Thursday, March 28, 2013

Minnie in the House!

Emery and Samantha are certainly into Minnie these days. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song can be heard playing most mornings in both households, they have Minnie dresses, Minnie stuffed animals, Minnie books, Minnie socks, Minnie figurines, Minnie coloring books, Minnie hairbows...well you name it! Just had to share how cute our two youngest granddaughters are, all dressed up as Minnie (Natalie chose to be a lady tiger!)!

Made me think back to our last trip to Disney World in 2011 with both sets of much fun! What little one doesn't love Mickey and Minnie?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Year's Resolution - Healthier Eating

No doubt about it, I love to cook, take pictures of food, and try new recipes. I am especially attracted to desserts! Pioneer Woman recipes are some of my favorites, and it's no secret she loves to use sugar, heavy cream and butter. As 2013 approached, I decided it was time to tame the sugar monster a bit and attempt to prepare healthier dishes. How better to do that than Whole30, "an original program designed to change your life in 30 days...a short term nutritional reset". Thirty days to eat real food; nothing overly processed with ingredients you can't pronounce. Not only would this be good for me, but I knew EZ and my mother would benefit from it as well. I liked the structure and thought, "Thirty days...I can do this!" So I began it on January 2nd, and much to my surprise, I did it and I liked it! (I am not a nutritional expert by any means, and I understand this may not be for everyone, but feel free to read about it and decide for yourself.)

My grocery items looked way different than they used to:

Here is a fitting description from Whole30 of what I needed to do for the next 30 days:

Your only job for the next 30 days is to focus on making good food choices. You don’t need to weigh or measure, you don’t need to count calories, you don’t need to stress about organic, grass-fed, pastured or free range. Just figure out how to stick to the Whole30 in any setting, around every special circumstance, under any amount of stress… for the next 30 days. Your only job? Eat. Good. Food.

It's pretty sugar, dairy, grains, MSG, alcohol, sodas, white potatoes, or legumes. That means your grocery cart will be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and seafood, eggs, good fats, nuts, and sweet potatoes. And no weighing for 30 isn't about the weight as much as it's about how you feel when certain things are eliminated from your diet. One thing I know for certain...I felt better and was so proud of myself for being able to say no to certain foods, regardless of what people around me were eating. I never thought I could have that kind of self-control.

Below are some of the meals we made on the plan:

After the first 5 days or so, the hardest thing to do without for me was creamer in my morning coffee. Just couldn't handle it black, so drank mostly apple cinnamon tea. For the most part we didn't feel deprived, fruit never tasted so sweet (my favorite dessert became grilled pineapple), we loved the beautiful color of fresh fruits and vegetables, our stomachs and appetites shrank, we didn't crave sweets, no more acid reflux, bowels became very regular, and we all had more energy. After the 30 days I had lost 9 pounds and EZ and my mom lost pounds as well (they weren't as hard core as me). I have kept the weight off and lost an additional pound or two, even having some dairy, sweets and grains occasionally. It has definitely helped me think about what I buy and what I put into my body, and I am still making much better choices for the most part. I am probably going to do another strict 30 days soon, just to keep from opening the floodgates of sweets, dairy and breads again. Anyone else have healthier eating and/or weight loss as a New Year's Resolution? Would love to hear how you are doing with it!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

EZ Knows How to Have a Good Time

Warning...if you're under 50, just skip this post! Yup, it was that time again...January meant time for EZ's colonoscopy. His mother had a cancerous polyp requiring surgery to remove a portion of her colon, so he must now have the procedure every 5 years (due to family history). Drinking that prep solution is never fun, but as always he kept his sense of humor and carried on. Broth and popsicles became his best friends for about 19 hours. Round the clock narcotic pain medication definitely delayed the time it took for the prep solution to begin working, but once things got moving it was full steam ahead!

Due to the fact that EZ is on a daily chemo pill (Revlimid), his gastroenterologist wanted the procedure to be done in the hospital rather than in his outpatient office facility. He was treated royally and kept the nursing staff laughing. The gastro doc reported that everything looked fine, though things weren't as clear as he would have liked. Apparently there is something he will give EZ at the beginning of the prep next time, to move things along a little more quickly. Repeat in three years, but good to go for now.  Whew, glad that's over with!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy 27th Birthday Nick!

Can't believe another year has flown by, and our "baby" is now turning 27! (For a look back at some of his adventures, and to learn a bit more about him, you can visit last year's post here.) His traditional birthday dinner (at his request) has always been Japanese, so this year was no exception. We are planning another celebration next weekend when his sisters and their families can join us. Just glad he could steal away for a night with us. Of course after a busy spring break, fighting a head cold, and a little work around the house with his dad, he needed a good nap first!

Love him to pieces and are so very proud of the young man he has become. He is hard at work in dental school, and anxiously looking forward to heading for Nepal in late July with four other dental students.

Happy Birthday future Dr. Nick! Love you so much!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Few More Memories from 2012

After catching up on some pretty momentous events in the life of our family, I just had to look back at some of my favorite pics and memories from December of 2012. It certainly has been a year to remember...full of change, yet overflowing with much to be thankful for. EZ has remained in complete response with stable numbers and no M-spike, no fevers, hospitalizations or serious illnesses. He stays active, busy and makes sure to nap when exhausted. Three years since diagnosis and life is good!

Christmas morning at the Dews

Christmas dinner at our house

What's a holiday without Monkey Bread?

Nick getting creative with my Christmas gift

Homemade goodies for staff at Cancer Center for our December visit

Gift from Patti...homemade cheesecake all wrapped up in ribbon!

Two of my favorite ladies...Debbie and Kim, who did not plan to dress alike!

Christmas in Black Mountain with EZ's folks

Always time for a dance with his mom
Superman on his two wheeler balance bike
Sisters who love to dress alike these days
Batman ready to skateboard
Emery dressed up with mommy's beads for Christmas
Yes, Emery had to go to Urgent Care after sticking this bead up her nose!

Another Christmas dinner

Snuggles with Grandpa

Gigi and Nathan in a close game of Bingo!

Mother/daughter time

Ice cream cake from Leah and Kyle
Happy 6 years!
The Dew Crew
From sweet Natalie

37th Anniversary dinner

61st Birthday celebration - New Year's Eve

Happy New Year!