Monday, January 28, 2013

We All Have Our Moments

We all have our moments of doubt. Those please-go-away moments when you have so many what-ifs swirling in your mind that the negativity just consumes you.

I'm a positive person. Anyone that knows me in real life can vouch for that. I have an optimistic outlook on most things and always try to see the silver lining.

But, we all have our bad moments. Or days.

Today at a little after 3 o'clock, I had a bad moment. 
I can't, at this moment, disclose the exact source of my worry. ( I will SOON!) But, I went from all smiles to pressing tears after just one simple thought: What if something goes wrong?

That one thought sent five million horrible scenarios and daunting what-ifs straight to my already overwhelmed brain. I sat there, thinking about everything that could go wrong, reasons why we didn't deserve this, and how it was just too good to be true. 

Why, oh why, do I do this to myself? My stress level went through the roof, I couldn't hold the tears back, and I just laid on the couch, pressing my face into the couch pillow. I tried so hard to just calm down. Was I seriously just laughing and smiling three minutes ago? I have a problem.

As I was wallowing in self-pity and creating an unimaginable amount of unnecessary stress in my own head, I heard my almost-five-year-old daughter calling my name.  

Great. She's not going to nap again and she's going to wake the baby up. My sour mood was not making me a very patient or nice Mom. 

(Before I go on, a little piece of info: Gracie has imaginary friends. She talks to them a lot. She also has a wonderful light in her heart and ever since we talked to her about God, she grasped the concept and ran with it. Now, she absolutely loves 'talking to God' and we often hear her late into the night and during naptime talking.)

I stalked down the hallway, sighing and ready for a battle with my rarely-takes-a-nap daughter. I opened her door and saw her sitting up in her bed with a big smile on her face. The smile softened me a little.

"Babygirl, it's naptime. I know you aren't tired, but you know Paisley and Reilly are. If you don't want to go to sleep, at least be quiet so that they can, OK?"

She looked at me innocently, with those big brown eyes that seem to be filled with so much more knowledge than her age should allow. 
"Momma, I just need to tell you something. He says I have to."

"Ok, Gracie. What do you need to tell me?"

"Mom, do you still talk to God?"

That caught me off guard. I didn't know where she was going with that question, but I really just wasn't in the mood for her little games. (I know, I sound horrible. :( )
"Uh....yes? Look, Sweetheart, it's really time for a nap. C'mon, get under the covers and just close your eyes for a little while."

"No, Mom, wait. He just wants you to talk to Him."

"Who wants me to talk to who?"

"God. He makes me happy when I talk to Him and if you talked to Him, you'd be happy, too."

Whoa. I was not expecting that. Her big I-know-something-you-don't-know smile and her tiny hand reaching for my frozen body to give me a comforting rub, brought out tears. Whether they were tears of joy and wonder or fear and confusion, I don't know. How did she know I needed this? Did He tell her?

Whatever the case, she was right. I haven't prayed in weeks. I've held all of this stress, worry, and even anger inside of me. It's eaten me up. I don't have to or need to carry this around with me. And, I certainly don't have to do it alone. 

I leaned down and scooped her up into a big hug. She giggled. I cried. This is not the first time she's ever said things like this in a time of need. She is always giving me words of encouragement from the Man Upstairs. Whether they're coming from her or Him doesn't matter - they help me. And she loves it.

I tucked her into bed, kissed her forehead, then went to the living room, dusted off my Bible, sat down at the table and prayed. I ignored my phone vibrating, my laptop beeping at me. It's amazing how quickly I felt the weight lifting off of my heart.

The way that I pray is just talking. We all have our own way. For me, I sit down, close my eyes, take deep breaths and then just spill. Whispering, crying, laying it all out for Him. Then, I turn to the Bible and drink in every word. 

After having my much overdue moment with Him, I checked on the kids (who are all asleep now!) and then sat down and wrote this.

