Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I got this recipe from a friend of mine when I was going through a "recipe rut." I haven't made it since she gave it to me, but decided to try it for hub's birthday dinner tonight. I will say that it was super easy and super yummy. So here ya go!

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken, cooked & shredded
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cans (4oz) diced green chilis, drained
  • 1lb cheddar cheese, grated
  • bite size tostitos chips (approx 5 oz)
  • 1/4ob pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 containers (16 oz) fresh salsa, drained well
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 c onion, chopped

Heat soup with seasonings until hot. Add chicken, onion, green chilis, cheese (reserve 1 cup) to soup mixture and mix in bowl.

Layer the tortilla chips on the bottom of a dish so they just overlap. Spread 1/2 of the mixture over the chips. Spread the salsa in a layer over the mixture. Add another layer of tortilla chips. Spread the remaining mixture into the dish and top with cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pregnancy Update: Week 24

Well, here I am. Week 24. And I am feeling pregnant. Go figure. That's the best way that I can fully describe it. Whenever you undoubtedly get that questions, "So how are you feeling?" "Well," I tell them, "I feel pregnant." I feel like within the past couple of weeks my belly just popped out, it's harder for me to get around, I get tired quicker, and I started to waddle. I know. Seems too early to start waddling to me too. But, hey, especially by the end of the day a waddle seems in order.

My progesterone shots have been going well. Nothing new to report there. I have had 2 cervical length checks and both are within normal ranges. I have my final check this Friday. Fingers crossed that it checks out A-O-K. After week 24 they say it is no longer a good predictor of whether you will deliver early. So, I see my doctor every two weeks now, where in a normal situation I would still be on a monthly schedule. Then after my next appointment next Friday I will start seeing her every week. At that point I will be 25.5 weeks and she just wants to watch extra closely considering that with Kaiden I went into labor at 29 weeks. She will start checking my cervix and doing a test called a Fetal Fibronectin every two weeks. This test is eh, iffy at best. If I get a negative result then there is a pretty good chance that I won't deliver within the two weeks post test. If I get a positive result there is a 20% chance that I could deliver within those two weeks. So, not the best predictor, and a lot of false negatives, but, it's all they have at this point to really stay on top of the situation. So, hopefully no positives, cause even if I do get a false positive (which there is no way to tell if it is truly a "false" positive) then she will most likely put me on bed rest just to be safe. Can you say stir crazy?

So we just keep plugging along and hope that little Miss stays nice and cozy just where she is.

Here I am at 24 weeks preggo

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Bucket List

This past weekend hubs and I actually rented the movie "The Bucket List." It is a story of two men that are diagnosed with cancer. Their doctors give them 6 months to a year to live once they realize that the chemo treatments haven't worked. So they make this list of things that they want to do before they "kick the bucket." Although the movie isn't all that great, I thought the concept is good enough to considering replicating.

Today I found this list on Facebook and thought that I would participate. From here, I want to start a list of thing that I definitely want to do within my lifetime.

I am not necessarily going to tag anyone, but if you feel so inspired, feel free to copy and paste to your own blog. Instructions: Place an X by all the things you've done during your lifetime:

