Wednesday, March 30, 2011

love poems for shelves

Ah, laundry shelves.
White, pristine. Loaded now, with the weight of my detergent.
I didn't even know how much I needed you.
The dryer top, scummed with soap
is usable space when cleaned. Who knew?
Ah, shelving, shelving, lovingly installed.
You increase my love for my husband (thank you, Dyami),
you let me fold laundry mid-day,
you look clean and tidy.
Now: with my free time at night, with my pure whiteness,
I will watch TV, and not even fold towels.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

and even better

I unloaded stuff on Craigslist today: an old changing table we were done with (not just done, but Done, like we don't want to have it in our house anymore), and the bucket car seat we used for Julia and Lucy. Plus, we installed some shelves and picked paint colors, and can I tell you, I feel fabulous? Like I look around and I see signs of taking care of myself, of choosing to make things more useful and beautiful.

In less successful news, I came up with an idea for rearranging the girl's room that would improve flow and storage and cuteness. I showed Dyami, and he said, "Have you asked Lucy?"

At which point I realized: not only had I completely forgotten about her, but her opinion was unlikely to be positive. She is not a fan of changing things.

So: I asked, and was rebuffed (even after a compelling Visio presentation). However: we are painting soon, and I think I need one of the pieces of furniture she's not using, and perhaps we might just rearrange everything while we're at it.

Or maybe I'll just let the poor girl have her opinion, and let go of my plans. But not the Visio drawing, because that's pretty slick.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I knew what would improve things:
paint, reorganizing toys, back patio space.
Yet starting took a year.
Next time: GO already. Do it.
Live that better, spacious life now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

summertime (except it was January)

This picture just makes me feel blessed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

disappeared toys

If you do decide to disappear some toys (the one with many small, magnetic, choke-worthy pieces, or the variation on Chutes and Ladders with none of the charm and all of the repetitiveness), put them up, out of reach, until you manage to smuggle them into the trunk and to the thrift store. Either that, or be up front about it, and agree on which toys will go. Because if you don't put them up, and you don't warn your child, you will suddenly discover that they've unloaded the box of things That Must Go, and fallen in love with them all over again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ugly pretty?

I'm almost done with a beach blankety type sewing project. It's some largeish pieces of thrifted sheets and pillowcases, quilted together, then attached to a thrifted old flannel sheet. It sounds all thrifty and throw-back-y and cool.

But the end result? Hmmm.

Perhaps it is ugly-pretty, or will be, once I attach the binding. Harvest gold and olive and green and orange will surely look cool? Or cool-ish?

Or perhaps it will be something to sit on? That's slightly less ugly than the old torn, stained sheet we're currently using?

Next time, just stick with the sheet. It didn't require hours of painstaking labor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

less is more...perhaps

I'm kind of minimalist when it comes to buying toys. Either minimalist, or frugal, or insert some other (probably less complimentary) adjective. I mean, I see my child playing most creatively with things like cardboard boxes and dirt, so I'm not always convinced that I need to spend a bunch of money on toys that might limit her resourcefulness. (Note: I do try to have a lot of say, craft stuff on hand, and copious books, and nice toys, when I do buy them).

The toys we do have come in two groups. Those used over and over. And some lovely toys that are hardly ever used. The ones that are used over and over aren't much of a problem. But the ones that never get used, well, I start resenting their clutter. Because like some kind of perverse math, the less they are played with, the more their small pieces scatter throughout the house.

Today I put some thought into what wasn't working, and thought: hmmm. Small pieces. That I hate picking up, so they tend to go into a bin. Where they don't look attractive. So.

I put three quarters of them into a box (for rotating, not giving away). I put the rest, assembled, onto our shelves. Spaced.

I think I hesitated to get even more minimalist with our toys. I mean, really, it's kind of embarrassing how few toys we have. But perhaps if I only have enough that I don't poke my eyes out reassembling them during cleanup, they might actually get used.

And if they don't, well, perhaps I'll talk with Lucy about putting them in that other kind of box...for passing on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Let's all show we're human together.
Money's not hope, but support is.

Join Melissa on Making Things Up to gather some funds for relief work in Japan. Comment on her blog and her family will make a donation to Save the Children. So go over there, already!


If you decide to let the toddler go diaperless, because she shows interest in the potty, and even gets out some gas on the potty, don't then forget that you're leaving the diaper off. Or better yet, get the diaper on. Because gas? It's kind of an indicator light for big mess on the floor coming soon.
Sooner than you'd think.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today, I was just a little tired. That toddler, she is relentless. If she's not pulling books from shelves, she is sticking her hands in trash cans or toilet bowls or reaching for a hot stove burner. If she isn't needing to be picked up, then it's because I am already holding her, or she's running away to something that isn't good for her.
I'm loving this stage too: the birth of language, the personality emerging more every day, the miracle of a person who can tell jokes before she can even say "cat".
And yet, I'm tired. Tired.
Dear baby, sleep well, okay?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the beauty of pretending

a picture of the fairy tea party and the little fairy folk we made (not today, but the other day).

