Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What this place needs...

I recently won this very poorly photographed wallpaper on Ebay. (Don't believe me? Look at that listing.) It was cheap* and I thought perhaps it was really wonderful and the listing was just bad.

It is pretty wonderful.
And I think it might be just what the laundry room needs. (I did tell you I spend WAY too much time watching the Nate show and reading design blogs, right?)

I was only able to win two rolls, hope I have enough to do that wall. Because honey, it is fantastic!

* She had 5 or 6 rolls listed. I was wise enough to bid on the first rolls assuming other people wouldn't bid high because there was plenty more to buy. After I won two rolls Dave said I should buy a third, just in case. They started getting too rich for my blood by that point. I definitely got a deal.

** Jack just asked me if was wearing my "day shirt" or my "night shirt still". I guess that says a lot about my wardrobe, lol.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No apologies

I see a lot of bloggers lately apologizing for discussing their kids or their pregnancies. Or worse yet, swearing to not become "one of those blogs".

You will find no apologies for photos of my little bundles of love here.

Does it mean I lose followers? Yes, and I have.

Do I care? Not one bit.

My mom asked me if I was going to blog Sammi like I did Jack. It made me laugh because I have never stopped blogging. Once I started I just kept rolling.

I have blogged it all. And I will continue to do so. The kids may not care one iota about this little blog when they are grown, but part of me hopes they really do. I always wonder what it was like for my parents when my brother and I were small. What filled the days, what was the world like, what did my parents *do* when they were young?
Well, here's what we did today - I sent the kids out in the yard so I "could please just sew two seams!" (which required bobbin threading). And then I realized that Sammi was wearing Jack's old puppy outfit and holy smokes it was a bundle of cute out there.

See what I mean?

No apologies needed really. :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Yesterday I was browsing the internet while nursing Sammi* and I saw this post . Which kind of made me crazy with all of it's wonderfulness. You'll be seeing at least two ideas I got from that post in my house soon. I already started another project from there this afternoon.

It led me to this post which made me all kinds of crazy too. I NEEDED that handkerchief decal and I needed it NOW.

So then I found this post and 20 minutes later I had this:

One vintage hanky + a bit of embroidery floss + a piece of steam a seam II (which I always keep on hand, you should too!) and the iron and voila!

My own hanky decal.

* I spend a lot of time browsing design blogs and watching the Nate Show in this chair right now. It has SERIOUSLY reignited my love affair with the new house. I want to make over everything. I want to fluff everything. I want to sew. I want to design. I love my house.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Living room, take 3

I rearranged the living room. Again. Here it is before .

And here it is after:

This is the third time I've rearranged it, but the best arrangement yet. The space finally feels cozy and better utilized. (I need to take down the pom poms from Sammi's party. Oops.)
And I still need to do something with the stuff on this bookshelf. It's hard to figure out what I can put on it that will be kid friendly. The photo albums stay though. They were up high before and I wasn't able to revisit them with Jack, which we like to do.

And just because no post is complete without sweet cheeks (who is screaming her bloody head off right now), she learned how to hit and kick the toys on the play gym last week!

Thank the gods it is Friday and Dave will be here for two days. Holding the baby 24 hours a day is starting to wear on me this week. Oof.

Happy Friday ya'll.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frugal Friday on a Wednesday

I used to do frugal Fridays around here fairly often for awhile. With the price of groceries skyrocketing, gas back at nearly $4 a gallon and even cheapo Hanes underwear becoming insanely expensive, I thought I might try revisiting that topic every so often.

The first summer after Jack was born we stumbled on a kid's consignment sale here in town late on a Saturday afternoon. I was excited to find decent, cheap things for my baby (yard sales are REALLY hit or miss with kid's stuff it seems). I still remember what outfits I bought him and the $8 high chair we scored and used for a few years.

I hit that same consignment sale every time I happened to notice it for a year or so. Then when Jack was a toddler I got more serious about it and started to consign his clothes and make a little money back on them.

For a few years this worked REALLY well. Buy the clothes used, get a check for selling last year's things, then resell the same clothes I bought last year. Essentially I was clothing him for free, minus socks, underwear and shoes. As he gets bigger I find that the consignment gig for him is just no good anymore. Boys this age are just too hard on their stuff. But I still manage to find a few things of his to consign every year for one very important reason - it gets me in the door to the sale early.

This is a HUGE sale, people wait in lines for hours and hours to shop it. I might not be making a huge amount of cash or be able to buy a lot of things for Jack anymore, but that early admission is worth it's weight in gold when you have a smaller child.
Last fall when I first discovered that Sammi was a girl I had a panic attack at the consignment sale trying to buy some clothes for her. My Lord there are a metric ton of girl's clothing at this thing. I couldn't manage to choose one.single.item last year for her.

