Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Radio Silence and Kitchen Paint

The blog has been so quiet this summer. Is it the chaos of moving? The busy-ness of having just-turned-five and now-she's-three -year-olds? The fact that there are other, easier ways to connect to people on my phone (Instagram, I'm looking at you...)? I started this blog a year before becoming pregnant with Eliza, but I needed it after I lost her, and now am I less inspired to write?

I want to document my kids' childhoods, and I worry about their internet privacy. I want to talk about house projects and get ideas and feedback, but I barely have time to do the projects themselves (this week's goal is to unpack books and then I will feel better about the house).

Anyway, I'm not hanging up the ol' blogger password, but I'm just trying to figure out how to use the space (and maybe whether anyone's reading). I know commenting just isn't done anymore (I barely do it), but I always hear from a loyal few, which is rewarding. And I'm NOT asking for a cheering section to tell me to keep writing--I'll do it regardless of whether people are reading (just look back at posts from 2009 for evidence of my willingness to blather on into the void). I dunno what I'm doing. Just sorting through brain cobwebs, I guess. I haven't been doing enough writing this summer in general, despite my good intentions. I haven't done zero, either, just not where I'd wanted to be now that mid-August is breathing down my neck.

Speaking of August (or "Hog-uhst" as Coco says it: "My birfday is Hog-uhst"), poor Coco's birthday got kind of lost in the shuffle. I put up a birthday banner that has fallen on one side and now I can't find the role of tape to fix it. We celebrated early with my parents--singing and cupcakes--then on her actual birthday had a friend over to play (who brought more cupcakes), and then we went out to dinner and she got to open presents from us.

Zuzu is the WORST secret keeper and will no longer be allowed to assist with wrapping. "Open the Barbie one first," she instructed Coco, handing her the presents. Coco did get a Barbie for her birthday, but it is a baby doctor Barbie. She also got more Magnatiles and a really cute book (from the We Stories curriculum--Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie). Oh, and a weird plastic lizard she was obsessed with at World Market and I made her put it back, then surreptitiously purchased it without her noticing, but now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure she left it at the Botanical Gardens today. Dangit.

We had painters paint almost every room in the house, and by and large it's a huge improvement. The previous owners seemed to favor dark, warm colors, and I just can't with rust, mustard, and tan (blood, barf, and bandaid). Zuzu's formerly yellow and lime-green room is now a lovely shade of sky blue, which coordinates with the rainbow theme she completely came up with on her own and is insisting on (I'm actually not opposed to it, but I'd negotiated to bring the darling curtains I'd made for her out of a shower curtain from the old house and she's not interested in the super cute pink, coral, mint green, touch of ochre color scheme we had going). So I ordered her a rainbow duvet cover and I think it will be pretty cute. I need to figure out if they girls are really sharing a room or not. Right now they're sleeping together at night, but bedtime is not going super smoothly, and Coco is still napping in her crib-turned-toddler bed in her own room because she just settles down in there more easily. She wants her room to be purple, so I will likely oblige her (with purple accessories, not purple walls).

Unfortunately, in my intense desire to lighten up the formerly rust-and-golden-mustard kitchen, I overshot and the green I selected is too pale and not what I want. I want something more sagey--not apple, but closer to herbs-de-Provence rather than seafoam. And I feel like I ended up in seafoam. David says I should live with it for a while, my mom says I should go ahead and repaint before we get stuff on the walls. I WANT to repaint it, like, yesterday, but I think David will win out not because his advice is better but because start of the semester will take priority to repainting the kitchen. Maybe I'll get a free weekend in late September? It's more annoying since we had painters do it and they did a great job and it cost us money rather than time, and I obviously mentally flagellate myself more for wasting money than I do when I waste time (see: the internet). I definitely can't freehand edge as quickly and crisply as they can. BUT I also know the power of paint and how happy it will make me to change the color, so it's going to happen. The question is just when...

In other news, I cannot find the box in which I have the back-to-school chalkboard, which is annoying because I SPECIFICALLY labeled it "back-to-school chalkboard" among other things. I have eight days in which to locate this.

Other significant things we cannot find at the moment: our vast collection of Penzey spices (David packed these near the end of the week before we moved and we both distinctly remember him emptying that cabinet and have no idea what became of the spices); my smaller but not insignificant collection of essential oils (I am NEEDING this); our full collection of bath towels (we have two... where are the others?). For awhile, ALL of my pants were missing, but they have since been located.