(x) Gone on a blind date. (And it's a good thing I never have to again, thankyouverymuch.)
(x) Skipped school. (Uh, my friends made me do it, Mom. Yea. That's it. My friends made me.)
( ) Watched someone die
( ) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico. (And oh how I would love to go back. In fact, if I close my eyes hard enough I can even imagine myself there for a second.)
(x) Been to Florida. (Besides getting hitched there, I went to Disney when I was young. "The Happiest Place on Earth")
( ) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Been lost. (Emotionally or physically? Whatever it is, I've been there.)
(x) Gone to Washington, DC
(x) Been to Amsterdam. (Oh, the things I saw in Amsterdam. Let's just say that it's not exactly a place for a "family vacation!")
(x) Cried yourself to sleep. (Pregnant much?)
(x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons (I color while Kaiden eats the crayons)
(x) Sang Karaoke. (but only after I was extremely drunk)
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only. (I was a college student once. I have paid for gas with coins too)
(x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.
(x) Made prank phone calls. ("Hello. Is your refrigerator running?")
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere. (Yea, and it burns!)
( ) Been busted for shoplifting
( ) Been almost killed by a train
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus (In fact I think I just did this past Christmas.)
( ) Been to at least three continents
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone
(x) Blown bubbles using your own spit
(x) Gone ice-skating
(x) Been skinny dipping outdoors. (No comment)
(x) Eaten escargot
(x) Been deep sea fishing (On our honeymoon in Jamaica. Too bad our fish got away from us)
(x) Driven across the United States (From PA to AZ. Dang that was a long haul.)
(x) Been in a hot air balloon (I got hubs this as a gift for his birthday a few years ago. Glad we did it, but wouldn't do it again.)
( ) Been sky diving
(x) Gone snowmobiling
(x) Lived in more than one country. (I lived in England for a semester during college while studying abroad. Does that count?)
( ) Crashed hard enough to blow the airbags in your car
( ) Visited the Holocaust Museum
( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Olde Faithful Geyser
(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
( ) Been on a cruise
(x) Traveled by train. (While studying in Europe, I got to travel for 2 weeks by train. AMAZING!)
( ) Traveled by motorcycle
(x) Been horse back riding
( ) Ridden on a San Francisco Trolley
(x) Been to Disneyland (Disney World)
(x)Truly believed in the power of prayer! (Amen!)
( ) Been to the top of an active volcano and seen hot lava
( ) Been in a rain forest
(x) Seen whales in the ocean
( ) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins

Friday, February 20, 2009

Things I Thought I Would Never Say

Sometimes I catch myself saying something to Kaiden that I never thought in a million years would ever come out of my mouth.

I was changing Kaiden's diaper today. Just a pee-pee diaper (as we call them here in our house). I had given Kaiden two animal crackers to munch on while I was changing it. He finished one and then took a bite out of the other so he still had half of it in his hand. As I removed his diaper and wiped him down he took his hand, with the cracker in it, and started to touch his "nether regions." My response?

"Kaiden, please don't put your cracker on your weenie."

And my husband wonders why I need some adult conversation when he gets home.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday



Thankful Thursday...I'm back!

This week I am going along with Iris over at Grace Alone and going to mention my sincere thankfulness for those little "everyday things" that we so often take for granted. We were actually just talking about this in our bible study this past Tuesday night. In our service this past weekend our pastor said that if we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our back and $20.00 in our wallet then we are better off then 75% of the people in this world. Can you believe it? 75%. I was shocked. Shocked. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? What the heck are we all complaining about?

This week I am thankful for:
  • The "luxury" of being able to eat 3 meals a day. Plus snacks...but who's counting?
  • A comfortable bed to sleep in every night with clean sheets and blankets.
  • A reliable car to get me from point A to B.
  • A husband who supports our family financially so I can stay at home with my son.
  • A beautiful home that keeps us warm.
  • The convenience of grocery stores. I don't have much of a green thumb so if I had to actually grow our food...forget it. We would probably starve.
  • Clean, fresh water that runs freely from my spicket.
  • Electricity.

So remember that we should count our blessings for the little things that we so often take for granted. Most people in this world don't have them.

Have a blessed Thankful Thursday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vegas Re-Cap

Well we are back from a totally rockin' Vegas weekend get-away among adults. I must admit, I wasn't too hyped up on the fact that we we were going to Vegas, as I have been there a hundred times before, but it totally blew away those doubts and we really did have a great time. It was so nice to spend that time with hubs and have a chance to reconnect with each other. Boy, did I need that time away. It was pure heaven...no whining, no dirty diapers to change, gourmet coffee at my finger tips, sleeping in, and the best part...I actually got to pee and shower by myself without a little boy running in and out of the bathroom. Heaven, I tell ya. Pure heaven.

