Monday, June 30, 2008

Curtain Call

So I've been spending a lot of free evening time lately with my new best friend, "Singer" or "Singy" (as I like to call him:)...
...measuring, cutting, pinning, ironing, sewing, ironing, pinning and sewing again.  

Making lined curtains has been a painstaking process, I must say!!!   GG wisely encouraged me to go online and find some instructions before beginning the project.  What a smart man! :)  I was going to try to wing it based on some thorough investigation of other tailored curtains in our house.  But thankfully I managed to find a really informative website here, which talked me through the various steps necessary to make tailored, lined drapes.  Thank goodness!!  What would one do without the internet??

I started off with an assembly line approach, doing each step of the process on all 6 panels before moving on.  The measuring and cutting took ages and my knees were so sore after scooting around on our hard floors...  Nonetheless, I finally finished and moved onto hemming both the liners and fabric.  Last night I started joining the two together (inside out) and then inverting them to make the almost-finished product.  Around 11:30pm, my first "baby" churned out and was hung this morning.  Here it is, limply and rather lonely, as it adorns the middle window.

Not too shabby!  While I think it still needs a little something, I am happy to say it is well-made and should not fall down!! :)  The fabric choice did end up looking somewhat "30-year-old-man's office" and not quite "toddler bedroom", but I'm still happy with the choice.  By starting out basic, I can always add playful, colorful elements later (but you can't always take away!)   I am really thinking now of adding some sort of hooks to the top and perhaps changing out the drapery rods.  I'm also going to look into some red tie-back cords to make it a little more fun and playful.  

All in all,  I'm thrilled to have one done (but am lamenting the other five I have to finish!)  Oh well, all in a day's work.  Before I leave, let me include a pic of Heidi's beautiful valences she shared with me--if you zoom in, you can see the adorable Osh Kosh effect she created at the top.  Too cute!  Heidi, you are a talented woman!  I decided to play it simple by default... (too tired=no creativity!)  Maybe next time I can rise to your prowess!! ;)

Thanks for enduring all this decorating talk.
I'll hopefully be updating you on the finished project very soon!
Hope you are all enjoying a glorious Monday.  God bless you!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Shots

As promised, I'm going to try and give you a glimpse of the growing belly each week!  Here are  Baby J and I at almost 35 weeks.  GG and I laughed at the difference in views--the one from the side is so much more extreme than that from the front!  lol.  

Gasperini-Ville was up and at 'em at 5:45am this morning!  Nothing like early boy risers to get mom and dad out of bed before we'd like to be.  Thank goodness for the blessing of our sweet cherubs! ;)  I'm happy to report, though, that the morning hours have proven quite productive--2 loads of laundry folded and put away, 3 in the works, the dishwasher emptied, coffee brewed, dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, pancakes griddled, and boys' room curtains started!!  I managed to get the fabric for two of the panels measured, cut, and pinned for ironing and hemming later today.  This is going to be quite the project!!  I'll try to take some pictures of the progression for posting later on.  

GG is off to study for the morning and the boys are playing cars and trains "nicely" in the living room...  Oh, blissful Saturdays!  Now we are off to make a racetrack on the swingset slide.  Anything to get these boys outside and keep them from getting bored and antsy!!

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful day with people you love.  God bless!

**Quick Note: for anyone interested in some BOB Duallie Revolution insight, I've posted some thoughts here, particularly for AR's and J's mama.  Enjoy!! :)  

Friday, June 27, 2008


"Daddy, you are big and strong and such a big man."
Nothing like a 3-year-old to puff up a man's ego.  :)  TGIF and God bless!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Watermelon dribble...

Rosy cheeks...
Dusty shoes and dirty brown knees...
Shady respites...
Boyhood fun...
These are the days of summer!  God bless!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Choice

You, ladies, are wonderful in that you've affirmed my intuition...

... to choose #2!!   The Variegated Stripe Indigo
Thank you to all who voiced their thoughts in the previous post!  You had great things to say.  I had been leaning in the direction of #2--not too extreme, but also not too plain for the room with all of its basics.  The larger striped pattern is still an option, though I'm definitely thinking of doing more colorful patterns, ginghams, and stripes as room accents (pillows, etc.) which echo some of the subtle "fun" of the quilt.   

