Friday, February 27, 2009

Vocabulary

Luke is expanding his vocabulary:
video

Notice also the cute little curl... that makes me smile :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

6 months old!

Today our little guy turned 6 months old. It is amazing how this little baby has changed our lives.

A few cute stories:

1. My favorite times with Luke are right after his naps. He wakes up and begins making all sorts of noises- goos, gahs, ba-ba-bas, etc. When I come into his room, he is usually in the top left corner of his crib sucking on his blanket. He flashes a big smile when I come to get him.
Then we sit in the rocking chair for a bit and play with his feet and look out the window. Lately he has wanted to stand up as I rock- maybe he will be a surfer. :)

2. Luke loves his bath. He loves playing in the water, so much that Nathan has to hold him so that he doesn't dunk his head in. He especially loves when we squeeze water from the washcloth and will lift his hands and feet to feel it dribble down.

3. Our little guy loves peek-a-boo. He plays it with us even when we do not realize that we are playing. For instance, in my exercise routine, I do some sit ups. One day, Luke began to laugh each time I sat up.

Some pictures:





Monday, February 23, 2009

Walking

No, Luke is not yet walking on his own. However, he does love to stand up and walk if we hold him. We took this video last night:

video

Sorry that the video is on its side. :|

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Perfected Granola Bar Recipe

I have made several variations of this recipe over the past few months, and here is my favorite.

Toast in the oven at 350 until browned.:
2 c quick oatmeal
1/2 c almond meal (only 3.99 a lb at Trader Joes)
2 T. sunflower seeds

Meanwhile, heat the following ingredients on low in a large sauce pan:

1/4 c honey
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c brown sugar
3 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
2 T. vanilla or almond extract

The mixture should be bubbly, but don't let it burn.

Turn off stovetop heat. Add toasted oats and nut mixture to the liquids. Also add 1 c. dried fruit of your choice (I like a mix of craisins and raisins), and 2 T protein or flax powder (optional). Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well coated.

Place into a greased 9x9 inch pan. Makes 12-16 bars.

These taste great, have lots of protein and good for you stuff in them. They make a good breakfast, or a good snack after exercising.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wiierd

Nathan just made us Wii people.

My dad came down today and brought Nathan a Nintendo Wii (past Christmas and birthday gift).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Need Help- Car Seat Recommendations

Luke is very quickly outgrowing his infant car seat (I have 1 and 1/2 lbs left in this one!), so I need to find a new one that he can grow into. I have heard that Britax and Sunshine Kids car seats are the best. My problem is that they are $250-300, which seems like a lot!

Maybe I need a reality check and I just need to fork over the money, but I was wondering if there were any other options. I have looked at countless Graco, Safety 1st, and Evenflo car seats, which are $60-110, but they have such mixed reviews. Some people love them, some hate them. Some people say that they are very safe, others not so much.

My bottom line: I want a safe car seat that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. If that is not possible, I will buy the expensive one.

Any ideas?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain, rain, go away
Come again some other day
Grammy and Papa want to play
But the storm keeps them away.

Rain, rain, go away
Rain that keeps our family at bay
We need the rain the experts say
Still, rain, rain, go away.

I compose a poem for this stormy day and how it ruined our plans. :( We miss you Grammy and Papa, but we will see you soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine


Luke got this valentine from a little boy at church (the same one who asked me while I was pregnant if he had hatched ). He then chewed up the Valentine- I think that means that he liked it. :)

In Honor of the Upcoming Feast Day

Below is an account of the original St. Valantine. Usually, I help to put on a Valentine's dinner at our Church and we read this as a meditation. I realized this year that all I could remember about the saint was that he was a martyr and that he wrote letters from prison and signed them "From your Valentine." It is a good thing that the feast comes around again every year- maybe in a few decades I will be able to remember more of each saint's life.

St Valentine:

Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to he memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their goddess Februata Juno, on the fifteenth of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.

The Origin of St. Valentine

The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. One opinion is that he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Other historians hold that St. Valentine was a temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of Claudius. Whoever he was, Valentine really existed because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.

