One For Him, One For Her, One for Me

Inspired by my friend Mary Ann, we're eating lentil soup for lunch today. When I don't feel like letting Lucy make a mess feeding herself, I let her sit on my lap (the Ultimate Treat according to her) and I feed her. Finn likes me to feed him too, so it's a win-win-win situation all the way around.
It's a rainy day here, so we're hunkering down, listening to Pandora (Patty Griffin station---my favorite) and enjoying the solitude. I'm off for naptime!


This Is How We Do It
I've got a cold, and so today we're laying around in our pajamas, watching TV, movies and eating snacks with as little mess as possible.

Probably the reason I'm sick is because I've been staying up late working on fun things like these bird and fox silhouettes.

And, these letters for some Happy Birthday buntings I'm making.

I love cutting out letters. I cut these last night while Travis and I watched old re-runs of "The A Team." I had never seen it before and I got a kick out of T. Schuller, who was humming along with the theme. He loves that show. I thought Mr. T. on the show was hilarious. We've got to get him back on the network somehow.
Out With the Old, In With the New
I thought it was interesting to note the changes of the kid's silhouettes in just a year's time. Can you tell which ones are the new ones?


I SO Needed This
I appreciate all of the encouraging comments about my post from Friday. Thank-you, dear blog readers! It was so nice to hear what you had to say.
I sat down to watch the Relief Society General Broadcast on Saturday evening and when President Uchtdorf announced what his topic was, I instantly thought, "This talk is just for me." I'm sure anyone watching felt that way. Isn't it wonderful to have inspired leaders? It was just what I needed to hear.
"She's That Good"
Last night, I had a complete meltdown in the quiet hours after the kids were asleep, alone with Travis. I was feeling crappy.
There's been alot of talk lately of NieNie in the blogworld. I have been an avid reader of her dialogues since I first heard of her from my sister Whitney several years ago. And, I'm the first to admit: I feel like a schlumpy mother in comparison to whom we have all come to lovingly know as the Nie. As my sister Erin said recently, "The Nielson's could be translated." (They're that good.)
So, I've had to come to terms with myself, mainly my mothering, lately. Because I can't just let my inadequate feelings fester. My feelings have run the gamut from foolishly feeling like supermom (that one is entirely made-up) to the schlumpy, frumpy mom who can't control her kids and freaks out when Lucy spills her milk. I wonder: where do I fit into the equation? If so-and-so is a good mom and does X, Y and Z, I must be a bad, lousy mom. (There's-only-so-much-of-the-pie-sort of mentality). That thought has seemed completely true at times over the past several weeks. It leaves me feeling rather yucky.
But, I can't go about my motherly duties without some conviction of my worth as a mother, the prime caretaker of our children. So, I stew. I weigh. I ponder. I get jealous. I rationalize. And I end up crying with a box of Kleenex to my husband.
And, he listens quietly, no response. I wonder what he's thinking. Then, he tells me what I should say to people who scoff at me and my kids in stores and tell me I should do this or that, things totally not their business. (I can't repeat the words on this blog, but it involves a vintage picture of a woman holding a cup of coffee...maybe you've seen it before.) It softens me and now I'm crying because I have been blessed with a husband who takes it all in stride and knows not to take me too seriously when I get like this. But, he understood me and was on my side.
I came upstairs after "having it all out" to go to bed and call it a night. I checked on the kids, sawing logs, in their unusually-contorted bodily positions. I looked at Lucy, and stroked her cheek. She looked beautiful, perfect, innocent. It occurred to me that our children will turn out in spite of us.

I feel the need to confess how shallowly I tread on being a good mother. I had one heck of a mother, who I will forever watch and stand back in awe. She's that good. I was driving with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and she commented I seemed like I had it all together and was doing great as a mom. I was caught in a lie. That was SO NOT TRUE and it cried "FALSE!" the second those words came from her lips. She had it all wrong, I thought.

I want to clarify for her, and any of those who may falsely assume my life is peachy and I've "got it all together." Don't believe it for one second. (Most of you probably already know this). But, let me make it clear:

  • There's a dust collection on my dresser table that would shock you
  • I spend about 2 seconds flat brushing Lucy's teeth every night
  • I struggle to read my scriptures daily---lucky to read 4 times a week
  • I don't usually shower or get ready for my day until 4 PM, which means I run errands looking pretty schlumpy
  • I mentally complain when I make Travis' lunch most nights
  • I stared at the clock every 15 minutes yesterday asking myself, How soon until I can put Finn and Lucy to bed?
  • I feel like I have more wrinkles than the average 28-year-old
  • Each day I have to tell myself multiple times that I can get through it and that I can handle 2 kids (soon-to-be-three). "Fake it 'til you make it," modus operandi.

