Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 By the Books

Thanks to GoodReads here are the books I read this year. Almost all of them were checked out from my local public library - either on ebook or audiobook.I feel like there are some that aren't on the list but I can't remember...I wish Overdrive (much preferred to kindle for the iPad) or the library kept track of the books you have checked out. There were 22 in total - much less than 2013's 67 - but I guess not too shabby considering I had an infant for 11 months out of the year.

My favorite fiction book was Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things. I don't remember loving it as I was reading it, but it was full of surprises, and elements of the story really stuck with me.

My top five non fiction books:
All Joy and No Fun By Jennifer Senior - very thoughtful and unexpected book, well researched and not the typical overworked-mom-trying-to-do-it-all narrative

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel - lots of interesting stuff here, a good blend of neuroscience, psychology and

Navigating the Path to Industry by M.R. Nelson - a short ebook by a blogger I really like, an excellent guide for a job search

Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett - with a subtitle of Seven natural laws for nursing mothers, this was not a book I expected to like, but this is excellent, science-based, not preachy or biased. or maybe its just biased in the right way, but I will recommend this & only this to friends.

The Sports Gene by David Epstein - Its amazing what the human body can do. This book hit my popular science trifecta - fascinating subject, solidly researched, and excellent writing. This was great and I don't even like sports.

I've set a goal of 52 books again for 2015 - you can follow along with my progress at GoodReads.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fall color

Amazing for this part of the world, we actually have lots of fall color this year. Not sure what the cause is - maybe the hard freeze we had a few weeks ago? Driving around, the hills are red, orange and yellow interspersed with dark green junipers. Lovely. Even the crepe myrtles are an intense red and orange.

Here's some of our fall color I captured walking in the neighborhood. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Baby days

I love how milestones (age and sequence) seem to be so reflective of a baby's personality. H is very verbal and totally into her fine motor skills.

She sat unassisted at 5 months, and did some backwards army crawl at 7 months but was pretty uninterested in trying anything else. She'd sit happily for long periods (45 min!) and play with whatever was in reach. & even though she had been able to roll for months, she was happy to stay where you left her. 

However, last Friday (at 9.75 months) she finally put it all together and did her first all 4s crawling, went from sit to crawl and back to sit, bear crawled and pulled up. She did it all in sequence as if she had been practicing for weeks. 

So interesting to see her mellow, cautious, observant personality come through! According to my baby book, at this age I had been crawling for 4 months and had been walking for a month. 

H very deliberately crawls over to the books and pulls specific ones out to read - always the board books - Pat the bunny, Goodnight Moon and this touch and feel book are the ones she chooses the most. So cool!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tasty bran muffins

This recipe is a bit of an invention/adaptation. Here it is so I don't forget. I typically store 1/2 the batch in the fridge & the rest in the freezer. Microwave a couple for 20 seconds for an easy breakfast. 

Preheat oven to 400 and line muffin tins. Makes 24 muffins. 

5 c all bran cereal
2.5 c milk or buttermilk

Combine and let sit while measuring out the rest of your ingredients. 
1/2 stick butter melted (4 T)
2 ripe bananas mashed 
2 eggs beaten
1 T vanilla

1/2 c sugar
2 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 T cinnamon

1 to 2 c chopped fruit or nuts 

Thoroughly mix all ingredients and spoon into muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes. 

For fruit or nuts I like blueberries (fresh or frozen), chopped apple, dried cranberries or apricots, pecans. I made this batch with a bag of fresh cranberries which were excellent. You can also substitute canned pumpkin for the mashed banana. Yum. 

Here's the nutrition info for the recipe made with 2 c fruit added.