Easy enchiladas

Now that we have two kids, it’s even harder to find time to cook weeknight dinners, so we’ve had to find recipes that come together really quickly. And we’re finding that the secret is tacos! Actually, any kind of variation on a meat that you can put on corn tortillas, so we’ve had a lot of enchiladas, too.

I’ve been making this recipe for green chile enchiladas with the leftovers from a roast chicken — something we also have a lot because it’s easy.

You take all the meat that’s left on the chicken and shred it. I would say it’s about 2 cups.

Then saute some sliced onions and mix it with the chicken. Then you add about half a jar of roasted salsa verde (I really like the Archer Farms version from Target).

That’s your filling. Roll it up inside corn tortillas, adding a little shredded Monterrey Jack cheese to each one.

Spread some salsa verde in the bottom of your baking dish, then add the enchiladas. Pour a little more salsa verde on top and sprinkle with a little more cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and you’re done!

You can also make a sort of free-form enchilada casserole by layering tortillas with salsa verde and whatever other toppings you like. I made this one with black beans, sweet potatoes, and then some crema and feta cheese on top.

On the taco front, we’ve made a lot of crock pot shredded pork, which is great with pickled red onions.

Or, you can saute some pork tenderloin slices and then cut them up into chunks to put on tacos (hat tip to Real Simple for this one). I made some with pineapple, and they were so good! Super easy because the thin pork slices only take a few minutes to cook.

When all else fails, we just hit up the neighborhood taco trucks. Their al pastor is so good!

Harper at 3

I think this photo pretty much sums up what it’s like to have a “threenager.” Harper is bossy, demanding, temperamental, and a little cray sometimes. But she bounces between that and sweet, cuddly, creative, curious and so many other interesting qualities that it’s hard for me to say that three is as bad as I feared it might be.

Honestly it seems like having a baby brother has made her a little easier to communicate with because she can’t demand all of our attention all the time. And she wants to be more independent so she likes helping with him.


Sometimes she goes, “baby Max is so cute!”

For example, she always wants to bring the Boppy pillow to whoever is holding Max. She’s a little aggressive with putting in his pacifier, but it’s cute that she wants to give it to him.

She’s also been playing with her dolls more, trying to imitate what we’re doing.

This picture just slays me.

When Mike’s parents were here, she interacted with them in a way I’d never seen before. Where before she had been hesitant to play with people she doesn’t see very often, she made an instant connection with them.

She let both of them read her books, which strangely, she doesn’t do often. Her version of reading is to turn the pages before you can get a line out. But I do think that will change as she is able to sit still longer.

She LOVED the Christmas tree when we had it. She kept asking to go see it, and then she would name every ornament.

She got a giant floor puzzle for Christmas, which got her really into the idea of doing puzzles. Now she’s got at least one going at all times.

It’s hard for me to deal with the “toy soup” she creates daily in our living room, but it takes a lot of toys to keep this girl entertained. Her current favorites are her finger puppets (she is constantly singing this finger family song where each finger is a member of the family), and her Peppa Pig figurines.

She’s starting to have a much bigger imagination. She play cooks us meals and she does the most adorable routine where her Ernie doll goes to sleep, then wakes up, brushes his teeth and has breakfast.

She’s still a great eater and will try most foods, even if she prefers her favorites.

Of course I am biased, but I think she gets more beautiful every day.

Her hair is turning darker, but I think it will still get sun-bleached in the warmer months.

She is in the process of moving up to the 3-year-old class at her daycare, and I think that will be good for her. She’s had a lot of shyness with kids her age, but I see her opening up much more on the playground now.

Seeing Max as a baby now, reminds me of how quickly these years pass (even though as they say, the days are very long). So I am really trying to take the tantrums in stride and just go with the roller coaster that is life with little ones. Before you know it, Harper will be a teenager for real, and I’ll wish for those 3-year-old cuddles.

Max, 1 month

I’m a little late posting this, but I’m going on 5 weeks of poor sleep, so I think I can be forgiven.

Mr. Max just had his 1 month doctor’s appointment. He was 10 pounds 12 ounces and 22.5 inches long, so I think it’s safe to say he is growing well. He’s already gotten a cold from Harper, so I guess with a toddler around his immune system will be getting tested often. Props to whoever invented the snot sucker!

Max eats like a champ, though we’ve had some breastfeeding challenges. I saw a lactation consultant (and can we just take a moment to THANK GOD these people exist) and with practice and time, we got through our issues. Honestly, the fact that I had to pump extra bottles was kind of nice because then other people could feed him while I slept.

Also, thanks Obama for the free breast pump!

While the past month has been pretty stressful and sleepless at times, it was nothing like Harper’s overwhelming first month. There is a definite ease with the second baby, and it helps that he is pretty happy and loves to cuddle.

This time I know he will cry for no apparent reason, wake at all times of night, and expel every bodily fluid. Because that’s what newborns do. Accepting those challenges has made it a lot easier to appreciate the good things. I think I spent most of the first week just staring at Max and feeling weepy. Both because he’s wonderful and because it felt instantly like our family was complete. I just felt really lucky that so many of the things I wanted in life came to be.

Harper continues to be great with him. She’s a little rough at times, but she just wants to help. She asks to hold him a lot, which totally melts my heart.

While Harper was kind of an odd baby in the sense of not minding being cold and always wanting to be outside, Max likes to be super warm and he wants to be held all the time. Sometimes that’s hard, but at least he is willing to be worn in a carrier. He just passes out and makes these contented little noises.

He’s already trying hard to hold his head up, and he occasionally smiles. Once I put him on his activity mat and he darn near rolled over. He’s a strong little guy!

Mike’s parents were here for a few days when he was like 2 weeks old, and that was really nice. Since they had another grandson born the day before Max, they are really soaking up the grandbaby time.

Max had a lot of baby acne in the beginning, but now it’s starting to clear up and he’s starting to chub out.

He is bigger than Harper was, but oh my gosh they look so similar. I look back at pictures of her and I can’t tell who’s who. It’s amazing. I’m wondering if that will continue. He’s already getting that strawberry blond colored hair that she got.

As much as I’ve gotten used to my middle-of-the-night feedings with episodes of Felicity in the background (how is it I never watched that?), I am hoping that in the next month Max will start sleeping longer stretches and we can all catch up on sleep a little. Our shift system for nights has been great, but I think we’re ready for the next phase.

And here’s hoping that this little cuddlebug takes long naps when he finally gets on a schedule. And he will be getting on a schedule!