Getting ready

Sometimes, at the end of a long day (or in the middle of it!) I wonder how in the world I will ever manage having three little ones. I know, I know... many people have more than three children and get along just fine. But a lot of days, my two are plenty for me to handle!!

I'm hoping to do a lot of preparation before the new baby arrives, but somehow my efforts don't last long these days.

The 14 dozen pumpkin cookies I made a few weeks ago (and froze) are just all too handy to pull back out of the freezer and pop into Joshua's lunch, or hand to the children for a quick snack. (Whole wheat flour makes them healthy cookies, right?) I haven't even taken a picture of the cookies (the one on the recipe needs replaced with something more... appetizing!) and we're down to half a bag.

So my "to do" list remains long, though a few things have been accomplished... getting the washing machine fixed... washing and waxing the car before winter (the boys loved helping with this!)... figuring out how to install 3 car seats in the back seat of our car (a tight fit, but where there's a will, there's a way, right?). :)

Don't misunderstand -- I'm very excited about our new little baby. But the Braxton-Hicks contractions I feel during the day remind me that the time is passing. Quickly. Twelve weeks just doesn't feel like very long. And it could be sooner. Or later. You just never can tell with babies. ;)

I'm hesitantly optimistic about the adjustment from two children to three. I thought having one was a big adjustment. Adding Eliyahu went really well, overall... but probably only because I had prepared anything and everything in advance... and since he was born a month after the "due date" I felt like I had plenty of time to get ready. ;)

But before I start feeling too confident, I think about dear Court. I've been reading about her... adjustment... ever since this past June when she gave birth to their third. What if my third child is like her third child? Naps? I know she makes it sound all cute and funny when she blogs about her life as a mom, but... this stuff has me scared! (As a side note, when she has the time to write, Court's blog is a great read!)

So in-between panicking and making dinner and hurting my foot and trying to keep up with the laundry, I'm hoping to have some future blog posts about all the great things I'm getting done now so I won't have to do them afterwards. I just need to start actually getting something done.


Submitted by mama
Ah don't worry...even if you don't end up preparing all those things you'll still be fine. The first few weeks are hard regardless of what you do and I can't imagine a hard worker such as yourself not being able to handle 3:):) As long as you don't place overly high expectations on yourself after the baby you will do great! Be realistic...some things just have to go!!

Submitted by Anonymous
I think I've learned that no matter what I do to prepare, each child brings something new and unexpected to the plate. . . Oddly enough for me, it's not the first few weeks that seem the hardest. It's the months that follow. Pre-birth and those first postpartum weeks, I've mentally prepared myself with the old remembrances:

- You will lose sleep. If you don't, consider that a huge blessing from God.
- You will not be able to get everything you're used to doing done.
- It will take longer to get in and out of the car with all those small children.
- My body needs time to heal. . .

Etc. So I always give myself permission to slow down those first weeks. But for some reason, by the second month, if I am not back to what I was doing before, I get frustrated. My #3 has taught me that sometimes, it takes a whole year to get back to half of what I was doing before. But it's okay. The most important thing is to enjoy your family, get the basics done, and short-cuts are okay sometimes.

Yeah, I tell myself these things, but I don't always buy into it.

: )

Been there
Submitted by Anonymous
Hi Tammy,

I have so been there dear! When my third child was born I had 2 and 3 year old daughters, the oldest of which is special needs. The 2 year old was in the worst terrible twos ever! I worried about how in the world I was going to manage and didn't prepare much at all besides getting the nursery ready and acquiring clothing, diapers etc. I had my mom who lived next door to help me, and my oldest did go to preschool for special needs kids, so that did help me in the first two months. But after that, I had all three for the summer. There were rough days I will say. (and I had c-sections, so even longer recovery)

But Sarah was a wonderful baby. I knew that the sleepless nights would only last for a season. (we practice parent directed feeding)I was cheerful to get up with her. I was very relaxed and just focused on enjoying her. One thing, I had had a miscarriage before I conceived her,so I guess that changed my perspective. I was so happy to have her.

