Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Diet- Week 2

Well, week 2 was also full of temptations (I'm pretty sure every week will be, but I still didn't give in- pizza at church and a baby shower this weekend)! And, we had a great big splurge. Jason and I went out Friday night to celebrate our anniversary and we went "No Holds Barred" on the diet. As in, we ditched it out the window! It felt SO GOOD! We had sushi, burgers, fries (sweet potato, but fried, nonetheless), margaritas, and- late at night even- ICE CREAM! That's right. With some sort of cookie dough and fudge brownies mixed in from one of those marble slab places. Hmmm. It was amazing.
So, although we followed the recipes and ate everything else perfectly this week- and I ran 3 mornings- I didn't lose ANY weight this week. Bummer. At least I didn't gain weight, but I really wanted to lose some.
So much for the theory that you can splurge once, right? I at least thought I would lose a pound with all that running, but alas, I will just have to work harder this week.
I'll update the recipe tomorrow. I think I'll put the Chicken Lettuce Wraps up there. They were delicious. :-)
Off to sleep so I can get up to run! 15 more pounds to go!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

I've got you on my mi-hind.

Seven years! Wow! Jason and I were counting up how much has gone on these past 7 years: 2 kids, 2 jobs (each), 2 homes = 2mortgages, 4 cars, etc. A lot. Here is my favorite picture from our wedding. I'm not even sure who took it- someone sent it to me in the mail, but I think it captures my complete adoration for my sweet husband. He is truly one of the best people I know, in general and I'm so proud that I'm married to him! He's honest (almost to a fault, as in, "yes, you might want to wear different pants"), dependable (voted Most Dependable in high school) and loyal. He is a man of God and the spiritual leader in our home. I am so thankful every day that we are married and I don't know how I made such a wise decision at the ripe old age of 19 when I decided that I would marry him. I called my mom at 6:00 am and told her that I'd found the man I was going to marry. I had been up all night and couldn't sleep. She asked me how long we'd been dating and I dreamily answered, "3 days". Ahhh. It was so sappy. My mom suggested that I should probably get to know him a little better. We did date for 3 years after that, but I have to say that I called it pretty early on.

Jason gets me. I am SURE that is a very hard thing, but I think that is why we click and get along so well. And I get him, too. We make a good team and I'm so thankful that God has blessed our marriage and has blessed us with each other.

Here is my favorite professional picture. We had all our pictures taken before the wedding (I highly recommend) out at Maria's Vineyard in Dothan. This was out in the actual vineyard and completely unplanned. Thank you bridesmaids! The little girls in the picture are on their way to college this year. Scary, huh?

What a wonderful day. I loved every bit of it.

I love you, Jas! Happy 7th Anniversary!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I do NOT know what you're talking about...

We would never give a 6 month old a fudgesicle. Not even a lick. We are NOT those kind of parents. He is much too young for things like that.

OK, fine. Maybe a little bite. But at least it was a no sugar added fudgesicle. And he loved every bit! They always say that you'll be much more lax with the second child, but I never believed them... At least not with the important things we won't be, right? Just fudgesicles.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Mind of a Two Year Old

This is every morning lately before preschool. I would highly recommend this train set for 2 year olds. It's this and an added pack of tracks.

I am learning more about the mind of a two year old every day. Ollie doesn't quite have the capability to connect certain thoughts/ ideas, yet, but every day he gets a new one. He knows that to go outside you have to go put on your socks and shoes, but if I ask him what goes on his feet, he doesn't answer. The other day he told me reindeer go on his feet (he's still a little obsessed with reindeer).

I think a lot of it is a verbalization connection. He gets yes and no for the most part, but not always. For instance, if he's in trouble and I ask him if he wants a spanking and he looks at me and says, "Yes, Mommy". Then I have to explain that he does NOT want a spanking and by that times he's on to his next thing. The teachable moment has vanished.

He does get many things. Like, "Sit on the potty?" gets you out of a sticky situation. As in "I know you're mad at me for destroying _____, but if I say, 'Sit on the potty?' you will rush me to the potty and forget about it." Or, "If I give you a big hug you can't brush my hair as well and you won't tell me to stop hugging you!"

What I do know that he loves is anything with action and noise: trains, rockets, cars, running, jumping, animals, trucks, airplanes, etc. He's very boy and so much fun. If only to get into that little mind... It's amazing to watch it develop. Here's a typical night at the Dunham house doing what Ollie likes best:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where are you gonna be tonight?

