We too the big step and actually talked to a professional about making our kitchen less of a trap. It is a real trap, like you get stuck, because there are some serious choke points at important places. When it was just Lars and I not caring about cooking it was fine, then we added a kid, then 3 and Lars got the memo I was not going to cook gourmet so now he cooks (very well!) shedding a light on our only vaguely adequate kitchen. Bottom line, our kitchen is not big enough for our growing family and we need to make it bigger.
Our builder comes highly recommended and is very cool with us using our own subcontractors for things like flooring and he likes all of our ideas. Major credit to a friend from NJ who sketched on a napkin in 3 seconds the perfect plan… Must be something to the fact she is a professional designer and has been for 12ish years (anyone need a designer? She really is great at her job). I added to the plan thoughts I’ve been maturing for years and today we found out some firm yeses and firm nos to things and that is so nice to quit wondering and guessing! The ball is rolling but I won’t get excited until I see some numbers on paper. The best news all meeting was that he said we would only be without a sink for maybe a week!!! So much better then I was thinking 🙂
On top of it all he was nice~
so Zoe came down and wanted to help so I let her pick a picture for the post and she me in 1988… That is what I get for letting her pick
This morning Zoe crept into my bed about 5 am. Not my favorite time but far better than 3am but not as good at 7:25 (we get up at 7:30). At some point she asks if it is a school day and I tell her “no, not for you only for Niamh, today we are going to Shoreview”. At that point she starts to whimper that she just wants to stay home, no kidcare, not playground nothing… I tell her that we need to just focus on breakfast (because lack of food is usually what is making her sad) and up we get to start the day. She persists in saying that it is not a good day to go out and we should stay home and do puzzles.
I look out the window…. I see a minor blizzard.
School, ironically, still happening. I think they are just going to power through the snow because they have already missed 10 days in January (2 for teacher in-service day, 5 arctic closures, 3 days around new years) and can’t miss much more. Lars brings Niamh to the bus, I contemplate if I should go out.
I swear the snow got stronger as I looked and I decided Zoe is right, this is a good home day. She must have really wanted a home day to conjure up 6 inches of snow. We made the right decision because my facebook is alive with talk of 3 hour commutes, big accidents, and tons of near misses with skidding and poor visibility. This is my exit by the way…
We doodled around and in fact did do puzzles. Zoe is pretty decent if she is not impeded by a Fiona-zilla. Fiona amused herself for a very long time putting caps on travel cups and water bottles. I pulled them out of the step* because they were not fitting right and I had two clean ones to put away but they are still out because she had such a good time.
Not leaving the house gets to me because I feel like the day loses shape, but, not leaving the house does mean we have time to do things without a rush. I’m far more wimpy about driving in snow then arctic so home we are.
The afternoon is looking nice, temps are reasonable that I might bundle up the crew and do the driveway but there also are more puzzles to do. I am very very happy on days like this to be home because I am willing to bet too many people drove this morning because they already missed work due to school closing and felt they had to get in today. School closings are such a loaded topic I’m not touching them with a 50 foot pole.
*yes I said step. Did I ever write up the fact that we did add storage to our stairs? I don’t see anything in a quick archive search so here is our ‘secret’ step
When you have stairs everywhere in your house they really do become furniture. All good furniture should have storage. Our steps open up on a hidden hinge and have room for all the water bottles and travel mugs plus sunblock and a first aid kit. Travel mugs and water-bottles are just so big we had no good place before and now they have the perfect home.
Yesterday I was listening to NPR on the way to or from something and the person being interviewed was talking about how a very short film is its own art form of a micro story. I like the term, it basically applies to what I do here – I have a limited amount of time and space to write my story of the day. Sometimes I have more time or more to say – sometimes the opposite – but each post is a short story but hopefully a complete one. I’ll never be quite as brief as the famous one line story; “for sale, baby shoes, never worn”. That was always a really sad story in my head, one where the family never has kids or even worse the baby died… It was sad until I actually had kids, bought baby shoes, put shoes somewhere safe and kid foot rocketed past that itsy size and bam – baby shoes never worn. Not sad at all. I have a vast collection of baby shoes never worn, some because of size issues and some because I feel adding shoes to kicky baby feet is just weaponizing them (and fancy girl shoes often have pointy hard heels) and some because if they don’t touch the ground why do they need shoes? All my girls were more interested in pulling off the shoes and chewing on them then anything else. Now my newest reason for no shoes is slippy floors and one concussion is enough – Fiona can be barefoot so she has some traction while she is learning to walk, then we will talk shoes.
