Thursday, December 30, 2010

Updates for Sariah

I was told that I needed to update my blog. So here we go.

July: We went to the Larson family reunion. It was a lot of fun. I love camping with my baby girl, even though it's very hard and takes a ton of work to keep her warm, feed and safe. Then JP and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. No, I don't remember what we did. Shh... don't tell him that. I think we had dinner and went to a movie.

August: I went to Panama!! It was incredible and life changing. I know everyone that reads this blog is on Facebook or has someone in their house that has Facebook. So just go on Facebook at look at my pictures there, so I don't have to repost them. You can also look at pictures from Gabrielle's first birthday on there too, you know the ones I said I'd post on this blog, but didn't.

September: School started, ugh. I was president of the campus rep team (disney) and the switched us to an e-presentation school, rather than a live presentation school, bummer and stressful. I taught human dissection, difficult but so much fun. Gabrielle went to daycare, she loves it. (JP's just been working this whole time, hence why no updates on him).

October: School continued, unfortunately.

November: school just kept going on and on and on...

December: School ended! Yeah! I did decent-ish, so little yeah. We had Christmas (mostly) at our home, which I was thrilled about, I even cooked a ham.

Sometime in between July and now, Baby Girl grew up. I think I may have to stop calling her Baby Girl. So I am pondering new names to call her, Child, Girl, Daughter, The Cuteness, Princess, Jelly Belly (going back to what we called her when I was pregnant), Ellie, GL, Gill. I know, I know to quote m husband, "Heaven forbid, you call her by her name." I would continue to call her Baby Girl, but looking at her, I honestly have to admit that I don't always see a baby anymore, just a young, curious toddler.

She's also learned some super cute thing, like giving hugs, kisses and holding hands. I can't decide which one is the best. Her hugs are these full body, I'm going to throw myself at you hugs with her mouth wide open in excitement. Her kisses vary from open mouth slobber to tiny puckered pecks. Sometimes, she'll go "oooh" afterwards. And when she holds hands she tries to interlock fingers. Her vocabulary, both spoken and signing is increasing rapidly. She's also getting into EVERYTHING, and driving me nuts. A couple days ago she pushed our cooler up next to the stove, climbed up and tried to grab things off of the stove, sending me in a whirlwind of panic. She loves reading, she is constantly handing JP and I books to read to her. She's also into clothes, shoes, jewelry and make up. Like really really into them, obsessed. She picked out her own outfit the other day, and told me to put it on her. Apparently being in PJs wasn't good enough for her. I don't know where she gets it from, especially the jewelry. JP is worried that she may turn into a girly-girl, and he's seeing the $$$ mount up. Oh, and one last thing, she loves taking baths. And she's taught herself (yes, with nothing from me) how to blow bubbles, stick her face in the water, stick her ears in the water, lay back in the water, and she even semi-floats.

For me, right now I am starting the application to Med School. Which is horrendously stressful, like nothing you can imagine. Yes, it's a two year process to get into Med School (not counting the undergraduate schooling). Right now I have to go through an Evaluation Committee. So this past semester I've been stressing out of my mind, writing autobiographical sketches and data sheets, finding people to write letters of recommendations, and general stressing out. Not to mention, trying to pick the 13 schools I'll apply too (I'm down to 26) and studying for the notorious MCAT.

There you go, I've updated. 6 months in half an hour, not bad I say.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Baby's One!

My baby girl turned one today. Wow, so here is a little interview about Gabrielle (courtesy of the American Baby Magazine).

Gabrielle Larson Parrish
Cancer, and Year of the Ox :)
One word to describe her:

And a little more about her:
She is a very happy baby, she hardly ever cries excessively and without reason (that's from JP). She is a very social baby, she loves other children, especially babies close to her age (also from JP). However she's a bit rough, I've noticed that girls generally play softer than boys, but she seems to play on the rougher end of the spectrum, so she may be a tomboy (she gets that from me). She is also so curious about the world and so eager to learn about everything. She loves new sights and things, and lately she likes to point at things until I assign tell her what it is repeatedly. (I'm going to claim that last bit was from me.) So to sum up she is: an angel, happy, mild, friendly, rough, and inquisitive.

How many teeth? 
5, with a 6 almost there.

Drinks from cup? 
No! Not at all. It's been a bit hard to try to get her too. I don't think she's ready to give up the bottle yet.

Walking yet? 
Yes!!! As of this week actually. She loves cruising around with her walker, especially her new Pooh Bear walker (thanks Brooke, she has hardly let go of it). And then Tuesday she took her first successful step. And since then she's taken a handful of steps.

