Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update on the Update

Well, we heard back from the Dr. and thankfully Lauren does not have Celiac disease! Hopefully she will gain a little weight by July so we won't have to do anymore blood tests! On the other hand...she is on her 4th ear infection and if she gets one more over the summer, to Dr. says we may have to do tubes. :( We will keep you posted on that. In the meantime.....enjoy these! She is loving getting into anything and everything these days!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Everyday should be Earth Day, but use this as sort of New Year's Day, if you will! Make some resolutions to be "greener" in your everyday lives! This is your Day 1! Being green will actually save you money, make you healthier, and leave this Earth in better shape for future generations. I can't stand to think of my kids or their kids not having clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, summers so hot you can't enjoy them, no north pole or south pole (try explaining Santa Claus when the North Pole is now just the North Sea), having to deal with major health issues at younger and younger ages, no glaciers to go visit, no New York city or Venice, Italy b/c they are underwater, ....this is just to name a few. This issue is sooo important and I hope everyone can resolve to make changes for the benefit of our amazing planet and our future generations.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Preparing for Earth Day

Some of you may or may not know that one issue I am very interested in and pretty passionate about is the environment and saving the planet. I know that my time in CA sort of turned me into a beginner tree-hugger, but it is really what I have learned about since then that has made this a big issue for me. We try and teach Sarah on a daily basis about things such as recycling, the importance of saving energy, and to appreciate and take care of the environment around her. If I can teach my daughters the importance of taking care of the only home we have and have them turn into Earth conscience adults, then I will be very proud. Although I wish I could be 100% green and be a perfect example to my kids, it is hard in daily life to do so. I would like to share with you all some of the simple things we do so that you might find something you could change in your daily routine. Earth Day is Wednesday, so maybe you can come up with at least one thing you can change or do to celebrate the day!

1. Electricity from wind energy: At the end of last summer I did some research and actually found that switching to wind power for our electricity was really not that much more than we were already paying. My monthly bills would be slightly higher, not drastically higher. I even found that my current electrical carrier of Reliant had a wind plan that I didn't even know about. I thought the only one was Green Mountain and Reliant was actually cheaper.

2.) Drive a hybrid car or flex fuel car: If only BMW made a hybrid!! If it were up to me we would have a Prius in the garage, but I must admit I love the Beemer. Our other car is a Highlander Hybrid. I use this one the most carting the kids all over the place. As soon as I start seeing ethanol at the gas station, a flex fuel car will be next on my list. (seriously, though, driving a flex fuel car, but using regular gas is not being "green")

3.) Use Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs: We have switched about 60% of our regular light bulbs to these. The reason they are not all switched is because they haven't made a small wall sconce bulb that is a CFL. We did see at Target the other night the CFL bulbs encased in a globe to mimic a regular light bulb. So if you don't like the crazy spiral CFL look, go buy the ones at Target!

4.) Reduce Energy use: We don't leave any lights on in other rooms when we are not in there and have our thermostats set at 75/76 in the summer and 72/73 in the winter.

5.) RECYCLE: This is the easiest one of them all. Why people I know don't do this I still haven't figured it out. The bins are free, I can get as many as I want, and they pick it up once a week. Sarah even knows what goes in the the bin and what doesn't. This is being "green" 101.

6.) Cloth Bags at the Market: I will admit that I religiously take my cloth bags when I go grocery shopping, but can't seem to remember when I run up to Target. I did calculate that at the grocery store alone, for one year, I used about 300 plastic bags. I have been using my bags now for going on 3 years now, so I have saved about 800+ bags from going in the landfill....just me alone!

There are other small/minor things we do and have in our home, but those are the biggies and the ones that I think are so easy to do. It just about making it a priority. Next on my list is to: buy a more energy efficient washer/dryer, plant a couple of more trees, try to start eating more organic and locally grown foods, maybe even start our own little garden, and try to figure a way to catch rain water to use for watering to cut down on our water usage.

In closing, I want to share with you a website to check out. It is a great "green living" tool. You can find information on toy recalls, organic recipes, political blogs, and many ways to live green, just to name a few. Also..please go out and rent and watch An Inconvenient Truth, regardless of your political party. It is a great, eye-opening movie. The 11th Hour with Leo DiCaprio is also great!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ballet & Tap Parent Show

Every "semester" they have a little parent show at Sarah's dance class. It is so fun to see how much she is learning and capture those little moments. I felt the need to take a photo of every single step she took for 2 reasons: 1.) She is growing up so fast. She is no longer my little baby in a pink tutu pretending to be a princess....she is quickly growing into a little girl who has her eyes set on being the next Sharpay form High School Musical! (Not sure if that is even how you spell her name, if that is a name!) 2.) She has repeatedly told me she doesn't like dance any more, but I think I have her convinced that the summer break will do her good and we will start new again in the fall with tap, ballet, and jazz! Keeping my fingers crossed that a new class and a new type of dance will spur her interest!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

