Dear Baby Boy,
You are 29 weeks old now! Wow! The time has flown. According to theBUMP.com, you are as big as an acorn squash and I believe it! Right on time for the third trimester, I feel you pressing on my rib (you favor the right side) and causing my lower-back pain.
Baby boy! You have a name now, but let’s keep that a secret between you, me, and Daddy for now. I have never known a love like this and I can’t wait to meet you.
Fun fact about me: I have no chill. I am always too busy. I am excited about life and I never stop thinking about or planning for tomorrow. Motherhood has been no different. My mind works like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel (remember those?) full of choices and alternate endings and since I found out about Baby Boy, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all the possible twists and turns my life would take now. How long will I take off from work? Who will watch Baby Boy when we go back to work? Do I have to go back to work? Where will we live? Will my professor let me wear Baby Boy in a baby sling during class?
Yes, as a busy full-time teacher, doctorate student, and part-time adjunct professor, there are a lot of things to think about. One thing that I plan NOT to overthink (well, by my standards anyway) are meals. That is why I have started shopping in bulk, batch cooking everything, and freezing left overs for easy, healthy, and yummy food for later. Here are the 5 steps I am taking to prepare easy meals before Baby Boy arrives:
Step 1: Double the recipe, double the meals.
About two months ago, I started making double of every meal I prepared for me and hubby. At this point, I didn’t go out of my way to search for any new recipes or do too much prep. I just started consciously putting away. I stored regular dinner meals in large freezer safe Ziploc bags. I label them with a sharpie before putting the food in them, filled them up, and froze them flat in the freezer. I did the same with pancakes for breakfast. I stored about two pancakes in one sandwich bag (I like the fold over ones because they are the most economical), and store them in a larger freezer Ziploc bag. What’s great about these is that after I double batch cooked on one weekend, I could keep adding to them afterwards. Every time I make pancakes, I just pop what’s left over in a sandwich bag and into the freezer. Whenever I am on the go, I just nuke them in the microwave and they are done in a minute!
Step 2: Look for new recipes.
Next step is to look for a few new recipes that were specifically made for freezing and saving for later. I found great ones here. What I love is that all the recipes are all reviewed and most of them have instructions for reheating. I write the reheating directions straight onto the Ziploc so that hubby will know exactly what to do when I am too big to move or too busy feeding our brand new baby boy! I have tried a couple and these have been my favorite so far have been the Asian Chicken Thighs and Korean Beef.
Step 3: Make a shopping list.
Okay. Now time to take inventory and start stocking up. Start your meal planning for the week in your pantry and your fridge. Write down what you have and think about what you would need to make the odds and ends in your kitchen into a meal. Put them on your shopping list. Next, look at your supermarket circular. The first and last page always has the greatest deals so check out the weekly deals and stock up, especially on the non-perishables like pastas, beans, and frozen foods. Choose one or two proteins that are on sale and buy the family size. You can make at least one eat-now/eat-later meal with it and still may have some leftover to save for cooking another time. Now that you have these meal essentials on your list, add any other food staples that you may need on your list and you are done! For us, it is always peanut butter and bananas.
Step 4: Shop with a purpose.
Take your list to the grocery and don’t stray from! This will save you money AND calories. This is also a good time to stock up on your freezer meal necessities. For me, Ziplocs and sandwich bags do the trick. But you may also like these aluminum baking trays with lids that you can pop right into the oven when you are ready. For me and my apartment sized fridge, these take just a bit too much space but they can really be a time saver! Amazon is a great place to find all of these but if you are out and about already, you can find all your gear at your local 99 cents store or Dollar Tree.
Step 5: Get to cooking!
I cook once a week. We have pancakes on Sunday so why not make some extra! My goal is to just make two eat-now/eat-later meals and this will be enough for the next few days and for at least two meals to put in the freezer.
Highlights from Wk. 28:
Mommy turned 29!