Feb 12 2015

This Old Stuff: Grandma’s Linens

My mom recently called to say she “put a little something” in the mail. It’s my grandma’s never used linens from the late 1940s. I mean. I just want to use them and not use them and frame them and tuck them away for Loie.

I’ve been thinking a lot about old treasures and when/how they should be used. My friend Johanna says that it’s in their use that objects find beauty and meaning. And I totally agree and am also tickled I have friends who think big things like that.

I am both mystified by my grandma’s desire to not use nice things and then totally realize I am doing the same thing.

In my head it’s that NOW they are old and nice and maybe, just maybe, that gives them enhanced need for protection? But to what end? So I can hand them off perfect to Lo? So she can never use them?

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Nov 11 2013

Best Mom Ever: Fizzy Collage

Can we talk about baking soda? It’s like this thing you use a bit of but always have so MUCH of and then you wonder why your baked goods are so sad saggy and then you realize it is because your baking soda is 100 years old. So you go buy more. And this horrific cycle repeats itself.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

When I saw this pinned on my pal Sarah‘s board, I nearly high fived her through my computer, through Pinterest, and through space/time. (I would also high five the person who posted it initially but it’s a link to a photo and not a blog. So thank you random awesome person.)

Lo’s been sick on/off all month and there is only so much Yo Gabba Gabba I can watch. So doing something fun, that also lets her mix colors “like Foofa does!” and didn’t require getting out of PJs was ideal.

I took all the expired baking soda. I took apple cider vinegar. Not because I wanted to but because I recently did an angry clean of our coffee maker using all the white vinegar. And I figured Lo would give two flips about whether the blue was the bluest blue. I used a 9″ round cake pan and an eyedropper purchased that morning at Walgreens.

 

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Explaining how to use an eyedropper was a thing. I was not good at explaining it.

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The basic premise is the kid sprays colored vinegar into a giant vat of baking soda and it fizzes. And the kid thinks it is awesome. I can attest that both these things happen. And even better? The first thing (fizz) doesn’t have to be all that impressive to achieve the second thing (kid thinks it’s awesome). Really, she thought this was just about the best thing since sliced Gabba.

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The delight as she leaned in to watch the fizz was worth whatever mess would come.

Fotor1106130634And…it came. Eventually she realized the fizz power of putting the baking soda directly in the vinegar.

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Which was only made more awesome by the amount of baking soda being dumped.

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Did it go totally as I expected? Better. Did the colors look beautiful? No, they were super pukey heinous. Did it make a bit of a mess? Yup. Add it all up and the fizzy collage makes me the best mom ever. Snow days and sick days await, my friends. Get to it.


Oct 28 2013

One from the Archive: Crown Fountain

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Some days I look backwards. On those days I miss wandering around with a camera bag and lenses with Brett patiently waiting as I try some stuff out because I don’t really know what I’m doing and there’s no kid and all the time in the world, anywhere in the world, even when anywhere is home.

Most days I look forward. And on those days it’s going to be our kid splashing in a fountain near or far and us showing her just how big and wonderful the world is while we gleefully watch her try all kinds of stuff out and, you know, time is not about me, really at all, anymore.

 


Sep 9 2013

Not-A-Princess Halloween: Amelia Earhart Edition

It’s mid-September. And I’m kind of stressing the kid’s Halloween costume.

Obnoxious, right? It’s only because I nailed it last year.

I have no idea if Lo will skew princess and poofy in her grade school days. I don’t totally mind if she likes pink and purple and glitter. I know she’s strong and fast and learned how to do a somersault all on her own. She jumps and digs in dirt. So girl having some girlie girl in her doesn’t get me down. We’re not likely to support any clothing that implies she’s shitty at math or “boy crazy” at 4 so a little unicorn or rainbow action here and there is tolerable.

Still, until she can articulate a reason for a specific costume, mama’s gonna run the show. Her first year (2011) she was a big plush mess of an 7 month old owl from a Pottery Barn Kids costume. It was SO CUTE. (Here’s a tiny pic so you aren’t so distracted). See those wiggly feet?

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Last year, though, I wanted to not spend a ton of money AND exert more creative control. Yup, I can own that.

She’s an adventurous spirit and I’m a former history teacher and a feminist.

Adventure + history + feminism = Amelia Earhart

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Here’s how I put it together.

