Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Homemaking edition (sort of)

So delighted to join Jen in her triumphant return to the small and portable screen.

1. This apartment. So blessed to find it so quickly upon our arrival in the Eternal City, and so thankful for its proximity to Dave's office. And to pretty much everything touristy and beautiful about Rome, which our visitors definitely appreciate. But we live on a busy, busy street. And we're on the 4th floor. Which means our 'kid-friendly' space is ... limited.
The living/family/dining/guest room
2. First up: the 'outdoor' space. That gorgeous balcony with the Cupola view? Mommy's heart attack. My boys are surprisingly obedient considering their ages, but it's still a scary, scary place when toddlers are involved. Now soliciting and entertaining any and all advice from more experienced DIY'ers and home owners/long-term renters for how to baby proof this freaking thing.
Calm down mom, it's only a 30 foot drop into traffic.
Laundry room with a scenic view.
Keeping a sharp eye on his construction crew below.

3. Joey and JP's new Montessori-inspired 'classroom.' I made a lovely friend at our parish here in Rome who is a full time working mama to a beautiful little boy who almost shares a birthday with JP, and so was gracious enough to share a birthday party with him last weekend. Right now she is responsible for student life at the University of Mary, but in her past life she worked for several years as a Montessori teacher, and is currently homeschooling her little guy in the method. One part intimidating + 10 parts intriguing.

4. Using the powers of the internets and my #1 consultant, Google, Inc., I got creative during naptime earlier this week and here is the result:

Top shelf: sensory play/messy stuff JP can't quite reach to eat. Yet. Sand-wave maker (from my childhood), giant Christmas ornament pilfered from the 2012 Papal Christmas tree, picture book of art from Galleria Borghese, tray of colored buttons for sorting, and one million highly-toxic colored pencils from the street vendors.

Writing tray: chalkboard, notebook, chalk, parental regret (I can just smell it).
John Paul sucking on venerating an icon in the 'prayer corner'
Indulging Joey's magpie tendencies with a 'secret big boy drawer' for his treasures. Current inventory includes a postogranm (coolest app ever)  of a friend's newborn son, a B16 pocket calendar, and various and sundry shiny metal objects.

The 'kitchen.' Got to learn how to make Mama's coffee some time.

Prayer space: icon of the Holy Family, relief of Bl. JPII, 'art' featuring the current liturgical season, and a Scripture verse for the week. And a card from Papa B, because we had one on hand. We're those people.

Some child level artwork of plants and seeds, and a view of the whole 'classroom.'
5. The big boy bed. I swore I never would, but then I did. And I'm (mostly) glad. He asks to go down for naps now, and bedtime is so far a much, much less hostile negotiation. And we've only found him sobbing in the middle of the hard marble floor once per night since Wednesday. So, progress.


And happy. This is at naptime. Words fail.

6. Color of the week for laundry: rustic orchard red. That's the report I just gave Dave on what color I dyed our linens and shit (that used to be a store, right?) this week. It's the careful result of layering puke green, 80's pink, and street-bazaar red over weeks of towel washing. Call me if you're interested in a custom mix for your own

7. That's all I got. Picture heavy and content light this week.

P.s. LOVED hearing from you yesterday about how other mamas kick back for a little down time. At least a few of you confirmed me in my love for home improvement TV and alcohol. And night prayer? Before 11 pm and while still dressed and conscious? Brilliant.


  1. LOVE the montessori inspiration! I think one of the first things he should learn to cook is powdered biscotti ;) THAT was maybe one of the funniest stories I have ever read!

    And his dimples are SO cute!!!

  2. I dont think my kids actually sleep in their big boys bead 90% of the time. Most of the time they end up in the middle of the floor or curled against a door!

  3. Loved the tour, and you've inspired me with the Montessori setup for my future babies!

  4. We have a similar drop from our upstairs into our foyer. I lock Ellen in the bathroom while I shower. It's getting old. I will be stalking your site for ideas in the com box!

  5. I know I've seen companies that make a plastic cover that goes over balconies and baby-proofs them. I think has it. It's call a no-climb deck guard. Not sure about shipping to Italy or anything, but maybe that will give you some ideas.

    Balconies always scare me too.

  6. Oh, wow! Your Montessori corner turned out great! I love it!

  7. (first time commenter; long time stalker)

    I hope to do some small Montessori-inspired-ish activities when my youngin' (currently 16 months) is a little older. I am constantly inwardly-complaining that I don't have enough "space" (in our 1800-foot home) to have the learning environment my imagination demands...and I am continually rolling my eyes at all of the Montessori "toys" online which are like a thousand dollars for an unpainted wooden block.

    Your creativity with your current situation seriously puts my complaining to shame. Well done.


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