I know where I'll be!

Today is a good day. It's a day I've been waiting for for quite a while. The strike is over, the shows are back, but my favorite has taken longer than the others. GREY'S ANATOMY IS BACK TONIGHT!!!!! WOOOHOO!!! I can't wait! There's nothing on my calendar and it's Jason's night to put the kids to bed. Oooh! I'm so excited. I think I'll curl up with a celery stick and a glass of water. Hmph.

Well, overall, I'm very pumped.

In other TV news, we watched The Wonder Pets Save the Beetles this morning! We have had the DVD pre-ordered since November and it was late coming out, so we just got it. It is hilarious and we watched it as a family this morning! Two minutes in Jason declared that it was already the best Wonder Pets episode ever. Very funny. I would highly recommend!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Diet- Week 1

We could just call this the week of temptations. It's hard enough to go from eating whatever you want to cruciferous vegetables and no sweets, but we've had temptations galore to top it off! Jason and I teach youth on Sunday nights at our church and we usually partake of delicious food that the parents of the youth bring for everyone there to eat. This week... Mexican! My favorite! And there were cookies dripping off the walls. Okay, not really, but there were sweets everywhere. Fortunatley for us, we'd eaten leftover turnip, carrot and lentel soup to stave us off from that temptation. That's right- turnip, carrot and lentil (a bean). It is actually good- not Mexican- but it's good. We did have to leave early though because it was just too much for us! A little sad, but true!
I've also been to a potluck board meeting and a parent meeting (tonight) with loads of food SPRAWLED out for everyone to partake. I've had to prepare the food and then walk away. I left the parent meeting early tonight to come home to eat up my cauliflower and turkey bacon soup. Again- actually good. My mom told me tonight, "Yes, anything is good if you're starving!" So true.
So, with NO cheating and 1 morning run (today) drumroll here.... I lost 5 pounds this week!!! Woohoo! I only weigh once a week, so Tuesdays are my day. To top that, Jason lost 9 pounds this week! I feel like we are on The Biggest Loser! We love that show! I do know that the first week your body is in shock, so you lose a lot of weight, so I'm not expecting that every week, BUT, it sure is nice to see!

My favorite foods, so far, have been:
- Bananas in bark (bananas rolled in flaxseed and almonds)
- Pumpkin seeds (they were labeled as Pepitas and were in the nut section of the grocery store)
- Asparagus omelet (recipe to the left- this is like a gourmet restaurant version of an omelet and WONDERFUL)
- Grapefruit and avacado salad
- Ginger- Lime dressing- A#1!! (We marinated chicken breasts in this- even though the book doesn't say to do that- and it was fantastic.)

I'll keep you updated as we keep losing!

Monday, April 21, 2008

5,4,3,2,1 LIFTOFF!

This Saturday, we were so excited to get to go see some rockets launch. Marshall Space Flight Center is here in Huntsville and they had a national college competition of rocket launches out at Bragg Farms. Since we happen to know the Braggs and family pretty well, they invited us out for it! What a treat! It was amazing to see what these teams had put together. The rockets were huge and made of welded metal. They had tents for each team and they would work on them before the launch- they had make shift workshops in the back of cars and in the tents. The rockets had to go a mile high and they all had cameras on board and had to be retrieved. So cool- very Homer Hickam Rocket Boys, but more high tech.
Irv went with me, Jason and Owen and Connie was nice enough to keep Harris for a bit, so we got some fun time with Owen. He loves rockets (as he should- it's in his genes), so this was super cool. They launched about every 30 minutes, though, so it wasn't quite set up for the attention span of a 2 year old.

And the day was beautiful, but a little windy. And when we got out to the flat farm land it was REALLY windy. We were wearing short sleeves and shorts and most people there had on sweatshirts and long pants. So, thankfully, Jeannie had a blanket to lend us.

As you can see, my right arm is covered with the blanket (the gale force winds were coming from that direction) and if you have seen me in the past 2 days, you know that my left arm is completely sunburned! I've had about 5 people ask if I drove with the windows down!

And, for the record, "liftoff" is the proper term, not "blast off" like Little Einsteins or Mickey Mouse (or any cartoon for that matter) would have you think. We sometimes just let Owen get away with Blastoff because it is fun, but know that we will edu-ma-cate that child soon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Beatles

Jason has always loved the Beatles. He says when he was in Germany, they only had his parents Beatles albums {that's right- albums} to listen to and he just developed a LOVE of them. I mean LUUURRVE.

