Saturday, March 8, 2014

March Meal Plan 2014

We are doing our once a month shopping a little early this month because the day I would normally do it is my due date.  While I love my husband dearly I don't trust him to be able to pull off an OAMS trip without me.  When I send him for a handful of items I get numerous phone calls asking which brand to buy, this price vs. that price, and informed of other goodies he finds that we might "need".   When I told him this he suggested we forgo the big trip this month and instead he would do weekly trips.  I considered this for all of 10 seconds before saying no thanks.

Is that harsh?

Ok, I'll admit I'm a little controlling when it comes to my grocery shopping/list making/couponing/grocery budget.  I know what we need, what we go through, the amount of money we have to work with and how to make it work for us.  To someone who hasn't done a day of grocery shopping by themselves for a family in their life, it's not easy.  With a new baby coming and already having a very active 3 year old I want as few things to worry about as possible.  One of the things I don't want to worry about is food and meals.  I want everything I need for the whole month so I don't have to wonder if I have all the ingredients for this meal or that.  I've come accustomed to that luxury since I started OAMS.  It also might be selfish but I don't like the idea of sending my husband every week for groceries knowing it will take him a couple hours minimum and me stuck at home alone with 2 kids.  I would rather us all be stuck at home together.

When I started thinking of meals to make this month and the fact that I would be recovering from childbirth, the idea of doing a lot of from scratch cooking started stressing me out.  I have not one desire to make the meals I normally do.  This past month I had already slacked with the homemade cooking and resorted to some frozen family size meals which I hadn't bought in forever.  I decided my sanity and stress level was more important than trying to be supermom, so this month is full of quick, easy, and some store bought frozen meals.  I want to be able to focus on bonding, recovering, and establishing a new normal routine for our growing family not what to make for dinner.  The from scratch homemade meals will come eventually but no need to do it now.

Week 1
Sunday:  Lasagna (homemade by my mom)
Monday:  Breakfast for dinner- scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon
Tuesday: Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
Wednesday: fish stick sandwiches, mac & cheese, and fruit
Thursday:  Hamburgers with tator tots and fruit
Friday: leftovers
Saturday:  Grilled Chicken breast with green beans

Week 2
Sunday:  Stuffed Pepper soup (freezer)
Monday: Breakfast for dinner-bacon with biscuits and gravy
Tuesday:  chicken nuggets, corn, fruit
Wednesday: Spaghetti with garlic toast
Thursday:Salisbury steak, mashed potato, biscuits
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: hot dogs, mac & cheese, green beans

Week 3
Sunday:  chicken nuggets, mashed potato, corn
Monday: Breakfast for dinner- omelets
Tuesday:  grilled cheese, tator tots, fruit
Wednesday: Hamburgers & French fries,
Thursday: fish sticks, mac & cheese, fruit
Friday: leftovers
Saturday:   pulled pork sandwiches, corn, potato wedges

Week 4
Sunday:  Salisbury steak, mashed potato, biscuits
Monday:  Breakfast for dinner-pancakes with bacon
Tuesday:  Spaghetti with garlic toast
Wednesday:  hot dogs, mac & cheese, fruit
Thursday:  Grilled chicken, corn, corn bread
Friday:  leftovers
Saturday: pizza (take-out)

As you can see this months meals are pretty sad compared to previous ones but I wanted to make sure all the meals are ones my husband could easily make without my help, or that I could make with minimal energy and cleanup.  Paper plates will be my friend after my husband goes back to work and I will not feel guilty about it.  My goal is to make everything as easy as possible for the first month so I can focus on our new little one, Grant, and our new normal.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Labor Day Bags

When I went into labor with Grant we had to drive 45 minutes to the hospital at 3:30 am with me having contractions every 3 minutes.  It was miserable.  Once we got to the hospital I was more concerned with getting out of the car and into the hospital room to try and get some relief and my husband was only thinking about getting the car parked and getting inside to be with me.  Neither one of us thought about bringing my hospital bag inside and once we got to the room I refused to let Derrick leave my side to go get it.

Since it was so early in the morning when we left and every time I tried to stand up straight or move or pretty much do anything a contractions would hit me like a mac truck, I didn't take a shower or brush my teeth or anything else.

Of course I wasn't at all concerned about this while I was in labor.  How I looked or how horrible my breath smelled was the very last thing on my mind.  However once Grant was born and visitors started coming in to see us it dawned on me that I probably looked like a hot mess, with raunchy morning breath, and leftover makeup from the day before.  I vowed the next time I had a baby I would be better prepared.

That's where the Labor Day Bag comes into play.  This isn't the bag you pack for your hospital stay this is the small bag you have with essentials for a quick clean up before the guests start coming in and before you can actually take a shower, which is all you really want to do after you give birth.

Here are my essentials:

Colgate Wisps- these little baby's are fantastic to have for a quick brushing of the teeth.  You will have a regular toothbrush and toothpaste in your overnight bag but chances are you won't even have time to get out of the bed before the Grandparents are going to wanna come in and see your little one.  A quick once over with these and your mouth feels refreshed and your breath is no longer smelled from the other side of the room.

