Monday, December 13, 2010

Karl's "gift" to me

Karl recently gave me a gift I am beginning to resent.  In his defense, I thought this gift was great when I received it - so I am sure he never intended its consequences.  What was this "gift" you ask?  Karl encouraged Kasen to use a spoon.

Before this event, I was a little concerned Kasen might need me at her senior prom to hold her utensils.  She has shown NO interest in holding anything at meals not even her bottle.  Anyway, when Kasen grabbed the spoon - Karl excitedly showed me his progress.

The problem with your baby wanting to feed themselves?  It is MESSY!  No, not just child with food on hands and face - I mean food on the walls and ceiling messy.  Especially when said child has 6 teeth - pulling the rubber spoon out of her mouth turns the utensil into quite a food catapult.  Plus, she does not want to actually feed herself.  She just wants to play with the spoon.  So when you take it, she screams... like a banshee.  I have sunken to using 2 spoons at a meal so that we can trade back and forth (this makes me messy too - great fun).  I tell myself some of the food must make it down her throat.  I have to tell myself this - otherwise I would omit the food part all together and just let her chew the spoon mess free.

So right now, Karl's gift is seeming like one of those presents you unwrap which looks great in the picture, but once you get it open you realize you have to assemble 3 million pieces... then paint it.  I see lots of laundry in my future.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's the little things

Kasen just starting clapping. Although it may have started weeks ago. As you can see in the video - it is a clapping "approximation".

Fyi - posting this with my phone and the app I use has never done videos right. I am hoping the last few updates have fixed its issues. If the video works, I may be able to post more frequently now... Well... if life promises to stop getting in the way :)
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DIY Hat from an old sweater

Karl had a FANTASTIC sweater that he put in the Goodwill pile this summer.  It is a wool/cotton blend and was just too warm for him.  Here he is wearing it a few years ago with Phae (chubby, cute baby Phae).

Luckily it takes us a good year to get things to goodwill!  I recently decided I couldn't waste this sweater and decided it would make the perfect hat.  I figured I could make them for the whole family... turns out Karl and I both have big heads, so I could only make 1 adult hat from the part of the sweater with the colors Karl liked.  Had this been an all over pattern, I could easily have gotten 2 hats out of it.  Anyway, after making Karl's I realized the sleeve fit Kasen perfectly.  Here they are in their new hats:

Cute huh?  Don't let that girl fool you - she is THRILLED momma makes her wear re-purposed sweaters as hats.  Wait... this is her normal face.  She did nicely turn her head so you could see the back.  She is actually a better model looking away from the camera.

The baby hat was definitely the easiest one and honestly pretty darn cute.  How did I do it?  Basically, once the sleeve was cut in half (where it would fit over her head with the shoulder part flopping to the back), I just sewed the top of the sleeve hole to the bottom of the sleeve hole.  You can see it better here:

This shape naturally gave these cute "ears".  I used a needle to weave some floss through the bottom of the ears and cinched them (for a boy I probably would have tied on the inside and cut off the extra).  A little fabric glue on each knot finished it off. 

I added some trim from the bottom of the sweater, but only to match Karl's.  Honestly it would easier and just as cute simply hemmed.  So fast.  Literally the baby hat took 10 minutes.  This one was made from a men's medium sweater (will probably fit 9 months maybe up to 18 months - depends on stretchiness of sweater).  I will probably zigzag stitch the seams if I decide to wash it - a serger would have been AWESOME for this. 

Monday, November 29, 2010


While the days leading up to Thanksgiving were pretty snowy - Thanksgiving day was actually quite nice.  Karl was in charge of the turkey.  Her he is showing off his electric knife AND his funny t-shirt.  I thought it fit the occasion nicely (the shirt says "eat more meat"    get it?  they're veggies....).

As always, Sterling is willing to help in any way he can...

My good friend Sara has sent us some fantastic baby gear and this bib was one of the scores.  She has been using it for quite some time, but I made sure it was clean today.

This shirt was a gift from her Grandma.  The shirt says "Everyone is Thankful for ME".  YES, her shirt is SOAKED with drool, but don't those teeth look cute... that is if you can look past the spit...
(Nice fire in the background huh?)

