Nursery Update: Big Boy Room

I have been itching to redecorate Mazen’s room for some time now. Probably as early as the moment I realized that my vision for his yellow + gray nursery never really turned out how I imagined.

As a reminder, here’s what we started with:

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Here’s what his nursery looked like right before he arrived:

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Here’s what it looked like one year later (and here’s the post about that!)

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And here’s what it looks like today!

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I’m in the process of slowly turning our house into a beach house. I’ve declared it my favorite style (bright, relaxed, comfortable). While the changes in the main house have been subtle, I decided to carry the nautical theme into Mazen’s room and give his décor a bit of an overhaul. I didn’t spend that much or change any of the big stuff, but the key pieces made a huge difference in the look and feel of the room.

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The biggest change, of course, is the wall color. What was once a minty green is now bright modern white! And I love it.

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I added new linens and curtains and moved around the artwork and furniture a bit. Here’s what it looks like from the doorway:

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My favorite piece in the room is the ropey lamp that I found in Target’s Threshold line.

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As a reminder, here’s the before! A red lamp I bought fresh out of college that had seen better days.

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The new bedspread from Land of Nod has whales on the underside!

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On top I had this pillow cover made through Etsy to fit the insert we already had. I love the pop of red – it is small but it really brightens up the room

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Check out that octopus – also from Target! The burlap bins I bought a while ago, but they were Homegoods finds that work so well in the open space of the nightstand.

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I used to store toys in this box in the basement, but it works so much better as a book cart in here.

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If you look closely, you’ll see the Young House Love octopus hook on the shelves! I was going to hang it, but I actually like it as a decorative item even more. The paper mache M was made by blog reader Heather!

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We use the bed as a changing table (which works perfectly) so most of the time you’ll find the matching changing pad on top.

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But when I tidy up, it rests back on top of the dresser.

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These curtains were sitting right under my nose for the longest time. I was searching for grommet curtains (the easiest to open and close) that were blackout but also over half white/light with some navy. I had already checked Pottery Barn Kids and overlooked these, and when I saw them on Pinterest I thought they had to be custom made. When I clicked through to the blog that featured them, she had a source guide and I found them on Pottery Barn! Grommets, blackout AND nautical – SOLD! They even tie in the burlap color on the bins and anchor print!

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Here’s a reminder of what the old curtains were like – blah!

I splurged on a crib sheet that I really didn’t need but just wanted. I used to think $24 or so for a sheet was a lot (and it is when you have to buy 1,000 baby things!), but now that I know how much use they get and how happy these whales make the room feel I say go with the sheet you want most in the long run.

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We moved Mazen’s crib 90 degrees and the room now seems to be so much more spacious. The rocking chair looks so much better over there than squeezed in by the door where it used to be. We also swapped rugs around in the house – Mazen’s stained chevron rug is now in the basement, the cushy basement rug is in the living room and this kitchen living room rug is now in here. I think it fits so much better.

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I love it. Mazen likes the whales. We are all happy with the updates!

Where’s That From?

See some of my inspiration on my Baby Pinterest board!

Stripe + whale quilt

Whale crib sheet

Blue dot changing pad cover

Burlap wall anchor

Octopus wood wall art

Rugby stripe curtains

Anchor pillow cover

Ropey lamp

White pin tuck sham

Rocking chair

Wooden book crate

Paper mache M

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New Favorite Books!

We read a ton of books – before every nap and bedtime. Our collection is a combination of gifts, hand-me-downs and books my mom knows from her writing circles and sends to us. Here are some of our very favorites!

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How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Every book in this series is awesome! My mom actually knows the author! Mazen loves dinosaurs and so these are some of his favorite books. My mom just got us How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? and it’s hilarious! We also have the small board book version of Clean Their Room? and Play with Their Friends? All fabulous!

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LMNO Peas

Mom also sent this one because of my dad’s name of Pea and because we didn’t have a good alphabet book. The peas inside are doing all kinds of activities and they are so cute! Mazen loves to point out the peas.

Orla Kiely Numbers

I bought this book when I was pregnant because it’s Orla and obviously beautiful. It has been great for introducing counting because the objects (elephants, pears, houses) are really clear and neatly organized on the page, so it’s obvious what I am pointing to when I count them. Mazen knows how to count by pointing to each thing on the page, but we’re not counting up to 10 yet : )

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Llama Llama Hoppity Hop

We love all of the Llama Llama books, but this one is Mazen’s favorite. He likes to go through the motions we invented with us, especially the biiiiig huuuug at the end!