My mom had a screen saver when I was little that had random quotes and one was Paul’s law “you can’t fall off the floor” and that has stuck with me in life. When I just had Niamh it was easier to cook on the counter with her just like ‘normal’ but I was always worried about her falling off the chair etc and we never had enough space. When she was around 2 I started letting Niamh put her own chicken nuggets (or whatever) food onto her own plate because then she was more likely to eat it and I just put her plate on the floor and the bag next to it and she did it, way easier than bringing chair over, clearing space yada yada yada. You can see the evolution happening…
With two children wanting to help I just started doing everything not dangerous on the floor.
Nobody falls, things can’t fall off the counter and brake on the floor either. Much bigger working area and I could even legally use the bubmo to let Fiona in on the action. You know the floor gets messy even if your prepping on the counter, this way there is the bonus of clean counters at the end.
I like letting the kids taste and see and help. I don’t get a half hour to do things often without them so I’m not going to use that time up mixing up a cake, or, parking them in a technology bubble so I can cook dinner. Trust me, some days I do, lots of times I wish I did as it takes 3x as long and there are fights over who gets to add what but I think it is worth it in the long run. Niamh is getting the hang of baking (even if results are mixed) but they are understanding more about mixing and colors and what goes together and while lots of moms cook with their kids, I just moved it to the floor. So, if you are wondering how to involve your kids in cooking more I highly recommend moving to the floor.
ps. if you do start cooking on the floor get an extension cord just for your mixer, its worth it.
pps. my kids pick their own clothing
ppps. yes, that is a training potty in the kitchen, it was never actually used other than as a stool.
Fiona has mastered the art of forward motion… I tried hard to keep her stationery with slick hardwood floors, keeping her in socks and pants at all times and generally not encouraging this because as awesome a milestone as this is on paper in reality it means she MOVES now…
Not only does she move, but, she is hell bent on getting her hands/mouth on all the things that have been out of her reach so far like tasty tasty dust bunnies or books or any of the other ‘stuff’ that ends up on the floor. So far she has not outright licked the floor but I know it is coming because the other two did it at one point. So, today’s task is to seriously attack the floors and all small items upon them and for the next who knows how long I’ll have to do a nightly patrol so I don’t end up running interference between her and an old sock. I also need to do something about our 4 sets of stairs. Yes, we have FOUR sets of steps in our house, baby gates were something we did not even think about when we bought the house. The other two were in daycare for the majority of their waking hours but not Fiona, she is here with me and it is my job to keep her from plunging to her death.
On the other hand, Fiona is getting much easier. She sits up in her bath so I don’t need to do everything one handed (other hand under her) anymore. She can pick things up and put them in her mouth and that is a great feeding skill and she is my first kid to actually eat two entire mum-mums at a sitting, the picture above is her chowing on her first sweet potato fry. Fiona also thinks that pulling things out of things is the most grand adventure so all I do all day is restock her baskets of toys and she takes them out again. I read somewhere a long time ago that it is easiest to just have one basket or box of kid stuff per room so there is always something to direct them too. The bigger kids are not so needy like that anymore but they still do love the little basket of ‘mommy room’ or ‘office’ toys because they don’t really ever leave those rooms. This technique also keeps general order because I can toss toys into the nearest bin quickly and every so often go through them and rationalize what goes where to keep sets together. My house isn’t Martha’s house but it is getting better and this tip has helped for years.
Last week, because I knew crawling was coming, I bought a membership for an all natural cleaning stuff company. I’ll reserve judgement until I try the stuff but for the safety of my little mouth monster I need to cut out the chemicals and water can only do so much. Now I need to stop writing and start cleaning unless I plan on keeping her in a pen.
I don’t know about you but I like surprises on Christmas This year we did a lot of Amazon shopping because we didn’t need to leave the house and we have a prime membership. Lars actually did a bunch of shopping for me and here is where Amazon really needs help…. I, as the prime membership holder, got a nice note about each thing that was shipping as it was shipping. So, in the subject of each e-mail was a glaring noun announcing exactly what was on the way.
I compare Amazon to my 4 year old because the other major shopping trip Lars went on he took Niamh and she had strict instructions to not tell ZOE about what they got but she still ended up telling me. She actually told me in kinda cute ways like when I was getting ready to work out she asked why I was not wearing the sparkling workout shirt daddy got me and I had to say that I didn’t have it yet because it isn’t my birthday or Christmas yet. (by the way, I fear what a sparkly workout shirt will look like – apparently Niamh’s taste runs toward the flashy).
So Amazon, if you are listening, you should offer a spot to turn on or off or change the e-mail notifications so prime holders are not bombarded/taunted by the gifts coming to their home.
ps. Dyson from Amazon is double bad – they don’t even use plain boxes so one day a dyson box arrived on my doorstep. I so can’t wait to open it. Parents, you know my love of vacuums… in less then two days I get my Dyson digital slim.