Search

2ManyOpenTabs

The hectic life as a mom, wife, daughter, + writer equates a continuous and simultaneous running of all cylinders.

Tag

mom

A Space To Call Her Own

Nursery1

To say I’d planned my hypothetical girl nursery in advance would be a most grave understatement; I’ve had a dedicated Pinterest board to the like for the past 8 years now— even well before the conception of my firstborn. I’d conjured up images of dainty yellow wall hangings and blush pink mobiles, the perfect one-of-a-kind antiques and delicious-as-icing lacy throw pillows. Endless bows would fill her baskets and my penchant for delicate florals would provide a subtle theme throughout. A bit serene with a splash of rustic-meets-whimsical is the best way to describe the design I’d daydreamed in my head.

” It needed a facelift and a little love, and I knew I could provide it with both. “

Needless to say, I’d put those pink plans on hold for a while and had the fun opportunity of designing two little dudes’ rooms within that time span. Yet, upon learning our last little one happened to go against the curve and sport an extra ‘X’ chromosome, I’d once again, returned to the drawing board, hormones raging and with a fun fury of nesting instincts, to design the perfect nursery for our little miss. 

Dresser

I’ve always loved finding the diamond-in-the-rough perfect heirloom piece that possesses just the right amount of ornamentation, yet with a modern flair. To me, there’s something so dreamy about antiques, like that of a storybook; they conjure up imaginary tales of times gone by. The wood grain details uneven grooves and beautiful weathering which exudes a charm simply not found with a new piece of furniture. 

After much searching, I’d sourced the perfect dresser as the first piece chosen for the nursery, knowing it would act as the focal point for the room’s overall feel. It’s a gorgeous Edwardian piece dating back to the early 1900’s. A matching mirror complete with the sweetest subtle bow detailing, completes the look. But don’t get me wrong— the piece needed some work— yet, I didn’t let the thick black shiny lacquer deter me; I was able to look past the harsh exterior and knew that a beautiful blush pink would provide the subtle backdrop to allow the piece to come to life once again. It needed a facelift and a little love, and I knew I could provide it with both. The precious gold bow hardware from Crate and Kids was the ideal addition to the newly transformed piece.  

IMG_8052

Next up on the roster was what to do with the walls. Anyone who knows me, knows my love affair with grey— and all shades of it. I loved the way Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter looks in the rest of our house, so I knew it would be the ideal neutral canvas for a dreamy baby’s room. However, I wanted to add a rustic element that would be a calming and serene fixture on one of the walls. I looked into wallpaper, but couldn’t find the right print. I thought of a mural, but couldn’t decide on a design. That’s when I quickly remembered Stikwood! I’d seen their products showcased on Facebook and follow their beautiful Instagram page, so I knew it would act as the perfect accent that I was searching for. It adds the simplicity and ease of peel n’ stick adhesive, with the natural and sustainable practices that come from reclaimed wood. It’s truly the perfect blend of innovative design and natural beauty that I wanted for the room. After speaking with their design expects, I decided on a chair rail design on the one wall that the crib would sit up against. I opted for the weathered grey (go figure!) and love every square inch of its irregular, rustic design. The planks give way to their own natural mural of sorts and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I can’t wait to use their products in other areas of the house as they’ve newly expanded to sliding barn doors and exposed wood shelving— (hmm, I see a kitchen project in my near future!) Check out their inspiring design ideas on Instagram, Facebook, or visit them online at www.stikwood.com. 

IMG_8055

I wanted to feature a few wall hangings over the wood chair railing that would breathe in a definitively feminine flair. I loved the idea of the subtle juxtaposition of pairing raw materials with beautiful lacy accents. So I choose to use several old ceiling rosettes of varying sizes, shapes, and designs and hung them in a variegated ‘scattered’ pattern across the wall. It was the perfect blend of old-meets-new, that I was looking for as an eye-catching element.

