Tuesday, December 2, 2014

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE: BOOKS.


i can't remember the last time i went to the library to get a book for myself. or at least get a book that i actually finished...or even got to start. so i asked mr. husband to watch the babes and i got a chance to actually browse the adult sections! this was in the "new" section and the cover grabbed my attention in a library full of very vintage books. i don't really use twitter anymore, but i am very fascinated with the story behind things. there's something about the telling of a whole story of how they got to where they are. successes, failures, the facts, funny stories, family background. it's all riveting to me! and this book has it all. if you're totally clueless on why anyone would use twitter... you might just love this book. if you're an avid twitter user... you might really enjoy learning that the co-founder of twitter has such a positive way of looking at situations and business and an even better idea of how twitter and other means of social media might help to change the world as we know it. this is on my suggestion list for sure.


the winter i was engaged, my then-boyfriend and i were at borders (rip) looking for something to read for our upcoming trip to beijing, china and koh samui, thailand. i picked up this book and thought he would love it. he thought it would be stupid because it's about a dog (or some lame-sauce excuse just like that). fast-forward and guess who finished the book in a hot second and demanded that i read it? yep, my then-fiancĂ©. and then he proceeded to continually hound me on where i was in the book. he definitely did not think it was lame-sauce and neither do i.  full of emotion and unbelievably heart-wrenching. this book has a permanent spot on my suggestion list.


i've read this book three or four times since i was assigned to read it in my tenth grade honors english class. it's not a book i've ever known anyone else to read outside of my school. and i think it's a shame. the story is just SO good. it's very other-worldly and not a life that most of us can even slightly relate to. it's a very real account of a hard life of a strong woman. this book is usually my #2 suggestion.


this is my most favorite book. i really don't know what it is about this story, but it is like a comforting, warm blanket on a cold day. i have read this book every year since i first got it... i don't know how many years ago. my copy is soft and curling from reading during hot summers. it's been underlined and has a few hearts and smiley faces in it. it smells like old paper and lavendar. i get so nostalgic when i read it now that i've moved away from chicago...because that is where the story takes place. i have always loved that i could picture walking to all the places where things take place and fill in the whole scene in my mind. i know all the details because it was my home for such a long time. and now that i'm a wife and mother i connect with the characters on another level. i'm emotionally attached to this wonderful book. love it.


i worked at a daycare for five years while i was in college. i worked the most in a room for 1 & 2 year olds. that's where i first read this book. before my heart belonged to rorie and jake, my heart belonged to those tiny bubbling humans. i spent so much time with them they had a special space in my heart. i loved reading to them and i think it helped me become more sure of myself in all aspects of life. it's very nerve racking to read out loud when you're not used to it. since children have no problem reading the same book five million times in ten minutes i became very familiar with a few books. this book is the sweetest and both rorie and i love it.


when rorie would get frustrated while we were in the car or impatient while waiting for her doctors appointment i would recite some of her favorite books and she would calm down and listen to my words in awe. i've always wondered if she was picturing the pages as i spoke the words she had memorized as well. sweet, funny, and fun to read/recite. you can't ask for any better.


this book was given to jakey before he was born, so of course it's one of rorie's favorites. this is the sweetest book and i never tire of reading it. which should really be the only thing you think about when choosing which books to let enter the sacred space that is your house. i love the rhymes and the great message of helping those in need without a doubt in your mind. i saw that they make a christmas version and now i really want it. i don't even care if my kids like it...but i know they would!


at 6pm they daycare condenses it's six classrooms into the bottom classroom for the last thirty minutes of the day. the last few parents will arrive and the kids will all go home. when this book came into the classroom i was hooked after my first reading. i would often read this book with a lot of life and energy. as i felt the book deserved. it also kept the kids attention to read it with such enthusiasm. i often tell anyone who's reading it out loud for the first time to just commit to the dinosaur names. most of the time no one will know the difference and you'll exude confidence instead of trying to studder through the tricky dino names.


i had never ever even seen this book while living in chicago. and i saw a lot of chicago themed kid books. and it's SO sad because this book is wonderful! it's an adorable story and it takes you through all the sights and sounds of chicago. definitely a must read for people who hold the windy city close to their hearts.



so there you have it, some of my most favorite books - ever. enjoy.

A SECRET SANTA QUILT.


merry christmas! i'm your secret santa!


i hope you like your quilt! i am not really great at sewing. i don't cut fabric in straight lines and i don't sew straight either. i've named your quilt a "hodge podge" quilt. i don't know if you saw online or not, but i've started an etsy shop. i wanted to keep myself busy with crafting- well, anything really. i've realized that it's something i need to do to stay content. i need to make. so i've made christmas cards and a print.


for december, i decided that i would make this quilt my monthly project. it is the "season of giving", so i'm not listing anything (this quilt) in my shop. now that you know a little bit about the background, i'll let you in on the story of the quilt.

when rorie was just 5 months old in the winter of 2012 i drove to the lincoln square area and picked up two garbage bags full of fabric scraps. i used freecycle and thought i could make something for rorie. well, i didn't. but i held onto the fabric and moved it with us to NH.


