Monday, August 30

My Post on... You Guessed It, The Emmy's!

Everyone else is sharing about the Emmy's so I might as well too. And while I loved the pretty dresses, I'm going to (primarily) talk about what the Emmy's are all about--TV!!!!

First, if you haven't seen this (which means you live under a rock), please watch it. Victoria ran upstairs and forced me to watch this--and I've watched it several times since.

I'm not even kidding, I feel like all my best friends got together and didn't call me. It stings a little. Also--who the heck is the little brown haired girl who jumps in??? I do not know her. I think they might have called her when they couldn't get a hold of me? That little ditty cemented my love of Jon Hamm (old hook hands) and Joel McHale (Ryan Seacrest 2.0). Love.

Second, I loved the love for Modern Family! This has been a favorite of ours (Phil Dunphy = Sol... I always take the stairs two at a time, I don't even think about it anymore...) and I'm SO glad it was appreciated. I love every bit of that show. If you don't watch, you should tune in.

Third, I was a little sad for LOST. I would have like them to win something. It was just such a magnificent show. :(

Fourth, I was happy for Mad Men but a little disappointed in the so pretty and lovely January Jones and Christina Hendricks. I have no idea who dressed them but it was BAD.

Please look like this next time I see you.

Fifth, Temple Grandin! Have you seen it? Sol and I looooved it and I cried at every acceptance speech and everytime Temple stood up. It's a remarkable story.

Sixth, the Emmy's made me ready for fall TV! I remembered how much I loved some old favorites (even if it was silly Lexus/Community commercials... or was it Infiniti?) and made me feel like I was really missing out on some current cool shows (Nurse Jackie and Breaking Bad--anyone watch them?) Stay tuned for a detailed look at what will and won't make the cut this year. I will be adding Running Wilde--I don't know what it's about--but Will Arnett and Keri Russell! That is all.

Seventh, Jon Hamm.

Vic posted this yesterday, but in case you don't follow her, here's where you can find when all your best friends will be back on the small screen. Viva TV!

Friday, August 27

Summer is Over

Goodbye summer. You were hot and sticky, but I still wish you were here. Actually, it's still hot and sticky. But I have to go to school... not really fair.

I go back to school Monday. We have a week of business-y things, then the kids come after Labor Day. They better be ready to learn because we're no messing around this year. It's Algebra time, baby.

But for my baby, it's hang out with Calvin time. I'm going to miss those little fingers and that round little belly.

We had such a nice summer even if we didn't accomplish everything on our list. I certainly did NOT make that dang Blurb book ever, but I did replace most of Finley's diaper's velcro, I routinely changed out of my pajamas and the etsy biz and RV Designs are flourishing.

Goodbye summer. Hello fall and the perfect running weather that comes with it.

Monday, August 23

16 months

Oh Finley you are so big. I feel like you have changed so much lately! I took you to the doctor today because you are coughing and wheezing, and they said you gained 2 ounces. Good boy! Also, you do NOT like the nebulizer.

The saddest first in the sixteenth month of your life was your very first bloody nose (see below). You did a neat little face plant into the kitchen floor, and cried and cried until I read you a story.

My favorite new thing about you is that you will give us kisses when we ask (and when you are in the mood to.) There is nothing quite like getting a sweet kiss from you, even if you haven't figured out the kissy sound.

You surprise us everyday with what you know! You grabbed your Old MacDonald book (that I had read to you maybe once?) and brought over and said EIEI... EIEI... so impressed! You can sometimes make some sounds that kind of correspond to animals. We're working on cow, dog and cat. You know where your nose is most of the time, and tend to identify it by sticking your finger in it. You also know your belly, eyes, ears, hair and toes. Oh! Another favorite trick of ours is that you will spin in circles on command. It's very cute and wobbly.

You are such a good walker now (except when you face planted) and sometimes when you get real excited you will stomp your feet real quickly. You love to bring us everything of something--all the stuffed animals, all the books, all the diapers, all the paper from the printer... one at a time. You are so helpful.

I love talking to you because I feel like you understand what I am saying most of the time. And sometimes you will even do it! It's like you are my little buddy. Oh, I just thought of another cute thing you do now! When I need to take a shower I'll say, "Finley, do you want to watch Yo Gabba Gabba?" And you will get so excited! I make a little cuddle spot for you out of the Boppy, a pillow and your monkey. You wiggle yourself right in the middle and will giggle and watch TV until I get back. You are precious. You've started being more willing to cuddle with me, you'll lean up against me if we are reading a book or watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together. I'd let you watch TV all day if it meant you would cuddle with me.

