Rice Box Fun


Sometime during the never ending heat of the summer I remembered an idea I had read online forever ago, an indoor rice box.  This idea was to get through the long, cold winter.  Since we don’t have those I thought I could use the idea to get through the long, ridiculously hot summer.  Rice is better than sand for at least two reason, eating it not so bad and easier to clean up.  Yes the boys still make a giant mess and it goes every where, but not nearly as bad as sand would.  All you need is a tote with a lid, under the bed sizes work great, and rice.  I bought one of the giant bags from Sam’s Club.  The boys like making an mess and it gives them something different to do.

They have lots of options:


eating the rice box toys,


playing with the rice in or out of the box,


and swimming in the rice,

not pictured, splashing in the rice, lots of fun for the boys and very messy!



Someone finally found the dog water yesterday.  I knew it was going to happen eventually but was hoping I still had a while.


The dogs were just a little concerned and kept their distance.


What are these new words I am hearing, “no and don’t?”

What to do with the dog water?  Pick it up and just put it back down during nap-times?  Matt said I should just keep an eye on him, duh I hadn’t thought of that (insert rolling eyes).  Sometimes I have another baby that needs something and can’t keep Ezra from crawling away.  He’s is getting pretty fast and loves exploring the house.  I don’t want to have to cage him every time I have to walk away.  I am more of a “free-range” baby kind of person.  So to all the experienced pet owners/parents out there, what did you do with your dog water?  There isn’t a spot in the house that the dogs can get to that the babies can’t.  For now I will just be picking up the water when I am home alone.

Tsegay and Almaz

The CHI in-country representative for Ethiopia was able to come visit Arizona with his wife.  They did a wonderful job caring for our little guys in Ethiopia, staying with Ezra at the hospital, worrying about them, making sure they received the best care possible.  We absolute adore Tsegay and his wife Almaz and were so glad they were able to see the boys again.  We went to a gathering last night of other CHI families and had a great time meeting new families and seeing old friends.  We only took two pictures!



Noah just stared at Almaz.  I have no idea what Ezra is distracted by in the pictures, but he did give them plenty of smiles.

Crock-Pot Enchiladas

This is loosely adapted from a chicken enchilada recipe that I had.  I left out several ingredients, including the chicken, a jalapeno, and olives, so if you want to add those in feel free, but Matt and I like it just the way I made it, easy and simple.


4-6 – 10″ tortillas, depending on the size and shape of your crock

2 – 16 ounce cans of refried beans, I used the black beans, fat free and yummy

1 – 16 ounce can of enchilada sauce, I used red, but I am sure green would work too

4 ounces of cheese, I used cheddar, you could use more if you really like cheese, but I was trying to not add too much fat

8 ounces of sour cream, use more or less your choice

Spray crock-pot with non-stick oil, put down a layer of tortillas, spread on one can of refried beans, then add some cheese and sour cream.  Another layer of tortillas, the second can of beans, cheese and sour cream.  Top it with a last layer of tortillas, sour cream if you need want more, the entire can of enchilada sauce and then sprinkle with cheese.  I cooked it for 2 hours on low, 2.5 would probably be better as I did find one cool sour cream glob.  🙂  You could probably do 1.5 on high if you needed it faster.

I easily assembled this during afternoon nap and it was delicious and meat free!

My little brother is officially a fire fighter


Last night I went to Jason’s swearing in as a fire fighter for Ak-Chin.  It was a nice night and I am very proud of him.


The happy new fire fighter and his family


Proud dad


Mom and son


Bagpipers leading in the Color Guard


Abby enjoying the bagpipes


Getting sworn in


Getting pinned

Farmers' Market Lasagna

I realize it has been forever since I posted a recipe on my blog.  I can’t even blame it on the boys, it has been since last November since I posted a dinner recipe.  The one hobby I love, and can somewhat still find time for, is cook.  I have not baked since bringing the boys home, but I blame the heat more than them.  They might be filling up the majority of my time now (loving it), but Matt and I still have to eat.

Here is a fairly healthy recipe from Parents magazine.  I adapted it so I can use my crock pot instead of the oven (its already hot enough here, don’t need to heat up the kitchen).  Its also meat free, so if you are looking to go meatless one or two nights a week this is a great option.

