Mom Story: Abigail from aewilder

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My name is Abigail Wilder. My husband and I live in Louisville, KY with Baby Jesus and The Gerber Baby, nicknamed so because we still wake up and gawk at how awesome our kids are. In real life their names are Luke (5) and Lucy Wren (3). I’m a part time children’s minister. Another part of my time is spent sewing for my Etsy shop aewilder, and the rest of my time is spent chasing kids and chickens, laughing with my husband, and drinking coffee.

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?

We live in a 6oish year old house that is actually smaller than the one bedroom apartment we lived in before we had children. It’s adorable and yellow! Evidently houses in the 50’s were built without foyers or shower heads because our front door leads you right into our living room and the first shower head was installed in 2006.

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What do you like best about living there?

I love, love, love this house.  The best parts are the ginormous back yard, the arched entryways, the wood floor, and the street on which we live.We’ve also loved that we’ve developed relationships with neighbors. There’s a clown caddy-cornered to us who isn’t afraid to get his mail in full costume, and there are Germans behind us who have us over for Raclette.

Do you like to spend time decorating your home, and your children’s room?

To be honest, my husband is more of the decorator. It kills me! We work well together though. I have a knack for collecting cool stuff and he has a knack for knowing where it should go.

A3

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?

Lucy spends a lot of time playing music on an old record player my husband bought and restored for my birthday. Luke has a passion for the front porch because it lets him keep an eye on the comings and goings of everyone in the neighborhood. By the time he was 4 he could tell you which neighbor drove which car. Inside, though, he’s usually on the couch either in a hideout made from the cushions, or flipping over it during an important “spy training exercise.”

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?

I was a Montessori teacher before I had children and a principle of the classroom was that you had a place for everything so the children always knew where things went; nothing was arbitrary. I’ve carried this into our home and it’s indispensable. When they’re not looking I will trade old toys out for things they haven’t seen in a while. They have both developed pretty good habits of putting things away before they get new material out, and my husband and I emphasis how cleaning up your things is done out of consideration because you share the house with others.

A4

What is it like to raise a child in your town?

Our suburb is amazing. There is a tiny “downtown” area with a coffee shop, ice cream shop, craft store, and park all within walking distance. In the summer the town holds outdoor concerts and picnics.

What is a normal day like with your children? What do you do on the weekends?

Our busy days are busy, but our slow days are very slow. My husband and I both work, but we also share the task of childcare. I work three days a week outside of the home before he goes into work for a night shift. Our “weekends” end up being on Sunday’s and Monday’s when we keep our lives simple and playful as a family. We bake, we do art, and we hike through area parks. The one part of every day that remains consistent is the family quiet time each afternoon. Lucy sleeps, Luke runs off to his room with a pile of books, and my husband and I take a deep breath with an hour to ourselves.

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Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.

The other day as Luke was climbing into the car for some errands he said, “Mom, how ‘bout we skip the store and just go out for coffee so you can tell me about when you were a girl.” I mean, who says that?  It makes sense, now, doesn’t it, why we call him Baby Jesus.

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?

Ha!  No.  We’re all doing our best to bring up these amazing SMALL PEOPLE.  I think mothers and dads around the world are doing fantastic things for their families. All we can do is our best. I had awful postpartum depression with both of these guys and it put me in a funk that tried to convince me the family would be better without me. I see now that each day with these guys is a gift for me.  I don’t care anymore if we accomplish anything. As long as I can hold them, smell them, and feed them I have done all I need to do that day.

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Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I hand embroider linen and sew things like growth charts and makeup cases for the shop on Etsy.  I love how the shop has forced me to work on something long enough to get really great at it. It’s true what they say about things being more fun when you’re good at them. I still do most of my sewing after the kids go down for the night.

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

I’m not sentimental and my husband and I are constantly going through our things to throw the excess away. Having children makes you rethink that a bit because they feel differently about the box of rocks they found that they’d like to see on the kitchen table. Every. Day.  In honesty, though, I do have a folder where I tuck sweet art I’ve confiscated.

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What are some favorite games in your home?

Lots of pretend play, Hide & Seek, and a variation of CS Lewis’ The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe that involves faux injuries that need healing through magical cordial.

Are there musical instruments in your house?

