Monday, May 30, 2011


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The kids are alright

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Recipe Monday

Mondays are always the day when 5:00 hits and I realize I completely forgot to plan dinner. That's when I used to turn to one of my trusty Trader Joe's frozen concoctions. Alas, those days are no more! But I do have a few stand-by recipes that are super delicious and very easy to throw together for those "forgot to defrost some chicken" days. I thought I'd share one with you guys as a public service to moms everywhere! I call it my Clean Out the Pantry Chicken Enchilada Casserole:

  • 2 big cans chicken breast (like the Kirkland brand from Costco)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 big can green enchilada sauce (or two of the smaller standard size cans)
  • 1/2 can of refried black beans (I use the other half can in a delicious chipotle turkey chili recipe from my Trader Joe's cookbook)
  • about 1 cup sour cream
  • Tapatio or other chili sauce to your desired level of kick (I just shake a little in for flavor if Claire will be eating it)
  • about 2 cups frozen corn
  • shredded cheese
  • corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl. In a 9 x 13 casserole dish alternate layers of corn tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese (about 3-4 layers) Bake for 30 minutes.

Easy Peasy! No defrosting. No pre-cooking. Just mix and go. It's great for when that half packet of tortillas has been in the fridge for a while and they're getting stale. And I've found that kids generally love this. And, if you're an over-achiever you can use fresh chicken and shred it yourself (but I never do that because this is always my rescue meal when I'm unprepared for dinner!) I just keep the basic canned ingredients stocked and I'm always good to go.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When did he get so big?

YouTube Video

Also, he says ma ma ma now! :-)

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I didn't forget my dad's birthday...

I didn't! Kevin left to go to San Jose for work for three days yesterday morning before the kids were up. So, I was flying solo all day. I had decided I would call Dad after I got the kids down for the night so that I could catch him at home after work.

The day went off pretty well. Jude slept for 15 hours and didn't get up until 10 am! Claire was sweet, albeit very chatty. It was raining so I agreed to haul everyone to the mall in the afternoon. I noticed Jude was super fussy, and felt warm while we were at the mall. Then, when I told Claire it was time to stop playing at the play area and go home, she agreed almost gratefully. Strange. The minute we were home Claire said she was tired and needed to take a nap. At 4:30.

Meanwhile I was handling a very unhappy Jude. I gave him some tylenol for what felt like a low grade fever and strapped him to me while I prepared dinner. Now the 15 hour sleep session made sense! When Claire came down to eat she said she was cold. Sure enough, she also had a fever. I actually took her temperature: 99.9. Nothing major. Tylenol all around!

So, needless to say, the evening was a challenge. The crying from various fronts didn't end until about 10. Then, when Jude woke me up at 3:30 (Ug!) I realized I hadn't called my dad for his birthday!

But it wasn't a total fail, because Claire had made him a birthday video that I emailed earlier in the day.

In other news, I took Claire to the build-a-bear workshop. I steered her to the cheap end of the rack (not paying $20 for a stuffed animal!!) where she chose a very cute brown teddy bear. When it came time to make a birth certificate for her bear and name it, she proved again why she is a very special girl. The name she choose for her new bear: Octopus! When we paid, the lady said she had never seen anyone choose a name like that! Here are Claire and Octopus this morning:

And in Jude news: He is a climbing machine!

So, sorry we didn't call yesterday Dad! You were continuously thought of, and only neglected a little at the end there! Love you!! (I'll call today, I promise!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I have the BEST husband EVER!!

I am writing this while languishing in a bubble bath in a completely silent house! We decided to do Mother's Day today instead of tomorrow. It has been the greatest day I've had in a long time...probably since my 30th birthday in February.

The day started with Kevin running point with Claire this morning while I stayed in bed. I could listen to her constant jabbering in the kitchen from the comfort of my bed without the burden of responding. You know, I truly enjoy my daughter's vast and creative vocabulary so much more when I can meet it with a cup of coffee in hand!