As you can see in the room shots above, we currently have some navy blankets hanging to cover the windows (notice the sleeping cherub in the crib shot!) and I do like their overall look, so the hint of stripe on the navy will be just enough to add a little pattern to the room.  Heidi also made a fun suggestion to add buttons and hooks at the top for a cute, boyish finish.  I definitely think we may do something of the sort-- some hook clips like these that might offer a little playful variety (and make my sewing venture even easier--I'm quite the novice!)

I'll have to keep you posted as the project progresses...  
Before that, though, we meet tonight with an interior designer(!), whose services come free(!!) if we order furniture through Norwalk.  I just about fell out of my chair when she told me she would help us design our family room, choose furniture and fabrics, and coordinate our ideas... for nothing!  Whew!!  What a relief that was!  GG and I have no clue what we're doing on the design front.  We desperately want to do things "right" because we plan to be here for awhile, but are operating on a tight budget.  Thankfully, April visits tonight and the family room design process starts!  I'll be sure to fill you in on the latest. ;)

Blessings to you all for a *wonderful* Wednesday.
Tomorrow I promise pics of M and the week-long Bible school he's been enjoying.  T and I have been joining him and another family afterward to picnic and play on the church playground.  How nice this time has been for us!  Praise God for His Provision of friends during this new Virginia adventure...  God bless!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Your Input, Por Favor

Along similar decorating notions as to my last post, I'm planning to sew simple curtains for the boys' room. They are in dire need of some thicker shades to blackout this beautiful summer sunlight! My thoughts are no matter what fabric I choose for the curtains, I will line them to ensure maximum shade potential!!

So here's where you come in... I've scoped out and have chosen a few curtain fabric finalists for the room and I need your opinion as to which you like best! For your reference, here's a room shot from a previous post to show you the wall color.

It is a beautiful "raindrop blue", which complements a navy dresser and M's Pottery Barn Kids train quilt (which looks a lot like this but with a white background) and T's chambray blue crib sheet. I'll have to post some actual room shots tomorrow after the kids wake up!!

I would like the curtains to be a darker navy color to help anchor the lightness of the room. We've decided to make them window length--not to the floor, but also not as short as valences (which are so cute, yet too impractical with the sun as bright as it is!) The curtains will cover plantation shutters already in place.
Okay, so here are the fabric finalists:

#1 Galeton Denim

#2 Variegated Stripe Indigo

#3 Ticking Stripe Indigo

#4 Solid Indigo

Please vote away in the comments... Your advice would be so appreciated! Thank you and God bless.

(P.S. I'll tell you which one I like best tomorrow!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Floral Embellishment

GG sweetly sent me out on a mission Sunday afternoon during the boys' naps:

"Go and help furnish our house.  I trust your judgment, just do not return without something new to help make this place feel more settled."

You mean, "Go out and shop without crying children?"
Twist my arm. :)
While the poor guy was slaving away at his bar studies, it was the least I could do to help. ;)

So *thank goodness* I happened upon the first day of a summer sale at Pier One!  Not only was I going to help furnish our home, I was going to be able to do it while saving $$.  Happiness! :)

I was tickled to happen upon some beautiful clearance glass hurricanes and also some peony and hydrangea flowers on sale.  Voila--with a little arranging, we had pieces for the two hallway coves that were screaming for attention!!  GG and I agree that we probably need a few more pieces for the rear of the hurricanes to help give the arrangements a little extra height.  Overall, though, I am so happy with the turnout...  

Little by little, our house is becoming a home!  God bless you and yours!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ready or not

Thanks for all the wonderful encouragement you sent in response to my prego pic from Friday--you all are the best and I wish I could carry your voices around with me throughout the day for pick-me-ups!! It's one thing to be pregnant and another to feel like one's body is contorting into a shape beyond its resiliency... All mothers out there understand.

