Jen's started nesting - making her preparations for the baby, who will be arriving in about 13 weeks.

With the beginning of my third trimester, nesting mode is in full gear. The desire to have everything set for this baby is palpable and lists are dominating my life.

I have my cleaning list, or rather my "cleaning out" list. Some of these things will never happen, but I do intend to clean out the front hall closet, the guest room/office closet, and our upstairs storage space. And my dresser, Aaron's dresser and closet, the kitchen cabinets, and the bookcases.

I have my projects list. I've been quite productive in the last couple of months, but there is more to do. I finished Alex's sweater, Ben's should be done by the time we meet him this weekend, and I've started working on the new bedding set for Sprout. I still want to make Sprout a nice sweater for his baptism this winter, along with a shawl for me for nighttime nursing, a couple of blankets, and so on. And I haven't yet considered the other five or six babies of friends and families that will be entering the world in the next several months.

I have my "things we need to get for the baby" list, that should be further divided into things we truly need for the baby, like a new car seat, some nursing bras, and a name, and things I really want for the baby, like a rocking chair for our bedroom, a Baby Bjorn carrier, and a tape of various music that we like for labor.

Believe it or not, I already have a blank page in my organizer for writing down a hospital packing list. Thus far I have resisted the urge to actually write anything on that list. The time will be here soon enough to get serious about that.

Then, of course, there is my job and trying to finish as much as I possibly can there before my leave begins. That is a whole separate set of lists.

When I have so many things to do, I tend to write out schedules for myself. The lists are no longer enough. Unfortunately, scheduling in everything leaves me exactly two hours of sleep per night until the baby arrives. Since that level of sleep deprivation is not supposed to occur until after a child's birth, some things will have to give, but I haven't decided just what yet. Well, okay, the plan to clean out the front hall closet can go right now.

Some things on my lists can't be shoved off, and really deserve my undivided attention. Like getting out old newborn clothes, inspecting them and washing them, so my new little boy will have something clean to wear. Or getting out the crib and making sure we have all the hardware accounted for, and that we still have the directions on how to get the whole thing together. Or finding the travel yard and make sure all the parts are still in good working order. Or getting out the carriage stroller and getting all those pieces washed or cleaned and put back on in the right way. Or just getting out some infant toys and cleaning them.

One of the harder things on my projects list is making a small book for Aaron about when he was born. The birth of his brother is bound to bring up some questions about how we prepared for his arrival and I want to be ready to tell him about the months we spent getting ready to meet him, and have something special for him when we do talk about it. I've found most of the pictures I want to use, but now it's a matter of setting aside the time to do it, and not feeling rushed because of all the other lists.

There's one list that I know should be getting more attention than it is. It's my "take care of yourself, dammit!" list. It has things like taking a long bubble bath at least once a week, forgiving myself for that Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and actually using that gift certificate for a facial and a pedicure before my belly gets so large that I can barely see my toes anyway. This list is my sometimes hopeless attempt at not forgetting myself in all this preparation and among the general din of life. Time for such things will be even more scarce after Sprout's arrival, so I know I should do them while I can even if I do feel a little bit of guilt when I do.

I know I cannot possibly do everything on every list, but of course I will try. Or fall asleep while

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