Sunday, July 29, 2012


2 important milestones for Alice.

And we caught one of them on video.

View video here.

have a seat

I've been taking photos of Alice as close to her monthly birthday as possible in the same spot: Grandma Gert's rocking chair.

You can see her growth. You can see so much with this kind of photo series. I will be making a photo book and some sort of framed display to hang in her room after her first birthday.

But for now, take a look at the first 8 months.

months 1 - 4 collage
months 5 - 8 collage

Monday, July 23, 2012

photos by Charlie

Charlie likes to use my camera. It makes other people nervous (ahem, Rich) because it's big and expensive but he's careful with it. And I supervise.

This past Sunday he placed the strap around his neck and took some photos of us out in the front yard. As you can see, the apple of his eye lately is (a) his green bike from Papa Dickie and (b) his sister. All of these collaged photos were taken by Charlie, cropped by me but otherwise raw.

He may need his own blog. For more photos by Charlie, check this out.

photos by Charlie, July 2012

1. Sis., 2. Charlie's treasured bike. From Papa Dickie., 3. blurry Daddy., 4. Sister, on his bike., 5. Mama's pj pants and very pale feet., 6. Tree in focus, Mama + Alice not so much., 7. Allie Cat. He loves his sister. And she always looks at him so adoringly., 8. laughing, 9. Sunset. "It's a beautiful day" says Charlie.


Maybe I'll add words to this blog post later. But really, with these photos, I don't need them.

brother & sister, July 2012

brother & sister, July 2012

brother & sister, July 2012

brother & sister, July 2012

favorite neighbors

The photos and videos below are ironic considering we had a weekend full of neighborly love. Swimming with Katie and G, a pool tournament at Arnie's house with THE BEST Cuban food, and some driveway visiting with Todd and Chrissy. We're lucky to live in Southern California (which isn't known for "hi-dee-ho" neighborhoods like those that we grew up with in the Midwest) *and* have great neighbors.

Unfortunately, we torture them with this spectacle in the front yard. Yes, that's Charlie rinsing out Alice's diaper pail with soap and water while I supervise in my pineapple pajamas. And an infant hanging on my back. Rich was probably behind me with a bottle of beer yelling "make sure you squirt more Simple Green in there, kiddo!" Kind of reminds me of "the shitter was full" scene from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Remember that?

Between my pajama / baby wearin' supervision of Charlie hosing out a poop bucket (diaper genie) in the front yard ...

Or, on Sunday nights, we gift the neighbors with Charlie running and screeching in his superhero underwear through the sprinklers. He loves it - asks about it through dinner. "Can I run sprinkles now? I take my pants off now?" Sure, go for it. Our house is so upside down in value, this can't hurt.
... and setting Charlie loose to run through the sprinklers in his underwear, we must be our neighbors' favorite family on the block.

So if you live in the L. A. area, grab a glass of wine and head on over Sunday nights for the Charlie show. It's fantastic.

Or view the video here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

photo books

I take thousands of photos. THOUSANDS.

I have 1 photo book of Charlie in our house. Year 2, for some reason. Not his first year of life. Not his first Christmas or a special milestone. Just Year 2. I've made 2 books for Robin. Robin has made a photo book for me, Katie has, too.

But I haven't been making them for my family. And starting tonight, I'm catching up. My Mom made many photo albums through the years with photos carefully cataloged, dated in nice albums. I love them. And I love her for doing that.

So here we go.

Charlie Year 1. In the mail.

I ordered from Shutterfly photo books. I don't love their quality as much as Blurb or MyPublisher but it's easy to make and cost effective. 

put on your dancing shoes

Lately I've mentioned in my posts how busy we are. And it's true. Rich and I both work outside of the home. Two young kids, etc. Nothing drastically different than everyone else. We have no real burdens or stress, just every day life.

But Rich and I have a dance. After 10 years of marriage, we each have our assigned roles and tasks, executing them wordlessly each day, quietly showing appreciation by bringing a mug of coffee into the bedroom or buying bag of pistachios on an ordinary grocery trip.

One of the choreographs is when I'm editing a friend's photos or paying bills online, Rich takes over Super Dad duty.

This is what it looks like.

Best dad. Ever.

Vacuum tubes become weapons to take down evil.


Buzz gives a speech, full of inspiration on tackling the long road ahead.


The best part is that they think my mind is busy with the bills or in Photoshop. But I'm paying attention. I will remember this until the day I die.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Presley Punch

I have this photo of sherbet punch on Flickr that gets a lot of hits.

