Saturday, March 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Cilantro Ranch Fajitas

I decided that I had to sneak in one more recipe in my kitchen before moving day.  We've had too many good meals there not to.  Obviously, I had very little left in my kitchen to work with, but with a slow cooker, tiny cutting board, and a knife, I was able to make up a batch of fajitas before work today.  I went through the fridge and the few pantry items left and created this Working Mama Meal.  Here's how Mama makes it (for the last time in our first house):

Slow Cooker Cilantro Ranch Fajitas

- 1 pkg chicken breasts (1.5-2lbs), sliced
- 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 large (or 2 small) onions, thinly sliced
- 2 T. cilantro paste (or about 1/3 c. fresh)
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 1 pkg fajita seasoning
- 1 pkg ranch seasoning
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 c. chicken stock (start with about 3/4 c. and add more as needed)
serving suggestions:  tortillas, sour cream (or nonfat greek yogurt), hot sauce, fresh cilantro, jalapenos


1.  Slice the vegetables and chicken into thin slices, place in a lined slow cooker.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.  Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.
Printable recipe:

I decided to just type this up on my phone and post it before it's even done cooking.  Emma woke me up early so I had plenty of extra time this morning.  I doubt I'll actually remember to take a photo of the finished fajitas, or have anything but a paper plate to stage it on anyway.  See reasoning below :)
See ya'll soon in Mama's NEW kitchen! (as soon as it's no longer John Deere Green colored...)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

About Aboo: Emelina's 10 month update

Little Miss Emma, this has been a very big couple of months for you!  You've cut two teeth, mastered the stairs, and started walking!  Whew, we are worn out trying to keep up with you these days.  I know I say it every update, but this is my favorite baby stage.  You learn something new every second, are exploring everything around you, mimic so much of what we do and say, starting to eat table food, and are developing this amazing little personality.  Already I can see that you are very obsessive (like the rest of the girls in this family), very motivated/persistent, very capable, and you have a great sense of humor.  You idolize your big sister and love to imitate her every move. You think blowing raspberries is the most hilarious sound in the world, and we think you rolling your tongue and vibrating your chubby cheeks is the best thing since sliced bread. 

Here's your latest stats:

Weight: (9 month appt) 19 lbs. 2 oz.
Height:  (9 mo.)  28.5 inches
Size:  Mostly 6-9/9mo., some 12 month clothes.  Size 3 diapers
Teeth:  two! You've cut your two bottom front teeth.

Sleep:  morning nap 10:30am, afternoon nap 2:30-3ish, bedtime 9:30pm, up around 2am, up around 5am, up for the day around 8am. (Yea, and that's a good night)

Eating:  Down to just breastfeeding before bed and middle of the night (usually the 5am awakening), and 4-6 oz. bottles the rest of the day.  You can drink out of a sippy cup, so we've started giving you those with meals. You LOVE food and aren't a bit picky, though you do prefer feeding yourself to us feeding you purees lately.  I've started giving you whatever we are eating, just cut up really tiny.  Puffs and Cheerios continue to be favorite snacks.

Walking:  Yes, walking!  At 9.5 months, you officially started walking (taking about 6-8 steps on your own).  Now, you're up to 12-15 steps, will turn corners, stop and restart, and go from carpet to wood and back with no problem. I think you could probably do more, but crawling is still more efficient for you. You are still obsessed with climbing up the stairs, which scares me to death (especially since our next house has a huge open staircase).

Words:  Mama, Dada, baba (bottle), bath (you don't quite get the "th" sound, but you love to go in the bathroom, pull up on the tub and say "bath"), bu-bu (bubble), duck, and a lot of others you will mimic when we say them, but don't really say on your own yet (like "aw dun for all done). Not really a word, but you do an awful lot of growling these days, too.

toys:  Annalyn's old push toys have become your favorite, along with our tupperware drawer and laundry (especially socks and Annalyn's underwear with fun cartoon characters on them). 

body part:  Still in love with your feet, you play with them every chance you get.  You love to make silly sounds with your tongue and lips, too.

foods:  bananas, avocadoes, spaghetti, cheese, puffs, Cheerios, sweet potatoes, noodles, peas, ground beef in any form

activities:  Bath time (you've become obsessed with bubbles), imaginative play with Annalyn, stacking and sorting our Tupperware containers by size, reading books (Flip, Flap, Fly and Time for Bed), swinging outside

Dislikes:  being told no, baby gates, getting dressed/changing, strangers (make that, anyone besides Mama and Daddy, Diana, and sometimes grandparents), being locked out of the bathroom (your favorite room for some reason)

Wow, what a big couple of months, Squish!  I have a feeling the next update will be an even bigger one... though it breaks my heart to think about my squishly little baby being 1.  No way.  I will probably be a wreck.  It's a good thing tears can't stain a blog post or it would be illegible.  Love you like crazy, little Emma.


Selling our first house

I suppose it's no secret at this point that we are in the process of a big move!  We have been looking off and on for a couple of years now, until we finally found the house that made us pull the trigger on listing our house.  It's been a roller coaster of emotions, and believe me, it won't be easy to leave this place for the last time. 
There is so much about this house that we love.  It has so much character, the best neighbors on earth, and an awesome open kitchen.  I will truly miss this kitchen.  It's been really hard not cooking like I normally do these past couple months while we were showing the house, and even harder packing up my kitchen this past weekend.  Obviously, I will be thrilled to be in my new kitchen and start cooking/blogging again! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The little things - counting my blessings

With the stress of moving weighing heavily on us lately, I decided to make a point of focusing on the positives (however small). Here are 10 little things that made me smile in the last 10 days:

3/15 - watching Emma walk back and forth between Mom and me. Taking up to 7-8 steps at a time!

3/16 - finding out one of my favorite patients had an umpire company with her husband, and has been involved with softball for over 50 years. Talked to her many many times and never made that connection. Love finding new ways to connect with people over shared passions. 

3/16 - move in day milk! Michael got groceries after work today and sent me this picture. What a good guy!

3/17 - the rare shopping outing with my mom. Even if Annalyn had a meltdown in Homegoods, and Emma missed her morning nap, it was so nice to get out. I even found a couple pairs of curtains for the new house!

3/19 - I was trying to teach Emma to high five, but she just kept putting her face in my hand. So I responded with "not high FACE, high five!" Annalyn started cracking up, came over, and asked to "high face" me. Apparently it's our thing now, because she high faced me goodnight, too. 

3/21 - I got to take the girls to the zoo while the appraiser was at our house. Emma got to try her first zoo pretzel (one of my favorites!) Sitting at the table with my two girls reminded me of the shopping trips my mom, sister, and I used to take. So much to look forward to!

3/21 - after the zoo, we put the girls down for their nap and worked like mad packing up and organizing boxes in the  garage. It was such a beautiful day that we had the garage door open, no jackets, and truly enjoyed just talking while we worked.

3/22 - Daddy and Annalyn made breakfast. Such a sweet morning 

3/22 - Emma decided to be super "helpful" while we were packing up the kitchen... The joy on her face was priceless as she shoved handfuls of Cheerios in her mouth. 

3/25 - Annalyn drew a picture of our new house. It was red with a brown door, black roof, green grass, purple flowers, yellow sunshine, black kitty, and a park. I love that she's so excited for our next adventure!

Just a reminder to look for the little things that make you smile each day, even if you don't actually count your blessings :)