Our friends brought their brand new baby - Lucas.  Here he is in all his newborn glory.  He was born on Oct 19th and Kasen can't wait till they can play.  They will be best buddies for sure.

My younger brother came up from Portland which was wonderful.  He has a gruff exterior, but is the only person to willingly let Kasen touch their computer (*softie*).  Can you tell how thrilled she is?  Her body was shaking... I am not kidding.

She then showed Paul WHY she never gets to touch the electronics.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow-pocalypse 2010

Snow in Seattle is pretty, but a tad inconvenient.  No one knows how to deal with it, we have very little snow equipment (it never snows after all) and there are hills everywhere.  BIG ones.  Anyway, as someone who sticks pretty close to home these days - this snow-pocalypse was deemed pretty.  The snow started late morning on Monday (yes after most students had left for school - most schools shipped them back home around noon).  Here is the beginnings of the storm:

It continued to snow almost all day on Monday.  Here is our front porch on Tuesday after the snow fall was over.

We guessed at least 2 inches.  It has been COLD since then, we still have a lot of it still around.  Hopefully it will warm up soon.  Since the roads have been so bad, Karl worked at home both Monday and Tuesday.  Here Kasen and Karl are in the living room with the snow as a backdrop.  Definitely not a usual Seattle scene.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kasen's first beer... kinda

Before you call DCS - no beer crossed the lips of our child.... I don't think anyway... no, definitely not.

At the end of our fabulous trip to Florida last month, we stayed in Orlando for a night.  We were flying out the next morning at 8am, so we just stayed at a hotel near the airport.  The hotel was pretty forgettable, but dinner was not.  We went to the Bauern-Stube which was AMAZING.  Seriously, it reminded us of our local bar Prost.  They had REAL German beers on tap.  When the waitress welcomed us and began to explain each German beer, it took Karl a moment to say "we're familiar" - I think because he was so verklempt.

This place was unbelievable. Completely a shock since it was so full of charm and uniqueness (not really Orlando's style).  The decor was fantastic.  Every inch of wall space was full of German-esque knickknacks (always loved that word).  I tried to take a photo, but it was too dark inside.  I settled for one of Kasen that showed our table.

Are you wondering when Kasen had her beer?  It's coming.  Both Karl and I ordered German beers with excitement. I got a Weiss beer in one of the  traditional tall glasses. After a fantastic meal (with SPAETZLE), we (OK I) ordered dessert. Our waitress brought the dessert and when she put it down, she accidentally knocked my beer glass - stupid, tall, wonderful beer.  Do you already know where this is going? Yeah, the beer knocked over onto Kasen. That poor waitress - I have never seen someone apologize more and all I was thinking... what a great story to tell Kasen one day. In fact, I laughed even the next day when I unpacked her little dress that smelled like a brewery.

Hmmm.... wonder if all parents remember their infant's first beer? All the good ones I suppose.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Laughing in the face of danger

We have called Kasen our "little morose baby" since she was born.  Her natural expression is a look of skepticism mixed with melancholy.  On an infant?  It is pretty funny.  Look at her posing in Halloween costume #1 (there were 3 - OF COURSE).  Although...  what flower would be smiling in October in Seattle?  Maybe she is more of a method artist.....

However, as she has gotten older it has gotten easier to at least coax a smile and even (*gasp*) a laugh out of her. While we were in Florida visiting Kasen's great Grandpa (and his lovely wife Priscilla), Karl illustrated her laugh. The easiest way to get her to "perform" this is by... growling a her.  A little weird but the deeper the growl, the better.  Add a pawing motion and she is in baby-hysterics. I don't know why, but it is pretty cute.  Priscilla smartly said we should get it on video so we did...

Monday, November 1, 2010


One of the advantages to moving to Seattle was being close to my family (at least some family).  This means Kasen gets to hang out with her cousin quite a bit.  My niece's favorite thing is to "hold baby Kasen".  She has even been know to finish dinner in order to:

Kasen is getting a bit big for her to "hold". They also both have skeleton pajamas ("jammies" in our house). Both sets have bones that glow in the dark. Once they are "charged up", dance parties ensue... OK so Kasen's dancing is me waving her back and forth.  Then they rest...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More pearly whites

Kasen got her first teeth months ago.  They were the middle bottom two and they are finally prominent enough that they are pretty easy to see.  Here they are in all their glory while she is getting the jammies on after her bath.

