Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home- The Tour

I would be missing a HUGE, MEGA HUGE, UNBELIEVABLE HUGE, HUGEY HUGE part of our family history if I failed to mention the move into our beautiful house this January. I have hesitated to post any pictures for a few reasons:

1. Our house is rarely picked up and tidy to the point of feeling comfortable photographing...don't get me wrong, we're not drowning in un-vacuumed crumbs or mildew by any means...I'm just a perfectionist and prefer not a dish to be in the sink if I'm going to take a picture of my kitchen. Capish?

2. I am not finished, or even remotely CLOSE to finishing decorating. However, since our budget will not permit full aesthetic completion of our home until around 2017, I figured now is as good a time as ever to unveil the minor progress that has ensued.

3. Our house is wonderful. Obnoxiously wonderful. So wonderful in fact I admit at once to being a complete fraud to dwell within its walls. It's what you might call a "Grown up" house. The kind you imagine your parents in, or yourselves in 10 years from now...the kind an established adult might choose to purchase. Not some nit-wit 20-something-year-old with babies. The most obnoxious part of all is that we only pay approx. $10 more per month for it than our old 1300 square foot home, which we adored (And yes, it is a fixed interest rate totally viable loan, and we aren't swimming in unnecessary debt). Indeed, I concur...I know! I deserve to be hated! There was no stripping late at night at anonymous bars, prostitution, or drug dealing involved with its acquisition. How did we get such a home?
We've got people. Kind of like how a celebrity is only as beautiful and good as her stylist, pedicurist, facialist, hair colorist, yada yada yada.
When you have an amazing real estate savvy mother-in-law AND mother, an extremely kind and available family friend broker (Thanks, Bob), and financial advisors we were able to borrow advice from (Courtesy of Hansen and Sons plumbing tab) can make anything happen. And they did...for us. We, my friends, had NOTHING to do with it.

Go ahead, hate on. I understand.

I am, however, taking FULL credit for the fabulous and penny pinching ways we have managed to slightly decorate this gorgeous, five bedroom shell. And I wanted to showcase it (the pictures are a little dark...darn it!):

Big open space entry/living room. As you can see, not much has been done. Once again, grand piano courtesy of Dad for a surprise "Christmas bonus" at work two years ago. The highlight of the room!
The dining room table and buffet we originally financed at no interest for five years. Lol. That's how long it would have taken us to actually afford it. Instead, we paid approx. $20.00 per month and wa laaa: it's ours!

Lovely dream dream dream kitchen! Granite, tile, you name it... complete with a butler's pantry.
Note: Please control the urge to create your Rachel Voo-doo doll and start stabbing it until the full tour is complete.

Throw pillows inspired by Pottery Barn...homemade to the tune of about $40.00 total!!! Ikea pictures and frames (leaves framed by me, using some old silk flower leaves...creative if I do say so myself!). It's my "Go Green" living room theme (Minus the fact that nothing is organic in the slightest and anything I purchase has mostly been made in China...therefore contributing to the further deterioration of our globe as China acts as one of the leading polluters of the modern world...but whose paying attention reaallly?).

Breakfast nook table courtesy of Craigslist!! Four hundred dollars for the table and chairs (totally, solid, sturdy craftmanship discovered upon inspection to boot!) The plates on the wall are TJ Maxx smokin' $2.99-$7.00 deals. I also recovered the chairs' upholstery to tie into my Go Green themes. Call me Martha.

Lily and London's playroom (toys courtesy of adoring grandparents on both sides)
Lily and London's bedroom. Would you guess that both rooms' window treatments were made out of Tyler and I's old shower curtain material! Wooo hooo! They were!
(Even though we have a five bedroom house, I have this thing where I'd like my kids to always share rooms anyways...London is still mainly in the master bedroom with us in the bassinet. Who am I kidding? is Lily...they are both in our bed 85% of the time).

Speaking of the master bedroom....

And last but definitely not least, my three FAVORITE necessities for any house to be a home, whether it's a shack or a would never be complete, or remotely happy, without them:

Thanks for stopping in! Come again!

Friday, April 25, 2008


The house alarm chimes, "Inside Garage Door" every evening and I breathe a big sigh of happiness and relief. You're home. It feels so good when you're home. Not only because I now have another set of hands to help with the girls, but because they are your hands. You immediately pick up Lily and spin her around as she yells, "DAaadddyyyyyyy!!"- which simultaneously picks up my spirits as I do another double spin of being crazy in love with you.

