Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's no real surprise that, so far, Georgia loves Halloween. We have a pretty substantial costume box (one Scott and I started the second after we got married) and she likes to get in it daily.

Georgia gets a really big kick out of "scaring" people. As in, she growls a simple "rawr" at any given moment and expects a big reaction of screaming and/or running away. The problem is, she does it about every 2 minutes (especially in the car) and she does it with this little grin that is anything but scary. I do my best to give her good reactions. Though, I'm sorry to admit that I have been setting her up for disappointment.

For example, she will declare "I scare Lucee." Then she will walk up to Lucee, growl, and Lucee will stare at her blankly. At this point Georgia will do one of two things. She will either a.) relentlessly growl until she receives some sort of reaction that resembles fright or b.) scream in terror FOR Lucee.

She's used to the latter option. After all, her sister is only 2 months old.

Georgia can tell you that a ghost says "Boo" and do a mean witch cackle. She points out Halloween decorations all the time stating that they are either funny or scary.

Yesterday we went to Target and, because I was feeling generous, I told her she could pick out a toy. It took her a long time of sorting through princess barbies and masks and coloring books but she finally settled on a skull key chain with eyes that light up red and has a sinister laugh. She's gotten a kick out of it and I get a kick out of the fact that she loves it so much.

After our trick or treat bag photo shoot last night, Georgia continued to run around in her witch costume and then happily watched The Munsters on Netflix. You guys. My 2 year old loves The Munsters.

Halloween is the best.

P.S. We now have children's trick or treat bags on sale in ! Only $8 and FREE SHIPPING in the US. They're even ready so ship so there's a quick turn around time :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"How's Scott's job hunt going?"

It's going. Kind of. Scott is a busy guy. We are so so blessed that he has a job (as a salesman for Inked Wear) but between work and tote bags and family there just aren't enough hours in the day. We're working on NETWORKING rather than just throwing applications into the wind so if you know of a company looking for a GIS guy, I know one. GIS stands for Geographical Information Systems. It's basically map analysist. Most big companies use it. Please put us in your prayers. We are grateful for the job he has but we feel we have outgrown it (and this apartment... and this state...).

"How's having two kids?"

Fantastic! And crazy! It's gotten a lot easier to tell you the truth. I was pretty overwhelmed the first bit there. Now that Ruthie is 2 months old and I'm all healed up from the old major surgery we are finding our groove. Ruthie is much different than Georgia. She loves to look around and quietly connect with people and would smile all day long if someone was making eye contact with her. She... tolerates Georgia at the moment. Georgia just loves her so stinking much and is always in her face yelling trying to make her laugh. I just know that when they are older Ruthie is going to make the best audience for her animated sister!
The best part about having two babies is that when one is stressing me out, the other is being delightful. And yeah, sometimes they both freak out at the same time but those moments are almost too stressful for me to even realize I'm stressed and before you know it they're over!

"Are you guys still doing tote bags?"

Why yes, yes we are! You can find them by. We love our little tote bag business even if it can be stressful sometimes and we're shipping things off on the latest possible day. We have a plan for making it easier on ourselves though and a having a much faster turn around time. Also, we will have trick or treat bags soon and T-shirts! Exciting things for

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The day didn't start well. It was one of those where everything was going wrong and I was having a hard time controlling my temper and my anxiety. Every five minutes or so I would think back to the last five minutes and shake my head in shame. I wasn't handling ANYTHING right.

We bought a van that day. It took way longer than expected and the extra time threw my babies for a loop. We were only set back by an hour in our schedule, but it broke us. All of us. I decided we needed to get out of here. No more sitting around our small apartment playing with the same stuff. No more playing in our apartment complex parking lot or the same parks we've been to over and over. I knew a solo impromptu road trip with a toddler and an infant could do me in, but I didn't care. Things couldn't have been worse.