I’m taking a stab at the ukulele and Lucy plays one mean harmonica.  Luke has recently gotten more specific in his likes and dislikes and often tells me that the ukulele isn’t rock-band enough for him.

A9

What are your all time favorite children's books?

Now that their attention spans are longer, we’re venturing into the world of Chapter Books.  So far they love everything I remembering enjoying as a child :: Charlotte’s Web, Peter & the Wolf, The Narnia Series, and the Little House on the Prairie series. They have a penchant for Roald Dahl right now. I think it’s his gothic descriptions of the characters. Not everyone in those books is nice and sweet or even pretty to look at.

Where do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?

We have a bookstore here with the largest, ever changing area of clearance children’s books.  We’re talking 25 cents! I am there monthly. My kids also enjoy books on CD.  They’ve heard longer books this way because it allows them to play while they hear it being read. We love our library and get most of our books and CD’s there.

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How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time?

This duo is outside in the front yard or the back for 3 of the 4 seasons. They like the swing set, the sandpit, the chickens, the bikes, the running, the jumping…everything.  We have a lot of campfires in the back yard and have even tented out back.  The street has 7 boys on it, all older than our kids. Yet somehow Luke and Lucy have managed to befriend them all in their own 3 & 5 year old way. Once winter hits they come indoors to make elaborate ramps for their cars, tall towers for demolition, or creative training exercises for spies. And there’s dancing. Lucy is always dancing.

What a sweet Mom Story, thank you Abigail for sharing it with us!

..aewilder..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

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Mom Story: Anna from Goose Grease

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I’m Anna Leigh Donado and I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our little 2 year old, Simone Louise. Besides being a wife and a mom, I’m the artistic director of Goose Grease and an artist myself. Goose Grease specializes in custom hand-painted wooden dolls such as wedding cake toppers, families, pets, etc. We have two Etsy shops, Goose Grease and Goose Grease Undone, for D-I-Y wooden craft supplies. My husband, Juan, is finishing his PhD in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He’s writing his dissertation on French philosopher René Descartes. He is Colombian, from Bogotá, so our life is half Spanish, half English. I learned Spanish from him and a little bit in high school. We are raising Simone to be bilingual and bilingual education is something I never expected I would do. It has been absolutely exciting!

What kind of house do you live in - are you and your family happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

We live in a first floor apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We have a space set up for working –one smaller space I use to paint in the evenings, and another one where we can do the daily shipping from home. We also have a studio in an old warehouse about a 20 minute walk from our house, where Juan does his daily writing and we keep our excess supplies. I also use this space for painting on large canvases when my artistic side is needing a balance from the detailed work of doll painting! We give Simone a lot of freedom when it comes to art-making, so I am most happy that we have many spaces available for her to express her imagination whenever inspiration hits her. We just learned that we are moving soon to the apartment across the hall, which enables us to have our working and living spaces all under the same roof. We are happy for this change!

A2

What do you like best about living there?

I love that we don’t need a car and can walk or take public transportation wherever we have to go. We always end up on an adventure someway or another. For instance, just walking around the neighborhood we met an old local woman who ended up constantly bringing gifts for Simone. That type of experience is really unique to the grassroots community that still lives in Brooklyn.

A3

Where do you look for interior inspiration - favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?

My main inspiration comes from necessity. Space is limited in NY, so we are always finding creative ways to set up and re-set up our home. 

A4

What is your child’s favorite items in your house?

Her musical instrument basket and her CD player. She loves the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” and can periodically be found with her mini guitar around her neck, strumming her own rendition of the Beatles’ classic. She also likes scissors, packaging tape, glue, etc.

A5

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at?

I love our neighborhood because of its many cultures. One of our favorite places to go, of course, is the local art store –Artist and Craftsman. We go there two or three times a week and Simone really likes picking out a marker. 

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If you are living in a foreign country, how do you feel about it? How do you meet new people, make new friends? What is it that you miss most about "home"?

I’m from Virginia and Juan is from Colombia, so I guess you could call NY a foreign country to us. Because everything is in close proximity, and other mothers are also out strolling their kids, its pretty easy to meet people here. We also live in a Latino neighborhood, which gives Simone and I many great opportunities for practicing our Spanish.

