Sunday, February 28, 2010

She still looks like a baby...

Nine months old and she still looks like a baby, but she doesn't really act like one.  She is really walking now, but not 100% of the time.  She still crawls a lot, but she can walk across an entire room.  She "talks" a lot too, but just babylish.  No real words yet. 

Allie still adores her sister and wants to do everything she does.  It is kind of hard taking her places because she wants to paint, glue, draw, and do crafts just like Selena.  She is continuing to perfect what Floyd has dubbed the "baby death roll" which is a complete lunge out of your arms.  I am amazed I haven't dropped her.  She almost always uses the baby death roll to jump out of your arms when you are trying to carry her up stairs.  She would much rather do it herself, while giggling enthusiastically.  I also have taught her to go down stairs feet first and on her tummy.  Smart baby that she is she has adapted the technique to getting off the couch and bed (don't worry I am always right there) as well.   She also utilizes the death roll while you are trying to dress her.  It is very difficult to dress a child who is flailing around like a fish out of water.

She loves giving me baby slobber kisses.  She'll crawl into my lap, grab my head, and plant big kisses right on my lips.  Sometimes she gets a little carried away and starts using her brand new 4 teeth.  That hurts! ;)

She is pretty much down to two naps, and sometimes even just one.  She has also been going to bed early and getting up early.  It is kind of annoying because Selena is definitely a late to bed late to riser, and Allie is an early to bed early to riser.  So I get to go to bed late and get up early.  When Selena was younger sometimes I would get jealous of those parents who's baby's went to bed early, but now that I have one I have to admit sometimes it was more convenient that Selena went to bed late.  It wasn't really a problem taking her out for late events.  We did take Allie to a party in memory of my friend Rachel who died a few months ago from ovarian cancer.  Luckily Allie took a late nap the whole way there so she was able to stay up a couple hours later.  She did great.  She let everyone hold her and fuss over her.  But I have discovered that if you take 9 month old babies to memorial services they will spit and make raspberry noises during the prayers.  Selena did the same thing, at the same age, at my Nana's memorial.  Funny babies.

Here are some pictures of Allie.  The weather has been wonderful this winter.   I remember last year around this time I was getting really desperate for some sunshine. You can see the cherry trees starting to bloom in the background.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go Walking!

After reading my post from yesterday I think I am completely cheesy.  Oh well.

Walking is the first new thing I am going to advertise on my blog.  Though running is my preferred form of exercise I admit that it is hard when you first start and there is always the risk for injury.  However walking isn't hard.  It has very low risk for injury and it is miraculous in its benefits.

Health:  Reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer.  Walking lowers your blood sugar, slows aging, prevents colds, prevents insomnia, reduces stress and its ill effects.  See Walking A Miracle Cure.

Mood:  Walking is known to make you feel better and be less grouchy.  It has also been found to reduce symptoms of clinical depression.  Walking in nature makes the effects even greater.  See Mood Altering Exercise.

Environment:  I think purposeful walking is the best kind.  Instead of driving somewhere, walk there.  Park a mile or so away from work and walk the rest of the way.  Save gas. Save carbon monoxide emissions.  Save the environment.  

Cost: Walking is free.  You can do it anywhere and anytime.  You don't need any special equipment.  While a pair of comfortable shoes might be nice they aren't necessary.  You can walk barefooted if you want. Not only is walking free to you, but if everyone walked more billions of dollars would be saved in health care costs.  So you don't need fancy vitamins, expensive gym memberships or exercise equipment, the solution to good health is easy and free!

So go walking as much and as often as you can!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Google Ads are Gone and Being Replace With Ads For the Greater Good

I've taken all the Google Ads off my blog.  I initially put them up in a hope to get a little money from this blog, but the ads are often not pertinent and lots of them are for things that I don't like (ie dieting and weight loss scams or surgery, quick money making schemes, excessive refinancing, unethical baby formula advertising, among others).   I am also trying to reduce my family's consumption of unnecessary things and I am finding this very hard to do with the constant bombardment of advertising I experience every day.  Thus I was feeling very hypocritical.  I rant about how corporations are greedy and do unethical things yet I was supporting unethical things for a few measly pennies that I may never even get to collect due to the fact that Google will not cut you a check until you earn $100. 

I am still going to use the Amazon ads because I specifically create them and choose exactly what product they display.  I only get money from them if you order something after clicking on a link from my blog.  I will try to be  judicious in my use of them, but books are always fair game.  You can never have too many books. ;)

I am also going to replace the Google Ads with ads for things that I believe are beneficial for our society as a whole, but are not widely advertised because the product or activity is not "marketable" (ie. no one can make a lot of money off of it) or the product or activity is cheaper and better all around but cuts into some powerful entities bottom line and thus is the target of anti-advertising.  I got this idea from the site  The site has started an ad campaign for breastfeeding (see the cute ad in the right hand side bar) and I figured why not do the same thing for other things as well.  So in the future feel free to "pirate" any images I create and use them as ads on your own blog.  You can link back to me or wherever you like. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just a little bit left of the twos

Just a few more weeks and Selena turns three.  It truly is crazy how fast your kids grow up.  The last year has been kind of a blur.  Selena is doing great and is just full of funny things she says.  I'm trying hard not to laugh at them right when she says them, because I know she is just emulating what she sees around her and trying to be a big girl. 

Right now she enjoys painting, sending and receiving mail, cooking (ie making up her own recipes to mix together in a bowl), riding her trike, watching Curious George, acting like a cat, wrestling with Allie, swinging really high on the swings, and playing with her toy dogs.  She has mastered climbing the tree in our front yard, swinging from the branch and jumping down.

Some cute Selena moments:

- I moan as she dumps all the socks on the floor that I just put away and she says, "Mom, don't get whiny."
- She tells me, "Allie is the best baby in town."
- We've been enjoying the "Pants on the Ground" song from American Idol and she woke up in the morning and her diaper was falling off and I said that it must be uncomfortable for her and she says in all seriousness, "Maybe that's how people's pants get on the ground."
- She wanted to create a rainbow using a flashlight, paper, and a glass of water like she saw on Curious George and we were having a hard time getting it to work so I said we needed to get her Dad to help since he is the science teacher.  He was sleeping upstairs so she start's yelling, "Mr. Bangerter Dad, Mr. Bangerter Dad."
- One day she tells me, "I'm growing to be a big human and I need big human toys.  Like an Ipod, or a computer, or something else."  I respond, "An Ipod or a computer?"  and she says, "Or something else. Like maybe a big human flashlight."  I say, "I think we'll go with the big human flashlight." and she says, "Ok."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homemade Soup = Pure Luxury

For the past year I've been making various soups from New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation's Best Purveyor of Fine Soup

and have decided that a bowl of homemade soup, with some slices of homemade bread, with homemade ice cream for dessert is the epitome of luxury.

I've probably made at least 20 different soups from this cookbook and almost all of them have turned out good. Generally I don't make homemade stock and just use Swanson free range chicken broth, but lately I've been making homemade stock more often. My favorite recipes are the Cauliflower, Potato, and Cheese Soup and the Sausage Minestrone (couldn't find an online recipe). The soups usually take about an hour and half to make (only about 30 minutes of that is active though)but I think they are worth it. I try to make at least one soup a week and then I put the leftovers in mason jars. Some go in the fridge and some go in the freezer.