A few weeks ago another tooth made an appearance - an upper one.  It is not one of her middle front teeth, but instead the next one over (the one right before the canine/vampire tooth).  Well, the next one coming seems like it will be its mate on the other side.  This means she will have the two below in the middle and then the two above just on the outside.  I imagine her smile may look a little bulldog-like until she gets her middle front teeth. 

Bulldogs are pretty cute though....

Monday, October 18, 2010

A whole new world

When Kasen turned 6 months old, we started feeding her food.  Not really real food, but bland, mushy, food-like gruel.  We started with peas.  Here is what she thought:

Unsure to say the least.  Honestly, that is the face she has made with all the food she has tried.  Admittedly, peas were not a huge hit, but she has happily eaten other things with the same expression.  Every first bite gets a huge frown and a "blech" expression on her face.

Her current menu list is - peas, squash (acorn & butternut), lentils, carrots, avocado.  By far her favorite is the butternut squash followed by the avocado.  I believe that is the combo on her face below.  She HATED the lentils and likes the carrots, but they don't seem to agree with her.

She also has a little trouble concentrating on eating...  I think Sterling was laying behind her in this picture.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A whole 1/2 year

Kasen turned 6 months old last week.  How did she celebrate?  Hmmmm.... nothing too special - although I did make sure to take a picture of her with the Happy Birthday balloon we have at the house.

The balloon is actually left over from my birthday a month ago, but she enjoys playing with it and we encourage the enjoyment of cheap "toys".  No, she is never left alone with it and honestly her "playing" consists of her shaking the body part that has the balloon attached.  I find it fascinating she understands that her movements make the balloon move and that it is only the part of the balloon that has to move.  Clearly a genius ;)

In honor of her 6 month birthday, she did get to visit her favorite place - the house of shots (NOT the kind she is too young for - the kind none of us like).  This time it was 4 shots and 1 liquid vaccine.  She is still perfectly healthy and above the 95 percentile for weight and height.  She weighed 19lbs 10oz and was 28 inches long. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A True Sounders Fan

Bedtime? Bedtimes are for kids whose parents DON'T have Sounders tickets! Go Sounders!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Future's so bright...

When a sunny day comes along in Seattle, you head out. Our destination was the zoo. Gotta protect our Seattle eyes - they aren't used to these rays.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

A turning point

As I said earlier this week, Kasen just seems to to be growing leaps and bounds. 

So, without further ado - I present to you (insert drum roll noise here): Kasen rolling back over from her belly.  I know - you have been waiting weeks for this event.  We here at the Picarbockers are sooooo proud (plus we hope this will bring back the days of sleeping through the night).  For your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sooo big!

Everyone says "it goes by so fast", but I never really understood what it meant.  It is not that time truly moves faster (DUH), but that in your busy day to day life - your child grows up.  Now Kasen is only 6 months (ok so she will be 6 months Sunday), but I see what they mean.  I have been caring for her every day, but still I am shocked that she is no longer a newborn.  Look at this kid...

She looks sooo much like my niece did at her age.  Maybe there is some of me showing through?  And no she is not sitting up by herself - the next few frames have her scrunched down (the realities of soft pants against leaher couch).

The other big change is her awareness... especially of Sterling.  She even smiles at pictures of him.  He seems merely tolerant of her, but that is really all we ask.  After all, he seems merely tolerant of all humans.

Did you notice how he worked his head onto her nice floor blanket? Sneaky that one...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Making a High Chair Cover

As promised - Kasen's cover for her new/old high chair.

I first planned to sew a high chair cover from scratch for Kasen's wooden high chair, but decided to re-purpose something instead.  Having a kid has shown me how much STUFF we consume, so I wasn't crazy about buying a bunch of fabric for this project (especially since she will probably trash it).  I decided my wallet (and the earth) would like me reusing something else.

I found a grocery store cart cover at a consignment store (could probably also be used on a restaurant high chair).  It was quilted, large enough and came with a belt.  Totally worth the few dollars.  Here is the kind of cover it was originally. 

I started with some 1" foam for under the cover.

I specifically chose to use two 1" layers, so one can be removed as she grows into the chair.

