Sunday, January 31, 2010

Enchilada Fans?

I posted the recipe for the chicken enchiladas, which we are having again, for the second time this week. They are so super good. I wanted to make sure you guys knew that I added the recipe. For something so yummy, they should get recognition!

I encourage you to make them soon. You won't be sorry!!

If making the red chile sauce intimidates you, simply buy the canned sauce from the store to make them with. Still excellent.

By the way, this is the 31st post this month. I must have been super chatty. In response to the tag monsters, I will get a tutorial up for them soon. I have a busy week this week (should be getting new carpet in our house!) but I'll get it up as soon as I can. Also, I get a lot of hits for the car seat canopy. I think I'll post a tutorial for that as well.

Anything else you are interested in?

Big Fat Tears

The other day I was finishing up some laundry in the basement, and I could hear that Kimble had woken up, and was fussing a bit. Since I know his schedule, and know that he was quite alright, I finished up what I was doing and then came upstairs to get him.
He stopped crying when he saw me, but I almost started crying when I saw him! He had those big fat tears running down his face. So sad!

I felt like the worst, most neglectful mommy. Believe me, he got the star treatment after that. No more tears.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Like I said, The husband and I fought over these enchiladas leftovers. They were so fantastic. I think the kids ate 4-5 of these for dinner, and I won't even say how many I ate.

The Husband and I have been working on perfecting our enchilada recipe for a long time. Until recently, I had always made a modified version of my mom's enchiladas, but it was more like an enchilada casserole. It tasted fine, but wasn't quite what we were going for. It wasn't until last month, when The Husband made a super fantastic red chile sauce using reconstituted dried chiles, which resulted in the most delicious and smooth sauce, that I realized it was time to kick up the enchiladas. I think we succeeded. Here is the recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas
3-4 chicken breasts
1 onion, diced
1 can diced green chilis
1/2 a jalapeno (we used about 5 slices of jalapenos (pickled) in a jar.)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 cup Mexican Cheese blend (plus more for topping)
45 small Corn Tortillas (Do NOT use flour tortillas)
olive oil
Enchilada sauce (see recipe) Or, you can buy big can of red enchilada sauce, found in the mexican food aisle of your grocery store.

Season your thawed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add a little bit of olive oil to your frying pan, add chicken, and cook through. Remove chicken from pan, then add diced onions to the pan. Turn heat to medium and let onions saute through. (You may need to add a little bit more oil to the pan.)

Meanwhile, chop up your chicken (or shred) very finely. When the onions are soft and translucent, add chicken back to the pan. Season your onions and chicken with garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Finely chop up your jalapeno and add that and your green chilis to your chicken mixture. Stir in your cheese. Now you are ready to assemble.

Heat up your olive oil in a small frying pan. Add your corn tortilla for about 20 seconds, flipping if the oil doesn't reach the top side. Doing this softens your tortilla so it won't break as you roll it. Do this with all your tortillas and drain on paper towels.

Take 2 cookie sheets and spray with cooking spray. Lay out a tortilla and add about 2 TBSP of chicken mixture to the middle of your tortilla. Roll up. Fill the remaining tortillas in the same way and line them up next to each other on your cookie sheet, so they are very close to each other, but not touching. This should make two rows on each of your cookie sheets.

(If two pans are too much for your family, then at this point, take one pan and put it in your freezer. Once the enchiladas are frozen, remove them from the pan and stack them in a double lined ziploc freezer bag. When you want to make them, simply line them up again on a greased cookie sheet, let thaw for about an hour on the counter, then bake as instructed.)

Now, bake your enchiladas in the oven, at 400 degrees, for about 20 minutes. They should be lightly browned. Remove them from the oven and spoon over about 2TBSP of your chile sauce over the top of each enchilada. Then sprinkle the tops with cheese. Put the enchiladas back in the oven for about 7 minutes. After that, it's time to eat!

I hope you agree that these are the best tasting chicken enchiladas ever!! We LOVE them, and the kids LOVED them too!

Enchilada Sauce
*3-4 dried guajillo (or ancho) chiles
2 TBSP onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 heaping TBSP minced garlic
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1 TBSP cumin
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP lemon (or lime) juice
Hot water (almost boiling)

*These dried chiles can be found in the mexican aisle of most grocery stores. They are packaged in plastic bags and dried. They should be about the length of your hand and look close to a maroon color. Dont make my mistake, and get the tiny little red chiles. Those are HOT!)

