Friday, December 22, 2006
Earier this week I was so overwhelmed with everything left to do before Christmas. I had a house to clean, tons of gifts left to buy, parties & playdates to go to, all the wrapping... and I didn't really feel like budging from the couch.
I would love to say that some lovely magic moment returned my holiday spirit - but unfortunately my knight in shining armor was the movie "The Devil Wears Prada". There's a section of the movie where the heroin (uh...that can't be the right word? or do you spell both the drug and the female hero the same way?) is rushing around like mad meeting the whims of her "devilish" boss.
I think it was supposed to be a negative thing, but as I watched her run through the streets in her stilettos, looking fashionable, carrying bags of herme scarves & calvin kline skirts, it actually looked like a whole lot of fun. Oh, to be able to look stylish AND accomplish 20 or more tasks a day, keeping lists, your brain pumped up to remember every last detail, adrenaline flying... Its a far cry from entertaining an almost two year old, let me tell you.
But it inspired me to get my house cleaned in three hours and my shopping done in four and with each swoop of the credit card, I felt a small sense of accomplishment.
Now isn't that just a beautiful Christmas story?
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
(well they may amuse you if you're a stay at home mom who's weekly highlights include baking cookies & reading Martha Stewart magazines)
1) Baking. I made a bunch of cookies this weekend and was befuddled that every single recipe calls for room temperature butter. Does ANYONE really use room temperature butter? Do they wake up in the morning and think "oh, maybe I should pull some butter out of the fridge so that its ready for cookies this afternoon"? Cookbook authors must be aware that 99.9% of us stick the dumb thing in the microwave and hopefully pull it out before it makes a buttery mess. Why do they insist on writing "room temperature"? It would be so much more helpful if they gave us the exact seconds to nuke the thing to make it close to room temperature.
2) Martha. Every time I start to fall back in love with Martha Stewart, she does something to annoy me. This year's special "make your own gifts" magazine looked beautiful and awesome. Unfortunately the store ran out before I bought one, so I settled for her monthly magazine instead. I was chugging along, pleased as punch, until I came upon the article "Holiday Color Schemes". Actually it was the photos that did me in, particularly the "Citrus Christmas".
"Citrus Christmas" featured a photo of Christmas morning at some poor family's house where every single bleecarkin item was color coordinated. Lemon, orange and lime stockings, matching tree, carefully orchestrated citrusy present wrappings.... I could almost handle it. But the fact that the jubilant tots diving for their gifts were wearing matching citrus toned pajamas did me in. As if they were just one more accessory that needed to be coordinated.
All I could think of was some crazy psycho mom yelling at her kids "what are you doing wearing those red pajamas! You know we are citrus toned this year, what are you thinking!!!! You're not opening a single present until you go put on the lime green ones I bought you!" Then the lemon yellow couch started to peeve me as well..... Who has a couch that matches their christmas decorations?
Oh well, I'm sure I'll forget in a month or two and be back for more.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
For the record, here are some of the word groups Saben loves right now:
1) He has learned all his colors and is about 90% accurate in telling you what color you are wearing.
2) He is maybe 40% accurate on his numbers - when he looks at them, he can name them, especially 6 and 8. I don't know how much he comprehends what they mean, I can't say "how many?" just "what is that number?" He is really into them right now and I think he'll have 1-10 memorized in a couple weeks.
3) He has uttered a few sentences, mostly mimics like "I'll get it." I don't think he quite knows what they mean. But his first real phrases are stringing together possessives "Saben Hat" and once he said "Saben Red Shirt". He'll use them as commands too "mummy ball" means that he wants daddy to give mommy the ball.
4) Saben has known his shapes for a couple months, although he doesn't say "rectangle".
5) He knows a lot of animals, but isn't really into animal noises at all. If he does say the noise, then that is what he calls the animal. Owls - Who who, but he never says "owl". Same with pigs, he calls them "oin oink"
6) He gets really excited by train whistles & airplanes/helicopters overhead. He says "eli-copter" when he hears one and knows pretty much all of his modes of transportation, including "hummer." We just love hummers, so we made sure to teach him that word.*
7) We need to work on adjectives, the only ones he knows are hot, cold, warm and heavy.
8) He says lots of names, but mangles some. He can't say "kelley" at all and calls her "too- joo" (or "Tous Jour" if like me, you enjoy pretending he's speaking some french)
I think that's everything, mostly the stuff I wanted to record and remember. You know, so once we have a second kid, I can totally compare them. ha ha ha. ha.
*Not really, it was thanks to a book.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
In honor of the first picture in like 2 years where mommy doesn't look like a scary witch woman. Too bad we can't both get our act together at the same time.
When you think about it, there's plenty to cause strife: different traditions, sentimentality, a complete lack of sentimentality, bossiness, bullheadedness and tree ettiquette. Just in case your tree trimming is a smooth, peaceful affair and you have no idea what I am talking about, I'll give you a few examples. Maybe this year you can even have a few fights of your own!
Do we hang every last ornament or do we stop when the tree gets full? Is it allowable to move an ornament someone has already placed in a really stupid spot? Should we spend 30 minutes pruning some branches to make the tree more shapely or does that make the ends of the branches look unnatural and icky? Do we keep working till both parties are finished, or is one person allowed to go do whatever they want once they personally think the tree is done? Do we have to listen to christmas music, or can we stick in some Radiohead?
