Sunday, May 31, 2009


Kendra has officially been baptized! I'll have more (and better!) pictures soon, as well as an update, but here's what she looked like on her big day.

Now we're off to ride bikes to get ice cream!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Experiences

We spent the morning at Gymboree, and had a wonderful time. Doubly nice, we found out our Gymboree is offering a "2 for 1" sale this summer, so we enrolled Kendra in a music class. She'll go to music on Mondays, and continue her play and learn group on Saturdays.

Dan and I had an assembly line of sandwich making this morning. We made 20 sandwiches to donate to the St. Martin de Porres homeless shelter for men. We then went to the shelter tonight, with Kendra in tow, to serve dinner to the men. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I experienced.

The men were mostly polite, funny and (fairly) clean. For many of the men, if I had passed them on the street I wouldn't have thought they were homeless.. More than a few thought Kendra was a cute little bug, and took turns trying to make her giggle.

We served roughly 200 men sandwiches, chips, fruit and dessert. Dan and I traded off wearing Kendra in her baby backpack. Dan worked the front lines, and I worked in the kitchen washing fruit and handing out dessert. I enjoyed talking to the men, and they seemed genuinely appreciative that we were there.

I was worried I'd feel overwhelmed by all I can't do to help them. That I'd feel guilty for the things and people I have in my life. That somehow this would be a negative emotional experience. It was completely the opposite, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next month.

How do you teach your child empathy and concern for her fellow human being? The best way, in my mind, is to model it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

More Teeth!

Kendra has a new tooth (finally!) coming in. It's one of the ones on the top, but I'm not sure which one. She's a little touchy about anyone coming too close to her mouth right now.

She continues to amaze us with how quickly she can move to find trouble. She practices climbing the stairs at every chance. Heaven help us if we forget to close the baby gate, because she's the first to notice. She seems to have (mostly) given up munching on dog food, but has discovered that Peace Lilies are an acceptable substitute. More often than not I find her with dirt encrusted fingers, tell-tale streaks on her face, and a big innocent smile.

We've completed our baptism preparation class, and will be having her baptized at the 11:00am mass on Sunday. We'll be (hopefully) videotaping it, and will definitely have some pictures taken. Kai has agreed to stand in as "pseudo" godparent since Annie and Ran can't make the trip. Some other friends of ours are coming to take pictures and run the video camera. I'm excited about it.

Our garden has the first fruits of our labor ready for harvesting! We planted broccoli raab and it's ready to eat! (If you don't know what it is, don't feel bad - we had to look it up too!) Broccoli raab, or rapini, is a vague relative of broccoli, but is much closer to turnip or mustard greens. I have no idea what we're going to do with it all...anyone know any good recipes?

Monday, May 25, 2009


The family website has (finally!!) been updated! There are three new scrapbook pages, and a few small blurbs on life here.

"Look What I Can Do!"

Stairs are no longer safe. Herself has learned to climb them, and will practice anytime the gate is not latched. Now I guess we work on teaching her how to go down them!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cincinnati Update

It's been our normal craziness here. My trip to Cincinnati was wonderful. It felt great to be Karen again, as opposed to Kendra's mom and Dan's wife. I love both those titles, but sometimes it's nice to be recognized as me.

I met my new co-workers and my new boss. I really liked them all, and am looking forward to a return trip in early June. Now I'm trying to figure out how to work an 8 hour day while still taking care of an increasingly active child.

Dan and Kendra fared extremely well together. In fact, I think they had a ball. It also gave Dan a very keen look into what my days are like. He said it's extremely do-able to work and take care of Kendra. Try to add in taking care of the house, cooking dinner, running errands, and you need a 30 hour day to get it all done. Dan has always been very respectful and understanding of the demands and stressors I face, and I try to be of his. I think we do pretty well.