The other night when I left the house in a tizzy at 8:30pm, stressed from the seemingly endless bouts of coughs and fevers and misery that both you and I had been monitoring with poor Ms. Lily, I slowly perused the aisles of Target and thought of you. As if Lily's hideous flu bug wasn't enough for her poor little body to fight, she had slipped in the shower on Sunday morning while we were trying to allow the steam to loosen her barking cough. It wasn't a terrible fall, but she got a small cut on the back of her head, and as I know from having 7 siblings and plenty of head wounds- head cuts tend to bleed, a LOT. You, my studly man's man of a husband, didn't know this, and in a moment of the purest parental panic started screaming,
"She's bleeeeeeding!!!! She's bleeeeding!!!"
"Tyler! It's okay, head wounds bleed! Don't freak out like that in front of her, you're going to scare her!"
I thought about this and smiled. You love her just like I love her. That deep, soul wrenching, makes you freak out and start hyperventilating when you see her bleed kind of love.

You drive one of the world's ugliest cars known to mankind. Every day, you wake up early to commute in that vile hunk of metal to head to a job to work for me, and our girls. You never complain. I don't get that! I always complain. There was one time, however, when you were able to borrow my Dad's Toyota Tundra for a week or so. After you arrived home, you jokingly informed me of some girls who were trying to get your attention at a stop light while you were in this impressive rig. I smiled and actually wished you could have more opportunities like that, riding in a vehicle that was a closer match to how handsome you really are. Not because of the girls though...when I catch them they will pay dearly for their flirty ways. One day, I know you will have the car of your dreams, because that is how you work. And even in that car, I know I will never have to worry about the flirty girls along the way - they'll never be able to catch you, because that is most definitely not how you work. I pity the poor souls, really, because that just gives them all the more justifiable reason to want to chase.

When you and I finally get a moment or two of alone time, on any given day, you always squeeze in a heartfelt, "I love you, Rae", "Come sit with me", or the too oft unanswered "Wanna get it on (wink wink)?". You are so good at that. I, on the other hand, only seem to excel in stress-monging cleaning bouts, living in a constant state of frenzied vacuuming and dishwashing when the girls are finally in bed or with sitters. I am a hideous wife at times, barking orders and being an all around un-fun drill sargent. I live in a perpetual state of, "I wish I could be more like him". It is pitifully ironic because at times I think I most unknowingly make you feel like you've done something wrong.

Even in a frenzy, I do receive those blessed, time-stopping moments of clarity and gratitude for you. Do I always mention them? I wish I did. There are too many to count. And yet, when I do pause and vocally remind you of how amazing I think you a husband, as a father, as a man, as my best friend, you simply shrug your shoulders in the sweetest humility, brushing it off as if it isn't that big of a deal. But, it is a big deal. You are a big deal. You are MY big deal.
And even when I am Miss Crazy Woman, I will never be crazy enough to forget, and appreciate that fact. Thank you for walking this road with me...the journey is so amazingly beautiful because of you.

I love you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We had a big night, a huge night, a night for the record books this last Monday...

Our first official Family Home Evening!

To any of my non-LDS (Mormon) readers, Family Home Evening is a night LDS families set aside to spend time with the family. It is sort of a generalized rule that Monday night is "family night" so other LDS people know not to bother each other with phone calls or visits after 6:00pm, because we all should be spending a little set aside quality time with our families. I realize people of the LDS faith do not have a monopoly on family time, and many other people probably set aside time each week for their families too...ours is just a little more specific:

Monday nights
Usually after dinner
Begins with a prayer
Introduces a gospel related topic
Should include some sort of fun game or whatnot
ALWAYS has treats
Ends with prayer

Growing up in my childhood household, Family Home Evening sometimes went something more like this:

Monday night
Usually after dinner
Begins with a prayer
Fold laundry
Fold laundry
Fold laundry
Eat treats
End with prayer

In a family of 10, you have to learn to multi-task. The gospel related topic we always gleaned from this quality time spent sitting and sulking over the Mount Everest piles of laundry usually related to the Ten Commandments (more specifically, Honor thy Father and thy Mother and finish folding the laundry so you don't end up being sentenced to finishing the entire load yourself for complaining, then come get a treat). It was great.