Tonight I tried a new recipe and the first from a blog that I follow. I borrowed it from the Pioneer Woman blog. The picture I "stole" from there as well! I highly recommend this recipe and here is the link to it: Mexican Lasagna. I will, if I may, suggest a slightly altered version of the recipe for those of us that aren't feeding an army of cowboys (although that could be quite fun!) I made my own smaller version tonight for my husband and I and we still could have had about 6 extra guests help us finish it off. Here would be my version if you were going to make it for 2-4 people.

2 cups of unprepared rice
2 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth/stock
3 tomatoes chopped small
1/2 onion chopped small
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1.5-2 lbs of ground beef
2 (16oz) bags of mexican cheese blend
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black beans
2 (16oz) jars of salsa verde
1 (16oz) jar of enchilada sauce
2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tBsp of paprika, 1 Tbsp of cumin
1-2 Tbsp of butter
Flour tortillas
Sour cream (if you like for garnish)

Begin by preparing the rice with the chicken broth/stock. I used my rice cooker. Saute tomatoes, onions and garlic over med-high heat with a 1-2 Tbsp of butter. Add 1 Tbsp of chili powder and 1/2 a Tbsp of each the paprika and cumin. Let this cook down a bit and beans. Mix cooked rice together with this mixture. This makes your Mexican rice for the dish.

Then in the same pan you just used, brown the ground beef using the remaining 1 Tbsp of the chili powder, and the other 1/2 a Tbsp of the paprika and cumin. Drain the fat and add a little water if neccesary to create taco beef.

Assemble the lasagna: Spread one container of salsa verde in the bottom of the casserole or baking dish. Layer tortillas covering the salsa verde. Some overlapping is expected. Divide the rice mixture in half and spread it over the layer of tortillas. Put one bag of cheese over the rice layer. Add another layer of tortillas. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and spread it evenly. Add layer of ground beef. Add can of corn. Then the remaining rice mixture. Add one last layer of tortillas and then top with 2nd jar of salsa verde and then the 2nd bag of cheese goes on last.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-35 minutes until cheese has melted and begins to brown a bit. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream when you serve it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lauren 18 month Update

Talk about a hard day today. It all started off with Lauren waking up covered in poo with a stomach virus. Luckily we were already going to the Dr.'s office for her 18 month check-up, so we killed 2 birds with one stone. However, she was due for 4 shots, so she got those and was a little trooper. The stomach bug is going around here, so you know what they say...."just let it run its course". Fun times! The rest of her check-up went well. She is above average on height and about average on weight. With her weight, though, it has sort of plateaued for the last several visits and he was a little concerned with that. He is having us get some blood work done on her to check if she has Celiac disease. I don't know too much about it, but it is basically gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy. I have another relative who has this so I am sort of familiar with it, but the Dr. says it is not really something that is inherited. Hopefully she does not have this and all will be well. I am not too worried about the weight issue because Sarah was the same way. Tall and about average on weight. Nonetheless...she has that to look forward to tomorrow! :( Well, that is the update. I will send out an update on the update if we find anything out!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

We had a great day today! It started out a bit soggy, so the Easter Bunny had to hide eggs on the patio instead of the yard, but it worked out well. We had both of our families here today, minus my older brother, but we did get to talk on the phone. WE had a great lunch with a honey ham, the heavenly McDonald mashed potatoes (they have about an inch of cheese melted on the top), green bean casserole, blueberry muffins, spinach salad, and fruit salad. We were truly blessed to partake in such a feast! The girls had a blast opening Easter treats and visiting with everyone. We hope you all had as great of an Easter as we did!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bluebonnets 2009

If you live in Texas, this is pretty much an annual tradition. Some years the bluebonnets are not that great, but this year they were. It is always a challenge with young kids to get great photos, so that is why I took so many. I love that the bluebonnet is our state flower. They are so pretty!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Everyone go to Sea Siam