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Potty

Mazen has started to show some signs of being ready for potty training, so I figured we should get a potty book. I bought two – the above and this one. Potty is hilarious and Mazen is fascinated with it!! As soon as I finish the last page he says “Mo! Mo!” {more} The Potty Book for Boys, however, he could care less about. Go figure!

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The Complete Adventures of Curious George

Mimi and Papa got Mazen this book and he LOVES it. He loves all things Curious George in general, and this book is story after story of George’s adventures. Mazen listens right along.

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Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

This book is craaaaazy fun! There are a million and one kinds of truck inside and we stare at them for hours. I don’t even have to read the words (which are small) – we just stare at the pages and point out funny things on wheels.

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Goodnight Moon

And of course the classic! M loves the moon so this book is one of his favorites. He loves the details (the giraffe and elephant on the shelf) and I think he likes how soothing the words are.

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My Big Dinosaur Book

More dinosaurs! This one is packed with big photos of dinos in all their glory. Maze loves to read this one.

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Diary of a Wombat

My cousin Caroline lives in Tazmania and she sent us this book. It is hilarious!!!! It follows the life of a wombat as told by the wombat herself. “Morning: Slept. Afternoon: Slept. Evening: Found something to scratch again.” SO cute!

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Red Truck

Man oh man have I read this book 100 times this year! PULL Red Truck with all your might, PULLLL! M points out red trucks and school busses around town now.

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Little Gorilla

One of our all-time favs, Mazen still loves it. On the page where the grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles are mentioned someone (likely my mom) must have pointed out all of our family members because there are certain gorillas that Mazen knows by name –

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What are your favs?

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Nursery Tour: One Year Later

Here was our nursery just before we brought little Mazen home from the hospital:

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And here it is one year later:

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By request, here are some of the things we have loved about our nursery and some things we have changed.

Our color scheme and décor I still really love.{Although I will say I have considered painting the walls bright white recently…!} I changed the bedspread from a white duvet to a blue quilt for the summer, and like the quilt a lot more because it shifts around less than the duvet did. I also swapped the huge sham and small throw pillow for a more practical gray lumbar pillow. It’s great for reading in bed or nursing.

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I swapped out our gray lamp for the red one because it was easier to turn on and off in the wee hours of the night. The gray ones are now our master bedroom lamps.

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The biggest change is the night stand. At about 11 months Mazen figured out how to open the drawer and that caused the night stand to be really tippy. (We hadn’t bolted it to the wall because it was so light.) Also, the top had gotten really cluttered, especially since we used it for our wipes storage. The table below was Karen’s and was living in our attic. It was the perfect solution! The only drawback is that it totally clashes with the wall color. Maybe I’ll paint it someday.

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It has tons more space on top and not one but two shelves underneath. I have actually thought about getting a big low dresser to go here for more drawers and an even bigger bed-side surface space, but I think this is good enough for now.

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M loves to pull out this drawer and hide trinkets and his toothbrush inside. It’s a much better height for him.

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On the bottom shelf I have a bin full of our bedtime books. It’s easy to pull out and bring onto the bed so we can dig through them and find the best stories. I found these burlap bins at Homegoods.

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Another huge change is that we no longer use our changing table. When Mazen started to roll, it was too dangerous to have him up there, bolts and straps and all. We went through a short time of changing him on the floor until we realized…

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That the bed is the perfect solution! He can roll off but he still has a soft bed to roll onto. And I can keep the floor space open and the wipes and things on the night stand. I also find it much easier to change him from the base of the changer – the angle is easier to manage.

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Having a bed in our nursery has been THE BEST thing we could have done. I’m so glad we decided to keep it in there! I lie down to nurse all the time. We read stories snuggled together. I change all of his outfits and diapers on the bed. He loves to stand at the window and look out. We also slept in the nursery during the horrible four month sleep regression, and the bed was a life saver for our sleep quality. It will become Mazen’s big boy bed someday in the future too. I really can’t imagine where I’d do all of this if we didn’t have the bed in there.

Since our changing station has moved, the dresser serves as an open space for laundry folding and holds the changing pad when we are using the bed for other things. It also houses the sound machine.

