As my due date looms in the middle distance, approaching at an alarming rate it feels to me, I am conscious there is a list of things I want to tick off before our family expands from three to four.
To start with, I must, must sort our photos. After much prevaricating, I have managed to mount the little man's first year in an album and was rather chuffed with the end result - so much better than flicking through images on a screen. But what about the next year and a half that follows? I must get this beautifully categorised and presented before I become absorbed in night-time feeds, endless winding and all the 24/7 caring that comes with a newborn. Reading back, this makes me sound as if I am dreading the prospect which I am not. Quite the reverse. We have longed for a second child and know how lucky we are to be having one - it's just this bloomin' list that is causing the trouble.
Next - I must hunt down all the teeny tiny baby things we have put away in storage, then work out how they can share space with a toddler's bits and pieces. Which reminds me, number 27 on the list - find a beautiful, groaningly big family home (with huge garden, next to a park ideally but still in the catchment for our local excellent schools) as we will find our current domestic arrangement somewhat squashed, as much as we love it. Practically speaking, this won't be until next year and that's fine so I'II put that to one side for the minute (although that won't stop daily scouring of Rightmove).
The biggest 'to-do' on my list is deciding on suitable transportation for the children. I still use a buggy for the little man when we walk into town as he doesn't like to walk or hold hands, but prefers to run full pelt. I can't imagine being able to keep proper, safe control of him while at the same time pushing a pram with a newborn in, so does this mean investing in a tandem buggy? Or perhaps a buggy board might work out (I am borrowing one from a friend to try out next week)? Or can I pop him in the stroller as usual and carry baby in a sling? All possible options which I am investigating by visiting shops, trawling websites and talking to fellow mums.
Thankfully, I have managed to tick off the big one - booking a family holiday. After asking your advice a few posts ago, for which many thanks, we have found a great little cottage on a farm in Cornwall that is run by parents Melanie and Mike and is specifically designed to entertain kiddies, with an indoor pool, play equipment, stairgates, baby monitors etc. They even ask how old your children are and promise to fill the cottage with age-appropriate toys. We will be going in just over a month and cannot wait. It will be our last break away the three of us. Now, number 56 on the to-do list - holiday shopping...