This child. There are days when I am so humbled by how she deals with her challenges. Her ability to keep trying. She strapped wheels to her feet and said in your face dyspraxia*. Screw you, I’ll do what I want. Who cares if I have no sense of balance and can’t trust my body to respond the way it should?
I’ll admit, it was really hard for me to buy her those skates. But you don’t tell a child they can’t do something, right? Even when you know (you know!) that it will create, at times, a sensory disaster, and that no matter how encouraging you are and how much you tell her stories of when you fell down, she’s still faced with two things.
The only thing that helps her conquer her dyspraxia is repetition and that’s a tricky thing with activities requiring balance. Riding a bike took forever. But she did it and slowly got good enough at the riding that she could ride AND focus on other things (important in an urban neighborhood).
She can do this. And I can do it. I can suck it up and prepare to meet her extra self-recriminations with encouragement. To ignore the stares of the older children and neighbors (not all of them, just a few) who don’t understand what’s really going on when she loses it in the middle of the street (guys, have you seen an 10-year-old throw down like a 2-year-old? It’s intense. And people are judge-y. And 10 year olds are more articulate than 2 year olds). Because ultimately, she’s going to figure it out. And she’s just so brave. I’ve never had to work so hard at anything. She’s going to be amazing at this. She is amazing at this. As for me, I need a drink.
*Dyspraxia - developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a chronic neurological disorder beginning in childhood that can affect planning of movements and co-ordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body.
Mother’s Day is generally a low-key event here, as Emm’s birthday always falls right around the date (this year it’s her golden birthday on the 11th) and we live far from family. I still like to think of little things for my Mom though, of course, as she’s pretty darn super. Without giving away my ideas for her, I’ve put together 6 great gift ideas, all from Etsy. A paper flower package, all wrapped up for you, a print featuring a quote from her favorite book, a new bag in a modern print, a lovely bracelet, a minimal desk organizer, or some charming modern pottery. What do you like to do for Mother’s Day?
Our teaspoons have disappeared into the ether at an alarming rate for the past year or two. Seriously. Someday we’ll either find a stockpile in some strange corner or perhaps take out a wall and discover a nest of them. I have no idea where they went, we’ve lost 20 in the past two years. Oddly, teaspoons are also one of the most used items in our flatware, being the right size for little hands (and for the endless cups of tea I drink). Since Crate and Barrel no longer carries our pattern (and since I decided it might be cursed, as the replacement spoons that were similar but not quite right also disappeared with abandon), I purchased new flatware last month (I chose black handles. Mostly because they were in stock and on sale) .
Now, why do I feel the need to tell you all this and blog about my lovely, but not exactly spectacular, new flatware? Well, my dears, I have discovered a very important, and previously unknown, part of selecting your flatware pattern. These new spoons (which, btw, not disappearing), are far, far superior for the consumption of ice cream. I had no idea how difficult it had been for me for the past 13 years. My life is completely changed. So there you go. Test your flatware before registering (or buying a new set), ice cream compatibility* is now a vital component of any future flatware choices.
*For ice cream compatibility look for thinner edges to the spoons and enough weight in the entire piece (these are quite heavy) to help gravity pull the spoon through the ice cream. Yes, I have now thought about this a lot.
I used to think I needed a huge wardrobe with something different to wear every day of the week. Now, I tend to look for a few flattering items and figure out as many ways to wear them as possible. Not sure what that says really, but I think I’ve found my spring, and summer, uniform.
I picked up the green pants a few weeks ago on sale. I’ve never really been much for bright colors in my wardrobe’s main pieces, but after adding the green skirt this fall I think I might be changing things up (or consistently adding green, depending on how you look at it. I might also, gasp, buy a pair in pink). I still tend to stick with a pattern – green goes with navy and grey in my head, perhaps with a pink necklace, but I’m slowly expanding.
