Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Steps

I have said for many years how my great struggle in this life is balance. It doesn't come easy for me! I am all or nothing. Days when I'm nothing mixed with the days I'm all make for a very chaotic life!
As I wrote in my last post, I'm really realizing my practice time is up! Since Barclay is nearing 4 and I had my first memories at 4, I cannot use the excuse, "oh well, they won't remember this!" anymore.
I decided a month ago to try some baby steps to make me a less chaotic person. It bothers me I can't 100% of the time be on top of everything but hopefully being 100% about these baby steps will help.

1. I made a go to bed by 10pm rule.
2.I have to wear pajamas.
3. No cell phones in bed!
4. I need to wake up at 6:30 and hope its before the kids in order to attempt to get a hold of what day it is, read a little bit of scripture, and maybe breathe in and out a few times before little needs need to be met.
5. Each morning make a list of 3 things to do. Even though it's simple and certainly not all the things that must get done. It makes me feel very accomplished.
6. Each week make one habit I want to make.
First week was sorting and putting the mail where it goes, right away.
Second week was try to load the dishwasher every night.
Third week was not putting clean laundry on the laundry room floor (FAILED that week!)
This week I'm doing: 10 min timed pick up when kids are in bed...despite my deep longing for collapsing on the couch:)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Adventurous Boys Room

I've gone into it before.  The dreaded moment when the ultrasound tech announced I would be the mother of a BOY.  After being the oldest of 5 girls the idea was foreign and scary to me.

I have come to find out that gender doesn't matter one bit.  Yes it decides a little bit of how you dress them or what the nursery looks like but gender doesn't make one bit of a difference in how you love them:-)

It sounds bad, but the first thing I did when I found out that Barclay was a boy, was buy something cute.  A blue and brown owl onesie.  I took solace in tiny baby shoes (of which he never wore), old adventure books, and just basically anything that deepened my understanding of boyhood.

In my last post I talked about my fluid method of decorating.  This is true BIG TIME of the "nursery".

I knew right away I wanted nothing to do with sports, balls, or characters.  I also wanted to stay away from blue and brown since that was an extremely popular color scheme for boys when I was having Barclay.  I knew I wanted a room that wasn't baby.  One that my boy (soon to be boys) could have through college.  I wanted it to have an adventurous spirit about it.  I totally think I achieved it.  Little by little, piece by piece, 4 years it is.  My not so little boys room.


This is the view of the whole room.  It's a very small room that we have tried to make the most of.  My favorite part of the room is the color.  It's a navy blue that is just perfect and not to babyish.  The bunk bed with trundle was a find on craigslist.  I foresee the boys sleeping together on it for many years to come.  It is great for when guests come because we can sleep several more people.
That huge teddy bear was sort of a joke from a friend but the boys adore it and usually sleep on it.  We call her Teddy.
I found that sailboat wall hanging for $3 at Goodwill but it was cheesy brass colored so I just spray painted it.  The two boat shelves were from thrifts stores as well.  At first I tried to fill the shelves but it just looked too cluttered.  I got the shutter for free and used wooden letters from Michaels and a horrid little welcome oar that I spray painted.  I just adore the shutter.  It makes the room seem a lot bigger than it is.
I ended up going with mismatched quilts for the bed.  It makes it look so casual, which I like.

I finally found a hamper that is small enough for this room.  Just a cute little wire basket from Marshalls.  I got the little lifeguard stand from a yard sale for $2.  It's one of my favorite things in the room.  The whaling painting was 50 cents at a yard sale and I framed it with a frame I had on hand already.  I just modge podged the wipe canister with some scrapbook paper.  The VW bus was a special gift from Noah's mom.  We keep pacifiers and diaper ointment in it.  It has a surf board on top and reminds me of the adventures I had as a little girl.  That little built in shelf is my favorite and it is perfect to house diapers and wipes.  

I got these hooks from World Market and they are perfect to hold the boys' school backpacks.  The picture to the left is one of my favorites of Barclay reading.  The one in the middle is a beautiful print from esty.  It's of a little boy looking at his reflection in the water,  The oil to the right was a gift from my mom.  It has three little boys in it (which I very much see in my future).  I just adore it.

This is Sullivan's side of the room.  I love this little crib from Walmart.  We originally had a bigger sleigh crib for Barclay but it would not fit in this room so we got this inexpensive but solid little crib.  The middle piece of art is a cool soldier print that I found already matted for $10.  The print to the left of that is a beautiful little sillhotte of two little boys that my friend Brandy gave me when Sullivan was born.  Then there is a framed booklet from my Grandfather's college days at Presbyterian College.  Next is a little sketch of a sailboat.  Then there is one of my very favorite photos of Sullivan giggling.  And to the top right is another print from etsy.  It's the same artist as the little boy in the boat.  This one is of a child counting sheep that are jumping over his bed.  

I just love personal details like this.  

Here shows a little metal airplane that we hung.

This is a little reading corner.  We keep little board books in the baskets and the others on these Ikea spice racks that I stained and converted to bookshelves.  These are the BEST!  I originally had a bookshelf but anyone with a baby older than 6 months will tell you that they will not stay on a bookshelf!  I love the vintage books at the top.  The little hat hanging on the chair is an old pilot's cap that belonged to one of my cousins when he was a little boy.  He passed away when I was pregnant with Barclay and we gave Barclay his middle name (Thomas).  

Some of my favorite books.  The Dangerous Book for Little Boys was given to me by sweet friends of ours.  It has a handwritten letter taped in the front of it for Barclay to read by himself whenever he can.  I have not peeked yet!  

Another one of my favorite books at the bottom right.  It's called, "You Will Go To The Moon."  I feel like that about my boys, that they can do whatever they set their mind to.  Then framed to the right are two of the most boyish pictures.  One of Barclay riding a bike with the most impish little look:-) and the other is of grassy bare feet.  

This room will always have a special place in my heart as it represents falling in love with raising boys. I hope that Barclay and Sullivan will grow up with tons of adventures and imaginations that run wild.  

Evolution of my Home

When I got married, I was seriously into Asain decor.  Granted, I was only 19 when I got married but still, my decorating style was a far cry from what it is today.  I remember registering and seriously clicking anything with bamboo, asian characters etc.  I wanted everything to match and I wanted everything to be finished right away, even though we started our lives with just two lime green bean bags, a mattress and an orange couch.
I remember feeling this stress about finding curtains, "artwork", furniture and decorations to match and to finish the room.  Pretty soon into it I realized that you simply cannot do that when on a budget.  So very slowly, I began browsing yard sales, thrift stores and my own home to find things that would make our home personal, warm and interesting.
I began to see that being matchy matchy is NOT a good thing and that waiting to find that perfect piece for that perfect spot is so much better than buying something to fill it at Target.
The finisher in me has a hard time with this very fluid and changing way to live and update our home but it has become such fun!  And the result is feeling very at home in our place of living (no matter where that is).

7 years and 8 moves later I'm loving making a home with this man.