charleston home with flowers

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 214: A Total Effort.

*Image above via Draper James.

My Latest Snag: The Old Sippy Cup Game.

We were a little late in weaning micro off the bottle for milk. He’s been drinking water out of straw/sippy cups for a long time, but we were deeply ingrained in the milk-in-a-bottle habit. With mini, we went cold turkey to sippy cups around 15 months (maybe earlier, I can’t quite remember), but with micro, I tried a few times — maybe once a month for several months in a row — and he would wail for his bottle and I would cave. It was always vaguely stressful to me, because he simply would not drink milk if not presented in his bottle, and then I’d worry he would go to bed hungry. Mr. Magpie is much better at these transitions than I am. I like to think I can put my foot down on things pertaining to safety, manners, and brattiness, but with changes pertaining to gear and schedule that have no bearing on behavior, I am a total pushover. (Good thing neither of my children cottoned to the pacifier! I hear pacifier-weaning is brutal!) Mr. Magpie made the point that he would eventually drink the milk if we persisted in giving him no other options as he loves milk and has always drunk as much of it as he has been given. With that encouragement, I was determined that we make the change and so I gathered up all his bottles, put them in the recycling bin, and then insisted he take his milk at mealtimes in other cups. I tried five or six styles but the one that finally clicked for him? The Nuk that worked with mini. It took a few days, but he finally started drinking consistently out of it rather than chucking it on the floor or looking at me with his sad puppy dog eyes. (In the meantime, I doubled down on dairy at mealtimes, offering him lots of cottage cheese, yogurt, and string cheese.) Something interesting happened in the process: we noticed he started eating a lot better at mealtimes when he wasn’t filling up as much on milk! It made us realize maybe we were giving him a little too much milk anyway. Good news all around.

At any rate, I really cannot recommend this cup enough for those of you in similar throes, or about to embark on the transition. It worked for both of my children and so many of my friends’ children as well. I think the spout has a similar feel to a bottle nipple, so it feels like more of a natural graduation.

I share all of this in excruciating detail to be honest with you: even the second time around, I still find these transitions challenging and still doubt whether I’m doing the right thing at the right time and still tinker with options. Motherhood is that way, isn’t it? An unfolding workshop.

*A few of the other cups I tried: Dr. Brown’s, Miniware, OXO, Nuby, Take and Toss, Re-Play. I’m confident I’ll be using all of these with him in the future. With mini, it was a matter of making the transition from bottle to Nuk and then within a few weeks, she would drink milk out of anything.

You’re Sooooo Popular: St. Barths Tote.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+The Naghedi St. Barth’s tote — perfect summer bag for moms on the go, beachgoers, etc.

+Easy-to-wear floral dress.

+My beloved highlighter.

+Athletic shorts for littles at a great price.

+Chic pareo at a phenomenal price.

+Love this rattan umbrella stand.

+Everyone’s favorite pantry storage bin.

+Juliet Dunn dress we all will be wearing all summer long.

+Now this dress is ready to party.

+A great espadrille for all of your summer adventures.

+$25 everyday dress. Great beach cover-up, too!

+The hair clips I’m obsessed with.

+My go-to detangler/heat protectant.

Weekend Musings: Total Effort.

One of the things I admire most about Mr. Magpie is his dogged, unwavering insistence on doing things the right way, all the way through. He does not cut corners. He leaves nothing half-done. If he’s going to do something, he’s going to put in “a total effort,” to borrow a phrase from golfer Arnold Palmer, who once said: “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.”

It’s not that I’m the type to take shortcuts (in fact, I have come to the perspective that there are very few shortcuts or hacks in life — you always end up paying for them one way or the other), but on occasion I have been known to err on the side of what I will possibly euphemistically call “the pragmatic.” I used to tell my perfectionist-leaning team members: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough” and “iteration is the name of the game.” I have a bias towards action when it comes to work — even now, as a solitary writer. I’d rather publish prolifically, making mistakes along the way but earning all of experience that extra mileage affords, than belabor a single piece to the point of high-polish. (The medium of the blog is a handy accomplice in this orientation, enabling me to make edits just as quickly as I publish.) I suppose I would consider myself in the “move fast and break things” camp, the informal internal mantra of Facebook until a few years ago, when the mentality no longer suited the behemoth it had become. I’d always prefer to put out a first version than to linger in draft mode for weeks.

Mr. Magpie and I are good colleagues in this sense — he is the yin to my yang in the running of businesses together and also in the administration of our lives at home. He is a total effort kind of guy, and I will sometimes find myself chopping an entire head of lettuce on a tiny cutting board just because I don’t feel like dirtying a second (larger) cutting board. (?!? Please tell me I’m not alone in that insanity.) It is a convenient clash that has prevented many missteps on both sides of the spectrum: we have jumped on opportunities at my behest and also avoided oversights at his. He is thorough, and I am quick. Still, I’d like to think that over time, I have learned to designate between the moments that call for a total effort and the moments that are a bit more accommodating and lower-stakes. As I head towards 40, I am beginning to find more of an appeal in the total effort camp: fewer things, done better.