After getting the van licensed and insured, I drove home, packed up and headed for Boise. Surprisingly, the drive went incredibly well. We had left late (after dinner) and the girls slept the whole way. I'm serious- THE WHOLE WAY. It was the longest stretch of quiet time I've had all to myself in a while. I thought, and I prayed and I cried. Ruthie woke up to be fed when I took the exit off of the freeway. Georgia woke up from her cries.  By the time I rolled into my parents driveway at exactly midnight, I was emotionally limping. I mean, I was fine. But not great. And my girls were tired and hungry.

I parked the car, turned it off, and tossed my keys in my purse. Then, I opened my door, got out, shut my door, and when I reached for the side door to get my hungry, crying newborn I heard


The doors, for some reason, had locked automatically. My keys were inside. So were my kids. 

My heart dropped. I unsuccessfully tried to rip the door from the frame. I pounded on the window. I scared Georgia. I ran into the house and told my mom what happened. We talked to Georgie through the car window and tried to keep her calm, Ruthie wailing the whole time. We called several locksmith numbers, but no one answered. I called the police, who said they would just break a window and gave me the number to a different locksmith. We left two messages there. We finally heard back that they were on their way.

Can I just tell you, that being able to see your babies crying and not being able to get to them is the worst experience ever? I kept choking back sobs- trying to stay calm because when Georgia saw even a little look of sadness or fear or worry on my face she started to cry. We sang songs and tapped on the windows- Georgia giving me little high-fives. All the while, Ruthie's newborn cry rang out as a soundtrack to the situation. That shaky-throat-baby cry that made me dig way down to deep to not break a window. She cried real tears for the first time in her little life. 

After 45 minutes, a happy locksmith pulled up next my new mini-van with a sympathetic smile. He opened the doors in 30 seconds. He did it for free! Told us to leave him a good review on Google. So yeah, here's to you, I would have paid mucho bucks to get my kids out of there, but I am so grateful I didn't have to.

I feel like there are a lot of "at leasts" to this story. 
At least it wasn't in the middle of a hot summer day.
At least we were in my parents drive way instead of a random rest stop.
At least the locksmith did it for free. 
At least Ruthie was young enough to forgive me as soon as she started eating. 
At least Georgia hasn't had nightmares about being locked in the car. 

Perhaps this story doesn't sound as stressful to you as I am portraying it. But I can tell you that, on that day, in that moment, I felt like a complete and total failure. Looking back on it now, I feel like I have earned some sort of stripe. I'm assuming that there are moments like these that every mother has. Moments where she wonders how she was entrusted with such precious cargo and who was she kidding she can't do this omgshe'sgoingtoruineverything. 

But you get up the next morning with little ones who have already forgotten the whole thing. 
And then your two year old promptly falls down the stairs and gets a black eye. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Today marks 6 weeks since I had little Ruthie and I am happy to report I can now go about my life with no restrictions to hold me back from taking care of my house and my family. To say I have been impatient with this recovery is a bit of an understatement. I never thought I would miss running errands and cleaning my house but I did! While I have been not doing much, life around here kind of went into survival mode. Dinner became a really abstract idea unless someone put it front of us. The TV had been on 24/7. Georgia now knows the name and story of every Disney princess and Scott has had the world on his shoulders between work, tote bags, and helping me keep the house in at least some sort of working order. We have had a lot of help, and I am grateful. I have never had stitches before, let alone a major surgery so this has all been a learning experience to say the least. I feel I have new empathy for people recovering from surgery, and especially women who have c-sections (and women who have a c-section with their 4th kid and have to return home to 3 kids! I'm looking at you, Tracy).

But things are getting back to normal. Georgia is finally sleeping through the night again. I've conquered nursing while lying down. Georgia has begged for every movie she knows the name of today and I have successfully held her off. I'm tired of the TV, even if it did make an excellent baby-sitter for a while.