Kendra is doing fabulously. She has picked up crawling, and manages to get into more trouble than I would have ever thought. Our current argument is whether or not dog food is an acceptable snack for babies. She seems to think it's the greatest treat ever, but we're not as thrilled. She has discovered the toilets are fun to splash in, dishwashers make the greatest toys because they are full of fun things and they slide in and out, the fridge has multiple shelves that are perfect for climbing, and the screen door leads outside to a whole new world.

We have also finally signed up for her baptism. We start preparation class tomorrow, and she will be baptized on May 31. My best friend, Annie, will be her godmother and Ran has agreed to be her godfather.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sad Day

It's a sad day in Seattle. As of about 2am this morning, we are a two dog household. Otis has left this world to join the doggie brethren that went before him.

Rest in peace, furry old dog.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all moms and mom-to-be's. I hope you enjoy your day to the fullest! We went to the Market yesterday, and they had these beautiful Mother's Day bouquets. They were selling them faster than they could make them! The are filled with lilacs, and smell heavenly.

While there, Dan bought a nice salmon and smoked it last night. So for breakfast this morning, he made me cherry scones, crepes filled with raspberry and strawberry puree, topped with fresh berries, and salmon crepes with bechemel sauce. It was enjoyed with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. My mother's day gift was a new coffee maker. Believe it or not, we didn't own one. Dan found one that grinds the beans right before brewing for a wonderfully fresh, delicious cup of coffee. I really like it!

Later today we are heading to the Art Museum for a while, then maybe a wander around the downtown area. May is the start of tourist season, so it can be very tough to find parking. If we find a good spot, we're abusing it for all it's worth!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

It's supposed to rain here all week. So far, it's right on track. It is our rainy season, though, so it's not unexpected.

Anyway, I could use a bit of brightening up, and thought I would share with you as well. Dan took this on our camping trip.

Cute babies just have to make you smile. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dad Has New House

Dad closed on a house last Friday. It's a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath white brick ranch in Ballwin. It has a full, finished basement and two car garage. It's about 2 miles from his sister's house, and basically identical to it - same floor plan and everything.

He's having a new roof put on next week, and they want to paint and wallpaper yet. I have no idea when his move-in date will be. Considering he still has to buy even basic furniture, I'm guessing a few weeks.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Disasterous Camping Trip = Fun

We packed up the car, baby and dogs and headed to the Hoh Rainforest on Friday afternoon. We planned on staying in Forks at a hotel the first night (yes - the current home of Twilight fever). We ran into our first problem on trying to reach Forks. There are two ways to get to Forks and they are equal distance from Seattle, but in opposite directions. The way we went led to the bridge - that had closed for repairs the night before. So we turned around and went the other way. Our 3 1/2 hour drive took close to 6 hours. At least we drove through some beautiful scenery.

Saturday we headed to the Hoh Rainforest inside the Olympic National Park. It lived up to it's name. We got a great campsite right by the river, and it stopped raining long enough to put up our tent. Kendra promptly settled in for a nap. Dan and I worked on putting a tarp over our picnic table to try and have a dry place to eat. It worked great, until the wind started. The crazy wind ripped the tent stakes out of the ground and flipped our picnic table tarp all over the place. And it was freezing.

It basically rained all day. Dan and I finally rigged an umbrella to the baby backpack so we could go on a little hike. We did a 3/4 mile loop called the "Hall of Mosses." It was beautiful - even in the rain.

After a wet and miserable night, we woke up to bright sunshine, cold air and the relaxing sound of the river flowing by. We packed up and headed to Ruby Beach a few miles down the road. We took the dogs and Kendra down to the beach. It was gorgeous! Mickey and Turtle loved it, but
were unsure on what to do with salt water. Both tried to drink it, then settled on chasing the foam from the waves.

We arrived back home yesterday afternoon. After a nice, long, HOT shower, I crashed for a nap. Dan played Xbox with our neighbor and started laundry. Everything smells like campfire smoke and dampness.

Despite the rain and cold, I'm already planning our next adventure. Perhaps Mt. Rainier for Father's Day weekend...