preperations

As the days dwindle until we meet our fifth human family member, I have been in preparation mode for the time thereafter. Khalid will be gone for approximately a month after baby A is born, and I want to be as prepared as I possibly can…and when I say prepared I’m talking strictly in the food department. ha! The road we’re on has a path of it’s own, and as long as I can do SOME things to manage along the way–my sanity prevails.🙂 So to my typical reluctancy, the kitchen and I have been doing some bonding these past few days. However! It actually took less time than I predicted (which has always been my biggest pet peeve with cooking.) Perhaps cooking so often, I’ve just started getting faster at it….who knew lol. (eye-roll)

Anywho! After Asher was born, the wives of Khalid’s co-workers planned out a week of meals for us and each of them brought something over each night. Before I had him, I thought it as an inconvenience on their part and that we would be fine. However, let me tell you how A-MAZ-ING it was to not have to cook that week for dinner. I’m pretty sure if I’m remembering correctly, for the first three days it actually was the only meal we ended up even eating that day! Overall exhaustion takes over and cooking is the LAST thing you want to do after pushing a human out of your body. We pry would have been ordering in every night if it wasn’t for those wonderful ladies! With miss Ava I was thankfully at Dad and DeeAnn’s and they provided some home-cooked meals that was ever so appreciated!

So with round three I plan to be a little bit more prepared lol. Being a big advocate for several small meals a day I baked three different kinds of healthier muffins for myself and the kids to devour for breakfast/lunch/or dinner ha! (Who knows how ambitious I’ll feel the days following our return to NC) I got them off of Pinterest and they are freezable..win win! I was even tempted to try a few when they came out of the oven-but I know how important those after baby meals are lol..Here’s what I dished up in case you want to give them a try for yourself!:

index

On the Left: Apple PB Muffins (I substituted regular peanut butter in place of the chips)

http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/10/apple-peanut-butter-muffins.html

On the Right: Whole Grain Banana Pecan Muffins (with glaze!)

https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/whole-grain-banana-pecan-muffins/

And Not Pictured are these wonderful smelling Cherry Maple Muffins🙂

https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/cherry-maple-muffins/

(I’m not typically a “cherry” fan, but they looked too good to pass up)

Here is the Website I originally got them off of which also includes Lunches and Dinners!

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2014/03/getting-your-healthy-kitchen-under-control-with-freezer-cooking-65-recipes.html

So if you have any pregnant friends–forget the onesies and get them post pregnancy food! haha Or opt for either-or/both, but trust me when I say they will be very grateful.🙂 But to give everyone a bit of an update I will be traveling to Ohio to have baby A. Feel free to text me if you are interested in which area I will be in on what days. :)  I will be limited on travel costs (aka:gas) since this is more of a business trip than leisure, but I wouldn’t mind having visitors come to us! Have a great week!

 

Family Update

    Cheers to the the post some of you have been waiting for🙂 An actual family update.  Lets start with the Kids🙂

We will start with Miss Ava

avaavabike

Ava is officially 2! Her February 4th birthday has come and gone and she got lots of love and goodies from family and loved ones! Thank you to everyone🙂

She is completely potty trained! Hurray! (She even pooped in the potty this morning while I was still in bed ;D) She does have her occasional accidents and still needs pull ups at night but she has come a long way. We did have a set-back about two weeks after I started training her….one of the daycare workers put her back into a diaper and she literally started potty training ALL over again…I don’t know what triggered, but Khalid was gone and I was so mad that I had to restart all over again lol. But everyone makes mistakes so I didn’t address the issue the way I probably would have three years ago. I’m telling you Japan changed my mindset a bit! lol

Some new things about Ava:

  1. She LOVES to leave the house..whether it’s to just go outside or go to the store, but if I’m going somewhere she wants to go too.
  2. She is quite the helper! I’ve caught her a few times shoving the toilet brush into the toilet or taking toilet paper and wiping down the counters in the bathroom. She also loves to feed the dogs which usually means the food is gonna end up on the floor so I’ve strayed her from that duty. However, if she hears that dishwasher open she makes a dart for the kitchen! lol….I hear girls are quite the helpers though🙂
  3. She is not a picky eater…whatever it is she will give it a try
  4. She’s overall a pretty happy girl and enjoys playing with her stuffed dolls/animals
  5. She LOVES coloring…but we have no crayons/markers/colored pencils in the house…She still has just as much fun on her doodle pad she received as a Christmas gift and the water pen/color pad she got for her birthday.🙂

beach

And onto Ash-Attack

asher

^^Asher put his own shorts on after going potty lol

ashbike

Our sweet little groundhog day baby is officially 3! Thanks again to all who sent love and gifts our way to help make his birthday that much more special😀