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The crib has been awesome.

Before:

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After:

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It’s on its lowest setting now. We have been nothing but happy with the crib and mattress purchase. I still don’t know if the organic mattress was worth the price tag (and never will) but I can say the mattress is holding up just fine and barely feels used a year later.

I added breathable bumpers when M started to roll around. They might have been unnecessary because I took them off to clean them on the front and he hasn’t ever gotten stuck. In fact, he likes to play with the crib from the outside so I haven’t put them back on.

We bought this crib wrap for the front when M started to chew on the crib. Sadly we have some permanent teeth marks so buy this before your child starts teething! We bought this gummi rail for the sides where ties wouldn’t work. I’ve been happy with them both, although I haven’t taken the gummi off to see how it does on the finish. The front tie wrap is great because I can throw it in the wash if it gets gross.

Lastly, I had to take the crib skirt off when we lowered the crib. It was custom made by my friend and it didn’t fit anymore. Sad, but I kind of like the open look too.

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Nap toys! We still use our aden + anais blankets for sleeping. He loves them. And my mom got him these little dolls (without buttons or anything) from Amazon.

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Did you notice that the paintings changed order in the first two photos? One night I woke up in a panic thinking about that heavy lion frame crashing into the crib and on top of Mazen if we had another earthquake. The next morning I swapped it with the lightweight bike canvas just to be safe ; )

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Before we had nice flags hanging in style by their lonesome:

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And now they have ugly cords tangled throughout. We mounted the video monitor on the wall, which has been priceless to have, but it sure isn’t pretty to look at!

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The toy baskets are now filled with even more toys!

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The rug…

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I haven’t been very happy with the rug. It was inexpensive from Urban Outfitters. I don’t like that it always looks dirty!! It has tons of little pills in it that look like dirt specks, and it collects dirt from shoes really easily. And when M was younger and spitting up all the time, the water marks from the spit up and clean up took ages to come out. If I were you and I were setting up a nursery I’d get an indoor/outdoor rug like the ones that Ballard Designs has. Easier to clean! Thumbs down on the rug : (

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The chair gets a thumbs up!

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While I only nursed it in a handful of times (the bed wins every time) it has been great to have when we have a visitor. Matt often sits in it while I nurse at bedtime and others sit in it when they hang in the nursery with us. I use it sometimes if I am comforting Mazen at night or need to rock him a bit. M loves to bang on it. I couldn’t have asked for a better chair for these purposes – it’s compact, rockable and comfy.

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Our drawers and closet are pretty much the same. I’ve moved things around – what used to hold burp cloths now holds shoes and socks. But nothing really to note. I do sort of wish I could take everything out and make 2 rows for hanging clothes. I put all of his clothes in a drawer by season and they do get a little jumbled at times. But it’s just easier to put shirts in a drawer than to hang them up, so I haven’t made the jump to try that. Still very glad I took the closet door off and used a curtain instead.

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Speaking of curtains, I did swap out the white ones for blackout curtains early on. I still miss the white ones, but the blackouts are good!

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Gotta run – tantrum alert!!

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Multitaskers + MVPs

There is so much gear to consider with a baby that it’s great when items can multitask or simply impress. The following items are my most used and MVP baby items over the past 9 months.

Multitasker: Motherlove Nipple Cream

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Mother Love Nipple Cream worked wonders for its original purpose but has also been fabulous for chapped baby lips, little patches of dry skin and cheeks. Way better than lotion and works overnight!

Multitasker: Aden + Anais Blankets

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Originally used for swaddling, we have gotten SO much use out of these aden & anais blankets. They are great as burp clothes, nose wipes, cold weather wraps, shade when the sun pops out, nursing covers, blankets to sit on, fabric to suck on, play ghosts, peek-a-boo fun and more. We have gotten so many compliments on our animal series too!

MVP: The Bob

The mac daddy of strollers. SO smooth to push. Great shocks. Huge sun shield. Much easier to run with than expected. Very comfortable for Mazen. Used every.single.day. A must have for exercising mamas.

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Multitasker: Boppy Pillow

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First it was used for sitting when I couldn’t sit on anything else. Then it was for breastfeeding. Then it served as Mazen’s lounger and finally a sitting training pillow. Multipurpose and so useful.