So anyways, our decision to go to Vegas was a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself, as we didn't have any rain to contend with like we would have in San Diego. The weather was sunny most of the time with a slightly colder temp. Nothing that a little jacket and gloves couldn't cure, though.

Instead of writing a super long post with everything that went on in "sin city," I figured it was better to point out highlights from our trip in bullet style. There are actually few random lessons I learned while in Vegas. Here is a short re-cap of our trip:
  • Apparently there is no "recession" in Vegas. Unless people thought that being laid off gave them permission to try and win back their annual salary in the span of a weekend. The place was so crowded!
  • Leland from the TV show "Dog the Bounty Hunter" is a lot shorter in person than on TV. We saw him twice at our hotel.
  • $7.00 is way too much to pay for a glass of OJ. Considering I can get a gallon of it at Costco for $6.99.
  • You can lose $50.00 at a craps table a whole lot easier (and faster) than you can win it.
  • Beginner's luck does exist. Hubs came home with a whopping $300.00 that he won at the craps table. I taught him everything he knows. Fortunately for me, "what's his is mine and what's mine is mine" is a followed rule here in this house.
  • Unfortunately, half of that 300 bucks will have to pay for the speeding ticket hubs got on the drive there.
  • Barnum Bailey has it all wrong. Cirque du Soleil's show "O" is the "Greatest Show on Earth."
  • The Palms Casino is a dump.
  • When you are on a winning streak, sleep is so overrated.
  • It's so worth paying the extra money to stay at the Bellagio then some crappier places that I have stayed at in the past.
  • The guys and gals that try to give you the "girls to you 24 hours a day" cards that they pass out all. day. long. are really annoying.
  • Some people have way too much freakin' money to blow.
  • Mike Shannahan hangs out in Vegas after getting fired by the Broncos.
  • The food in Vegas is amazing. Amazing.

So there you have it. Our trip in a nutshell. We can't wait to get another vacation all to ourselves. Unfortunately for us, once baby #2 comes along, that may be a little harder than we thought.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy 2nd Anniversay, Honey!

My darling hubs,

Can you believe that it has been two years of complete bliss already? I commend you for successfully putting up with me for 730 consecutive days. I wouldn't be able to do it. Heck, I get sick of me after about a week. And there you are, loving me through all the highs and lows. Loving me despite of all my flaws. Loving me through all my hormonal days, bad hair days and "I have nothing to wear" days. But through it all, you still manage to put a smile on your face and embrace me each day.

Just two years ago, we stood on a beach in St. Petersburg Beach, FL with our families to witness us confess our love for each other. As I looked into your eyes that day, and said our vows to each other, I saw our future in front of us. The endless possibilities. We started building that dream right away (much to our fertile surprise) and I haven't looked back since. Two years together, a beautiful son and a little girl on the way I couldn't be any happier than I am at this moment. With each day, I am reminded that you are my love, my best friend, my soul mate.

I love that you work so hard to provide for your family.

I love when you call me during the day just to say hi.

I love getting random notes from you when I wake up in the morning.

I love watching you with your son.

I love your warm, compassionate heart.

I love that you make me laugh uncontrollably.

I love when you hold me in your arms. The world seems to drift away.

I love you more today than yesterday. If I was given the chance, I would marry you all over again. In a heartbeat.

I look fondly at our past, live pleasantly in our present and dream excitedly about our future.

I love you with all that I am. You complete me.

Forever yours,
Your wife






Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Planning a Trip: Take Three

Hubs and I are leaving for our trip on Thursday. A much needed retreat from the everyday. Our 2 year anniversary is on Saturday and since Monday is a day off my parents offered to fly in from PA to watch Kaiden. It's a win/win for all of us. We get a weekend away to ourselves. They get Kaiden all to themselves. See ya, have fun. And if you need to reach us, don't call. We are on vacation.