Everything is not all figured out yet. There's still a lot that is up in the air with our situation. But, I know we'll make it. We always do. Until then, I'm just going to relax, resting assured that's what meant to be will find a way. And, even if things don't go as we planned, we will be OK.

Now, for any of you rolling your eyes and thinking this isn't real or that it's just stupid, PLEASE do us both a favor and unfollow, unfriend, and leave me the heck alone. 

Do I believe she's actually having a conversation with God? YES. Wholeheartedly. IS she, really? Who knows! But, this relationship has comforted her and made her happy. And, whether it's her or God saying those things, it doesn't matter.

I know this type of post is not everyone's cup of tea. I'm aware that there are many different views, beliefs, etc. You don't have to share my beliefs, but at least respect them and don't post anything negative!



UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2013 - found an awesome new blog hop & linked this post to it! Check it out here.

The Next Step

Friday, January 25, 2013

NICU Baby, Champion Feeder, & OMG, She Ate My Nipple!

It's Theme Thursday, y'all! This week's theme is: BREASTFEEDING
Head on over to Something Clever 2.0 to see what it's all about!

Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I've got some serious monsters on my chest. They started growing in 4th grade and just never stopped. Add three pregnancies to the mix and holy mammoth, I've got backaches like no other.
It seemed like an obvious choice that I'd breastfeed. It's natural, women have been doing it since forever, and it'd be a damn shame to let these triple D's go to waste. (I actually wear a DD, but I have some serious overflowing going on, so I assume if I spent more than $12 on a bra and got one that actually fit, it'd be somewhere in the DDD range. But, when you're a cheap-o and buy your bras at Wal-Mart, you've got a limited selection!)

Gracelyn Rayne:

25 hours of labor and one emergency c-section later, a 7lbs 4 oz. baby girl made me a first-time Mommy in April of '08.

Big IV in her tiny head. Numerous needles pokes on her precious hand.

Immediately following birth, she suffered a Pneumothorax and both of her lungs collapsed. After the c-section, the first time I even laid eyes on her was on a digital camera. Yeah, a digital freaking camera. My entire family got to see her before I did. (That's another story for another day, though - totally wanting to do a post on my birth stories!)

After 24 of the longest hours of my life, I was finally able to visit her in the NICU. I wasn't able to hold her until Day 3, but I was in my room pumping like crazy. That Liquid Gold came in FAST & I was happily labeling and sending it by the bottle-full. On Day 3 when I finally was able to hold her, after examining her whole body, counting every toe and finger, and a few minutes of skin-to-skin, I pulled my boob out and brought her face towards my nipple. Nothing. She wasn't trying to latch or anything. But, I was determined and did NOT give up. After about 10 minutes of trying, the nurse informed me that shift change was about to take place and we would have to leave the NICU. Feeling a little defeated and very full (boobs, not tummy!), I handed her back to the nurse and went back to our room.
The next few days went about the same - unsuccessfully trying to get her to latch and pumping like a mad woman.

When we finally got her home, I was still bound and determined to master breastfeeding. I tried and tried and tried. And tried some more. She absolutely refused. But, I kept on pumping and was able to provide her with a tummy full of Mommy milk for a full 4 months. That was when we got the news that Mommy's boobs would soon be shared. Yep, I was pregnant! Again.

Reilly Tucker:

In the beginning of June 2009, our family grew by one adorable baby boy. He weighed in at 7lbs 7 oz.

I love love love the newborn froggy legs!
Having experienced the pumping side of breastfeeding with my first born, I was absolutely determined to boobie feed my little man. There wasn't any ifs ands or buts about it! He was delivered via scheduled c-section and I made sure everyone in that damn hospital knew that he would be a BREASTFED baby and that they better keep every bottle and pacifier away from him!
He was born with zero complications and promptly brought to me just minutes after I was brought into the recovery room. Just mere minutes after he was placed in my arms, he was happily and hungrily latched onto me and feeding away. Success!
He was an awesome, champion feeder and I can proudly say from Day 1, there wasn't even one problem with him latching! I exclusively breastfed him for almost 6 months.

