Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jackson Update

Tomorrow will be Jackson's second chemo treatment, he is at home now after his last treatment.  Thursdays are Jackson's clinic days, and every Thursday is "rock the red" day for Jackson! You can purchase a t-shirt in his honor or find something red in your closet to wear. "Please help us by wearing red and know our little fighter will be rockin' his red that day too!"  I plan to dig through my wardrobe and find something red to wear, it's a bit of a task since red is not a color I wear often.  If t-shirts were appropriate work attire, I'd consider buying one of those available to help support Jackson.  You can purchase items at

Proceeds will go to a special fund to help with extraordinary medical and household expenses associated with Jackson's medical treatment. If you wish to contribute, please send your non-deductible contribution payable "Jackson Dundon Recovery Fund" at the address below:

Jackson Dundon Recovery Fund
c/o Kerry Donley
609 N. Pickett Street
Alexandria, VA 22304

Of course most importantly, remember to pray!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


As the years pass and the kids have come, I have learned that I can no longer eat everything I want and maintain my weight.  While my weight gain with the boys was about the same as my first 2 pregnancies, it is not just falling off.  I used to lose the weight after Mo, and am doing the same this time.  I also used a gift card to buy The Spark, which is the website in book form with some great extras.  I haven't re-started the 28 day program yet, but will be doing so very soon.  I will also completely follow it this time, by making a Vision Collage.  I have a goal.  I am going to Fort Worth, Texas in April, and I refuse to pack maternity clothes.  I am about 15 pounds away from wearing most of my real clothes, and I have about a month and a half to go.

The reason I've never made a Vision Collage before is I have always struggled with the answer to one question: What do I want?  I spend most of my time wrapped up in what my family needs, our health, our finances, that I don't stop and think about desires.  When I went to the Lou Tice Investment in Excellence seminar 2 years ago, we worked on this.  I started to get there, but it didn't go far.  I had some ideas, but never followed through with fully envisioning what I wanted in my mind.  It is so bad that I usually cannot tell friends or family what I would like for my birthday or Christmas.  So one little step in the right direction is taking place right now.  Here is a list of things I would like for my birthday.  I don't expect any gifts, and do not need them, but I usually get asked, and for once here is an answer.

  • iTunes gift card so I can load my favorite songs on my new-to-me ipod Shuffle (a Valentine's Day gift from Dana)
  • Ummelina gift certificates  (my spa day was amazing  and I'd love to repeat it)
  • spending money for my trip to Fort Worth
  • a pair of red high heels size 7
  • a pair of Nike Shox size 7
Ok it's not much, but it's a start.  One last thing I've found that is key to keeping me motivated: looking my best.  It's the little things, but if I leave the house and feel like I look good for the day, then I'm more confident throughout the day.  I also find that I will stick better to my plan and feel good about my choices.  It's just the extra few minutes to style my hair, or put on some quick drying nail polish, and recently wearing contacts instead of my glasses (I love my glasses, but I think they are easy to hide behind), all make a huge difference in how I feel about my day.

What are you doing to stay motivated in your life or on  your goals?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Look!  It's Monday, and I'm posting a menu!

Monday: Stuffed Green Peppers (I'm mixing brown and white rice, cooked ground beef, and a cream of mushroom soup. Fill cooked pepper halves, top with cheese) and corn.

Tuesday: Lighter Sesame Noodles with leftover pork added (this was bumped last week)

Wednesday: White Bean chili in the crock-pot.  Corn bread muffins.

Thursday: Breakfast Casserole

Friday:  Stove top lasagne

Saturday: Sandwich Party Leftovers (I'm hosting a Sandwich Thins House Party, so we'll take care of the leftovers for dinner)

Sunday: Open

What's on your menu this week?  If you don't have one, why not give it a try?  There are more menu plans to visit for ideas at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Special Request

I have heard that some people worry that with the internet people no longer make deep connections.  I feel it is the opposite.  Because of the internet I have made connections with so many that I never would have known, had I not been blogging or on my pregnancy message board.

When we found out the boys had TTTS, all of you began to pray, you spread the word, and in the end I can only guess as to how many were praying.  I believe it was at least 1,000 through blogs, churches, and word of mouth.  I believe those prayers are what gave us the strength to deal with it all, and they definitely carried the boys through to a healthy birth at 36 weeks and 6 days.

I tell you all of this so you will understand when I ask you to pray again.  Not for me, but for Kristin, a friend I met through BabyFit as we shared this last pregnancy together.  Her 2 and a half year old son Jackson was diagnosed Tuesday with a brain tumor.  I have been in tears pleading with God for healing for this little boy, and strength for his mom and dad, and for his baby brother who is to young to know what is happening, but I'm sure senses the tension.