So anyways, I posted about this little adventure that we planned to UT in a previous post. At the time Doc didn't want me to go because of the high altitude. Okay. I can deal with that. So, we turned to plan B. A trip to San Diego. Weeeeelllll, if you have been watching the weather that they have been getting you know that it is nothing but rain, rain and more rain. Most of which they have also been sending to little 'ole us here in Phoenix, thankyouverymuch. So, it made us rethink our plans to CA now. You can't go to San Diego when it's raining. It just doesn't work. So, we are now on to plan C.

We wanted to go somewhere close so that we are not spending two whole days just traveling. So, we decided, plan C was to hit Vegas since it is only a short 4 hour drive for us from Phoenix. I was feeling kind of funny about it over the past couple of days. Does a pregnant woman have any business being in Vegas? Will I look funny in "sin city" with a baby bump? But, as have grown older I seem to become less and less concerned with what others think and so....screw 'em. This ole preggo mama is going to Vegas, baby!

We are staying at the Bellagio. I have always wanted to stay there cause they have that pretty fountain show. And the fact that Matt Damon and George Clooney took that place for every penny in Ocean's 11. They are both sooo eye candy. Are they or are they not?! Anyways, we have a nice trip planned to see the Cirque show "O" on Friday night and dinner at a nice steak house for our anniversary on Saturday night. Valentine's Day. Other than that, we may just check out the strip, other hotels, relax in our room with a good book, or I may decide to pull up a chair at the Blackjack table or find a spot at the Craps table. Either way, I will be praying to the Casino Gods that they don't take me for every penny that I bring. Which will probably be like $20.00. I start to twitch and get cold sweats if I lose more than that. So maybe I better just sit my butt at the slots and watch it devour my quarters instead. At least I can pull that little lever thing. Now that's some entertainment.

Everyone have a nice Valentine's Day. I'll see you when I return. Hopefully with a little extra cash in my pocket. And don't be surprised if I have a few pictures to post of us at the drive up window of the Little White Wedding Chapel. I am secretly hoping that Elvis will be willing to help us renew our vows.

Monday, February 9, 2009

High School Flashbacks

A friend of mine from PA tagged me on this picture of us from back in High School. I am not quite sure the timing of this pic, probably either Junior or Senior year of H.S.....1995/1996. Could have been Senior Week down at Ocean City, MD or a random outing to Ocean City, NJ. None-the-less, it's freakin' hilarious. I laughed my hiney off last night looking at it. Although I should be hiding this doozy from all of humanity, I thought I would share with you all. Remember what we should never look like again. Check me out there all the way on the left. Oh boy!

I mean, come on. Look at our "mom jeans" and belly shirts. Which, the mock turtle neck white one on the end there, she informed me was on the shared rotation of belly shirts. I can't say that I ever got on that rotation list, but I had my fair share of my own to choose from. My friend, Sue (there in the middle), has a HUGE container of chocolate milk. And for what better reason other than she must have had a major craving for some of that chocolaty delight. Or she could have been disguising, ehem, something *cough* a little, shall we say, "stronger." Maybe that explains the backpacks we are wearing. I'm just sayin'. And you wonder why I still say that High School were some of my best years? We were a bunch of HOTTIES, eh?!?!?!



What you don't see in this picture is a clear view of the Swatch Watch that I was sporting or the 10 earrings that went up my ear. Don't hate. You know I was cool.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

25 Reasons Why I Love My Mother

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL .
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM .
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE .
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP."
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your foot, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. '
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Facebook Ettiqutte

I am addicted to Facebook. I love Facebook. I especially like to log on and read everyone's "status" for the day. You've got the stay-at-home mom types who you can spot from a mile away. Their status is always something to the effect of "off to a play date" or "tackling a mound of laundry" or "wondering if my kid will ever nap today." Then you've got your working friends that "can't wait till Friday" or "are sick of attending meetings all day long." I especially love my Northeastern friends who are braving this unseasonably cold weather. Their status always reads something like "is cold," "is wearing thermal underwear and two pairs of socks just to stay warm." Bless your heart you poor souls. It's about 75 and sunny here. But who am I to rub that in?

