BAM Family

BAM Family

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meng Menu + What I'm stocking in my freezer for baby-go-time

Sunday: Chicken-Bacon-broccoli alfredo
Monday: Pork shoulder roast w/bbq sauce, twice baked potatoes, corn
Tuesday: Sausage and kale soup, rolls
Wednesday:  Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole
Thursday: Dijon pork chops, roasted red potatoes, green beans
Friday: Out to eat
Saturday: Sloppy joes, chips, carrots

Sunday: Spaghetti and meatballs, bread, salad
Monday: Chicken and rice w/ dijon gravy, green beans
Tuesday: Pulled pork sandwiches, chips, carrots
Wednesday: Asian marinated chicken thighs, rice, broccoli
Thursday: Pork loin, stuffing, peas
Friday: Out to eat
Saturday: Spinach-sausage lasagna roll ups, salad, bread 

So, I took my 36 week belly grocery shopping today. I also took one of my 7 year old boys and it was a good thing too because he was a great helper as his mama huffed and puffed up the aisles of Kroger. I seriously was looking for a bench to rest because I was so tired. "So tired" actually doesn't even describe how tired I was. 
 Anyways, it is over. I am alive. I spent $268 which is awesome considering that I am going to double everything that is highlighted above for a freezer meal. 

I am due December 25 and I have been doubling recipes and stocking up on freezer meals for the past 2 weeks or so. I have 5 meals frozen so far. By the end of these two weeks hopefully my freezer will boast of these meals for my family: 

Chili (add rolls)
Cheeseburger Soup (add rolls)
Shepherd's pie
Chicken Pot Pie
Lasagna (add salad)
Asian marinated chicken thighs (add rice and microwave a veggie)
Chicken-Bacon-broccoli Alfredo (I am going to freeze cooked chicken and bacon and pair with a bag of frozen broccoli for a quick just-cook-the-pasta-pour-in-a-jar-of-sauce meal)
Chicken, rice, broccoli casserole
Pulled pork for sandwiches (add chips, apples/carrots. I bought a 7 pound roast today so hopefully we will get 4ish meals out of this roast. 
Spinach-sausage lasagna roll ups (add salad)
Twice baked potatoes (easy side dishes)

So, that's about 10 dinners that I will (hopefully) have in my freezer. We also have friends who have offered to make us dinners, which is great as I really want to take it easy for about a month after baby is born.

I also bought stuff to make (and freeze) breakfast burritos for quick breakfasts for the twins for busy school mornings. And homemade bread....and muffins. 

I am insane.

Nesting is exhausting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Say "Congratulations!"--it's the Christian thing to do.

When I was 13 years old, my mom took my older sister and me to a meeting for a para-church organization that did puppet ministry. We were introduced to the leader and a few of the other teens.

One introduction shocked me, mostly because of my mother's reaction.

"And this is Stephanie," the leader said, gesturing to a pretty blond girl. "She's 16 and she's pregnant."

"Oh, congratulations!" My mom exclaimed.

There were a few other details shared about the pregnancy, though I can't remember if the girl was going to parent her baby or place the baby in an adoptive family. Either way, she was 16. She was pregnant.

And my mom told her "Congratulations."

To my 13 year old self, this was really, not weird. Wrong. How could my mom congratulate this girl?
She was a teenager.
She was pregnant.
Everything in my narrow, black and white mindset judged this girl for being pregnant when she should NOT HAVE BEEN PREGNANT. 

It wasn't until this week that this event crossed my mind again and I realized the amazing example my mother gave me when I was 13 years old.

You see, my mother is pro-life. She told that girl "Congratulations" because she was pregnant...and she was choosing life.
LIFE is something to affirm and uphold. LIFE is given by God, no matter the circumstances.
Even though I didn't understand the example she was showing me at the time, I am so grateful for and inspired by my mom's reaction to this unexpected pregnancy announcement.

Mostly because I have been disheartened and down-right confused by the negative comments and tone I have received on my 3rd and 4th pregnancies (I am pregnant with my 4th baby right now):

"Are you pregnant AGAIN!? How many is that now?
"Another baby? Oh no!!"
"You're having another boy? I am so sorry!"
"Do you know how that happens? Oh, honey. I need to take you out to coffee and we need to have a little chat..."

Whenever I get these comments, I smile and say proudly,
"Yes, I am! 4!"
"No, we're happy...really!"
"I'm excited to have another boy...yes, really!"
(And yes, we know. We like it a lot).