Take your chiles and remove the stems and the seeds. Don't worry about getting every little seed. Heath removed about 2/3rds of the seeds. Add the chiles, onion, cilantro, garlic, seasonings, olive oil and lime (or lemon) juice to your blender. Now, fill your blender to the top with your hot water. (Fill to within 1 inch of the top of your blender.) Let everything sit, just like that, in your blender for about 30 minutes. Go find something to do. :)

After 30 minutes, start your blender (with the lid on!). Keep it blending for about 5 minutes. You want everything really incorporated. Then taste your mixture to make sure everything is seasoned how you like it. If you find that your sauce is too hot for you, you can cut it with some tomatoes (canned tomatoes are fine) but keep in mind, the tomatoes suck up the seasoning, and you may need to adjust seasonings after. Blend everything thoroughly. When you have it how you want it, you will then need to strain your mixture very well through a Very Fine Strainer. If you don't have a really fine sieve, then you can use a flour sifter, which is what we used. Strain it into a bowl. Your result should be satiny smooth and have a beautiful vibrant red color.

*Optional directions: If you want a smokey flavor, buy smoked dried chiles. You can also roast your onions and garlic.

You can keep the sauce in the fridge for two weeks, or you can freeze it in a ziploc bag until you are ready to use it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time For A Towel

I turn on the shower...undress...step into it, and then realize that I have no towel in the vicinity. I'd have to go downstairs (two flights down) to the basement to get a clean towel, since the linen closet has none to be found. Darn it. I'm already wet. What to do?

Georgie. My constant shadow. She will save the day! I tell her through the closed door, to run get momma a fluffy towel in the basement...please! She says "O'right!" and I hear her little steps disappear.

I continue my shower without worry, knowing that I will get a nice fluffy towel in a few minutes.

I am finished with my shower. Still no towel.

I yell for Georgie...again...and....again. Still no towel.

I spend much more time in the shower...waiting...hoping that Georgie will come. No such luck.

I finally get out..dripping, and dry off with... a baby blanket. I call for Georgie, to find out what kept her. She is blissfully playing downstairs, not a care in the world...or a towel to be seen.

The next morning, I know better. I make sure I have a towel before I step foot in the shower. Ahh...minutes go by as I bask undisturbed in the steaming hot water. But wait...the bathroom door is opening. I look out from the shower. George pokes her head through the door, throws a big towel on the ground, and says "Here ya go mommy. You're welcome." and shuts the door.

I bust up laughing, and promise myself to teach her the concept of time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frayed Scarf

Some days it's really difficult to get a good picture taken. Especially when nobody is around to take it. My arm can only extend so far...

So this is all you get to see of the cute knit frayed scarf I made today. If you want the instructions to make one yourself, go HERE.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Dollie For Georgie

Georgie has been asking me for a dollie for quite a while. Yesterday seemed a great day to make her one. So first, I drew out a picture of what I anticipated her to look like. Then I drew and cut out the patterns for her. Georgie called my drawing "her directions".

Georgie was my self-proclaimed helper. She told me what to do next. "The legs, momma! she needs a bow. Do you see the bows? Do the bows momma!" After each thing was accomplished, she would say something like "Good girl momma. Now...where are the they are. Ok, now she needs eyes. EYES MOMMA!"

Good thing I had Georgie right there to help me, or the doll would never have gotten finished! Oh, and Georgie decided to name her Lacee. So, here's Lacee!

Georgie was thrilled with her dollie. I hope she gets loved for many decades.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Count Your Blessings

There have been many times in my life where I am struck by how I have been blessed. I was born into a fabulous family...with so many siblings who are such inspiring examples of sacrifice, love, endurance, service, and joy....parents who love each other and have taught us how to be the best we can be and to turn our faith in God...and together, we see each other through the highs and lows that naturally occur in our life.

In addition, I have friends who have become as close to me as my siblings. Best friends who have an uncanny ability to know my needs and act on their impressions. Friends that share in my grief and bask in my happiness.

My husband is also one of those great blessings in my life. He has taught me the principle that you are who you make yourself become. You have the power to change your life. He loves openly. He is not afraid to share feelings. He puts his family first.

Today at church, I was asked to share a favorite hymn, and explain why it is important to me. I immediately thought of the Hymn "Count your blessings". (See HERE for complete lyrics) When I was about 13 years old, I decided to memorize all four verses of that song during a church meeting. I don't know why I chose that song at that particular time, and can only guess that I was inspired to do so, because throughout my life, in times of grief and hardship, my mind directed my thoughts back to the verses of that song, and it always gave me comfort and peace.