Asher is full of words these days which is definitely easier on us! We aren’t having to guess what he wants as much as when he was two. He also is Mr Independent which is no surprise to me. He woke up in the middle of the night, got a water bottle, took it to Khalid to open for him-took a drink-said “thank you daddy” and went back to bed. lol Well okay then Asher! Here are some new things about Asher:

  1. He is a new-found lover of showers (although he doesn’t know how to wash himself yet) But he enjoys just standing in the water.🙂
  2. Our once never dirty boy now loves to play in the dirt/sand/firepit ashes/dig holes and be gross in general lol…thankfully he doesn’t pick his nose and eat his boogers
  3. He still hates getting his head shaved….We are still doing the “Viking” thing with his hair but he still hates getting it done just the same.😦
  4. He officially has said “I Love You” back to us…which we’ve been waiting for for forever lol…and he’s quite the cuddle bug (not just when he’s ill anymore)
  5. He LOVES Toy Story….we can sit and watch all three Toy Story’s in one day and he won’t complain.🙂

And that’s all for the kidders!

beach2.jpg

^^We went to the beach when Renee was here and Asher didn’t want to take a picture lol

The Alabid Adults lol (and baby boy #2)

laurenkhalid

There isn’t much new about Khalid and I. I will be officially done with grooming this upcoming Monday until after the baby and Khalid will now be gone in May. I currently have an appointment on the 24th of this month to determine whether or not they will agree to induce me when he is actually here (at 39weeks)….I’ve already asked before and they’ve told me no so I don’t see them changing their minds about the situation. Apparently in the military husbands are gone all the time so they don’t really care if they can be there or not. However, Khalid is going along to the appointment so hopefully that will help with some aspect of the situation…since usually when he goes to my appointments things actually get done since I’m just “the spouse.”

However, we (the kids and I) are looking into traveling up to Ohio if they still say no…Lucas (my brother for those that don’t know) has agreed to take pax for the time period we are there, and we are going to be kenneling persy down here since she’s still a pup. Pluto is still up for grabs if anyone wants a companion for a short period of time lol…We can’t afford to kennel more than one dog and Pluto is the best of the bunch when it comes to behavior/potty training/etc. He’s also good with other dogs.. Just sayin😉 So if you know someone feel free to text me! We would be in Ohio for about a two and a half – three week period. This is all debatable for now…If we can have the baby here we will to avoid traveling/kennel costs, but needless to say I am starting to stress about it! But we may or may not see some of you in April lol

Until next time…

Cleanout

So our quest for simplicity continues. In January I was able to successfully go throughout the garage and clean out all unnecessary items to take to the thrift store or consignment shop. Enough stuff needed to go to where we could fit Khalid’s car into the garage. (That was the main goal.) Once I had that achieved I would move back into the house and go back through and get rid of things I felt that I may have kept for no reason–or could now go to a new home somewhere else. So, for the month of February I spent about half of the month doing just that! All-the-while still being mom/groomer/house cleaner/occasional chef/and potty trainer lol. As you can imagine it was quite the eventful month. Nevertheless, the weather caught up with me and we caught a 24hour type bug in the house that had Ava vomiting once, Asher once a few days later, and myself–three times a few days after that. We also had visitors at the time and Dad caught the barf bug shortly after his departure from our house. Sigh*

So like any semi clean freak I went on a binge of cleaning the house the minute I felt better….which in reality made things a little worse. I realized a week and a half later that my vacuum needed an extensive deep clean because it was what was causing my INTENSE headaches…so intense that I even opted to take meds while pregnant. (If you know me, you know I won’t even pop a Tylenol if I can help it…but I did this time…several times…) However, we had a second visitor during this time (Renee! :} My “sister”) lol and she helped me with the kids by bathing them and offering cuddles that I had no desire to give with a pounding face/neck/head. Call me cruel but I literally just wanted to sleep…and I did just that after her short stay with us😦 I’m going on about a week and a half of 12+ hours a night and lots of water (and a bleach cleaned vacuum and $20 air filter for our vents) and I am feeling LOADS better. So…Renee…come back…hahaha

So! Back to the Updates! I knew eventually I would get some pictures taken of our new more minimalism life and here are just a few things that I feel are pretty much complete with the whole clean out process:

 

A Look Into Asher’s Room🙂

If the toy’s don’t fit in the locker (and not smashed in either) then they find a new home.

