A Few Things

September 6, 2013

fruit bowl

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did you have a good week? Any fun plans for the weekend? Our big plans: We have a school picnic on Saturday and we’re speaking in church on Sunday. Should be fun.

I’m hoping I get some time with my laptop this weekend as well. There are so many posts I’d like to write up! I want to tell you more about our schools here in Oakland. And share this year’s What to Wear to School posts. And I want to write up an update on my mental health situation as well. Crossing my fingers I can make it happen.

In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

Rainbow stairs are proliferating in Turkey. Thanks, Maike!

- For anyone passionate about miniatures.

- The topic was handled humorously by The Onion, but it mirrors how I feel. What in the world is a good solution?

- A hip, gender neutral nursery.

- Erin Loechner’s new site launched and it’s already irresistible. Meet: Clementine Daily.

- Have you ever seen zip bags before? Thanks, Heidi.

- Homemade push pops.

- While school is on our minds, what do you think of this article?

- If Disney Princesses had Instagram.

- 19 DIY party hats!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already!


P.S. — We are looking to hire a native French speaker to help us keep up our language skills. We’re imagining conversation hours a couple times per week. Not babysitting. Not grammar review. Just chatting and playing games in natural French. If you’re up for it (or know someone else who is), please let us know.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux September 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Love the links…especially if Disney Princesses had an instagram…was totally laughing…someone has excellent humor!!

Wishing you well this weekend – Hope you are as productive as you want to be. I know how great it feels to get things crossed off the “list”. Happy weekend – Enjoy!!


2 ellen patton September 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Tomorrow is our annual Ward Clambake at Crane Beach in Massachusetts; I can’t wait! $7 lobsters, delicious food, and a beautiful beach and a fun day with my people. :)


3 giulia September 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Gabby! The Meet Olive Us video! Definitely my favorite, ever. Your kids are incredible, I want to be best friends with each one of them:)


4 Chris September 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I don’t have heaps of time to read blogs like I did but I always check in with yours and I especially liked this week. Your thoughts are so refreshingly honest and positive. You have a knack, gal. That said, it can’t be easy when you are feeling low, made a huge move with your family, and are working & raising a family. I question my mental state a lot these days because it’s hard parenting & working. I’m not very good at balance. We had a guy come stay at the Inn last year (and back again this summer) and he has a whole movement about living in the moment. He’s great and I don’t usually get into this sort of stuff but his thoughts, although not necessarily unique, seem so genuine and thoughtful coming from him. I noticed he has some shows on ulive as well and I watched a few after watching Olive Us. I have to turn away from the internet sometimes because I end up just feeling more overwhelmed and find myself procrastinating my time away BUT I really admire and am glad for voices like yours and Dave who are so clear, honest, and genuine. I feel engaged and uplifted and that’s what I need to feel. So even in this hard time for you, your talents are shining through to me.–whoa, that was sappy but whatever, it’s true and that’s how it came out and now my internet time is up and I need to get back to work. Check out Dave if you need a quick pick me up.



5 elizabeth September 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm

The schools article – “Five things I wish I’d never obsessed over while my kids were in school” – made me laugh aloud (the whale part). I also agree with the final statement in #5: “Every measure of child and adolescent mental health has deteriorated since we’ve decided that children are best served by being relentlessly pushed, overloaded, and tested.” However, I just finished talking to a friend who has legitimate concerns about her 5 year old son having a learning disability. She’s casting about to figure out what’s going on with him and how to help him. However, she keeps bumping into other people’s issues and lack of understanding of learning disabilities. Here’s what people say to her: he’s a boy with a summer birthday, just give him time; it’s developmental and he’ll grow out of it; or the implied criticism that she somehow can’t accept anything short of an Einstein child (not true). As a parent of an older child with a learning disability, I just want to say to parents who are concerned: trust your gut, getting a diagnosis was really helpful for us and our son (it’s a description with an accompanying path, not a label of a person’s being), and that early intervention is very helpful. So while the article made me laugh out loud and I agree with much of it, I also know that we do have to advocate for and support our children (not that the author was saying otherwise). It’s finding that balance – and that balance is certainly easier to see in the rearview mirror.


6 Christy@SweetandSavoring September 7, 2013 at 6:14 am

I’m looking forward to those posts you’re hoping to write, as well :) I also wanted to tell you how much I loved the post about your new high school- I certainly don’t know many white parents who’d say they like their children being the racial minority at school. So refreshing and an insightful perspective, I’m sure. (Referring a bit to the Onion article link, imagine if all American children got to experience being the racial minority among Iraqi children, or Syrian children, or Afghan children…?)
Hope you have a good weekend! Mine is already filled with a lot of studying and reading for nursing school :)


7 cath September 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

Apparently, there’s a company in Normandy France making those zip bags, names zip Mania I think.


8 Jenny P September 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I really liked, “Five things I wish I’d never obsessed over while my kids were in school.” As a mom (albeit of a toddler) and a teacher, I was especially appreciative of #2 “Worrying if the teacher is a good fit.” The day before school started this year I received a page-long email from a mom giving me a detailed report of how best to speak to, respond to, and teach her 14-year old son. Yikes.

The school project one was hilarious and I will have to remind myself of it in a few years when my little one starts getting projects. It grosses me out when parents do their kids’ projects for them but I’m sure it’s a challenge to help your child be happy with their independently-created finished product when some of the other kids’ parents have hired professional diorama makers. (Do kids still make dioramas??)


9 Susan Michael Barrett September 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Delighted to find you and your blog (and Pinterest/Facebook). Your P picture is wonderful (I have hair envy).

Great post. The homework and grades stop-its are important. (I’m an Alfie Kohn fan, and teacher–Montessori, parent, art museum) Giving up obsessing is worthy practice in itself.

I’ve bookmarked your place. PS Thanks for the links (especially that mirroring).


10 Karen in Ireland September 9, 2013 at 9:17 am

Agree, the first week or so back at school is always crazy – as kids are tired, and there never seems enough hours to fir everything into the day!!! It is also that awkward weather when its not too cold yet but is starting to get dark and feels wintery! Thanks for the Zip bags link, never heard of them, but omg they are handy little things to have!


11 Butterfly Mama September 9, 2013 at 10:45 am

Gabrielle, I love, love, LOVE what you wrote abt your public schools in Oakland. Thank you for the balanced & honest approach to the decision – Im curious if you will write abt your Elementary aged children’s schools/decision and whether or not you have different ‘priorities’ for your children’s schools based on their age/development?

Ive hemmed & hawed abt what to do when my child is ready for kindergarten next year (Fall 2014) – we reside one block away from the S. End in Boston’s Roxbury section, we are by far a minority in our area (we are white) and it doesnt bother me @ all. I love our rough around the edges neighborhood of devoted families as well as the convienence of the location. My extended family, however, is not impressed and having grown up in the privledged suburb of Belmont, my upbringing is calling me to question whether I should stay in where I am & get involved to help be the change in the schools that our children deserve, or play it safe & move to the ‘burbs…..


12 rachel grace September 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

Thank you so very much for sharing our nursery! We had a little girl, Selby Lake, on 4 September!


13 Monica September 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

So the zip bags are cool but the guy hosting the video was awesome! :)


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