You Get What You Need

I want a cup of tea.

Not herbal. The real stuff. With milk and sugar.

And I want someone to make me popovers.

Which I will eat warm with a little butter and cinnamon sugar.

 

I want someone to wash my duvet cover and then put it back on my comforter. Because if we’re honest with each other, that is a four-person job.

 

I want a week to declutter, shuffle and reshuffle, purge (stuff, not vomit – though both usually make you feel better), think about writing something, nap.

 

I want dinner to be done, meals planned. But really, I want to do that stuff myself.

I want a bedside clock for my husband that isn’t the brightest clock on the planet.

I want the socks paired.

Oh the socks.

 

I want not to worry about the four RSVPs, camps, birthday party to plan.

I want to be grateful that I have parties, camps, birthday parties to worry about.

I want new work shoes that I don’t have to break in.

I want to use the hours between 8:30pm and 10:30pm wisely at least once a week.

I want to figure out how on earth to spend more time being and less time doing.

 

I want to cook every day. Walk every day. Sleep more. Pick up less. Read to my kids more. Explore more. Love more. Give more.  Fight more for the things I think are worth fighting for. And sit on a blanket on the grass in the sun.

 

I want to spend more time doing silly and creative things, and less time wondering what could have possibly spilled on the floor to make it that sticky.  I want more time with my kids. I want more time with my husband. I want more time by myself.

I want more time having grown-up conversations. With wine. I want more music in my house. I want less dust. I want my kids to eat less yogurt.

 

I want more dancing in my life.

 

And I want the thank you notes to write themselves.

 

Things I Love Thursdays

And here we are again.

It is February.  And that means it is cold, and dark (but getting lighter!) and I’m in the thick of the most challenging part of my year.  But all is well!  And the kids are (at least for today, and this minute) healthy!  Though there is a constant, unyielding stream of snot at my house.  SO MUCH SNOT.  Ugh.

So here is a mid-winter installment of TILT for you – fun, light and lovely things to offset the seasonal blahs…

 

Tulips! They start arriving at my local grocery store in mid-January.  Ten stems for $4.99!  I buy them every week because they make me happy every time I see them.  I fill a vase with ice and water, trim the stems and pop them in, and they last for 7-8 days without drooping.

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Milestone Baby Cards from Anthropologie.  I’m sure you’ve seen the stickers or blocks that are used as props in baby photos?  You know, the ones that say “One Month Old,” “Two Months Old,” and so on and so forth?  These are similar.  They are the modern, iPhone era version of a baby book entry.  And they are adorable.  They would have been perfect for Pistachio, my third, who is in a lot of photos, but whose baby book is pretty sad and empty.

Click on the photo to be brought to the Anthropologie page.

Click on the photo to be brought to the Anthropologie page.

The kate spade champagne bottle clutch is ridiculous and impractical, but maybe that’s why I like it? 

Bubble

Heather Ross fabrics designed for Windham Fabrics.  These make me want to sew things.  Or quilt things.  Or make cute smocks, and dresses for my children and friends’ children. Only I don’t actually know how to do any of those things.  Maybe someday!  I just adore the Tiger Lily and Briar Rose collections.   

Briar Rose Collection by Heather Ross

Briar Rose Collection by Heather Ross

 

My favorite from the Tiger Lily Collection.  Ms. Ross was inspired by her childhood summers in Vermont.

My favorite from the Tiger Lily Collection. Ms. Ross was inspired by her childhood summers in Vermont.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all – I hope you get lots of love and chocolate.  And maybe some tulips, too.

The REAL Holiday Card 2015 Edition

Welcome to the yearly edition of “The REAL Holiday Card”.

Forget the lovely professional photos where everyone is clean, looking at the camera, and wearing coordinated (but not matchy-matchy) outfits.  Real life looks more like this:

Card design is "Jovial Holidays" from Tiny Prints.

Card design is “Jovial Greetings” from Tiny Prints.

 

Key to photos:

graph

Cards from past years are here:

The REAL Holiday Card 2014

The REAL Holiday Card 2013

Here’s hoping your holiday preparations are proceeding as planned!

With love from, The Tartlets

Things I Love Thursdays

A few little gems from my corner of the internet… or refrigerator.