Yesterday Dave and I set off together to shop it for this coming summer. He did Jack, I did Sammi. While the prices are higher than Goodwill (infant clothes are a buck apiece there) and yard sales in general, I bought her approximately 40 outfits in varying sizes and 10 toys for around $100. Name brand stuff too - Gap, Janie and Jack and my ADDICTION (it's a real problem I tell you), Gymboree.
ARRGGGGGGGGGH, so many beautiful little dresses for my little sweet cheeks.
This is one of my favorites.

My pull along shopping cart was overflowing. And I will get a check (even if it's small), for the things of Jack's that sell that helps to offset the cost.

My consignment sale tips:
*Find a tried and true sale. I did a smaller sale last year and it wasn't worth the work.
*Consign something, even if it's only their required minimum, or volunteer to work the sale to get in early. Less crowds, shorter lines, more selection.
*Plan ahead. This thing is so darn big that when I go in for Jack I go armed with a list. For example, he might need: 4 pairs of jeans, 2 sweaters, 6 tee shirts, a dressy outfit for photos, etc. This does require having a kid try on their existing wardrobe and sorting through the closets before you go. It can be completely overwhelming otherwise.
*Bring a cart or bag or basket or something. You cannot sort through miles of clothes without something to hold things.
*Grab now, sort later. I put everything even mildly exciting in my basket and then sit down and check them over before I check out. Check the zippers, buttons and snaps. Try to find a bright spot to look for stains. Check toys (in boxes especially) and count parts.
*Have an idea of what the retail prices are like in your area before you go. I hate retail shopping, but I try and make a point of knowing what a 5 pack of onesies is going for in Kohls or Target (and even Goodwill for me) so you don't overpay. Because consignors set their own prices they vary wildly.
*Leave the kids elsewhere so you can really focus while you are there.
*Get a feel for what will sell. I tend to dress Jack differently than a lot of other 6 and 7 year old boys in this area so a lot of my stuff was just sitting there unsold. I don't bother sending that stuff anymore. If they want camo, consign camo.
*Go back to the sale more than once. Since you are getting early admission there may be an overwhelming amount of stuff. Go back once it is thinned out a bit to see if anything else is interesting. The last day is half off day here, but pickings are really slim by then, but day two is usually still decent.
*Enjoy being thrifty! Buying a brand new gymbo dress with the $33 tags still on it for $4 is a nice thrifty way to dress your littles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I saw these bookends on a blog and was DETERMINED to find them. It took two different Target stores and one email to their help line to find them, but find them I did. (And they are on clearance already at my store, just in case you also become possessed by the need to find them.)
The first minute I saw them I knew they wanted to be pink. So, as proof that you can paint anything (even super heavy, very slick book ends)...
I painted them pink.

And now they are wonderful.

*Should you also become possessed by the need to paint something like this - use spray paint, go very slow and apply a LOT of thin coats with PLENTY of drying time in between coats. I have one bubble from crying baby rushing!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday Finds

While Jack was at my mom's house on Saturday, Dave and I spent a fair amount of time running around hunting for a milk glass collection for Sammi's godparents as a thank you gift. (A weird thank you gift perhaps, but I hope it will be sentimental to her godmother, who has fond memories of her own grandpa's collections.)

We stopped at a garage sale that started at 7 am at well past noon and there was this dollhouse, still waiting for us.
It's not perfect, but I had one of these as a child that my own grandpa bought for me at the auction one Saturday. (I loved going to the auction with my grandparents, born and bred on junking I am!)
As we were loading it in the car a woman stopped us and told us she had one of those as a child too. She was reliving her memories with us when she said she was going to cry and asked if she could touch it. A little strange, lol, but whatever. (As long as you don't ask to touch the baby it's all good with me!)

I am pleased as punch that now Sammi will have one too. (Jack declared it a "cool farmhouse" when he saw it late that night. He attempted to spend the night at Oma's house and we had to go collect at 9 pm. Just as I expected we would, ha.)
I also picked up a little vintage book...
with sweet graphics.

And a frame for the hall of frames. Which is overflowing. I must stop my obsession with frames or start culling the herd.

Difficult choices there.

It's 80 degrees again and I am attempting to paint a pile of projects with Sammi while Jack is at kindy. I think I am going to need a lot of luck to get anything done!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Into the flock

Baptism day for Sammi.

