Nov’s Nook: 10 Things For A Corner Nursery

March 23, 2017

A few years ago we made an office space in the guest room to give Austin a place to study and me a place to work but didn’t end up using it once due to the logistics of our house. Which made it that much easier to get rid of and replace with a tiny sleeping space for Nov. I’ve never had a nursery for any of my babies, so everyone be cool and pretend he’s still in utero while I “nest” and “eat for two.” Here’s the before picture. 

The first thing I did was sell the desk for 50 bucks (we got it free on the side of the road!) and use that money to buy a new in-the-box convertible crib on Facebook Marketplace for the same price (he was in a co-sleeper or a pack and play before). Next I pinned 17 complicated DIY mobiles and kind of sat around for awhile because honestly I don’t really know what an embroidery hoop is.

Then a few things started coming together and I realized I don’t need much, just a few things to make it cozy and, more importantly, satisfy some unflattering yet very primal need to make at least one nice space for one of my babies before I turn into a mother of sweaty teenagers who definitely do not want my help decorating their room. And so began what I like to call: Dads Hanging Things. A new Netflix documentary series featuring dads who absolutely do not want to hang things on a Sunday afternoon but do it anyway (may contain mild swears).

I really enjoyed gathering things for Novi’s fake newborn nursery. I was like a mother bird building her nest. Except instead of twigs, it’s a lot of Amazon boxes and instead of flying, I was just sitting around eating a sandwich and asking Austin if he was measuring right. It was a really beautiful experience for everyone.

Thank you to all the shops who generously sent your beautiful items (marked with a *). The rest I found on Amazon or from places like the free pile of the faculty lounge at my mom’s school (thanks mom!). This was fun.

1. Baby Jives Cloud Mobile.* (gorgeous)

2. Fox Wall Hanging.* (perfect)

3. Minted Map Print.* (cute)

4. Rookie Humans Crib Sheet.* (obsessed) 

5. Floating Bookshelf.

6. Target Faux Succulents.

7. Memory Foam Mattress Topper.

8. 3 Sprouts Fox Storage Bin.

9. Iviebaby Winter Cloud Blanket.

10. Fox & Bear Summer Blanket.

Extras: Fox pacifier holder, this amazing white noise machine, five dollar gold mirror from Target, Ikea faux sheepskin rug, & a handmade knit creatures from my mom.

 

Checking In + Blog Update

March 7, 2017

Hello friends! Thanks so much for all the kind and thoughtful things you posted a few weeks ago here and on social media in response to the overly sentimental and weepy essay on last babies. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I do know that at some point I’ll move on from this phase of life and have FEELINGS about it. Please feel free to block me in advance.

Some of you have asked how it is going writing a book and when you can purchase it for $29.99 at Barnes and Nobles. Just kidding, no one asked me that and I’m pretty sure Barnes and Nobles no longer exists (fake news!). I will say that progress is being made and I’ll keep you updated when I can. I hope to be finished with the first draft by this summer.

In other news, I have recently partnered with favorite bloggers Grace Patton, Bridget Hunt, and Fran Dorsey and created a private facebook group to post reviews and sale items I find on the Internet. A group dedicated to finding great deals and brands for women, moms, and kids so you don’t have to. It’s an idea I’ve been tossing around for a few months now. Here’s why I finally did it:

  1. I do 99% of my shopping online and spend a lot of time researching the best deals on groceries, car-seats, leggings, etc. so I might as well make it a separate side job.
  2. As a consumer, I prefer to find out camelbak water bottles are on sale on Amazon via a facebook group I joined on purpose rather than a blog I subscribe to for other reasons.
  3. I enjoy the side of blogging that involves product research and reviews but do not enjoy dedicating whole posts to it.
  4. These types of facebook groups better allow for posting time sensitive deals.
  5. While Facebook is my least favorite social media for the social part of it, I do enjoy it for the private groups feature.
  6. I personally utilize these groups weekly and wanted to start my own.
  7. It’s fun.

