Bathroom updates

Another installment of House Tour Tuesday! Last fall I finally nailed down a major culprit as to why I never looked great in the bathroom mirror. The color reflecting off of the bright green walls (a color I loved eight years ago) and the yellow light was doing nothing for me. So paint!

IMG_5262My mom visited in October and we painted together. I chose a cool gray color for the walls and we decided to paint the ceiling the same color. We got a new shower curtain. Something about upgrading to a fabric curtain instead of vinyl feels grown-up. We got a new bath mat and wash clothes that match the curtain.

IMG_5266I updated to a stainless accessories from the brown and olive. A new soap dish and tumbler.

IMG_5264Nesting kitchen baskets are working well to hold extra wash clothes and toiletries.

IMG_5263My favorite solution is this over the tank magazine rack as storage for my hair dryer and flat iron. The old brown ceramic tumbler is good for hot iron storage.

IMG_5265A $5 door mirror gives me my first full length mirror in a decade. While I was away last month Rob did the final touch which was purchasing daylight spectrum bulbs to get rid of the yellow cast. It’s a whole new room.

IMG_5261You can see a shot of the before in one of my first home posts and the most recent iteration about a minute and a half in on this house tour video.


#MicroblogMondays: school age

Microblog_MondaysA long one today…

I probably won’t actually write about the insanity that is entering Kindergarten in the NYC public school system. But just know we are in the middle of it and I’m trying very hard to not get crazy, because it’s Kindergarten.

I came across this article over the weekend, and it articulates some feelings I’ve had better than I’ve been able to. Namely, that if you are able to hold your kid back, they will still likely enter Kindergarten with a bunch of kids who were not held back.

I want to take that a little further though. In conducting my dissertation research in two places, New York City and Indiana, the issue of cut-off dates for entering school has come up. Here school entry is by calendar year, meaning kids are 4.5 – 5.5 entering Kinder. And it isn’t the easiest thing to hold your kid back with the public school. In Indiana, cut off dates are much earlier – in June. So my friends son was born July 2010 and Simon July 2011 and they are both entering Kinder this year with no holding back. So there is already an 18 month difference in Kinder entry nationwide! This could get wider with “redshirting” (although realistically by only a few months).

For Kindergarten at the local level at least the whole pool is in it together. But I’m working with middle school kids, so my kids in Indiana are older than their comparison sample. Which gets me thinking about how Simon and my friends son could be college roommates. There are huge leaps in executive function that happen in late adolescence and early adulthood. And I can’t stop thinking of the potential trouble that comes from one friend turning 21 more than a year before the other. (And yes, this happens anyway in college, but I wonder/worry that the potential for trouble could be greater for reasons I can’t coherently put words to.)

But in the short term, I’m just trying to get into Kindergarten.

House Tour Tuesday is back: Simple Changes

In the fall of 2013 with the arrival of our second son imminent I took on the project of making our 710 square feet work for a family of four. I took some videos. We purged like nobody’s business. We rearranged. And it works. I blogged all of the updates back then and you can see those posts and a “master list” under the House Tour tab above. The list is somewhat evolving, but in my blogging lackluster I’ve neglected this corner of cyberspace.

Over the past two years, the quest to have a functional home we love has continued. A big part of it is the constant purge of things we’ve outgrown – the clothes and shoes and baby gear. And now the toys. Our families are respectful of the fact we don’t have a lot of space and that all kid stuff must fit into their shared 8′ x 9′ room. Now that I am back to the size I will be and Caleb is weaned I’ve been able to pass on my odd sizes and nursing clothes. The amount of actual trash I find stashed still makes me disgusted in myself.


The next step is to freshen things up. We moved in back in 2007 and I’m just not excited by some of the paint choices I made back then anymore. And eight years and two kids can do a number on walls and trim. Back in October I got the urge and my mom helped me paint our bathroom – you’ll have to wait until next week for that one – and WOW! Huge difference.

We also got some new art. Rob got a photo of horses for his birthday and I got him an etching of the 7 train in Long Island City for Christmas. In trying to figure out where to hang them I did a complete rearrangement. Not counting the new art, since the one I bought was a gift, this project cost about $30 for a frame and a couple of new mats. Using mostly frames we already had and a combo of old and new photographs we now have a gallery wall in our living room. I want to replace baby Rob and Kasey in the lower left with a family photo of all four of us and maybe a different mat color. We bought two because weren’t sure what would work best for the pic of the boys, but I can’t tell if the navy isn’t working because it’s too dark or because it clashes so badly with the picture.

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The best parts in my opinion are that this was pretty fast taking only a couple of hours once we got started and that there is only one old nail hole visible that I need to touch up. The room is totally different.

Now deciding if I want to finish our bedroom or tackle the kitchen next.

#MircoblogMondays: the Return


I’ve been home a week now. The blizzard meant we got snowed out of NYC and spent an extra day in Indy. Spending an unexpected day with my sister and niece was awesome, but I was ready to get home.

Walking the boys home from school on Wednesday on the slushy mostly melted sidewalk I felt a sense of peace. I was home.

There was a job posting for a post-doc in California (because I am about to be on the job market for real) and all I could think about was how I couldn’t imagine Simon in Kindergarten anywhere other than our current neighborhood.

Talking with a friend on Thursday she told me how they are always thinking of moving if they could just find jobs in one of the places on their list. I told her the thought of moving makes me feel sick.

My time in the midwest – some of it rural – was great. I loved seeing my family and some old friends. But coming home showed me how much I missed this place. And if I never enter another super store in my life I could be ok with that.

It’s so good to be home.

Reunited. Home.

**on Tuesday…

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

#MicroblogMondays: The GREAT Grandma edition


Hopefully I will get around to writing more about our time in Indiana. But in case I don’t… My last living grandparent is turning 80 next month.  We wanted to have a big surprise birthday bash for her, and my mom and aunt were nice enough to plan it for a few weeks early when I was already in town. Rob flew in for the long weekend too.

IMG_5170About 75 people showed up to celebrate Mom-Mom, Mom, Flo Ann. Three of her four living siblings made it and most of my grandpa’s living siblings. And so many nieces and nephews (my mom’s cousins). I was close to all of my grandparents growing up and was lucky to have all four until my senior year in high school. Simon got to meet my Grandma, but Mom-mom is the only grandparent to meet Caleb and my nephew and niece.

IMG_5153It’s a special thing to have a great-grandparent (I remember mine) and I’m so glad to have these memories and pictures.



Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.