New Bullet Journal for A New Arrival

As you may (or may not) be aware; Husband Gruff and I are expecting our first little Bean in August this year. In my true style I have researched the hell out of stuff; nappies, wipes, car seats, mattresses; you name it I have looked into it. Problem is I need some where to record this kind of information as well as setting up certain things for when little one arrives into the world. Enter THE BULLET JOURNAL fanfare music pays.

WARNING: This is a long one so grab a biscuit and a brew and enjoy.

The main reason I started a Bullet Journal (Jan 2017) was to organise my thoughts and budget a bit better. If you are a visual person, like myself, then charts, tables, colours and pictures really help to get the information out of your head and down on a page. Because my current Bullet Journal is basically a budget and meal prep tracker; I felt the need to start a new one for little one’s arrival because our world will be so different and the things I need to chart will be, too.

So I popped to my local Ryman’s store and purchased a dotted Leuchtturm 1917 Journal in ‘army green’ (the only colour they had). I then proceeded to stare it at for hours in wonder; it had dots, and pre-made contents pages and numbered pages! I was in love.

My contents of my Bullet Journal are so far:

  • 1 – Blank
  • 2-5 – Future Log
  • 6 – Birthdays
  • 7 – Gift List
  • 8 – To Buy Before Baby
  • 9 – Hospital Bag
  • 10-11 – Baby Classes
  • 12 – To Sort Before Baby
  • 13 – Things To Do On Maternity Leave
  • 14 – Mochi
  • 15 – Savings
  • 16 – Car Seats
  • 17 – Meal Prep – getting ready
  • 18 – Maternity Pay

I will break the pages down a bit further below and tell you why I have chosen the topics and what the pages will do for me. Because this is the whole point of this exercise for me; I am organising now to save myself time in the future when I will really need more time.

  • 1 – Blank

It’s Blank because it looks odd; just one page on it’s own, not a double spread. It felt weird starting by Bullet Journal on a lone page. So I left it blank!

  • 2-5 Future Log

So here is where I have used the first 4pages as 2 double page spreads for my ‘year-at-a-glance’. It will highlight important events that are coming up and help me plan for them. This is paired with my calendar on my phone so I get reminders and icons on my digital calendar and written ones in here.

  • 6 – Birthdays

This is a list of birthdays broken down by month. The hope is that I will be totally prepared for the month ahead. I just need to remember to look at this page!

  • 7 – Gift List

This is a follow on from the previous page; it will (hopefully) help me in organising what I will buy for someone, where to get it and how much it will be. I know that when I look for something I do the following things: I look for/at something, I bookmark it (if online), make a note on my phone or a mental note… then never look at it again. However; closer to the birthday I will forget I had the idea or made a note and I will start to look again for a gift. No! No more of that! Now all the information I will need will be saved somewhere centrally.

  • 8 – To Buy Before Baby

What it says on the tin; a lit of items that we still need to purchase (eek!)

  • 9 – Hospital Bag

A single page broken into 2 columns. One half for my bag and 1 half for babies bag. I have then added a section at the bottom for the last minute things to add like phone charger, toothbrush etc.

  • 10-11 – Baby Classes

This is another double page spread to help me note down and keep track of any repeating classes that I can attend with little one when they are here. This is, again, to stop me looking up information, saving it somewhere and then looking again at a later date. Now I will look, note it here and return to these pages when I need the info.

  • 12 – To Sort Before Baby

Again; what it says on the tin. This is the page where I list all the little bits we need to do/build/put together before little one arrives. For instance ; we need to turn the base of the cot over because I fitted it upside down when I built it. Woops!

  • 13 – Things To Do On Maternity Leave

This isn’t because I think i’ll be bored, this is to give me some kind of structure. I know there are tasks I need to do while on maternity leave but I wanted somewhere to note these, separate to everything else, and then feel accomplished when the tasks are done. Also; I do think i would resort to watching CSI box-sets if left to my own devices all day for 4 weeks!

  • 14 – Mochi

This is a page to keep track of our cat Mochi’s health, checkups and medications given.

  • 15 – Savings

This is a page which I had doubts about, being unsure with the money situation during maternity leave; but I am aiming low; for £20 a month. By setting an attainable target I will (hopefully) feel a sense of achievement when I fill this in each month.

16 – Car Seats

Working in the job I do; I wanted to feel like i had a handle on the safety of my child and keep update on relevant regulations for child restraints. This table will hopefully help us when we know little one’s weight and we need to buy a car seat. No more searching online because I will have the information here already.

17 – Meal Prep – getting ready

This is an extension of my freezer food plan that I will go into further below. This is the master list for meals I have cooked, their accompaniments, when I made it and when it needs to be used by. My hope is, once I will it in, I can cross the meals off the list as they are eaten then keep track of what meals I have left. This page will probably need to be extended; maybe a double spread would have worked better for this.

18 – Maternity Pay

This is a page with a printout of a spreadsheet supplied by my Payroll team that breaks down exactly how much I will get a month, unfortunately without tax, pension or NI contributions but it’s something I can work with. I have hinged this page, with some double sided tape, so underneath I have made a slip-envelope to place further information. In this envelope I have placed a letter from payroll (so I have their details and more information if I was to need it while at home) and a further email confirming things and adding more information on their spreadsheet. This page will be useful for my weekly and monthly budgeting that will eventually go into this bullet journal.