The pictures below are from our hiatus from life. They are from after we got home from the hospital.
No matter how hard things get, I'm sure glad I have these little faces to get me through.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I really love the city. Downtown's make me feel important. I don't mind the traffic if it means I'm going to a theatre or to work or to shop local boutiques. I love late summer nights when the weather is perfect and there are fountains and street art. I like having a hard time deciding where to go eat because there are too many good places to choose from. I like the sight of a Capitol building. I like colorful sunsets even though I know what it means.

But I wouldn't want to live in the city. There are too many things that make it not worth it. Like the cost of rent/housing and the idea of apartment living with small kids. Strollers up and down subway stairs? Forget it.

I also really love small, country towns. I love the fresh air and quiet nights. I love having to rely on your family and friends for entertainment. I love the creativity it sparks and how relationships deepen when there's simply "nothing to do." I love that it's usually pretty safe, crime wise. I like the closeness of the community- the guarentee that the man at the check-out will know your name. I love the views.

But I wouldn't want to live in the country. I'd miss the cultural experiences of theatre and art. I hate to admit it, but I would be bummed if I didn't get more than one TV channel and radio station. I would hate to get inspired by something on line and only have one or two stores that could supply half of what I need. I'd hate to constantly pay the shipping for the other half from online shopping. I'd hate being far away from friends and not really have too much to allure people into visiting. I'd get bored, I think.

There's also the beach. Where someone can have no problem living with sand covering every inch of their life because the love the ocean and the waves and the year round summer. But then there's tourism. And I would miss autumn.

I feel like there city folks, country folks and beach bums in this world. People who might not live where they want but their soul is there. They dream of a high rise apartment or a 100 acre ranch.

It's all so romantic to me. I wish I was like this. But Scott and I? We don't deeply identify with the city or the country or the beach. Us? We dream of the suburbs. How boring is that? To you, probably very. But I love the look of a manicured subdivision with sidewalks. I love neighborhoods where you watch kids grow up with your kids. I love school plays and the sound of someone mowing their lawn. I love that the lady at the grocery store might know your name, but doesn't know all your business. I love that I could go see a play one weekend and go do something outdoors the next. Seriously, I dream of suburbia.

We're just a bunch of suburbanites. It's almost embarrassing. Which is why I can watch this video over and over and crack up every time:

Friday, September 6, 2013

So, this last year I only completed six of the goals I had set for myself to do while 27. No good. With a toddler and being pregnant 27 kind of overwhelmed me. And now, with an even more active toddler and newborn, 28 is overwhelming me. So I decided to shorten the list to 8 things to do while 28. Hopefully I can manage.

It's all about simplifying, right? Someone validate me!

The couches we have now are from our first year of marriage. They were garage sale couches that used to be used in student housing at BYU-Idaho. Scott promised that since they were so cheap they could be "college couches" meaning we could get real, grown-up couches later. It is later and want them. I will make this happen!

Georgia got one, so Ruthie needs one too. I think 1st birthdays are a big deal. I think it's a celebration for everyone in the family. "Hey look! We got through a whole year!"

This is a life goal that seems so simple and yet I have never done it. 

My friend Krista had this on her birthday goal list last year and I loved it. My lips have been pretty nude lately and I want something I can just throw on them so that when I'm not wearing make-up, my lip color will still flatter my face. 

I got to 15 last year. Even though I will probably have even less time to read this year, this goal pushes me to read, read, read. 

This will be long and hard but I am going to do it! 20lbs lighter, here I come!

Again, a life goal you would THINK would be simple. This has to be done. 

I only got through two months last year and then I think the holidays happened. I am excited to try again though. 

Other goals not listed but I wouldn't mind doing:
Go on a star-gazing date, learn a new craft, re-do my bookshelf, play a hymn on the piano with both hands, throw a Christmas party. JUGGLE!

To be honest, I didn't complete too many of my goals this year. When I look back on the past year there is one word that sums it up: tired. I have been so, so tired. To my credit, 10 months out of the last 12 have been me pregnant or with a newborn so there is a reason. 

