Monday, February 20, 2012

Just call me Doctor Londa

Awhile back, we had this two-week span where it seemed like we were just little medical wonders wandering in and out of doctors' offices and hospitals like it was the natural thing to do.  It was crazy!

(Before you read on, please understand that I know we really have an "easy" life.  My heart hurts for those who are truly walking the road of medical unknowns and devastating diagnosis.  This post is not to whine but to chronicle the events of our family so when I'm old, I can read this and "remember when"...)

It all started with Maddox's six month well-baby check-up.  Little baby had been growing like a weed and needed to start getting more food to balance out his height (93%) and weight (40%)!  Long and lean...not like his mommy!  I happened to mention to our pediatrician a symptom the boys were having, so we were back the next day with the boys.  That visit sent us to the hospital for kidney ultrasounds (he said sometimes twins can be more susceptible to kidney issues). 


No worries, that all turned out fine (they just need to avoid red 40 dye).  However, in there somewhere, we picked up a little strep throat.  Back to get all the older kids swabbed.  Since McClain was already on the watch to get his abnormally ginormous tonsils out, this sealed the deal.  Off to the ENT!  A tonsillectomy was lined up for the following Monday.  Back to the pediatrician for a pre-surgery physical.  While there, the doctor thought Carson looked a little too pale.  A quick check of his previous blood work revealed he had pretty low iron.  More iron needed stat!  
Meanwhile, a little stomach bug happened to weave its way through our family knocking people out one by one for a few hours at a time.  Phew...make.it.stop...crossed my mind more than once during these days!
That Monday morning, very bright (actually still dark before the sun came up!) and early, we were all off for McClain's tonsillectomy.  Thankfully, we were just about the only ones at the surgery center, so we all got to hang out in the back room.

These two were so goofy!  
I couldn't catch a normal-smiley picture to save my life!

The surgery went very well!  McClain was the best little patient.  Since he had to miss a week of school, he got to spend my birthday with me!  He sweetly told me he hoped his tonsils would grow back so he could have them out again next year and be with me on my birthday...ahhh!

So what's a mom do to get her kids well and healthy? 

I headed to Costco, of course, and loaded up on even more berries, tangerines, bananas, greens, vitamins and pita chips.  Oh wait, the pita chips are just a stress snack for me!

That's how we got back on our feet on the road to recovery! 
These things are not new nor are they rocket science, but they are tasty and completely packed with nutrition!  Plus, *everyone* loves our special treats!

Smooooothies

Orange juice, frozen mixed berries, spinach, plain or greek yogurt, ice. 

Use as much or as little as you like of these things.  I usually just use a heaping cup of berries and yogurt, a generous splash of orange juice, and a couple of hearty handfuls of spinach.  Top with a few cubes of ice and pulse away until smooth!  Add a banana or a little agave nectar if it needs to be sweeter for your sweeties.  (Don't ditch the spinach...I promise, they won't even care!)


Oven-Roasted Kale

(recipe from Whole Foods--we called then Kale Chips because that seemed more fun!)
2 bunches kale
2 T. olive oil (or less)
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
sea salt and ground black pepper
1 t. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse kale and pat dry.  Remove thick ribs and roughly chop the leaves.  Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Spread out on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.  Leaves will be tender, crisp on the edges, and slightly browned.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.


Thankfully, everyone in our house is healthy again and our schedules have gone back to normal.


The only problem now...my left eye will not stop twitching?  Who's going to play doctor for me?  Ready for your advice...go!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A little Valentine's recap...

These little monsters got quite the fill of candy and love!
 McClain's is on the left and Carson's is on the right.

What's better than cursive and glitter?

At Cloe's class party,
we played Tower of Love.
The record was nine stacked conversation hearts!

The best helper in the world?
This sister right here can get him to open his mouth wider than anyone else!

For dinner:  Empanadas!
With a little inspiration from Epicurious, we created these fun heart empanadas!

Valentine Empanadas

1/2 pound chorizo
1 onion, diced
1 large baking potato, cubed very small
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (or 1 can diced tomatoes for less spice)
1 tsp. cumin
3-4 small red and yellow peppers, diced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper
2 boxes pie pastry (or you can make a simple pie crust recipe)

Brown chorizo and onion in a large pan.  Add cubed potato and juice from tomatoes.  Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.  Stir in tomatoes, peppers, parsley, and cumin.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out pie pastry and cut heart shapes.  Fill with meat and vegetable mixture.  

Top with another heart and seal edges.  Brush tops with a little olive oil.  