Please join me in praying for them.

Update from Jackson's mom: "So, please continue to pray. Jackson has a brain tumor on his brain stem. They can not operate due to the deep location or even biopsy to see what type of tumor it is."

Kristin let us know that it can be one of two things, one is a tumor that responds to chemo.  They will start chemo and do it for 6 mos then move on to radiation.  This type will give him a great chance of survival and the possibility of no side-effects. They will do an MRI in 3 weeks to see if the cancer is responding to chemo.  If not, they will treat it immediately with radiation, but the outcome doesn't look good.  It will likely be a very painful regression. So let's pray hard for the tumor to respond to chemo!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Difference

Having identical twins means that the boys are, well, identical.  But it's easy to begin to see the difference in them and I don't just mean looks.

Brendon is our small guy.  He's still a pound lighter and 2 inches shorter.  This is actually to his benefit, though, as he is a strong little booger.  While Dana was having his finger checked out, Brendon stood against Bryce's car seat and the two laughed at each other.  He's not only strong for his size, he is our serious boy.  Sober Sides is often said around him.  He's not always forthcoming with the smiles, but when he decides to smile and chat you up, be prepared, he's in it for the long run.  He thinks sleeping is overrated, but to his dismay it always catches up to him. (He managed to stay in the position below about 25 seconds or so before starting to fall over. Being a lightweight has its benefits.)

Bryce is our chunk.  He's not that much heavier, but he wears it well.  He looks like a roly-poly chubby baby and he enjoys it that way.  He's not concerned with standing much, but is enjoying trying to sit unassisted.  His smiles come easy and often.  He loves to laugh and enjoys his naps.  He is easy-going most of the time, but once he's ticked off, watch out.

It has been fun getting to know these guys the last 4 months.  Raising them is definitely going to be an adventure.  One that we are so thankful to be on.  I'm so glad to have all of you to share it with!

Menu Plan Monday on Tuesday

Another week has flown by, and I need to get my menu plan up!  Sticking to the plan continues to be successful.  It is also a great way for me to plan my calories for the day.  It is a difficult thing to go from 2700 or more while pregnant and nursing to 1500 now.  Luckily my appetite has followed for the most part, but I still have to watch my choices.  I have 20 pounds to go to my goal.  10 pounds should get me into a least a few pair of non-maternity pants.  I will likely be traveling to Fort Worth in April, and I refuse to pack maternity clothes.  So watch for my menus to be healthier, or to see my substitution (like last week when the kids and Dana ate nuggets, and I had a baked chicken thigh.)

Monday: Baked chicken, fresh veggies, leftover mashed potatoes and gravy

Tuesday: Planned leftovers from the Board Meeting.  I really hope we have leftovers as we are having Kabob House and there will be trays of healthy salads, hummus, pitas and kabobs.  If no leftovers, then Jumbalaya.

Wednesday: Healthy Tuna Casserole  I will probably leave out the broccoli though.

Thursday: Asian Noodles  I've made this before, but will likely leave out the fresh red pepper (unless it's on sale) and add some leftover pork loin. 

Friday: Date Night!  I'm not sure what Dana and I will do for dinner, but we have tickets to go see Avenue Q.  This is our second date in 2010.  One date a month? We just might get used to this!

Saturday: Tacos

Sunday: Open  If we have leftovers tonight, I will likely do the Jumbalaya earlier in the week and bump that  meal to Sunday.

For more ideas visit

Saturday, February 13, 2010

On this day

On this day 3 years ago, I had my tubes tied.  On this day 1 year ago, I conceived.  It would be another 5-8 days before Bryce and Brendon came to be.  The mind boggling thing for me is, if they hadn't split, would I have Bryce or Brendon?  Or would that baby have been a completely different baby?

One week old
We'll never know, although it is fun to try and wrap my mind around.  What I do know is we're thankful for the boys!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Biggest Boy

Photo courtesy of Grammy and Papa

The biggest boy is finally starting to potty train.  He has been wearing underwear and using the potty (during the day) all week.  The first few days he struggled, but now he seems to be getting the hang of it.  He even wore underwear home last night. 

We am so proud of him, and so thankful.  None of this training is our doing, it is all Grammy and Papa.  And they are doing a fabulous job.  So I admit, I'm a bit nervous about the 3 day weekend.  But, I'm sure we can handle it.

Also, please keep Dana in your prayers.  He crushed the tip of his pinky finger in between 2 concrete poles yesterday.  The bone is broken, and the flesh pretty much exploded.  It's painful and looks terrible, but the concern is infection.  Please pray that he heals up and that there is no infection.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Boys

Some days I don't realize how much the boys have grown.  But these two photos from Grammy and Papa definitely give me some perspective.

