Six weeks ago I reached the halfway point of the pregnancy.
The only thing that I had done in preparation prior to this was to pull out my bin of maternity clothes. And can I just say I’m getting so sick of some of those shirts. Elastic stretch pants, however? I’ll never be sick of you!
The afternoon we found out the gender we celebrated with dinner at Longhorn, where we ate during our first date, and then took a trip to Carter’s for some baby clothes. I swear, everything is cuter when it’s smaller.
So I’ve got a couple bags of new baby clothes, tags on, sitting on top of my box of maternity clothes, shoved into the corner of the bedroom. And that’s really as far as I’ve gotten.
So a few nights ago, I was pondering what life would be like with three toddlers and a newborn, especially when my husband has to go back to school to finish the year (thanks a lot Mother Nature for those five make-up snow days he has). It was a scary image, indeed.
Anyone who has kids knows about the witching hour. They’re cranky, they’re hungry, and you have to make dinner. So I figured it was time to put my crock pot and basement freezer to good use. I spent naptime scouring Pinterest for freezer meals, crock pot and casserole style. Found some tasty new options too, like honey sesame chicken, cheddar sausage & pierogies and a chicken artichoke casserole. It took a couple hours but I wrote out all the recipes, highlighted the ingredients I needed to buy, and typed a detailed shopping list by department.
I don’t like giving my toddlers junk for dinner. When we have errands or playgroup, or go to the museum, they get a bagged lunch. It usually consists of a PB&J, yogurt (or a veggie applesauce pouch), milk and snacks. Not horrible, but not the most balanced. But it’s so hard some days to spend more than ten minutes in the kitchen at dinner time to prepare something a little more balanced. A decent meal takes time, and there’s screaming and throwing and the twins climbing the changing table. If I’m in the living room or playroom with them, everything is calmer.
A couple of nights ago, I had a doctor’s appointment so I wasn’t sure if I’d be home for their dinner. It was all laid out in the fridge for their Grandma – homemade chicken tenders (they had been stored in the freezer from a few weeks ago), pasta and sauce, salad with honey mustard dressing, banana and yogurt raisins. This is a meal I feel good about serving. Having all this ready for dinner meant that when the twins napped in the morning, instead of sitting with Evie and going over her letters or doing a craft, I was cutting up vegetables and making pasta. She did help, in her own toddler way, which she loves, but I still feel like she got the short end of the stick.
Their afternoon nap time is the time I do paperwork, laundry, read, blog, etc. The kitchen is just too close to the spare room where Evie sleeps (I have to separate her from her sisters at nap) so I can’t do dishes or cook. It’s too loud. And half the time, she won’t sleep anyway. I listen to her playing with her doll for about a half hour then I get her up.
So I guess this fervent need to accumulate food just stems from (a) feeling like I don’t have the time on a normal night to prepare something decent, and (b) wanting my girls to eat a better variety of foods. I’ve got one that’s my big bread eater, one that’s a HUGE meat eater and the third just picks at everything. Honestly, she’s too busy playing with her belly button to do much eating.
Luckily, my husband is working in a district that still believes in a February and an April school vacation. That’s means I can prepare my crockpot meals one vacation week, and the second I can make my freezer beef – that’s another day long project when I make a ton of meatballs, meatloaf, and lasagna.
The next step is probably pulling out all the baby furniture. Our house is tiny, and even setting up a bassinet in our bedroom is going to hamper our movement. It hasn’t been that long since everything was packed away, so I do still know where it all is. One bonus is that because of the twins we have two of a lot of the furniture pieces. That means a second bassinet can sit in the living room, so Baby is away from toddler hands when mommy has to pee. Two playpens means baby can nap in our spare room on the first floor, and when she outgrows the bassinet, can sleep in the other playpen in our room. That is, until we feel comfortable moving her in with her sisters. Two little bouncy seats means one can sit in the living room and one in the playroom. You probably wouldn’t even be able to walk through our house once all that stuff is set up. At least the summer has us outside more than in!
It’s a relief to still have all these items and to not have to worry about making too many new purchases. We know that we need a snap-and-go single (we have a double) for the infant car seat, and we are debating on purchasing a quad stroller. I was never a huge fan of baby wearing. My body shape seems ill-suited to it and it was always cumbersome. Plus, even carrying a tiny baby, my back hurt. Sure if I did it all the time I would probably get used to it. There were numerous outings when my husband and I each wore one of the twins when we went somewhere. But, and I’m being honest here, the only exercise that I’ve gotten since having kids is walking. The triple stroller that I have is incredibly difficult to push around corners and it’s heavy. I don’t see myself wearing an infant and pushing a triple. The price tag on the quads is quite steep, though, so we are still thinking. I just wish we could find them in stores and take them for a test drive before making a decision. I think I’ll still invest in a new baby carrier. We were gifted a couple of hand me downs from a relative but they never quite fit right. A little bulky and way too sweaty. I’m debating between a few mesh varieties currently.
I started this post a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting ready to finish. The good news is my husband and I were able to get our crockpot meals made and frozen during vacation last week! We even previewed the cheeseburger casserole (huge favorite with all of us – except Evie, because she wouldn’t try it). The bad news is our house suffered through a horrific stomach bug this past weekend that landed me in the ER. Everyone is good now, baby included. Now comes the countdown to ‘music’ season where my husband is super busy with musicals, concerts, DJ gigs and his own band concerts. My goal is to save the freezer meals (11 crockpot and 2 casseroles) for May, when I’m way too pregnant to do anything, and beyond, when the baby comes. Not sure that’s going to happen though; they look too good!