Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dog For Sale

Enough said.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Christmas Meme

I was tagged by Flo!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Well, it depends. I LOVE using thick, cute (and expensive) wrapping paper and topping it off with a coordinating fabric ribbon. There are times though that it's just not practical to wrap every gift that way.

2. Real or fake tree?

REAL! One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is going to get our tree. Both Karl and I were total psychos when it came to getting the perfect Christmas tree when we were growing up. Not much has changed since then. And seriously, nothing compares to the smell of a fresh pine tree in your house!

3. When do you put up the tree?

Usually the first weekend in December. We're strong believers that you should allow at least a couple of weeks between one holiday and start of the next.

4. When do you take the tree down?

It's never up past New Years Day (unless we are traveling.) It's usually pretty dead by then and a major fire hazard since we're not the best at watering our trees.

5. Do you like eggnog?

Not really. I guess I like smelling it, but the ingredients kind of gross me out.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

A porcelain puppy that my parents gave me when I was 5. I played with it the entire day and made a make-shift crate for it to sleep in. When it was time to go home, I was trying to juggle the crate and puppy and open the door to get outside. I dropped it and it fell to pieces on the tile floor. I didn't even have it for 24 hours.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Nope. Sad, huh?

8. Hardest person to buy for?

My mom.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

Karl. It's always a battle trying to narrow it down. It's going to be bad news when/if we ever have money.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Survival gear - in case we got stranded in a snow storm on the way back to Colorado.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?

Mail. I'm really proud of myself for getting our cards out before Christmas this year!

12. Favorite Christmas movie?

I don't really know of any Christmas movies, except Miracle on 34th Street. I used to love watching that movie during the holidays, and apparently, I used to love watching Dylan McDermott too! (Thanks for that memory Flo!)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Usually December. I am not a pre-planner when it comes to shopping for presents.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Not that I recall.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Pfeffernusse that my mom makes. Yummy!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

No question about it - WHITE!

17. Favorite Christmas song?

The Sarah McLachlan and BNL version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." I'm in love with "It Really Is (A Wonderful Life)" by Mindy Smith and "Sister Winter" by Sufjan Stevens. "Merry Christmas Darling" by The Carpenters always makes me feel really festive.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Changes (ideally) every year.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Nope. My mom hates Santa Claus (or the idea of him), so I don't know much about him or his entourage.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star. Angels creep me out.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

It's a family tradition that we open 1 gift late at night on Christmas Eve. It's always pajamas, which means a lot because it is not an easy task finding pajamas that are long enough for me. (Thanks mom!)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

The "Christmas Shoes" song.

23. What I love most about Christmas?

Giving the perfect gift. Drinking cider. Cold weather. Being with family. Decorating the tree. Listening to Christmas music. Baking Pfeffernusse. Waking up to a white Christmas. Wait...

I hereby tag Caris and Betsy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wounded Soldier

Soren has been up to some new tricks lately. He's been practicing this crawling thing for several weeks now, but it's really starting to get faster. Today I finally caught a brief moment of him crawling on video. (Yes, this is considered crawling - right Sarah?) You have to be patient, because he holds out until the very end. Nevertheless, there's some cuteness to be enjoyed throughout. I can't believe I have a little boy who can already get around.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm Ready to Talk About It

It has taken me almost 2 months to talk about the fact that our cat James is not with us anymore. That's not a euphemism, he's still alive - he's just not with us anymore.

When we went to the pound to find a little gray kitten (just like my childhood cat), we looked all around and only found one. Just one scroungy gray kitten with conjunctivitis. We asked if there were more in the back. There weren't. So we decided that he was the one. That's how our life with James began. We loved having another little being in our home, despite all of his little (big) quirks.

Fast forward 4 years later, when our lives were about to change in a big way. In September 2006 we added a Golden Retriever to our lives, finally fulfilling our desire to raise a dog (and to fill the baby void in our lives until we were done with school.) The *funny* part about that is that I was actually pregnant when we picked our puppy up from the airport. So, within a year we went from having a quiet life with just us and our cat to a full house! James had a hard time with the change. He missed our quiet life.

After Soren was born, two bad things started happening. Soren would sneeze whenever he was around James. I figured that since he had been around him since birth, then he would escape any allergies to cats, but I couldn't deny what I saw every time. Also, James started acting out in really unbecoming ways - obviously protesting his new position in the family. We felt awful that we had to look for a new home for him, but our little baby took priority.

When I had to say my final good-bye to James, I lost it. As much as I tried to harden my heart and tell myself it was just an animal, I couldn't kid myself. He was our first baby and we had so many memories with him. I felt like an evil woman and he probably felt confused.

Anyway, tonight I was cleaning my kitchen and noticed something that I had been purposely ignoring for months. James' food bowl, still on our kitchen floor with tiny cat food crumbs left from his last meal at home. I haven't been able to even deal with the fact that he's really gone, so his food bowl has remained untouched this whole time. Karl and I haven't really been able to talk about it, so hardly any of our friends know that James is gone. Tonight I realized that I was ready to talk about it. Thanks for listening, even if it was just about a cat.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On the Road Again

It's no secret that Karl and I love road trips. When we don't have a trip to look forward to, we get a little antsy. We love planning the trips and we're proud of ourselves when we can push ourselves to get to our destination without having to stop to rest. Some of our best memories are from exploring the world (or at least the Unites States) from inside of our car.

