Sunday, June 10, 2012

Do Work

I think, in the last two days I've done more than I have in the past two weeks.  Maybe even the past month!  It's no secret that this pregnancy has kicked my behind as far as fatigue goes.  I was tired to the point of exhaustion pretty much the entire first half, and then it came back the last few months.  I have some good days where I feel like I can actually do stuff, but then I inevitably pay for it the next day in the form of a stiff, sore body, swollen hands, and of course, being really tired.

It kinda sucks. 

I feel like such a lazy slug!  I'm thankful that I don't have one of those husbands who feels his only contribution to our household is to bring home a paycheck.  Seriously, if he thought his work day ended when he came home, but saw no problem with mine being 24 hours, I wouldn't have married the guy.  He's been so good and picking up the slack where I haven't been able too.  He has no clean underwear?  He won't say a word - he'll just throw a load in the wash.  I'm too tired to cook?  No sweat - he'll whip something together or go grab us a pizza.  He understands that I'm having a hard time right now, and that marriage is a partnership - sometimes you give, sometimes you take, but you should always try to support.  I love him for that.

I have 22 days (!!!) until my c-section is scheduled, and only fourteen until my due date.  This means I need to get my behind in gear and try to get this house in some semblance of order.  I still haven't installed the car seat, or packed a hospital bag.  I still need to go buy baby bottles and a few other last minute items.  The list seems huge for the small amount of days left, but at the same time, I find myself not really worried about it.  I'm doing what I can, asking for help with what I can't, and if something doesn't get done, oh well.

Is that Zen or apathetic?  Can't tell.

One of the things I definitely wanted to get done before I have this baby is to make a bunch of meals to freeze.  When Bubba was born, we were in an apartment and had a teeny freezer, so this really wasn't much of an option.  We also had no money to buy a stand alone freezer, and even if we did, we had nowhere to put it.  As a result, no planning or prep for our meals after baby was done and we ate fast food a LOT.  Like, a disgusting amount a LOT.  I'm sure we wasted a ton of money too.  

I don't want to do that again.  I want to have homemade meals, at least most of the time.  Things that I made so that even though they may not be the most nutritious items, they're better than their processed foods counterparts.  My friend Suzy gave me her old freezer since her daughter is off to college and it wasn't really needed anymore.  I've been loving having it, but I haven't been using it to it's full potential. 

Well, the time has come.  Friday while I was doing laundry (all of it!  Nine loads and all dried on the clothesline!  Lots of bending and stretching and carrying and walking) I worked on a meal plan and a grocery list.  Since my grocery list document is dated, I was able to tell that it's been almost a whole year since I've done this.  YIKES.  I pulled my grocery circulars, went through what was on sale, then went through the list of freezer meals I wanted to try (pulled from Pinterest and my own files) to see what matched up.  Then I planned my meals for this week using those recipes.  The idea is that I will make the meal, but double or triple it so I have one for dinner and one or two for later.  Pretty clever, huh?

Yesterday we spent all day shopping and running errands.  There was a Target run in there, as well as a stop at Old Navy for some cheap flip flops to wear in the hospital shower.  We grabbed dinner before stopping for another paint sample from Home Depot.  We stopped to check out a children's consignment store because I still haven't found a going home outfit for Kelly, but they were closed.  We hit Joann for a replacement reusable cup for my husband because he left his on top of the car.  We were all over the place! Finally, after all that, we hit the grocery store where I discovered that I had forgotten my circulars at home so I wasn't going to be able to get all the stuff I price matched for.  PHOOEY!  We grabbed what was not on my price matching list and anything for which they had a better price anyway (one of the perks of listing the prices at all the competitors in one place) and called it good.  I figure I'll get the rest of the stuff later.

Bubba passed out in the car on the way home and since it was a good two or three hours earlier than when he normally goes to sleep, we were thinking GREAT.  Now he'll be up all night!  Nope.  He slept until 12:30 today!  I guess all the errands wore him out too, even though he got to sit in a cart for most of them.  Lucky.

