The first sound I heard this morning was a laugh. It came from behind their bedroom door. They usually awake each morning at 7AM. Today they slept in and chatted through their cribs. Delightful gurgles and chimes rang up through the air, like golden bells. At 7:30, when I inched open their door, they were both standing in their cribs, looking at each other, exchanging little laughs and sighs. Then Abigail realized I was in the room, turned to me, and said, "Mama," before smiling. Her first word.

She’s been repeating it over the past few days, despite the fact that Phil continuously tries to "correct her" with "Papa." For a while, he insisted her first word was "Papa," but he’s never been able to have her replicate it. The other day, he turned to me, and said, "Okay, I concede. I sat here saying ‘Papa,’ and all she wants to do is say ‘Mama.’"
"Wait. I’m sorry. Did you just say you concede?" There’s a first for everything.


I’m in the final stretch of my first ever scrapbook. I’ve made it 6 x 6 and am printing all the photos on 12 x 12 paper, then just slicing away. In this example the "yummy" text is actually printed separately onto transparency paper. I’m hoping to make this a book of their firsts, during their first year of life. I designed the shape of the title and hope to print those titles out separately, using a "print and cut" function on my silhouette personal die cutting machine, to avoid having to cut each shape by hand, then I plan to add them to the center of the damask-style papers using a raised pop-up adhesive to add dimension.

We’re ringing in the first day of the new year at home tonight with three types of caviar, bilinis, capers, chopped egg, red onion…all the usual suspects. Phil’s having white peach bellinis, while I’m opting for my saketinis (equal parts saki to vodka) with cucumber stick garnish. Yummy, indeed.



  1. Is it normal for a 36 year old woman to be jealous of 12 month old babies? :) SK, Abigail & Lucas are two of the luckiest, gorgeous – fortunate to have you and Phil as parents – children. Just precious. I think I'll forget my sponge tonight when hubby and I make love. I want babies!! For the trolls who will call me scandalous — it's just a joke….funny har har

  2. Wow, the last two lines of this post may actually be the most pretentious and vomit inducing in the history of your blog. After reading that diatribe bastardizing something as simple and fun as scrapbooking, I would pay anyone to look me in the face and deny that you are not the biggest asshole they have ever come across.

    I also simply cannot believe that your husbands family and guy friends don't pepper him with questions like "how the f#ck can you stand spending 5 min with that a##hole, much less be married to her?"

  3. I am so jealous of your personal die cutter. One day, I will have one, too! When, of course, I get my own craft room to keep hold it and all my crafty goodness. Your NYE plans sound lovely – a very happy, joyous and hellafun New Year to you and your family.

  4. Steve: What's so pretentious about following tradition? Check any food magazine this month, and there's surly recipes, picks, and suggestions for including caviar into your New Year's Eve or Day. Cocktail recipes. Champagne.

    Go drink a Yohoo and be nice.

  5. Ah, Steve…I hear you, man, but I'm not exactly sure why you think that gluing a few photos in a scrapbook is more fun than applying design skills & artistic talent to the babies' book…I am the complete opposite of pretentious and certainly am not one of the obsequious SK groupies… but happen to like Stephanie's sense of design and think it's pretty cool that her kids will have something that nice to look at when they're adults. I wish I had that kind of skill and eye. And patience. Chill, man. No one's asking you to spend even 1 minute with her blog, much less be married to her. And remember, there's someone for everyone–probably even for you.
    ;-P Happy new year to all.

  6. Steve, I assume your bitterness has to do with being alone on New Year's Eve without someone to cuddle up with? Do us all a favor, pal — remove the cucumber spear from your butt. It belongs in your saketini, silly!

  7. well, from all the conventional wisdom i have heard, babies say *dada first. but since it looks like (according to what i just read in your post) phil is going by Papa, instead, so this may be why you are getting the coveted first word!!!

    i think they say dada unintentionally though before they even get to mama. and as far as getting to the Puh sound, i think phil might be in for quite a wait, poor guy.
    as usual,the latest pics of the babies ARE enough to make you want to abandon your birth control!

    i'm wondering were phils eyes equally as beautiful as abigail's when he was a baby? they are precious.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Phil's eyes are as beautiful now. And, he tired "Dada," "Daddy," and "Papa." But she was working those M's for a long while now.

  8. Adorable! Love the transparencies idea, too! Where do you get them? And what type of printer do you have? : )

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    And to Steve: Sounds as though you could benefit from a Bellini or two, Baby… XO

    From Stephanie: Just buy transparency sheets at an office max type store. And use any printer to print on them. Or, you can stamp onto the transparencies as well. My printer is the HP OfficeJet Pro K850 (prints wide format paper, but it doesn't print full bleed).

  9. **Steve….It is New Years Eve…I couldn't imagine why you are home alone. The holiday sales are going on…..see if you can buy some social graces for real cheap!!!

  10. Steve- A wise man once said…"Tis better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth, and remove all doubt"

  11. I think when scrapbooking became popular a few years ago, the trend was to overdo everything but your designs serve as an accent to the photos instead of overpowering them. They are absolutely beautiful children and like others have written, they will cherish these books as keepsakes in years to come.