We go to all the Beatles tribute concerts. Jason has played in a Beatles band {he was George- complete with wigs and period appropriate costumes}. We have been to Beatles shows where we bring down the average age 20 years. I got him Beatles tickets for Christmas, anniversaries, etc. Jason hearts the Beatles.

Well, this morning at breakfast, Jason was drinking coffee out of his favorite Beatles mug. Ollie kept saying something and Jason said, "Hill, I think Ollie is saying 'Beatles'! He says it every time I use this mug!" He was so excited that somehow his love for the Beatles had genetically seeped through to our child and he was able- at the age of 2- to recognize the Beatles!

I ran in there to hear this and was waiting to get excited for Jason when Ollie pointed to the mug and clearly said, "WIGGLES!".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Diet

Alright. I've finally gotten in the right frame of mind to diet- not that I'm thrilled about it, but it needs to be done. I've got a good twenty-ish that need to go. My goal is to be in good shape by the big 3-0 (Sept. 3rd- mark your calendars), so that I at least feel good about myself when I get there. And that gives me plenty of time.
Last time we dieted Jason and I ran every day and cut out all things white- pretty much. We also drank tons of water, went whole grain everything and didn't touch a bite of food after 7:30. No alcohol or sweets either. This really pains me to write.
This time, I'm working from Uncle Randy and Genie's newest book From Belly Fat to Belly Flat and focusing on a general well being from a health perspective- particularly with hormone balance. I read the book in one day a few months ago and was super impressed. I have been excited to start for a while now and the time is finally right! (To find out more, his web link is below on the left under my favorite things.)
OK- here is the premise:
Our bodies are made of different homones and if they get off balance then they tend to alter your mood and your makeup. Seems simple, right? Well, apparently if you are dominant in estrogen, then that can lead to weight gain around your middle. Do you know any middle age women (or younger) that have weight they can't seem to get rid of around their tummies? Well, that is me right now (not that I've been trying to get rid of it, mind you- see the recipe on the left for proof), but I need to do that now.
So, this plan involves vitamins, progesterone (kind of the opposite of estrogen- to balance it out) and all kinds of healthy eating. So much healthy eating that Jason came home on Monday and said, "There are some things I don't recognize in our refrigerator". Yes, there were things in there that I've never bought before- including rutabega and beets. I had to ask what section of the beet that you actually eat! (My mom said the section that comes in the cans! Ha!)
Hopefully soon I'll be able to get up and run in the mornings. Right now Harris is still drinking one more bottle at 10:00, so even with Jason and me alternating nights, it's still tough to get up at 5:00 (or before) and run. I'll get there, though. I did love it when I did it. It's just making yourself get up out of that warm cozy bed. Can anybody hear me?? I have to channel Donna from college standing over my twin bed in the sorority house asking, "Do you want to be fat, or do you want to be skinny?"!!
So far, my favorites on the diet have been Cruciferous CousCous and some great dip for carrots and celery (Ginger-Lime Dressing). The latter tastes like it's straight from P. F. Chang's, so I'm all about that! There is a big dish of baked fish in the kitchen right now from dinner and I can't keep thinking that it's a big plate of brownies! It's the same dish I use for brownies and the fish is covered with a basil mixture, so it looks dark. So, out of the corner of my eye my mind is playing MEAN tricks on me. I think I've gone over there for brownies 4 times! I hope that's not indicative of anything...
I will keep you all updated on the diet and let you know how it's going. Any prayers and support and most welcome!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bathing Beauties

Since Jason has been out of town for a few days, I've been bathing the boys together. It works out really well: its a lot quicker, they love it and feed off of each other and I only get soaking wet once. Henry loves the change to a sit up tub, too!

Here is a picture from their first bath together 2 nights ago. I am so thankful, blessed, grateful- everything- that they like each other (right now- I'm not naive enough to think that will last forever!). Henry thinks Ollie hung the moon and Ollie thinks Henry is a cool toy. And he gets the girls' attention at school every morning. Not too bad to have around, you know...