When we moved the boys into a shared room, I’d gone through both of their book shelves, divesting ourselves of those that we either no longer read, weren’t a big hit, or those that they’d simply outgrown and were now too old for. I’d moved over the latter pile and put them aside for baby sister’s collection, for which I’d continued to also add to over the course of the last several months (hello, Vera The Mouse and Angelina Ballerina!). However, now was the hard part of deciding on a unique way to display said books. It’s funny to me how we can get so accustomed to seeing our home, yet we’re hard-pressed to actually see the surroundings. Do you know what I mean? Sure, we’re familiar with our decor and belongings, but considering we’re in our homes day in-and- day-out, it’s often without an objective or discerning eye.

IMG_8047

This is precisely what happened one day while walking down our main hallway a couple of months ago. I’m not sure what on the wall actually caught my eye, but it drew me in to a set of coveted antique and intricately hand-carved wood frames that I’d purchased at a flea market years prior at Angle Island. I loved them immediately upon spotting them, knowing that wherever they ended up, they’d be perfect. Well, as a wall accent was where they’d been for the last several years, but once I looked at them again, I saw them in a whole new light, reimagining their perfect potential. I went to my local hardware store and purchased a few sets of ‘L’ brackets, wood glue, wood cut to specific specifications, and screws. From there, I started creating a ‘box’ at the back of the frames that would act as a ‘shelf’. Essentially, I’d created two bookshelf frames that tied in perfectly with her room’s blush color scheme. Don’t you just love when you realize the perfect design was right in front of you the entire time? 🙂

I’m a big believer in things happening for a specific reason, despite the fact that we rarely are aware of the reasoning at the time. Several months ago, I happened to be reading my emails, when I came across an article about an artist that created the most incredible paintings from your baby’s ultrasound image. I’d never seen anything like that before and could only imagine how special that would be to have such a commemorative piece of artwork from that celebratory time.

quaintbabyart2.jpg  btr

Now, I don’t know about you, but each time we were given ultrasound images, it felt like it brought me a little closer to my little one, gaining a glimpse at the person growing inside of me. Being that she was so small when most of them were taken, it’s an incredible piece of technology to actually acquire images of them from inside. It still eludes me as to how this is actually possible, but thankfully it is, and now I’d just discovered someone who takes it one step further, and puts a beautiful breath of life into the still image onto canvas. 

btrhdr  IMG_8039

I knew mediately I had to contact her. Laura Steerman, of Quaint Baby Art, was literally as sweet to chat with as her designs are to look at. She’s incredibly talented with a true passion and expert eye for translating into art, the wonderment a parent feels when looking at their baby’s beloved ultrasound. I sent her several photos from which to choose, and I just loved the one she’d selected to paint. It shows our little baby girl, feet up in the air, and one hand gesturing what looks like a ‘hello!’. It makes me smile every time I see it— and I couldn’t be happier having it hang right above her crib for all to see when they enter the nursery. It’s a true keepsake; a treasured piece of personal art that’s reminiscent of such a special time in a parent’s life. You can check her out on FacebookInstagram, or on her website at www.QuaintBabyArt.com. 

I’d searched high and low at so many of my favorite shops in the Bay Area, but couldn’t quite find the right mobile that I had envisioned in my mind. I wanted it to be simple and delicate, yet unique with a modern aesthetic. A lofty goal I realize for a little ole’ mobile, but I knew it had to exist and was determined to continue looking for it until I found it. And for some reason or another, I find mobiles to be a really important component of a nursery —I still have both of the boys’ from their nurseries, safely tucked away in my box of keepsakes.  Hudson had a sweet hand-knitted Owl within a circular tree with varying strands of mushrooms by Blabla- it’s beyond cute! I can still remember the day my husband and I found it. This was well before owls were all the rage, and so finding anything with them on it— especially for a nursery— was no easy feat! With Hawk, I went in a completely different direction and opted for a cute rustic metal airplanes mobile from Restoration Hardware baby that I still adore to this day. 

IMG_8034

As I was certain it would, my steadfast dedication to finding the mobile I’d had musings of in my head for so many weeks, finally paid off, and lo and behold, during one of my many sleepless nights throughout this pregnancy when I’d been combing Etsy, I stumbled upon the perfect design for her room. A darling little shop located in Belarus (I admittingly had to do some googling for a quick geography lesson), which has the sweetest whimsical tale to boot, brought my design to fruition and had crafted exactly what I’d envisioned in my head. I’d reached out to Mary, the shop owner, and was delighted that she’d allow me to personalize the colors of the mobile to pick up those accent colors I’d so carefully selected for her room. Blush pink, goldish/mustard, and pure snow-white were the perfect pairing on an already perfect mobile. She was also kind enough to extend a promo code for all my followers who are interested in purchasing from her sweet little shop! Enter: KARSSON10 for 10% off at her Etsy shop. 