(In all areas but writing, where I will persist in publishing at a slightly dizzying speed because I find the challenge stirring, and I am now addicted.)

What about you? Do you consider yourself a “total effort” kind of gal, or only in certain areas?

Post-Scripts.

+This stunning dress is $50 off through today (4/17) with code INC50.

+This strawberry bubble is beyond precious as is this liberty floral with the scallop edging!

+Nearly 43,000 five star reviews should tell you all you need to know about this misting hair spray bottle, which I use daily to style mini’s hair before school and on occasion when I have let my hair air-dry too long before using my Revlon One-Step. It’s a must. Added to my beauty essentials list.

+I think I need this belt bag for summer.

+This bar cabinet is a major splurge, but oh so chic.

+Love the shape and pattern on this new J. Crew dress style.

+Tiny gingham ruffle espadrilles for your littlest love.

+This is a very chic and functional tennis skirt. Love the contrasting waist band!

+I just adore this top.

+I need to order this dress for my brand new neice.

+These $13 leggings for little ones in the blue, Liberty-esque floral!

+Adorable midi skirt.

+In case you missed out on my Easter dress while it was still available at Shopbop, I found it for less here!

+This is just such a great desk for a little one.

6 Comments

  1. I think my husband and I fill similar roles to you and yours, but as I ponder this further, I wonder if this is the effect that motherhood has on us? I certainly believe I have the attention to detail required for “total effort” but becoming a mom has influenced me to become more pragmatic. That kind of efficiency is necessary to making all things work around here! And if ever there was a person to find the balance between both, it would be a mom!

    1. Hi Amy – So interesting! I do think parenthood as led me to be a lot more efficient/practical, especially along the lines of “picking my battles.” I will never forget the morning that we had friends coming over to meet my newborn son and my daughter would.not.put.on.clothes. I mean, I was chasing her around, cajoling her, distracting her, bribing her — nothing was working. (Add to this the fact that I was also trying to nurse my son just before my friends were arriving while also frantically tidying up the mess in our home.) I finally just threw up my hands and said, “OK, I guess we’ll be wearing a diaper today.” There was a little part of me that wanted to collapse because I am so meticulous when it comes to dressing my children — she is rarely without her hair tied back and a coordinating outfit on! — but that was one of those days where I just said, “Enough. The point is they will meet my son and the rest they will forget.” It was the first of many, many times where I have had to shrug off the imperfect and go with the flow.

      This is not exactly to your point, but it definitely elicited that memory!

      xx

  2. After living without a dishwasher for 3 years in Brooklyn, I will habitually do almost anything to avoid dirtying a dish so, yes, to the cutting board example! 🙂

    I’m not sure where I stand on this spectrum, though. When I worked in the office, I was a “done is better than perfect” person, but with creative pursuits I can lean more toward “good is the enemy of great.” I think I need to soften a bit, not take my projects (or myself) quite so seriously. I *love* the pace of your blog publications and find it so inspiring as a writer!

    And only because I know of your respect for words, I wanted to let you know it is “yin” to my yang. I said “ying” for most of my life, but learned this through reading one self-help book or another which drew on ancient Chinese teachings. (At this point I’ve read too many to count, ha!) Also worth noting that I never see typos here despite your impressive publishing schedule!

    1. Joyce! Thank you for the correction — just updated. I think I was thinking of “the ying yang twins” (!!!!) when I wrote this…ha!!! The other night, I made an offhanded reference to Petey Pablo’s “Freak A Leek” (do you remember that song?) and then it led me down a dark hole revisiting a lot of the other songs of that era/style and…maybe that’s from whence that typo sprang. HA! Thank you!

      Also, so glad I’m not alone on the cutting board thing. Your note made me realize that there have been two decently long stretches where we have been without a dishwasher in Manhattan so maybe it’s that piece. You just never forget…

      Straining towards perfect in art is not a bad thing. You probably would not have published “ying-yang” — HAHA!

      xx

    2. Hahaha “Freak A Leek” — how could I forget that gem?! It reminds me of dirtier version of “Mambo Number 5,” with all the girls’ names.

      And honestly I think I need to publish more (right now the only venue I have for publication is an email newsletter which was once weekly but I’ve had on hiatus for a while) — but I can see how publishing frequently could inspire me to not make my writing practice so precious but view my creative energy as abundant. 🙂

    3. Oo, I love this take: “[I want to] view my creative energy as abundant.” Yes! Thanks for sharing that. Got my engines going this morning!

      xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *