Monday, January 26, 2009

Elizabeth Mei

Elizabeth Mei was born Jan 22nd at 8:08 am She weighed 8 lbs
3 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long (just an inch shorter than her brother
and 9 0z smaller-- though she seems much littler than he ever was.)
She looks a lot like Henry though-- round face, good amounts of light
colored hair, and a sweet little chin.

She's named Elizabeth after my mother and me (and because we really
like traditional names) and the Mei is Chinese. It means beautiful
and little sister and since Henry was convinced that she needed to be
named "little sister" it seemed appropriate.

Labor and delivery went very smoothly-- hooray for epidurals! and I'm
feeling great now. Lizzy is doing well. She sure sleeps a lot and
her squeeks are really cute. Henry likes her lots and keeps exclaiming "she's so cute!" He was most amazed by her fingers "those are so little!" and jumps when she squeeks.

Look how little she is!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

the belly

There's been some requests for pictures of my tummy. Here it is. It's huge!

This picture is from our trip to the zoo on Saturday. Since my OB told me "you could go any day now" on Wednesday we've been upping my physical activity in the hope that it will induce this little girl to make an appearance. So far, nothing. But we're working on the flagstone patio this afternoon and going out for Thai food. If that doesn't work, I'll just have to be patient for another week or so I guess.

Our spelunker

One of our favorite things about our house is the network of trails behind it. If you walk about3/4 mile up the path and cross the street by the elementary school you'll find even more trails and one of them leads to a..... BEAR CAVE! Okay, no bears have ever been seen there, but it is called the bear cave to give it a more exciting feel. Well, cousin Malachi and Uncle Brent discovered a small cave within the bear cave and Henry is now hooked on spelunking. Here his is decked out in his spelunking gear.

Notice the serious expression. Appropriate for a kid who is going into a cave that is only 5 feet tall and who knows how deep. Luckily for mama's fears he is only up to about 3 minutes of exploration at a time.

Oh, and Henry also talks about the little spelunker in my belly-- his little sister. :)

Christmas-- the condensed version

To help get this blog up to date here's the quick version of Christmas. With Grandma and Grandpa Dunn in town we had lots of fun. We spent Christmas Eve morning mini golfing. It was gorgeous weather-- notice the sandals and T shirts, don't notice how my tummy looks like a beach ball. And to preserve grandpa's dignity I won't post the video of him falling into one of the water features. At least it was a warm day. And in a Christmas Eve miracle we all ended up with the exact same score!

Christmas Eve night the parents went to Alec and Dixie's to have their time with them. We all gathered for a delicious meal of soup (thanks Dixie!) and read the nativity story. Henry and H were more interested in the flashlights though. Then we headed home to get things ready for Santa. Henry went right to sleep-- I was sure he'd try and sneak down but he went right to bed and didn't wake till his normal time. Watching him come down stairs was adorable. To everything he said "it's just what I've always wanted!" He dumped out everyone's stockings to make sure that we noticed all the great stuff we got. It ended up being a bit of a wii Christmas for us. Henry got a Diego wii game from Santa, Dell got Boom Blox wii from Santa, Henry gave me Tetris for the wii (0h so fun, I play almost every night!), and then Uncle Dave and Auntie Margaret became the king and queen of Christmas with their gift of Lego Stars Wars. Henry is completely obsessed now. And it's hilarious! Henry also got a riding horse, space shuttle toy and a knight castle. Both have been well played with, thought the knights sometimes have hilarious battles.

The day after Christmas the parents had to head home to Utah and my cousin Alan and his family arrived from Houston to spend the night and attend their niece's baptism the next morning (quick explanation-- Alan's wife is Holly. Holly's brother lives in our ward. Brother's house was already full of family coming for the baptism so we hosted Alan and Holly's family, plus Holly's sister.) And Alan and Holly play settlers so we had a great time with them. Come back anytime Alan and Holly!

Then the night that Alan and Holly left Dell's brother Brent and his family rolled into town. (Though their family of 7 stayed with Alec and Dixie so our house felt a little empty.) Now Brent and Shauna are some of the most FUN people I know. So you know we had a blast. For pictures of the spray whipped cream, marshmallow and pudding fight check out my sister-in-law Dixie's blog (see link on the side). We also went to Sea World. I love the dolphin show!

