I finally got around to taking some photos of the nursery today to share how it’s all coming together! We had the walls painted in “Alpaca Gray,” and the bookshelf (made with love by my step-father-in-law — Gary) in “Confident Yellow” – both by Sherwin Williams. If anyone needs a good recommendation for an affordable and good painter in the Portland area, let me know!
At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by how bright the yellow had turned out on the bookshelf(even though it was my intention to go bright), but it has grown on me. Once we brought the other furniture and more color in the room, it now feels like it works. I still need to decide if I should devote the energy to painting the wood trim and beaded-board backing in the same white to match the trim in the room. After putting all of the items on the shelf, it seems to work having the wood. What do you think?
As you can see, I made a wall bumper for the floor bed out of the table runners that Jules had sewn for the shower. It worked out perfectly to use them for that, as there was not quite enough fabric for curtains. I had originally sewn on ribbon loops so that I could hang the cushions on the wall with some thick metal hooks. However, when I brought the hooks home, Josh gently reminded me that although it was a good effort, if we were going to be making the room baby-proof, metal hooks surrounding the bed were not going to help in achieving that status! Oh, right! It’s interesting how your brain needs to go through a shift in thinking when creating a child’s environment. So, what I ended up doing was picking up some iron-on velcro and heavy-duty wall mounting tape to adhere the bumpers to the wall in several areas. We put them up yesterday and they seem to be holding well.
I was so thrilled to have the instant wall art with the charming felt banner that our dear friend Tiffany had made for the shower as well! The colors are perfect and really help tie the bright bookshelf into the space. I know babies can’t read, but he’ll certainly feel the love that went into its creation!
In a Montessori style nursery, the idea is to develop a prepared environment where the room is 100% baby-proof so that as our baby grows and begins to explore his world around him, he can start to do so with a certain freedom that is said to create a more independent and confident child. This freedom within limits idea is created by placing a twin-sized mattress (only 2-3 inches thick) on the floor surrounded by padding so that in case baby rolls off, there is no injury and a baby gate at the doorway. We ended up finding this mattress at IKEA (the Sultan Fonnes), which ended up having the perfect thickness. This was essentially a gift from my mother, as she had supplied us with the gift certificate. The only thing left is to pick up a waterproof mattress cover and fitted sheets for it. And, when the time comes for Asher to move into his room (he will be in the bassinet with us for the first several months), we will install the baby gate on the door to keep the dogs out and let him explore the space at his will.
For those who are still a bit perplexed by the idea of a floor bed vs. a crib, here is a link to an article that may be of interest to you: Maria Montessori Floor Bed Article
In continuing with the childproofing, Josh spent time mounting the furniture to the walls. We live in an area where earthquakes are not a regular occurrence, but can happen and so it is necessary to plan for that possibility – especially when having a floor bed. It also makes me feel more comfortable for when the time arrives that Little Monkey is crawling and using the furniture around him to stand and hold himself up.
As we started putting the room together, we opted for this white dresser/changing table (again from Ikea), which was a gift from my aunt and uncle – Lee and Julie. Along with all of the useful and thoughtful gifts we were given at our shower, we also received several handmade gifts which we so appreciate and will cherish forever. One of which was Monkey’s first framed art by dear friend, Mr. Ryan Dobrowski (talented artist and musician). I am not sure if I am right but it looks as though it is a scene from the Oregon Coast.
We have another mini illustration to add to the room that our friend Vicki Wilson had created when we first shared the news that we were pregnant. I will post a picture of it once I have it ready to hang! But in the meantime, I also wanted to share this imaginative, personalized present by the highly gifted artist duo Vicki Lynn Wilson (full-time artist and art teacher at PSU) and husband John Larsen (full-time artist and musician) made for us as well:
An intriguing package to open!
Sitting on top of the wooden pieces inside was a hand sewn corduroy game storage bag with the words “Banana Ball” written on it. Inside the box below were wooden bowling pins that they had varnished to create little monkeys and a wooden bowling ball with bananas surrounding it. Josh and I were so touched by the thought that went into creating this.
No detail was left out! Look at the backs of the pins! Little monkey tails! Adorable!
Then came another handmade lovely from Ms. Johnna Wells (auctioneer by day, artist and entrepreneur by nature). Her latest and greatest creation is that of the Basio, which she has recently trademarked. She created a custom fabric for our Little Monkey which was hand-drawn by her (with these sweet monkeys of course). Depending on how you snap it up, the piece can become a baby blanket, scarf, or nursing cover. A truly innovative idea and again, something we will always keep forever!
She had known our nursery colors in advance and created the fabric with that in mind! Isn’t it just perfect?
We received a beautiful, handmade, car seat cover blanket with matching burping cloths from Tiffany recently, but I would like to photograph that once we have it on the car seat so you can better understand how it works. So more to share soon!
On the yellow shelf, I have created space on the very bottom that Monkey can begin to explore when he is ready. When that time nears, I will take some of the items away that are there now and begin to rotate books and toys in minimal quantities so that there is always something of interest for him while also keeping from having too much clutter or overstimulation of toys – allowing for more concentrated play. For now, I am just having fun working on making it cute for us to look at. Ha!
The wooden rattle was a gift from friends Wendi and Neal and the wooden monkey from Liz Hummer. I found the pine baskets on a trip to Mexico years ago and have been saving it for our little one to have and explore stacking.
More toys from friends and family that we will rotate out!
As you can see, the shelf organizing is still a work in progress.
Josh opened up the bassinet/co-sleeper yesterday (a gift from his mother and stepfather), which is where Monkey will be in the first months in our room as we are working to establish a feeding routine. I am reading the book On Becoming Baby Wise, which my friend Jules had recommended and given to us. I really like the philosophy on Parent Directed Feeding and look forward to testing it out once Little Monkey is here. I know that parenting is basically a big test of trial and error, but I am happy to have some tools in our tool belt to get started with as we explore what works best and fits with our new family.
That lovely blanket you see hanging off the side of the bassinet was my father’s receiving blanket, made by my great-grandmother. I am still trying to decide how to display it in the nursery. For now, this is where it sits.
On each corner of the receiving blanket are my father’s initials. We feel very lucky that this precious piece has stayed in our family so we can have it in Little Monkey’s room and one day give to him to share with his family.
Well, that is all I have for now! I will try to muster up the energy to photograph the finished basement spaces to share soon! We are now eighteen days away from our estimated due date and reached the important 37 week mark last Friday so Monkey is now considered to be Full Term (thank goodness). So, no more worrying about him arriving too early. He is welcome anytime now. Although, it is really up to him when that will be! We shall keep you posted.
___________________________UPDATE TO THIS POST_______________________
As a quick update to this post, I wanted to share that we ended up getting a crib when Asher was 5 months old. Because he has been such a light sleeper and we had to keep him swaddled to get any rest, we had an issue with him not having his arms available to lift himself up in case he rolled off the floor bed (which happened once and was definitely frightening). We plan to reintroduce the use of a floor bed when Asher is a little older (probably closer to 2), but when he reached 5 months, we realized that this method wasn’t going to work for him right away. And as I said, we are flexible to finding the right fit for our family. I will say though that he has been sleeping in his own room now since just about 4 months old! Although we so enjoy those times when we get to snuggle together in our bed, we are really trying to keep from getting into a habit of co-sleeping since everyone we have spoken with that does it has told us how difficult of a habit it is to break.