Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stocking Up & Hunkering Down: Preparing for a Second Baby

Our little family of three (well, six if you count our bloodhound and chickens) is in the final stretch before a cascade of changes sweeps through our lives. Honestly, I haven't thought enough about preparing for the transition this time around. My thoughts are consumed with purchasing land and undertaking site development for Austin's first public Montessori school. (Note to Self: Think more about the transition to second babyhood!). 

The one thing I have thought about is meals. We won't be able to afford take-out like we did post-Henry. It's imperative that we set ourselves up to prepare meals at home, even amid the stress of a new baby. 

A couple weekends ago, I started brainstorming our easiest meals and identifying which parts of them could be prepared in advance and frozen (the process ultimately inspired me to create our new meal planning process!). For example, one of our easiest meals is rice and beans with mango and scallions. It would be simple to cook the rice (in a huge batch!), cut up the mangoes and scallions, and freeze everything. Then the night before, we could put everything in the refrigerator to defrost, start heating everything 20 minutes prior to dinner, and add a can of beans. 

I worked really hard to come up with 20 meals--five meals a week for an entire month (we can continue to splurge on take-out two nights a week). Here's what I came up with (the underlined parts are components that we can prepare and freeze in the weeks leading up to the birth):
  1. Rice & Beans with Mango & Scallions
  2. Pasta w/Vegetables
  3. Grilled Cheese w/Premade Soup
  4. Lebanese Soup
  5. Quesadillas with Frozen Vegetables
  6. Pizza with Mushrooms, Red Pepper, and Onion
  7. Vegetarian Chili (all in cans) with Shredded Cheese
  8. Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
  9. Black Bean and Yam Quesadillas
  10. Chickpeas with Spinach + Rice
  11. Spinach, Artichoke, and Sundried Tomato Pasta
  12. Tamales (Pre-made from Whole Foods)
  13. Vegetarian Lasagna
  14. Vegetarian Enchiladas
  15. Feta and Spinach Rolls
  16. Roasted Vegetables & Chickpeas with Quinoa
  17. Tomato and Chickpea Pasta
  18. Pasta with Lentils and Vegetables
  19. Macaroni and Cheese
  20. Feta, Tomato, and Pesto Pasta
My mom and brother are coming for ten days to take care of us. Then our month of partly-pre-made meals can kick in. After that, I hope we'll be in a place where we can go grocery shopping (using the same list above).

What else do we need to do to prepare ourselves and our lives for the transition? I need to make sure this blog is taken care of. With my first pregnancy, I wrote tons of posts in advance and scheduled them to run. This time, I won't have time to do that. Perhaps I should do what we did for 2000 Dollar Wedding? Open it up to kindred spirits to write guest posts? It was so fun for me to read everyone's wisdom! 

If you'd like to write a guest post to cover my maternity leave, please e-mail me with your topic idea. If it seems like a good fit, I will e-mail you the process for uploading your post. The deadline would be May 31st. Thank you in advance for any help you're able to provide! 

I also want to re-read Baby Wise, as well as another scheduling book recommended by my friend, Maia.

I also need to do some mental preparation for the birth. Perhaps I'll re-read Birthing from Within, as well as the letter I wrote to myself to prepare for birth.

Of course there are all sorts of things to do around the house. I've already made lists of those things (I need to get off my computer and go do them!).

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Avila said...

I got really excited about writing a guest post - and then I remembered that i'm having a baby too and also need to hunker down!
Thanks for the ideas and good luck!

Kate said...

Can you freeze shredded cheese without having it stick together? I've never tried it. Good luck with the meal planning!

Maureen said...

Elicit friends or your mother's group to do a meal train for you!

Autumn Witt Boyd said...

I did a ton of meal freezing before our twins arrived, but honestly after the first few weeks home with them, once we got into a routine, it was really nice to get out to go to the grocery. I'd go quickly by myself, between feedings (we were on a three-hour schedule), mostly just to grab fresh veggies and such. I didn't necessarily have the energy to cook, but it was nice to get out of the house for a bit, and my mom and husband pitched in with the cooking with whatever I brought home (EASY stuff). You could even wear the baby to the store if you wanted to stay with him. I think it can be really hard to feel like you're chained to the house (or the baby) and that getting out and about in those first few weeks can help your mood and spirit :) Even if it's just the grocery!

Steffi Langston said...
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