You guys, I am 7 months pregnant with my third baby. How are we already only two(ish) months away from becoming a family of five?!?! We are anything but prepared. Our house only has two bedrooms so we haven’t had to put together a nursery since JR was born. Poor Maxie never got his own room (his crib is in our room, and JR and Max share a closet and dresser). So while we don’t have to worry about designing a nursery, it also means we have no where to put the baby’s clothes or diapers or really anything. Hence why we still need to prepare for Toastie Three’s arrival.
But the lack of preparation has no correlation to my level of anticipation for the baby’s arrival. I am really looking forward to having an infant again. Sure, there is less sleep, and I can only imagine that having three babies v. two babies will have it’s own challenges. But my maternity leaves have always been so much fun.
I have heard multiple mothers say they found maternity leave to be isolating and lonely. Typically, her husband has no more than a week or two of time off after the baby is born. Once the father goes back to work, it is just the mom and the baby alone for a huge chunk of the day. Sometimes the mom has no time to grab a shower or a solid meal since there is no one to help watch the baby and so many babies won’t sleep unless they are being held. I am lucky to have had quite the opposite experience. Since Matt works at home, we spend so much time together as a family. We eat every meal together. Our day starts with Matt making us pancakes for breakfast (because who wants to lose baby weight). While Matt will head to the basement or workshop after breakfast, he joins us for lunch and frequently stops up to say hi throughout the day. I’ve never gone a day without showering, brushing my teeth, or putting on make-up because Matt is happy to take a break throughout the day to help out when needed. And by 6:00 p.m., we are all sitting down together for dinner. Both maternity leaves were so rejuvenating, and I am really looking forward to soaking up the extra family time while we adjust to a family of five.
Still, knowing we will soon have three kids sounds more than just a little overwhelming. And while I know I have Matt to help throughout the day, he does have to work and we have to respect working hours. Ideally, I want to be able to cook dinner and watch the three kids while Matt works. So I’ve been trying to find easy recipes that do not require too many steps. Finding meals that can be made in one pot is even better. Less dishes sounds lovely (for Matt–he is the dish washer in the family).
This soup will likely make a reappearance once the baby arrives. Beyond chopping up vegetables, it consists of just dumping everything into one pot and letting it cook. Also, I love love love cooked cabbage, and the boys always finish their bowls whenever I make it. So it’s a win win.
Every Saturday morning, JR jumps into our bed and says, “How big is the baby?” (Ok, he’s usually already in our bed since he has a new habit of sneaking into our bed in the middle of the night and laying at the end by Pancake so we don’t feel him in the bed right away and move him back). After surcoming to the reality that I won’t be getting any more sleep, I pull up the two baby apps on my phone, and JR gets excited to see how the baby is now the size of some various fruit or vegetable. He looks at the picture of the food, scrolls to see the baby in 3D, and talks about how the baby eats with the placenta.
Then one day I was at the grocery store, and I saw a pomegranate. I was 17 weeks pregnant, and since we spent our morning gushing over the baby app, I remembered that the baby was the size of a pomegranate. So I tossed it in my cart and brought it home to show the boys so they’d have a better idea of how big the baby currently was. The boys carried it around for a while. And then we ate it.
From then on, we started incorporating the “what size is the baby” food into our meal rotation. We’ve had mangos, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, pomegranates, and bananas.
And at 28 weeks, the baby was the size of an eggplant. So we decided to eat an eggplant.
I had made eggplant parmesan many times. Each time, I find a new recipe. Each time, the meal is ok. Until this time. This time I finally found the perfect eggplant recipe! Instead of using breadcrumbs or Panko, I used Corn Flakes. This was a game changer. Each eggplant slice was just crispy enough. And since we had a block of leftover Parmesan cheese from Christmas, I shredded it instead of using pre-shredded cheese from a bag. This was a good idea. The cheese didn’t weigh down the eggplant or make it too soggy. Instead it added a dash of salty, sweet element that mixed well with the dollop of sauce.
The meal was a success. JR ate everything on his plate plus some. Matt and Max were into it. Now next time I make eggplant parmesan, it won’t start by me googing a new recipe. I’ll make this one.
You guys, picking a boy name is hard. Just as we did with our first two, we don’t know if Toastie Three is a boy or a girl. So we need to be prepared if we are having a third boy (no need to brainstorm a girl name–we’ve had that one in the chamber since pregnancy number one).
Naming JR and Max was easy. Matt had always wanted a junior. I wasn’t a huge fan of my husband and son sharing a name, but it was so important to Matt that it was impossible to say no. We compromised that we would call him JR (for Junior), and the issue of naming our first born was as simple as that.
With naming Max, I was reading JR the storybook Where the Wild Things Are. The little boy in the book is named Max, and it fit. There was no back and forth on whether there was a “better” name out there. Max was it.
And now we need to find our third perfect boy name. I think we have it. But that is just it. There was no uncertainty with JR’s or Maxie’s name. So maybe we haven’t found it just quite yet.
But the one thing Matt doesn’t wavering on is his favorite, last-minute meal. Whenever Matt and I have no clue on what to make, Matt suggests this Korean beef meal. It is unbelievably simple but fancier than just tossing together spaghetti (another go-to at our place when we are out of meal ideas).