As shared in church today(or I should say blubbered my way through it), one such time was a few months ago, the night after Kimble had his heart surgery. Things did not go well. After a very long night of watching my baby's life being saved again and again, things finally stabilized. I was able to count my many blessings. Blessings of having the medical staff know just what to do. Blessings of having my husband by my side. Blessings of knowing that thousands of people were praying for us. Blessings of knowing that no matter what happens, Heavenly Father loves me. Blessings of knowing that my family is bound together for eternity, and that even if Kimble (or anyone in my family) dies, that we will still be a family, and that we will be together again.

I have been blessed so much, from small things, to things that change my life. Thank you for being part of those blessings.

Fake Arms {and other such musings}

I would absolutely love to sit and hold my baby in my arms ALL.DAY.LONG. However, I cannot. Other things need to happen in my life. For example, I need to eat. I have quite the healthy appetite. This requires the preparation of food. Since I like to cook, and find it quite difficult to just have a sandwich, and I would NEVER have a bowl of cereal, I need use of both my hands in order to make myself (and the ever hungry family) something to quench appetites.

Point number two: I must use the bathroom, shower, blow dry my crazy frizzy hair into blissfully smooth and manageable locks, and do L.A.U.N.D.R.Y. All of these things also require the use of two hands. {On a side note, I think God was truly brilliant in giving us two hands, and tend to think that if two are good, four might be super impressive. Of course, that means I would have to do more, and I am quite satisfied with the workload my two hands accomplish already. So it's probably a good thing that He is smarter than I am, and instead, gave me a husband, with two hands of his own, to work in tandem with mine.}

Enough rambling though. In order to get stuff done, I have devised a clever way to trick the man child into thinking that I have my loving and soft arms wrapped around him. It is called the Boppy, and works like a charm. Kimble loves his fake arms, as you can tell.

This little guy has found his smiles. He coos a lot too, which I find absolutely delightful.
Also, these little baby legs stay cozy and fashionable in these stripey legwarmers, when he wears his open-ended sack jammies. There isn't much that gets better than that, especially since he is now companion to my slight addiction to wearing legwarmers myself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gloves Aren't Necessary?

Today I had a home nurse come to give Kimble a special RSV shot that he will get once a month, for four months. It is a special vaccine for cardiac babies, to prevent RSV. Anyway, the lady came. She was in her late 50's or early 60's and drove a big truck. I could tell right away that an older lady was driving it, for when she chose to back up into my driveway, it took her 5 minutes to do so, and she still ended up halfway parked on my front lawn.

When she came in, she apologized for being late, then right away went to touch Kimble, who I was holding in my arms. I backed away, because I don't let anyone touch him before they have sanitized themselves. Seriously. You are a nurse! You should know better than to bring germs to my baby, especially since you are a traveling nurse, and might have just come from someone else's house.

We moved to the table, where she went over some paperwork for me, and made small talk about how my baby looked to her. "That cleft lip is nothing! Oh, you are still nursing him, huh?" He looks like he is growing good!"

I get her the vaccine and all the syringes, etc, that came with it, and she got it ready. I was about to suggest to her to wash up, when she pulled out a little bottle of hand sanitizer. Well, I guess that's ok, although I would really have liked her to wash with soap for 1 minute and then use the sanitizer spray.

She prepared the syringe with the vaccine, then started coming towards me and baby and said "I'll just inject this into his thigh right now."

Once again, I pulled away from her and said "Aren't you going to wear gloves?" She said "Oh, most of us that are nurses for this long don't really wear gloves."

I stared at her.

She said "But of course I can put some on if that is what you are comfortable with."

She put on the gloves. Then said "Don't really need gloves, especially if we are just doing vaccinations."

I stared at her again. I honestly couldn't believe that she thought gloves weren't necessary. You are dealing with needles and syringes and medications and vaccinations. You are injecting my baby. If you don't want to protect yourself, then at least protect my baby! I don't care how old you are and how long you've been a nurse. It seems a contradiction to me. I say the longer you've been a nurse, the more you've seen, and the more you would want to use gloves!

Anyway, she left with a happy smile and a waddle out the door, saying she'd see me next month for his next dose.

Hmph. I don't like her.

I actually called the company after she left, to complain about the lack of sanitation. As I was talking with the lady about my concerns, she didn't seem to be concerned about it. She said "ok. I'll talk to her later about it" and then she asked if we had already set up the appointment for next month...kinda like she was dismissing it. Once again, I am annoyed. She should have expressed concern, apologized for it, and assured me that it wouldn't happen again. Instead, I got nothin'.

I'll for sure be more forceful next month with her washing up and using gloves...something that I shouldn't have to ask for.

