Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Addison's Birth Day Book

Shutterfly was giving away 20-page hard covered photo books so I hurried and made one from the day of Addison's birth. I haven't decided what company I like best, but I am leaning towards blurb for price reasons. I haven't been ambitious enough to make our family book - nor decided the best way to do it because we have thousands of pictures from the past year.

So for now, 20 free pages and a preserved and cherished memory is good for me.

Click here to view this photo book larger

If you have any suggestions about making a family book I would love to hear them...Do you make one for each child? Do you make the book by year? By event? How do you pick what to put in the book when you are a prolific blogger? Thoughts?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Great Day to Win $1000

Today was my work party. They have one in the summer for the whole family and the one at Christmas for just me and Oliver. Addison got to ride on this huge shark blow-up slide with her dad. And she got to sit in the cow train, but she isn't quite big enough to be pulled by the tractor this year - she will be next year! She also got to have some of her first snow cone and pick up other kids cotton candy off the ground.

At the end of the party the company always draws door prize winners. We have been to three summer parties and four Christmas parties and never won. They typically draw anywhere from 7 - 12 gift cards and prizes. $100, $250, $500, Lowes, Costco, Visa gift cards, flat screen TVs, car DVD players, etc., etc., etc.

As we were getting ready to go today Oliver said that this is the last time we are going if we don't win.

Well - his ultimatum paid off - I WAS THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF $1000!

Yep - it was definitely the highlight of my day! AWESOME.

Oliver thought we should buy mulch...not happening.

We are considering furniture for our living room, a new laptop, or something that is super fun that we normally wouldn't buy like a lawn mower. I know - big dreamers huh? Feel free to give your vote for what we should buy. (When my friend Kirsten teaches how to put polls on the blog then I'll post one so you can all vote!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't Help Me

The stage of life titled "Don't Help Me" has begun for the little miss. This is probably a phase she will enjoy and push against for the rest of her life...I know I still do.

Currently, it is all centered around feeding. She has decided she isn't interested in being spoon fed, she can do it all herself. I am not in love with this messy food stage so much - but I'm sure there is plenty for her to learn and so I just keep changing her clothes, wiping her face, and being content that she is never totally clean (maybe not content but resigned for sure).

where'd the peaches go?

Usually more food ends up in her lap, on her face, in her hair and on the floor than in her mouth - but she sure isn't starving so it's probably okay. Like all phases...this one too will pass and then I'll probably miss it.

For now, we'll continue to be resigned.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maybe Unsafe

I leave for work between 6:40 and 7 am. Today was no different.

Addison is getting heavy and we leave her bucket car seat in the car and usually just carry her around instead.

The car seat was in the car I drove to work this morning.

Oliver was home and needed to drop Addison at the sitter but had no car seat for her.

Oliver called my cell phone which I am in the habit of never answering and this morning was no different.

Oliver was left to problem solve on his own.

* Did he install her new car seat forward facing and just decide to turn her around too early?
* Did he put her in the bike trailer and bike her barely over a mile to the sitter?
* Did he put her in her stroller and walk for less than 15 minutes to get her there?
* Did he put pillows and blankets in the front seat and strap her in and figure it just wasn't that far and at least he could grab her to keep her from falling over?

Lest we incriminate ourselves or present ourselves as bad parents I will just let you decide.

But I will give you a little hint, a mother's worst nightmare would be your best guess in this case.

Monday, June 13, 2011

South Jordan Park Tour - Stop 1

Ascot Downs Park - 10200 South 4150 West - 4 Stars

Jolene and I have decided to do a Tuesday Park Tour of every South Jordan City Park. We are then planning to review them and let you know how we feel about the park, cleanliness and amenities. Because I work in the morning we are doing our park review at 4 pm and will decide if it is a good afternoon park - it might be great in the morning but that just doesn't fit with my work schedule. Please also keep in mind that we are considering the park greatness based on a 10 month old, an 18 month old and a bun in the oven.

We started last week by visiting Ascot Downs Park. Although it isn't that close to our home, it has some great features. The play equipment was shaded at 4 pm in the afternoon, the water fountain had cold drinking water, it was clean and there was a covered eating spot. We saw one other mom with two little boys while we were there so it was nice that it wasn't covered. The only downside for me was that there were no swings...while Sam isn't such a big fan, Addison loves them and that would have made it a 5 star park for us! The park also had a large grassy play area that had a nice beginner sledding hill - just something for Jolene and I to remember come winter time...

