Disclaimer: Henry would want me to acknowledge upfront that the discussion of "when" we have a second child makes the assumption that we will have one, which has not been decided.
As we wrap up our first year with HP, I have started contemplating and planning when we will add another child to our family in earnest. Maybe it is because the exhausting first few months of HP's life are behind us so thought of adding another child to the mix does not terrify me (quite as much) anymore. Maybe it is because with less than three weeks until HP's first birthday I am getting sentimental looking through photos of his newborn days like the one above. Maybe I just really want another kid. It's hard to say.
Henry and I have had discussions in the past about limiting our family size, and in many ways I think I would be happy to stop where we are as a family of three. But there is a part of me that believes I will regret not having a second child. So while nothing is decided yet, me being me, I have started planning the best time to get pregnant and focusing my energy on what I would like to accomplish/establish before(/if) we embark of that journey. Here's the list so far:
- Become involved in the Unitarian Church. I miss being a part of a church community and want to make it a regular part of our lives again. We started attending this church before we had HP, but when we moved to the other side of town we stopped making it a priority It will be a lot easier to be active again now that HP is dropping his morning nap.
- Finish major house projects. Ultimately, I am glad that we bought our house when we did, but buying a "fixer-upper" right before having our first child has been challenging. We still have a lot of projects to get done and I would like for the biggest ones to be completed before we add another child to the mix. It is hard enough making progress with HP; I can only begin to imagine how difficult it would be with two kids instead of just one.
- Kitchen--We are going to start updates this weekend. New countertops, backsplash, and freshly painted cabinets will make a huge difference. I cannot wait for the yellow countertops to be gone!
- Main bathroom--We need to take down the last wall of wallpaper and repaint, redo the tile and drywall, re-caulk around the tub, and replace the splintering cabinet.
- Paint trim and install quarter-round in main room--I started this project last fall and have made no progress since Thanksgiving.
- Building compost bins--Right now we just have two piles--one active and one aging. I would like two or three bins to contain the compost instead of heaping it in mounds behind the shed.
- Framing art and photos--Our walls are embarrassingly bare. I have the photos and prints to hang, I just need to get them framed and up on the wall.
- Run a half marathon--This has been on my "to-do" list for awhile and I have had it in my head that I would like to complete one before trying to get pregnant again. Running is a great way for me to stay in shape now that HP's on the scene. It does not require going to the gym, is something I can do before Henry goes to work, after he gets home, or with HP in the stroller during day. I loved running when I was on the cross country team my senior year of high school and would like to get back into it. I ordered new shoes yesterday and am planning to sign up for the Austin half in February. (Any friends who are reading this want to join me? Austin is lovely that time of year...)
- We would have plenty of time to complete the list above.
- Henry would be able to study for his licensing exam (Oct 2014) without the lack of sleep and constant demands of a newborn on the scene.
- HP and I would have more than a year to enjoy the freedom of biking before being bus-bound again with a little one.
- I would get a break from having my body housing or sustaining a little person. I do not want to go straight from nursing HP to being pregnant again.
- Our kids would be more than two but less than three years apart, which feels right to me. Close enough in age that in a few years they would be able to play together, but far enough apart that HP will be relatively independent when his sibling arrives.