Complete with an antique christening gown...

a handkerchief bonnet, a lovely set of godparents and first visits with family.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keepin' it real on a Wednesday

Two weeks ago I decided I need a new front door wreath. After many store visits (everything is crazy expensive or just so blah), I settled on the infamous coffee filter wreath.

You know the one. Blogs out there proclaim it to be so CHEAP! and so EASY you can do it in 30 minutes!

Uh huh. This sucker took at least 4 trips to the store, 90,000 coffee filters, 90,000 pins (I cannot hot glue things right now. I just don't have that kind of time and Jack would end up burning himself when I had to go do something else), and many hours of frustration and cursing.
And let's talk about the end result. This thing is so big I swear to you it is like the wreath that ate Manhattan.

It is kind of pretty though.

In other keepin' it real news:
Sammi is a super pooper. She never poops without pooping through everything near her. This morning's mess started with these ill fated words, "MOM! Sister just exploded all over the couch!" Through the diaper, through the onesie, through the overalls, through the slipcover on the couch, through the cover on the inside of the cushion and INTO the feathers in the cushion. I will forever have baby poop yellow feathers inside my good couch. Good times, that.

Jack was playing with Sammi and accidentally pinched her little finger with toy. Instead of just answering me when I asked what was the problem he got embarrassed and upset and started to cry and growl and refuse to tell me what the issue was. I HATE having to get demanding over something that is really no big deal, but his (quite usual for him) refusal to answer me when something "bad" has happened is starting to get really frustrating. I have tried everything under the sun to help him get beyond this extreme embarrassment thing and I am STILL getting nowhere. (And it is kind of important that he is able to speak when he gets hurt. Next year he will be at school for 8 hours a day without me.)

I am not sleeping at all right now. And Sammi is mostly sleeping through the night. And yet I am awake from 3 am on. Part of my infertility struggles include really low progesterone and that beastly MTHFR. Something about the MTHFR means that I don't metabolize B vitamins well. Which means something about my serotonin uptake is not right. When I was trying to get pregnant I found that all the drugs and vitamins they had me taking worked wonders on keeping my anxiety at bay. Now that I am without that stuff again I just worry myself endlessly. At 3 am. My OB gave me some folate supplement which helps. BUT it gives me insomnia. GAH. This part is sucking right now.

Jack is becoming REALLY frustrated with all the baby talk from strangers. He has started to yell out things like "It's a newborn people, come on!" or "Would you people PLEASE knock it off!" Which, well, kind of makes me laugh because I am getting a bit tired of it too. (Well, I am tired of the "Zoo animal" like talk about me wearing her in a sling.) But also, I feel bad for him. He does not want to answer "do you like her?" another time. I get it. He is a super awesome kid and he surely has a lot more to offer than useless answers about being a brother when there is really no "brothering" to be done right now. The extent of his brothering involves getting me a towel when there is poop all over the couch and the counter and me and her! LOL

I had a few hours alone with Jack on Saturday and I was surprised to discover how much I miss him. I had time to actually listen to him and play postman Pat and make him dinner without rushing. I look forward to Sammi getting on a more regular napping schedule so we can have that again soon.

And that's the view from my chair this week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cute kids on a Tuesday

I am feeling stressed today. Not sleeping well, Jack being rambunctious, trapped in the house, baby crying, BLAH.

So let's look at the kids being cute.
Jack made a fabulous snowman. (I wish I could have helped him, but the crying baby and my complete lack of any boots kept me in the house.)
Sammi discovered the joy of toys. Hopefully moments of entertaining herself are not far behind.
And then there is just plain cute...

times two.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flea Market Sunday

Let's pretend it is still Sunday, okay?

Also, let's remember that yes, I went to the flea market for "opening" weekend yesterday and yes, it was brrrrrrrrrrrr freezing, but today?
Today it is freaking snowing.
On the first day of spring break. And it just keeps snowing!

But never mind that for a minute. (Jack and I need to shovel us out here right soon, Sammi needs her meds from Target stat.) I did buy some stuff yesterday:
a towel holder for the kitchen (I had one like this at the old house and I have always regretted not making Dave take it down);
a soap dish for next to the claw foot tub (must remember bar keepers friend while at Target so I can clean it up);
a fun hand made scalloped hook shelf which used to have decals but will get a fresh coat of paint on Thursday (when it is 75 degrees again);
the man in the moon (the dealer said every photo studio used to have a moon for getting your photo taken with, I am now on a QUEST to find more of these photos);
and the talk of every dealer at the flea market when they saw it - a new frame;

it's huge and gorgeous and I plan to fill it with black and white photos just casually stuck in there (you know, when I have 10 extra free minutes again, hahahahaha, I crack myself up).

