Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

My thanksgiving break started a few hours earlier than expected.  Asher woke up Wednesday morning with diarrhea (lovely, I know) and continued to get sick throughout the morning.  I left work around noon to pick him up and while I hate that he was sick again, it was so nice to get a little alone time with my babies before heading to Matt’s parents’ house for a few days. To make a long (messy) story short, I changed a lot of very dirty diapers, Avery didn’t touch her Thanksgiving dinner, and the kiddos took a few extra baths - all thanks to a very nasty stomach bug.  Everyone seems to be doing better and thankfully Matt and I were spared.

The weather was beautiful on Thursday and we spent a lot of time outside, searching for pecans and playing with the cousins.  Dinner was wonderful, my in-laws always fry the turkey and it is delicious!  

I even convinced Linda and Laura to brave the crazies and go to Target Thursday night.  I have to say shopping on a holiday is completely against my principals and I debated for quite a while as to whether it was worth it but in the end I gave in and because of it, Santa will be delivering an adorable Disney Princess kitchen while we’re in Colorado.  So much for principals. :)

Linda and I shopped a little more on Friday and then we packed up and headed home.  Thankfully everyone was clean when we pulled in the driveway.  We also found out how long Asher will cry in the car seat before giving in. 50 minutes in case anyone was wondering. And no, a bottle doesn’t help.  Neither does a pacifier, me sitting next to him, or an endless amount of toys. Boo. 

We had a very relaxing day on Saturday and then had Thanksgiving Round II at our neighbor’s house! I can’t even express how thankful I am for this family.  We are so blessed to have such amazing neighbors.  The gate we installed between our yards has allowed us to become more like family – lots of unannounced visits, borrowing of kitchen staples, and random play dates. I love it.  And I love that Avery has four sisters that love her and always make her feel special.   

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We have so much to be thankful for :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


At church last Sunday our pastor started the service by asking people in the congregation to stand and tell everyone one thing they are thankful for.   Twenty minutes later I was teary-eyed and told Matt they should have passed out tissues before the service – there weren't many dry eyes.  It was so touching to see people stand and publicly give thanks for everything from a new baby to cancer remission.   

I wasn't going to do a “thankful” list this year but last Sunday reminded me how important it is not only be thankful for the blessings in my life but also for others to hear of good things when we are continually bombarded with news of war and death and sadness.

We have so much to be thankful for… some things are small and often taken for granted; others are so monumental they can change our lives forever.  Either way, they are all important and are all blessings.

I am thankful for a Savior who loves and forgives me. Always. No matter how many times I fail.

I am thankful for full cupboards and a full fridge. I'm thankful for the ability to keep my family fed in a world where so many struggle to give their babies just one meal a day.

I am thankful for two healthy babies.  For their smiles and laughter, for both kisses and tantrums, for easy moments and trying ones, for the immeasurable amount of humility, patience, and love they have taught (and continue to teach) me.

I am thankful for my best friend, husband and life-partner, without him my life would be so empty. 

I am thankful for a small handful of amazing friends.  Recently, I read somewhere that it is more important to have a few great friends than many good friends. 

I’m thankful for my health and the health of loved ones. 

I’m thankful for my family and my in-laws.  For parents who are still married and continue to be an example of “till death do us part”.  For my sister and her husband and the friendship we have with them.

I’m thankful for the roof over our heads, warm beds and reliable vehicles. 

I’m thankful for our first child, our lab-retriever puppy who is always happy, never talks back, never tires of playing and is so good with Avery and Asher.

I’m thankful for a job that more than provides for our needs and a boss who understands, 100%, that family comes first.

I’m thankful for blue skies, soaring mountain peaks, fields of green and all the natural beauty God created.

I’m thankful for technology and the ability to share pictures and stories of my family with those who live 1,000 miles away.

I'm thankful for coffee and nap-time espresso dates with my hubby.

I could go on and on but probably should get back to work ;)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today for SUYL - Main Dishes.  I love finding new recipes and there are currently more than 100 recipe links - you should check it out!

This is one of the best recipes I've ever made. Hands down. It was delicious!! When my sister came to visit for Avery’s birthday I told her we needed to make something special for dinner because I never have time to cook.  We decided on shrimp tacos and scoured the internet looking for recipe ideas.  What we came up with was a mix of three different recipes and it turned out great! Its well worth the time and effort!

Marinade 1lb peeled, deveined shrimp (we used 20-30 count but any size would be fine) with the following ingredients for 30 minutes:
2 Tbl tequila
Juice of 1 lime
Red pepper flakes (to taste depending on how spicy you like it)

Melt 1-2 TBL butter in medium skillet and add shrimp mixture.  Cook until pink (8-10 minutes)

In a blender, mix the following:
1 jalapeno (remove seeds and de-vein if you want to cut out the heat)
2 garlic cloves
½ small onion
Handful cilantro
¼ cup green tomatilla salsa (I used Herdez)
½ avocado
½ teaspoon salt

10 corn tortillas - using the same skillet from the shrimp, add a little more butter and quickly "fry" your tortillas so they are nice and crisp. 

Combine your shrimp, sauce, and some sliced avocado, red cabbage and cilantro and you have restaurant quality shrimp tacos!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toddlerhood Part II

When Avery was about 15 months old, I wrote this post about adventures in toodlerhood.  I absolutely loved this stage with her.  Once she could walk, there was no end to the silly predicaments she’d get herself into.  Her personality was really starting to shine bright, she was curious about everything, and hadn't yet learned the word no.  

While I've loved all the stages we've been through so far, 12-18 months might have been my favorite.  I have a hard time writing that (and actually deleted it before retyping) because I really do love the 2.5-year-old stage – and every age in between.  We can have little conversations, she is a great helper, loves to sing and dance, and still has such a tender heart.  But when I think back to the beginning of toddlerhood I feel a slight tug at my heart because it was when my baby girl really started becoming her own little person and I loved being a part of that. 

