Monday, September 29, 2008

allelujahs and tidying up

I got up this morning before the sun, determined to tidy up before my cleaning angel arrives. If I don't, she will just dust my piles of clutter.

I'm feeling very strong at times. I heard a radio program over the weekend on NPR about how important vocabulary building is for a child of Baby's age. It made me feel very happy about this very tangible gift we've given him.

At church on Sunday I broke down in the middle of singing the allelujahs, just imagining his sweet voice belting it out along with us. We went to church in Petaluma the last time we visited and I was a little disappointed to note that they sang a different version, and almost no one sang along.

While Rich watched his Redskins beat Dallas, which is just about the best thing that could happen to help Rich feel better, I searched for some new family room furniture. When we first started talking about replacing these dingy, saggy old sofas, which have aged significantly with sticky fingers and leaky sippy cups, I asked Rich how much we should budget for such an update. When he answered $1000, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

I really like this fun upholstery, and I'm thinking that I should try to combine greyish french blue with red to go with the bookcases and tv cabinet.

And I think I like the contrasting welting and buttons in this version:

Both by Rowe Furniture.

I have lots of work to do to get the next update ready for you on Wednesday. I can't wait to share it all with you...I just hope I can get it together in time! Meanwhile, just another quick swig of coffee and then it's more picking up before Judit arrives to clean.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

hey, I remember this life...

Today I worked on lots of projects, including my zombie in a jar and a project for one of the Silver Bella swaps I signed up for. I made a big ol' mess in the family room floor, complete with pins and needles, and I'm just leaving it all there until tomorrow.

We went out for lunch in the 2-seater convertible, which I haven't sat in since January.

Yes, I remember this life.

So, today was a bit better. It was comforting to have Rich around. More than a few times during the day, we talked about sweet Baby. Rich said "I just wish I could hold him". Me too.

p.s. I think a 50 lb. box of toys arrived today at his new makes me smile to think of him rediscovering them all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

how I'm doing...

I stayed in my pajamas until after lunch.

Then I spent about an hour in the bathtub.

I talked on the phone with friends, catching up and crying and remembering Baby.

When I saw his car seat in the backseat, I wept.

Then I went to the fabric store and just stared at stuff.

I called to see how he's doing and when his father put him on the phone, I choked up. I sang him a song and he sang a little bit back.

I really, really miss him. I wish I could hold him and give him a butterfly kiss and then an eskimo kiss and then a kiss each on his chubby cheeks.

Oh, but I love him. Sweet, sweet baby. A dream made to order.

Lots of people have said to me of foster care "I don't know how you can do it. I couldn't do it." I never really know how to respond. I mean, truly, I wouldn't think I could do it either. But here I am. I'm sad, sure. But I think of that little baby and the gift that was given to us and I'm proud.

Club Little House!

Are you ready?

Click here to sign up for Club Little House.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

just got back...

We just got back from delivering sweet Baby to his family in California. It's so sad and the house feels so empty without him but please know that we are going to be okay. We miss him like crazy but we'll be okay.

We woke up late on Tuesday morning and were running like crazy out the door...I completely forgot to put out all the orders I'd prepared the night before so if you're waiting for an order, that's what happened.

I'll pop in again tomorrow morning...thank you, everyone, for all your nice emails.

p.s. I've gotten lots of proposals for Club Little House...if you emailed me one, look for a response tomorrow morning too.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I just wanted to clarify that you can send your proposal for the Club Little House juried positions fact, if you send them in before Friday you'll know whether or not to try for one of the 11 open positions.

Also, wanted to make sure you know that I'm on Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

sniffly morning

Baby woke up this morning (and many times through the night!) with a case of the sniffles. I don't know where it's all coming from...he's turned into some sort of snot factory.

We're planning a party for all his friends to say goodbye on Saturday...we've rented a bouncy castle and a popcorn popper like the kind at movie theatres...I'll paint faces and have a place set up for photo taking. I also bought this thing of balls. I was going to save it for the party but it seemed like just the thing to cheer him up this morning. (I'll just need to wipe them all with clorox wipes before the party! He just sneezed directly into the cardboard box I put the balls in)

Another thing that cheers up the baby these days is watching this video. I don't think it's the best idea to introduce an impressionable little one about biting...

