22 June 2012

growing exponentially

For over an hour, I've been experiencing the magic of both boys asleep at the same time. And although it's been my intention to give this good news update since then, it has still taken me over an hour to start. I better get better at maximizing this magic time. Soon enough...

Well, as you faithful readers (Rebecca!) might have guessed, yes, I was in labor while I wrote the last post. I wasn't wanting to admit it yet, because I'd carefully prepared myself to go overdue. But an hour later, I was at the midwife appointment. The pains were regular on my drive there and I was already feeling an urgency to take a picture of my belly because the belly wasn't going to be there soon. I took the above shot on the way into the appointment, where my suspicions were confirmed. And by 6 o'clock that evening, I was back at the hospital, dilated to an 8. Yeah, man.

I think I smiled in this photo just because I knew it was being taken, but remind me not to do it next time because it looks goofy. Delivery with a midwife wasn't much different from my doctor/nurse experience. I expected her to do a little more coaching, but I really liked that it was one person there with me through labor all the way to the end.

This was the view from the room, though my personal view consisted more of the backs of my eyelids. I still can't believe it was daylight during all this—I fully expected a birth around midnight.

But hallelujah!

It was but 7:32pm when they handed me this wee one.

And he immediately grasped my fingers! I like to think it was reassuring for him.

Kinda like holding Ben's hand was reassuring for me for the few hours previous.

It was past his bedtime (hence the jammy-shirt and the über-tired face),
but Cohen got to come meet his brother while he was still under an hour old.

 It was probably more fun for us than it was for him.

Actually, it was fun for me to have LOTS of family come meet Baby... fun enough to stick my tongue out.
But for the rest of you that couldn't be there, it's fun to tell you via the ol' blog:

Meet Baby Silas Benjamin Knudsen!
8lb 3oz  20.5"

We're giddy to have him here. The first night we brought him home, I told Ben as we went to bed that I had an some kind of excited feeling, as if it were Christmas Eve or the day before a trip to Disneyland. Maybe it was a little naïve—going to sleep with a newborn shouldn't necessarily be exciting. But I confess that part of me still has that feeling. Our joy multiplied with Cohen and it's pretty much exploding with Silas and I guess we'll just hope that it will continue to grow exponentially. 

08 June 2012

straight-up up-date

Someone asked if I was taking a break from blogging. I guess you could technically say so, but does it count if it wasn't intentional? It's not. I'm sorry!

The special birthday gift two months ago was an iPod touch—the new kind with a camera which meant I instantly fell addicted to Instagram (see my photo feed here), and it served as the update-my-family-from-afar outlet.

But there are indeed lots of updates:

  • We moved out of the "loft on the daylily farm." (moment of silence)
  • We put most of our belongings in a storage unit.
  • We parked our car under the NC summer sun.
  • We caught a plane by the skin of our teeth and made it to Utah.
  • We enjoyed the wedding of Sean and Hannah!
  • Ben interviewed at Landform Design Group and started interning there the following week.
  • I found someone to keep a medical eye on my pregnancy and sheepishly have asked to borrow important things like a carseat and bassinet for our time here. 
  • Cohen has been living a much higher quality of life with someone to give him attention at every turn, and more cars to play with than he ever knew existed.
We are feeling grateful for our situation. Happy to be here in the 'homeland' and even happier to be with family and friends that have been far for so long. Things are still up in the air for fall—we know Ben's classes start in mid-August so we hope to be back for that, though all else is just details at this point. :)

Until the next time I opt for blogging over taking a picture and clicking "Done"!

(or until I can finish a brother and a brother-in-law's birthday haikus!)

23 March 2012

it's coming

This is my overall feeling today. I think I thought of it first as my birthday—an impending due date I'd given myself to have made some concrete, tangible progress—like that you could see—on that looming goal to "share/use my talents to help/benefit others" and possibly help our own financial negatives. (A creative exercise above—my contribution to the cause today.)

But it could also be the certain gift from my very kind and generous family. (The shipment notification email said it would arrive today!) Or, more profoundly, it could mean the bouncing baby boy in my belly that will be here in less than three months. He has somehow skipped out of my brain lately—despite lots of amusing "skipping" inside me. Maybe it is a subconscious detour I take around thinking about the next few months, because there is either too much or too little to think about being that plans are so uncertain. But today, I'm oh-so-aware, loving reading about babies coming and feeling nothing but excitement for what is to be our greatest "life adjustment" to date, or so they say.

It could also be summer. Yes, March is most decidedly a spring month no matter where you go—even in Utah where it still snows, but the equinox says it's spring, so you believe it. Here in NC, feeling a sweat inside and having to close the windows and turn on the noisy AC unit means that it feels more like summer though, and I'm sort of dreading it.

Summer, this year, also means a few sure its that are also coming:

  • My brother's wedding!
  • And so, our voyage back to the home state.
  • And so, leaving this one-bedroom "loft on the flower farm," to put it romantically.
  • And so, a move, with all the packing and gutting and deciding-what-to-keep or how-to-keep that a move entails.

Eek, I remember why I was choosing to live more ignorantly. Or at least focus on the next two things coming: the end of the boy's nap and the midwife appointment soon thereafter, which will be preceded by a campus drop-off where my boys can share a lunch together so that I can lay and listen to a mini-heartbeat without trying to figure out how the toddler should fit on the bed with me.

Lots of its coming; better get a move on.

25 February 2012


As you can imagine, a first and only grandchild several thousand miles away from his first-timer aunts/uncles/grandparents is sort of a tragedy. But then again, not as much as it would be without FaceTime. We do a lot of it around here. Cohen loves it. When he's not tired and he already ate and his diaper is changed but he is still fussy, I pretty much give up and turn to FaceTime to help me parent. Cohen's mood instantly changes once a familiar face comes on screen with a hearty "Hi, Baby!" And then he can go {almost} forever—showing off his cars, playing peek-a-boo, babbling away, mimicking, or simply staring at all the faces giving him such undivided attention.

The other nice hero is the screenshots, which my family frequently uses to capture the moments—like the one on the right, where he's pointing to the birds he hears out the window. Or the one on bottom where he is completely enthralled with laughing "hard" with my mom (it may look like he's screaming or something, but that's just his cheesy laugh).

There are a slew of these shots waiting to be shared (as my brother will attest, who frequently comes home to a desktop full of them), so this will likely become a common theme, probably documented on the Baby Ks blog. The url finally makes sense now that there is more than one Baby K. Though it would have been more proper to call it 'Babies K' I think. Ah, well.

(Oh, and if anyone else likes to get they're FaceTime on, you can reach us through my email. Same with iChat or Skype or Gmail Video Chat. Or even Google+ Hangouts. We are sort of experts in this genre. Drop us a line.)

22 February 2012


It's been a week, but HusBen kept asking if I was going to post about it, which I consider rare enough to oblige—despite the grainy photos. I'm a big fan of love, so it is fun to celebrate. I laughed when Ben came home a few days before V-day, admitting his ponderings that we should know each other's expectations for this holiday. "Are we going to boycott the commercialization or. . . get super into it?" This is certainly not our first Valentine's Day together, so I'm not sure why it came up now, but I took advantage to let him know I didn't expect to watch a Jazz game. ;)

When the day came, it was the final kick in the pants I needed to get that tidy house I lied about! I thought it would be the best surprise for Ben, and considered it a near-miracle to finish all I did (the miracle included Cohen napping well) before he walked in the door that evening. I fed Cohen dinner as Ben began prepping our dinner of fresh spring rolls with the ingredients he stopped for on the way home. He brought me home a bunch of tulips-to-be and my 2 bottles of my favorite treat (Odwalla Superfood)! Hiding behind the love note I forgot to remove is my other favorite lately—CHOCOLATE. Cliché, I know, but I can't help it. Ben went straight to the top with a bag of Ghirardelli "Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao" squares. I couldn't have asked for more.

I'm glad he found his own favorite treat as well, being that my only offering was the tidy surroundings. He loves big buckets of lychee jellies! He treated us to a plethora of asian beverages too. My favorite was the white (green?) grape juice with whole grapes in it. We topped off our night watching Adam, having remembered that our last Valentine's Day movie was Temple Grandin. It was a good day of love.

P.S. Before the tulips arrived, there was a bright red camellia adorning the table, which fell to its death just as we set the table. I felt extra romantic spreading the petals across the table, but get this—they were greasy! Weird.
P.P.S. I missed taking a photo of the 'budding' stage, when we were guessing the blooms would be white, but by Monday, we had a bunch of precious pastel pink in the window!

07 February 2012

3 truths and a lie

I had a dream last night that I was standing in for someone at one of those events where they toss a bad person/hero into a cave and onlookers watch as a hideous monster battles the victim. In my case, the hideous monster was a very distinct, shiny black bird—the size of an ostrich, with colored rings around its eyes and a long, sharp serrated beak used for killing its prey. Like the victims in the movies or the Bible, I too escaped, but only by waking up, and not before witnessing a few of these tenacious avifauna overcome other victims. Note: My impression above is cartoon-y, but in the dream it was very real—like CG effects real. Yes, I just used virtual terms to describe real.

