Friday, January 23, 2009

Our Family

This week spiraled out of time. I have a million things to catch up on, including week 3 of the cure, which I did nothing on this week. In the mean time though, we are applying to nursery school (crazy process here in New York!!!!!!) One of the schools asked us to send a pic, and when I realized we didn't have any recent of all 3 of us, we did a quick family portrait, arm out style.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Love Letters

To my dearest Baby Boy,

You are sleeping now. We ran all over the house this morning, you helped me bake banana muffins and oatmeal cookies and then we did somersaults on Mommy's bed. I love the way you talk, so precisely, each word thought about and pronounced carefully. I love that you don't use k sounds and instead use t sounds; "otay, i toming" is a phrase that makes me feel as if my heart will burst. I love that you love to paint, no markers, no crayons, glue doesn't float your boat, but with a paintbrush in hand you are a master creator. I love how picky you are about food combinations; raisins in oatmeal, not bananas! Pears in pancakes, not blueberries! Broccoli in cous-cous and peas in mac & cheese. If these are what you desire, let me cook them everyday! I know that lately it seems as if your mama has been half-asleep, but you, my dearest lovely son, you always bring me back. I can not imagine not hearing your laugh, I live for your sweet little "I love you", I like you clean and fresh from the bath, streaking through the house, and dirty and snotty, climbing in my lap. You build towers for me to be amazed at, you make me wonder at the lives of squirrels.

Little boy, I love you too,

Your Mama

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Secret pictures

Sometimes when i download my camera there are pictures my boyfriend took while I was asleep. It feels so sweet.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Cure: Week 2

Week 1 done, and I am already behind...oh well. I still need to get the Baby's room swept and mopped today and that will catch me up. Week 2 is supposed to be about the kitchen mostly, but I cook every night, and while my kitchen could use some reorganization, I could use a little money to do that, and since there is none to spare this week, I am putting it off. So instead I am combining the exercises of week 2 with week 3's landing strip.

Before pics of my entryway (aka landing strip):

Week 2 To Do:
Fix one thing in my apartment--I am going to pull up the cracking, stinky entryway floor. I'm not sure that I can keep the vinyl (1 layer down, cracked, and painted on) or the linoleum beneath that (unsure of composition, also painted on, don't know about overall shape) but I don't think I am going to try going all the way down to wood (don't want to deal with pulling up linoleum, this is a rental!!!!) Eventually I think I will put in something from FLOR.

Clear Space For an Outbox--Straightforward
Clear one Surface and use the Outbox--I think I will pick my closet, not a surface, but it is in the entryway so the two go together.

Buy fresh flowers--I think I might buy a plant instead....I have a black thumb, but periodically I try.

Determine your style--I need no help there...that sounds arrogant, but it is just a fact, there is a reason I was an Interior Designer after all.

Find a new recipe and cook one meal at home: I cook almost every meal, but I am trying to revise the way I eat. My sister, who was macrobiotic for 2 years, just gave me 2 books on macrobiotics, and I think I am going to try out macrobiotic cooking and practices for at least the duration of this Cure. This week at least one recipe from my new books, I think something with barley....and a lot of chewing!

Choose the date for your housewarming--Feb. 28th (my birthday is March 1st, I will be 35!!!) so I can celebrate my home, my family, and growing old!

Create Landing Strip--List--Pin board, calender, set up mail station with shredder, clean up shoe area and hang art. I am not going to buy any of this, I will make from what I have.
Quick repair list for this room: Front door handle and lock: need to call locksmith, should I try to order fancy door handle? Get landlord to cover replacing with cheap option, and I will cover difference?
Strip front door (paint rubs off every time it opens and closes, worried about lead dust) Need to clear entry to other door, and order peel-away, another thing that needs money......

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clues, clues and more clues.

I love trying to figure out the history of decoration from the little bits left behind by previous inhabitants. I posted awhile back about the fish wallpaper and sponge paint job discovered while doing work on my bath. This is a pic of the linoleum tile I found underneath several layers of vinyl and stick down:

It seems to be a match, color wise, to the fish and sponge paint job. Also the paint is on the outside of the clawfoot tub, and the linoleum is the last layer of floor to go under the clawfoot legs. I thought the fish wallpaper was maybe from the 20s or 30s, but here is a link to a picture of a 1952 Armstrong Linoleum ad. Isn't that the same tile?

(PS American Vintage's Flickr stream, where I got this ad from, is amazing!!!!!) (I have been browsing it for hours, this post should just be about that.)

Variations on Buckwheat

Baby Boy and I have been having buckwheat pancakes for breakfast almost everyday lately. This is the Arrowhead brand mix, though I like the Bob's Mill better. Sometimes we have it with an egg on top, sometimes with jelly, sometimes with a little side of clementine......