Without further ado, here are the pics from park tour trip 1.

If I didn't mention, Addison was thrilled to be able to pull herself up on some of the equipment and she doesn't mind crawling through bark chips. She put one in her mouth and then spit it out when it didn't taste great. Because she has the mind of a ten month old, she proceeded to try another 25+ bark chips in hopes of finding one that tasted differently. She could not be convinced that they all tasted the same!

Another honorable mention to Ms. Addison - she slid down the slide by herself for the first time and was able to stay upright. They had three slides to choose from: spiral, big kid steep with bump and side-by-side toddler. The side-by-side toddler slide was the sure winner for us!

Stay tuned for Tours 2 - 15!

Amazing Deuter Kid Comfort

We bought a hiking pack for Addison and it is AWESOME! Up until now we have carried her in the Baby Bjorn and the sling, but she is big enough that we needed something different for this summer. I have tried to take pictures of me carrying her in it, but just need to get Oliver to take them. Here is what it looks like empty...

We have broken it in for several different things: mowing the lawn, cleaning the church, cooking dinner, and hiking. We went on a hiking adventure up Butterfield Canyon - but the camera battery was DEAD - yes that's my nightmare! I try to remember that life is more about having lasting memories then documenting every detail of life on film, but I just can't grasp that very well.

We did a lot of research and like the Deuter Kid Comfort II the best because it has it's own hydration pack and a pouch big enough the carry all the baby stuff needed (the other person carries the lunches). The pocket is big enough for diapers/wipes/baby jacket/snacks/etc. We also purchased the sun/rain shade thing and like it better than some models because it cinches down instead of having four posts. If you've done much research into kid carriers you have realized that it is a total racket! Holy expensive!

After searching the web/ebay/craigs list/etc I found that I couldn't save much money buying anywhere other than REI. We are loyal to REI because they take things back after years if it's not working. For instance, they took back my chacos when the straps broke after having worn them for 3 years - they prorated my refund and I got a little money back to buy new ones (I wish chaco would make church shoes and then I wouldn't need anything else - my life has been bliss since they came out with a winter shoe!). They have the best return policy and if you are going to invest a lot of money on something then I want to know that I can try it and still return it if I hate it! Costco and REI have the best return policies - hands down - but that is not the point of this post :)

The cheapest way to get the pack we did is wait for a 20% off coupon to REI and apply last years dividend :) It made it slightly more affordable. The best part is that Addison loves to be in it! She can see the world and at least her little chunkiness is better distributed...

Let's just not focus on how my legs felt like jelly after hiking straight up-hill for about a mile...I then passed her to her dad because either she is a little chunk or I'm out of shape...drawing a conclusion isn't necessary - thanks though.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Books and Vacuum

After mastering the table and chairs she sailed right on by to discover the vacuum. She was up-down-around-over. It kept her interest for less than a minute before she remembered the excitement of the book shelf. She pulled her books off one at a time and threw them on the floor. Apparently, she found what she was looking for, because she settled down to read Pat the Bunny for maybe 90 seconds. After her fun story it was back to the captivating vacuum.

It's just so fun to be a little busy-body!

What I find to be so fun is that she only pulls her books off the shelf and her toys out of their buckets. She doesn't touch our CDs, our books, or any of the piano music that is in our basket. I don't know why she has such a focused interest on what is hers but I appreciate her respecting other people's belongings...it might be too good to last long but right now we love it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Table and Chairs

Addison is crawling all over now and hasn't quite figured out how her body aligns to her surroundings. She is constantly crawling around and under things. She is fascinated by the table and chairs in our kitchen and can't quite understand why her head doesn't clear the chair railing when her eyes are clearly low enough for total clearance. She'll butt her head into the chair over and over trying to master the spatial relation.

After several attempts she makes it under the rung and into the middle of the chair...but then she can't seem to get up because there is something over her head. Back to the floor and more head butting until she finally escapes the chair puzzle and crawls away to explore something else!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 Months

Addison is 10 months old. She weighs 22.4 pounds and is still 28" tall. She got her 8th tooth on May 19th and her first molar is just about ready to come in. She started to play peek-a-boo and will hold up her burp cloth or blanket in front of her face and when you ask "Where's Addison" she gleefully shows her face. She thinks it's the best game!

