway there!" My head is most certainly reminding me that it's time to feather my nest. There is much to be accomplished and only twenty weeks left to do it, ten of which will be encumbered by a belly so large that I will only be able to point and beg that it be done.
So, we begin with the most physical tasks keeping me awake at night.
- Our learning room needs to be ruthlessly purged and re-organized (again).
- Our mudroom, which made a surprise appearance at Kitchen Comforts, must be tamed.
- The craft room, which has somehow taken on the appearance of a dumping ground, must be restored to its former glory.
- Fifteen years of photos need to be scrapbooked (I'm beginning to resign myself to the fact that this is how I'll spend my golden years, but I keep putting it on the list).
- The freezer meals must be cooked and stored but first the freezer is to be defrosted in anticipation of a side of beef.
- The pantries must be stocked (why is it that I approach having a baby the same way I approach natural disasters: bottled water, batteries, fully stocked dry goods, plenty of books?).
- I need to make sure there is nothing under beds or couches. Why? I don't know; it just keeps me up at night.
- I've already enlisted my seven-year-old to wash walls and baseboards with me, a task which will be revisited several times before the stork comes.
- Window washing is another ongoing task.
- The spring gardens are nearly in, but fall bulbs must be purchased so that the children can plant during the babymoon.
- One of these weeks, I suppose we should clean out the garage.
- And then there is the fact that I had given up on ever being so blessed again: I gave away all my baby things.
And on and on the list goes; I know that one key to a peaceful postpartum for me is to leave for the hospital with the house in very good order. If the underpinnings of organization are in place, the rest will work much more smoothly. I will share details as we go.
This time will have some unique challenges. This baby is due days before his/her brother's eighteenth birthday. This time, my biggest task is to pull together homeschooling transcripts/portfolios for college applications before September. I don't want to be learning this new skill while sleep-deprived and nursing, so it must be nearly finished before I go into labor. That's where my computer time will go this summer.
That means it won't go into what I usually do before a baby comes: lesson plan overdrive. Usually, I write pages and pages of detailed plans to take us through the first few months. And then we follow them, more or less (often less). It's been four years since the last baby, so I think I'll just recycle the old plans. They are written for multiple levels and everyone can just move up a level. We'll study ancient Greece and then Colonial America with a heavy dose of fall nature study and nature books. Yes, it's eclectic, but it's also proven and I'm looking for guaranteed successes this time around. This plan will make my dear husband very happy since that means there will be no pre-baby book buying binge. We have about nine linear feet of books on these topics. Some people buy layettes. I buy living books. Many of them.
Since we are well-stocked in the living books department for the plans I will pursue, I'll just update the workbook stash, move the living books for the units I've chosen to the forefront, and see where that takes us.Of course, Catholic Mosaic is due to arrive in my mailbox in a couple of weeks. I reserve the right to revise the plans and the budget.
But back to the household. I've noticed during my can't-hold-my-head up stage, that this house doesn't really run very well without my direct involvement. Could be a problem...
Before we hit the bullet points, I need to dust off and update the daily plan. Yes indeed, it's time to re-establish the chore chart.
The pegboard is from Family Tools, but I don't use it the way they intended. I'm not into complicated reward/punishment systems. We expect children to do chores cheerfully because that's how they serve God--just like we are expected to do our duties cheerfully and so fulfill the duties of our vocations. One of my duties is to clearly outline my expectations. I've fallen short here in the last couple of years or so. Slowly, I slipped into just doing it myself rather than requiring someone else to do it, teaching her to do it properly, and inspecting the job when finished.This became woefully apparent when I was out of commission. We've begun an intensive training period in housekeeping. Everyone needs the refresher course or they need to be taught for the first time. This is not your usual "curriculum." But it is real. And it's oh-so-necessary, both now and later. My children will leave my home knowing everything they need to know to run their own homes. It will make their young adulthoods much more fruitful and harmonious. Their spouses will rise up and call me blessed. At least that's the idea.