I return to work this Friday. So there's been a little extra pressure this week to get everything squared away with Project Cal Nest before I dive back into the world of being a first-year resident. We're hitting the nine-month mark this week as it is, so it's not a bad idea to get everything ready regardless.
The first thing I did yesterday was to take inventory of what clothes and gear we've accumulated over the past six months, either as gifts or as little "we have to get this, it's so cute" impulse buys. (It is cute, though.) It didn't seem like a lot all wadded up in the closet, but when I took it all out, sorted it, and folded up all the little onesies and towels and whatnot, I actually think that we're pretty much loaded for bear. For the been-there-done-that contingent, I want to reassure you that the majority of the clothes depicted here are a size medium (3-6 months) or larger. And also, yes, those are emesis basins from the hospital that I'm using to store socks and diaper-changing miscellany--what of it?
The other thing I did yesterday was pack a bag for the hospital.
I wasn't really sure how much to pack, because I didn't know ultimately how many days I'd be in the Big House. I'm actually pushing for a 36-hour discharge with close follow-up later that week (they like to keep normal deliveries in for 48 hours, but have been known to let "experienced" moms out after 24)--but for all I know, we could end up sectioned and end up in the clink for three days. The horror. So in the end, I packed three days worth of clothes (three pairs of scrub pants, three nursing tops), and a "going home" outfit consisting of a polo shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Glamorous Sarah Jessica Parker leaving-the-hospital-with-my-baby-wrapped-in-a-pashmina pictures I will definitely not have. Who wants glamour? I just want to distance myself from the hospital as quickly as possible, and will wear gym clothing if it will enable me to run away faster.
Of course, Cal needs a going home outfit as well.
There was not much thinking as to what the going home outfit would be, because we have but a single onesie in the "Newborn" size that Joe's mom sent us. It's not packed away in the hospital bag yet though, because I want to wash it first. Well, I guess I have to wash all the clothes, at least the ones for the first few weeks. Some of them smell like mysterious chemicals and plastic.
I actually have this insatiable urge to organize and it's taking all my willpower not to just run down to the laundry room and wash and fold all the stuff. But this is the one task that we promised our nanny that we'd let her do, so I'm sitting on my hands over here. See, the situation with our nanny is that we're hiring her starting the first full week of July. We realize that there will be no baby at that point, but her old job finished in the middle of June, and we wanted to start her employment with us as soon as possible so she wouldn't need to go looking for another job. So that first month (actually, the first two months, if you take my maternity leave into account) we'll be paying her full-time wages but only be making her come part-time. Because her references were JUST THAT GOOD, people. And if we didn't offer this little signing bonus, evil nanny poachers would come and take her away from us and we would be fucked. Obviously, there will be more to help out with when there's an actual, you know, BABY in the house, but for that first month, we're scrambling to think of things for her to "help" us with so that she'll have a little something to do aside from petting the dog and practicing various routes of the early-morning commute to our house. So she's going to wash and put away the baby's clothes, but I'm probably so seized by the need to fold and sort that I'll come home later that evening, unfold everything, and then fold it right back up again. Don't tell her.
(OK, soliciting a little reader feedback now here: is there anything that I should pack in this hospital bag aside from what I'd pack in a standard overnight-type bag? I mean, clothes, toiletries, duh. But is there anything special and postpartum-esque that I should think of bringing? The hospital pre-registration info sheet did not offer much assistance. They also suggested that I pack "two nightgowns," a suggestion that I readily ignored, because...NIGHTGOWNS? Am I supposed to own such vestments? Who am I, Martha Washington? Unless they're talking about a nightgown like this, which would actually be equally bizarre to wear in the hospital.)
But the biggest piece of the puzzle to finally fall into place is the nursery furniture. Yes, after 16 weeks of waiting, it finally arrived today. The beauty of ordering from Buy Buy Baby (aside from their crackerjack timely delivery estimates--ha, just a little sarcasm there, folks!), is that the delivery charge includes assembly. So the delivery guys not only cart all the stuff up to your apartment, but actually whip out their little power drills and widgits and whatnot and help you put all the stuff together. It's magical, I tells you!
I'm never quite sure what to do when there are workmen in the apartment--I don't want to seem like I'm hovering, nor do I want to seem like I'm ignoring them. So this time I just plied them with granola bars and drinks and peeked my head in every five minutes or so, guiding them where to land the various furniture pieces. I think the layout turned out quite nicely in the end.
(Betsey, Rachel, Kathleen and JR--look, your books are on Cal's bookshelf! Thanks so much, you guys are awesome. I'm still working my way through our thank-you cards, but if you haven't gotten one yet, you'll be receiving one soon!)
We're still waiting for some miscellaneous items to arrive--changing pad, receiving blankets, bathtub--but otherwise, we're pretty much set. Furniture, clothes, feeding equipment, nanny (clearly not listed in order of importance). We even worked out an arrangement with our dog walker to take The Coop to the Dog Spa for a few days of mud wraps and reflexology in the event that we need to rush to the hospital overnight and are out of the house for a few days. We're prepared, man. Well, maybe not mentally prepared, but from the outside, you'd never know, right?
(Don't really answer that.)
Currently craving: A McDonald's hot fudge sundae. Except I don't think they put enough hot fudge in it. I always ask for extra, but the person dishing it out is not the same person taking my order, so they never give me the extra and I end up with all this leftover ice cream and no chocolate. Maybe I should carry a little jar of hot fudge around with me, the way that some people carry around their own hot sauce or salad dressing.