Monday, January 30, 2012

that back room

(The "work room" before. Frightful.)
I think I mentioned a little while back we were making some changes in the aft port cabin. It was once the "work room/ pantry" but in reality it was a dump/ junk room. I invaded, kicked out my husband and his tools, and took over. Do you have any idea how awesome it feels to COMPLETELY empty a room? Every. Last. Scrap. And then a fresh coat of paint.

Of course the trade off is that much of what got displaced in the great shuffle of stuff is now in the plastic bubble of the winterized cockpit. It looks like a bomb went off in there. But it's temporary. (I keep needing to remind myself of that.) And more stuff gets carried off to Goodwill or the trash each day and other stuff organized back into a proper place.

So what does it say about my personality that I have this weird desire to keep this back room empty now. Wait, don't answer that.
I love coming down to the galley and having this wide open room next to me, ripe with possibility. Here's the rough plan though... it's going to be a homeschool/ crafting space. The back room (which was originally a head - aka bathroom) will get a little desk where my (soon to be new) sewing machine will live and where the laptop can come down when mama needs her own space to work.

Then the pantry door will get a coat of chalkboard paint. And so will a portion of the counter... I think. Then we build a little box around the air conditioning/ heater unit and the top of the box will be a shelf (yes boat geeks, the box will be vented). The floor is astro-turf/ indoor outdoor grass stuff. Don't laugh. There is a rhyme and reason for this.

(How you keep a baby busy while you install a floor. Well, now I know she's not allergic to latex.)

And the main counter will be shelves and cubbies galore of some sort to store all of our creative odds and ends. I have been pinning organization ideas like crazy on Pinterest. So many ideas, one small room.
Oh, and somehow or another we will be working in a few of these beauties from the beach.
Lots to think about in that back room. I am picking away at it little by little as my husband is bed bound for several weeks after a surgery and he can't see what I am doing. (insert evil laugh here).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The China Doll Saga

We were browsing the aisles of the thrift store, Naia in on my back, looking for something or other. And she grabbed it. She reached out and took a hold of the China doll and would. not. let. go. For $2 we brought her home but when I stripped her down to launder her dress, Zach noticed that her little China foot was broken. Sharp edges are no good for a wee girl to play with.
Not to fear, Dr. Brother is here... Zach whipped out his medical kit (a holiday gift from 2011) and went right to work.

Naia looked on seriously, putting her trust in big brother to do the right thing. The China doll  got the full treatment, getting disinfected,  patched up, and set in a baby sock cast. And Naia took her back with a sweet kiss.

But our tale doesn't end there. Zach told me that he would really love to have a China doll too. He said that there was a pile of them at the thrift store and he scraped together the $2 from his vaults of coins and begged me to take him back to pick one out. Of course, yes, let's do that.

It seemed so simple.

He pawed through that pile of forgotten China dolls at the thrift store and picked out the perfect one. She had no broken bits, golden hair, blue eyes,and was ready for a new home. He cradled her in his arms, deciding that her name would be Mary (and that until Naia could decide otherwise hers could be Laura... as in the sisters from the Little House books) and we walked to check out.

That's when I heard the voice. It was slow motion, like a bad dream. I could almost see the words traveling in the air, moving towards my boy but I couldn't stop them.

"What's that boy doing with a doll? Boys don't play with dolls!"

This was not said under her breath. It wasn't said to her friend. The older woman in the red coat looked my boy and I in the eye and out of the clear blue spit her ignorant venom at us directly, loud and clear.

Here's where you need to know something about me. I am a bitch. Even in circumstances less heated than this, I tend to default to biting, bitchy, and blunt with a side of sarcastic when appropriate. But I had these two little people with me. I am the example of how to handle conflict. I was very conscious of this. It took every cell in my body not to verbally slice this woman open.

"Of course boys can play with dolls!" I said sharply looking her dead in the eye with a very serious mama bear look.

And yet she continued.

"Sure but boys can't play with GIRL baby dolls. That doll is a girl, what's he doing with a girl doll?"

Now my old friend Doug L. gave me the most delicious comeback after the fact via Facebook.
"You should have let her know that it was actually a boy doll. A boy doll with gender identification issues that likes to dress in drag." Boy I wish he was sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear.

"Excuse me ma'am, my boy can play with whatever he wants. All boys can. And I don't believe we asked for your opinion on the matter."

And I whisked our family to the cash register. I didn't say anything particularly witty or profound. I just wanted to shut her up. But I looked at my boy and I could see the damage was done. He cheeks were flushed. His eyes revealed the hurt. This boy wears his heart on his sleeve.

We talked about it of course. Oh we talked and talked and talked. And I listened a whole lot too. And more than anything we hugged. A lot. For me it was like someone shot a poison arrow into him and there was no way to remove it. In an instant, with a phrase, he was changed.

I wish that was the end of the story, too.

He plucked up later that day with lots of loving from my husband and me. He was happily playing with his new doll at home, making plans, creating a little bed from a Clementine box. I went up to the laundry room to change the loads out. Doug was making dinner with the two kids happily sat on the floor playing with their China dolls Laura and Mary.