Also to my credit: I made a person. 
I'm pretty sure that trumps the rest of these goals.  

But for reals, I only did 6. Out of 27. 


Anyway, here's my list from last year. The ones I completed are in red. 

1. Finish that rocking chair
(My father-in-law actually did this for me as a Christmas gift, but I'm totally counting it)

2. Smash a pie in someones face
(Sad that this was a pretty simple one that didn't get done)

3. Take Little Treetops to "the next level" haha!
(I think the amount has grown this year speaks for itself. Also the fact that I quit consistently working on Little Treetops and now only show up for input here and there says something about it's growth)

4. Get family pictures taken*
(They were cute. You can see them here. Gotta get some more done soon now that there's 2 littles in the family)

5. Take an IQ test
(In my defense, this one is more complicated than you think. You have to make sure it's certified and it costs money. I think I looked into it for a day and gave up)

6. Keep personal and spiritual goals
(I may have been tired, but I read my scriptures every day)

7. Juggle.
(Dang. Put it on the list for NEXT year. I think that's what? Four years I haven't done it now?)

8. Ride a bicycle built for two
(By the time the weather was good enough for this, I was pretty stinking pregnant)

9. Visit a National Park I have never been to
(Ok, so I went to Yellowstone where I have been a hundred times. But I'm counting it because it's a really big deal that I went to ANY National Park this year)

10. Be featured on Hostess With the Mostess**
(You can see it

11. Read 30 books and record what ones they are
(I only got to 15 (the lowest in a few years). You can see what ones they were and other books I recommend here)

12. Get a yoga membership

13. Reach my goal weight

14. Learn a new craft (metal stamping, maybe)
(Not at all. Unless you count reorganizing my craft stuff and packing it away from the toddler as a new craft). 

15. Let go of 100 Balloons at one time
(This is too time consuming. Also, littering. Still want to do it one day though)

16. Go on a star-gazing date
(I'm kind of really mad this one never happened. Would have been so easy)

17. Paint my bookshelf black
(Yeah right)

18. Ride in a hot-air balloon OR bungee jump
(A year ago, was I just made of money when I put this list together?!)

19. Build a legit igloo
(During the winter I was super nauseous. Also, hard to do with Georgia when the "yard" in our apartment complex is pretty much a parking lot. Further, igloos take time. No, I didn't do it)

20. Complete a "wreck this journal"
(Again, a pretty easy goal but I never bought one)

21.Join a choir
(I had the best intentions to join my church choir but sleep and breakfast took first priority. One day)

22. Play a hymn on the piano with both hands
(Not this year)

23. Own a freaking Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag.
(I now own TWO of these bags and a travel case. And no, I did NOT pay full price for any of it. I love them)

24. Visit the Timp Caves
(Again, pregnancy hindered this later on)

25.Go to the Swiss festival 
(Maybe next time)

26. Do a Random Act of Kindness at least once a month
(I don't think I did this. Which is sad)

27. Keep a gratitude journal- everyday for the entire year.
(I got through November)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Sunday was Miss Ruthie's blessing* day and it was beautiful. There were some funny and awkward moments, but overall- beautiful.

Ruthie decided that she would only snack a little bit in the morning (though I tried to feed her several times before church) so, of course, she was starving by the time we got to the church building. She looked like a little baby angel, but she was not a happy camper. 
Read the article at this link

Regardless of the crying, Scott was able to bless her through the priesthood power. She was blessed to be a steadfast member of the church and to be a rock to those who doubt. It really was a beautiful blessing. Even if she did wail through the entire thing.

Scott gave her the name Ruth Pearl Chapman (same as the one on her birth certificate) and I'm happy he didn't change it. You can do that. But he didn't since it was a long hard road to get a name we agreed on!

See, back when I was very pregnant with Georgia, I was watching TV and some girl power commercial came on. There were little girls saying their names.
"I'm Elizabeth."
"Hi, I'm Aubrey."
"I'm Courtney."