Wanting to begin this tradition early, I announced to Tyler last Monday night that we would be having our first Family Home Evening ever with our two little ones. Hooray!
In Mormondom...there are a plethora of cute little lessons and pictures and objects available to teach little children concepts of God. I had been slowly collecting many lessons and little objects, had constructed a little felt board to attach these little objects and pictures to, and felt anxious to begin. I had also baked Banana chocolate chip bread from our old mushy bananas and was feeling not only creative but resourceful for not throwing away our gross bananas in a world of increasing eco-friendly/ recycling behavior. I could teach Lily about Jesus, and the importance of not wasting food in a world where some poor person in rural Tanzania would kill for a rotten banana.

Pause. I know what many of your are thinking. Who is this woman? What era is she living in? Little family lessons about Jesus- i.e. indoctrinating your child from the age of 2? Homemade Banana bread?

First off, I've been baking various sorts of quick breads since I was around 11. I make no apologies. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm ridiculously inclined to baking in frilly aprons. Secondly, I absolutely indoctrinate my child from an early age. So do you, anytime you teach a child not to hit, that dishonesty is wrong, or vegetables are good for them. You are appealing to a higher authority you believe to be true. It may be humanity, it may be our herd instinct, it may be the American Heart Association. In my case, as an's obviously Christ and His teachings. Lily can think and choose and accept/reject these teachings for herself when she is old enough. In the meantime, she'll learn about Jesus. And by golly, she'll probably like it AND get treats.

Anyhoo, our night went like this:

"Heavee faaa (Heavenly Father), Mommy, Daddy, Pop, Ga-Maa, Nonna, Lundeen, Issa (Larissa), Maaaaiii (Mallory), Dani (Daniel), Peanut (Daniel and Ali's dog peanut), AMEN
(prayer of goodwill and blessings delivered by Lily, usually consisting of general family members names that randomly come to her. No inclusions or exclusions apply. If you are a member of the family, you will eventually be mentioned, if not this night, maybe another. Try giving her candy next time you see her to make a more lasting impression. Give candy to her mother and your chances doubly increase with a friendly reminder during prayer.)


Rachel: "Lily, do you see this picture of Jesus? (Lily puts picture on cute homemade felt board) Do you see his Mommy and Daddy? (Lily puts a picture on board of Jesus/Mary/Joseph)
Do you see this picture of Lily? (Lily holds picture of Lily)
And her Mommy and Daddy? (Lily holds family picture)
Jesus had a Mommy and Daddy, and so do you and London. Jesus' Mommy and Daddy loved him very much, and your Mommy and Daddy love you too. Jesus had a family, and so do you! And we all love each other. That is a family. We are a family."
The end!

Tyler: "That's it? That's the whole lesson?"

Rachel (peevishly disgruntled by question): "Uhh...yeaaah!!

Tyler: "It's just really short. Isn't there more?"

Rachel: "Sure! Why don't we get into the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion, then we can precede to helping her finish her Organic Chemistry homework before bed."

Tyler: "I just thought it would be longer."

Lily: "Colaaa Collaaa (Color, Color)"

We then colored pictures of our family (Mommy, Daddy, Lily, and London) and put them on cute (did I mention homemade?) felt board.

Then we had treats. Banana (did I mention homemade?) bread.

Ended with prayer, shorter this time: "Daddy, London, Mommy, Ga-Maa, Saya, AMEN."

Not bad for our first Family Home Evening, eh?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Falling off the ladder, from all this fecal matter....

A poem.

Can somebody help me?
Pray, do tell.
For at times I feel surrounded by poo poo
In the deepest poo well

On my way out the door, as I flitter and fly
Feeling the breeze as I pass my way by
"Ah hah!" I do think
Complimenting myself with a wink
I have this motherhood thing pinned- pinned to a pat
Preparation & promptness- any doubters- take that!
Two diaper bags I pull
Lily's sippy cup full
We shall be on our way
So merrily- so gay!