Miss Ava’s Room

 No Hangers = Less time being spent wasting my life hanging up kid’s clothes lol Ava has all the extra bed-sheets in her room as well as a few toys up top (not in picture) that we pull down every so often and let them play with something “new.”

We also have 2 hallway closets which we used to have both completely full…But now I’ve managed to move it into 1 by doing more minimizing.

DSCF1327DSCF1333

The only closet I’m not quite satisfied with yet is the front-door closet….We still need to get a few DVD holders so we can throw away all those pointless DVD boxes…and hang up the curtain rod that is chilling in the corner. But as you can see, the shoes are minimal and the coats are 1 per person (minus the heavier coat for when I have to take out the trash :D)

DSCF1334

And there you have it! An Update into our minimal-bound-life! How are you guys doing? Did I lose your interest? Or did my pictures give you a sense of hope lol… And to our kid/related gift-givers! (Since their birthday’s and Christmas were just here) If you didn’t see something you bought us (because I know you were looking lol) Don’t worry….if it was recently purchased (as in since we moved back to America) it’s definitely still here.😀

I’ll add a few pictures of the kids to help make the post “family worthy :D”

DSCF1305DSCF1300

Happy First of March!

Blast off into 2016

Holy Canoli it is almost February!

We have started to become adjusted to our “mundane” life. Khalid is back to a regular schedule since the holiday’s are over and my occasional days working at the Vet office are starting to feel more set in stone. The kids have become well-adjusted in their classes, and Ava’s teacher actually referred to her as a girl with a personality. (lol) Yes…we know all about that.. The kids will be moving up in a class come February after their birthdays, and I am excited to see the new things that they will learn in their 3 and 2yr old classes.🙂

DSCF1296.jpg

Oh! And since it’s been a bit since I’ve had a family post…I must proudly announce we have a toilet trained toddler in the house! (Finally!) I got to my breaking point and sat Asher down and told him he’s done with diapers and it’s time to go in the potty. It wasn’t successful the first few days, but I refused to go back to changing to diapers in the house so whether he was just ready-or he knew it was time–he got the memo. He was moved to the 3yr old classroom today for some slow transitioning and successfully didn’t go in his pants at all while at “school.”😀 Hurray Asher! (Ignore our borrowed couch lol and yes Asher is wearing pink underwear😉 because boys can wear pink too)

DSCF1293.jpg

Ava is next on the list ;)…or maybe the dog….we shall see who wins that race.

DSCF1294.jpg

Yes! You read that correctly, we are the crazy people that have three dogs in the house and I am perfectly okay with that lol. Khalid surprised me with a Giant Schnauzer puppy for Christmas, and we welcomed Persyphone (Per-sif-any) aka Persy to our household. Three dogs and three kids for the year 2016! Bring it on🙂 However, I think six “kids” both human and fur are enough to complete the Alabids. (I can’t handle any more lol) Perhaps that’s why I haven’t gained much pregnancy weight this time around-since I’m always busy with one of the 5.

Speaking of pregnancy, today marks week 25 and I officially can no longer see my feet. I’m not sure what it is about week 25, but that has always been the week where I seem to “pop” and I could sense myself being a bit larger today at work when I was trying to do different tasks. So, hurray for week 25 and hurray for us deciding on a name!🙂 (Yes, it’s another A name, and no you pry couldn’t guess it lol)

Week 25:

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 6.23.47 PM

Other than our new usual routine, we have purged the house! The minimalist post I had originally posted didn’t go to waste and we got rid of LOADS of things. This past weekend I went through the entire kitchen and wrote down everything that we had…and if I didn’t feel like writing it down then it got put into the consignment pile for sale. You’d be surprised on how many things you’d be willing to get rid of if you had to actually write down a list of your items and decide who would receive it after your death. (As to why it got written down in the first place.) Fortunately for everyone, a lot of our household goods are getting a bit stale so most of it would just be taken to Goodwill lol. Nevertheless! Just to give you a sample of our list, this is what we have in our kitchen ;):

8 <<Yes only 8: Forks, Spoons, Knives, Children Utensil Mix (forks and spoons)

4< Tall Drinking Glasses

4< Short Drinking Glasses

4< Coffee mugs (We used to have 12+ in our cabinet at all times)

3< “Adult” Bowls (for cereal/whipping eggs etc.)