It should be even more jolly fun once Saben is old enough to get in on the action. Secretly, we are both grooming him to take our side. I show him how to gingerly hang each ornament in the perfect spot, giving him the oral history of each one, while Kyle demonstrates how funny it is to hurl the ornaments at the tree hoping they stick in the branches. "See mommy's face turning red! Let's do it again!"
Actually, I am happy to say that I am getting quite good at ignoring (maybe enjoying?) these shennanigans, but we always find at least one new thing to fret about each year and Christmas wouldn't be the same without it.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Granted, most of those things have a somewhat similar shape, so who am I to quibble with him?
The best was when he stuck half an english muffin on his head and called it a hat.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Good news Seattle/Western Washingtonians, we can look forward to periods of light rain on Thanksgiving instead of short showers ! Hurray for us! Or was it the other way around? I am so confused.
Monday, November 20, 2006
All the romance was great and all, but one of the best parts of the weekend was meeting our friends, Jon and Vicky for dinner Friday at Wild Rice. Vicky was pregnant, due Dec 6th, but was a good sport about trooping all over downtown with us. They headed home late Friday with plenty of jokes about Vicky being sure to have the baby before we went home. In fact, we had made so many jokes about it, that when we got a text message on our phones Sunday morning saying the baby had been born, we didn't believe it. When they finally told us it was a girl named Lila (or Lyla?) we believed them. We got to go visit the newborn & exhausted mommy that afternoon. Ah.... I love newborns. So fun.
It was crazy up in Vancouver, all the rain had caused mudslides that ran into the drinking water resevoirs. They had gotten so muddy that the plants weren't able to purify the water and it was coming out of the tap brown colored and undrinkable. The whole city has to boil its water, for at least a week, maybe two. Crazy! Just makes you realize how much you take water for granted.
Well we're home now, and I am excited for the holidays. Nothing beats coming home from a vacation and only having a three day week ahead of you. Too bad we're headed back out to work on the backyard all T-giving weekend, one last time (?) and most likely in the pouring rain.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I am a plant nerd. I generally even annoy people who actually like plants. My favorite website is www.plantdelights.com now that Heronswood has become corporate and moved to the east coast. Each year I spend hours reading about the plants they offer. They collect crazy plants from all over the world and I get really excited by it all, honest. It helps that the owner throws in witty comments to his plant descriptions and the covers of the print catalog are hilarious.
The last few days I've been reading through their entire online catalog, page by page. Here is one of my favorite pages, you can see the menu bar on the left that has all the plants alphabetically on about oh... a hundred pages?
I am a huge sucker for large perrenials and colocasias are awesome. How can you not love a plant that grows several 5'x4' long leaves in one season? I have been dreaming of Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum 'Illustris' or a Thailand Giant in my yard for quite some time now. The Lillium page is another favorite in case you are not already bored out of your mind. A seven foot tall fragrant Lily? AWESOME!!!! (Lilium formosanum - see below)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
I was also involved in a long, heated conversation this weekend about what the bible says is right and wrong & what our response (as christians) should be when we see things that we believe are wrong happening in other christians, non-christians, politics, etc. I left feeling confused, upset, frustrated....
Then I read this. These two lines breathed so much clarity into the mixed up jumble in my head, but the whole article is outstanding:
"What if we didn't just bring meals when someone has a baby, but also when they make headlines? "
"...I kept thinking all day about what church would look like if we all stood with those who blew it and said, "Me, too."
- Misha Thompson
Now this is all great when someone admits they screwed up, I suppose the harder part is when someone isn't willing or doesn't believe they have screwed up. When do you have the right/responsibility to confront someone about sin you see in their lives? Yikes.
"Jim's bull's-eye is to motivate Christians to participate in politics. Jesus never said a word about political issues. Jesus took care to separate his kingdom from this world, and we should, too. We are to serve, bleed and sacrifice like Jesus did. If a fraction of the church acted like he did, it would be the most beautiful and powerful force on Earth. I worry about calling some stands 'God's politics.' It invites polarizing politics into the church. Republican Christians care as much about the poor as Democratic Christians do; they just have different ways of approaching it. Good Christians can agree or disagree on war, abortion, taxes and immigrants. Hey, I have my own political views, and they're all brilliant! But in order to underline my point, I'll keep my trap shut about what they are."
- Greg Boyd
Last week I read this post and then this one. It just thought it was interesting to think about them at the same time, because both are so true.
Then the pastor we heard speak on Sunday drew an analogy about spritual food and junk food. Something along these lines....
God gives us a lot of donuts in our life. They are delicious and are meant to be enjoyed. But if we only eat donuts, we will get sick & die. When you get hungry, you need to eat nourishing food, not just rely on donuts for a quick sugar high and relief from your hunger. So our spirit gets hungry and many of us turn to movies, food, walks in the park, whatever to satisfy our hunger. These things are great in themselves and will satisfy us momentarily, but only God nourishes our soul and keeps it healthy.
It's nothing so profound, just what I needed to hear right now so I thought I'd share.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
This soup is also in memory of my Aunt Deanna. If it weren't for her, I would never ever have tried it since carrots aren't really my favorite thing. But she gave me the cookbook for Christmas one year and also told me I had to try making the carrot soup because it looked so good to her and she loved carrot soup in general. Every time I make it, I think of her.