You are sweet and silly and I'm going to miss you next week when I go back to school. I'm going to stop writing about how great you are because it's making me sad. I love you so much, little boy. And so does your daddy. And you are growing on Copper, too.

Sunday, August 22

Beach Baby

Before we went to the Caymans, I dreamed about taking pictures of Finley with his toes in the sand, toddling along the beach. Maybe even one of him buried in the sand!

But my child hated the sand and would cuuuurl his legs up under him if you tried to set him in it. No sand pictures for us.

I only got through two posts of Cayman pictures, but I still had this one picture that I love and wanted to share. We went to this restaurant twice--I already forget the name--and both times Finley was fascinated by the little person on this sign.

He's a pretty cute beach baby, even if he's not on the beach. (I'm also breaking my rule about posting huge vertical pictures... oh well.)

Hop on over to I Heart Faces to see more pictures of happy days at the beach!

Friday, August 20

A New Throne

For Finley's 16 month birthday, we got him... a box!
Just kidding, we really got him a big kid carseat. We're finally upgrading him from the infant carseat carrier. He's such a little peanut that he fits in it still. This Britax seat was on super sale on Amazon (my fave store) so I bit the bullet and bought it. I think I'm going to keep him rear-facing for a little longer--he doesn't seem to mind and everything I read makes it sound like it's the safer way to go. It's one of those things that moms tend to have very strong feelings on. My very strong feeling is that I don't have strong feelings about it. And I like Finley best when he is safe.

Anyways. When I took the seat out of the box, Finley climbed up in it right away, apparently to read the directions.

I buckled him in and let him sit for a few minutes.

Then I unbuckled him. Tantrum. He tried to rebuckle himself. He proceeded to sit in the seat for quite awhile before he start squirming to get down.

The kid values safety. It's just like I always say: safety first, safety last, safety in between.

What a silly boy.

Thursday, August 19

Embrace the Camera

So this new Mac is pretty nifty. It does more cool tricks than my baby and dog combined.

Finley's favorite feature is definitely the Photo Booth program. Everyday we spend a good chunk of time taking the same series of pictures on the computer. I try to get him to stick his tongue out and make faces and look ridiculous in the process. Here is one out of 63 very similar shots.

Aren't I lovely?

This is my first week participating in "Embrace the Camera" which hosted by a friend of an internet friend of a real life friend. Got that? The internet is creepy like that. The point is to capture pictures of you with your children instead of always being behind the camera. The quality of these pictures may be terrible, but they make me smile.

I like these little weekly things that blogs do--it gives me something to post when I run out of things to say. Feel free to join in today--or next Thursday!

Tuesday, August 17

Chris Mann was never my Boyfriend

Once upon a time I went to a youth group in Wichita. This group was filled with kids from all the different high schools, and I'll be the first to admit I showed some partiality towards the boys from Southeast. They just seemed... so dangerous. You know, because they went to an inner-city school. (Ironic, no?) Also, I'm kidding about them being dangerous. But I was fairly terrified every time I went to one of their school dances.

Well back in high school, I made a terrible mistake that I regret to this very day--I never dated Chris Mann. This could have been because he was a waiter at Macaroni Grill and I didn't want to sully my lovely relationship with their establishment. Or it could be because he didn't know who I was. I didn't realize my mistake in not dating him until several months ago when I realized he was semi-famous. I tried and failed to stalk him at Blogher. It made me a little sad.

Chris works for GLEE, I'm still not sure what he does, but he does it, and I love GLEE.

He sang on an OfficeMax commerical that will tug on your heartstrings. This is why my baby will never go to school.

And he made a music video remake of a George Michael song (that will remain unnamed due to Google search) that is borderline inapprorpriate to post on the blog, since this particular blog is rated PG-10.

But I'm going to post it anyway. He's cute and you'll probably like it. Maybe don't watch it with your grandma in the room?

You're welcome! (And hey Chris! Do you remember me yet?)

Monday, August 16

My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

I mean, obviously he has a bright future. Look at the kid.

Perfect score on the ACT (or SAT if we aren't midwesters)? Undeniable.

Homecoming King? Check.

Exquisite hand-eye coordination? You should see the kid put a cap on a pen. Remarkable.