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MVP: Video Monitor

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One of the best investments we made was our video monitor. I know women did not have these 100 years ago and their kids were fine, but this has been so amazingly helpful to me that the cost was 100% worth it. There is so much the eye can see that the ear can’t hear.  [I just asked Matt what his vote for top MVP was and he said the monitor too!] We also use this every.single.day.

Multitasker: Baby Bathtub

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I considered getting one of those moldable-to-the-sink bathtubs but when a friend gave us this one we decided to use it instead. It’s been a fantastic baby tub (starting in the sink and now used in the big tub) and also has served as a play station for containing Mazen as well. I hear it makes an excellent water play area too!

MVP: The BumGenius Freetime Diapers

Our Freetimes were another item that was an investment (I spent about $200 on our collection including getting a few used and in sets for a freebie) but I use them every day and love them. We’ve had no problems to date with stink, leaks or wear and tear. Love using the liners with them for #2s. To be honest diapers got a lot easier when we started solids! Less mess overall. I’d recommend the Freetimes to anyone looking to cloth diaper.

And the latest gear added to our collection – a big boy car seat – the Clek Foonf!! Excited to try it out. He seems to love it thus far!

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When Darkness Falls.

[Before]

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Black out curtains were one of those things that I was just too overwhelmed to think about pre-baby. Like breast pumps. Both I just felt the need to save for later – when I really wanted to drop money on them.

The pump has been purchased and I am so glad I bought one.

The black out curtains – it’s too early to tell. I REALLY REALLY REALLY like white curtains. I like light, bright rooms. I hate darkness or anything that inhibits natural light. So I’m still not sure why I bought the black out curtains except it was probably in a desperate moment when Maze wouldn’t nap!

[Where’s Waldo!?]

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The other reason I decided to get them was because with the position of our bed, I needed 63” curtains. The longer ones were hard to open and close and got stuck behind the bed.

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I considered getting custom curtains made on Etsy. SO many cute patterns. But also, mucho $$. And harder to coordinate. I wasn’t sure about patterns either. We have a lot going on already.

After reading rave reviews on Amazon of this simple pair with an unbeatable price, I hit One Click Order and they came two days later. I ordered grey, which actually matches the crib perfectly. They sort of do add a bit more formality to the room, but the room is less cheerful without the white.

[It’s also a different time of day in these photos so everything looks a bit more drab]

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The new curtains  juuuust touch the bed, so they are still a wee bit long, but still an improvement.

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So do they work? Sort of. I am not sure I’d give these the top review that other Amazonians did, but they definitely darken the room a lot more than the white ones.

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So in conclusion, I still hate black out curtains. But I sure hope we get more naptime in!

39 Weeks: Nursery Tour

Here we are in the home stretch and our little boy’s room is all ready for him to come home!

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Overall, I love our nursery. It didn’t really come out at all how I envisioned it many months ago, but it’s morphed into a cheerful and bright space that I love to be in.

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I went from a vision of all grey + yellow + white to a more varied palate with touches of teal and modern elements. As he grows older, we can take out some of the baby items and pastels and add in more modern elements and bright colors.

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Links to all items at the bottom of the page!

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The nursery room already had a twin bed in it, so we decided to keep that as a parents’ bed and work surface. It’s already been really great for folding laundry and I can imagine changing outfits too. And of course sleeping!

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Fun print sheets from Target and the yellow pillow was an Etsy find for our couch that I like better in the nursery

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The blanket at the bottom breaks up the white bedspread (which we already owned) without having to go all out on a matching one. Also will be good for removing for playing or protecting the duvet from explosions!

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The nightstand next door houses the parent base for our monitor and sound machine plus a drawer filled with midnight snacks for mom.

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We are well stocked with fun books on some IKEA shelves

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And below you’ll find one of my favorite pieces – a modern rocker from Amazon. It’s SUPER comfortable (although not glider level) and will make a great seat for a quick rock, storytime or nursery visitor to sit.

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I like that it’s smallish for my 5’2” frame and the back comes up high and there are arm rests for extra support. When you sit in it you are slightly reclined, which is why it’s so comfy. The bike pillow is another Etsy touch!

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The rock ‘n play sleeper will be where babe sleeps next to the bed until he is ready for the crib.

