Mexican Shredded Chicken Slow Cooker Recipe

Two of our kids love shredded chicken from our local taqueria, so I decided to give it a try at home.

Found several recipes online and mixed and matched.

2lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts. (first try was about 1.8 lbs)
1/2 packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning
A full 16oz jar of Safeway's Mild Southwest Salsa
Three packets splenda

1. Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker
2. Dust top with the 1/2 packet of seasoning
3. Pour salsa in gently to evenly cover chicken
4. Cook on low for 4 hours
5. Mash (shred) the chicken. Pretty easy with a fork or even a broad spoon. Don't over do it - the goal here is to let all of the chicken marinate in the sauce, and it will naturally fall apart with more cooking and even transferring out of the pot.
6. Cook for another 2 hours

Taste Test: Delicious! The kids should love this tomorrow. The chicken is tender and tasty and would be perfect on a burrito or taco. Together with the sauce, the flavor and texture is almost stew-l…

Three kids in car seats. Options and reviews.

Just posted this to a coworker, figured I'd post here as well.

We have three as well. Here is our car setup:

Honda Accord Sedan - 2006
Evenflo (always hated that seat - claimed up-to 56 lbs, but our 33lb 2 year olds are getting too tall for it)
Radian (fantastic car seat. I wish we got these earlier instead of the Evenflo)

Honda Odyssey 2009 EXL (includes middle-row center "jump seat" with legal & functional seatbelt for car-seat install)
Graco Nautilus (surprisingly happy with that seat, accomodates our large kids well, inexpensive)
Britax Marathon (great, but does not age well. clips don't work well after any food gets in them. cover loose after just 18mo)

FYI: I was very reluctant to go the minivan route, but we're extremely happy that we did. When you have three kids, looking cool becomes much less important than convenience. Getting them all in and out of the Odyssey is much easier than the car, and from what we've seen bette…

Converting the family videos from raw DV format to MP4 with Handbrake.

Going on 3 years in the parenting saga, we have a bunch of MiniDV tapes yet to be imported and shared with the family. I refused to use the built-in windows software as it doesn't support the most common or open formats, making an automatic "Windows Media Encode" out of the question.

Finally, I found a solution that is, at this moment, about 75% of the way through the latest MiniDV tape.

Steps and 3-line windows script (batch file) are:

Import the raw DV files from your camcorder to disk. This part should be the easiest and requires little cpu, but a lot of temporary disk space (about 60G/hr).Install Handbrake if you haven't already. On Windows, the GUI download option now includes the CLI (command line interface). You can test one-off compression while tweaking settings in a mostly-complete UI. Note: Some options in the CLI are not yet in the Windows GUI, such as the latest de-interlacing option which uses less cpu while producing far higher quality video.Run the fol…

Things you want for your first baby (i.e. registry items).

Some close friends just emailed asking what they need for their first baby, arriving in a few months. Thought I'd post here:
Their questions:
Crib In my opinion, cribs are overpriced and rather silly. Most kids outgrow them in ~2-3 years, so it's a short-term purchase. I've only read negative things about convertable crib-beds, which can easily end up costing more than a regular crib and separate toddler (or normal) bed. So - go for something simple and, imho, avoid Jardine enterprises. Our two cribs were recalled by them and the process was rediculously bad. Also - our cribs have drop-sides, which seemed like a useful feature - in 2 1/2+ years and 3 children later, we've never used them except by accident. Keep in mind you do want an adjustible height mattress-frame in your crib, and I think even the least expensive cribs have these.
Crib Mattress I don't recall which exact one we got, but we got medium/high end of what they had in-stock at BabysRUs. The second time ar…

... and they're crawling!

The twins are now crawling and pulling up on everything and everyone.

Mountain Buggy Urban Double - Review from a happy family!

After four months enduring a "standard" double-wide stroller, we finally got a Mountain Buggy Urban Double. Wow!

What a huge difference. We live in an urban downtown with rough sidewalks and grassy parks. Where it used to take two hand and strong effort to walk around, we can now easily push our MBUD with ease. One handed walking while drinking a coffee works fine too!

Our three kids all love the MBUD, although only one of them is old enough to tell us as much. Our older son frequently runs for it and tries to climb in, before we can put one of his younger twin siblings in it.

In short, it was well worth the extra money. Which, by the way, should mostly be returned in resale value many years from now. I think another reason we waited so long was to find a good deal on a used one. I wish we hadn't waited; we would have happier backs and more fun and fulfilling walks about town.

Happy parenting of two or more!

Child proofing

We live in an expensive part of the US, and the DW got an estimate from a local baby proofing place. Their answer, somewhere in the range of $600 to $1000, with an in-person estimate needed of course.Are you kidding!Dads out there, you can easily do all baby proofing tasks, if you're even the least bit handy around the house. I'll cover the following projects:1. Power sockets
2. Toilets
3. Safety gates
4. Cabinets (kitchen, bath).First, a bit of strategy. One thing we've learned with our toddler is that the challenges and dangers just keep changing. One month it was the coffee table. The next it was dining chairs. Now it seems to be climbing. Given that we never leave our son alone, except perhaps in his crib for naps or for brief moments, our concern wasn't building the fort-knox of baby proof houses. To do so, even with an unlimited budget, would require getting rid of all chairs for example, which is simply a non-starter. Thus, we aim to make our time supervising our l…