FIRST FAMILY VACA! SAN ANTONIO 2017

201708181937669493-e1503196257238.jpg

goin’ on a trip in our little rocket ship!  finally.  it was time to take the family vaca we had all been waiting for.  side-note: how have i been living/traveling without a backpack all this time!?  it’s so my style and frees up both hands. duh. thanks, Marissa  . wanted to be casual and…

20170813-1075853592-e1503188905973.jpg

Shop this look!

the day we planned to head out, Sonny and i loaded up the truck while the boys slept.  they were under the impression that we were headed to church, just like we do almost every Sunday morning.  once we were all buckled in, we headed in the direction of church but passed it right on up and eventually made our way onto the freeway. we drove for a good hour before they even noticed our new route!!  in their defense, we let them bring their Samsung galaxy tabs so they were pretty distracted.  Chiso is very observant and catches things rather quickly, but this time Sonny had to instruct them to look up and ask if they noticed anything different, haha. 

i made plans to stop by a place i hadn’t visited in over 15 years en route to our destination.  i have seen Monument Hill randomly in my dreams for years now and once there i remembered everything like the back of my hand…. except for how things looked leading up to the park  .  i guess i was always hanging out with my brother in the 2nd row of our astro van and not paying attention to my surroundings until we arrived as a child!  driving there myself (Sonny was napping and still recovering from dental surgery 2 weeks prior) was new for me but nothing GPS couldn’t handle.  

20170813-847721299-e1503188470252.jpg

everything looked exactly the same!  such a nostalgic experience and blessing to be there with my own little family. 

20170813-272148551-e1503188611851.jpg
DSC_0707-01-e1503269549676.jpeg

k, you guys ready to go do some really fun stuff!?

ok then!

we made eeeeeet!  Kosi did a mighty fine job getting through her first road trip.  to my surprise, she stayed up 90% of the 3 hour journey cooing, screaming, and playing with her brothers.  she finally fell asleep when we were almost to the hotel, naturally.  the boys did alright too; we stopped about 4 times along the way for potty and stretch breaks.

checking in to the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa!  there was a huge bowl of complimentary apples on the counter and Dego immediately asked me for one. this boy loves his apples.  he has eaten 1-2 every day for like the past year.

20170814_085745-01.jpeg

i can be the most unorganized person ever but these daily itineraries were appreciated.

DSC_0746-01-e1503269437370.jpeg

we might have a budding photographer on our hands!  i’m not complaining; that’ll be one less blogging expense for me, ha.  i’ll pay him in food.

gettin’ dirty at Pat’s Playground on the hotel grounds.

the boys love tennis and badminton and play on the Wii at home all the time. i think they’d agree it’s a lil’ tougher in real life though.

the hotel buffet was incredible; my hangry cell phone picture doesn’t do it a bit of justice.  no idea how many trips i took there and back to my seat but just know i got our money’s worth!  great variety and quality.

i see these shower caps weren’t made with big natural hair in mind!

best way to start my day, even on vaca. especially on vaca! 

20170814_102759-01-e1503188993947.jpeg

 i took the opportunity to give my new Athleta Be Bold Wrap Front bra a try.  if you haven’t taken advantage of their workout guarantee, you totally should.  these crops are my favorite to date; i have them in both dark blue and black.  they are super flattering and the high waist is everything!  try the full exercise circuit i completed here.

Shop the look!

DSC_0799-01.jpg

taking in the peaceful scenery on my way back to the room.  i almost rented a bike and rode around the property solo but i knew the kids were up driving Sonny crazy by now. 

yep. good morning, Egwuatu-lings!

Sonny and i have a little friendly wager going on.  i believe Kosi will be walking by 10 months but he doesn’t.

i know my baby! lol

20170814-1478096354.jpg

Cat & Jack outfits continue to steal my heart along with this lil’ girl of course!  shopping for Kosi has been dangerously fun.

remind me not to go impulse shopping up in Target the day before we leave though.

breakfast buffet. the fruit was just there for decoration, y’all, trust.  this bacon egg white omelet from the omelette bar was so good i had two in one sitting. every morning.

20170814_120133-01-e1503189052226.jpeg

and plenty of these.

all they kept eating and asking for was bacon!                            

20170814_151417-01-e1503189187760.jpeg

 next we hit the pool for a couple hours of fun in the shade.