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We decided it made more sense to move us parents into the nursery than whole nursery into the master bedroom. Plus the two rooms are about 10 feet away from one another, so it’s almost like one big suite.

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I love how easily this folds away should we need to tidy up for company or make more rug space for playing.

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I think as soon as nighttime nursing sessions reduce in frequency a bit, it will be easier to transition to the crib because he will be used to the room and I can continue to sleep in there for a while too. Or just move back next door : )

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Love our modern grey crib – such a great price for $199.

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The crib skirt was made by my friend Lynsie!

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And this fun Boppy cover was an Etsy find

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Above the crib I found these color-coordinated bunting flags on Etsy. I was going to make them myself at one point, but all that sewing would have taken me 100 hours. I prefer to support someone who is a sewing expert instead : )

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The two batik paintings of a lion and grasshopper were done by my grandmother many years ago, and Matt painted the bike on a Michael’s canvas. We just lucked out that the colors matched so well!

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Our Angelcare Monitor sits inside this pretty cloth bin – a shower gift from Etsy

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Next to the crib is a little chair my grandmother hand painted with a snail!

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Along with a custom blanket and a hand-me-down sleep sheep that plays noise : )

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Love our Urban Outfitters rug! Such a steal for $75! I did have to buy a pad for underneath too.

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A family friend gave us this vintage-y basket now filled with baby toys!

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Our changing station is an IKEA dresser. We have our diaper bag hanging by a hook on the right side of the dresser. The animal painting is another of my grandmother’s! The little bin matches the floor one from Etsy.

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The changing pad is an Amazon best-seller by LA Designs with a Carousel Designs cover. It’s all mounted to the wall and secured to the dresser top for safety. I have a waterproof pad that I’m going to lay on top for protection when it’s actually time to change a diaper!

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Inside the dresser we’re all nested with cloth and newborn diapers

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Cloth wipes all washed and ready to do when the time is right

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Drawer #2 is filled with onesies – small (newborn), medium (0-3) and large (3-6) sizes! Sleep sacks on the right.

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And our bottom drawer is filled with more clothes – sleepers, outfits, shoes, hats, pants! All <6 months size.

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The big boy clothes are waiting in the closet!

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Along with IKEA drawers filled with useful things like burp cloths, bibs, towels, blankets and crib sheets and baby toiletries on top in a yellow box my grandmother gave me and I painted.

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And some hanging shelves with things like baby carriers, extra blankets, nursing covers, waterproof pads.

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And last but not least, a nice hook for the diaper bag!!

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For More Info…

Furniture

Twin Bed is from Pier 1 in 2006

Duvet cover and bed skirt by Pottery Barn

Yellow + grey leaf sheets are from Target

Chevron Blanket is Carousel Designs

Dresser + Nightstand are IKEA Hemnes

Modern Baxton Studio Letterio White Cradle Rocker from Amazon

Wall-mounted book shelves are IKEA Ribba

Crib is Baby Mod Modena by Walmart

Naturepedic Organic Baby Crib Mattress and Organic Mattress Pad from Babies R Us

Little painted chair was done by my grandmother

Rug by Urban Outfitters with this pad underneath

Fan was painted white by me!

Closet Shelves are IKEA Brimnes

Baby Items

Rock n Play Sleeper

Changing pad by L.A. Baby

Changing pad cover by Carousel Designs

Crib skirt handmade by a girlfriend

Boppy Cover by kidzcraft

Wipe holder from Amazon

Sleepy sheep from Amazon (was a hand-me-down)

Blue dot blanket handmade by a friend

Diaper bag Duo by Skip Hop

Wet bag for diapers from Amazon

Sound machine from Amazon

Décor

Yellow bed pillow is from glamdesign

Bunting flags from timamagee

Chevron cloth bins by NikJDesigns

Bike pillow in chair from birdmafia

All artwork made by my grandmother and husband!