This blog will still serve to occasionally review motherhood related products, but for the most part when I find something I love that’s also on sale–you can find it in this facebook group very uncreatively named the Sale Rack. Check it out or don’t! Here’s the link one more time. Opt in or opt out anytime. Make the notifications what you want. It’s a private group (for your benefit) so no one except others in the group can see if you comment or like something.

As far as the future of this blog goes, the only things on the horizon are a little round-up of the fake corner nursery I’ve been putting together for Novi, book reviews, funny tweets, and the occasional essay.

Finally, there are one million pockets of the Internet with bigger, smaller, better, weirder, funnier, wiser, or more interesting followings featuring things like windsurfing and indoor plants. I do want to say that I am thankful for this space and the encouragement and love you bring to me. Thank you for following along and supporting this blog, both in my work as a writer and my side job as a lazy blogger who occasionally finds things for 60% off on Amazon.

See you again soon, one way or another.

Sitting With Her

February 16, 2017

A few months ago I gave birth to my last baby. In predictable fashion, the time has gone remarkably fast. One minute he was emerging through a ring of fire, and now he’s growing out of small white onesies and requesting beer with dinner instead of breastmilk (just kidding, he prefers wine).

It is easy to panic about this passing of time, especially when everyone tells you to soak in every minute before it’s gone. It’s like if someone told you to really enjoy your ice cream cone now so that next week when you’re craving one, all you’ll have to do is remember today and you’ll be satisfied.

I wish that’s how it worked. I wish that three or five or seventeen years from now when I’m craving that newborn smell and the weight of a baby on my chest, all I’ll have to do is close my eyes to experience it again.

Instead I’ll only feel the familiar ache.

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A few months ago a friend was crying over her daughter’s loose tooth. “Something is wrong with me,” she said. “There is nothing sad about a loose tooth.”

No, we said shaking our heads. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

This past fall, I took my first baby to Kindergarten. He was ready, I was ready, but when the time came to leave him at the door–he clung to my arm and asked me not to go.

“Stay with me,” he said, tears in his eyes. “I don’t want you to leave.”

“You’re going to be so brave,” I said to both of us.

Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Yesterday a friend wrote to me and said she was failing as a mother. It’s so overwhelming. I can’t be everything to everyone. I’m doing something wrong.

No, no, not at all. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

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For a long time I looked for some sort of cure for saying goodbye to this phase of life, hoping that when the time came, I’d be ready. Equipped with all the tools to manage and cope and not drive everyone crazy with my inability to let go. Mostly I hoped to simply feel ready to move on; happy to say goodbye to the stained highchair, tall stack of diapers, and bulky pack-and-play that never folds down quite right. Instead I am so relieved to learn the truth. That just because it is hard to say goodbye to these baby stages doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

I am and will be so many different kinds of mother in this life. A mother of babies, a mother of toddlers, a mother of pre-teens and teenagers and 30-year-old men. And when I look back at the mother I was to these small children and feel that familiar ache, I hope I sit with her. Let myself grieve what she lost in late night feedings and celebrate what she has become. Just as there is room for joy and gratitude and exhaustion in parenthood, there is also room for what comes with saying goodbye. And for me, that is a lot of sadness and emotions.

Please keep Austin in your thoughts.

The door is not closed, but it will close someday one way or another. And when I find my heart heavy, I know what to do. I will look to that mother, rocking her baby in that well worn chair, and I will sit with her.

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The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo + The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake

February 2, 2017

Hello reader friends. Two book reviews for you today. As I’ve mentioned before, there is always some strange commonality between the books I read back to back that I only end up realizing when I go to write their paired reviews. This time it’s in the author’s names, something I realized only seconds ago.

Ms. Schumer’s book is, sadly, the last memoir I’ll be reading for awhile (focusing on fiction while writing fiction)–but it was a pleasure to read. The other Amy book is a brilliant work of fiction.