Isn't some natural play just lovely?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bodycare by Julia

**Dull teeth got you down? Try my patented smile-enhancing silica treatments! Just a little sand added to your fruit snack will help polish those pearly-whites and get them sparkling again!

**Lifeless, dry hair crimps anyone's style. Who knew that haircare could be so appealing? Or...a-peeling? Simply rub ripe banana all over your head to strenthen and moisturize those tresses.

**Everyone touts the health benefits of chocolate, but have you heard of the benefits for your skin? Even just a taste of chocolate can be rubbed all over your face, leaving you rejuvinated--not to mention fragrant!

You'll never believe all the different ways I can use common foods and household items to keep me looking unforgettable!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

how many times?

How many times do you have to wake up a baby with a vacuum* before you realize: Hey, it's not just a coincidence?
More times than it should have taken, apparently.

*The baby hates the vacuum. Hates. Hates. My solution? Vacuum downstairs while she was napping. Apparently that does not work anymore.
I hate carpet.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

practical fairies

Got girls out on our patio;
An hour. Them: play, me: laundry.
Today, telling stories, I planted seeds:
"Jo-Jo makes fairy tea parties outside."
Planting wonder/some time for chores.
They're practical fairies, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

can I vent?

So after being sick way too long, I am finally all better! For one day!

And then this morning, Julia woke up with green snot coming out of her nose.

Can we all just sigh together? Loudly?

The thing I hate most about being sick is that we get locked inside the house for weeks waiting for us all to be better so we don't infect our beloved friends.
Except when we get better, we go out and get infected.
So: perhaps I should just give up and be a shut-in. At least then I'd have energy and not feel like crap.

Are there any odds that
a) the green snot is something else? Like teething?
b) I might not get sick, at least, even if my children do?

To b) I'd say no, because Julia already gave me a bunch of slimy open mouth kisses today. Which were lovely and all, but are losing their charm the longer we are sick.

Sigh. and Sigh again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

magic, indeed

When your youngest experiments with redecorating your walls with a Pollack-esque crayon drawing, do not try to remove it with oil and heat, scrubbing intently until there's a gigantic magenta smear on the wall, (instead of the less-intrusive scribble). No. Instead, go out and buy yourself a Magic Eraser, don gloves, and scrub that smear into oblivion. Then reflect on the fact that if you had just gone out and bought the (somewhat toxic) cleaner in the first place, you could have not had the shadow of the smear, along iwth oil residue.
Ah, good (green) intentions last until we have to deal with Crayola.
That is all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

unintended, surely

The "star" shape, on the Playdoh machine? You know, the machine where you put playdoh in one end, and press the lever, and it squeezes out the other end like a pasta machine?
Well, the end result of the star shape looks remarkably like a spine. Little purple vertebraes, all lined up.
On my kitchen table.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We took a vacation. There was sleep for both children. There was sleep for me and Dyami. There was even (bonus!) a nap for both of us. Also, swimming, restaurants, and some chocolate-covered strawberries.
Vacations. Wow. They actually exist!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Might dust, do taxes or dishes.
Or, a little nap? contest.

Dear cold

Dear Cold that will Not Go Away,
I feel like we're old friends now. Except I don't want to be. You're one of those clingy, needy friends that just wants a little more quality time, but I have kids now, Cold, and I can't always be tending to you. I just don't have the energy for you like I used to.
I know, I know, you've backed off, and I at least don't have that drowning feeling like I did a few days ago. Because that was decidedly TOO MUCH Cold. But hey, you haven't completely gone away.
So yes, I guess this is kind of my Dear John letter. To you, cold. Go away.
And don't you come back no more.
At least till next season.
(Not much) love,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

more things to watch out for

So when preparing a dinner that goes in the oven, watch that the little magnetic child lock key thingie does not attach to the baking tray full of greens. Because it will puff up and brown* like a marshmallow, but it will not taste like one (I would assume). Also: it will no longer work as a child lock key.

Because apparently, with the roving toddler that likes "helping" cook and the preschooler narrating everything (everything!) happening, and asking questions at key moments, and me opening/closing an oven heated to 400 degrees, we don't already have enough to hold our attention.

*If you must attach the child lock to a baking dish, attach it to the one that comes out after 10 minutes, not 40. Perhaps then you will avoid toxic fumes, a ruined dinner, and flaming child lock keys. As (PRAISE JESUS) we did.