Monday, August 31, 2009


I've had a few cravings, but mostly I've been able to satisfy them by going ahead and eating the foods I love in small portions. However, I've really been craving cupcakes this week. For those of you who don't know me, cupcakes are my weakness. I like plain vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing, and I buy them at this fabulous little place called "Cupcake Island." I've been able to stay away because the bakery is nowhere near anything I frequent, and I have to make a special trip to go out there and buy cupcakes. I haven't decided if the drive is worth 1 cupcake because I am determined to buy only 1 if I do give in.

Today I was craving a hot buttered biscuit, but what did I eat... yogurt and a banana. I've also brought yummy homemade vegetable soup for lunch. I made it for dinner last night and it was AWESOME. It was also easy. 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 8 oz of whole wheat pasta spirals, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, and 3 1/2 cups of soup vegetables (okra, potatoes, celery, carrots, lima beans, green beans). Dump it all in a pot, add 1 of the tomato can's full of water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the pasta is done. I also added a touch of garlic and basil for flavor, but no salt because the bouillon cubes had enough salt in them. Try it, its really good and filling.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fast Food Crutch

Day 4 and I feel a slight sense of accomplishment. I am doing pretty well when I plan my day, but there are still times I keep falling back on my fast food crutch. It isn't all bad.

On Wednesday I had forgotten part of my lunch so I decided to "run out and grab a little something." Normally that would have been the perfect set-up for failure, but I really looked at all of my options before I ate. I REALLY wanted a cheeseburger, so I opted for two junior cheeseburgers with mustard and ketchup instead of mayo. Not the healthiest choice in the world, but I adjusted my calories for the day and made sure I stayed within my zones (albeit at the higher end).

Yesterday I was teaching at a remote site so I didn't really have my normal office stash to fall back on. I went back to Wendy's but got the grilled chicken sandwich with a baked potato, reduced fat sour cream, and smart spread. It satisfied my craving for junk, but in a healthier way than the double cheeseburger with fries.

Today, I got off at lunch, and decided to run through the drive-thru on my way home. I planned it out before I left and found out exactly how many calories, carbs, and fats were in grilled chicken tacos from Taco Bell. Not to shabby.

I know I need to wean myself off of the fast food, and I am slowly doing that. However, I am stopping and thinking about what I buy, and trying to make smarter choices. Just out of curiosity, I charted an old "normal" day, and I was shocked. Even without giving up fast food completely, I have cut my calories and fat in HALF. Yipee!

I need to change my lifestyle and not diet, so I'm not going to be too hard on myself for not cutting out everything. You just can't live like that. I think that as long as you plan your day, and alter your eating to allow for those meals, you can find a balance between the foods you love and those that love you back.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Better Eating Habits

Al, the boys, and I started this new thing last night...eating healthy. My cousin Amy turned me on to this very awesome website called Spark People It is similar to weight watchers but its FREE. You can track your food, activity, and weight, and really make some conscious decisions about what you eat and how much you move.

Yesterday was our first full day and it went pretty well. I stayed on track because I am able to sit in front of the computer and track everything I put in my mouth. Al did well because he only has access to the food he takes to work. The real test was when the boys came home. They eat cafeteria food and I wondered how they would handle the new eating plan.

Christian did pretty well; he had an orange juice, chicken flat bread and fries (???) but he stayed under his fat and calories. When Nicholas came home I asked what he had and he said he ate from the healthy line...a French Dip and mashed potatoes. He was shocked at how much fat his French Dip had in it. The day before I had told him to go through the line that offered the balanced meal instead of the lines with just an entree or pizza and this is what he got. Now you know why we have a childhood obesity problem. It isn't just McDonald's, its also the school lunch menu.

None of us met the water goal. Al and I have no excuse but it is really hard for the boys to get water all day. They need to carry water bottles and keep them in their lockers. The best part of the whole day was having the boys track their own food. It was a real eye opener to them. Neither fully understood how much fat and calories were in the food they ate, and they had never really stopped and thought about the things they were putting into their bodies: carbs, fats, proteins, fruits, veggies, etc... (I'm aware, I'm just in denial.) If nothing else, I think everyone will learn a little bit more about food and start making some conscious choices.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grandpa Come Get Me

Look Grandpa TWO hands!

So....guess who called Al on his cell phone? Logan! Al got a call from Alyssa and all he heard on his phone was some crackling and noise. He called Alyssa back and found out that Logan had been playing with her phone and called his Grandpa (probably to come get him). Apparently he also knows how unlock her phone and scroll up and down the page (she has a touch screen phone).

I was very amused because I had already told her that the first thing he was going to do when he learned how to use the phone was to call Grandma and Grandpa to come and get him. I do tend to be right quite often. I'm very proud of my extremely talented Grandson. Not only does he know how to work electronics better than some adults, he also knows where his bread is buttered. I shouldn't be surprised though, his Uncle Nicholas learned how to read by typing in the URLs for Disney and Nick Jr.

