Thursday, June 27, 2013

Easy Banana Pudding

I rarely put recipes on my blog because to be honest cooking is not my thing, but I had to share this banana pudding recipe with my readers because it's so easy and so delicious!  I love a good easy recipe!  My mom gave this recipe to me a while ago and its been a family favorite ever since.  With July 4th fast approaching, this recipe would be a great addition to your festivities.


  • 2 boxes (1 oz each) of instant vanilla pudding.  You can use regular or sugar free.  I use sugar free.
  • 1 Box of  Vanilla wafers
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups of milk (any kind).  I use fat free. 
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.  I use fat free or low fat. 
  • 4 oz of whipping cream
  • 4-5 bananas
You will need a big mixing bowl, a 9 x 13 inch glass dish and a handheld electric mixer.  First combine the pudding, milk (I start with 3 1/2 cups and add more if the pudding gets too thick), sweetened condensed milk and whipping cream in a large mixing bowl.  Using a handheld electric mixer, I mix it all together until well blended.

Next put one layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch glass dish.

Next slice up the bananas and put one layer of the bananas on top of the vanilla wafers.

Next pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture on top of the vanilla wafers and bananas.  After that repeat another layer of vanilla wafers and bananas.

Next pour the other half of the pudding mixture on top.  

That's it!  So EASY!  I sometimes put vanilla wafers on top to decorate it more, but you don't have to.  Its best to put it in the refrigerator to get nice and cold before eating.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kayla is 18 months!

Kayla turned 18 months on June 9.  She is growing up so fast and before I know it she will be 2!  Can I stop time?  I am enjoying all the cute little things Kayla is doing right now and sometimes I think it will last forever, but time keeps going on and she will continue to grow and change.  She is our precious little girl and we are so blessed to have her in the family.

Love the little face and smile she is making
Her stats at 18 months were: 20 pounds, 12 oz (7%ile), 30 inches (10%ile) and her weight for height is at the 50%ile.  She is a little one, but continues to be healthy and full of energy!

Lately, Kayla loves to eat.  She especially loves to snack.  She really likes Chex Mix, raisins, pickles and lots of other foods.  She is always wanting what daddy or I am eating.  She is a good eater for sure!

Kayla started going to the nursery at our church on June 2.  I thought for sure she would have no problems with me leaving her in there.  Well she did ok for a little while, but when I checked on her she was crying.  So her first day at nursery was not the best, but now she is doing great with no crying.  She can be a little too friendly with the other kids though.  She likes to give hugs and kisses, but the other kids don't know how to handle her.  She is a very friendly, outgoing little girl.

Her language is continuing to blossom.  She is saying ma,ma, da,da, shoes, dog, bye,bye, Hi, ball, baby, No and uh oh.  She also says tickle, tickle over and over when I tickle her.  She likes to be tickled.  Kayla will sometimes sign no, done and more.  She isn't consistent with it, but she is learning sign language while her sisters are learning it.

Kayla is a curious, active girl.  She can run and usually is running from me when she thinks its a game.  She is usually laughing as she is running from me.  She likes to get into everything.  I'm constantly having to watch what she will get into next.  She is also a drama queen.  She has many temper tantrums a day.  She also screams when she can't get what she wants.  Typical 18 month old!

She is very loving and likes hugs and kisses.  She will blow kisses and will give her sisters hugs and kisses.

Last couple of things:  She likes books and being read to before going to bed.  She continues to sleep well at night.
She is starting to notice when she does #2 in her diaper.  I'm not going to potty train her just yet.  Will wait until she is more ready, but she is moving in that direction.  

Love this girl so much!  She is a bright spot in my life along with her big sisters.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rachel and Haley Update: Post first year of preschool

Rachel and Haley completed their first year of preschool (PPCD) on June 7!  They did so well and I'm so proud of them.  Back in August 2012 when they started preschool I took pictures of them.  Well I also took pictures of them on their last day of preschool.  I put the pictures side by side and WOW they sure have grown and changed the past 9 months!  Also an update on their progress and the latest happenings with them is overdue so here it is!


