I wrote this a month ago but never hit publish because I never got around to proof reading it until now – such is life. So here was my update on two under two when Grace was six weeks old…
Every couple of days, I think that I have the energy and state of mind to write a blog post about how wonderful my two little girls are and the feeling of happiness that we share. Literally, every time, I think, “today is the day I write the post” something awfully trying goes down and the happy post flies out the window.
Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking that during Josie’s nap time, I would write a post. The morning was filled with all things wonderful to post on. Sister snuggles, little loves and girly giggle time. It felt blissful. Truly.
Then, came time for our post office appointment to get passports for the two girls:
We arrived, waited in line, while Josie attempted to free her little hand from my death grip so that she could run straight out the door. When we finally made it to the window, I told the lovely clerk that we had an appointment. She told me that they weren’t ready for me yet and I had to wait. Awesome. Because 19 month olds are great at waiting.
Eventually, they were ready for us and we got to deal with an extremely rude clerk, who we’ll call Grumpy. Grumpy was certain I didn’t have all the paperwork. Oh but I did. Ha ha. Obstacle one accomplished.
After reviewing all my forms, and to her chagrin seeing that I had all necessary documents and that she would have to deal with the stressed out mom and screaming children, Grumpy asked for our passport photos. I told her that it clearly states that her post office takes passport photos and I wanted to get them there. At first she adamantly refused saying that she didn’t want to deal with taking a baby’s photo. And I should go to a studio. What the hell? A studio? What studio?
Grumpy finally lamented and said that she would attempt to take passport photos of my kids. At this point, Josie is free of my grip and has been running around the post office while I chase after her. I’ve finally picked her up. Grumpy is looking at me and my children in a very judgy way. And then she goes, “And girl, you are pregnant again” and shakes her head in disapproval.
Ummm…did you just call me pregnant? You are literally entering Grace’s birth date as Aug 7, 2014, that was six weeks ago. I thought maybe she meant something else – like I was just pregnant…cause I was. So I ignored the comment in an effort to get on with the show.
Grumpy took us to a back room to take the passport photos. I was relieved to have Josie trapped in one room where she couldn’t run out the door. Josie, on the other hand, was super bummed to be in a little room so began the real waterworks.
With Josie crying at the door, it was time to take Grace’s passport photo. Grumpy had the photography skills of your 98 year old grandmother – slow and shaky. Grace’s eyes had to be open and her hands had to be down by her side. At this point, Grace is sleeping so I’m yelling “Grace,” snapping my fingers, picking her up and literally trying to pry her eyes open as Grumpy slowly snaps a photo five seconds after Grace has opened her eyes and moved her hands. Grumpy is frustrated by my “uncooperative” six week old. This shenanigan of attempting to get a useable photo continues for 45 minutes.
By this time, we are well into nap time for Josie. I’m finding myself prying open the eyes of my newborn while singing “Old McDonald” at the top of my lungs while my toddler melts around me. At my near breaking point, Grumpy turns to me and says, “do you know what you’re having, a boy or a girl?” I look at her and say, “I’m not pregnant. You’re taking pictures of my newborn”
Seriously? How is that even scientifically possible? Did I get pregnant two weeks after giving birth and I’m now a month along? Hell no, lady! But thanks for pointing out my fat while my toddler melts and my newborn is “uncooperative
50 minutes into failed attempts of taking pictures of my motionless baby, Grumpy needs to move on to the next passport customer and a different clerk comes in to try to take Grace’s photo. This clerk was extremely happy, we’ll call her Peppy. Peppy picks up the camera, Grace quickly opens her eyes and has her hands down. Peppy snaps the photo and lightening speed and we are done. Houston, we have a passport photo! And the best photo ever..
Amazing, right? Grace will thank me for this pic one day.
Now, it’s Josie’s turn to stand still, look at the camera and keep her hands to her side for a passport photo. At this point, she’s got snot running down her face and she is looking like a complete mess. But, for some reason, Josie relinquishes her quest to go out the door and she stands in front of the white screen in perfect position for the passport photo. Peppy turns to me and asks if I want to clean up her face first. To which I blurt out, “no. just take the picture now.” She quickly snaps the photo right before Josie bolts out of the way. Relieved to have a photo, we both hoot and holler.
Of course, it can’t be that easy. Grumpy comes back and looks at Josie’s photo and says that some of the hair is out of the shot and that it needs to be redone. What? You mean her massive curly hair that pokes out every which direction? every tip to every strand of hair needs to be in the photo?