Their reviews below. As always, they are spoiler free.

Happy reading! And thank you to those who recommended these books!

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1. The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo.

If You’re Looking For: Humor, memoir, pop culture read

If You Like: Celebrity memoirs, the person Amy Schumer

My Review: I liked this book. It had enough funny parts and well written essays to make it worth my time and I was excited to sit down and read it every night. It wasn’t my favorite celebrity memoir by any means (its own genre now, it seems), but I like Amy and if you do too, I think you’d enjoy this book as well. You will not enjoy this book if you find Amy Schumer annoying, don’t enjoy celebrity memoirs, or think vagina jokes are for sinners. There isn’t really much more to say.

Their Review: “Beyond the many powerful and empowering takeaways of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo—from loving the hustle to self-love—perhaps the most overlooked is that of a woman’s right to not only make mistakes, but to make art out of them.” –Salon

Quoted: I’m of the belief that in most industries, women have to work twice as hard to get half the credit. After putting in so much effort to make a good movie, it felt pretty demeaning when they called it a “female comedy.” This meaningless label painted me into a corner and forced me to speak for all females, because I am the actual FEMALE who wrote the FEMALE comedy and then starred as the lead FEMALE in that FEMALE comedy. They don’t ask Seth Rogen to be ALL MEN! They don’t make “men’s comedies.” They don’t ask Ben Stiller, “Hey, Ben, what was your message for all male-kind when you pretended to have diarrhea and chased that ferret in Along Came Polly?

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2. The Peculiar Sadness Of Lemon Cake.

If You’re Looking For: Strange fiction, great writing, magical realism

If You Liked: The Rabbit Back Literature Society

My Review: Before I tell you what I thought of this book, I’ll say this: I like a lot of books most people like and love a lot of books most people hate. The best example of this is my favorite book, Oryx and Crake by my favorite author, Margaret Atwood. Whenever I pass this book along to friends, the reaction is 20% “that was okay” and 80% “what did I just read.” And that’s okay! I stand by the idea that our reviews of books, tv, and movies are subjective and reflect nothing more than our little opinions and not some larger truth (this is me saying it’s fine to watch The Bachelor and love it). The Peculiar Sadness Of Lemon Cake has gotten very mixed reviews. A lot of readers say it is too strange. But I happen to like strange, and I loved this book. Simple, moving, and the kind of writing I can only dream of. Every thought is so clear and lovely that it’s almost as if Aimee wrote this novel over and over until each phrase reflected its exact meaning. Five out of five stars and added to my favorite book list. An outstanding work of fiction.

Their Review:  “Bender is the master of quiet hysteria. . . . She builds pressure sentence by sentence. . . . A little hiss of steam comes off the novel.” —Los Angeles Times

Quoted: I didn’t mind the quiet stretches. It was like we were trying out the idea of being side by side.

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Favorite Books

All Book Reviews

Valentimes + Weekend Links

January 27, 2017

Hello oh faithful readers, a few things for this Friday morning.

First, this gorgeous planet print from Minted.

Framed art is a rarity in this house, and I fell in love with this print as soon as I saw it. A great addition to any gallery wall.

Other gems perfect for Valentine’s Day: these foil pressed map prints in the state you met (Virginia for us!), these custom silhouette prints of the kids you made, and these perfect pairs. Pick a pair of limited-edition art prints created by Minted’s community of independent artists for a great (and easy) gift for any Galentine or Valentine. Starting at $62 for two framed  5”x7”s.

PS:

This song from the Women’s March.

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An app that makes it easier to pester your congress members.

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This opening monologue from last week’s SNL.

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This incredible book.

Have a great weekend.

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Thank you to Minted for this sweet framed poster in exchange for an honest review. Use code BEMINE for 20% off foil Valentine cards and gifts and 15% off everything else Valentine related.
Expires at 11:59pm on 1/30.