My middle daughter turns five today and whenever I reflect back on her achievements (which include not only becoming a crazy “Memory” whiz, but also overcoming intense anxiety), I always think of this blog. I started it a week before giving birth to her and it’s been a cathartic and creative outlet for me ever since. As of late I’ve sloooowed down, mostly because of my schedule and outside projects. But I have no immediate plans to quit spewing all of my golden nuggets of wisdom. And by “golden nuggets of wisdom” I mean, “shit I find online that you can also buy.” I thank any and all of you who are still with me. So…Happy birthday, Rafi and happy birthday, Macaroon! And PS, if you’re like me and are over the whole tassel-balloon-thing, grab these Sweet Lulu confetti styles as an alternative. I think I even see some golden nuggets in them.
My mother says I’m not allowed to be around newborns. It’s often hard for me to give them back to their rightful owner, making it awkward for everyone. But with two of my dear friends having babies this fall, it might be hard to control myself. So I am focusing on the nursery-decorating decisions: neutral with a splash of color (my stylish pal from Venice) vs shades of white with lots of texture (my polished pal from Tel Aviv). Since both ladies have impeccable taste, I think this moon and star Yume garland would be a welcome addition to either room. It has plenty of pizzazz for any hipster while remaining sweet enough for the uptown girl. I bought one for my own house in declaration of a nursery re-deux, and plan to drape it around a canopy for our new toddler bed. Unless we decide to keep the crib.
Last week my two and a half year old announced that she “is done with her bed.” Well, perfect timing: we’ve been wanting to throw all three girls in one room and flip the third into a play space (and by “play space” I mean “a room with a giant teepee”). We discovered that Oeuf, our go-to brand for all-things-sleep, now makes this Perch Toddler Bed which matches our Perch Bunk Bed. Let’s just say it’s very transitional. But when she grows out of it, slide off the rail and boom, it’s a modern daybed. Usually I agonize over these types of design decisions but this one was a no-brainer. Toss in a Tamar Mogendorff pillow and some Noe & Zoe bedding and I’m officially in over my head come night fall.
For some reason, I have a number of friends with babies turning one this month. All boys. I’ve already written about the cray-cray teepee that resides in my living room, but had I not temporarily lost my mind, I would have gotten Vilac’s lil’-bit-Western-lil’-bit-French style that actually belongs indoors. Friends with one year old boys, take note: an Indian headdress (for your viewing pleasure) and some pop-up books (for his viewing pleasure) will score you a strong five-minutes to yourself. Or maybe even six.
Last week I brought my five year old on a two hour tour of Heart of Los Angeles, a fantastic after-school program that provides academics, art and music to kids living below poverty level. I wondered how much she understood despite all of my explaining. This week I volunteered at school to help her class make sandwiches for the homeless and again, asked myself how much the kids absorbed when the teachers spoke about people without homes. Our Christmas mission is to collect enough money for her “Tzedakah Box” (thank you, Jewish holiday kid services) to buy presents for a family at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, an institution that needs constant support. For many, teaching your children about those less fortunate is an on-going challenge, especially if you live in a bubble like Los Angeles. But since exposure is key (even at this age) we decided that we would all partake in a bake sale over Thanksgiving for more CHLA money. Family members are the best people to hit up for charity anyway, right? This beautiful kitchen from Palumba, a birthday gift to my youngest, is a lovely way to help her get in the baking groove. With time we hope that she appreciates it.
Today was our first day of Kindergarten. Big time. My daughter, so immersed in her stencils by the time we kissed good-bye, barely realized we left the room. Though she’s still a little kid in every way, her new elementary school reminds me that before we know it, she’ll be entering a more grown-up phase at home: the homework phase. Well for the next few years at least, she can use this Japanese designed desk by Ichiro as shelter for her animals – and whatever else seems to be jammed in that box. And while I don’t look forward to the days of desk work, with this versatile space, multiplication tables won’t be so boring.
I’m not one for a DIY post. But tonight my girls asked if we had any boxes to decorate for their jewelry. The first thing that came to mind was, did my nanny toss that Amazon shipment? And then it hit me: That! Is why I kept all that space-sucking Hermes packaging from my wedding china. I mean, they could have decorated the china as well for all I care – what a bad registry call on my part. So I dug up what once housed an ashtray and a creamer and the kids went to town with feathers and abstract drawings. A few glitter stickers and some scribble signatures later and they presented me with personalized, designer boxes for homemade name bracelets and Atsuyo et Akiko pom pom rings alike. And while it feels too young to introduce them to mandarin orange, it beats my fake bakelite purchase that have drawers that stick.
While I’m anti cutesy wall hangings for nurseries, I happen to love this watercolor alphabet poster by Brit artist Sarah Doyle. It’s playful enough for any child’s room but artsy enough for picky mothas. And please note: those who despise cutesy ‘hangings more than I do can opt for her “mythical creatures” version, featuring a vampire and werewolf in place of a vulture and walrus. They both appeal to me but a baby might learn his abc’s quicker with this one. And her grown-up art is edgy enough for even the biggest cute nursery haters.
My oldest daughter just started begging me for pool toys – in August, no less. My first instinct was to deck out the pool with Alexander Wang’s murdered out inflatable shark, ball and ring. But she quickly veto’d that idea, arguing for a florescent serpent raft and major water bazookas. Since we can’t seem to compromise – due to a lack of chic pool accessories in the marketplace – the verdict is still out. For now, this lovely stuffed koi from my East Coast temple, ABC Carpet, seems like the best fit. Although float, it won’t.
At the circus yesterday my husband and I looked at each other, both filled with self-hatered. You could say that PETA’s picketing outside was enough to make us feel like the biggest low-lives, but really it was just watching the show through the lens of an adult that shifted our perspective. In the car home we talked to the kids about treating animals with respect and how we don’t believe that they should be coerced into doing tricks for entertainment value. Basically, if we hadn’t taken them to the art museum for “Jazz Night” a few days earlier we’d probably be on a downward spiral right now. Ethics check! Below, an ode to the beautiful (but probably sedated) creatures who aren’t meant to be doing handstands in sequin vests.