At night, I’ll often spend a few minutes in her room, just moving things about and looking around at all the beautiful fixtures that have come together so seemlessly. The joy it brings me envisioning her playing in there in the months and years to come, is indescribable. It’s a strange calm before the storm; a foreshadowing of laughter and cries, diaper changes and middle of the night feedings. It’s a room that’ll see it all, and one of which I am so proud to have hand-selected every element. I love the organic way in which everything seemed to naturally complement one another. The rustic feel of the wood acted as a beautiful backdrop for the delicate mobile that hangs in front of it. The whimsical wall rosettes accented the beloved Edwardian dresser as if to nod off in collective acceptance. The delicate florals add the quintessential feminine finish providing the figurative bow on top of the already beautiful package. ~

Nursery2*Nursery photos taken by ever-talented, Cristen Wright of Cristen Wright Photography. You can view a sampling of her incredible photos on her Facebook page, or contact her via email at: cristenwrightphotography@gmail.com. 

Grow, but stay this way forever.

My Mom whom always takes splendid, transcendentalist moments out of her day to absorb the beauty of her surroundings and to basque in the glory that is nature, always thought it important to instruct my sister and I to do the same growing up. In fact, we still have a running joke dating back to childhood when she would tell us to ‘Look at the sun!’ and then immediately follow that up with, ‘but don’t look at it!’ Meaning, take in the beauty, but don’t stare directly at it for fear you’ll burn your eyes. It never ceases to amaze me just how powerful a distant memory can be, imparting a lasting imprint on our lives. For me, the essence of this memory woefully sums up my feeling of parenthood.

“…the guttural instinct like that of a wave precipitating its former…”

I washed and worried for that little umbilical cord to finally fall off to showcase my son’s perfectly adorable belly-button.  I waited intently for him to master the skill set of lifting his head on his own. I couldn’t wait until sitting was a viable possibility. I eagerly awaited with much excitement, at the prospect of being able to finally introduce solids. When will he learn to walk?  Will he soon be running? I anxiously anticipated actually engaging my little human in real conversation. Is he ready for school yet? When will he be able to write his name? Read? You get the picture…

But what happens immediately following those thoughts is the guttural instinct like that of a wave precipitating its former; to immediately rescind and counteract the wishful propulsion. These milestones serve to signify his growing and maturing; his body transforming from baby to toddler and beyond, and I find myself most anxious about whether I’m truly ready to move with the same momentum. Am I ready to see the chubby infant days full of cuddles nearing to an end, as I witness with such bittersweetness, his growing confidence?

It’s an excruciating juxtaposition wanting them to become the best version of themselves, which includes celebrating newfound capabilities, while mourning the loss of their baby selves— and their inevitable need for mom. And this especially holds true with my second —and last— knowing full-well how quickly these first few years fly by. I won’t ever again experience these early celebratory milestones and so souring past them with such fervor becomes the double-edge sword.

So why then do I do it? Why do I perpetually wish for the next milestone to be reached? For the greater accomplishment to be conquered, or for the bigger milestone to be undertaken? Part of me thinks it’s due in large because once they exhibit a certain capability, I internally put my mind at ease regarding their ability to do so. I stamp the ubiquitous ‘check mark’ off my never-ending mental list of things they need to learn to do. In addition, I am well aware of societal pressure that’s bestowed upon parents. On a daily basis, I’m inundated with no less that 25 articles telling me where my child should be at this exact, finite moment in his development. And, of course, there’s always that parent at the park who swears her little gifted one has already master fractions at 2.5…’Um, your’s hasn’t?’ It’s everywhere and it makes it incredibly challenging to live in the moment, contented with where you child is at that moment in time. Not looking to the next, not worried about what’s coming, just being.