Talking yet? 
No. I thought she would speak sooner because she always babbles, but looks like I was wrong. She has a few syllables that she has assigned to things. For instance she gestures to herself and says Bab, very short and determined. A high pitched ba generally means trees. Bae, with drawn out vowels said softly means Pooh Bear. Once upon a time she would say Mum-um when she wanted me to hold her, but sadly that has stopped, as did the kisses.

Favorite thing in the world:
Pooh Bear. She has a stuffed Pooh Bear from the Disney Parks that she loves to pieces. She clings to him, talks to him, and he'll make her smile even when she's crying. I think that she also believes that Pooh Bear is alive from the way she interacts with him. Oh and she nows other Pooh Bears from hers, we've tried showing her Pooh Bears at stores that are similar in size and she doesn't react the same at all.

Favorite Person:
Obviously me. No she loves both her Dad and I, and gets excited to see us both. And we also both fulfill different rolls and she comes to us for different things and interacts with us differently. Outside of us she has attached to my little sister Meg. When she is crying, Meg is the one person that she'll go to be held outside of me and her father.

Favorite food: 
I think her favorite are Gerber's veggie sticks. Carrots or green beans are up there. She also likes mangos, peaches and corn.

Favorite book:
Little Hands Love, it's one of her touch-and-feel books.

Favorite song: 
I don't think she has a favorite but she loves music. She'll dance to it, she loves being sung to and she'll cuddle up to you and sing herself lullabies (so sweet), and it'll help cheer her up or calm her down.

Favorite game:

What makes her laugh?
The above mentioned chasing her, tickling her, Dad throwing her around, peek-a-boo, saying Boo and blowing in her face, other people laughing.

First reaction to new people:
She initially clings to me and doesn't like them to touch her. But generally she'll warm up quickly and start playing with them.

It drives me, Mom, crazy when:
She wiggles and screams so much when I'm changing her diaper or dressing her. It makes it so difficult to get it done.

Cutest thing she does:
Oh she does so many cute things. When she sings herself lullabies, when she puts her hand on her chest and says "Bab" and is so proud of herself, her adorable smile, her cuddles, and when she does this cute little odd wave thing when we try to teach her. Oh, and I love it when she crawls around the house looking for JP. One of her latest things is to try and put clothes on, especially when she's in a diaper. I love it.

It's late so I'll end it here. For her birthday we went to the zoo, and later went to the Aquatic Center with a Stake Party. I'll post pictures and say more about that later.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Potato, Potato!

My aunt wants some potato recipes, so here is going to be a ton of potato recipes. I love potatoes because (1) I think they taste very good, and (2) the actual time I have to spend in the kitchen is like 20 minutes.

Let's start with the easiest first. 

1. Mashed Potatoes
• Peel potatoes if desired (I hate the peels in there). Cut up potatoes, my general rule is 2 potatoes per person, throwing in an extra one if someone is a big eater, or just using 1 for children. I use 6 potatoes for JP and I, it's just enough for dinner and then leftovers for lunch one day.
• Put them in a pot, with water almost covering potatoes.
• Cook on an oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how small or big you cut up your potatoes.
• Pour out excess water, but pour out as little as possible, because that's where the nutrients are.
• Add butter, however much you desire, I use one stick, and beat with a mixer. Add milk as necessary to reach the consistency you want.
• Add *garlic powder (2 T) and dill (1T) and a dash of pepper and salt (I prefer to let people do most of this on their own plates since JP and I differ in tastes there). 
• Eat.

2. Baked potatoes
• Scrub potatoes and poke with a fork.
• Rub butter on the skins and wrap in foil.
• Bake for 40-60 minutes @ 425, or 70-80 minutes @350
• Put on desired toppings (chili, cheese, butter, sour cream, etc…)
**Nutrition Information (per medium potato without toppings)
125 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates.

3. Scalloped Potatoes (One of my favorites)
     ½ cup chopped onion
     1 t bottled minced garlic
     2 T butter
     2 T flour
     ½ t salt
     ¼ t pepper
     1 ¼ cups milk
     4 medium potatoes
• Preheat oven to 350
• In a pan cook onion and garlic until tender
• Add flour, salt, pepper, and milk. Cook until thick and bubbly.
• Grease 1 ½-2 quart casserole dish.
• Slice potatoes and place half in the casserole dish, and cover with half of the sauce. Repeat.
• Cover with tinfoil, and bake for 40 min.
• Uncover and bake 15-20 min, until the potatoes are soft.
Nutrition Information (1/4 of dish)
187 calories, 15 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates

4. Optional preparation,
• add ¾ cup shredded cheese to sauce
Nutrition Information
273 calories, 15 g fat (9 g. saturated fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates.