And, yes, that's the kid's bathtub. Its yellow. That's right. It's the least offensive of our 3 1970's color-schemed bathrooms. We have the blue in the master bath and the guest half bath is a pink/ beige. We're talking floor tile, sinks, tubs, TOILETS and tile up half the wall. There is a major remodel in our future, but we're not brave enough to tackle it just yet. Any tips are most certainly welcome!

Friday, April 11, 2008

He shoots, He STORES!

I went to a consignment sale the other night (Thanks to Melanie for the advanced ticket!) and got a bunch of clothes and picked up one toy for Owen. It was "Silly Soccer" and since he loves soccer and we had the counterpart game to this (Silly 6 Pins), I thought it would be a good find. And it IS! Especially since it already had batteries in it, all pieces were included and they had photocopied the assembly instructions and put them in there! WOW!

Here is Owen concentrating and practicing his shot (it's actually a little harder than it looks).
Then he figures out a way to cheat and make it clap and applaud for you if you just push it over the line.

Then he MADE ONE! If this isn't sheer joy, I don't know what it! I can't believe I got this shot, either! Our camera takes a second and I was trying to get him kicking it, but it went in and he shouted "STORE!!!!"- which, of course, is SCORE in Owen-ese. Can anyone believe that Owen will be old enough to play organized soccer this fall??

The Birthday Song

For everyone who asked by e-mail... fine, here it is! Mom (and others)- you've got to learn to comment in the comment section! It's really easy.
Also, my mom wanted to clarify that she learned this song from her mother-in-law (my grandmother, of course) and she learned it from her mother-in-law- Honey Hart. (I think Honey may have been her real name.) Maybe I'll be able to teach it to a daughter-in-law someday! Also, you traditionally count by years instead of months- and you can count by 5 or 10 if you have too many years!
Enjoy... or, rather- try not to make fun of my singing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Henry has a birthday!

Shirt pictured here a sweet gift from "Auntie" Donna! We love it!

OK, well a HALF a birthday! Henry turned 6 months old 2 days ago. We celebrated with the ritualistic singing of the birthday song that my mom always sang to us. It goes like this:

Henry has a birthday,
We're so glad!
Let us see how many
He has had.
As we count our fingers
We are told:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!
Yes, our fingers say he's

If you need the tune to this, then you'll have to call me or e-mail me and I'll send you the video (hdunham[at]knology.net) . I do have it documented on video, but it's much too embarassing for the WORLD wide web. :-)

Happy half-birthday, sweet angel Henry! Mommy and Daddy love you and we are so proud and blessed by you every day!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Being a Dad

Being a dad must be great! My friend Donna's post from the other day made me think about this and I've started to notice that dad's have some pretty special talents. (The picture here is Jason throwing Owen on the sofa repeatedly tonight. Apparently this was super cool. "Again, daddy! Again daddy!") For instance, Jason can come up with any game to make Owen laugh in fits. The other night, I was downstairs and they were in his room playing. Jason took all Owen's rubber ducks and put each one on top of a fan blade- then he turned the fan on! Ducks flying everywhere! Owen thought this was hysterical- as you can imagine. They must have done it 10 times. I asked Jason how he ever thought to do that (and if he could dust while he was up there) and he said that he just thought it would be cool, so he knew Owen would like it. Must be a guy thing. Jason thinks of things like this ALL the time while I'm counting and singing alphabet songs. Good thing our boys have both of us to balance out their nerdy (me) and cool (Jas) sides.

Here's a link to Donna's post with wonderful poem: http://deusnosconjuxit.blogspot.com/2008/03/childrens-hour.html

Jason and I both are very blessed to have both had strong, Christian, active and caring dads.
Here's my dad and mom with us at Harris's baptism in January:

This Jason's dad with Jason and Owen at Grandma Dunham's house on Thanksgiving:

They are our heroes and set such strong examples of how to raise a family- without us realizing it as children! While balancing discipline and humor, lessons and sermons and love and punishment, they set the tone to a grounded and stable home. Of course, we have wonderful moms that love and support us, too, (that's another post) but dads are pretty special. They taught us how to hit softballs (my dad) and defend soccer balls (Jason's dad), how to win multiplication flash card games (my dad) and how to read (Jason's dad). My dad even stayed up LATE one night teaching me the strategy of tic-tac-toe in 3rd grade so I wouldn't get beaten by the boys every day. Can you tell where I get my competitive streak!?!
Our dads have always been to church with us and never missed sports games. They've always told us they loved us, but never spoiled us. They've always loved our moms (super important) and never made us doubt the strength of our family.
I am so thankful to our heavenly Father for setting such a wonderful example for them and so overwhelmed at the blessings of their following His direction.
We have big shoes to fill (size 11D and 12, if you're shopping), but I'm thrilled and honored to get the opportunity to try.
Thanks, dads! We love you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Social at the Balch's

