I always say that I’m about halfway neurotic about a handful of things.
I’m mostly Type B but can straighten up into Type A when the situation (or my mood) calls for it. I care a lot about certain things and very little for others.
For example, I was never very fussy about school, I currently have 16 voicemails that need attention, and there are 1,000 half empty water bottles in my car.
Some things that fall into the “really care about” category: my skincare routine, planning amazing trips when we get to take them, and making sure my offspring are sleeping as long as they possibly can.
(I think this is why I always struggle with personality tests–can someone please tell me which Enneagram # I am once and for all??)
Anyway, something I recently cared about a lot was making sure that I was as prepared as possible for bringing a second baby into the world. I was a nesting MANIAC.
Setting up Emmie’s nursery wasn’t enough for me. I had to give the entire house an overhaul, and I wanted to make sure I was READY for the baby in every way I could be.
The whole ordeal caused a touch of tension in my marriage, lol. Tyler got over my antics real quick, and I faced a lot of eye rolling anytime I asked him for help. But I have no regrets, and I think he appreciates my efforts in hindsight. DON’T YOU, TY.
I think this all came from a place of just really not knowing what to expect and realizing that once Emmie arrived that I was going to lose control in a big way. Getting “all my ducks in a row” helped me cope with the unknown and gave me the confidence boost I needed as we headed into this crazy new season.
And as it turns out, I did a kickass job, if I do say so myself.
I wanted to share the list of things I did to equip myself to handle our first month of two under two. Getting all of this stuff done before the baby got here helped us relax and enjoy the newborn stage so much more.
I will say that I am very fortunate to not be working right now. This list would have been majorly paired down had I needed to juggle a full time job.
And another thing! This post isn’t meant to make anyone feel “behind” or lazy or whatever. This is just what worked for me and made me feel prepared, ya feel me?
We all just do what we can to stay sane.
1. Shared to-do list
You know those to-do’s that aren’t necessarily urgent but you need to probably handle in the next couple of months? About 6 weeks before Emmie arrived, Tyler and I realized suddenly that we had a TON of them, and we knew we needed to take care of them before the baby came or we never would.
We made a shared note on our phones with every to-do we could think of, from paying random medical bills to rounding up all of our Amazon and Target returns. We also needed to register for the hospital, sort out his paternity leave schedule and pay, write a hundred thank you notes, and so on. You get the idea.
Having this list readily available helped us tackle everything. I even included most of the tasks I’ve detailed below on the list, too.
2. Food prep
I love eating healthy, but I almost hate cooking. I wanted to prep as much food as possible so I wouldn’t have to worry about being in the kitchen while also worrying about breastfeeding and showering and getting sleep, etc.
I didn’t make a ton of full on meals, just a handful of things that would make my life easier–and a little healthier–this past month.
If you know me at all, you know I’ve started every day for the last 5 years with a green smoothie (and a probiotic lol). When everything else–my diet included–spirals, it’s nice to at least start the day with the greens and nutrients my body wants.
Though I had to make a few adjustments (like adding OJ) to our recipe to get the smoothie down while I was pregnant, Tyler and I follow Kelly Leveque’s Fab Four smoothie formula and swear by it. I could go on and on about Kelly’s approach to clean eating, but for now just check her out on IG if you’re interested.
I prepped over 20 smoothies in plastic bags and froze them. (I know, I know, plastic is bad news, but you can’t have everything right?)
In each bag, I included protein powder, collagen, chia/flax seeds, a scoop of peanut butter, a few berries, a third of a banana, and a huge (HUGE) handful of spinach. I pressed the air out of the bags and rolled them all up in the top drawer of my freezer.
Each morning, all we had to do was dump it into the blender and add a little ice and almond milk. I used enough ingredients in each bag for a large smoothie for both Tyler and me and a tiny one for Charlotte.
I even made another huge batch of them the other day because it makes our mornings go so much smoother!