Side note: I remember learning the word "resilient" in school. The teacher described a rubber band as having ultimate resiliency in that after being stretched, it would return to its original shape. A rubber band pushed beyond resilience would hang limply, without shape. What an image for a pregnant gal! lol. :)

In addition to bolstering my prego self-esteem, you all have definitely gotten the wheels turning on the baby front--in other words, this baby is going to be here before I know it! Some days it is very easy to slip into the mindset that this little guy will arrive "in the future" and that "we'll get there eventually". Amazingly, though, that day is quickly approaching and I need to be ready! :)

A friend recently asked if I had read any labor and delivery books before the birth of our first, M. I felt sheepish admitting, "No" but then paused to realize part of the reasoning was his month-early arrival! I had to be induced last-minute to accommodate a rapidly elevating bp! If the same scenario happens again (no indicators yet, thank goodness), baby J will be here in 2 weeks!! CRAZY thoughts. More reasons to GET READY!

And then thoughts shift to the reality of having a *new* baby in the house and all the changes his arrival will bring. I will head back into being an on-call nursing mama again for the next year (hopefully). How quickly I've grown accustomed to my and T-baby's independence! Makes me wonder how mothers do it when children are spaced even further apart. Baby-dom already feels so foreign and its been less than 2 years! :)

Despite all the worries and "what-if's", I know it will be very blessed. I know the boys will *love* being big brothers. T-baby already heads into J's nursery and points to all the pieces of furniture, saying "baby". Too cute. In his excitment, M has also been assured and reassured that he will be able to hold Baby J and sit next to him in the van. Also very adorable. I presume part of the pleasure of having child #3 will be watching his brothers (who we already love so much) dote on him and shower him with affection. Blessed thoughts, indeed.

Ready or not, Baby J is on his way and we couldn't be more excited.

Hope you have enjoyed an uplifting weekend.
Tomorrow I will include pics of some new arrangements I'm putting together for our hallway cut-out coves. I saved a bundle today at a big sale at Pier One. I have to say, few things make this mama happier than saving... :) (Saving and cherries--the dark red ones, extremely tasty and in season! lol.)

Hugs and prayers tonight. God bless.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bebe Au Lait

Some of you have heard me go on and on about how much I love the Bebe Au Lait nursing covers.  They are the coolest and I plan to snatch one up soon in prep for our wee one's arrival.

Just wanted to put a quick shout out for them again in the hopes that Gasperini-Ville will be one of the lucky blogs to receive a *free* cover just for advertising!  Wish me luck!  And happy nursing to all you chic, modest mamas out there! :)

33.5 weeks

There you have it, folks.  The latest and greatest at 33.5 weeks! :)  I'll try to add some more shots later... maybe one or two with a black shirt to give you real belly perspective! :)  Hope you're having a fantastic day!  Also FYI, as of 2pm I have even more of a scary voice.  Yahoo!  
God bless!!


After a rather depressing, non-communative day yesterday (5th-in-a-row), I awoke this morning with a low squeak.


I've never been happier with such a pathetic tone. GG joked that I might as well stay with a whisper because I was scaring the kids. lol. :)

Nonetheless, today is a new day and I am thrilled at the hope of communication!!!
Look forward to being in touch with those of you I've put on hold this week.

Also, I've been promising belly shots for awhile and will "deliver" later this afternoon... Check back in!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Right Where He Wants Me

Isn't it amazing how God places certain challenges into our lives at just the right moment?
Really. He's so good like that.

He seems to know just when all of us need setbacks and limitations, hang-ups and trials; to hone our skills, prune our proverbial stems, and ultimately, make us better and more equipped for living holy lives in this crazy world. Thank goodness for the fruit such times bear...

Right now would seem like the worst time for me to lose my voice. We are desperately trying to get established--ready the home, meet new people in our day-to-day, schedule doctors visits and line-up health coverage. Instead, I am mute. Initially very frustrating, but in the end, very blessed.

I have been receiving ample lessons of late from my trial of silence. There is no yelling, no frustration, no nothing in our home--just sounds of laughter and play from two little boys and their mama. There is no temptation to chat away the day on the phone or to busy the afternoon with business-related phone calls and tasks!  Instead, in my silence, I am "forced" to cater to my family and to my home.  There has been greater inward attention and might I say, beautiful results. 

