Once a Month Mom-Cooking in bulk

In light of my recent positive pregnancy test, I decided that I needed to plan for the next several months.      I start getting morning sickness around week 6.  With the last pregnancy, it began on day 1 of week 6.  Of course, in my head I have psyched myself into thinking all sorts of dramatic things.  But, we can save that for another post.

Having morning sickness is THE WORST feeling in the world to me.  I loathe being nauseous.  Everyone has their personal discomfort limits, and mine is the first months of being pregnant.  I am miserable and unpleasant to be around.

So, having done this early part 3 times already, I decided to try and help myself and my family out while I am still able.

When I was 8 month pregnant with Spencer, I tried something called Once a Month Cooking.  The idea is that you shop and chop the first day, then dedicate the entire next day to meal prep.  You freeze the meals and then over the course of a month, you defrost them and enjoy!

Since food is starting to smell odd to me already, I knew that I needed to plan ahead.  I ran across this website.  AMAZING!  I am wheat intolerant, and my younger son is allergic to dairy/milk.  So, I gave the Gluten free Dairy free menu a whirl.   It is a combo of breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And the food is delicious!  There were a couple of items I decided not to prepare since our families weren’t keen on the main ingredients.  But, all in all–yummy!

The other great part is that they have a section on Baby food, Vegetarian cooking, and several others.  The very best part is that the site is free!  The site asks for sponsors, but it is optional at this point.

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Success

I must be extremely fertile.  I am pregnant.  My cycles are only 26 days, so from when the ovulation stick turned positive on July 15th, until today it is only 11 days (DPO).

It took one month for us to get pregnant with Elliott, pregnancy #3 and this one.  With Spencer it took 11 months, but for several of those months I was waiting to regain a regular cycle ofter having my IUD removed.

I don’t feel the same level of anxiety or nervousness that I felt last year.  In fact, I feel serene and peaceful about the whole thing.  I took several tests yesterday that were positive (I know you can’t be kinda pregnant).  But, I needed the certainly of the digital test to ease my mind and be certain my eyes weren’t creating something that wasn’t there.
I wonder if my nervousness is tempered by the idea that I could miscarry.  Perhaps it is an emotionally protective measure to prevent me from being too excited in the wake of loss?  I like to think that I have matured and that I am not as neurotic as I once was (yes, I took 5 pregnancy tests in 24 hours).  I also feel like we are more ready to welcome a 3rd child into our family.  

Success or failure?

Since giving birth to Spencer (11-2009), I haven’t been using a formal birth control method.  We have prevented pregnancy using condoms and other means.  And, then last year, we decided to try for another baby-it didn’t take much trying.  We had sex once, and viola-I was pregnant.  In the months between Spencer’s birth and now, I started to experience menstrual migraines.  The migraines did not occur every cycle, mostly every 3rd or 4th cycle.  But, when they occurred, it was always on the morning before my period.  I typically would wake with one.  They are debilitating.  I can not function.  I usually end up vomiting.  Hubby is forced to stay home from work.  


We decided that after the miscarriage that we were going to be done having kids.  2 adorable boys was enough for us.  I was trying my hardest to accept this.  I quit doing Stroller Strides, I started to give away all my baby gear and clothes.  I felt satisfied and happy.  I was doing my best to live each day and appreciate my family.  


The migraines coupled with my attempt to put my childbearing years behind me… I decided to get a Mirena IUD.  From memory, I never had migraines until I was unprotected by birth control. My logic was that the birth control hormones were helpful. I had an IUD after I had Elliott and loved it.  I had always had great luck with Depo Provera.  Though, all of the research indicates that birth control often causes the migraines–I read that to indicate birth control PILLS.  I was going to take my chances.


Man O’man the IUD insertion was painful.  She didn’t need to do anything special to insert the IUD since it was the last day of my period.  Apparently, during your menstrual cycle, your cervix is open slightly making the IUD insertion easier.  My cervix DID NOT like the sneak attack.  I cramped for 6 solid weeks, and had a ton of spotting.  Having the IUD was wonderful. I felt balanced and happy for the first time in a LONG time.  I loved the hormones that it supplied.  I gave me exactly what I needed to feel normal again.


