Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yummy Summer Dinner

Yesterday was another fabulous summer-like day in our neck of the woods, and I wanted a nice summery dinner to go with it.  I remembered a delicious fajita recipe I had once made and headed out to the store. I basically wung it (that's the past tense of "wing it,"a term coined by my friend, Jeremy) and picked up what I felt would make a decent fajita meal. Can I just tell you, it  turned out rather fantastic, if I may say so myself. I forgot to take a picture, but lucky you, I'm going to share the recipe anyway!

Here's what you need:
Chicken (or steak, or pork, or probably even shrimp), about a pound/pound and a half
1 red pepper
1 yellow onion
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 bag of salad + whatever else you like in your salads, I added a tomato and a cucumber
1 can of black beans
1 bag of frozen sweet corn (sweet is important)
1 cup (or so) of A1 steak sauce
Minute rice
Your favorite mix of shredded cheese (I used a 4 cheese mix of cheddar, monterrey jack, colby, and mozzarella)
Ranch dressing (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)

Here's what you do:
Cut up that chicken into small pieces or strips. Place in a glass bowl or ziploc bag and cover with A1. Toss to coat. You could also add lime juice to this but I didn't have any and it was still great. Put the chicken in the fridge. Put half the bag of frozen corn into a small ziploc bag and let it thaw.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet to medium. Cut up your red pepper and onion into nice long fajita-style strips. Toss those in the skillet and chop up the cilantro while they cook. Put some the cilantro in a small bowl and some in a large bowl, and then reserve a small amount (1/4 cup or so). Dump the salad into the large bowl and toss with the cilantro to mix. Stir your pepper & onion in the skillet so they don't burn! Cut up your tomato and cucumber - or whatever else you want in your salad - and toss it with the rest. Take the pepper and onion out of the skillet and place them in the small bowl with the cilantro. Lightly toss, cover, and keep warm.

Pull the chicken out of the fridge and dump it into the skillet. Let it cook on medium heat until thoroughly done. Stir it around to make sure it cooks on all sides and stuff. While the chicken is cooking, boil some water based on how many servings of rice you want to make. When it boils put the rice in and take it off the heat. I add a tablespoon of butter for each 1 cup of uncooked rice so it doesn't get sticky, then stir in that last little bit of cilantro. You can also add a splash of lime juice to this if you want. Then, put the corn and your can of beans (rinsed) into the salad bowl and toss. Warm up your tortillas in the microwave or oven - whatever you prefer.

You are ready to serve! Put some chicken and peppers & onions onto a tortilla and top with cheese. Enjoy some salad topped with ranch and hot sauce (you can mix it in a separate bowl or just pour them on separately), and some cilantro rice on the side. YUM.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Due Date

April 16, 2010

One year ago today my teeny tiny bebe girl was due to be born. It was such an exciting time for me. I had said "April 19th" probably 2 zillion times since I began sharing my news the previous September. It was hard to believe that date which had once sounded impossibly far in the future was finally here. My wait was not over, however. It would be five more days before she was actually born. I spent those five days sitting on an exercise ball, walking around the park, and answering the million-dollar question: "How do you feel??" I look back now and that time feels like it was so long ago. At the same time, I feel like my baby was just born. I look at her in my arms and think certainly she's not much bigger than when she was first born. She's still just my teeny tiny little bebe, right? She is. She always will be, too!

In five short days she will be one year old. We are planning a party for her the week after since her actual birthday falls on Easter Sunday. I am elbow-deep in party preparations and the RSVPs have started coming in. Her party will be at the playground down the street from our house. I picked a music theme, "Rock-A-Bye Baby," with an emphasis on the "rock." I think it's going to be pretty cute. Music is really the only thing she's into right now. The guests are just going to be our immediate families and some close friends, though that added up pretty quick. I finally found a cupcake recipe that I'm in love with. Wouldn't you know it was in a simple traditional cookbook I have? Georgetown, PSH. They were amazing and I perfected a pretty fabulous cream-cheese icing recipe. Even our bebe loved them! I can't wait to see her dig in at the party. I'm glad I had her sample them ahead of time. After testing 3 cupcake recipes, we spent several weeks eating cupcakes, so our little girl has come to recognize a cupcake from a mile away. She's going to be so excited when we sit a whole one in front of her :) Other than making my own cupcakes, I'm not going too overboard with the party. No petting zoo or anything like that. I wanted it to be cute and fun without being psycho about it. So we'll have some music and music-related things for the kids to play with, aside from the playground which will be an obvious draw.

