Monday, May 13, 2013

Menu Planning Monday, v.17

Monday, again.

Still pregnant with a baby who seems to want to make his appearance but just can't figure it out. Hello, lots of false labor. I'm not a fan of you.

On the bright side, I enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day weekend over the past couple days. We took my mom and grandmother out to dinner on Saturday, and then Daddy and Cohen spoiled me yesterday. Or should I say Daddy and Thor spoiled me. With the help of his new toy, Cohen has assumed a new identity.

This kid makes me sad that I spent most of my life thinking the toddler years were something to survive instead of enjoy. He's just the coolest. We have a tradition in our house: every celebration that calls for gift giving, we take Cohen to the dollar store and let him pick out anything in the store to buy for the recipient. He loves getting to choose a present and takes his responsibility very seriously. This Mother's Day, he picked out a beeeeeautiful pink lei for me. He's come a long way: at Christmas, he picked out paper plates for his grandmother.

This week, I'm going to take it slow again meal-planning wise. I just don't have it in me anymore to go all-out on dinners, and maybe just maybe all these contractions I'm having will turn into something real and we'll find ourselves in the hospital by the end of the week.

Here's what we're eating this week:

White Castle Sliders
Pasta Salad

Peach French Toast (Makes 2 meals -- one gets frozen for later)
Hash browns

Zesty Italian Crock Pot Chicken
Green beans (Cohen's favorite veggie)
Garlic Bread

Pizza Night -- Let's order in and enjoy a movie!
This didn't happen last week, and this girl really wants her pizza!

Kitchen's Closed! Date Night.

Kitchen's closed

Kitchen's Closed

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things I've Loved About Being a Mom This Year

With Mother's Day just around the corner and a new baby who is alllllllmost ready to join us, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about being a mom. About what a sacrifice and huge responsibility it is to be someone's mother, but how that job has been the best thing that's ever happened to me. It still amazes me how someone so small could change the very essence of who I am, what I value, and what I now desire in life.

Being a mom is hard work. The fears, anxieties, worries, sleepless nights, self-doubting can really take it out of me. But being Cohen's mom? Not hard at all. That little boy is such a gift, and every day I wake up to his singing and shouts of "Good Morning!" is nothing short of a blessing. He makes it all worthwhile.

It's been a good year of being a mom. Here are some of the things I've loved most about it this year:

Monday, May 6, 2013

37 Week Bumpdate

How far along? 37 weeks, 6 days. FULL TERM, BABY! It feels good to be here. It feels strange to be here. It feels like I've been pregnant forever, and I'm bracing myself to stay pregnant for another 3 and a half weeks. I think my little guy is very comfortable in there.

How big is baby? My What to Expect app says he's still the size of a watermelon and weighs about 7 pounds. Cohen was 7 pounds 9 ounces at 39 weeks. I think this one will be about 8 pounds at 39 weeks.

Movement: Not as much as I'd like (which means not as much as what has been normal). Last week at my midwife appointment, I brought up my concerns and we did a non-stress test. Baby looks good -- his heart rate and number of movements satisfied my midwife, so I guess I'm just being paranoid. I'm ready to have him in my arms so I can see that he is just fine.
Sleep: It's been good. I'm sleeping diagonally in a queen-sized bed. I've mastered sleeping with a body pillow supporting me in all the right places. I wake up a couple times at night either because I have to use the bathroom or because I'm starving.

Best moment this week: I spent the weekend with my parents, and when I returned home on Saturday night, I discovered that Travis had cleaned the entire house for me. I haven't felt so loved or pampered in quite a while.  

Miss Anything? Not really. I'm looking forward to today's nap, though.

Food cravings: Cakes and pastries and anything sweet and not good for me! I also discovered those chicken flatbread sandwiches at Wendy's, and it takes all I've got to not order a sandwich and baked potato every day for lunch.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I've got a good bit of heartburn going on, but I can deal.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: This week, I've felt some good contractions, but they're off and on and not consistent. Nothing to get my hopes up or anything.

Belly Button in or out? One side of it is poking out. I think it will stay an innie, though.

Wedding rings on or off? Wedding band is way too tight, so it's off. Engagement ring is holding out though.

Mood: Tired.

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby!

