Saturday, June 28, 2008

Now we are twelve

The family is growing! Baby Elizabeth was born in January. By next year, we'll be fourteen. How exciting!

These were taken at a park near Peter and Karen's house. Karen has a friend who lives nearby, who came and took some family pictures for us. We had the usual trouble getting a good shot of everyone.

Kirsten busts a move.

Kate thinks this is boring.

Kate and Grandma--she has a wheelchair that she uses sometimes when going out of the house. Kate enjoyed riding on Grandma's lap.

Barb and Kyle. Barb's due in October. I had a dream last night that she was having boy/girl twins, but the ultrasound confirms there's only one. They're expecting a girl!

Betsey, Barb, and me. (Family resemblance?)

What, you won't smile for the camera? Well I'll... I'll tickle you, that's what I'll do!

Karen makes a clover chain for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth approves!

Elizabeth at home.

Elizabeth gets a kiss from Aunt Kirsten.

The cousins! (Looks like neither one of them is quite sure about this....)

That's my sweet family! I wish we could get together more often. It's hard when everyone's so scattered. I'll have more pictures from our trip soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kate 3.5

Guess who's three and a half today! Our cute little girl--likes to help cook, makes up stories and songs, plays computer games but hasn't quite got the hang of doorknobs. We love you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Little Traveler

This is the tale of our trip to California (which will probably take several posts).

Originally we had been thinking about going out to Ohio, but Peter and Karen (my brother and his wife) weren't sure if they'd be able to make it, so we decided to congregate in California instead. They live in Torrance, south of Los Angeles.

A couple of days before the trip I started telling Kate that we were going to ride on an airplane and go to California. She had no idea what California was, but she was excited about it. She kept mentioning it at random moments, like when she was in her high chair and I asked her if she wanted anything else, and she said, "No! I need to get down and go to California!"

We left on Monday and came back on Saturday. Traveling with a child certainly complicates things. Kate was convinced there were "games" in the airport (where she got that idea, I sure don't know) and she was quite put out that we wouldn't let her go look for them while we were waiting in line to check our luggage. Then when we were almost up to the counter, all of Alaska Airlines' computers went down. We put Kate's car seat down on the floor, had her sit in it, and pulled out one of our strategically-prepared toys. How will it be with two kids? Hoooo boy.

On both flights we ended up with seats that were near but not actually next to each other, but we were able to get people to trade with us. On the way out we were right in front of the galley area and right behind the wing, and the only window by us was a bit farther forward, so Kate had to sit on my lap and lean way forward to see out the window. She thought it was very cool to see the little buildings and roads on the ground, and the geometric shapes of the farmlands. I mentioned to Doug that I hoped we got better seats on way back so Kate could see out the window more easily. We did, but right after take off she curled up and went to sleep with her head on my lap, and slept almost the entire way. All that excitement is tiring!

My mom and dad flew out from Ohio with Kirsten and Betsey. My sister Barb and her husband Kyle, who live in Utah, had been up in Solvang visiting Kyle's grandmother, so they drove down for the week. The last time we had everyone all together was two years ago for my parents' fortieth anniversary.

We stayed at a Clarion Inn in Carson (we got four rooms for everybody). The shower head was about at my nose level, which I suppose is convenient if you've been swimming and want to rinse off without getting your hair wet, but not so great if you do want to wash your hair. When I saw it I thought, "Barb and Kyle are going to be hating this!" (They're the tall ones.) Doug also noticed that both knobs were marked C. I told him it was C for cold and C for caliente.

I think Kate got a kick out of the hotel room. We got to watch a lot of Discovery Channel, and I flew home with the Boom-de-ah-da commercial stuck in my head.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Home and Tired

We are back from California! Washington is green and beautiful and full of trees.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Attempting to get a picture after three hours of church:

We've been teaching Kate "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home" and "My Daddy is my favorite pal," so she could sing with the primary kids in Sacrament Meeting. She got the first one down fine (with motions--those are fun) and was doing pretty well on the second. I figured she'd be excited to be able to sing along. Well, she seemed excited enough to go up there, and she did do the motions, but she didn't sing at all. But we still thought she was awfully cute. :)

Doug said to me recently that, more than just being a dad, he loves being Kate's dad. Sometimes he'll watch her when she's sleeping, and he'll tell me how much he loves her, and I can just see him turn into a big puddle of goo. Our little girl sure knows how to melt Daddy's heart. I know he'll be a wonderful daddy to our new little one, too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eight about Kate

Kate got tagged by the Calls a while back, and I hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. So, here are eight things about Kate!

1. Kate's name is Katherine Elizabeth. That's Katherine after my mom (who goes by Kathey) and Elizabeth after my sister (who goes by Betsey). We do call her Katie sometimes.

2. Kate is the first grandchild on my side of the family and the fifteenth on Doug's side. She now has two younger cousins and one on the way.