I tried on the tee-shirt at Anthropologie this weekend and it is so very very flattering to the “mom” body. I rarely buy anything full price there and I bought two of these tops (although one is backordered till June, I must not be the only one who loves it). Combined with sneakers plus a cardigan and scarf, I think I know what I’ll be wearing every weekend till it warms up. And once summer hits I’ll switch the tennies for sandals and change out the scarf for a necklace or larger earrings (but not both, I can’t go that far). Finish it off with a large bag for toting all the water bottles, snacks and sun screen, probably the oil cloth one, although I do like a good stripe.
Do you have a go to outfit?
I’ve sat down to write posts about 15 times in the last two weeks and gotten lost in the interwebs. Or sat and daydreamed. I created an editorial calendar, with a month’s worth of post topics, and still can’t get it together. I just tripped over a box of legos walking out of my office*, looked over and saw the dirty dishes on the coffee table (which we’re using as a dining table, plus the dishwasher and sink aren’t attached properly) and suddenly it was really clear. Right. Yes. We’re doing a renovation. Everything is everywhere. And I don’t focus well in that environment.
This isn’t a complaint. It’s not an apology either. It’s more of an oh right, yes. Duh. A “mini-reno” as I kept calling it is still a renovation. I chose this and I feel lucky to be able to make changes in a kitchen that really, is just fine. But it’s been a while since we did more than paint and I’d forgotten how everything spreads. And given how much holiday “clutter” makes me a little crazy, it should come as no surprise to anyone (particularly me) that not being able to walk through a room without tripping over something dramatically affects my productivity. Emm has been on a bit of a sensory overload bender this week (month) too, I imagine this has something to do with that too (dealing with that has also affected my productivity). This is the worst of it though. Today the cabinets are being anchored, tomorrow all the drawers will go back in. We’ll reattach the counter (Finn removed it to straighten the island), sink and dishwasher and then remove them all again in two weeks so the counter and new sink can be installed. And then over the next couple months we’ll put up shelves, choose doors and paint and eventually it will be finished and pretty. And I’ll conveniently forget just how much chaos even minor renovations create and start planning the next one. Maybe.
*for the record, tripping over legos is a fairly regular occurrence. It’s all the other stuff accumulating and having no where else for the legos to go that’s different.
I cannot stop staring at this gorgeous small garden Nicole posted today. What I wouldn’t give to have a balcony view that looked over that patio through some cherry blossoms. And since our still chilly and very thunderstorm-y weather prevents me from getting my hands dirty, I’ve just been pinning garden images all over the place (you’ll find the links for these on my pinterest board). I see small paths with lush plantings (maybe in the side yards?) in our future. And adding one or two small patios using simple concrete squares. That should give me a good arm workout. What are your garden plans this year?
This weekend I finally adjusted the curtains in Emm’s room. She’s had a large piece of paper taped over the window since we rearranged things, waiting for me to finally purchase grommets so I could adjust the fabric that had been curtains into simple blinds. This super easy project doesn’t require any sewing and can be completed in well under an hour, no wonder it took me two months to get around to it.
You’ll need the following materials for this project.
To begin, measure your window and determine your fabric amount and placement. I wanted this blind to begin above the window trim and just past the sides, which was 68″ wide, I kept the length the width of the fabric, I think it’s 45″. As the fabric left from her old curtains was 70″, I just went with that. I’d already made her original curtains years ago, so the iron on hem tape was applied. If your fabric is new you’ll need to follow the directions and apply the iron on hem tape to all unfinished sides. I also tacked blackout fabric to the curtain fabric, as her window faces west and my children go to bed early. And occasionally sleep past 6:30 am.
After measuring the fabric, I decided to place the grommets every 10 inches. I laid it out next to a measuring tape, cut the holes and hammered in the grommets. Strike that, Finn hammered the grommets. These were the most ridiculously difficult grommets ever. I’ve done quite a few projects that have called for grommets over the years and never had a problem. Perhaps I need to get to the gym more (ahem, or ever). Tip: make sure you leave enough fabric at the top so that the grommet won’t rip through.
