Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Hodgepodge of Many Things...

Well, we're dropping like flies. The pregnant ladies, that is. In my last post, I mentioned how many of my friends were due on the same day I am. Out of all these ladies, it's just Laura Beth and I hanging in to the end. Christie went in yesterday and had a baby girl, and Forrest's wife (I forgot her name!) went in today. I know it's a sin, but I can't help but be insanely jealous. But at the same time, I know that these babies are three weeks (give or take) early, and that with each day that passes with my little peanut safely in the womb, the healthier she will be. But still. Y'all. These women aren't pregnant anymore. Do you know how appealing that is?
Last week I had my 37 week appointment (I'm going once a week now) to check to see if I'm progressing. I was very, very surprised to learn that (as of last Thursday) I was already 60% effaced. At 37 weeks? Am I really going to make it to the 4th? I never got this far with Andrew, even AFTER I was induced! So, Brian thinks it's in my best interest to have a bag packed. I'm going back tomorrow for my 38 week checkup, I'm curious to see what's up. I'm very ready to not be pregnant anymore. I don't know what it's like to sleep more than 3 hours at a time, or go that long without peeing, either. I know that it's God's way of prepping me for life with a newborn. But I was really hoping to go into life with a newborn (and a 3 year old!) rested. But as they say, every time someone makes a plan, God laughs.

So, that's the pregnancy update. I wanted also to share with you a funny Andrew story. If you remember, we got him the Read Aloud Bible Stories book for Christmas. He loves it. We read it every. single. night. And sometimes at naptime, too. His favorite story by far is The Baby in the Basket, which is a 3 year old's way of saying The Story of Moses. To make a long story short, the "bad king" doesn't want any more baby boys, so he tells everyone to "throw away" all baby boys. One family makes a basket for their baby boy and hides the basket in the river...etc.

Well, last Thursday night we went to Chili's for dinner. There was an abundance of young toddlers and babies there, for some reason, and they really and truly all happened to be boys. Brian was talking to Andrew about how many little boys there were in the restaurant, and he jokingly asked Andrew, "What in the world are we going to do with all these baby boys?"

To which Andrew replied, with his hand thrust mightily in the air, "THROW THEM AWAY!"

Y'all, I laughed so hard. I guess you really never know how much actually sinks in and sticks in these little minds. But it secretly pleased me that he was learning these Bible stories. Just maybe we should vary the stories a bit, so that he doesn't go walking around telling people that he wants to throw their baby away!

Lastly, I wanted to do my part for the Haiti people and children by letting you all know about an orphanage that needs help. Our church is one of several churches that has missions in Haiti. We are partnered with Truth Evangelistic Ministry. Over the past few years we've built four Christian churches in remote areas of Haiti, and also have helped support an orphanage called Love A Child. If you all haven't made a donation to a specific relief organization, I strongly encourage you to check out these two web sites. TEM is working to distribute supplies to the people in remote areas that haven't received aid yet, and Love A Child has been set up as a very large field hospital near the border of Dominican Republic. They're getting up to 1,000 patients a day. It saddens my heart to see these poor people, who had nothing to begin with, lose what little they had. In most cases it was their loved ones they lost. But the Haitian people that our church and our ministry is reaching are still faithful that God will provide for them and heal them. So please, if God leads you to do so, make a donation!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Freezing For Baby

Some of my friends have been asking for tips on how and what to freeze in order to stock up for baby. It astounds me how many of us are due within 6 weeks of each other! Laura Beth and I are pretty much due the same day (and so is Christie at church), and Amber and Audrie are due 4 weeks after me! Then comes Liz and Sara in April and May. Gonna be a good year for babies!

Anyways, this post is for you, Amber!
I mentioned in my last post about making up meals that I (or Brian) could pop in the oven for dinner when I'm not feeling up to cooking...which I assume will be for a week, or two... I took pictures while I was making up some hashbrown casseroles so I wouldn't have to fumble around for ways to describe what I was doing, and plus, it's just easier to look at pictures!
First, the recipe:
One bag of frozen hasbrowns, can be shredded or chunks, depending on preference
One stick of butter, melted
One 16 oz tub of sour cream
One can cream of chicken soup
One bag (2 cups) of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4c diced onions, if desired

Mix all of the ingredients, except for a handful of shredded cheese, to be added later. You'll need a fairly large bowl to do this. The typical recipe calls to make it in a 9x13 pan, but I divided mine up into two 8x8 pans. And one 8x8 is enough for two people to eat two servings, plus have a serving or two leftover.

Two 8x8 pans, with frozen casserole

After you mix up your casserole, line the 8x8 pans with aluminum foil, making sure to cover at least halfway up the sides all around. You may have to use two pieces of foil laid opposite each other. Then, split your casserole mix in half, and press into each of the pans. Sprinkle some of the leftover cheddar chesse on the top. Place the pans in the freezer, uncovered, until frozen solid.

