Tuesday, May 24, 2011

creating spaces

Today I spent my entire day with my hand guarding my rib cage.  The reminder that I am quickly running out of room in my torso was brought home by a little foot conveniently wedged beyond its boundaries.  Although I cringe at times, I love this little game.  I give a little push to move the baby into a more comfortable position and the response typically means a complete shift of his space.  This often involves a distinct profile of his little limbs, which is beyond precious.  I have joked that although this child still has about 7 weeks until he makes an appearance, I somewhat feel like I've already had small glimpses of him with these distinct movements. 
On a small level, he is already carving out his space in the world.  He will do this in many different ways throughout his life and this is just the beginning.  It makes me think of how we do this in our own lives.  We do this in profound ways: blazing paths, making important choices, pushing and pulling in the right ways to make ourselves known, connecting with those that we love.  We also do this in tangible ways: finding places that are a right fit for us, remodeling, gathering ideas, and just the constant motion in life. 
My studio is my favorite reflection of this ongoing rearrangement in life to designate spots for the things that are most important.  The other day I took some pictures in my studio.  The main reason that I did this is because it is rarely clean, but I also wanted to capture this newly configured space as it is now serves as a guest room and studio.  We are not quite done with this transition as there are a few touches in progress that will better distinguish the sleeping area.  As I took some photos, I found myself drawn to little places throughout this room that make it "home" to me.  Although it is a constant work in progress, these are the bones of the room.  The hand picked, new and old, carved out pieces that make it so special.
Below is a mini studio tour of my favorite things: 
An ode to spaces. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day love.

It's difficult to remember exactly what I was feeling last year on my first Mother's Day.  I knew that I had entered into this new realm of love and I was so excited to celebrate this new role of motherhood.  For some odd reason, this year I had this overwhelming feeling that I could "officially" embrace and celebrate Mother's Day.  Maybe it's the fact that I am pregnant with our second child, but I believe that it has more to do with the sense that anyone can do anything for a little while.  The first year is like learning to ride a bike.  Sure, it's got its own challenges, but when you let go of the training wheels and pick up some speed, there is a grand realization that you're really doing it.  I'm really doing it.  Challenges and joys, speedbumps and spills. 
I'm a mom. 
My entire Mother's day, my heart was filled with so much joy that I felt like I was on the verge of tears.  I woke up to Julia crawling into our bed and very clearly saying, "Happy Mother's Day".   Charles made breakfast and then we went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Julia stopped to smell and pick every dandilion that she could find.  We then came home and headed to Boston for the Red Sox game.  Here are some pictures from the game.  I wonder sometimes how it could possibly get much better than this!  God is so good!
 Her first taste of cotton candy.  She mostly just liked the feeling of it in her hands.
Julia saw the Red Sox Mascot, Wally from afar in the first inning.  Because it was Mother's Day, we got the special deal of 2 mascots - Wally was accompanied by his own mother, Momma Monster.  Julia was obsessed with seeing Wally again, so we spent most of our time in between innings on a search for Wally and Momma Monster.  In the 6th inning, we finally had a close encounter with Wally.  Charles and Julia quickly ran down toward the dugout so that Julia could meet him and I chased behind with the camera.  As she came within feet of Wally she burst into tears and screamed to get away from him.  I captured this photo (see Wally's fuzzy head in the backround?) and we quickly made our way back to our seat.  We asked Julia what happened.  She said, "I scared", "I cry" and "Wally stupid". We're not really sure where she learned the word stupid, but she said it so sweetly and innocently.  Last night as we said our bedtime prayers she said that she wanted to pray for Wally.  I asked her if she liked Wally again, and she reconfirmed that "no" she did not.  I told her it's good to pray for the things that scare us too.
 On the lookout for any additional furry Mascot encounters.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

baby. boy. gray.