I didn't want to alter the chair, so the foam is not attached at all. The straps on the back and under the seat will keep it in place.

Next was to work on the cover.  It had been nicely constructed with bias tape edging all over the seams.  I had never done this work before, but it ended up being pretty easy (although reusing the bias tape was challenging).  I used this tutorial as a guide for attaching bias tape (LOVE this blog).

First I had to make it skinny enough to fit the width of the chair.  I decided for ease (and time) to only cut/re-sew one side.  You will see this made the belt openings off center, but it was fine for my end project.

After cutting the width down, I had to re-edge the sides with the bias tape.  It was cost effective and "green" to reuse - but definitely more challenging.

The seat of the cover had to be made out of the piece of fabric that was meant to go up and over the shopping cart handle.  This piece had leg holes in it, so I had to cut them out.  I attached the bottom and covered all exposed edges with the bias tape.  I hope I sewed it well enough to stand up to the many washings it will endure.

Finished product:

Cute huh?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kasen's "Antiques"?

My mom has saved quite a few things over the years (no.. not like Hoarders TV show type saving - totally normal memory type saving).  From my childhood, she saved a rocking chair, toy chest and high chair.  The toy chest needed some work (pictures of that are coming), but the rocking chair and high chair were in good shape.  I don't know how old something needs to be to be called "antique", so maybe vintage is a more accurate moniker.  I assume these were made for the Bicentenial, so they would only be 34 yrs old.  I would rather NOT think that qualifies ANYTHING as antique.

The rocker is child size and really doesn't need any work.

All of the pieces have this 1776-1976 on them.

Here is the high chair:

All in all the high chair is a really nice piece of furniture.  I like how sturdy and compact it is compared to the plastic ones they make today (which generally sell for over $100).  The biggest problem I saw was it doesn't seem very comfortable nor does it have any type of a harness.  The original harness was leather and broke off long ago.  I love the little details on it...

This past weekend, I was able to address both the comfort and the harness issue.  I'll post pictures tomorrow.  All of this leads up to Kasen eating real food.  This weekend has been declared "Kasen eats real food" weekend.  Well, if mashed, strained peas count as "real food"...  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sewing muchkin stuff

I finally replaced my old, broken sewing machine last weekend.  My new sewing machine (a BabyLock Crafter's Choice) is awesome.  I definitely have some learning to do, but it is making sewing fun again.

The first real project I worked on was the curtains for Kasen's room, but I am still not done and no pictures have been taken - so that will have to wait.  Instead here is my first finished project - an applique on a bib.  I love small projects, this took about 30 minutes.  Here it is:

How freaking cute right?  I love the silly fabric I found too.  Makes me think of a real bow tie.  I wish I can gotten a picture of the little boy wearing it.  We made anther one with an appliqued neck-tie in red gingham.  A-DOR-ABLE.  I really want to do a neck-tie one that is a thick stripe.  Totally man tie on a baby bib. 

My next step is to create a girl version.  I am thinking some sort of necklace, but my applique skills are still developing, so I need one that is pretty simple.  I will definitely take pictures of Kasen enjoying it.

In addition to the little projects, I just started a quilt class.  The fabrics below were especially picked to go with Kasen's room (and other decor in the room).  I am hoping the quilt and curtains finish around the same time - then I promise some photos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"But she's all wet.."

I know people love babies, but until I had one, I was unaware of how MUCH people like babies.  Add Kasen's cheeks, bottom teeth AND propensity to babble and smile at everyone - freaking magnet for baby lovers.  I have never seen people who looked so... normal, coo and kiss and baby talk so quickly.

Let's be clear - I love my baby.  So when people behave this way, I get it.  I mean I coo, kiss and baby talk like all the others, but I made her.  I see my husband's eyes on her, my grandmother's cheeks and maybe even my skin. 

I am not as strongly drawn to random babies (babies where I don't know their parents).  You know, the babies you see in your day to day life that you will probably never see again.  Even now after having one, I look out of curiosity - but I don't change my route to stop and say "hi".

Although, I don't believe I am completely missing this "baby love" gene, I just don't think it applies strongly to humans.  After all, put a puppy within a 100 ft of me and I WILL change my route to say "Hi".  I guess everyone has their baby weakness. 

