Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Here’s a simple example of how Allie’s speech is growing up. Until probably two weeks ago, Allie always said “umm hmm” or “uh huh,” when she was answering in the affirmative.

Now everything is simply, “yes.”

Such a small word but right after she started saying yes all the time, she just started saying all sorts of other things too!

We have fun conversations about what she did at daycare that day, usually where she lists the people that she played with. We talk about what she wants for breakfast (chocolate cheerios during the week and pancakes on the weekends) and she is always very adamant that she wants to go outside. She is always delighted to see Mama’s flowers on the deck or the porch. Last Friday I took the bus because Dada had to pick Allie up early, and they came to pick me up at the transfer point. I got in the car and she spouts off “Mama at the bus station!”

She also shows some attitude. The other morning we were trying to get her to brush her teeth before going to work and she wasn’t doing it herself, so Dada was trying to do it. She kept insisting, “I did it already!” Where did she learn that?

But as quickly as she started saying “yes,” she now also says “yeah.” It seems to depend on her mood.

Her other signature word is even shorter. “Oh.”

This is so fun because it seems like she really comprehends what we say. And I just envision all these tidbits absorbing into her brain as she says “oh.”

When Mama broils pork chops for dinner, it seems like they always set off the smoke alarm. Even if I’m prepared for it, it always makes me jump. Whenever it happens it startles Allie, and she talks about it for awhile afterward. She likes to say “beep beep beep.” Dada is her hero because he fixes the smoke alarm. We explain to Allie that its important to have a smoke alarm in our house to keep us safe. “Oh.”

Its funny to me how such simple words show me that my daughter is growing and learning. And she is growing too. She’s wearing some clothes that she had last summer that are size 24 mounths. One outfit is a dress with capri leggings that were almost down to her ankles last summer. It still fits, but the pants only go to just below her knees! Every day is a new adventure for her and us.


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Dada’s day



I didn’t end up posting about our Father’s Day activities. It was mostly a nice day at home. There were a lot of sports Dada wanted to watch. But we did have lunch at Texas Roadhouse. It was so good… oh the bread that just keeps coming is my downfall!

The highlight, if I do say so myself, was Dada’s present. He has been talking about RG3 (Robert Griffin III), the Redskins’ new quarterback, since well before he was actually drafted. We agreed that he could buy the jersey… but knowing Doug, I know he never would have bought it for himself. So Allie and I got it for him! I found it on for a steal of a deal with NO tax OR shipping. Best part is it wasn’t predicted to be here until this week Tuesday through Friday, but it came on Saturday! And did I mention I didn’t order it until Wednesday night? Why does anyone pay for expedited shipping?

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Allie vs bike


Two days ago there was some sort of collision at daycare between Allie and another kid on a bike. I’m not sure what happened, but this is the result. It looks like road rash. Its actually gotten better, though we had to put a bandaid on when it started bleeding as we were getting her dressed.

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Cola ham!

This ham is SO good. To give some indication of how good it is, Allie ate a bunch, and she doesn’t eat much meat.

I found the recipe in my Nook crock pot cook book and I just have to post the recipe here. I didn’t take any pictures because its just ham, not terribly photogenic. Plus we were in a hurry to eat it.

Cola Ham

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup cola
3- to 4- pound pre-cooked ham

Combine brown sugar and dry mustard. Moisten with cola to make a smooth paste. Reserve remaining cola. Score the ham with shallow slashes in a diamond pattern. Rub ham with mixture. Place ham in slow cooker and add remaining cola. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook for 6 to 7 hours.

*From “Ultimate Crockpot Cookbook: 750 Slow Cooker Recipes,” by Althea Champlain*

WOW. I can’t say that enough. And the leftovers are going to last awhile. Four pounds is a lot of ham for a family of three!

It doesn’t take much cola to make the paste, and I knew it wouldn’t. I only put a little in and it was too much. The paste rubs into the ham and I think it probably would have rubbed in more if it hadn’t been quite so moist. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to actually pour the remaining cola over the ham or just around it. It seemed to be washing away the paste (maybe because it was too runny) so I just poured it around the ham. Also, the ham I got had some kind of applewood smoke or something. I don’t think that affected the taste. We usually drink diet pop here, but I bought a 20 oz. regular Coke.

I cooked the ham for 9 hours on low so it wouldn’t be on the warm setting too long before we got home. My crock pot has a timer and I absolutely love that. Most recipes I can cook an hour or two longer without it affecting the meal. We cut the ham with just a regular kitchen knife, but really should have gotten out the electric knife. We’ll remember that for next time.

The taste is almost like sweet and sour with the brown sugar and dry mustard. I made instant potatoes even though we have real potatoes because we were really hungry. I also made green beans. We loved this meal so much that we had the exact same thing tonight, but with corn instead of green beans. And Allie scarfed it all down again! Allie’s never been terribly wild about meat, I think in part because of the texture. But meat cooked all day in the crock pot is really tender. So we’re going to try and do more meats in the crock pot.

I love my crock pot cookbook, which I got on my Nook for only 99 cents! Quite a value considering it has 750 recipes! I doubt I’ll ever make them all.

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An unexpected milestone

I was quite surprised this at this morning’s weigh-in to find that I lost 2.2 pounds, for  a new weight of 166.2. This is my lowest weight since late 2009! I didn’t finish my tracking for last week, party because we had a large lunch at Texas Roadhouse on Father’s Day. Those restaurants that just keep bringing the rolls are always my downfall! So needless to say I’m not sure how I achieved this weight loss. I have a theory that it has to do, at least partly, with sweating more when running outside lately.

The second surprise came when I updated my weight this afternoon and got a 50-pound milestone on my Weight Watchers! I think if you go to weight watchers meetings you get charms or something for milestones. Online its just a colored star. Nevertheless I was surprised and excited when it popped up on my chart! Even though I stopped weight watchers for six months, I kept my old account when I started again this year. So its tracking milestones going back to my very starting weight in January 2011. I weighed in that day at 217 pounds.

Its so weird to me to look at this picture again. The jeans I was wearing were size 20. I had spent a year after giving birth thinking I could lose the weight on my own the way I did the first time. But I was wrong and I was frustrated.

I made awesome progress on weight watchers and was down to 174 when I canceled in July 2011. I mostly maintained that weight, but ultimately restarted weight watchers in February 2012 up 5 pounds at 179.

Almost three and a half months later, I’m down to 166.2, almost 13 pounds from where I started in February and a total of 50. I’ve come so far! I mean, I still can’t say I like how I look in a swimsuit, but I allow pictures to be taken!

To bad I’m not really sure how I managed to lose this weight! It certainly wasn’t for perfect eating. Then again, it seems like I don’t really have results so much on weeks when I do get close to perfect eating! But I’ll take it.

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I am grateful for the fathers in my life. Doug is a GREAT dad and a great husband.

Paul has been an awesome dad and I’ve always admired him. After all, he married into a family with 8 kids!

Today I also miss my dad who left life too early. Its been 19 years next month. Hard to believe its been so long. I wish he could be here to see his kids now. I know he does see us. But I miss seeing him, even after 19 years.