Spaghetti Dinner

Yep, it’s Halloween & I owe some pics of our little ballerina! But since they’re all on my “big” camera to be downloaded and not on my phone, thought I’d at least leave you with a pretty cute video of Daddy & Selah at dinner on Monday:

My only available Halloween pics are somewhat non-exciting, but still show our activities:
Our pumpkins lit up:

Halloween cookies prior to frosting & decorating with more candy than imaginable:

My special Halloween sandwich pumpkin for Selah’s school lunch:

Much needed activity after loads of candy – teeth brushing! In Dora jammies from Grandma & a Dora toothbrush!


On Cravings

I think that I always have cravings for things, food-wise…it’s just that pregnancy significantly reduces my willpower to resist them!



Not really. Probably more like homefaker. But I decided to get in the spirit of things tonight by cooking up a new Pinterest-inspired meal (homemade chicken enchiladas), then making homemade passion fruit jam.

Yep, you read right! Homemade jam…guess my parents rubbed off on me after all! (I wish – they are certainly more skilled & make it look far easier to pull off!) 😉

Our passion fruit crop is coming to a fairly rapid end, and I’ve been wanting to try. So, I jumped right in…just like any pregnant, working (50+ hrs/week the last two weeks…blech!), tired mother of a sick-ish toddler would do, right? No? Oh, other people are sane? Yeah, I should have thought about that! ;). Remind me next time please. Or maybe Jesse will!

Just kidding. Mostly. It was good to try, but here’s my thoughts:
1. That was a whole lot of work for 5.5 jars of that stuff. It best be REALLY good!
2. I’m pretty sure preparing with a few more “tools” would have helped (ie. tongs, for one…definitely another large pot…gloves & funnel would certainly have helped…& thermometer maybe?)
3. “Setting Point” in instructions should really be a little more detailed. Or it should just tell you to get the thermometer. I’m pretty sure I’m at a 75%+ chance of having syrup instead of jam, actually.

But all in all, I’m glad I tried. Cross it off the list…and appreciate all those jars of homemade jam from my parents & Nana & Papa even more than we already did!!

And here’s the passion fruit lemonade I made the other day from our yard. That was certainly worth it! Think I might stick to that next time around…


The Reveal

So, the ~2nd most exciting day for a pregnant woman was today! (1st is clearly having the baby…up for debate for runner-up for 2nd would be finding out you’re pregnant). But today marked halfway there! 20 weeks!
And…the day we found out that it’s a BOY! So, looks like the Wheeler household will be back in balance. We’ll officially be 1-1…or I guess 2-2 if you count us…& 3-3 with the dogs. No matter how you slice it – even!

Sadly, that revealing photo is the only thing new baby Wheeler isn’t shy about! This marks our second ultrasound that he was completely non-photogenic for. Don’t worry, when that baby makes his debut where I can get my camera at him – his no-face-photo days are through! 😉

Sunday Bouncing

Thought I’d share a video of our Sunday Funday. We took Selah to Sky High, a trampoline complex (literally a HUGE warehouse covered in trampoline floors & walls – the one you see is only the “kiddy” one for the small jumpers!) in Camarillo that I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time. She jumped for an hour straight, only stopping for sips of water & to check out the bigger trampoline area & jump with the “big kids”. So, the video is less than exciting, but imagine watching this (for an hour straight!) in person & seeing the pure joy in her little face since jumping is pretty much her #1 choice of activity:

Lithuania – the Market

Yep, another Lithuania post. Gosh, I’m late on these!

I thought I’d capture one of my favorite experiences in one post – just because I took so many pictures this day that narrowing it to the 18 I have here was a stretch! 😉 This particular day I did not photograph the morning. It was our trip to the genocide museum, so you can imagine the mood. What an eye opening, harrowing, and deeply sorrowful experience. And going with a friend whose family lived the stories told within the walls of the museum made it that much more real. To know that much of the painful history experienced happened actually during my lifetime – not some far off, distant past, but up to the 90’s actually – was also very enlightening…and all the more saddening to realize they still happen today in other areas of the world.

But of course, along with the deep sadness, there also is a profound sense of hope and resilience of the human spirit. All that to say, the “market” – of which I took all these pictures to follow – brought an even more vivid contrast to the day. Experiencing people’s “real lives” is always the most fun. And that week in Vilnius, a large thoroughfare was shut down for a “world market” where people came to sell their wares, sing their songs, and dance their dances (folkdancing and singing is a very large part of the culture of all of the Baltic states). We spent a short amount of time that day, and I actually made my way back to wander with my camera another day for several hours – just taking in the culture, watching the people, and OF COURSE eating the food! (The food was amazing – not very “light”, but very, very good!)

First off for my favorite type of pictures – the people. I’m not the best people photographer because I feel self conscious about photographing people I don’t know, but I tried to capture a few of them that I really enjoyed watching. It’s funny – traveling always intrigues me because of the differences, but I’m always drawn to the similarities. Love and joy are no different anywhere in the world – it’s just that we all find those things in different places and different things. Here are a few of the pictures of people that I saw at the market. (Remember – clicking on the pictures enlarges them to their full size – and they are much better viewed that way, I think!)

Cooking on the street

Dancers talking before they get ready to perform

A grandma playing with her grandchild. Nothing different here than anywhere else in the world – pure joy and love.

Kid raking in the dough playing his violin on the street

Watching the traditional folk dancing show. Just loved how this woman was so intent.

All bundled up for the “weather” – which that day happened to be much warmer than this little bundle appears to be dressed for!

Now for the “goods”. So much fun to see what people buy. I’d say the biggest “sellers” were the smoked meats – you could buy bacon by the slab, sausages off the hanging stands, and of course as much good old smoked fish as you could ever eat. And ever other stand was some sort of meat and potato dish cooking in mass quantities on the street. So much fun to see and experience…and photograph, of course:
Fresh apples

Hanging bread…common, but less common than all the meat stands!

Cooking up lots and lots…and lots!…of food!

Flowers – a very traditional gift

Fresh Hazelnuts

Street meat…one of about a thousand options

Mushrooms – in almost every traditional Lithuanian dish

Street food cooking

Smoked fish – something you see EVERYWHERE there!

Knitting. Lots of it!

Beer Snacks

18 weeks…& More Pictures

I know I’m biased, but seriously? How beautiful is this girl! Geesh!

I was just downloading some pictures from the “good” camera – all other posts are pictures from my iPhone – so thought I’d share some of my favs, along with an 18 week photo in an attempt to start logging the last half of my last pregnancy. It sure flies by with a kid this time. The first time, I felt like I was pregnant for YEARS! The days dragged on and on and on in anticipation of meeting this little human growing inside me for 10 months. But this time? Well, I feel like I cannot believe that I’m 5 months pregnant! And that we are halfway through next week! And that we ALREADY find out if it is a boy or a girl in a few days! It’s flying by, and I would like to take it all in…if I wasn’t so tired, of course 😉

So, on to the good stuff:

Our attempt at “artsy” for the 18 week photo. It is less than great, but funny at least!

Mommy forcing her to play with colored macaroni

Ballerina Backsides

Is this a happy kid or what?

My two loves

And silliness from my two favorites…

What We’ve Been Doing Lately

Besides working & volleyball & being sick, here’s our last few weeks…



Volcanoes with vinegar & baking soda


Dress-up with Liz’s costume jewelry


Colored macaroni crafts


Feeding the giraffe


And of course, dress rehearsals for Halloween!