This was 3 year old Nicholas-"Mom how do you spell" and now he's in the National Honor Society. Who says technology is a bad thing?

Oh, and guess what else? Logan is starting to stand alone. Yeah for Orthopedic Surgeons!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer of '09

So my blogging has gone from daily to weekly to monthly. I guess that's what happens when you get interrupted by life right? Since we last met, a lot has happened.

First, our fence blew down. Al and I went to Lowe's, bought all of the necessary repair materials, and he and the boys got ready for a little DIY work. The first step was to dig up what was left of the poles. Our neighbor suggested that Al simply dig holes next to the existing posts, but Al was worried they would be off center so he decided to reset the poles in their original location. Unfortunately he didn't realize that the original hole had 4 ft of existing concrete as the base. It only took them 2 weeks of working every day after Al got home, in 100 degree heat no less, to empty the holes.

Finally, it was time to put the new posts in. I don't know firsthand, but it seems like that was the easiest part. They got the posts set in one afternoon, and then we headed off to the mountains.

We went to the mountains with Bob and Lucy and stayed in a condo in Fraser, Colorado about 5 miles from Winter Park. The boys left with Bob and Lucy on Wednesday and Al and I followed the next day. It was my first time visiting Colorado, and it was also the first time Al and I had taken such a long drive alone. We actually had to talk to each other. Anyway, everyone had a fabulous time. We started out in Denver at the Coors brewery, and thanks to their free samples, I got the privilege of driving up the 10,000 ft mountain. Oh did I mention I'm deathly afraid of heights?

The next day everyone went to Winter Park Resort to enjoy the ski lift, alpine slide, and mini golf. I wasn't feeling well so I went out to the resort later in the afternoon. I ended up getting a very bad case of altitude sickness, but thankfully I had my CPAP to go home and put back on while I napped.

On Saturday everyone enjoyed the tennis and racquetball courts at the condo, and after I started feeling better we went to a city nearby called Grand Lake and walked along the boardwalk. We went to the rodeo that night and the boys really enjoyed it. It was Al and the boys' first rodeo, and I think they were most excited by the bull riding.

On Sunday Our cousins Bill and Cheri, and Cheri's husband came up to the condo for a visit. Both Bill and Cheri live in Denver. We had a great visit, went to lunch, and had great conversation. Bill even teased Christian by asking him if he wanted to drive his Mercedes to the restaurant.

On Monday we went home, and Al and I saw a bear on the drive down the mountain. The boys stayed for two more days with Bob and Lucy and enjoyed a boat ride, horseback riding, white water rafting, and a soak in a hot springs pool

I'm sure that you'll never guess what I've been doing with the rest of my time...besides writing grants that is. OK, you're right...I've been enjoying my grandson as much as possible. He is getting so big so fast. He's crawling all over the house and pulling up. He also has 6 teeth and he's trying to say Grandma. The only three things he really says are "gaga" which I believe is Grandma, "gug" which must be dog because he says it every time he sees Riley, and "baba" for everything else. Oh and that boy does know EXACTLY what he wants. He has this new thing that he does which is squeeze his eyes shut and turn his head when he doesn't want you to feed him (I don't have a picture but it sort of looks like he does in the picture above) and he likes to yell when he's mad.

I had to take this picture because he was sitting in Al's lap and he kept looking up at the picture of Christian and waving. I thought it was so cute and couldn't help notice the resemblance. In the shot, Logan is 10 months and standing by Christian's 12 month picture.

This was funny. Logan was lying on Christian and Christian was trying to take a nap. He ws hoping Logan would go to sleep too but Logan kept whining. When I went to pick him up, he had had a blowout and had poop all up his back. It totally grossed Christian out and he was convinced that he had poop all over him too.

Logan is so curious and he loves to get into anything that he shouldn't. You can see how he reacts above when his momma (or anyone else) tells him no. I love him so much and sometimes it is hard to tell him no, but he has to learn to start obeying (even at this age). I can't stand it when people don't start teaching their kids to obey at an early age and then wonder why they are so rowdy at 5 or 6.

These are some pictures Alyssa took of a visit that Andy's mom and brothers made to Manhattan. The guy in the red is Chris (he's the middle son) and the one in blue is Wes, Andy's oldest brother. I really like the picture of the three brothers and Logan. Don't they all look alike? I do hope Logan is blessed to get at least a little of the Owen's height.

Like I said Logan loves to get into anything he's not supposed to, but he especially loves remote controls. What is it with the Y chromosome and remotes? We give hime the old ones with no batteries to play with at Grandma's house. However, he has figured out that ONE very special remote makes my bed go up and down like an amusement park ride.

As you can see, we are all enjoying every minute that we get with Logan, and sometimes Alyssa even comes to visit. More often than not we meet her halfway between our homes and exchange that very valuable package so she can get a little break. However, last week she was here for 4 days, and I loved hanging out at the house as a family again. Logan has the right idea in the picture above. I think he was saying "I'm number one around here and you better not forget it."