However, as much as BB requests them, I do get a little bored. Which is why I was so excited when my neighbor's Mom made us upside down (buck)wheat cake!!!! She just sauteed a little of whatever leftover fruit she had around, than poured the batter over it, cooked until bubbles begin to appear, and than fliped! Here are my pears and apples sauteeing:

Here's my batter cooking:

This is what happened when I flipped it!

@**@! When I saw neighbor's Mom today, I told her of my problem, and she said, oh just keep a plate near by, slide it out, and then flip it back into the pan. DUH!!! Oh well, Baby Boy and I enjoyed our broken cake with a little honey.

(I think the plate is a little big for the meal!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Growing Story

I left the charger for my camera battery in my sister's luggage on the way back from Kentucky. We have not been able to hook up in the chaos of starting a new year yet, and so I am without camera. However, this is a good chance to clear my desktop of posts I've been meaning to put up, like this one:

I ordered a lot of books on ebay, mostly because it was cheap and I recognized an old copy of Dr. Seuss's Foot Book in the blurry picture. The box arrived and it was a treasure trove of old children's books. This one, The Growing Story, written by Ruth Krauss, and illustrated by Phyllis Rowand, was first published in 1947, by E.M. Hale and Company, though mine appears to be a special edition released by Cadmus Books. I am so charmed by the illustrations, and the little boy is so sweet. The basic storyline: little boy puts away his winter clothes as spring arrives; wonders if he will grow like all the flowers and plants; seasons pass; boy gets back out winter clothes; realizes they are too small; egads, proof that he has grown!
Sorry for the pics of pages, but I can't find my scanner (from moving more than a year ago!).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Insomnia=Pictures of Street Art

It is 4:12 AM, baby was having nightmares and Daddy appears to have a stomach flu. Both of them are asleep again, but I can't see to get there.......thought I would post some pics of this street sculpture/pyramid Baby Boy and I ran across last month, I think on South Wythe......

Do you think the green bottle is part of the installation or just trash?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

8-Step Home Cure

I am an Interior Designer (well right now I am a Mom, but before that I was a Designer). It is always very easy to put together other people's spaces, but my own never quite seems done. Every space I have ever lived in I have been working on, constantly. Even when I was a child I used to rearrange my room, sometimes daily. I've always enjoyed this process, but it also leads to a certain amount of chaos in my life. I never have a "work" space, things end up in heaps and I don't go through them until they start falling on me, I lose things (like my winter coat for instance!). I'm very good at hiding my mess, and making it look organized, but it never really is, that is always the next project on my list. Lately, I find that I have lost the taste for the constant turbulence of redesign, and I long for peace and tranquility, my wee son provides enough chaos in my life.
In order to break out of my habits, I am turning to Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan's Apartment Therapy, eight step home cure. Week one is about getting to know your home and figuring out what to do. While some of the things he suggests I have done (like run your hands around all the walls, and sit in a spot you have never sat in before and consider your home....I do that all the time!) Others are very practical....up first cleaning (particularly all floors) and list repairs. Also a big deal for the cure is an outbox, a place to begin to remove the unnecessary clutter, sort of a half-way house for items you cling to, but struggle with throwing out. This week I am supposed to remove one item from the house, I put out a broken lamp and a piece of wood, god knows what I have been holding on to it for.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Patterns in my Parent's House

We went home for Christmas, and I took a bunch of pics of my parent's house. My stepmother and father live in a four bedroom Victorian house in Louisville, KY. Louisville has the largest collection of Victorian homes in the US. You can see pictures of the neighborhood and read about some of the history at stepmother bought her house in 1975, for the ridiculous sum of $13,900, when the neighborhood was dilapidated after years of white flight and neglect, and promptly rehabbed it, with some help from the city, which was sponsoring some restoration in the neighborhood. Her ex-husband picked out the paint, wallpaper and flooring, and while some of it has a deliciously 70s vibe to it, I still think it stands the test of time. Unfortunately the house is in desperate need of another rehab, but the age of the house makes repairs costly, and while my parents chip away at the mountain of upkeep and repairs, it always seems to be crumbling just a bit faster. The first picture is under the back stairs (there are 2 stairwells) and is paper left over from before the renovation. It was common to use scraps of wallpaper in closets and side entrances in the Victorian era, and I like to think that this wallpaper is left over from the original house, though it could be from as late as the 30s. Anyway, here are some of the other patterns in the house:
Living Room Wallpaper

Dining Room Wallpaper

Kitchen Wallpaper (I love this one, and it is paired with a great mustard yellow paint!)

Laundry Room Vinyl Floor (and yes there is a separate laundry room, bigger than some bedrooms I have had in New York!)

Bathroom Vinyl Floor

Master Bedroom Wallpaper (definitely very 70s!)

Second Bedroom Wallpaper

Third Bedroom Wallpaper (this was my room growing up)

Christmas Roses

My landlord sent me roses for the holiday. How sweet is that?