healthy family

Big Sister and Baby Shared Room Part 2

Yay! The time is here to finally welcome our Number 3 into our family.  We are probably nowhere near as ready as we think we are, but we are excited to take on this new adventure none the less.

I gave a complete look at the “big girl” side of the room in a previous post (Part 1).  The room started out as a messy 5-year-old girl domain.

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After 3 weeks of painting and decorating, it is now a cozy spot to welcome our Little Explorer into the world.

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The gender of Baby 3 is unknown, so we kept it neutral with gray paint and lots of aqua and mint green.  I planned to add in some “girly” colors if need be, but I actually love the soft look and don’t think it’s necessary.  Big Sister’s pink curtains do overlap into this space, but it doesn’t bother me.

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Baby is being born, and will be raised, in a country different from his passport country.  It only seemed fitting to theme the nursery space around adventure and exploring.

I love all the little details that came together to make this special.  Like the hot air balloon print that I ordered and didn’t realize until it printed that it has the baby’s birth town labeled right at the heart of it.

Storage was important in such a small space.  The shelves under the bed were a cool surprise.  I bought one set for toy storage on the other side of the bedroom and immediately thought it would be cool to raise the crib on a double set while the baby is still small.  But I knew we could not afford to just buy 2 more.  It was a want but not a need.  When I was posting the last blog, I linked to the store where I bought the shelf.  When I went and found the link, the store was having a half price sale on that exact shelf that ended that night!  I thanked God and got 2 for the price of 1.

 

Speaking of that crib- I love it!  I ordered a white one online at the end of June.  The first week in August the company emailed me and said they were out of the white but would offer a substitute.   I was tempted to go a little emotional-pregnant lady at that point.  But instead looked at the website and found this “dusty aqua” color and loved it!  The map print was already hanging on the wall and when I saw it all together I knew it was another unknown answer to prayer that just made everything come together that much better.

And of course we had to make sure it could hold weight once it was put together 😉

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So there it is.  The room is done.  The hospital bags are packed.  We are now just waiting on the baby to make it all complete.

I promised this tour of the baby side of the shared room a while ago.  Pregnancy is a crazy weird time.  As I was finishing up painting the room 2 months ago, I noticed my hands starting to go numb as I was using them.  Since then, pregnancy induced carpal tunnel has taken over and my hands are pretty useless.  The new crib arrived and it sat for a while before I finally tackled putting it together.   Then the room was complete, but usually had some big sister “love” spilling over onto the baby side and not quite photo worthy.  Eventually, the photos were taken but due to my now constant pain/numbness in my hands, typing is not my friend anymore.  Yikes!

With my first pregnancy I got sudden and severe pre-eclampsia and had an emergency surgery to take care of it.  Since I have been through a life threatening complication, I feel like I should not complain about anything smaller.  But honestly, even small things can be frustrating.

I feel like we take this approach to problems in life a lot.  We don’t want to bother people, or even God, with our “little” problems when there are people in the world going through so much worse.  But thankfully, that’s not how God sees it.  1 Peter 5:7 tells me to give ALL my worries and fears to God.  And it says to do it because HE CARES FOR ME.  God doesn’t only care about me when I am going through really big things in life, He cares for me all the time.

Big or small, you are seen and you are loved today.  That is a promise to rest in.  Now, I’m going to go have a baby 🙂

 

Rebekah

healthy family

Big Sister and Baby Shared Room Part 1

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Sometimes I get an idea, a burst of creativity, and the timing can be all wrong, but I bust into it head first anyway. That is exactly what happened 3 weeks ago. I had in my mind that our new baby would have a little “nook” in the hallway. As I tried to fit a changing table and some kind of storage in that tiny space, it became clear I was not living in reality. So then I started crying because we would have baby things spread all over the house, and I just wanted a place to make cute, and the changing table didn’t work at all, and I was selfish and didn’t want to give up our office space, and well . . . I am 7 months pregnant, it doesn’t take much to make me emotional these days!

For a while we have said when this baby gets old enough to sleep through the night it will share a room with our oldest. So I just decided, let’s go ahead and set up the room for that day now. I knew there was no way I could purge and paint in her room with my save-everything, full-of-questions, 5-year-old. So Big sister moved into the guest room and pregnant momma went to work on the makeover. I told her it would be one week. Three weeks later- we are finally ready for the room reveal!

 

The Before:

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Oh goodness this part is embarrassing!  Notice the random paper taped to the wall, the crayon drawing on the wall as well, outgrown clothes and forgotten toys stacked in tubs and boxes in the corner, and the utter chaos in general.  This room needed some serious love.