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven (or stockpot) over low heat, and add carrots, celery, onion and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown. (mine never brown and I do it over medium heat)
Add peppercorns, parsley, toast crumbs and boiling water, cover Dutch oven, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and quickly reduce the remaining liquid, while stirring until it is almost absorbed.
Remove parsley sprigs and puree mixture in a blender, food mill or food processor, hand blender, etc. Return vegetable puree to Dutch oven and add chicken broth and tomato juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Heat soup slowly until mixture is nice and creamy, about 10 or 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives or parsley.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Along the same lines, he is now enamoured with drinking from cups with no lid. The drinking part is great, he has mastered it. Unfortunately as soon as he finishes drinking he just goes back to his business, forgetting he is holding a cup of messy liquid. The cup gets tilted and invariably spills on him, on the floor, on me.... But then Saben gets to clean it up! Hurray! The fun never ends around here.
This weekend Kyle took our back stairs out & began rebuilding them. So now we have no stairs, no grass, no plants & no patio in our backyard. It is so beautiful. Anyways, the more entertaining part is that today he came home & didn't have keys to any doors except the back door. (with no stairs) He had to crawl in the dog door which is 4.5 feet off the ground. I was so sorry to miss that.
Speaking of sorry to miss that.... that was a segway attempt since this post is about as smooth and graceful as a young girl trying to ride her training wheel bike down a bumpy trail and stopping to pick up every leaf she passes. sigh. can you see why I haven't been writing much lately?
One last shout out to some wonderful friends (you know who you are) who watched Saben for us Saturday night so that we could go to an actual PARTY. With ADULTS. And stay out incredibly late. (well midnight....) We had so much fun....like I've said before, not getting to go out with friends & do fun stuff like that is one of the harder parts of mommyhood for me, so I am deleriously appreciative of our poor friends who fell asleep on the couch waiting for us to return from our adventures. THANK YOU!!!!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Some of my favorites:
- He likes to do this suprised face with an intake of breath that is hilarious. He also puckers his lips and does a pleasantly suprised sounding "oooooo" when he thinks something is pretty neat.
- He says more words than I can possibly count, his favorites are still shapes - oval, circle and cana for triangle. He also likes pointing out the moon, airplanes and says train when he hears it whistling downtown.
- He hates dancing and was disgusted by fingerpainting. Crayons are ok though, especially taking them in and out of the box. He is still obsessed with shape sorters, his "First Words" books and playing with keys in the car.
My least favorite thing is that Saben is starting to lose his innocence with other kids. Last night he was even hitting at one of them. He grabs, steals, screeches & covets with the older kids now. Not quite on the same level, but his will is raising its ugly head. He even is trying out hitting at me when he is angry.
He has a special screech that he uses for Roxxy (although I heard him trying it out with kids last night too). He likes to taunt her. He holds out a treat and then as she comes to get it, he screeches at her and pulls it back. If she comes close he hits at her. She has learned to back way off when he does his little screech. I was trying to get her to clean up the mess under his highchair the other day and from across the room he screeched at her and she immediately ran off & wouldn't eat anything no matter how much I begged her.
Still, I am loving this age. It is so fun to watch him learn new words, try new things and suprise us with new skills that seem to come out of nowhere.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The sweet peas got uprooted by cats who think that area is a litter box and the ones that did survive never really got going enough so I could smell them in the house like I had hoped.
The Dahlias are this dark purple red color (fuschia?) that seems to clash with everything else in my garden. They bloomed ok, but were not my favorite.
The Sunflowers were a complete success. They grew tall enough to see from the window, tall enough to be amazing (8 feet?). They bloomed in yellows, oranges, reds and browns which probably explains why the dahlias looked awful next to them. Now that fall is here, the heads are drying and little birds are flocking to them for seeds & they sing to me each morning. Saben can see them from his highchair and all in all, it is just wonderful.
Monday, October 09, 2006
It made me think though. Do Texans eat Pot Roast? When the temperature drops from 90 degrees to 65, do californians think "oh hurray, time for a warm bubbling pot of beef stew!"
If I lived in a perrenially warm climate, I am not sure I would ever eat soup or winter squash, or sweet potatoes... quite a few things actually, which I never ever eat during the summer.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
1. I order Ebi & seared tuna on the $1 happy hour special to go with my tempura roll, my friend is having a hard time deciding, so asks the waitress to come back.
2. Waitress never comes back to take my friend's order, 15 minutes later, my friend has to go find her in the back somewhere to place her order.
3. Waitress gives me raw tuna instead of seared, but I eat it anyways because it took so long I didn't want to wait any longer
4. Waitress forgets our miso soup
5. My friend's food arrives 25 minutes after my food, 35 minutes she chased down the waitress to actually get it ordered. In a restaurant that has five tables of couples which apparently completely overwhelmed the staff.
5. I get the bill and instead of ordering me the $1 sushi special, she put in two orders for each one. I tell her I only wanted one $1 piece and she gets all huffy and tells me I shouldn't have eaten it. Except there was no possible way for me to know that the $1 special came with just one piece of sushi! I just said "I'll take the $1 special for the ebi & tuna". How does that then cost me $2 each???
6. As she walks away I say "this is ridiculous, I am never coming back here again"
7. The waitress comes back and tells ME that I am being rude and disrespectful. If I don't want to eat there, that is my decision, but no need to tell her that.
