We’re about as ready to have a baby as we can be. We’ve actually been preparing in earnest for a few years now, beginning with buying this house and then trading the truck in for a minivan. There were some major renovations that came with the house, such as repairing termite damage to the floor joists and girders, the wall studs and ceiling beams in the front room, some foundation damage from a tree root… and then we had to get a new roof last summer. Oh, and two summers ago I replaced all the power outlets with ones that have covers built-in so kids can’t stick things into them. But this summer has been really baby-inspired.
- Because the nursery is typically 8-10 degrees colder in the winter, we tore off some drywall with the intent of adding insulation to the exterior wall. It turns out that the wall was insulated, but the termite damage had left a gap between the floor and the wall that went straight into the crawlspace. So we insulated and blocked that up.
- Put up ceiling fans in the nursery and guest bedroom.
- We also did some other constructiony things like replacing a rotting wall on the shed, painting the shed, replacing a column on our front porch, and lots and lots of thinning flower bulbs and spreading mulch.
- April has done a ton of reorganization, cleaning, and furniture assembling (crib, bassinet, shelves, etc.).
- While exploring the crawlspace to make sure there weren’t any other gaps between the floor and the wall, I found that the ductwork was super damp. The condensation had caused rust, which then led to some small holes in the ductwork. These have now been patched and the ductwork insulated.
- We had a vapor barrier installed in the crawlspace to help reduce humidity further and prevent insects from burrowing up into the crawlspace.
- The vapor barrier (sheets of plastic spread across the ground and up the walls of the crawlspace and the piers supporting the house, then sealed with tape and tacked to the walls) made it evident that pipes were leaking. Turns out our entire plumbing system was close to failing, so we had it replaced. The galvanized steel pipes were so full of rust, and metal chunks were flaking off because of the rust. Now we have pex everywhere.
- Hopefully, the pex will help prevent our pipes from freezing like they have the last two winters. I’ll also be blocking up our foundation vents properly this winter.
- After all the construction, we had the ductwork professionally cleaned.
- Our thermostat went out, but I was able to get it replaced under warranty. This came with an extra room sensor, so we now have a remote thermostat sensor in the nursery. We also have a video baby monitor with three cameras that we can put in different places or travel with.
- Rugs have been shaken and cleaned, floors have been swept, everything has been washed, etc.
- April has begun preparing freezer meals so that we have around 2 weeks of food that we can just pop into the instant pot or oven without having to do much prep or thinking.
- We acquired a deep freeze so we have room for freezer meals, etc.
- After all the construction, we had the house fully treated (crawlspace, attic, inside, outside) for all manner of insects, but mostly spiders.
- We’re going to a birthing class on Monday nights that has been tremendously helpful and eye-opening. Tomorrow night, we have a hospital tour. Next week, we’ll install the car seat.
- Our friends and family have been so generous and we now have enough baby clothes for probably the first year and a half, as well as plenty of cloth diapers.
So much of this was possible because of April’s parents, and between the support of our family and our network of friends (which, again, kudos to April… she does such a good job of making sure we stay connected to people despite my inclination to never leave the house or talk to anybody), we feel ready. We feel secure and supported. We know that we have people to catch us and help us. And we’ve learned so much from everyone.
I want to celebrate this. We did good. I can’t wait to meet our baby. We’re about 4-7 weeks away!