When I was pregnant with Gabriel "nesting" consisted mostly of acquiring two things: 1) knowledge and 2) baby-related items. Back then I spent countless hours learning what I could about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time reading birth stories, "hospital bag" packing lists, and doing my best to figure out which things we should actually put on our baby registry versus what products I felt were superfluous for us. Michael and I took a breastfeeding class, a labor and delivery class, and in general I had lots of time to dream, think, read, and pray about all that lay ahead of us.
This time around my nesting instincts have been in full swing - but how these instincts have manifested themselves has altered tremendously.
For obvious reasons, I have largely been focused more on Gabriel and his needs throughout this time of preparation. After all, the baby already has a place to sleep, clothing, and plenty of other baby-related items we have acquired throughout the past couple of years. What we didn't have this time around were (yet again) items Gabriel would soon be needing as he continues to grow. Because of this, the majority of what we have recently acquired have been things like a toddler bed, toddler clothes to get Gabriel through summer and into fall, age-appropriate toys that will better captivate his attention when I'm busy nursing the baby, and a chair for the kids' room (because previously there wasn't one, but this far along in pregnancy I refuse to sit on the floor to read him stories any longer).
Additionally, we moved 1300 miles from Michigan to South Florida right before Gabriel was born (seriously - there was exactly one week between the day we got our apartment keys and when I went into labor). This meant I didn't need to do much cleaning because we hadn't even lived in our place long enough to make it dirty! Sure, we spent time making sure all our boxes were unpacked and we were settled in, but because we knew it would most likely only be a 6-month project we didn't bother hanging anything on the walls and displayed very few decorations elsewhere.
This time around, however, you'd better believe I have been a cleaning and decorating machine. This pregnancy has motivated me to finally take care of some things I've wanted to do for several months - things like:
- making a crafty family album of birth announcements and our annual Christmas cards (so I no longer have to worry about losing our only remaining copies from some years!),
- ordering prints from our wedding and displaying some of them throughout our home (I mean, it only took me 2.5 years to get around to this...but to be fair we've had a lot going on in that amount of time),
- and ordering prints of Gabriel's 1st birthday photos and hanging some pictures on his bedroom wall.
I honestly think the only new things Michael and I have spent any direct money on for this second little boy have been:
- our new stroller (which he and Gabriel can enjoy together - thanks, Britax!),
- new bassinet sheets (because the old ones shrank),
- some newborn diapers,
- a baby K'tan,
- and one pack of newborn-sized onesies (because we made the mistake of only buying 0-3 month clothing for Gabriel and he was swimming in them in his earliest days).
Anyway, I've spent a ridiculous amount of time this pregnancy cleaning, cleaning, cleaning some more, shifting furniture around as baby gear has begun to make its reappearance, and decorating and redecorating until everything feels just right and ready within our home. But enough talk. Want to see some pictures? Here's a small visual sample of a handful of the changes I've obsessively completed since moving and getting settled into this apartment 5 months ago:
Oh hi, baby swing! Nice to see you again. Also note the new shelf (which creates a visual of our old bookshelf having expanded because they match and fit so nicely together), new decorations atop the shelves, and how uncluttered our entertainment stand is now (one of my husband's favorite nesting results to be sure).
Here you can kind of see that we rotated our dining room table to create a new spot for Gabriel's play table, added a new chair to our dining set, and if you look really closely you just might see that I replaced one of the photographs on the wall with a wedding photo.
Can you spot the major change? It may have taken 2.5+ years to print and frame, but something about displaying that giant (16 x 20!) wedding photo makes our home feel about a million times more like our home...if that makes sense. It's worth noting that this decorative update was done at the suggestion/reminder of my husband - which only melted my heart into roughly a million pieces. <3
More wedding photos have finally made their rightful debut! And everything about this updated dresser display feels SO much cleaner and prettier to me. Please don't tell me if you disagree because I simply adore it.
And I've saved the best for last:
TA-DA! Or as Gabriel would say, "...DA!" I'm convinced that just about everything having to do with Gabriel's bedroom is 100% better than before. The 5 months we've lived here have really allowed me to envision a new layout that will work once both of the boys are sleeping in it. Plus, those baby pictures, beautiful frames, and super cute chair do wonders to enhance the aesthetic appeal, am I right? ;)
All in all it has been so nice to focus more time on just being with my growing family, making our home more cozy and reflective of our lives, simply being pregnant, and dreaming of meeting this boy face to face...rather than feeling like I need to research product after product after product and then acquire the ones we want(ed). The first pregnancy is special in countless ways - but so is this one and I'm thankful for the blessing of being able to be more laid-back because we've already been down this road before.
Little man number 2 (oh, how I cannot wait to begin calling you by name in public! But for now your name is a special surprise to everyone but your daddy and me), if you ever read this please know that buying fewer baby things for you than we did for your brother has no bearing on our immense love for you. Thank you for being who you are; we cannot wait to meet you...SOON!
"A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it."
-Frank A. Clark