April 2019 / Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog



What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by; I hope you stay awhile!


Living With A & A :: Ashamed + Amazed

The picture above was taken 7 years ago. although the pose is absolutely ridiculous, it was during a time when I was most confident with myself. Weighing in at around 115 to 120 pounds, I was 20 years old with not a care in the world except some looming 20 page college term paper. Life was different back then. 

Now looking at my body as it gears up to deliver a third baby, I am both amazed & ashamed. 

Amazed -- that for the third time, I have been blessed to have carried a child to full term. Amazed that even though my first pregnancy ended in a heart wrenching miscarriage, God’s grace allowed me to pull through the pain, hurt & worries and I have gotten to experience the fullness of all the pings, pangs and joys of motherhood.

But then, as I continue to stare at my body, shame creeps in. I used to be skinny, I think to myself. I used to fit in a size 4. I used to not worry about weight and look where I’ve ended up. Here I am, heavier than I’ve ever could imagine. 

Yes, I’m 35 weeks pregnant & Yes, I’ve had three kids rather quickly with barely time to lose the baby weight, but that isn’t an excuse — you’ve let yourself go, Marta. Boy, does self-doubt get louder & louder the moment after you let it slowly creep in. 

It’s days like these where I look at photos. I look at myself, I look at my boys & then I look around. I hear the commentary of others, those “oh, you used to be so tiny” remarks from people I respect and I can see the judgment of those “nice” strangers who won't say anything — to my face.

It’s hard, but I know that I am being taught something in this season. I took being skinny for granted and comparison is proving to be the thief of joy. I am fully aware of this. But, it's so easy to let that thief in.... I'm not writing this for pity, I am writing this because I sometimes struggle with body image and maybe there is someone out there that will read this and feel like they aren't alone. 

So, if you're a fellow mom wrangling thoughts of insecurity and struggling to look at yourself when you pass a mirror -- mama, I see you. I'm here to give you a virtual smile, nod and a bit of encouragement. You're not alone and I truly believe that one day... it. will. get. better. 

I know that I can and will get back to a size that will make me feel happy again. It may not be 120 pounds, but I've come to terms with that. I have two beautiful boys, I am about to welcome another wee little one to the world and couldn't be prouder of that. 

I am living with A & A and that's totally okay. 

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Spring Cleaning 101 [ + Checklist ]

+++ This post is sponsored by Opendoor. All opinions are my own +++

I'm 35 weeks pregnant, so nesting during spring has been more than ideal. It's made the act of spring cleaning a breeze -- and by that, I mean that I nagged my poor husband to death until he finally agreed to help with the process. Bless his heart, he spent most of his spring break off from nursing school doing all the tedious tasks I could think of!

I don't know how it happens, but every year during spring, I find myself having to declutter + rearrange furniture and closets. It's gotten so much worse as we've added more kids into the picture. Thankfully, we've nearly finished and I feel very satisfied with the fact that I've taken every inch of my home and disinfected it. 

While the spring cleaning indoors is done, I have quite a few things that I still have to do outside -- things like washing the windows, pulling weeds around the house, cleaning the gutters, etc. I am so pregnant and since my husband is in school again, we'll be tackling these tasks slowly on the weekends and in the spare time we can find in our hectic schedules. 

Our Spring Cleaning Routine [ + freebie printable ]

Here is a thorough list of things that we did to spruce and disinfect our home + some of the things we still need to do. 

Before we start I just want to issue a warning / mini disclaimer -- I grew up with a very Romanian mom & dad, both of whom were super particular when it came to cleaning, so if this list seems exaggerated, sorry not sorry. 

I do this regime at least twice a year and when we do it, it's intense. If my parents instilled one thing in me, it's that a clean organized house equates to a clean, organized life. I would always mumble and grumble during the boot camp type cleaning sessions when I was a kid, but now that I have my own home, nothing feels better than walking into a house that has been thoroughly scrubbed down from top to bottom. 

At the end of this novel of a post (hey now, it's a crash course, what did you expect?),  I've compiled all of these tasks on a sheet that you can print yourself and hang on your fridge just in case you want to tackle some spring cleaning on your own. Refer back to this post for more details, but hopefully, this mini checklist can get you in the spring cleaning spirit! 

So now, without further ado -- here are the tasks that I attempt to tackle during spring cleaning week!

Indoor Tasks

❏  Dusting + Wiping Down Shelves / Furniture :: this is one of the things that we do every week at our house, but I really love adding it to the spring cleaning list as well because dust settles faster than you can blink. 

❏  Dusting + Washing Walls, Ceilings & Moldings / Trims :: I feel like this should be done twice a year. Once in the late fall and then again in the spring. I dust all corners of the ceiling and near the light fixtures and then I wiped down the walls from top to bottom. 

❏  Clean All Windows :: both inside and outside.

❏  Vacuuming Behind & Under Furniture :: dust accumulates everywhere especially behind heavy furniture. Spring cleaning week is the perfect time to move all the heavy stuff and vacuum + wash behind and under things that usually don't get moved throughout the year.

❏  Organizing Every Closet in the House :: this was a big project. My closets were all over the place as we didn't have many dressers. I took our storage closets and organized each shelf and grouped products like cleaning supplies together as well as kitchen supplies, soaps, handwashes, etc. I bought cubicles for our closets and used baskets to group socks, hats, and all other small items of clothing. 

❏  Wash / Steam All Floors :: We recently bought a floor steamer to wash our floors and it's proving to be such a great tool -- especially during spring cleaning week! I love how clean all the floors look after using the steamer.

