Tuesday, February 28


Do you like the way I used the correct Swedish characters in the title?  Nothing's impossible when you have Google. And God.  Half of that statement is straight out of the Bible.

We've been all over the place lately, so this post is just kind of a smörgåsbord of what's been going on.  My camera has been lonely--for some reason I've only been taking pictures of Braden eating, which is exciting only to me.  Sorry friends.

Copper got another haircut.  I know.  He was fighting it as soon as he realized what he was in for.  I mean he was the laughingstock of the neighborhood and the internet last time--so he was not going to allow that to happen to himself again without a fight.  It turned out fine--he looks less scraggly and more like a pup.  And fortunately, not like a bald pup.  

Here he is doing his best "Angelina's right leg." #OSCARjoke

I think I mentioned in this a previous post--but my dad had the super awesome idea of making plates with states on them and last night I sold an entire set.  OF FIFTY NIFTY STATES.  I'm thrilled.  Here's the set I made for my parents for Christmas.  They move a lot.  

And my favorite picture lately--Finley on the pot with his monkeys.  He's gotten to the phase where he plays with the monkeys.  They have to wear a jacket, or take a nap or sit with him on the potty.  It's a highly entertaining phase.  The only reason Finley is smiling in this picture is that he demanded that I go get the camera to take a picture of him with his monkeys.

Thursday, February 23

Running Update

I have a hard time writing posts if they don't have pictures to go with them, so these pictures are only loosely related to the post.  They were taken in the middle of my run yesterday when we stopped at the park. Also they were taken on my new phone!  It has a much nicer camera, but I'm still trying to figure out how to use it best. And praying earnestly for some Instagram.  I just could not bring myself to get an iPhone.  I'm Droid proud, man!

Anyways... after the sad realization that I probably couldn't run Boston this year with Sol's travel and potential absence, I went ahead and registered for some other races.  I'm running Chicago next October with a bunch of people--my dear friend Marie and my dad, uncle and sister's boyfriend.  I'm trying to come up with a catchy name, so far I like "The Great Grim-Marathon."  I may make us shirts.

Once we found out that Sol was not going to be gone all of February and March, I signed up for a very small marathon along the Potomac here in DC.  It's May 6th.  It's running out and back twice with 350 other runners--I'm not sure if it has tons of potential for being a fast race, but it will be nice for me to sleep at my own house and go run.  Also, it's the cheapest race I've ever signed up for!  And it benefits World Laughter Day. And the world always needs more laughter.

To prepare for the marathon in May, I'm running the Reston 10 Miler in two weeks and the Rock and Roll Half in March.  I'm really excited about the shorter races.  Races are so fun but preparing for and running marathons is just exhausting (as you may have guessed.)

On the qualifying for Boston front, I'm not so sure I'll have done a good enough job training for the race in May to qualify. Shockingly, it's really hard to train with two small children who need love all the time.  If I run under 3:40 in May, I could register in September for Boston. Unfortunately, I'm much more likely to run fast at Chicago (more time to train, great course, millions of people cheering) but by October the will have changed to time to 3:35 to qualify.  Of course.

(Action shot! The camera struggles to focus on a moving target.)

In the end, I'm grateful--so grateful--to have a body that allows me to run, boys who don't mind runs in the stroller and a husband who will take them to the park so I can run for 3 hours.  Even if I'm not racing as fast as I could be, I'm grateful that I have the chance at all.

Tuesday, February 21

Little Van Gogh

I try to be careful about saying that my babies are geniuses.  I mean, every mama thinks that her baby is like the best at talking and singing and being cute or whatever.  And obviously, that is impossible.

But seriously.  Look at this.  Finley said he was drawing a man, and HE KIND OF DID.

And then it ended up like this.

But still, we were both impressed.  And Finley was proud.  Solid work, champ.

Thursday, February 16

Self Portraits

We've been at my parents house this week and are returning home today.  After being away for two weeks, Sol informed me last week that he had a trip to Bentonville, AR this week and Denver next week... I immediately hopped on the old internet to find cheap flights to Little Rock so I could tag along.  I really didn't think I could handle Sol being gone four out of five weeks!