20170818-1397365143-e1503193650448.jpg

found and tagged a similar suit below but i love this breastfeeding-friendly, stylish one piece.

20170814_151430-01-e1503189230785.jpeg

silly goose!

Sonny napped in the room most of this day because of his tooth and we truly missed his presence.  floating on the lazy river looked fun, but we’ll have to try it next year cause i didn’t even want to attempt to try and keep an eye on everybody while solo. time to go check on Papa in the room!

“i want to push her!” “no, i want to push her!”  #workitoutguys

Dego checked out in the middle of dinner on us.  he ‘swam’ his lil’ heart out that day. 

 sonny headed back to the room after dinner with the other two sleepy heads, so Chiso and i went to go have some more fun together.  we roasted marshmallows, made and ate smores, and shared a blanket while viewing Transylvania 2 out on the lawn. loved spending solo time with my big boy.

20170814_205308-01-e1503190766962.jpeg

no more pics of movie night because i didn’t want to annoy everybody with my flash.

20170818-1452697426-e1503194115780.jpg

back for the breakfast buffet and another full day of activities!

it doesn’t take much to make kids happy.  it’s more about presence and experiences together than presents.  that said, i packed my camera up for the remainder of the trip to just emerse  myself in the moments without trying to always capture perfect shots.  i will forevercherish the vacation memories i have with my parents and older brother and i pray our kiddos do the same.

thanks for the memories, San Antonio & Hyatt Regency Hill Country

Busy Mom Life Hack - ClickList & Kroger

Facetune-20170512-730232447-e1494652147104.jpg

Convenience is a necessity for me these days!  anything that can make my life run even the tiniest bit smoother, reduce stress & anxiety, and allow me to spend more time with my fast-growing family, i’m all for it.  speaking of my fast growing family, we eat a lot, so i cook… a lot!  i’m in the grocery store every single week shopping for either my family or for our meal prep clients. unlike everybody i know, i actually enjoy the grocery shopping experience, haha.  realistically though, i can’t always take my sweet time and stroll down aisle after aisle, especially when my kids are present.  some days i literally need to run in and out, and just getting in and out of the car can be a big deal with young kids.  then once we get inside, that’s a whole new ball game :) . 

This is why i love and depend on ClickList.  it’s an online grocery ordering service from Kroger that’s crazy convenient and works with my busy, mom of three lifestyle.  follow my Instagram Stories today to see how easy it is to use or check out the YouTube video (to be uploaded soon!).  i normally create my grocery list on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings when i’m getting my life together for the week, and schedule to pick up our items the following or the same day. Kroger welcomes the use of digital coupons and the product prices are the exact same as if you were shopping in the store.  the 4.95 service fee is waived for your first three orders, and there is no minimum or maximum amount to spend!  love. that. my grocery hauls range in size depending on the number of clients i have that week, and we normally need the same basic items at home. ClickList lets me save a particular grocery list and i am able to reorder it as needed with the click of a button.  it’s one less thing i have to worry about and can allocate that time to my family or the other 2 billion things on my never-ending to-do list. 

DSC_0352-01-e1494651965501.jpeg

after logging into my account, selecting my saved list or creating a whole new one, i simply pull up to the ClickList parking spot at the pickup time/location i selected, and call the number posted on that designated spot. i let Chiso do the honors this time.

DSC_0358-02-e1494652080291.jpeg
DSC_0353-01-e1494652034999.jpeg
DSC_0360-01.jpeg
DSC_0362-01.jpeg

super quick wait, and the associate promptly comes out to greet us. he/she goes over any changes or substitutions on my order, loads up my groceries, and we're done!  let's say i specifically ordered half a dozen eggs.  if there were no more half-dozen cartons available,  i would be upgraded to one dozen eggs, and i'd pay the half carton egg price.  win-win! check out the ClickList FAQ page for more details. Kroger has proven that quality is their top priority by hand selecting all produce, meat, and/or seafood items with great care.  quality is a must and is extremely important to me!  i require the freshest ingredients for my clients and my family’s meals, and unblemished produce is needed for my food photography and blogging.  i can trust that my items are stored appropriately until pickup time rolls around. 

 now i can get right home to cook, sit down, and eat dinner with my family with the time i would have used shopping in the store.  now that is time well spent in my busy mom book.