And, truth be told, deep down, I know I can't do it alone. I never could no matter how brilliant or patient or generous. Last night I just needed to lay my heavy load down for a second and let someone else feel the weight of it for a while. Having someone acknowledge my weight was enough. I can put my "backpack" on and wear it around for one more day, like I will need to do over and over again for a long, long time.


New Arrival

Yesterday while Finn was doing this....

...I was working on this.

The tree is paper so you can mark your child's height directly onto the tree. So, it not only functions as a growth-tracker, it becomes a nice little keepsake for your child!
If you want to purchase this, or know someone who would, go here.


Nest in a Swirl
For some reason (I like to think it's my nesting/hormones), my thoughts are all scattered and I feel like a marionette, with hands that want to do one thing and legs that want to do another. Let's go inside my brain right now:
  • Wouldn't these sticks and this copper planter make a cute centerpiece?
  • I'm glad this wool sweater is washed and out to dry now.
  • Why does a family of four need this many instruction manuals and warranties?
  • How can I transform this simple growth chart into a really cool one?

So, there. Now you know what I'm up to today in this swirling, jumbled state-of-mind.

I think some days we just need a little scatter-brained-ness to process everything that we've got going on. Don't you?

Thrifting: Part III
Okay, okay, okay. So I'm a bit obsessed with this thrifting thing. I got this little pink Danskin dance outfit for $6 (new they're pretty expensive). I put it on this little ballerina yesterday and she has loved it ever since. I love the pale pink color and the delicate puff sleeves and skirt. You've got to love her little belly hanging out of it! So dancer-like!


No Buyers Remorse= Buyers Love

Okay, so I'm still not over the high from yesterday's thrift store bargains. Maybe it had something to do with the small fortune I almost spent many times last week on clothes for F + L.
As embarrassing (but, oh so comfortable) as it is, this is my standard public apparel these days: flip-flops and some hand-me-down gauchos that have gotten at least two of the Fox sisters and maybe an in-law through yet another pregnancy.When I saw these pants where the knees were worn a little, I thought, that is just what boys' sweatpants are supposed to be like, especially size 4T. But, with the pricetag, you don't even have to worry about patching the knees when they get holey: just throw them away and get another pair!
(BTW: those are the shoes that replace the much-missed Lightning McQueen ones. They're "fighter jets" and not airplanes, according to Finn. And, he corrects anyone that tells him otherwise.)
Also standard public get-up: no make-up. I feel like I'm Amish or maybe just albino when I go out like this. Hey, it goes with the simplicity of the country scenery, right?

T. Schuller shedding the weight of his studies and guiding his planes through the air. Everybody needs at least one, if not several, outlets in their lives. Today mine is making spinach dip and enjoying it with crackers.
What's your outlet?


It's Just Stuff

It's the end of an era. The Lightning McQueen shoe summer. This weekend we said good-bye (actually I said good-bye) to the shoes Finn has loved the entire Summer. His toes were poking out the ends and his feet stunk like nobody's business. No one was around when I silently threw these babies in the trash.

Can somebody pinch me? I was in dreamland today at Unique Thrift (remember half price Mondays? Well....they're back!) Some great finds from today: a beautiful vintage ballerina paint-by-number.

A handmade sweater for Lucy. I have a collection of these hanging on her crib and when she's done wearing this one, I'll make some sort of display of them on her wall probably. Because hopefully by then she'll be out of a crib!
And, I wasn't disappointed when I went to Unique to furnish Finn's entire winter wardrobe. What did I come away with? A huge stack of 3T and 4T name-brand clothes for about $25. If Unique doesn't have it, I don't know who will!


Seek and Ye Shall Find
First of all, I LOVE these little plastic containers. They are so versatile and come in handy for so many things; i.e. dips in lunches, loose screws and nails, afternoon snacks, church snacks, and treasure hunts. I get them at a little Jewish paper goods store here, and I believe they used to sell them at Costco. They're cheap too.
This was a fun little treasure scavenger hunt we did last night.
BTW, Finn is now singing "I Am a Child of God," and he's singing it something like this:
"Lead me, guide me, walk 'side me. Help me find the way. I am a child of God and He has sent me here (really high notes there). Lead me, guide me, walk beside with him...(a little confused)...um, I don't know this song....sing it with me..."
(Me, laughing, teary-eyed): Okay.


Body: Ever-rounder

With four and a half weeks to go, my belly has become the center of life in our home. Not only do I feel the life within me moving and occupying my inner sanctum of the womb, but Finn and Lucy love to touch and feel my belly too. "Baby," points Lucy (sometimes to my chest, when I then redirect her to my belly). And, who knew that pregnant bellies make great parking spots for matchbox cars?

My only dilemma (aside from the constant rearranging of pillows while sleeping) is what to name this precious babe. I have a name in my head, but I'm not sure it's "the one." I know a few women who say they don't even share any of the names they're considering for their impending arrival. But, I figured I'd get the blogging world's opinion on this baby boy's name. Who knows, maybe one of you will be the proud namer of this next child-o-mine.