Uh...he just tipped the whole big box of balls over....balls, balls, everywhere!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

another giveaway...

How would you like this surprise ball cupcake? It's filled with delightful little things, including some charms and buttons (a huge mother-of-pearl one!) and silly little things. You'll be delighted as you unfurl it to discover the treasures...

And I'll switch things up a little for this an order between now and Friday and you'll be entered in the drawing for a chance to win this cupcake...

Click here to shop.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

four winners!

Jennie W, Recycled Rita, Sassy Studio, and Micaela6955!!!!

You have each won a fabulous little Halloween album from little miss loopy! Email me with your address and I'll send them right off!

Monday, September 15, 2008

club little house announcement...and a giveaway!

Hello, sweet friends! Don't you just love all the wonderful things Saucy and Loopy have cooked up? I really can't get enough of the fabulous miniature ironing boards and I'm so glad she made a few to share with you. (that's not a giant penny, in case you were wondering!)

Saucy first made these ironing boards (with the help of her genius father) for Club Little House and it was such a hit. Nearly every member emailed me privately with a wink saying they'd really appreciate it if I could please put one in their package. Since there were just 12 (and 48 members), there were more than a few disappointed folks.

Speaking of Club Little House, what do you say we have another round? Are you up for it?

There are a couple of changes. One of which is the fee for'll go up to $25. It's quite a leap, I know, but I hope it won't be a deterrent. There will be two groups of 12 this go-around. The first 11 slots will be open to everyone...beginning 12:00 noon EST, Friday September 26. The other 12 openings will be juried. If you are interested, send your proposal for your littles idea to me via email, along with photos or illustrations or plans. What I'm looking for is not just a fabulous idea but clear evidence that you've thought it through and are excited about it. Juried members are also expected to pay the membership fee of $25.

Never heard of Club Little House? It's a swap idea that I dreamed up a couple of years ago. Members each make 12 dollhouse size littles (12:1 scale, meaning that each inch represents a foot in real life) and send them off to me. I divy them up into packages of 12 unique dollhouse miniatures and send them back to each member. Everyone has lots of fun along the way and your dollhouse will be forever changed. (It's not required that you have a dollhouse...these miniatures are just as fun to display on a shelf or to create your own little world in a corner somewhere.

Here are some images from past exchanges...

And now for the spooktacular giveaway!

Halloween Bag and Tag books

Miss Loopy is known far and wide for her brown bag albums. She’s been making them since forever (fifth grade). These little beauties are so wonderful and embellished, you’ll be hard pressed to stuff your collection of Halloween photos into them, but you will. There are so many little spots for journaling and tucking in treasures and candy wrappers, you’ll scream with delight! Embellished with the very best of goodies from Saucy’s stash, because that’s how Loopy rolls.

This is 4 giveaways in one! Just leave your comment below (with a nice message for Miss Loopy) and you might just be the lucky winner of one of these fabulous bags n' tags Halloween books. Drawing will be held tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 pm.

Another giveaway announced Wednesday...just to keep you coming back.

inspiredfriends: Saucy & Loopy

Presenting my very sweet friends Saucy and Loopy. They've made so many wonderful things for me to share with you...including the famous miniature ironing board that was the star of the last Club Little House swap. And just wait until you see the teddy bears and hat pins and necklaces and limited edition lithograph...oh my!
Click here to be amazed!

Stay tuned this afternoon for an incredible giveaway made by sweet little Loopy herself. Oh, and in honor of Saucy and Loopy, I will be making a Club Little House announcement this afternoon. Calling all Club Little House members and wannabes!

Check out the lastest issue of inspiredideas too!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

running a little behind...

Hello, sweet friends. I think it might be more like midmorning for tomorrow's inspiredfriend/inspiredideas update. I hate to keep you waiting...just grab another cup of coffee and meet me back here after 10 am, EST.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

thank you...

Thank you so much, all you wonderful friends, for your very kind words and prayers. We really appreciate all the love you've sent our way. I know we are going to get through this and we'll be just fine.

What I know for sure is that love doesn't end. It is a kind of energy that just goes on and on. We will always love him.

Just now as I held him napping in my lap, I pulled his sweet little head close to my lips and whispered to him that I loved him. I willed those words to seep into his skin and find a place deep within him where he could keep them always.