And in the mist of all of it came the sweetest little voice joyfully proclaiming:

"It's me, Ruthie!"

My heart jumped and I knew that if we had another little girl, that would be her name. Scott was thrilled and we had our Georgia and put the name Ruthie in the back shelf of our mind.

So when we found out we were having our 2nd girl, there was no question that she would be called Ruthie. It bothered us that it was not a family name, but we felt strongly about it.

Well, my mother's name is Lorna (which I love all on it's own) and she has no middle name. While I was telling her about the name Ruthie she mentioned that the only name she ever liked with Lorna was Ruth.

Lorna Ruth. How adorable is that? Georgia Rose and Lorna Ruth. I was in LOVE.

I had never been one to think about having a child go by their middle name but Ruth Lorna sounded pretty dumb and suddenly the whole middle name thing was no big deal to me at all.

To Scott, however, this was treading on IMMORAL territory. He and his family felt so strongly that it was JUST WRONG to have a child go by their middle name as if the kid would have this great burden their entire lives.

That's when the playful fights started. I just couldn't believe that he was so against our daughter going by her middle name and he just couldn't believe that I was actually considering it.

That's when the playful fights turned not so playful. He couldn't give me a better alternative to Lorna Ruth. He felt it was unfair that I was using his mother-in-laws name in the situation. As if striking down the suggestion of Lorna Ruth as a slight to my mom.

That's when we started getting recruits. We talked to everyone and asked their opinion. We built small armies in our defense. But it turned out for every person who thought it was dumb to go by your middle name, there was another person who said they liked it/it didn't matter.

That's when we started to negotiate. Late one night, when Scott was almost asleep, I asked him what I would have to do to name our baby whatever I wanted. Rolling over onto his back he thought for a minute and said: "Get us out of debt."

That's when I started pinching my pennies. You guys, I paid off A LOT of debt this summer. Like, A LOT. At least, I think so.

This is also about the time we just stopped talking about the name. I was settled on Lorna Ruth and I was going to basically buy my way. Scott was settled on Ruth Undetermined and his family ran to his defense whenever the name issue was brought up. Pretty soon, we just stopped bringing it up.

One day, when I was REALLY pregnant, my mom called me up. She said that she had just gone to the temple and that she did the temple work for a woman named Victoria Pearl. I thought that was a really pretty name but a bit fancy for my taste. I wondered why she would bring it up since we had already been so settled on Ruth. Then she said "I was thinking Pearl..."

Ruth Pearl. Ruthie Pearl.

My heart did the same jump as it had 2 years earlier when listening to the little girl on TV. I knew that that was the name. I got really excited and my mom got really sad since we weren't going to use Lorna.

Later, I told Scott about it and I mentioned that it was not a family name, but that it was so pretty. He loved it (obviously) and THEN told me that it kind of WAS a family name. His Grandpa Chapman had been raised by parents who were not in the LDS church and his grandmother would take him to church every Sunday. Because she did that, Grandpa Chapman stayed active in the gospel and the active membership of the rest of the Chapman descendants is accredited to Great-Great-Grandma Chapman. Her name was Edith Pearl.

So there you have it. Once it was decided we felt so much better. Both because we found a name we loved and because we got out of a lot of debt in the process! Now that she is here, it is clear that her name just fits her perfectly.

Scott got me that I wore to Ruthie's blessing on Sunday to celebrate our two beautiful girls:

I love that I have my Georgia Rose and Ruthie Pearl. My Rose and my Pearl. I'm so lucky. 

*In the LDS church, babies are not christened or baptized. Baptism comes later, at the age of eight. Babies are born pure of sin so have no need to be baptized out of the womb. Instead, they are given a blessing by someone who holds the priesthood (traditionally the father) and given a name to go on the records of the church and to bless the child with spiritual and physical welfare.