One of the awesome things about pregnancy is remembering details from dreams, though they are not very often coherent to a story line. I feel like a bad mother for not documenting more about this pregnancy. It could be related to the fact that I have hardly felt pregnant at all. (Thank you thank you knock on wood thank you). But this next Baby K deserves better. So I am announcing that I am actually going to try to go update that baby blog some more. I've thought about it a lot, but telling you (whoever you are) might make me more accountable. And that goes for updates on Cohen too. He's 1 now, you know. It was on the docket to do a birthday tribute for him, but I already know there's no way to express anything through just words. Yeah, yeah, "anything's better than nothing," I know. I'll get on that too.

I have been dancing around the idea of somehow earning money with my talents. There is a healthy debt looming behind Ben's schooling and I feel there's got to be something I can do about it. I get really fired up to do it about every other month, but after 18 months-ish, I have nothing to show for it. I guess I could name several excuses why it hasn't happened, but I don't know which is the real stumbling block. If you know me like my mother does, you know there's some dumb stubbornness about me that wants to to it right and well the first time. Start out small and learn slowly by mistakes until I get better and better? Ha! This principle applies to too much in my life, but I'm hoping the accountability principle will help me out here too. If you are reading this, please keep an eye out for something whereby you might help dollars be delivered to yours truly. I promise to exchange for something authentic. Probably done with my hands.

My house is so immaculate lately. I just feel motivated every day and it's no big deal. Everything is decorated the way I want and I really feel like I've made this house a home. I was always the messy one growing up, but I don't know, something's changed and I just live the good life of tidiness now. We never watch spiders make webs in the corner, we haven't caught 7 mice this year (compared to last year's 8), and we never hear raccoons wrestling above us nor do we ever see them peering in on us against our window. We never leave dirty dishes out, dirty clothes never touch the floor, everything is in its right place and I just feel so uplifted by it.

Post Edit: I guess I'm a better liar than I thought. I know they're really long, but these paragraphs are indeed part of the get-to-know-you game of 3 truths and a lie. Sorry for misleading you. Wanna play?

18 January 2012

a walk and a breakfast-for-lunch

This is the story of a January 18, where the sun was so shining that hellebores were poking through the ground. This mid-January day called for a walk. A walk in sandals, because I'd just found them at the bottom of a bucket o' clothes. (The Jesus Sandals have their own story—about coming home to them on my top bunk when I lived in the Annex. Circa 2005? A surprise gift from Amy and Megan K!)

Cohen loved this walk, as usual. He was cute, as usual. I noticed and loved that all the yellow-and-silver fire hydrants are stamped with "American Darling." There were other things blooming.

And when we came home, the boy retired to his bathroom bed, and I enjoyed sunshine through the windows while I made some eggs and bacon that I'd been craving ever since reconnecting with flatmate Anna, of London 2005 times, now an accomplished foodie. (Yes, my serving is ginormous. I have no excuse other than I eat for two, and it was a late lunch.) My beverage was water with mango chunks in lieu of ice cubes. To quote my sister, it "wasthebestEVAR."

And the story ends with a mesmerizing steam in the sun that looked like a painting or a movie, but certainly not like real life. I dined happily ever after!

16 January 2012

better late than never

I spent a good while (since pre-Thanksgiving?) imagining a New Year letter to send in the mail to everyone we know. I had the paper, size and format settled, with a plan to use the Xerox transfer process like Mr. Rees taught in high school with Chartpak blender markers. After some internetting, I substituted the toxic marker for a can of mineral spirits (because it's called mineral spirits!) but it was a major fail with my chosen newsprint and I didn't have the gusto to push on the experiment. And so, here we are, over half-way into January and I am instead sending you this New Year greeting digitally, but sent with the same love as if I reproduced them all, had all your addresses, stamped them and got them to the post office. I am really very sad to see 2011 go—partly because it was so fun to write the year as '11; probably mostly because we got to watch a human grow for a year, maybe because I got to become a mom. But here's to looking forward. 2012 is aesthetically boring to me, but it rhymes with the cool word delve, so here's to delving!

May all of your 2012s include a lot of whatever makes your heaven!

04 January 2012

a sign of a winter

The glorious golden sun rising on the far trees is kind of stealing the show, but just believe me that there was indeed a thin slice of ice laying atop our backyard pond this day.

03 January 2012

first night

Meet Creepy Green Hooded Person. We hand-picked him on our first visit to Paris Market in early 2011, with the idea of recreating the King Cake tradition introduced to us at the Malans' First Night Atlanta. 

We ditched the cake idea, and he instead hid inside Chocolate Pomegranate cookies.
(Ben's cookie, to be exact! Luck for the new year!)

Cohen went to sleep nicely. Ben made an amazing soup (some cabbage, potatoes, veggies and veggies and a whole lotta fresh thyme). We grated fresh fresh Parmesan on top, grabbed crusty rosemary bread slices from our new toaster and snuggled up with an Amazon Instant Video.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was so enthralling that we missed the stroke of midnight, and so toasted with our Martinelli's knock-off around 12:12am of 0-twelve.

And that's how it all began.