Paisley Ann:

In early September, a tiny baby girl made her big debut and completed our family. She was our smallest baby, weighing in at only 6 lbs 10oz.

This was her first trip to the San Antonio Zoo!

She was a perfect little feeder - at first. She would feel my bare skin and it'd take her about .5 seconds of rooting to get latched onto my nipple and boom - she'd nurse herself into a Mommy milk coma!

She fed perfectly for the first few weeks or so, when I started to notice some discomfort during some of her feedings. My nipples began cracking and bleeding and I wanted to scream every time she latched on.

I nursed through the pain until one day... She was about six weeks old. I was sitting in my Nana's kitchen, talking to her and my Mom when Paisley started fussing, signaling that it was time to feed her. That day was a particularly bad boob day for me - I was insanely sore and it seemed like the skin on my nipples was paper thin. I picked her up and carefully placed my nipple in her mouth and.... CHOMP! She pulled my nipple into her mouth with the strongest suction imaginable and I immediately cried out in pain. "MOM! Get her!! Someone! Get her off, please!" I was screaming, trying to get her off of my breast. But, she had formed such a strong suction that it was nearly impossible to get her off - she laid there unaffected by the chaos, sucking away. You could literally see the blood, my blood, pooling around her mouth. Finally, my Mom came to the rescue and carefully stuck her finger into Paisley's mouth, breaking the suction and pulling her away from me. As soon as my Mom whisked her away, blood streamed from my nipple down my shirt. She had literally sucked the skin right off of my nipple. It was raw, throbbing, and hard to even look at.

Even after getting a miracle-working ointment from my OB/GYN and receiving encouragement from my husband, I was still terrified to breastfeed her again. I continued to pump, but I slowly started producing less and less. We began supplementing a few times a day with formula when she was eight weeks old and when she was about twelve weeks old, I stopped breastfeeding all together. I still sometimes regret not trying to breastfeed her again, but I am confident in the choice I made.

Regardless of how long I breastfed or whether or not formula was given, my kids are healthy.
Healthy, happy, and mine!


Here's a shot of  Paisley Ann when she was a little over a month old. That's what you call a Mommy Milk Coma! Also, just wanted to show the baby to boob ratio! :)


Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Been a "Shitty" Few Days, Y'all.

And, I do mean that literally.  
Shitty as in POOP.

The shit started on Friday and has lead into today. Hoping this isn't a preface to the new week.
Still not quite following? Hold on, I'll get to it...

Crap Incident Numero Uno:

It's Friday afternoon. Nap time. I'm cleaning up the house playing on the internet, munching on some raisins, listening to music.. chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool, all shoo... Sorry, couldn't help that.. Back to the story.
I hear Reilly start to whine in his room, so I go to check on him. He's groggy, half-awake, and mumbles something about pee coming out. I pick him up before an accident happens, rush him to the bathroom, pull down his Super Hero underwear and  he just stands there.
"C'mon, Bubba, go pee pee."
He still just stands there, blinking slowly like he's still half-asleep.
I nudge him and tell him to hurry up and go potty so he can lay back down. He looks up at me and says he wants to sit down instead of standing up. I tell him no, that he just needs to hurry up and go standing up, 'cause mommy's free time nap time isn't over yet. Still, he just stands there.
Right as I'm about to pull up his underwear and stick him back in bed, he lets out what I believed to be his introduction-to-peeing fart - I expect to hear pee hitting the toilet water at any second. 
All of a sudden I catch a whiff of his fart, I thought. But, then, the smell mixed with no peeing and his awkward potty stand-off all start to add up in my Mommy brain.
I quickly look and....SHIT. Literally. 
As soon as I realized what was happening, it was like the flood gates opened and let's just say, it wasn't solid...

Crap Incident Numero Dos:

It's Saturday morning around 7:30. For anyone that knows my kids, you're aware that that means there's still a good two to three hours before any of them make a peep. (I know, I hit the freaking jackpot on my kids' sleep cycles!) Paisley's crib is in mine and Raymond's room, until she moves up to a toddler bed, at which time she'll finally move in to share a room with Gracie. Anyways..

