My Second Baby Turned Two Today
The sweet little girl who was born to us at 2 AM on a wintery Northwest Monday morning...

...with sugary rose-colored lips and delicate hands...

...who makes my days mostly fun and sometimes crazy...

... has no idea how much I love her and how I love to hear her maneuver through an ever-expanding vocabulary, raspy voice and all.

She has already mastered the art of rough-housing with her older brother Finn...

...and she is not one to turn away food...

...with Dora as my witness, we spent Lucy's 2nd birthday having fun, because that is what Lucy does best.
Here's to another great year with more milestones, more boot-wearing, more chocolate coin treasure hunts and more doll swaddling.
Love you, Little Luce.


That's how I feel today. Stuck in this house of crying children. Stuck (literally) was my car this morning when I couldn't make it up my driveway for the foot or more of snow blocking me out, leaving me no option but to park on the street next to a huge snow bank. I hefted Lucy and Miles (in carseat) over the bumpy, thick snowland on foot and we f..i...n...a...l..l...y made it inside our warm house.
Then, within seconds of each other, Finn peed in a puddle on the floor in front of the heater vent (he just couldn't wait to go) and Lucy shattered a glass on the kitchen floor. (Oh, and small detail: Miles was screaming this whole time).
I've decided the initial urgent rush when we walk in the door- the shedding of boots, coats, hats- is the most annoying, intense time of the day. (Maybe it has something to do with our tiny back hallway....sometimes I wish I were a midget in this house).
So, it's been one of those days. It seems like there has not been an interruption in the crying all afternoon and I keep thinking, "When are they going to bed?" And, what is it about preschoolers thinking they can talk in high-pitched voices and disobey you?
Oh, and did I mention we've been issued a Winter Storm Advisory? If only my groceries were bought and put away instead of still sitting on the store shelves waiting for me to buy them...
If only...if only...if only....I guess I'm being pathetic today. But, everybody has these days and I hope that means that tomorrow will be better. If not because I managed to slodge through this day, because it will be Lucy's second birthday!
Stay tuned if you want to be in on all of that action!


Travel: It Does (This) Body Good
After a short weekend getaway to one of my most favorite places (and almost across the country places), the Tri-Cities of Washington, I am happy to say we are back, I had a great time and I managed to only get a little teary-eyed upon hugging my Mom good-bye at the airport.

As I am instantly back to the grind, I am reliving the experiences of the past few days, particularly missing this little niece, Miss Ruby Rubes, and the others I visited on my short stay.

Oh, don't you worry, we'll be back again soon!

(Only next time, I want to bring T. Schuller and sweet Lil' Luce too.)


Quiet Time

Today during quiet time, as I took my usual perch on the couch to catch some Z's, I overheard Finn repeating the dialogue from Cars.

"I'm not coming behind you again old man!"

"What are you doin' kid?"

"I thought the King should finish his last race."

(And then I watch as Finn tows one Matchbox car behind the other).

This is a two and a half year love affair that Finn has had with the movie and it's still going on.

And then my eyelids closed and it was time for some mid-day, much-needed shut-eye.


What Do You Do When...

...Your husband calls and says he'll be at school until 8 or 9 at night? (As in: I will have the kids for 3 or 4 more hours by myself?)

Well, if you're like me, you turn on Chris Brown's "Forever" and you...

...let Miles swing while screaming himself to sleep...

...dance with Lucy and her sweet moves...

...and you let the mess stay where it is.
(For now at least).


Frame It

There is something definitive, conclusive and so put-together about a framed object.

Remember back when I got this letterpress picture mat from the folks at Sycamore Street Press (we're practically neighbors 'cause they're in Columbus)?

And remember the fabulous photographer Sarah, who worked her magic with Miles?

Take those components, add a frame from Target and voila! Instant Miles chic on my wall.

And, here's the Sycamore Street Press's alphabet print framed in a vintage frame.

(BTW: I have so many old frames in my basement. I'm thinking of doing an Anthropologie-esque montage of them in my stairwell, with just the frames...wouldn't that be cool?)

And just take a look at these icicles lining our roof. Some are more than 4 feet long!


Loooove It!

I loved this mind-mapping idea from Holly Becker of decor8. The way my brain works, this would be the perfect exercise to get some clarity and order up there. It goes along with the new year theme, getting all of those goals and ideas onto paper, even the ones squished way back there in your brain, possibly even put in there in 4th grade.

