wolfgang kalman's room

as some of you may know, we are trying to sell our house. i decided that before we move i would like to do a tour in photos of each room. this is the first house we have ever owned, not rented and wolfgang was born while living here, so this house is very dear to us and one we will look back on many times. i begin this house tour with wolfgang's room.

i decided before wolfgang was born that i wanted to keep things simple. quality, not quantity. his sister, eleanor, had everything under the sun. you couldn't walk through our house without tripping over a shiny, noisy, plastic toy. well, almost seven years later i am older and wiser.

 i am not someone who buys a lot of clothes for my children. in fact, i literally buy the bare minimum. it helps that i am a stay at home mum and can do laundry often enough where it really isn't a problem. we decided not to invest in a dresser for him yet because his room has a darling window seat that works perfectly to store clothes and blankets. his closet is where i keep his most treasured items. he has some of my brother's clothes, eleanor's hand me downs and a jacket and cowboy hat that belonged to my father! 

on his shelf are our favorite books that were handed down from sister. if you have never read Go Track a Yak we highly, highly recommend it! i also keep some eucalyptus in a tiny basket to make the room smell welcoming. eucalyptus has a way of making you wanna curl up and relax, so i keep it in almost every room in the house. even the shower! 

in his toy basket are wooden animals and finger puppets that we buy at our local farmer's market, some old dresser knobs and a few other quality items that were gifted to him. for his first birthday, which is next week! we invested in some nice building blocks. they are a current favorite around here and we are still learning how to share them with sister. 

my favorite thing in his room is his rocking chair. this chair belonged to my grandma's great grandpa. so, so antique! it is in excellent condition and creaks like a song. this is something i will hold onto forever. 

here are some items of his that i love and would recommend to anyone with a little one!


a lesson on giving : marigolds

this week in home school our science lessons have been about the parts of plants and seeds. we have scavenged our yard looking for flowers and remaining garden goods to dissect. eleanor is so sweet galloping around the yard, pulling things from the dirt and yelling, "mama! how about this?!" well, during our plant and seed study, eleanor decided to pull up the rest of our marigolds and bring them inside. she dumped her basket on the table and started dissecting each one to look for their seeds. we had the idea to make seed packets for friends. she loves making things for her family and is always looking for a good excuse to get the glue and scissors out. this is an easy activity to do with your little ones. i love it because it teaches the art of giving and that is a wonderful thing for our babies to learn.

step one: grab a small basket and send your little one on a hunt for marigolds.

step two: once they have come inside and dumped their flowery goods, pick out the flowers that have dried and pull them apart. these are the seeds to use. if the flowers haven't dried yet, just sit them aside until they have lost their moisture.

step three: find an old seed packet to use as a template. carefully take it apart and trace on any paper you chose. if your child is able, have him or her do the tracing and cutting! of course for our tots you will need safety scissors!

step four: fold into place and glue. we used elmers rubber cement. it is easy enough for eleanor to use, but it can be quite messy!

step five: have your little one draw a picture of a marigold and sign their name! now you can stuff your packet with seeds (about three flowers worth is what we used) and seal. voila!

step six: the best part!  now you can have him or her hand them out or mail to a distance friend or relative! enjoy!


late night rambles

often times i scroll through my instagram feed or pinterest and find myself feeling envious. i feel like this is normal, right? social media is great. i love it. i only use instagram and am new to pinterest, but i enjoy it so much. it feels good to be inspired by someone else, but often times dare i say it feels ... icky? discouraging? like, why can't i do that? why don't i look like that? her house is perfect. her life is perfect. her clothes, her stuff, her words ... perfect. it especially feels icky when i am having a shit day. a day when eleanor and i clash at school, wolfgang is fussy, arick and i aren't meshing well and halfway through the day i have secretly locked myself in the bathroom and am sobbing uncontrollably. oh, or the days that i couldn't take a decent photo if a gun was held to my head. my husband tells me that it isn't a big deal and i know it isn't, but it is though. it is because i am home all day everyday and social media is basically my hobby. and yes, i know that no ones life is perfect and it is hard to really know someone's life through a lovely little square and i know that those other women are most likely hiding in their bathrooms crying their eyes out some days, too.  i am smiling now as i type because i just realized that it is all okay. it really is. someone can post a photo of their beautiful, crisp, white, neatly made bed, but directly behind them is a pile of dirty laundry or plastic toys that you cannot see in the photo. and that is what makes it all so sweet. so endearing. we all know it's there. we all know you aren't perfect. but you are still special and human and wonderful and so am i. ahh.