I heard her moving around, but she didn't start babbling like she does when she's awake, so I figured she was just getting comfortable before drifting off again. I had stayed up fairly late the night before, so I had zero plans on getting up before any of them woke up. I rolled over and quickly drifted back off to sleep.

Two things woke me up approximately 4-6 minutes later.. the smell (every mom knows it) and the sound of her giggling. She had pooped. A LOT. Then proceeded to remove her diaper and play in it. It was in her hair, all over her hands and chest, ALL over her crib bedding.

I swoop her up, get her in the bathtub, scrub her down. Once she's clean and poop-free, I get her out, wrap a towel around her, bring her into my room and lay her on the bed to dry her off (because, you know, the changing table that's right by her crib is much more useful as a storage area for miscellaneous crap rather than an actual changing station). I get her dried off and turn around to grab a diaper off of the changing table. She crawls across the bed, giggling in all her nakedness. I smile and reach for her with "claw hands", making a growling sound that sends her into a fit of laughter as she tries to get away from me. I scoop her up to give her kisses and naked baby cuddles before putting on her diaper. Only, I didn't get that far. As I'm kissing and nuzzling into her neck, her belly laugh guessed it - the giggle shits.

The Final Poop Incident that Prompted this Post:

It's Sunday afternoon around 1:15 p.m. My parents had just left after stopping by to visit. I went to lay the kids down for a late nap due to fussiness. I was coming out of Gracelyn's room from giving her a kiss and busted my ass right outside her door. FREAKING DOG PEE. Knocked the wind out of me, hurt the hell out of my butt bone, and got freakin' dog urine all over least, that's all I THOUGHT it got on me. Pissed off, I stormed into the bathroom without cleaning up the mess or even looking at it, ripped my clothes off, and jumped into the shower. After quickly scrubbing down, I opened the curtain, grabbed a towel to wrap my hair in, wrapped another around my body and stepped out.......SHIT.
I guess I didn't see/smell/feel that when I slipped on the pee, the dog also left a big ol' dump that my ass unknowingly smashed right on top of. In my haste to get in the shower, I had taken my clothes off right outside of the tub and the crappy side of my shorts was face up. Nice, right?


SHIT: I guess some days you just step in it.


UPDATE: After talking to my good friend Shawnna over at A Few Miles In Her Shoes , she let me know that she had a 'shitty' few days as well. She even posted about it! Go read about her poop woes, too! Click here. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Get to Know the REAL Me.

My story:
I'm Marissa, obviously. I'm a mother to three - two girls, one boy. (Gracelyn is 4, she'll be 5 in April. Reilly is 3, he'll be 4 in June. Paisley is 16 months old.) I'm a wife to a corrections officer, Raymond.

I'm definitely not the Susie Homemaker type. And, I'm almost positive that a Stepford wife would survive 57 seconds in our house before running out screaming.

BUT, I wasn't always like this....
I spent the first three years of my marriage and life as a mother trying to be perfect. All it did was create numerous insecurities within myself when I realized how not perfect I am. I never lied about my life - I was truly TRYING to be perfect. I'd spend hours and hours cleaning every day. Waking up well before my kids woke up, to clean; staying up way past when they went to bed to clean more.  I would change my kids' outfits 3-5 times a day, trying to make sure they were always clean and cute. 
To MySpace and Facebook, I was perfect. Pictures would prove how spotless my house always was, how clean and adorable my children always were. 
But, I was miserable. 
Not with my life, just with myself. 
I have an incredibly loving and supportive husband and I love the life we've created together. 
But, the pressure to always be perfect had me becoming such a neurotic bitch. 
I had friends that were my age who were also wives and mothers - some of them seemed to be perfect without trying. Why couldn't I be like them? They just cleaned their house for two hours; I only cleaned for 45 minutes. They're saving money; we're living paycheck to paycheck. They're getting a new car; now we need a new car. Their baby walked before age 1; mine didn't walk until 13 months - am I a bad mom now?
 It was all a competition in my head. And I was losing. I felt like the worst wife, the worst mother, the worst WOMAN. If I wasn't the absolute best, then in my head, that meant I was the worst. And what was the point in trying at all if I couldn't be number one?

