Thursday, January 25, 2007

Favorites: Dream Vacation

Ok, this isn't on the Five Senses theme, but out of nowhere, this place- Giraffe Manor, suddenly popped into my head and I had to look it up. I read about this house years and years ago, where the giraffes were raised as orphans & are so tame that they stick their heads in the bedroom windows. What could be more fun than feeding a giraffe from your hotel room? I have wanted to stay there ever since I was a kid and it still hasn't been beaten as the place I most want to go.

Favorites: Sound

At this point I could easily use my son for the rest of my favorites: Listening to him giggle, trying out new words like "quarter" and saying "I love you mommy" in his falsetto.... Here are two other favorites that don't include my son.
I love the sound of birds chirping, it just reminds me of warm relaxing days laying out in the yard watching them flit around.

Most of the year I love hearing rain fall, especially the first fall rains. Right about now, I have no desire to hear rain fall, but I had to put it anyways.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Favorites: Touch

Any part of my little muffin, but I particularly love stroking his soft hair.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Favorites: Taste


Chocolate, in my favorite form - lava cakes.

Favorites: Smell

I think this is a fun idea, I saw it first on Kristen's blog who got it from Bree. (who I don't really know) Check out Bree's blog for the full explanation. I'm a day behind, but the "assignment" is to post a favorite each day, one for each of the five senses. Today's favorite is "smell".

There are so many floral fragrances I love, but Lilac has been a favorite ever since we played beneath my grandparents "giant" tree as a child.

January Blooms

Jasmine inside by the window

Saucy spring primroses.

(with 'lime variegata' aubrieta)

It smells like vanilla in the dead of winter.

(Lonicera fragrantissima)

Friday, January 19, 2007


A "commercial" from the organization I used to work for....

No making fun of it Jon.

New Recipe Blog

I finally did it, I am putting all my very favorite recipes in one place. These are the ones that I make over and over again and love. And the ones people often ask me for when I make them. I've tagged them too, so far with just "healthy" and "easy". I might add "decadent" too since I have several of those that are favorites. hmm.... I suppose I might do them by season too.

Anyways, here's the URL:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My new babies

Even though I love gardening, I tend to have terrible luck with houseplants. Maybe its not so much luck as pure laziness, but about 1/2 the houseplants I buy end up dying. The only thing I've had success with are orchids because they tolerate neglect fairly well, but lately even they have been struggling, infested with mites, underwatered, malnourished and largely ignored.

Every time a plant dies, I SWEAR I will never waste money on a stupid houseplant again. Then fall comes and everything is on sale and I just can't resist a huge lemon tree for our front porch. The one that froze & died by November when the temperatures plumeted to 10 degrees.

Then January comes and I am dying for flowers & scent, impatiently staring at the buds on my winter flowering plants that just won't open. I nearly swoon at the grocery store just from smelling the carnations. The craving gets so intense that I fall for the wiley nursery advertising 20% off on pots & houseplants.

This time I will water my gardenia faithfully! I will move the jasmine outside for the summer and remember to bring it back in before the frosts hit! If I keep them alive I will go back and buy myself that coffee tree that looked so cool! I even found some systemic that will kill the mites off the plants I already have. Later I read the label and find out that merely touching the stuff can be fatal, especially for kids. Great.

So now its recorded, and when my jasmine dies and the gardenia refuses to bloom next year, I will let you know and hopefully this time I'll really learn my lesson. In the meantime I can not wait for the buds to open and turn our house into a tropical paradise.

Insane son

Somewhere along the way I think Saben inherited the "memorization" gene from one of his grandpas. Actually, I'm fairly decent about memorizing things myself, but Saben is obsessed with it. As I predicted a month or so ago, he knew his numbers 1-10 by 21 months. He doesn't know what they mean and can't count, but he recognizes them all perfectly now. And he has colors & shapes down pat.

The real shocker came this week when he pointed to the "M" on Kyle's shirt and said "mmmm". Thinking it was a lucky fluke, we asked him where the "S" was and he pointed it out. We had NO idea he knew any letters besides ABC.