Ever since Sören came around, we've been anxious to see if he would share our love for the road. For the first time since he's been born, we had the opportunity to hit the road with him this Thanksgiving.

To sum it up, the trip to Washington was a bit hellish. Sören caught Karl's cold the night before we left, so none of us were rested for the trip ahead. The next night in the hotel room, Sören woke every 20 minutes. So between Karl and I, we probably got about 2 hours of sleep. Between stopping to feed Soren and the "day before Thanksgiving" traffic jams, the total time it took us to get from SLO to Seattle was 25 hours - that's almost 10 hours more than it was "supposed" to take.

Once we arrived at Karl's brother's house, we were able to relax and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with family, tour Seattle (a small part of it) and visit our friends, the Wilkes (whose backyard is shown here), on Vashon Island. Sören was able to get acquainted with his cousins and meet his Grandpa Lundeen and aunt and uncle for the first time too!

All in all, we had a great time in the Pacific Northwest - it's definitely our kind of place. Sören, however, would have preferred to be in his own crib, in his own house. We're definitely not going to give up on road trips, we're just going to plan realistically in the future.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There's a First Time for Everything

Last night we had dinner with our friends Ryan & Sarah. They are the kind of friends that you can descend upon with little warning and they will graciously make you a delicious meal, hold interesting conversation and not make you feel bad for leaving early to do homework. They also have a 5-month-old baby (born a week after Soren), so that makes hanging out even more fun!

Here's a picture of Soren and his friend Hattie at 6-weeks-old; taking their baby naps together on the Miller's couch...

Lately Soren has been VERY interested in watching people eat and he tries desperately to get a grip on anything we are about to consume. I have wanted to hold him off from eating solid food until he reached 6 months, so that his digestive system has some time to mature a little more. After weeks of watching him reach out for our food as we eat, I decided very spontaneously that I would let him try some solid food last night. I had some very yummy avocado in the salad Sarah made for us, and I held it out for Soren to try. He grabbed my hand and shoved it in his mouth. What happened next amazed me......he loved it!!! I think the key is reading your baby's cues and not going with a one-size-fits-all approach to feeding (and everything else for that matter.) Soren was ready for something more in his life and for the next week, that something will be some delicious and nutritious avocado!

Thanks to Sarah, I have a picture of his first bites...

And if you thought I was done with the "firsts", you're mistaken! (I'll make this one brief.) I had a dream last night that I was listening to Kelly Ripa (what can I was a dream) talk about her baby sleeping through the night. In that dream I was thinking to myself, "Wouldn't that be nice" or "Maybe someday." I awoke a couple minutes later to the sound of the monitor relaying the sound of little feet softly kicking. This is when I know Soren is up. I looked at the clock and it read 7:55am. I suddenly realized that my little man had been sleeping for 12 hours - straight!! This is quite a monumental occasion for a mom who can't remember the last time she slept the whole night through. I tried to capture a picture of my well-rested baby in his crib and somehow jacked the camera up in the process, so the pictures I took are blurry. You can still get the idea of how happy he is with himself...

OK, my apologies to anyone who made it through that whole post and isn't a parent or who doesn't care about babies. I know that must have been hard to get through.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Family Photos

So, ever since we got married 6.5 years ago, we have gotten just a handful of pictures of the two of us. Needless to say, we were in desperate need of some good pictures where we were both in the same frame! Now that we have added to our family with one perfect photo subject (if I do say so myself), it was clear that now was the time. Our amazingly talented friend Ken so kindly offered to take pictures of our family to build up his photography portfolio. We eagerly accepted.

Here's what happened after that...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Catch Up

So, it's painfully obvious that we need to spruce up our blog, but I've wasted way too much of my Saturday trying with no luck to find a cool layout. (Any suggestions would be appreciated!) Instead of waiting until this blog is perfect, I thought I'd start posting/sharing so you can be updated on our lives. Sören is just growing too fast to wait around for blog perfection. Here are a few highlights from Soren's life so far...

  • Rolls over on September 18 (15 weeks old)
  • Up on elbows and knees and ready for take off on October 29th (almost 5 months old)
  • Gets his first 2 teeth (lower) the next day
  • Gets 2 more teeth 2 days later (yes, it's been rough)
So as you can see, things have been changing fast around here! Here are some recent pictures of our life. At this point I am unable to capture the elusive new teeth...Soren is more interested in biting on anything that comes close to his mouth than smiling for the camera.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Say Hello

Welcome to our first blog as a family of 3....well, 4 if you count Violet.

If you know us at all, you know that we are the WORST at keeping in touch. We are hoping that we'll be able to redeem ourselves just a little with this semi-regular journal of our lives.

Sören still doesn't have a baby journal, so this will mostly be a journal of his life. If babies bore you, we suggest finding another, more exciting blog to read. However, if you happen to like babies, and more specifically, Sören, then this blog will be sure to please!