Monday, November 28, 2016

Birthday Celebrating & Thanksgiving | WITL Nov 19-25

Saturday consisted of bagels for breakfast and afterwards I had the kids all straighten up their bedrooms. Then the boys played and rough-housed indoors...until I forced them to take it outside. Mahri practiced her face painting by making herself up to be a beautiful sugar skull doll!

I got my package from Southern Magnolia Minerals (my favorite organic natural makeup company), so I opened that up. I took advantage of her recent $10 refill sale and stocked up on foundation and primer. I also ordered a few samples of concealer for under my eyes. Which are beginning to resemble raccoon eyes.

We had leftover bowling alley pizza for lunch again...see??? I wasn't going to waste that stuff. hahaha

Antonio and I went out on Date Night...this time we went to Logan's Steak House.

We shared the Nashville Trio appetizer plate with fried mushrooms, mozzarella sticks and mild buffalo wings. For dinner, I had the sirloin (medium-well) and I swear the baby wanted macaroni and cheese and loaded mashed potatoes. I was wrong. Baby only wanted the apps and the steak. The last two times I've been there, I've gotten watermelon sweet tea to drink. It is REALLY good!

On Sunday, we took the boys to get their hair cuts. The stylists even commented on how fast their hair grows. I find it pretty amazing myself, to be honest.

We came home after haircuts so that Mahri could open her birthday gifts. We really try to make birthday celebrations last over the course of a few days. So back on Thursday we went bowling then we did cake and presents on Sunday.

Some of her gifts....metallic temporary tattoos

A sleep mask (she has been having trouble sleeping)

A super soft and fuzzy animal print blanket

A train case filled with makeup.

And a gift card to Ulta

She also had gotten a new phone a few weeks ago that was considered one of her birthday gifts.

We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Thank God everyone else wanted it because I was embarrassed to admit how badly I was craving chicken. hahaha I got their Homestyle Chicken with dumplings and green beans. And brown rice pilaf. I barely ate half of it but that's okay because that just means I get lots of yummy leftovers for lunch this week! hahaha

We also went to Publix to pick up Mahri's birthday cake. She wanted a lemon-vanilla cake...and, dude, was it GOOD!!

Right before Antonio smashed her face into the cake. Totally staged, by the way. hahaha

After the delicious cake, she picked the new Jungle Book movie to watch as a family movie night together. We all really liked it! Austin said that he was Bagheera. Levi said he was the squirrel. 😆

The kids all slept in on Monday. I think they were just plain wore out from all the birthday fun yesterday.

While most of them were sleeping, I dusted the playroom and also the kitchen windows and window shelves.

When they woke up, the big kids worked on a few of their chores.

I made them scrambled eggs for breakfast and they had applesauce with them.

While I got breakfast ready, Austin fed the dog while Levi vacuumed the kitchen floor.

A Lego was accidentally sucked up by the vacuum...

Turns out, the vacuum smells pretty funky....

Soon, he grew tired of this vacuuming endeavor and rebelled...

And, finally, just set it down and walked away. ::sigh::

Because they chose to get a late start on starting school, they ended up ending their school day much later than usual and finished up not long before dinner.

Which was Cauliflower Chowder with dinner rolls.

It was delicious.

I say that about my dinners a lot, don't I? ::sheepish duck of head:: Well, hey, I'm being honest. I know I've also told of dinner recipes gone horribly wrong at some point...hahahaha

Also, I am determined to not eat out/get take out nearly as much as we did last week. So all of the recipes that I didn't cook yesterday....are being dished up this week, so long as nothing rotted in the fridge. ::smile::

There will also probably not be a weekly grocery haul video this week, as I haven't done my shopping yet. I've still got dinner for Tuesday night and possibly Wednesday (though I'll have to double check on that one) and then there's Thanksgiving. Which I am not AT ALL ready or prepared for.

Last year I cooked a vegetarian Thanksgiving sans turkey. It was a very sad affair, I'm afraid, although we all did appreciate that dinner consisted of nothing but side dishes! This year, we shall have our turkey!

Tuesday and Wednesday both had me down with a constant migraine so I got pretty much nothing done. I did, however, cook a home-cooked dinner at least on Tuesday!

