Friday, October 22, 2010

fresh start

every time i move its a chance to start over. i think 'this time i'll be really organized'. i throw out old clothes or pants too tight i hope one day i'll fit into again. yesterday i gave our maid vivi two big bags of clothes to share amongst her 9 children. it was time to say good-bye to the 'cupcakes make people happy' tee from Magnolia Cupcakes that i bought on our 5 year anniversary vacation to NYC. i've decided that as i head towards the big 4-0, there are certain clothing items no longer appropriate - anything 'mini' - skirts, t-shirts, t-shirts with slogans are out, skinny jeans, etc. well, the list is in progress. shoes count too. converse high tops - out (ok, i never had any but many women here on the wrong side of 35 wear them).

hugh is on board with this idea and we've decided to at long last - adultify our home furnishings. our goal with the move is to have a home we can feel comfortable inviting friends and the president of any major company over for a drink. that means getting a new couch for the living room that utta is not allowed to sleep, drool, vomit, pee and smear eye goo on. the old couch will be cleaned and put in the new 'playroom'. we will finally invest in bedside tables and put the plastic set of drawers in the laundry room to house junk. the rugs will be professional cleaned, papers will be organized into tidy file folders and keys will reside in the key basket. i hope it lasts awhile. its so hard to stay clutter free with a toddler that roams room to room grabbing things and putting them somewhere else.

so our new apartment is bigger - almost twice the size of our current place. also we'll have what they call 'palier privado' - meaning only one apartment per floor so we don't have to share the elevator hall with any neighbors. i expect this to make a huge difference with managing utta's barking episodes (that wake up sleeping babies). here, utta barks every time someone stops at our floor alerting us of the potential intruder. she's become more and more protective (read: barky) with each move, with each new family member. some days it seems i spend every 15 minutes telling utta to shush. this new apartment should eleviate some of that. we'll also be a block and a half from valentina's preschool.

for me the hardest part of becoming a mother was the loss of personal space. some days i long for a tiny room of my own i can just go into for 5 minutes and close to the door to all the demands. well, i'm sure i'm not alone in that fantasy. moving won't get me that room just yet, but it will bring me a step closer. our plan is to have the girls share a room - at what point will depend on maxima's sleeping habits and my effort to force the issue. right now i can't imagine it as valen chats to herself - singing, having imaginary conversations with her babydolls and stuffed animals up to a half hour or so before drifting off to slumberland. maxima still cries for a minute or two while settling in for the night.

our neighbor carmen from the 8th floor has two girls - lola 3yrs and carmen jr 14 months. they've slept in the same tiny room since carmen jr was 4 months old. but, this is also the mother who said 'children are like animals, they can be trained'. she is not a fan of attachment parenting as you can imagine. when her girls were newborns, she let them stay in poopy diapers so that they would 'learn' not to poop in the middle of the night. she said it worked after only one or two episodes. she also had them on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule from birth. they seem happy and well adjusted so it's hard to judge but her parenting philosophy is pretty extreme. she comes from family of 7 siblings in spain and wants a big brood too. she's already 4 months along with #3 and should have no trouble getting this new one to cooperate with their structured family life. one thing i've learned from my own trial and error is that every child has different needs and every family has to find what works for them. there is no cookie cutter way to do anything with kids.