Q: would you utilize the ClickList service?  if you are already familiar with it, share your experience below!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR  CHANNEL, FOLLOW US ON , TWITTERPINTEREST, ANDSNAP CHAT(FITFOODIELE).

thirty five.

thirty five.

i dunno guys...i just don't feel "it" yet.  35? even with all these bills that come to the house every week. lol.  adulting and parenting is hard....but not impossible.  i had no idea where i was going with this 35th birthday post but i'm going to go with my gut and list 35 things i've learned in this life so far below...

Read More

Turkey Day Baby... GIRL!

20161124_053652-01-e1480654586297.jpeg
fb_img_1480693189012
fb_img_1480693189012

yep, we're the Egwuatus, the crazy family who revealed the gender of our 3rd baby via Facebook live.  this was originally Sonny's idea and even though i initially agreed when he presented it to me, i took it back a couple of days later!  there are so many "what ifs" surrounding labor and delivery and live video made me a bit anxious... but i eventually agreed though and we want to thank everyone who was able to tune in and share these special moments with us!!  in case you didn't catch the vids from FB (from Sonny's account), here are a billion pics and the actual gender reveal video which made for a very, very special Thanksgiving 2016.

 you know what they say... if you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans. my due date was 11/27, but i literally had stuff on my calendar up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and beyond.  i was determined to get it all done.

Tuesday 11/22

img_20161123_195726
img_20161123_195726

tuesday night, my boys teamed up and gave me a muuuuch needed foot massage. i had been cramping here and there that day while training my prenatal fitness girls and running errands.  they continued throughout the early morning on Wednesday and weren't painful at all, just noticeable and random with no particular pattern.  every time i got up to tinkle throughout the night, i felt them.  i went ahead and got up around 7ish because i couldn't go back to sleep.  my 39th week (and hopefully final) checkup appointment was happening later that afternoon, and i needed to get my Thanksgiving cooking done. #priorities LOL

Wednesday 11/23

photogrid_1480469690222
photogrid_1480469690222
20161123_124354
20161123_124354

two dump cakes and a gigantic pan of cornbread dressing!  this dressing recipe comes from my mom; it's not officially Thanksgiving until i smell it.Cheezer was out for Thanksgiving break so he excitedly came along with Dego and i to my appointment.  

20161123_124357
20161123_124357
20161122_164607
20161122_164607

#CaptainObvious TIP: always bring snacks. always. i don't know what the heck i was thinking because i didn't bring nearly enough :-| ! they swallowed those graham crackers before my doc even came in and everything in that room became apart of their playground!!my OB checked me again for dilation and stated "1.5 cms!" as she snapped off her latex gloves.  i was thinking, "dang, that's it? ah well, anything can happen." she said i might see some blood using the restroom later, and she was spot on.  as i expected, my discomfort level increased post-appointment and those light cramps returned immediately.  i went ahead and canceled my trainings for the day because i wanted to be close to home should my contractions rev up. took my last preggo selfie when we got back home!  39 weeks and 3 days.  my mucus plug had been disintegrating for several days and this time the gloopy, clear discharge on the toilet paper was light pink instead. this was all too familiar!  i told Sonny that things were getting weird and that we should seriously finish packing and actually load up the truck.  he said alright, so we cleaned up the house a little in the process so it wouldn't be a complete wreck once we returned, lol.  

Thursday 11/24 

around 10:30 pm, the contractions became slightly painful yet manageable, and the wave would hit every 10 minutes or so. wherever i was in the house,  i would yell, "Contraction!" out to Sonny and he would hit the lap button on his phone's running timer.  from then until about 2:15am, i labored at home until we hit the 'every 5 minutes' mark.  through every painful contraction i did either one of the following: pace around the house while inhaling & exhaling deeply until the wave passed, circle/roll my hips on my yoga ball,  and i even drew and sat in a warm bath for a good while which helped big time.  i have been taking warm baths the entire pregnancy, so it was a familiar, soothing, relaxing place for me. heck, that experience even made me strongly consider a water birth next time! (wait, next time!?) i made sure to use the restroom constantly to keep my bladder empty.  just like menstrual cramps, having anything in my bladder magnifies the pain. 