::round of applause:: hahaha

I made black bean and cheese enchiladas...which Levi claimed were too spicy (even though I bought mild sauce), so I let him have a cheese stick, a cup of applesauce and a dinner roll.

I think that finding out that someone had stolen my identity and my fight to regain control of the account they had hacked and locked me out of really made my headache MUCH worse. I'll be blogging about that adventure soon!

We also decided on Tuesday that we were just going to order one of Cracker Barrel's Holiday Meals To Go for Thanksgiving dinner. So I called and ordered that to be picked up on Thanksgiving morning.

Wednesday, though, Antonio brought home Wendy's, which I wasn't able to even eat much of. I ate a few fries and a couple of bites of a chicken sandwich before going back to bed.


Antonio got up early (for a day off) and picked up our Thanksgiving dinner from Cracker Barrel.

By the time he got back, I was in the shower and getting ready to take the kids to get donuts from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.

Once we had gotten back home and eaten our breakfast, I filmed a Thanksgiving Dinner Haul video:

While I was editing the video, I turned on The Little Mermaid on the tv and we all watched it together.

Then I began putting all of the Cracker Barrel fare in the oven and Mahri began making the green bean casserole recipe that I had made last year for Thanksgiving. (if you make this recipe, please be sure to saute your onions before baking the dish. The recipe doesn't call for it but if you don't like crunchy onions in your food, saute them before baking!) QUICK EDIT: We talked about this recipe vs the "traditional" green bean casserole that calls for french fried onions...we've decided that we think that we like the traditional one better...we think this one has a bit too much sour cream flavor in it. Maybe I'll work on tweaking the recipe to better suit our tastes later.... I'll let you know if I do!

Dinner...before the turkey.

In all honesty, I ate maybe 8 bites. It wasn't my favorite Thanksgiving meal.

And I *really* don't think it was worth it to order from CB.

I ended up having to warm up everything anyway and bake most of it for about an hour. The food was pretty bland. Not what we were expecting from Cracker Barrel fare, that's for sure. I really wish I would have just cooked everything from scratch, which is what we'll be doing next year, that's for sure!

FRIDAY brought us donuts for breakfast, laundry and playing outside.

I saw that my favorite cloth diaper store was having a pretty great Black Friday sale, so I filled my virtual cart with adorable covers and a bunch of bamboo-mixture inserts! (Did you get any great Black Friday deals? Lemme know!)

For dinner, we picked up Arby's (yeah, takeout. Sue me.) and watched The Secret Life of Pets as a family movie.

I can't believe that tomorrow I'll be 20 weeks into this pregnancy!

How was your week, guys? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mahri's Birthday Celebration & Too Much Take-Out | Week In The Life | Nov 12-18

I was in bed most of the day on Saturday. I had a really bad headache and just felt crummy. So Molly (my cat) and I just chilled in bed together pretty much all day.

Although, before he left for work, Antonio made eggs and Mahri baked blueberry muffins for breakfast! I didn't get a picture of her muffins because I ate them too fast...hahaha....but I think Antonio's eggs look great! I put some fresh Mexican hot sauce on them and wrapped them in a warmed tortilla.

I'm 18 weeks pregnant today! Baby is the size of an artichoke! Eee!

Becaause I had another headache and was feeling really stressed and stayed in bed for most of the afternoon. Mainly, that's how I combat getting overly grumpy with the kids: when they are arguing and fighting or just pushing boundaries, I'll just isolate myself so that I don't get upset and yell or cry. I know it's probably not the best way to deal with things but I have been prone to just shutting down to avoid major conflicts with anyone. Doesn't always work, mind you, and it definitely has it's downsides, but it's how I've been coping with raging hormones during this pregnancy.

After resting for awhile and taking a couple of extra strength Tylenols, I was feeling better by evening and Antonio took me out to TGI Friday's.

I ended up getting pretty sick to my stomach near the end of dinner and we had to make a mad dash back to the house, just in case I exploded or something. hahahaha

As things go, I ended up being perfectly fine once I got home, so...yeah. I think Antonio was pretty disappointed that we rushed home for nothing.

Sunday was another running-around day for us.

