Friday, March 27, 2015

Make ahead meals to prep for baby

A month from today our little Lucy will be born meaning our lives will be turned upside down. I kind of doubt I'll have the time (at least for a few months) to leisurely make dinner every night while Ford plays quietly with puzzles or magnets. Knowing how much work having a newborn was before, I am prepping myself for total chaos when we have a newborn and a toddler. One thing that Jon and I love to do is eat.. duh. You'll find a gaggle of delicious and easy recipes posted on my blog along with carefully organized Pinterest boards of meals I plan on making. Meal planning is my MO. I get a rush from sitting down and making my grocery list, looking through what we have stocked in our pantry and thumbing through the grocery store flyer to see what meat is on sale. I love trying new recipes too. We have a few staple meals that I'll make more than once but trying new ones is thrilling for me. A few times a week my sister and I text each other new recipes to try... yep we are old ladies. So where is this post going? We are a month out from baby day and meal prep has begun. I stocked my freezer with about 10 homemade frozen meals before Ford was born and between those and friends bringing meas, I remember not having to make dinner until he was 2 months old! What a relief. As much as I love cooking, it is kind of the last thing on your mind as a new mom. You grab a protein bar for breakfast and maybe manage to eat a sandwich standing up in the kitchen while bouncing your fussy baby in the Ergo so one solid meal a day is vital for sanity and survival. I went to the grocery store yesterday and carefully planned my menu for the next week and will be doubling a few recipes to store in our freezer. Last week was operation "clean out the freezer" so Jon was so sweet to not make a complaint about the random sausage, salmon burger, frozen veggie, pasta meals I threw together with what we had.

How did I come up with the meals I plan on making and freezing? I carefully combed through Pinterest and the recipes I've already made to find things that would stay good in the freezer. Soups and pasta freeze and thaw really well and so do Mexican dishes (tortillas, meat, cheese, etc). I also wanted to make sure that the meals were hearty and full of protein, knowing that nursing gives me the appetite of a college linebacker. Here are a few of the meals on my "to make to freeze" list:

1. Slow cooker chili
2. One pan cheesy chicken, broccoli, and rice
3. Parmesan meatloaf
4. Green chili, sweet corn and chicken enchiladas
5. Sweet potato and black bean chili
6. Crock pot shredded beef enchiladas
7. Crock pot quinoa, sweet potato, and chicken fajitas
8. Turkey and veggie meatloaf
9. Crock pot beef and broccoli
10. BBQ meatloaf




I may not get around to all of them but this is the plan over the next few weeks! My sister gave me the wise advice to have breads and muffins on hand for a quick breakfast or pick me up so I will probably make some pumpkin and banana bread and pop in the freezer. I love knowing that a little extra preparation now will allow me to relax and focus on my family and healing when Lucy comes. Do you have any recipe recommendations that freeze well?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Supermom

Supermom. We all have those women in our lives who just have it all. They show up to 8am meetings or breakfasts in full makeup looking like they've gotten a full 10 hours of rest and their kids are perfectly behaved. Their cars are free of cracker crumbs and melted crayons and their houses are immaculate and for lack of a better word, not sticky. They talk about their ravishing sex life and how their family eats only organic, homemade meals every evening.

I don't know about you but I think I am a pretty good mom to my son and yesterday I did laundry and folded 5 pairs of yoga pants and finally washed my favorite fleece pullover I have been wearing for days. My son refuses to eat any meat except for turkey hot dogs so that's what he gets every night for dinner. The most perfect shag rug we have in our family room sheds like a Labrador and I am pretty sure I could stuff a queen sized mattress with the pieces floating around my baseboards. My counter tops need some serious sparkle and I can't seem to get this gross black ring from the toilet bowl upstairs. But we are happy.

So you're telling me I can't watch a 5th episode of Bubble Guppies mom?