20161124_024954-01
20161124_024954-01
20161124_031232-01
20161124_031232-01
20161124_041401-01
20161124_041401-01

while in the bathtub, i had one of the strongest contractions yet.  i told myself that immediately after the wave finished we were heading to the hospital.  this is it. it's go time.  Sonny put our sleeping boys in the truck one by one and waited for me to come get in.  another contraction hit as i was about to get in the passenger seat, so i got back out and walked down to the end of the drive way breathing deeply as the contraction peaked and finally passed. i had about 3-4 contractions on the way to the hospital; Sonny drove to the L&D entrance and i hopped out and went right up to the 3rd floor solo.  after checking into triage around 2:40am, i changed into a hospital gown and laid down on the triage bed.  the triage nurse checked my progress and said, "you're at a 5." what? whoa!  i was excited to be halfway there in my mind but definitely couldn't show it on my face.  she then called the front desk to confirm i was indeed staying and prepared a wheelchair for me. i hopped in and had another contraction as she wheeled me right past Sonny and the boys sitting in the waiting room! Chiso had fallen back to sleep, but Dego was wide awake and the sight of me passing and not stopping upset him to tears. we arrived to the room, i quickly climbed into bed, and my nurse hooked me up to machines to the left and right of me.  the boys snacked on the graham crackers i packed while i contracted like crazy and waited for my epidural.  by this time i was 7 cms dilated.epi is IN. ice chips and smiles. i don't know how much time passed before my epi came...of course it felt like an eternity!  i'd estimate 30-45 minutes or so, though.  everyone had to leave the room except my nurse and the doc administering the epi once he arrived.  in less than 5 minutes or so, the pain disappeared completely.

so... my doctor would not be on-call until 7am that morning to deliver baby Kosi *insert sad face*.  Sonny and i were both OK with that though and figured we'd just hang out and wait.  no big deal.  the epi was kicking so it was all good on my end!

at about 4:45am, my nurse checked me again, pulled back hastily and said, "wow, you're at 10, hun, we gotta go."  they immediately contacted the on-call Dr. and he was on his way.

i motioned for Sonny to come to my bedside.  we quickly chatted and agreed that it didn't matter who delivered Kosi, but that he/we would make sure i had ample time to push while avoiding an episiotomy if at all possible.  we knew God was with us and we kept moving forward.

20161124_050101
20161124_050101
20161124_051216-01
20161124_051216-01

alright, time to puuuuuuuuush!1.5 pushes later at 5:10am, Kosi made her presence well known! she was yelling at the top of her lungs; my dad said he heard her clearly from the waiting area. "oh wow, Sonny, it's a girl!! mom! it's a girl!!" i remember crying and saying that over and over again in disbelief.  this was after i lifted her leg for confirmation though, LOL!  Chiso & Dego were quiet when they entered the world, but not this lil' lady.  check out the FB live vid here:

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-5-37-00-pm
screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-5-37-00-pm
20161124_052754-01
20161124_052754-01
20161124_051339-01
20161124_051339-01
20161124_053119-01
20161124_053119-01

she's finally here, Chiso!  he wanted and prayed for a little sis so bad. my team. thank God for my team. Sonny has held one leg and my mom has held the other for all three pregnancies.mimicking her face :D 

img_7058
img_7058
20161124_061807-01
20161124_061807-01

yeah, i didn't move for a good while!  she was all cleaned up and ready to eat.Kosi's very first nursing session... i can't even begin to explain how special and intimate skin to skin contact is for mama & baby.

img_7083
img_7083
20161124_053430-01
20161124_053430-01
20161124_053533-01
20161124_053533-01
20161124_053708-01
20161124_053708-01
20161124_054938
20161124_054938
20161124_061958-01
20161124_061958-01
20161124_080402-01
20161124_080402-01
20161124_081433-01
20161124_081433-01
20161124_090142-01
20161124_090142-01
20161124_090150-01
20161124_090150-01
20161124_090842-01
20161124_090842-01
20161124_082944-01
20161124_082944-01

uncle Thew arrived shortly after his very first niece did.my immediate family took the early morning shift, haha.Grannie got her girl :) even though i convinced myself early on that i was having a 3rd boy, my mom never stopped referring to Kosi as 'she' and 'her'. since walking the 5k Turkey Trot was now out of the question for me, Sonny headed over to the Galleria with Chiso so that he could run the kid's 1k!  his uncle made sure he was straight for the ladies first ;)after only 3 hours of sleep, he was ready to ROCK it!!!about to have pancakes with Papa at the VIP pre-race breakfast sponsored by IHOP. maaaaan i was looking forward to those pancakes. on the starting line...wide awake now! way to GO, Chiso!! a shiny, finisher medal and a new little sister in the same day. so much to be thankful for.gobble, gobble, you turkeys!

