Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's for Dinner: Meatball Soup

I am kicking off my What's for Dinner series! First off, this amazingly delicious Meatball Soup. It is superb. The recipe is from a wonderful cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. Her book is basically all about hiding fruits and veggies in the food that you make for your children. It is an awesome way of making sure they have their daily intake of fruits and vegetables! I love this recipe, simply because it tastes good and an added bonus: it is super easy to make! Here is the recipe, which is adapted into my own words.

Let's Get Started!

  • 3oz whole wheat pasta shapes (about a cup), cooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/4 c carrot puree*
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c sweet potato puree*
  • 1/4 c nonfat milk
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1. Over medium-high heat, add oil to a large pot. Let heat, then add onion and garlic. Cook until softened.
2. Puree tomatoes with their juice in a blender (if you don't have a blender just add canned tomato sauce, it may taste the same) and add to the pot with 1/2 tsp of salt. Add broth. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.
3. For the meatballs, add the bread to a bowl with egg, sweet potatoe puree, milk, parmesan, 1 tsp of salt, pepper, and paprika. Let the bread soak until softened. Add the ground turkey and mix. Form into meatballs about 1/2-inch in diameter.
3. Add the meatballs to the pot and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. (The meatballs floated to the top when they were cooked!) Stir in cooked pasta and VOIILA!

Here is the finished product:

*The purees are simple and easy and if made ahead of time can be frozen so all you need to do is take out of the freezer and add to the recipe! Basically, you roast the sweet potato at 400 degrees fahrenheit for about an hour and steam the carrots until soft, then puree in a food processor for about 2 minutes or until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, you can easily just mash them with a fork. It will taste the same and you will still get the extra veggies! Super easy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Remember this? I finally edited the pictures I took and picked out my favorite! I'm thinking of printing a large 16x20 of it and putting it in between their bedroom doors. Now, I'll just have to wait for Shutterfly to have a good deal on prints! Here is the final product! What do you think?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What would you do for a good picture?

Think about it... really...

Would you wait for hours for the sun to hit that spot just perfectly?

Would you stand in the most awkwardly position in front of everyone just to get the right angle?

Would you?

Would you sweat profusely, taking shots over and over again until you get both of your kids to smile?

Would you get bit up by ants and not even care because they both just smiled at the same time!!!?

What about the person on the other side of the camera...

Would you jump off a really high cliff (into water) to getting that awesome jumping pose?

Would you pull off of a major highway to take a picture in front of the "Welcome" sign?

Would you?

Would you put on pretty dresses and go outside in the hot sun, even though you are tired?

Would you gladly accept cake, just for one more smile!!??

Today, I became crazy mother. I have been wanting a good picture of my two kids so badly and I did whatever it took today to get one. I bribed Isabella with food. I let her pick anything she wanted to eat, just so she would put her dress on. After I finally got her outside, with Avaree, I stood in our driveway, searching for the perfect spot. I quickly discovered that Bella and I were both standing in an ant bed. Bella began crying and I knew my chances were all over. This is what we got...

"But Mommy, I don't want to take pictures.."

"Take your fafa out of your mouth!"

Where's Avaree?

Where's Isabella?

"Get your foot out of the camera!"

"The sun is in my eyes!"

"Please stop taking pictures Mommy!"

"There's something in my eye!!"

So we went inside, took a break, and then I tried round two. I bribed Isabella with food once again. She accepted and we went outside. I took dozens of pictures. Bella laughed in some while Avaree made a weird face. Avaree smiled in some while Bella cried. I just looked up into the sky and said, "Why can't I get a good picture!!!?" Then, I flashed back to my childhood. I remembered how awful and miserable it was when my mom said, "Let's get a picture!" All seven of us children would moan and groan as we lined up. My mom would even make us pose at the beach, sitting in each other's laps. I remembered at that moment how miserable I felt and just wanted my mom to stop taking pictures! So, I took one last picture and put my camera down. There's always photoshop! Stay tuned for the final product!
And I did actually give Bella her special treat.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stationery card

Lovingly Welcome Girl Birth Announcement
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Independent Woman

After getting dressed this morning, I walked into the kitchen and found Isabella standing on her stool in front of the counter and indulging in some plain ol' sugar. She turned around with that look that I have been seeing quite often recently and gave me a smile. As I walked her to the bathroom I asker her, "Did that taste good?" She instantly replied, "MMM HMMMM!!" I cleaned her hands, mouth, and shirt and as she turned off the light to walk away she said, "Thank you mommy, that was tasty, thank you!!!!" You're welcome Isabella for forgetting to put the sugar away. I can assure you that that will never happen again!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flyin' Old School

I had a moment that mattered most the other day. Terry got Isabella her first bike. He has been wanting to get her one for a while now. She woke up from her nap and found it in the front doorway.

