Monday, January 24, 2011

Harriet's Nursery

I deem Hattie's nursery "finished." For now at least. The roman shades (linen with pink silk lining) are installed and lovely. The crib bedding is here. The mobile swings gracefully from the ceiling. The books are on the shelf. The room is delightful and sunny. Both Hattie and I love it dearly.

For a "before" shot with inspiration photos see here.


Crib: Jenny Lind spindle crib in White (Toys R Us)
Bedding: custom by Elizabeth Allen
Toy Basinet: vintage (courtesy of Grandma Winter!)
Crane Mobile: Etsy
Our Lady of Guadalupe: from Mexico, given to us by Hattie's godparents
"El Espiritu" Poster: original from Hammerpress (purchased while I was in labor!!)
Bookshelf: vintage restored from Good Juju
Dresser/Changing Table: vintage restored, Craigslist
"Keep Calm" Poster: Barter Books, Alnwick, England***
Glider Chair: Pottery Barn Kids

***I KNOW that the "Keep Calm and Carry On" image is now so ubiquitous as to be a cliche. But I must defend my use of said cliche.

Last December, just before I got pregnant, the Lovely Husband and I took a trip to Northumberland where we stumbled upon a fabulous bookstore housed in an old train station. (See blog post here.) Here we discovered that the original "Keep Calm" WWII poster was first (re)discovered by the owners of Barter Books. Lovely Husband purchased a facsimile copy for myself and gave it to me for Christmas--when I was just pregnant with Hat (unbeknownst to me).

So this poster has a very special place in my heart.

Besides. It is an appropriate sentiment for a nursery, I have found.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Toy Temptation

I suffer from a condition known as Toy Idealism. Even before I became pregnant I had developed strong negative opinions about brightly colored plastic, moving parts, flashing lights, sound effects, brand names, etc. etc. I am attracted to playthings made of natural fibers, natural wood. Handmade things. Simple things. ...books, blocks, wooden trains, stuffed animals...Things like these:

waldorf dolls silks games gifts paints

Hattie has very few toys, her favorites being this:
Color Burst Squish

her Sophie Giraffe:

and the newspaper, which she tears to shreds with great energy and obvious enjoyment.

And these things were enough for both Hattie and myself...UNTIL--

-- THIS WEEK, when the Hat got to take a ride in one of her little friend's EXERSAUCER. And people, this isn't just ANY exersaucer. It is a WILD JUNGLE EXPERIENCE!!!
Just look:

Wow. All I can say is wow. Hattie was entranced. I, on the other hand, was left completely to my own devices for, like, thirty minutes. Wow. All I can say is wow.

Now this thing breaks all of my Toy Idealist rules. Made of BRIGHTLY colored plastic. Moving parts. Sound effects. The whole bit. BUT LOOK AT THE SMILE ON THAT CHILD'S FACE!!!

So I am seriously contemplating purchasing this contraption. What do you think? Any anti-plastic parents out there with exersaucer experiences or regrets? I must admit I am deeply tempted. Anyone want to talk me out of it??

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Club: A Nursing Mother's Curriculum.

When Hattie was born Thomas More and I were shocked by the sheer amount of time required to tend to her very basic needs. "How can such a small person, who is always asleep, demand so much time and energy?" we asked our exhausted, sleep-deprived selves.

Breastfeeding alone seemed to consume most of my life. After a couple of days of (obsessively) charting Hattie's feeding routine (or lack of routine) we discovered that (on average) babe ate 10-11 times a day, with each feeding taking up a good 30 minutes to an hour. Do the math. Five+ hours a day, seven days a week, equals... "That's like a full-time job!" exclaimed my male, breast-less counterpart in disbelief.

Now, things have gotten a bit easier. Harriet has developed sucking-muscles and a layer of blubber, making feedings shorter and farther apart. In addition, I have developed the (essential) skill of remaining semi-unconscious for night feedings (bliss!). So all in all, my nursing time is down to 2-3 (waking) hours a day. However, this still accounts for 15-20 hours a week.

At first the time commitment nursing requires seemed like a great burden to me. But over the months I have come to cherish the enforced periods of stillness that breastfeeding provides. When I am NOT feeding the baby I am necessarily entertaining the baby, cleaning/changing the baby, comforting the baby, trying to clean the house while carrying the baby...and so on. And when the baby sleeps I am rushing to complete essential tasks during the blessed moments of freedom (i.e. cleaning the house while NOT carrying the baby).

I am not complaining. I love this life with my child. I love the duties, tasks, and challenges. But I yearn for moments of silence. I yearn for time to stop, think--to read.

Read?? The English major/English postgrad in me perks up her ears. Suddenly, I realized the real potential of nursing. It dawned on me--how much could I read in TWENTY HOURS A WEEK??

So I propose a project for myself: to develop a breastfeeding curriculum--a balanced reading diet. As I read I will post (short short--I promise!) reflections on my most recent book.

I see that this post is getting long. (This happens to me. I mean to be concise, but--alas--I am not. Apparently I have not Hemingway's talent for brevity.)

Stay tuned for a future post in which I develop my reading list--and ask you, dear reader, to contribute ideas!