That amazing hat? It’s from my friend Sarah’s friend’s talented hand. Blaze ‘n’ Crochet helped this sister out. I wrote her after seeing a girlie aviator’s cap and said I wanted something a dash more Amelia. Blaze doesn’t even begin to describe it. That lady got that hat done in about 11 minutes. I have proof. She uploaded this picture so quickly I’m not sure I had even hit send on the order! It.was.perfect. And the hat was a staple in our fall accessories.

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The scarf was purchased here, the one sell out to the Halloween consumer machine (and ours was only $6). The khakis are ten buck uniform pants from Old Navy and the brown corduroy jacket (sorry, no leather aviator jacket this year kid) is too, but I found it on eBay. It had a hood by we tucked it in for authenticity’s sake (Cheerio cup is super authentic, I know). Both of those were reused, though we’re not really a khaki family.

It felt smart because a last-evening-in-October in Oak Park can be chilly. She was already in a hat and jacket! At playdates and parties indoors, we removed the jacket and had her wear a plain old onesie, which gave her a devil-may-care casualness I think Amelia would’ve approved of.

Then, we added a bit of sepia goodness and BOOOM had a picture ready for the history books. (Yes we have old suitcases. Yes we have a typewriter. Yes I’ve seen this. AND yes, I should’ve moved the shoes.)

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The only challenge now is that I’ve set a high bar for myself. I realize this is a purely ridiculous thing to obsess about. But I am. And there aren’t a ton of toddler friendly obvious feminine icon costumes, you know what I mean?

I’ve been scouring The Reconstructionists (an amazing project by Lisa Congdon and Maria Popova). So many rad women, if not done soo soo carefully, could just look like “standard prairie girl” or “old timey costume.” Sigh. Oh! They featured Diana Nyad?! Kind of goes against my chilly weather plan.

Onward. Or upward? Maybe it’s Sally Ride time.


Aug 23 2013

Something I Love: Kid O

Oh Kid O, I love you.

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Kids stuff. You feel me?

It’s an f’ing mess. An inherited toy vacuum is now sentient in our living room and sings in Spanish at all hours of the day. There are pieces of things everywhere. And pieces of things missing that are, apparently, critical to the future happiness of the 2 year old. And the moment I swoop in and pack stuff away because the 0-6 months play range is long gone is the moment Lo asks for the wrist rattles. WRIST RATTLES.

Whenever I see or we get a toy that is not rage inducing I get joy weepy. And I want to share. So, here we are.

I’ve been pleasantly put in place several times now by non-kidded friends picking out rad, rad stuff. It’s like they pick what is cool to them and therefore it is just cool. I miss being cool.

So, when an industrial designer friend gave us two puzzles that weren’t ugly or loud I sighed in both relief and in missing coolness. After reading about Kid O, I’m so not surprised their puzzles lured in a cool non-dad guy. Kid O has colorful but not eye-scorching toys. Their hook is toys that are “simple, modern and educational.” Y’all know I love me a serial comma but I can still get behind that sentiment. Simple. Please. More of that.

The site features four collections that are all quite lovely ranging from wooden toys to party favors and including those Bilibo turtle shell type seats from Moluk that I am kind of obsessed with but don’t totally understand but may buy immediately. I also love the blog for the line which focuses on play and learning and creativity. Like, I love it.

But cool toys are only cool if they appeal to the wee ones. A mid-century mock toddler-sized cocktail station or a make-your-own-mini-folksy-music-fest kit isn’t any good if the kid won’t play with it.

These two puzzles, one which has her sort by height and one by width, keep her happy and occupied.

Lo, who is obviously a genius, is not great with subtle size differences right now (nesting is a hot, hot mess of frustration, stacking a bit less so) but is great with following repeated steps we’ve modeled for her. These puzzles have proven a low-risk way to practice and not once has she done the standard frustration response of throwing everything everywhere forever. I figure the Pavlovian puzzle doing will, in turn, foster a better understanding of size differentiation. Maybe.

Maybe even better, I’ve found it’s excellent practice on my part to speak clearly to her. I get wildly confused myself when trying to explain that she needs a smaller piece, and then a MORE smaller piece. Or I’ll say “that one is too big” and she looks at me like I’m an asshole because, really mom, do you mean the piece is too big or the hole is too big?

Thinking about what I can learn from playing with her or watching her play has been pretty great. I always think about metacognition on her part but hadn’t really started thinking about play-based metacognitive stuff on my part. It’s been limited to how I respond to a freak out or how I model civility or compassion for her.