Presley's Sprinkle

Every day, people from all over the world are viewing this photo of a punch that I'm not even 100% I made at my friend Katie's baby shower in September 2010 for her daughter, Presley.

Because of the curiosity, I'm formally posting my old school, midwestern "every bridal and baby shower I've attended in Michigan had this in an Aunt's punch bowl" punch recipe. So thank you so all my Aunts for bringing this little gem into my culture.

Presley Punch (I have to name it Presley punch because this photo, from Presley's shower, has made this pic popular.)

(2) 2-liters of Sprite or 7-up
(2) cartons of rainbow sherbet
(1) Hawaiian punch concentrate
ice cubes

Mix well. Float pretty sliced fruit on top if you're so inclined. Pour into cups. Huddle around in small groups of women and gossip. Enjoy.

Thanks, Katie, for having punch at your shower! (And thank you to your Aunt Sue if she's the one who actually made it!)

my friend Ann

I have a friend named Ann Tran.

We've known each other since 2004, I think. Maybe 2005. Through work. But it doesn't matter. For two very different people, we have so very much in common. Our "time is not our own" now because of the kids/marriage/work/life (I stole that quote from Ann) but we are still in each other's lives and pick up as if a day hasn't passed.

After wanting children so much and for so long, Ann welcomed her 3rd baby, Claire, into the world just after her twins turned 1. Her home and heart are full and I couldn't be happier for her. If you scroll down, you'll see photos of the beautiful children but what I really want to show Ann is how wonderful motherhood looks on her.

You're a good Mama, Ann. Soak it up, girlfriend. And let's get back on our Starbucks schedule soon.

 mama Ann & Megan

mama Ann Colin_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012 (1)

mama Ann Claire_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012 (1)

Now on to the kids . . .

Little Miss Claire.
Claire orange blanket_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012

 Claire little sister onesie_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012


Megan_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012

Colin_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012

Getting all 3 together, my God. They had to be bribed with snacks.

all 3 kids together_Shaw Family July 2012_07152012

every little thing

I first saw the sign by Susie Harris on Pinterest and pinned it to my board. I kept coming back to it. 

Two kids, two jobs, 4 people + 1 dog living in 1100 square feet, migraines, a dog, noisy L.A. Life in general. This sign was necessary. We need it. Now it hangs in our living room as a reminder that yes, every little thing is gonna be alright.

true statement

It always is.

If you're interested, you can see this and many other signs at Susie's blog:

Just contact her at to order a specific sign. Ours is 34"x34". It took 3 weeks total for her to make it and ship it.

drumroll please . . .

And the winner of the free pair of MEandREEKIE booties from my recent giveaway is Kim Berki!

She was the third commenter on my post. I used to generate a number between 1 and 7 (the total number of comments on the post). It generated the number 3.

random rv

Kim - I hope your daughter enjoys the booties as much as Alice!

MEandREEKIE booties

You can contact Maria through her Etsy shop here directly to make arrangements or email me and I'll connect the two of you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

June, remember way back when?

June came. It left. Now I'm facing July head on.

I think I spent June under my sheets with an ice pack on my head. My migraines were the worst they've been since high school. But they are so much better now. Thank you, Topamax, clean(er) eating, and some spiritual healing from an executive coach (don't ask).

I didn't get Alice's 6 month photo up on the blog - which should've gone up soon after 5/24. Or her 7 month photo. I'll do both shortly. I can tell you that she is rolling all over, pushing herself up on her arms and her toes (sometimes her knees). She has preferences. She prefers the giant tug boat in the bath. If you take it away, she prefers to pout and cry. She's not really a screamer like Charlie was. But she'll cry and perform some low level whining that makes you want to poke your ear drums with hot forks.

June seemed busy. Charlie had a fashion show at school, I had a very interesting book club party, Rich and I have both busy at work (which doesn't usually happen at the same time), my friend's twins turned 1 with a big party, Charlie started swim lessons, Alice had thrush, we randomly decided to drive to San Pedro on a Sunday morning. Oh, and I drank waayyyyyy too much Starbucks. Probably contributed to my migraines. Circle of life and all that.