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.  (Sorry, I forgot to watch the time--probably fifteen minutes or more?)

Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Delicious!

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kisses

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Our Family's Favorite Meal...for now!

CHORIZO


We love it.  Have you tried chorizo?

So good.  Like tasty little better.than.taco.seasoned pork.

We love it even more after finally figuring out that our favorite grocery store sells it in bulk from their meat department for a super reasonable price.  Thanks, Fareway!

Several months ago, Rachael Ray featured this recipe on her show.  It looked so delicious!
We've tweaked it and made it a little bit more of our own.  (i.e. I added more peppers!)

Everyone gets excited when this meal shows up for brunch on Saturday or for dinner on a weeknight!

Try it!  It's super tasty!



Cheese and Chili Arepas with Eggs and Chorizo

1 cup fine cornmeal
Salt
1 generous cup shredded cheddar
1 small jalapeño pepper, diced (or just use a green pepper)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
Vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 pound chorizo
4 scallions, finely chopped (or green onions or leeks or all of the above!)
1 green pepper, diced (the more peppers, the better!)
8 large eggs, beaten
A large handful of cilantro, finely chopped

Place the cornmeal in a mixing bowl and season with a little salt. Add the cheese and jalapeño  pepper. Toss with a fork to combine.

In a saucepot, heat the milk but do not boil. Melt in the butter, then stir into the cornmeal and cheese mixture. Let stand for about 15 minutes to cool.

Place a bowl of warm water near a mixing bowl and line a platter with paper towels. With moistened fingers, form 3-inch balls of the cornmeal mixture. Pat each ball into corn cakes about one-half-inch thick. (Make four large balls for entrée size or eight small balls for appetizer size.)

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side; flip and cook to golden on the second side, 2-3 minutes more.

Once all the arepas are done, add the chorizo to the pan and brown. Add the scallions, onions or leeks and toss to combine. In a bowl, beat the eggs with some salt, green peppers and the cilantro, then add them to the pan. Scramble the eggs to desired doneness.

To serve, gently split the corn cakes and fill with eggs.  Garnish with more cilantro or green onions.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Day Fun!

Valentine's Day is almost here!

Are you ready?

We are SO excited for this lovey holiday at our house!

We've been decorating Valentine boxes and planning for school parties.

We've also been looking for a Valentine to pass out that wasn't candy-centered.

Pinterest to the rescue!


Heart chalkboards and a piece of chalk...perfect-o!


This little creative idea came from here, but the real credit has to go to my dad for being Mr. Johnny-on-the-Spot Handyman.  He cut out 75 hearts so each of our kids could give them to their entire classrooms!

We took the hearts and sanded off the rough edges.

Then, to make our chalkboard paint, we mixed an entire 8 oz. bottle of Apple Barrel cranberry paint with 2 Tablespoons Dry Non-Sanded Grout.   Do this part in a well-ventilated area.  It's a little toxic!
Don't worry about mixing it completely smooth.  As you paint the hearts with a sponge brush, the paint will smooth itself out.

Paint.Paint.Paint.Paint.  Seriously, this part took quite awhile!  I also did the majority of painting as the grout seemed to have a really toxic smell.  We didn't want to mess with any asthmatics in our family!

Front and back and sides...paint.paint.paint.

Ta-da!

We're all ready for our parties at school!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hmm...

Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should...

So, should I?

Would you?

Is this only cool because it's from...Pinterest?
What do you think?

Baby food jars + spices = cool?

Magnetic bar or sheet?

Labels on the sides or bottoms?

What's your opinion????

Sunday, February 5, 2012

7

Happy SEVEN months, Baby!

Time's a flyin'!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Humbled

Last week, I received the sweetest, most awesome gift in the mail:   


a gift certificate for a house cleaning.  

Ser.i.ous.ly.

I teared up. 

So kind.  So appropriate.
 
Someone took extraordinary compassion on me and sent me the most thoughtful gift accompanied by the most encouraging note. 

The other incredible part:  it was sent anonymously. 

No one wanted credit for this gift. 

No one wanted to be recognized as sweeping in to save the day.  (because really:  a lifesaver!)  

No one was seeking pay back or gifts in return.

I was so humbled. 

On my last post, it wasn't intentional to pour my heart out seeking sympathy or praise--rather, it was to check in and justify the blogging absence. 

Yet, you awesome girls and some anonymous giver went out of your way to pour in encouragement. 

Wow.

I am so very blessed by the body of Christ God has surrounded me with.  (again, preposition?)

Humbled.  Encouraged.  Motivated.

Thank you.