Grey shade lamp is Pier 1

Zig Zag lamp is from Target

Yellow basket was a gift from a friend

Curtains from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Teal and grey chevron bins from IKEA

 

Previous 39 week posts

Snapshots: Nursery Through 9 Months

Grown Up Nesting

Thought Dump

Pre Mom Syndrome

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39 Weeks: Snapshots

Nursery Progress Through 9 Months

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Matt’s birthday present to the baby – a hand-painted bike canvas!! I found a few on Etsy and nearly bought one when I realized I could make one myself that would be more special and a lot less expensive. But then I realized that Matt is SO much more artistic than I am and asked him if he would like to take on the project. We bought a 20×20 canvas at Michael’s for $14 and used our leftover bathroom paint for the backdrop. Some white acrylic paint, bowls for wheel tracing and a steady hand turned out into a really fun nursery addition! We might paint his name under the bike when he’s here : )

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previous WEEKS

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36 Weeks: New Additions

New additions for the new addition!! From family, friends, Etsy and Amazon : ) I wish I could showcase every single gift we have received and every single item I have purchased, but here are snapshots of the range of baby items we have accumulated…

A Duke bib and socks from Matt’s grandmother Bonnie – Go Blue Devils!

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Board books of all kinds!

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A modern Boppy Cover I bought from Kidzcraftz on Etsy!

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Bison Booties!!!! A gift from the Etsy store owner, Erica, who is a BERF reader

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Beach toys for next summer (and the bath until then!) plus soft blocks and a hilarious ball from mom’s friends Judy and Susan! They have started the toy storage under the stairs : )

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A baby monitor from Kirst!

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Our awesome Skip Hop diaper bag from Karen!

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I already put a few things inside : )

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Carousel Designs changing pad (on the L.A. Baby pad that I bought), plus a funky inexpensive lamp from Target and a catch-all container Alex and Eric gave us at our Cville shower from NikJDesigns on Etsy. Can’t believe how well it matches the changing pad!

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This adorable outfit from Baby Olivia

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Fun toys that light up and sing!

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Chevron bibs and burp cloths from my sister from the Posh Pea Boutique and handmade ones by my friend Tiffany!

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And so many cute outfits for 3-6 months that need sorting and folding! You will see these all in time : )

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Previous 36 week posts

Snapshots

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26 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots

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I’ve had this paper star floating around the nursery – and our house – for a long time. I’m just not sure what to do with it!

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Should I hang it over the crib? I wonder if it would feel a bit sparse just the single star in the center?

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Does the black and white go? I’ve heard that babies like black and white.

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Thoughts?

Also, forgot to include this book in our collection! Amelia gave it to me last fall – before I was pregnant!! So very appropriate!

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25 weeks

24 Weeks: Fannnntastic

TO-DO:

Deal with fan

Yay – another task removed from the to-do list!!!

Before2

After!

Fan (1)

My thought process here involved lots of options:

1) Replace fan totally with a light fixture (something like this)

2) Then I decided to keep the fan because of the air flow benefits.

3) Paint the fan a funky color or design

4) But in this post, I thought maybe of just keeping it brown to match the bed.

5) I started to look for replacement shades instead of the dirty metal ones. But most fan shades are not cloth and are dated ceramic (and expensive!)

6) I washed the metal ones with Shaklee and found the rust gunk to come out – good as new.

7) Then I moved the bed, so the matching brown was no longer visual and the fan became even more of an eye sore.

8) I decided the silvery metal would look more modern against white. And the fan would blend into the ceiling better. It’s really a pretty new/modern fan.

9) PAINT THE FAN attempt…

A final before –

before

I didn’t quite know how the blades would come off, but it ended up being pretty easy. I was THRILLED that the silver horseshoe shaped pieces stayed so I only had to paint the actual blades without any taping!

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Just involved a drill and some strong hands to un-stick the blades

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Dirty brown.

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Paint of choice picked up by Matt at Lowes

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Drop cloth to protect screens [old basement curtains]

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I did my best to mask the spray from my breathing and worked quickly. Coat #1

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Matt ended up doing coat #2 because the spray was more in the air than I liked.

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I did have to do a final coat on the edges in the morning. But luckily because fans are high up I only had to paint one side!

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And in a matter of 24 hours…

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We had a modernization! The metal looks refreshed and the fan blends much better with the ceiling!

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Power on –

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The white blades melt away when the fan is running

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Very very happy with this transformation that ended up costing only a can of spray paint!

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Before + after

Eyesore Fan (1)

Note that I also swapped out the paintings. My grandmother’s Adam + Eve on the far wall

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And animals over the changing table. I think the scales work a bit better.

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I think that takes care of the last of the nursery décor. [At least during the newborn stages.] Now we just have to fill it with baby stuff!

PREVIOUS WEEKS

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