The 10 week mark is officially here. I would like to say that I am in the home stretch, but I realize that the last month is really like hitting the "wall" in a marathon.  So, I will coast along for a few weeks while I can still bear it.  Then I may start to get antsy. 
While we were away, our contractor (I say "our" because he did our kitchen and it pretty much feels like he's lived in our home on and off for the past 6 months) painted the nursery for us.  We were originally excited about tackling this project ourselves, but the toxicity associated with painting paneled walls is not the most baby-friendly.  I felt pretty safe about leaving it to Bob while we were gone and the house could air out for a few days.  Julia always says, "Bob fix it", she knows that we have our limitations when it comes to DIY home improvement.  If it doesn't involve a paintbrush or sewing machine, I am somewhat out of my element.  Nevermind, I am always out of my element.  If it's a project that takes precision and I can't wing it, I err on the side of seeking assistance.  Otherwise my husband will probably end up rolling his eyes.
The fun part of this was deciding how we were going to tackle this project.  Take one look at the before pictures and you can see my dilemma.  Paneled walls are a force to be reckoned with.  My friend Kate just took on her own paneled wall painting project in Delaware.  I find that the farther North one travels, the greater the likelyhood that they will encounter these bad boys.  I just don't get it.  
 Dark photos, I know. I realized the night before our 6am flight that I had no "before" pictures of this room.  I couldn't miss the chance to document the end of the panel era. 
Kate solidified my inspiration to embrace them and paint them rather than to get rid of them all together.  Our budget further supported this option.  I did want one solid wall in order to have some element of contrast in the room.  The blog The Lettered Cottage also provided some great inspiration along with a trip that we took to Chatham in Cape Cod just a few weekends ago.

 The built in drawers were removed because they were no longer very functional after 50 years, so we added a custom shelf, which I am in love with.  It adds so much to the room.  Inside the closet, the son of the original owners (who is now in his 50's) carved his name "Skip" in the wood.  We opted not to sand that part out.  It adds to the character.  Also, the horseshoe has been there since the house was built in the 50's.  I love it.  Our future cowboy may too. 
Our solid wall - as soon as you enter the room.  The color is difficult to capture with the camera.  It's a soft blue called Heaven on Earth.  I am a sucker for paint color names.  I find it quite fitting!
I am so excited to start moving things into the room.  As you can see, the paint is barely dry and I have already snuck some diapers in there.  Most of the nursery furniture will come from Julia's room as she will transition to a big girl bed when she is ready.  Since we were inspired by the Cape Cod grey/white contrast , we bought a little souvenier from Chatham when we were there a few weeks ago.  This is where we were engaged, so we were excited to add a handmade element to the room from a place that will be very much a part of this child's life. 
So here we are.  A space for the baby.  He can arrive whenever he is good and ready and well baked.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My little fish

We just returned home from a wonderfully relaxing trip to visit family in Tampa, FL this past weekend.  Charles and I booked this trip when there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground, so this was our treat for enduring a significantly harsh New England winter.  We had a wonderful time all packed into four days. 
Most of our time was spent at the beach, but on Friday, Gram had a great idea of taking Julia to a rescue aquarium.  All of the sea life at this aquarium are rescued and rehabed to enter back into the ocean.  Julia loved every moment of it.  She skipped along the pathway to each exhibit and held on tight when the fish swam up close to her.  She was pretty sure that Nemo was among these recovering fish, which I think helped her relax a bit.   
Here she is with her Gram (great Gram!)
 She was pretty impressed with the dolphins.  This is Winter who lost his little flipper.  He now has an adaptive prosthetic flipper, which is sort of comical.  Ahh, the advancements of technology! 
 I asked her what noise a sea turtle makes.  She looked at me for a long time and finally just shook her head and said "nothing".  She's to smart for this stuff.
And her favorite part of the trip was all of the time that she got to spend with Aunt Kirstan and Uncle Greg (Cookie and Elmo according to her).  They spent countless hours in the ocean with her and loved every moment of it!  I don't know who was more excited about their time together.  Julia wanted Cookie by her side at every moment.
Here is a little tank top that I made for Julia in the midst of the snowy winter.  I couldn't wait for her to finally have an opportunity to wear it.  It says "Julia" in the dots.  It is the ultimate example of the simplicity of sewing with a few scraps of cute fabric. 
I am so in love with this little beach bum! 
I see many beach and swimming events in our future!