So, what say ye? What do you think we should name this boy?


Comment Call
This back entryway closet is driving me nuts! There are always shoes in the way when I walk in the door or go into the basement. Does anyone have a solution to the shoe clutter problem? I'm trying to think of something that won't get in the way, and yet will allow me to easily contain the shoes.
Let me know what you think!
If there were anyone besides her dad (and then me) who Lucy would prefer, it's Dora. She has a Dora pillow that her Grandma Scrimsher made for her and she does a slinky body dance everytime I lay her down on it. She chose a Dora movie at the library this morning.
Aside from loving Dora, Lucy, at 20 months, loves:
  • eating while sitting on any adult's lap.... ("yap" she calls it)
  • eating raisins, fruit snacks, anything you give to her in a bag
  • her brother Finn
  • her Daddy: she is 100% a Daddy's girl
  • taking baths
  • riding in the stroller...she is a sitter in contrast to Finn who is an active mover
  • shoes, any kind, anyone's, any size
  • having books read to her

She is sweet and also sassy. Sometimes I want to put a leash on her so she won't get into everything I'm trying to do. Other times, she just sits still in my lap as good as gold.

Thanks for providing lots of energy and sweetness to our family, Lil' Luce!


Gettin' the Jitters
Last night Travis took his new plane out for it's maiden voyage. As we were driving out there, I noticed he seemed a little tense and distracted. He said he always gets nervous before he flies new planes because he doesn't want to crash them. It's like the feeling before he takes a test, he said. His palms were getting sweaty even. I started laughing so hard.
And, btw, he landed it fine with no wings or parts to tape. Phew. Glad that "test" is over.

Arousing the Divine
I couldn't help myself this weekend. I had to make this cake that my masterful baker friend Sara made for a baby shower last week. Try it at your own risk. It is to die for.
No Sissies Here

Saturday I was cleaning the bathroom when downstairs I hear a loud thud! on the hardwood floor. I heard the initial cry-out, then a really long pause, then the floodgates opened and Lucy was in a full-teary-eyed screaming fit. She must have been roughhousing a little too much with her older brother. Poor thing. I've never seen a bigger goose egg. She got plenty of Tylenol and TLC after that.


Craft Call!
I know you out-of-towners are going to want to fly in for this one!


Awake! Friday!
The kitchen's morning greeting.Yesterday's laundry: clean, but not yet folded.
"Fold me!" it screams.

Turning on the Beatles and shaking our bon-bons.

Or doing the zulu dance.
After all, it is Friday. Let's kick it into gear and celebrate!


Craving Crafts?

I couldn't pass up this sweet baby photo montage at a yard sale a couple weekends ago. I want to take pictures of the upcoming baby in similar fashion and replace the ones in the picture with them.
So what do you do with clearance frames from Target?When you have a huge church craft activity to plan, you think of cheap (free) treatments.
The artsy-fartsy.
The letter-loving mother.

The hip girlie one.

Endless options!

And, I've had cake plates on the brain too lately.

Do you like this one? Fancy-schmancy one?
Or this one? The plain sophisticate?
Did you know you make these by adhering a candlestick to a plate?
Simple. Affordable. Classic.


I woke up this morning after dreaming about Stephanie Nielson and her sister Courtney. (It must have been the NBC clip I watched yesterday of the interview). It was the day before the crash and we all knew the fate of the next day except for Stephanie. She was still very happy, dancing and enjoying her children and family and friends who were there visiting with her. I asked Courtney, "Should we tell her?" And she said, "No." I don't know why exactly, only that the feeling in the room was that either way, whether she knew or didn't know, she would go through with it anyways.
I woke up especially in love with my kids and thankful for the new day. As I got ready to go run some errands, I was grateful that even though I don't even put on make-up anymore that I can be a beautiful person, even if others can't see past the plain maternity t-shirted lady with two small kids at her coattails.
It's a good feeling to know who you are and to know that what you're doing is valuable to at least some of the world's inhabitants. I loved reading this this morning too. She has written so well what I felt today too.


This is my motto for the next little while. If I keep moving I won't get too antsy to have this baby, and I won't miss Travis too much while he's in the throes of his studies.
Do these paintings look familiar?
I made a little addition to them (just taped on). I think it's cute.

And last night I discovered an easy solution to having a practically bare fridge. It's called beans and rice, but it's more than just that (maybe Sarah's Hot Pot?).
I sauteed a sweet onion in some Smart Balance. Then I added 1/2 packet of taco seasoning, rice and enough chicken broth to cook the rice. When the rice was tender, I added some leftover pinto beans.
And, I had some different colored peppers, so I tossed them in some olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven on 400 for about 25 minutes.
I like the rice with some sour cream and a little cheese and then I like to dip tortilla chips in it. There are endless topping possibilities though, like salsa, guacamole, diced tomatoes, you get the idea.