I wasn't always OK with letting the chaos of parenthood happen before my eyes but I am becoming more relaxed as a mother and more comfortable with the mess of life. There are days where my to do list and kitchen sink put me into a minor panic attack and I find myself listening to the little voice in my head telling me I am a failure of a mother because of it. Being a homemaker is a lot of work. A lot of dirty work to be exact, and the endless job duties can haunt and consume you. I feel like I get all the dishes cleaned and put away and bam, it is time for another meal. Parenthood is very seasonal and some seasons can feel like the movie Groundhog Day. Eat, sleep, diaper change, chores, repeat. It's hard not to feel the heavy weight of other mother's success as you are in the trenches of raising your children. Sometimes we aren't even comparing ourselves to other mothers! Sometimes we compare ourselves to what we used to be and what successes our pasts hold and that somehow our roles as mothers just don't measure up anymore. The most freeing thing I have embraced as a mom (especially as worn out and pregnant toddler mom) is to ask for help. A PSA to moms to be... there is no such thing as a supermom. Yeah that mom I described up top doesn't exist! And if she does, she is one in a million (or has a nanny, maid, chef, therapist, and a million dollars). Remove supermom from her pedestal and let's be super mom's to our littles. Now I am not suggesting that to be a great mom we should all go out and hire help, wrong-oh (although a maid would be nice!). I am suggesting to offload your duties to the friends, family, and community who surround you. You know they say it takes a village to raise a child and that couldn't be more truthful. Why is it so hard for us to cave in and accept the help? That dang supermom figure in our heads is telling us help is admitting defeat! That neighbor who tells you every time she sees you walking the stroller that she'd love to babysit, take her up on it. Your husband tells you he will cover bath and bedtime so YOU can have a bath, do it! I don't doubt that there are people in your life that love you and love your children enough to want to help save your sanity by pitching in. And if help isn't offered, ask for it. One thing I've learned in my marriage is that my husband cannot read my mind. I doubt I am alone in this one and as much as I wish he could, it ain't gonna happen ladies. Sometimes our husbands need direction. They don't know the day you've had or the stress you've endured. This isn't a free pass to bitch about your children or unload mommy drama but ask them to pick up an extra chore tonight or take the kids with him to the hardware store so you can sit and be alone. I find it funny that I get nervous to ask my husband to do too much when he is more than willing to pitch in wherever needed. It feels silly to ask for their permission to have alone time because I can assure you my husband does NOT ask me if he can go to the gym alone or have lunch with a friend. Voice your needs to your "people", I promise they will listen.

So ladies let's start the new year fresh by removing that manicured, tanned, and toned supermom from our minds and start living our own perfectly imperfect lives. You've got this!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting for Lucy

I call these photos our "waiting for Lucy photos" because I feel like we are in that limbo stage right now. Our baby girl still has some time to chunk up and grow but for the most part we are just waiting for time to pass until she is here. Her room is complete and I catch glimpses of it every time I put Ford to bed, he also loves going in there and playing. Physically I am more than ready to meet our little girl, somehow it is hard for me to believe I was pregnant for 41 weeks with Ford. Ouch. But emotionally, not sure I will be ready until they put her on my chest. I am not alone as a second time mom to be in being anxious about loving another baby but I hear it will come easy. My heart won't 'make room' for her... it will grow and stretch in ways I never knew it could. That is encouraging to hear from moms of 2, 3, 4, 5 children because now my heart is just swollen with love for my Ford. We had the chance to take these photos 2 weeks ago with Mallorie Owens and I don't think I've looked at them without crying since. Knowing that these are the last few moments of our family of 3 is bittersweet and exhilarating. She captured the sweetest moments between our family and I love that Jon and I finally have decent pictures of us, sans babies. I still can't believe I get to parent with him...a son AND a daughter?! Life has been really good lately. I'm trying my best not to get overwhelmed by the changes to come in less than 5 weeks but enjoying these days where I get 10 hours of sleep and know the territory. One day soon, Ford will no longer remember life as an only child and we will probably look back and think, wow we had it easy with one! And these pictures I will cherish to remind me of this season. So sweet and so fleeting!


























If you're looking for an Austin photographer I can't recommend Mallorie Owens enough! I mean the pictures speak for her talent alone. Mention my name when booking your session to receive $100 off!
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