I heard the howl from the laundry room. Tears and screams and sobs. Thinking it might just be some pre-bed time witching hour drama I didn't rush down. But I saw he was waving his arms from the cockpit, and cradling that China doll with all his might.

Between the sobs the story came out. Naia, in a fit of toddler enthusiasm, bashed her China doll into his. Mary's face cracked and there was a hole in her cheek. No, no, nooooo.
"Dolly! Dolly! Dolly sad," she pranced around in circles chirping. Not a worry in the world.

The rest of that night was a blur. Again, lots of holding and hugging and listening. But that boy, he amazes me. He really does. After an evening of mourning the sharp words and the cracked doll he bounced back with the delicious resilience of youth that we old folks tend to lose.
(an ice pack for Mary was all his idea)

"I have a great idea mama! Why don't we sew a Batman suit for Mary? That way her cracks will be covered by the bat mask and she can have cool costume too! She's going to look so cool!"

So we're working on the costume (though I may resort to etsy, doll clothes are not in my skill set yet). And we're keeping the China dolls away from the toddler. And we're moving on. We live, we learn, we hug and hold, and we get back up and move forward. But so help this woman if I ever catch her out and about when I am not with my kids.

Friday, January 20, 2012

~this moment~ coloring

A Friday ritual (most weeks). A single photo capturing a moment from the week(ish). A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. - via soulemama.

Monday, January 16, 2012

a visit with Joy (or Invasion of the Toddler)

This is how the scenario played out in my head. I would pack up Zach and Naia around noon and tote them from the grandparents house just a few miles down the road to Joy's place (from An Art Family). I decided I would drive around a little and grab some coffee so that Naia would magically slip into baby slumber on the drive over. Then asleep in the Ergo I would send Zach off to play with the big kids while Joy taught me how to knit.

The problem is she is not a baby anymore, she is a toddler. She toddles, she babbles, she explores everything to the fullest. So there was no nap. She instead sang at the top of her little lungs all the way to Joy's place. And there was no knitting. She instead found ways to make a serious mess of everything she touched.

But there was laughter and catching up and fabulous food (of course fabulous food at Joy's place!) and ideas exchanged and plans made. That's what it's all about. <3

There is still time to win The Organic Family Cookbook... leave a comment here to enter! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

GIVEAWAY - The Organic Family Cookbook!!

Normally the prospect of following recipes makes me a little dizzy and cross eyed. Add I tend to get a pit in my stomach when I see a recipe that is labeled "healthy". Usually, healthy means no sweets, no wheat, no dairy... no fun! But when I started flipping through The Organic Family Cookbook by Anni Daulter all of that melted away. I was immediately drawn to this beautiful book full of mouth watering photography and equally tantalizing recipes.
You know what's so cool about this book? It's so accessible. You don't have to be a hard core, from scratch kind of person to dive right into these recipes and feel like you are making a healthy change for the better. I was able to dig up many ingredients I already had but never knew what to do with and make some delicious dishes. And none of it felt like "work", it was all good fun and easy too.

My favorite part about this book is all of the little side bars chock full of fun ideas, from crafts to cool party ideas to what you should look for when buying eggs. The side bars in this book are so fabulous they could be a whole other book in themselves!
I let Zach pick the first recipe and surprise, surprise he flipped to the desserts and decided on chocolate chip cookies. I always followed the first recipe Google gives you when making chocolate chip cookies in the past, so I was surprised to see some completely different ingredients for this classic cookie. Did you know you can put healthier ingredients into a regular chocolate chip cookie and your kids will never know? Oh and the touch of adding dark chocolate chips... bliss!
I am so thrilled that Anni has offered to give away a copy of The Organic Family Cookbook to one lucky reader here. All you have to do to enter is head on over to the Organic Family Cookbook Facebook page and hit "like" and leave a comment here letting us know you did. If you are not on Facebook, don't sweat it, just leave a comment here. I will leave comments open until January 19, 2012 and announce a winner here that night. Thank you Anni! picked #6 so Abby is the winner! Thank you everyone for entering and thank you Anni!
Abby, please click the "Contact" tab above and email me your contact info. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

first snow

It started in slow motion. Did I just feel? Was that? Nah. Oh yes. Here it comes. Plump, jolly flakes straight out of Central Casting floating from the colorless sky.  We were at our farm day but there was plenty of time out there and back home for snow frolicking, catching flakes on tongues, making snowballs, vertically challenged snowmen and the like.

I am not a fan of snow, or cold, or ice, or winter. It's the burden of being a grown up who has experienced prolonged periods in the tropics. There is no charm or nostalgia. There is only wet and slippery and traffic jams and icy docks and a car to clean off when we are already late getting out the door. But once again my little teachers show me how to brush all that aside and just take it for what it is in its purest form right now. Magic.


(Thanks to all of your kind comments from my last post and those of you who reached out and sent such heartfelt emails - many of which I am still working on returning. Stay tuned for a fun giveaway later this week!)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...