8. I then point out how long our food took and she says "well you're the one who brought your kids and that's why we give you salad & miso."
9. We leave and for the first time in my life I leave no tip.
Sorry if this is boring, but I was so irrate, I had to vent.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I'm headed off tomorrow morning to hang with some old friends (pictured above) who live in Vegas. Hurray! But I'm leaving Saben for two whole days for the first time ever and its going to be so sad....yet fun. I'm also excited to try gambling for the first time ever. I have around ten grand to play with, but once I use it up, I will definitely stop, I don't want to be one of those people who throw away all their money on gambling. I was reading the fine print on my plane ticket today and thought I better post this in case my plane crashes:
AUTOMATIC FLIGHT INSURANCE PROVIDED BY COOK AND COMPANY
COVERAGE INCLUDES BENEFITS FOR ACCIDENTAL DEATH OR
DISMEMBERMENT WHILE ON A REGULARLY SCHEDULED AIRLINE OR
AIRPORT PREMISES. MAIL CLAIMS TO COOK AND COMPANY
PO BOX 150266 NASHVILLE TN 37215-0266
I just hope my death or dismemberment isn't done on purpose, I could lose my benefits and that would stink.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
This is my amazing sister Shauna. (Kyle's little sis actually)
Not only is she funny, smart and totally hot, she does stunt motorcycling. I don't really relate to the motorcycle bit, but I'm awfully impressed and just had to brag. And I did have a blast riding her little dirt bike once. If you ever meet her, be sure to ask her if she's ever dated a billionaire.
Friday, September 22, 2006
We hired someone to saw up our concrete parking pad. I gave them the EXACT dimensions & they estimated it to cost $450. Six hours of sawin later, the bill came to $850. Apparently they charge by the foot, and the estimator "guessed" it to be about 150 ft instead of the actual 350 ft.
How the heck does a guy who's job it is to estimate screw that up so bad? He should have been able to estimate it exactly by doing a little math. Even I could have estimated it exactly if I'd been given their price per foot. For pete's sake. Anyways, we only paid $450 for it, so who am I to complain?
So far we have hired six people to work on our house for us. Three of them have made the stupidest mistakes ever, or had absolutely no clue what they were doing.
1. The concrete cutting estimator - story I just told
2. The "handyman" who told me he did plumbing and then spent 12 hours doing our plumbing completely wrong. Apparently the "guys at the hardware" store told him how to do it. I could have gone and asked the hardware store guys how to do it. Why would I hire someone to do that? It took the new plumber only 3 hours to redo it.
3. Then there was the "Concrete Guy" who told radically inappropriate jokes all the time and who didn't know how to read the concrete dye card to get the shade of gray we wanted. I read the dye card and saw we needed 6 bags of dye. He brought 4. They went to go get more, the concrete sat too long in the truck & the whole project went to hell immediately after. Did I mention this concrete was being poured directly onto our brand new kitchen cabinets? When I say going to hell, I really mean it. (it all turned out ok, it always does...right??)
Well this is the polar opposite of "small joys fridays", I prefer to call it "Trash Talkin Fridays." I hope you enjoyed it all the same and if you were unaware before, you have now been enlightened to the perils of hiring people to do your crap for you.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
"Yah, yah, it's your birthday, whoop-dee-doo.....I'm busy playing with this cool toy and rockin my new hairstyle."
"If you don't quit playing with my toy, I'm going to lay down and then ....lay here some more. Sharing is so overrated."
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Kari: Look at the pig Luke!
Luke: Look at the pig's hips!
Kari: Uh... yah, look at those...hips
Luke: She got her hips from her children.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Homer: Yah, pretty much... cept we drove around in a van solving mysteries.
ps. Don't worry Misha, we fast forwarded through every mildly suspenseful part. I just assumed disney was great for kids, but that shows what an idiot I am. How the heck do you explain taxation without representation to a nearly 5 year old?????
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Beauty is finding a recipe for triple chocolate chip cookies that has the audacity to force one and three quarter pounds of chocolate into just 32 cookies.
Beauty is a cool cloudy fall afternoon and a warm cozy kitchen that reeks of chocolate.
Beauty is having a terrible no good very bad day and remembering there is an obscenely chocolately cookie waiting for you in the freezer.
Beauty is a woman's intuition that somehow knew triple chocolate chip cookies were going to be needed in the very near future.
(beauty is...is the theme from mama says om this week)
Recently, Saben's favorite part of the day is diaper changing time. It's not that my son particularly relishes a clean bum, he just really enjoys kicking me. The moment I lay him on the changing table, the games begin. His little legs thrash around aiming straight for my midsection, chest and hands as they try to get to his diaper. Awful, unruly behavior to be sure... except for the joyous giggles and twinkling eyes that accompany it.
Patty cake? Boring. Tickle games? eh. Trying to kick the daylights out of mommy? Hilarious. I can just imagine myself in some public bathroom in a few months where my son is pounding my midsection while I struggle to secure his diaper and people shaking their heads wondering why moms today don't discipline and actually let kids kick them.
It's not that I don't want it to stop, I sure don't find it particularly hilarious. But whenever I say no, he looks so confused for a second. The giggles die, the eyes look sad. And then he shrugs and lands a solid one on my arm, laughing again. I even tried gently flicking his little legs in a moment of frustration. (or maybe not so gently after he delivers a blow to the gut) The instant change from glee to heartbreak killed me.