We had so much fun tonight at a last minute get together at Kat and Vic's house! They were trying to unload some food from their freezer before a trip out of town and we were the lucky recipients! Apparently, word of yummy food travels fast because Cate and her daughter Ellie, Marydae, Solveig, Jackson and their daughter Linnea and a newly engaged Alyssa were all there! The kids were with me and Jason got to come by before his softball game tonight. And Kat, Vic and their children Denton and Evelyn were at their own home, of course.
This is the scene just a few minutes after we arrived with Owen, Denton and Ellie:

That didn't take long for the tornado to hit!

Evelyn and Harris are only 3 weeks apart and they are so much fun! This is Evelyn and Kat and then Kat, Evelyn, Harris and me.

That's right- 3 weeks. Kat and Vic have nice petite children and we have linebackers. They both seem to resemble their older brothers quite a bit!

Its a good thing we all have beautiul children! Linnea is too adorable- and looks a lot like Jackson! Little Ellie was precious and keeping up with Owen and Denton pretty well. She's such a cute little girl- very sweet like her mama! I could just eat them all up!!

The play and eating soon moved outside and this is my favorite picture:

Denton is in his swim suit, with astronaut helmet while raking dirt for his trucks to play in! ha! Talk about multi-tasking!

Lucky for him, Owen thought this was perfectly normal (he was in a dragon costume earlier today). Who cares when 2 guys have some dirt and trucks to play with?

Thanks to Kat and Vic for a great time! We love y'all! Have a great trip- you should leave and clean out your freezer again soon!

Harris's First Food!

Harris had bananas today for the first time!! He had some at breakfast and he didn't like them all too much, but we tried them again at lunch and he warmed up to them (even though they were cold then- maybe that was it!?!). Here's a little video of it! Just overlook the fact that he's still in his pajamas at lunch...

About the Author

I have lived in Alabama all my life, but I've traveled a lot, so I know how you other people live. I am a Suuth-un girl by all counts: Southern accent (when needed), big hair (when needed), I love a monogram and I’ll call you ma’am if you don’t watch out. I am actually proud that Forrest Gump was from here. And I feel bad for Yankees because they don’t know what they’re missing. Bless their hearts. It’s a state of mind, not a location and I hope you’ve experienced it.

I am a jack of all trades, but a master of none. I pretend to be domesticated: I like to do crafts that involve whatever is around my house and they normally look like- well- poop. But that's okay because my kids don't have high expectations.
The things I do best are laugh and eat. Oh, and I’m a decent cook- which leads to my accomplishments in the eating arena.

My husband (Jason) and I have 2 boys: Ollie, 4 and Henry, 2- (not their real names) and we are expecting another baby in late July 2010.

I love chocolate-not the dark kind that’s good for you- the “milk” variety. And I prefer it to come in pretty wrappers (some call them candy bars) and paired with peanut butter.

I am officially allergic to chocolate AND peanut butter.

I am a crier and I get it honestly from my mom. She cries at every Andy Griffith Show- especially if Opey learned a hard lesson. And I grew up within very close proximity to a television, so please excuse the countless TV references. I'm particularly fond of 80s sitcoms.

My kitchen sink is usually full, my baseboards are filthy, I dust with wet wipes and you have to step around the laundry piles to get to my guest bathroom (I’ll hide them in the dryer, though, if you come over). But our home is full of laughter and God. And you don’t have to clean those up.

I try to please God in all that I think, say and do (and write), but always come up short. That’s because I’m human and I’m pretty sure God gets that. I think that the journey is about the constant attempts to get closer to Him. So I’m blogging about the journey: my attempts at being a child of God, a mother, a woman, a wife and enjoying this season with 2 young boys.

My grandmother always told me to keep a diary and I never did, so this is my attempt to make up for lost time. Pull up a chair feel free to flip through my diary pages. I won’t mind. But if you are a crier, too, or you laugh too hard, just dab your face with a wet wipe. You’ll perk right back up.
Photo credit: Candace Sanderson

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