Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Ward Harvest Festival and Chili Recipe

Yesterday was our annual ward Harvest Festival. It is a lot of fun for everyone and the kids have been looking forward to it all week. We got all dressed up in our costumes and headed out to the festivities.

Eli is in the middle with his friends Braden and Alex. They are all very close in age. Braden was a monster too.

Here is my little clan. The babies had on some Halloween orange, but nothing clever. Hey, I have 5 kids now...

Me and my little monster. Eli was diggin' the whole Halloween thing. There was lots of candy and he was happy. He walked around a bit glassy-eyed with all of the commotion.

I decided to enter the chili cook-off competition, even though many of my church friends were "shocked" that I would dare do such a thing, since I just gave birth a few weeks ago. Come on people! It takes about 20 minutes to whip up chili, the easiest thing in the world. Anyhow, there were loads of entries for the little competition and guess who won first place? No, it wasn't the Missy-otties!

IT WAS ME!!! Ha Ha....

It couldn't have happened to a more humble entrant. Plus, my awesomeness cannot be contained. **See, all those tv watching hours when I was heavily-laden with pregnancy has really paid off, hasn't it?

Here is my trophy chili, resting proudly on my junk shelf in the kitchen.

So, I have had many requests for my "secret" recipe. I don't do exact measurements, so I am going to try to tell everyone how I made it as best as I can.



Dried red kidney

Dried white cannelli

Dried pinto

1 can black beans (I didn't have any dried available) ***add this with everything else, liquid included***

I pressure cooked all of my dried beans in an 8 quart pressure cooker. It was equal parts beans that filled the pot almost half full. However, I only used half of that, so fill beans to about 1/4 of the way full. Fill the pot with water, almost all the way to the top. I threw in about 4 beef bouillon cubes to season the beans. It took about 90-120 minutes to cook and then they were nice and soft.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 cups cooked sirloin beef, cubed
2 small onions
2 anaheim peppers (use any pepper you like)
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 large can stewed tomato
1 large can diced tomato
2 cans diced green chilies
Red Chili Powder (I have no idea how much...but I will guess about 1/4 cup)
Ground cumin (same with this. but I will guess at least a tablespoon)
Fresh Ground Pepper

Once the beans are cooked, brown the hamburger, diced onions and peppers at the bottom of the stew pot. Add everything else. Bring it to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Enjoy the yummy goodness.

These amounts were for a large pot of chili. Portion sizes depend on you and what you like. Just add and adjust as needed, but don't forget the diced green chilies because that is the best part.

A Pumpkin Patch

We took the kids on Thursday to a local pumpkin patch. It was lots of fun. There was a little petting zoo there and Eli had a blast hanging out with the goats, rabbits, and chickens. He didn't want to leave. It didn't hurt that there were fun haystacks to climb on as well. However, he was not too keen on the pony. It was the first animal we saw and I asked him if he wanted to pet the pony. He vigorously shook his head, like he was saying "No Way!" But he did warm up to the pony eventually. It was just a little too big for him.

Raef and Zach went on a trampoline slingshot thing. It was a long wait to get a turn but I think it was worth it. They had a ball. Raef was cautious at first but as he got more comfortable the worker sent him higher and higher into the air. We had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Thump and a Wail

Rinar worked in Albuquerque yesterday and today so I was on my own for the middle of the night feedings. After a while, it all becomes a blur so I really can't remember what happened specifically. I know I woke up many times and that is about it.

So, this morning I was wiped out and trying to sleep as much as possible while I had the chance. However, I jumped out of bed when I heard a big thump followed by lots of crying.

I ran into Eli's room and sure enough, he was on the floor. My little baby boy crawled and then fell out of his crib. Times are changing. He cried a little bit and then he was on his way to a new day. What will this mean for me? I am kind of scared to think about the possiblities, but I will hope for the best.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Five Is Very Real Now

This has been a nice week for me. Rinar's mom came and stayed while Rinar took a business trip to Boston. It was great. She cooked and cleaned and helped me out a lot. It was fun to hang out with her and get to know her better. Grandma also had fun playing games with Raef and Zach and also accompanying them on the piano when they practiced the violin. I was able to enjoy this week without the stress. But now it is time for my reality check...tomorrow is my first real day as a mother of FIVE children.

Holy cow, I can't believe I have 5 kids. At the beginning of last year I had 2 kids and one on the way. Now I have five. This just goes to show you that things can change quickly. It becomes very real when I load up my car and all of the seats are taken. This mothering thing is for real now. There is no turning back.

I am very blessed that Raef and Zach are such a big help for me. For example, a few days ago I asked them if one of them would like to give Eli a bath. Zach exuberantly volunteered. He took him up there and was gone for at least 30 minutes. I have not taught Zach how to put a diaper on a baby, and especially a 20 month-old baby. But sure enough, Zach and Eli came downstairs and Eli was fully dressed, diaper and all. I was amazed at what Zach did all by himself. He was beaming with pride. Then after a few minutes I looked closer at how Zach had dressed Eli. He had put both of Eli's legs in one of the shorts sides. Hence two legs in one hole. It was hilarious. Eli looked like he was wearing a mini-skirt. I was laughing hysterically. Plus, the diaper was loosely wrapped around his belly so when he would squat down, you could see major butt-crackage. I was loving it.

You oldest boys are very helpful. I am very blessed.

I also caught Eli giving Harry a couple of kisses. He decided to do this all on his own. Isn't it so precious?

Rinar's birthday was yesterday so he treated himself and all of us to some Krispie Kreme donuts. All of the kids walked through the door with hats on their heads. Eli kept his on the longest.

I went to church today and so it was the babies first day of church also. Julia was all decked out in her cute stuff from Corinne, the baby-bling specialist. Corinne makes head bands and removable flowers for the head bands. In addition, she made me a binkie holder that says "Julia" on it. The binkie is also specialized with her name on it as well. The original headband had a hot pink bow to go with it but it was so huge for her little head that I switched it out for the smaller red flower. The proportions were a lot more manageable.

She is just so little that the dress kind of swallows her up a bit. But she really looked adorable in this outfit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Fun Weekend

Rinar took the boys to the Utah/UNLV game. After 5 minutes of the game Zach wanted to go home. Why, you may ask? It was too loud! They did get an autograph with Swoop, though. Raef had lots of fun. He cheered and made sure to get Dad to buy lots of treats.

Rinar has been working on his beard for two weeks. Nice, huh?

It was all cut off before he left for Albuquerque tonight.

Taking nap together, cheek to cheek.

And she just sleeps on...
Heather and the twins.
With all the kids. You have to be fast taking a picture when you include a one year-old.
After her bath, Julia looked like a little princess.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's Harry!

(I didn't post this one before, but this is a cute one of Harry when he was in the NICU.)


Finally, some pictures of Harry. I took these yesterday. His skin was perfectly clear the day before but then he had a breakout. Oh well. We call him our old man because a lot of his faces look like he is an old man...yep, that was a stupid explanation, but you get the idea. Both babies are eating and pooping and sleeping great. I can't complain.

Now I just have to figure out why Eli won't take a nap. Arrgghhh!

I need to get around to taking pictures of the two of them together. It will become quickly apparent that they are an odd set. I swear they don't look anything alike. Plus, his head is about twice as big as hers.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Our family is here...everyone. We went to get Harry at the hospital. I had to leave in a wheelchair. I thought she was joking at first, but no. It is hospital policy...{Oh brother!}, and there are people out there who think this country doesn't need tort reform.

The nurse took the picture as we headed out of the hospital. Look at that crew. Watch out everyone. This is quite a bunch ready to make their way in the world.

We all fit in our mini-van. It is a packed house now.

Eli likes to sit in the bouncy seat too. He came prepared. He had a book to read and 2 hairbrushes to keep his good looks in order.

There is daddy with our latest editions. And I can attest to the fact that when they cry, they sound almost identical.

Just as a side note...I can guarantee you that when I take these two out in public, someone will ask me if they are identical. Isn't it obvious? Of course they are. So, if someone asks me if they are identical, I will say yes. It is just easier that way. I will keep you posted on that one.

Harry is Home

Harry is home... I will update you all later. I have to go cuddle my little boy now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Week of Mommy Bliss

Do you want to know what I have been doing all week?

Just holding her....

Harry should be home in 1-2 days. He has to gain some weight. Please pray for him so that he will gain weight so that he can come home. He is just a deliciously squishy, cuddly baby and it is killing me that he is still in the hospital. We will keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

At last... the day has come

I know many of you were wondering, maybe not as often as my wife was, when this day would finally come. Well, the wait is over!! Kelly and I welcomed our newborn son (he came first) and daughter (second - so she is officially the baby) into our family on Monday morning bright and early. I am pretty sure that seeing as how this is my first ever blog posting I am bound to leave something out, so... I will give you some of the highlights and let Kelly fill you in with the details as soon as she comes home.

