At 36 weeks pregnant I have now officially started nesting. That's right: The urge to move furniture, wash baby clothes, and stack diapers is now fully upon me. This weekend I finished my last public events before my due date and something instantly triggered my brain to begin feathering the nest.
And this is a very good thing because I was starting to worry if this instinct was going to kick in at all with this second baby. With my first son I was dreaming up nursery colors as soon as I knew I was pregnant. Okay, maybe I was even dreaming about his baby quilt before I was pregnant. I confess.
With this second baby, I am just glad to have a few boxes of hand-me-down baby clothes, a co-sleeper at the ready, and a car seat on top of the dryer waiting to be installed. (I could already write a novel about the differences in approaching the birth of my first child versus my second--but I will spare you the details and just talk about the pretty parts like feathering the proverbial urban nest.)
A few months ago I was asked to send photos of my home to a book editor and so I spent an afternoon tidying the house and snapping some images. As I start to organize one corner of our small bedroom for the nursery area I am happy to have these images of our tidy apartment because I know the newborn baby storm is about to hit our beloved homestead in just a few weeks.
You know: The impossible piles of laundry, stacks of dishes, and random necessary baby goods all misplaced in a sleep deprived haze while the happy hormones of new parent love coat all the chaos in a rosy gaze of "who cares" until we start to put the pieces back together again. Oh, the piles. Oh, the swirl of exhaustion and wonderment. Oh, the anticipation of it all.
But for now I get to organize baby clothes, dream up a baby quilt, and still tuck my three-year-old's toys neatly back onto the tiny toy shelf while some order remains. People are often shocked that I share a 1.5 bedroom apartment with my family of three, soon-to-be four. Having lived in Brooklyn and now Oakland for more than a decade it's not that uncommon to raise a family in a very small space (particularly if that space is rent controlled and in a lovely neighborhood) but that's not to say it isn't also a challenge.
What's my secret? Determination. Like anything else, I find that my determination to stay in this apartment is what makes it work. We don't accrue large unnecessary toys, we keep our shared living space as orderly as parently possible while trying to maintain a sense of humor, and we regularly sell, trade, and donate household goods as we outgrow them.
Don't be fooled: I still dream of a farmhouse and a barn converted into art studios someday but for now? Our 650 square feet of urban bliss is just fine. The tiny house movement also adds inspiration to my small apartment on a regular basis.
I've reorganized my Pinterest boards and I'm seeking inspiration for what I've learned is called a "corner nursery". That's right, a corner nursery is a nice way of saying that the parents' bedroom will double as a nursery until the little one is ready for a room of his own.
I'm also finding so much inspiration that I'm pinning on Nursery Decor, Kids Rooms, and my Quilt boards as I design a quilt for this tiny human. It's funny, now somehow my son's bedroom (our converted walk-in closet) seems like a huge space for a nursery as I move our bedroom furniture around in a puzzle to make the co-sleeper and another dresser fit inside. Oh, perspective.
I still can't believe that I'll have another child in just about four weeks but at least now my nesting instincts have kicked in and it actually looks like a baby will join our home in the very near future. This is not yet an organized or pretty prediction of the human that is yet to come but at least the basics can be located in a moment's notice. Well, except for the diapers.
We still don't have one newborn diaper in our midst but I think I can remedy that in four weeks time. Let's be honest, first I want to design the quilt and then I'll tend to the diapers. Priorities, right?