Here are some photos. Lazy girl blogging right here -
June 2012 in photos 

1. fashion show, 2. snoozin' - just a girl and her monkey, 3. Sticky Note fun, 4. being loved on, 5. more coffee, 6. new shirt, 7. These silly kids., 8. Alice, 6 months old, 9. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06282012, 10. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06182012, 11. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06272012, 12. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06232012 (2), 13. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06172012, 14. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06172012 (1), 15. iPhone Marci_June 2012_06262012, 16. Rub a dub, 17. San Pedro, CA, 18. Korean Friendship Bell, San Pedro CA, 19. good morning, sunshine, 20. playing in the dirt

oh boy

Charlie is an entirely different kid than he was a year ago. 1 year ago, he wouldn't do a single thing I asked him / told him / threated him / begged him to do. Period. He was grumpy, sassy, defiant and trying desperately to get as much attention as possible in every way possible. He was pushing every boundary there was.

givin' me THE LOOK

I didn't even want to take him anywhere with a parking lot because he would dart out in front of cars. And other parents would give me that disapproving look like "can't you control your child?" which made me want to assault them which made for a negative experience at Target so really, the summer sucked. (Also remember that I was pregnant, swollen, sick, did I mention pregnant?)


But this summer, oh my, my boy. MY BOY. He opens the door for me when my hands are full, brings Rich glasses of water, clears the table when he's done eating, says please and thank you, picks up his toys after his bath, turns lights off in the living room that shouldn't be on, behaves at school, kisses his sister when she whines, tells little girls at birthday parties that they look pretty, says dinner is "de-wish-ush", apologizes sincerely.


And most importantly, he voluntarily takes my hand as we cross the Target parking lot. And I throw a smug look at passerbys. Even as I'm typing this I have a smug look on my face.


Please don't misinterpret this post as "my child is so fabulous and perfectly behaved". Trust me. I'm sure there was a "you're crazy Mama" back talk comment this week, some pouting and maybe even a Buzz Lightyear chucked across the living room. But overall, he seems more mature and in control of his emotions.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pinterest Love: Foodie

I'm holding myself accountable for my time spent on Pinterest. Why pin it if you're not going to try it / make it / purchase it, right?

From my Foodie board, found here:, I have made all of the following drinks or dishes and recommend all of them.

Paloma Margaritas

Source: via Marci on Pinterest

Greek Marinade for Chicken

Thai Marinade for Chicken (Rich LOVES this) - we've made it twice

Potato & Leek Gratin - I made this for Easter, go easy on the salt

Pesto Chicken. Fattening, delicious, easy.

Balsamic Butter Penne

Breakfast Eggy Muffins

The Best Broccoli Ever (My Aunt Janet & Uncle Dave agree!)

Baked Tomatoes

Taco Cupcakes - Kid Friendly

Sunday, July 8, 2012

slippers in July + a GIVEAWAY

Yes, I live in Southern California and yes, my kids wear slippers all year long.

MEandREEKIE booties

There are a few reasons.

1. In the summer, we run the AC at night. Their feet get cold. Socks don't stay on. Slippers do.
2. I'm neurotic and am uncomfortable walking on tile or hard floors with bare feet. I've passed that on. (Yes, I'm saving up for therapy now.)
3. After baths and pjs but before bed, sometimes we hang out together on the back patio. I don't want Charlie to put his dirty flip flops back on. So his MEandREEKIE booties are clean, soft and go in the wash the next morning.

Which brings me to my FREE FREE FREE giveaway . . .

Almost 3 years ago, I ordered these MEandREEKIE booties for Charlie -

Source: via Marci on Pinterest

I think I saw them on another blog and thought they were adorable. Unique. Her shop tagline is "where funky meets function" and it's true.

After I received them, I realized they were well made, soft, and stayed on his feet. And my son can kick socks off some feet.

Last March, I ordered these for both Charlie and my nephew -

MEandREEKIE booties

They've been through the wringer. They have traveled to Big Sur, Santa Barbara and Michigan 3 times. They are worn inside and outside. Washed nearly every week and show absolutely no wear and tear.

A few weeks ago, the shop owner gave me these plum chenille booties for Alice. I'm in love.

MEandREEKIE booties

MEandREEKIE booties

Now is your chance to win a pair of booties for your little one 

PRIZE: one pair of MEandREEKIE booties with snap closure {retail value up to $25}

RULES: You must be 18 years of age or older and have a U.S. shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) to enter. One entry per email address.

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post sharing one good thing about the summer heat.

DEADLINE: Enter before 11:00 pm EST on Monday, 7/16/12. One random winner (using from the comments will be announced Tuesday, 7/17/12.

BONUS: MEandREEKIE is giving all of my readers a 20% discount off your entire order on her Etsy shop with coupon code: MARCI.

In case you're not convinced, look at these. Seriously. Check out her shop.

Source: via Marci on Pinterest

Friday, July 6, 2012

it runs in the family

collage edit

I ordered this onesie for Charlie when Obama was running for President in '08. I did it mostly to annoy my parents.

But I saved it. What do you know . . . the campaign is heating up and my Dad needs to be poked with a  stick.

Have a great weekend!