His "Shapes" book. He has ten books in this series that all look quite similar, but the shapes one is his favorite. He brings it to me at least ten times a day saying "ship". Which brings us to....
The word "Oval" Saben loves to open the shapes book to the oval page and then he will say "Oval" about ten times, quite proud of himself. The best part was when he pointed to a giant letter "O" in a magazine I was reading and said "Oval" And the way he sticks his lips out in a pucker when he says it.
Along the same lines, his favorite toy is the new shape sorter I got for him when Kyle was gone for twelve days. He is very good at it and loves taking all the blocks out & then putting them back in at least 5-10 times a day.
A tie with the shape sorter is his Retro Rocket. In the last week, he suddenly figured out how to kick his legs to make it go, so he'll take off down the sidewalk which is down hill and we'll go all the way around the block. He's taken quite a few spills on it because he zips down that hill, but so far no major injuries. Do kids need helmets for Retro Rockets???
His favorite food right now is huge bowls of cereal. We finally gave up on the tiny kid bowls and offer it in our normal dishes, about the same amount I'd pour for myself, with milk. He gets milk all over his pajamas each morning, but he eats the whole thing and often asks for more.
Saben's favorite toy he doesn't own is a bike. It amazes me that somehow he already loves bikes. Kyle has ridden around the block holding Saben quite a few times, and that was enough to start it all. We were in a toy store yesterday and he saw a little bike, two wheels, no training wheels or pedals, and he went nuts. I had to let him out of the stroller and he insisted on getting on it. No surprises what he's getting from us for Christmas this year.
He is also into watching Baby Einstein videos sitting in the exer-saucer he is way too big for, playing with keys in the car (still), hitting Roxxy and sitting in the car grocery carts.
Lately, Saben hates washing his hands, sharing, having kids visit us, getting put in his carseat without getting to play with the keys and carrott soup or any meat or veggies.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
This is a picture of us and some good friends from Oregon who came up to visit us recently. We took a trip out to go hiking around Mount Baker. Our friends moved out here from Manhattan a couple years ago, so they weren't sure what to wear to go hiking, but they were clever enough to pick something attractive, yet cool & loose fitting for the hike. Unfortunately his shoes were a bit uncomfortable, but that was ok, he just took them off & hiked in his socks instead.
The trip was so beautiful, we enjoyed the cool crisp fall air, the brilliantly clear skies and the moutain glowing on the horizon. When we got home, I cooked an amazing dinner and then we smoked our Egyptian water pipe and played games until 2am. The next morning, Saben slept till 10am, so we all got to sleep in. It was one of the funnest weekends I've ever had in my entire life.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The renters behind our house also enjoy their front yard. However, they prefer to get high & then hang out for hours, throwing machetes & throwing stars at a chunk of wood. Apparently their toilet doesn't work so well, instead they go on the wheel of the truck they have parked out front. Since they rarely bug us and are actually quite friendly, we prefer to politely overlook the people going in & out of their house all day for short five minute visits. But we do affectionately refer to them as "the drug dealers".
To the left of our house is a sweet nice lady with an old gray muzzled dog and two cats that like to use my garden as a litter box. She is easy to get along with and we chat occaisionally. Six months ago she drove through our yard and my beloved garden, before hurtling down the street & crashing into 7 cars in the busy intersection down the road. Apparently she passed out behind the wheel after taking some prescription meds.
You think Seattle has character? Try moving to Bellingham!
Friday, September 01, 2006
In book club, we are reading "From Beirut to Jerusalem", by Thomas Friedman. It was my pick, prompted by the recent turmoil in Lebanon and by another member of the book club who has close ties to the region.
I started re-reading it last night (for the third time) and it brought back so many memories, I was overwhelmed (momentarily) by .... homesickness? Friedman introduces the book by describing how he fell in love with Israel, and then Cairo. Parts of his story are so similar to my own "romance" with the region, and it is a strange feeling to be brought back to that moment of first love when I am so incredibly far from it right now. It's like a whole different person experienced those lovely moments.
My first morning, on my first trip to any middle eastern country, waking up in the old muslim quarter of Jerusalem to the calls of the minaret, walking the old worn stones that make up the passages of the old city, smelling the spices, animals, breads baking... women in hijbab, men praying in yarmulkes. I was blown away. I think it was only later, studying in Cairo that I really thought to myself that I could live there and be pretty darn happy. Maybe I never got over the honeymoon, but every day I walked out my apartment door (for three months), I was so happy and thankful to be there.
Those were the blissful days, before 911, before the Iraq war, before Israel erupted in violence again. Before having a husband and son to love, before the fear of losing them, or myself, had ever really entered into my world.
I dream someday of living amongst the spice smells, the animal sweat, and the old worn stones again. Speaking fluent arabic to my friends who wear hijab. Then I get distracted by my reality dream - that sometime in the next 30 minutes my son will quit his blasted screaming and take his darn nap.
I wish I could take credit for finding these two gems myself, but I got them from the Yahoo 9. I've never checked out "The 9", but who in their right mind wouldn't click on a picture of a baby wearing a toupee? Click on the picture, you won't be sorry. This is the only photo I could get downloaded, the other ones are way funnier.