I’m very proud of my coaxing skills as I can lure a 19 month old back to a passport screen station and then snatch her book away as not to have it in the photo. Luckily, we had Peppy Snappy McSnaperson behind camera and she gets the exact shot that we needed within the split second before toddler melt down. Amazingly, all the hair made it into the photo…
It’s now time to leave the little room and to go back out tot he main lobby to have Peppy enter in the paperwork to the system. As I’m carrying Josie back into the lobby, who is now an hour and 15 minutes past her nap time, Josie sees a man waiting in line who resembles Graham. Not only does he have Graham’s build, hair and complexion, he is also wearing the exact outfit that Graham wears every Sunday – a 49ers jersey and shorts. He is the doppleganger of all dopplegangers. Give me a few beers and I would think it was Graham.
Upon seeing this man, Josie is literally trying to leap from my arms and into his. She is wailing, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” As if Daddy came to save her from the torture. But the man is not even looking at her, cause he’s not her daddy. Josie is getting more and more crushed that Daddy is just blatenly ignoring her. I keep saying “That’s not daddy” but you can’t reason with an upset toddler. So the cry for “daddy” continues until the man finally leaves the post office.
20 minutes later and Peppy is finally done with filling out the necessary forms. I have written checks and I’m now signing the final receipt. The end is in sight and I’m picturing my reward of nap time. Just as I’m about to be done with the place, Peppy look at me and she excitedly says, “are you pregnant?”
With a lump in my throat, I pack up my kids, attempt to suck in my stomach and make the four block trek back to the car.
That night, over a giant glass of wine, I say to Graham, “Oh my God, what if my passport is expired?” He reply, “No way. It takes a really long time for a passport to expire”
Feeling weary from the day, just before I crawl into bed, I think I’ll check out my passport. Passport lasts ten long years. However, mine expires Oct. 16, two weeks before our trip to Mexico.
Back to the post office I go.
This, my friends, is a day in the life of two under two. I must be grade A crazy because I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love these two little bandits with all my heart…
As they say, “It has to get ugly before it gets pretty.” Or, they say something like that.
The painters are in and making a real mess of the place. Behold my mom’s pool house -
What are all those stacks of doors on the left hand side? Well, “we’ll just repaint the trim of the interior” turned into “we’ll paint the entire interior” which then turned into a discovery that all the doors were rotting from moisture from the pool which turned into replacing the doors which turned into repainting the exterior as well. It happens.
There are a lot of doors to replace too…
The walls and ceiling are getting repainted to a nice beautiful white – Swiss Coffee, which is a go to white that I use all the time.
All those doors and all the trim are getting painted two different shades of blue. I’m very excited to see this place drenched in white paint with, for lack of a better word, “pops” of blue. Here are some inspiring white pool house spaces while ours is in process…
House of Turquoise
I’m so excited for the paint to be finished. For now, I just wait. Next Thursday I’ll be discussing lovely deliveries that have been arriving.
Please go check out all the other fantastic one room makeover participants, here.
Welcome to ORC, week 2! As a refresher, I’m redoing my mom’s pool house, you can read about it here. Everything is coming together and I’m really excited! This has been a dream of mine because we are using some of my favorite fabrics. And since I’m doing this for my mom, I get to visit all the time. So, it’s pretty much a gift to myself.
We have the plan finalized. I’m not going to give it all away because what fun would that be? But, here is the fabric plan I presented…
Tweaks have been made to what I presented. The pink is a no go. Bummer! My mom is not a pink lady. I am. However, I am absolutely thrilled that both patterned fabrics are happening in a big way. I am beside myself with excitement!
With the major pieces decided and ordered, we’re onto deciding about art.
My family is big on art. Judging by this first image that I showed you from my mom’s living room.
All the walls in my mom’s home are covered with large pieces of art. However, there is one wall that has been bare. The pool house wall, above the fireplace.
Sad, sad wall.
Ultimately, this is my mom’s home so she does get to make the final decision but I have made some art suggestions.
Paul Ferney is a favorite artist of mine. He’s also a very nice guy who I’ve commissioned to do pieces for me several times. And he’s local, based out of San Francisco. He recently did an amazing series of beaches on the California coast. I’d ideally like one of those.