(Late Sunday evening)
Kelly was having labor pains around 11:30 or so - 6 contractions in the first hour and 12 in the second hour.

(Very, very early Monday morning)
Kelly woke me up at 2:30 and said "We're going to the hospital". We call our lifesaver of a neighbor, Elaine to come and watch the kids (Raef, Zach and Eli) while we take a quick trip to the hospital... which turns out to be not such a quick trip.

(Very early Monday morning)
We arrive at the hospital around 3:15 am. A number of things were done in an attempt to see if Kelly's contractions could be slowed down of which, none worked. So... around 4:30 we heard the words "we're going to deliver these babies in about an hour".

(Early Monday morning)
As aforementioned, the boy came first - at 5:31 a.m. weighing in at 7 lbs and 1 oz measuring 19 and 3/4 inches long. Then came along the girl - at 5:32 a.m. weighing in at 5 lbs even measuring 18 inches. Both with a good amount of hair.

Boy - Harry Robert Erickson is named after my grandfather Harry (my dad's dad) and Kelly's grandfather Robert (her mom's dad)

Girl - Julia Linda Erickson is named after Kelly's great, great grandmother Julia (mom's side) and my mother Linda. I know there were a number of you out there waiting to hear names... we tried not to let it out of the bag too early.

Mom and babies are doing well and it is anticipated that they will all come home on Thursday. I stayed last night with Kelly and Julia in our room - feeding, changing, burping, holding and sleeping (a little). As for Harry... he had a little trouble breathing on his own at first (some fluid in his lungs) and was admitted to the NICU. He was placed on a ventilator for a while but is now breathing on his own and the outlook is very positive.

Here are a few more pictures:

Eli pointing at his new baby sister.

She really is a cute little peanut isn't she?

The proud new big brothers... Raef holding Julia.

Raef holding Julia with Eli and me soaking it all in...

I know Kelly is looking forward to posting her own, more accurate version with even more color and detail. I just hope this gives you all the update you were looking for. Wish us luck - with 5 kids now, I know we are going to need it.

Posted by Kelly's, ever so lucky to have her, husband,


Sunday, October 4, 2009

My New Superpower

I have come to a profound realization. I wield a lot of power right now. I know that when I call someone, I am guaranteed to get a call back almost instantly. I have to decide if I will use this power for good or for evil. Muahahahahaha!!!

I guess this is what happens when you are 36 weeks and 3 days pregnant with twins.

Every time I call someone now for regular stuff they automatically assume that I am calling from the hospital.

"What is it?"

"What is going on?"

"Are you in the hospital?"

This lent itself to a bit of fun yesterday. My beloved brother-in-law Lyf had his birthday on Friday. He made sure to request that I not give birth to my babies on his birthday. He just isn't inclined to share the sacred day with my kids. I decided to call him on his birthday to ask him a question and to also wish him a happy birthday. He fearfully answered the phone thinking it was "The Call". Much to his relief, it wasn't. However, it was only 6pm so anything could happen still.

Therefore, on Saturday I told Rinar to call him and tell him the bad news. Honestly people, it was just too easy.

You see, I guess I have decided to use my superpower for evil.

Therefore, if you get a call from must ask yourself..."Hmmm?"

p.s. Still no babies. I am sure I will make it to tomorrow, at least.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gut Check - 36 Weeks

Here is the latest on me and my babies...

I had my doctor's appointment yesterday with the perinatologist. They did a detailed ultrasound to see how much the babies weigh. Keep in mind that the margin of error is +/- 14 oz, which is huge.

My boy weighs 6 lbs. 6 oz. and my girl is 5 lbs. 13 oz. Everything is looking great. There is lots of fluid and heartbeats and movement. I am feeling pretty good and love the fact that my countdown chart shows 13 days left. I can do 13 days, because I am all that AND a bag of chips!

This is my latest photo. If you want to compare it with my last one then click on the link. My last picture was only two weeks ago. Oh, how embarrassing, I am wearing the same shirt. Well, let's be honest...I am running out of shirts that fit. But I do have a new hairdo. I actually think I look bigger in my last picture. I had the photographer take a picture of me in my skinny pose. I think it makes all the difference, don't you?

Eli thinks it is a touchdown!!!

Way to go Mom, you are almost there! I am going to be a big brother.

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