oh and another thing that makes me feel icky.,, photos of me. i know some women on IG who post selfies or photos taken of them often and i freaking love that. their confidence amazes me. i feel so vulnerable. i usually crop my head off or wear a big floppy hat to hide my face. i feel so bad for my husband. i will ask him to take a photo of me and i rarely like it. i love his effort though. it's not his fault. i'm just weird and do not always feel good about the way i look. it's no big deal, it's just who i am. 

eleanor took a photo of me nursing wolfgang and i love it. i feel too weird uploading it to instagram, but i wanted it to be somewhere because one day i will love looking back on it. this is my true self. i hadn't even brushed my teeth yet. my armpits are hairy and smelly and i have dark circles from sleepiness and old mascara. this is what my motherhood looks like. so what that i do not always take the perfect photo or that someone else is better at something than me or that there is a woman out there that has a prettier house. my life is pretty great. maybe i just need to be more thankful. okay. rant over.

P.S. not pictured is a huge pile of dirty clothes and some plastic toys. 

P.S.S. i have the biggest smile on my face right now. thanks for reading this diary of mine. i would hug all of you if i could. goodnight. 


a home school routine

i will begin with saying that this is a routine i like to follow, not one i always follow. sometimes we have doctors appointments to work around or other life happenings that may interfere.

our day to day looks a bit like this:

7:30AM to 7:45AM - rise and shine! daddy leaves for work and we have our breakfast. this consists of a bowl of granola with milk, a glass of OJ and a multivitamin.

7:45AM to about 8:30AM - Eleanor and Wolfgang play with toys on the living room floor while watching PBS. this time is for me to sip on hot coffee and complete my mornings chores. my chores include sweeping the kitchen and dining room, wash breakfast dishes and any left over from the night before, wipe down the counters and water plants that need watering.

8:30AM  to about 10:00AM - we head up to the school room for math. during this time, Wolfgang plays with toys on the floor and while Eleanor does her workbook problems, i take that time to work a little with him. i will blog soon about some of the games and activities i use to teach him.

10:00AM  to 10:30AM - i nurse Wolfgang down for a nap and Eleanor has some free time to complete a puzzle or color. she is not excused from school and any activity she chooses to do must be in the school room. sometimes if we are hungry, i will bring up a snack, but usually we are okay and can hold off until lunch.

10:30AM to 12:00PM - reading and language arts. we use this time to practice reading, she writes in her journal and completes workbook pages.

12:00PM to 1:00PM- daddy is home and we eat lunch, all together, at the dining room table. by this time Wolfgang has awoken from his morning nap and i allow Eleanor to play anywhere she pleases. after lunch, i clean up the kitchen and then we head back to the school room.

1:00PM to 2:00PM - during this last hour of school we study science or social studies or health. these subjects alternate.

2:00PM to 2:15PM - wrap up. once Eleanor has cleaned up the school room, we hug and she is excused. she usually yells, "bye, teacher!" as she bounces down the stairs and it is the highlight of my day.

2:15PM to about 5:30PM - during this time Eleanor is usually rummaging the kitchen cabinets for snack food. i take this time to do some laundry and cleaning or just relax for a bit. Wolfgang explores the house eating crumbs and pulling board games out of the wardrobe. around 3:30PM Wolfgang goes down for his second nap.

5:30PM to 7:00PM - dinner! this is when it begins to get a little hectic and i am sure most moms would agree! my husband turns on some music, i cook dinner, we eat dinner, we play go fish or whatever game Eleanor wants to play, i do the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

7:00PM to 8:30PM - baths, books and bed! Eleanor and i usually take a shower together and daddy entertains Wolfgang. after our shower i get Wolfgang in the tub. we floss, brush our teeth and brush Eleanor's hair. that last thing is our biggest challenge every night. Eleanor has so much hair and she screams through every tangle i comb through. i will be so glad when she can brush her own hair! i have yet to find a detangling spray that works. finally, we hop on mama's bed and read a book. immediately after that i tuck Eleanor in her bed and rock Wolfgang to sleep.