Dolly.  Is there anyone who doesn’t love Dolly?  If there is, I haven’t met them.  This nifty little print by GoodSouth (on Etsy) tickled me.  What would Dolly do?  I bet whatever it was, it was funny, loyal, kind and sassy – like Miss Dolly herself.

WWDD?

WWDD?

 

I have no tattoos.  They’re just so… permanent. (Queen of the Obvious here, I know.)  But considering my aversion to inking myself I sure do pin a lot of tattoos on my Pinterest boards, and follow a lot of sweet tattoo shops and artists on Instagram.  I guess I like the medium.  I like to see what people do commit to having on their bodies forever, and I love the artistry.  So the temporary tattoos at Tattly are speaking to me.  A little weird, a little random, a little tongue-in-cheek, and a lot temporary.

 

Animals in clothes!  I die! I must have the Sea Otter wearing a bowler!

Animals in clothes! I die! I must have the Sea Otter wearing a bowler!

 

My children adore temporary tattoos.  At one count, my son had 14 "How to Train Your Dragon" tattoos on his body at one time.  I think I would have preferred these little monsters.  So cute.

My children adore temporary tattoos. At one count, my son had 14 “How to Train Your Dragon” tattoos on his body at one time. I think I would have preferred these little monsters. So cute.

 

What kind of message does a rabbit-smoking-a-pipe tattoo send to the world?  I have no idea.  But I like it.

What kind of message does a rabbit-smoking-a-pipe tattoo send to the world? I have no idea. But I like it.

 

A few months ago, I bought a bottle of this iced tea concentrate at Stonewall Kitchen and loved it!  While I typically drink my iced tea unsweetened, this tea is great, even though there is some cane sugar involved.  Finest Kind (out of Maine) makes four “Mixers & Modifiers” as they call them.  I’m looking forward to trying them, and perhaps some of the cocktail recipes they list on their site. Bonus? The bottle lasted a very, very long time.

Forget tea for 2, I'm keeping this all for myself!

Forget tea for two, I’m keeping this all for myself!

 

Enjoy the long weekend!  And remember, no affiliate links here, just stuff I like.

A Thousand Words

My children love to play with my iPhone.  This is a normal kid thing, I’m sure.  They mostly like to play games. Pickle likes the build-a-robot game and Plum prefers a game with a loud annoying monkey.  (Which reminds me that I should delete the annoying loud monkey game.) Pistachio likes pushing the button until Siri asks him what he wants.

The other morning Plum was using the camera mode in a Toca Boca game.  She was having so much fun demanding that we “SAY CHEESE!” that I switched the phone over to camera mode and let her have at it.

I adore the results.

The is something so lovely and refreshing seeing the world, her world, through her eyes, and at her level.  Coming soon to a gallery near you…

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Brother Little

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Oatmeal

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Breakfast

(null)

Brother Ghost

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Bowl

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Tablecloth

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Cat Door/Eyes

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Legs

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Gate

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Cat

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Where Toys Go to Die

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Brother II

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Finger Brother

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Dad

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Dad II

 

When Pickle was 3.5 we got him a camera for Christmas, but it was a silly, unwieldy, children’s camera.  I should have sprung for the real thing.  I think this Christmas Plum will get her own.

 

Admissions of a Tired Mom – Part Three

1. First of all, don’t serve kids rice.  Or couscous.  You’re just asking for trouble.  But if you do, and if (when) they dump it on the rug, don’t clean it up immediately.  Let it dry.  It is so much easier to clean up once it is dry.  If I was going to add a hashtag to this post it would be #WENEEDADOG.

 

2. My kids don’t have dedicated rain gear.  I’m just not going to spend $40 on a raincoat they’ll wear twice and outgrow.  Sorry kids, you’ll dry out quickly enough. 

 

3. It is wasteful and silly, but I throw out bread heels. I know I should freeze them, compost them or make bread crumbs or something, but I just don’t.  

 

4. In the middle of hanging photos I couldn’t find our tape measures. Anywhere.  Even in Pickle’s room.  So I used this:
Measuring the Marigolds

Images from Amazon. Not affiliate links.

Why?  Because the back of the toy looks like this: 
Marigolds

Inchworm indeed!

 

5. I am suspect of juice cleanses, multi-level marketing and artificial sweeteners.

 

6. One of my least favorite things about being a mom (besides the worry, guilt, fear, sleepless nights, etc.) is that I am FOREVER PACKING AND UNPACKING BAGS FULL OF KID STUFF.  I am hopeful the day they can do this for themselves is fast approaching (yeah right). 

Things I Like Thursdays

Yes, yes, I know. This is a day late.

And yes, yes, I know.

I owe y’all a real post.  And soon.

I’ve got about 8 in the works. Really I do.

In the meantime…

1) The Most Lovely Building Blocks Ever

I wanted to give blocks to the nieces and nephews – plain ol’ blocks, no batteries, long-lasting, imaginative-play-inspiring, classic fun.  I over-researched this. (Shocking, I know.)  I wanted high quality, hardwood blocks that would last, were beautiful, and were safe (meaning splinter-free, chemical-free, and chewable).  I found them at Smiling Tree Toys via Esty. Not the cheapest blocks out there, but lovely, and personalized.  Read about Smiling Tree – a family business with a fabulous philosophy – you’ll love them, and their toys.

Personalized deluxe 30-piece hardwood block set by Smiling Tree Toys

Personalized deluxe 30-piece hardwood block set by Smiling Tree Toys. Image from their store at Etsy.

2. Sanity-saving, color-changing alarm clock

I only regret I didn’t buy this a year ago.  My son is an early riser.  Some kiddos like to sleep until 7am (or later!), but not mine.  And I like mornings, but I really feel like waking up when the clock reads 5:xx can make for a harder day for me, and for the sleepy little dumplings, who don’t go to bed until much later than they should.  Enter the Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light.  This clock can do everything.  In fact, it can do so much, that it is a little confusing.  But there are a few features I am currently loving. 1. It emits a soft yellow glow that replaces a night-light.  2. It has a digital AND regular clock.  3. It announces the time at the press of a button (my son LOVES this!) and 4. It is programmed to turn green when it is okay for my son to creep into my room, and pinch my nose to wake me up. (Yes, he really does this. I thought it was hysterical when he did it to his father. But now? Not so much.)  It works like a charm, and Pickle loves announcing, “It’s GREEN!”  Downside? It IS a bit confusing to use, and is pretty expensive for an alarm clock.  But hey, those minutes between 5:45 and 6:20am?  They’re worth a lot.

Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light

Onaroo Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Night-Light (Image from Diapers.com, click the image to be linked to their site.)

Friday Confessions

I’m coming clean.  Admissions and deep thoughts for a Friday afternoon…

1. I dislike Sandra Boynton books.  Intensely. I’m sure I could write them myself in 6 minutes. Maybe 4. The artwork is another story – that is something I cannot do.  But the words? Do you realize that the woman has a degree in English from Yale? Sometimes, for fun (which probably speaks volumes about me and my marriage?) my husband and I have Sandra Boynton Slams, kind of like Poetry Slams, where we speak in Sandra Boynton-esque prose.  It cracks us up every single time.*

Boynton's Super Cute Hippo from her website. Click the photo to go there.

Boynton’s Super Cute Hippo from her website. Click the photo to go there.

2. I don’t really get the amber teething necklaces. I’m not against home remedies or alternative therapies, but I just think they look and seem a little silly.  Then again, I tend to not accessorize my children. But somehow these necklaces seem a bit like those Magical! Therapeutic! Magnetic! Bracelets! you see at the mall.  I’m not buying it.

3. I once mommy-judged a woman feeding her child a pop tart for breakfast. I then realized that my child was eating a doughnut at the time.  Lesson learned.

Donut with Sprinkles

4. My son’s 3rd birthday is approaching.  Sure, I’ve scoped out Pinterest and Garnish for cute ideas. I’ve considered paper straws, jute, twine, mason jars, personalized labels, buntings, colors and themes.  But you know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that. I believe that kid birthdays should include three things: running around, pizza and cake.  Because that is what kids like – at least mine.  Maybe someday we’ll add a pinata, because he also likes candy and hitting things with sticks.  Sandwiches shaped like dinosaurs? Personalized juice boxes?  He’ll be too busy running around, jacked up on sugary frosting to give a damn.

Whack me!

5. We got a wonderful new kitten.  The kids adore her. When she meows, Pickle gets down on his hands and knees and asks her, in all seriousness, “What is wrong, kitty?” and then tries to comfort her, yelling, “It’s okay, kitty, I’m right here!  I’m right here, Honey!” Sweet exchanges between kittens and small children? Cuteness overload. Plum tries to catch her so she can “pet” her – which mostly means giggling and attempting to whack her with an open hand. Luckily kitty is fast.

She is a positive and cuddly addition to the household for sure.  However, I have had a few moments (like this morning, collecting and dropping off her stool sample at the vet – fun!) where I have realized that there is yet another little creature in the house I will have to feed, and cuddle, keep well, and wake up worrying about.  Sigh.

Fast friends

Fast friends

* In all fairness, I have to admit that Boynton’s website motto, “Trying to Think of a Motto Since 1973” has knocked my dislike down a few rungs. Damn you, SB!

 

Things I Love Thursdays (One Day Late)

Thing I Love: IKEA Landet Farm and Animals

We have lots of great toys in our house. Lots. And with a recent birthday (Happy 1st, Plum!) we got even more.  On one hand, I am so very grateful for our abundance and loved ones’ generosity.  On the other hand, I’m kind of ready to purge some of the abundance.  My house is only so big, and we are slowly becoming overrun by small plastic pieces, music-making toys and STUFF.

But this week’s TIL is a keeper. No plastic, no batteries, just imagination, play, cute furry beasts and everything wraps up into a neat and tidy package. Thank you, IKEA! And thank you to Aunt S. and Uncle M. for sending it!

IKEA's Landet

IKEA’s Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Animals

IKEA Landet Farm

IKEA Landet Farm – Everyone tucked in tight!

 

Note: I may be Swedish, but IKEA doesn’t know me. I just love this toy.

Kid Fibs

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Time for the lying to commence!!!

But really.

I’m not anti-Santa. I think Christmas is magical and amazing and twinkly and all of that good stuff. I hope I can help to create magical, warm, lovely memories for my children. But I do ponder the dishonesty inherent in the holiday as we talk about Santa, and as parents all across this nation plan elaborate adventures for their Elves on Shelves (who, if you look at Pinterest for more than 4 seconds, you will note no longer hang out on shelves, but go hang-gliding, go skiing, and have other crazy adventures. I’m going with “Paws for Claus” this year and telling Pickle that Lula kitty is watching his every move and reporting back to Santa. Much easier.)

Long before I had children, a friend, who is a father of three, mentioned that motherhood involved a hearty dose of well-intentioned, creative dishonesty. Back then, I didn’t know what he meant, but I do now. Though my preference and default is honesty, I do find myself lying to my son on a regular basis. Every day. Sure there are the whoppers like Santa, but there are the little lies, too. These include:

  • After hearing for the 45th time that my child wants/needs/must have donuts – “I know you want to eat 3 chocolate dunk dunks (aka munchkins), but they don’t make any after lunch.”
  • After placing a bowl of beef and barley soup in front of him – “You will love this! It is ELMO soup!” (Note: Admittedly, I stole this trick from my mother, who served us soup called “Muppet Soup”. When I was creating a family recipe book – sometime after my 30th birthday, mind you – I asked her why it had that name. She responded, “So you would eat it.” Oh. Duh. Yes, it took me 25+ years to figure that out.)
  • As my son complains of a bellyache 30 minutes past his bedtime – “Here, let me teach you some belly fixers!” And I proceed to show him some yoga-ish moves that he can do lying down on the floor or, even better, in his bed. To my credit, these moves are vaguely related to something I read once in Self or Real Simple that had something to do with some sort of old wives’ tale about helping babies pass gas. Or something. Very scientific! (Note: Another recent revelation was that my mother’s proposed cure for bedtime bellyaches was lying on my stomach, very still in my bed. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? She was a clever one…)
  • When I am asked to watch a 3rd episode of Yo Gabba Gabba – “Oh no! I think the TV is broken!” More like, “Oh no! My spirit and sanity will be broken if I have to watch that whiny Brobee and his modeled-after-an-adult-toy buddy Muno for 4 more seconds.”

There are a million lies we tell our kids for convenience, to save or protect them from the truth, or just to avoid saying, “Because you can’t/Because I said so/No” one more time in a day. But honesty is the best policy, I know. And I’m sure that someday soon my kid-fibs will bite me in the bum. Until then…

If you sit too close to the TV, you’ll go blind.
Potatoes will grow out of your ears.
and finally,
Your face will get stuck that way.