We are going to be sad and miss him. But we have each other and we have our love for him. His father has offered that we can visit as often as we like. We can also visit him by webcam (which he's been doing with his dad for a few weeks now). We are definitely planning to go see him for his second birthday in January.

We've decided that we need some time to pull ourselves together and to grieve our loss before we take in another little one. We want to be whole, healthy people when we foster again both for ourselves and for that new little one. We are thinking that January will be a good time for us, after the holidays and a full year after we first met sweet Baby.

I don't think I ever shared on the blog that when he first came to us he had a broken arm. He was like a little frightened bird with a broken wing. We were just about as afraid as he was, so unsure of how to care for him. He came to us on a Wednesday afternoon. On Saturday morning, just a few days after he arrived, at the breakfast table, Rich was feeding him and I was reading a book aloud to him. We're not sure exactly how it happened but he pulled his cast off his arm. Can you imagine our shock? Here is a little baby with an arm that was broken just a week before that is now out of the cast and waving all around. Rich was so scared that he just tried to hold the arm in place and he kept shouting (very loudly) "No!" I think I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to figure out what we were supposed to do in situations like this. I made a few phone calls to social workers and the hospital, got us all ready and dressed and out the door to the emergency room, in, I think, just about five minutes.

When I think of all of us back then, Baby, Rich, and makes me smile to think of how much we've grown together in the last 9 months. We all communicate so well and work so well as a family. We have a very nice rhythm and we are so happy together. I don't imagine that every placement will be this wonderful. But I thank God for his great grace in giving us Baby first, for the blessing of the love and experience and beauty of being a mother and a father.

We have no regrets...we'd do it again (and will! in a few months) It is the best thing we've ever done, for ourselves, our hearts, our marriage, and our faith. And we are so happy that we were able to give this Baby a safe little nest to grow in and feel loved in.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

saying goodbye

I've known for a little more than a week now. Baby leaves us in 2 weeks to go live with his father. Two little itty bitty short weeks. I can scarcely believe it.

For the most part I am strong. There are moments though when I feel a pain in my chest and my throat so strong that I can't swallow. And I'm afraid when the dam breaks that's holding all those tears that I won't be able to stop them. Ever.

The plan is to make these two weeks as joyous and sweet and fun as we can. There's no sense in being sad now...not just yet. But today as he sang out "EIEIO!" from the back seat and then giggled at his song, a little tear found its way down my cheek. Oh, there goes another. Maybe changing a diaper will cheer me up.

another mad dash

We just got back from another mad dash to California for a long weekend. The baby had a great time visiting his dad and it was a fun visit for us too.
We stayed at this very fun hotel in Petaluma, Metro Hotel. Here are some pictures from the lobby. They even have a tiny airstream that you can stay in! How much fun is that?

I'm totalling digging the awning over this door!

We ventured out to see the Redwoods and, on our way back, stopped in Sonoma to see this fabulous shop.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

hip, hip, hooray!

Catherine D., sweet friend, the cone of treats is yours! Yay!


Vanessa, sugar, YOU are the proud new owner of the Sugarville cottage.

I love giveaways! Catherine D. and Vanessa, be sure to email me your addresses. My email is amy (at) inspire co. com, minus all spaces and substitute in the @ sign.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

another giveaway!

Bristol of Honey Bend Vintage has graciously offered an inspired giveaway. Enter the contest by leaving a comment with your name below.

Aren't giveaways fun?!

giveaway time...

Hello, sweet friends! It's giveaway time! Leave a comment below with your name and city and you could win this teeny little Sugarville cottage. It's straight from a fairytale!

Just for fun, when you leave a comment tell us what your all-time favorite fairy tale is...

Monday, September 1, 2008


I'm going to announce the giveaway tomorrow morning...stay tuned!

inspiredfriend, mood swing studio

Hello, everybody! Hope you're having a lovely labor day. I'm so happy to share with you the creations of my inspiredfriend Kristen of Mood Swing Studio. Click here to discover the magic of her work.

I also have a new issue of inspiredideas...and included in the projects is this DIY version of a Sugarville house! How fun is that?! I found these little houses at Honey Bend Vintage and knew they'd make exceptional little Sugarville houses. Please be sure to post links on the how-to page when you make it! I can't wait to see.

Have a swell day, my friends!