When Kasen and I were back in Michigan, she got to meet my Aunt and Uncle (on my  dad's side) and my Uncle's spouse.  It appears my Uncle may have a similar opinion on babies as I do...  the quote "But she's all wet..." was his statement after saying he wanted to hold her.  He was completely correct - she WAS all wet from a night of drooling.  She won him over - you can't deny her...   Oh and don't worry, we draped her in a blanket, so no clothes were harmed for this picture. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little Austraila in Seattle

It has started raining in Seattle and you can see the fear on every one's faces.  We attempted to ignore it, but the underlying question - did the "winter rains just start?  Nooooo....

We generally have beautiful summers that last well into fall, but this summer has been... well "mild" is the nicest term I can use.  It isn't exactly accurate though.  More accurate?  Lame (look still generally a nice word).  The summers are what gets Seattleites through the winters, so having a bad summer does not bode well for our sanity this winter.

Winter coming early seems especially bad with an outdoorsy kid.  I don't know whether it is Karl's "must-be-moving-constantly" genes or we actually have a kid who naturally craves nature... who knows.  Regardless, Kasen is NOT GOOD cooped up all day.  It makes her cry, so we leave the house.  She is fine just walking around aimlessly - but I need destinations.  We are lucky to have our local zoo within walking distance. I took this picture in the Australia exhibit today.  A kangaroo or a wallaby?  No idea.  Kasen isn't old enough to ask - so I didn't have to figure it out :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kasen's gift to me...

Today is my birthday.  Other than the small hiccup of Karl being on the other side of the world for work, it has been a good one.  I am headed out to my favorite restaurant tonight, got flowers delivered earlier (good man that husband of mine) and like a zillion Facebook Happy Birthday wishes.  Who forgot?  My daughter.  Then I remembered what her gift was - her general tolerance of all things I do (provided they don't get in the way of her sleeping or eating).  The proof?  Even though she has little wisps for hair - I thought she should try the hair clip look.  Which hair clip you ask?  The biggest one I could find...  I give you "Flamenco Kasen"

Must appreciate this gift while she gives it.  Soon she will be advanced enough to roll her eyes and then I'm in TROUBLE!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Next step - turning BACK over

As promised.... video of Kasen turning over. This is after a few days of "practicing", so she had gotten much more efficient at the process. I am sparing you all (and preserving A LOT of storage space) by showing this later attempt. My video of her 3rd turn over ever? Yeah, I think even James Cameron would think it was a little long... get it!?!? Titanic? Avatar? With no Leo or 3D? No way you would make it to the grand finale - so I removed all the build up. Straight to the rolling over. You're Welcome.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back in Seattle

We just got back in Seattle and in clearly posting to the blog was harder than I expected - more on that later. We spent our Labor day enjoying being back together again by heading downtown on the bus and giving Kasen her first Aquarium experience. She LOVED it (yes she looks skeptical in the photo but she was still sleeping from the nap on the bus).

Now it is back to the real world or coming back "down" from vacation time. We had such a great time in the midwest and got to see so many people - posts on that will definitely be coming later this week. As a teaser... here is a great picture of Kasen in her church clothes (& Grandma in her new Kalamazoo College shirt - GO HORNETS). Sadly, you can't see the leather ballerina shoes on Kasen's feet... YEA - shoes with ribbons on the feet of a 5-month old. They lasted like 5 minutes.

I did want to ask everyone for help for a good cause. The Picarbockers are walking in Seattle's MemoryWalk. It is an event to support the Alzheimer's Association fight against this awful disease. My friend Jeannette is collecting donations for our group and WE NEED HELP!! So please go to the below link and give a little. Any bit helps.

Click HERE to donate for our walk.

I promise to take lots of pictures of Kasen "walking". If you donate - let me know. I will send you one of these Picarbocker original pictures of Kasen in the mail. I mean how vintage of me... a true hard copy photo!?!  So... DONATE now.  Thanks.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seeing old friends

Today was spent driving down memory lane. I even bought Kasen a Kalamazoo College T-shirt - although I was sure to explain that mommy & daddy can't afford the tuition. Later an old friend, Lynn Chittle, dropped by to see Kase. She has known me since I was an infant. The picture is my mom, Lynn & Kasen in my mom's front yard.
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