So anyways, I have been on FB (we will call it that from now on, cause that's how cool I am) for awhile now. I have gotten to reconnect with a whole slew of different people. A bunch from back in high school who I haven't seen in *cough* 13 years. A bunch from college. Family. And then, of course, friends that I have made out here in AZ. Every once-and-a-while a new friend will decide to join the millennium and get connected on FB and send me a "friend request." Here is where my dilemma begins.

I received a "friend request" the other day from a gal that went to my high school. She was in the class that graduated a year after me. I knew her. She was a nice girl, I believe. Shy type. But that's the extent of it. I don't know that I ever hung out with her. I don't know that I ever had an actual conversation with her. Not because I am trying to say I was a snob. But I just didn't have any classes with her nor were we involved in any of the same activities.

So what do I do? Do I "confirm" her as a "friend" and be done with it? Do I "decline" her request and be labeled as "the girl that declined her request?" And what happens when you actually decline a request? Cause when you accept it you get an email that says "So-and-so confirmed you as a friend on Facebook." I have visions of her getting an email that says something like this:

Dear Sally (name has been changed to protect the innocent),
I regret to inform you that you are officially a L-O-S-E-R. Tracey denied your friend request on FB based on the fact that she hardly knew you very well in high school and at this point doesn't give a rat's backside about what you are doing in your life now. Too bad, so sad. Better luck next time.
Otherwise have a great day!
Love-
The Facebook team

So, yeah, that's what has plagued my brain for the past several days. I know. I know. Pretty pathetic, eh? So, what is the proper ettique regarding FB friend requests?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A boy and his dog.
Sorry it's a bit blurry, and shaky but you'll get the idea. Kaiden just loves to kiss his friend, Paco!
video
For more Wordless Wednesday click here and here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why Don't Friends With Kids Have Time?

A friend of mine emailed me this article today and I actually had to re-read the question several times to make sure that I was fully understanding what Tacoma, WA had the nerve to ask.

Yes, Tacoma, obviously you don't have children. But when, and if, you decide to have children, I fully hope that you are blessed with multiples. Ones that are especially whiny. And don't nap well. And I hope you have the opportunity to stay at home with them. Maybe then you won't ask such stupid questions. Blessings!


If you can't read the article due to the size, I have copied and pasted it here so that you can fully get the content.

"My best friend has a child. Her: Exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .
OK. I've done Internet searches; I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please, no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners. . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them every day. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day, and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail?
I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events), and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy — not a bad thing at all — but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth?
Is this a contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids, and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions."
— Tacoma, Wash.

"Relax and enjoy. You're funny.
Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
Internet searches?
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand — while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom friends are either lying or competing with you — is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries and questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family members and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting the constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything — language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy — and then when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, you wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend — a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends or marvel at how much more productively she uses her time.
Either make a sincere effort to understand, or keep your snit to yourself."

-Carolyn Hax

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Chemo Kid

I wanted to post this video of a good friend of my brother's from back in high school. Mike and his fiance, Missy, have a two year old little guy, Trey, who is currently fighting stage 4 cancer. Both of them have had to quit their jobs in order to be present for the intense treatments that their son has had to endure at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). Due to them being out of work, it obviously has put dramatic strain on them financially. There have been many benefits organized to raise money for their family, but as you can imagine there is always a constant need for money, gas cards, food, etc.

This video is a glimpse into their journey with Neuroblastoma. It brought tears to my eyes to see the struggle this little man faces at such a young age. But his passion, fighter attitude and help from the Ultimate Healer will get him through.
Check out treylove.org for more information