4< “Kids” Bowls

2< Toddler Cups

1< Sippy (Because Ava tends to dump her drink in her food)

etc..etc..etc…

And let me just tell you how REFRESHING it is to not have so much junk in the kitchen. After a full day of eating three meals and occasional snacks we have only 1 load of dishes to do, and no dishes in the sink left over. If we need a pan we used that morning, then it gets hand-washed (which takes literally less than a minute) and we use it for dinner. That simple! I used to CONSTANTLY bicker to Khalid to either load or unload the dishwasher and I’ll do the opposite…and the task is so minuscule now that I could really care less if he doesn’t have time to do it since it takes less than five minutes to have all the dishes in the dishwasher with none leftover. Win X500 for real.

Some other area’s we’ve limited: One laundry basket to serve all of us, and if it’s full then it gets washed…(It helps tremendously that we have decreased our clothing stash and the laundry actually needs to get done to have anything clean to wear lol–but the fact its only ever 2 loads max it’s wonderful!)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.08.04 PM.png

Feel free to call me crazy, but the burden of keeping on top of a household has lifted off my shoulders, and there is still a clean to semi-clean house leftover. Sigh of relief*

What have you purged!? I’m curious if anyone has opted in the challenge of cleaning out their life. Maybe start with those cookbooks you never look at? How about that sock drawer? I know you have your favorites and the rest are there for “in case I need them.”<when’s the last time you’ve actually “needed” it?

Start small and work your way to crazy😉 trust me, crazy is empowering when it comes to making any purchases. I walked through 6 stores the other day in search of a floor rug and didn’t buy 1 thing because in all reality I didn’t need it to clutter up the house and I didn’t love it enough to want to spend money on it. <<Because we all know women tend to buy things that they didn’t initially go to the store to purchase.😉

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.25.27 PM.png

Determine how much is too much-too little for you and feel rejuvenated for the year 2016.

Happy January! (Almost February😉 )

Healthy Energy

So after the birth of Miss Ava back in 2014 we got back on track with our healthy eating habits. We of course had our breaks (usually around the holidays) where we allowed ourselves to eat a little more than the necessary, and we won’t even mention the cheat days😉, but nevertheless we have since hung onto our healthy eating habits with no plans to turn back.

 

When I do fall off the band-wagon and have a cheat day here and there I just turn to this quote:

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.08.32 PM

With all that being said I was a little concerned with the pregnancy of the 3rd baby. Being at the recommended weight (137) before I got pregnant with Asher, the weight gain amount was a suggested 25-30 pounds.  I got pregnant with Ava at around 151 and ended up gaining a whopping 40 pounds. (Woof*) Through about a year of working out and eating better after her birth though, I was able to drop back down to 155ish before getting pregnant again for the third time.🙂 However, I am happiest at my current success with having only gained 3 pounds and being 23 1/2weeks along.

Now before you throw the judgement book my way, the suggested weight for someone who is already overweight before getting pregnant (My height at 5’4″ is suggested to weigh between 120-140) is only 15 to 25 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy. **I gained 15pounds within the first two months with Ava** So I’m medically on track😉 and personally throwing a party for myself.

What am I doing different than the first two pregnancies? I am maintaining the healthy eating habits that I had developed while not being pregnant (after Ava).  Eating healthy really is THAT important. It just turns into a lifestyle, and you have control of it!

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.10.35 PM

Now! Enough with the healthy eating lesson, I can’t make you as the reader decide to eat better, you have to decide that for yourself. Howeverrrr, I can give you some pretty awesome recipes that I have tried out and found to be pretty tasty.😀

Italian Turkey, Quinoa & Zucchini Meatballs Recipe in Lettuce Wraps

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2013/01/baked-turkey-quinoa-zucchini-meatballs-recipe-in-lettuce-wraps/#_a5y_p=1013945

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.25.43 PM

I made these in muffin tins (because I’m lazy) and called them “cupcakes” and the kids had four a piece. lol Very tasty!

Spinach Muffins

http://www.messforless.net/spinach-muffin-recipe-food-fun-friday/#_a5y_p=3095769

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.29.34 PM

Trust me when I say I was the BIGGEST skeptic when I tried this recipe….It sounded so disgusting, but I’m always trying to get the kids to eat veggies other than corn and these were actually pretty delicious! Asher had three muffins (and he’s my picky eater!)

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.09.44 PM

Andd, If you’re an experienced healthy eater (at least six month’s into eating mostly healthy foods) I would suggest this quick little breakfast fix.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 1.34.04 PM

I originally bought syrup to go with them, but the butter adds some flavoring for you so you don’t need to add the extra calories! (I prefer smart-balance butter because it has the least amount of calories) However, I would only recommend this to you if you’re used to eating healthy because it *tastes* healthy….It doesn’t taste like the fattening buttery pancakes we typically think of lol.