November 20th, 1 month old

February 4th, 11 days shy of 4 months old

Hard to believe they are the same boys!  They are so darn cute though.  They started rice cereal about 2 weeks ago, and oat cereal 1 week ago.  They love it!  They are both practiced in the fine art of flirting and love to coo and giggle.  

Today was supposed to be their 4 month appointment, but because they have a few days to go, we couldn't get their vaccinations.  Instead they just got to be weighed and measured.  Wondering how much they've grown?  Remember Bryce was 6 pounds 3 oz when born.  Brendon was 5 pounds 6 oz.  

Today Bryce was 13 pounds 14 oz and Brendon was 12 pounds 14 oz.  Bryce was 25 inches long, Brendon was 22 3/4.  And the funny part, Bryce's head circumference was 15 3/4 inches.  Brendon's was 15 3/4 inches.  I swear Bryce's head looks so much bigger than Brendon's.  The fun part about being a twin mom is I get to help with the weights, lengths and circumference, the nurse measures one, then I measure the other.  I measured Bryce's head, and thought he had to be bigger, so I double checked, and it was the same.  

So there is the latest on the growing boys! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Menu Plan Wednesday?

How about that menu plan?  Honestly I have been working from one, just haven't posted it yet.  You may have noticed my absence in blog land recently.  It's not that I don't enjoy reading your blog, I just have been busy and haven't made it by.  I'll be by soon, don't give up on me.

Something else that's happening, I was selected to host a Sandwich Thins House Party!  If you haven't heard of House Party , I suggest you click and visit. So I'm excited to host, and it means I have to get my house clean!

Tonight Kaia and I are headed to watch Annie.  She cannot wait, I'm happy she's excited.  I saw a local production of Annie when I was a child and loved it.  I think it's great we can give her the same experience (with a little help, thanks).

And now for that menu:
Monday: pork sirloin with cajun seasoning, squash, and broccoli with cheese
Tuesday: easy huevos rancheros
Wednesday: navy bean soup (from a mix, since time is limited)
Thursday: spaghetti with meat sauce, fresh veggies and ranch
Friday: chicken nuggets and baked fries (I'll be having a boneless skinless chicken thigh with hot wing sauce on it, instead of the  nuggets)
Saturday: up in the air
Sunday: up in the air
I'll figure out the other two meals, but weekends are usually easy for me since I"m home.

Hope you are enjoying your week!  Off to fix Kaia's hair.  She wore rollers so it would be curly.  She also requested that I dye it red before tonight, that isn't going to happen.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Good Things

I've been trying new things to make our lives run more smoothly.  If I can control just a fraction of the chaos we live in, I will have done a good job as mom and wife. 

Here is an idea I got from my Mother in Law, June.  Snack trays.  It is so simple, but several times when I've gone to pickup the boys, she's had a snack tray out.  The trays have been fresh cut veggies, fruit or meat and cheese. 

Yesterday, I made a big veggie tray planning for leftovers.  Even though it was just Dana, the 3 boys and I here, having the veggies out meant we snacked on something healthy.  Now that it's prepped and in the fridge, we'll have a quick go to snack most of the week.  And when I pack lunches, it's easy for me to grab a few veggies to include.  Also I won't forget that half a bell pepper in the drawer and find it after it's rotten, because we've already enjoyed it.

This same idea works with salad.  Buy some heads of lettuce, wash and tear into pieces.  Then have it stored in a container in the fridge.  I read this tip on a finance blog.  The cost difference between bagged salad and lettuce is huge!  I decided to give it a try, and it has worked so well for us.  I can fix a salad in seconds, and we've enjoyed eating salad this last week.

Finally, one last good thing: Menu Plan Monday.  I will be writing up a menu.  Last week was an unwritten, loose plan.  It meant a lot more money was spent on groceries and the meals weren't as healthy.  Lesson learned!

What good thing have you tried lately?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rock Star

Mo came into the kitchen area last night declaring himself a rock star.  I replied, "That's cool."  Then I heard the loud intake of breath from Kaia, followed by a drawn out, "Mom!  Look!"  I looked and saw that Mo had painted his fingernails with my "blood colored" nail polish.  I said, "You did your nails?  Cool." 

Apparently it wasn't cool, as Kaia quickly corrected me, "No mom, LOOK!"  I looked again, and burst out laughing.  Not only had he painted his fingernails, he painted his lips with the blood colored nail polish.  I went to grab the camera before remembering the batteries had died.  So you'll just have to imagine our 3 year old gone goth.
Here is my photoshop version of how he looked.

Monday, February 1, 2010