I did the basics of housekeeping the best I could, and I shamelessly used the TV for my two year old when needed. (I know you don't do TV)After the first few weeks, I was recovering well and starting to get into 'normal'life. If you need help, ask for it! Don't worry about imposing, accept it if someone offers. This is hard to do :) I was able to cloth diaper, hang out clothes and cook from scratch after awhile again, so you CAN do it :) It will be fine.

My baby is now 20 months and I really miss her newborn days :(


Submitted by Anonymous
I'm not sure how far away we are from you (I live a few minutes south of Cincinnati and I gather you're in Ohio somewhere), but we would love to bring meals/whatever you need once your little one is born (not that you know me or anything). I'm sure others who read your blog would love to help you out in any way possible, too, seeing as how you help us out with wonderful recipes and advice all the time!
I'm sure that in the areas where your attempts to have absolutely everything ready fail, others will pick up the slack.

Submitted by melissalt
Oops. I commented above (offering to bring food) and forgot to sign in first. :)

third baby
Submitted by Anonymous
I had three babies in a four and half year period and can remember being somewhat apprehensive before the birth of #3. Fortunately he was a very happy baby who slept much more than his older sisters had. The two older girls were actually quite helpful in entertaining him and helping me out with small chores around the house.
It helped me to have a list of very simple meals that I could make from ingredients that I normally keep on hand so if I needed a meal in a hurry I didn't have to think too long or too hard.
After reading your blog I know that your husband is quite helpful and that you have family nearby, so I'm sure that you will do just fine. Friends and people from church often will come to your aid. I think people realize that there are things that they can do to help you adjust to a new little one in the family.

Thank you, Tammy
Submitted by SarahMay
..for being so open and honest about this! I am 33 weeks pregnant with twins and have a one-year-old, so we will be going from one to three children in the next few weeks. The thought is often overwhelming to me... I can relate to your struggles and preparations (including squeezing those three car seats into the backseat!).

We have a great support network with family and church friends, but it's still intimidating to think of having three little ones at once. Maybe when we have big, BIG families we'll look back at this time and laugh at ourselves!

It really isn't as hard has you would think...
Submitted by cari
I have four children (at one point, they were all under the age of 5). The beauty of getting to the second, third, etc. children, is that you already know what to expect. I use to keep a 'nursing basket' where I'd sit to nurse, and in it I kept reading books for my other children. I could keep them neatly 'contained' and feed the baby at the same time! It's multi-tasking at its best!

Submitted by Anonymous
please relax! I prepared absolutely nothing else then the cribs and clothes! I had three babies for number 3 having one who just turned 5 and the second was 2and a half...I always say it was easier then with number one!(even if they were always sick!)
Do not trye to handle every thing with perfection, we will appreciate you just as much!Things will just ajust...time flies so fast, the triplets have just turned 22...(the three cakes are ready for tomorrow and the meal for ten)my eldest is went so fast and sometimes I regret spending so much time keeping the house clean a way I was too proud to let go a please,just relax and savour these moments as deep pleasure!

Submitted by Anonymous
i did not want to be anonymous but there is no place for my name!! I am the one who said "relax". My name is Nicole and i live in france! You can discover my world :

Really, it's not that bad...
Submitted by Anonymous
Truly, I think the adjustment from two to three was much easier than from one to two. Why? Well, you've got the basic parenting skills down pat and know not to expect to sleep through the night for a while. Also, when you have your second (during pregnancy and after), it's a rude awakening to find out you CAN'T do the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing like with your first, because you have to watch the older child still. By number three, you're used to that.

One thing I'll suggest is to allow yourself an extra twenty minutes or so when getting ready to go anywhere. I'm expecting my fourth in January and still trying to get used to getting out the door on time.


Submitted by Anonymous
I hope you get some of your stuff done. Everything will fall into place and if some stuff doesn't get done...oh, well.

I will be praying that everything goes well with you and your little one. My baby is due in 14 weeks which doesn't seem far away, either. We have so much to finish up, but I know that not everything will get done and I know that I will just have to accept my (and my husband's)limitations.

