I Grow Humans…What’s Your Superpower?

The title of this post comes from a lactation consultant I saw shortly after Oliver was born. It made me laugh at the time, but when you think about all a women’s body goes through during conception, pregnancy and delivery, it really is a super power to grow a baby for 40 weeks and deliver that child in to the world.

Growing a human is hard. I mean, exhausting, tiring, sometimes painful, hard work. Add to that chasing a very active toddler around everywhere, and I am one tired momma! And that’s why I’ve been MIA from this blog. While I’ve felt guilty for the lack of posts, its been a bit essential for me to have a break to take care of myself and my family. Every extra moment of downtime is usually spent napping, resting or catching up on my long to-do list. But, I’m in the home stretch now and we are just awaiting this little boy’s arrival in the next couple weeks.

During my first pregnancy, I worked up until Oliver’s due date (he was born two days later), and while it wasn’t a breeze, I just don’t remember feeling this exhausted. Of course, I’m 3 years older and trying to keep up with a toddler (did I mention he was VERY active!?), but I’m still astonished at how much effort everything seems to take at this point.

Out of love for myself and an understanding of my limitations, I very reluctantly decided not to host our Harvest Party this fall, our first time not hosting it in 4 years. I had still hoped to pull it off and had even put a menu together for the party, but knowing how much prep work would have been involved and the extra stress on my body (and baby), I decided to take a break this year. Additionally, I just didn’t get to preserve much this summer, between the long-lasting heat, difficulty standing for long periods and, importantly, a late spring frost that hit our area and resulted in a poor crop of most stone fruits. So, no apricot or plum preserves this year (except for some rare Italian prune plums I spotted and made in to Slivovitz – hey, something has to keep us warm this winter!)

On my more productive days, I’ve been making prepped freezer meals that will sustain us after our families leave. These all go in to portioned Ziploc freezer bags or disposable foil trays for easy defrosting. So far I’ve made a few batches of Stuffed Pepper Soup (made with lean bison and brown rice), tomato meat sauce (for pasta or spaghetti squash) and some chipotle-braised pork that can be used in sandwiches, tacos or enchiladas.

I was able to harvest some butternut and buttercup squash, kale and tomatoes from my very overrun garden this weekend. I made the squash and kale in to a couple lasagnas that went in to the freezer and I’ll be roasting those end of season tomatoes using this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomatoes, and popping those in the freezer as well. I’ll be harvesting the remaining chard this weekend, doing a quick boil to wilt them down and will add that to the freezer as well. The tomatoes and greens will be great additions to bump up the veggie factor of enchiladas, couscous and soups that we make this winter.

I’m hoping to get one or two more meal ideas planned and prepped for the freezer by this weekend, but if not, then I’m perfectly happy with what I was able to put together. Especially because I have an awesome group of mommy friends who will be dropping off meals for us after the baby’s arrival…can’t wait for those!

One thing I learned from first baby to second baby after doing a bunch of freezer meal prep prior to Oliver’s arrival, is that I needed more protein and calories in the meals. Previously, I made several veggie stews, and carrot and pumpkin soups, and while they were very healthy and delicious, they lacked protein and weren’t very filling to keep up with the calories I needed for breastfeeding. This time around I bumped up the protein in the meals and didn’t worry as much about making low-calorie meals, while still making sure to add lots of veggies and whole grain carbs.

I’ve got one more long overdue post to go up on this blog and then I’ll be taking another hiatus until after we get settled as a family of four. But, I look forward to sharing the news of our newest addition soon! Stay tuned!

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