Monthly Archives: December 2010

A room of his own


It’s not finished–but it’s unpacked.  Hooray!  Worth’s cozy attic room is so fun to work in after all the time I spent daydreaming during my pregnancy and beyond about creating a space for this child.  His room is actually on the same level as the master and Dorothy’s room, but our new place is a camel back, meaning that the back of the house has a full second floor but the front does not, making his bedroom seem like a little attic perch while ours are just plain (full-height) bedrooms.  Dorothy could have chosen any room she wished, but she did not choose this one because of the paneled walls.  I see her point, but the space is twice the size of hers–she’ll regret it some day.  I have big plans for this room (map-printed curtains are a priority, as is painting that dingy ceiling), but for now it is set up and functional and, for the first time, a real space constructed with my son in mind.  His father’s Marine Corps foot locker is his toy box; his “piggy bank” is a combination safe of the same origin.  His big-boy bed is on the floor so we won’t have head-bumps, and I repurposed a shoe organizer to hold toy cars and finger puppets.  It seems fitting that Worth’s room should be the first room that is fully unpacked and put together–he’s waited long enough!

Christmas sharks


If I thought it was going to be difficult to unpack and get tidy in the new house before, I clearly didn’t realize how much worse the situation was going to get with the addition of all the Christmas paraphernalia!  Between the fancy pink Polly Pocket camper (it’s called a glamper, no joke) accessories and the noisy baby instruments it may be spring before I find a clear spot on this new floor to set my foot without stomping on something precious or loud.  But we had a good Christmas!  Here’s me and my girl in our matching pajamas on Christmas morning.  They aren’t homemade; they are from Target.  🙂

And baby Worth sporting his White Socks bib (I did sew that, but it was before I knew we were moving) and shark hat.  The hat has a story.  I finished most of my shopping as soon as I found out we were moving, wrapped up the gifts, then sent them off to Nana’s.  I blogged about that at the time.  But of course my early shopping did not account for closer-to-Christmas requests from Dorothy.  I could not have predicted that the item she would get her heart most set on receiving from Santa Claus was a shark hat and mitten set that matches those owned by her little preschool crush.  I had to e-mail the boy’s mother to ask where she’d gotten them, then get myself to the Gap in the midst of all our move craziness to secure the hat.  Fortunately, the store did have exactly two hats left when I got there–one in Dorothy’s size and one in Worth’s, so of course I bought them both.  If I’m buying my daughter a shark hat from the boys’ department, why not also purchase one for my son?  Dorothy was extremely happy with her her new shark gear and has mentioned several times how she and her little friend will now have matching hats on the playground.  I’m totally charmed that 4-year-old love is taking the form of identical fleece hats in the form of marine predators.  I’m also totally into the hats myself–they are so unexpected on both my pink-clad daughter and my rosy-cheeked baby.  The kids kept getting pawed at and cooed over by strangers at Costco today.  Who knew that shark hats could be such a thing?

This picture is being included just because I love it.  It’s Dorothy expressing her love for her newly-unwrapped skunk toy.  I bought a bag of seemingly new (with tag) Beanie Babies at the thrift store for about a dollar, then parceled them out to the kids and wrapped them individually from Santa.  Dorothy loves stuffed animals that are about that size and heft, and I like toys that don’t fall apart in the washing machine.  (Beanies wash pretty well, in my experience.)  She told my mother that her skunk and owl toys were her favorite Christmas gifts.  Not a bad second life for those erstwhile “collectors’ items.”
I’ll post more house photos soon!  I’m probably going to spend the rest of the winter on befores and afters, kind of like the camper, but first I just need to get more boxes unpacked. A planned trip to IKEA later this week should help me with some needed storage; right now I’m a bit stymied by not having the right places to put the things I’m unpacking.

Home! No place like home!


We’re a mess of boxes and dirty laundry over here, but the move is over.  We had a rick of wood delivered today, and friends came to help us drag boxes to one side of the room (under that window, see?) so that at least the cozy space around the family room fire looks habitable, and we are enjoying it!  We bought one of the last live Christmas trees available at our local lot, and though it’s a bit sad looking and uneven Dorothy loves it.  She was so eager to put on ornaments that she started decorating the tree at once–before we put on lights.  Skipping lights at least means there is one less thing to put away after Christmas!  The empty table on the other side of the fireplace is my sewing table.  I am so excited about the happy hours I will spend under that beautiful picture window (which will be replaced with one I can slide open when our new window order is installed in 4-6 weeks), and Dorothy’s wee desk next to mine will (she hopes) get a little starter sewing machine on it after Santa arrives on Saturday.

Hope everyone else is feeling like they are occupying the right space this Christmas.  🙂

The stockings were hung


by our new chimney, with care!  And cheering!  And lots of exclamation points!  We got access to the new house today and rushed over to take care of first things first, like hanging our stockings.  I think we all feel better now.  In addition to our stockings we took over some fragile items (lamps) and some that would be overly difficult to pack, like my stand mixer.  It sure gives me a mental boost to know that my stockings and my stand mixer are waiting for me over at the new house!