Just got back from eating with the in-laws and this weeks restaurant of choice was Sea Siam in Keller. It is Thai it is THE BEST Thai food! I have eaten Thai food 3 times in my life. 1.) When I worked at NBC in Burbank....I ordered fried rice (the safest thing on the menu) and it was average. 2.) Charlie and I went to Thai Chili in Southlake several months ago b/c everyone raved about it....below average. 3.) Sea Siam in Keller tonight! It was awesome! It is a small little place off of Keller Pkwy. The address is 940 Keller Pkwy Ste. 230 In the same shopping center as Kroger. The owner is sooo nice and this is what we got: (I highly recommend it all, I can not pick a favorite!) We started with the egg rolls and the chicken satay. For dinner we got 4 entrees and split it family style. Basil Chicken, Combo Fried Rice, Beef Drunken Noodles, and Musman Curry (chicken). We asked for them all to be a little on the spicy side. It was not too much to handle, trust me! It all came with a side of white rice cooked to perfection. For dessert we had coconut ice cream. I am not a big coconut fan, but this was great! Even my picky 5 year old ate this! Did I mention it was BYOB, too. So bottom line...if you love Thai food, try this place, if you are not sure if you like Thai food, try this place, if you don't like Thai food, give it one more chance and try this place!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lauren - 18 Months

Lauren is 1 1/2 years old today! She has done a lot of growing and changing in the last 6 months (and really the last 2 months, in particular!) The biggest thing to note is that she is now EATING!! We are still giving her baby food fruits and veggies because she won't eat those otherwise, but she has moved onto to eating table foods, finally!! She just started this a couple of months ago. I attribute the progress to the fact that she began going to her Young Toddler class at her daycare. Watching and studying all the other kiddos eating their chicken nuggets, turkey wraps, and snacks really helped her to turn the corner! No more gagging just stuffing her face!! Some of her favorite foods are as follows: Veggie Puffs (not a real food, but her favorite), any kind of chips, cracker, or cookie, pizza, taco meat, Spanish rice, waffles, pancakes, shredded cheese, mac and cheese and cereal bars. I can't wait until bite size pieces of fruits and veggies are added to that list so I can stop spoon feeding them to her!

Let's see....what else....oh, yes....she LOVES Dora! I would even say that is her favorite word right now. She will repeat almost anything you throw at her, but her favorites are bye bye, hello, Sarah, bath time, cracker, cookie, mama (finally), Wonder Pets, just to name a few. Like I said, she repeats like crazy, so she has said tons of words! She loves to dance....especially to anything on Noggin, she likes to climb on things, she likes playing with anything Sarah is trying to play with, she loves her baths with her sister, she likes throwing the ball around, and my personal favorite....she loves to give real kisses! She takes one good nap a day and when her ears aren't bothering her she sleeps good at night. We have had a handful of ear infections this season. I hope they don't continue.

She goes for her 18 month check-up next week, so I will update you on that and anything else I think of. For now, enjoy the photos! Today was also the girl's Easter Egg Hunt at their daycare, so they had a blast with that. I have never seen anyone more petrified of the Easter Bunny than Lauren. She was majorly concerned with him!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thanks for dinner Paula Deen!

I made one my favorite, easy recipes tonight! It is Paula Deen's quick & easy Jambalaya! I usually reserve this for an all out Cajun night where I do the red beans & rice and the whole bit, but tonight I wanted to keep it simple. It is basically a one pot meal and it takes about 30-35 minutes from beginning to end. That is prep and everything! The clean up is snap, too. Just two plates and one big pot. I serve it with bread and call it a meal. The ingredients are as follows:
Notice there is not one stick of butter in the photograph!

The Mix**
1 cup long grain rice
3 TBS dried minced onions
1 TBS dried parsley flakes
1 TBS beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf

2.5 cups of water
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 lb. fully cooked andouille sausage, 1/4 inch slices
1/2 lb. medium, peeled & deveined fresh shrimp

In a Dutch Oven, combine The Mix**, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat & let simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp & cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.

Note: This is such an easy recipe because a lot of the ingredients are dried and canned, however, I don't think it would hurt to add in fresh garlic, fresh onions, and even a little grilled chicken, cooked. This just adds to your prep time, but would probably be worth it if you are in the mood to cook!

The finished product!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Park

Yesterday was a great day to go to the park! It was almost too warm if you stood in the sun too long. We went to an older park that we used to go to when Sarah was Lauren's age. Sarah begged me to take her there. I am glad she has fond memories of it! Sarah loves to play on everything and walk around the pond to see the ducks and Lauren just likes trying to climb on everything she is too little to climb on. She did like the swings...sort of...a little too confining. Yet another item on the long lists of differences between the 2 girls. We couldn't drag Sarah off the swings!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Go Hurricanes!

Today was a great day for soccer. Sarah just absolutely loves it. She cries now when I take her to dance because she doesn't like to do it and is on cloud nine at soccer! Why!! No seriously, I am very happy she loves it and it is something she is really good at! She scored 4 goals today during her game! Her team is awesome! Go Hurricanes!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails