February 29, 2012

3 Chicken Main Dish Recipes

Pesto Chicken pinned here
This was good. I used store bought pesto. You could really make this for any number of people. Just reduce or double the recipe. I think this chicken would make an excellent panini...with fresh mozzarella & tomato on it. Yum! No changes to the recipe. The boys even liked it.

Garlic Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes & Green Beans pinned here
This was easy and delicious. I served it over quinoa (pronounced keen-wa...so weird!). The quinoa smells funny but it tasted good with this dish served over top. I've been wanting to try to sub this for rice/couscous when I can because it is 100% whole grain. Funny story...so the quinoa was boiling and Wilson was asking me what it was. On a whim I said oh it's quinoa- you used to love this stuff when you were little! Then Andy jokingly bought into it too. But, it worked! Wilson ate it and tonight he was talking about how he still likes quinoa. Oops. I don't recommend lying to your children. ;)

One change to the recipe: I don't cook chicken with bones or skin. Absolutely no way never ever gonna happen. So I just used chicken breasts. The end.

Chicken Tortilla Soup from Brown Eyed Baker found here
This is supposed to be like Max & Erma's. I've never had their tortilla soup but this is good. I  used 1 anaheim pepper which was 1/4 cup.  I also halved the amount of cayenne pepper. The soup wasn't very spicy.  I don't used chicken thighs (I know I have a lot of my chicken rules in this post. sorry.) so I just used 2 chicken breasts.  If you are making this and want more than 4 servings double the recipe. It is a small batch of soup. (The first time I used serrano peppers (I think) which made the soup much spicier. I didn't know what an anaheim pepper looked like.)

These are the recipes worth trying. I made 3 others that were just so-so. You aren't missing anything and I won't be making them again. They were fine, just not good enough for me to make again. I've already deleted them from my pin board.

Still fighting the Sickness!

My poor Ty has been running a fever since Saturday. He has been to the Dr. twice in the past week. This all started as a cold, then an ear infection. He has been on a stronger antibiotic since Saturday. Today the fever was lower but he has been so pitiful all week. He is barely eating but we are trying to concentrate on drinking. Yesterday his main food was combos. Tonight I got him to eat a chocolate chip cookie (which he didn't even finish) and some milk. Sunday he ate some applesauce and a biscuit. I called the nurse yesterday and they think he is ok as long as he is drinking and showing some improvement. The improvement is very small but we think there is a little. He has an awful cough and a runny nose. He is so congested I hear him snoring down the hall. Our poor baby. So hoping he starts feeling better really soon!

February 25, 2012

Annual Check-Ups

Wilson & Luke had their 8 and 6 year old check-ups this week. Both boys are very healthy. Dr. H said they must be very good eaters since their heights/weights and BMI's are excellent! That made me feel good. We try hard to make them eat right! Wilson was the only one who needed a shot (Hep A vaccine) and he handled it really well. We were so proud of him! But we gave him absolutely no heads up about it at all...the doctor actually wrote a note on a piece of paper and handed it to Andy to see if we wanted it done that day. So sneaky...ha!

I spoke with Dr. H by myself regarding everything I wrote in this post. Andy stayed in the room with the boys. Basically she just gave me the names of 2 psychiatrists and said it was time to see one of them and possibly think about medication. She said the level of anxiety is beyond "normal" and we have tried one thing after another to combat the anxiety. So have I called yet? No. Am I going to? Yes. It's just one of those things that is hard initially I guess. But I know it is time to take the next step.

Tyler also went because of sinus issues. He was running a low fever & had an ear infection. Since getting the amoxicillin it seems he is getting worse. Still running fevers & now a bad cough. Poor thing.

The boys were up insanely early this morning - good thing I went to bed at 9:30 last night. I was EXHAUSTED. Time to get ready for basketball!

February 20, 2012

I love 3 day weekends!

Having an extra day off makes all the difference. I feel like I actually get something done! We've had a good weekend. We were hopeful for some snow to play in but that didn't pan out. So Sunday afternoon we pulled out the couch bed and made popcorn for the boys to be cozy during a movie. It was fun. I cleaned the refrigerator (checked that off my 20 in 2012!). I've been doing laundry and more cleaning today. The boys are playing with a friend right now- Legos, Wii, outside, etc and having a blast. It's loud but they are having fun! I took a nap on Sunday and got to sleep in one morning. It's been a relaxing weekend.  Saturday night my small group prepared dinner for a group of homeless men from our community. Once a month our church hosts Room in the Inn during the winter months. The men come to stay at the church for 1 night and get dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch. It's a great ministry. My small group has done a dinner for this once a year for the last four years. We always do meatloaf, baked potatoes, oven roasted veggies, rolls, & dessert. I always bring the veggies. I think the meal was a hit with the men! February is flying by- I can't believe how fast it is going. Seems like January just ended to me.

February 18, 2012

Our Valentine's Day

 I made two double batches of rice krispie treats, cut them into heart shapes with a cookie cutter & dipped half them in dark chocolate. Luke sprinkled on the valentine colored sprinkles. I actually didn't eat any with the chocolate on them. I was too busy eating the rice krispie treat scraps from cutting them out with the cookie cutter. I'd forgotten just how good simple rice krispie treats taste. Yum! The boys took these to their school Valentine parties. I saw the idea on Pinterest but now can't find the pin.

Here is what the boys took their teachers & assistants. Rolo pretzel turtles. So easy and yet delicious! We made them with Valentine colored M&M's instead of pecans on top, you can do either. My grandmother told me about these last year and we've made them several times. They are all over Pinterest too. To make: Lay pretzels out on cookie sheet. I like to use the square Snyder's pretzels but you can use the twist kind too. Open your rolo's and place one on top of each pretzel. Bake at 350 for 4 minutes. Push an M&M or a pecan on the top of the rolo and smush it down a bit. Let them cool completely. I usually pop the pan into the freezer after they have cooled on the counter for a while. Just to make sure the chocolate has hardened.

Here is Wilson's Lego Valentine Box. He also ended up adding police pictures from the Internet all over the top but here it is just looking like a Lego! The knobs are tp rolls cut down and covered with wrapping paper. Luke made his bag at his school party so he didn't need to make a box at home.

My valentine and I ordered take-out from PF Chang's. The boys had heart shaped pancakes made by their daddy. I had a lovely bouquet of roses on my desk when I got to school on Tuesday. Andy had snuck them into my office Monday afternoon while I was at a meeting at another school. It was a great surprise!

February 16, 2012


First of all, thank you so much for your kind words on my last post. I had facebook messages, conversations with friends, a wonderful card in the mail (thanks Mel!) and comments on the blog from my friends. Your words of encouragement, ideas, & support really helped.  We see our pediatrician next week. I am looking forward to seeing what our next steps should be.

Life just doesn't stop. Since I last updated I've had a stomach virus, sinus infection, & ear infection all at the same time. I had to  miss 2 days of school and probably should have missed 3. I am feeling WAY better. But Andy has a sinus infection, Ty is getting one, and Luke is taking his turn with the stomach virus as of today. I mean...really?! We are so ready to be healthy! Wilson went to the doctor for his stomach aches and they ran a bunch of tests. So far everything has been good news: good blood counts (ruled out infection & ulcer), tested negative for celiac & chrone's. I'm glad we already have Wilson & Luke's well visits next week so I can follow up about Wilson's stomach issues as well. It may just be bad luck with several mild stomach viruses or could be anxiety related.

What I keep learning as a mom of 3: The craziness never seems to stop. There is always something with one of the boys. See the previous post and the paragraph below this one for a couple examples.  Someone always "needs" me. I NEED at least an hour with all the boys in bed so I can have some me time. I will fall asleep reading almost every night because by the time my head hits the pillow I'm just plain exhausted.

Tyler is causing the something right now, in addition to everything else. He is being a THREE year old. If you haven't heard, three is WAAAAY harder than two. Bedtime has become hard with him. He wants to stay up to spend time with me (so he says...) and he is at the awkward stage of needing a nap but that nap is causing him to not be quite ready for bed at the right time. So...he is put to bed. Gets up, is put back to bed, gets up, gets a spanking, etc. Repeat several times. Then at some point in the night several nights a week I wake up to find him in our bed. He shares my pillow and smushes me to the edge. What is it about kids coming to mommy's side of the bed?! We have a king size bed- but Ty wants to snuggle next to me. Awww- right? Well not when you have an elbow in the face!