Rachel has grown a lot.  She weighs 34 pounds and is 3 feet, 3 inches.  She is the appropriate size for her age. 
The biggest news is that Rachel will most likely be getting the cochlear implant.  We have had to go through so many evaluations and tests the past couple of months.  Rachel has been getting evaluations at The Center for Hearing and Speech here in Houston.  Rachel has one more evaluation before we get the final verdict, but they have said that they will most likely recommend the cochlear implant.  We are so ready to get it going and get her hearing sounds.  Rachel has been wearing more powerful hearing aids lately in hopes they will help her hear.  Its still a struggle at times to get her to wear them, but I do think she hears a little with them.  Whenever I clap loud she will smile and get excited.  She is hearing the clapping, but I don't think the hearing aids are helping her enough to help her hear more sounds and to learn how to talk.  Time is ticking fast and I think the sooner she gets the cochlear implant and hearing sounds the better.    
As for the update on her developmental progress, Rachel is making progress.  Rachel has been tested to see what her developmental age is and she is around an 18-24 month old.  She is still very far behind developmentally.  Its hard to say exactly every little thing she has made progress on lately, but she is making progress.  I see several things that she is picking up on and doing.  Rachel is a very curious girl.  She studies and observes everything we do.  She likes to copy what we or her teachers do.  Rachel likes to stay busy doing something.  She likes to "work" as her teacher says.  Rachel is still getting therapy from the occupational, physical and speech therapists.  They come 3-4 times a week.  She is still not eating by mouth though she is interested in food now.  She is wanting to "try" foods. We try her with a large variety of foods to help her experience food.  She puts food in her mouth willingly, but still won't swallow it.  She has been swallowing small amounts of liquid.  Its so hard to teach a 3 year old who can't hear how to swallow.  We would love to put her into an intensive feeding program, but Houston doesn't have such a program.  She has an OT that comes 3 times a week to help her.  One day, most likely years down the road she will learn to swallow and eat. 
Rachel saw her neurologist and he said he is happy with how things are going despite her very early arrival.  He did say that she has cerebral palsy.  One would think that cerebral palsy affects mobility, but 10% of cerebral palsy is vision and/or hearing problems as well as developmental delays.  Rachel does have some right sided weakness as well, but she walks ok.  She continues to wear the ankle supports to assist in strengthening her walking.     
Other updates are that she is finally out of her crib and sleeping well in a toddler bed.  We made this change about a month ago.  She is a good sleeper and the change was not too difficult.  Rachel is still working on potty training.  Slowly but surely she will learn.  She is still wearing diapers, but she is slowly getting the concept of the big potty.  


Haley is doing well.  Haley continues to be a petite girl.  She weighs 26 pounds and is 2 feet, 9 inches tall.  She is just going to be small for her age, but that is ok.  She is relatively healthy.
Haley continues to have some issues with eating, but she has improved!  She likes crunchy foods like graham crackers, chips, etc.  We still have to grind up her foods to smaller pieces because she still has a weak chew, but again its getting better.  She is enjoying to eat more lately which is good.    
She is doing good visually.  She has been evaluated and checked at the University of Houston eye institute.  She got a contact lens for her right eye to aid in her vision.  She also got new glasses for when she is not wearing the contact lens.  Haley gets around fairly well for her limited vision so we know she has some vision.  We are so blessed!
Last month (May), Haley had a sedated hearing test.  They were able to get a complete detailed hearing test.  The results show her hearing has not changed.  She still has moderate to severe hearing loss.  They reprogrammed her hearing aids and she has responded well to them.  So with new glasses and correctly programmed hearing aids, Haley is good to go! 
Haley continues to make some developmental progress.  I don't know exactly what age she is at developmentally, but I assume she is around a 12-18 month old.  Due to her vision and hearing loss she has more of a struggle, but she is a strong little girl.  She is a happy girl despite her disabilities.
Haley saw the neurologist as well and she has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to her vision loss, hearing loss and developmental delays.  Haley has no problems with her mobility at all.  We have been so blessed with that since she did have a grade 4 head bleed at birth. 
Haley is also still working on potty training.  With lots of time she will get the hang of it.    

Despite these challenges and disabilities, we are so blessed to have these girls here with us.  They are happy, healthy and cared for.  We love them for who they are.  They are teaching us so much and will continue to teach us.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

Thomas had a good Father's day.  He spent the day with his girls and I.  The girls are so blessed to have their daddy.  The girls adore him and enjoy when he plays with them.  Rachel and Haley gave daddy a gift that they had worked on before preschool ended.  Their teacher is so creative and did a great job with this Father's day gift!  It was too cute.

Happy Father's Day as well to my Dad.  I love him and I am so grateful for him.  I appreciate his love and support.  He has always been there for me and will continue to be.  I love my Father and the Father of my children.  Happy Father's Day!!!

Daddy with his girls
Father's Day gifts from Rachel and Haley
The gifts that were inside the bag

Close up of the pictures.  These are too cute!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Last day of Preschool!

On Friday June 7, Rachel and Haley had their last day of Preschool (PPCD) class for the 2012-2013 school year.  The teacher gave Rachel and Haley a certificate/reward for their hard work their first year in preschool.  Rachel and Haley really enjoyed their first year in preschool and we are so thankful for the teacher and teacher aids for all their hard work.  Rachel and Haley will be doing Summer school, but it will be at home!  The teacher will be coming to our home 3 times a week to help Rachel and Haley continue learning.  Rachel and Haley's teacher is just amazing!  We are so blessed to have her as their teacher.  She will be Rachel and Haley's teacher when they go back to school August 26.  We are so happy about that!  Way to go Rachel and Haley for completing your first year in preschool!

Rachel getting her certificate from her teacher
Haley getting her certificate
Kayla came to see her big sisters get their rewards

Rachel and Haley with the teacher and teacher aids.

I gave the teacher and teacher aids each a gift.  Yes I got the idea on Pinterest!  

After the rewards were given out, Rachel and Haley got to play on the school playground which they love.

Rachel sliding down the slide
Haley sliding down the slide with one of the teacher aids

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spring Pictures

We visited the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens on the spur of the moment to get the girls outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.  Of course I took my camera knowing I would get some great pictures of my girls.  I love the Mercer Arboretum during Spring time.  The flowers are always so beautiful and there are so many great photo opportunities as well.  Perfect place for the photographer!

Haley, Kayla & Rachel

Haley, Kayla & Rachel
Haley and Rachel
Rachel with her glasses on a little crooked :)