I feel utterly unable to make a decision about a pile of things that range in importance from "extremely" to "not at all." So in no particular order, here they are:
1. Preschool. Miss M will be about 2 years ten months when we can put her in preschool. But SHOULD we? I just can't seem to answer that for myself, in part because I don't know what she will be like as a little person at that point. I feel like it should really depend on her, and where she is at, and that the information that is key to this decision won't be available to me for many months. But preschool applications are due NOW, and the waitlists are just insane.
My gut is telling me that 3 half days a week would be perfect. That would be about 10.5 hours of more structured interaction/play outside of our home, which sounds about right to me. But, I've found just two programs that I like and which are convenient to where we will be living. They are both full day only programs. Sure, your kid can attend PT, but you still have to pay FT. . .which is about $1300 a month. Ouch. Plus, all of the other kids attending will be there FT, in all likelihood. I think FT is out of the question. It's just too much at that age. If I needed the daycare, I would do it, but I don't, because T. will still be staying home. I will continue to look for the "right" program, but I'm kind of losing faith that I will find what I want. I mostly want something that will give her another form of stimulation, start to teach her to settle down in a structured environment, and give T. a bit of a break.
There is also the fact that if we put her in preschool this upcoming year, she will then have to do two additional years of preschool, because she won't make the cutoff for kindergarten until four school years from now (January birthday). Does she really need 3 years of preschool? That seems excessive to me.
2. Baby names. We found a name early on that I loved. We've struggled for a middle name, but we've been solid on the first name for many, many months. Only, now I'm having second thoughts. I have lots of "maybes," but I'm really having trouble. Finding the right middle name seems like an impossibility right now. Argh. There are so many names I love, but not for this child, for various reasons. Picking a name is so much harder than I ever thought it would be, especially the second time around.
3. Car. I've just learned that there will be some limits on what we can import when we go to South America, so the Volvo might be out. . .as may be ANY new car. Which means that we may be in the position of having to go to the U.S. and immediately attempt to purchase a used car. . .which sounds like a giant nightmare to me. We are supposed to go to my MIL's (rural) home for a couple of weeks immediately upon returning to the States. I cannot imagine not having a vehicle. We can rent, but that seems like a waste of money, since we need to buy, anyway. This is such a pain, and I don't care about it at all. . .except, it must be dealt with.
4. Big girl bed. We still have Miss M in her crib. She can climb out of it, but rarely bothers. I want to transition her to a regular bed, in part because in a few months we'll want the crib for the baby (although, we've got some time, because we'll use the bassinet for a while). The problem, really, is that the crib is still in our room. Because of the layout of our place, it's just made sense to let her sleep in our room until now (she has night terrors, and keeping her in our room means she is easy to get to). With the baby on the way, I'm anxious to move her, though, because I don't want her to be woken up by night feedings. I can't decide if we transition her from crib to toddler bed (the crib is convertible), and leave it in our room for a few weeks, and then transition her to a "real" bed in her own room. Or, should we move her right to her own room and a real bed? We've always been slow in our transitions before, and they've always gone well. Crib to regular bed in her own room seems like a giant leap. On the other hand, we have only 6 weeks until the baby is due.
5. To doula, or not to doula? It's a little late to find anyone good. But, after a recent hospital tour, I'm not sure I want to be doula-free, after all. The promise of having my own midwife (and doctor) wasn't quite all it's cracked up to be. The midwives are just glorified nurses, and don't seem to have the ability to suggest alternatives to medical intervention, which is what I wanted. I found a doula who does acupuncture and massage, and contacted her on the off chance she's free. We'll see. I'm going to explore my options on this one. I think I'd be better off with a doula, but it just feels like a lot of work at this point.
In addition to wrestling with all of these decisions, I still need to unpack and wash the newborn clothes, pack away and reorganize some of Miss M's outgrown things, wash the bassinet bedding and bouncy seat cover and get those ready for the new baby, get the baby swing set up, and order various items from the U.S. that we'll need (ie, the stroller converter kit for the carseat) but which we cannot buy here. That may not sound like a lot, but it feels insurmountable lately--especially when the baby presses on my cervix or bladder in weird and uncomfortable ways.
P.S. I thought she was head down, but then realized she was still transverse. Although since then, I think she might be head down again. I'm kind of stressed that she'll be transverse when it's time to deliver her, since I really, really don't want a c-section.