8:30PM to 11:00PM - my husband and i watch netflix or i sit in bed and blog. lately we have been hooked on Peaky Blinders. OMG it is so good. i also enjoy laying in my bed and falling asleep to The Office.

so, that is our day in a nutshell. on Tuesdays we do not have school at home because Eleanor attends art school from 11:30AM to 1:30PM and then has ballet/tap from 4:30PM  to 5:30PM. yes, Tuesdays are crazy. speaking of art ... we do not schedule art into our home school routine because art is something i encourage her to do whenever she likes. Eleanor spends a lot of her free time painting, coloring, drawing and creating. this is something you will find her doing more often than playing with barbies. also, living walking distance to the art institute has been great!

i always enjoy reading how other home schoolers or stay at home moms spend their day, so i hope you guys like this post!

it has been raining everyday for like two weeks and today was beautiful, so we decided to spend the day in the woods. we always enjoy that so much. when i asked Eleanor her favorite part of the hike she said, "pretending to be a fox, singing with mama, catching falling leaves on my tongue like snowflakes and listening to all the beautiful sounds." here are some photos from our day.


wednesday // a picnic

a few weeks back we went apple picking with a friend of mine and her baby boy. today we decided to meet up again at another orchard for a picnic. the weather was amazing ... mid-sixties, the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze. it was the perfect fall day.

 watching the boys interact with one another is always adorable. at one point they were feeding each other carrots in the same way the bride and groom share champagne during the toast. so friggin' cute. eleanor enjoyed running around and finding all of the pink pumpkins in the giant bins they had outside. it felt great for me to chat with another stay at home mom face to face. truth is, i do not have many mom friends, so whenever i have a chance to visit with one it feels so refreshing. 

after our picnic we drove about a half mile down the road to a jersey farm. they are pretty famous around here for their delicious ice cream. they even have some farm animals to feed, tractors to climb on, batting cages, putt-putt golf and other seasonal activities. i went all out and got the apple dumplings with cinnamon ice cream and oh man, it was one of the greatest desserts i have ever had in my life. in fact, my mouth is watering for more right now. i let eleanor run around for a bit and feed the goats. this girl loves goats. when i was little we had a couple and i would love to get her at least one. crossing my fingers we will be able to once our house sells and we move to the country. 

side note: i have been listening to foxygen a lot lately. they are fun in the car or while you are cleaning the house. if you haven't heard them, i recommend. xo. 


hello, it's me ... over here! it's Kristen.

most days this mom gig means never being alone and that's okay. we wouldn't trade it, would we? i love being smothered by my babes all day, everyday. i am even okay with never taking a poop with the door closed and it has only gotten worse now that wolfgang is cruising. i can't even wipe without him trying to reach in behind me to splash in the toilet water. don't worry ... i never allow him to succeed. from sunrise to sundown i am a mom. as i type this i can't even remember the last time someone called me by my name and a knot just swelled in my throat and a tear ran down my cheek. it's okay though. it really is.

anyway, on tuesdays eleanor goes to art school from 11:30am - 1:30pm. usually wolfgang and i drop her off, grab some lunch or do some shopping. arick was able to watch wolfgang today, so i went alone. at first i was so giddy because i just didn't know what to do. where to eat? where should i go? i can do anything i want for two whole hours? by myself? wow. it felt so huge. it felt life changing almost. at the very least, mood changing if you know what i mean. 

i decided to go thrifting first and i walked down each and every aisle. i look at every brass candlestick holder. every sweater, men and womens. i flipped through every record. i sat in every chair. i picked up every basket. i truly existed in that thrift store. i even made small talk with other loners in the store and that is something i almost never do. i felt so free in there. 

next, i went to the florist shop where i bought my wedding flowers seven years ago. i hadn't been in that florist shop since my wedding day. why not i do not know. i bought some eucalyptus and talked to the florist about wreath making, which is something i plan on doing soon and i wanna get really good at it. next door to the florist shop is a smoothie restaurant where we eat lunch sometimes. i went in for a chocolate chip cookie. one of the staff members put it in the oven for me and it came out so warm and gooey. even talking to the employee there felt different without kids in tow. i could feel myself glowing almost. i felt so feminine and real. am i the only one who understands this feeling? is it just me? 

lastly, i took a walk ... eucalyptus and gooey cookie in hand. it was raining, but i didn't care. as i walked down the sidewalk it felt as if i were floating in the middle of the ocean. i could feel every wave ripple against my skin. every breath felt like the first breath id ever taken. i was infinite. i had a name. i was Kristen. 

whenever i picked up eleanor, i couldn't wait to hug her. to feel her warmth and love. in that two hours, i had hit the reset button. i had reminded myself that i am still here. i will always be mom, but i will also always be me.