 

Tracking baby’s feeds, nappies sleep and more

Now my bullet journal will be broken down into weeks; I’m not much for day-to-day logging, but if that’s your thing then that’s fine too. However; after much extensive research I found a blog that commented on the use of bullet journals for keeping track of baby’s feeds, nappy changes and health which I loved the idea of. Check it out here: http://bujomom.weebly.com/home/baby-daily-tracker.  I also have tonnes more on my Bullet Journal board on my Pintrest.

In preparation for this and to save myself time, I have made up an A5 excel spreadsheet found here: baby tracker (2 on 1 page) for tracking such things. I intend to print them off and fill in daily. They will then get placed into the bullet journal OR an accompanying folder; I’m not quite sure yet how it’ll work as it’s not in use yet. Feel free to use the chart in the link above. The document has a layout that enables 2 charts to be printed per A4 piece of paper; cut in half and you have a daily log. Hopefully it’ll save you some time :).

Apparently the benefit of tracking or noting this kind of information is that you can start to notice patterns of when they cry or sleep a bit less. Maybe you will notice a growth spurt or teething or a pattern in their toilet activity. (Especially handy if you are looking into elimination communication ). I suppose you could also provide this information to your health visitor or doctor if needed or if any issues were to arise.

 

Freezer Food Plan

This is where I go all super- planner and revamp my freezer with neatly stacked meals to eat. So the dream goes anyway! My plan, after much time spent on Pintrest and Googling, is to make as many snack and meals that I can with wholesome ingredients, I think this may need a page of it’s own eventually because I think this’ll be a big task. However my freezer is only so big and as a result I’ll be limited with them amount I can cook ahead and store. The recipes I have found include a lot of beans, lentils and root veg which is mainly from a nutritious and filling stand point but it’s also great on the purse; these items being usually quite cheap to purchase in bulk.

I have a master ingredient spreadsheet ( Food required for recipes ) that I have started stocking up for. (The corresponding recipes are here Recipes. ) I have only listed the ingredients I haven’t currently got in my kitchen and omitted things I think i could do without or replace with other ingredients. This may be an idea for you, if you are looking to do this kind of think or maybe  this system will help you another way.

While having a main list is a great plan, I have also frozen some meals where I have cooked too much. This, i feel, is an efficient use of your time as you would e cooking the meal anyway. For instance I have the following meals already frozen (all vegan of course):

  • Cottage Pie (just need to make the mash for the top)
  • ‘Meat balls’ & veg in tomato sauce
  • Mushroom and creamed corn soup

I have limited freezer space so I plan to freeze only the main parts of meals. The accompaniments such as a few microwavable rice pouches and beans or snacks like a massive amount of flapjacks (for breastfeeding munchies) will be stored in our pantry. Other accompaniments can be easily made like mash or steamed potatoes and we’ll have to buy these as and when they are required. The idea is that we will then have nutritious meals that we can make quickly or maybe even one handed. Husband Gruff, while being a very talented individual, does not usually prepare our meals so, it is my hope, that he will find it easier to prepare meals for us all if I can’t.

I also plan to use small pots for portion control and freezer bags as these can take up less space in your freezer than bulky pots. I have managed to freeze things like rolls and little  pots of soups that were being sold for a discounted price in the local supermarket. These will do me some meals wither while on maternity leave or when babe is here.

 

End Is In Sight

Today (14/07/2017) is my last working day before I skip off into the sunset to begin my maternity leave. I am 36 weeks today, too and everything is getting really difficult to do (eat, breathe, sleep, sit). So while I do plan on working more on my Bullet Journal and cooking up a massive amount of food to freeze, I also plan on shoehorning a little ‘me’ time in there too with Netflix, watching all of the Harry Potter movies back to back and finishing off some sewing projects.

 

Hopefully this post will inspire and maybe help you in planning whatever it is you want to plan and maybe even encourage you to use a bullet journal, if you aren’t already. Drop me a line if you find it useful or if you want to add anything you think I’ve overlooked.

Best of luck, as always,

Vee 🙂 x

 

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3 thoughts on “New Bullet Journal for A New Arrival

  1. Okay. Here’s a secret. You can plan, you can excel it or draw charts and get retentive as you can be, make lists and plans and…all you really need is a journal and a camera. Because little Veenessar doesn’t care a hill of beans about your plans and will willingly barf on your last clean shirt before you’re off to work because neither of you have had time to do laundry as baby got colic and the trots and you haven’t slept in three days and…

    Lovely work. Journal the results, take lots of pictures and remember when your life was organized and you could get out of the house in three minutes and what wine tasted like with a quiet dinner!

    Best of luck, it’s more fun in hindsight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Phil 🙂 I agree with you 100% I know I’m not going to have much time when little one gets here so i’m trying to be as prepared as I can be. I know that no amount of planning will prepare me for this massive life change but atleast I have some things to fall back on. We are just really excited and can’t wait for little one to arrive! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

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