Moroccan Spiced Chickpea & Lentil Soup

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Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is having a blessed day. It’s been a quiet one at our home. Hubby let me sleep in! These days are treats & very much appreciated after a long week. He took over the little ones’ studies for the afternoon and cooking. He’s absolutely the sweetest!! :) With that said, I figure it’s only fair for me to cook dinner.

I wanted something healthy and not too heavy. I found this very tasty Moroccan Spiced Chickpea & Lentil soup recipe!

It was fairly easy to whip up & was a hit with Bee. ^__^ Kai wasn’t too sure about it, but he ate all of it (we nicknamed it “Superhero Soup”). So, that may have changed his mind a tad. ; )

I was missing a few ingredients,  however, I improvised with what I had in my pantry. Recipe is below!

Try it & please let me know what you think! ^__^

Link: http://www.food.com/recipe/moroccan-lentil-and-chickpea-soup-211997

Eating Issues

I love to eat all kinds of dishes. Lately, it’s been pretty hard to try and enjoy a meal with on-going swallowing and choking issues. I also become tired very quickly from chewing, so snacks and frequent, small meals. Oh, on top of that, I have to avoid an overstuffed tummy. If I eat until I’m full, my stomach and esophagus are triggered to spasm until I get sick (sorry, only being honest! :)).

There is also a need to make sure I keep myself hydrated throughout the day, otherwise any food in my digestive tract causes severe muscle spasms in my lower abs. Jealous, yet? ^__^ Haha!

Small bites and shakes work in this obstacle course of eating. I’m beginning to be a little bit more patient with myself. :) Trying to stay positive anyways.

With the summer remission long gone, muscle spasms are clearly still progressing. I can’t wait for the spring to arrive.

I’m taking it one day at a time as usual. It’s all in His hands.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Hubby has a life-threatening allergy to fish and shellfish. If you’re like us, we are always finding new things to try. Thai peanut sauce is such an easy way to throw a high protein and healthy vegetarian dish together quickly that will make even the fusiest little smile. ;) lol As you can probably tell, we have a few picky eaters in our household. I usually prepare this once per week with a macaroni or even dress it up with stir fry noodles.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

Total Time:15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat (mixture will become easy to combine as peanut butter melts). Continue stirring over low heat until ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth and creamy. This recipe is perfect as it is, but you may want to thin it out a bit with more water, depending on what you’re using it for.

I found the recipe at:

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/saucesdipsspreads/r/ThaiPeanutSauce.htm

Love is the Language

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“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Our homes are a garden for our family. What we feed to it, will grow. ..Or may not.

What we say in a matter of seconds can uplift or destroy another human. Words and language are a very powerful thing to have. It shouldn’t be abused, especially by a highly influencial authority figure like parents, grandparents, caregivers, or teachers.

Remember, it’s a blessing to be able to speak.

That’s why it’s critical to speak love into your words. You can choose your vocabulary all you wish, but if your vocal tone & your body’s expression isn’t matching, it will leave your significant other or child thinking otherwise. Your words won’t have any meaning beyond what attitude you expressed them with.

What or how we speak will forever be with our children. Think back to when you were a child. Was there anything ever said that stuck with you to this day? How does is affect you now? They’re little people being molded & very impressionable. What you do today, could be their tomorrow.

I want nothing more than our home to be a place of peace. A refuge from the crazy world we live in for my husband. He works way too hard to come home to anything else but that. Choosing not to nag, picking our battles make all of the difference in the world. We are genuinely happy. We choose to make our interactions happy & fulfilling. My husband has never raised his voice at me nor has he ever been disrespectful. Not perfect, but happy.

Observing my great grandparents and grandparents, they were happy. Both couples were married for over 50 years each, so they must have done a few things right. ;) I’m still taking notes.

As a wife or mother, occasionally, we will feel the weight & pressure from daily life. Stress from fatigue, work, not drinking or eating, bills, school, projects, holidays, etc… You name it, it’s been around forever and likely won’t change for a while. :)

We all have our weak moments, and at some point, we yell, snap, and become generally crabby. We’re only human. As individuals, we are always evolving and trying to be a better person than what we were yesterday.

All we can do is our very best. Pray to Him for guidance, ask our loved ones for forgiveness, & most importantly, ask ourselves for forgiveness. There’s no use dwelling on it. Pick up the pieces and use it as learning tools.

Every second you live is another chance to change. It’s also another second that passes by. Another second our precious children grow older, another second less that we won’t have with our dear husbands.

Let’s make every moment count.

If you make a promise, please be the person of your word & make that change. Keep it. As they say, it all begins at home. It begins with us.

If it’s not kind, nurturing, or respectful to the other person, it’s better left in silence.

Another Milestone

My birthday is ever so quickly approaching. I should be excited, however it hasn’t necessarily been the case for the last few years. To me, it’s another day, another year that has past. I’m watching peers hit various points in their life.

Wishing my prime could be that. My prime. Pictures of college graduations, office parties, traveling, out with friends, children (this is another topic for another day), etc…

Granted, I was able to experience many things well before most people my age have the privilege of doing. I’ve lived and traveled in different parts of the beautiful United States, blessed with two gorgeous kids, beautiful wedding, met so many wonderful people, and many other things. I’m very thankful for that. The lessons & memories my journey came along with.