Being here is such a treat for me.  My mom cooks and feeds us and picks up all the toys.  My dad tickles them and reads them stories.  And I get to run solo (!!!) and do things like take Finley to get his hair cut while B naps and write blog posts.

Some self portraits with the boys.  As you can see, I was the only one excited to be in these pictures.  But looks at those sweet toes!  I'd say I could just gobble them up, but for some reason Finley has taken to sucking on his toes all the time, so I think I'll pass.

Wednesday, February 15

Our Fancy Pants Weekend at the Four Seasons

It's been a crazy month in our household.  One of Sol's plants was potentially striking--and my poor, unlucky husband was picked to be a scab in case of a strike.  He got some steel toed boots and some forklift training--just in case.  This meant he was gone for a few weeks preparing and waiting for a contract with the union.  Fortunately, an agreement was reached and Sol got to come home--with a new cowboy hat.

On a positive note, Sol won a fancy pants award--and we all got to stay in a suite in the Four Seasons and eat delicious food all weekend.  I was a terrible photographer--I forgot the camera for part of the trip and never actually got a great picture of all of us, but here's a brief recap of some of our adventures.

Some cute monument shaped sugar cookies were waiting in our room--Finley's name was written in chocolate and their were cute little candies to decorate them with.

An almost family portrait in the mirror.  This was after we go back from Ted's Bulletin for breakfast and we were happy from homemade Pop Tarts and tasty food.

I managed to eat lobster four times in the weekend.  This tasty lobster roll was from the Four Seasons restaurant.  I also had a lobster roll from Tackle Box, lobster hot dogs from the Four Seasons and another dish I can remember.

A cute little boy in the mirror.

Fancy bathrobes!  And we let Finley take pictures with the remote timer.

One of Finley's favorite games is "HIDE! DINOSAURS ARE COMING!" where we all have to hide under the blankets, lest we be eaten by dinosaurs.

We had oysters twice.  These ones are from Tackle Box.  We also had Pinkberry twice and Baked and Wired once.  In two days.  Somehow our pants still fit.

Sol's lobster dinner at Tackle Box.  I took a lot of pictures there.

We ate seven meals out--with a two year old and a baby.  Seriously.  Our weekend revolved around food and it was heaven.  Braden and Finley were both SO good.  We metered out a steady stream of snacks that kept them entertained.  It was seriously magical--neither of us had to take a kid to walk around to keep them entertained, they were just good.  Looks like we can upgrade our dining experiences from Chipotle and Chick fil a to some finer establishments!

Tuesday, February 14

My Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm so blessed with so many people to love and be loved by.  There's nothing quite like being the mama that your boys can't live without--except being the wife to a husband who has made it all possible.  Oh, how I love those three boys.

I tried to pick my favorite pictures of the boys to share again--and I spared Sol by not making a collage of him.  You are welcome, dear.  I was reminded how difficult it is to get a picture of Finley smiling and looking at the camera--it's near impossible.

Love, Rachel.

Monday, February 13

10 months

Mr. Braden is 10 months old.  Oh dear, is he delightful!  He's been clapping for awhile, but yesterday he figured out how to do "SO BIG!"  And I'm so proud.  And also terrified that he can follow directions (however, not the directions to stop chewing on power cords.)  Growing up is painful and exciting.  Here's a quick video of him demonstrating his new trick.

Braden was not thrilled about taking pictures this month.  He almost looks pleasant in this one.  He is down to nursing 5 times a day and we are about to drop it to 4.  He eats table food so well--sometimes better than Finley.  He's been consistently sleeping though the night and takes two naps during the day. Hooray! He's a pro scooter--still no crawling, getting to sitting or pulling up.  He's a little behind Finley in that department, but I'm certainly fine with that.

Quote from Finley, "I love my F."

A portrait of two uncooperative boys.

Wednesday, February 8

Two Boys Sharing a Room

About three weeks ago we made the big switch--we moved Finley into Braden's room.  After much Craigslisting and Ikeaing, their room was ready to go.  (One of my blog ambitions is to write about Craigslist because I do it with the best of them... but that's for another day.)  Braden's room is huge and weird shaped.  It's functioned as a office, guest room, nursery and combination of the three since we moved in.  Now it's "THE BOYS' ROOM."  Or "my room and Braden's room" if you ask Finley.