Then one day, around 8 weeks ago, I decided I was ready to start trying again.  I gently broached the topic with my hubby.  He was luke warm about the idea.  I explained more about how I was feeling–the ‘incomplete’ feeling, the longing for another child, the way I see our family in 10 years, etc..  And he agreed!  I got the IUD out the next day.  It was the most expensive experiment ever ($1300 for the IUD and insertion).  


This is our first month trying.  And, since I am not getting any younger (I will be 38 next month!), I have been going crazy neurotic with ovulation tests.  I have done all of the ‘right’ things this month.  We will see what happens–though it is not in my nature to be patient.  Somehow, when the pregnancy test is negative, it feels like I have failed in some way.  Let’s hope we succeed.  

The void

I have, for the first time in 5 years, free time.  Both of my sons are sleeping soundly and consistently.  We are into a fun routine that includes pre-school, sports and swimming as well as play dates and downtime. 
They both are able to dress themselves (at their own speed), though they don’t!  They can vocalize their needs and often times help themselves.  And at the least, they can help me serve and prepare meals as I have put all of their dishes and cups at a height they can reach.
My wee lad is potty trained, and has recently started taking control of when he needs to use the toilet.  Which means, I don’t need to remind him as often.  He even takes his own pull-up off first thing in the morning! 
They can access all of their toys and games, some select art supplies and books and magazines.  The backyard is available to them.  They play together most of the time in harmony ( I should whisper this, lest I jinx it).
This has brought about some new feelings for me.  As a Mom, who doesn’t work outside of the home, I am not as depended on as I once was.  My older son will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks, further freeing up my time.
I will soon have 3 short mornings a week where my younger son will be in pre-school and 5 days a week where my older son will be in school.  This is something I have looked forward to, however, now that it is upon me I am floundering.
What the hell am I going to do with all of this free time; all 12 hours a week?!?!  I will most certainly want to volunteer at my sons school.  I still love to exercise and workout.  I love reading.  But, I need a hobby.  Or two.
I want to love gardening.  But, honestly, I hate bugs and getting my hands dirty.  I also want to be more crafty-but whenever I am presented with free time, I never feel like crafting.  I also own a sewing machine and all of the sewing essentials.  But, again…i never sew. 
I have been reading a book, Women, Food and God.  It keeps saying that once we give up our obsession with dieting and food, that we can focus on the real problems in our lives.  She claims that if we focus on ourselves, that we will solve the emptiness that we so often fill with food. 
Perhaps if I had some hobbies that I loved I wouldn’t feel the need to fill my voids with food?

Our New House

Pregnancy loss happens frequently.  There are tons of stats on-line that speak of 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage, often before you are even aware of begin pregnant.  And, while I am a very logical, rational person, nothing prepares you for the loss of your baby.

It is life altering.  It changed the way I thought in ways unimaginable.  It has affected my relationships with people and how they view their own pregnancies.  It changes the way I view myself and my reproductive capacity.  
When we discovered that we lost our baby, it was a sadness I had never in my life experienced.  It was a pain I had never known.  There was a pit in my stomach that was empty and vast.  It was a pain, that if left unattended, could sweep on into a dark abyss of depression.  
As time has worn on, I have healed.   I have allowed love and happiness back in and pushed the despair and sadness out.  I learned to appreciate my family with renewed intensity.  I felt lucky and grateful to have my boys, when so many families long to have just one healthy child.  
My husband felt like the miscarriage was the universes way of saying that we weren’t meant to have this child.  I resented him for saying that.  I knew that science just didn’t align.  But, I also felt a small sense of relief.  The pregnancy was wanted, the baby was very much wanted and loved.  But, the timing was all wrong.
We were living in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1000 sq foot, 102 year old house.  We didn’t have heat or A/C, we didn’t have a driveway or attached garage, and we were always on top of each other.  I know that families make due with much less every.single.day.  And I would’ve made it work–but, it was beyond stressful with 2 small kids and the possibility of a 3rd on the way.  
In many ways the loss is what motivated our family to buy a bigger house.  We moved into our new house at the end of March.  It is more than 2 and a 1/2 times bigger than our previous house and totally upgraded.  4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a wonderful kitchen and yard, with a massive attached garage.  We loved living in a small space–it forced us to be cozy, uber organized, and very conscience of our purchases and possessions.  But, the kids are so much happier having their own space.  The boys still share a room, and I hope they always will.  But, they can play in different rooms and spaces and not be right on top of one another.   The boys ages or this new space has had a very positive effect for everyone: we are all finally sleeping better!