Freezer Meals

The importance of freezer meals cannot be overstated.

My little bundle of joy

My little bundle of joy.

This probably isn’t your typical first post-baby blog, but it might be the shortest. It’s just what’s on my mind today, plus I don’t have time for a longer one (thank-yous to write, the time-bomb sleeping peacefully, dishes on the counter, etc.).

My message is to all the pregnant mamas-to-be out there. Do yourself a favor and make meals ahead. I read in some book, blog, or somewhere not to envision yourself apron on, baby in one arm, cooking at the stove, ready to greet your man as he comes home from work. The reality is that you’ll barely be able to get the meal into the stove or into the crockpot.

Various body parts hurt, you’re sleep deprived, and even if you don’t have a baby that fusses (like me, I’ve been pretty lucky), you’ll still not want to cook. I’m over five weeks out, and I still haven’t sat down to cook a meal. Wonderful, amazing, beautiful church ladies supplied me with about 2-3 weeks worth of food/leftovers, we have gone out to eat twice, my husband has “cooked” twice (tacos once & chicken nuggets with frozen vegetables the other time). The rest of our intake has been due to the freezer meals I prepped as well as their leftovers.

Trust me, the food is important for all that breast milk you’ll need to be brewing.

Here are some of the recipes I used. I think I had made all before so I had my own “tweaks” written down. If interested, leave me a comment, and I’ll try to remember!

  1. Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup: http://myfavoritethings-miranda.blogspot.com/2012/03/creamy-slow-cooker-tortellini-soup.html
  2. Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki: http://pinterest-food2.blogspot.jp/2013/01/healthy-foods_30.html
  3. Crock Pot Chicken Chili: http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/03/crock-pot-chicken-chili-recipe/
  4. Turkey Potpies: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/turkey-potpies?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+taste-of-home+(Taste+of+Home)&utm_content=Google+Reader
  5. Cheeseburger Soup: http://therecipecritic.com/2012/12/cheeseburger-soup/
  6. Kale and White Bean Soup: http://www.thedailymeal.com/kale-and-white-bean-soup-recipe-0 (I add chicken)
  7. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala: http://www.smells-like-home.com/2011/11/slow-cooker-chicken-tikka-masala/ (It’s different, but strangely my picky husband says he likes it).
  8. Slow Cooker Recipe for Pork Sirloin Roast with Spicy Peanut Sauce: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/03/slow-cooker-recipe-for-pork-sirloin.html (I put potatoes & carrots off to the side for a complete meal).
  9. Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff I: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff-i/detail.aspx
  10. Slow Cooker Beef Stew: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-beef-stew/detail.aspx

Current Read:

First Family Picture

First Family Picture

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.

This book is golden, and I recommend new-mamas to be read it just prior to giving birth so the info is fresh in your mind because it’s hard to read after delivery.

Basically, Dr. Karp goes through a history of colic, its cause (the missing 4th trimester), and its remedies while teaching parents the 5 S’s:

1) Swaddle

2) Side/Stomach

3) Shhhhing!

4) Swinging

5) Sucking

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Halfway to the Finish

In my family, babies are CELEBRATED. As long as I can remember, my Mom has made adorable baby blankets by hand. She/my family then gives them to literally anyone we know Baby!having a baby. I’d been stockpiling cute ones I wanted for my own kids for years. I can also remember just showing up at the hospital when my first nephew was born, except we weren’t even sure he was born. We just hadn’t heard any news (that was over 18 years ago by the way!).

Now it’s my turn. I think if circumstances had been a little different, I might actually have enjoyed pregnancy, but I hate it (I love baby!). I have had a super easy pregnancy actually. Morning sickness present early on but only once every day or two, gone as quick as it came and ending right when the pregnancy books said it would. Funny side story about that later. I even crave fruits and vegetables (I’m a chocoholic/sweet tooth at baseline though so that’s still there too). Why I hate pregnancy? I’m a nervous wreck although it’s getting better.

After we decided to try, we got pregnant super easy. I was ecstatically pregnant for all of like two days before I had a miscarriage. In hindsight, an early miscarriage is the best one to have. There’s no d&c, hormones/body go back to normal quickly, and even though I really wanted that baby, I hadn’t really bonded yet. After a miscarriage or something goes wrong during pregnancy, the rest of the world seemed to reproduce like mad. Someone from home had their 10th kid (they’re an awesome family), some 13 year old got pregnant, some young dad shook his newborn or the mom who put her newborn in the washer on the spin cycle while on drugs (true news story), and pro-life activists sent out pictures of what aborted  babies looked like at 19 weeks, 30 weeks, etc. Not exactly what I needed at the moment! I had a lot of friends who were so at peace with their losses. ME? I was like, “Oh, so God decided the chick who’s had nine other abortions is more deserving than me,  a stable non-smoker, financially able to support a baby?” Not to mention basically every friend and acquaintance ever known got pregnant and had a healthy baby. I was happy for them while also bitter.

Here’s my funny morning sickness side story. Since we knew we wanted to try having a baby and the Mom is not allowed to clean the litter box, we began toilet training our cats. Let me tell you, if you’re not quite sure you’re going to puke but head to the toilet anyway, the deal is sealed when you bend down and see that the cat has recently made a deposit. Another cat related story-we had three cats for awhile during this pregnancy process. They all loved to gather round and watch me pray to the porcelain God. “Polly” via Matt said one day, “Damn, she sure does have a lot of hairballs lately.”

20weeksAnyway, onward! After much frustration, we finally got pregnant again, this time it taking longer. Being a pessimist anyway, I was not holding my breath. However, here I am at 20 weeks. My husband came home with a full-sized man football at about 11 weeks. He’s the practical no-impulse buying accountant. When I asked him, “What if it’s a girl?” His response was that he’d still need someone to play catch with. Usually, it’s the stereotypical excited first-time mom that breaks down and buys a frilly pink dress, but not me. I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I’m not into hokey sentimental stuff. As I said though, babies Cupcakeare so celebrated, and I wanted to do something special since I’ve practically grown up with all of my nieces and nephews. So, my awesome friend Ashley who is my better half at crafts/baking helped me make gender reveal cupcakes.

Grandma ConnieAs I expected, my family was thrilled. We slipped an ultrasound picture into an envelope at Christmas. My Mom had only ever had one ultrasound for her total of six kids so actually had no clue what she was looking at, and my brother Dean had to interpret. Matt’s family all told us about time! This is my Mom aka Grandma finding out what baby is a few weeks ago.

By the way, this is my first impulse buy from about a week or Sockstwo ago. My best friend from high school is an ultrasound tech, and we hooked up about a month ago. She told me without a doubt the gender and said everything looked good. It was great having a friend do it to put me at ease and take extra time,  especially since baby didn’t cooperate well at his official ultrasound this last week, and they’re not supposed to tell what’s going on anyway. Everything looked good again although they’re going to try to redo a few shots in a month. My husband thinks he’s Clark Kent so we’re going with a Superman/Superhero nursery, and I got little socks for those feet that are reminding me via kicks that everything is going OK.

Recent Related Book:

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won’t Tell You by: Vicki Iovine

A friend of mine got this for me for Christmas. The book comically while quite honestly reviews the major physical and emotional changes during pregnancy, things to do, and more all from a “girlfriend’s perspective”.

The books takes some criticism for the author’s lack of medical experience and use of anecdotal evidence, but that was the whole point of the book. I mostly found it less stodgy and judgmental than so many of the pregnancy books out there. I disagreed with a few of the points of view of the author, but that was also why I enjoyed the book because the author’s “girlfriends” often had differing views which she also discussed.