How on earth did you get three carseats in the back seat?? There was just no way we could do it-thus, the minivan. Do you have a smaller booster seat for Yehoshua? These carseats are such a bother. When my husband was a kid, they just piled into a station wagon. Somehow, they got 5 or 6 kids in there. I know it was probably really dangerous, but it is amazing how less complicated things were. I definately HATE carseats. Every one is different and no two fit in the same way. It is like the carseat manufacturers set us moms up for failure and back problems. These things were definately invented by men. ;-)

Have a nice weekend. :-)


It'll be an adjustment
Submitted by Anonymous
But once you get the swing of things and your baby isn't as high need as they are the first several weeks, you'll enjoy it a lot. Now my baby is so happy and content (except when hungry) and is a lot of fun -- a much happier baby than my other two were. So, there was hope... even for me!

Thanks for the credit and linking to me Tammy! I hope you aren't too scared by what you read on my blog. But I honestly wish I would've been more prepared when I was pregnant with baby #3 than I was. I think you'll do just fine.


Car Seat
Submitted by Anonymous
Make sure that a car seat in the middle of the back is legal in your state , in mine if there is a large gap between the drivers and passenger front seat it isn't (hence why we HAD to buy a mini van)-Lela

Thank you for sharing how you feel!
Submitted by Anonymous
Tammy -

I'm sure you will do just fine. It's easy to see you've done a great job with your sons!!

But it is funny that you would share this today! You see, I was watching my neice and nephew today (2 and 4). After getting hit in the nose with a spoon, and trying to clean things up as I was being begged to play I actually thought to myself how does Tammy do so much?!! And how will I get things done when I have kids?!!

So I guess everyone frets from time to time!! But you are doing great! And you are really inspiring for other homemakers and mothers!

Take care,

car seats
Submitted by Anonymous
May I ask how you fit all three carseats in your car? I have a small car (Ford Focus), I'm a nanny, and my boss is due with baby #3 in May. We're looking at having me drive her van, which I don't want to do, but I didn't think I could fit a third carseat in my backseat. It is possible? How?

Third baby
Submitted by Anonymous
I have six children ranging from 12 to 1.5 and I am praying for more. Anyways, I did find that going from 2 to 3 children was very difficult, because my husband and I were out numbered! When we had only two, each one of us could tend either of them. But when the third one came, there was no one left! So that was difficult. You sound to be a very well organized person and I don't think you will have much trouble at all. But let me encourage you, after your third one, in my opinion, it gets easier and easier because by the time the fourth one comes, the oldest one is old enought to really help out! I think things are easier now with 6 then it was with 2.....


Wives Tale
Submitted by Anonymous
I just had baby number four 17 days ago, and was expecting it to be a breeze. Everyone always says that three is the hard transition, and that anything after that is just cake. I'm here to tell you it's a wives tale. When I had three, it wasn't the hard transition. We did it with no troubles. It's four that's whipping me. Wha...!!

With three, you have one parent handle the infant carrier and the other parent holds two hands. There's still a free hand for purse maneuvering, for carrying a bag, etc. But when you have four, there *are* no more open hands. LoL!! So don't worry - you'll still have a free hand after this child is born. One free hand is handier than none!

((Not that I'd trade little Aaron for the WORLD. He's beautiful, and although I have my hands completely full now - my kids are 7, 4, 2, and two and a half weeks - it's worth it to me. This too, shall pass, and they'll be bigger helpers.))

With God all things are possible..
Submitted by matthollycart
Always remember that! I think my third was the hardest to transition with. The fourth one seemed realy easy though. I think once you get past 3, it get's easier to adjust. Plus your other children are now older to help you out also! Rest alot, but then again, I was always one to jump right into doing everything as usual right away, so maybe I should listen to my own advice. Don't worry Tammy, you'll do fine! Frazzled maybe at first, but remember the newness will pass, and then you'll wonder why you were so worried!

Submitted by Anonymous
Tammy, my wise aunt has five children. She once told me (long before I had any children) that every time she was pregnant, she would worry and wonder how she would manage with another baby. When she prayed about it, the answer was clear: God gives you grace for the next one when the next one is here! He has done that with me for my five, too! :o)


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