Things I'm missing about the old house: Knowing where everything is. The stained glass windows and arched doorways. The new carpets that weren't stained by someone else's kid's chocolate milk vomit. The faster drive to the botanical gardens. Francis Park within walking distance.

Things I'm enjoying about the new house: Main floor laundry (just off the kitchen). A huge basement playland in which my children are willing to go and spend about 30 minutes alone until one of them is injured or pissed off at the other. A master bathroom (I've never had one before in my life). An attached garage (ditto). The amazing yard. The fact that David texts "on my way" and shows up 14 minutes later. (That is the BEST, seriously.)

Today the girls and I spent the morning at the botanical gardens (20 minute drive--doable). Tomorrow my plan is to find the nearest library branch and make ourselves at home there. The girls have transitioned here really seamlessly, and I'm grateful for that (with the exception of bedtime shenanigans).

Ok. Tackling a book for book club on Friday in between staring forlornly at my seafoam walls and wishing they were sage. Would you paint now? Or see if pale green grows on you?

22 comments:

  1. I'd miss you if you left! I enjoy your style.
    I'd live with the walls....but YOU should repaint them now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still faithfully reading the blog. :-) And definitely PAINT - I did the same thing in our bedroom when we first moved in (what I thought was light gray turned out to be more of a pale ice blue - not what I was going for!). I too was kicking myself and struggling with living with it vs. the expense of repainting (the painter was still working on other rooms in our house, so I was not about to DIY this one, haha), and I finally decided to suck it up and eat the cost of a re-do. And I'm SO GLAD I did - it was SUCH a massive relief when I came back a couple days later and it was right. If it was a guest bedroom or even a bathroom you could get away with it for a bit, but not a kitchen (or master bedroom) - you spend too much time there to hate it! Anyway, that's my two cents. Congrats on the new house!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you're probably right... I will have to go look at paint samples today.

      Delete
  3. I love your blog! I always read, but I'm a terrible commenter (let's face it, we all read blogs on our phones). I write on my blog and have literally no one reading. It's a great way to document memories!

    Oh, and I would probably paint now. I really doubt your feelings for sea foam green are going to change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right. I think this color could be nice in another space (or someone else's kitchen) but I'm not sure I'm ever going to learn to like it here.

      Delete
  4. Well, I for one would miss it if you stopped blogging altogether. ;) But then, you've had a busy summer!! Love seeing your photos on social media, but I also love reading your thoughts here, whether on loss & Eliza, Zuzu & Coco, books, houses... I don't know about you, but I feel like I get to flex my writing muscles in a completely different way on my blog than I do on Facebook or even on message boards. There have been lulls over the years, & I don't post strictly about loss or childless living, but hey -- my blog, right? -- and there's quite often at least a tangential connection. I'm coming up to 10 years this fall, which I never could have imagined...!

    Re: the kitchen colour: I suppose there's something to be said for living with it for a while and seeing if it grows on you -- but I also see the merit of repainting now while you're still setting things up in your new house, if you really think you're not happy with the colour.

    In a comment on a previous post, I mentioned we'd painted my kitchen at the old house Benjamin Moore Camouflage, and I found myself wishing I'd gone a shade darker. So the next time we painted we did -- I couldn't remember the name when I posted that comment, but it was bugging me & I went looking for the paint chip and actually found it. Guess what, it's called Benjamin Moore Herbes de Provence (CC-634). Worked for me, anyway. ;) At least for the few months before we moved...! In that case, I wish I had gone for the darker shade in the first place. So I guess I'm siding with you on this one. ;)

    P.S. For some reason, I didn't get an "after" photo of my kitchen that really shows off the new colour -- but there are photos of the painting in progress in which you can see the difference between the two shades. Look for my FB album titled "House painting, October-November 2015," if you're interested.

    P.S.2. I LOVE having my washer & dryer on the same floor as everything else!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh--I threw out that "Herbs de Provence" name in the post and didn't realize it was an actual paint color! If I believed in signs, i'd say that was meant to be! Will go to Benjamin Store today.

