First of all, I've been going through every piece of maternity clothing, baby clothing, baby furniture and gadgets, etc. that Robert has outgrown and have been handing it all down to my niece to be stored away until she and her hubby are ready to procreate. And it reminded me of just how much stuff one little kid uses. The day that she stopped by the house to pick up the items that I had ready for her was an eye opener for both of us. The shocked look on her face as I continued to hand her box after box of baby clothing was classic. It was the look of someone who hasn't been in this position yet and is completely unaware of just how quickly and easily a child will "over run" their household. She asked that I only save clothing up until about 18 months as she felt that would be adequate.
Having been there, I think I'll save up to 24 months. The kids grow so fast in the first two years that before you know it, another season has changed, and your child just outgrew everything in the previous size. It's nice to have the clothes as backup until those growth spurts slow down a bit and clothing sizes last longer than 2 months.
It was surprising to me in the way that I didn't realize just how much I had been storing the 3rd time around. After Matthew was born and we were sure (ha ha) that we were not having another kids, we gave everything away. When I found out that Robert was on the way, we scrambled to replace all of those items. And through the help of a lot of hand-me-downs from friends, we replaced everything pretty darn successfully. Which is why I was shocked, once again, at how it all accumulated so easily.
The family has also been blessed with the news that my cousin is expecting her first baby. This news came right before my Grandfather passed away - so I predict - a boy! Let's see if the theory of "when God takes one away he replaces it with another" holds true. So yeah!! Another baby in the family! What's better than that? Unfortunately this wee-one will be born in Japan so I have no idea when we'll all get our first visit with the expanding family.
And while she is kind enough to share the news of ultra-sounds, etc. with us, I have to fight an overwhelming urge to give assvice. I just keep thinking about when I was pregnant with Megan, all the firsts were so great but some of them were rather unexpected. And I remember thinking at times that "no one bothered to give me a heads up on this". Plus, now that I've been there and done that 3 times over, I often think back to the times Bill and I shared before the kids. I wish we'd made a point to do something special in those final months. Just the two of us. But the only thing that I can remember doing was enjoying a nice dinner out a chinese restaurant and joking about things were going to change soon. Hmph...had I really had a better idea, that dinner out would have been expanded to a little weekend getaway or something similar. Oh well... hind sight's 20/20, right?
And yesterday, I came across a few other items that I wanted to hand over to my niece. Some pregnancy books and an unused pregnancy test. I laid them on my desk, which happens to sit right inside the door from our garage so that I would remember to pack them all away with any other items that I came across and promptly forgot about it.
The kids and I went upstairs later that evening to get them showered and ready for bed when Bill came home from work. The look on his face as he tried to calmly inquire about "why I had a pregnancy test downstairs" was priceless.
No Bill, your 5th child is not on the way. You're a starter gun now, remember?