When all of the sudden, from my baby's sweet seat
I hear a rumble, a tumble, a gooshy "pshllleeeetttt."
Oh no! Not now! Not in your best dress!
Once again, my blithering arrogance called to the test
And not only the dress, but the little back and thighs too
I quiver to witness, my baby once again COVERED in poo
Covered in poo, from her tip to her toes
Soaking her outfit, infiltrating my nose
Don't panic, don't scream
Just get the butt cream
Wipe her, wash that
We'll be done in a flash
Off we'll go
With a hi-diddy diddy doe

Out the door we once again head
When a stench detected, filled me with dread
What is this? Not now! My sweet!????
I see big brown streaks, wiped over my glistening new wall
I bend to examine, and screaming did call...
"Lily!!! Is this poo? From whence did it come?"
She looked quite sheepish, pointing to her bum
"Lily Lu, I've told you once, I've told you twice!
We don't touch our poo poo- it just isn't nice!
Let's go clean you up, I'll try not to scream
Instead- of my single poo-free days I will dream
Finally, out we pulled from our little home
45 minutes late, the doctor's office will groan

Oh well, who cares- any mother can relate
But not the construction manager, whose 90-day walkthru we scheduled to date
He had arrived to fix any problems we had
After purchasing our new house, to see him we were glad
I showed him down the hallway, to the individual cracked tile
When suddenly I realized- the poo streaks I had forgotten all this while!
He glanced at the wall and and noticed, for sure,
Lily-Lu helped by pointing it out, once more

"Poo Poo! Poo Poo!" She said pointing her finger
"Oh really?" replied the male manager, pausing to linger
"Oh silly Lily, you are mistaken," I lied with a few nervous giggles
"That is just chocolate, honey, now go watch the Wiggles!"

As the dashing Prince Tyler later arrives through the door
He finds his dearest Rachel, fallen to the floor
Darling London had once again left us a gift
Even in size THREE diapers, her load proved difficult to lift
"I can't take it! No more! I've had enough poo for today!
You handle this mess-I'm leaving- you must stay!"

Off RAchel went, to soak in a tub
Prince Tyler washed up all of little Lundy's chub
Rachel emerged a happier woman
And preceded to cheerfully get dinner a cookin'
Her two poop free girls began to play with their Dad
And Rachel said to herself, "Ahhh, I guess it wasn't all THAT bad."

Saturday, April 5, 2008



My name is LIlY TyLeR.
I also frequently respond to "Beautiful Dolly girl", "Lily Lu Hoo", "Princess Lily", and "If you do that one more time you'll go to the naughty chair."
But today, you can call mS WiGGLeY LiLy. Because I just had the WIggLEY-Est DAy of my life. Mommy has been keeping this blog for sometime, but I just had to tell you about this one myself.
My Nonna, my favorite Nonna, my B.F.f. Nonna (not to be confused with my other b.F.f. Gamma) gave me a super duper surprise for my birthday this year: tickets to the Wiggle's Concert!!!!!

I LuV ThE WiGgLeS. They are the colors to my Skittles, the Dora to my Explorer, the chocolate to my milk.
Sometimes big people just don't get it, that's why I needed to tell you myself- I was worried my mom would go on and on about how Jeff came right up to us. She was screaming and taking pictures and saying lots of stuff...stuff about big kid things- like how older skinny Asian men dancing in purple really bring out the Rarrrrrrr in her, or something like that.

And baby London doesn't get it either...she slept most of the time. Boy, did she miss out. She didn't even get to point her fingers and do the twist!

But my Nonna gets it. She was so fun. She was as excited as me. She was friendly like me too! She kept asking everyone we passed on the way into the concert if they were excited too!

And when the show was over, she understood how hard it is for a girl when you only have a choice of ONE souvenir. Mommy and Daddy said something about being too spoiled...Spoiled? Me? I've heard that word before, but I'm not sure what it means. But my Nonna understood.
That is why she bought me EVERY souvenir they offered.

Yes!! I got the Dorothy hat, the Wiggles T-shirt, the new DVD, a light up Wiggley car, a Wiggley back pack, AND cotton candy!!! Nonna understands a girl's need for accessories. I love my Nonna, and not because of the accessories. Girls like us just understand these sorts of issues. I'm very busy lately, teaching London about these sorts of things and wHaTnoT I have to go.
On the way out I kept hearing my Mommy say to Daddy, "Oh my word, how are we going to keep her from becoming TOO spoiled?!!"
Like I said before, I'm not sure what that means.

Have a WigGlEy dAy,