1.) Making and buying freezer meals. I am making cooked chicken and beef (in the crockpot) to freeze in portions, and making two of eight different freezer meals. I am making them this weekend and I am allowing myself to use them before baby comes if needed. I am a tired preggo momma of a preschooler, my husband is working overtime, and sometimes you just need help. Hang the rules, and use the darn freezer meals if you need to. ;) Also I hope to make a trip to Trader Joe's soon and pick up some other foods that I can keep on hand for quick lunches or dinners. Last time I just bought a lot of random frozen or heat-and-eat foods, and it wasn't what I wanted to eat most of the time. This time I am ensuring healthy food for my family by making it in advance.
I am also using the "Cornerstone Cooking method. Have you seen this cookbook? Uh, yeah - it's awesome!! Especially for me - I am not a "leftovers lover". This cookbook has rocked my little world so far - especially when I made the mashed potatoes that I was pretty sure wouldn't turn out and they DID. AND they were good! Plus - there are 6 black bean recipes, and one of them takes practically no time at all!! Gotta love that. ;)
2.) Preparing Nora to be a big sister. I obviously didn't have to do this before, and I have put a lot of thought into this. Nora and I are filling out a "big sibling book", and she also got to help design and make things for the nursery. She talks to the baby in my belly so much that it is now responding to her voice. Also, "the baby" got her a really cool big sister gift - a real, kid-friendly digital camera. So Nora is going to be our "official photographer" for baby. :) She will also get to go pick out a sibling gift for the baby, make the baby a welcome-home sign, and be momma's special big-girl helper. I am also scouring resale shops, dollar stores, and clearance toys to make a "big sister box" filled with special toys for times when I need her to occupy herself for a bit. I am also making her a little necklace to wear to school on the day baby comes. She is so excited about baby and I feel like I have prepared her well so far - just today she told me: "I can't WAIT for my baby to come!" What a special girl she is. :) She will make a great Big Sister!
3.) Stocking up on "easy" stuff. I am stocking up on key items that we will need to make my life easier: paper plates, disposable utensils and cups, canned/bottled drinks, laundry detergent, toiletries, toilet paper, etc. This will help with doing less dishes, making less trips to the store, and just overall convenience.
4.) Getting our home visitor/guest-ready. After a baby comes you get lots of visitors and guests! I happen to be having this baby at the beginning of cold and flu season as well. So I am stocking up on soap, hand sanitizer, disposable hand towels, Lysol wipes, and antibacterial Kleenex. Also, I am keeping our guest room ready-to-go downstairs so that guests will be comfortable. I have sheets ready to be swapped out, towels clean, and a guest basket. This should help particularly with my mom and Cory's mom, who will be staying here occasionally to help me clean and to take care of Nora.
5.) Calling in the reinforcements. My husband is at a period of his life where he needs to work overtime a LOT, plus our front porch will hopefully get poured next week (if we can get a break in the rain). Cory is over-worked and basically exempt from housework for the time being since all his free time goes to being a daddy and a husband. So that means that this super-tired swollen momma is in charge of cleaning the entire house on my own (HA!), and on top of all of that I am also occasionally feeling guilty for not giving Nora the attention she deserves - especially right before the baby comes. It's time for reinforcements!! - Enter Nana and Mimi!! I have asked my mother-in-law to come help me deep clean the house on the weekends this next month, and my mom has been so crucial in helping me with Nora during the week. Plus they are taking care of Nora during my hospital stay, and making sure she gets to trick-or-treat. I seriously don't know what I would do without these two women in my life, but I am very thankful that I have them to call on when I need the help. And I definitely do!
Anything else you can think of that I should be doing? I think we are ready to go!
Until next time . . .