Mark is spending his first day snuggled on Mama’s back. He’s such a snuggly little thing!
Mark is spending his first day snuggled on Mama’s back. He’s such a snuggly little thing!
Well, actually, I probably will not birth here. It will more likely be the livingroom floor where five of our children have already been born. I plan on using the birth pool and it is to large to set up in the bedroom. But I have been working diligently on preparing our bedroom, or ‘nest’ as I call it, for the baby’s arrival. This is where the two of us will spend our first week together. We will use this time to get to know one another, to read each others cues and to establish that blissful nursing relationship. I am very blessed to have so many around me that will tend to all of our needs during this time. I plan to walk no further than the bathroom down the hall. Here is a tour of our nest!
This is the view from the door. The cradle is a safe place for baby to lay when I do have to make that trip down the hall!
A cozy place to rock with Our Lady of Pepetual Help watching over us.
A place to rest our heads
Our dresser filled with mama’s pajamas and tiny baby clothes! Dh and I made the belly cast over the weekend. The girls and I decorated it with a Mary Cassatt print, a poem titled “Treasure” and hand painted flowers. I have a beautiful St. Benedict medal to apply to it also. A statue and print of Our Lady of La Leche watch over us from this wall.
This area is prepared with freshly washed baby diapers, rosaries on the wall. (But who needs a rosary when there are perfect little baby toes to count Hail Mary’s on!!) We also have some herbal tinctures ready for various post partum issues, and a bottle of “Happy Mama” spray to lift our mood a bit.
That’s the tour of our “Birthing Suite”, awaiting the arrival of our “Guest of Honor”!
We started our new chore assignments two weeks ago and it is running very smoothly. We are still spending alot of time outside and the lawn and garden need tending too, so that throws a kink in the inside upkeep. I know that will slow down when the weather cools.
Last week we implemented our three week menu rotation. I listed each week in our Homekeeping Journal. I also listed each recipe and the ingredients needed to make each dish. This has made my meal planning, list making, and shopping so much easier. The nesting urge is also in full swing, so most of the meals I doubled and froze an extra. As of right now I have five dishes and two meatloaves (giant ones at that!) in our freezer. We always get TONS of much appreciated meals from friends and family after having a baby. So many, that when Molly was born that we had a warm meal delivered every other day for over a month! My goal is to make my postpartum time simple, enjoyable, and memorable for the entire family. I know proper meal planning plays a big role in this.
First I thought I’d share our lunch menu. We have the same thing each day of the week. This way the older children learn how to make these simple meals well, my shopping list stays the same for lunch items, and we know exactly what to grab out of the fridge each day after spelling lessons!
*fridays are aways meatless
Mondays: Beef, bean, and cheese quesadillas/burritos, tortilla chips and salsa/nachos.
Tuesdays: Soup, (homemade or canned, depending on circumstances) peanutbutter bread, milk
Wednesdays: Pasta with alfredo sauce and broccoli and homemade rolls
Thursdays: French bread pizza, cheese cubes, baby carrots
Fridays: Egg or tuna salad sandwiches, yogurt
Dinner Menu Week 1
*unless otherwise noted, I have steamed spinach with each meal and we all have some form of either frozen veggies or fresh salad. Drinks vary from milk to icy lemonade, and of course a Killians for Dh !
Monday: Magnificent Casserole, corn muffins. (made three, ate one, froze one, Mary and I took one to a family that just had their third precious child.)
Tuesday: Son of a Manic Mealoaf is on the menu (from Leanne Ely’s Frantic Family Cookbook) but we had a pleasant visit with unexpected guest during dinner prep time. I threw some steaks under the broiler and made a quick salad instead. I made up the meatloaves yesterday and tucked them both into the freezer.
Wednesday: Baked Chicken. It was Samuel’s birthday and he requested pizza, so Papa John’s delivered dinner this night. I made two baked chicken dishes up and froze them both.)