Headband- If you have an epidural maybe you won't be sweaty but if you are like me and go the natural route chances are you have spent hours upon hours in horrendous pain and sweating.  A headband will take care of some of those flyaways and hide some of the grossness of you not taking a shower that morning.

Face Wipes- To wipe away any leftover makeup from the night before and give you a quick freshening up.

Chapstick- labor makes your lips dry, it's a fact.

Mascara- Ok so you can live without this one in your bag but people will have cameras and you will inevitably be in the pictures.  After using your face wipes a quick swipe of mascara (no need for the works) and you will feel like a new woman.

Wash Cloth- Towards the end of labor all I wanted was a cold wet cloth on my forehead.  Yes the nurse can get you one but nurses are pretty busy since you are not their only patient.  I'm not one that wants to wait for anything while I'm in labor.  I didn't get an epidural with Grant and don't plan on getting one with this one either.  When I'm to the point I want a cold cloth I want to be able to tell Derrick and him have it readily available, not have to call the nurse and wait until she has the chance to bring one to us.

You want everything to fit in a small bag you can throw in your purse or carry as your purse.  There will be time to get your overnight bag later and this way you have one less thing to worry about.

I also made a Labor Day bag for my husband.  I vividly remember how horrible his breath was during my labor and I have already informed him I couldn't take that again for 9 hours straight.  I needed him to be minty fresh this time around.  Here's what I put in his bag:

Colgate wisps- for a quick teeth cleaning

Gum- just in case the wisps aren't strong enough, haha

Granola Bars and a Snickers bar- I refuse to have him eating anything major while I'm suffering and can't have anything but he will need something to hold him over if the labor is a long one.

Butterscotch candy- in case he just needs something to keep his mouth from being dry.

Water Bottle- The nurses can get you these but once again I like to have everything I can so I don't have to wait around for someone else to have time in their schedules.

Camera/Batteries-One of the few regrets I have about Grant's birth was not getting a single picture of the 3 of us or even him and I.  I swore I wouldn't let this happen again so this all goes in Derrick's bag.  I know everyone has a phone these days but I want actual pictures with a real camera.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hospital Goody Baskets

I started thinking about Grant and Derrick visiting me in the hospital and inevitably whenever you spend long periods of time in the hospital the vending machines and/or the cafeteria become your friends.  You end up spending too much money on snacks, drinks, and junk.  Money you probably don't need to be spending considering you just added a baby to your family.

That's when I thought of having a goody basket in my room specifically for my husband and Grant since they would be there the most.  I thought about the snacks each of them likes, made my list, and headed to the dollar tree.

 For my little guy: Strawberry Banana teddy grahams, junior mints, koolaid pouch, Yoo-hoo milk boxes, Whales (cheese crackers), and ninja turtle ring pops.

For my husband: sunflower seeds, snickers, sweetarts, butterscotch candies, and gum

I probably won't keep it in this bin.  The more I thought about it the more I thought a bag would work better.  I want it easy to grab and go when the time comes, but it does look cuter in a container.  This would be something really great to take to a new mom while she's in the hospital for her and her family if you know the snack foods they like.  I know I'm always trying to come up with something to take to the hospital when someone has a baby that is useful and not something they see and are thinking it's one more thing they have to pack home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Baby Waiting Game

As most pregnant women know, once you get close to the end your just waiting.  Waiting for that 1st contraction to tell you "it's time".  To know you're are finally going to meet your little one.

I feel like I've been waiting forever.

The end seems so close yet so far away, and there are days I'm convinced I will remain pregnant forever.

Grant was a day late and I remember sitting on my couch the evening of my due date, looking at my husband and saying "I was supposed to have my baby today", "this was my guaranteed day I would be holding my little boy and I'm not".  Little did I know he didn't want to be told by anyone when he should make his debut and he would come the next morning.

With Grant I woke up at 1:54am with contractions, so every night when I go to sleep I think, maybe tonight will be the night and I'll wake up with contractions and we can get this show on the road.  Every night I wake up numerous times in pain but not due to contractions just due to the large belly in front of me. 

Every Braxton Hicks contraction I get I silently hope it gets more painful and is a real contraction.  Every time it fades away I tell my body it has practiced contractions enough (I've been having Braxton Hicks since about 34 weeks) and it's time to start getting the real ones going.

I guess this little one is quite comfortable in there, even though I'm really uncomfortable out here.

A friend of mine said to me the other day, "isn't it amazing, pregnancy makes us so uncomfortable we end up begging for the hardest and most painful work of our lives".  I had never thought of it this way but it's so true.  We get so exhausted, deal with so many aches and pains, that by the end of our 9  months we are begging for this tiny being to come out.  Begging for those contractions to start, for the hours upon hours of labor and delivery.

Oh the things we women go through for our children.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm going crazy

I'm going crazy, stir crazy.

Is this baby a boy or a girl?

Will Grant have a little brother or sister?

Next year will I be searching google for football birthday party ideas or princess birthday ideas?

When will I go into labor?

Will I go early, before my due date, or late?

Will my labor start in the middle of the night like with Grant or in the middle of the day?

Who is this person inside me?