After much excitement, consisting of jumping up and down, climbing on the bike, and asking daddy to push her around, she said, "It's just like the missionaries! YAY!" You see, we have had the missionaries over our house at least once a week due to Terry's new calling in church. They usually travel to our house with their bikes. That little statement of hers meant more to me than she will ever know. I think of this quote: "Diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world." Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Having those missionaries in our home has been such a blessing to our family. What a wonderful spirit they have. If you would like to have that same feeling, have them over your house. I promise you won't regret it. Go here.

Isabella has been giving me those "aha" moments a lot lately. She has been reaffirming me that I am actually teaching her things and she is learning. As a mother, those moments mean so much to me because I feel like I am actually accomplishing something. As a mother, it is hard to feel accomplished. There is never a moment where you can say, "I'm finished and look what I have done!" Even when my children grow up, I will never be finished being a mother. But, in those special moments, you realize that you are actually doing something that is rewarding. I am happy to know that it will actually pay off in the end. That will be when eternity begins...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cruisin' and Snoozin'

My sweet little Avaree is now three months old! Please stop growing up! My sweet little Avaree is putting up a fight when I put her to bed. Before actually falling asleep, she cruises in her crib and I often find her on the opposite side from where I laid her down. I went in to wake her up from her nap one day and saw this:

I looked at a four week old baby on Sunday and could not believe that my sweet little girl was that tiny at one point. Why does time have to go by so quickly when you want it to slow down? My sister gave a talk in church on Sunday that was so moving. We need to be involved in what matters most. Time will move forward and we will look back at our grown children and wonder, "What just happened?" Although, sometimes I feel like I try so hard to live in each and every moment that I get nothing done throughout the day and I go to bed with dishes in the sink and toys spread throughout the house. But atleast I got to see Avaree reach out and grab a toy for the first time and dance with Bella while she sings, "I like to move it, move it."

I know one of these days, my house will be perfectly organized and categorized, with hundreds of books in their proper place and dirt and dust swept away daily. But those will be the days when there are no longer little children crawling around and toys strewn across the house. I am going to live in the moment and worry about the dirty bathroom tomorrow, or the next day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I've got a feeling

Usually when I hear the phrase, "I've got a feeling," I'm busting a move to the Black Eyed Peas. Yesterday, I was saying it over and over in my head after I found Isabella in my bed, playing a game on my kindle, with blue eye shadow covering her body.

(The blue doesn't really show up in the picture)

I've got a feeling, this is just the beginning.

I've got a feeling she's going to be getting into a lot more trouble.

I've got a feeling this is the start of her michevious ways.

I woke up yesterday morning extremely tired for some reason. I sat down to nurse Avaree while Isabella played in the living room. Seconds later I dozed off. I woke up with Avaree asleep in my arms and Bella nowhere in sight. I calmly walked to Avaree's room and laid her down before searching frantically for Bella. I walked in my room and found her laying on my bed with her legs crossed, playing a game on my kindle and completely covered in something blue. I asked her very nicely (trying not to laugh) What is that? Where did you get it? She pointed to the bathroom... "right there." I looked in the bathroom and found this:

This is her attempt at destroying the evidence. In moments like this, I honestly can't stop laughing, but I'm sure my mood might change after several offenses. That morning, Terry caught her climbing the counter to grab a banana for herself. She has also been found multiple times coloring her body. So, to keep my optimism, I will sing on, "I gotta feeling, woooohoooo, that tonight's gonna be a good night!!" because, ultimately, the messes can be cleaned up and the markers can be wiped off.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm a Rough and Tough...

...and nothing's gonna knock this girl down... Yes, these were the words I was repeating last night after the second and third time up with my 2 year old in the middle of the night. It's been rough trying to change little Bella's sleeping habits. She has always been a good sleeper; since 3 months old she was sleeping through the night. The problem is getting her to sleep. Let's just say we followed more of the attachment style parenting, letting her sleep with us and then transitioning her to her crib. When she got her big girl bed, it was easier for us because we could lay with her and then quietly ease out of her arms once she falls asleep.  Since Avaree came along, we have been trying to change her habits, but it seems almost impossible.