Then there was this too! I have my baby shower gifts all picked out for the year now. This one is a tool you use to convert a regular hotdog into a fabulously exciting octodog. Fun to make, Fun to eat.... who can argue with that?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Anyways, I love love love it. It is packed with nutrients like spinach, but so much tastier. I love pan frying a piece of meat (like a couple sea scallops & jumbo prawns), creating a pan sauce (like a lemon/wine/caper picatta sauce) and then putting the whole thing on a bed of Mache. Some of it wilts & some is still crisp and it is so yummy.
Ok, I'll admit, I've done this three nights this week. The scallops/prawns w/ picatta, Salmon w/ picatta sauce, and then tenderloin with a mushroom sherry sauce. I'm addicted. And I like to treat myself well when I'm working hard. Except then I have to work harder cleaning up my mess. And then Saben is done eating by the time my food is done and he throws books at my plate while I eat. Oh well. Thai takeout is yummy too.
I am working on designing a garden for my parents and I am ridiculously obsessed. Everytime I work on a new planting, I think about it for hours & hours ahead of time. Then sometimes I end up getting something entirely different once I reach the nursery. This is the rough draft I did in photoshop. Looks a little bright & wild, but I think that's just cause it has everything blooming at once. Then again, I am really into bright and wild right now. I considered doing a couple more for each season, showing what blooms when, but then thought perhaps that would be just a little overboard. I am sure it will change a lot, a couple times, before we finally plant it all.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
"A 2006 study backs up this idea: Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that toddlers as young as 18 months already have full-fledged qualities of altruism and cooperation. The way they demonstrated this was simple. A researcher would "struggle" to hang up a towel with a clothespin or stack up a pile of books. When he dropped the clothespin or tipped the books over, the toddlers would race to pick up the clothespin and hand it back, or restack the books. But when the researcher made the same mistakes without struggling — that is, without looking like he needed help — the toddlers didn't budge. They understood what it meant to be helpful."
So today, I am folding Saben's clothes and I think to myself "oh, I should make him put his socks into the drawer." Nice and easy for him. So I ask him, show him and he just stands there. He picks up a sock, but won't put it in the drawer, even though I know he knows what I want. So I remember this article and I pretend to be having a really hard time lifting the sock to the drawer. Lo and behold, he gets this huge grin on his face, and immediately drops the sock in the drawer and proceeds to put all the socks into the drawer, smiling and proud of himself.
Absolutely nuts I tell you.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
This photo was actually sent out to around 6,000 people who are on the Transition Bikes email list, with this explanation:
Monday, August 21, 2006
Saben was also busy last week, or at least on Thursday night when he a) kissed his first girl and b) threw his first sharing related temper tantrum. After he obligingly gave Audrey a goodbye kiss on the cheek, she squealed, waved her little arms around excitedly and then lunged for him, ready for some cuddles. She is so cute! He wasn't quite as excited about the hugging part as she was and cried when her little arms wrapped around him.
Earlier in the evening, they had both wanted the same toy, several times. Despite being 6 months older and bigger, he didn't use his strength & manliness to his advantage. No way, instead he gave up, laid down and cried his little eyes out. It was hilarious.
A day later, he also tried to kiss Linus, but Linus didn't cooperate. Saben would move in with his lips and at about 6 inches, Linus would take a couple steps back with a worried look on his face. (Linus is 3 months older & has a couple crazy older brothers he protects himself from)
So much kissing... and of course there's no way his mama was encouraging it just for her own amusement. Never.
For the record, I don't usually give Saben chips, he goes and gets them out of the cupboard himself.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
2. Dada (he said both at around the same time, but meaninglessly. It was too hard to tell which he said "with meaning" first)
3. Znn = zoo (from his peek-a-boo book)
4. Cra-Ka = cracker
5. Dis = This
6. Mnn = moo (peek-a-boo)
7. Bnn = boo (peek-a-boo)
8. Breh = bread
9. uh-uh = "no" noise, shaking head
10. Papa = Grandpa? Grandma too?
11. Brr = Bird
12. Znn = Shoes
13. Tits = Cheerios or Cherries
14. Tats = Keys
15. Chz = Cheese
16. Na na = milk
17. Na na na = Banana
18. osheh = Roxxy
19. Elinah = Elinore (he learned both dogs names the same day. He just popped out with elinore out of nowhere)
20. Abby (our friend's daughter - he sticks out his tongue to pronounce the "b")
21. Baby (picture in a book)
24. Eye - Tcha = highchair
25. Na = no
26. Hat (from "Hats" book)
27. Pabat = yogurt (we think)
28. Babat = blueberries
29. Pech = peach
Friday, August 11, 2006
There is nothing (or quite a few things?) quite so humbling as having strangers look at you in disgust as puke (with peach chunks!) runs down you back, your front, onto your flip flops and onto the floor. Walking to the bathroom leaving barfy footprints behind you. Then trying to somehow clean the mess ... and explaining to a teenage girl giving you a strange look what happened. And then telling her every last detail (as she tries to keep from heaving) because you are so distraught.
But I did bring it on myself. I have been dreading the day I have to wean Saben. I have tried to put it off, make it look like Sabens fault (he does love nursing), but in reality, thinking of weaning him completely brings me to tears. This weekend we skipped several evening feedings with no problem at all. Then Saben got sick and we skipped a bunch more because I thought I had learned my lesson - sick babies and nursing do not mix well.
