About a year ago (right before I had Bean), we set up our first freezer meal date. She had found a website that already had recipes, shopping lists, and directions on how to make up a bunch of meals in one setting. We found a lot of kinks in that system. So for our next freezer date (in January), Sara gathered her own recipes, made her own shopping lists, and all the directions. We even made 3 sets of meals, and gave away a set to a friend who had just had a baby. That system worked much better (especially since we knew the meals would be good and they were more familiar to us). After a few more tweaks, and another 6 month gap, we conquered another freezer meal day!
We stuck to the January tradition with Sara organizing all the meal planning and doing a 3rd set for another new momma (one of her friends). Sara did the shopping in advance, dropped veggies off at my place, and I had them all chopped and ready for our big day. We made a total of 24 meals (3 sets of 8 different meals) in less than 5 hours. We could have done even faster, but Bean required some of my attention.
It's amazing what all a baby needs to survive a few hours away from home, haha. I had my car loaded up with all sorts of baby items -- pack'n'play, play-yard, toys, food chair, monitor, blanket, food, bottle, etc. It was quite the production, but everything was used and made the day go smoothly! We timed it so that it was morning nap time when we got to Sara's. I set her up in the pack'n'play upstairs, while we got to work in the kitchen. It took her a little bit to fall asleep, but she finally did and had a pretty good nap! We had the play-yard set up in the kitchen (it's a gate system that can be set up into a circle), so Bean was a part of the action when she was awake. She happily ate her lunch in her chair on the floor in the kitchen, and went right back into the play yard until we were almost done. As we finished things up, we let her roam around the house (who knew a golf ball could be so much fun? and a swinging door!?).
I was super tired at the end of the day from being on my legs all day. I've picked up running (stay tune for future blog post) and haven't had a non-sore day yet. So that definitely didn't help! But I couldn't complain, since my partner in crime was on her feet just as much and she's 6 months pregnant! And she ran 7 miles the day before. I'm pretty sure she's got a leotard and cape that says "super woman" under her clothes.
(So now that I see the picture, I don't feel like there's that match. However, it took me several trips to get everything into the car: pack'n'play, play-yard, high chair, bag with nap essentials, diaper bag, bag with toys, boat toy, bag with veggies and spices, stockpot, small cooler with our lunch and Bean's bottle.)
(Labeling our haul: 3 sets each of -- bbq chicken enchiladas, pumpkin chicken lasagna, gnocchi soup, cheese bread, stuffed italian shells, chicken pot pies, grown up pigs in a blanket, beef burgundy, mashed potatoes, and chili.)
(And Bean was at it again with her snack cup; although instead of a cow, she decided the plug to her monitor needed to share her puffs with her. What a silly girl!)