Have you heard the new No Doubt song? They are my all time favorite band. When I heard they were back together and making a new album, I was THRILLED! When I hear their music my blood heats up, I get the chills, I sweat, and I just feeling like singing (more like screaming) and dancing. The first single has come out and I can't get it out of my head. Especially last night, when I was repeating, "Get get get, in (bed), and settle down!!!" to Isabella. But, after that stressful night, I am up and running, trying to get ahead with my laundry and tidying up the house. Just like Gwen says, "I'm a rough and tough, and nothing's gonna knock this girl down!" The motto for any mother!!!

Little Avaree sucking her thumb!! ahhh!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monthly Stats

Avaree Elizabeth
2 months
10 lbs 13 oz
22.5 in

Well every month I am going to be bragging about my baby. I know it's annoying, but I'm holding myself back from doing it every day. This little girl is the happiest baby ever! She smiles most of the day. I say most because she does have a fussy time before she goes to bed. When she is fussy, she can be easily soothed by talking to her. She will open her eyes and try to cry, but a little giggle comes out instead. She is currently sleeping 8 hours at night. WHAT?! You read that right.... she goes to bed at 9:30 and wakes up around 6:30. She has been doing this for about 5 weeks. What is even better is that she wakes up most of the time happy and cooing in her crib! I go in to get her and she is sucking her thumb! She is a thumb-sucker! ah! I'm still not sure if this is a good thing, but she hates pacifiers. She still sleeps most of the day, but when she is awake, she likes to watch her sister play. Isabella will put things on her lap while she is in her swing and Avaree just sits there and laughs. She loves when I read books to her. She loves getting her diaper changed. She can roll over from her belly to her back. She is independent. She prefers putting herself to sleep. Sometimes I try to rock her and she starts crying, only to stop as soon as I lay her in her crib. She sleeps on her belly... OH NO! Doctors say that is a no-no, but hers said if she likes it to go for it! She is a firecracker; when she cries, she REALLY cries. Especially in the car. Thank goodness she doesn't cry too often. Most importantly, she loves her family. When her daddy gets home from work, she smiles ear to ear. I can already see her and Isabella playing in their tent, giggling. Oh, I just love them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Blessing

Last Sunday was a special day. Avaree Elizabeth was put in her first "white dress." As always, we were cutting it close with time. We arrived at church and I ran to the mother's room to put on her dress. My mom was in the room with me handing me wipes and a diaper. I had to move quickly, for sacrament meeting was about to begin. Even though I was rushing on the outside, I was taking in every moment on the inside. Looking at her sweet little rolls on the inside of her legs. Touching her soft, curled up toes. Letting her grasp my index finger for just a second. And kissing her little button nose and tiny, pink lips. This day is a special day for us. She is receiving a blessing from her father, who holds the priesthood of God. This marks the journey for her through life. With every challenge and bump in the road, the Lord will be with her.

As I had my moment in the mother's room, I saw the future. I saw my sweet little girl, putting on her white clothes and being laid in the waters of baptism. And for a moment, I saw her in the temple of the Lord, so beautiful. I saw my mom in there with me, helping me place her veil on and slipping on her shoes. Trying to touch up her makeup through the cloudiness of my tears. And giving her a kiss before she walks into the sealing room with her future husband.

What a blessing it is for me to have the gospel in my life and even more, to have a husband that worthily holds the priesthood. It is a blessing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Picasso

I have a little girl who is an artist. She is destined to have some artisitic ability, given that her great-grandfather, grandmother, and Abuelo are all amazing artists. She is a unique artist. I have my own Picasso in my hands.

Her medium is markers. Her base is not canvas, paper or wood; it is her body.

You would think I have learned my lesson after multiple offenses, but I have not. I guess I am not hiding the markers well enough and she finds them, pretty much every day. Today, she actually hid in her sister's room and colored her arms and face. I am just waiting for her to color her sister, but that has not happened yet. I will not give her any ideas!!!