The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].

Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."

St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Family Car

Well, off and on for the past few years (yes, years), we have been trying to sell our truck and buy a second sedan. Various things happened along the way. Some of you might remember that we bought a very used BMW, but that did not truly fit the bill. The truck never sold because the gas prices kept rising and people did not want a truck that got 18-20 mpg. They offered us really low (really low!), and we decided against selling it. Also we were both so busy with work, that we just decided it wasn't worth the hassle of selling.

Later, after having Luke and discovering that his car seat barely fits in my car, we thought of buying something from a dealer and just trading the truck in. When we saw new car prices, we thought the better of this idea, and resolved to just keep the truck and the carolla.

So now to today, or rather, Monday. I saw an ad for a 2002 Toyota Avalon XLS at a very reasonable price. We drove out and test drove it, and loved it. It is the top of the line for the Toyota brand- complete with leather seats, power everything, a back seat that could fit 3 adults or three car seats, 20-27 mpg, and a trunk that you could fit a small family (or Luke's large stroller) in. It has also been impecably maintained.

So, we bought it, and are picking it up tomorrow night. Here are the pictures:

Also, if anyone is interested in a well-maintained 2004 Ford Ranger Edge with a cap on the truck bed and only 40K miles, let me know. We are willing to deal!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Butternut Squash and Bath

Last night Luke tried some butternut squash. See video below:


And here he is after his bath (it got pretty messy when he got a hold of the spoon, and when he made some raspberries and sent the squash flying):


video

Friday, February 6, 2009

So Delicious- Thai Coconut Soup

Ok, so this is a little bit unusual. I an not much of a Thai eater, but I bought a can of light coconut milk from Trader Joes a while back, and I was itching to try it out. The soup is very rich, even using light coconut instead of the regular. Also, this recipe is vegan so if you are looking for good Lenten recipes (I can't believe that it is coming so soon, where has the Epiphany season gone!), then this will work. I am gathering up recipes and will post more throughout Lent.

To make it easier, you can buy canned butternut squash and use that in place of the whole squash. I served it with some rolls, but people who actually know Thai food could probably suggest somehting better. :)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan and cook the onion until soft.
  2. Add the stock, butternut squash and curry powder to taste- as spicy as you like!
  3. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer until the squash is tender.
  4. Once the squash is cooked, stir in the coconut milk.
  5. If desired, pour into a food process/liquidiser and blend until smooth.
  6. Return to the pan and warm through.
  7. Season to taste and serve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Short Thoughts

I keep wanting to blog, but haven't had the time to think about any one thing for very long. Here are some short clips:

1. I like Dr. Seuss. Luke likes Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss is brilliant and certainly written to be read aloud.

2. I threaded my sewing machine for the first time today. If I get a chance, I hope to have a simple project finished soon. Nathan is excited- I can mend some clothes for him.

3. I have a love-hate relationship with coupons. My brain is already so scattered, that I just want to go somewhere with good produce and good prices. On the other hand, I lie getting stuff for free when I double my coupons at Ralphs.

4. Luke is finally tolerating his stroller well enough to go further than a block away.

5. On Saturday, Luke and I visited a running expo with our friend Laurel. I enjoyed it a lot and I think that we will look into walking a 10k soon. Also, I am going to try to participate in the Walk-4-Life event with the Whittier Pregnancy Care Clinic next month.

6. It was hard to leave KPMG.

7. I made some new granola bars that I like better in some ways, and less in others than my standard "power granola bars." I'll post when I have fiddles with the recipe enough to like the new ones.

8. Luke hates tummy time, but he is developing a flat spot on the back of his head from laying on his back so much. I am making him do more tummy time. He likes it when there are other babies around- yay for playgroup!

9. I am reading a book on St. Dimitri Klepinin who was canonized in 2004. He lived during WWII and helped save many people's lives. There were lots of saints from that era.

10. I am looking forward to this weekend. Nathan and I are going to the Temecula Wine Country for Saturday afternoon sans baby. That will be nice.