some of the fabric i used was from my old kitchen curtains in chicago.


some are scraps from jacobs crib sheets (stars) and my current kitchen curtains (newspaper).


there's a red sweatshirt material from a "camp squanto" sweatshirt whose original owner was my dad (it was falling apart).


other fabric is leftover from the pillowcases i sewed while pregnant with jake. i was nesting (little red flowers & green).


and lastly, there's fabric from the scraps of a dress my mom sewed for rorie when we were waiting for jacob to make his arrival.


the back of the quilt is an old fleece blanket i impulse bought at old navy when i was in high school in VA. both of my kids have spit-up on it (don't worry, i washed it!).

so there you have it...the story behind this epic "hodge podge" quilt that i made specifically for you,

my "secret santa 2014: out-of-towners-edition" (town=chicago-birth place of the burgh babes)


so merry christmas, again!

i love + miss you!

chelsea

p.s. i had my friend britta... if you were wondering who this was sent to.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NOVEMBER RECAP IN PHOTOS & TEXT.


i'm going to let you in on what went down this month. first... i got another great photo of my two babies. these are tough to achieve, but boy am i ever thankful when i get a winning shot! plus- i've never seen such an enthusiastic little boy! kid loves picture taking.


this little dude turned 5 months. i can't even believe how much he's accomplished in one month... since he'll be 6 months in three days. during this photo shoot, with one fell swoop of his hand, he managed to swipe all the letters off the couch. these are getting more and more difficult as he gets bigger.


we've had our last nice warm snow-free days here in NH. we went all lots of walks to the library and around the neighborhood. we have a killer hill next to our house and i try to power up that beast at least once a day. we've also been doing squat challenges the past two months. as well as babysitting two one year olds and a three year old. 


the drool is spot-on. a straight shot to the quilt below. this will probably gross a lot of people out, but i made his mohawk with his drool. yep, i sure did. and look how happy he is!


this month rorie and i made cookies! isn't baking with your kids the most amazing thing ever? i mean... who cares about the possibility of salmonella when there's sweet, creamy, dough to lick off of a batter creating an ultimately way-more fantastic childhood than before that first sugary lick!


we had our first snow!!! it may have been a light wet early morning dusting that melted by 10am, but we got rorie all bundled up and threw snowballs right at that cute little target we call our daughter.


this kid watches. he watches his sister and i think it's safe to say he adores her. in this photo his grin is just enormous because his sister is sitting on that chair being a goof. his smile is already dreamy, but when he's smiling at her- i'm a puddle.
 

for thanksgiving this year we went to touisset. i think i can count on one hand the number of thanksgivings i've had with extended family, so this was a treat for me. we stayed a few days before thanksgiving too and are headed back there for most of december. when we are in RI, breakfast with grandma is a must.


this boy went from being up on all fours to crawling to pulling himself up to standing- all in one week. since he was born he showed this innate motivation to figure out how to move his body. he works so hard "training" his muscles and figuring out how to balance. it's really cool to watch. and he's so proud of himself. with all the progress he's made he's also had a few rough spills, but he seems to bounce back quickly.


in case there was any doubt if these were his children... here's aaron and his two carbon copies.
p.s. disney junior at grandma's is the bomb!


of all the photos i've taken of these two rascals there's always one or two reeeeally funny ones. #1 rorie's face is so weird! #2 jacob looks like i'm taking the photo with a chicken hat on. he's so shocked he has to hold onto his sister and the pillow for dear life.


officially getting into everything now.


mr. ladies man with all my little cousins! they all loved holding him. he's such a flirt.


you'd think rorie was 6 when you see how she keeps up with this crew. they had a blast playing outside with the pool noodles. they have all made movies on the ipad together starting on rorie's 1st birthday. the one they filmed this visit was called "the thanksgiving games". a spoof on the hunger games. 


i am extremely lucky to have such strong women as role models and aunties in my life. i have silently learned a lot about being a mother, friend, sister, daughter, and wife from them. 


"the thanksgiving games" featured this little turkey. and she was nothing but pumped about it.
 

back in NH we had gotten some snow, so of course roro had to play in it. this is obviously "olaf". today his head fell off. how do you explain that to a sensitive two year old?!


this kid. drooling. needy. but smiley. pretty sure he's getting some teeth. he's been very lethargic. slight rise in his core temperature. and sleeping WAY more than normal...which i wish was just normal... maybe these teeth will make their appearance just in time for christmas. "all i want for christmas is my two bottom teeth"...sing it jakey. christmas is a go. we decorated with one single strand of twinkle lights. i can't bring myself to do anything else because we will be in RI... so the santa pants and burgh babes made drooly bandanna will have to do.



and that's a look at our november. so excited for the christmas season!

Monday, November 17, 2014

JACOB: 5 MONTHS IN PHOTOS.

