Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Buddy's Room: A Before of Sorts (Nursery)

So amongst other projects around the house that have caught my attention as of lately, I am working on finishing Cooper's Room.  Just getting it to a point of feeling complete will be a huge accomplishment for me.  I'm excited, and I think he is too.  It's going to take some time, but I feel like this time, I'm actually going to finish.

I was one of those gals who dreamed of creating the most brilliant nursery for our baby.  I ripped out pages of catalogs and magazines and had visions of monochromatic creams and whites, pinks, blues, oranges, greens, and yellows dancing through my head.  Which route would I take?  Bright and fun?  Soft and muted?  When we found out we were having a boy, the ideas continued to flood in, and I was sure I would get started promptly in making it awesome.  The Hubbs persuaded me to go the bright and fun with bedding and toys and blankets...there was no lacking color.  Fast forward to Cooper being 2 almost 3 now, and it is still not "finished" or completely pulled together...and you know what?  It's okay.   I know what I've been through physically, and how far we've come.  It is what it is...and I'm moving forward!  :)

I found a few random snapshots of Cooper's Room.  Some of them are terrible quality, but can at least provide you with just little glimpses.  As I look back through pictures, I am recalling how much time we spent downstairs (his room is upstairs), so finding pictures of his room was a bit harder than I anticipated.  I think I never really did a full on nursery reveal photo shoot for myself because I didn't feel super proud of it.  I never really got to the point of feeling "done."  I really wish I would have though.  Sure it wasn't perfect, but it was what we had prepared for our son before he was born, and it was precious to us.  I should have allowed myself to feel more proud and accomplished.  The walls weren't painted, there were no curtains, and the walls were bare, but that boy was surrounded with precious gifts from friends and family, special treasures from hours of shopping with loved ones, and joy and celebration from hours of endless praying.  It was at least furnished with love.  So here ya go.  It is a bit of a glimpse into my starting point, precious memories propelling me to finish up.

PS - I broke this Little Buddy's Room post into three separate posts: A Before of Sorts/Nursery, Transitioning Into A Toddler Bed, and I'm A Big Kid Now In Progress.

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My Dad and Mom helped us get things set up in Coop's room on a number of occasions, seeing as to how it was constantly changing up to the time he came home.  Dad is our MacGuyver around here, and Mom is our Little Engine That Could/Get 'er Done Gal.  When we enlist their help, things get accomplished...and we love them/that!  

Although I find that if I were choosing a crib now it would probably be quite different, this was the crib we (I pretty much chose it and Brian said, "Looks great.") chose for Coop, and it's been great! We bought it with the intention of using it as a toddler bed, and headboard and footboard possibly in the future.  We were so amazed to be blessed with such generous gifts while pregnant with Cooper, and it seems the nursery was outfitted faster than we could put it together.  We were so thankful.   

August 27, 2008...I was about 29 weeks pregnant here.  (That quilt hanging over the crib rail in the background is a precious gift from my first class of 4th graders.  A very special Mom helped them all make a square.  it is so dear to me.)  I remember feeling so great when I was pregnant. Coming from my arthritis and feeling so much pain for so long, I was so thrilled to feel so good.  God spared me a lot of ick, and I always feel so sad for ladies who talk about being so sick during pregnancy.  Hallelujah for a low key pregnancy.  I was grateful.

My Mom and I made plenty of trips to Sugarbabies, a sweet little children's boutique in downtown Sumner that sells new and used baby and kids clothing.  It's amazing what you can find second hand if you just take a moment to look and happen to be in the right place at the right time.  

After the monochromatic creams and white vs. the bright and cheery color debate, we went with the Pottery Barn ABC bedding.  Bright and cheery won.  It was very colorful, and the reverse side was green gingham.  (A fun green was kind of the main color I tried to carry throughout the nursery.)  Again, choosing baby bedding now would be a totally different experience, and I feel like I'd most likely choose something totally different.  I spent hours looking on line, comparing and contrasting, feeling bedding in the stores.  It was insane.  Quite ridiculous really, as babies pretty much need a fitted crib sheet and some thin blankets for the first while.  I had no idea.  It was all just the excitement of it all...seeing all the options out there.  In the end, it has been a great set, and I'm glad we went with it.  The quilt has been so fun to use with Cooper...laying it on the floor for some play time...learning about colors and letters and names of objects.  Even now he uses it when we build forts.  It's one of his favorites.  Glad we did it.

It's hard to imagine those little clothes fitting my son.  Man, time has just vanished.  It's amazing.  I did my best to organize clothes we received and purchased by size and season, and tried to stock up on a few essentials.  Costco wipes are by far my favorite (and come highly recommended), but we used as much of what we were given I stacked and stashed it all.  Looking back, I think a good investment would have been a more permanent closet organizing system.  I still have visions of my Dad busting down the doorway of this closet to create one double in width.  Maybe someday.   