As I sit here and reflect on it, maybe trying to explain how to sort the lovely blue shades of tall to small will make me a better writer while making me a better mom and her a better size difference noticer. Clarity and conciseness are two things toddlers need and they’re two things writers need too.

So cheers to Kid O, a toy company doing it right and getting it right. Hip hip.

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Aug 21 2013

A Will Signing Party

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We were sitting at an Indian buffet. To paraphrase, Adam said something like, “It can take on an almost celebratory feel.”

An almost celebratory feel. I could get behind that.

I remember asking my mom where we, meaning my sister & I, would go if something happened to her and my dad. We would go where I thought we would go, to an aunt whose home was like our second home and who made us feel like her own already. I don’t remember how old I was but I’d hazard a guess at 4th or 5th grade.

When we, meaning Brett & I, moved in together and eventually married, we did all the stuff you can do easily and online. Made one another our emergency contacts. Made one another beneficiaries of things and stuff. As a teacher and a know-it-all, I had long wondered what the hell took people so long when they had kids. Why didn’t people, like, just have their wills done already?

And then we had a kid.

When she was a newborn(ish) we sent a letter to my sister asking her to act as guardian because clearly we were about to start AND complete the process. I was all over everything like the amazing new mom I knew I’d be.

And she turned one. And then two. And we’d talk about it every once in a while. Inertia is a powerful thing.

And then a few months ago, our dear friend Adam Salzman started a law firm focused on estate planning.

You know when you can’t really ignore the universe anymore? The only person who would be closer to us would be either Brett or I opening a law firm. I sheepishly mentioned to Adam that we, you know, kind of still needed to do this.

We filled out some paperwork on our assets and answered a questionnaire. We met, first at our house and then at an Indian restaurant to nosh and talk.

The process was so much easier than I thought because we worked with someone who took the time to listen and who knows the law.

The process was so much more important than I thought. I hadn’t known much about probate courts and the bogged-downed-ness if wishes and plans weren’t explicitly mapped out.

Adam wasn’t just interested in completing our will. He was interested in us understanding what we were doing. I assumed we’d sign things with the same “Um, ok” feeling we had when we did and redid our mortgage…that things would be pointed at and glossed over. Nope. Not this time.

As a couple, we had already discussed guardianship so it wasn’t wrought with all-family Thanksgiving debates about Lo’s future. Thinking about the logistics of time and geography and our wishes and her interests, talking about those frankly and honestly and without blame or future blame, and mapping it out before we sat down was a smart step. It can be impossibly hard, I realize that. I can say, though, that no hard conversation is ever made easier by just not having it.

It is, also, an incredibly hard thing to think about someone else raising this little person we love so so much that we can’t wait to see what she does tomorrow, let alone in 15 years.

It’s also an incredibly powerful thing. It gave time and space for us to discuss what we want for her in broader and longer terms, in ways far more concrete than the wistful conversations we had when I was newly pregnant. It was beautiful to hear her dad talk in ways that showed what a wonderful father he is, even as we wrapped our collective head around our potential absence. It was good to affirm our initial thoughts about guardianship. They were still accurate and felt right. It was important to do.

Because of those conversations and ones we had in our consultation, Adam helped us craft two provisions specific to our family (not that we’re inventing any wheels here folks, just sharing what we thought about).

First, we asked for specific gifts to be set aside for any children who would become Lo’s de facto siblings, should someone else raise her. In all instances of her care we mapped out, she’d become the third and youngest kiddo for a family to care for. To honor the love we know those other kiddos would give her, we wanted to set aside something as a thank you. We think so much of the children of her potential guardians and they factored into our decisions. Our choices impacted them, too. These young people? They’d rock as big brothers and sisters to our little Lo.

Second, we wanted to empower her guardians to make her world interesting. We want so badly for her to see things and try things and do things. We’d never want a guardian to feel crippled by concern that they are offending us by spending “our” money. We wouldn’t have picked the people we picked if we thought their lack of discretion would be an issue. If anything, we want to empower them to think bigger. If that means using some of the money to fly the whole family somewhere or to send Lo to some awesome camp I can’t even fathom? We think that’s a wonderful honoring of us. Go. Do. Please.

Adam crafted a smart, sound, thoughtful estate plan. I exhaled about as deeply as I ever have. For so many moments as a mom I feel doubt or second guess my choices. The blogs and the articles make questioning nearly everything an automatic part of motherhood.

