Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Projects in the New Year

It seems like this time a year, everyone has a list of resolutions. Normally I really love this time to refocus and look at areas we can grow or change. Goals are a great motivator for me! But this New Year feels a bit different as the list consists more of projects and "to dos" than our traditional goals.
 In 2015 we can foresee many drastic and exciting changes to our life. We know we will be welcoming a new baby and trying to help Jayney's emotional transition into that role, while also still wadding our way through the murky water of typical toddler development- respecting the word no, sharing on play dates, potty training, big girl beds, not being aggressive, binkies going bye-bye and picky eater issues just to name a few. Plus we will have some massive time committed to moving out of the tin box and finishing plans on our new house (more to come on that, we promise in future posts), construction of the site built front porch and a mud room framed up before we can be totally settled in, all hopefully before we are too close to little sisters due date. Wow, I am overwhelmed and equally thrilled just thinking about it all. Especially knowing that is only the list for the early part of the year, before Dusty's real work starts in the busy season of summer!
While I could write many of these in way that words them as a "goal" they are also things that are set in motion enough that they are kind of inevitable. For example, at this point we know we are having a baby. Sure there are still unknowns about how it will go but it isn't exactly something we plan to work toward or train for (like a half marathon last year)... it is pretty much just going to happen whether we are ready or not. While it is a point in our year to excitedly anticipate, it isn't really a goal to work towards the same way we normally think of with a resolution. I don't know if this is really better, or how exactly not having our set goals for 2015 will play out, but I do know that with my pregnant mama brain in full nesting mode without having a nest to organize, the "to do" list is where all my attention is focused. So, with a slight shift in our mindset, we have started working on many of our 2015 projects!
I have felt realllllly unprepared for baby #2. This could be a result of how different our timeline had gone with Jayney. At this time in my pregnancy with Jayney, I remember finishing up the last few cutesy decorative things, having completed all the major jobs of planing a nursery, painting furniture, purchases of baby gear, researching breast pumps, making freezer meals, and putting together a million little outfits for our firstborn. Seriously every item that could be listed and box that could be checked was done weeks before her arrival; we were so on top of things it would make most people annoyed. We were totally the kid in the front of the class that had all the answers and had their homework done well before it was due.

Well obviously we have been taking care of doctors appointments, planning names, and things like that for little sister, but honestly I can say at t-minus twelve weeks until her arrival we have done no physical work to prepare. Not one infant car seat washed or set out. No pack and play adorning our living room. And I haven't even thought of the hospital bag! Nope. None. Nothing! And given that this is our second kiddo, also a girl, and we will likely be moving before her arrival, I was pretty content in that. I know that all the things we need are around (somewhere) and could be retrieved by our family or friends if needed on short notice.
But there was one project that was looming a little larger than the rest, something I really wanted to tackle before we are so close to due date that it got put off: the sorting of baby clothes! This probably doesn't sound like the giant project that it became but it really was just that, giant! It was a combined problem that rooted in not having a big picture plan when we starting organizing clothes as JJ grew out of them. We would just pack items up randomly as we noticed the closets and drawer space being too full to use, as things got too small or were out of season, or if we found ourselves just skipping them for reasons of preference. This meant we had storage tubs full of all kinds of hodgepodge. Sure the first size run and season of stuff all got packed away pretty much together but then things would get forgotten and packed up with the next size, or sometimes favorite items would get stretched well past their intended size because we were too sentimental to see them get packed up. Plus the added complexity of when JJ stopped the monster growth trajectory she started on as an infant and was in 18 month size for almost a whole year, meaning she had clothes from every season in just that one size. It was not just the organization that made this project tricky, it was also the volume. If you know me, then you know I love to be a thrifty shopper! Plus finding great prices at consignment shops or on sales lets me pick a few favorites outfits to buy instead of just one at a regular store. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you how little I spend for a whole outfit... On top of that factor in that Jayney is the first grandchild, first niece, first great niece to much of our family, we have a super supportive church family and close friends, who are all incredibly generous with gifts. It all equals one tiny girl being blessed with oodles of outfits as gifts too. I hope I don't sound like this is more of a burden than a gift. We really love it all and don't want it to change. But sometimes even a blessing can be overwhelming if your are not organized enough to prepare for its outcome.

So you are probably wondering what this has to do with our 2015 to dos... Well, maybe this picture will help answer that question.
The piles all sorted, newborn through 3T
 Eeeeek! You see it like that and it is almost an embarrassing amount of clothing! But we are owning it as the reality we live in, being totally transparent about what we have been occupied with and
crossing our fingers that you will laugh along with us instead of stick your nose up to judge the situation. So, just how much time did this project occupy? 11 stinking hours! Yep, you read that correctly. That is how long it took to load them in the truck, unpack them into my parents front room (because it is the only space I could think of large enough for a project of this scale), sort them into their size, category (pants, shirts, dresses etc,) and by warm or cold season. Then go through and pullout things for the Goodwill bin that were well worn or developed a stain while in storage, a separate pile of decent items but not favorites to sell at consignment stores at some point, and last but not least pack the items we would like to have ready for sister back into vacuum storage bags so they take up less space, Ta da! ELEVEN hours of work by Dusty and I, plus a lot of that time with my moms help (either sorting or playing with Jayney) and my dad popping through to laugh or bring dinner. Then you add the sweet drone of listening to and affirming as JJ repeats the phrase "these were my clothes but now they are for sister" more times than you can count while she careens across your newly sorted piles, it made for a long and thought draining day for all of us! But it is a days worth of work that let's me mentally feel ready enough for baby again, for that I am so thankful.

There are many things left on our 2015 to do list for baby, but most will wait until we know what our move out date will be. We hope sister will her maintain due date schedule as expected to allow us time to prepare as well as we did for Jayney, but we know one thing about little sister's arrival now, no matter when it is, she certainly isn't going to go naked!

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