This notion to grow, but stay little, to conquer, yet still need me, will always plague me as a mom— to some degree. And I’m fairly certain I’ll never figure out that magical equation for how to accomplish this perfectly, however, for now, I’ll shift my focus to celebrating the milestones as they come, while relishing in the day-to-day life every day.

Epic Proportions.

You know what’s kind of amazing and slightly magical about parenthood? We have the power to make our children believe that even their smallest acts are something of epic proportions. Take yesterday when my son enthusiastically showed me no less than 900 times how well he was able to hop on either leg. ‘Amazing!’, ‘incredible!’ ‘so good, dude!’ I proclaimed over and over again along with a litany of other enthusiastic adjectives to showcase my happiness in seeing him relish in his own gratification of this skill set.

“We retain the power to help them —brick by brick— build their self-esteem”

Now, I know what you’re thinking… tell me again what the hudson on bikebig deal is about jumping on one leg? To which I’d reply, ‘absolutely nothing!’ But what I’ve learned as a parent, is that we retain the colossal, ever-important power to help them —brick by brick— build their self-esteem, solely based on how we react to the things that make them feel good. We can single-handedly instill in them, the message that what they have to say or do is worthwhile, and that their accomplishments are truly something to celebrate. And why wouldn’t I want to make him feel overjoyed at the fact that he can count to 50 or put on his own underwear or give me the lengthy discriptions for why each magnatile spaceship differs from one another?

It’s all important stuff if they think it is. It all matters if it matters to them. So even on those days when I can’t bare to watch yet another lap around the playground while he rides confidently on his bike, lap after lap after lap, what I need to keep in mind is that while it might be exhausting to give attention to all those things our children display, every time I do, I’m helping him stand a little taller and create a happier world in which he lives.

You Are Here.

Have you ever noticed that there’s no sense of contentedness when you’re a parent? You barely make your way home from the hospital before people are already asking you when you’re planning to have your next one. I can distincly remember comprehending the ridiculousness of such a question, and the fact that I’d just dedicated the last 10 months to growing a child and more recently, at that point, the last 22 hours birthing said child, yet I too, still fall victim to the continuum model of motherhood. It’s this ever-present parental momentum that seems to plague me throughout each stage of kid’s childhood. And while I’d love to be focused on the truly astounding characteristics my children are currently exhibiting, basking in the gloriousness each stage brings, I feel this nagging pressure to be constantly looking forward to those things my child should be doing next, keeping me from being —and enjoying—the present.

Take for instance: crawling. A truly imperative milestone in and of itself and one with which has been proven to increase brain functionality, stimulating those areas which help with memory capabilities, better reading comprehension, and lifelong hand-eye coordination. Yet, instead of celebrating this crazy talent that my little one had so proficiently mastered, I set my sights to the next stage: walking. How insane is that? I mean, let us take stock of the fact that a mere 6 months ago, he were more a stationary object than anything else, akin to that of a decorative pillow over an actual human, and by all intents and purposes, he just sat there eating and pooping. But alas, he’s mastered a fundamental skill all by himself and I can’t even give him enough credit to let him just do that for minute? What a jerk he must think I am. I mean seriously, can you imagine such pressure? What if adults were expected to learn at such lightening speed? ‘Ohh, you just learned quantum physics? How cute! Now, teach yourself how to perform brain surgery.’

You Are Here.

Yet, I can’t take total credit for the complete and utter sabotage that I place unto myself. It’s also part and parcel to the fact that as parents these days, we’re inundated with milestone reminders that tell you exactly where and what your child should be doing at that exact, finite moment, similar to those mall directories that give you the ‘You are here’ coordinates. And so, if perhaps your child is not ‘right there‘ and say, ‘over here‘ instead, they give you this artificial cause for concern and so starts the cycle of constant trajectory thinking and your time for relishing in the beauty of today’s talents, are thrown swiftly out the window.

So, in an effort to satisfy the ubiquitous resolution in the new year and preserve a bit of sanity for myself and wonderment surrounding my children’s childhood, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to shut off the continual mile markers and establish my own coordinats for happiness. And so instead of measuring my child based on are you here?, I’m starting to think in terms of how happy are you here?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