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What is it like to raise a child in your town?

I feel blessed to be able to raise a child in NYC. We still don’t go to museums as much as I would like (Simone is 2, so we’re not quite at the behavioral level required for quiet museum browsing, but we’re getting there ;). Nevertheless, there are so many free events for kids here it’s unreal. For instance, Simone had free swimming lessons at a local pool this summer. I moved to Brooklyn when I was 21 and Simone gets to be here since she was born! That’s pretty lucky.

What is your idea of a perfect day with your child?

It would begin after a full night’s sleep. We would have to pick up from there…

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What is a normal day like with your child?  What do you do on the weekends?

Juan wakes everyone up in the morning. We have coffee and breakfast, and then he drops Simone off to her preschool, which is a block away from us. We work during the hours she’s away, and then at noon I go to pick her up. He heads off to our studio or the library to work on his dissertation or other projects. Simone and I take a walk and then she comes back to the house for a nap while I work on emailing and shipping. When she wakes up I usually paint dolls and have her paint alongside with me. We generally end the afternoon with a walk to the post office, where she loves to sort out the packages and hand them to the attendant. Juan comes home around 5 or 6 and then we all eat dinner together and finish the night listening to music and/or watching the news. Simone goes to sleep, and Juan and I finish our night painting, sanding, and writing. 

A8

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark your child recently made.

Simone is just starting to really articulate sentences. That’s always amazing to see –how the mind actually begins to construct through language. Recently, someone asked Simone what street she lives on.  I wasn’t sure how she would respond, as this is a question we’ve only just begun working on. I was quite surprised when she confidently answered: “I live on Sesame Street.” 

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?

I would say: guided freedom is the key. Especially with arts and crafts. One of our biggest selling products at Goose Grease is our Doll Family DIY kit – which comes with paints, brushes, top coat and everything you need to get started (and finished). A lot of parent's are worried that their kids can’t do certain craft projects. They think a five year old would have trouble painting a doll, but that’s more the parent’s mental chains than the child’s incapacity! Put some plastic down, give them an apron, and let the kid go to town! The paint will come off, eventually! Even when Simone was a year old we brought her to the studio and had her painting with acrylic paint because as long as she doesn’t eat it, it’s good. I love letting Simone explore new, creative things. With great freedom, of course, comes great responsibility, so we’re trying to get her to understand that.

A9

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your child?

Pretty much everything. From Play dough to painting to cutting to gluing. Simone’s current favorite thing are pompoms – which has given us hours of play. We just got a bag with three different sizes, so I have been drawing circles on paper, small, medium and large, and have her glue the matching pompoms onto the painted circles. This teaches her color and size matching.  

What do you do with all the projects your child makes at home or in school?

We pack them in a brown envelope and send them off to the grandparents! (We have kept a few good ones though ;) 

A13

Does your child have friends over often? If yes, what activities do they do?

Yes, Simone has two favorite friends, Bob and Simon, that come over quite often. Alongside with a painter we’ve hired in Colombia, Simon’s mom, Sandra, has helped us with painting for Goose Grease, so she’ll bring Simon over and we’ll paint while the kids play.

How do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?  

There is a great program at our local library, where during the weekly story time session, every third week the child gets a free book. We have stocked our shelves with these books! Also, my mom has a childcare center in Virginia, so every visit to her place finds us returning with an arm load of books.

A12

What are some nice activities you can do with children in your area, and what would you recommend when people are visiting?

I just discovered a puppet group that meets once a week in our neighborhood. It has been wonderful. There’s a great website called Mommy Poppins that has a running calendar of activities for kids in NYC. I get a lot of ideas from there.

A10

Do you cook together with your child? Does Dad cook?

We all cook together. Juan is really good at marinating the meat and Simone loves to throw in the spices. I once thought of writing a cookbook with one recipe for every day of a year… I think it will be a life-long project.

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with your child?

Yes, I am an avid journaler myself, and I think having a notebook with you at all times is very important. I created one for Simone to use the first time we went to Colombia when she was a year old, hopefully it will be the first of many!  

A11

What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your child?

