20 March 2012


We flew back from a sunny Barcelona to a sunny Leuven (with a nip in the air, but still sunny)! Gabriel did great on the flights, and him having his own seat made them so much nicer for us. The house is very clean and the walls didn't cave in, although the diggers seem to be mysteriously redigging holes that they had already dug.

The crazy thing is that we fly back to Barcelona again next Thursday already--we deliberately squeezed another trip in before I could no longer fly, and since it will be a long holiday during Easter week M. had days off. But this time we'll go up the coast and spend much of our time having an actual vacation, just us, no internet, and hopefully plenty of sun and walks on the beach.

Before that happens, though, we need to make some progress on the babifying of our house, which means a trip to Ikea. I know Ikea is a cliché of frustrated couples compromising over cheap, mass-produced shelving units (and we have certainly lived the cliché), but I still really love going there. I have childhood memories of going to one of the early Ikeas to arrive in the US, and I always loved (still do!) strolling through the cleverly composed floor model apartments, locating items in the giant warehouse, eating in the cafeteria, and so forth. The whole Ikea package.

I'm also trying to decide about the best sleeping arrangement for when the baby comes, which impacts what we buy at Ikea. Ideally, I'd like to sleep in our bedroom and put the baby in a co-sleeper or bassinet next to our bed. But there's barely room for that, and even if we found room, there's no room for a chair to nurse in (I found that the first weeks were better nursing sitting up, until baby got big enough for side-lying), or a place to change his diaper. The normal changing/diapering area (on a dresser) will be in Gabriel's room, as will the full-size crib. Since Gabriel's room adjoins ours, we also risk waking him up during the nighttime wakings.

The alternative, probably more practical option is to relocate, temporarily, to the guest room/office, which is twice as big as our cozy bedroom. We can stick a chair for nursing in there, and even the crib if we want to, and we could use the desk for nighttime diaper changes. But I'm not entirely happy about that prospect, for several reasons: the bed is smaller (roughly a double compared to our queen, which when you add a little baby--and potentially a toddler--in the middle makes a big difference), the windows face the street (noise issues), our massive wardrobe and thus clothes would have to remain in our room which is where my mom would be staying if we took over the guest room, and, well, it's just not *our* room. I imagine nuzzling our new baby in the family space we've already created, not in the somewhat disjointed all-purpose guest room (a corner of which serves as suitcase/baby gear/Christmas decoration storage, since as I'm sure I've mentioned before, Europeans don't believe in closets, grrr).

All of this leaves me going in circles. If we do need to create a new setup, I want to start doing it in advance so Gabriel gets used to us sleeping elsewhere. This is why I'm feeling pressure to get things settled and decide already! I realize that the difficulty is in large part my inability to imagine just how life is going to be: M's the visionary and I'm always stuck dithering about things until I actually start seeing them unfold in real life and then I feel much better. So I probably just need to take the plunge and start setting up the guest room as a new-baby headquarters, reminding myself that it's only temporary, and then I'll settle right in. Although--again with the althoughs--I'll have to wait until after our last round of visitors (M's entire family!) at the beginning of May, so they can use the current guest room.

Baby is kicking me right now--he's getting very baroque with the kicking and stomach-rippling effects lately--as if to remind me that the main thing he'll need he already has: a spot in my arms and my heart. So I guess we'll be OK, wherever we end up spending our (probably sleepless) nights.

No comments: