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Find of the Week

28 Jul

teak“teak” design, a bestseller (love!)

It’s been oppressively hot the past few weeks and joy of joys, we’ve encountered our first major-ish home ownership trial — our kitchen faucet stopped working. The rest of the house doesn’t seem to have been affected thank God, but we’re going on 3+ days now without a working kitchen sink faucet. Maybe that’s why drinking water has been on my mind lately.

super nova“Super Nova” — squeeee

Either way, as a loyal Brita water pitcher user (we’re on our third over in the new place) and longtime water toter in my trusty old Camelback bottle (I think I’m on #965,457th), it’s safe to say that I like to stay hydrated. And from an environmental and financial standpoint, I hate to buy bottled water if I can avoid it, so you’ll nearly always see me with a Camelback or a Nalgene bottle if I’m out and about.

swell2
“birch wood” — a personal favorite

Admittedly, until recently I rarely paid attention to water temperature, but it has been especially hot in New England so I’ve been reaching for the ice cube tray daily. Likewise, I’d never felt any particular vanity as far as the look of my water bottle. But that was before.

Everyone, run out and buy a S’well bottle. It’s worth every penny. And they’re pretty.

The double walled design keeps beverages from water to coffee to tea, icy cold OR hot for entire days at a time. And the 25 oz size will hold an ENTIRE bottle of wine. [Aside: I can’t name a single friend of mine who wouldn’t need at least one for that purpose alone.]

But the beauty of the double walled design has a second benefit — no condensation. While a little bottle sweat is only a small annoyance, the loveliness of not having to worry about were I set or toss this thing down is great considering I can tote anything from an iced latte to a steaming mug of hot chocolate in it and not have to worry about ruining my clothes, my handbag, my pricey stroller, or my car’s cupholder. #Obsessed!

swell bottle 1gorgeous, no? #want

This is my new go-to gift for every single person I know for so many reasons: It’s a superior product just luxurious and pretty enough to justify a little splurge for something that’s usually an everyday, toss-about item and I know each recipient will get a TON of use out of it. And maybe a gift of two for moi.

Trash Finds: Garden Stuff

27 Jul

clematis
“Ooooo! Trash!!” is commonly heard when traveling in the car with me. Brian teases me constantly about my trash-picking habits, but I’ve scored some incredible goodies over the years. #SorryI’mNotSorry (That’s a little Beyonce for you.)

According to him, I get incredibly excited at the mere prospect of trash no matter how disheartening an initial drive-by may be. It’s the potential that excites me.

Now to be clear, I am not talking about dumpster diving. I don’t open any trash can lids or anything. But if someone just cleaned out his attic or garage, the stuff is often in passable condition — just unwanted. Thus, it ends up curbside. For me! 

I’d been looking to buy some wood trellis for the chimney and garage as well as something to support the rose bush we inherited on the side of our house but have been dragging my feet because everything I like it so expensive. So I was thrilled to find a perfectly good, metal one just sitting next to someones garbage bin this morning on my way home from getting coffee.

Then, on my way home after a few hours of work at a local coffee shop, I detoured down a street I don’t usual travel on and scored 10 large tomato cages — something else I’ve had on my “To Buy” list for a while now —all in perfectly good condition.

I practically skipped back to my car after loading them into my trunk. Even Brian was impressed by the condition of them, which is a win. I’ve been known to drag home much worse. Usually furniture.

Asked about his thoughts on my trash picking habits, Brian admitted, “I was never open to it, but you opened my eyes. I still can’t believe someone just tossed those tomato cages in perfect condition!”

To be fair, not all of my finds end up working out. I have to check my project ambition regularly to be sure I’m not underestimating how salvageable a piece is or how much effort it will take to transform something to meet its full potential (think: chairs with sad upholstery or warped furniture requiring a lot of sanding and stain).

There’s also the recycler in me who absolutely hates to create any sort of waste. My mantra is that there is always a use for something or else: donate it. That’s kind of what trash picking is — unintended donation, right?

Either way, after a quick hose down, my new trellis is in place along a fence in the yard supporting some morning glories and the tomato cages have been delicately placed over my tomato plants with the rest stored for next year.

Yay trash! Yay free stuff! Yay for saving money!

Parent Traumas: #2, Fell out of the crib

22 Jul

Emilia climbed out of her crib today and fell head first into her Little People princess castle. She’s fine and recovered immediately after some nursing and a lot of ice packs, but it will forever be remembered as the worst day of my life. I almost got to her in time.

She’d just woken from her nap and I was reading work emails in the next room when I heard her cry. I knew I’d need to get her quickly since she’d not been too thrilled to be put down at 9 AM in the first place, for her first nap. Since she started falling asleep without rocking (on her own) she’s gotten better and better about settling herself down, without any tears or crying, but this morning, she’d wailed a bit and toed the crib like she was trying to climb the sides, but it was nothing like what I saw next.

Mere seconds before I was about to get up to rescue her, not even 30 seconds after I’d first heard her first cries, I watched the monitor in sickening horror as she swiftly threw her foot up over the edge of her crib rail and shifted her weight forward. I knew she was about to go over and tore towards her door which is just steps from where I was sitting. I crashed into the hallway and fell, clawing at her door knob so I (thankfully?) didn’t have to watch her fall. But the crushing despair as I stared at her empty crib with bated breath once I made it into the room is a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget or forgive. I started screaming No, No, No, No as I ran to her, as if that would undo what happened, and scooped her from the floor and held her to my chest as I rubbed her head and rocked her, trying to distract her.

Her silent, wide-open mouthed cries broke my heart but up to this point, I was screaming louder than she was and quickly realized I needed to calm down so I didn’t scare her more.

She cried and put her hand up to her forehead but quickly quieted as I ran with her to the freezer to get ice packs. For any mom who has nursed, you know how handy it is to calm or comfort a child when she’s upset is, so I nursed her for a half hour while I applied ice to the raised bruise on her hairline. She kept giving me these angry sidelong glances like this is definitely your fault. It was just about all I could do not to dissolve into tears. I felt like such a failure and kept replaying it and imagining how narrowly we avoided much more serious injuries — she could have broken her neck! — she could have gouged out an eye falling on one of the castle steeples! what if the ceramic garden stool had been a hair closer to the fall spot?! And also: how could I not have gotten her sooner, before she started to even cry? I know she naps for 1 hour on the dot; I knew she was in a fussier mood than usual. How could I not have saw this coming and lowered the crib mattress even more?

Thankfully, my mom arrived just as I finished nursing and assessed her while I filled Brian in by video chat (since my cell phone is still missing since last week). My friend Mike was nice enough to field my cryptic message to please call or text Brian because the baby had fallen out of her crib, but was OK and to get online ASAP. I don’t know what I’d have done without my mom here though. I didn’t break down actually crying until we went back into the nursery together for the first time following the fall and I actually looked at the height of the crib, the placement of the princess castle that she must have hit when she landed…

Emilia was in my mom’s arms but reached out to pat my back and arm and put her head on my shoulder and gave me some more arm and back pats as we had a group hug. She really is the sweetest little thing ever. She’s so loving and gentle and sweet, which is why it’s so hard to fail her like this.

I talked to my friend Shawna and some co-workers about what had happened and just dealing with the guilt of kids’ inevitable accidents which helped a lot. And hearing from the pediatrician that I’d done exactly what I should have following the fall was reassuring as well.

For her next nap, she started to cry as soon as I started to initiate the sleep routine in her room. We’d moved the mattress to the floor since I needed to disassemble it to lower the mattress, but I couldn’t bear her scared-sounding cries, so I held her while I laid down, then shifted so we were lying nose to nose. In seconds, she was nuzzled face to face with me, sound asleep which was just what I needed. I didn’t stay for her entire nap, but the few minutes of snuggles helped. I’d missed those. We haven’t co-slept in nearly a year and I’d forgotten how nice it is to feel her little body curled against mine and study her gorgeous lips and skin and eye lashes up close.

I’m trying to keep reminding myself that accidents happen and all we can do is try to deal with them as best we can. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try to learn from them. And most important of all, appreciate every single second with your little ones.

 

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