My dad, who passed away five years ago, was a character, to put it lightly. One thing he would always do is swim with a speedo on. He wasn’t some major sport fanatic or a crazy talented swimmer, no, he just loved a good costume. One of his favorite speedos was one he picked up in Australia. I’d love to frame the speedo and get a really large matte for it.
This is a pool house. We are in California. Wouldn’t one of his famous Palm Springs prints be so fitting?
And there you have it. My choices. My mom hasn’t committed to any of them so we may be without art on the final reveal. Ultimately, it’s her choice and art can take time to pick. What say you? Which one would you choose?
Take a look at what others are doing here.
I don’t know where the time has gone. But somehow Grace is already two months old today.
Grace has reached that perfect baby stage where she is just so scrumptious and edible that I’d like to hit the pause button for a little bit and revel in all things baby Grace before she grows up too fast.
I think of Grace as our little trooper. She handles Josie remarkably well. Josie is a wonderful older sister but she gets excited and frustrated, like how 19 month olds do, and I can’t always interfere quick enough so there has been some toddler fingers in Grace’s eyes, etc. But, Grace just sort of gets on with the show and doesn’t make a big fuss about it. She is a great baby and we are very lucky!
She even puts up with mommy forgetting to support her head in the pursuit of a “mommy/daughter” matching photo…
Oops! Looks like my girls were really into this.
We’re so happy to have our sweet Grace in our lives and we’re thrilled she puts up with us goofballs.
Peeking in from the throws of mommy hood to try out the One Room Challenge Linking Challenge. I’ve always had great fun watching the One Room Challenge from afar but I thought it was time to pony up and give this challenge a try.
To find out what the One Room Challenge created by Linda of Calling it Home is all about, check it out here.
So here we go. Who is my lucky little client? That would be the Kakerator. My mama.
My sweet mother has
volunteered given in to my begging to redo her pool house. So hold on to your horses while this room gets a refresh…
The upholstery is stained and tired and it’s just not the bright functional space it once was. However, it’s time for glory days again for most of these pieces of furniture with some new hipper clothes (fabrics) on. The space will also get repainted to go with the new scheme.
We are going for a pumped up palm beach chic color frenzy look. A la this fab place done by Ruthie Sommers…
Lucky for me this little client of mine isn’t afraid of pattern or bold pieces. Case in point, take a look at her sofa in her living room…
Isn’t her sofa rad? It’s always been a love of mine, as my mom knows. And then, the vintage Clarence House print showed up in this years Design Showcase in SF. Mom – you are so trendy right now.
So there you have it. I hope you stick around for the next six weeks. I promise we’ve got some fun in store. Hope to see you back here next week for a progress update.
Thanks for your patience as I try to figure out the juggle of being a mommy to two. My heart is so full and I’m crazy in love with my girls. I’ve relished in the moments when Josie giggles with a full belly laugh or Grace looks up at me with her newborn eyes taking in her momma. I’ve handled the moments when both children are crying and I can’t immediately meet all their needs, let alone my own. I have to say, so far, it’s better than I expected. But, to date, I have had a lot of help. I’m easing my way into doing this whole mommy to two under two…as much as I can ease into it. I’m also taking my Aunt’s great advice, “in case of emergency, break chocolate” I’ve been breaking open plenty of chocolate bars. Post pregnancy diet be damned.
Speaking of chocolate, I do have a long awaited tasty treat for you. Thanks for your patience with the nursery reveal. I’m so pleased that I got pictures done by the very talented Liz Perryman.
Here is the real estate shot of the nursery when we moved in…
And here it is from the same angle today…
Two big changes to the room were ripping out the old stained carpet and putting in wall to wall jute and then also adding an overhead light with the Palm Beach chic faux bamboo pendant I found off of ETSY.
The bed frame was given to me from the previous owner but the bedding, lighting and artwork is all new…
Love this pic Liz snuck in of me trying to fluff the finishing touches with ten day old Grace in tow.
The previous owner also gave me the matching side table to the bed set. I originally wanted to paint it but then decided the natural color gave a softness that the room needed with all the red and navy blue in the room.
Next to the side table is the glider where I spend a lot of time; I pretty much live here at night.
Next to the glider, is the bassinet with the little sheep watching over Grace in those moments when I’m sleeping.