Then, after everyone was up, fed, and dressed, we went walking around our neighborhood enjoying the community garage sale and warm sunny spring [finally!] weather. I bought a cute sweater and Claire had one whole dollar to buy whatever she wanted- which turned out to be some lemonade from a little girl's stand and some boy's action figures that she hasn't put down since. Now, I try hard not to push princesses over spiderman, but these toys (Dragonball Z?) are weird!!! Luckily, since she hasn't seen the corresponding show, her action figures ride in her Little People bus and have tea parties instead of trying to kill each other!

Then, while the kids napped, I went to Target. Alone. It was glorious!
(I also got to try out the new Bluetooth headset Kevin gave me. I felt so fancy! Lol!)

Then, after some playtime with Jude, he went down again for another nap and Kevin took Claire to the park for a "Daddy date."

Now that takes us to present. As if that wasn't enough, we are having amazing Thai takeout tonight for dinner, and watching Harry Potter after the kids are down!

I know, right?!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hey Jude!

Our little man is now six whole months old! Recently he has changed a lot! He can army crawl like crazy, and is flirting with the real deal. We had to move his mattress down because he can now pull himself up onto things. And he's also outgrown the infant car seat and graduated to an umbrella stroller! Yikes!

He is also eating solid food now. It's been two weeks since he started and he can already put down an entire 4 oz pouch of food! (My food processor broke, and while I'm awaiting replacement parts, I've been buying this baby food at Target.)

Another development: babbling! He says "ba ba ba ba ba" with such delight! I was wondering when he was going to get around to this milestone. Although, I must admit to being a little relieved that he is a little slower with the speech/language development. Is that bad? (Especially for a speech pathologist!) It's just nice that he's a bit more on the mello, independent side. The way Claire inundates us with her constant stream of talking talking talking can really be tiring!

Here's Jude in his first swim suit! We're going to an indoor pool tomorrow and I'm excited to see how he does.

My very favorite new thing: He sleeps through the night!! It was a long process getting him there, but it's done now! We slowly faded out our coming in when he woke, and toward the end I would go in once when he first woke up and then just let him cry. The longest he ever cried was about 45 minutes. He still does wake up sometimes, but instead of crying he talks/plays for a while and then goes back to sleep on his own. It still does wake me up, but doesn't require me to do anything but listen for him to go back to sleep, so I'm happy!

(On a side-note, Claire sings The Beatles song Hey Jude to her brother and it's pretty adorable!)

Spring is in the air...I think?

So, supposedly it's spring time. Please tell that to Colorado:

This was taken Sunday May 1st!

I mean, sure, there are buds on the tree in the back that do look lovely. But everything else is still all dead. No green grass. Even the squirrel that usually hangs out in that tree looks cold today!

Here's what's been up with us lately:

These are some truly beautiful children, if I do say so myself! (Note: Short sleeves and green grass means this picture was NOT taken here!)

Picnic in the park in Sunnyvale, CA

We have been busy lately! My family was here 2 weeks ago. It was a fun visit, and we got to celebrate my niece Lucy's 5th birthday! Here is a picture of my sister Vanessa with Lucy and my little munchkins:
We COULD NOT get Claire to take her hands out of her face!

The week following my family's visit we headed out to the San Jose area. Kevin had a conference all week for work. I didn't want to stay home all by myself in a new place with no friends and two kids, so I tagged along! We stayed with our good friends Andrew and Kristin (and their two cats, who were met with delight by Claire and ambivalence by Jude!) Getting there was interesting, however, as we had to fly separately. That's right, folks. I braved a 2 1/2 hour plane ride alone with both kids! (Twice actually, because we had to come back too!)

____________ Pause for applause_________________

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You're too kind. But seriously, I hope to never repeat this experience. Nothing major went wrong, it was just exhausting! Between Claire's inability to stop talking and Jude's inability to stop moving I was a pretty frazzled lady by the time we touched down again in Denver! On the flight back the woman in front of me and the (poor) man next to me both got wine and I was pretty envious! If I had a free hand and a safe place to set it, I would have seriously considered ponying up the dough myself! On the plus side, both kids were really excellent. Claire didn't tantrum and Jude didn't cry, so hooray for small miracles!

That's all for now! Next I'll do a post about Jude BECAUSE HE'S 6 MONTHS OLD ALREADY!

SF Zoo April 2011

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