Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'm Getting a Maid?!!

When Antonio first mentioned getting me a "maid", I'll admit, I was flabbergasted.

Weren't maids for frou-frou ladies who lunched and took showers on the daily?

I mean, I've always *joked* about hiring a maid but it was in the same vein as joking about going to the salon to get my hair dyed instead of having Antonio do it for me as I sit in a kitchen chair while the kids ooohed and aaaahed over watching my hair magically turn colors.

But he's totally dead serious.

Now, let me clarify, I'm not talking about a "maid" in the sense of a fancy shmancy uniformed lady that answers my door for me, wielding a feather duster.

But more of having someone come in once or twice a month to help with some of the chores that seemed to get pushed to the side, as I struggle to make sure everyone is doing school on a regular basis, all mouths are being fed several times a day and I'm just doing my damned best to keep from going insane. Plus I'll be caring for a newborn that will be nursing on demand and helping to run our family business. I mean, that will be me with the business running...not the baby. We'll wait until at least the toddler years before showing them how to email out invoices and contracts....

I gotta say, I'm definitely seeing merit in the whole kit n caboodle...especially with having someone come in and help me get the house in order for a home birth.

And before anyone is quick to point out the fact that I have two strong and able-bodied teenagers and 2 energy-boosted youngsters that can help me with scrubbing the way-down-low shower tiles (that I just can't reach with this big pregnant belly in the way...honestly!) or with polishing up the woodwork near the floor that seems to attract dust like nobody's business...let me clarify that my kids have a lot on their plates, too. They have their own daily and weekly chores that they (usually) do on a (fairly...occasional) basis.

My husband works a lot. The kids and I work a lot. (Christian was actually working 60-hr work weeks last summer when he went to work with Antonio...while Mahri stayed home and helped me chase around the little boys and keep the house in order)

We need a bit of help sometimes just bringing it all together.

And I don't think there's any shame in that, is there?

And that sums up what's on my mind right now.

How are things on your end??


Monday, February 20, 2017

Healthy Vegetarian Weekly Meal Plan | Feb 20-25

Yep...I think that's the first time I've commited to titling my weekly meal plan as "vegetarian". Even though most weeks here lately it is. ::shrugs::

For those of you who are new to my blog, let me give you a quick background: we're a family of 6. I'm pregnant with baby #5 and am due in April! Two of my kids are teenagers...one a teen boy, so you can only imagine how much he eats! Yikes! I also have 2 PreK/K aged boys...who are currently going through a growth spurt, me thinks. I homeschool, so that means that they are home all day...and eating a lot. ::wink:: 

I try not to have a lot of bread and simple carbs in the house, but I'm not super vigilent about it. I just aim to fill the house with as much healthy food as I can manage.

I mix up breakfasts each week to keep the kids from getting bored.

Lunches are done Lunchables-meet-Buffet style. They go over my list of things they can pick from each week (I try to mix it up every week). Little kids can pick 3 things...big kids pick 4....fresh fruits don't count, so they can always add those to their plate whenever along with the rest of their lunch. Snacks are picked from the same list as the lunch items. If it's not fresh fruit, they only get 1 choice. I'm not made of money, yo!

Not all of my dinners will feature a recipe link....but if I have one, I'll include it! Just click on the dinner if it's a link and it'll take you to the recipe in a separate window.

And, now, grab your hats and let's gooooo!


Yogurt with fresh raspberries
Yogurt with fresh blackberries
Yogurt with fresh banana slices
PB Banana Overnight Oats sweetened with honey

I will have either fresh fruit or eggs...maybe with spinach or avocado


Granola bar
Scoop of Peanut Butter
Graham Crackers
Dinner leftovers
Almond date rolls
Dried figs
Fruit Smoothie


with cornbread from my Farmers Market
(we didn't eat this last week...so it's on this week's meal plan again!)

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Mushrooms
with bell pepper focaccia bread from my FM

Sauteed Veggies with Alfredo Sauce
(just stirfry up some spiralized zucchini, julienned carrots, snow peas, water chestnuts, those teeny ears of corn found in Asian dishes and mushrooms...top with a little Alfredo sauce)

Pita Pizzas
(whole grain pitas filled with fresh pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella from my FM, corn, onion, bell peppers and mushrooms)

Super Easy Vegan Pho
(minus the tofu...this pho was an enormous hit with my family a couple of weeks ago, and they've been begging me to make it again, so alrighty then!! Pho it is!!)

Date Night/Take Out

I'm trying to get back into easier dinners since, as I'm getting closer to my due date, I'm feeling so tired and lazy and not really wanting to spend much time in the kitchen at all.

I'm sure you mamas understand!

What's on the menu at your house this week?? Tell me in the comments or on Facebook!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Healthy Weekly Meal Plan | Mom's Menu | Large Family

Okay, did any of ya'll make any of the recipes I gave you last week?

If you follow me on IG and FB, you know that I altered the recipe that was supposed to be Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles (couldn't find almond butter at my farmers market) and ended up just stir frying the veggies and putting a little alfredo sauce on them. And they were loved by all!!

