Saturday, March 23, 2013

Welcome Baby! He's Finally Here! ♥

We are so in love with our new addition!! I'm so thankful he's finally here! We are adjusting to a new schedule and routine and figuring out what works and doesn't. So a short post for now, but I'm working on a post with more details and pictures, so stay tuned! :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Preparing for Baby #4

Today is my due date!! But really, what's a due date?? I don't think this baby wants to come just yet.  So, if I don't have him by next Tuesday, the 19th, I will have a scheduled repeat C-section.
REALLY hoping it doesn't come to that, but the Dr. didn't give me much hope today.

As much as I really want him to be born - like a week ago! - I've been able to make good use of the past week to finish some final preparations to make life a little easier after he gets here.
Since this is my third pregnancy, I should be a pro, right? Ha, not really! In my mind I was thinking I didn't really have much to do to prepare. After having twins, I was thinking adding one more little bundle of joy would be a breeze. :) But when I started writing out all that I wanted to have done before our little guy comes, I realized Baby #4 takes just as much preparation -  only in time rather than money! So here are a few things I've done in hopes of making life easier.

1. I started cleaning and organizing every nook and cranny of my house about 4 months ago.  I knew if I didn't de-clutter some things, I would feel overwhelmed when all the baby gear came out of the attic.  We live in a small 1700 sq. ft. home - and when I was cleaning and organizing, I was very thankful our home isn't any bigger!  The past week has been a mad rush to make sure laundry is caught up, toys are still organized, dusting, vacuuming, etc...  - but having a mostly organized space to begin with has made my "nesting" a lot easier.

2. I created a baby registry.  This was a last minute decision as I don't really need anything for the baby. He's our 2nd boy, and I've kept everything from my older son. BUT, there were a few things I would like for him to have new and some necessities.  And most stores will send a percentage off coupon for purchasing anything left on your registry. I ended up registering for:
• new crib sheets 
 My girls are still in toddler beds so a few extra will be nice.
• pacifiers
• receiving blankets 
I discovered the kind I like when I had my girls, but the ones I have are all girl colors. :)
• supplies for my breast pump
• a snap n go stroller frame 
I'm keeping my double sit n stand for when I need to let the girls ride along, but the more compact stroller frame will be nice for church and outings to the park.
• diapers, baby wash & lotion, diaper rash cream, etc..
I just wanted to be able to purchase these with the coupon. :)
• diaper bag
I really don't NEED this, but should I decide to splurge, it will be nice to have the coupon.
• bibs and burp cloths
After 4 kiddos, I need a few that are suitable for use in public.

I registered at Target a few weeks ago and got my registry completion coupon in the mail yesterday.

3. I've been freezing meals.  The easiest way for me to do this was to make double of everything for the past couple of weeks and freeze the leftovers.  I planned meals I knew would freeze well. I've never really done freezer meals before, so I'll give you my ideas, but I'm not promising the results!
• Lasagna - recipe
I refrigerated our half pan of leftovers overnight and wrapped and froze them the next day in freezer bags.
• Cheesy Restaurant Style Enchiladas
I've been intending to post the recipe here, but there are plenty online you could use.  I did NOT bake these ahead of time. I assembled everything in a disposable foil pan ready for the oven and will bake it the day we eat it.
• Lasagna Roll-ups
I had leftover cheese mixture from making lasagna, so this was as simple as boiling the noodles. My freezer was pretty full and I didn't have room for another foil pan, so I made the rolls and froze them individually on wax paper. The plan is to add sauce on the day I heat them.  We can also just pull out a few for lunch if needed, rather than baking a whole pan at once.
• Chicken Pot Pie Muffins - recipe
I just froze the mixture and wrote directions on the freezer bag for pressing the biscuits in the muffin pan.  I included temp and bake time so that I don't have to look up the recipe to make them.
•Vegetable Soup
• Taco Soup
• Chili
• BBQ Chicken for Sandwiches
I just froze all the leftovers from these meals in quart size freezer bags. Super Easy!
Homemade Salsa - recipe
This is a staple and I didn't want to be caught without it, so I made a large batch and froze several quarts. :)

It really helps that Tim is pretty handy in the kitchen, so I also made sure I have supplies on hand for meals that he likes to make: Nachos, Breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, etc...), Grilled Cheese Sandwiches... all basic stuff and super easy to stock the fridge and pantry.  We even bought Smucker's Uncrustables because I remember a few days when the twins were little that even making a sandwich seemed impossible!!
We love smoothies, so my freezer is stocked with frozen fruits as well.

4. The most time consuming and hardest part of preparing for Baby #4 has been WASHING EVERYTHING.  My little boy clothes have been stored for almost 5 years, so I spent many hours treating stains.  THIS RECIPE was a life saver!!!  I also took my car seat completely apart and basically gave it a detailed cleaning...not fun!

5. I made new batches of baby wipes, laundry detergent, and cleaning wipes. I make my cleaning wipes the exact same way as the baby wipes, but substitute the 2 1/4 cups of water with a cleaning solution.  I use a Lemon Lysol concentrated cleaner that I mix with water to equal the needed amount of liquid  - but use whatever you want! These are a life-saver for quick cleaning and so much cheaper than brand name wipes.

6. We bought a van!!!! I had to add this because I'm sooo excited. We love our new ride and all the extra space it provides.  It was a necessity, but the Lord blessed us with a much nicer van than we were thinking we could afford.  We didn't want to take on the stress of a car payment, so we shopped and shopped and shopped!!! until we found a deal we could pay cash for.  We are now the proud owners of a Honda Odyssey Touring model with all the bells and whistles we could imagine.  I'm STILL figuring out all the features!

Now, if this baby would just COME! :)

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