{Image via decor8}


Pour It In the Pot
My best friend Ashley and I used to have our own self-made cooking show called "Pour It In the Pot." (We would take turns starring and filming, although Ashley was much more entertaining than I).
Well, lately I've been trying to find non-meat sources of protein and I've tried some new things in my searching. Things like seitan, soy yogurt, whey protein shakes, roasted soy nuts, and tempeh. (Chocolate protein shakes with vanilla soy milk are really tasty...in the past I had sworn off protein shakes because I didn't consider them real food....I'm eating alot of my words lately).
(This is going somewhere, I promise).
So, I'd read that quinoa (an ancient grain) has alot of protein and fiber, so I decided to bite the bullet and experiment with it. (The only person I know who has used quinoa is Karen Sharp and she makes this really good salad with it.)
So, anyways, I just made a basic vegetable soup, using every container and bag I had in my fridge (there I go again trying to get rid of packaging!) and added some dry quinoa to it. I thought to myself, "Travis is going to hate this," but I kept adding stuff and it actually was really good.
So, if you care to know how to make quinoa soup, here's a basic recipe:
Saute 1 onion and 3 stalks of celery in olive oil in a big stock pot. When those are soft, add about 3 of 4 cans of chicken or vegetable broth (or use bouillion cubes and water). Then add diced carrots, chopped spinach, potatoes, or whatever vegetables you have on hand. To that, add a half can of tomato paste and some vegetable juice. Then, add about a cup or more of dry quinoa. Let all the vegetables get tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I served it with homemade whole wheat bread, which I think is the perfect winter treat.
I honestly couldn't believe that both Finn and Lucy were downing the stuff and that Travis had seconds. I will definitely be making this again (with whatever I have in the fridge at the time, of course!)
Happy pouring it in your pot,


Don't Miss This Giveaway!

Want to make your valentine a seriously cool vintage valentine this year?
Or do you want to have some great music to listen to while you're making that valentine?

Or, have you been needing a new look and some new jewelry to complete it? (Who doesn't need/want new jewelry?)

And, have you been wanting a birthday party decoration for all ages?
Then head on over to our shop's giveaway hosted by our good friend Dandee over at My Favorite Things.
{These are just some of the items in the giveaway.}
You'll be glad you did....and your valentine will too!


Paying Bills

Who doesn't need a little help balancing the checkbook and paying those pesky bills?

Well, if you're like me and need a little reassurance that you're balancing everything okay and that you're doing a good job, just ask Miles Schuller to help. With that baby-ish charm and suave expertise, he'll boost your confidence and heck, he might even toot for you.

That's how we get stuff done 'round here.

You Are Special

There's a story behind this big red plate that arrived in the mail on Monday. It goes a little something like this:

Aunt Emily comes to visit and dote over little baby Miles et al.

Sarah mentions to Emily how she is just dying to get her mitts on a red "You Are Special" plate (just like the one we had growing up).

Two weeks later: postman delivers box to Sarah and lo and behold, a brand new "You Are Special" plate lies inside, from none other than Emily.

Sarah calls Emily to thank her and Emily confesses she found the plate at a thrift store, never-been-used, even with the pen still in it (for writing down those special days on the back of the plate) for $2.50.

And the saying is true: one man's junk is another man's treasure!

And, because I've been on a roll with the special packages lately, I got this pretty vintage-looking clock yesterday in the mail from my Mom. Isn't she thoughtful and stylish?
I think so. And, that is why I have felt special for the past couple days.


