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Nesting Like a Mother – Slow Cookin’ Up a Storm (Mostly) — The Feisty Foodie

There are a lot of things that I do know now, by means of expertise, that there simply was no approach for me to know earlier than I gave start. For instance: I now know that I knew completely nothing. I learn up on a lot of issues. They gave me glimpses into how life would change. I used to be frightened of childbirth; girrrrrrrrrl, childbirth – while no laughing matter and EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE – on the finish of the day, for those who go residence alive with an alive baby: YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN READING MORE ABOUT WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU GO HOME WITH THE BABY. Or perhaps that’s simply me? I felt utterly unprepared for WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS TINY CREATURE WHO DEPENDS ON ME FOR LIFE. Not methods to change a diaper however relatively… how do you entertain it?!

I am so, so, so lucky for therefore many causes: Hubba Hubby’s firm is fairly beneficiant with paternity depart, and I found myself part of a tremendous group with tons of oldsters who’re very generous with their advice, ideas, and provides of assist. I wasn’t solely alone – not until Hubby went back to work, anyway – and then I found myself reaching out and finding mom-friends which are within the thick of it with me, which has been superb.

However the months before I gave delivery, all the reading on the planet that I did, all of the prepping that I did… I’m scripting this down now, more than a yr after I gave start, for posterity. To remind myself the subsequent time I do that what I don’t assume I should do subsequent time, and to remind myself of the things I truly thought helped.

FIRST OF ALL:
DO NOT MOVE WHEN YOU ARE 34 WEEKS PREGNANT
(even when it is just a block away and you rent movers to pack and transfer you)
ESPECIALLY DIRECTLY FOLLOWING A 2 WEEK TRIP OVERSEAS
AND DO NOT HAVE A BABY SHOWER A WEEK AFTER YOU MOVE INTO YOUR NEW PLACE,
AT YOUR NEW PLACE (properly, in one of many amenity areas, however nonetheless)
BECAUSE YOU WILL THUS BE 36 WEEKS PREGNANT WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
and all the generosity that has been showered upon you’ll then must be unwrapped, washed, folded, put away, and thanks notes despatched, and…

Ahem.

Earlier than we moved into our new condo, one of many things that nervous me was how I wasn’t nesting. In hindsight, I wasn’t ‘nesting’ because I didn’t have a nest. As soon as we moved into the new place, I began ordering all the things underneath the solar that I assumed our baby may like or want, however delivery takes time and when all was stated and accomplished, little or no within the baby room was set up and carried out.

I also started meal prepping like a crazy-person. If you recognize anything about me, it’s that I wish to eat and that I get very HANGRY if I don’t eat. I read numerous horror stories about individuals not eating once they have been in the throes of caring for a new child, and I used to be not going to abide by that! I read articles like “6 hours of prep for 42 meals” and “how to feed yourself after giving birth” and “how I meal prepped 3 months of food before I gave birth to triplets and also had to feed my 2 year old and my 5 year old and my stupid in-laws who showed up and stayed for 6 weeks without asking ahead of time” and… okay, I’d just have made up all these titles, however that was the type of factor I used to be reading.

One morning, I awoke and Googled ALL OF THE ARTICLES about freezer meal prep for child, and went absolutely insane. By which I mean: I spent 2 weeks in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, and waddling around scooping, cooking, par-cooking, portioning, and freezing.

Under are the recipes for the pictures I posted on InstaStory back then. I’m sorry to inform you that I handled a LOT OF HATERS (and some of them are in all probability reading this now… I genuinely assume a few of them didn’t understand what freaking haters they have been being), and I’m proud to inform you that they have been all fallacious. And never as a result of I was being stubborn. But as a result of they have been, simply put, flawed.

Each single individual handles childbirth in a different way. Every partnership is totally different. Each family is totally different.

This worked for my family. I took the sluggish cooker out, I used box after field of sluggish cooker liners that made clean up a snap, and we regularly ate sluggish cooker meals day in and day trip for weeks on finish. Days or meals that I didn’t really feel like eating what I’d prepped, we went out. Oh yes – my footage present me that we have been out and about consuming at restaurants within 5 days (truthfully, less) of me giving start.

I’ll ramble on a bit extra about haters and what they stated after the pics. I’m positive you’re becoming bored of my self-serving little rant right here.

The first batch of meals I prepped – not sluggish cooker meals – all ground beef based mostly. The above, my arsenal.Spaghetti sauce. Every time I freeze sauce, I flip the sandwich luggage over a giant cup or mug to hold it upright so I can pour/scoop sauce into it without getting it everywhere in the outdoors. You should purchase these gadgets to do that job and perhaps they’re higher at it than my glass jar concept, but mine is free and I had it available already. I also made chili. And cottage pie (shepherd’s pie using beef as an alternative of lamb).

Pork tenderloin! I received a large one on sale at BJ’s they usually reduce it into 4 equal items for me — the guy looked at me like I was loopy, I feel individuals often ask them to cut into chops? — however it really worked properly for my ‘recipe’.

Which principally was apple sauce, some seasoning, salt… it turned out some tremendous tender pork chops, as long as I turned off the heat earlier than it had gone too lengthy. Letting it hold going meant the whole thing would crumble, which might be good I assume? But wasn’t what I needed.