Farmers’ Market Lasagna

1 zucchini, chopped

1 red sweet pepper, chopped

1/2 cup shredded carrot

3 cups of spinach

1 jar (26 0z) pasta sauce

6 regular lasagna noodles, broken in half (uncooked) (When using the crock pot just break the noodles apart more so you can make it fit more to the shape of your crock pot.)

1/2 carton (15oz) part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


1.  Prep the veggies Put zucchini, pepper, and carrots in a bowl and pour in 2 tbs. water.  Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes; drain.  Stir in spinach.  Heat pasta sauce, covered, on high for 2 minutes.  (I skipped all this microwaving, seemed like an unnecessary step if you ask me)


2.  Pile it in Layer 1/2 cup sauce, 4 noodles, half the veggies, half the ricotta, 1 cup sauce, and 1/3 cup mozzarella.  Stack on 4 more noodles remaining veggies and ricotta, 1/3 cup mozzarella, 4 noodles, and rest of sauce.

3.  Cover with cheese Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and cover the dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 1 hour.  Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.


Instead of baking for an hour, I cooked it in the crock pot on low for 2.5 hours.  I can prepare it during nap time and it is done by dinner time.  Perfect!

10 months!


I cannot believe Noah and Ezra are 10 months old. We have known their faces for 7 months and held them in our arms for 3 months. It is amazing how much they have grown since we first laid eyes on them and even more amazing how their personalities are really starting to shine.

Ezra is very independent, giggly, and pretty easy going. If he gets upset, or bonks his head, he only needs a little consoling, and he’s back to wanting to play. Standing up in the tub is a new issue. I guess he figures what better place to try and crawl and walk than in a few inches of water.

Noah is super snuggly, loving, and talkative. Lots of DADADADAs all day long. He needs a lot of attention, and will get fussy if he feels you are not watching his every move. This has started to improve over the last few weeks, but it’s still tough to multitask with him, but that’s okay because his snuggling is so sweet.

Ezra is getting around fairly well now. He goes all over the living room, luckily he can’t get anywhere else on his own yet, as soon as he hits the tile he starts spinning his wheels. We have caught Noah crawling in his crib, but outside of that he could care less about moving, he would much rather be in mommy’s lap.

Noah finally started to laugh out loud this month, usually just Ezra can get him to do it, apparently we aren’t as funny as his brother.

They can both stand for short periods of time hanging on to something and longer if it is one of us holding them up. Ezra is trying to pull-up on stuff but has not managed to do it yet.


They both now give hugs and Noah gives kisses by licking your cheek, he learned that from Taffi.

They both still love to eat and are gaining weight nicely. Ezra really likes cereal and puffs, Noah is more of a fruit eater. Noah seriously loves apple juice, Ezra could care less for any liquid besides formula, I think he will be my milk drinker.

They also love to play with their cousin Abby.



A couple more months and the three of them are really going to be tearing up the place!

Night Weaning

I am going to start off this post by saying I am the luckiest woman alive.  When we first came home we took turns getting up with the boys for night feedings, but I was increasingly having difficulty falling back asleep after my turn, so Matt took over ALL night feedings.  Seriously lucky girl!  The other night I got up and start to feed Ezra and Matt noticed I had done this, came into the nursery and said, “What are you doing go back to bed.”  I know I am lucky and my husband is AMAZING.  Sorry I just had to brag and properly thank my husband before I got to the purpose of this post.  Thank you honey for being the most amazing and wonderful husband and daddy!

Noah has slept through the night on a few occasions, I think he would sleep through the night almost every night if Ezra didn’t wake him up.  Ezra’s crying doesn’t always wake him up, but sometimes it does.  Ezra wakes up every night for a feeding without fail.  We are considering night weaning in the 10th month by slowly watering down the formula.  I go back and forth on this because he is obviously hungry, but then I think if Noah can do it so can he.  I know every baby is different, but I still wonder.  He is getting plenty to eat during the day, if you can’t tell by his pictures, he is nice and round.  🙂

Anyway my question is to all the experienced parents out there.  Did you night wean or let it happen naturally?  If you night weaned at what age?  Do you have any regrets about night weaning?

I would love to hear from everyone.  I am just gathering data so we can make an informed decision!  We love hearing from experienced parents.