Wants, Needs, Compromise

Photo: I don’t know what it was about this moment, but this set of cubbies full of little coats and boots and backpacks made me smile today. Maybe because I’m thinking about how big Ursa Minor has gotten… and how we are, as a family, transitioning away from babyhood.


Oh man. I’m tellin’ you… God is just really talking to me this week. Seriously. My Quiet Thoughts post is half-way written already… Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. I promise, I’m not crazy. But have you ever had a series of days just wrapped around the same narrative theme? Just like, a lesson of the week that clearly the universe has decided that you need to learn? No? So I’m crazy? Fine… I get that a lot. I’m still gonna type it out for Quiet Thoughts.

But this isn’t Quiet Thoughts. This is Wednesday. Check out this interaction:

I am picking up children from school. Ursa Minor is content. Ursa Major comes up to me with excitement.

“When are we going to go ice skating?”

Me, bewildered: “What? Uhm… we don’t… you don’t…”

Major: “And can we go skiing, too? I want to go skiing.”

Me: “What? But… I mean… you don’t even…”

Major: “[So and so] went skiing with his mom and…”

Me: “Uh huh…”

Blarg. This is semi-new territory that I don’t really have time to deal with right now. Major is in a bit of a “gimmie” stage right now: the world is full of desirable possessions and he wants them all. If it is a toy and it is in his eyesight, he wants it. It’s his. He understands that his desires can be given to him with a simple swipe. “Mommy, can we please go to the car store and buy some small cars for me?” “Mommy, can we go to the grocery store and buy me more cookies?” “I want to go to the plane store and buy a new plane because [Minor] has mine!”

And it is delightfully easy to look at my child, laugh, and say “no” to these requests. You are a child of privilege, yes, but we ain’t got it like that! Besides, Homey, you just had the best Christmas ever! So don’t go askin’ for anything else!


Anyway, it’s easy. So easy.

But this? This is a little bit harder to say no to. The winter sports thing is a lifestyle. An expensive, cold lifestyle. A lifestyle that I don’t really want to be a part of and I can’t really afford… not the way some of these folk can afford it, anyway. And yes, I know, there are ways to do this on the cheap. But the thing is, this is so uncharted for me that I don’t really know where I should be thrifty and where I should spend. All of this stuff has an element of danger that worries me, too. Not for death but, you know, broken limbs and stuff. So you get the skates, the pads, the helmet… it all adds up! Do you rent? Buy? Get it second-hand?

Anyway. Many of Major’s friends are participating in tot teach-to-skate and it’s money… and to go to the ski resort is money, and that’s before you rent the equipment. And the only reason why I feel bad is because, first, both activities are really good exercise and I really don’t want to deny the boys the opportunity to get out there and stay active. Second, as I’m reminded early and often, my boys are New Englanders and this is what New Englanders do. They ski. They skate. They tube. They put on shorts on the first day it hits 50 degrees. And this is the age to begin that kind of stuff. You get them out there early to learn the basics and then they become super-experts and NHL stars. Or they get on the slopes and become super-experts and end up in the alps or whatever.

So I didn’t really answer him. I told him that we were really busy this week and probably couldn’t go skating or skiing. There were other kids about who were distracting, so he shrugged it off. I know that it’s going to come up again. It isn’t really about the money (I’m totally lying. It’s about the money. I just gave my school a $1400 this week for enrollment next year. That’s after paying for Spring tuition back in November. Hit up before Christmas and right after… this school is absolutely killing me!), it’s about taking the time and deciding that one of these things are going to be a thing that we do. Unfortunately, this means one more thing for Mom to handle. The Husband is pretty non-committal (See: everything I’ve ever posted about going to church). He thinks it’s a good idea for the boys to do some sort of winter sport (“They’ve got the Blood of the North! They should be out in the cold!”) but he doesn’t seem to want to do that Saturday morning class routine (“Gosh, my weekend task-list is always so long…”). So, you know, there is that. Thanks, partner.

Ok, I’m done whining. Let’s talk DIY! We’re gearing up to do the living room but first, as promised, I got out to the fabric store and picked out a few samples for the dining room and playroom curtains. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any swatches (JoAnn’s fabric doesn’t do swatches, I was told? I thought that was weird…) so I bought a little bit of each one I liked. I figured that they will become pretty little things for the dining room anyway (placemats? napkins? table cloth?), so I didn’t howl too loudly. I will post the pictures without opinion. You tell me what you think. I’ll tell you what The Husband things on Friday (he hasn’t seen them yet).