5.  Baked Potato Fans (one of JP's favorites)
     4 potatoes
     ¼ cup melted butter
     ½ t garlic
     ¼ t salt
     ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
     ¼ cup sliced green onions
     2 T parmesan cheese
• Preheat oven to 350
• Scrub potatoes, slice potatoes, but don’t cut all the way through. One tip for that is to put the handle of a wooden spoon next to your potato, so it stops you from slicing all the way.
• Place potatoes in a baking dish and press down so the potatoes fan slightly.
• Combine melted butter, garlic, salt. Drizzle over potatoes, and in between slices.
• Cover with foil and bakefor 50 minutes.
• Uncover, bake for 10 minutes.
• Sprinkle potatoes with parmesan cheese, green onions and cheddar cheese. Try to get it in between the potato slices, or else it all falls off and makes a mess.
• Bake for 5 minutes.
Nutrition Information (per potato)
245 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates

6.     Cottage-Fried Potatoes
     3 T butter
     3 potatoes
     ¼ t salt
     ¼ t garlic powder
      Dash of pepper
     1 small onion, or ½ of medium onion
• Slice potatoes.
• Slice onion and separate into rings.
• In a large skillet, melt butter.
• Layer sliced potatoes and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and pepper,
• Cover and cook over medium heat for 8 min.
• Add onion rings.
• Cook uncovered, turning frequently for 10 minutes, until potatoes start to brown.
Nutrition Information (1/4 of dish)
168 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates

7.     Parmesan Cottage-Baked Potatoes
¼ cup melted butter
     3 potatoes
     ¼ cup Parmesan cheese  
Several dashes garlic powder    
      Dash of pepper
     1 small onion, or ½ of medium onion
• Preheat oven to 450.
• Slice potatoes.
• Slice onion and separate into rings.
• Layer potato slices and onion rings in a baking pan.
• Pour butter over potato slices and onion rings.
• Sprinkle garlic powder, pepper and parmesan cheese over potatoes and onions.
• Bake for 30 minutes, until potatoes start to brown, turning once.
Nutrition Information (1/4 dish)
197 calories, 11 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates

8.     Roasted Potatoes.
     3 potatoes
     2 T olive oil
     1 t minced onion
     ½ t garlic powder
     ¼ t salt
     ¼ t pepper
     ¼ t thyme
     ¼ t dill
     ½ t paprika
• Preheat oven to 325 or 450.
• Chop up potatoes into eights.
• Grease a small square baking pan and place potatoes in it.
• Combine olive oil, minced onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and dill.
• Pour mixture over potatoes, and toss to coat potatoes.
• Bake for 45 min @ 325, or 25 min @ 450.
• Stir potatoes and bake another 10-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and starting to brown.
Nutrition Information (1/4 of dish)
145 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates.

*I love garlic, so most of these recipes are very garlic-y, if you're not a huge garlic fan you should probably put in less garlic than I say.

**Nutrition Information is an estimate.

***Almost all recipes are from the Better Homes and Gardens Special Edition Pink Plaid Cookbook, (which is one of the best cookbooks ever, and it supports the fight against breast cancer) with a few alteration made by me. I think my Grandma Larson gave that cookbook to me for my wedding; thank you very much Grandma, I love it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I Learned Algebra

So the House passed a bill that mandated that I have health insurance. I think I don't qualify for medicaid according to the FPL ($18,310 per year for a family of 3, FPL standards). So either I can pay $344.67 a month for health insurance (note: this doesn't include my husband who was denied coverage) which adds up to $4136.04 a year, which I hardly ever used. Or I can pay a $695 annual fee per person, times two (Baby is covered by Medicaid) so $1390 a year. Now since I doubt we'll make $73,240 a year, so we'll qualify for a subsidy to help purchase insurance (up to 400% of the FPL), but I doubt it'll be enough the close the $3000 gap (or more, depending on husbands coverage) to make it financially worth it.

Hmmm.... interesting math. I think I'll continue on in the ranks of the uninsured, be illegal, and visit the very cheap student health center if something ever does come up.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We took Jelly Belly swimming for the first time today. I know it's two, almost three months, past the 6 month okay mark, but finding rubber pants and a baby swimsuit (which are required at this pool) in the middle of winter in Logan wasn't the easiest.