We finally made it to IHOP for breakfast! We waited close to 40 minutes for a table, but we made it!! They had a long row of chairs for people to sit in while they were waiting. I let the kids sit down in the remaining empty chairs and there was a lady and gentleman (I use the term "gentleman" very, very loosely here) sitting next to the kids. The lady was next to the kids, then the man with her, then there was an empty chair between him and the next woman. The lady glanced at me standing next to the kids and she must have seen my pregnant tummy because she quietly said something to the man. She had him scoot down into the empty seat, so that I could sit down. He was FURIOUS! He got mad that she made him let me sit down! He was so mad, in fact, that HE STORMED OUT OF THE RESTAURANT! I was mortified. I told the woman that I didn't mean to upset him, that I would get off the seat and he could move back to what was apparently his favorite seat in the whole wide world. But she told me not to worry about it and then she ran outside after him. Later, we saw that he was huddled up on a bench outside in the cold waiting for his table to be ready. ::sigh::

Other than that, we had an absolutely wonderful time at IHOP! The food was really good, though we all agreed that we'll return on a less busy day next time.

After brunch, we went home because we needed to return one of our new sofas. We had bought them from American Freight (whom I will NEVER recommend anyone to go to if they can avoid it) a couple of months ago. After owning the couch less than one week, the frame broke and wood was popping out through the fabric in the back of the sofa! When we called to tell them what had happened, (we had purchased the optional insurance that replaces the furniture within so many years, even if we caused the damage), they gave us the runaround. It ended up taking well over a month to finally have our replacement sofa come in! So we had to return the broken couch and pick up the new one. But all's well that ends well...we just hope this sofa is built better than the last.

Here is Gypsy helping Daddy unwrap the new couch:

After we got the couch all set up, we took off for a used book store that we really like to buy Christian a new book for him to read for school. He is just finishing up Huckleberry Finn and so he picked up Tom Sawyer as his next book.

Then we went to Michaels so that I could buy a planner (this mama's got a lot of appointments coming up!), but unfortunately they all started in 2017. I was hoping some would at least include December 2016, but they didn't.

By this time, the little guys and Mommy were starting to get grumpy. We had plans to go to Target but then they started in on how they were hungry. But nobody knew what they wanted. So we started driving around, looking for something that sounded good. It ended up being such an ordeal that we never even made it to Target. Ooops.

Antonio decided that he wanted street tacos from a taqueria. I was repulsed at the idea of Mexican food. (thank you, pregnant belly!! Thank you for these random aversions and weird cravings!) So he ran in to order him some. As he was getting out, I yelled "buy me two carnitas tacos with no onion!!!" He said "I thought you didn't want Mexican?" To which I replied "Well, I don't know if I do...but if you come back with yours and they smell good and I decide I want them, do you want to have to go back in and order more and wait for them to cook them?"

So he bought me two. hahaha

And they smelled so freaking delicious that me, Austin and Mahri decided that we all wanted taqueria food, too (taquerias are little cozy Mexican restaurants...usually really tiny hole-in-the-wall type places that serve up delicious truly authentic Mexican foods) So we drove to find somewhere closer to our house, so we could just take it home. Christian and Levi wanted Arby's. Like I said, it turned into this whole ordeal and Target was completely crossed off of our list.

When we got home, we watched Guardians of the Galaxy while we ate dinner.

Monday...well, I'm going to be honest with you: I don't remember what happened on Monday! 😳

I did wake up with a really bad pain in my middle back, to the side. Right where my kidney is. It had me pretty worried. But I did notice that when I began moving around, the pain didn't go away, but it did move lower. And then go back up again. It wrapped around my side to the side of my stomach. It was hurting me enough to make me worry. What if it was my kidneys? I took my temp: no fever. No pain when I urinated. So that had me stumped. I ended up sitting with a heating pad on my back, emailing my midwife to tell her and she told me that it sounds exactly like round ligament pain.


It was a pretty lazy day, I wasn't able to do much besides sulk on my couch with my heating pad (I heard from my midwife a little later). I didn't even take any pics taken besides this one:

That's my dinner. It was supposed to be red beans and rice...but I totally forgot to soak my beans overnight and by the time I remembered to do a quick soak, it was too late. So we ended up ordering Dominos.



I had a big garden salad (minus onion...that stuff has NOT been good to me lately! haha) and a bowl of chicken alfredo, but I could barely eat even half of my pasta. The salad had filled me up, so I just had a few bites of pasta and basically called it a night.