"If there's no vomiting for 24 hours, then you can slowly resume your child's regular diet. Wait 2 to 3 days before resuming milk products."
On Tuesday night, 12 hours after Saben had thrown up last, I let him nurse. As I was rocking him to sleep - up it all came, along with the last 6 hours of food. So I decided to wait a day or two to nurse him again... and started to realize that now would be the perfect time to wean him. And I started feeling sad, nostalgic, teary...pathetic, I know. : )
I started to think how I didn't want to have his last nurse EVER to be one that he threw up all over me. So this afternoon, 40 hours after he threw up last time, I let him nurse. Just a tiny bit! An hour later we left for Haggens and the rest you already know.
I think I've learned my lesson, or somehow had it confirmed that now is the time to do it, whether I'm ready or not. But I would still love to sneak just one more in there, a long cuddly warm one. I know, I never learn.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
There goes the week!
Funny, we had just been talking last week about how this week was the busiest one we've had all summer, plans every night. So much for that.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Thursday - manic pack
Spent the entire day loading our car with all the "car camping" essentials. The ENTIRE day. How can packing take an entire day? I still don't know, but it does.
Friday - Glorious Day "off"
Friday morning we left Saben with my parents at camp & Kyle and I took a day off to ourselves. Aaaaaahhhhhhhh. It was so nice. We hiked up to a peak for a 360 degree view of the surrounding wilderness and had a blast figuring out the mountains around us. Monte Cristo Range, Glacier Peak, Mt Stuart, Mt Index.... We could see it all. We even spied the little basin where Kyle proposed to me. We went to visit Saben, then headed off for our first night alone since he was born at a hotel in Leavenworth. Even though our meal took 2 hours and our hotel airconditioning didn't work, it was wonderful because it was just us. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!
Saturday - Bubble Tubbing with Strangers
Saturday afternoon we had sort of planned to go tubing down the river near camp. Fifteen of us went and we all managed to get tubes & get them pumped up and headed down the river for our "2 hour" ride at around 4:30. It was so much fun. Just what we needed to liven up family camp. We splashed, laughed, screamed. Then my murderous streak kicked in. First, I almost killed my brother. I pulled him from his tube into the river and both his legs cramped up so he couldn't swim. Luckily Kyle rescued him while I sat there laughing. whoops. Then the real miracle occurred. First, let me tell you two things. 1) I love animals and was a vegetarian for 8 years because the thought of killing them for eating sickened me. 2) If we ever have a snowball fight, I have to be at less than 3 feet away to ever hit anyone.
So, there was this flock of canadian geese on the beach. In his innertube induced hysteria, Kyle jumped out of the river and went running along the beach to scare the geese into the air. We had already been throwing small rocks at eachother as we floated along (the river was shallow) and for some bizarre reason I thought it would be hilarious to throw rocks at the geese as they flew by. Third rock....SMACK... right into the flying goose head. I saw it coming and shut my eyes before it even hit, then started screaming after the smack noise. I was scared to look and see the bloody goose floating on the river, but luckily it just kept going despite its concussion.
We floated sloooooooooowly for another hour, and then started to kick & paddle because we were ready to be done. We saw huge fish jump, a muskrat, tons of osprey and some river otters. I screamed at the river otters too because for a moment they started towards me and I hadn't figured out what they were yet. By now it was getting dusky & cold, so we started really paddling hard, just sure the bridge where we left our cars was around the corner. After an HOUR of hard paddling & kicking, we were getting serious. Our group was spread way out & I was in front with Kyle. Still no bridge. Our 2 hour trip was quickly nearing 4 hours, with no end in sight. So, when I saw a friendly looking house with lots of people on the deck, I paddled over and jumped out to at least ask how much farther the bridge was.
Did I mention I had to cross over an icy glacier fed creek emptying into the river to get there? By the time I made it up to talk to the guy who came down, my whole body was shaking with cold. The man was soooo nice and immediately offered to drive Kyle & Jason to the cars so they could come get us. Then he invited me into his hot tub. In a moment of extreme courage and bravery, I left my poor cousin to direct everyone else up onto the beach and made a bee-line for the hot tub. In my defense, I did take her freezing daughter with me, someone had to protect her from drowning and from the other "stranger" kids in tub. And I rationalized that she would come up as soon as the first people arrived on the beach. And once I was in, it was even more awful to get out, trust me, I tried it and was so miserable, that attempts to relieve my cousin were feeble at best.
Pretty soon there were 13 of us crammed into the hot tub and the families who were renting the house brought down plates of leftover lasagne and salad, drinks and pie, despite our protests. They were so incredible. If you hear of anyone from Seattle/Vashon who fed 15 cold sad people who dragged themselves from the Wenatchee river near leavenworth at 8:30pm on Saturday, let me know...
We all made it back to camp after some transportation miscommunication which landed quite a few of us sitting around the campfire in our swimsuits waiting for the cars to come back with our clothes. And a couple more people driving around and around for quite a while that night.
Sunday - the family food poisoning
7:30 pm, Kyle pukes.
8:30 pm, Kari pukes.
8:40 pm, Kari throws Saben into his crib between puking episodes
9:45 pm, Saben finally stops crying and goes to sleep, but wakes up when dad pukes for the 6th or 7th time.
diarrhea and mayhem follow.
