I am still behind!! We are now in our 37 week and will soon be moving on to our 38th week! So when I went in for my 36 week appointment my blood pressure was great! My urine looked good, everything was completely normal again. I was measuring a week or two small but the midwife seemed to think it was because baby girl had dropped. And man was I feeling it! The midwife was surprised at how low and engaged she was for being at 36 weeks. I was relieved because my greatest fear was that she would be breech or transverse! They did the Group B Strep test. Anyways, everything looks good and I'll update after our next appointment! Here's a picture of my belly around Easter:
So let me start by telling you a little bit about the grocery shopping part. I usually plan meals out for a whole month on a white board calendar I have and then break up the shopping into twice a month on pay day the 15th and 30th (we usually have to make an extra shopping trip or two in between but they are usually a quick run and Dan will pick up the items on his way home from work.) So for these two weeks I decided I would plan meals exclusively from what we had in the freezer and pantry to make room for the freezer meals. And it helped so much with the grocery budget when I ended up buying close to 35 lbs of chicken. I was able buy our grocery needs for two weeks including, lunches, snacks, Easter (including a ham),household items (baby wipes, diapers, etc.) fruits\veggies and enough food to make 18 freezer meals for less than $300.
I ended up buying the groceries in the morning of April 15th and spending the afternoon cooking 2 chicken stir fry meals, 2 chicken penne pastas, 2 crock pot chicken enchilada soups and cooking the other 14 chicken breasts in the crock pot. I finished the rest of the meals on the 16th in the morning. So I ended up taking 2 days of cooking to do the chicken meals but they were both only half days.
All the freezer meal supplies unloaded.
The chicken stir fry cooling.
The 18 freezer meals I was able to make.
The picture above includes (starting top left and going counter clockwise):
2 Crock pot chicken enchilada soups
4 Chicken chimichanga meals
3 White chicken chili soups
2 Chicken pot pies
3 Chicken enchiladas
2 Chicken penne pastas
2 Chicken stir fry meals
Tomorrow is May 30th so I plan to go a purchase the list of groceries. It's a smaller list and will be good because I'm out of dinners from the freezer and pantry. I'll actually have to buy more food this time around ;). Luckily the chicken recipes were the more expensive ones. I'll let you know more about how the next step goes! Feel free to ask and questions!
Baby looks great, great heartbeat, great movement and measuring perfectly. My blood pressure looks great. My urine not so much, blood and leukocytes again. They sent it in for a culture. I really hope it's just a fluke and I don't end really sick again! Only 4 more OB appointments! I can hardly believe we will meet her in about 5 more weeks!
As I was pondering how I wanted this birth to go, I thought back to some things that would have made life a little bit more easy with Charlie's birth and after math. Life will be a little different this time around because of the extra responsibilities I now have. As far as the Bishop and I have discussed they plan to keep me as the RS President after baby comes. We will keep the lines of communications open after she's comes and if things become too overwhelming we will have a serious discussion. I believe that if I am meant to keep this calling then The Lord will open the way and make it doable. We are going forward with faith.
Anyways, in light of what I have learned from having three and how busy life gets now, I decided I was going to dedicate plenty of time to freezer meals to help ease the burden of the first little while after the birth of a new child. With Charlie we just didn't have it in the budget for this large of scale and I was on bed rest during the time I had planned to prepare meals. This time somehow we have the budget and I have time! How that's possible............I don't know but it is definitely a blessing from Heavenly Father.
So I'll start with what I've done so far. First, I went through cookbooks (my sister in-law gave me a freezer meal cookbook I asked for for Christmas) and pinterest. They were both great resources on tips from moms who have tried and true recipes. I was able to come up with this list of items to make:
Chicken pot pie
Cheesy Chicken Penne
Chicken Stir Fry
White Chicken chili
Crowd Pleaser Mexican soup
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Baked Pumpkin and blueberry french toast
Blueberry and peach baked oatmeal
Farmer's Breakfast Casserole
Cinnamon Rolls (still on the fence if I'll have time)
Orange Frozen Dream pie
Ham and Cheese braid
Homemade frozen pizza
Rolls for sloppy joes (Still on the fence about these too)
Once I made a list of all that I wanted make, I decided how many of each. I'm only doubling everything because we like a little variety. I also did a lot of chicken dishes because I plan to cook the chicken in a big crock pot, except for the stir fry. I originally had planned to do all the cooking in one day but Dan talked me down to breaking it into 3 days (smart man.) I then made a list in Microsoft Word that had all the ingredients listed under each recipe. I then compiled 3 master lists for my three cooking days. I also plan to see what I have on hand to cut back on the cost. I also plan to make my own dough and french bread for the recipes.I also plan to take the day before so I can bake french bread for the baked pumpkin and blueberry french toast can be done the day before.
Here's how I decided to break up my three days:
Day 1: Chicken Recipes
Day 2: Beef Recipes and other main dishes (Ham and Cheese braid and pizzas)
Day 3: Breakfasts, Baked goods and Desserts
I'll let you know how the whole process goes. I've been trying to be super organized about it to make it less stressful and to actually be able to tackle this big project! My first shopping and cooking days will take place the 18th and 19th. The rest I'll do once per week during the week. I am hoping this will give us 2-2 1/2 months worth of freezer meals. That combined with hopefully a few meals the first week after baby comes home we should hopefully be able to make it through the first three months. Of course this is all just a theory and we will see how it goes.
So I'm a little behind on my biweekly updates, we're actually on our 34th week now. I'll update you on Friday about how that appointment goes. Anyways, everything went very well for my 32nd week appointment. After the last two appointments I was not sure what to expect. But baby looks great, blood pressure looks great, no blood or protein in my urine. This little girl is moving SO much! At night as we're laying in bed you can see my stomach moving like crazy, it's like there's waves going on. It's pretty impressive. We look forward to meeting her in about 6 weeks!
I'll also be making a post on freezer meals coming up. I plan to make 36 freezer meals, some biscuits, french bread and several desserts to have us covered for the first couple of months after baby girl arrives to help keep life a little bit more manageable with a new baby and my calling. It's been a process.