She started clapping her hands today! What a great 10 month accomplishment. She is starting to be a good crawler but still loves to walk while you're holding her hands. She doesn't fuss as much when she is getting changed but she doesn't have patience for a long drawn out ordeal. One very exciting thing is that she has said her first word...she said "Hi" on June 2nd and will say is to everyone she encounters. She is the hit of every public appearance and people find her to be enchanting and darling. She loves to empty her toy buckets and her book shelf but she doesn't venture into other things around the house yet. She hasn't started opening drawers or pulling any of our things off of shelves.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Garden

Oliver and I have never tried to grow anything except flowers and tomatoes.  We have this weird courtyard area in front of our house that isn't good for anything...until you read a gardening book that lists all kinds of veggies that need full sun to grow!  Well, we now have a use for our courtyard and a few Saturdays ago I started a bunch of seed.  I am trying the square-foot gardening method and loved the book which explained how it all works.  It took me less than a day to read the whole book cover to cover!  

It has charts about when to start your seeds and how far apart to plant them, etc, etc.  After reading the book I decided I'm not going to try for master gardener this year, I'm just planting.  So I started everything, but our tomato, from seed and all on the same day.  We'll see how it goes.  

We planted cantaloupe, snap peas, tomato, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, basil, carrots, red pepper, corn and potatoes in our 4x4 garden raised garden. 
The trellis allows us to grow more stuff because the melon, tomatoes, and peas are growing upward instead of spreading all over.
Since our initial planting we have also decided to try pot gardens for zucchini, yellow squash, honey dew melon, lavender, and dill.  We refinished/rebuilt our old garden table thing and I'll post updates of that too (it did not keep the perfect color despite our staining efforts).  Then we just kept going and planted some pumpkins in back. 

This year is the experimental year to see what works and what will grow where.  We aren't about canning, bottling, preserving, feeding our whole family for the summer or anything else right now - it was just a $10 seed investment and generous friend's donation of the square foot garden.  I didn't want to start seeds indoor, stagger plant to prolong my harvest, or any of that kind of thing.  Depending on how it all goes, we'll just keep increasing our gardening skill year after year.  This year is just about getting something in the ground and seeing if it will take root!  Stay tuned for more pics!

PS Since planting two weeks ago the broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and corn have all sprouted so it might just work!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Self-Taught Seamstress

I have been following Utah County Mom and she posted a tutorial how to make a ruffle dress. She made it look so simple and so I decided to give it a try. Jessica draws her own patterns from her daughters existing clothes that fit. I read the tutorial, knew I had a friend that was a good seamstress, and decided to give it a try. Well, it wasn't as easy as it looks, that might be because I have never sewed anything but straight lines (remember these) but it turned out cute when you don't look too closely.

Without further ado, here is Addison in her ruffle dress. I made it plenty big so that hopefully she can wear it through the summer.
And no, I couldn't seem to get a great picture of her it in for you to see how it looks. But it has little lace cap sleeves and a button in back.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family Pics

One of the benefits of Taylor and Emily getting married is that their photographer took family pictures of our little family for FREE!  Emily was nice enough to send us a disk with the pictures from their wedding.  I'm having some of them printed and hung in our house!  Here are just a few of the ones I love...

I wish I could get this one in color and then make it black and white myself and just leave her dress pink...I can't photoshop an already black and white pic :(

There aren't any pics of just Addison and Oliver - but I take those at home all the time - it is nice to finally have some good pics of me with the baby girl...who isn't much of a baby girls anymore...
Thanks for getting married!  We're glad to reap the benefits of you choosing a great photographer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Model Baby

The photography studio that we go to was asking for volunteer models to train their new photographers.  The warned that we wouldn't get anything spectacular but the promise was that we could have $10 off our next photo shoot and three free sheets.  Needless to say, since I am all about saving, I jumped on the chance.  I have done little things over the past several months and will be getting $40 off our August shoot and a bunch of free pics!  GO FREE.
Anyway, here are some of the result of our impromptu model baby...

If you want to see the rest...www.myfotofly.com 20119Hansen.