Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Good Interweb

With all the crud on the internet, I thought I'd pause our regular family blog to bring you an entry about some of our favorite sites.


I've been a fan of this foundation for a couple of years now.

I think they have a great mission: The Journey

Here you can watch an early project that helped propel them down their current path:

And here are a lot more videos if you like what you saw:

You can sort them using the tabs labeled "All Videos," "Featured Videos," and "Most Viewed Videos." I like #16 - The Playing For Change Foundation.


Loads of engaging & informative speakers on all kinds of subjects.

Here are three I like:


Hans Rosling, Insights on Poverty

Michael Pritchard's Water Filter

Here is TED's Homepage.

Jeff recommends the two following sites:

Stack Exchange and Future Timeline.

The first, Stack Exchange, is a user driven Q&A site.

The second, Future Timeline, is for anyone who acknowledges the genius of Moore's Law, or, would like to learn about the future if Moore's Law continues to be accurate, or, would simply like to know what Moore's Law is.

There are others, but I'll save those for another day.

Happy viewing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pretty Girl . . .

...or, How We Snuck in a Pair of White Shoes Right Before Labor Day.

I bought a lovely little Easter dress for Bridgette last spring but opted not to dress her in it because she couldn't walk yet.

She'd have been frustrated trying to crawl in the thing, and I'd have been frustrated by the amount of dirt it would have harvested over the day.

So here she is a few months later, sporting a chic flowery ensemble with a petticoat of tulle. She adored it. I adored her. It was one happy outfit day.

These were taken after church, so you will see vestiges of entertainment, placation, and entropy in these photos -- eating Kix, blue pen marks, unbrushed hair, wearing mom's sunglasses, examining ants, and finally, being held.

All in a day's photo shoot...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walk, Walk, Walk, Swim

Bridgette walks more every day.


Bridgette walks more every day that she wants to walk at all. And when she doesn't walk, she crawls faster than ever. We're very pleased by her progress.

She walked all the way across the parking lot from Chili's to our car, wearing Daddy's work badge around her neck.

Just as every baby learns, our new toddler takes her lumps. Here she is demostrating how to fall gracefully and gleefully on her bum.

She's also getting braver on slides. She will go down this one all by herself.

And sometimes she doesn't stick her foot out to force a stop half-way down.

Here she is hanging out in the log. Swinging her legs. Merry as can be.

Jeff has worked at for almost 6 years now, and for some reason, we have never made it to the summer swim party before this year. Odd.

It's held at a local park. Here is my very own aerial view, taken a few weeks ago when I was hiking a nearby mountain.

Bridgette loved swimming. She even loved going down one of the tube slides with me (pictured above -- the blue one on the left).

She laughed and said, "Weeeee!" the whole way down.

Until we landed in the splash pool. Then she hated the slide. And she hated me too.

Here is a picture of her anxiously standing around waiting for us to finish our dinner so she could get in the pool.

She liked the kiddy pool the best.

She might have liked the wave pool better than she did, but by the time we tried it, it was pretty near bedtime, and she was cold. And also the first wave knocked her over.

But I took her down to the deep waves and we floated about for a while. She seemed to enjoy that.

However, her little body temperature plummeted after so much water fun. The party was in the evening, and it must have been one of the windiest days of the year. Brr...

Bri's far from being a snuggler. Typically, she doesn't really like to be touched. But she let us wrap her up against my body as she shivered quietly for about 15 minutes straight.

We went back to the playground today, and several children took a peculiar interest in her. It was amusing.

First, a girl with long brown hair picked Bridgette up off the slide and carried her around for a while.

And Bridgette let her.

That girl is in the video below depicting Bridgette at the water fountain ball. She's the one who is so concerned that the baby is getting in the water.

The other friendly twosome are pictured below. The older girl, Alyssa, decided that her almost-adopted sister, Emmy, should be best friends with Bri. I missed the picture of the three of them holding hands walking about, but man they were cute.

There's also video of them below that's truly adorable. And also funny.

And this is the expression you get when Bridgette spies her Daddy's ice-cream cone and wanders over in zombie-ice-cream-devourer mode to beg some off him.

Too bad she can't have dairy. We had to distract her big time while Daddy hid to eat his cone alone.

Oh. She's wet because Mommy let her climb in the fountain.


There are lots of videos below. I really like them, but it may be a "family" kind of section if you're easily bored by videos of other people's little kids.

These first four have similar themes but were taken several weeks apart.

Funny! I think the "train" intention didn't go down too well, but Jeff and I were laughing. That little gasp that you might interpret as a worried mom noise? Nothing of the kind. It was a quietly chuckling mom noise.

The longest of the videos. You have to understand that after two years of no mobility, suddenly watching her do all this stuff by herself is very exciting. So exciting that I take lots of video.