Then at a friend's house he started pulling letter magnets off the fridge & seemed to know "R", "G", "E"..... So now we are working on the alphabet and he's not even two, just crazy. He actually gets tired and won't do letters sometimes, I think he prefers to learn them slowly on his own.

Just so you don't start comparing your kid with mine, let me tell you that he knows hardly any adjectives. We've been working on "Big" and "Little" and he doesn't really understand it yet. It seems like most kids this age know more adjectives than just "Heavy". Actually, we don't have any friends up here that are his age exactly so its kind of nice that I never get to compare him to anyone.

On an ending note, my son is the cutest thing in the world. He just gave me the funniest look... ahh. See I don't even try to describe how cute he is because I just can't even begin to do it justice. Everytime I think I should write a lovely post about how much I love the little guy, my mind goes completely blank - how on earth can I put any of that into words?

I was thinking about this a lot lately, because I always worry that people think I don't care about things. In reality, the more I care about something the more silent I get because I just feel in awe of it. And nothing I could write or say would do it justice. I remember after watching "Shindler's List" I couldn't talk for 2 hours because there was nothing to say that wasn't trite or silly.

Ok, I need to go play with my adorable crazy son because he is pestering me ruthlessly.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

2006 - year in review

Jan 2006
Tore apart our kitchen on New Years day in preparation for our big remodel. We'd only been in Bellingham for 4 months and had just moved into the main level of our house after spending the first 2 months remodeling it. We spent New Years Eve with just the three of us and our new years resolution was to have our house looking decent enough and make enough friends to throw a New Years party the following year.

For some reason I was delusional enough to think we'd be done with the kitchen by now, but instead I cooked us some Valentines lobster tails in the toaster oven in our living room. The toaster oven saved our lives for the next 2 months & I got quite handy at cooking with next to nothing.

Saben turned 1! We had the party at my moms since our house was still a mess.

We finally moved into our kitchen this month after near disaster pouring our concrete countertops. It all turned out and I innaugerated our new kitchen with crab & shimp fettuccini.

Hmm.... I went to a great plant sale.

We said farewell to some friends moving to San Francisco, took a trip to Vancouver to buy some Indian spices and spent some lovely days on sunny beaches in town.

Had a crazy 4th of July party of totally random people including some good friends, a pastor & his wife who were friends of the previous couple that we had never met before, some new neighbors who showed up completely drunk and another neighbor who had the worst potty mouth ever. We also found out that the corner in front of our house is the best place in the neighborhood to watch the city fireworks show. Saben kept waking up and we finally got him down to sleep after midnight when our other neighbors decided it was time to START their fireworks. Needless to say, it was a long night. We also went to our first Cam Burnes crab feed and I nearly went into shock as we stuffed ourselves on the freshest yummiest crab ever. I think I also started this blog that month! Oh, and we took a trip to Whistler to watch all the jolly bikers at crankworx.

Went to family camp, nearly drowned in the river and all got food poisoning. By the end of the month, our summer was over and kyle left us for a two week trip to Europe.

Kyle came home for two weeks and then left again for a two week road trip to Las Vegas - Interbike. I flew down for a couple days to visit with Kelley which was fun, but overall Kyle's traveling sucked

Kyle was home! We celebrated by ripping out our backyard and getting pregnant! Out came the chain link fence, up went a new wood one. Out with the sad compacted sod, in with the giant backyard mud pit! Out with the back stairs, in with... nothing yet. Saben was a disco boy for Halloween.

Still working on the yard... Found out we were pregnant & managed to actually keep it a secret. Took a weekend away to Vancouver without the boy and saw new baby Lila. Put in our back stairs and then the patio over Thanksgiving break, right before the snow storm hit on Sunday.

Finished our patio, wind storm snapped a 4x4 post on our brand new fence, but at least we didn't lose power for weeks like everyone in Seattle. I was sick feeeling and exhausted most of the month, but the christmas festivities helped it go faster. Spent many nauseous days at the Children's museum which was free this month. Kelley finally confronted me on my pregnancy by pointing at my belly and shouting "What is that Kari? Are you pregnant?" I denied it at first, but then gave in so she wouldn't feel too bad. Told the rest of the family at Christmas. Spent most of the break cleaning & organizing our house. Woo hoo!