Once your grommets are in, get some help holding the fabric in place so you can mark the holes. Yes, yes, you could just use a ruler, but I find that sometimes I’m slightly off when I place the grommets (or things shift) and it’s better for everyone’s mental health to use the actual hole spacing as a guide.
Then it’s simple to use a level to create a straight line for your marks. It’s especially simple if you have Finn do it while you take photos. No, I don’t know why his hand looks so strange.
Screw your cup hooks into the wall where you’ve marked. If you like, use anchors and all that, but then this might take a little longer. And perhaps not fall out of the wall in a few months and then you’ll have ruined your curtain hanging reputation.
Final step, which does require a little sewing. I lied, these are mostly no-sew curtains. Choose a selection of ribbon. I happened to have a multi-pack of ribbon in 4′ sections, which was the perfect length. Fold the ribbon in half and sew the center to the top of the curtain, so that one half hangs over each side. I used four ribbons for this 70″ curtain, adjust to suit your width. I let (made) Emmeth sew the ribbon on, it’s important that she feels ownership of such projects. Plus, I wanted to sit and have a cup of tea.
And here they are open. Easy to tie up each morning and the blackout lining works very well.
Happy Monday. Now go forth and make simple curtains. Then report back.
Kitchen dreaming. Mine is still quite a mess, although minor progress has been made. I managed to acquire and build the correct cabinets, Finn moved the water line for the fridge and most of the mess has found a home, even if it’s temporary. I still have a dining table full of dishes and a microwave on the floor, but the countertops are mostly free of detritus. At least until we start the next bit. I’ll be prepping a lot of meals this weekend as we get ready to live without a counter and possibly sink for a week or two. Here’s the plan for the next bit. The space feels so much bigger with the fridge in the nook. And the narrow pantry and new cabinet seem to hold most of what was in the giant pantry. It was a good excuse to go through and get rid of some things. We’ll be ordering the countertop tomorrow, most likely Corian in Rain Cloud. The new sink came Wednesday, a more modern undermount that’s lovely (and huge). I would like a new faucet, but we don’t need one so I’ll probably just live with what we have for a bit. Still haven’t decided on doors and paint and such, I’m putting that off till the counters are in and I can get a better sense of how everything is starting to work together. And since the stairs are staying put, I’m still searching for some way to make them seem less odd as they dead-end into the stove. Any suggestions?
So much chaos coming my way. I suppose since I’m instigating it I can’t even really complain. Not that that will stop me.
Some Etsy favorites of late. Vintage-y science prints from Vol25.
Gorgeous textiles from Skinny Laminx (I really want the blue apron and brancusi stripe cushion cover).
Pretty things distracting me from the mess in the kitchen and work deadlines.
No pretty pictures today, just life in progress. Yesterday I decided to do a quick cabinet switch to kick of the kitchen renovations. Finn’s on vacation next week and will be straightening out the island (it was knocked out of alignment by the electrician when we first did the kitchen). We’d decided to get rid of the giant pantry and move the fridge to that nook by the stairs, as it was feeling crowded where it was since we got the larger refrigerator. So I thought I’d just unload and move the pantries, move the fridge and run to Ikea to grab a couple new cabinets. Easy, right? A total pain, yes, but not exactly difficult. But then. Old house. Of course. This morning my house still looks like this.
Turns out the wall next to the stairs is at quite an angle, so despite my measuring pantry solution A didn’t fit. Then the water line to the fridge refused to unscrew. And I forgot to buy one of the cabinets at Ikea (the one for where the fridge was). All fixable, as we’ve figured out solution B and the others are just a matter of running out. But as the small one is running a slight fever and I have to work this week, it may look like this for a few days. Oy. Even the seemingly simple things never go as planned. Wonder what we’ll find when Finn tries to straighten the island next week?