20150114_143725 20150114_143718

Ok, so this is for the playroom. Little did I know that this print is $19.99 a yard! So, um… if you like it, don’t get too attached, yeah? There are ten windows in the playroom, so I don’t think that’s gonna work out. I would very much like to do this style of shade for the playroom. Just because it will be easy and then I won’t have to purchase too much equipment to keep the curtains up. It will also make it less likely that little boys will pull on the various accouterments that come with curtains…

On to the living room. Sorry for the poor white balance. I just suck at taking good pictures, it doesn’t seem to matter the phone…

Option A
Option B
Option C

It should be noted that there is no other pattern in the room. Just the bold-colored wall, the wooden build-in, and the wood trim of the windows in the room. There is a plant and there are a few things hanging, but that’s it for features. It isn’t a loud room. Even our dinnerware isn’t that loud (as I’ll demonstrate in a minute), so the room needs a little bit of something. I’m not afraid of color and I’m not afraid of pattern. I think that these fabrics could be great table dressing or window dressing. Here is how the would look as table dressing:









I didn’t choose the dinnerware set… it was given to us for Christmas as a celebration of the new dining room color. I am not a huge fan of white for kitchens or dinnerware (I find the color to just be cold. It drives me crazy.) but there is actually a lot of opportunity here. White plates mean two things: I get to paint with food, making the food colorful and appealing on the plate and I get to dress the table however I want. So, again, I don’t mind bold. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “bold on the window dressing and then bold on the table, too? Like, the whole table?” No… probably not. I’d probably go bold on the window and then go with a plain table cloth (with maybe minimal embellishment) and but then maybe play with color/pattern for the placemats and napkins. Not too crazy. Matter of fact, I think that there is potential for a good combination of these three depending on what goes on the window… Stay tuned.

You hanging in there this week, reader? Is the universe talking to you, too? Can’t wait to write that Quiet Thoughts post. See you Friday!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Britt says:

    1. The boys do NOT need to ski. It’s ridiculously expensive. Mine just went for the FIRST time this winter. It was ridiculously expensive. And I hate being cold. (They loved it, but that does not add to my argument.)

    2. LOVE the playroom pattern. Like, love love love. Also option #2; but then I’d probably go with option #3 because it is a tad more classic?


    1. K.C. Wise says:

      See, but do your boys skate? That’s also expensive! Those skates are not a joke! And boys’ feet GROW!! ALL THE TIME!!! They will barely be in the skates for a whole SEASON when this growth engine really starts going, you know??

      I love the playroom one too… my husband was lukewarm. But seriously, $20 a yard for 10 windows… it ain’t a little bit of money…

      I am SO excited too!! I really can’t wait!!!

  2. Marneymae says:

    Playroom fabric is SO gorgeous
    I like A & C the best
    But all seem great

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      But is it $20 A YARD gorgeous, though?? That’s my big question… I didn’t know that when I picked it up… Even with the 30% discount I earned from my purchase today, that’s no little investment…

      1. Marneymae says:

        I know, i know
        Im just sayin’ its a nice match with the colors.
        Bet there will be another fabric far less expensive that’ll be super in there

      2. Marneymae says:

        Plain colored fabric + potato prints + fabric paint with the same colors of the $20/yd fabric??

        1. K.C. Wise says:

          Maybe I’ll look online. You are right, there must be something out there. My jaw dropped at the price when it rang up on the machine. I think it’s because it’s fade resistant or some such… Green is pretty much the only thing that is going to work well in that room. Hm hm hmm…

        2. K.C. Wise says:

          Whoa now. This is pretty genius! Especially because the boys can get in on that potato print action! Whooooaaa!! Whole new world.

          If I can replicate that paint color! Gonna look into it! GENIUS, Marneymae!!!!!

  3. 1. Skates can sometimes be found second hand. You will need helmets, but the other padding is unecessary (unless they are playing hockey). We are waiting until next winter to get our kids skates, because I’m not spending money on skates they will wear twice. Also, I’ve seem them walk on their regular feet. It aint pretty;)
    2. Tobaganing, even on a tiny hill you shovel up with the driveway snow will go a long way for their age. We did it today, the kids had the most fun ever!
    3. Consider snowshoes. That’s what we are investing in next winter. They will last longer, can easitly be passed down to younger siblings, and you can use them more.

    I don’t like winter either, but we are Canadian so we HAVE to embrace it;) Our kids love being out in the snow. It seems they’re Trini blood isn’t as strong as mine! Ha!

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