Anyway… as I was thinking about toddlerhood this morning (yeah, I haven’t been too busy at work this week), I realized that toddlerhood is coming to end and we are approaching pre-school age.  Oh my.  How did that happen?  {misty eyes and a deep sigh}.  My little girl now understands sadness and sometimes looks me straight in the eye and disobeys.  She also tells me, “mommy, I so happy!” and “I love you so much!”

She can communicate her needs and wants and is starting to understand feelings and sometimes I look at her and can tell she’s deep in thought – trying to mentally work through the situation unfolding before her.  We are knee-deep in this season of discipline and making good choices and while I love it, I sometimes wish my baby could just stay innocent and not ever be burdened with sadness or hurt.  Yes, I know that’s completely unrealistic and even a bit selfish but I guess I’m trying to say that for the first time since she was born, I’m a little bit scared of this next stage. 

I’m scared of the first day she comes home from school and is sad because someone didn't want to play with her or said something mean.  I’m scared for the first time she doesn't feel like she’s good enough.  I know it’s impossible but I wish I could shield her from all of this. I know it isn't going to happen for awhile and I'm probably worrying about nothing, but hey, that's part of my job as a momma. 

And then there’s the teaching / discipline side of this “next stage”.  It’s a big responsibility, raising a child. I have big hopes and dreams for her – that she will make a difference one day.  That she will treat others only with kindness and respect.  That she will love the Lord. That she will think of others before herself.  How do I instill these values in her when I fail at them more often than I’d like to admit? 

Well, that’s about all I can write on this subject today, no need to start crying at work.  If anyone has any tips / advice for the pre-school age, I’d love to hear them!   

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bath time

When this guy is happy, he is oh so happy.  He has a contagious grin and sparkling blue eyes.  He has a silly little laugh and awesome dimples.  When he is happy he lets us know. 

He is a daredevil and loves to rough-house (as much as a baby can).   Splashing in the bath is definitely a top 10 favorite thing. For the past few weeks he’s been trying to crawl out of the little whale tub so I figured we’d give the big bath a try.  We've had a couple underwater experiences but he loves it.  When I turn on the water he gets all twitchy and squeaky, he can’t wait to get in (seeing his bottle has a similar effect). 

And as much has he loves the freedom to splash and play with the big kid toys, I know a certain little girl loves it too.  She shares all of her toys with him.  Tries to help wash his hair and tears up when it’s time to get out.  Yup, bath time is pure joy at our house. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Asher James {Seven Months}

Asher Bug,

You are just the sweetest little baby boy! You have a contagious smile and such a happy demeanor (unless you’re hungry or stuck in the car!).  You love to talk and are fascinated by the world around you!  You make me smile every day and I love our cuddle time in the evening. I love this age so much! You love to play peek-a-boo and still stick EVERYTHING in your mouth!  You are such a blessing and a joy, we are so incredibly thankful for you!

You are wearing 12 or 12-18 month clothing.  I cannot believe how tall you are! I’m so sad that we have so many cute clothes you only wore once or twice because you've grown so fast! Please slow down a bit.  Okay?

You are still wearing a size 3 diaper and I've been a slacker about cloth diapers.  You are so skinny, I think you’ll stay in the 3’s for a while!

You go to bed between 7 – 7:30 and wake up around 7:00. You are a great sleeper at night and like to play in your crib for a little while when you wake up in the morning. 

Nap time is still a struggle.  You still are not on a nap routine which has been a hard adjustment but I know you’re getting plenty of sleep so I try not to worry about it.  Some days you take three 1-hour naps, some days one 2-hour nap.  I never know what we’re going to get.

You also are not on a feeding routine.  Ugh.  Usually you have six 6-ounce bottles and two servings of baby food.  Last week you had a nasty stomach bug and didn't have much of an appetite so we’re trying to get things back to normal. You are indifferent about baby food.  You seem to like sweet potatoes and pears the most.  You still don’t like rice cereal.  We need you to eat more and start gaining weight because the doctor said you are only in the 3rd percentile for height/weight ratio and she doesn't want you to drop below that.  You are just so tall; you don’t have any meat on your little body!

You sit up, roll all over and are getting very close to crawling.  You can scoot/roll yourself around the room but I think you’ll be much happier once you start crawling.  You can get up on all fours and rock back and forth so I know it won’t be long. You are constantly moving.  I have a feeling you will manage to get in a lot of trouble once you are mobile J

You still hate the car.  Asher, this is really hard for us.  I know there isn't anything wrong – your tummy is full, you have a clean diaper – but you scream like you are in pain and it breaks my heart.  I think you get bored and you don’t like being restrained by the seat belt.   Every month I hope you will outgrow this but so far, no luck. 

You have the sweetest personality and love to be tickled and wrestled with.  You also love watching your sister and she loves playing with you!

You love the sound of your voice and are always babbling and cooing! I love listening to you and you love to have an audience! You've recently learned to scream… it’s kind of funny.

You love to sit in the swing in the backyard and watch everyone.  I think that is your favorite place, you are so content in it and fall asleep fairly often! The swing is about the only place (besides your crib) you’ll sleep.

You love splashing in the bathtub and I think we are going to move you up to the big tub with Avery in a few weeks! You still fall over sometimes while you’re sitting so I don’t think you’re quite ready but you will be soon.

You have two teeth (bottom front two) they both came in this past month and I think you’re about to get another one.  You are a drool machine!! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Little Tiger

I couldn't resist posting a few more pictures of Asher in his Tiger costume.  I love his expressions, this kid is just adorable :)