When I know we’re going on a trip, I start setting aside lightweight activities about a week beforehand. Sticker books from DoverArt, finger puppets, I think I even brought some tin foil one time and we sculpted swans and chain bracelets out of it. One time during our flight to Colombia, I had Simone color on some card stock and when we arrived we used them as postcards and sent them to her grandparents in the States.

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Anna for sharing it with us!

..Goose Grease..

..Goose Grease Undone..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

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Mom Story: Inés from LaCasita de Wendy

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My name is Inés Aguilar, I'm a fashion designer and entrepreneur with my own brand la casita de wendy. I live in Madrid with my husband and 1 year daughter, Valentina. My house is also my studio and we have a little fashion school here called El Estudio where we show how to develop fashion collections and how to run a small fashion company. In la casita de wendy we are focused in ethic design and we have this manifesto to explain our philosophy.

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

We live in a detached house, and we have two floors for living and two floors for working. We are really happy living here because we have enough space and a little backyard.

I2

What do you like best about living there?

I love having a small garden, in my city this is not very usual. We also have a swimming pool which is great for the hot summers in Madrid. I love everything about living here.

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Do you like to spend time decorating your home and your child’s room?

I would love to have more free time to decorate, but I'm always quite busy with my company. In Valentina's room I spent more time painting and decorating while I was pregnant.

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Do you keep your child’s play area separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

Valentina has a room with toys but she is always around us, so she ends up playing in every room, mostly in the living room which is often a mess.

I5

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?

I love decoration blogs like decor8, or design sponge's sneak peaks.

I6

What are your child’s favorite items in your house?

Valentina has many toys she loves like her wooden horse or her tiny tent, but at the end she wants to play with my markers or with her dad's computer.

I8

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at? 

There are not many shops in our neighborhood but we don't shop much, my husband is very much in to conscious consumption and we buy our veggies in a local cooperative. We also make our soap and yogurt and we grow sprouts and have our own little vegetables garden. For Valentina we try to buy handmade stuff online from crafter's and artists.

I4

What is it like to raise a child in your town?

Raising a child in Madrid depends on the area you live in, if you are in the city centre there are a lot of events and beautiful shops for kids, but there is also lot of noise and pollution, we live far from the centre in a quiet and very green area so we enjoy walking and playing outdoors.

Who do you consider a good example for your child?

It's difficult to answer, I guess her family, her grandparent's, we would love her to learn all from them.

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What is a normal day with your child?  What do you do on the weekends?

In a normal day she stays at home with us (she doesn’t go to nursery yet). She use to playing around us while we try to work, which is very difficult!! Her dad takes care of her all morning long so I can do all the calls and answer all my mails. In the afternoon we spend some time playing in the park with her and when she goes to sleep we can work a lot in our jobs (we both work at home). In the weekends we have to work very often, so the routine is quite similar.

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark your child recently made.

One night Valentina managed (we still do not how) to get out of her crib and later we found her smiling while sleeping under the bed.

I13

Any books you can recommend for parents on how to raise children?

In Spain there is this popular book Besame mucho (Kiss me a lot) by Carlos Gonzalez that is interesting, but we are not very much in to reading books to raise a child, we believe in our common sense and instincts.

What is your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?

Believe in your instincts, we are all prepared to raise a child. Don't believe in strict rules cause kids are not machines…and one important thing: trust your kid.

I14

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your child?

We love painting with her, but she is too small to help me in DIY projects. I use to make her some toys or clothes, I hope she will help me soon!

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Both! I love crafting and I enjoy making stuff for Valentina or to decorate the house so much.

I11

Books, websites, local shops you would recommend for tips and ideas about kids crafting?

I love many blogs like Fine Little Day or Bloesem…also Kireei, a great  Spanish blog very inspiring, but I love using my own ideas and imagination to create.

How do you like to celebrate birthday's and other special days in your house?

In spring or summer we love making picnics in the garden. In winter time we make parties in the attic where we have la casita de wendy's studio. We have a friend who does very nice catering called PINCHÍN who makes very funny cakes and sweets for Valentina.

I15

Does your child have friends over often? If yes, what activities do they do?

When other babies come around they love playing with Valentina's wooden blocks or playing with our ribbons and fabrics. If they pop in here in springtime they enjoy the swing in the garden. In the summer they like the swimming pool.