I took advantage of a built in desk area to make into the changing table; here it was before -
I put up grasscloth wallpaper, added some art, Graham painted the desk white and my lovely MIL made a skirt for the desk with fabric from Ikea. Here it is today…
And there you have it, the single completed room in the house. I do have to say it takes a village to get the nursery completely finished and photo ready by the time Grace was ten days old. Thanks to Graham for painting the desk and spray painting the chandelier, to my MIL for making the skirt at the changing table, to my SIL for monogramming Grace’s pillow (I brought the pillow to the hospital to have it monogrammed as soon as she was born), to my mother for running errands and helping with raising the bed up five inches, and to my cousin for the wonderful styling and finishing touches. And I was able to show off the room in the best light because of the talented photographer, Liz Perryman. Now, that’s how you finish a nursery with a ten day old…a village.
Once the commotion slows down, I’ll be back to working on my home and have some more reveals coming your way. In the meantime, I hope you’ll put up with occasional posts on my girls and inspiration decor shots as I turn to my blog as my little respite spot far away from dirty diapers and unnecessary tears. If you don’t hear from me, that’s because I’m busy getting snuggles and kisses before my girls grow up way too fast.
Today, I’m honored to introduce you to our brand new baby girl, Grace Katharine. Grace was born Thursday, August 7th at 2:34 PM, weighing 7 lbs 1oz and 19 inches long.
She has been our amazing Grace and our hearts are full welcoming another girl into our family.
I keep saying to Graham how wonderful it is to have another baby and to have two children. We love this sweet, beautiful, precious little one and the strong bond she is already forming with her big sister.
I thought I’d share with you how we picked the name Grace. Back when I was twenty weeks pregnant, we went in for a routine ultra sound where they found something that required extra testing. As any mother and father would be, we were nervous and frightened for our baby’s health, even though the odds were in our favor. While waiting for the test results to come back, I wanted to go to a church to say some prayers for our little girl. I decided that we should go to the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco as they also had an art installation by Anne Patterson that I wanted to see.
The moment Graham, Josie and I walked through the cathedral’s doors, we felt at peace. We took in the glory of the art and the cathedral. It was a calm and peaceful Sunday afternoon and there weren’t that many people in the church. It was quiet, allowing for reflection, prayer and faith to build that all would be okay with our baby. We walked the labyrinth twice; Graham carried Josie and I had my hand on my belly. We then walked around the cathedral and lit a candle at every spot where there were candles to light. We stopped at each candle and prayed together as a family for our baby. Finally, we sat in a pew and had some quiet reflection. We left feeling faithful and much of our worries were put at ease in the sacred space. It was one of the most meaningful moments I’ve ever had in a church and it brought me closer to my family in ways I can’t describe.
We were expecting to receive the results in three to four days following our visit to the Grace Cathedral. However, unexpectedly, I received a call the next morning. The results came back negative and all was in the clear with our baby. We were having a healthy baby girl.
Graham and I had made a pact to not discuss names while we were waiting for the test results. When the happy news came back, we were both eager to discuss names. Graham came home from work that day and said that he had a name in mind; I said that I did too but I was really hooked on it and I was hoping he would like my name. Graham wanted us to say our names at the same time but I chickened out (biggest regret ever). So I said the name that I was thinking of first; it was Grace, the exact name Graham had in mind, for the exact same reason.
She is our amazing Grace. She is a wonderful miracle who we are incredibly blessed to have. Our hearts are full and we are so grateful our prayers were answered.
Grace has also popped up in other moments before she was even known to be in our lives. When my dad was in hospice, he was very confused with cancer in his brain. He continually tried to get out of bed but he was too weak to walk so my mom and I tirelessly tried to keep him in bed or put him back to bed. One day, I decided to sing him his favorite church song that he said his mother sang famously at their church growing up; it was Amazing Grace. I sat at the edge of his bed and sang it in repeat; it had this beautiful calming effect on him and he stayed in bed while I sang.
Thinking of my dad, and wanting the continuity of one of his favorite songs passed down to our children, I sing “Amazing Grace” to Josie when she is upset crying at night or she’s had a big fall and she just needs to be held and sung too. By the second verse, Josie has almost always settled into my chest, gulped down her tears and begins to find peace again.
We chose the middle name Katharine after a growing line of Katharine’s in my family. I have always been proud to be a Katharine, as is my mother and my Great Grandmother. I hope that Grace shares the pride that I do to be named after such strong, beautiful women.
Grace has brought all of this peaceful joy into our lives. She is calm the moment she lies on my chest and she does remarkably well with her sister’s “helping” hands poking and prodding at her.
Above all else, I can’t wait to see all that Grace grows to be. We are forever thankful to have her here.