Although this is a terrible showing of this dresser (can you tell this photo was not staged?), we got a dresser from Cost Plus World Market that matched one we already had in our master bedroom.  Our thought was that it would be great for storage (really deep drawers) and coordinated well with the crib.  Then, once Cooper transitioned into a bigger bed, we would take this dresser into our room, and put a different one in his room.  It worked perfectly.  In his room, I primarily used it as a changing table.  I encourage folks that are looking for changing table options to consider regular dressers as opposed to the "changing table" versions out there.  In the end, a regular dresser proves to be much more versatile and can end up going in any room of the house.  Besides, I ended up changing Cooper on the floor with a blanket 99.9 percent of the time.  :)  So glad we don't have an awkward changing table to deal with.  What was your experience with changing tables/changing stations?

Moving on.  My Mom is a Craigslist stalker, meaning if there is something any of us are looking for, leave it to my Mom to find it, and have it be totally amazing at that.  This green, gingham rocker (totally coordinated well the the Pottery Barn bedding) was a find just like that.  I had tried so many gliders and rockers, and none of them felt comfortable.  I'm fairly tall at 5'9" or so, and many of the rockers and gliders in the stores felt shrunken to me.  I was getting a bit concerned I wouldn't find one that was to my satisfaction.  (I envisioned many hours of nursing in this chair...a whole year to be I knew I needed it to be plush and wonderful.)  Wouldn't you know, my Mom found this very well built rocker/glider from a super sweet family, and it was practically brand new.  It was perfect.  I wish I had a better picture for you.  It looks very much Pottery Barn or Land of Nod in style, but it cost (hmmm...I can't remember exactly) substantially less.  It was a great find, and I'm totally saving it for babes #2...whenever that day comes.

We stored some of his special blankets over the back of the rocker, and it made it easy to grab them when necessary...during the middle of the night for feedings or during the day for play time.  It also added a fun punch of color that coordinated and tied in nicely with his crib bumper and stuffed animals.

To the left of our rocker was an Expedit shelf from IKEA.  It was a great piece for us, allowing for book and toy storage while providing a bench seat and shelf for the room.  I alternated in the cubbies...books, basket of toys, books, basket of toys, books.  Often when one of us was in the rocker with Cooper, the other was sitting on the bench or on the floor.  Also, with the rocker being a main attraction for us, it made for a very convenient side table of sorts too.  I had all the board books in a big basket next to the rocker, as well as any special lotions I needed, kleenexes, wipes, and extra tidbits (the endless amount of tidbits and things you need as a new Mom).   It also acted as a great walking tool for him, as he would pull himself up, and walk along the edge, holding on...reaching for books and anything else we used as walking bait.  (I think it worked!  This little buddy walked before he was 8 months lie!)

Cooper's crib ended up being quite comfy.  He slept in our room in a bassinet for the first few months of his life, but when we moved him to his crib...he was in heaven.  A sweet animal mobile (which came with a green gingham arm cover...little touches of green and gingham everywhere!) caught his attention quite often, along with lots of stuffed animals and playtime pals.  We call them buddies these days.  He always needs a buddy to fall asleep.  

Sometimes when we were looking for something to do, I would prop the mobile up on the dresser so he could be amazed while on the floor for playtime.  Those things are mesmerizing.  

This picture of him looking up at the mobile might help to orient you in his room.  I am standing near the doorway.  The dresser is on my right along the wall, and on the same wall just beyond the dresser is the closet.  Across from the closet, on the far wall is the crib.  To the left of the crib, along the wall to the left of me is the bench/shelf, two windows, and the rocker/glider.  

We also had a sweet little rocker, just the right size for Coop that used to be The Mr.'s.  I think it's little touches like handed down items and furniture that really give a room character and charm.  Little buddy sure loved it.

And lastly, one of my fondest memories in thinking of Cooper's nursery is Garbage Day.  Yes, Garbage Day.  We would stand up on that bench/shelf, open the shades and windows, and greet our garbage men each and every Wednesday morning.  It has become a precious tradition, one that both we and our garbage men look forward to each Wednesday morning.  (These days, Coop usually gets up in the middle of breakfast and runs to our front door in his pjs, gets up on one of the chairs we have on the front porch, and waits with anticipation as they come down the street.  Hellos, waves, and sweet words are exchanged, and then we run back in the house to finish breakfast.)  Precious.  Sometimes we even leave them cookies.

RECAP: Little Buddy's nursery had adequate furniture and function, lots of accessories, and a place for everything.  We were lacking and still hoping for curtains (instead of hanging fleece blankets), paint on the walls, and wall art.

Fun to think back and give myself some grace when it comes to Little Buddy's nursery.  I'm so excited to put in a little more effort and get it to a point of feeling complete.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2...Little Buddy's Room:  Transitioning Into A Toddler Bed

Are you tackling anything fun lately?  

Blessing to you!

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