3. Kate is very interested in animals, but toy animals always win over real ones, which we think is kind of funny. She'll play with a new animal toy for hours. She likes to line them up and talk to them. Lately she's been developing more narrative play, and wants us to join in. She'll hand me an animal and say "Can you talk to him?" (meaning talk for him), and then we'll make up a story.

4. One of Kate's very favorite things in the whole world is the miso soup at I Love Bento. We get it with extra tofu for her. She just gobbles it up.

5. She's been really good lately about things like getting her hair washed and her teeth brushed, and her nails trimmed. I appreciate that.

6. When Kate hears the other kids in the complex playing outside, she always wants to go out and play with them. Even if she can't really participate in what they're doing, she just likes being with them. They are good, sweet kids and don't mind having her around.

7. Kate cracks me up sometimes. Once we were walking between two buildings, and, observing the acoustics, I asked her, "Hear the echo?" Kate said, "A echo is a kind of lizard!" and I said, "No dear, that's a gecko." Ha.

8. Kate loves to sing. She's started making things up and adding her own words. It's so cute to listen to. She especially likes songs that have motions.

We sure love our little girl!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The vicissitudes of life and the vagaries of Trader Joe's

We like Trader Joe's. A lot. We used to have to go all the way to Federal Way to get to one (which didn't happen very often), so we were thrilled when they opened a store nearby. Unfortunately, their business model calls for them to regularly evaluate their inventory and discontinue products that are, for whatever reason, not selling as well as others. And this time, one of our favorite products got the ax.

We did not see it coming. There were no warning signs, no portents or premonitions. We just noticed that we were running low (as you can see in the picture), so on our next shopping trip we went to pick up some more--but upon reaching that familiar spot in the aisle, we scanned the shelves in vain. No Mojito! Where's the Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce? That tangy blend of orange and lime juices, accented with garlic and spices? We inquired; we received the fateful news. Discontinued.

Alas! This stuff is great. Wonderful in black beans and many other things, in our house it is particularly known as the condiment of choice for carnitas. Kate loves mojito on carnitas. (She used to call it "hito," and when she asked for more she'd say "mo' hito!") The first thing I thought upon hearing it had been discontinued was, "Oh no, what are we going to tell Kate?"

Doug emailed Trader Joe's, and they said that it just wasn't selling well enough, but that if enough people complained they might consider bringing it back. I can see that it might not have been a big mover--I mean, how quickly can you go through a jar?--but we did buy it pretty frequently. If we'd known it was going away, we would have stocked up!

We did find a substitute recipe that we'll have to try. I don't know how well it would keep in the fridge, though. Perhaps we could freeze it in small batches.

Monday, June 09, 2008


I had an ultrasound today, and came home with pictures! You can see the baby's profile, and a little hand up by the face.

This one isn't as clear but you can see the umbilical cord, which is kind of cool.

The baby's measuring 10 1/2 weeks, which gives us a due date of December 31, or thereabouts.

Things have been going well. I haven't had the really bad food aversions like I did with Kate, which certainly makes eating easier. I get a little queasy or light-headed at times, but it's not too bad.

We are pretty amazed by this whole thing. We tried for a few years before having Kate, and then I found out I had cystic ovaries and got on metformin. (I only had to take it for a month and it worked right away.) This one came about completely unassisted. Must be a little one who really wants to come to our family!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Queen of June

At the elementary school that I attended in Ohio, the playground was always covered with clover the last few weeks of school. We used to spend recess sitting in the grass making clover chains. There's something about seeing a nice stand of clover that still makes my fingers itch.

Wednesday Kate and I were outside, and I found some lovely long-stemmed clover. I just couldn't resist. I found some other fun things to use, too--not wrapping the stems, just sticking them in and wrapping the clover around them. It worked out well and held together nicely. (The long stems help.)

When I put it on Kate she said, "I'm the king!" So after that, of course, I had to go in and get the camera and take some pictures. I had the usual trouble getting Kate to actually look at me, and ended up with a lot of shots of the back of her head.

Here she's checking out a ladybug.

I won't even attempt to describe the kind of noises I had to make to get her to look at me. (Saying "Kate!" produces absolutely no effect at all. Perhaps I could try random words, like "popsicle!" or "triceratops!")

This is my favorite. Awww! (More screen-saver material for Grandma!)

There were a few big daisies, too, but I didn't find them till after I'd finished the wreath. That would be pretty.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Olive You!

I suppose every child figures out how to do this without any prompting. Yum!

And here's Kate with a pomegranate juice popsicle. We got these popsicle molds at Target a couple of weeks ago (they're cool--the cross-section is star shaped) and we've been using them a lot. Quite a lot. Sometimes Kate will sit in her high chair and eat three popsicles in a row. (At first she was calling them "postickles.") We've always had trouble getting her to drink enough, so we figure this is not a bad thing.

She realized she could see her reflection in the camera lens, so she's making eyes at herself. Ha!