May 26 2012

One from the Archive: Wedding Window

In the August before our wedding in 2009, I was almost surprised by a trip to Amsterdam. I say almost in that Brett had the idea and the desire but knew to pull a bride mid-planning and weeks away from the event away from all the, well, things could be dangerous. (note: not all brides need to plan or behave this way. I, in ways I am proud of and less proud of, needed to plan). So he instead surprised me with the idea of a trip, which was quite enough for me.

Off we jetted to Amsterdam for a long weekend. The city. Oh, that city.

As we wandered some street in some neighborhood I’d die to live in, we stumbled across this small collection in a window. I have no idea if it was a wedding-related business. Or a home. Or a message or just twee. But in those almost-married days, it was perfect.

May 23 2012

Ten Thousand & Counting

Yes, I’ve read everything Malcolm Gladwell has written. And yes, some of it resonates and some of it doesn’t. I like the statistical legerdemain he can do and BOOM! Canadian hockey phenoms make sense. Or, at least as much sense as I need them to.

In Outliers, he lays out (hmm) the idea of 10,000 hours to mastery. The Beatles in Hamburg before they launched their Invasion: 10,000 hours. Bill Gates nerding it up in high school when no one else was using computers: 10,000 hours.

As a new mother, I grasped at any straw that hinted that at some point I would stop feeling like I might do irrevocable harm to the tiny beast since I had probably already screwed up by eating Nerds while pregnant. Often.

And thus, I grasped the 10,000 hour straw. I nerded it up in my own way by figuring out what day Brett&I would hit our 10,000th hour of parenting. It’s a little under 417 days. Or 52 days after your kid turns one. Or, for us, a Leap Year meant 51 days.

We crossed from novice parents on Monday, May 21. We had a sitter arranged and we took our expert selves out to dinner. I ate insanely expensive mac&cheese (I leapt the expert threshold in mac&cheese ages ago, probably in my own toddlerhood).

The best part? I kind of did feel like I knew what I was doing Monday. While doing our morning crawl/inspection of her bedroom (must checks: cow humidifier, green monkey, fan, door stop) I saw a big ole splinter in Loie’s foot, probably from an evening spent on the deck.

A true expert would know just what to do. I knew to Google judiciously. A link too far and I’d be reading about amputations and how splinters are indications of failed parenting. Instead, I wanted to check that what I knew to do years ago for campers who no longer counted their ages in months would be appropriate for the wee one. And it was. I started my expert day, then, with Brett holding down the kid and me removing a splinter.

Not quite the fireworks or accolades of being a Beatle or the richest person around. Satisfying enough, though, for sure. And that’s parenting. Satisfying enough. You’re never as rested or as prepared or as with it as you might have been 10,000 hours ago. But the new enough is enough.

May 12 2012

Something I Love

Oh, Authentic Models, I love you.

We were wondering just what to do with a girl’s room that we didn’t want to scream GIRL’S ROOM Y’ALL!

At Bellini Baby we saw these beautiful vintage-looking balloon models floating high above us. I went home and began to Google like a madwoman.

The Red/Tan quickly became the design inspiration for Loie’s nursery.

Over her head float five hot air balloons in primary colors.

Their globe mobile was a changing table coup d’etat.

Her nursery quickly came together. A vintage-Paris-not too Frenchy-nursery.

More, another time perhaps, on this room I love.

May 3 2012

One from the Archive: Space for Monks

In the summer of 2007, I traveled to Thailand with two friends.

Several recommendations suggested getting out of Bangkok as quickly as possible. Once a small trading post, it’s now a megalopolis with some twelve million residents fighting for the technicolor cabs. Traffic is unlike anything I’ve experienced. Tuk tuks and cabs and bikes and cars and people and wow.

We opted, though, to spend several days on either end of trip in Bangkok.

While there, we took a river taxi ride on the Chao Phraya River. It’s a much mellower way to make your way around the city. And, at 2.5 baht, it’s about 8 cents to cross the river.

It was on a river taxi that I spotted these two Buddhist monks, resplendent in their saffron robes. Because monks avoid contact with women, the boats have a -Space for Monks-.