Getting Arrested on Facebook

So a few days ago one of my cousins had this as his status on Facebook: "Play along: You see me in a police car. What would you think I got arrested for?" I thought it would provide me with a few laughs, so I posted it as my status as well. My friends didn't disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed the answers. Here they are:

Julie: You were arrested for using your awesome ninja skills inappropriately while cooking...

Sarah: You would be arrested for being too talented!! I think they would want to do some testing. It's not normal for someone to be so perfect!

Jenifer B: protesting.

Valerie: Forking Kim's yard! LOL

Jennifer W: Eating too many potatoes! LOL

Paula: Disturbance of the peace---riots outside your house as people try to get a piece of your peanut butter pie. The officers offer you a speedy release with an unblemished record in exchange for the remaining pieces of pie.

Jennifer J: Neighborhood riot. I've never heard of this pie!!!!! I think the two of us need to sit down and swap recipes. You know I live right behind you. Well, close to behind you. I could jump my fence and be there in 30 seconds.

Regina: Stealing all of Sonic's ice while doing crafts in the car.

J'ana: Being too nice to everyone. But hey, wait...that's not a crime. Let her go at once, I say!

Marcia: Regina nailed it!

Caroline: I have to go with indecent exposure on this one.

Natasha: You are very very nice in a way that should be a crime. Luckily we still live in a free country.

Kadie: Well, if you were with my momma (Jennifer W), I wouldn't be surprised. You guys would probably get arrested for having too much fun. Oh, and Valerie would be there as well.

Tisha: Probably for eating, putting makeup on, talking on the cell phone and yelling at the kids all at the same time.

Love it when I get a good chuckle in. Do you guys facebook?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Piano Lessons

Kamy's former primary teacher kindly offered to give Kamy piano lessons. She had her first lesson this past Monday. Kamy couldn't have been more excited. She has been wanting to take lessons for a long time.

She takes pride in going through her primer, and discovering the names of the notes, and whether they are half or whole notes. She quickly gets her school homework done every day so that she has enough time to practice on the piano. I am thrilled for her. Many thanks to her teacher, Sister Draney. You are the best!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Biased Love

I know I'm a bit biased, but seriously???? This little guy has stolen my heart. He loves to be cuddled and held. He is so content to just lay in my arms, or against my chest, and doesn't move around at all. He just watches, and absorbs my love and warmth. He has started to smile, which we have been waiting for. The other night, I started playing peek-a-boo with him, and he totally started smiling. He liked it!! Happily, Heath was right there in bed with us, and he was able to see his first intentional smile. I don't think we could love him anymore. Seriously. He has captured me in such a way that I didn't know was possible. I love all my kids, so much, but in all honesty, there is just something very special about Kimble. I am so blessed to be his mommy.

Marshmallow Rules

It's the same thing everyday. The kids come home from school, I have a little snack waiting for them, and then it's time to do their homework. Kamy and Keaton go right to the table, with their folders, books, and papers, and they get right to work without a word of complaint.

Then there is Kolby. The moment "homework" is spoken, the fit starts. Shoulders start to shake, hands flail out, legs start bouncing, feet go berserk, head flops back, mouth hangs open, and out comes the most pathetic and annoying wails which proclaim the unjustness of his life.

And ya know what? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of how he reacts to reading books with me, practicing his flashcards, writing down spelling words, and every other tiny little thing he has to do for homework. Sick Sick Sick!

With Kolby, nothing gets his attention better than sugar. You mention that word, and his face lights up, his eyes get bigger, his mouth salivates in anticipation, and he is suddenly the most well behaved little boy.

So what's a mom to do? She resorts to bribery. In the middle of his homework fit, I say: "Hey Kolby, if you write your spelling words, I'll give you a mini marshmallow for every word you write." (Kolby's eyebrows perk up.) "It says in your directions that you need to write them three times each. I will write the first set, and next to that, you write the word two more times."

Cleverly adding a little math to the negotiation, I tell him that he has 10 spelling words, and if he writes each word one time, how many mini marshmallows will he get? He immediately replies that he will get 10, and basks in the vision of marshmallows dancing around him. Then I tell him that if he writes the words two times each, he will get double the marshmallows, and ask him how many he would have. He thinks for a second, then yells in delight that he will get 20 marshmallows!! He giggles in delight and is positively sure that he has just outsmarted his mom into willingly giving him sugar.

The only catch is that he must write the words very well. If he doesn't succeed, he won't get his treat. So, with enthusiasm that in the past has never accompanied spelling homework, he sets to work.

As each word is completed, he yells out the total of marshmallows he is up to. "Twelve marshmallows! Ha Ha!!!"

At the end, he succeeded in writing his spelling words better than I've ever seen him write before. One thing that Kolby likes to do, is dress up his letters with a little curly Q at the end. His "h" and "n" letters get the most flamboyant of a curl.

