We’ll be welcoming our fourth baby this May! We’re excited and can hardly believe we just have a little over 3 months to go!
Cecilia is thrilled to become a big sister! She’s such a good little mama to her baby dolls.
This is a picture of our littlest from January 6 when we had our anatomy scan. We did not find out the gender and are looking forward to our surprise when baby arrives!
This is my 24 week belly on January 29.
I’m learning with each baby we have how little babies really need. I purchased a few new cloth diapers for this baby (we have a decent size stash of diapers from Cecilia) and we need to purchase a new car seat (planning to buy Cecilia a new one and let the baby use her current convertible seat.) I have a minimal gender neutral newborn wardrobe that was Cecilia’s and have managed to thrift a few muslin swaddles over the past few months. At this point, we pretty much need some newborn disposable diapers and a Rock N Play for the baby to sleep in for the first few weeks/months and we’ll be all ready to welcome baby number 4.
Bringing meals to families after the birth of a baby, during times of sickness or loss is such a simple way to really bless a family and make them feel loved and cared for.
After the birth of our third baby, we were blessed with many meals from friends in our small group and other friends from church. Every meal that was delivered made me feel loved and cared for. And, I’m so thankful for the sweet friends who took time out of their busy days of caring for their own little ones to prepare a meal for our family.
Since I know what a blessing meals are to families, I prefer to celebrate babies by bringing a meal or two instead of giving them more stuff for baby (babies don’t need much)!
In the past, I’ve made excuses for not bringing meals to families, telling myself I was too busy taking care of my kids, preparing our own meals and that I didn’t know what to bring.
While, it does take some time out of my day, I’ve found that bringing meals can be pretty simple and involve a minimal amount of time, thanks to planning and keeping meals simple.
I have two meals that I typically bring to families:
Roasted Chicken, Baked Carrots, Potatoes and Onions, Green Beans, Rolls and Dessert
Chicken Parmesan Casserole with Green Beans, Rolls and Dessert
Dessert is usually cookies or brownies.
Sometimes, I’ll bring fresh fruit (like bananas or cut up melon) or muffins so the family can have something extra to snack on and pack kid friendly foods (cheese sticks, carrot sticks) for kiddos.
These two meals are simple to prepare and are family favorites. I typically keep the ingredients to make both of these meals on hand. This makes bringing a family a meal on short notice possible without a trip to the grocery store.
I’ve found that knowing what I’m bringing allows me to volunteer to bring meals without any stress over what I’ll prepare. And, preparing the same two meals makes getting the meal packed up and ready to deliver simple since I know exactly what containers I need.
Once everything is cooked, I package it up in disposable containers and bags. Disposable pans work best for my main dish, green beans can be transported in disposable pans or plastic containers (like Gladware) and rolls/brownies/cookies are easy to package in a plastic bag. (I hate the waste element of this but it’s easier for the family to not have to worry about returning dishes.)
I have learned the hard way that transporting food in disposable containers can result in some leaks. I’ve had several green bean juice leaks – once all over the back of the van.
To avoid leaks in my vehicle, I line my clothes basket with a clean towel and load everything into the basket. This not only keeps any leaks contained, it’s also an easy way to deliver the meal. I am able to bring everything into the home in just one trip.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a good cook or truly don’t have the time to prepare meals for families, you can still bless families with food.
Pick up a Rotisserie Chicken at your local grocery store, add a salad mix, fresh bread and fruit.
Pick up all the fixings for homemade sub sandwiches and add chips and fruit.
Bring takeout from any restaurant. (Calling ahead to see what the families favorite foods are would be a nice gesture.)
Bring a basket of snacks. (John David’s grandparents brought a bunch snacks and fresh fruit after Cecilia’s birth – it was much appreciated and the boys were thrilled with all the yummy snack foods!)
Invite the family over to join your family for a meal – you won’t have to worry about transporting food at a certain time and they won’t have to worry about any clean up.
If you live in a different town, you can still bless friends with meals via gift cards to restaurants in their area.
For more meal ideas, here are some of the meals we were given (and everything was delicious):
Baked Spaghetti, Salad and Bread
Quiche, Baked Oatmeal, Fruit (breakfast for dinner – yum!)
Pot Roast, Green Beans and Rolls
Chicken and Rice Soup, Salad, Bread
Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and Fruit
Stromboli, Salad, Fruit
Chicken Casserole, Salad and Bread
Hamburgers, Chips and Pineapple Casserole
Potato and Corn Chowder and Corn Muffins
Smoked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Our boys really loved the nights that pizza and hamburgers were brought. In fact, they’ve asked me several times over the past year when we were going to have another baby because they liked having people bring us food! (Our entire family was truly blessed by the gift of meals!)
Do you have specific meals you bring? I’d love to know your easy to transport meal ideas!
And, after a bout with a stomach bug, I am even more thankful for you.
I can toss bedding and clothes that are covered with throw up in and hit the ‘rinse’ button and you take care of the icky mess.
Once you’ve rinsed, I simply add in detergent, hit another button and 48 minutes later, clean laundry emerges.
You’ve worked hard these past few days, working nearly non-stop.
Thank you for washing our laundry.
And, thank you so much for having a rinse cycle and making cleaning up throw up just a bit easier.
We’ve been dealing with a weird stomach bug over the past few days. Cecilia has thrown up multiple times- including all over both of us while I was wearing her in the Boba at a church picnic. Ick. Even though she’s throwing up, she seems just fine and is playing like normal. I’m looking forward to whatever this is being over and I really am so thankful for my washing machine!
These words weren’t uttered for the first time when he started crawling or on his first birthday. Instead, they were said on the way home from the hospital. He was just one day old!
I spent the first few months of his life sad.
I was sad he was growing, sad he wasn’t a newborn and sad he wasn’t going to stay a baby forever.
Once I realized mourning the past was keeping me from enjoying the present, I began fervently praying about the issue.
I prayed that God would allow me to be content with the season of life I was in, that He would take away the overwhelming sadness that my baby was growing too fast and that I would have joy throughout the years as my children grew.
My heart began to change.
I enjoyed my son in each and every stage instead of looking back on those early days with such longing.
I realized how blessed I am. How selfish it was of me to not want him to grow.
I thought about mamas who have never seen their child because of a miscarriage and mamas who held their stillborn baby only once. They would give anything to watch their babies grow.
I thought about the mamas who have a child diagnosed with cancer who just pray they can see their child grow up to graduate high school or get married.
I also thought of the women dealing with the grief of infertility, praying and hoping they’ll one day be blessed with a child they can watch grow.
How can I mourn my child growing when it is such a blessing that he is growing?Why should I allow the natural and beautiful process of a child growing to bring me sadness?
God really didn’t give us our children, he’s lending them to us for awhile as they grow. We are to raise them and train them to become independent men and women.
When my second and third babies were born, I cherished the moments, knowing the newborn days pass quickly. Those days passed but they were without sadness.
I am enjoying my children just as they are each and every day.
We cannot slow time down but we can slow down.
We can decide to live in the moment,choose to be joyful about our children growing and enjoy each season of motherhood.