The next few have been assembly-type freezer meals, requiring nothing greater than buying components.

Italian sausages, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, a can of diced tomatoes, and pre-chopped frozen peppers and onions. Really easy — I truly made this for dinner a few nights ago, though I put it all collectively on the fly as an alternative of pulling a frozen bag of every little thing out of the freezer.

For instance – shopping for frozen meatballs made these freezer-slow-cooker-meal-kits suuuper straightforward. You possibly can undoubtedly make your personal. At 37 weeks pregnant throughout August and armed with a BJ’s membership, I did not.As an alternative, I counted out 25 meatballs per bag, added Italian seasoning, garlic, frozen veggies, and tomato sauce. An excessive amount of Italian seasoning and truthfully, the veggies have been a dangerous selection (they might get mushy and my hubby didn’t look after them, so he’d dig around them and I’d just poke at the sad mush on my plate or in my hoagie).

Each the sausage and meatball meals could possibly be served with pasta, which I did at the least once – a field of spaghetti that I cooked after which dumped into the sluggish cooker with the finished meats – however the best choice was choosing up a 12 pack of grinder rolls from BJ’s ($2.99… sure I’m critical) and making sandwiches. Typically a bag of salad (Caesar salad kits have been our go-to) rode shotgun on the plate, making it a fairly balanced meal. Typically I wolfed down a sandwich with a new child in my arms. Typically it was 2. Sandwiches, not newborns.

I don’t recall eating this one, but this or a variation of this meal prep showed up in principally each website that posted being pregnant meal prep concepts and even simply common meal prep concepts. Primarily, a jar of salsa, a bunch of hen that you would be able to minimize up or not, sluggish prepare dinner the heck out of it, then shred the meat. Utilizing chicken, I hate this meal. Using dark meat, I don’t keep in mind this meal. It’s not my thing, perhaps it’s yours. I feel some individuals eat it with rice and cheese. It’s not flavorful sufficient, and white meat seems actually stringy and dry.I also made Japanese curry – significantly, I don’t keep in mind consuming the salsa hen… perhaps I ought to verify my freezer. Anyway, the Japanese curry came in useful months and months after I gave delivery. Extra on that later.

One night time, I made pork fried rice. As an alternative of protecting the leftovers within the fridge, I put them in the freezer. This one I’m fairly positive continues to be within the freezer (and will probably be thrown away the subsequent time I see it!). I am a large fan of sluggish cooker hen tikka masala – this one I made a batch and froze as an alternative of consuming. Nicely, we didn’t get around to consuming this as a result of I couldn’t rise up the power to prepare dinner rice. I own and use a rice cooker to make rice, I’m unsure why I couldn’t make rice, but there you’ve gotten it. (I ultimately thawed this and used it for lunches for Hubby one week, which saved me time nevertheless it was method beyond the new child stage.)

Oh geez… here’s the mess of stuff we have been generously gifted by other individuals. That is just the model new stuff – my sister and a pal both gave us a ton of their sons’ clothes, which I additionally washed in baby detergent. And folded. And sorted. And barely used (however that’s not their fault). So… this is the reverse aspect of the last image. All the hangers, tags, bins that every thing in the last image got here in. Did you know there have to be a regulation somewhere that states child clothes should include no fewer than 6 hold tags that you need to use scissors to remove, a few stickers for good measure (often telling you to take a look at the butt because there’s a cute animal peeking out at you), and an excess of stuff to take away which are all choking hazards before you’ll be able to wash it in specially-made-for-baby’s-sensitive-skin detergent that costs a boatload more than your common stuff? Nicely, now you do.

One among my temporary ideas once I’ve given presents to pregnant/newly-given-birth buddies up to now yr has been “I should wash this for them first” as a result of that may have made me so, so, so comfortable to obtain already washed gadgets. But then I noticed I might have washed it once more anyway because you simply don’t know what happened in transit. I additionally thought-about simply slicing all of the tags off things for individuals before giving them presents, but I noticed that if one thing didn’t match or they needed to re-gift it (and now, having had a baby and understanding the sheer quantity of stuff I acquired that I’ve by no means used, this doesn’t offend me AT ALL) or they needed to return it or whatever, eradicating the tags is a bold transfer.

*The above was written in August 2018, the under is me finishing up this long-forgotten draft in March 2019*
I’m not completely positive why I included these footage — they seem like snacks I ate a day or two earlier than I gave delivery. Funny sufficient, I’m taking a look at them and while they appear scrumptious, I’m amused by the inclusion of chilly cuts because that’s something I assumed I did my greatest to keep away from throughout pregnancy. Oh nicely! These have been impressed by Danish smorrebrod (open-faced sandwiches) — Melba toast smeared with butter and topped with numerous issues. I’m not even hungry right now and it appears scrumptious!

And right here’s a photograph of my canine wanting up at me expectantly, hoping I’d drop some food. In the direction of the top of my pregnancy, I recall I continuously dropped meals on my belly – I don’t know if it was because it protruded so much or if I used to be simply so off-balance and careless by that time…

In any case, I hope this was useful to you, all my newly pregnant (first time and not!) pals! Cheers to a tremendous rest of your pregnancies!

~Yvo