The Boys’ Nursery Lately

I had been putting off sharing the nursery because there’s a few more things I’d like to do to the space, but why put off better for best? I’m learning to embrace messyness and imperfection these days!

I haven’t done a big update since this post on its new paint job and the big blue dresser makeover. Since then, I’ve been able to tweak it here and there over the last few weeks. Here’s my favorite little corner.

The Nursery, Lately

But let’s go back to move-in day. It’s a decent-sized room with lots of natural light.

And today it’s where our boys hang out at night!

The Nursery, Lately

The Nursery, Lately

The Nursery, Lately

One of the best features in this space is the fireplace. It’s an old house and it’s the second original fireplace. I wish there was one in the master bedroom! This is where Winnie the Pooh’s family resides… and of course we have twin Poohs. Also, that book Secret Wishes is hilariously frightening. The Smile print originally was in our bedroom at the first house.

The Nursery, Lately

To the left of the fireplace is the closet and glider wall.

The Nursery, Lately

Aaron and I made the Peter Pan “Don’t Grow Up It’s a Trap” banner together. It cost us exactly $10 for the felt, dowel rod and the leather strap. The canvas is an old painters cloth I had in the basement. I was insanely excited about successfully sewing that thing together myself.

The Nursery

On the opposite side of the room are the two cribs and the changing table. I talk about the changing table/twin crib solution here, but basically I bought a secondhand single crib with the attached changing table and just used the standalone changing table piece. It fits perfectly between the two cribs. The drawers are full of diapers, wipes and various ointments, creams and powders. You know, the basics.

The Nursery, Lately

I needed a way to add color to the space beyond just the prints that hang over their bed, so while I was on bed rest I cut out a couple dozen felt circles (tracing around my leftover Jell-O cup!) with the intention of sewing them onto a string of some sort.

The Nursery, Lately

Getting out the sewing machine is one of those things that just isn’t going to happen at the moment, so I got impatient a few weeks ago and just attached them via thumb tacks. It works for now, but I’ll have to change it out when they’re actually sleeping in their cribs.

The Nursery, Lately

The fourth wall houses their dresser, hamper and diaper pail. The paint color on the dresser was a total fluke (meant for the guest bedroom, but I moved more to a navy in there) but it matches absolutely perfectly with the rug. Plus, it’s just FUN. The color is Georgian Bay by Sherwin Williams.

The Nursery, Lately

On top of the dresser is our Miffy lamp. We change and feed by the light of Miffy every night (it has a dimmer, so if we’ve got a doozy of a diaper to change, we can always crank it up) and the boys like to stare at it before they go to sleep. We love it.

The Nursery, Lately

On the other side of the dresser top is a stack of books. We’ve been reading the boys a page or two of the classic Pooh stories each night. The book was given to me by my parents in 1997… I had a strange obsession with Pooh in middle school. Pooh Keds, Pooh pants, Pooh socks… everything. So yes, as you can imagine, I was a super cool person.

The Nursery, Lately

So that’s the nursery lately! I foresee two or three more projects in here in the future, but for right now, it’s working great for us.

I’ve got just a week before I go back to my full-time job (ugh!) so it’ll likely be quiet around here until then. I haven’t been to work since early March so it’s going to be an adjustment period that is for sure. Luckily, the boys get to stay home a little longer. Their daycare doesn’t start until later this summer.

Talk soon!

xo,

emily

 

 

Backyard Plans

Happy Friday everyone! Aaron is off work today and I have these grand plans of getting a million things done on the house, but let’s be honest, it’s 24/7 baby town over here. Sigh. It’s fantastic and it’s frustrating all at the same time.

We’ve little time to do much else but plan projects, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been slowly making a list a mile along of things we’d like to tackle… adding things, removing them, tweaking them… essentially our master plan.

One of the bigger projects we have on our list is the backyard. I took these photos at dusk a few nights ago so the quality is not great, but it’s good enough for right now.

Our backyard is on the smaller side, bordered by neighbors’ fences. Nearly one half of it is taken up by a poured concrete pad (meant for a future garage) and a very large tree. The narrow driveway that runs down the side of the house leads directly to the raised concrete pad.

Backyard Plans

Here is the view of our backyard from the back porch. You can see that the end of the concrete pad is raised a good 3′ off the ground. Somewhat hazardous!

Backyard Plans

We have three goals for this backyard.

Goal #1: Make it safe for the boys next summer, who will most likely be walking by then! The edge of the pad scares me for that reason.

Goal #2: Make the entire backyard dog-friendly aka fenced in.

Goal #3: The long game goal would be to put the concrete pad to good use and build a one-car garage with an overhead loft for storage but we see that being 10-15ish years away. Right now we need that space for additional room to play / socialize / enjoy the outdoors.

Backyard Plans

So, let’s talk about the concrete pad. We have been talking about building a waist-high fence/barrier of some sort around the perimeter of the raised pad. We see ourselves using this space as a play space, dining space and for just generally hanging out. We don’t have a back porch of any kind (minus the tiny one off our back door) so this will act as that.