❏  Donating Clothes + Toys That We Don't Use :: this one is a chore that we have yet to finish because we haven't had the time to go through all our old clothes and toys, but I am slowly getting there. 

❏  Get Rid of Expired Products :: this includes cans and stale food from our pantry and old makeup from my office / closet. I just threw them away if they were old, expired and used up since some products you can never fully use up before the expiration date. 

❏  Disinfect Rugs :: I have shaggy rugs and don't have a carpet / rug cleaner, so I found a DIY recipe on Pinterest that was fairly quick and easy. All I had to do was sprinkle it on the rug and then vacuum it up in the morning before the boys woke up. 

❏  Wash + Wipe Couches & Recliners  :: If you have couches with material coverings, go ahead and pop them in the washer. If they are leather, it's time to wipe them down. 

❏  Change Air Filters + Clean Air Vents :: We do this every three months, but when you're getting the house all spruced up, it's always nice to have the old ones removed so the dust accumulated in the filter isn't being taken through the house.

❏  Wash Plush Toys + Sanitize Plastic Toys :: this is just to get the germs off toys as boys will be boys and my youngest likes to take everything to his mouth. Plus, clean toys give this mama piece of mind. After you've cleaned them, it's time to organize and sort them. 

❏  Replaced Light Bulbs :: it's the perfect time to go check the lightbulbs in the house and replace them with the energy saving ones because why not? 

Disinfect Sink :: I have an old white ceramic sink and if you don't disinfect that thing on a weekly basis, it gets gross, so I do this task quite often. However, for those of you who live in a newer home, I've heard that it's good to disinfect your sink -- wait for it... at least once a week, so let's get disinfecting. 

❏  Wash All Bedding, Blankets & Pillows :: I love crawling into a fresh set of bedding. It's just so comforting, especially when the rest of your home is sparkling clean too.

❏  Clean Stove Top :: it's time for this gunky task. I'm not sure why, but I hate this task the most even though it's so simple. 

❏  Deep Clean The Bathroom :: oh boy, this one is where you place the mask on and get working! I feel like this job is probably the most tedious because even though the space is small, there is so always so much to clean -- the sink, the drawers + cabinets, the shower, and tub, etc. 

Wipe Down Refrigerator, Freezer & Microwave :: This is a great way to refresh the most used spaces in the kitchen. It's also a great time to go through the food you have and see if there is anything that needs to be thrown out. 

Outdoor Tasks

❏  Weeding + Gardening :: this is what spring is all about, am I right? no time like the present to plant some flowers or spruce up your garden by planting some fresh produce that you can reap in the coming months. Getting rid of pesky weeds is also ideal for this time of year as the soil is moist from some rainy days. 

❏  Clean Gutters :: fall and winter months are known to be gusty which means there are probably some leaves, twigs and other types of gunk stuck in your gutters -- now is time to clean those babies out. 

❏  Patching Up Holes Around The House + Wobbly Fences :: keeping pesky rodents, animals and bugs out of your home and garden is something that everyone wants and the first step to making that happen is making sure you have no open holes or gaps for them to enter through. 

❏  Pressure Wash Driveway, Patio, Etc :: mildew, moss, a bunch of unwanted dust and dirt have accumulated in the past months and now is the perfect time to get the job done.

❏  Clean Grill :: Every spring, we clean out the gunk on the grill and then pressure wash it after scrubbing the grill plates. 

❏  Clean Window + Door Screens :: this will get rid of gunk, dirt and unwanted dead bugs that have landed and gotten stuck on your windows + screens. 

❏  Wash Garbage & Compost / Yard Debris Cans :: this one is a task that I've always hated because it's gross, but after I finish, I am always relieved. 

Don't Forget To Clean The Car

❏  Get Rid Of Junk + Trash :: all those gum wrappers, empty water bottles, etc. 

❏  Wipe Everything Down :: steering wheel, leather seats, the dashboard, all the things! I have two little ones and there are milk splatters, footprints and all kinds of hand smudges on my seats and windows. 

❏  Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum :: getting rid of all the dust and crumbs that have accumulated over the past few months makes me one happy lady.

Change Air Filter & Oil :: and any other car tune up (alignment, change tires + timing belt, check brakes, etc)  that you can think of should be done because you don't want any surprises later on in the year. 

❏  Wash Exterior :: take your vehicle to a car wash or start scrubbing! nothing says put together more than a fresh, clean car. 

Why Is Spring Cleaning So Important?

So, besides feeling accomplished and renewed because your home looks and feels amazing -- it's a great way to make sure your home is still living up to its full potential. It's a nice way to keep your home neat and tidy + seeing if anything needs to be fixed around the house. Keeping your home up to par each season is also ideal just in case you ever decide that you want to move. When it's time to move, you can rest assured that all past spring cleaning sessions have helped keep your home in the best shape possible and your home is now ready to be listed on the market.

Did you know that spring is the number one season that people start to think about listing their home and moving? If moving crosses your mind and you live in the Portland Metro area, Opendoor is a great option + service that offers sellers an all cash, competitive offer on an eligible home in 24 hours -- no listing, no showings, no leaving for open houses!

If you're looking to buy a home, Opendoor has options for you too! They allow prospective buyers a home to access each home listed, 7 days a week from 6 am to 9 pm without having to make an appointment and waiting for someone to walk through the house -- you can do this by using their app as the key to the home and take a self-guided tour. It's a super convenient option for buyers who wrangle busy schedules. Such a great resource + tool for people contemplating a move -- go check it out! 

Now, That Printable Checklist I Promised [ Right Click To Download ]

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