This continues most of the night, luckily Saben stayed asleep, but Kyle and I were desperately, violently ill. It was awful, awful, awful. I was up every 20 minutes until 2:30, and then every 40 minutes until about 5:30 am. It finally slowed around then. In the morning, I couldn't even take care of my child. Changing his diaper felt impossible, but luckily kyle managed to summon the strength to do it. I don't know how we survived yesterday, except for a dear friend who brought us gatorade & crackers and an amazing son who managed to run amok around the house all day with extremely limited supervision and not kill himself.
It is so scary to be too sick to care for your child, and once I heard other family members were sick, I became only 90% sure it was food poisoning so I didn't want to send him off and infect another family. 18 of 23 of us who had lunch together on Saturday all got sick, but we haven't been able to isolate the food. And one family had just gotten over a very similar, violent flu like ours. How they could have passed it to 18 of us in such a short time of limited contact is beyond me..... but who knows.
We are doing better today, eating some solid foods, and Saben is still ok. I am so worried he will get it, but maybe we'll get lucky.
So that was our crazy crazy weekend. I'm hoping for something a bit more sedate when I go shopping with my cousin this weekend. phew. Talk about family bonding.....
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Because certain populations were aborting female fetuses after they found out. So now no one is allowed to know the sex of their unborn baby...but they can still kill it if they want.
My friend did say that a lot of technicians will tell you even though they're not supposed to. Hers wouldn't though, so she's screwed.
I'd love to hear a pro-choice person's opinion on this. Suppose you lived somewhere where female fetuses were routinely aborted because everyone wanted males. Do women have the right to abort based on sex? How would you stop them without taking away everyone elses rights? I don't know why, but I've never considered this topic before.
Update: I just read this long, but interesting article on the topic of sex selection in general, particularly in implanted embyos, but also covering the history of the philosophy in regards to aborting based on sex.
Speaking of woman's rights, my friend Misha just got me entirely riled up with this article. you should go read it, although once again, it deals with women's boobies.
2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter (don't use all natural)
1/2 c butter at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb semisweet chocolate
Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla
Cover and refrigerate overnight
Form into 3/4 inch balls and freeze for one hour on a cookie sheet
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stir until smooth
Working in batches, remove PBBs from freezer and use toothpicks to dip in chocolate
Keep chocolate warm, or it start to thicken from the cold balls
Keep the balls cold or they will fall off of the toothpicks
Place completed balls back on cookie sheet and refrigerate
Serve chilled, frozen (our preference) or at room temperature
Monday, July 31, 2006
The best part was meeting new friends and getting to know some people I'd already met a little better. The worst part was being stuck in the hotel with Saben when he went to bed at 8pm while everyone else went out and had fun. Not that I can really complain, Kyle stayed home one of the nights while I went out & one night everyone came to the apartment just so I would get to hang out & not be there alone. So I only stayed home one night, but man, that made me sad. I think this sort of thing is the only times I'm ever truly frustrated by the limitations of having a child. Which is a good thing, it means I've adjusted pretty well. But I hate missing a fun night on the town. Actually, I had a good talk with Kelley that night, so I wasn't even alone. Why was I complaining again?
And Cam saw a bear! Right outside our hotel room! It was crazy, he was eating berries off a bush! But I missed it. I did get to see the big pile of poop he left on the walkway though. That the bear left, not Cam. (Cam is the transition bikes sales guy. He's single and nice. He catches lots of dungeness crab for us to eat. Let me know if you want his number. His photo is on the T-bikes homepage.)
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Saben's newest word is "eck" which means "yuck". He learned this word because when he has a poopy diaper, I say "yuck!" He even scrunches up his nose like me when he says it. However, as Saben ran around our backyard naked this afternoon, I realized that he was looking down at his penis each time he said "ack". He'd lean over, look at it, give it a poke, then look at me with his nose wrinkled up and vehemently declare "eck!" He thinks "eck!" is the word for his penis. So at the ripe age of 16 months, I have already given my son a complex about his private parts. Way to go mom. On the other hand, I can't help but wonder how long I can get him to keep calling it that cause its so funny.
Speaking of nudity and body issues, for those moms who haven't seen it yet, there is this amazing new site called "Shape of a Mother" Don't click on that link unless you're ready to see the bodies of moms, stretch marks, boobies, bellies and all that goes with birthing a child. The creator of the site writes this about it:
"It occurred to me that a post-pregnancy body is one of this society's greatest secrets; all we see of the female body is that which is airbrushed and perfect, and if we look any different, we hide it from the light of day in fear of being seen. ...It is my dream, then, to create this website where women of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities can share images of their bodies so it will no longer be secret. So we can finally see what women really look like sans airbrushes and plastic surgery. "
Monday, July 24, 2006
Here's a hint, don't bother trying to go camping at Deception Pass in July unless you have a reservation by May. But its a nice place to visit for the day. Until you get home and can't find your keys because your son insists on playing with them every place you go.
It was crab heaven. Heaven I tell you. 17 fresh dungeness crabs caught hours before, for about 12 people to eat. That's a lot of crab and it was perfect, despite a hot steamy kitchen filled with crab boilin pots. My favorite things about bellingham have expanded now.
1. Cheap avacados
2. Friends who go crabbing & stuff me full of crab