Friday, March 16, 2012

Staci's First Day of Preschool!

Today was Staci's first day of preschool. She did SO well and was such a big girl! There were a few tears at first but she quickly acclimated and started playing.  She made a new friend and held her hand all the way out of school to the parking lot--so cute! Her teacher said she did "remarkably well" but warned there probably will be some separation issues next week when we come back. She also noted how well she used her words. See, I told you she was a genius ;)

We started out the day with her 3 year well visit. She is 36 lbs (90%) and 38" (75%) and our doctor said she's doing great.

Thanks to her teacher Miss Teresa for taking pictures of the kids!

I can't believe she's big enough for preschool, but SO PROUD of my big girl.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas with Lime Cilantro Rice

I made dinner tonight and just kind of flew by the seat of my pants, using some recipes as a 'base' and changing a few things up to suit our tastes. It turned out GREAT! Good enough to share and, bonus, it is very food allergy friendly.

Game plan: Get the crockpot part going around noon to get it out of the way. Around 4:30 shred chicken, return it to the crockpot and then get the rice in the rice cooker (or in a pan on the stove). Then, mix up the tortillas and roll them out. I like to divide the dough into 8 parts all at once, then roll out the next tortilla while the first one is cooking in the pan, and so on. Making the tortillas only takes about 35 minutes and it's SO WORTH IT!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas (adapted from Skinny Crock Pot)
1 lb frozen chicken breasts
1 each yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, sliced into bite sized pieces (or whatever you have on hand. I only used 2 b/c that's what I had and it still turned out great)
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 Tbsp's taco seasoning mix (adapted from

My version of the taco seasoning mix: 
2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp (rounded) garlic powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

you will have a little seasoning left over, but not much.

***Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with onion and peppers, then sprinkle the seasoning over the top. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. I started mine on high for about 2 hours and then flipped over the chicken breasts and switched it to low. When the chicken breasts are cooked through and ready to be shredded, go ahead and shred them and return them to the crockpot. Continue to cook everything together for about an hour to allow the shredded chicken to re-absorb some of the juices. When ready to serve, sprinkle with a little leftover lime juice from the lime cilantro rice below.

Lime Cilantro Rice (adapted from Our Best Bites)
1 C white rice, cooked per package directions (I used my rice cooker)
2 Tbsp Earth Balance Coconut Spread
Lime juice, to taste
Large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
sea salt

***Cook the rice. When it's done, stir in the coconut spread, lime juice and cilantro. Salt to taste.

I made these Homemade gluten free tortillas using the bob's red mill gf flour mix, and find that I do need to add a few extra teaspoons of flour to get the dough the right consistency to roll out. I divide the dough into 8 equal(ish) sections, roll into balls and place, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll out. I lightly coat the bottom piece of plastic wrap with a little flour. This method has worked well to get the tortillas as thin as possible without them sticking to the rolling pin and tearing.

I served this with  my favorite salsa and sliced avocado. It was seriously so good. You have to try it!!

I apologize that there are no pictures. It was all gone before I could take any!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Olivia's first birthday party!

We had a small low-key family gathering to celebrate Olivia's birthday today. I made cupcakes and we just hung out with family, ate a few snacks, sang happy birthday and opened presents. Olivia was a little skeptical when I first brought her downstairs from her nap, but warmed up after a little while and very much enjoyed hanging out with her cousins!


Gluten free/vegan cupcakes!

Big sister Staci

Pretty girl in her special birthday outfit!

mmmm cupcakes!  
Thanks to all the family who came and made today a memorable one!!

Happy Birthday Olivia


I can't believe you are one year old today! Looking back at the past year, it has been a mix of elation, sleep deprivation, and joy.  You need to know that your big sister loves you with every fiber of her being, and so do your parents. You should know your big sister helped Mommy pick out decorations for your party. As soon as I finish writing this I am going to bake your birthday cupcakes and finish putting up those decorations Staci chose.

3/3/12--with your birthday balloons!
Right at this moment, you are sitting by me 'reading' some board books and making a mess of the Curious George matching cards. You are extremely good at entertaining yourself, and that's lucky because your big sister can take all of my attention from time to time.

--you are in 12-18mo and 18mo clothing
--you are walking everywhere
--you have 7 teeth, soon to be 8
--when Staci turns music on to dance to, you will rock and dance, too. You also love it when I pick you up and dance with you.
--You take two naps a day, and wake up frequently at night.
--You're a champion eater. You are doing great with eating table foods and still nursing 10ish times a day.
--You love books and toys that play music
--Your favorite food, besides momma milk, is applesauce and bananas. I think sweet potato fries are pretty high on the 'like' list as well.
--You can sign 'milk', 'please', and 'more'. I am mostly sure you are also doing your own version of 'all done' while also saying it a la "ahhhDAH! ahhhhDAH!"
--You will hold up a book and say, " bbbbuuh! bbbbuuhhh!" but then you did the same thing for the balloons. So, no clear first words yet, but I'm keeping my ears open.

You are so much fun. I love you with all my heart. I love watching you grow and every new stage is always my 'favorite stage'. Your big sister says you are her best friend.  I hope you call each other your best friends for the rest of your lives.

Friday, March 2, 2012

allergy update

This blog has been neglected! Since the last time I updated, we received Max's IgG food panel as well as Staci's IgE food panels. For Max, he is also highly intolerant to gluten, sesame seeds and cranberries. My test results only showed sesame seeds and cranberries.

Staci's IgE food panel showed a level V reaction to peanuts on a scale of I-VI, 0 being the least reaction and VI the highest. When I spoke with the allergist she said Staci was so allergic to peanuts she should not even sit next to someone eating them. I am so thankful Staci's reaction when exposed, up to this point, has been immediate puking. I didn't realize the severity of her reaction. IgE means that we just don't know what her reaction to peanuts would be next time, and it's very possible it could be anaphylactic shock, which can quickly lead to... I can't even type it out. But let's just say my world would end and I would never get out of bed. Ever. So, we carry an epi-pen with us everywhere and have one in the medicine cabinet as well.

Her IgE food panel also came back at a level I for soy, wheat, and whole eggs. Very similar to what the IgG panel showed which I thought was really interesting. Because they showed a minor reaction, I was told to add soy to our elimination diet and to try reintroducing it once we are done and see how she does. I have never been so nervous about anything, ever. And I used to be a musical theatre major and have to get up and sing in front of LOTS of people. And my peers. By myself. So, that's saying a lot.

Olivia crawling through the 'cave'
We have been gluten free/egg free/dairy free/soy free/peanut free for almost 3 months now! It has been a learning experience for me but also very fun. Maybe that sounds crazy but I HAVE to look at it that way to survive. Honestly, I do.

I'll be sharing a list of my favorite blogs and recipes when I find the time! When I'm not cooking, I'm generally playing with my kids. Olivia loves crawling through the cave and then clapping for herself when she gets to the end! ;)

Olivia Walks!

Here, if you watch Olivia's right hand as she walks over to the Duplo's you can see her do her version of the sign for 'milk'. After she picks up a block, she pats her tummy with both hands. This is her version of the sign for 'please'. Staci finds this all really, super, amazingly hilarious!