Tag Archives: kid play

a new desk: before and after, and a mess


Frances' Room 2

Here’s a shot of F’s desk area from her baby days. We used the elfa system from the Container Store because we knew that it would easily grow with her, and it was definitely time to grow! The green Eames chair was just there for that photo, but F had a smaller green desk chair that she received as a first birthday gift from her grandparents.

You can see it buried there if you look closely. It’s underneath the avalanche of school items she brought home and her continuous collection of recyclable material. (Somewhat) in her defense, I had collected everything in her room into one place and dumped it all there so that the rest of the room was neat and orderly for vacation packing. Still, this area was driving me nuts.


These photos in the middle are crappy and ill-lit, but it was also after midnight on the day we had traveled home from vacation. I brought M along on my before-sunrise jaunt to the lighthouse, which meant we had been up in the 4 o’clock hour (central time) that morning. So naturally, 21 hours into our day, we decided to put together a new desk in a half darkened room, next to the sleeping birthday girl.


It took awhile, but mostly because we were trying to be quiet and we were also exhausted. We kept dropping things (loudly), and the drywall anchors for the magnetic strip didn’t work, so M had to raid the basement stash. I just piled all the mess up in the other corner of the room, and we did our best to get everything set up for the morning. I also wrapped E’s birthday gifts from her sister because she had passed out in her own bed before doing it.


I set up this little birthday chain of kids on top of the desk, and we left her other wrapped gifts on the desk.


She was still pretty sleepy in the morning – so sleepy that she didn’t even notice the changes at first, but afterwards she was really excited for the new space.


If you look back at the before photo, the desktop was about even with the top of the outlet to the right. It’s about 6″ higher at this point, and works well with the Eames chair that I moved back up here.

Desk 4

We raised the shelf on the left up, and added to pull out drawers to corral the art supplies. This allowed us to remove the bins that were always overflowing and took up a lot of precious work space. Now she has a ton more space to work on important projects, and it’s easier to see her supplies in the drawers. We have room for a third drawer if we get rid of that second shelf, but we’ll see how she uses the space she has first. We already had that shelf, so if it’s still functional, that’s great. 

Desk 1

We didn’t buy any additional art supplies because the girls already have plenty. My parents did buy the magnetic pieces and accessories that span between the vertical desk standards and add more supply storage that’s off the desktop. There are a few clear bins that have crayons and glues and erasers, some hooks for tape and triangles, these cute loops that hold her scissors collection – all of these just snap into the bracket – some magnetic glass topped containers that will be full of treasures soon, I’m sure… and plenty of fun magnets.

Desk 2

Desk 3

They don’t make the snap in magnetic bracket with the slots in a 30″ width, which is the width of the desk pieces on the right (where the chair is). But they suggested this magnetic strip which screws into the wall and is the same height as the bracket on the right. I picked out aqua and lime colored magnets, and couldn’t resist the birdie set either, right?


I haven’t changed much on the walls in this area over the last eight years, added a few things, subtracted others. This little desk area just makes me happy. I’ve been missing this kid this week – can’t wait to see her back and busy in this space.

Desk 6

PS – here’s the other gift she got – a tent and lantern for her mice!

Desk 5

extra curricular, in pictures

Soccer1 2014-09-13_1410622399 2014-09-09_1410271410

F’s been talking about soccer / dance / violin for ages now, but as I mentioned before, I underestimated her excitement about embarking on these new adventures. She walked right into her ballet class on Saturday morning and stood on the spot that was front and center. When the class lined up to do anything, she was first in line, immediately behind the instructor. For forty-five minutes she followed every single instruction, curved fingers and elbows, tapped (and didn’t tap) as instructed.

I haven’t seen as much of her violin work yet – in those early days they are learning how to hold a violin, the parts of the violin, and most importantly, how not to break it. So far it appears to still be intact, so that’s success. F’s anxious to move on to making some real music.

F has not been into soccer practice so much. I’ve heard she spends about as much time sulking on the sidelines, digging in the dirt. Practice is just an hour, once a week, but her days are long and she’s tired and hungry. Plus her dad is helping to coach, so there’s a formula for head butting right there. But the game? Oh, she loved her game. She still wakes up and talks about it with me. She loved playing goalie, throwing herself on the ball as it got near her. And she’s a talker -positioning herself perfectly for incoming balls – I’m open! I’m open! But what she really wants to do? Score.





friday morning in the (sweaty) garden

Why won’t they just let us move into this house?  Do I have to beg? 

Siamese lilies.

Having a drink.