20161124_122215-01
20161124_122215-01
20161124_122050-01
20161124_122050-01

Sonny took Chiso to be with Dego and my parents, then headed back to the hospital. my ashiness was clearly the last thing on my mind! food was definitely at the top of my priority list though; i ordered breakfast as soon as they moved us over to the postpartum wing.taking it all in and thanking God for answered prayers.  i definitely prayed for a quick delivery and everything really did happen crazy fast.  i was prepared to rest a little since we had been up all night, but that's not how things work, haha!  someone came in every 3 minutes to either check on me, check on Kosi, run a test, deliver food, or give us some info or an update.  not complaining one bit; i appreciate the entire experience and protocols, the heaven-sent nurses and hospital staff, and expected / welcomed the knocks.  i knew the drill. 

img_20161124_182016
img_20161124_182016
img_20161125_103602
img_20161125_103602
img_20161125_151557
img_20161125_151557

1st usie! i wouldn't be me if i didn't desire and attempt to reply to every single Instagram comment we received under this picture...man.  we are so appreciative of your LOVE.  thank you to each and every person who took the time to send us a social media message, comment, and DM.this was a great sign.  my appetite had been flaky since the 2nd trimester (as far as how much i could eat).  after just a few bites of something i was basically done.  if i went any further, i'd often feel physically sick.  haaaaated that feeling!  healthy smoothies were a big part of my 3rd trimester because of it.no crumb left behind!  i ate every single thing they brought me on those trays! food finally tasted like food again, just that quick.

photogrid_1480470040481
photogrid_1480470040481
photogrid_1480470459925
photogrid_1480470459925
20161124_183658
20161124_183658
20161124_174904-01
20161124_174904-01
20161125_230034-01
20161125_230034-01

 i needed every last one of those calories to prepare my body for nursing and get my milk going.more family came to visit that evening and brought us Thanksgiving food!!! are they related or what? love this brother & sister pic of Sonny & Michelle and her daughter Camille.Kosi is Nwachi's (my sweet Mother-In-Love) 4th grand girl! Papa got his girl!  i pray these two form a loving bond that lasts all the days of their lives. 

Friday 11/25

img_20161125_110952
img_20161125_110952
20161125_104703
20161125_104703
20161126_084242-01
20161126_084242-01
20161125_144853-01
20161125_144853-01
facetune-20161129598605232
facetune-20161129598605232
photogrid_1480460862523-1
photogrid_1480460862523-1

day 2 view!waiting on my breakfast and watching Food Network.  the boys get dibs on the TV at home all the time so i took advantage and watched something i enjoy for a change!  i could watch Pioneer Woman aaaaall day. #SorryNotSorry, Sonny.  she's Chiso's twin, who is also my twin, which means Kosi looks just like me!  maybe next round, fam.later that afternoon we ventured out and walked a few laps around our hospital floor.   meanwhile, Dego and Chiso were having THE time of their lives playing with rocks and eating pancakes at Grannie & Grampa's house!we missed them SO much and could not wait to meet them at home with Kosi the next day.

Saturday 11/26

20161126_131239-01
20161126_131239-01
20161126_140026
20161126_140026
img_20161126_161952
img_20161126_161952
20161126_163040
20161126_163040
20161127_110426
20161127_110426

having my usual breakfast and preparing for home.free!    homeward bound by the grace of God.we're hooooome! Chiso picked this wild flower for me while outside at my parents house and could not wait to hand deliver it.  it's the little things that get you, right?my brother and sis-n-love spent Thanksgiving in Arkansas but came over to see their new niece as soon as they got back into town.  give Kosi some time, Natalie, she'll be keeping up with you before we know it.

life as a family of five awaits. here we go!

thank you sincerely for reading!!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

SUBSCRIBE TO OURYOUTUBECHANNEL, FOLLOW US ONINSTAGRAMTWITTERPINTEREST, ANDSNAP CHAT(FITFOODIELE).

http___signatures.mylivesignature.com_54493_267_38EEDA794ECC9B61FC9DE0E61757D91B
http___signatures.mylivesignature.com_54493_267_38EEDA794ECC9B61FC9DE0E61757D91B