Graduate from Med School by the time he has 16? Just call him Doogie.

Married to a lovely lady? The wheels are already turning...

{This is my I Heart Faces entry for the theme of "sunglasses"... you should go check out the others... post one of your own!}

Sunday, August 15

Hellooo MAC!

I just wanted to take a moment to explain my absence from the ole blog.

Once upon a time we went to Blogher.

Vic's trusty laptop, Rueben, met its match in a cup of Diet Pepsi.

In an act of solidarity, we decided we would use our RV Designs money to buy new laptops.

We researched.

We ordered new 13" Macbook Pros. I got mine on Sunday. Vic is still waiting on hers.

Then, things took another turn for the worse. Photoshop died on Wednesday. This was not good timing--lots of blogs to design and things to customize for etsy. I had cleared everything off my old lappy and moved it to the new one, so I had to shuffle files back and forth and download new fonts to get anything done.

I spent an hour on the phone with Apple and Adobe. They were no help.

I made an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar. A rather smug genius eventually identified the problem.

Are you ready? Because its ironic in light of one of my life passions.

It was a font. A random font that got corrupted in the transfer. Everytime Photoshop scanned the fonts at start-up, it crashed.

The font was removed and life is good again.

I'm busy designing sweet things and dreaming of more. Also, the mac purchase means I did NOT get the dress from J. Crew, nor am I buying these beauts in the near future.

Wednesday, August 11

The Man Cave

Eventually, I'll tell you the story of how we converted our house from a 7 bedroom hotel for day laborers, to a lovely two family house. Today, I'm going to tell you about the transformation of the backyard. You heard a little bit about it before, but it just keeps getting better.

One day we were out shopping and Sol told me he had ALWAYS wanted tiki torches and he NEEDED them so bad. So we bought some tiki torches. From that point on, all Sol wanted to was sit on the deck after work and listen to Frank Sinatra. Totally normal. I refused to sit out in plastic deck chairs to eat dinner, so we began our hunt for some bargain deck furniture. We finally found the perfect set on super sale at Home Depot. And we found an umbrella on Overstock that tells the temperature and has LED lights. FANCY.

Because we couldn't enjoy ourselves fully when we were chasing Finley off the deck, Sol made these gates. In addition to keeping Finley on the deck and the doggies off, they also provide hours of entertainment for Finley.

We realized right before Victoria's tiki party that the window well that was randomly cut out of the porch would make a perfect counterspace for preparing and serving food. My handy hubby made this little top for the window well too.

Sounds a little bit like, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" right? Now all Sol wants to do is sit on the deck. Even when it is 100 degrees and 100% humidity, he wants to be on the deck. And if there aren't too many mosquitoes, it isn't too hot and Sol has made me something on the grill, sometimes I'll join him.

Tuesday, August 10

A picture of Finley

The blog has been a little Finley-light lately and I really think people may stop reading my blog if I can't come up with some Finley pictures.

I thought I'd enter this photo into I Heart Faces weekly contest. The theme is Surprise, and I love the look on his little face! He was very absorbed with the mulch around him, and I finally caught his attention by surprising him with some silly sounds. Promise I'll try to post more Finley pictures soon!

Saturday, August 7

The Glorious Pedi-Cab

This blog started a little too late for me to communicate my deep, boundless love for the Gilmore Girls. I think that might be a post of its own someday, but for now I need to fill you in on a Stars Hollow experience Vic and I had in New York.

Remember that dress I wanted from J. Crew? The one with the bow? I've been agonizing about buying it for weeks. I can't decide what size I am... it's final sale... and only available online and at the J. Crew bridal store. Which was conveniently located 13 blocks from our conference. SCORE.

Which brings me to one of my favorite episodes of Gilly--its the one where Luke beats up a car, but more importantly it is the one with the pedicab. (Strangely, this is the second time I have written about that episode.) Kirk rides around Stars Hollow yelling, "Take a ride in Stars Hollows first PEDICAB!" For some reason this part has always cracked me up. Lorelai and Rory go for a ride, and Kirk proceeds to tell them that his big, fat cargo is slowing him down.

I'm kind of obsessed with Pedicabs. Don't ask me why. And don't ask me why Victoria agreed to ride in one the 13 blocks to J. Crew. But I am GRATEFUL. Here's why it was awesome:
  1. Our driver/pedaler gave us a discount because it was a slow day.
  2. We got to feel the breeze rather than be stuck in a stuffy cab.
  3. We got to see the buildings and experience the feel of the city. (It's dirty.)
  4. We got there a little quicker because sometimes our driver disregarded a few traffic laws.