Are there musical instruments in your house?

Yes, we have many instruments at home, like a xylophone, an ukulele and drums …my husband loves playing and teaching Valentina.

I17

What are your all time favorite books for children?

I love sharing my childhood books with Valentina.

How do you buy your books? Bookstores?  Online? 

I love buying old books in flea markets and sometimes in bookstores from the city centre. I also find nice stuff at Amazon.

I10

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?

I love food and my husband is good at cooking but I´m not so he is always in charge of the kitchen. Having him cooking for me and Valentina is liberating and in a way is like eating in a restaurant, because he is always asking me what I feel like eating.

Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your child? 

We always go on vacation to the north of Spain, Asturias, it's an amazing place very green and with amazing beaches.

What kind of souvenirs do you bring back home?

We take all kind of leafs, seashells and little stones.

I16

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?

We travel with a lot of stuff, the crib and all accessories for Valentina and of course we always forget something! A useful tip is to write a list.

What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your child?

For long trips we try to entertain her singing, she has three or four favorite songs we have composed for her, the songs we sing when she cries…it's the only way to stop her, but it's exhausting!! We are thinking about buying her a dvd for the car with some of her favorite tunes.

I7

What a gorgeous Mom Story, thank you Inés for sharing it with us!

..LaCasita de Wendy..

..LaCasita de Wendy Blog..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

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Mom Story: Amy from Little Alouette

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{Photo Credit :: Karen Walrond}

I am Amy Turn Sharp and I am a wild creative from Columbus, Ohio. I own Little Alouette and am trying to be a real writer. Joe and I have three little boys and are busy navigating the world of handmade together as a family.

A17

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

I am married to a British master carpenter. This sounds dreamy but mostly it means we move around a lot fixing up old houses that would have fallen into ruin if not for Joe. BUT. We live in them while we do this. Eeek. So, Yes, I love our current home as it is a charming 100-year-old home in Worthington, Ohio {village living} but I am also in constant state of remodel. It’s like the cobbler’s children have no shoes. We have lived here for 4 years + we are now finally remodeling the world’s ugliest kitchen. We have lovely rooms and then you turn the corner and it is a very sad room. We hope this year is the year that we can love our home- all of it!

A4

What do you like best about living there?

I do love the fireplace though. And the coffered ceilings that Joe created. And the dark wood floors he put down. And the plans for the secret bookcase and the joining tunneled closets between nursery and the boys room. I like this house. It will be a wondrous house someday.

A9

Do you like to spend time decorating your home and the children’s room?

We just keep it changing. We might move things around and change it up as boys change interests. We have bunk beds now because the boys begged for them and they love it. We keep it pretty eclectic. I like walking into a children’s room or a nursery and not thinking it looks juvenile, but cool. A place I may want to sit for a spell.

A8

Do you keep your children’s play areas separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

Our kids have free play rule. We have toys + books in all rooms. It is not a massive house so we have to share. We do have a playroom but they tend to wander into our living space to play.

A10

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, and blogs? 

I devour design bogs. It’s like I need a hit once a week or so. I like looking. Voyeur.

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?

We have a swing in our house and it is the best thing ever. Quiet times just a swinging!

A7

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?

Yes. I make them clean up toys in the living space every night, but I allow them to slob around in their rooms for days on end because if you saw the state of me + Joe’s bedroom =you would die!

A16

What places in your new neighborhood do you like to shop at? 

We have a local hardware shop + a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams down the road + Igloo Letterpress is a pal + The Candle Lab + House Wine and Northstar + the best farmer’s market in Midwest! Oh my- my little town rocks! I did not have a car the first year we lived here and it was fine. Walking town. Love.

A13

What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?

My kids are wild boys. We are a pretty high-octane family. It is loud and crazy always. The oldest is in school and the middle is in preschool 3x a week. The baby stays with me as I work. I have twin homeschooler babysitters that come 2-3x a week to help. It works but it is a challenge working form home with Little Alouette + my writing. I am already a taxicab service for shuttling to and fro to sports + school activities. I can’t imagine how the future will be with 3 boys.On the weekends we tend to be more child led. Joe works every Saturday but Sundays are sacred days off for us! Sometimes we won’t leave the house if they want to just relax and play. Yesterday we sat for three hours in front of a fire reading our library books and playing around. 

