Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Technically, this should go here, but I have to tell you how in love I am with Mache. On a whim I bought the outrageously expensive bag of greens (lettuce?) at Haggens because I have always wanted to try it and if I like it, I want to grow it. Plus I treat myself well during weeks like this.

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.

Halfway there

Day six, only six more to go. I am soooo tired, I suddenly start to understand why certain people occaisionally go to bed at 6:30pm. Today Saben talked to Kyle on the computer phone and he was so confused. It was super cute. But the rest of the day dragged and I am ready for it to be over. Luckily we have fun stuff planned for the rest of the week, including a visit to the granparents. And thankfully this is the first day I've felt tired and bummed. Maybe I'll go tidy up and hit the hay at 9:30, which is crazy early for me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Trader Joes is coming to town

I forgot to post this after it made front page of the Bellingham Herald last weekend.
HURRAY!!!!! I was right!
(James & Alabama Red Apple, Summer 2007 in case you missed it)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Child Psychology

I read this article the other day that stressed teaching kids to help out once they reach one year. They mentioned this study that shows young kids know what it means to help out:

"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:
"It's true, we're heading off to Europe! We will be showing off our totally new 2007 product line this year at the EuroBike expo in Friedrichshafen Germany...blah blah blah...Oh, and check out the attached picture of the new outfits we'll be rocking during the show!"

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Kisses

It was a busy week, with no breaks for mama. Kyle worked all last week in the evenings and all weekend building us a beautiful, thrilling new giant wood fence. Privacy at last...for half our backyard. Part two will go up hopefully before winter. In the meantime I spend my days daydreaming and plotting about the lush paradise I can now plant next to the fence.

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.


If the usa had more flavors of potatoe chips, I think Saben might eat a greater variety of foods. If it is on a chip, Saben will try it. Yesterday he was gobbling down Salt and Vinegar chips. SALT AND VINEGAR. I can't wait to give him Jalepeno chips. But I was thinking that if we were more like Great Britain and had trillions of odd chip flavors for him to try, we might be able to introduce all his new foods in chip form. Beef and Cheddar chips. Shrimp chips. Chicken and onion chips. Pickle chips. (Yes, those are all real flavors or at least similar flavors to ones I saw in the UK)

For the record, I don't usually give Saben chips, he goes and gets them out of the cupboard himself.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


For posterity.... Sabens words to date, in aproximate order that he learned them

1. Mama
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)
22. Hot
23. Up
24. Eye - Tcha = highchair
25. Na = no
26. Hat (from "Hats" book)
27. Pabat = yogurt (we think)
28. Babat = blueberries
29. Pech = peach
30. Cat
31. Home

Friday, August 11, 2006


I have finally entered the ranks of horribly humiliated mothers everywhere - today Saben puked ALL OVER me in the middle of Haggens grocery. I could have just left him in the cart when I saw it coming. Let the employees take care of it, a little moppy, some soapy, nice and easy. But no, for some reason, I thought it would be brilliant to pick him up - as if my loving arms could somehow prevent the inevitable.

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

Round two

Forget food poisoning, my slight suspicion that it could have been a flu virus came true as saben woke up this morning in a puke crusted crib. For some reason he didn't wake us up, but he must have had a busy night...

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

Family Camp Adventures

Every year we go camping with my mom's side of our extended family (20+ people) in the Lake Wenatchee area. My cousins and I had been emailing in the last weeks about how we wanted to get out of the same old rut, get to know each other better and maybe do something different than we usually do to help us bond more. Have you ever noticed that adventures come in waves? If one thing crazy happens, then at least 2-3 more things follow it?

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

Freedom of Choice?

I just learned the craziest thing ever from my friend in Vancouver, BC who is pregnant. She went in to get an ultra sound and the technician WOULD NOT TELL HER the sex of the baby. It is their policy to never, ever tell. Why you ask?

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.


Peanut Butter Balls (PBBs)
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


Nothing is more fun than having your spouse make you feel like a complete idiot loser for letting your child lose your keys, only to find out that he put them in his bag for "safe keeping" because he didn't trust you and then forgot they were there.