Menu Planning Monday, v. 16

I think I hit my wall.

I'm done. Done cooking. Done preparing, Done cleaning. Done planning. 

My motivation and will power have vanished over the course of the past week and a half, and I am left feeling exhausted. All I want to do is snuggle with my big baby on the couch or lie in bed and enjoy feeling my little baby squirm around. 

So you know what? I think I'll do just that for the next few weeks: enjoy some rest and love on my babies.
I am proud to report that my nesting streak has resulted in 24 dinners all neatly packed away in my freezer. 24 home-cooked and healthy dinners that simply require thawing and cooking. 24 nights I don't have to worry about what I will feed my family. 24 nights we can avoid french fries from the drive thru. I'm proud. I wish I had more.

I think once I get back on my feet post-baby and life starts getting back to normal, I'll probably pick back up with the freezer meals, just not as large scale. There really was not much more time or effort or money required to store away those meals, and the end result is pretty amazing.

This week, though, I think I'm going to lay low. Go easy. Because the fact is, even though I fully expect this little guy to stay put until after his due date, we could very well find ourselves in the hospital as a family of 4 by the end of the week. And the thought of having a refrigerator stocked with ingredients for elaborate meals spoiling away disturbs me. Kind of the way I can't go on vacation with a fridge full of perishable food, I don't want to go to the hospital that way either. 

So here's what we're eating this week:

Bacon burgers made with the last of our frozen ground venison
Tator tots
Baked beans

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie (with store-bought pie crust)
Fruit Salad

Cheddar, Spinach, Chicken burgers (I'm adding bacon because, why not?)
Sweet Potato Fries
*** This dinner was so good last week that Travis requested I make it again this week. ***

Pizza Night -- Let's order in and enjoy a movie!

Kitchen's Closed! Date Night.

Kitchen's closed

Family dinner for Mother's Day

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Life Lately, in list format

1. I currently have 23 meals prepared and frozen in preparation for Little Brother's arrival. And the thing I can't understand is how I haven't spent any extra grocery money to prepare that food. Travis keeps asking me if I'm going to keep this up after life gets back to normal. I hope I can.

2. Speaking of dinners, last night's dinner was to die for. I made Chicken Spinach Cheddar burgers based off of this recipe (I modified it a bit and added a packet of ranch dressing mix) and roasted potatoes. We each ate a burger, went to church, and then came home and agreed to split the leftover burger. Even Cohen got in on the action, and he's not one to like new foods these days.

3. I think my hips are about to shatter. Whether it's from the stress of 9 months of pregnancy or the ninja moves Baby Brother does on them, I don't know. But they're screaming, I tell you.

4. I have been very diligent to appreciate and enjoy every moment of this pregnancy. I have not wished away a single day. But now? I'm real close to being done with it all. I think I've had my fill of pregnancy.

5. I had to go in for a non-stress test on Tuesday to monitor the baby. Thank goodness they weren't monitoring my stress. A tiny room + machines with lots of buttons + a 2.5 year old + a mommy who couldn't move to discipline her son = a disaster.

6. Last night, I watched all the videos I've taken of Cohen since his birth. He was such a fun baby, and I love how obvious it is in the videos how much I adore him. It also flamed the baby fever. And it made me realize that if I would have gotten pregnant with this baby when we first started trying, I would have missed so much of Cohen's babyhood. God knew what he was doing.

7. The last few days, I have been exhausted. To the point where I wake up, feed Cohen breakfast, make sure he's safe and entertained, and go back and lay in bed. And I sleep through his entire naptime. And I yawn throughout the day. On a scale of 1-10, I'm probably at a -4 at being productive.

8. My hospital bag is packed and ready to go. Inside are 2 new pair of really cute pjs and all new toiletries and supplies. Im really bad about not waiting to open and use new stuff, but so far I've been able to restrain myself. I'm so excited to get to the hospital and finally get to use all my new stuff.

9. I love to keep the baby's room open so I can peek inside every time I pass by. And I like to sort through his little clothes and all his supplies. I even have a toy box full of toys in there so Cohen can go in and play. We're all very excited about this little dude.

10. Sometimes I forget or just plain take advantage of how awesome my husband is, and I really shouldn't do that. He is one amazing man, and I'm so lucky to have him.