I spent an entire day cleaning and moving bedding and curtains out of the room. I way overdid it on Day One and Brian threatened to get me a babysitter if I didn’t promise to slow down. So I did. Husbands… 😉

These are the things I kept in mind while planning her “Big girl” side of the room

  • She LOVES crafts. This normally accounts for 75% of the mess and damage in her room. I wanted to make sure she had a space to be creative.
  • She doesn’t really play with “toys”.  Stuffed animals are great, but traditional dolls and toys are just not her thing.
  • She wears a uniform to school and is rarely in “real” clothes at home. Normally, she can be found in dress up clothes or a nightgown. So I wanted something functional for clothing storage, but it didn’t need to be huge.
  • She loves adventure and exploring! This was already the theme I had picked out for the new baby, so it was not hard to transfer it over to her side as well.
  • And maybe most of all: She LOVES being a big sister. Her relationship with little brother is one of the sweetest blessings in my life. I love watching them together. She is already so excited for a new baby. She even reads a story to my belly every night before bed. Talk about sweet!

So this is the result of all of those random thoughts meshing in my head

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I am so excited with how it all turned out!  I have been tremendously blessed with some great online finds, repurposing older items, and generous gifts that have allowed me save a load of money on the new baby, and to get a few special new items for this room.

One of those items goes along with the number one item- her LOVE for crafts

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A new small table and chair.  There was absolutely no need to buy craft supplies, or even organization for it- but I wanted a table large enough to be able to work on, but small enough to not take up the majority of her floor space.  This chair and table are from IKEA and they fit perfectly.

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A place to display her work was absolutely important.  Maybe the most important of all.  I had a really cool thick white frame that I had strung twine across and put cute clothes pins on to hang artwork and pictures from.  The morning I was going to reveal her room, I walked in and the frame had fallen off the wall onto the floor.  It was heavy.  Like, for real, heavy.  No panic, no tears, I just did something quick and easy.  I don’t love this plain wooden board (the bottom of an old drawer from a no longer used dresser) hanging on the wall, but I have no doubt she will have it so covered with masterpieces I won’t even see the wood soon. It works.

The next area is for toys and stuffed animals:

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I love this storage unit from B&Q and would love to put a comfy cushion on top one day.  But for now, her friends fill it quit nicely.  Like I said, we didn’t need a lot of room for toys, but I did put a few sets of figures in one box, and filled one with baby dolls and accessories.  I’m thinking there is a chance she will be more interested in baby dolls when we have a real baby in the house.  But if not, that box can easily be switched out for something else.

Then we get to the clothes:

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This odd little closet area used to be an outside entrance.  It’s now a closed off door, but with a cool little frame around it. So I painted the inside purple and bought 3 cheap tension rods.  Now there is a place for Baby’s clothes on top (when we know what gender clothes to buy), one for her dresses, and then the easiest to reach is everyday tops.  Underclothes, PJs, and bottoms all fit into the small dresser beside her bed. The dresser is a left over piece I found from a vanity set and then glued a sample tile to the top.

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A smaller dresser makes precious space for the most important clothes and shoes of all- dress up clothes!  The hooks were just relocated from a different spot in the room and the quote is my favorite from the new Cinderella movie, “Have courage and be kind”.  Words for all princesses to live by.

And that just leaves adventure and exploring:

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A small gallery above her bed really carries over from the baby side of the room.

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Brian captured this photo of the kids on a recent family hike and it’s perfect.  It’s 16×16 and makes all of us smile when we look at it.  The quote is a print I downloaded online and it also could not be more perfect for my girl, “Here sleeps a girl with a head full of magical dreams, a heart full of wonder and hands that will shape the world”.  The mermaid and feathers are also downloads that just fit with her spirit.  I do all of  my photo  printing on photo box website.  I can usually get a good deal and I am always happy with what I get.

One last detail I thought was incredibly important was a list to help her keep the room tidy.  At this point, everything has a spot- but with my girl, that organization can quickly deteriorate.  She loves to tidy up, but needs some direction with it.

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I am praying this dry erase marker does not end up all over the other frames in her room.  Time will tell… But on the first day she checked and erased the entire list about 5 times as she played and cleaned up each spot.  Who am I to laugh at a girl who loves a to-do list?!

I don’t want this post to go on forever, and I’m still waiting on a baby bed to be delivered.  So the “baby” side of the room will be Part 2- coming soon.  But it’s good, I promise!

I said at the beginning, sometimes I rush into things before I really think about what I’m doing.  I’m also impatient in the middle of a project, moving things I have no business moving, learning to drill holes because I don’t want to wait for someone else to do it, climbing higher than I should probably climb.  I’m not saying it’s a good quality, but it’s truth.

The first week of this remodel I was a mess of expectations.  I found out I was way more pregnant than I was admitting, and the room was way more work than I had expected. The ironic twist is that I was doing this whole thing for a girl who has no concept of time.  I told her at the beginning this would take one week.  At the end of 3 weeks I asked her how long she had been in the guest room.  Her answer: one week.

The reality is, this doesn’t just happen when I’m pregnant, and it doesn’t just happen when I’m painting a room.  It happens a lot in life.  I put higher expectations on myself than are realistic.  And I am usually the only one holding myself to those expectations.  Thankfully,  I am hopefully learning to slow down.  Rest is good.  Rest is important.  And help from others is important as well.  Now, I’m off to repeat those last two lines to myself as I look at my to-do list for today.

Rebekah