Marinate + freeze chicken
I marinated and froze a bunch of chicken to have ready on the nights that I wanted a clean meal instead of takeout. I made my favorite chicken marinade (lemon, balsamic, olive oil, garlic, spicy brown mustard, and chili flakes) and then saved a bunch to use as salad dressing too.
Healthy meals for Char
I made about a week’s worth of frozen meals for Charlotte. I prepped a bunch of sweet potatoes, shredded chicken, steamed veggies, lentil pasta, and ground beef and made little meals for her in 2 cup pyrex containers. I’d pull one or two out each morning to defrost so they were ready to go at her mealtimes.
Frozen healthy cookies
I always go way too nuts when I’m pregnant, and I always regret it the second I give birth and am faced with a mountain of pounds that could have easily been avoided had I passed on the multiple nights of Ben & Jerry’s.
I anticipated this and knew I’d want to clean up my act once I brought Emmie home. But I’m not a psychopath and still have a sweet tooth.
I made a double batch of paleo cookie dough and froze them in little balls, all ready to pop in the oven after dinner on nights I need dessert (all nights).
I can’t recommend this enough, whether you’re two weeks postpartum or just a simple girl who likes to eat a cookie while she watches Selling Sunet.
3. Marie Kondo THE closets
We’ve all read Marie Kondo’s book at this point, so I’ll save you the paragraph about the benefits of tidying. We all know it feels good to have a clean house and an organized garage.
But for me, it never feels better than when I’m sleep deprived and covered in milk to know that, AT THE VERY LEAST, my linen closet is in order.
In the months leading up to Emmie’s birth, I cleaned out every closet and cranny in our home. I went through each drawer with vengeance and made friends with the guy who works the Goodwill drop off station near our house.
I love accounts like The Neat Method and The Home Edit for inspiration, but we can’t all afford an aesthetically pleasing, professionally organized, rainbow colored closet system. I keep it simple and to the point.
What you’ll need: a bunch of clear bins, a set or two of these clear plastic drawers from The Container Store, blank 3×5 cards, clear packing tape, and a Sharpie.
Purge, sort, put away, and label. Break to chug some lemon water. Repeat.
I went through and organized all of Charlotte’s old clothes, too. They are in bins labeled by size, ready to go for when Emmie needs them. This helped me figure out exactly what I still needed to buy for Emmie, too.
I also did a once-over of Charlotte’s play area and cleaned out her toys. I realized that I had way too many toys out for her. She was kind of ignoring all of them, so I am trying a new approach that I learned on this fancy mom’s Instagram.
I donated some and stored a bunch of them in bins in a closet to re-debut slowly over the next few months. So far it’s working and she gets really excited whenever I switch them out!
4. Get the house and cars cleaned
For me, this was way more important than getting my nails or hair done one last time before the baby came. We had my mom’s magician house cleaner come the week before I got induced with Emmie, and it was absolutely worth every penny.
I didn’t have to spend my last days of “freedom” vacuuming or cleaning the toilets, etc. And it felt SO good to bring Emmie home to a clean house.
We also had a local mobile car wash company come and clean both our cars, which had both really taken a beating the last few months. Another splurge that was totally worth it.
I’m also throwing into this category all of those cumbersome, once-in-a-while household chores such as washing the duvet cover and vacuuming under the couch cushions.
5. Stock up on household essentials
This one is obvious but I still feel it needs to be said. Do a Costco run or Amazon order or both and stock up on any household item you can think of: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand soap, paper plates, ANYTHING that you think might even make your life the tiniest bit easier. Get it all organized and ready to grab when you need it.
This includes any postpartum supplies you might need because you definitely do not want to be scrambling for those. I actually think I’ll do a separate blog post about this soon.
6. Relax, read, walk, take a solo coffee or Target run
I’m the last person to tolerate a loved one telling me to relax. Like, I WILL RELAX WHEN THE DISHWASHER IS EMPTY THANKS.
But seriously, chill. It’s important to rest, so they say. I definitely tried to spend Charlotte’s last few naps on the couch with my Kindle and 40 oz water bottle. Balance!!