So we have a new positive behavior system going on around here. I put the boys on charts. All 3 of them. Let's deal with those somethings shall we? Here is what they earn stickers for right now:
Wilson- Responding with the right attitude (coming when called, doing what he is told, completing HW without whining etc)
Luke- Answer questions when mommy/daddy ask them, no whining about HW or taking out the recycling
Ty- 1 sticker for peeing in potty, 2 stickers for pooping in potty, 1 sticker for staying in bed all night, 1 sticker for feeding Lottie

The charts are just the kind you can buy for the mini size stickers. I've had them forever. They are hanging on a low cabinet for them to see. So far they have all finished 1 chart (20 stickers). They each have a different reward they are working towards. Wilson's last one was a sandwich from Jimmy John's, Luke earned $ to buy Valentine Grams at school, & Ty wanted to buy a new car from the movie Cars.

So in a nutshell: life is good but hard. Not really any new information! We love our boys more than words can say and we are trying to be good parents. But it is hard to know what to do sometimes!

February 5, 2012

Barely hanging on...

Where do I begin? I've wanted to write this post for a long time but just couldn't. And didn't know if I should put it all out there. But here I go. I think this may be theraputic and maybe somebody will have some ideas or suggestions that will help us.

About a week ago I wrote all of the "things" in my head down about the current situation with one of my boys. I just kept going - jotting down notes for a doctor appointment of everything that Andy & I have been dealing with. Life has been hard with one of my boys for years. I kept thinking it was me, something I was doing wrong.We kept trying and thinking of different things- I read some parenting books, we went to a play therapist, I used behavior systems, time-outs, spankings, grounding, room stripping, loss of priviledges, you name it, we tried it. To no avail. Nothing worked beyond the initial success. It always wore off and stopped working. I know you may be thinking that sounds normal but the behaviors that happen aren't normal. When I sat and wrote the things I had in my head I realized there is a problem. Something that we need help with. It isn't something we're doing wrong...we need answers. We go to the doctor in about 2 1/2 weeks. I am ready to open up to our pediatrician and tell her how bad it is becoming. As he gets older it is getting worse. He is stronger, he is so smart, he is getting so big. I'm tired of the constant battle of who is in control. He tries so hard and we fight back so hard. Some days I give up because I just. can't. fight. any. more. Other days either Andy or I are stronger and that person does more of the fighting. Thankfully we have each other and can lean on each other. The fussing, whining, yelling, manipulation, etc that occurs when he is told to brush his teeth/do homework, clean up, etc. is just not right. But we've been saying that for years and implementing consequences that don't work on him. So now we are trying a positive chart, one that he earns stickers for responding with the right attitude. The chart was hung up about a week ago. He has earned 7-8 stickers. At least 3 of those were on the first evening of implementing the chart. Reminding him of that doesn't seem to matter.

But there is more going on that is making the problem worse. He deals with anxiety alot. We've had this problem for a long time. He holds himself together at school so well about 98% of the time. We occasionally have a rough morning when it is time for him to go to class. But even this has improved over the years.  He is so well behaved at school. I'm very thankful for that- I know we could be dealing with a lot worse. I don't know how much of his behavior is driven by fear- he worries about fire alarms (we've been having a lot during renovation), severe weather, lcokdown drills, health issues, what others think, doing well on tests, doctor appointments, spending time away from home, etc, etc. Everything. I hate that for him and I don't know what else to do. We have been to the play therapist specifically for this problem- he improved some but not enough. We learned strategies for coping but still it isn't enough. We have our breathing exercises, I have key phrases I say to him and I'm trying to teach him self talk. (I am ok. God loves me. Mommy is at school with me. Everything is ok).

A couple people have mentioned sensory issues to me - that maybe some OT would help. But I don't know. I see more defiance & anxiety (he admitted to wanting to make me miserable this morning since I wouldn't let him have his way). But that could just be because I don't fully understand sensory stuff. He doesn't do well with changes. He feels that life is unfair a lot of the time. He'll think we love one of the other boys more if we compliment something they do. It's so hard. We are ready for some answers and some new ideas to try. If you have any, please let us know! If you read all of this, thank you for listening. :)

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Okay so I've never been a big oatmeal fan. Breakfast has been a struggle for me a lot of the time. I don't really like cereal so I go through phases and eat weird things. But this past week I made Steel  Cut Oats with Apples and already made it again! It reheats well for leftover breakfasts too. Steel cut oats were intriguing to me for some reason. I guess just because I had read about them on a few blogs and the  bloggers talked about how the texture was different from regular oatmeal. I opted for this recipe from Annie's Eats because I had the ingredients on hand. I left the raisins out because I'm not a raisin fan. It takes a long time to cook but it is good! I like the texture of the steel cut oats. They are weird looking, I was really surprised to see them. They don't look like oatmeal - more like a seed or something!