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“I-ya, seat.”

I am afraid this blog is becoming a log of sporatic posts listing what we have done. I wish it were more of a heat of the moment recording if life unfolding, but for the time being, it is not. My posting is leaning more towards quick tidbits and highlights of the past few weeks rolled into one list. I am thankful for Flickr and my photostream there. It serves as a photoblog visually expressing this life we are embarking on. I do try to upload my photos in chronological order and like looking back through the pages to see where we have bee. I hope the compilation of visual snapshots compiled together reveal a bit of the story that is behind them. Often one photo or a series of photos is embedded with many pieces of where we have been lately. The above is one such photo.

Yes, that is an Eames Shell Chair. Yes, a real vintage one. Herman Miller stamp and all. You may know I have wanted an Eames Rocker since becoming pregnant with Araiya. However, I never got one in part to the fact they are pretty rare, which equals expensive. Plus Araiya was never much of a rocker, she was a nurser. Oh boy was she ever. I eventually gave up trying anything else but being her all-night, all-you-can-eat milk buffet. She was a baby who always fought sleep, and still does. Eventually I got to a point of desperation where I had to night wean her at 10 months. It felt like such a battle trying to get her to stay asleep. She was so dependent on nursing it had become her association with sleep. I would nurse her to drowsy, to sleep, to deep sleep… but it seemed the moment that nipple exited her mouth, she was wide awake and screaming again. Even if I could get her to fall asleep, moving her to her own space caused enough of a disturbance for her to wake back up and we had to start all over again. So again, in an act of desperation at 11 months, we shoved a bottle of milk in her mouth with her in the pac-n-play. It was nothing short of a miracle, yet it had it’s issues as well. Now we have become dependent on a bottle of milk. It has been a trade off. While I have gained autonomy from having her attached to my body 80% of the night, given up the backaches from being on my side nursing her for hours on end, given up the sinking feeling of dread that she is awake, again, for the fifth time and it is only 1am, and her gaining the ability to sleep through the night, I have shifted my to frustration dealing with pee and going through cases and cases of rice milk. I guess in the big picture it is a hill I am not worth dying on- five pound diapers, soaked sheets, and getting up to refill her bottle with rice milk is not the end of the world. I remember going to sleep with a bottle, I must have been older than three. I can live with this dependence, though there is some guilt having to throw a towel down under her when she wakes up at 5am soaked because it took 3 bottles of milk to fall asleep- but at least she went to sleep. We even mix rice milk 50/50 with water, but tend to go through a case of it in two weeks. Ideally I would love for her to be able to fall asleep on her own, perhaps I did her a disservice as a baby in not helping her develop more ideal sleep habits. But she won’t have this bottle forever, I just have to remember that.

Tallis, on the other hand, is a completely different baby. From the get-go she is sleeping all night, usually 8:30pm-4:30am, sometimes 6am. She also likes to be rocked to sleep. Knowing what I know now, I hope I can cultivate the sleep habit of nursing until drowsy then rocking. Rocking in this sweet Eames Shell.

The shell I found on Craigslist. Here in Seattle they don’t often come up. Rockers pretty much never come up. I looked at several that were posted on Craigslist and in some vintage shops before finding this one. They tended to be severely damaged (one someone had spray painted white) or way overpriced for the condition. I had considered for a while getting one of the Modernica shells. We sold them in the modern furniture store I worked at in College. Modernica bought the original presses from Herman Miller, although their product is a reproduction piece. Herman Miller has started producing them again as well, but using a plastic that looks, well, plastic. Modernica at least uses the authentic fiberglass. So I decided a while ago the best plan of action would be to find a decent shell, often it is the base and connection that is shot anyways, then fit it with a reproduction base from Modernica. This shell is just that- original vintage probably made between 62 and 72 after production was shifted away from Zenith Plastics in pretty good condition considering age and use. The fibers are beautifully predominant and the shell will clean up well after I get a chance to take some time with it. The base is in fairly good condition as well, it even has all four original white feet in tact. But it is the rubber connectors that are shot- three have been attached on with white-ish rubber cement- it will take some cleaning to get it off. I figure I am just attaching a new base and new rubber stops anyways. All in all, the chair with new base will cost less than ordering a repro directly from Modernica.

Araiya is already getting use out of it. She tells me, “i-ya, seat” then climbs up in it. Hopefully Tallis appreciates it as much.

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