Actually, she likes to watch video of herself moving around too. It helps her want to move even more.

And THIS is for all of my public health friends. And for everyone out there trying to lose a few pounds. Remember. Teach your children EARLY to eat healthy food. You know. Like us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Awesomest Summertime

With Bridgette's new found health and increasing mobility, we have been out and about and having fun here at the end of the summer.

If I was a normal person, I would split up my blog entry per activity so that it wouldn't kill you. But by now you know I like to slap all of them fine photos in a line until the post length reaches to the next nearest town.

Welcome to my form of scrapbooking.

If you think it might, in fact, kill you to read this, may I suggest you skip down to the bottom and watch the video suitably titled "You should watch this video." You won't be disappointed.

Section 1: Around Home

We drink Pedialyte. Lots and lots and lots of Pedialyte. All day, every day. We purchase a case of Pedialyte a week, no exaggeration. Mmm... grape Pedialyte.

I love Bridgette's face in this photo. It captures her personality and her eyes show you her soul: intense, inquisitive, older than her years.

Also, we play with lots of sidewalk chalk (and crayons, markers, pens, pencils ... walls ... couches).

We play in our backyard and with the neighbors.

We play with the pups, happy Chewy and sneaky Piper.

Bridgette climbs stuff.

And tries to brave sliding down, though she gets mighty nervous.

Section 2: Pioneer Day

The Orem Fire Department hosted a breakfast on Pioneer Day. They had all their engines, ambulances, and even two helicopters for the kids to look at and explore. They had lots of food, tables, and a live band. Very cool.

The line was so long that we actually opted to check out the vehicles, donate a little to the cause, and eat breakfast at Denny's. A few hours later I got a call saying that my donation won a raffle for a $50 gift certificate. That wasn't my intent, but I didn't mind.

Bridgette is a huge fan of helicopters and airplanes.

And she got to see one REALLY close-up.

Yep, that's Bridgette "flying" the helicopter. Hope they checked their switches before taking off.

Based on our postures & smiles, I'm pretty sure Bridgette was about to blast-off. Mostly I put this in because the last time she was this close to an ambulance, she was inside it.

Not posed. As soon as Bridgette climbed in the cab of the fire engine, she tried very hard to put on her seat belt. It was a little too big & technical for her.

We helped her get fastened in and she was happy as could be, ready for a ride.

Section 3: Petting Zoo, OR, Ways to React When Eaten by a Cow

"My, what a friendly, hungry cow."

"She seems to like everyone."

"She likes to lick my baby's hand."

"Wow, she's not opposed to licking my baby's head." (Sorry, missed the actual tongue shot; use your imagination.)

"Well, and now she's eating my baby's shirt. Silly cow."

The cow licked the kid next to Bridgette too, and he freaked out and ran crying to his mom. Whereas, Bridgette stood calmly, allowing the cow to chew her shirt, and then she actually laughed. Silly baby.

Dual-wielding corn kernels. Now that's skill.

Umm... looking at chickens, I think.

This photo was more exciting back before she started walking because here she is trying to walk before she was truly successful. But I still put it in because she's so darling.

This is how a toddler demands popularity, by lining up every kernel of corn precisely out of reach...

...and then feeding each goat individually, one kernel at a time.

The petting zoo also had a kid zone we'd never explored.

We explored it together. It was a tight fit.

And this is why you don't really have to pay to go places. Bridgette was just as happy to sit and play in the mulch.

Thanks to Aunt Brenda for coming with us and taking some of the photos!

Section 4: Living Planet Aquarium

Bridgette and I have a year membership to the aquarium and have been lots of times, but this was the first time we attended with others. Aunt Heidi and her girls Ellie and Sienna joined us as well as Aunt Brenda and her surrogate niece, Sarah.

Bridgette was quite sensitive on this outting, so I spent a lot of time holding her. However, she did have some good moments, especially with her cousin Ellie. (Eyeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

She has attempted to pet the stingrays for a year. It's usually her favorite stop. This was the first time she was actually able to touch one. It swam right out and flapped its ... fins?... at her above the water line. Then she reached in and felt it.

Ellie & Bridgette in the Radioactive Super-Creature Marsh

Aunt Heidi and Baby Sienna - such a cute picture.

Mammo/Aunt Kelly with Bridgette & Ellie. Bridgette spent so much time getting carried that day that Ellie wanted me to carry her too. Nothing quite like hoisting two small children for hours to strengthen your arms. Wait... did I say small?

Ah, yes. The penguin exhibit.

You should watch this video.

Section 5: The Friends

And last, we attended a reunion BBQ and had a nice time. I didn't take many photos, but I really liked this one. It's of Bridgette with Sophie, the daughter of our friends Chelsea & Rob Weidmann. I spent much of my childhood with the Weidmann family in Texas, and seeing these two playing together was like looking back 25 years.