Pre-Baby Meal Prepping

 

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I knew I wouldn’t feel like cooking for a little while after the baby was born. So I had this great plan that I would pre-make and freeze several meals so I could just pop them in the oven and have real meals without the work. What I didn’t realize was how hard it would be to stand in the kitchen for hours prepping these meals while eight months pregnant…
If I had the opportunity to do it over, I would still make the meals (even more of them) but I would make them earlier, maybe during the blissful second trimester!

I started by picking the recipes I wanted to make (meals I know my husband and I like). Then I hit Costco with a list of supplies I needed.

Here are the meals I decided to make to freeze for after the baby came.

Meal #1
Sausage, Potatoes and Peppers:

Ingredients:

  • Your choice of sausage (I picked mango jalapeno chicken sausage)
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Yukon Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Blackened seasoning
  • Poultry seasoning

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Directions:

  • Cut sausage, potatoes, peppers and onion into bite sized cubes.
  • Season all evenly and mix in a medium bowl.
  • Vacuum seal and freeze.

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Meal #2
Bacon, Egg and Cream Cheese Bagel Sandwich: 

Ingredients:

  • Cheese bagels
  • Cream cheese
  • Precooked bacon
  • Eggs

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Directions:

  • Scramble the eggs, season to taste.
  • Spread cream cheese on each side of the bagel.
  • Layer bacon and egg and place the other half of the bagel on top.
  • Wrap in clear wrap and foil.
  • Freeze

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To Cook:

Preheat over to 400 degrees and place bagel sandwich in over for 30 minutes.

Meal #3
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs:

Ingredients:

  • Ground Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Garlic
  • Season Salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper

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Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except the cheese.
  • Grab a chunk in the estimated size of the desired meatball.
  • flatten meat in the palm of your hand, place a square of cheese in the middle and roll into a meatball.
  • Vacuum seal and Freeze.

Meal #4
Breakfast Burrito Filling:

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Precooked bacon
  • Yukon potattoes
  • Shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • Season salt
  • Garlic
  • Salt

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Directions:

  • Scramble eggs
  • Cut potatoes into cubes
  • Tear bacon into small pieces.
  • Season eggs and potatoes to taste.
  • In a vacuum seal bag layer salsa, eggs, potatoes, bacon and cheese.
  • Vacuum seal and freeze.

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To Cook:

Thaw ingredients and warm up in the microwave for 3 minutes. Spoon filling into tortillas for breakfast burritos.

Meal #5
Chicken Enchiladas:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Tortillas
  • Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Onion
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Diced Tomatos
  • Rotel
  • Chili Powder

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Directions:

  • Boil chicken breasts and shred and cool.
  • Chop onion.
  • Drain tomatoes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, salsa, onion, tomatoes, Rotel and chili powder.
  • In a separate bowl combine chicken, cheese and 1/3 sauce mixture.
  • Fill six tortillas with chicken filling and roll into enchiladas.
  • Place rolled enchiladas in a tin disposable casserole dish.
  • Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas.
  • Top with additional cheese, chopped onions and diced tomatoes.
  • Cover with tin foil and freeze.

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To Cook:

Preheat oven to 375 and place enchiladas in oven still frozen (DO NOT THAW). Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until warmed through and bubbly.

 

These meals worked out great for my family! It was so convenient to not have to worry about all that goes into creating a meal or running to the store for missing ingredients while trying to figure out this new tiny human I had just brought into the world.

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Nursery Creation!

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When we bought this house I knew right away which room would be the nursery someday. We had already been trying for four years so I didn’t know when we would need a nursery but I knew someday we would. While I waited for that day, that room belonged to our cats and our clutter…

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When we found out we were pregnant nothing changed in that room. After three miscarriages I wasn’t getting my hopes up. Then suddenly the first trimester was over and it was safe to believe we were actually going to have a baby. We rolled up our sleeves and got busy! Once we cleared out the cats and junk we started thinking about paint.

 

We changed out the old 70’s light fixture and put in a cute mini light/fan combo fixture.

 

We decided on a three different shades of purple. White with a light purple tint for the top part of the wall, a medium purple gray color for the bottom half of the wall and a dark purple for the center chair railing. First we taped off the room and painted the top and bottom portions of the walls.

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We decided to save some money on chair railing and make it ourselves instead of the expensive stuff. We bought pine planks and measured to fit and cut to size then painted in our dark purple paint.

 

We used a nail gun to seamlessly attach the chair railing to the walls. It turned out amazing!!

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The only thing left to add was furniture…

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Oh and a baby of course!

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I could not be happier with how the nursery turned out! It’s now my favorite room in the house! Baby Mazi and I spend a lot of time in there!

Share your room creation with me!

Dear Baby Journal

Dear Baby Journal

Even before I got pregnant I knew I wanted to keep a journal about my pregnancy journey. When I ask my Mom about what it was like to be pregnant there isn’t much she remembers. I guess that’s a vital part of natures plan to keep us wanting to have more babies. I want more from my memories. I want to be able to share my experiences with my child when they are starting their own journey of having a child. I want to be able to enlighten them about both the fun and the ugly parts of making a person. Also, they won’t remember us when we were first becoming parents and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be able to show them that we didn’t have it all figured out.

My husband and I didn’t know when we started this idea what it would become. We bought some blank journals and decided we would each document our individual experiences throughout the pregnancy. As we got started we both realized that we wanted this to be more than just a diary. We wanted something special we could share with our child some day. We started writing as if we were talking to our baby. Each entry became a letter to our unborn child about how the pregnancy is going and how they have already started changing our lives.  It’s therapeutic in a way we didn’t expect. We don’t hold back, expressing our joys, fears, amazement, love and our own self doubts.