Here's all the cousins outside of sea world. My sweet little boy picked a pansy for me to wear in my hair. Have to teach him that bringing his mother flowers is wonderful, but we shouldn't pick them from other's yards. Oh well. It was fun to have a yellow pansy in my hair for a bit.

Henry was about 1/2 an inch too short for every ride by this one. Can you see the smile on his face? Henry had always professed to be afraid of rollercoasters (though facinated by them as well) but he loved this Shamu one. Hopefully next time we go he'll be an inch taller and we can go on more rides together.

Highlights from Sea World include:
  • The man that tried to park his family right in the middle of 20 Dunns at the dolphin show-- he was upset that we were saving seats but since we'd been hanging out for 30 minutes and there were plenty of seats elsewhere we weren't feeling too sympathetic.
  • Auntie Shauna dancing her heart out and singing to every song before the Shamu show-- and it got her and Aerie up on the big screen.
  • All the cousins playing in the giant sandbox together.
  • Watching Henry on the roller coaster
  • Henry and the map. That kid loves maps.
  • Watching my niece Sally while everyone else was off adventuring. I think we played with a rockI drew a face on for 20 minutes. It was great fun.
  • Being with Dell. Thank you to the kind radiologist that let him off early that day.
  • Having so many Dunns together and watching how well the cousins play together.
  • Getting to chat with my dear sister-in-laws. I have the best sister-in-laws in the world!
So that's our Christmas in a nutshell. Ya'll are invited next year. Let me tell you, Texas Christmases may not be white, but 70 degree weather and blue skies seems a fair tradeoff. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We made this new salad a few times recently and it turned out really well. I wrote up the recipe for Anna's mom and figured I'd post it for anyone interested.

I found a warmed (wilted) spinach salad recipe online for the sauce, I added the walnuts, feta and apples.

Ingredients:
-As much spinach as you want to eat...there ends up being a kind of filling, large, non-spinach component, but it does shrink with the wilting.
- Onion
-Bacon (if unavailable, could just use oil, with bacon bits...oil in the sauce and blue cheese sprinkled on top would also work)
-Garlic (1 fresh crushed or 1/2 tbsp of the jar stuff)
-Brown sugar
-Cider vinegar (others would be fine too)
-Walnuts
-Apple, cranberries be a good substitute/addition
-Feta cheese, swiss might work too
-Salt
-Pepper

1. Get spinach out...should be at least room temp before final steps. Did this the 1st time and not the second and there was a difference in outcome.
2. Cook up 3-7 strips of bacon to extra crisp in a decent sized frying pan.
3. While bacon cooks, mince 1/4-1/2 onion depending on salad size...red onion might be nice, haven't tried it yet. Crush 1/4-3/4 cup walnuts (I just squeeze them in my hands) and cut one large or 2 small apples into 1-2cm size chunks.
4. Grab the bacon strips out, crush (hands again) and set aside, leave the fat in the pan, it's the oil and flavor for the sauce. Supplement with 1-2 tbsp olive oil if not enough.
5. Throw the minced onion in and cook, when almost done cooking onion add garlic for 20-30 sec
6. Then add 1-2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, some pepper, and 2 tbsp cider vinegar (you can make this in a cup while onions cook)
7. While sauce heats up, put feta on spinach. Once sauce is fully heated (bubbly) pour over spinach/feta in serving bowl then mix to coat and wilt all the spinach. (you could microwave fridge stored sauce, but I think warming in a saucepan is better)
8. I think salads are best served individually, so I put portions on plates then generously sprinkle the apple chunks, crushed walnuts and bacon over the top. Looks really pretty on the plate, a few cranberries also fit the color scheme well. It works fine to mix everthing, the chunks tend to get unevenly distributed and the apples yellow though. We ate this with a piece of bread and an orange and it was pretty filling for a main course from all the protein. The first time I also had some Frozen Foreman-ed Chicken with just one of those flavor sprinkles on it that also went well with it.

Enjoy! Happy new year.

This is a similar recipe that sounds good. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/warm-spinach-salad-roasted-pecan-bacon-dressing-with-goat-cheese-recipe/reviews/index.html