Aug 29, 2011

oh look!

I made you another mixtape.

These are happy days mixtape
by hummingdust

1. Howling Bells - Low Happening
2. Peter Salett - Sunshine
3. The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me
4. Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood
5. Muddy Waters - You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Dead And Gone

 oma Ina Blom, me, and baby Marissa, august 1983

Aug 26, 2011

thunder, lightning and rain - tgif

After a long night of staying up with Julia who has got Croup and needed lots of comforting and settling down, I'm enjoying the darkness outside (insert your jokes about this being proof that I am evil here) and the sound of the rain - it's a welcome, calming sound after the night I just had! It's also making me want to share some of my favourite artists of late with you. People who inspire me to no end, even though I'm not an artist in any way.

Ok, so, Edward Hopper isn't exactly an artist I've only started liking as of late, but I have trouble not including my favourite artist ever in an art post.

For your further entertainment here are some fun facts:
1. Cleopatra was not an Egyptian.
2. An octopus' tentacles operate intelligently and separate from the main brain.
3. Goats can have rectangular pupils.
4. The Dutch Prime Minister orders his cupcakes from a Mormon.
5. It is illegal to slurp your soup in New Jersey.

Aug 24, 2011


Elliot and I would like to remind all of you that we are pretty awesome. To please always be nice to us and give us lots of hugs. Also, that we respond best to kind words and love and are more than happy to reciprocate both. Heck, we're even happy to make the first step at all times.
Yesterday was a little tough in the nice department - some people seemed to think we are intentionally out to hurt them and said some hurtful things, and then didn't give us a chance to say our part. I don't think that's right, you should always hear all sides and, at the very least, acknowledge everyone's humanity. I also don't think it's right to think you can say whatever you want when you are hurt. I think there are limits, no matter what you are feeling. If there is something you want to blame me for, it had better be that you gained weight because I baked you too many yummies. That, I will happily take the blame for.
On the upside: after all the sadness that was yesterday, we came home to find my Social Security Number in the mail - 4 weeks earlier than anticipated. That speeds up the emigration process by a whole month. That was a very, very welcome blessing yesterday and made Elliot and I grateful kids once again. That is all.

Aug 20, 2011

places we've lived

It all began in the Van Bylandtstraat. I moved in there when I was 18 and working fulltime - I felt very grown up. Of course I completely wasn't, as my terrible, terrible cleaning and hygenic skills quickly proved. In fact, it wasn't until I started dating Sander that that place started to look half decent....(he didn't find out what the color of my carpet was until we had been seeing each other for 3 weeks).  I only have a handful of pictures from that time but I have a truckload of memories. My 19th birthday was a major highlight (twister, inflating the blue plastic couch, sleepover, scary movies). Sharing a goodnight kiss with Sander after he had driven me home on our very first date. Take-out Roti from the place on the corner. Waking up at 3am with firemen in full gear staring down at me with only a tank top and some undies to cover my modesty after they put out the fire my gel candle had caused in the living room. The first year of our marriage. 
To make up for the minimal amount of pictures, I made you this incredibly detailed and exactly scaled layout of what the good old place looked like. Prepare to be amazed.
I know, I should have been a blue-print drawer. Yes that is the official name for it, how dare you question me! Here are some pictures of pictures of the actual place (starting off, fittingly, with one of Sander cleaning my kitchen).
Then we bought our very first home in the Vlierboomstraat. This was an especially fun location for me since I spent the first 8 years of my life living on that same street, over a candy store and a toy store - kid heaven. We were so proud to have that place and it felt like life was really beginning when we moved in. Of course we weren't able to move in until we finished all the work that needed doing to make it fit for human habitation. We put in new windows all around, patched up the electrics, and did some major painting. It wasn't such a daunting task with the help of family and friends, and it turned out looking something like this (ending, fittingly, with one of Sander cleaning the kitchen):
The afro kills me. As you can clearly see (or maybe you're not seeing so clearly anymore after having looked at those pictures a tad too long), I was very into bright colors, especially yellow. The color mania was brought to an all-time high whenever you went for a number 1 or two, and were faced with the rainbow door, and fluffy cloud ceiling. You can tell it made the working crew very gay. The smiles on all of our faces are huge!
Ah, good times. Some of the memories we gained by living in that lovely place include some animals: Charlie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Bulkie the Rabbit. For a while there was even Taylor the Tennant. Most memorable of all in this home is the fact that it was the house we had our first baby in. I spent the first hours of my labor in that bathroom that had tile the color of dried blood (very soothing) and I remember the fun I had turning the computer room into a nursery, making it look something like this.
It was difficult saying goodbye to this place when Lara was only 5 months old, but it was with a good cause that we left it. Sander wasn't happy at his job and wanted to go back to school to become a teacher, so we moved in with my parents, who were kind enough to make their entire first floor available to us. It still felt like home there to me since I spent most of my childhood there, but it wasn't long before it felt like a Koot home there too.