It took me three years to realize that I didn't have to be perfect - that I was stupid, immature, and petty to be competing at all. And, to find out that the moms I was so jealous of weren't perfect either. They were competing just like I was. They were jealous of me for all the things I envied in them. 
I took my newly found knowledge and changed.  
Deep down inside, I dug out the real Marissa. The real Momma. The real wife.

I started over - I gave myself a freaking break. I let the dishes wait. I stopped doing laundry every freakin' day. I let my kids be kids and get dirty without rushing to clean their face for the 17th picture of the hour.
I started to enjoy the day, not try to conquer it.

I'm happier now. My house is sometimes messy. There's often dishes in my sink. I don't think I'll ever have less than one basket of laundry. My kids are still crazy adorable, even with dirt on their faces from playing outside and stains on their shirt from going a little crazy with the ketchup at lunchtime.


I still get stressed out over the house. I still doubt my parenting. I still fear that one day my husband will realize how amazing he is and how not-so-amazing I am and will divorce me. 
I'm insecure. 
Every day, I fight myself in my head, force out the negative thoughts that bounce around daily, and tell myself that I am good enough.
These are things I'm still working on.

Which leads me to....
This is me:

Along with striving to be a perfect mother and wife, I ended up hiding who I really was inside. I tried to be who I thought everyone would like. 
I tried to be the super nice girl. But, I soon became a doormat to assholes in my life.
So, I tried out being the mean girl. I soon realized that didn't feel right either. 
I tried out the prim and proper way, but quickly found that those were two words that would never describe me.

I had to "find myself". Try hard to hone in on who I really was, what I really believed in. 
I discovered that I'm not a cookie-cutter version of anything or anyone. I'm just ME.
I'm not a perfect mom.
But, I'm a damn good one.
My kids think I'm the bomb diggity. Most days.
They're smart and learn new things every day. One day they learned the days of the week in sign language and the next day they learned a string of profanities after Mommy stubbed her toe.
I do believe in spanking. A swat on the hiney keeps my son from acting a total fool and teaches him right from wrong. And, whatdoyaknow, he doesn't hate me and he's a normal kid that laughs and loves.
I love doing crafts with my kids and the proud look on their faces when they've made something on their own is priceless.
Craft time is sometimes a total disaster, though. Like the time I went to wash paint off of my oldest daughter's hands and my youngest daughter grabbed a LARGE container of glitter and dumped it all out - on herself, two dogs, the coffee table, and the living room floor. In under two minutes. I cried for a good five minutes before even attempting to clean it up.
I'm not a perfect wife.
I used to correct him way too much on SO many different things. Now I just let him do things his way - it still gets done, maybe not how I would have done it, but at least I didn't have to do it. 
I took him for granted. I still do, sometimes. But, I make it a point to tell him as much as possible how thankful I am for him. How lucky I feel to be his.
I selfishly make him stay up late some nights. But, we've made more memories at 1 in the morning that we'll cherish forever.
I'm an emotional mess some days and even though I know I'm being a hormonal bitch, it's hard to pull myself out of those moods. I always make sure to "make it up" to him once the mood has passed.
He does a lot more around the house than normal husbands probably do. He also probably gets laid more.
Bargaining with sex is the best tool ever.

I'm not a perfect homemaker.
My floors are sticky a lot. I hate cleaning. (But, I do clean, my house is never "disgusting".) I've learned that I don't mind cleaning as much if I have country music blaring.
I have to re-wash at least one load of clothes per week due to forgetting that I put it in the washing machine and it staying there for more than a day. I also restart the dryer a good three times before forcing myself to just fold/hang up the damn clothes.
Clorox wipes, Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser, and a good-smelling candle are my must-haves.