Also* Make your pan hot before you pour the first one…or else it’ll take like 10 minutes to cook.🙂

As always, thanks for reading- wishing you healthy energy in your near future!

Stepping Back

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.29.08 AM

   As some may remember better than others, it was a short (almost) four years ago that I didn’t have a Facebook. I of course “had” a Facebook, but I had made the executive decision to delete it after once contributing to it’s social agenda. This of course lasted about four months due to the constant suggestions from others that I should get back on it since we would be moving over seas to Japan. So, reluctantly… I joined again.

However, despite all the hype to get back onto the “easiest form of communication,” in the end of those three years in Japan I came to realize that Facebook provided nothing for me in regards to social interaction with those friends and family members in the states. It did provide me with a public and productive way to promote my dog grooming business while living there, but the sole purpose of getting back onto Facebook was far from a step towards encouraging communication.

In fact…I know less about the friends and family in my life than when I left. Which I must admit is a hard-sad pill to swallow, and I’m sure is the reality of other people’s lives other than my own.

So with that being said, when you go to type my name into your Facebook search-box, you will come to see that I have once again deleted my account. I actually had a friend text me the other day to ask if I was “okay” since she couldn’t find my name on Facebook and I informed her that I had stepped away from the Facebook world…..<<Let that soak it.

ANYWAYS….

This wasn’t meant to be a rant about Facebook.

In fact…many of you may be familiar with or have seen this quote:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.55.08 PM

….And it is sad to say that the start of this reality has begun.

If you don’t believe me then go to a local restaurant, the mall, or Walmart and just people watch. Khalid didn’t agree with my growing hate for Iphone’s until he made the switch to a flip phone with me.

( With all my visits back to the states while living in Japan, I got a cheapo Walmart flip phone to compensate for everyone’s worry that I would need a phone in the event I got into a bind or car accident.)

So, when we returned back to America we swung by Verizon to re-establish our phone’s back onto our plan and with that we both got ourselves some high quality flip phones. We had to purchase the data plan, so the phone isn’t so ancient it can’t google something. However, it is a flip phone, and googling something is more of an inconvenience than just going and asking someone whatever it is you’re planning to look up.(omg–social interaction..lol)  Not to mention our bill for two phones is $72 a month. (Down from $130ish) That 60 dollars can now go towards dog food…lol

Nevertheless, and money aside–Khalid first caught a glimpse of what I would continuously get furious about.

He went to Walmart to pick up a few things and walked into an isle where he said one person was just standing in the isle staring at their phone by their cart. Granted-they may have been looking at their shopping list. However, he said he went to a second isle and there were four people with no carts, all just staring at their phones and showing no signs of removing their eyes from being glued to the screen.

He was also at work and as he was sitting in the room, everyone just sat on their phones scrolling and occasionally laughing to themselves. One guy showed his buddy something funny and they both scuffed with a chuckled and continued on about their phone browsing business.

………………………………………………

Sigh*

…………………………………………………………………..

All of this has been a common conversation amongst people. It isn’t new information that people are now seeking their phones/google/social media for ways to interact with others, look up information that could be easily asked to an actual human being, or even to share news (like we just did with the gender reveal). Sigh* But I am a Millennial Generation–I understand that technology has its place in our society. My degree alone encouraged you to stay up to date with the social media world to keep yourself in the game of hire. (As I’m sure many jobs do.)

However, I encourage you to just watch. See if you are participating in the technology downfall that Albert Einstein himself warned us about, and decide for yourself how much you want to engage in it.

And don’t judge me for my flip phone.

lol.

a thankful Christmas to be…

In case you haven’t heard…

We are happy to announce we are expecting our third!🙂

Alabid-50

Baby Number 3, whom I refer to as “Birthday Baby” is due May 9th, 2016!

So I must admit I will get a pretty amazing 26th birthday gift lol.

Alabid-13

As most of the family members remember, we waited to tell everyone the gender for Mr. Asher until after his birth on the famous Groundhog Day.🙂

Alabid-21

Miss Ava was an accidental slip up on the gender reveal lol….I accidentally referred to her as a “she,” and in order to make things “fair” we felt we should just inform the rest of the relatives/friends.

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 8.09.21 AM

So for Baby Number 3 after much debate, and after originally planning to not even find out ourselves, we have decided to do a gender reveal–rather than keeping it on the hush hush. This way there are no slip ups lol.

drumrolllll pleaseee…..🙂

……………………..

…………………………

……………………………………….

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 11.57.18 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.03.07 PM

Baby boy #2🙂 and we are extra excited! Thanks everyone for the well wishes and enjoyment for us!😀