When are you coming out?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Postpartum Freezer Pads : Preparing for Baby

I've been doing my best to try and have everything I could possibly have to make postpartum a little easier on my body and heal as quickly as possible.  Since this is my 2nd little one and my body went through so much with Grant I figure I might have a leg up on what I need to have prepared. 

When I had Grant I had a perineal tear (pretty standard for most women), a urethral tear (longest heal time ever!), horrible hemorrhoids, and extremely sore nipples.

If that's too much information for you I apologize, I'm just trying to keep things real here.

So far I've made soothing breast pads to keep in the freezer for the sore nipples along with having a stash of nipple cream.  With some goodies ready for the ta-tas I figured I needed to start searching for something for my other region. I started googling, because what else would I do when searching for ideas, and came across freezer pads, or "padsicles".

Most of the tutorials I found used alcohol free Witch Hazel, Aloe gel, sanitary pads, and lavender essential oil.  When I went to the store I could not find any Witch Hazel that didn't have at least 14% alcohol and I really didn't want to order it online.  Had I done my research earlier I wouldn't have been concerned about getting it sent to me before I actually went into labor, but that's the procrastinator in me.

So the other night I stayed up til 12:30 in the morning searching to see if anyone had used the Witch Hazel with alcohol and found this tutorial.  My mom was afraid the alcohol content would dry out my skin down there but multiple people said they didn't have any issues with it.  I decided to trust this and use Witch Hazel I found at Meijer for $3.44.

I bought aloe gel at target for $3.94, does anyone else think this is sky high pricing for aloe?  Maybe I should have shopped around.

Oh well.

I actually read you could just use the aloe gel on a pad and freeze it for a little relief if you can't find Witch Hazel or the lavender essential oil.

The one thing I left out was the lavender essential oil.  I scanned the stores for it and couldn't find any sign of it.  I'm sure it helps but I wasn't about to pay $10 for a small bottle plus another $5+ for shipping to order it online.  There were other women on different blogs I came across that didn't use it and still had good results, so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Here's everything I used:

I took each pad and unwrapped it leaving the plastic on the back.  Then I took the aloe and just squirted some all down the center.  I didn't want to use my fingers or anything to smear the aloe around for fear of germs.  The last thing I want is an infection in that area.  So instead I used the pad itself and just folded the top down and smeared it around then repeated that with the bottom half of the pad.  Then I took a tablespoon measuring spoon and poured about 1/2T Witch Hazel all over the pad.  I didn't want to "soak" the pad in the Witch Hazel, I just wanted it to be damp.  You could use more if you wanted.
Then I folded the pad back up just like it was before I opened it and wrapped it in foil.  All the blogs I read said they didn't have any issues with the pads being frozen together so I figured I shouldn't have to worry either. 
I only made 7 of these so far because I want to see how well they work before making a boat load of them.  I put all mine in a gallon sized freezer bag labeled "Lisa's postpartum", just so my husband wouldn't think it was some kind of food and open them.

 With the bottles of aloe and Witch Hazel I bought there is more than enough to make loads of these if they work well.
All the reviews on pads like these were great so I'm really hoping they work well for me too.  I'll report back after I get some use out of them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Baby

All my adult life I have said I would never have a baby in Ohio during the month of March.  Why you ask?

Because it's a horrible month in terms of weather.  I think every huge ice/snow storm we have ever had has been during March.  Years ago, during my husband's (who was just my new boyfriend at the time) second visit to see my family it took us 12 hours to get to my grandparents house.  The trip would normally take 6- 6 1/2hours to drive.  It was the worst trip ever!  We had rain all through Tennessee, then the rain turned to sleet in Kentucky, and of course the sleet turned to snow in Ohio.  We ended up finally making it to my grandparents house and there was a level 3 snow emergency in effect (which means you can be ticketed if you are found on the roads and you are not an emergency vehicle) for 3 days.

This is why I have sworn for years there would be no baby born from me during this month.

And what do I do but go get myself knocked up with a March due date. 

We have had snow that seems like it will never end.  I swear I have questioned whether I would ever actually see the grass again.  Finally we had a "heat wave" of 48 degrees that melted the huge snow pile ups and it was glorious seeing the grass, even with a temperature of 18 degrees I loved seeing the grass.  Then what happens?  A storm comes, calling for 12 inches of snow, sleet, and ice.  I was convinced with my luck I would go into labor early on that night, not be able to make it across town to the hospital due to the inevitable horrible conditions the roads would be in and I would end up having this baby at home.

I'm not dramatic at all am I?

Well there was no early baby born here in my living room and I've yet to see the 12 inches of snow they said we would have but March has just begun.  I'm longing for the beautiful rainbow of spring wildflowers and the smell of fresh cut grass.

 I'm very much over seeing snow.

 I no longer like the color white.

 I really want to be able to walk outside without having to take 20 minutes to bundle myself and my 3 year old up against the bitterly cold, take your breath away when it hits you in the face, wind.  I'm crossing my fingers that I will be really lucky and one of the few "warmer" days (by warmer I'm talking like in the 30's) is when I will go into labor.  A day or night with no snow fall, no ice, no sleet. 

Is that too much to ask from this month of March?


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