But I think the Vegan Pho was the grand slam of the week.

I really think you need to try it!!

In fact, let me know if you do make it!! We had never had Pho before, so we were all nervous to even try it...but, boy, are we glad we did!!

I didn't end up making the Pesto Spaghetti, so I may make it this week...we'll see. Maybe instead of the freezer meal...hmm...

I'm now 31 weeks along in this pregnancy (Baby #5, yo!) and as much as I would looove easy packaged recipes, I just can't do it. I actually WANT to eat healthy whole foods, so there ya have it. I just have to get over this exhaustion and waddle my big ol' belly into the kitchen and deal with it. hahaha

Here is this week's healthy meal plan:
(Grocery & Farmers Market haul videos will be up soon!)


Yogurt with dried mango or papaya


PB Banana Smoothies
(with almond milk)

(little kids pick 3 for lunch, big kids pick 4...unless little kids want to add a veggie, then they get to pick the veggie and their 3 other choices....snack time yields just one choice)

Graham Crackers
Scoop of Organic Peanut Butter
(either cheese cubes, a cheese stick or a mini Babybel wheel)
Celery sticks
Dinner leftovers
A Cutie (orange)


(Gluten Free, Paleo and Vegetarian)

(entree is Gluten Free, Low Carb and I'll be making it Vegetarian)

Freezer Meal OR Pesto Spaghetti


(Gluten Free & Vegetarian)

aaaand a Date Night/Take Out

Sides are still TBD at the time of my putting this post together. Most of the dinners have a recipe link, so be sure to check them out!

And let me know...what's on your menu this week?!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Austin's Taking A Sick Day

Poor Austin.

He's not feeling good today.

He's crying and shaking and saying he feels so sick.

Not sure if he's really feeling that crummy or if he's just in Boot Camp for how to be a Sick Man.

Lest you think I'm heartless, I've checked and he doesn't have a fever. I bought him Season 5 of old school Looney Tunes and told him we'll chill out on the couch for the day.

This is big because normally the kids can't watch tv (or play electronics) until after 5 pm.

Mahri and Levi were both sick with similar symptoms earlier this week and neither was this distraught over it.

He's currently crying (in the pic and in life) because I gave him a honey lemon cough drop for his throat.


A cough drop.

Poor kiddo.

Send him some good vibes, guys, he's really needing them today!


UPDATE: Well, I feel like sh*t. Turns out, he really IS sick. He began vomiting shortly after I originally published this post. 😔

And now I'M feeling sick to my stomach a bit. I drank about a tablespoon of Bragg apple cider vinegar to kill off whatever germs are in my body, hopefully before I get sick.

Wish us luck that this passes quickly!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

30 Weeks Pregnant with #5! | A Rather Wordy REAL LIFE Update

Like the dog and cat hair stuck to my shirt?

Well...I cannot believe that I am sitting here and announcing that I am now in my 30th week of this pregnancy. Baby is (according to pregnancy apps) close to 16" long and weighs almost 3 lbs.

To say that time is flying by is a complete understatement.

But this huge belly, sciatic nerve issues, aching pelvic bones and back know what's up.

I am wanting to do a little update video to go with this post...but not sure if I will actually bring that to fruition, as I'm typically past exhausted most of the time and I still have 80 million things to do to get ready....

This past Sunday, we paid off the furniture we put in layaway at Babies R Us. We got a crib and 2 coordinating dressers (one for us and one for the baby since baby will be rooming with us for awhile. That's right: co-sleeping/family bed allll the way with my little tinies!).

I bought a shower curtain liner today at Walmart. To put on my bed. Because...ya know...birth can be a bit messy.

I still need to order my home birth kit. 

I've been having some big Braxton Hicks contractions. I don't know how frequently I have "little" ones...but notice big ones A LOT every single day. This past Saturday I was getting a little nervous because they were coming pretty frequently but not really too painful...just strong.

I woke up that night and my (sorry, guys, TMI) vagina felt like it was being stretched? I don't know how to explain it. But I know that I started to drift off to sleep after it woke me up...and then my eyes flew open and I was, all, "umm...what the heck do you think you're doing, vagina?" and I focused on mentally "relaxing" her a bit. I think she's just getting very excited for her big Game Day she's got coming up here in the next 10 weeks or so... hahahaha

My right breast is starting to get colostrum (pre-breastmilk)!! I told my left breast that she really needs to get with the program and not leave everything up to Rightie, because I had a lumpectomy back in 2001 on my right breast, resulting in scar tissue that blocks my milk ducts, which renders her rather useless when it comes to nursing. But..shhh..don't tell her that. She likes to think she's contributing.