There ya go, folks: real life happening right before your eyes. ::wink::

Oh! I did do my online grocery shopping on Monday!

Things went a bit better on Tuesday.

I did have a really weird dream the night before, though. All I remember is that there were shooting stars and purple UFOs flying around! haha!

Antonio picked up the groceries and I filmed my grocery haul before I put everything away.

The kids were excited that the cravings were hitting me strong enough that I'm finally starting to order foods with the groceries that reflect my unhealthy cravings. hahaha

Ironically, they're enjoying the things more than I am. This baby can't seem to hold onto a craving for very long. Besides pasta alfredo...that's been long term so far. But I'm just not feeling as hungry like I normally do when I'm hungry.

Which really frustrates me because by the size of my butt, legs, arms and face, you'd think I'm chowing down night and day.

If you follow me on FB you know that I was feeling rather down about my weight on Tuesday. I know I'm pregnant and just growing a healthy baby. But all I can see are all these skinny pretty girls on the internet. Even fit pregnant girls. I've NEVER been a skinny-everywhere-nothing-but-a-basketball-sized tummy pregnant girl. ::sigh::

I put the red beans and rice that I had started cooking the day before (but put in the fridge overnight) into my slow cooker and let them simmer all day long.

While I was editing a YouTube video (my newborn clothing haul), the kids made lunch, finished up school and the little ones played.

I made popcorn in my big stock pot for snack time. The kids loved it!

I made it with a little coconut oil and we just added a little salt. No butter.

It was really good!

By the time that dinnertime rolled around, the house smelled so freaking good!

I made some white rice to pour the red beans onto.

Even the kids gobbled it up!

(I told Aussie that he looked afraid in the picture...he laughed and said that the flash hurt his eyes and that's why he looked like that ahahaha)

Levi ended up falling asleep at the dinner table (did you see the video that I posted to IG and FB with him dozing off in the middle of eating? 😆)

My trash men ended up coming at around midnight this week!


Another weird dream early in the morning. I dreamed that I went to work with Antonio (we own a swimming pool business) and one of the little boys went with us, but I don't remember which one. Anyway, he was installing a new liner in a pool and the house had a pool house/guest house in the back yard. He told me (in my dream) to go ahead and go to sleep because it was going to take him a long time to get the liner installed. So I went to sleep with whatever little guy had come to with us. And when I woke up (in my dream), I looked over and he was sleeping next to me in the bed! He wasn't working! And we got totally busted by the pool owner! ahahaha!!

This pregnancy has been giving me some really weird dreams!

I made bagels for breakfast and then got the big kids started on school work.

I went out to the storage barn later with them while the little boys were playing in the yard and we looked for the little boys' art supplies. I had gone up earlier to look by myself but couldn't find the box, so they had to go up with me to help me look. Turns out, it was right under my nose the whole time! Isn't that how it always works out? haha

When we got back to the house, I printed out some free online worksheets that I had found and got the boys set up at the kitchen table to review our letters and numbers.

On their second (and final) worksheet of the day, I let them use their watercolor paints to paint their letter A worksheet. They thought that was a great treat!

Speaking of treats, remember those nachos and cheese I was craving (please refer to my FB page or my grocery haul video)? Well, I warmed the cheese up on the stove and served it up with some of the tortilla chips for snack time.

They all loved it...but, of course, baby decided that nachos and cheese were no longer suitable foods. hahaha

I worked on some office work and printed out some more school papers for the boys for the rest of the afternoon.

Yeah. I'm not going to lie. I really just watched a whole lot of YouTube.

When Antonio got home, he had some more paperwork for me and in the middle of it all, I decided that I needed to redesign our company letterhead. So I did that for awhile. We decided that I had gotten side tracked and dinner (which was supposed to be Cauliflower Chowder) would not be done in time, so he ran out and picked up some Wendy's. I've really got to watch that. I have these healthy dinners (well, for the most part...Friday's dinner is NOT going to be healthy! hahaha) all lined up and groceries bought...I need to stop getting take-out. THAT'S where my chunky butt and face are coming from!




Breakfast was hurried bowls of cereal, so that we could get started on school work.

We knew that we had plans in the early evening, so dilly-dallying wasn't an option today!