Yes, that is another picture of Sander slaving away in the kitchen (assisted by my mother). No that is not a doll in the last picture. That is Julia, who was born in this house. It wasn't until we moved into the house we are in now that I fully came to appreciate the luxury of always having someone in the house to help out with the kids when things get to be too much. Our family bonds were strengthened so much during these years and I believe it was then that my mother and I truly became best friends.
But we couldn't live with them forever, we needed to be independent again. The final hurdle on the way there was turning an apartment that hadn't had work done to it since the 1960s, into a comfortable home for a growing family. Once again, friends and family came to our aid and helped us work miracles in there:
Of course it looks completely different now with the extra level built on top, but you can check out pictures of that here and here. In this home we have had 2 little boys (one was born right there on that bed in the last picture), weathered craziness, hosted parties, enjoyed guests, murdered goldfish, named plants, run in circles, made music, made noise, fought with neighbors, fallen down stairs, had birthdays, and kissed lots and lots and lots of cheeks. It's going to be another tough one to leave, that much I am sure of.

Aug 16, 2011

i made you a little mixtape

With some carefully selected relaxing songs to help you through the second half of August.

August Mixtape by hummingdust

1. Air - Universal Traveller
2. Lila Ices - Love Is Won
3. Warpaint - Billie Holiday
4. Paatos - Won't Be Coming Back
5. Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Gorecki

Aug 15, 2011

this girl

I have known this girl for longer than I can remember. I love this girl. I love her smile and her pretty red hair. I love her sense of humour and sense of style. I love that she watches silly movies with me and that we've never fought about boys. I love her family and her perfect teeth. I love hanging out with her, going shopping, talking for hours about life. I love talking to her for hours about nothing. I love that we named toy rings Pudding and Trut and that she knows all the lyrics to Weird Al's 'Alberquerque'. I love that when we see each other now that we're 29+ we giggle just as much as when we were teenagers. I love that no matter how much time goes by, I still love her just as much. Liz, I love your stinkin' guts.

Aug 13, 2011

video catch up

I have been slacking in the family video department. Don't worry, I have given myself a good chastising and have repented of my evil ways. To make up I offer you these (and more) little videos of Koot Family Antics over the past 4 months. For more, you're going to have to go to my home video youtube page and have a look around.

Aug 11, 2011

take that, America!

For those of you who got excited when you read this post's title because you thought I was going to talk about the recently reunited boyband Take That: you're nuts I apologise. It is nothing of the sort, though I should probably write a post on their iconic selves sometime. (Yes, that was sarcasm. I apologise AGAIN).

What I have to share with you today is of much greater musical value than any boyband, or any band for that matter, could ever offer you. It is me. Singing America The Beautiful. A cappella
Oh yes.
I figured that applying for US residency in five-fold would require all the American goodwill I can get. So, I did what needed doing, and recorded and published this ode to the land of the brave, and the home of the free. The sole purpose here is winning the hearts of all the US government employees who might be handling our green card applications. I know what you're thinking: 'Wow Karina, that is so awesome. What can I do to help you along in this brave endeavor?'. Well friends. You can link every single American you know (especially those of the government employed nature) to this video:
Don't hesitate, you'll be making their life better, and helping moi.
Oh. Maybe I shouldnt speak french until we've actually been approved. Sorry, I meant me. ME!

Yay America :)

Aug 8, 2011

Music Monday V2.8 - brackets

There are days when you just have a lot of music to share that features brackets in the title. Today is one of those days.

1. Murder By Death - You Don't Miss Twice (When You're Shavin' With A Knife)

2. Sage Francis -The Best Of Times (feat. Yann Tiersen)

3. How To Dress Well - Decisions (Orchestral Version)

4. The Do - Stay (Just A Little Bit More)

Aug 5, 2011

oh the iPad

Yes, we have an iPad. Yes, it is the most addictive little gadget we have ever encountered. Yes, it saves us whenever we need the kids to be quiet for a bit. Yes, they have figured out the funky picture options. Have a look at our silliness:

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