Mabel’s House Re-Post: The Nest


*originally posted July 2011

The bedroom is starting to feel like a nest. I like sleeping next to her. It’s nice.

And here’s that halibut and risotto I was telling you about. Yum.


Mabel’s House Re-Post: Here Already

*originally posted May 2011

Today is the day. It’s the end of maternity leave.

 It hurts.

Nine hours away from her.

Five days a week.

 My stomach is in knots.
I’m doing what I have to do.
But I don’t think this hole in my heart will ever totally heal.

And a word of advice. Please don’t say this phrase to a woman going to back to work:

“Quit your job, you’ll regret it if you don’t.”

Know that 99.9% of all working mothers are working because they have to. Not because they drive BMW’s. Not because they want to maintain the mortgage on a mansion. But because if they don’t the government will foreclose on their modest homes. So don’t give advice like that. Be kind. Be encouraging. Wish us luck, because we need it.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: A Chat With Sophie

*originally posted May 2011

Jane thinks Sophie is pretty cool. They have lots of conversations in what I can only assume is a special baby code language.

They’re probably discussing my inability to change a poopy diaper in timely manner. Or the fact that I keep putting gloves on her because I’m too chicken to cut her fingernails.

Either way, there’s some kind of anti-mother conspiracy going on.

I can sense it.

Mabel’s House Re-Post: Presto Chango

*originally posted December 2010

For the last year I’ve passed by these black bookshelves and those recovered lampshades and thought, “Eh. I really hate those. Why did I do that?”

The black bookshelves remind me of a dorm room. Plain and simple. I see them work in other people’s houses. They look chic and pulled together. But not in my living room. In my living room they looked like a dormitory circa 1995 with The Cranberries playing softly in the background while someone tucks their shirt into highwater pants. Because let’s face it. In 1995 we all had highwater pants.

The lampshades are vintage and I recovered them in burlap. It was my attempt at being crafty. But when I flick the switch they illuminate this awful, orange glow reminiscent of a dorm room circa 1978 with Tammy Wynette singing softly in the background while someone sprays their giant bangs with Aquanet and makes plans to meet their boyfriend at the local pool hall. Obviously at a southern university.

And over the break I began to realize, “You are about to be a mother. A mother with doctors bills and daycare fees and cute outfits to buy. Soon there will be very little money or time or energy to change things. You’ll have to live with those shelves and lampshades FOREVER.” OK. Perhaps that’s a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

So we got new shelves and new lampshades.Consider it my last superfluous decorating hurrah. It was a cheap change, and one that I could kick myself for not having done sooner. The white bookshelves were cheap ($26 a piece from Target). The accessories are exactly the same. The shades were also from Target ($15 a piece).

What happened to those vintage spray painted turquoise lamps? Let’s just say in the midst of all this there was in incident with lamp harps and pliers, which resulted in a lot of glass and dead lamps. It’s a long and exhausting story not worth my telling or your reading. I may have tried to bribe my neighbor into play TAPS, because hello. Christmas. Broken lamps.


So the new white shades got new white lamps. They are also from Target and not on sale ($29.99 each). Every now and then you have to splurge, especially after you’ve said goodbye to beautiful, vintage, turquoise lamp bases that you loved with all your heart.

I’m so glad for this presto chango, especially since the long shadows of winter come so much earlier in the afternoon. It’s like someone turned on the sun in our living room. Even if it came at the expense of my aqua lamps. Bright lamps, no more dark book shelves. Just what the doctor ordered. Those Swedes with their white floors and white walls and white slip covered furniture might be onto something genius.

*The pillows are also from Target. And I have no idea why Mabel feels such a pressing need to be in every single house photo I take, but she does. So annoying, yet so endearing all at the same time.


Mabel’s House Re-Post: Bye Bye Belly Button

*originally posted December 2010


When I woke up yesterday morning my belly button was gone. Totally stretched flat. Evaporated. I felt a little abandoned. It was almost as if she’d said, “Sorry Liz. I’ll only go with you so far, but this is too much. Call me when you’re done being pregnant. Until then I’ll be vacationing in Jamaica.”


And to go with my no-belly-button-stomach-situation, I realized I had an overwhelming urge to eat tomatoes. Lots of them. Regular tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes. Fresh mozzarella. Balsamic vinegar.

So we made the trip to Whole Foods and brought these babies home.

Hello awesome tomatoes. Bye belly button. See you next April. Or not.