I can't tell you how surprisingly *wonderful* yesterday was. I was really dreading it--how does one mother without sound?  I got my answer: she does it with love, tenderness, hugs, and small gestures that go much further toward achieving her desired end of well-behaved, happy children than raised voices do.  Sigh.  If only these lessons were more easily learned.

If only I could glean such goodness without having to lose my voice. Sadly, I can't and I couldn't, and God knows it. He knew a "check-it-off-the-list" kind of person like me, moving into a new home and town, needed to have a greater reason for respite.  And I got it. 

So respite away we go...  Here are some shots of the boys from yesterday's backyard picnic.  They were too busy to smile and pose.  
Hope you are enjoying a blessed Wednesday.

From the land of mute mamas--God bless!!  ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Laryn Girl

Did you know?

*Clearing your throat does more harm than good, because it causes an abnormal vibration of your vocal cords and can increase swelling. Clearing your throat also causes your throat to secrete more mucus and feel more irritated, making you want to clear your throat again.

*Someone suffering from Laryngitis should avoid whispering. This puts even more strain on your voice than normal speech does. (Great! Anyone want to teach me and the boys sign language?)

*Prevention tip: Avoid talking or singing too loudly or for too long.
(Anyone who knows B-mama, knows this is a real problem. I am beyond chatty... and LOVE to sing in the car with the boys! Just the other day, M asked me not to sing so loudly as we were driving! lol. Can you blame me--Power of Two was playing by The Indigo Girls?)

I am on Day #3 of forced silence and it's killing me.  
Alright, that might be a bit dramatic, but I have to say this is really a challenge for an outgoing mama like me!  Help!  I guess that list of phone calls to make gets pushed back another day... Oh well!  

Cheers to my silent "retreat"--if only the rest of the world could get on board, I wouldn't feel so alone.  :)  God bless you today.  Please offer up prayers of thanksgiving for your voices for me!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Wonderful Daddy's Day

Gasperini-Ville enjoyed an awesome weekend this past one. How about you?

Among the best parts were a double date Saturday evening with friends who are moving to the area, while Mimi and Papa sat for the boys (many thanks!)  Sunday beheld a Father's Day feast thanks to Mimi (shots below), a beautiful Mass with playing by our bell choir (and I didn't mess up!), along with ample opportunities to revel in our own Daddy.  

And can I take a moment to sing GG's praises?  All the while it was his day and his chance to milk it for all it was worth, he took time to shower me with love and support!  So sweet.  What an amazing guy I have!  I'll be keeping him, for sure. ;)

The weekend has come and gone... and left me speechless... literally.
Yep, laryngitis has ruled and insisted that I not talk and only mother with a whisper.
Do you realize how ineffective whispers are with two little boys?  It has been an eye-opening day, to say the least. :)

So today I'm giving thanks for a great weekend, an incredible spouse, and the joy of talking audibly.  Can't wait to be back in stereo soon.  
Hope you are well.  God bless!  

Friday, June 13, 2008

From Awesome to Worse

Wonderful morning at a botanical garden splash park...
Lunchtime in the shade at a picnic table...
Fun times with new friends...

Boys asleep in the car...
10min. naps...
Mom's got a sinus infection...

More tomorrow.  Blessings... :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just What Are Boys Made of?

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails...

and ranch dressing.  

I would say that T-baby is currently half Hidden Valley, half everything else.  The kid goes crazy for the stuff.  Pardon me, but would you like some broccoli, carrots, chicken nuggets, etc. with your ranch dressing?  The other night we had to stop him from bathing in it.  Seriously.  He had his arms, cheeks, and neck completely coated.  :)

My thoughts--as long as they're eating fresh veggies, I'm a happy mama, ranch and all.

Hope you're having a fantastic Thursday!  Don't forget: no dessert unless you lick your bowls clean...  God bless!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Question of the Day

Why is it so difficult for little boys to get their pee-pee 
into the toilet and not everywhere else?

-exasperated in Virginia ;)                           

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome to Costco

I am happy to report that we are new members of the Costco craziness, buying into the frenzy for a mere $50 annual charge (!!) Let's hope I can recoup that $$ and more (I've been assured I will... :)

The boys and I headed there this morning to be greeted by muffins and orange juice (amazing perks for a mother of two young ones!!) I was also in an enamored state by the double grocery cart they were riding in. It is no secret how beyond giddy these make me! lol. :)

On the grocery list today:
*dishwashing detergent
*organic peanut butter (the Kirkland brand is awesome, FYI!)
*milk (SO much cheaper here!)