      Delete
  5. Obviously I'm still a faithful reader ;) lots of time spent with babe attached to me.
    If you can eek out the time or money, I'd repaint. Then you can just enjoy it as you like and not be thinking every day that you want to repaint. In our old house, we had to repaint one room right away. We were young and poor and doing it ourselves and the beige looked pink with our red furniture. My husband (then boyfriend) was not pleased but better to just get it done.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've felt the same way about blogging this summer! Our big road trip provided some inspiration, but I just don't have a lot to say. And the privacy thing with the kids holds me back, especially with Eleanor. There's a big difference between sharing baby/toddler stories and sharing the things that happen with older kids.

    Repaint now, if you can. Maybe find your bath towels first! Long ago, we painted our office a shade of green that I ended up not liking. It stayed that way for seven years, mostly because I felt bad asking Greg to help me tackle that project again. I had to take that paint into account when I bought furniture and art and everything else. We've had the new color up for about four years now, and I still get excited about it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Repaint if you don't like it, I say. I'd be so sad if you stopped blogging! I never comment because I couldn't but now tonight I miraculously can.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'll join the chorus of "please don't go-ers" -- I would certainly miss you if you left! I wish we lived closer so we could meet up in person as I so yearn to make connections with other loss parents but meeting you in the blogosphere is better than nothing.

    We just moved to a new house ourselves last month (our first-ever purchase after 11 years of marriage and renting) and it's so challenging: the move logistics themselves, the unpacking and the seemingly endless search for items, trying to figure out where to put things, getting the pets acclimated, etc etc Leaving Evelyn's room was the absolute hardest part of the move for us, the space we'd created just for her that had become a memorial of sorts since her passing last August, made even more emotional by the fact that her birthday is fast approaching on August 15. How do we keep doing such hard things? And how do we keep plodding ahead, despite the hurt and the sadness? This life is so surreal.

    We're settling in slowly but there is so much to do! Little and big projects emerge and before you know it, a list of to-dos has been made. Best of luck to you guys as you make this newest house into your home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, leaving spaces like that is so hard, and I can imagine the difficulty you had packing up Evelyn's room. I found some relief in moving to a new house that didn't hold so many memories, but it's hard to leave the good ones along with the sad ones.

      Delete
  9. Feeling the same about my blog. Just not sure where I'm going with it anymore. Been my grief outlet and now it's more my scrapbook, but I just don't know for how long.

    Also, why no pictures?! I want to see this kitch and sea foam and see if I agree with David or your mom.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd paint now. When we first moved into our house, our oldest wanted her room purple. I chose what I thought was a paler than normal lavender. On the wall it was grape and she was terrified to sleep in there.

    My blog has been quiet since April and before that was random posting over the past year or so. I don't know if it's the state of the world or back to school or what, but I just gave it a facelift and am thinking about posting this week. I have plenty of ideas. I just have been tending to write them down, then walk away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I get the evolution of the blog. I can still write cute things about the 7-year-old but even he will be off limits soon.

      Delete
  11. paint. i always do later but you will love it so much more if you just paint

    ReplyDelete
  12. Paint now, it's going to bug the crap out of you. I found it difficult to write this summer as well. Big life feels so heavy, little life feels more private. But it's nice to have a place to land when I want to. People don't comment as much - it's a pain from phones, but I only read from a computer - but they're still there, reading.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If it helps, I check your blog every day at work. It's part of my routine. I love hearing what other moms of little girls are up to.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love how people are showing up even for the 30 seconds it might take to say "Don't Go!" Shows how important you are even when nobody's outright telling you so. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am also reading, I read from when you lost Eliza onwards when I first lost Claire in 2013. I now check your blog at least once a week to see if there is an update, even my husband knows who coco and zuzu are as I share the cute stories.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This blog helped me get through my loss and I check in all the time. I'm a screenwriter, so one day I hope to take the pain and turn it into some creative outlet. He deserves that.

    So if you decide to write a book (using just posts) that would be wonderful. But it helps so much to know others are out there and you're not just say a writing teacher telling me how to write when they obviously failed at it... you lived through it. And so few people that lived through something can express it with great writing and honestly and pure heart. You do all 3.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just this week I made a resolution to start reading blogs regularly again (with all of my free time as I head back to work? Not claiming this resolution makes sense) so I agree that you shouldn't go anywhere!

    Ah, missing moving boxes. You might recall that when we moved in fall 2013 mid-semester my entire shoe collection went missing and I taught in flip flops for several days.

    And I say repaint. Not because I would, but because it really matters to you.

    ReplyDelete