37 to 40 Weeks Pregnant (part 1) - 37 WEEKS PREGNANT - Prepare the Final Checklists

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Grab your favorite drink and put your feet up. As promised, there are no big organizing projects this month. Your sidekick can retire. You’re free to float around your home admiring your handiwork as a Zen Organizer. Stop often in your baby’s room and daydream about the future. If you find there are some daydreams you particularly enjoy, embrace, enhance, embellish, and repeat them. Daydreams become creative visualizations when you do this!

This month we’re going to be sure you have every last detail handled. If you have a computer, once again Excel will be your new best friend. It’s a snap to create documents that you can keep accessing long after the baby’s birth. You will, for example, need an updated contact sheet for years to come. Start it now and tweak it often. And with e-mail you can share this information with key members of your family and friendship circles. Our other big task for this month is to have the all-important hospital bag ready to go. You don’t want to be fumbling around your home between contractions mumbling: “Gosh, I hope I have everything!”

When the hospital bag is by the door and the lists have been created, our major focus will be on you. Taking care of yourself enables you to keep your physical, emotional, and mental storehouses full. Otherwise you won’t have anything to give your baby. You can draw water from a full well, not a dry one. Many of my clients feel guilty when they plan a reward or spontaneously do nice things for themselves. It’s time to embrace healthy self-care as an expression of high self-esteem. What a wonderful gift to give your child: the ability to nurture herself, something she will learn by observing how skilled Mom and Dad are at the process.

I’ve worked in apartments that were so tiny a hobbit would have been right at home. Conversely, I’ve worked in huge homes that took days to unpack. And in every home, from studio to mansion, there always seems to be one special place. It’s usually a little nook where you can curl up and be at peace. I’ve always dreamed about having a window seat where I could watch the world go by. Cats have the right idea, don’t they? Let’s consciously create such a place for you and your baby. Ancient yogis said that it was best if you meditated in the same spot every day. On those days when you didn’t really feel like meditating, the energy of past experiences would draw you in. I’ve adapted that concept to my organizing philosophy.

Part of Zen Organizing is dedicating each room to the function for which it was designed. It’s why I feel that bedrooms shouldn’t have computers, DVD players, or TV sets. Bedrooms are meant to be for sleep and fun. And now you can create a special nook for you and your baby. Sit there now and dream about the future. Imagine your baby in your arms. What will you say to her? What songs will you sing? Will this be your favorite breastfeeding spot? If you don’t have a place already, this month has tips to help you create one. My hope is that your baby will feel comfort the minute you two settle into this spot. After all, she was with you when you designed it, wasn’t she?
 
HABIT OF THE MONTH: PUT YOUR FEET UP FIVE MINUTES A DAY
 
Now tell me, isn’t this the most delicious habit? On the horizon is a time when you will wish you could do this, so take advantage. And what will you do during these 5 minutes? Let’s see, here are some ideas:

• Take a cat nap
• Start a new book
• Reacquaint yourself with a favorite book
• Meditate
• Call an old friend
• Call a new friend
• Surf the Internet for baby blogs
• Watch a funny movie

Now let’s go crazy, OK? You can enhance any of these choices. How? I’m so delighted you asked!

• Wrap yourself in a new shawl when you nap, read, chat, or meditate. Make it a soft cashmere or fine cotton or silk. There should be a tactile pleasure the minute you touch it.
• Have your favorite drink at your side: hot tea or mineral water with a twist of lemon or lime. Drink out of a beautiful glass or mug that’s just for you.
• Be sure you are completely comfortable and use some decorative pillows in strategic places. Make fluffing and placing the pillows part of the ritual.
• Have a healthy snack on the table by your chair. Put it on a beautiful dish.
Make your five-minute breaks something you look forward to and savor. And if they extend beyond five minutes, so much the better for you and Baby.

37 WEEKS PREGNANT

Prepare the Final Checklists

This week, you can

• Be sure you’re organized and ready to deliver
• Create a master list and then distribute versions of it as needed

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, Mama. This week we cross our t’s and dot our i’s. If you’re like me and you adore lists, I’ve got some ideas for checklists that are right up your alley. I trust you’ve been walking around your home admiring all the order you created. It’s more than likely you’ve also gotten attached to Baby’s new toys. I mean, who doesn’t love stuffed animals ? You have a right to be proud.

Getting organized for your baby has surely taken you into territory you didn’t expect to visit. Over the course of the next few months you are going to be grateful you did this work. The organized kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom will be much easier to navigate. Just think, when Aunt Ellen asks where something is, you will be able to pinpoint the exact location with remarkable speed. And those labels you took the time to put up will ensure that all of your helpers honor your handiwork. You won’t waste a second with your baby looking for an important piece of paper. No one will ask you for a contact number because they will have a copy of the reference list you created for yourself.

Let’s wrap up and get ready for the joy, upheaval, and sleep deprivation to come!

EXCEL: A MOM’S BEST FRIEND

I’ve suggested you use Excel several times during the course of the past six months. This week, if you don’t have a computer I’m going to ask that you borrow a laptop or work at the library. Some smart phones also come with Excel or a similar spreadsheet application installed, which is great because you can take your information with you when you’re mobile. You have a lot of material to pull together and Excel will make it a snap to tailor checklists for different groups of people working from one master. First, we’ll create our categories. Next, we’ll fill in the pertinent information. We’ll wrap up by grouping the information for specific family members and friends. You and your spouse need to access the master list; everyone else will have the sections they need. Yes, I know, Aunt Ellen likes to think she knows it all. When you send her list, don’t tell her that there’s more information out there. It will make her crazy.
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