What, i need to pack? ( The Simplified Living Experiment: Part 2)

I’ve been preparing by making lots of gorgeous, pear-green wall shelves (you know i need my pear-green…) for the nooks in the kitchen. I’ve begun packing up our things in boxes. With only 4 days until we move, it dawned on me that i needed to be even more organized than i realized because Beatrice is curious about everything and anything and will potentially climb, move, eat, or destroy anything left on the floor or at her level. Simply plopping all our things down on the floor in a studio is going to create chaos. So the packing begins. (Packing…just to move downstairs…really?)

The Simplified Living Experiment: Part 1

For those of you that don’t know, I’ve lived in the same house in Hoboken for over 20 years. I started as a renter and bought the four-floor brick house over a decade ago. I’ve been fixing up the place here and there, trying to keep up on repairs while trying to parent 6-year old Arthur (aka The Cenz) and 18-month Beatrice (aka Baby-Business).

It’s not that i don’t love my big apartment…I do!  But after years in a triplex with lots of space and bathrooms etc., I’ve decided my need for simplifying is outweighing my need for space. My need for stuff isn’t really driving me-i want happiness, love, and art. NOT bins and bins of Disney characters and rows and rows of knick-knacks… The time is now. Arthur is 6 and Beatrice is 1. They are both small enough to enjoy the close proximity of mommy at any time. We’ve been sleeping in the same room for about 4 months now by choice and i’ve grown to quite like it. To come in at night and hear both of my babies breathing and to smell their baby-skin right near me has been a comfort.

It’s time to simplify!!

It may seem funny that a retail business owner would want to try having less (when we have all these clothes and goods at our disposal), but we see it as part of what we believe at Peper and Parlor: We only want what we LOVE, what will be useful, what we’ll have for years or forever.

June 1st begins the Downsize Experiment:

In just 7 days I will take my family that has been spread out on 3 floors with a bunch of bedrooms to just one 13.5′ x 40′ room. We’ll have a full kitchen area and a bath with only a shower (no more toddler swim lessons at bath-time!) and a tiny little yard (this is where the bubble-bath in the baby pool gets re-introduced!!). There are 2 window and 2 doors.

Things i’m most excited about:
Proving to myself (and my children) that less can be more.
Giving my son a memory of the above (my daughter will have been too young to remember)
The closeness.
Saving money on our overhead and being able to use it to do some overdue repairs to the one hundred yr old house and SAVE!
Cleaning only 1 toilet and one room.

Things i’m fearful of:
My losing patience with the children.
Arthur being resentful of his lack of distance from Beatrice and her death grip on him or his lego sculptures, papers, etc.
The closeness.
Not being able to see the children in the yard and Beatrice then eating dirt and uprooting all my sad, struggling plants.

Stay tuned as we embark on what i think will be an amazing experience! See the before photos below  –  the after photos will be up in a few weeks!

Our Patio (kiddie pool central!)

Studio living area

Black is back!

Scarey nails

It was little Arthur’s idea (I swear!). He asked for painted toenails. He thought black would be cool and scarey. We agreed after Beatrice went to bed we’d do that together (after checking out the kids science website to get some ideas for his science fair project…).

It just took a turn and next thing i knew we both had 10 and 10 painted all gloppy and sloppy and black.  This is beginning to look like another “girl thing” that my boy likes. He seemed quite taken with the appearance of his tiny 6 yr old contrasting nails while delicately holding his waffle at breakfast (i’ve about given up on the kids using forks…) Now the hard part will be when he is in school and the comments and questions begin : “are you a GIRL?”…”EW you have GIRLS nails”… I asked him what he was going to do if they said or asked such things since most evidently they would, and he said “i’m going to tell them, ‘I’m a BOY’!!!!” Here is when he showed me how he’d whip his penis to prove it.

UH oh!

At this point i was not really sure how the day was going to play out. I tried to re-route his efforts into some simple concise word choices like “hey do you like my nails?” or “scarey, right?” or “say what you want i like them” .  I think he got the idea that the penis thing is PRIVATE and just for home.

When i dropped him off with Beatrice at my side this morning the last thing i heard was him greeting one of his best school buddies, Rex, with “i’m not even going to SHOW you my nails!!!”

AH HA! He loves the attention. It’s going to be fine!

Good day!

Leave a little something for the kinder-babes learning to read!  They are so so so happy with their newly acquired reading skills!!! I think about the how the smallest things make my 6 yr old son so happy.  I am always aware that this could change any minute and nothing short of a fancy pair of $150 sneakers or an iphone will be ok at that point… So far “Jo’s Yogurt O’s” in a message does it for him!  I pray for a few more years filled with these moments.

The journey of the Ninja.

When making cookies with your 6 yr old make sure you have the following:

1. A good friend there to run interference with your 13 month old.

2. A bottle of champagne. And a beer.

3. Limitless supply of wierd candy-like thingies to decorate with.

4. Dinner already prepared because making about 53 Ninjabread men is going to take about 2 hrs whether you think so or not.

5. A cleaning-person coming the next morning because your entire kitchen will be covered with flour and tiny multi-colored dinosaur decoration candy thingies.

The Yum Yums are made. We are set to ice them tonight…scarey. this could be another 2 hrs right? I screwed up with #5. Really I just didn’t have #5. Now i just have the 13 month old cleaning the floor by eating all the candy thingies and sliding around in the crumbs and flour.

An army of Ninjabread men (and women) with various appendages missing.

(To think i saved a ball of dough to make more with the 7 yr old when she returns home this weekend.  eeeeek)

We LOVE Pinecone Chickadee!!

All occasion cards for your special peeps...

Just wanted to talk about how much we’re loving Pinecone Chickadee for their toddler tees and adorable printed cards.  This is a wife and hubbie team from Portland, Maine. We stumbled upon them last summer at a crafts fair adn just got in our order!  The tees are innocent (for the most part) but not typical. Super soft cotton and sized 2,4,6,and 8. The cards are perfect for just saying “HI” to Mr. or Miss Special. We love being able to support such a tiny company. Check them out next time you pass by the shop…

yummy 100% cotton tees for kids!

Boys who like girl-stuff

I just can’t get enough of my almost 6yr old son wearing his horse-dress. It’s a thermal knit henley long/slv’d dress with a print of running horses in blue,camel,and brown. He wears it only home now but i distinctly remember only a year ago when he was wearing it at Church square park in Hoboken. It was a summer evening around 7…must have been 90 degrees. Playing in the jungle gym, gleefully dancing to the live band performing (and the music in his own head as well i’m sure…)
Now the dress is out only a few evenings a month and only as a night”gown” type thing. He obviously loves it but knows “boys don’t wear dresses”. It’s frustrating to see a kid who loves something and at such a young age is already told no.
Out it came two nights ago and i witnessed him literally sashay (SP?) across the living room to the front door looking for the delivery man with his arms fluttering up and down in a two count each direction in sync with his step.
So beautiful. The thing i don’t need a video tape of because i will never forget.

I would post a picture but i’d rather you superimpose an image of your favorite boy who likes “girl-stuff”.