WIN, right? Don't judge me, snobby New Yorker, I loved my pedicab and would do it again.

So we went to J. Crew, which was an experience all of its own. You have to make an appointment to try on the bridesmaid dresses--except the ones that were on display. And the dress I wanted was out. So I tried it on. And it was lovely. And it has POCKETS. And the one I tried on was hot pink and satin and I LOVED it.

Sadly, they don't have the hot pink online. And the online was is silk taffeta instead of satin. And I actually don't have anywhere to wear it. (Marie--I'm not sure I want to commit to a being the same size for your wedding in a year. Sorry love.) And I missed the 30% off sale and the free shipping.

So you know what I did? Because I am a sane, logical decision maker? I decided to buy a MACBOOK PRO!!! Take that pedicab! And J. Crew!

Friday, August 6

Blogher update

Apparently you are supposed to blog every five minutes at blogher, so here is your update.

I forgot my toothbrush and stole one from the Hilton. Minus one point.

We met Bruce Jenner. Victoria did not know who he was. One point Rachel!

Victoria saw Padma Lakshmi and won't shut up about how cool she is. Minus one point Victoria.

I spilled Diet Pepsi in Victoria's lappy. Minus five points?

We talked to a few bloggers and are getting brave. One point a piece.

We got lots of swag. One more point.

I think we are winning?

Thursday, August 5

The Journey to Blogher

Well, the secret's out. Vic and I are currently on a bus on our way to Blogher in NYC! For those of you who don't read a million blogs, Blogher is a yearly conference for female bloggers. We're not really sure what we are getting ourselves into, but we are hoping to walk away with lots of SWAG (stuff we all get). We're having a good time talking about how we are "expensing" our "business" trip. And we're excited to promote RV Designs a little and maybe make new friends (but lets be honest, we probably will just talk to each other.)

As you can see, we are really excited about our trip. Here's a little breakdown of my journey to Blogher so far:

12:04 Finally lay down in bed and contract very intense hiccups.
12:41 Decide to go have a drink of the Diet Coke I left on the floor of our bathroom from Chick-fil-a.
12:42 Hiccups stop.
12:51 Hear Copper slurping water from toilet.
12:51 Remember that I poured a little bit of nail polish remover in the toilet.
12:52 Freak out for an hour that my dog is going to die--take him outside to see if he needs to puke/eat some grass/drink some water/
1:45 Ask Sol if Copper is going to die.
1:55 Finally go to sleep.
5:45 Wake up to nurse Finley before I leave.
6:37 Leave house for Metro, wearing a stunning Mobil 1 backpack.
7:25 Board bus for NYC!!!
8:02 Realize that I forgot my pump... and start to try to figure out if I'm going to be able to sustain my supply to nurse Finley on Sunday. YIKES.
8:10 Accidentally delete everything off of my Droid homepages.
8:34 Rejoice that the bus is not filled with lawless warlords as my friend Tom described.
8:35 Connect to the crappy internet.
8:42 Try to work on some blog design.
8:48 Realize that Victoria's alarm has been playing the same two lines of Jason Mraz for 18 minutes.
8:53 Ponder what version of NY I want to visit... is it the NY of Mad Men? Of Gossip Girl? Friends? HIMYM? Don Draper wins.
9:12 Wonder why Victoria has chosen to sit with a random stranger instead of me. I showered last night!
9:18 Leg falls asleep. I wish the rest of my body would follow suit.
9:25 Resist from taking embarrassing pictures of Victoria sleeping. You are welcome.
9:26 Miss my baby.
9:45 Sleep.
10:40 Wake up with no less than 6 places on my body that HURT.
10:55 Pit stop in Trenton, NJ. We got Starbucks.
10:57 Remember one time when I went to Starbucks with my baby.
11:22 No seriously, I miss my baby. I wonder what he is doing right now.
11:31 Maybe he is saying "EIEIO" or maybe he is trying to wear grown up shoes around the house.
11:35 No seriously, who are all these people on this bus? Where are they going?
11:51 Bus is starting to get hot. I am starting to get nervous about meeting a famous blogger and not knowing they are famous and saying something dumb.
11:52 No seriously, the bus is hot.
12:01 Skyline! I mean, I think its the skyline, it could be a smudge on the window.
12:07 Time to go. Too bumpy and hot to type.

