Now that RM and I finally have a place to call home (and from which we don’t have to move from a very long time) and a baby on the way we’re starting to get mightily excited about furnishings of all sorts, including baby stuff.
Our new unit is a curious mix of Art Deco/21st century modern and so I’ve started haunting eBay for vintage items like old wooden desks, as well as shiny metal modern pieces like an Arco floor lamp. We’ve also morphed into middle-aged retired couple persons and taken to browsing vintage furniture shops on our weekend.
The strangely named The Bitch is Back (100A Barkly St, St Kilda) is well-known in interior design circles as a shop stocking vintage mid-century furniture in excellent condition with some new, retro-inspired pieces dotted amongst the display. The front corner room was particularly exciting for me – lots of gasp-inducing statement lamps and chandeliers (I have a real thing for lamps at the moment). As you pick your way through the first room the shop extends back to about three rooms, piled high with cupboards, wooden tables, smooth Danish designed chairs and bric-a-brac such as old scales, radios and vases.
While there was lots to love in the shop (and the friendly owner told us that their online catalogue changes with new stock all the time) in the end, RM and I agreed on only a single item that suited our needs and budget – a bird lamp for the nursery for $99. Not sure of its provenance or designer, but we like it and we hope NKOTB will too.
It’s comforting to know as a soon-to-be parent that no matter what you do, you can’t possibly cause your child more long term emotional damage than parents who sign their kids up to Japanese game shows:
It’s a low bar, but it’s always reassuring to know that there are worse parents out there than you…
Well, I’m now 24 weeks pregnant and still on two wheels. I get a lot more puffed these days and am riding much slower, but the weather is improving and I feel much more happier on my bike than I do walking, or rather, lumbering around on my feet (which thankfully are not swollen…yet).
Here are some shots my friend Cheryl took of me cycling with my maternity wardrobe. I thought it might provide some inspiration for mums out there who are feeling (a) frumpy about wearing maternity clothes and/or (b) unsure about whether it’s possible to ride a bike when you have a growing belly.
My latest inspiration is a mobile reminiscent of an Alexander Calder sculpture like the one we saw at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. Calder’s mobiles generally sell for hundres of thousands of dollars, so a cheaper alternative I’ve found is the Danish-made Flensted mobiles which are available in Australia from Melbourne store make Designed Objects.
Apparently mobiles are traditional craft in Denmark and Flensted’s creations range from traditional kid’s shapes like cars, balloons or butterflies to more abstract varieties. I’m leaning towards something like the Flying Saucers, Mirage, Bauhaus or Breeze.
On one level, this video is simply highly entertaining. Who would have thought that a nine month old that can’t even walk yet would be able to do circle work?
But moreso, this video really spoke to me because it reinforced a parenting principle that I’m hoping to put into effect with the NKOTB. As with all pre-arrival statements made on this blog, feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but at this stage, I’m really hoping to be disciplined enough to employ a parenting approach that allows the NKOTB to be able to occupy itself independently without constant parental attention. Obviously I don’t intend to ignore her or starve her of attention, but it’s important to me that she be able to develop an independent mindset from an early age. I don’t want her to be reliant on something external to herself to occupy her mind or time (even if its me).
Not sure if that makes sense. But I’ve got a strong vibe about this!
So I was crunching on my cheese on toast this morning when I came across Mia Freedman’s article ‘Drawing the party line‘. Basically in it she talks about the plethora of new ‘traditions’ springing up and whose main purpose seems to be separating your loved ones from their cash or their free time.
The sentence that really hit home for me and the one that’s inspired me to interrupt my Sunday breakfast to blog was this ‘Where is the sensitivity to the fact that people have busy lives and financial pressures and may not want to devote days, nights and hundreds of dollars to the festival of All-About-You? Especially when their circumstances may be in stark contrast to those of the people they’re being asked to shell out for.’
It is precisely for that reason that I didn’t want any sort of engagement party. I chose not to have a hen’s night/day/weekend before my wedding. I don’t think I’ll be inviting my mostly childless friends who work full time to celebrate the birthday of a barely walking/talking/eating solids NKOTB.
That’s not to say that I think it was wrong of my friends to hold engagement parties or hen’s events or first birthday parties (or baby showers or kitchen teas or whatever). When I’ve been invited to these celebrations I have always gone along to be part of their joy with an open heart and bearing presents .
But I personally feel uncomfortable with all of this enforced and endless gift-giving. Especially when I know that some of my friends and family are in much tighter financial circumstances than me.
So for those of my lovely friends who have asked whether I’m having a baby shower, the answer is no. I also don’t expect any gifts from you before or after the baby’s born but any that are given will be gratefully and graciously received (see Amazon Baby Register if you like).
However, what I will be having is a sushi shower. Because I haven’t been eating sushi all through my pregnancy and I’m really craving it. So this is the plan: after the birth I’ll gather my girlfriends on a weekend, have lunch at a cheap Japanese restaurant in the city, get Tim to bring the baby around for cuddles and gushing for a limited period, then get back to having adult conversations that aren’t all about me, my baby and my life.