The design for that waist-high fence is up in the air—we can do something as simple as a short picket-like fence OR we can get a little more crazy (read: design-y) with it. Guess which camp I am in. :)

I love the idea of installing cedar box planters around the perimeter. We don’t have much opportunity for landscaping back here and the box planters would certainly help provide a home for plants. Plus, it will look darn cool. We’d have to make them somewhat skinny so we don’t steal too much surface real estate from the pad. I’d fill those planters with natural mosquito repellers too.

Click for source

The leaves us with the perimeter of the entire backyard. We have been looking into prices on a horizontal cedar fence, very similar to the one Alison at Deuce Cities Henhouse had installed. It’ll be a bit pricey (especially because we’d like the cedar stained, too) but we will make some final decisions when the bids come in. We may have to swap out the cedar for something a little more basic.

Source: Deuce Cities Henhouse

 

We also have the issue of the backyard opening up to the driveway… meaning we need to make the decision to either fence off this space (separating the pad from the driveway… see below) or install some sort of gate ($$) to span this space.

Backyard Plans

 

Alison had a similar dilemma and the gate fence she had installed is nearly identical to what we would need.

Source: Deuce Cities Henhouse

So that’s where we are. This will either be an early Fall project or will be late Spring next year. It all depends on the bids

 

Gift Guide: The NICU Mom

I shared this gift guide for the mom on bed rest a week ago, and I’ve got one more to share with you today: the NICU mom! My boys spent nearly 3 weeks in the hospital post-delivery and I received some of the kindest and most thoughtful things (a long with a lot of frozen meals!). Just like with the bed rest mom, a lot of people aren’t sure how to react or behave. In the case of the NICU mom, you had a baby (happy!) but it’s in the hospital (sad!) so people are confused on how to approach the situation, especially because the NICU doesn’t allow a lot of visitors. Here are some ways to help show you care. And probably the most important thing over gifts: show your support and excitement. It’s a new baby!

GIFT GUIDE: THE NICU MOM

Gift Guide: The NICU Mom

 

1. // Cooler for Lunch and Breast Milk Transport

I spent every day at the hospital with the boys and the cafeteria food got expensive. I started to pack my lunch and eat it in the family waiting room. I used a cooler to pack both my lunch and my breast milk. I can’t think of a better way to tote it back and forth than in this watermelon cooler tote!

2. // Baby Name for the Bedside

There was wall space by the crib in the NICU set aside so that the parents could decorate the space. I saw so many moms hang really cute signs with the babies names on it. The one I made wasn’t nearly as cute as the banners at Sharp Tooth Studio though!

3. // Itty Bitty Baby Hats

As a NICU mom, one of the things I struggled most with was control. For much of the babies’ care, the nurses were in control (frustrating!) so I tried to keep focus on things I had 100% control of: what they wore. It was such an insignificant thing but it truly helped the heart to see them in clothes from home, like this super cute preemie beanie.

4. // Water Bottle

I don’t know if this is true everywhere, but our NICU did not allow water bottles, which seems counterintuitive to all the pumping moms where hydration is super important. I snuck my water bottle in everyday and these BKR bottles are always a fun thing to tote around.

5. // Snacks!

Just like water, food wasn’t allowed either, but I snuck mine in my tote and scarfed it down in the bathroom. I liked foods that were semi-healthy and high in fiber. I did just have a baby *ahem*.

6. // Giant Art Kit

The babies were sleeping a lot, but I didn’t want to leave their side. Yes, most of the time I just held them but when I needed a break, I would grab some markers and construction paper (we got to keep personal items there 24/7) and decorate their space. Nearly every NICU family had their space decorated, so it was fun to have the supplies to join in too.

7. // Muslin Swaddles

Just like with the clothes and hats, the nurses let us bring in blankets from home to swaddle the babies. For me, the more colorful the better. I love pretty much every swaddle blanket at Spearmint Love, and this animal one is pretty spectacular. It’s pricey, but there are other more affordable options!

8. // Nursing/Pumping Cover

If you’re pumping or nursing, you get used to doing so in front of people very quickly. I’ve tried a lot of different styles (like the infinity scarf), but these Hooter Hiders (yes, that’s the name) were by far my favorite. The piece that goes across the chest is rigid, which makes peeking down to make sure everything is situated easy. Plus, the patterns are pretty good. Warning though: it says Hooter Hider very large on the neck strap *palm to the forehead*

9. // Boppy Cover

Please tell me I’m not the only one that thinks the standard Boppy covers leave little to be desired. My favorite quirky Boppy cover shop is Necessary Cuteness, the home of this super cute pineapple cover and where we got our donut cover for the Twin Z pillow. This is one of those things I wish I had in the NICU… we always had to use an icky hospital pillow.

10. // Tote Bag

OK, this LeSportsac/Rifle Paper Co. tote bag is extravagant for a gift, but work with me here. Any tote bag is helpful, preferably with a lot of pockets. I was transporting snacks, baby clothes, my water bottle, my purse and much more inside my tote.

11. // Flat-Fold Memory Box

You accumulate a lot of special things during your stay in the NICU. Jaundice goggles, crocheted hats, quilts, babies’ first bottles and footprints are just some of the things you’ll come home with. I loved having a place to store all of these once we were home. This Poppin flat-fold box is pretty great, and will fit in a gift bag.

So that’s it! Now, if you know a sweet family with the baby in the NICU, you’ll have some ideas in your arsenal. And remember, frozen meals are always ALWAYS well received too. :)

xo,

emily