Mahri and Christian's studies are pretty much independent, since they are older. They know what classes to do each day and how long those classes are. On good days, I don't need to hover and remind them to stay on track. Though there are a few classes we all do together.

The little boys are doing great with their review work. I am seriously overjoyed! Austin is 5 and Levi is 4...we don't really focus a lot on formal sit-down lessons....but I am currently trying to have them do at least one or two worksheets each day. More than that and their attention spans go ka-put.

I let them all assemble their own mini pizzas (english muffins) for lunch and they were excited!

I made mine on a tortilla (english muffins hurt my tummy) and it turned out GREAT!

A few hours after lunch, Antonio got home from work early and we got ready to go to the bowling alley!! See, for personal reasons (which make up a verrrry long story), Mahri, whose birthday was back in JANUARY, has put off having her birthday celebration until today.

She chose to go bowling!! And we surprised her by upgrading her party to VIP status...which meant that our party took place in a private section of the bowling alley. The lights were turned way down and there were flashing colored lights and disco balls everywhere. Music was blasting and we got sofas to hang out on instead of the regular ol' plastic chairs. They even gave each of us vouchers for the bowling alley's arcade.

It was AWESOME!!

One thing that did almost damper the evening (just because of the principle of the whole thing) was that we had ordered and paid for 2 extra pizzas and 2 extra pitchers of soda.

But the pizzas ended up being MUCH larger than we had anticipated and so one of our pizzas was completely untouched and we had about half of another pizza left. As we were packing up to leave to go over to the arcade, I asked our party hostess if we could please have a box to take our uneaten pizzas in. (Mind you, these pizzas were almost $20 each!) And she nicely told me that there policy is that we're not allowed to take the uneaten pizza home.

Well, normally I would have just meekly said "Okay, thanks anyway" and went on with my business. But THIS Monica is pregnant and missing her filter and has grown a larger set of balls. I nicely told her that if they weren't going to let me take my pizza home, the pizzas that I ORDERED AND WAS BEING BILLED FOR, the pizzas that we hadn't even touched, that I wasn't going to pay for them then.

Well, let's just say that their "policy" quickly got sidelined and she brought me a pizza box.

Antonio was laughing so hard in the van on the way home because it was so unlike me. He and the big kids said how proud they were of me because they knew I never would have said that at any other time. Antonio mentioned that maybe I should be pregnant more often. hahahahaha

I told him that had she not given me a box or a refund, I would have handed each child 5 pieces of pizza, stacked in their hands and told them to take them to the van without the box. Either way, I wasn't leaving without what I paid for.

On the way home, we surprised Mahri and the rest of the kids with Peppermint Oreo Blizzards from DQ. It was such a fun night and I am so incredibly blessed to have Mahri as my baby girl!


Mahri made everyone (except Christian, who had woke up before anyone else) bagels for breakfast.

Then they all worked on school work.

I read them all a fun book about all the gnarly details of ties in to their Ancient Egypt unit they're doing in History class.

I think the big kids (ages 15 and 13) were more into the details than the little guys were.

For lunch, everyone had leftover pizza from the bowling alley.


After school, all four kids went outside to play until it got dark.

I made Blueberry French Toast Casserole for breakfast for the first time. It turned out great! Mahri was impressed that I had basically made blueberry pie filling from scratch. (PS...I used frozen blueberries even though the recipe called for still turned out fine!)

(Taking a pic of all the action going on behind me while I prepared dinner hahaha)

I was planning on taking step-by-step pictures of the recipe as I made it...but as you'll see, I quickly got tired of whipping my phone out to take pictures every few seconds. Sorry, ya'll!

So then we just get an almost after shot....I forgot to take on once the "pie filling" type stuff was on it. This is after it had baked for about an hour.

Well, guys, that was my week!!

I wanted to let you know that the baby has been moving up a storm lately.

It makes me literally laugh out loud sometimes because I remember just a few days ago of being semi-worried because I had gone from feeling a few movements a day to almost none for a few days. Then, suddenly, I'm feeling tons of movement and teeny jabs.

I know that this pregnancy got off to a rough start but I am so extremely excited to meet this precious little one! And I'm not sure if another baby in this world has had so many big brothers and sisters so head-over-heels in love with it. I am truly blessed.

Alrighty, well, I hope you enjoyed this week's little saga and I'll be back with another WITL post next Monday!!