Anticipating Avery's arrival in October of 2004 was a totally different scenario than the preparations that are taking place for Baby #4 in March of 2009.
By early September 2004 this is what you found at The White House:
~Nursery painted and decorated with lovely new linens in the crib, customized wall decor and a handmade changing table built with love (not yet painted).
~Lots of pink clothes washed in Dreft, rinsed twice, folded neatly and arranged perfectly in drawers, according to their size and function.
~Spotless, disinfected house, baby proofed, just in case she came out crawling.
~Bag packed for the hospital- Avery's baby book so all of our visitors could sign, footprints and stats logged and sweet memories captured with a periwinkle fountain pen; outfit for Avery's first picture; and long list of phone numbers to inform the hundreds that were surely as excited as we were about this precious babe.
~Freezer full of homemade meals that I had prepared ahead of time, plus a list of 20 sweet families from our church that volunteered to bring us meals every other night.
~A worn out copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting sitting on the nightstand.
~Brand-spankin' new carseat, properly installed in car and checked by local fire dept.
~Mother mentally prepared for Natural Childbirth using only breathing techniques to overcome labor and delivery.
Today I look at Audrey, my baby, just turned one year, and can hardly believe that she is going to be a big sister in a couple months. But I know the Lord is preparing her...
He is preparing all of us for baby #4, it just looks different than it did four years ago.
January 2008 in the White House
~A mini crib that has been set up in our room since Audrey was born, with dirty sheets, and full of my clean clothes that never made it into our dresser because I was back in maternity clothes before I could fit into my normal clothes.
~A handmade changing table that was built with love, has endured three children's thousands of dirty diapers, and still isn't painted.
~Two Rubbermaid tubs of newborn clothes, some pink, some blue, whatever. If I can't scrape off the spit-up from the previous child, I will just give a wild look when asked why I dress my son in pink, or my daughter in blue.
~A filthy house, markers on the walls, dishes in the sink, laundry in the washer, cheerios in the corners, laughter and joy spilling out of every room.
~No need to pack for the hospital, I will just grab my toothbrush, digital camera and some granny panties on the way out the door.
~Freezer full of fish sticks, frozen peas and waffles- surely that can sustain a family of six until mom can make it to the grocery store on her way to her 6 week postpartum visit.
~A worn out copy of my Bible on the nightstand and a copy of the latest In Style Magazine (a girl can dream of fashion, right?)
~Disgusting car seat, full of cheerios, goldfish crumbs and Mariposa Butterfly Fairy Barbie buckled in, sitting on the garage floor. Close enough to the car to trip over during the late stages of labor on my way to the hospital to get my freaking epidural.