Baby modeling her new swim suit

It was so much fun and she was so cute. JP and I always joked that our kids would be great swimmers, but we didn't realize how amazing. She took both of us by surprise, we're both used to screaming, frightened babies. Okay really, I'm going to give credit to her personality. She's a very calm baby, who doesn't cry a lot (unless she's hungry or tired), she's also very curious and loves new things. I'm sure it helps too that it was her parents, who are both very comfortable in the water, not some random stranger, that were with her.

Decked out in her robe, all ready to go

Note: To all parents that want to teach their children to swim; and I personally believe that all kids should have some basic swimming skills, and feel comfortable in the water as a safety precaution. Not to mention swimming is fun and a great fitness tool, swimming fast and correctly can burn 700 calories an hour. Anyways my advice is to start getting them used to the water at a young age, the further you delay it, the more frightened they are, and the more hesitant to learn. If you wait until they're 8 and need some pin or belt loop for boy scouts, it's going to be very, very difficult. Also, there is this get in with them the first couple of times, take a Parent-Toddler class, it's a very important step. The most important part of which is being calm. Your child is looking to you, and they can tell if you're being anxious and that'll worry them. And if they slip and get their face in the water, don't panic, I know it's instinct, but that'll show them that it's something to be scared of (which it's not). Okay, off my soapbox now.

Back to the baby, she was very calm. We got in with her, and she just looked around with her I'm-trying-to-figure-this-world-out look. After a while she discovered she could splash, just like in her bath. We also had fun tossing her in the air, and making her laugh. I was blowing bubbles, trying to get a smile, and she decided to imitate me and stick her face in the water. Yeah, that's right, my baby is that awesome. First time in the water she sticks her face in of her own accord! And there wasn't any crying at all! She stuck her face in several more times, all on her own. The first time she cried was when she let go off her rubber ducky and it floated out of her reach, and it was more a disgruntled yelp. Later, since we were encouraged by her sticking her face in, and how well she was dealing with it, we decided to submerge her, and she hardly fussed, just for a short time, and it was never a full on cry. I am bursting with motherly pride!

With her Daddy and Ducky

My Ducky

Baby and I!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Elder Ballard came to stake conference last Sunday, and told us that we need to be more active in blogging. Yep, for reals, so here I am. However it is getting late, so this will only be a brief catch-up post and better posts will (hopefully) come a little later. So the last time I posted was.... October. Wow.

So after October here is what happened, school got really busy and really hard and the blog dropped on the priority list. In November there was Thanksgiving, which we spent with my family. In December JP got swine flu, which was all sorts of nasty and took forever to get better from. He also decided to time this to be during finals week, so I had to do all of the parenting with zero help, during one of the most stressful weeks of school by myself, darn him. I also had to sleep on the floor of the baby's room, since JP was under quarantine, this resulted in Baby Girl and I waking each other up as we talk in our sleep. Well, our quarantine was apparently pointless anyways because the next week, thankfully after finals and after JP had been fever free for three days, I got swine flu (yes, that means the apparent latency period of 48 hrs according to Pres Obama is wrong). By the way swine flu sucks really bad, it's like the flu but worse, and even after you're "better" you still feel like crap for weeks.

Somewhere in the midst of this JP also graduated from school (however we are still waiting for that diploma, which is probably at his parent's house). Yeah, go JP, he's all growed up. All joking aside I am proud of  my husband. Then came Christmas, which we spent as his family's house. After that we went to Disney World. It was a lot of fun, but I don't think I slept the whole trip. Apparently the jet lag really screwed the poor baby up, so she slept at all the wrong times (read: the entire day, no matter how hard you tried to wake her up) and therefore was awake when she shouldn't be (the whole stinkin' night, every night).

Then the next semester of school started. JP started his new job as Event Coordinator for Campus Rec, and I think he is ridiculously lucky. First off, he loves his job, second, his office goes skiing every other week or so, and  it's called working, and he gets paid to do it. Seriously, who gets paid to go ski, unless you're an Olympian? Gabrielle had to start to go to a babysitter. Well, there's another baby there who is 2 months older than her, and this baby crawls. After a couple days of being babysat Gabrielle started getting up in crawl position. She sits there and stares at the other baby and then tries to imitate her. And the other day when I went to pick Gabrielle up, this other baby was cruising. Darn it! I don't want Gabrielle to learn that, I have no idea how to baby proof our house. And well after all these changes for the rest of the family, what did I do? I went to school, like I always have and will for the rest of my life. I am taking Organic Chemistry (which I hate with a passion), Biochemistry, and Medical Anthropology. Yes that adds up to a full time student, 12 credits right there. There you go 5 months in 15 minutes. I'll try to update again, but when the last half off the semester is here, all bets are off.