This, this legal and non-huggy thing, was something I could be completely confident and happy about. I rocked motherhood in that moment.

And so, when it came time to finalize the will, it felt like a thing to celebrate. To celebrate the couple we are, the family we have, the people around us who we know would rally around Lo if we were gone. The people who rally around her now. We wanted to cheers as we checked off this thing that we had meant to get done and had, really, been downgraded in the family triage till the universe kicked us in the pants.

We needed three witnesses. Our neighborhood playgroup, so important to us as parents, was summoned. Could a few of them come over for a quick thing? I’d make it worth their time. I’d make it celebratory.

I got some prosecco and I bought a cake. I had intended to bake…perhaps something with mint so I could riff on “last will and testament” but the kid wanted to go to the park. Since we are doing all this for her and her future happiness, it seemed a bit silly to deny her present happiness when a Whole Foods vanilla with vanilla 5″ cake is so damn good anyway. (Seriously, they are good. They have a lemon one too. Also v. good)

And you know what? We had four witnesses. One who biked over simply because he said he knew if it was at our house it was going to be fun. Yes, our will signing was fun.

Surely, you say, I must realize this is a topic fraught with complexity and layers and messiness for many individuals and couples. Grandparents and aunts and blended families and having kids younger or older or not at all. Pets. People plan for pets! You’re right. I do realize. I don’t mean to be flippant or braggy. We have one kid. It makes things easier. We agreed about guardianship. That made things easier. Our estate attorney knows our family history. Man, did that make things easier.

Instead of saying “But it is SO EASY,” I just want to encourage the start. And the second step. Whether it’s a “Hey, we should talk about this.” or a “Hmm, we need to update that bad boy now that we are so wildly successful.” or a whatever it is. Hard conversations and hard things are usually not made any easier by endlessly delaying their start. We triaged much of our life for two years and thankfully they were two years when Brett & I stayed relatively healthy and earthbound. Estate planning is one of those things that if you don’t do and suddenly need, you’re kind of in a jam.

And, however messy it gets, it has an end point, and I don’t mean someone’s death, though this is certainly all about the end of my mortal days. I mean the end point of the process. At some point the decisions are made, the document is drafted, and that sweet relief IS cause for a lil’ celebrating.

We signed and then we toasted (for reals, no sip was had before those beasts were signed). We ate cake and told stories and had another glass. Because here’s the thing. This is an incredible thing we’ve got. This life. With this kid and these friends. And as we plan for a time we might not be here for, you can be damn sure I’m going to enjoy the time I’ve got.

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Jul 11 2013

The Kindness of Neighbors, Not Strangers.

We are, you know, not living in our home this summer. So we are not, you know, with our neighbors and community. We love Oak Park, the community and friendships and co-ops and goodness. I wrote about the powerful impact of a neighborhood a little over a year ago and stand by every sentence in that post (minus the upkeep of the soup exchange).

It’s hard to leave for a month. To have the playgroup talking about outdoor concerts, to have Loie ask about her beloved music teacher, to know our garden will (again) be shriveled up and sad because we’re gone for so long. We miss an annual BBQ at a friend’s, marching in the July 4th parade, and at least two of our beloved tot’s birthdays. Saturday donuts at the Farmers’ Market and all those summery delights.

It can be hard, too, to figure out our place with our temporary neighbors when away.

But leaving and coming are both part of the process, both important for us and both processed and talked about.

I love when a good anecdote brings those concepts, or any concepts, into high relief (especially when it comes with relief at the end of the anecdote).

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And thus:

Noise travels in our San Francisco home. We have next door neighbors who are in the same building, as opposed to the next house, here. We try to keep jumping, crashing, and cavorting to the second story to spare our downstairs neighbors. Instead, we reserve that space for sleep. Because sleep should be quiet.

Lo’s had a few rough nights this week were she’s woken up at 3:55 on the dot and yelped. A quick back rub, snuggle, and song gets her back to sleep fast but I’m incredibly sensitive to disrupting the sleep of people who call this building home. For one, I have a terrible time falling back to sleep so I empathize with the jolt of a toddler pre-dawn alarm clock.

And (more importantly) two, we’ve not yet been able to prove our worth as neighbors and likely won’t have time to in our brief stay. We can’t get anyone’s mail while their away or feed a fish, pour a hefty glass of wine while watching Mad Men or bring something over in celebration or comfort.

