So I've always been a bit of a planner. I mean...did you attend our wedding? Ha! Planning for a baby is hard for me because I'm beyond clueless. I've been reading loads of books and surfing the web for as much information as I can, but I know nothing is truly going to prepare me. Super Nanny is helping too! Any bit helps, right? I find myself asking anyone I can for advice. The good advice. Not the scary stuff or horror stories that people will freely give up.
Things I have yet to do before baby arrives:
1. Secure a daycare
I found two places I love. (Try to hear/feel my excitement.) I am working on it! This is SO hard. I just wish I could stay home or at least go part time. Hoping for something to work out, but we will see. Anyway, one place is in-house and one is a center. The difference in costs is around $400 a month, which is about $5000 in savings a year. **gasp** But I know this isn't all about the money for me - it's about the care! Still...wowee!!!
So right now it's trying to come up with a decision of what we want to do, and what we can afford. It seems the average costs for centers in the Cities is about $300 a week. Just a heads up for those planning to have babies. That leads me to my next item.
2. Create a budget
Karl has had his own excel spreadsheet of numbers since he can remember and I basically pay the bills addressed to both of us as they come in. I have yet to pay one late or not in full! That's what I always did when I had my own place, but now I added both our names to our bills so there isn't that "his and her" account. We share now! But Karl takes care of his own bills as they come in addressed to him but the money comes from our shared account. Probably not the best way to go about it, but after seeing a financial planner and getting on track, I know we save enough in plenty of different areas and we have enough left over in our account to get us through week by week. However, with daycare costs, we're going to be quite tight. And I mean tight. Especially with me having a car with as many miles on it. How much longer will she hang on? So it's time I put both our expenses together and get a spreadsheet going so we are much more wiser with our money. Why does money have to be so stressful?
3. Make a Will
We need both - a living will and a will. We've put this off for too long and it's time. I'm searching for a lawyer right now who can make one up for the both of us. Most importantly we don't want to leave baby hanging if anything should happen to us, that's for sure!
4. Take Classes
The hospital we'll be having Baby K at offers several classes. One I need to take is on breast feeding. I hear people say it's an awesome experience, but thankfully all the books I've been reading and new moms I've been talking to have been super honest with me, saying that breast feeding is VERY painful. And the first two weeks can suck. So do not give up. And do not feel like you're broken in some way. It takes time! I still want to take a class.
I've also been reading Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. I like this book a lot. I also want both of us to take a class on car seat safety and how to install those suckers. And also a class on what to expect with baby. How things will change and what to do with those explosive poops. The thing that stinks (no pun intended from that last sentence) is I'm CPR certified until May 2012. So I wonder if I should take another refresher course...
5. Arrange a Cleaning Service
Thanks MOM! I have selected you (and dad) to help us the first week or two after baby is born so I know what the heck to do with myself...and have a clean house and some food on the stove when we come home! I remember my mom saying she felt so alone after my older brother was born since her entire family lived in Arizona. It was just her and my dad and he went right back to work. She didn't know what to do.She kept saying, "now what?" I'm sure I'll figure it out, but it'll be nice just to have those extra pair of hands there helping with baby and housework...and getting me used to things.... Plus, my mom finds dirt in places I would never know to look. I mean, this woman KNOWS how to clean a toilet.
6. Get Things Ready at Work (i.e. Maternity Leave)
I plan to take 12 weeks off but I need to get this in writing. I need to figure out the FMLA stuff and short term disability and benefits and what happens with my 401K and all that so nobody is left wondering what's going on. I started a spreadsheet of all the tasks I do every day of the week, hoping that will help my coworkers, boss and me! And I want to discuss the transition back into work after having those 12 weeks off. I'm glad I'm coming back in the summer when most everyone at my company works less hours.
7. Selecting a Pediatrician
Thankfully I have this really awesome friend Jill who delivered all three of her babies at St. Francis and recommended her doctor, Dr. Druckman, to us. We also found out he won the big Capstone award during our ultrasound, so we really got a good one!! Jill also recommended her pediatrician too! So we will most definitely be checking him out! Dr. Westholder, for those in Shakopee.
8. Forming a mom's group
I'm working on this right now. Right now I'm focusing on young moms from my church and I have a few women already who are super excited about this. I want to meet at least once a month just to talk about all the things that happen once you become a parent and bounce ideas off one another. I want that support group for all of us - a place to feel safe and welcome - a place where we can share what's on our minds and relate to one another...and share our faith too. I think that's very important.
9. Clean and Purge
Our carpets need some serious cleaning and I'm wondering if now is the time to get that done? I have also heard that some of those carpet cleaning chemicals can cause autism in babies. I know... I know... I think of everything. But think of John Travolta's son Jet! They blamed his autism on the carpet cleaning! What to do? We have been purging a lot the past several months, but I'm thinking about doing another big purge. I would also love to get some furniture to hide the clutter in our kitchen area (i.e. alcohol) and picture frames and candles all over the coffee table in the family room. What baby isn't going to knock that stuff over?
10. Register for recalls
I just did this now. Went to Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.CPSC.gov) and signed up so I'll be informed of all the latest recalls as they come out. Oh, and of course I'm now following them on Twitter.
11. Sleep - Get Lots of it ...and maybe a prenatal massage here and there...
It feels weird for me to nap. But I'm doing it. And I'm going to keep at it because I love sleep and I know it's going to be few and far between for awhile there. I also got my first prenatal massage and it was wonderful. An awesome friend gave me a gift card and I couldn't wait to use it! Now, it was nothing like a deep tissue massage, but still soothing. The great part? My massage therapist said she was a student at Minnesota School of Business in Lakeville and they are ALWAYS looking for pregnant woman to give massages on. You better believe I'm calling them! Free massage? Ummm...yes, please!
Am I missing anything? Let me know!!!