A12

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

Don’t worry too much. Kids need to see us being relaxed and involved in the process. Preciousness is not cool.

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Bit of both. We make a lot of art + learning projects. Like the God/goddess wall from last year. They LOVED it. Easy and educational. Read home schooling blogs to get ideas. They are the fountain of amazing!

A11

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

Buy a plastic tub for each school year. Stick stuff in it. Done.

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you involved?

I am a total soccer mom.

Do your children read books online? Do they go to the library?

My kids don’t have a computer. Gasp. We go to the library at least 3x a week. We are obsessed with the library. I just wrote a poem yesterday about it.

A14

Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your children? 

Joe and I love Greece. I lived there back in the day and we have been together for our very belated honeymoon a few years back. I would love to take the kids someday when we can afford it. We secretly plan a year off someday and want to do a round the world trip. It’s a desire. It’s a life goal I suppose.We just went to Lake Erie this past summer for a quick trip. Large bodies of water make for amazing kiddo trips. It’s all you need. They just stare. Boats. It’s amazing. Kids and water. Mouths hang open. Love it.

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Amy for sharing it with us!

..Little Alouette..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

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Mom Story: Janine from Uppercase Magazine

J1

Hello! My name is Janine Vangool and I’m the publisher/editor/designer of UPPERCASE magazine and books. My husband, Glen Dresser, is a writer working on his second novel and we live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with our 22 month old son Finley and our dog Percy.

J2

What kind of house do you live in—are you and your child happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

 We live in a small house in the Sunnyside neighbourhood in Calgary. It is a great location—just a block from the river and a twenty minute walk to downtown and my studio, UPPERCASE. The house is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, so for Calgary standards that’s actually quite old. Alas, the house doesn’t have any really great period features other than slanted floors and wobbly walls! Apparently, people didn’t need much closet space or large bathrooms in 1912, so those amenities are lacking.

J3

What do you like best about living there?

The neighbourhood is excellent. Though I purchased the house when I was single, the location still suits me and my family perfectly. There is a nice elementary school a couple blocks away, a nice park, great places to go for a walk and central to everything we need and do.

J4

Do you like to spend time decorating your home and the children’s room?

When I was expecting, we suddenly kicked our home care into high gear! I have to thank the birth of our child for a lot of upgrades to our living conditions. The most significant was redoing the kitchen entirely. And then once Finley was showing the ability to crawl we recovered our old splintered hardwood floors with gloss white snap-in-place floorboards. We painted the walls white and installed white floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the living room. It is pretty much all IKEA, but it was affordable, relatively easy and we’re very pleased with the results. I was a bit worried about whether we could live in an all-white interior, but other than having to occasionally wipe up Percy’s muddy paw prints, I love having white floors. It certainly makes the house feel brighter and more spacious. I wish I had time to do more decorating and sewing for my home, but I have far too many other things to do first.

J6

Do you keep your child’s play area separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

Finley is welcome to play throughout the main floor of the house. He likes to run back and forth between the living room and his bedroom. Since his room is quite small, he has some books and his toy train in there and the rest is out in the living room. He has his own section of the bookcase and I quite like looking at his toys strewn about—it’s the sign of a happy day!

J5

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?

I publish a book series called “The Suitcase Series." Each book is a complete immersion in the life, culture and craft of a particular artist. The first book was all about Swedish illustrator Camilla Engman —Glen and I were fortunate to go visit her home in 2009 when I was working on the book. Her lovely apartment (white floors!) and the Scandinavian aesthetic were a huge inspiration for our home’s interior. More recently, Finley, Glen and I stayed with Tif Fussell (for The Suitcase Series Volume 2: dottie angel). I love Tif’s interior decorating style—a mix of thrifted finds and handmade items really give a home soul.

J7

What is your child’s favorite item in your house?

We have a Fisher Price little village set that was mine from the mid seventies. Seeing how much he enjoys it and combined with his love of airplanes, his grandparents just gave him a Fisher Price airport from 1980 for Christmas. It’s complete with a plane, helicopter, baggage cars, luggage, people…the works!

J8

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Janine for sharing it with us!

..UPPERCASE magazine..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

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