I write once a week on the day the pregnancy switches over to the next week. I always start with “Today you are ** weeks and roughly the size of a **”. Each entry is unique based on what has happened over the last week. I end every entry with “Love Mom” which is strange in its self getting used to the new title of “Mom”. My husband writes when he has something to write about, sometimes more often, sometimes less. I don’t read his and he doesn’t read mine. We want to be able to share in complete honesty with no fear of judgment from the other person about how we may be feeling.

Some day our child will be starting a life all their own, whether that be moving out of state to college, getting married or having a child of their own. When the time feels right we will gift her with these letters we wrote to her before she was born (and possibly through her first year). I hope they will bring a smile to her face and offer some insight into how having her changed our lives.

 

Pregnancy Gender Predictions!

There are so many old wife’s tales depicting ways to predict the gender of your baby while pregnant it can make your head spin! I loved gathering everyone’s guesses and learning of all of the different reasons why they thought one way or the other. My husband and I are very competitive and while we didn’t actually have a preference we had many laughs debating our girl vs. boy predictions.

I decided to create a chart (I’m an accountant, we LOVE charts!) to tally up the boy vs. girl wife’s tales so we could see, after we found out from an ultrasound, how accurate they were. I decided not to do any of the ones where you have to play with your pee because it grosses me out a little. We kept it simple and innocent.

Our results were almost perfectly split 50/50. I intentionally kept the tests to an odd number so one or the other would have to win out. The silly predictions came out to guess, 8 for a girl and 7 for a boy.

Over all it ended up being correct (by a hair)! We are having a girl!!!

Gender Predictions

What other fun gender prediction tests have you heard of? Where they accurate for you?

Before Baby Comes Check-List

I’m 16 weeks (4 months) along now and I recently sat down with my boss to discuss my maternity leave plan. After that meeting I started to feel a little panicked. There was so much to do at work before November comes and it suddenly seemed right around the corner. This of course led me to start thinking, “is there a ton of things to do in our personal life before the baby comes that we haven’t thought of yet”?

I scoured the internet for hours looking for pregnancy to-do lists and pre-baby prep lists. The more I looked through the more frustrated I got. List after list containing to-do items like “drink lots of water”, “get plenty of rest” and “pamper yourself with a pedicure”. That’s cute, and all well and good if you’re looking for a sweet list to remind you to take a piss every couple hours. I was looking for a serious pre-baby check list. One with actual necessity items not all this fluffy sh**!

I couldn’t find a single list containing the types of serious items I was looking for… I was able to gain a few ideas here and there but no comprehensive list. Could I possibly be the first person to ever want a serious, no frills pre-baby checklist? I doubt it.

I decided to create my own list! I surveyed my friends, family and co-workers, looking for items I haven’t thought of yet. I am a first time parent after all, I can’t expect to know it all. Below is the list I have put together for myself, though I’m sure it will continue to grow a bit. Hopefully others find this helpful as well. If you have items I’ve missed please share!

  • Sign up for birthing and newborn care classes.
  • Plan the nursery space and take measurements.
  • Research daycares in our area.
  • Research baby products safety and consumer reviews.
  • Create a labor contact list.
  • Register for baby shower gifts.
  • Take a hospital tour.
  • Create a birth plan.
  • Paint and set up nursery.
  • Pack a hospital go bag. (Items for me, husband and baby)
  • Prepare our pets for the new arrival.
  • Buy and Install carseats.
  • Wash all of the baby clothes.
  • Deep clean the house.
  • Make freezer meals.

 

Of course if it’s important to you, don’t forget to get a pedicure 😉

Baby Fortner Announcement!

13 Week Ultrasound

That’s right! We are bringing a person into this world!

For those of you that don’t know our history here is a little background.
My husband and I have been trying to have a baby since we got married about five years ago. We succeeded in getting pregnant three times each time ending in a first trimester miscarriage. In 2016 we starting seeing an infertility and recurrent miscarriage specialist. She made some suggestions based on weeks of tests. The last few months of 2016 and the first couple months of 2017 hit us hard in terms of house issues and medical emergencies. We followed the doctors suggestions but didn’t have the opportunity to put them to the test. We decided we didn’t know what our future held medically so we made an appointment for insemination for June 2017.

That brings us to February 2017 when life calmed down a little. My husband was getting better and able to come home again and our newly purchased house was now safe to live in. I will say my birthday is in late February and my husbands birthday is in early March. We had been apart for quite a while at this point and had a lot of celebrating to do! Fast forward to March 17th, ST Patrick’s Day. I was 1 day late for my period and I had a feeling I was pregnant. I took a test and low and behold!

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As I mentioned before we had been here before… This time we decided to not tell anyone until we made it past the danger zone (first trimester). We continued seeing the specialist through the first couple months. Where we were spoiled with weekly viewing sessions of our growing baby! Each week we dreaded the possibility of bad news and were ecstatic to see our healthy growing baby each time! Finally the time had come… We were cleared as no longer high risk and were being transferred to a regular OBGYN. We could finally feel secure in the progress of our baby.

On Mother’s day (a day that has been very difficult and painful for me in the past) we shared our news with our families and friends!

Dog and Baby COLLAGE

The response was even more overwhelming than we had expected. For the last five years I had considered our battle to have a baby a strictly personal journey between my husband and I. I had failed to see how many people had been quietly but anxiously hoping and praying for us to succeed in our dream of becoming parents. While we felt so alone in our struggle, more people than we could have imagined were helping to hold us up.

We are extremely blessed to have a healthy baby on the way and such a strong and loving network to bring that baby into!  I will add more along that way as I can. here is a picture of my at 12 weeks, you can only image how big I am going to get before this is over…

12 week bump