The odd thing is I feel like I am trying to convince these people to be happy that I am having another baby. (?!?!?!?)

I was struck by the similarities in judgment voiced by the author of this article, published earlier this week.  In "Your Mother is Destroying the Earth," the author describes her constant need to justify her existence as the 5th daughter in her family, citing that it is the WACO (Warriors against Child Overpopulation) feminist leftists that give her the most grief, stating:
Content to bear their own children, they avidly seek to restrict childbearing for other women whom they apparently deem less worthy of free choice.
The thing is, none of the people who said these things to me would probably ever classify themselves as a feminist, leftists WACOs...because all of these comments have come from Christian women.
Our Pregnancy Announcement for Silas, our 3rd son
 One of the foundational elements of a Christian worldview declares this truth: Humans are made in the image of God.

And because of this truth, a Christian worldview declares life to be precious, worth saving, worth dying for, worth celebrating.

 While the comments directed at my 3rd and 4th children gave me a chuckle (and an inner "seriously?" moment), good anecdotes for facebook, and food for thought, these comments also made me mad. But more than feeling self-righteous anger,  I am deeply saddened that this attitude toward pregnancy and new life pervades our culture, even in the Church.

And even at times in me.

My 13-year-old judgmental attitude lasted well into my adulthood. I know that it has taken, even 4 pregnancies, including my miscarriage, to break the "pattern of this world" and begin to be "transformed" and "renewed" in my mind (Romans 12:2).

I've rolled my eyes when family and friends announced their 3th, 5th...8th pregnancies.
I've thought, "Good grief! Honeymoon baby? They didn't waste any time "getting busy" did they?
I've dismissed the grief of miscarriage as something that "would never happen to me" instead of extending real comfort to these women during a devastating time.

Until this year.

God has been transforming my mind to truly understand what it means to value life, family, pregnancy, and babies.

Every pregnancy is a miracle (Psalm 139:13-16).
Every baby is a gift from God (Psalm 127:3).
And every baby, no matter if it is the first, third, sixth, tenth, or more, should be accepted as a miracle and gift.

Without judgment, without eye-rolling, rude comments, or snide remarks. Just celebration.

Just "Congratulations."

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I didn't post our Halloween pictures to Facebook...and why it's ok.

I didn't post our Halloween pictures to Facebook, like so many of my friends.

As I scrolled through my newsfeed last night and this morning, I smiled as I saw all the princesses, monsters, and adorable family-themed costumes. And I felt a twinge of guilt.

I wish I had posted pictures so people could see that the Meng's had a great Halloween too! (And so I could enjoy the "so cute!" comments and "likes" for my adorable boys).

The things is, I couldn't post pictures because...I didn't take any. I know, #momfail.

The thing is, my camera had dead batteries
And I forgot to charge the batteries
and my phone takes crappy pictures
And...[insert excuse here]

That twinge of guilt led to so many mental excuses for why I didn't fulfill my "mom duty" and record Micah and Benji's 7 year old and Silas 2 year old Halloween.

But...even though I had a #momfail, we had a GREAT NIGHT!

My best friend, Candace, came in from DC just to go trick-or-treating with the boys. What a surprise! We were able to continue our tradition of taking the boys together around our neighborhood.
The boys' birthday in early October They've enjoyed playing in the costumes for the last month.
Micah and Benji had a great time in their Ninja Turtle and Batman costumes and got lots of compliments from our neighbors (and lots of candy too!). 

Silas, however, in typical two year old fashion, refused to wear the costume he was so excited about  weeks ago.
Last night: "BAWWWW! I hate this! Take it off! Take it off." So...I did.
I wish I could have taken pictures of the boys with their Aunt Candace, the costumes, Silas chillin' in the stroller, and the "stash" of candy. Or even how we went out to eat at Friday's afterwards and had good food and great conversation.

I could have filled a whole blog post or facebook album full of pictures. But the batteries were dead.

I couldn't take pictures and post them to facebook, something I love to do. 

But I realized, it was okay. We still had a great night. We made memories, despite the lack of pictures. 

I realized that taking pictures doesn't validate an experience or make it more special. It was special because it happened, not because I took pictures or posted to social-media.

It was special because we enjoyed each others' company. In Micah's words, "Mom, that was the best night ever!"
No pics last night but these were the smiles they had on their faces.
I realized that a picture isn't always worth 1000 words: sometimes the memory of the night
is enough to make it special.

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