Cue Jay-Z song from Sex and the City. ("New Yoooooork, these streets will make you feel brand new, something something inspire you...") Next time you see me, I'll be, like, a totally awesomer blogger. Stay tuned to that twitter thing in the sidebar for all my important musings. Rachel OUT!

Wednesday, August 4

Caymans Part 2: Starfish and a Water Hose and also my Foot

Not only did we get to see STINGRAYS! we also got to see Starfish. (And we bought Finn a Red Sox cap in the Charlotte airport... randomly.)

You can swim down and pick up these cute little buggers off the sand.

Finley was not impressed with any of the wildlife we saw, but he was impressed with this water hose.

He thought it was SO FUNNY that water sometimes came out. And Uncle Dan thought it was SO FUNNY that Finley was entertained by it.

Also, Sol and I jumped off the dock and it was suspiciously shallow and I hurt my foot. True story.

Tuesday, August 3

Caymans Part 1: Stingray City

Keep in mind that I have retired from scrapbooking, so the only legacy for my pictures is here on the old blog. If you don't want to see a bunch of pictures, you should come back in a few days. So get ready, I'm going to post these as fast as I can get them typed and editted and whatnot.

When people ask me how the Caymans were, the highlight (for everyone) was Stingray City. Christina also loves Stingray City, but ended up getting a job and couldn't make it out with us. Too bad for her, because look at my fam in the lovely, clear water.

We took a boat out into the middle of the bay (or harbor??) where there were several boats gathered. The stingrays flock to the boats because the boats bring them delicious calamari to eat. Here is our crew: Laura, Rachel, Finley, Sol, Ben and Dan. If you know me from when the boys were little, these pictures may make you feel very old because my brothers are very big.

The rays were kind of scary at first--they would fly beside your legs and brush up against you. They felt like a wet portobello mushroom. But if you stood in their path you could catch one. Sol was really proud that he corralled one, and Laura wanted to pretend like she was the one who caught it.

I likened the stingrays to puppies; they swam right up to you and wanted calamari. They would kiss the dudes who were handing it out! It was so fun after we got used to it--while Finley never actually noticed the rays, it apparently wore him out. Which led to the actual best part of Stingray City, holding my sleeping boy.

Stingray City gets 1 million out of 5 stars. It was a blast.

Thanks for Telling Me

It's true, I'm avoiding blogging about the Caymans. So many pictures... so overwhelming.

In the meantime... hey thanks everybody for telling me the videos to my exciting ketchup post didn't work. (That was sarcasm. No one told me they didn't work.) But they work now! So if you need a little dose of silly parents and a messy boy, click on over.

Here's a picture to keep you waiting for the rest of the Cayman excitement.

Also, have I told you what Vic and I are doing this weekend? I'm a little embarrassed. And a little excited. We'll fess up soon. (It has nothing to do with buying more ruffly shirts. But possible a lovely dress from J. Crew. And something else too. Involving a bus.)

Monday, August 2


I'm back from the Caymans! I'm trying to catch up on lots of blog and etsy work, sort through pictures to post, do laundry and keep my kid happy. In the meantime, here is a little confession, from me to you.

My name is Rachel and I am obsessed with ruffly, sequiny shirts from J. Crew. I'm blaming it on my hip new haircut. And the J. Crew teacher discount.

It all started with this shirt. I always coveted the pretty, adorned shirts at J. Crew but could never commit to one. Too much going on and I felt like I wasn't cool enough to wear one. I thought this one was a good entry point because the bow is printed on with something velvety--its not actually a bow.

Next, it was this white tank and this pink rosy shirt. They didn't seem too frilly, but were a little more jazzy than the fake bow--still fairly innocuous.

And then it was all over. ALL OVER. I craaaved J. Crew ruffly shirts. I stalked the online store for sales. I frequented the outlet malls. I abused my discount numerous times.

I ended up with more extreme buys like this tank, that Victoria told me not to buy, and I bought anyway.

And more sequins.

And lots of flair on this one.

And more sequins.

And you know what I want now? Allllll that I want? I just need this dress. I need it. I keep wimping out on buying it because it's final sale and I'm not sure what size I am. But it's so pretty, right? I'm sure I can find somewhere to wear it.

I dream about ruffles and sequins from J. Crew. Sigh.
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