Monday, March 19, 2012

Little Bums

Right now I've got a couple of little bum's running around the house driving me to drink. Especially this little bum...

He's much more of a handful than I remember his sister being at this age; especially during his five days of straight crying while getting his molars, being sick, and going throw a growth spurt.

At least he doesn't mind sleeping in his own messes, I guess.

And while it drives me crazy that Ammon doesn't comprehend that the world "no" even exists and leaves a constant trail of snot everywhere he goes, or that Lydia needs my attention every two seconds of every waking hour and prefers her brother in a headlock, at least these two little bums don't mind sharing a tub while getting their little cheeks clean.

And you would be correct to guess from this picture that Ammon is ready to eat. Always.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicken Stuffed with Zucchini and Cheese

I saw a recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to try it. I'm always trying to find a good combination of healthy and deliciousness and this chicken dish seemed to be a good contender. Of course I had to put a few of my own spins on the recipe so here goes:

First it says that you need eight thin chicken cutlets. Well let me tell you, chicken cutlets are expensive and I didn't have them so I took a big block of three chicken breasts and made six of my own cutlets.

Making the cutlets challenged me because I HATE touching meat. I usually go to great lengths to avoid it. I'll use tongs to pick up raw meat, even to just transfer it to a pan, and I wash my hands seventeen times if I am forced to touch it. I also have to wash anything that's touched raw meat a million times (I honestly don't know if I'll be able to use the above cutting board again) and I wash anything within a five foot radius of the raw meat - even if it doesn't touch it at all. It's contaminated just be being near the foul rawness. Brigham complains I overcook meat all the time - and I do - because I'm freaked out about it being raw still. So I have raw meat issues, but I'm trying to explain the discomfort I had in handling it so much. It actually was only a low level of horrible because I put the chicken in a plastic sack and THEN pounded it with the hammer so it didn't splatter everywhere (shudder).

Next I made the zucchini/cheese filling by grating a zucchini,

sauteing some garlic (it's supposed to be fresh but I never have fresh, I always just use minced from my giant jar of minced garlic. We love garlic at our house),

adding previously grated zucchini, some parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to the garlic,

and mixing it all up and cooking it for a bit longer.

Then I removed it from the heat and once it cooled a little bit, I added CHEESE.

It's supposed to be mozzarella cheese, but I didn't have any so I just used cheddar instead. We love cheddar cheese at my house too. I know, more fattening - but more delicious too.

Next step is to spread the mixture on your chicken,

and then roll up the chicken (more raw meat touching), and dip it first in a lemon juice (it was supposed to be fresh lemon juice. I didn't have a fresh lemon so I just used bottled lemon juice)/olive oil combination and then second in a seasoned breadcrumbs/parmesan cheese mixture for a nice breading on the chicken.

I couldn't take pictures of the chicken rolling and dipping because then my camera would have been contaminated with my gross hands, and I can't really wash a camera, but here's the end result:

I baked my dish in the oven and it came out looking like this:

And on Brigham's plate it looked like this:

Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS!  The cheese/zucchini middle and breading were sublime. Also, the hint of lemon in the chicken sent it out of this world. You could hardly tell that the zucchini was there because it blended right in with the gooey cheese middle, so it would work great if your kids are picky with vegetables. It was totally worth all of the meat handling and it's pretty dang good for you (especially if you don't switch out the mozzarella for the cheddar). I would make this recipe again in a heart beat and give it five out of five stars.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Three Years Ago You Were Born

I can't believe that it's only been three years since I had my little Lydia. I feels more like an eternity since I've embarked into motherhood - in a good way. I feel like I've always been a mom. Maybe it's because motherhood now defines my life, but honestly, I know it has more to do with the moment Lydia was born.

The instant that my daughter was delivered, I had the most spiritual experience of my life. For a moment, I had a glimpse into the eternities and I knew that bringing children into the world was the mission I was given before coming to Earth. This was what my body was made for and my calling in life. I could feel Heavenly Father speaking to me saying, "This is why you are here, and what you are meant to do and be." A mother. I could feel the importance of that role in the eternities before and the eternities to come.

The depths of this revelation that I can't explain, nor want to, was and is very special to me. I know not everyone has spiritual experiences when giving birth - I was surprised when I didn't with my second baby - but those feelings have never left and I only need to think back to that day to give myself an eternal perspective, bring back the same spiritual confirmations, and to feel tears of joy and gratitude. I'm learning there are special things about each child that endears them to you and Lydia, not only is my first-born, but also made me the mother I am called to be.

Obviously I'm in a reflective mood, but let's get to the girl of the hour. It is Lydia's birthday after all. And while I feel as though I've always been a mother, I never imagined that baby born that day would ever be three! Lydia has grown into a sweet, bossy, smart, silly, tender, shy girl. She's hard to resist, has a crazy good memory, and loves to dance, sing, and dress up.

I've decided to do a birthday interview each year to see how my children change over time; so I'll let Lydia tell you a little bit more about herself through the next twenty-five questions:

1. What's your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
2. What's your favorite thing to do with Mom? Read
3. What's your favorite thing to do with Dad? Play
4. What's your favorite day of the week? Church day
5. How old are you? Three and a half (whoops, not quite)
6. Who is your best friend? Allison
7. What's your favorite thing to do?  Play Ring Around the Rosies
8. What's your favorite color? Green (this changes on an hourly basis)
9. What's your favorite food? Chips (interesting answer. She usually says either cereal or salad)
10. What do you like to do with your family? Play with them
11. What's your favorite toy? One that Grandma Becky got for me
12. What do you want to be when you grow up? Three (hmm goal accomplished, wish mine were that easy)
13. What makes you happy? A toy does
14. What makes you sad? I don't remember. I never cry or scream. (Haha. Yeah. She's just trying to look innocent)
15. What's your favorite show to watch? Mickey Mouse
16. What's your favorite book? The animal one (she had no idea)
17. What do you like to learn about? Jesus at church (happy sigh)
18. Where do you like to go? Out to dinner
19. What's the best part of your birthday? The rainbow sides (??? I tried to get her to elaborate but I didn't get much clarification)
20. What's your favorite treat? Scooby Doo fruit snacks
If you could meet someone famous who would it be? You (meaning me, her mom. Happy to be famous for someone :) )
21. What's your favorite movie? The funny cow movie (meaning one of her Baby Einstein movies)
22. What's your favorite game to play? The dance game (meaning Just Dance on the Wii. And it really is her favorite. She's also pretty good for a three year old)
23. What sports do you like? Football (yes!)
24. What do you like to wear? Princess dresses
25. Who's your favorite princess? Ariel (this also changes on an hourly basis)

Happy Birthday Lydia! You've been looking forward to it for months and I hope you feel special today. You're the best baby girl I could have ever asked for and I love you with everything I am. Kisses and hugs and a sweet song to top it all off. Love you!