The give and take, back and forth, relationship piece of neighboring is harder, maybe impossible, when it’s a temporary measure.

So yesterday, when a downstair’s neighbor passed me on the street it took me a moment to recognize and place her: Ah, YES, a neighbor.

When she said “Oh! I have a note I’ve been meaning to drop off at your door,” it took me less than a moment to fully panic. To brace myself for the comment about being woken up, the question about what I was going to do about it, the sigh that implies “You are not my neighbor, I am allowed to be only annoyed with you, not compassionate.”

Blood rushed to my ears (and I imagine my cheeks). I squeaked an “Oh! Really?” as Lo hopped up and down next to me.

The note?

It came with two children’s books. And kind words about being a grandparent and a correct spelling of Loie’s name.

The neighbor had a book about San Francisco and a book about Chicago she thought Loie and the children of our friends might enjoy. She though that Loie might like seeing things familiar and be introduced to things she’ll meet. And she wanted us, as Chicagoans, to take that book home with us.

I damn near wept on the sidewalk. With relief, yes. But also with a sense of the power of neighborliness and a wee bit of shame that I assumed the worst.

Might she be frustrated with the yelps? Sure, she wouldn’t be the only one.

Might I need to keep a more open mind about how long it takes to build a dash of community and neighborliness? Sure, and it seems like I’m the only one.

 


Jul 8 2013

Have you? Did you? Nope. Not yet.

Have you been biked across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Are you going to do the Exploratorium?

Did you eat at that restaurant I sent?

My answer is typically: Not yet. But maybe.

We get a pretty non-stop list of suggestions and must-dos and gotta-sees leading up to trips. I’m always happy to take suggestions and hear ideas, especially on traveling with a tot. And, I do heaps of research and make a Google map and doc before we go of stuff (places, tastes, things, kid friendly and not) nearby and far by (these are great to share with friends traveling, too). For San Francisco, I read up on everything and anything Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day shared, especially this post on urban hikes and this guest post for Alphamom. I googled and queried and dug around Yelp.

Over the course of a month, we’ll likely do some of the things shared and things I found. Maybe most. Maybe.

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But today, so far, the place we’ve been the most is the Cow Hollow Playground.

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It’s a small neighborhood playground tucked into a half-street a few blocks from our house in the Marina. It’s nothing fancy. Sun bleached communal toys, some much loved equipment. Lots of sand. But it’s exactly what we like to discover when we’re away. The things that make us feel connected to a new place, even if we know it’s (and plan for it to be) fleeting. In Iceland (pre-Lo) it was C is for Cookie. In Paris, it was the toddler playground at the Jardin de Luxembourg (man, I did a crappy job blogging in Paris.) And here, it’s a place like the Cow Hollow Playground.

It’s not all that different, in fact it’s a bit older and rougher, than our playground in Skunk Hollow (and no, we didn’t realize the name of our neighborhood here till we got here). And that’s why it’s both familiar and magical (because, no, we didn’t realize the name of our neighborhood here till we got here).

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Part of the challenge of explaining the whats (and whys) when we’re away involves sharing a philosophy that sounds overwrought and high handed and, ugh, pretentious or obnoxious. In fact, if one of you were to talk to me about something similar I just might (no, I would) make fun of you for being too earnest. But with reflection and hindsight on past trips and planning for this and future trips, one does, if one’s looking for it, start to coalesce ideas and approaches. And the neighborhood playground embodies much of our approach. It’s an immersion and a surrounding and an appreciation for being somewhere, not just visiting somewhere.

To do that sometimes means we de-prioritize all the places on the lists and recs and must-sees. It’s not a wholesale rejection, because I am wired to want to do it all. A focus on finding what we can do, honoring our work we both love, and the realities of the limits of CopperTop both limit and free us from accomplishing it all.

It’s trying to find the balance of the native New Yorker whose never been to the Statue of Liberty and the run-ragged tourist who’s been everywhere for the sake of checking it off a list. I want to be neither.

The thrill for us yesterday was discovering the path of least resistance. In San Francisco, that means the least hilly route from the playground home. It’s about as mundane a thrill as you can have. It’s just the thrill we are looking for on trips like this.

There will be moments like the Pride Parade.

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There will be trips to someplace exciting worthy of a skipped nap and a crappy night, I know and hope.