So he wrote his ten spelling words two times each, and then he got to count out his 20 mini marshmallows.

He was very proud of himself. And I've got to tell ya, so was I. We didn't finish his other homework, because he took so long perfecting his spelling words, but I feel that the day was an accomplishment...thanks to the magic of a mini marshmallow; or in this case, 20.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tag Monsters {New & Improved}

I've been working on improving my design for the Tag Monsters. I think I've made them more appealing. These two cute monsters are backed with soft chenille, to make them more lovable. I've also sewed their eyes better, and their rows of tags are all cleaned up a bit better by sewing a row of ribbon across the tops of each row, to make everything look nicer. I'm considering making a tutorial for them. Are you interested?
These two monsters have big plans in their future. They are going to be mailed out to a friend. Hope her babies love them.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Peanut Butter LOVERS Unite!

If you are like me, and dream in shades of peanut butter, then you will love this peanut butter pie that I made. Last week, the husband and I were watching Food Network, and whatever show we were watching showed some of the best places to eat...somewhere. Anyway, the details of the show escape me, but one thing stuck. Peanut Butter Pie. The lady didn't give away her secret recipe, but nevertheless, she inspired me. Thus, a recipe was born. A recipe that although bears simplicity, tastes rich and delicious and absolutely sinful.

This week, the family and I had our Thanksgiving (a few months late) due to the adventures we were undergoing in November with our baby. For our dessert, I made this pie. It was the perfect ending to our celebratory feast. It was also the perfect late night snack attack quencher, mid morning sugar rush, and afternoon delight. Somebody stop me from eating it! (Heidi, the slices are going fast if you still want to sample!)
So, because I made the recipe up, and didn't take the time to write out exact measurements, for fear that it wouldn't turn out, the recipe I am going to give you is in approximations. Hope you will forgive me.
Peanut Butter Pie
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 big box of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 small box of instant butterscotch pudding mix
(enough milk to make pudding mixes)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 TBSP sugar
2 Pie Crusts
1)Bake pie crusts in the oven, according to packaged instructions.
2)Mix peanut butter with powdered sugar until mixture is crumbly. (You may need to add more or less powdered sugar to get the right consistency.)
3)Beat whipping cream and sugar in a mixer until it softly peaks, about 12 minutes.
4)Make your vanilla pudding and butterscotch pudding in separate bowls, adding enough milk for the "pudding pie" directions.
Assembly: After your crusts have cooled, sprinkle some of the peanut butter crumbs into the bottom of the pie crusts. Divide your vanilla pudding between the two pies. Top with more crumbs. Add layer of butterscotch pudding. Top with crumbs. Spread whipped cream on top of both pies, then sprinkle top with crumbs. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.
If you are really going for some calories, or think like I do, and believe that chocolate should always accompany peanut butter, then do what the husband did. He topped his pie with "Magic Shell", found in the ice cream toppings section of your grocery store. The result tasted exactly like a Reese's peanut butter cup, disguised in pie form. Super amazing.

aaah. And I wonder why I weigh so much.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Big Cheeks

Those cheeks just keep getting bigger and bigger!!

Kimble is sporting the latest in winterwear...namely this adorable crochet hat, made by my sister Sharon. It's still a bit big for him, but with Kimble, big is in style. In no time, it will be too small for him, based on how he's growing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vietnamese Egg Rolls

My friend Young makes some amazing Asian cuisine. I think her most popular dish has to be these eggrolls. Just about every activity, party, get-together, birthday, holiday that we spent with them in California, Young would make these eggrolls. What would a party be without them? Not much of one, I'll tell ya that.

I think Young could get us to do anything she wanted, if it accompanied these eggrolls. Oh, you need help moving? You want me to clean your toilets? Scrub your floors? Wash all your cloth diapers? You got it....just as long as you make eggrolls. It's a deal.

Lucky for me, she gave me the recipe, and now I'm going to share them with you. (No scrubbing of toilets necessary.)

Vietnamese Egg Rolls
1 pkg ground turkey
1 pkg ground pork
2 cups grated carrots, chopped up
5 green onions, diced small
1 pkg vermicelli bean threads
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP salt
1 TBSP pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP oyster sauce
2 eggs
1 pkg egg roll wrappers

Soak the bean threads in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and chop so strands are about 1/2 inch long. Add all the ingredients together and mix well.

Place about 3 TBSP of mixture in the middle of your egg roll wrapper,

Fold bottom corner up.

Fold in the two sides.

Wet the remaining tip of wrapper with some water, then fold over and press into the eggroll to seal closed.