Why I Started Blogging:

I wanted to showcase the real me. I wanted to have somewhere that I could come and express my opinions, ramble, rant, rave, connect with awesome people and come out of it feeling better, not worse.
This blog is ME. It's my voice. If you talked to me in real life, this is what you would get. There's no front. I type the way I talk. I didn't start this blog to pretend to be something I'm not. I did enough of that in the years past.

When someone visits my blog and reads my posts, I want them to know they're getting a piece of me. The real me. Not the me that I think everyone will like. There's nothing fake happening on this blog. There's no pretty words that aren't backed up by real actions, real feelings.
It's. Just. Me.

The beauty of blogging is that I don't have to care what anyone else is thinking about what I'm writing. Why? Because it's MINE. It's all mine - it's my little clubhouse on the web. 
Don't like it? Don't come here. 
You don't have to be my friend, follow this blog, see any posts if you don't want to. 
No haters allowed!
This is me. Who are you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday Topics: 8 TV Shows!

Found an awesome link-up to fill my Tuesdays over at Tiffany's blog, The Austin Family Diary! They're already on week 3 (which is where I'm starting)! And, I know it's technically Wednesday already, but I haven't gone to sleep yet, so it's still Tuesday for me! :)

With my husband's 12 hour shifts and the fact that we rarely ever get 'date nights' or nights/days/anytime away from our crazies, we make it a point to still spend quality time together. Every single night, after dinner, baths, story time, and bed time for the kids, we have Momma & Daddy time. ;) (not to be confused with our 'sexy time', which has no specific time slot - we want it, we do it!)

We lay on opposite sides of the couch, intertwine our legs, and relax together while watching whatever show of ours comes on that day of the week! 

Here are 8 of our favorites!:

1.) Law & Order: SVU : Absolutely, hands down, NO competition, FAVORITE SHOW EVER. I was pissed when Christopher Meloni got the ax and almost swore off the show completely, but Mariska Hargitay kept us loyal. I proudly and confidently recite the introduction to the show, including the imitation of the gavel at the end. Because I'm cool.

2.) American Horror Story: Asylum : I've never watched a more twisted, confusing, effed up show in my life. And I LOVE it. One hundred and ten percent addicted to this crazy world that AHS has created. It scares the hell out of me, makes me cringe, and I just can't get enough. Our Wednesday nights have never been freakier.


3.) Duck Dynasty: Who can resist such an awesome bunch of redneck millionaires?! Seeing how humble and down to Earth Miss Kay & Phil Robertson are, still living in their beloved double wide, despite being multi-millionaires, is just plain fantastic. The Robertson boys still respect their Momma and grown or not, what Miss Kay says goes and I just love it. Uncle Si is the epitome of a redneck genius - is there anything he CAN'T do?! I'm impatiently waiting for the Robertson Clan to fill our Wednesday nights again.

4.) Dance Moms: Yes, even my husband loves this show! We started watching out of interest in the girls dancing (we want to get Gracie in dance) and we stayed for the drama. And, oh boy, does this show produce some drama. Everyone loves to hate Abby Lee; the Moms claim to be a 'family', yet totally trash one another repeatedly, and the fights that ensue thanks to Abby's no-bullshit attitude and fondness of pissing the Moms off, are anything but boring! Not to mention, the girls really are AMAZING dancers!

5.) Swamp People : Alligators and crazy Cajuns, what more could you want in a show? Watching these hunters live off the swamp and wrangle an 800 pound alligator as a day job is nothing short of entertaining. Troy is our favorite Cajun! (And, our hearts broke and we sent sweet, Southern prayers to the Guist family when the Swamper of swampers, Mitchell Guist, passed away doing what he loved, in May of last year.)