What I walked out of the store with:
*fruit (4 lbs. strawberries, 2lb. blueberries, 6lbs(!) bananas)
*dishwashing detergent
*Kirkland pb
*some Father's Day surprises for GG
*4 canisters of Clorox Wipes
*10(!) Oral B toothbrushes
*a box of 35 Fiber One bars
*2lbs. of Chicken and Veggie Potstickers
and *6lbs. of Beef Meatballs

In other words, Costco may end up being the death of me.
And our budget.

10 toothbrushes? Who needs that many?
But they were such a good deal. How could I resist?

Cheers to future "savings" as a result of today's bulk buying. Let's hope!!!!
And apparently, I'm not the only one fretting today's food prices.  God bless America!
God bless YOU!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In Bloom

Here are some recent backyard beauties...  What a treat to walk among such Creation on the Lord's Day today.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trainy Days

Today was hotter than you-know-what and Gasperini-Ville was definitely more than a little off course (still working out the kinks of our move!!)   Have I mentioned the boys are now sharing a room and what it is doing to our golden sleep hours? I needn't say more...  Yesterday, however, was a FANTASTIC day to head to the nearby train depot with our beloved Papa. What a nice guy to take a work holiday and spend it with his grandsons!

The four of us set out for the quick trip--the depot city has 4 tracks running right through the middle of the quaint town, which allow for ample train sightings. We saw three full trains and also visited the local train store.

One would be hard-pressed to find two more excited, little, train-crazy boys...
Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend.  God bless!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Trying to Overachieve

But failing miserably.

Today, my 31-week pregnant self thought it would be a grand idea to mow the lawn in 100F heat.  

"You can do it, " I told myself, "Just take it in spurts and drink plenty of water."
"No problem, " I encouraged myself as I filled the tank with gas and checked the oil.

But then came time to pull the cord.
Once...  Twice...  Three times... and beyond.
And... nothing.

Sometimes it is in our limitations that we SAVE ourselves from making STUPID decisions.
Thank goodness!!!  
What was I thinking???

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mama's Best Friend

Attention all mothers:

Put down your mouse, turn off the computer, and head to the nearest store to purchase one of these:  

Your life will never be the same again!

I LOVE my Dustbuster and go very few places without it.  Really.  I laugh when thinking of what a current caricature of myself would look like--I would definitely have one of these in hand.  I love it so much I just had to tell you about it. 

It is powerful, rechargeable, easy to empty, has two speeds, and saves me SO much time.  I use it after every meal; nose it into EVERY corner... I just love it!

GG agrees that this is one product that has saved us oodles of time and stress.  Thank goodness and thanks to my mom, who purchased the beloved machine for us for Christmas.  I have been enjoying it since and wanting to let you all know about it!  Now's the time to start dustbusting if you haven't already.   :)

God bless!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our Cultured Life

Not only did the boys get a chance to revisit the farm today...

But also took a spin around the art museum as well!  

Boy, aren't we a cultured sort, eh?!  Thanks to our docent Mimi, we had the chance to view farm-themed artwork as a way to carryover the Maymont experience.  Too fun!  The teacher in me was brimming with excitement--a multidisciplinary approach?  Oh yes! :) 

I'd have to say that we will probably NOT be doing the toddler program at the farm next year.  It is poorly run (so sad) and I intend to offer constructive criticism and suggestions at the end of the course.  Mimi and I have noticed there are ample things that could be done to spice it up (and make it worth the $$ I've spent on it!)  The first lesson we had on Monday was less than a half hour.  Have I mentioned I'm paying a pretty penny for us to be there?  According to another mother, the children's programs at the town science museum are also expensive and poor in quality!  Sounds like we need a change-up to make things happen!!!  If only I had the time and energy...  Maybe sometime down the road. :)

Have others found this to be the case?  Are children's programs in your area "up to snuff" or seriously lacking like ours? In any event, hope this finds you well on a Thursday!  God bless!
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