Tag Archives: baby shower

Making room: Our bright, book-filled nursery

It’s hard to believe our former attic nook is now my favorite place to sit and read and watch birds and branches and the clouds roll by. I can’t wait to welcome our baby home.

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I will admit, though, to shedding a few tears in trading in this lovely life for two to grow into a family of three. I’m a person who appreciates quiet time to herself, and I know being needed by another little human is going to reshape those moments forever. A child becomes like a phantom limb; s/he’s an extension of yourself that always holds a piece of your mind.

As we set about making space, it was a literal and figurative task: To create a bright room where there was none, and fill it with books and hopes and a bird’s eye view. To prepare for this next adventure of parenthood by way of paint swatches and nails and carpet and curtains.

It’s hard to believe our dormer addition nursery started out like this:

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Our contractors took care of opening the roof to the sky and building out the structure, installing drywall and windows. We took on the electrical and hired out the carpet installation and did our own painting and decorating.

Want to peek inside? I’ve been so excited to share this space!

from hall

We started out by painting a gender-neutral, bright green, crushing on some animal decals and building up a lovely collection of books to base the room around. It turned out we incorporated quite a few pops of red, too.

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The radiator cover was a custom DIY collaboration built by my brother and Joe. It covers our heating and cooling unit and the top is hinged so we can open it up when it’s in use. They worked their butts off on it, and I think it really finishes the room.

dresser:shelf angle

I wasn’t sure where to start, but the whole inspiration for the room began with the safari animal wall decals that now peek out from different spots. I love their sweet personalities and Joe suggested we put most of them down low, so the baby can crawl to them.

Sweet zebra

Animal decals by gingiber on Etsy.

crib angle

The Jenny Lind crib was a great deal on Overstock,and gifted to us by my grandpa. This is the first great-grandbaby in the family and I can’t wait to introduce those two! The print at the head of the bed is by Kate Daisy. I am obsessed with her designs!

Dresser front rocker

These dressers were a Craigslist coup we re-painted. We decided to try an ombre effect on the middle drawers, using leftover paint with the samples we’d tried when choosing one for the walls. We’re using the smaller one as a changing table and tucked it in the closet to save space. I stuck some of the advice tags from my baby shower along the top.

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closets

The curtains are IKEA. I think they’re festive without being too circus-y, and they’re nice and thick and came super-long. The bookshelves are painted IKEA spice racks (Pinterest inspiration actually put to use!) Thank goodness for IKEA.

toy basket

My mom made the toy basket at a workshop in Wisconsin. She made it before I was even pregnant, which is kind of funny. Guess who’s excited to become a grandma?

rocker

The rocker came from Craigslist, too, and a friend generously reupholstered it with fabric we had on hand from an earlier project we’d abandoned. I was skeptical about needing a rocker, but Joe insisted and it’s probably the most functionally awesome part of the room. We’ve both been reading in there a lot. The red campaign chest came with our house and fits breastfeeding supplies inside. Cara knit the blanket we’ve draped over the footstool for optimal coziness.

crib wall

The Eric Carle ABC poster is Target and the hanging quilt was made by Joe’s grandma. Nobody had told her the color scheme and theme of the nursery, but when we opened it we knew it needed to be in the spotlight!

Quilt

And the books! This baby will be well-read, and I love that.

Invite

Joe’s sister, Ellen, threw a sweet book-themed baby shower on Mother’s Day, which quickly filled the shelves. My friends at Ephemera made the most beautiful invitations, and each came with a customizable book plate inside. Joe’s sister Molly crafted the cool elephant bookends.

Invite Inside

I think the most special part of the room is that almost every element inside was crafted or gifted with love from someone in our lives. I am in awe at the talents and generosity of our friends and family, and I hope that this baby soaks up the values and lessons all of the smart, sweet people he or she will be surrounded with. The plan is for this room to someday get shared with a sibling, too!

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Filed under At home, Baby, Getting crafty

ABC Baby Shower

Last weekend, I went home for a baby shower that my mom and aunts planned to celebrate the impending arrival (6-ish weeks?) of JamJam Jellyroll – as we like to call baby Jayjack.

They chose a sweet little venue, The Pinecone Cottage Teahouse, in Downers Grove, to host it, and crafted some special details.We don’t know if Baby J is a boy or girl yet, so everything was gender neutral.

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The ABC theme was inspired by the Posie Gets Cozy Daisychain alphabet crewlwork project my mom has been working on (she got down to the ‘z’ by the day of the shower!) and carried through with cute little signs and details, like these sweet cookie mix favors shaped like mason jar bottles.

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Showers elicit a dreamlike ‘and you were there, and you were there!’ feeling that comes from gathering important people who would never otherwise be in the same room together to share your joy. A table of my beautiful besties from Benet and Mizzou:

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I’m also smitten with the scrapbook paper origami placeholders that my mom and aunts made when they were out in California. They stand up and have little pockets on both sides. The front held a little piece of paper with the name and table on it and the back had a tea bag tucked in. I’m taking one apart and will do another post on how to make them, since they didn’t have a tutorial for it.

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The game we played reminded us all of how my grandpa makes up alternate names for things using fancier synonyms (Sloppy Joes = Untidy Josephs, etc.).

Can you figure out which children’s book titles these stand for?

1.  Emerald Yolk With Accompanying Pig Product
2.  Evening Salutations To The Celestial Orb
3.  Soft Cotton Toy Bunny
4.  Trifecta Of Minute Swine
5.  Pretty Girl Slumbering
6.  Unsightly Aquatic Bird
7.  Which Female Cares For Me
8.  Brunette Furry Animal, Brunette Furry Animal, I Ask About Your Observations.
9.  Locale Of The Concrete Walkway’s Termination.
10.  Be Off Canine, Be Off
11.  Famished Butterfly Predecession
12.  Fedora Wearing Feline
13.  Locale Of The Untamed Creatures
14.  A Breeze Blowing Through The Salex Trees
15.  Diminutive Domicile Situated in Open Country
16.  Bequeathing Topiary
17.  Pentagonal Tiny Primates Bouncing on a Trundle

I was stumped on a few, so let me know in the comments if you just can’t get one and I’ll tell you the answer!

Everyone was so generous and thoughtful – I know this little person is coming into a great support system. All of the guests even created an alphabet book. Everyone got assigned a letter and came up with a word and way to illustrate it:

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The new nursery windows go in tomorrow, too!

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Filed under Baby, Life lessons