With your stove heat on about medium to medium high, heat about two inches of oil in your big pot. When oil is hot, place about 4-5 eggrolls in the oil, frying for about 15 minutes, turning every few minutes, until they are a golden brown. (You don't want your oil too hot, or it will cook the outside and the insides will still be raw.)

This recipe makes about 25 eggrolls. You can freeze them, before you fry them, if you don't want to fry up all at once.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Got Dip?

So today I went to a baby shower for a friend. We were asked to bring something yummy to share. I ended up bringing some chips and dip, which may seem boring and uninventive. I mean, come on. There is always some form of chips and dip at every party, right? Ahhh, but you haven't tried this dip! I think every person that was there said they loved the dip.

It's called Chicken Enchilada Dip and here is how you make it.

3 chicken breasts (seasoned with seasoning salt, cooked and diced small)
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can diced green chiles
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 tsp each of salt, chili powder, and cumin.

Mix everything together until it is blended well. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Bring this to your next party and your friends will thank you.


That look. The look that is totally and completely reserved for you. When your baby looks up at you with complete and utter adoration. They know you. They love you. You are their world.

Believe me baby. I have the same look on my face when I look at you too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I was trying not to have to do major grocery shopping with the kids. First off, it is just more difficult trying to manage kids jumping around, sneaking bags of candy into the cart, running down the aisles because they think it's a fun game, smashing into other people because they are walking backwards...with their eyes still staring longingly at the box of cookies I refused to buy, or hanging/dragging on the already overloaded and heavy grocery cart. Not to mention the looks I get from other people, the crowds I don't want to deal with, or the germs my kids will pick up from touching everything, or the fact that I have to keep saying "NO" to my kids when they ask if they can have EVERYTHING they see.

Anyway, thus far, since having Mr. Kimble, I've managed to do most of the shopping on a weekend, or a day when the husband is home. However, after having the family eat cereal three days in a row...for dinner...I knew I could not delay it anymore.

So I made up a list of dinners, filled out a list of ingredients, packed up baby in the snuggy (because with all I needed to get, the carseat wouldn't fit in the basket!) loaded up Georgie, and we took off down the rows and rows of packaged goods.

Now I can't complain too much, since I only had two kids with me instead of five. But it still was something I wanted to avoid, especially since I hate to expose Kimble to public germs.

However, Mr. Kimble stayed asleep the whole time, and despite Georgie prancing around the basket and aisles the whole time, and only threatening to pee her pants twice, we made it out with a FULL cart, one tired shoulder from holding my 10 lb 5 oz baby (gained 5 oz in two days!) and a happy girl who got a bag of mini marshmallows out of the deal.

Oh, and see the two people in red, staring at me in the background of this picture? They stared at me in the store, they stared at me as we left the store, and they stared at me as I loaded up the van. They were parked in the "expecting mothers" parking. Do you think they were expecting? Of course not. Anyone who can be so appalled at my full cart and...count them...TWO KIDS(!) is definitely NOT the expecting mother type.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A 10 pound sack of potatoes!

Although they weigh the same, it is much more pleasant to cradle this little guy, than it is a sack of potatoes.
Mr. Kimble weighs 10 pounds now!! He gained 3 pounds in one month! That is very impressive for being a cardiac baby. None of my other babies have gained so much weight so quickly. Kimble really is a fighter.
In this picture, he is enjoying a bath with his daddy. You can see some of his scar; his chest incision from his surgeries. The two bandages are covering up two parts that didn't close up all the way, and are taking a bit of extra attention to heal. I have to lift up his second chin, everytime I change the bandages. He is cute and sweet and getting more roley-poley every day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Special Moments

When we were in the hospital, we had a special photographer come from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. John was a really great guy, and took the time to capture some very sweet photographs.

We went back and forth on whether to have this organization come. Even though Kimble's heart defects were very severe, the doctors had a great plan in place to help his heart function properly. The final decision was made after we thought about the possibility of our baby not surviving his surgeries, and how we would feel. These pictures would mean the world to us. So we went ahead and had the photographer come.

About a week later, when Kimble almost didn't live through the night, my mind kept going back to that night we took the pictures, and I was very grateful that we had done that.

So here are some of the pictures that we got from that photo session.

Because of the special circumstances, we were allowed to have the kids come in for that short time, so we could have a picture taken with them, and so they could see their baby brother alive...just in case. They were not allowed to touch him, but they loved being able to see him.
It was really important to me to have a family picture.

...and I think this next one might just be my favorite.