6.) River Monsters : If you're already afraid of the water, do not ever watch this show. EVER. Ever. Holy jeebus, this show planted a fear in me that has me afraid of any body of water bigger than my bathtub. Even though much of the show is seen  through my fingers (that are attempting to protect my eyes) and narrated by my, 'OMG, OMG, OMG, THAT'S IN A LAKE?!!' every few minutes, we still come back for more. It's the show I hate to love.

7.) Long Island Medium : Theresa Caputo was blessed with a beautiful gift. I go through a half a box of Kleenex every time I watch this show. How wonderful is it to not only hope and pray that your loved ones are at peace and watching over you, but to hear it - in their words, after they've already passed? Just typing this I feel tears brewing. I know the heartache of losing someone far before their time that you love and hold dear. And, if I ever have the chance to be even remotely close to the same area as this woman, I fully intend on stalking her and hoping for a message from the other side. 

 8.) Dual Survival : Two men with extensive backgrounds that allow them to possess exquisite survival skills, purposely putting themselves in life-threatening situations and teaching you how to survive in some of the world's most dangerous environments? Yeah, it makes for some great TV. I've learned SO much from watching this show; although, if I were ever in a situation where I actually needed the skills that they've taught, I'm positive I'd forget everything and be freaking screwed.


So, those are my favorite shows! What are yours?


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Liebster Award! Oh, My Gosh, I Didn't Prepare A Speech! ;)

Thanks to the super awesome Chantal Hickey over at Adventures in Hickey Land for nominating me! 

What is the Liebster Award? Here are the Rules!:

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers...the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.
My 11 Random Facts:
(I'm halfway cheating - some of these "random facts" will come from my All About Me section, because at the end of it, I list random facts about myself!)
1) I hardly EVER reheat leftovers, especially not any type of meat. I'd rather just eat it cold.

2) My older brother, Josh, and I have a super close relationship. We have more inside jokes than I can count. I'm told it's annoying to be around us because him and I go into our own little world!
3) Raymond & I want a fourth child more than anything. With the knowledge that another pregnancy would be life-threatening, we've (literally, TODAY) come to the resolution that we want to adopt. In a couple of years, once we're (finally) home owners and are a little more financially stable, and when we have some obvious extra funds, we will definitely pursue adoption! We just feel like we have so much love to give, whether it be to a child that is biologically ours or not. It makes no difference to us.

4) I'm a BIG time crybaby. I cry over almost everything. Happy, mad, sad, overwhelmed; movies, songs, even COMMERCIALS have started up the water works. 
5) I daydream. A LOT. I often lie awake in bed for hours and hours on end, just daydreaming!
6) I detest the smell of change or metal. I've vomited by accidentally smelling my hands after handling change.
7) I honestly wouldn't mind if I had to be pregnant for the rest of my life. I loved every second of every pregnancy.
8) I use parenthesis a lot when typing. (too much? Nah)
9) Raymond and I have christened every hospital room after I gave birth to each of our three kids. Hey, all three were c-sections, so it's not that bad. ;)
10) I quote my favorite movies/shows a lot.
11) I totally rock at playing, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on my daughter's piano.
My 11 questions from Chantal:
Who was the very first blogger you started reading regularly?
Last great book you read?
Scarlett. It's the sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, written by Alexandra Ripley. I've read it approximately a thousand times, but just recently finished it again.
What magazines (if any) do you just have to read every month?
I don't read any magazines on a regular basis, really. The majority of my magazine reading happens when I'm in the checkout lanes getting groceries and I put them back when I'm done. I had a Parenting magazine subscription, but only because it was free. I cancelled as soon as it asked me to pay for a subscription renewal. I'm so cheap.
Best parenting or marriage adice you've ever recieved?
Parenting advice: 'Do not listen to anyone's parenting advice.' from my mom. She told me to find my own groove and that as long as my kids were happy, healthy, and safe, it didn't matter how I did it. She's a smart woman.
Are you a couponer? If so, extreme or newbie?
I tried. I really, really tried. I just never got the hang of it. I'd like to start again...maybe when we move?
If you could pick any other place in the world to move to, where would it be?
I honestly wouldn't want to live anywhere other than Texas. I love it here. Visit? Absolutely. Live? No. Texas is our home!
Who was your first follower on your blog (if you know!)?
I believe it was Chantal Hickey. :)
What is your favorite color combination?
Anything with teal/turquoise! 
Which of your Pinterest boards (if you have one) has to most pins?
My LaughOutLoud board.
All time favorite DIY project you've seen on Pinterest (or elsewhere)?
There's NO way I could answer that!! I have SO many favorites!
Where is your "happy place"?
Other than my husband's arms (cliché much?), I'd have to say within the pages of whatever book I'm reading. It's like leading a beautiful double life, when you're one of those readers that submerses themselves into their books, which I definitely am.