Our Adventures
For those of you who don't get my weekly family letter, I'll include an excerpt of it here, just in case you want the nitty-gritty on what's going on around here:
Sunday, January 11, 2009, I wrote:
It's been sort of a doozy of a week, with many high and many low points. One of the low points was last night, when just as I had fallen asleep, I hear Lucy crying "Mama" in her bed, I drag myself out of bed to find she had thrown up all over her bed and the wall (she had done this the night before also). She also had diarrhea, so we got her bathed and cleaned up. Just when we had put her in bed, Finn informs me that his bed was wet (so much for Wal-Mart pull-ups). We got his sheets stripped off the bed and his clothes changed, and we got ourselves settled back in bed. (I forgot to mention that just as I was getting Lucy in the bath, Miles woke up and was hungry, so Travis took over the bathing and cleaning so I could feed Miles). At 3:30 AM, I hear a Lucy moan again and I go in to find another pile of throw-up on her bed (albeit a little smaller), but man, so stinky! By this time, I'm running out of clean blankets to put on her bed, so I get two newborn receiving blankets to cover her up with. So, as if waking twice in the night with her and once with Miles weren't enough, she and Finn decide that at 6:45 AM they are ready to rise and shine. Man! I thought I was a goner. I tried to get them to at least lay down next to me for another 45 minutes, but that didn't work very well. And Travis had to be at the church at 8 AM to shovel the sidewalks from the winter storm that left a good foot of snow everywhere yesterday. So, then he left and I was left to deal with the kids who all had loose bowels at the same time. Lucy had three messy diapers in 20 minutes, two of which leaked onto the rug, and Finn had managed to get poop on everything in the bathroom, including the bathmat, himself and the toilet. This happened as I was nursing Miles. And just when I get up from nursing to help Finn, Miles spits up. (If there is any doubt as to the human ability to secrete various substances, just come visit our house. We'll give you an education you'll never forget.)
So, then yesterday, I decided to make my first maiden voyage to the grocery store with all three of the kids. (Keep in mind there was a foot of snow on the ground). We finally make it to the entrance to the store after a few falls and tears from sloshing around in the snow, and we couldn't find a cart big enough for at least two of the kids (the one we wanted had snow all over it). So, I drop Finn off at the daycare area, put Miles in the part where a child should sit, and let Lucy sit in the basket of the cart. Worked okay, except when I went to turn down and aisle and didn't notice Lucy had stood up in the cart and she fell out of the cart, right on the back of her head. EVERYONE saw it. I was so embarrassed and she was screaming and I was post-workout wearing my gym clothes, looking like a slicked-up sewer rat, and this was in a more upscale grocery store than I'm used to shopping at. I felt horrible and she didn't seem too worse for the wear (a little bump on the back of her head). But still. Then, I get paged that Finn has to go potty (remember, he's in the daycare), so I take my unbagged cart of food to take him to the bathroom, then we try to get in a fast line to check-out. None to be found. After 20 minutes waiting in line, lots of wrestling small bags of Skittles from the kids' hands and lots of tears (by this time Miles is fully-awake and is very hungry), we manage to get our groceries and take another 10 minutes just to get out to the car (Lucy fell in the snow again, and wouldn't stay with me, so I had to carry her and push the cart). It was awesome. Unforgettable, that's for sure.


Dora and Diego
Finn-Bob and Lil' Luce have a new treat to look forward to at bedtime: brushing with their new Dora and Diego toothbrushes. (Perfect gift, Grandma Peggy!)


New Ground
Reading the New Year's Resolutions posts, I can't help but get excited and a little antsy to get my feet wet too. We watched old videos from the past year and I was amazed at how much my babies had grown and how I am still the same person inside, the one that I've been forever: wanting to be in all the action, wanting to please, wanting to make a meaningful contribution somehow, a little surly come 7 PM, and the hair! (I think I will always struggle with how to wear this reddish mop!)
So, after lots of thoughtful introspection, and two wonderful lessons at church today, I feel prepared to make some goals for the new year. It's a little yin-yang, this practice of making goals. On the one hand, we're admitting there are things we don't like about ourselves that we'd like to change. And, on the other hand, we're lurching forward with faith, because we anticipate that these changes will make us whole. A newer, better version of ourselves. I could use some new blood coursing through these veins, metaphorically speaking.
This year, I want to:

In doing these things, I hope to live a fuller, richer life (and lose the baby weight).

Every morning I pray that I will see a little progress and improvement (in anything) during my day. Change excites me. (I think that's why I love any movie that involves house remodeling). So, 2009, I meet you with hopes of change, improvement and lots of learning. Baby steps through second semester, baby steps through my 29th birthday, baby steps through potty-training Lucy. It's going to be a wild ride! I hope you'll stick around for it!


"Sliding" Anyone?

Sliding is what Finn calls sledding.

He and Lucy did lots of that today.

Sledding, or sliding, or whatever you want to call it.

It's the same thing anyways, right?
Taking It Upon Myself

I really haven't felt like doing much lately. But, I did manage to get a handle on my craft room. I love neatly organized stacks of like items.

And I finally got around to adding a special silhouette to our family.

The little guy was sleeping, so he has apparently no lower lip, but we'll take him anyway we can get him. He's cute with any profile.
10 Weeks

This little guy has morphed himself into a sometimes serious, sometimes babbly little fellow.

And he's hit the cooing stage....I love this part...when they know you and they try to get your attention by burbling and doing all they know how to connect with you.

As a matter of fact, as I'm typing this, he's laying on my lap, and as I type, ignoring him, he is wiggling around, making noises, trying to get my attention!
SALE in My Shop!

To ring in the new year, I've reduced several items in my shop.

Like this Little Birdie Growth Chart (above).

And this Happy Birthday Pendant Banner (any birthdays coming up?)

And this adorable little vintage tow truck.

And, don't forget about this great collection of vintage Christmas ornaments.
Stop on by and visit the sisters at Pretty Swank!