Never has the phrase "live and learn" been more applicable than in the preparation for my second newborn. This is due primarily to the very little, if any preparation I did before having Luke. It wasn't because I was lazy or because I didn't have the energy to do anything, I just didn't know what to do. Only after having a baby to take care of at all hours of the day, being deliriously exhausted and overwhelmed did I wish I had done more.
I wasn't lacking in the instinctive "nesting" stage with Luke, I just didn't put my instincts to good use. Trying to pass the time before baby came, I spent hours ironing Luke's new and freshly washed sleepers, blankets, and burp cloths. Yes, I ironed his burp clothes...in June. Did I know I was being ridiculous, of course, but I wanted to do something, and I didn't know what I should be doing.
Now, with three months to spare, whenever I feel that little burst of energy I take full advantage. Yesterday I washed, folded, skipped the ironing, and put fresh and sorted baby clothes into the new baby's dresser. A little premature, but who knows if I'll ever feel the urge to do superfluous laundry again, and now I KNOW that there won't be extra time once there's a baby around.
Also on my list is reading. Since summer I have been reading in super-speed, picking another up as soon as I put one down, but now it's time for a refresher course in baby care. How I regretted not reading enough about nursing and fussy babies before I had a fussy baby of my own. By the time I had my own fussy baby, I had no time to trouble-shoot, read about methods of calming the baby, or shop for a book that would fit our lifestyle. While it's difficult to read these books now while they're not quite relevant, I will force myself knowing the impracticality of getting anything read once there are two to care for.
My list today requires a hammer, nails, and hanging up those loose pictures scattered around the house waiting for a home on the wall. One more thing to check off the list before life hits a long pause with a new baby.