CRAVINGS....Still not too many cravings. The only consistent one over the last couple of weeks has been lemon slushes from Sonics. Antonio says that it's got to be a girl because I just wanted meat and savory things with the boys. With this baby, I'm wanting mostly fruits and veggies. My big craving with the boys was garlic....(and ham and OJ)....with this baby: lemon. Oh, I'm also pretty much always down for noodles. Lemon and Noodles (NOT together)...that's random, right? hahaha

(for the record, I craved EVERYTHING with Mahri...I ate anything that wasn't nailed down...and even those things I tried to gnaw loose hahahaha)

I'm getting quite bitchy as I progress along. Bitchy and whiny.

Not a good combo.

I probably called at least 20 random people "douchebag assholes" over the past week. And even referred to some inanimate objects as such, too. I threatened my bird that if she didn't stop waking me up, I was going to let her go out the front door. (My bird, Indiana Jones.."Indy" for short, duh...has a suitor that comes and sits outside of our living room window each morning. And even though Indy's cage is covered, when she hears her lover-man outside whistling for her, she just gets all riled up and starts shrieking from under the sheet covering her cage.)

I've been feeling quite...amorous...the last few days...but then when I contemplate starting some sexy time with Antonio, I realize that I'm way too tired to even attempt anything resembling what my mind is thinking of. So I just tell my hormones to shut up. And then get grumpy.

That may explain the aforementioned bitchiness. hahaha

I'm hoping to begin going to my chiropractor for regular prenatal adjustments soon. To be honest, I was supposed to be doing this the whole time but I just kept forgetting. But now that my back pain is getting so bad...not to mention excruciating sciatic nerve pain...it's getting pretty impossible to forget.

IBS...oh, IBS...you are the bane of my existence, especially when I'm pregnant. I have had an IBS/spastic colon diagnosis since 2nd grade, though my mom thinks my tummy troubles have been there since infancy. But the constipation that pregnancy brings really wreaks havoc on my IBS, causing EXTREME stomach pain and...well, let's be honest, diarrhea. I recently discovered how using a step stool a la a cheaper version of a Squatty Potty has helped TREMENDOUSLY with the pain when I have to...go. If you suffer from IBS you may know what stomach pain I am talking about. A few weeks ago, I was actually holding a trash can between my legs, vomiting from the pain, while going to the bathroom.

And who says pregnancy can't be glamorous??

I bought another juicer to start making green juices everyday because I know that I experienced a huge remission, of sorts, with my IBS when I was drinking fresh green juice on an almost daily basis. Yes, initially, it will clear you out (if you know what I'm saying) but once your body flushes the toxins and build up from your digestive system, healing begins. If you watched my FB Live Farmers Market haul video, you'll see the types of veggies and fruit I put in my potent and healing green juices.

My legs, feet and ankles have begun to swell slightly at night. I say "slightly" but it's enough that the elastic from my socks leaves purple indentions around my ankles when I peel them off at night. But it's not too bad. I'm still able to get my rings on and off of my fingers pretty easily.


Me & Christine...in all of my no-makeup and tired eyes gloriousness. ha!

Christine came today (Wednesday)!! It was my 30-week prenatal visit...which is the end of our monthly visits. We'll be kicking it up to twice a month for a little while. Then once a week starting at around 37 weeks.

I'm planning on doing a video going over her visit but here's the written version for those of you who don't want to watch...or in case I forget to actually make the video.

Which you know I'm prone to do. ::shrugs::

Blood pressure looks great, for starters.

Urine was...pee-utiful. ahahaha (see what I did there?) Actually, no, it wasn't. She told me that it was super concentrated and that I needed to drink me some water. But no protein or glucose to worry about. Slightly a bit of leukocytes (I think she said "1") but she said she wasn't concerned.

My fundal height is measuring at 31 cm, which is technically 31 weeks, but like she said, I'm closing in on 31 weeks here soon...in 3 days.

Heart beat was in the 140s-150s and strong!

My weight gain over the last month?? NONE. I actually LOST 2 pounds!

Again, she said that's nothing to worry about. Not only am I eating but I'm also loading up on mostly healthy fruits and veggies...almost completely vegan. Almost. hahaha

Baby is HEAD DOWN!!!! Of course, they can always flip back over...but, for now, they are HEAD DOWN and ready to go (umm..well, not quite "ready to go", but you get my drift)

I have a home birth prep class in mid-March that she and her assistnat/doula will be teaching together. So that will be fun and informative!

Our next visit will probably include what is called a "home check" or "home visit"...which sounds funny because she's been coming to my house for our visits since our first appointment. But we really just chill on my couch and chat, so there's never been an official tour of my abode. We'll be figuring out where we'll be setting up the birthing tub and all that fun stuff.

Several times she asked if I was feeling the baby move much and I could honestly say YES! Baby is just going crazy in there and being all wiggly and pokey. hahahaha I'm wondering if lack of movement could indicate a soon-coming birth? I hope not! We're nowhere near ready for that!! (nor is baby!) I don't think it was out of concern that there was something wrong because she was quite happy to hear how strong the heartbeat was on the Doppler.

Well, guys, that about sums it up for what's going on with Baby and I.

We're just taking it easy and watching the calendar days fly by.

How are YOU doing???