It still places an ache in my heart, sometimes a knot in my stomach. I’m afraid that I will never have the chance to finish college, a normal career, have another child, travel, be with my friends (they live all over the US), etc. Understanding that I have no control over my health. It wasn’t my fault.

‘Cause my life is so different, I miss and desire some normalcy in this new part of my journey. I have a feeling that it won’t be like this always.

Three recent family deaths in a matter of weeks will make you think and analyze your own life. Continuous comparison to my peers progression. Trying to get myself back on my horse and not allow this to eat me up. That’s not a healthy environment. :) I know I can overcome this bump in the road. I’m feeling quite optimistic.. ^___^ I’m not on anyone else’s timeline but my own!

Bee’s Top 5 Favorite Movies

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Our littles are mini movie buffs. ^__^ It’s one of their favorite things to do especially now that cold winter days are among us. These are Princess Bee’s top 5 picks!

1.) Madeline – Lost in Paris
2.) The Lady & The Tramp
3.) The Little Mermaid
4.) Bambi
5.) Toy Story

What are your child’s favorite movies?

Moving Forward

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It’s been roughly 4 years since my downward spiral began. On my good days, I feel as if anything is possible. The world is at my grasp, no worries, secured. Other days, not so much. Usually, I pretend as if I have it all together. More so trying to convince myself that this bout of frustration will pass, that my toe walking turning into toe dragging is only temporary. I just need to sit. Frequently. Some days every few minutes or it may set off a full blown attack leaving my husband to hold my hands and walk behind me incase I fall. However! If I don’t make an outward fuss about it, others won’t either. If I don’t acknowledge it, it can’t be there, right?

It scares others to see me in a full blown attack. Others think I’m completely insane. It sends them into a panic. I’m tired of scaring people…

A flare-up of involuntary movements, repeatitious jerking (looks like a grand mal seizure) usually leading into vocal tics or my gag reflex being triggered until I’m doubled over. Rarely is it ever nausea, which perplexes the nurses treating me. It’s all muscle spasms. Only spasms.

If I don’t have an “episode”, as I mentioned before, toe walking/dragging (which is mostly how I walk, I can’t completely relax my left foot/leg anymore), my hands and arms will tighten up (my left will close in a fist and my husband needs to loosen the grip), eyes will roll back/blink hard (only before a big episode), legs will jerk (it will look as if I’m restless), or fold inward. Rarely, I will have episodes that mimic a stroke (those are the most frightening, I almost always need to go to ER incase).

During the very hot, hot days of summer, you would NEVER know I had the most severe and progressive form of Dystonia.

On one hand, I’ve overcame the insecurity of my weight and crazy caveman eyebrows. I embrace my curves. My thoughts are much more consumed with wondering if people will see me as the person I truly am. Especially in day-to-day encounters shopping and getting errands done. Having people assume you’re mentally challenged because your body functions awkwardly is …… . Just don’t do it. No matter how that person carries themself, they’re an adult. They have earned the right of dignity and respect. …and please don’t ask me if I’m drunk.

Dystonia is progressively painful emotionally and physically. Dystonia is disfiguring. Dystonia is isolating. Dystonia robs people of their dreams, their daily living skills. Dystonia is exhausting. Dystonia has many faces and forms.

Dystonia is NOT what I am.

I despise this in every way. I want my old body back. They say to grieve as long as you need to. When is this anger going to resolve itself? How do I ultimately “get over” this diagnosis? Just when I think I have finally accepted the fact that the progression hasn’t stopped, I feel lost again. Useless. Empty. Hopeless.

Given the situation, I haven’t had the proper emotional support from family (estranged mother, father, siblings) in the beginning years. I’m extremely blessed to have my husband and children, but they deserve much more than my burdening them. I don’t want this to be the rest of their life. My life.

At the end of the day, I could never leave my babies or husband in this world. They ARE my world. My reason for this fight.

Chores: Raising Your Little to be Responsible

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“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… It’s your responsibility to love it or change it.” – Chuck Palahniuk

At our house, chores are a family affair. My husband and I introduced the importance of a team effort early on which has helped greatly having our kiddos pitch in when needed.

It’s important to start as soon as children can understand how to follow simple directions, of course, with supervision and a helping hand from mom or dad. :) The age will vary by household, only you will truly know what your child can do through tasks and plenty of patience! For us, Kai was 2 years old and Bee was 3 years old.

Start with small tasks like tidying up the toys, folding towels, matching socks, dusting with a damp cloth, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, clearing dinner plate, making their bed, etc. Or if you have pets, checking the food and water dishes daily.

We found that once we got into our own routine of things, it was fairly easy finding and adding tasks to their daily chores as they grew (they’re now almost 5 yrs and 6 yrs old).

Plenty of verbal praise and remain consistent with them. It should become “expected” of them to do (mind you, I still need to remind mine most of the time, however, they do it right away when asked). It should be a rewarding and fun experience for children. :)

Reusable Sandwich Bags

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I’m finding ways to simply live a little more green. As soon as I saw these in Wal-Mart, I had to get ‘em! ^___^ They’re reusable sandwich & snack bags. They are very easy to wash, waterproof, & come in a variety of adorable colors/designs.

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The other benefit was the fact that it’s sealed using velcro, which is a major plus when dealing with Dystonia. It can be very difficult to pinch ziploc bags.

I’ve also seen reusable baggies like these on http://www.etsy.com!