My 11 Questions for my nominees:

1) Can you name three blogs that you regularly read?
2) Are you brand-loyal to any product?
3) Do you think of yourself as a leader or a follower?
4) Given the chance, what would you go back and change in your past?
5) If you only had one last meal, what would it be?
6) Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper, or tummy sleeper?
7) What was the reason for the last time you cried?
8) Favorite movie?
9) If the summary of your life had a theme song, what would it be?
10) What are you wearing right now?
11) Favorite TV series?
My nominees:
(Some of these bloggers aren't exactly new, but they ARE super awesome!)

If you choose to participate in this whole Liebster Award deal, post a comment and let me know so that I can go read yours! 
 (For anyone that I tagged, if you'd like me to remove your blog completely, just let me know!)
You don't HAVE to do this, I'll only cry for like a week at the most, if you don't want to... :)


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chile Colorado Burritos

(This may or may not become a weekly deal - depends on the feedback! :) )

I absolutely love to cook and I'm always searching for new, delicious, kid-friendly recipes to whip up for my family.
The recipe I'm about to share, I came across on Pinterest about five months ago, and since then it has been a huge hit with my husband and children. We probably have this meal at least once every two weeks!
To see the original recipe, go here.
I've changed this recipe a teensy bit to my liking.

Chile Colorado Burritos

You will need:
  • Crock Pot
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Bowl (for the beans)
  • Colander
  • Medium Pot (for the rice) 
(I'm going to list the ingredients/quantities based on how I make it for my family. Recipe yields 5-7 burritos, depending on how much you use per burrito.)

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs of Stew Meat
  • 1-3 15 oz cans of Enchilada Sauce(ANY brand), depending on how much sauce you want. I use 3 because I like a lot. (You can also make your own enchilada sauce, if you prefer)
  • 1 Beef Bouillon Cube per can of enchilada sauce you use.
  • 1 can of any brand of refried beans.
  • 2-4 servings of any kind of rice (optional)
  • Your choice of shredded cheese
  • Burrito sized tortillas
Combine the stew meat, all of the enchilada sauce, and bouillon cubes into the CrockPot.

Season to taste (I usually add a dash of Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Garlic Powder,& Ground Cumin).

Cook on high for 7-8 hours OR (and this is what I do) low for 3-4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. 

Once the meat is tender to your liking, set up a colander over a large mixing bowl. Unplug your CrockPot and carefully pour it into the colander, straining the meat from the sauce.

Cook rice according to directions on box (or whatever kind you buy), warm up refried beans & tortillas.

From here, you can either keep your meat chunky or chop it up. I prefer to chop it up. 

I prepare our burritos by spreading the beans first, then rice, and then meat.

Fold the top and bottom ends of the burrito towards the inside of the burrito before rolling it up to avoid the insides spilling out.

Ladle the strained sauce on top of the burrito and top with your choice of shredded cheese. I always use a Fiesta/Mexican blend.

And, Voila!

These are pictures that I took tonight while preparing this for my family's dinner! If you try this recipe, please let me know how you liked it! 

And, feel free to share, but please link back to my blog! If you like this recipe and would like for me to continue sharing recipes I've found and tried, please leave some positive feedback! Thanks so much!