  12. My older son's first word was 'Ana', the babysitter's name. Then it was 'doggie'. Then something else I don't remember. Mama was way down on the list. One more reminder to check my ego at the doorway of parenthood. Happy New Year!

  13. Happy New Year! Babies are beautiful, breakfast sounds delicious, & Steve sux!

    My daughter's first word was "cat."

  14. Happy New Year to the Beer-Kleins, to the Klein-Beers, to the parents of Abigail and Lucas, to Lucas and Abigail!

    Your scrapbook page looks straight out of a coffee-table book! If you weren't already a famous author, I'd say you would have found your calling–doing scrapbooks for celebs!

    Here's to a wonderful year of Seconds with the Beans!


  15. Ah, poor Steve.

    Why does everyone have to be so mean to the lonely sad pathetic guy? He's allowed to have an opinion right? He's got nothing better to do anyway, than be cruel to others, I'm guessing, so let him speak his mind for crying out loud!

  16. This is too cool. The kiddos will love this and know just how adored they were (and always will be). I'm impressed you make the time to do something like this when I have trouble developing pictures of my little one and making the prints.

    Are the babies saying anything yet? Did I miss something in one of your posts? Anyway, the New Year night sounds perfectly cozy and I wish you a good 2008.

  17. After splitting three bottle of champagne and one bottle of California pinot noir with my husband last night, I'm not sure I could handle caviar and vodka. But I love the idea and the tradition! We only drink the champagne we had at our wedding (Pol Roger) on New Years and other special occasions. It's a way for us to keep one of the best moments of our lives "bubbling" along with us through the years. As for the New Years Day tradition? Let's just say that I instructed to the husband to pick up lots of chips and other junk food for the hangover cravings I knew I would be having today!

  18. Please come to California and teach a seminar on chic scrapbooking 101. I would love to be able to do that in my spare time, lord knows if I have any.

    Oh- Happy new year!

  19. Ok, I am completely baffled about this die cutter business. Can you post a link to an information sheet which will explain such things?! I went to art school, & have put things together like your scrapbook images, but don't understand all the stamping cutter business. Is it just a case of UK vs US English? I have said before that I didn't get the scrapbooking business but this has triggered many a thought & it is lovely that your children will have such fine memory books.

    BTW I always maintain that people who are nasty are unhappy, it gives me a way to dismiss the nastiness, whilst showing them a bit of compassion/forgiveness. Apply liberally to the Steves of this world, who was brutally unkind, and be grateful we don't live his life.

  20. Lucky you SK! Neither of my sons said Mama first, or second, or third for that matter it was way down the list after dada, dog, and bye bye *sigh* But now that they are grown men I wouldn't change a single minute. *sigh again* Beautiful scrap book, beautiful beans, may you have a beautiful year!

  21. i LOVE your scrapbooking pages! i've spent the better part of my winter break scrapbooking and i've been borrowing some of your ideas and i love the way it's turning out. thank you for the ideas!

    and on a totally unrelated note, and i am aware that this is going to sound totally weird, but i was scouring my pottery barn baby catalog (we're trying to get pregnant so my favorite thing is to decorate a nursery with the great ideas it has) and there is a picture of a baby in there who looks so much like abigail… so beautiful! if it's her… she's definitely the darling of the catalog and if not… sorry :)

    happy new year to you and your lovely family!

    FROM STEPHANIE: I totally thought you were going to say you were scouring the pages of Pottery Barn for baby names. That's what I did. They have the BEST names.

  22. oooh…fancy! Any chance you would share the whole scrapbook when its finished? Your work is beautiful. :)


  23. just my theory–
    since a lot of languages' words for mother start with M and sound alike Mother, mama, madre, mutter, etc I would assume that it is partially based on the fact that it is one of the easiest sounds for a baby to form, (partially also because most languages are derived from other root languages of course i know but maybe this is where the first word started way back then) but also one of the sounds they pick up on the easiest (at least that's what i would tell my husband so he wouldn't feel so bad about my daughter when she refused to say anything but mama)

    happy new years!!

  24. I don't know much about scrapbooking, but I do know a thing or two about food…

    I was lucky enough to spend my New Years in the city. I went to an amazing tappas place and had possibly the best spluges of my lifetime…serrano ham/artichokes, carmelized scallops, and stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, it was like biting into heaven! In my opinion, everyone should be lucky enough to enjoy the finer things…even if it means eating pb&j the entire week afterwards!

    Stephanie, Phil and the Beans…much love, happiness and success in 2008!

  25. what a wonderful feeling, to have your identity finally verbally confirmed. now how did you train them to sleep until 7am?? my wake up call comes between 5 and 6 am every day (yes including weekends, somehow they just don't get the weekend sleeping -in thing.)

  26. He looks so gorgeous. I've been thinking about the little fellow a lot over these past few months. So glad he's doing well.


  27. Gotta love Steve. Posts like that make me laugh out loud because they are so absolutely ridiculous. So yeah, he can say whatever he wants because it's entertaining too if you think about it that way.

    Happy New Year, girl! Here's to a 2008 filled with extraodinary firsts.

  28. i finally started my scrapbooking business because of this post. thank you. it inspired me to get up and do it. didn’t know where to start so i googled it and found a book called scrapbooking business. thanks again for making this post, it’ll definitely help others.

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