But for the most part, the most parts of the trip are simple pleasures. And those have changed, and stayed the same, since I first wrote about it in 2010 (oh, to spend a day reading!). Now, it’s Lo’s first swim class last week (at the wonderful JCC here) and seeing how songs like “Open, Shut Them” sound sung by a different librarian at story time. It’s tasting fresh strawberries and seeing what hills look like to a toddler from flatter lands.

It’s trying a puff pastry from the joint down the street.

Or even just chasing the rainbows on the staircase at the house. Because there aren’t rainbows on our staircase in Oak Park.

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It isn’t necessarily anything that would appeal to everyone. But we know we’re creating time and space with travel like this to let the mundane magic happen. It’s why we do what we do.

 


Jul 3 2013

San Francisco. Now What?

Writing about living someplace new is a tad easier when the new place is farther and further and more foreign. Iceland and rural France have been our homes away from home so far. Navigating language and cultural differences feels real and pressing when they surround you and you’ve got a passport stamp and all that.

This summer, we’re staying in San Francisco. I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, this is my view (or some version of this, fog dependent) every morning.

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A domestic adventure like this makes writing about immersion in a new culture a bit different because, heck, my friend came over for dinner last night and it’s a city both Brett & I have visited and love.

That doesn’t make it any less exciting or new. We’re still figuring out how to travel for 5+ weeks with a kid, we’re still figuring out how to support one another’s work with altered schedules and arrangements. And San Francisco? Radder than rad.

There’s plenty of exciting happening here. Heidi of SpitfireGirl is here and I’m excited to finally, finally meet her. I’m lucky to be attending Alt SF in a couple weeks, too. That’s one of the magical things that happened. We knew we were coming here before Heidi and I launched the SpitfireMom series and I knew I’d get in to Alt and it all just kind of worked out.

And, I’m certain I’ll share things here this month that are different here than in Oak Park. Composting is mandatory, there are so.many.hills, and there is most definitely things that are just, well, different.

More, I’m eager to share more of WHAT we do when we’re away (we work and live, not just vacation), WHY we do it (hello life of intention), and HOW we do it (massive planning, a dash of luck, and heaps of faith in one another even when we’re disagreeing).

We figure if we can figure out how to make this possible maybe it’ll help or inspire others to try it out or connect us to others who are doing something similar in whatever way makes sense in their worlds.

More on avoiding a jetlagged toddler, talking with clients about why it’s ok you are going away, how to create and embrace work schedules that allow for family fun, and why tinfoil is a parent’s best friend soon!


Mar 1 2013

Something I Love

Oh, Neskat hair clippies, I love you!

At about 8 or 9 months, Lo’s hair had grown long enough in the front that she was looking a bit too Eddie Furlong for my taste. Girl needed some help. But how to help? Hair accessories seem safe, right? Not always.

There began a dull ache of a struggle in the back of my parenting brain that I know is just the first of many. It’s been articulated by many before me, and probably better. In short, raising a girl is awesome. I know it is going to be awesome. I am ready to both model (when I can) and talk about (when I can) how to embrace being a girl, and then a woman, while not kowtowing to being precious. I struggle with that teeter totter between a level of girly that feels empowered and the level of girlie that feels overly twee.

I’m not a clothing fascist. I can get behind pink, my heistation is more that I don’t think her little coppertop looks great in pale pinks. I love me some owls. And something scroll-y in French? Sold.

I certainly don’t want -Juicy- on her butt, at least until she can clearly articulate to me an argument that makes it make sense. For now, I don’t love -princess- or -diva- or other sassified crap on her clothing. It’s just not me. And with our lack of royal blood and my inability to carry a tune both in her DNA, it’s probably not her either. I felt pretty good about the clothing choices I was making and now…now I needed to figure out hair.

Enter Neskat, an etsy store that I lurve.


These delicious clippies are just the right twee, and two we own at Chez Argyle. Contrast stitching, felt, wool, delightfully intricate for being so tiny. Autumnal leaves, charming birds, and embroidered lovelies abound.

Easy to put on, not easy to fall off during roly poly play, the San Francisco-based etsy shop is doing it right.

And the best part? Apparently when I put the clips in Loie’s hair from the first time on, I said “BOOP!” right as it clipped it in. And now, my precocious little parrot doesn’t know the word barrette. She only knows that every morning she gets a boop in her hair. Yup, a boop. Just the right amount of twee for me.