Thursday: English Muffin Casserole was on the menu for this night but one of my dearests friends showed up with a piping hot meal for us at 6 o’clock. We enjoyed her delicious chicken chili over brown rice, green beans, fresh bread, and chocolate pudding! Her 5 children made the most adorable cards for me and the kids! I made the English Muffin Casserole up yesterday (2 of them) and tucked one into the freezer and one is ready for us to enjoy after Mass this morning.
Friday: Baked Macaroni and Three Cheese. (I made two and froze one)
Saturday: A Saturday favorite, made by Tony and Abby, Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese! (They talk about opening up a diner one day, they would call it D&D Diner. Dad and Daughter…funny, those two!)
Sunday: We will have one of the English Muffin Casseroles I prepared yesterday.
So week one had some change ups, but I always had something on hand to make no matter what cropped up. Yesterday afternoon Dh took most of the kids to play some baseball while Molly and I did our shopping for the upcoming week. (I won’t share with you the ugly details of my stereotypical pregnant woman breakdown in the parking lot…) We plan on begining our lesson times on Monday. I am hoping to have few to no distractions while we try to get back into our schooling groove. (you can laugh at me later! LOL!) Following is our menu plan for next week.
Dinner Menu Week 2
Monday: Chicken and Rice Chowder. I plan on making a big simmering pot for dinner, and the base for another night to be frozen for later.
Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice with Keilbasa. I have enough to make one/freeze one.
Wednesday: Parmesan Chicken Drumsticks. I have enough for two meals, one to eat, one to freeze.
Thursday: Pot Roast and Potatoes. I will make two roasts, one to eat, one I will shred for another time.
Friday: Creamy Tomato Pasta. Again, one to eat one to freeze.
Saturday: Spicey Hoppin’ John – YUM! (and of course, one to eat one to freeze)
Sunday: Chicken/Pasta/Greens salad and bread.
Thanks MissyC, for a wonderful refreshing snack this afternoon!
Someone really enjoyed his ice cream cone!
(and this was after a quick swipe with a washcloth!)
I love to cultivate and grow fresh herbs and veggies, but I am challenged by lack of space. We live on a 40×120 lot in the middle of the city, and we have 8 lively children that play ruggedly outdoors all summer long. We long to move out to a more rural area, with a few acres where we can run, play, and grow whatever we wish. As we work toward that goal, ccontainer gardening has become our answer to sharing the precious out of doors space we have here.
This is the view of our back patio. We keep two big umbrellas open during the sunny summer days. We have no trees to speak of and this offers us some shade in our otherwise full sun west facing back yard.
On the patio we have boxes containing herbs like oregano, lavender, thyme, lemon balm, rosemary, chives, and yarrow. We also planted a few pansies in between for color. The pot with the pole in it is full of chocolate mint. It doubles as a base for one of the umbrellas.
A nice big pot of basil:
I have two potted jalapeno plants to add some zing to our fresh salsa! The pot in the back ground (behind St. Anthony) contains sage, perfect for homemade chicken stock.
This is our St. Anthony grotto. It is in dire need of clean up and paint. I just may put a child or two on that task this afternoon! Behind St. Anthony are Red Raspberry bushes, growing on both sides of the fence.
These pots contain 3 varieties of tomatoes, cherry, roma, and beefsteak. Henry eats cherry tomatoes like candy, so I don’t expect many of those to make it inside! My clothes line goes between the two columns.
This south facing bed contains various summer blooming flowers and bulbs. We share the fence with our neighbors. We have desperately been trying to grow grass back here for years. We recently broke our ‘no chemical fertilizer’ rule, and are hoping for the best.
We try to keep it a fun place for the children to play, we have a slide for the littles, basketball for the bigger kids, scooters, rollerblades, and skate boards zip up and down the driveway constantly. And of course they also love to just sit back here and tell stories in the sunshine!
We are trying to make the most of our space, comfortable to our whole family, yet hopefully enticing to potential buyers. One day we hope to have that 5 acres to run and roam, for now though, we will try to bloom where we are planted!
We will will take our breakfast on the veranda.
Okay, so it was more like “Mama, can we eat our oatmeal outside?” Either way it’s cute! This is where my little boys were at 6:30 am, in their jammies and all! I think we’ll have our lunch out there too!