New Years 2007
Managed to throw a new years party with lots of new friends in our cozy remodeled house.

13 wks

Thanks for all the congratulations on our pregnancy!
I made two great discoveries this last week that have really cheered me up...

1) Swan pills. Don't ask me why they are named after a bird, but I finally asked my doctor if I could try those pills that are supposed to make your nauseau go away. I hopefully only have a couple weeks till I feel a lot better, but being "car sick" for 2 1/2 months straight, followed by one of the worst weeks ever last week and I suddenly thought "Why wouldn't I just try those pills?" Sure enough, they did the trick within an hour and I have only breifly flirted with nauseau the last 4 days. They do make you dizzy-ish and sleepy though, but still.... life is a lot better with them.

2) Belly Bands. I found one of these at Motherhood Maternity for $16, it is a stretchy lycra band that you put around your waist to keep your pants in the right spot. It is wide enough to fit over your whole belly near the end, but you can also just fold it over & keep it low. I am right at the sticky spot where nothing fits and so the band made my day. Just think of it as a belt for pregnant ladies.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Last but not least....

Hint number 1: The gift we gave many family members this year

Hint number 2:
I had avacado rolled in corn tortillas & about 25 salty little olives for a snack this afternoon.
NOTHING makes this girl happier than a sunny morning and a huge pile of steaming cow poop.

Christmas part 3

Every year I worry about whether or not my husband really has any Christmas spirit at all. As he throws around comments like "I hate Christmas stockings" and "No, I didn't put any bows or tags on your gifts, I hate wrapping gifts, you're lucky they're even wrapped" my blood pressure mounts. (of course I've already wrapped his with color coordinated paper, written sweet gift tags & put bows on every one)

By now I should have learned my lesson because in actuality my husband is a better gift giver than I am. He loves to spoil me and not only that, he loves to pick out things that aren't even on my list. Every year I wuss out and give him some money for his big gift because he always wants things like "car stereo speakers" that I feel completely inadequate buying. I usually come up with a few non-list items, but most of the money goes towards things I know are a sure bet.

Meanwhile, he has gone to one of my favorite boutiques and had the sales lady help him pick out a gorgeous necklace. He goes to REI and buys me the nicest rain jacket they have. Somehow he finds the cutest dish towels I have ever seen and never knew I needed that match the kitchen perfectly. One year he even did some work on the side and gave me ALL the money to spend on myself.

So yes, my husband actually is amazingly sweet & thoughtful, even though he complains a lot about all the Christmas trappings. And I can even love him despite the UGLY mustache he refused to shave the minute I told him I hated it.

Christmas Part 2

And now for the photos...
Saben's first bike

Loving the helmet

Watching Nemo with buddy Connor & motorcycle

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas 2006

The pressure, the pressure. After reading everyone's beautiful Christmas posts, I was all ready to write mine, complete with pictures of all the wonderful gifts we received and gave, filled with mush and loving sentiments. Within a couple days I had about ten more important things I wanted to write about, but couldn't until I did the christmas post. Completely overwhelmed, I've avoided my blog for the last 1 1/2 weeks instead.

We did have a wonderful Christmas and I was so excited for the first day of opening gifts with Saben at my parent's house that I could barely sleep. Saben liked opening presents at first, but quickly tired of it and would actually try to escape the commotion by going downstairs or into another room. He received so many lovely toys & cute outfits, he has been handsome & entertained all week. Just for my own memories, here are some of the gifts he got.

From us:

His first bike (a "pvc glider")
a bike helmet (probably his favorite gift, he plays with it and wears it throughout the day)
a small starter wooden train set
a toy motorcycle (another favorite, he actually carried it around hugging it)
A dashing little driving cap
Plus a book, some cute clothes, etc.

From G&G Voelker:
Big yellow dump truck (he likes to sit in it)
a tool bench toy
cowboy boots and a cute outfit
and more....

From G&G Young:
mini table & chair set
animal train
and more....

His aunt betsy also made him this cute orange hat with turtles:

Half a dozen cinnamon rolls, crab/scallop/shrimp cioppinno, prime rib and tons of cookies later, we happily headed back home with our loot and lots of fun "2nd Christmas" memories with our son.