Ta-da!  The two cribs fit perfectly on the long wall.  Of course, I wish Finley's crib was white and that Sol would let me repaint the walls lighter... but we'll survive.

We kept them both in cribs since they are smaller than getting Finley a big bed, and he's already demolished the inside of his crib with his brace.  We'll move him to a big bed eventually, but considering how well the room move has gone, we're probably still a ways off.

You can see their name prints at the head of each of their bed--and they each have their very own basket of stuffed animals and window to pull the curtains on!

It started out great, Finley was ecstatic to sleep in the same room as Braden.  We established some bedtime rules: lay down, be quiet, and close your eyes.  Finn can repeat them to you verbatim.  Can he follow them?  Probably.  Does he?  Nope.

The room has two Ikea Expedit shelves and we're using the Hemnes dresser as a changing table.  The shelves are awesome--assembling the dresser was NOT.  There's a wet bag hanging on the end of the dresser for Braden's cloth diapers.

Finley was great for a few days.  Then he realized that when he was loud we took him out of the bed to discipline him--and he really liked that.  He would happily take his consequence if it meant a brief break from his bed.

We have a Lorex video monitor surveillancing each crib so we can keep an eye on their shenanigans--you can see the camera mounted on the shelf in the middle. 

He also became obsessed with the helicopters that frequently fly over our house to the hospital down the street.  He would pull back the curtains and break the mini blinds and scream and yell and scream more about the helicopters.  Once he got so mad he managed to get OUT of his crib with his brace on and crawl to the door.  Heartbreaking.  And maddening.

These prints are available in our Etsy shop--they were the best ones I could think of for brothers!  I obviously think I'm hilarious.  The prints are in the Ikea Ribba frames.

I let him sleep with a special pillow, listen to music, moved him to the lonely, empty pack and play in the office if he was loud--none of it worked.  He's become a master of telling us he needs to pee, poop or get water to get out.  He's a true two year old!

Braden's room was slightly giraffe themed and Finley's room was overwhelmingly monkey themed--both guys get a place of honor on the dresser.

What's worked the best is telling Finley that if he wakes up Braden, he still has to stay in his bed but Braden will go sleep in the office.  And when he cries and says, "I need Daddy to give me a spanking!" we laugh a little, but tell him that he's getting his spanking IN his crib, not out of it.  Luckily, they nap well together.  They pretty much sleep through each other's noise which is amazing and such a blessing.  Finley has to be pretty mad to wake up Braden--and most of the time he ends up sleeping through screaming and waking up when he hears the floor boards squeak when we come in to get Finley.

How long do you think all these toys stay in their proper place?  Not. Very. Long.

I'm confident we'll get the hang of it--and it's too late now to turn back.  We sold the guest bed and are beyond thrilled to have Finley's room back for OUR stuff.  And even more thrilled that most of the toys are not in the main room of our house.  We're beginning to feel like we live in a grown up house and not a day care!

Friday, February 3


I hear Finley yell, "I'm a towboy!" and I peek around the corner, and this is what I see.

This is what having brothers is all about right?

Or maybe this is.  Sorry, B.

Thursday, February 2

Finley's Pals

We're beyond blessed to have great friends here in Virginia--both for us and for our boys. These are two of Finley's favorite pals--Calvin and Margaret. And the top of Braden's head in the lower right. (I bribed them to sit for the picture with one Goldfish cracker. Suckers.)

And this is what happens when I ask them to give Margaret a kiss. FINLEY! Who taught you to kiss?

Those cute kids ran around like crazy going up and down the slide--they were a hoot to watch.

I'm kind of obsessed with the stripey sweatshirt--and Finley loves to wear it because it matches Calvin.

Braden is a little disappointed that he can't keep up with the big kids--but his time will come.  They each have a younger sibling about B's age that he will grow to love as much as these guys love each other.

I love Braden peeking up on the deck!  These kids are too sweet.

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