My Kids Have Superpowers

This week, the kids 3rd week for Christmas break, there were many a day where rooms were not cleaned, chores were not done, and listening was forgotten. Therefore, many of their rewards were taken away, like the wii, tv, movies, computer, and playing outside. The kids learned to be creative with each other.

On this particular day, the kids were all playing downstairs in the basement together, and I was enjoying a few moments of blissful quiet. Soon, though, their playing brought them upstairs, amid a whirlwind of blankets, scarves, and capes. When I asked what they were playing, Kamy replied "We ran away from our parents and we all have superpowers!"

Quite frankly, I don't know why the "running away from parents" had to do with them having super powers, unless it was a direct hint to their mean mommy "not letting them do anything fun", as Georgie said, but nevertheless, that was the game they were all playing.

So when they were all battling downstairs, I took that picture and asked them what kind of powers they had. Their answers surprised me.

Keaton: "My name is Golden Midnight (NOT silver...but GOLDEN!) and my power is that I can see in the dark with glowing blue eyes. Also, I'm electric!"

Kamy: "You can call me Zelda. I make force fields that blow people back. I can lift 100 pounds and jump 20 feet in the air."

Georgie: "I'm Bird baby. I blow air through my mouth and the bad guys get blown away."

Kolby: "Well, I'm Medinight. I can act like a tornado and I have bat wings. I also have heat vision, and can kill all the bad rangers trying to get us."

There you have it. My kids have super powers. Do yours?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stupid Things I Did As A Kid

Brought half a batch of raw cookie dough to school to share with all my friends when I was in 7th grade. It sat in my locker, all day, as my friends and I partook of its raw sugary goodness. I was sick for days.
Let my older, bigger, and meaner cousins double jump me on the trampoline. I ended up crumpled on the ground with a bloody lip.
Got so excited seeing a return missionary visit during girls camp, that after I talked with him, I was so full of stupid girly hormones that I ran off through the trees towards my camp, to boast about my conversation with a boy, and completely missed seeing the clothesline pulled taunt between the branches. I gave myself whiplash...not to mention two scars across my upper eyelid where the rope unforgivingly stopped my progress, and landed unceremoniously on my back, with the wind knocked out of me. To add insult to injury, I was still within eyesight of the guy.
Tried to see how small I could make my pencil, and still be able to write with it. I ended up sharpening it so much, that I sharpened my thumb. Tore the nail right off.

Said "ok" to my sister, when she told me to hold the watermelon with my two hands, because she was going to hold the big butcher knife with her two hands, as she sliced the watermelon up for all of us kids. She ended up slicing something else...namely my fingers.
Helped my little 2 year old brother go to the bathroom at church. I mistakenly had him sit down, and I squatted down in front of him, holding on to his shoulders so he wouldn't lose his balance. With my hands occupied already, I forgot that I needed to make sure his, uh, anatomy was pointing downward. I got peed on, completely saturating my church dress. Unfortunately, there were two hours left of church that I had to endure through, smelling like pee.
Dated a guy, for far too long, who couldn't ever remember how to pronounce my name.
I wore my dad's oversized steel toe boots to school one day during a "spirit week" to accessorize my outfit, and forgot to bring a separate pair of shoes to wear when my feet got tired of lugging around the 10 pound weights. The mile long walk home was a nightmare, especially since my feet didn't even come halfway up the length of the boots.
I dressed up for Halloween when I was in the 7th grade, and proudly wore my outfit to school for the day. I had on my over the shoulder shirt with a belt clip on the side, a jean skirt that flared just above the knee, fishnet tights, ankle-length high heeled boots, with my hair teased out and lots of makeup on. I was the coolest "punk rocker" ever. I got lots of looks and comments throughout the day, but the one that really stood out was: "What are you supposed to be?", and I answered "Isn't it obvious?", and she said "A hooker?"

Just The {3} Of Us

The older kids are back in school and it's just the three of us at home during the day now. Today we have a Cardiology appointment to go to. Tomorrow, we have a Pediatrician appointment to go to, and on Monday, we have three LONG appointments in Denver to keep: Audiology, Cardiology, and Cleft Lip/Pallet. On Monday, we'll be gone all day.

It's easier to make all the appointments with two kids in tow, rather than five kids! At any rate, it's busy busy for us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

12 Christmas Stockings...All In A Row!

Well, I guess they are all in two rows in this picture! Here are the Christmas Stockings that I grew up seeing every Christmas morning. They go in order from left to right, with my Dad's stocking first (the big red boot) followed by mom's stocking, then all the kids, in order of birth. Mine is the pretty girl in the blue dress.