Our stockings each have a bit of a story.  Mine (first) was a gift from Rob during the Christmas of our engagement.  Rob’s is from his childhood.  Dorothy’s (ivory with the silver tree) has eighteen silver hooks sewn on it.  Each Christmas Santa brings her a sterling silver charm representing something special about her year, and he hangs it on a hook on the stocking.  By her eighteenth Christmas she will have a nice collection of meaningful charms that she can choose to leave on her stocking, or put on a bracelet if she wishes.  I like this tradition because it takes up less space than ornaments, and can double as something functional (wearable jewelry) instead of just (pardon me) a box load of crap that she feels like she has to keep until one of us dies.  Not to be all anti-sentimental, but I just am not in favor of traditions that burden people with lots of stuff they must store.  The cat’s stocking is next, and then Worth’s.  I had a hard time thinking of how to adapt the charm tradition for him, but I did come up with something.  His stocking has big circles on it, and eighteen of them are well-centered on the stocking.  Santa has purchased a good supply of silver letter beads and will string one word in the center of a circle each year.  It’s not wearable, but at least it will never take up more room than a stocking.  Santa still hasn’t decided what word will sum up Worth’s first year, though–for some reason “victuals” keeps coming to mind, as that boy is such a big fan of his dinner!

There’s no place like…

Worth met Santa this week!  I don’t like screaming pictures with Santa so I opted to be included after it was clear Worth would not willingly participate in a hand off.  I have a similar picture of Dorothy, Santa, and my arms from her first Christmas.  I have no pictures of Santa with Dorothy since then, what with the unwillingness on my part to hand a screaming child over to a scary stranger in a red suit, and her unwillingness to get anywhere near him.  (The picture looks like an old Polaroid because I downloaded this software and am now slightly addicted to using it on my photographs.  You should try it–it’s fun to watch the picture develop over the course of two minutes!)

And the packing continues.  Poor Rody Pony, getting squashed into a box!  We were sure we’d have the keys to the new place by now but we don’t.  There was a problem on the seller’s end with one of the repairs we requested taking longer than expected.  I’m trying not to feel excessively frustrated about it, but it is frustrating to have thought we’d have access to the house by now but not.  My plans to move everyday items (like most of the kitchen and closets) by tote and unpack them directly into their new spots have fallen through, so now we need many more boxes, much more packing paper and a lot more takeout than we’d thought.  Still, I’m trying to focus on the merry Christmas we’re going to have around our new hearth, and being glad our conscientious seller is taking care of everything at the new house.  I’m thankful for the Vietnam Kitchen down the street and for disposable diapers for one week only!

Instead of 1000 words

A handmade hat that turned up during packing.
The mess inside our house.
The mess outside our house.
An angelic-looking baby who has unwisely chosen this moment of upheaval to cut new teeth, all night long.
Two nice-list hopefuls.

The mobile imp who has discovered that un-baby-proofed interiors can be a landscape of pure fun.

Sweet feet


Most of the sweet baby booties I made when I was pregnant are no longer in use at my house.  Now that Worth can pull himself up he needs grippy-footed soft-soled shoes to keep him from skidding all over our hardwood floors.  This one pair does still work, though.  Since I’d made this pair to fit a bigger baby, I’d had the foresight to also do something about the slipping issue.  It doesn’t work perfectly well, but really neither do leather soles, and it’s too cold for bare feet.  I sewed a felt sole onto the bottom of these booties, then used rubbery puffy fabric paint to paint little paw prints on the bottoms.  The paint provides some traction on the floors and keeps Mr. Baby from whacking his head for any reason not related to his own nascent motor skills.  These booties stay on with the help of red leather cord laces and are very cutely U of L-y, but unfortunately I did not think to put them on him when he made his first trip to the new stadium last week to see his first basketball game!

The real estate project is progressing nicely.  We’ve taken care of our buyer’s inspection repair quests and our seller has responded positively to ours.  We’re hoping for a Merry Early Christmas closing in about two weeks.  In the meantime, *I think* (and I almost hate to jinx this by even blogging about it!) that our buyers are going to allow us to have a key very soon to start moving in some of our things.  I’m so excited!  I couldn’t resist popping in on Early Bird Thursday today at my favorite thrift shop to see if I could score some goodies for our new digs, and I totally did!  A yellow bed skirt for Dorothy’s new room, a little knick-knack shelf for our crafty studio, a vintage Christmas tablecloth, a rug for our studio, a mirror to hang over our dress-up box, and this little bell for my vintage Kentucky kitchen.  $18 well spent, in my opinion.

Looking ahead, I think Dorothy must have an owl pillow similar to these in her new vintage-floral bedroom.  I’m pretty sure there is a sheet in that pile just crying out to be an owl pillow.  How cute are they?