Friday, January 30, 2009

Toys We Can Live Without

If anyone out there is particular about their kids' toys you might enjoy this little link I found from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. Its a real yet sarcastic look at some new toys that are just a bit over the top.

While I am on the topic, which I have never really written anything about yet... hmmm I might just have a blog post coming up, I thought you would also enjoy this little Wii Fit Parody I found on YouTube. Like they said who needs their kids to go out and play when they can stand in front of a TV all day. Oh what joy. Dear Lord!

Wii Fit Parody

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

My daughter can finally jump off of both feet! Jumping off of both feet is a huge physical developmental achievement. Now I know all of you who have boys are thinking, "my son was jumping off his feet before he was walking". Yeah well girls are different and my little girl has been working on this one for a long time. Jumping off two feet and actually getting air is seriously the last of the gross motor skills, I mean what else is there after jumping? I feel like next week she may be riding a bike, reading, or leaving for college. All of this growing up has me wanting my baby back.

Let me just announce now that I am pregnant. I think we are about 8 weeks along in this 9 month journey. We are hoping to hear the heartbeat next week when we meet up with our midwifes.

The funny thing about being pregnant is the way it makes me feel towards Marin. I feel more attached and in love with her than ever before. I believe part of these feelings are because I'm a hormonal prego. The other driving force is probably the realization that her world is going to change and there is nothing she can do about it (and I know what its like to have people make choices that have affected me, but I had no say in those choices and how they affected my life-positive or negative). As much as I know we will love this baby, and as excited as Marin thinks she is (she's very convinced that she will be nursing the baby herself), our new baby will be another wonderful human living in our house who needs attention, love, nursed, and all of those other things people want and need. All of this will be time that Marin will be splitting with the baby, not having it all to her self.

I have also realized that my automatic thoughts about the baby are still Marin-centered. For example, "What gender sibling will Marin have" not "This little baby will have a big sister" or "I wonder if we are having a girl or a boy?"

When we found out we were pregnant with Marin we were so excited, but we also went through the realization that it was the end of just us two and that we would be changing our family dynamic. We are also very excited about this baby and cannot wait to welcome him or her into our lives, and to be welcomed into his or her life. But the reality is that mid-September our little family of three is going to change to a little bit bigger family of four. This is very exciting, and yet I have seen enough people welcome a second baby into their home to know that amongst the joy of life there is still adjustment, "a good adjustment, but still an adjustment" as one of my friends kindly said.

Well for now the lady living under our apartment is getting adjusted to Marin's new jumping development, and we will look forward to embracing the new baby adjustment.

OK sorry its sideways but I don't know how to turn uploaded pictures. I'll look for a new jumping picture soon!

Friday, January 2, 2009

This American Life--Vaccinations episode

Many of you know I have chosen a delayed schedule of vaccinations with my daughter. I still am doing them, but I have chosen to go slow with them and am using some European schedules, some Canadian schedules and my daughter's doctor's guidence. That is all explained in my post on vaccinations here. Over the holiday we were listening to This American Life on Public Radio International (which is one of my very favorite shows ever and I catch every pod cast too), anyways they did an episode on a family that chose to not vaccinate (and then chose to go overseas) and their child caught measles. This is not your regular media propaganda telling us that those unvaccinated children are damned or at least damming everyone else, the journalist actually understands the reasons people choose to not vaccinate. While it is still not complete in telling about those of us who do vaccinate just at a different pace, it is a very interesting story on what happens when people get scared, and those of use who's children are not fully protected by a vaccination travel out of a country that has not eradicated a specific disease. And mostly its very interesting to hear parents on both sides voice their opinions.

Just to be a story spoiler, everything turns out just fine. And to be clear, I do plan to have my child vaccinated completely at some point (minus just a few that don't really mean anything), and I do believe in public health/safety. Please read my post on vaccinations at some point if this is a topic that concerns you. until then try to catch this episode on This American Life the vaccination episode.

Christmas Granola

For the past two Christmas' I have made this recipe for granola. It makes great gifts. I save my glass jars (recycled from sauces and stuff like that) all year and then fill them up with the granola and tie nice ribbons around the tops (unlike in this boring picture). So why am I telling you about it now, after the holidays are over? Well I want to give you a chance to start saving your glass jars for next year :) and its a yummy all year (and I have had a few requests for the recipe). Like most things I make I hardly follow a recipe, I just add what I like (extra chocolate chips and cherries) and tweak it a bit each time I make it. So here is what I have this year (I actually do follow a basic recipe)

Holli's Christmas Granola---that her husband wishes she would make all year

4 cups uncooked oats (you can use slow cook or quick, but not Irish cut)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup shopped pecans (I break them up, I don't like all the little tiny pieces from chopping)
1/4 cup honey (+ more for first round of baking..I'll explain in a moment)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup + 1 Tbs melted butter
2 tsp grated orange peel (Todd doesn't like this part so I sometimes leave it out to be nice)
1 tsp vanilla (if you like vanilla a lot you can add more, sometimes I do)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs brown sugar
6 ozs dried cherries
Chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Combine first 10 ingredients (everything but cherries and chocolate)
2. Mix well
3. Spread evenly in 9x13 (it will be deep but this will keep it from burning) Make sure the edges all the way around are just as think as the center, your edges will get the brownest!
4. press mixture down with back of flat spatula and then drizzle some honey over the top, this does not have to be a lot
5. Bake for 10 minutes four times, each time pulling the granola out and mixing it around, do this four times (40 minutes) the last time including the cherries and chocolate. After you remove it the final time, let it sit and cool.

Sometimes when I take it out after it has cooked for 40 minutes I press it together firmly with the back of the flat spatula and then let it cool completely, this makes big chunks of granola.

Sometimes I make shavings of chocolate with my cheese grater and sprinkle this over it and the still add the chocolate chips in the last round of baking (this is for those days you just need the extra chocolate in your life)

You can and other yummy things like craisins, and other nuts.

I hope you enjoy it!