Lift up the casserole from the pan
Once it's frozen, all you do is simply lift out the casserole by the foil, and wrap it up. I add an extra piece of foil just for good coverage; you don't want any food exposed because of freezer burn. Then I put it in a gallon sized ziploc bag, label it, and there you go!
Cover with more aluminum foil

When it comes time to cook it, just pull the foil off the casserole, put it back in the 8x8 pan, and bake! Unfrozen bake time is 45 minutes at 350 degrees, so I'm not sure about cooking from frozen. I may let it thaw a bit before cooking, maybe take it out of the freezer at lunchtime for that night's meal.
Bag & label it!

The meatloaf preparation is pretty much the exact same thing, except I didn't pre-freeze...meaning I mixed up the loaf, formed it in a loaf pan (also lined with aluminum foil), then wrapped it up raw, put it in a ziploc bag, then the freezer! I would definately thaw the meatloaf before cooking, otherwise the crust will get hard.

Most of the 'stash'...also bought 10 pounds of ground beef,

and split up into one pound bags for spaghetti

I've put a picture of my freezer stash so you all can see. It looks like it took me weeks to do, but I did it in a day. I will definately pay off when the baby is here! I still want to add some chicken pot pies, and some enchilada casseroles, too. But, hey, if it doesn't get done, oh well. Like my mom said, I'm not dying, I'm just having a baby. (Though I think at times I might feel as if I am dying...) I'm also hoping it will cut down on the "let's just get some takeout," which can get expensive, and is not exactly healthy.

Anyways, hope this helps, Amber!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Belly, It's a Growin'

Well here I am, at week 36-ish, trudging along. Hauling around this belly is quite exhausting. I feel like an old woman sometimes, creaking and popping, limping around, wincing at sudden movements. As y'all could see on my Christmas Eve post, I am rather large. But I would also like to add that while I look ginormous, as of my last appointment (last Tues) I have only gained 24 pounds. And I swear, it is ALL right out in front. Which is a good thing, I guess, but it makes for a very uncomfortable stomach.

Heartburn has settled in for the duration. I'm eating my Zantac for breakfast and dinner, whether I think I need it or not. Anything spicy is off the menu- pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, etc., along with cinnamon (weird?), and some fruits like pineapple, and chocolate. I'm really only disappointed about the pizza and chocolate, but I've found if I take my Zantac at the right time, I can sneak a piece of chocolate in here and there.

We're all set for the baby. We've got everything we need for this baby: diapers, wipes, clothing, you name it. We shouldn't have to buy diapers or wipes for at least 6 weeks, but you never know. She could be a champion pooper. We're prepared enough that this little gal could come home today and we'd be fine. Which was my goal- to be ready enough with a few weeks to spare so I could spend the last weeks just relaxing and conserving energy. But then this little nesting bug came along, and lately I've been doing probably more than I should. I spend most evenings begging Brian to rub my cankles. My feet get so swollen these days that most of my shoes are too small!

This weekend I decided that I needed to stock up my freezer with meals that we could just pop in the oven to reheat. And so far it hasn't been too bad, but there's more I'd like to do. I just have to realize that I'm not Wonder Woman, and that it probably won't kill Brian to have to throw together a meal or two :) I've already got a batch of potato soup, a batch of chicken stew, and a batch of Santa Fe Soup in the freezer.

Today I managed to make 5 hashbrown casseroles, 36 blueberry muffins, 3 meatloaves, and put up 7 pounds of ground beef for spaghetti. Before it's all said and done, I'd also like to have a few chicken pot pies, maybe a couple of lasagnas, and a whole mess of pancakes and waffles. Anybody got any other suggestions for meals or entree's I could freeze up?

I'm very pleased with the fullness of the freezer. We could survive a meteor crash between what we have stocked up in the pantry and frozen in the freezer. And if the power goes out, no matter, because anything frozen would remain safely frozen outside...

Now hopefully I'll have a few days of rest. Which is wishful thinking, because lately I have been averaging about 5 really good hours of sleep at night. And that's if I take a Tylenol. I just can't get comfortable. That, and the little monkey just won't sit still, either. I think I'm going to move into the recliner for the duration of the pregnancy so that I can sleep on my back.

Only 23 more days!

Christmas Pictures

Well, we didn't take very many pictures on Christmas day. I didn't want to miss any of Andrew's excitement by hiding behind a camera. I did take a few at the start of the morning when he first came into the living room to see his presents. He was a little groggy in the beginning, dragging his Curious George along for the ride, but once he saw the pile of gifts he started to perk up.

It was a bittersweet little morning, knowing that next Christmas we'd have a 10 month old to share Christmast with. It was our last Andrew-only Christmas, so we tried to relish in it. But next year should be double the fun! Looking forward to it!

Brian's mom, sister, and step-dad came down for the day. Andrew was much more animated by the time they got here, having eaten breakfast and had his usual dose of morning cartoons. He was all about showing off his presents from Santa, and even talked Mimi into reading him his Toy Story book. You'll have to excuse the nose-picking, it's his new "thing" he does...