Pinterest Chicken Enchiladas

So I’m making these chicken enchiladas. I had enchiladas on the menu tonight anyway, and found them yesterday on Pinterest. Usually I make them with canned enchilada sauce, so I’m glad to have a recipe with its own sauce.

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I made the enchiladas the way I normally do, tortillas rolled with chicken and cheese. I made a chicken in the crock pot the other day, and saved and shredded chicken for this meal (in addition to that night’s dinner).

For the sauce, I made a white sauce with chicken broth, and added in a can of green chilies and a cup of sour cream. I didn’t taste it until I poured it on, whoops. It’s too mild for my taste, but I’m sure the kids will love it. I’ll put lots of salsa and some Aleppo Pepper on the table to spice it up.

I topped the whole thing with cheese and put it in the fridge, to cook later. It was easy enough to make while Picasso is at school.

At dinnertime, I baked the enchiladas at 350 for 30 minutes, then turned the broiler on for 3 more minutes.  It turned out beautifully!

Here are the enchiladas after I took them from the oven.

They were rather mild, but the chili flavor came through in the sauce, so they did not need as much additional seasoning as I had thought.  They were delicious, I will be making these again!

Original Recipe

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The theory and reality of Preemie Moms

I used to think that there was no way I would have a preemie.  Moms of preemies know that it’s coming, right?  They’re under more rigorous medical supervision, they have some premonition that it’s coming.

5 weeks in the hospital still didn’t have me convinced that I was a “preemie mom.”  Sure, I had checked out the two-inch thick book about Preemies from the library.  Sure, I slept at the hospital at least once, and spent too many hours driving back and forth.  But he was stable, wasn’t he?  He wasn’t near death or needing numerous surgeries.  They didn’t even have him in the NICU, they had him in the “special care nursery.”  (aka Level 3 NICU)  For four weeks.

A monitor for the first month he is home?  Still not a preemie.  It was supposed to monitor his breathing and heart, the only time it went off was when he was screaming his lungs out.  At that point, I knew he was breathing so I turned it off (for a few minutes.)  They only had him on it for a month, not ongoing.

He wasn’t a preemie, he was just “early”.  7 weeks early.  He grew, he was healthy and didn’t have more problems than the average baby.  He was easier than his older brother, in fact.

So what convinced me that he was a preemie?

A cold.

That’s right, a regular cold … that grabbed hold of his lungs and had him wheezing.  Had his breath so bad that the doctor almost sent us from his office to the ER.  He was two years old — too old, I thought, for RSV to be the big problem it is in infants.  Still, he couldn’t breathe well without help.

Now, my little preemie has asthma, when nobody else in his family does. I am learning about inhalers and about giving them to a preschooler.  I fight with him to get the medicine into his lungs, because even if he can’t breathe, he sure can fight.

Even though he is a fighter, he is still a preemie.

Day One, take 2

It all started that day when I called the doctor.  About 6 months pregnant, I was more tired than I should be.  The nurse told me to drink water and lay down, go to L&D if I didn’t feel better.  I got in a habit of drinking water and laying down when I was tired, until I was at the point when I didn’t even think of going into L&D, even when I was sleeping the whole day.  I must have been in denial, I didn’t want to be put on bedrest so I did not go in.

Actually, when I look back, it probably started at the very beginning, when I didn’t realize I was pregnant until I was 8 weeks along.  I wasn’t paying close enough attention to myself to know what was going on with my body.

Not that things were easy at the time.  I had an inattentive 2 year old who was hardly sleeping.  I was trying to grow a business when I had a two year old.  I was taking care of my family, but not taking care of myself.  But here I am, three years later, criticizing what I remember of that time.  I can’t help blaming myself for something I couldn’t stop.

Because I couldn’t stop labor.  When I was up to give Picasso his medicine at midnight (did I mention he had surgery the week before?), I was having contractions.  Not serious; mild enough that I probably could have slept through them, but regular.  After lying in bed timing them, I woke the boys and told them we had to go to the hospital.  My hope (although I didn’t expect it) was that they could stop labor.

By the time we were in the car, the contractions were painful.  When my husband asked what hospital I wanted to go to, I said the same one as Picasso had been born at–because I hadn’t researched where I should have a preemie.  I remember listening to They Might Be Giants in the car (with Picasso in back) and singing through a contraction so he wouldn’t worry.  I will never hear “Seven” the same way again.

At the hospital I wouldn’t let them call the babysitter until 5 am.  Which turned into Picasso laughing at “mommy making funny noises.”  That’s when he got banned from my room.  I told them my birth plan as soon as we got there: “as little medical intervention as necessary.”  I still got the very painful IV, though, so they could give medication to stop labor.

Cassatt was born at 5:50 am.  Just 33 weeks, he weighed just 4.8 pounds.  In the following days, the newborns in the nursery looked huge!  They may share the same birthday, but they were much older than he was.  I was lucky that he only needed the lowest level NICU, because that’s all they have at St. Anthony’s.

We spent five weeks in the hospital before we could take Cassatt home, and then he had to have a monitor his first month.  Babywearing with a monitor really restricts your movement!  I was so happy to finally take my baby home, though, and he is a healthy little boy now!

Day one

It was a cold day–the coldest it had been in decades. (This is before the negative double-digit temperatures of this past winter.  At that point, I didn’t dare contemplate temperatures below 4 degrees.). I was scheduled to be in court that morning. Thank goodness I got that changed so I wouldn’t have to walk my 38-week pregnant self to the courthouse. Also my date after which I refused to schedule anything just in case my expected late baby came early. (Because, as little as I expected a 38 week baby, there was no way I was having a preemie.) As it was, people laughed for stopping appointments so early. First babies are always late, right?
So here I am, just barely 38 weeks pregnant, and I wake up before my alarm clock with contractions. OK, Braxton Hicks, I know you’ll go away soon, but that HURT! An hour later, I’m in enough pain that I want to be in the hospital. When my husband drops me off at the door, I take the elevator up to L&D and say, I think I’m on labor. They tell me to pee in a cup.
They ask if I want an epidural. Natural mama as I am, I know I can’t handle this level of pain for the 24 hour labor I have planned, so I desperately agree. Then they tell me I’m too far along. I give no thought to the baby I am birthing, I just want this pain to STOP!
An hour and 3 pushes after I walk in the hospital doors, I’m a mother. Nobody knew I was in labor and they are shocked at my announcement. Meanwhile, there is a new person that has emerged from my body, now what? Welcome to the season of Motherhood. Life pushed me through the door, plans not yet made and nursery not yet finished.
Were you prepared for motherhood? Did it explode on you like a storm or come gently like a summer breeze? (OK I know motherhood doesn’t come to anyone like a summer breeze, although I’m sure things went as planned for some people!)

What’s on my menu?

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