2 months 
3 months 
4 months 

jacob kian is now 5 months old. soon to be 6 months old in a couple weeks. he looks super chubby in the 4th month picture. it's so weird. and i finally got some good lighting for his 5th month. living and learning, i tell ya.

back to jacob. he's a handful. he loves to be held, especially by me. aaron tells him, "you're a mama's boy. and that's ok" it's really sweet. and it's nice to be wanted. 

he's almost crawling, but he can scoot himself anywhere. he often gets into whatever his heart desires: books, toys, rorie's hair, the cats. he also gets up on all fours in his bed, so we had to take down the infant insert in his pack-n-play. he was looking over the edge and trying to grab the side. once i saw that happen i didn't want to know what would happen next. so off with the infant insert!

spit-up is at an all time high. with all the moving he does his tummy can't digest fast enough, so up it comes. we recently gave him some oatmeal and i've been trying it in his bottles too. in the hopes that his food stays in his belly where it belongs. i think it's helped. he goes through about 6 or 7 outfits on a good day. i go through 3-4 shirts and hopefully i get to keep the same pants on... but you never know. the day rorie got splattered with spit-up like bird poop falling from the sky was epic. she did not think so. 

little dude is in 6-12m clothes and it's so nice to have a healthy kid. he doesn't sleep much, day or night, but he's the happiest kid ever. loves to laugh and talk. loves to give kisses. and loves to watch his sister.

rorie is having more fun with jake now. she loves to help change his diaper. she's my trash girl when we use disposables. she also is great at getting him a paci. not so great at gently putting it into his mouth. they both love to read and look at books, so we do a lot of family reading. she is not into him taking the toys that she's playing with. sharing is a very hard concept to teach. it seems to be SO unnatural. we're working on it. 

aaron and i have been busy organizing the house, planning the upcoming months for holiday travel, getting shop orders out, working on my december craft (which i'll explain in a few), and cookin up good food. i might share a dinner recipe soon. we'll see :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I'D RATHER WATCH YOU EAT YOUR FEET.

 

i've been doing a little lifestyle change. i've been spending less time on the internet. i've been doing stickers and blowing raspberries. i've been folding laundry and drinking tea. i've been reading books (to my kids) and reading books (for pleasure!!!). i've been cooking for my family and caring for myself. i've been going on long walks and playing at the park. i've been organizing our holiday schedule and going through all our belongings. i've been dreaming big and sitting still.

it's been really nice. i've changed up a few things with regards to the internet and my phone. i'm less connected, if you will. and i kind of love it. a slight step back in time. a break from thinking i need to keep up with everyone everyday. because i know i don't. it's been a great time to think and reflect on what is important. answering or entertain questions like: why am i thinking the way i do? do i really need to be "checking in"? why do i care about this? who am i doing this for? do i even enjoy this? do i feel obligated or do i love it? stuff like that.

i've been very, happily, present the past few weeks. it's been nice. and i plan on keeping it up. because jacob, i'd rather watch you eat your feet than be on the internet.

(ironic side note: i'm reading a book about twitter. ha!)

p.s. babies eating their feet is my second favorite thing babies do. sleeping with their butt in the air is #1. for obvious cuteness overload reasons.

Friday, October 31, 2014

NOVEMBER-WHAT YOU LOVE SHOP.


i had a lot of fun brainstorming, planning, & creating this month's craft. the phrase "i can do hard things" stuck with me the first time i ever saw it. i knew it was something i wanted to have in my house as a daily reminder.

it was also the mantra i had while slowly carving out each letter. it was hard work. it was mainly hard work because i was doing it late at night, during nap times, while children were interrupting me when they were supposed to be playing, and one glorious hour at panera. a man thought i was cutting a bagel all funny. nope, it's a linoleum block.

as i worked i repeated the phrase i was carving "i can do hard things, i can do hard things..." over and over again. because it's true.

i'm very tired a lot of the time. i wake up groaning when, in a previous life, i woke up alive and spunky. this print is a reminder of what i can do. i can do hard things. 



this print is for the mama who is up all night with a teething baby- i can do hard things. (me!)

this print is for the teen with too many broken hearts- i can do hard things.

this print is for the freshman trying to make it onto the varsity team- i can do hard things.

this print is for the sixteen year old studying to take their driving test- i can do hard things.

this print is for the college student during finals week- i can do hard things.

this print is for the twenty-something working harder than hard for peanuts- i can do hard things.

this print is for the mother who is watching her son drive off to college- i can do hard things.

this print is for the father who drives and hour to work everyday and misses too many mornings, afternoons, and nights with his kids- i can do hard things.



we can all do hard things. and this is a simple reminder of that. the hard things mold you. the hard things test you. the hard things give way to the great things in life.


i can do hard things.

there are two options: b&w or color.
you can purchase your own print here.
thank you so much for your support.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MY LIVING ROOM: REAL VS. FAKE.






one night i cleaned up the day's mess and then took some pictures. when i uploaded them to my computer i laughed at how it didn't even look like my house. so i took real pictures to put up against the fake ones. because that's real life.

that last one i threw in because you can really see everything.

i do like a clean and tidy house- don't get me wrong. a lot of nights my apartment does look the the first set of pictures. but that's only when both the kids are sleeping and i've done all the work to put everything back in it's place.

but some nights, usually after a few nights and days of being really on top of things, i settle my butt into the couch and take in the mess. i take it in as my own and as a sign that a lot of playing, learning, and loving went on that day.

and a lot of laundry. always a lot of laundry.