Me?  I was awake.  Very awake.  So was my husband.  I decided to take advantage of the time by prepping the marinade for one of my meals.  I was doing Cilantro Lime Chicken (recipe here) and figured that instead of prepping one batch of marinade, I'd do four.  We'd eat one for dinner and have three stashed for after the baby arrives.  I was in a lot of pain by this point after two solid days of activity so my husband volunteered to help.  We put ingredients in Ziploc bags and added frozen chicken (which I bought in bags in the freezer section) to them before sealing.  The idea is that you pull one out the night before, then as they thaw in the fridge they chicken will marinate at the same time.  All we have to do is add some rice (which can also be made ahead of time and frozen) and a veggie, and dinner will be done in less time than it takes to order a pizza!

After we finished those, we divvied up a package of bacon.  Have you noticed how expensive bacon has gotten lately?  Especially if you like to use the good stuff.  It's crazy!  Also, a lot of recipes call for just a few slices.  What do you do with the rest?  You can't keep freezing and refreezing it.  If you cook it all up, then it's kind of wasteful, not to mention eating that much bacon is probably not good for you.

So, we opened the package of the lovely, thick cut Applewood Smoked bacon that we bought and separated  it.  I cut strips of parchment paper and folded them in half lengthwise.  We then tucked three slices into the fold, and folded the bacon/paper in half crosswise.  I took these little packages and tucked them inside another labeled Ziploc bag.  Now when I want to make something with a little bit of bacon, I can just pull out one of the little paper bundles and use what I need, rather than getting stuck with a whole package of bacon!  The parchment paper keeps them from freezing to each other so it's super simple.

After we finished with that, I looked at the clock and it was 2 am.  Now, I'm naturally a night owl, and an insomniac on top of that.  I also happened to have married a night owl who also insists he's rarely ever tired. Now you know why my kid is up until one or two am and sleeps until after noon!  It's in his genes!

Anyway, I asked him if he was up to doing one more meal prep thing.  He said all he had planned was to play video games, so sure, why not?  (I think he was excited at the prospect of good food with less work later on.)  I pulled out the packages of ground turkey that we bought and we got to work making meatballs.

152 meatballs, to be exact!

By just throwing all the ingredients into the KitchenAid, and then working together to scoop and shape the meatballs, we were able to make four batches of partially cooked turkey meatballs in record time!  After they cooled I divided them up into more labeled Ziploc bags (seriously - label  EVERYTHING if you're going to do this!) and popped them into the freezer.

I ended up with three bags containing about fifty meatballs each.  That sounds like a lot, but they're small meatballs and the soup I make with them usually lasts a few meals.  Since making the meatballs is about 2/3 of the work involved in this soup, we saved ourselves a ton of work somewhere down the line!

Later this week I plan to make some Baked Ziti to freeze, as well as frozen pizza dough and some chocolate chip cookie dough.  I may even try to get some bread dough in there so we can stop buying bread again.  We'll have to see how I'm feeling though, as today my body is paying for all the work of the past two days.

Totally worth it though.  :)

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Blogger Shannon Smith said...

MAN that is such a awesome idea!!!! I would love to be able to freeze some meals ahead for us if we get into the new house in time to actually do it lol--the whole not nesting thing is KILLING me lol!!!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

I would kill for enough freezer space to do the meal prep. Ok, maybe just injure. ;) Anyway, LOVE the bacon idea. And I still do your prepping of carrots, onions, and celery. You have some serious moments of brilliance.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Felicia said...

Have someone else install the carseat. Chandler Fire installs them for free. This weekend 06/16 at the Fire Training Center 3550 S Dobson Rd, next to Intel, from 9-noon. It's so much easier. =)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I LIVE with my second freezer - idk how I would manage without. And my hubs and I both work so we both share work at home too - I don't think I could ever live with a guy that didnt (either)!

10:26 AM  

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