Thursday, May 21, 2009

A year of Lilly...and a little surprise!

Lilly 1 Day old!
Lilly's Blessing Day, 1 Month Old!
Lilly in her Swing 2 Months Old!
Lilly and Ally, 3 Months Old!
Lilly and her Sisters, 4 Months Old!
Lilly at a Football Game, 5 Months Old!
Lilly as Tigger for Halloween, 6 Months Old
Lilly Standing, 7 Months Old!
Lilly taking a Big Girl Bath, 8 Months Old!
Lilly at Disney World, 9 Months Old!
Lilly sliding with Natalie, 10 Months Old!
Lilly, 11 Months Old!
Lilly and Mommy, 1 YEAR OLD!!!
We are all so happy to have Lilly as part of our family. She is very curious and likes to explore her surroundings. She is super smart and figures out things like how to go up and down stairs and the quickest way to escape outside. She started crawling on her hands and knees at 6 months old, and seems content with that still. She is starting to stand up on her own and take a few steps, but is not walking yet. She is going to be a big sister. She says a few words, some of her favorites are mom and ya. Mostly her very favorite thing to do right now is to go around the house and empty everything, drawers, cupboards, baskets, etc. Luckily our trash is in a pull-out drawer and is safe for now! Lilly loves to eat and eat and eat, and she really works her 4 little teeth. Lilly is almost always happy and usually happy to crawl around and do her own thing. She has been my worst sleeper unfortunately and although she is now sleeping through the night she is usually up by 6:00 a.m. which I do not appreciate! Lilly loves her sisters and from a very young age learned to tolerate (mostly by Ally) being carried around, squeezed, kissed, and played with.
At Lilly's one year appointment, the Doctor was happy to see that she is "back up to the 4th percentile for height and weight!" and was surprised by how easy going she was. She weighed in at 17 lbs. 9 oz. was 27" tall and had a head circumference of 18 1/2" (which by the way was 98th percentile!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Changing Sizes

As part of my spring cleaning, last week I decided to go through the girls clothes, switch their winter and summer ones, and move everyone up a size. I wish I would have taken a picture when I was in the middle of it all, but I was too embarrassed to let you all see how crazy it was. (this is due to the fact that I am a shamefully vain person, something I really need to work on!) Having all girls is a huge blessing and an even bigger blessing than that is Ashlyn! (my niece who is a year older than Hailey) About 3 or 4 times a year my SIL Robin brings me bags of clothes that are too small for Ashlyn. Beautiful clothes from GAP and Gymboree and well, you get the idea!

So back to having all girls, I have a bucket for each size of clothing and when I go through the clothes I pretty much have to bring out every single bucket and go through this huge sorting process that usually ends up taking 1-2 days! For Lilly I usually have 2 sizes out at a time just because as she grows in and out of things I can have them, so I moved her from 3-9 months into 6-12 months (so I had the 3-6 bucket, the 6-9 bucket and the 9-12 bucket out for her) I moved Natalie from 2T-3T and still had some residual 18M things (once again 3 buckets) I moved Ally from 4T-5T and took all of the remaining 5T stuff from Hailey and she is now wearing 6-7. These clothes didn't so much have buckets, because they were already in use.

One of the side affects of living in Idaho (something I hadn't really experienced until last year) I now have a winter wardrobe and a summer wardrobe for each size, so in the spring I move their summer clothes to the shelves and their winter clothes to the drawers (readily available for those June snow days) and in the fall I switch them back.

Having four kids clothes in the same closet/dresser requires some real dedication and planning, I cannot believe how fast that poor closet can become a total dissaster. I TRY to do a load of laundry everyday and am in there everyday straightening it up. It is a good thing they are all small so I can fit it all in!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fast Favorite Meals

This is one of my very favorite places to steal ideas. Anyway, they came up with an idea to have 30 go-to meals that are quick and easy and you have all of the ingredients so you can throw something together even on crazy days. They are having everybody share a few of their favorite recipes so we can try out new ones to add to our list. I have several recipes that I love, here are my top ones.

Chicken Parmesan
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Egg Whites (or whole eggs if you prefer)
1 Garlic Clove
1 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Flour
4 oz. Angel Hair Pasta
1 Jar of your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)

Preheat oven to 425. Trim Chicken. Beat egg whites until frothy, press in garlic. Mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Coat breasts with flour, dip in egg mixture, and then in crumbs. Place Chicken on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Cook pasta and heat up sauce. To serve, place pasta on plate, top with baked chicken top with sauce and cheese and enjoy!

Pork Chops and Tomato Sauce
4 Pork chops (bone in or out doesn't matter)
2 Cans Tomato Soup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mashed Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

Season pork chops and brown both sides. Pour tomato soup over and cover. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until pork is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove pork chops and keep warm. Mix corn starch with enough cold water to make a paste. Stir into tomato soup to thicken and make a gravy. Serve pork chops and mashed potatoes with tomato gravy. Enjoy!

(this is a recipe from my MIL and it is so good, try it even if it sounds weird!)

Chicken Casserole
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (or breasts if you prefer) cooked and chopped
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 Cup of Milk or Sour Cream
1 Can Corn
1 Can Peas
1 Box Stuffing prepared
Mashed Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400. Mix Together everything but the stuffing and potatoes. Put in a casserole dish and top with prepared stuffing. Cover with foil and bak for 40 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

*variation: instead of mashed potatoes, mix in a bag(12 oz.) of cooked egg noodles and a cup of grated cheese before topping with stuffing. Also, add in whatever veggies your family likes, I like carrots and green beans too!

Chicken Curry
3 cups hot cooked rice
2 bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground curry powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. ground)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 can (14 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
chopped peanuts or toasted coconut (optional)

Combine curry powder, cornstarch, ginger (if using ground) and salt. Add chicken, toss to evenly coat. Heat a large skillet with a little oil over high heat. Add chicken, garlic and ginger (if using fresh) Cook and stir 6-7 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium high, cook bell peppers 4-6 minutes (less if you like them crunchy) stir in coconut milk, pineapple, and chicken; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Mix in cilantro, serve over rice, and sprinkle with peanuts or coconut. Enjoy!

Cheesy Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
8-10 Flour Tortillas (buritto size)
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Pint Sour Cream
2 cups plus 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cooked and chopped
40z. can diced green chilies (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Dilute soup with one can of water, add chilies. Heat to just before boiling, add sour cream, 2 cups cheese, and chicken. Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll, and arrange in the baking dish. Pour extra sauce over tortillas, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven, top with 1/2 cup cheese, tent until melted. Enjoy!

Fast and Easy Lasagna
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 lb. cooked ground beef (season to taste, I use fresh garlic, italian seasoning, and diced onion, fresh or dried)
1 oz. fresh grated parmesean
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 egg
1 carton 15 oz. ricotta or cottage cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (optional)
10 lasagna noodles uncooked
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Combine spaghetti sauce, undrained tomatoes, water and ground beef. Combine egg, cottage cheese, parmesean cheese, parsley and spinach. Spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Arrange 5 uncooked noodles in a single layer over sauce by placing 4 lengthwise and 1 crosswise, breaking noodles to fit. Press noodles into sauce. Spread all of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and remaining 5 uncooked noodles. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Cover with foil. At this point lasagna can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and top with remaining mozzarella cheese, tent with foil and let stand 15 min. Enjoy!