We all squabble over who's stocking is the best. Of course, mine is! I love my cute little girl in the blue dress. However, the best part about these stockings, is that my mom made them all. I love her creativity. Super impressed by it.

Just to remind you of my family, I am one of 10 kids (4th oldest). Here is a picture of my siblings and my parents, taken in August 2008, which was the last time all of us were together.

I love my family. They are such great examples to me. They are all super cool too. How else do you think we pulled off tye-dye shirts in this day and age?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Two Months Old!

Can you believe it? Mr. Kimble is already two months old. On one hand, it seems like forever since he was born. On the other hand, we've only been home a few weeks, and so it seems like he shouldn't be that old yet.

Kimble's milestones include holding his head up, tracking his sister across the room with his eyes, floating in the bathtub, and tooting like a champ. He is instantly soothed when I am holding him, loves to be bundled up, and his binkie is his best friend.

He has had more doctor's appointments in his short life, than I have had in my entire life. He is a very calm baby, and loves to be held close. He eats all night and spits up after every meal. He is wearing size 1 diapers now, is too big for his preemie and newborn clothes, and is gaining weight by the minute.

Happy 2 month birthday little man!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Name and a Blessing

In our church, we don't baptize our infants. We wait until they are 8 years old to do that, when they are of the age of accountability. However, we do give them a special blessing by someone who holds the priesthood. In this blessing, the infant's name is declared, and will then be on the official records of the church. It is also customary to then give the baby a blessing, individual to them, and specific to their needs. These blessings could be: being an example to all; having an understanding of their trials with great perspective; being kind and loving and a joy to those around them; serving others; having faith.

Today, we were able to have Kimble blessed by his Daddy. Many of our friends, other priesthood holders in our church, were able to stand in the circle to support Heath, as he gave a beautiful blessing to our baby.

It was such a sweet time for all of us today. There were many moments during my pregnancy with him, that we were cautioned that he might not live. There were moments after Kimble was born, that we didn't know if he would survive the night. There is always the uncertainty with future surgeries, that he will thrive. All these things considered, we are mighty impressed with our little fighter. He is strong and courageous and already, and example to many.

On this special day, we were able to witness a miracle. Our baby is with us. He is doing great. He is loved by many. He is happy...

...and we are so happy to have him with us.
Here are a few things from his blessing. "You came into this life with the knowledge of your trials. Heavenly Father loves you. You are blessed with a sweet spirit, which you will have throughout your life. You will have the ability to serve others. You are kind and innocent. You will have challenges; many people have challenges. Recognize that these challenges in your life will better you, and that it is ok to have these challenges. As you grow, you'll be blessed to understand these challenges. You are blessed with a happy demeanor. Remember throughout life, to stop and smell the roses. You will bless those around you. You will be an example to others, a light in their life."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Magical Moments: 2009

Since I didn't write and send out a Christmas Letter for 2009, due to the craziness of our family life the last few months of the year, I decided to do a quick year in review for you. To make it interesting, it's all in pictures. So enjoy the HUGE amount of pictures in this post, and my apologies if it takes a long time for my blog to come up.

January: We enjoyed playing dress-up...
going sledding in our backyard...
and going on hikes to Garden of the Gods.

In February, we continued going almost every weekend to Garden of the Gods...

giving piggy-back rides...
and making fun things, including this purse.

We also enjoyed nice sunny walks to school...

and going to fun church activities, which gave us a chance to dance with utter abandon.

In March, Kamy turned 9 years old...

and had a teaparty for her birthday...

In April, we announced to everyone that we were having another baby!

and I had my sisters come visit me for a "sisters craft weekend", which was a blast!
In May, we continued to find great places to hike, and took this picture just seconds before a huge storm rolled in and forced us to run for cover...
and here is Heath, on another weekend adventure of hiking...
and we celebrated Mother's Day...
and the kids got out of school for the summer.
In June we celebrated 10 years of marriage...

as we watched my belly get bigger and bigger with our little baby...

and we went to Utah for a family reunion.
In July Kamy got glasses...

and Georgie played dress-up.
In August, the kids went back to school (Kamy 4th, Keaton 2nd, and Kolby 1st).

and Kolby turned 6 years old!

and we can't seem to stop playing dress-up, even on our way to church!

In September, Keaton turned 8 years old! He got baptized a few weeks later!

In October, we had a crazy month of doctor's visits in preparation for our special baby to come, but we took the time to take some pictures to document the occasion.

In November, we welcomed Kimble into our arms...
and he spent the entire month having procedures, operations, and life-changing moments...
In December, he was stable enough to come home!
He managed to come home just in time to celebrate Georgie's 4th birthday, and for us to be together for Christmas.

We can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for us!