I saw that Shara has up her junking wish list for 2011 and I thought it would be fun to make one of my own. Except I have no time to think about it. But here's my short wish list:

*a living room rug (Sammi will be crawling before I know it)
*a paper mache rabbit with a basket on his back
*a really cool book shelf for Jack's room to replace his box store particle board one
*maps! so I can do a wall of maps
*a great shelf for the laundry room
*a quilt rack like this one
*more dishes for every day use (I broke a lot of ours when I was pregnant and clumsy, and we eat off of lovely vintage flowery china every day)
*another wrap for carrying Sammi (something like a sleepy baby wrap or a maya wrap I think)
*and more moon photos!

Do you have a wish list ready yet? What's on it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On mothering, two months in

I am not really sure how it is that two months have passed already, but they have.

It's been a bit of blur of sleepless nights, hours and hours spent holding and jiggling and slinging and shhhhing and juggling. Lots of juggling. Juggling you and Jack and the house and kindergarten and four cats and mealtimes and laundry and so forth.

It's amazing to me how quickly one falls in love again. You have your first child and you think you could never love someone that much ever again and then you have your second child and wham! you do.

Lately I have been thinking about some of the things I want to remember about these moments:

How beautiful your eyelashes are (you were born with none at all!)
How your head feels cupped in my hand during the many hours we spend nursing in our blue chair
The sweet way you smile up at me when you are full of milk
How you are starting to laugh already!
All the little noises you make
The way you swim like a little froggy in the tub

And some things I will be happy to forget about (which will certainly happen):
How much it frustrates me when people go on about daddy's girl (I worked so damn hard for both you and your brother to be born. Soul sacrificing hard. It's hard on my spirit to be taken for granted.)
The colic. Dear Lord the colic. Two babies with reflux AND true colic? How did I get so lucky!
The worry. You've developed a bit of a flat spot on your head which worries me endlessly. I spend many hours repositioning your head, stretching your neck muscles and working on tummy time in the hopes of avoiding a helmet.

And a few things that are surprising:
My confidence. With Jack I fretted over single stinking decision I had to make. This time I just do it. My mama voice says Hey Sarah, you know what to do, and off I go.
The breastfeeding. Just a few short weeks I was HATING every single minute of it. We seem to have worked out our difficulties and to be perfectly honest right now it is so much easier than bottles. It is easier to feed you in the middle of the night, it is easier to feed you on the go and it is working perfectly. I do find it surprising that if I give you a few ounces of formula once a week it starts to instantly undermine my breastfeeding confidence. All of a sudden I find myself doubting - are you hungry? are you getting enough milk? are you crying because you are starving to death? and then you refuse a bottle and I get my wits back about me and get on with getting on.

And there we are. After waiting nearly two years for you I can hardly believe how quickly you are growing and how amazing it is to be a mama twice over.

Love ya baby girl.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Breaking out the cricut

I am exhausted. 17 hours of taking care of Sammi and Jack yesterday and today I am TOAST.

Waking up at 4 30 every day does not suit me and if Dave doesn't shut off that alarm clock soon I just might go postal. Ha.

Anyway. Last year for Christmas I got a cricut. It has sat untouched for more than a year. Since Sammi's baptism is next weekend I thought we would break it out and make some invitations to her little coming out party.
I like what the cricut makes, but I dislike making it. It's a lot of steps to get it all cut out and then a lot of steps to assemble it.

Give me the sewing machine any day thank you.

I've also managed to squeeze out a pair of bitty booties to wear with her christening gown.

Now I need a nap. Please let her sleep for 15 minutes so I can catch a snooze too!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

crushing on

A few things that make my heart go pitter patter right now:

This wall of maps in this little boy's room. Jack doesn't LOVE it, but I might do it anyway. (He LOVES globes.)
This thrifted duvet cover from pottery barn teen, which is the most delicious warm, sunshiney shade of melon. I've bought Sammi quite a few outfits in that color. Love it.
This handkerchief quilt from the Martha Stewart encyclopedia of sewing.
This doily tablecloth from the same book.

And this baby book from the same Martha book.

Also, if you LIKE Valspar paint on facebook they are doing another free paint sample giveaway. I picked a melon color. Surprise, eh?

Now if I could just find a new wreath for the front door that I could actually get made. In pink. Our blue door needs more pink.

Or maybe it needs something in melon!


What are you crushing on right now? (I have nothing but time to browse the internet since I just spend the days sitting in this chair feeding the baby right now. Ha.)