And my dear Avaree is just growing like a weed. She still has blue eyes and orangish hair!! I'm crossing my fingers!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Smile and Carry On

I braved a trip to Publix today. I was behind on everything today. I only needed a couple of things for dinner and hoped to run in and out. (So silly of me for thinking this) Bella always picks the racecar buggy to sit in. I put the kids in the cart and placed my bag next to Bella. Apparently, this is forbidden. Bella flipped her lid. She demanded I remove the bag from the seat next to her. For some reason, I was not going to tolerate her stubbornness today. I thought, "Why CAN'T I put my bag there? I'm in charge." So I let the bag there and carried on with my grocery shopping as she continued to cry, which turned into screaming. I now changed my mind about the bag, but at this point consoling was not an option. She was too far gone with her fit throwing, nothing would have made it better. So, I decided to just get what I needed and leave. The next ten minutes consisted of me running through Publix frantically, Bella screaming, and Avaree sound asleep in her carseat (thank goodness!). People stared and some tried to console her. Someone even brought her a balloon. I started thinking about my mom, grocery shopping with 7 kids and I could hear her stories of how people would rudely make comments to her as her kids threw fits in the store. Was someone going to make a snide remark to me?? I was thinking of comebacks I could say if anyone attempted to be rude to me. It was becoming too overwhelmed so I stopped, shut my eyes, and took a deep breath. Everything was still and I heard the words, "Smile and carry on." I opened my eyes and did just that. I even brought it to a laughter as I approached the checkout lane. I'm sure at this point people thought I was crazy. I sang the hymn in my head, "Carry on, Carry on, Carry on!!!"

Well, Bella cried all the way to the car and home. All because she refused to have my bag sitting next to her. Later, right before laying Avaree down in her crib, I had a moment. I looked at this beautiful baby smiling from ear to ear and I counted my blessings. Count your blessings, name them one by one. I am truly blessed. These little meltdowns don't matter in the grand scheme of things. They will be forgotten. What will be remembered is Bella saying, "Come play with me mommy" and her singing happy birthday to me everyday. What will be remembered is Avaree's little hands touching my face. I will remember Bella's face after catching her coloring her hands and feet in the kitchen with markers. I will remember sweet little Avaree trying her hardest to hold her head up and look at me as I pat her over my shoulder. Her beautiful blue eyes. Bella's messy curls. This is what I remember about today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hello Panhandle

Hello Pandhandle. You have forsaken me. No, I am not talking about that place with beautiful beaches over on the northwest of Florida; I am talking about the handle of my pan. We had a beautiful relationship and just like that I was betrayed. Cooking dinner has been so pleasant up to this point. Now I can't look at it the same way. It was partially my fault. I should have been paying attention. I had the pan in the oven, took it out, did some other things, and without thinking came back and picked that scaulding hot pan up by the handle. Just as quickly, I threw the pan back onto the stove and could feel my skin melting.
Through all of this I learned a few things, like: Don't talk on the phone while you are cooking. The most important thing I learned: That I have a daughter who is sincere and loving. Isabella immediately ran to my aid and said, "It's ok mommy. It's ok mommy. It's ok mommy," as I ran threw the house trying to ease the pain. When I stopped, she would rub my leg or back and say again, "It's ok mommy. Oh and I forgot to mention, I had Avaree in the sling the whole time, sleeping on my chest. She didn't wake up threw the whole ordeal.
So today, when I got up the nerve to wash the pan out, all I could think about was my melting skin and throbbing hand. It might take me a few days to wash the pan completely.
Thank goodness I have these cuties to ease the pain!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Do This

I am committing. I can do this. It will be tough, but I can make it through. I won't give up.. what's that? What am I committing to? Oh.. BLOGGING of course! I am going to do this. I have been looking at recent pictures for the past hour and I thought, "I wish I could share these pictures with EVERYONE.. oh wait, I can!" It's been almost a year since my last post. Seems like a perfect time to blog again! I could write on and on about Avaree's birth, my pregnancy, Isabella's birthday, our trip to Maryland, Terry's promotion, and the bazillions of stories of living in a tiny room in a house with Abby, Nick, and Mom, but I'm sure they will be brought up somehow in one of my future posts. So, for now, I will just leave you with pictures of recent events. Let me just say, I love my life, I love my family, I love my savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a mother, it is my divine role, and I wouldn't want to be doing any other thing right now.

ok, so you were expecting more photos... well, the photo editing program that I use is going way too slow for some reason right now and I don't have the patience. I am going to leave you with this lovely picture. They say a picture says a thousand words. This one does just that. I could stare all day at her cute little curls. So while you think of those thousand words, I'm going to go cuddle with my hubby, eat my strawberry/banana/raspberry smoothie and cry over my burnt hand (cooking mishap :-/)