We've already done the birthday shopping, though I can't promise I won't do more. We are coming up on pay day..... Ha! Well it's late and every morning I promise myself I'm going to bed early that night. It never happens. Stay tuned for my "One Year Update" post so you can read all about my bebe at one year old. It will probably get mushy, consider yourself warned :) Goodnight!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not Me! Monday

Have you ever started your morning with M&Ms instead of... well, anything else? Have you ever fed your baby of less than 1 year a slice of turkey and provolone for breakfast because you ran out of baby food? Have you ever allowed your child, who seems to prefer trash over toys, to go "shopping" in the recycling bin for something to play with while you cooked dinner -- only to later discover a paper towel roll on the floor with a bite out of it? Have you ever used the mirror of a baby toy to apply your lipstick? Ever turned to put something in your trash can and found your baby screaming belly-up on the floor with the pattern of your living room rug in her forehead... before 9 am?? (something that might only happen if you had left your baby on the couch while you went to the trash can, which I'm sure you've never done)

Ha, not me.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today at nap time...

I put away laundry? Uh, no. Worked out? Please. Made those phone calls I've been needing to return? Nope. Picked up toys? Someone please tell me the point of that.

Most parents know that nap time is one of the few times of the day that you could maybe perhaps get one teeny tiny thing done that has no doubt been waiting for at least days, maybe weeks, maybe longer. Like many other parents, I'm sure, I tend to keep a running list of those things so when nap time rolls around I have a little direction and something with which to fight the little voice in my head telling me I don't really have anything I need to get done today.

On today's list - master bathroom and clean bed sheets. I fool myself and act like I have a "schedule" or "routine" that I stick to and do certain chores on certain days to ensure that they're always done weekly, but the truth is life is not that dependable. And life with two babies under one year old and only 6 months apart in age is even less dependable. Nap time? If I'm lucky (which I am... blog title, duh).

Generally my baby, an astonishing 11.5 months old (ack!) is actually incredibly dependable when it comes to her naps. Rarely are they less than an hour and a half, and rarely are there less than 2 naps a day. On occasion she'll take a really stellar 3-3.5 hour morning nap and then we forego the afternoon nap. But she is an excellent napper under normal circumstances. Enter 5.5 month old nephew, Austin. He has what I call a semi-schedule. He goes to bed, wakes, and has his first few feedings about the same time every day. After that it can get dicey. He has been doing better with naps (around an hour, give or take), but some days still only sleeps for around 30 minutes. His nap (he takes one a day) tends to dictate the rest of his day. Will there be another nap? What time will he be hungry? Some days he is awake by the time my baby falls asleep, and I take her upstairs maybe 15 minutes after he falls asleep. It makes for a crazy day.

So in case you ever wondered why it's biologically impossible to have two babies only 6 months apart - which no sane person would ever wonder - this is why. Two babies this age could drive a mom to drink! Don't worry, I don't :) But in all seriousness, it's a lot to handle. I am grateful that one baby leaves at 5 p.m. and sleeps at someone else's house!

To finish my title sentence, today at nap time... I cleaned half of my bathroom and did not eat lunch. There ya go. Want to share about all the amazing things you get accomplished at nap time? Complete the sentence starter in a comment!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


80 Glorious degrees...

A win for the Os, 4th in a row, at their home opener...

A nice walk with my baby who couldn't stop smiling...

And this for dinner...

Now it's spring :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Joke's on Him

I woke up this morning to find a bunch of April Fools "presents" around my house, left for me by my loving husband. Each one had a little note explaining why he chose that gift, and they were all silly things that made me roll my eyes, shake my head, or just burst out laughing.

That's a roll of nickels. Way back in high school my husband used to walk by my locker in the mornings, throw some change into it and yell (yell) "Thanks for last night!"

Super-hero silly bands. If you know my husband, this is not surprising at all.

Yes, that's a bag of AIR.

I found this on my treadmill. I hate orange-flavored anything!

This note was on the freezer door. Inside the freezer....

It's a 30 Rock reference that I'm not going to explain. But it made me laugh.

I talked to my cute husband about half-way through the day and he asked me how I liked all my gifts. We had a laugh about all the funny things he left for me, and he finally asked me if he had gotten a FedEx box. He gets boxes from FedEx, UPS, and USPS daily - sometimes all 3 in the same day, so I thought nothing of this. I told him he had gotten a small box and he said, "Good. Now imagine it has a note on it that says 'Because you can't see clearly' and open it." I was confused as to why he wanted me to open his FedEx box, but I did it anyway. Inside, I found this....
For non-photogs, that's a pretty amazing little camera lens that I've been drooling over ever since my sister-in-law got it a few months ago. It's kind of expensive just to pick up on a whim, so I had been trying to justify buying it. Luckily, my husband is all about getting me what I want and he felt April Fools day was just as good an occasion as any. I don't argue, I just smile and enjoy the presents! Just another example of why I call myself The Luckiest!

Here are some cute shots of my gorgeous bebe that I took right away...

So maybe my husband got me with all those silly gifts - and the one really amazing one, but the joke's really on him. Somehow I fooled him into marrying me!