I’m currently having the best maternity leave ever. It’s been cozy and dreamy and full of snuggles with this guy:
The list below? These are a things that are making life so much easier, and letting me spend more time doing what I really want to do: snuggle my baby. If you read this blog, odds are good that you’re already pregnant, will be soon, or just were. So . . . thought I’d mention my favorite things.
1. Crock pot meals. If you’ve ever had a conversation about food with me that lasted longer than 5min., you know I LOVE my crock pot. There’s nothing quite like a freezer full of frozen crock pot meals. We’ve been super blessed by a bunch of wonderful friends bringing over delicious meals, but days in between friends and the snow days are handled. In case you’re shuddering, wondering what kind of edible food can come from a crock pot – here you go:
*Art of the Slow Cooker (My go-to crock pot cookbook)
*Freeze Ahead Meals (Not all crock pot, but some great meals. They also list the meals with photographs in the table of contents – genius! Everything is more appealing with a photo.)
*Pinterest (endless delicious inspiration)
*My mom (She’s been stocking freezers since I was born, and, really, my current stash is her doing too.)
2. Busy Bags
Bead projects, felt sewing, paper crafts, homemade play doh, art projects, new paper dolls . . . These handy things are saving our sanity. The girls love the endless parade of fun new things to do, and I’m so glad for the variety of activities that take no extra brain power on my part. Everything is labeled, in a bag, with all the items we need to make that project happen. Some are things the girls can do all on their own, and some require help and supervision. Both are amazing. Sometimes I just need them to be busy, sometimes we need to snuggle down and connect face to face. These might be worth a whole blog post sometime . . . They are 99% pinterest inspired (and, again, done mostly by my mom and sisters).
3. A good breakfast.
I’m not usually a big breakfast eater . . . I’m a big coffee drinker who has shaky low blood sugar meltdowns around 11 am . . . Luckily for everyone here, breakfast has been getting better.
*Smoothies – My current favorite is this delicious citrus/banana/spinach mix. Any leftovers get turned into popsicles. The girls are pro smoothies too.
*Granola – Helps with milk supply, tastes amazing, can be eaten one handed. My mom made a giant batch before she left, and watching it shrink makes me sad. Here’s the recipe, in case you want some too:
8 cups of old fashioned oatmeal
3 cups chopped nuts (any kind, if you want)
1/2 cup oil (mom uses canola, I think coconut would be amazing too)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Mix ingredients together until all oats/nuts are coated.
(I warm up the oil and honey together in the microwave for 45 seconds, it’s easier to coat the oats if it’s warmed)
put on cookie sheets (usually two for this amount) or use the bottom of a broiler pan, or pizza pan.
put in preheated oven at 300 degrees for about 12 minutes, take out and turn granola, put in for another 10 minutes, take out and turn, put in for another 10 minutes or so. Done!
*Lots of love and thanks to Ashley for all the photos. I love them more than words can say. xoxo