Saturday, August 20, 2011

Better Late Than Never

You know how pregnant women are supposed to enter a nesting phase and suddenly, in a fit of organization, put together the nursery before the baby comes?  Yeah, that never happened to me.  I got the furniture in place, and had the basics set up, like a changing station, the crib, a rocker for nursing and bedtimes, and a diaper setup, but I never got around to making it look pretty.

It's not that I didn't think about it.  In fact, the sad part is that I had almost everything I wanted to put on the walls by the time Claire was born, but by then I was too exhausted from teaching all day to be bothered to hang anything.  And once I was on maternity leave, I was huge (I swear I provided Claire with a 3-bedroom condo of her own in there), and didn't have it in me to hang things on the wall.  Besides, have any of you tried to hang things straight with a baby bump sticking out in front of you?  Not so easy.

I told myself I would do it once the baby was here.  After all, I'd be able to stand straight and move much more easily (ha!  First-time mom naivete showing!).  But the reality is that once Claire was here, the nursery was the last thing on my mind.  Or what mind I had left at that point.  I tell ya, between my sieve-like trap of a memory, sleep deprivation, and pregnancy/nursing hormones, I was pleased to remember how to take care of Claire most days.  I had no mental capacity left to care about what was on the walls in her nursery.

Then life kept happening, and I stopped worrying about her nursery.  Afterall, she only slept and got dressed in there.  She certainly didn't care and I had bigger fish to fry.  Right around her first birthday, though, it began to bug me.  I realized that what was once an excusable delay was now just plain embarrassing.  So I started working on it.  In fits and starts at first, because let's be honest, a toddler keeps you just as busy as a newborn, but I puttered away at it bit by bit.  And about a month ago, we got it done.  Well 95% done, anyway.  Here are some shots of what we did:
This was the first area that was setup, because, as you can imagine, we spent LOTS of time there when Claire was an infant.  This was our feeding, rocking, singing, soothing station, and it worked wonders.  Happily today, as seen below, Claire still loves it and has turned it into her bible reading station:
That's Claire's look of pure delight.  This kid is such a character! :)
This part of her room was completed last summer, because I used this area all the time.  Her closet has a dresser in it that I use as a changing table.  I DIY'd the letters hanging above using artist canvases, mod podge, and scrapbook paper.  Fun fact:  During Claire's first year, Patrick liked to randomly rearrange the letters to see how long my mommy-brain would take to notice.  :)

The rest of the room waited a LONG time to finish.  The pieces we collected were stacked against the wall for months.  When Claire started picking them up and spreading them around the house, I knew I needed to do something about it... 
These shelves hold all of Claire's special mementos.  There's her custom imprinted silver piggy bank from cousin Sally and Evan, a Japanese doll that means Bright Light (also the meaning of Claire) from Grandma, one of C's ultrasound pics, her first pinecone (my kid has a thing for pinecones), and the "Saving Up for Baby" piggy bank that my mom gave us when we first started the Baby Fund years ago so I could be a stay-at-home mom.
These fun paper flowers were inspired during a internet trolling session when I was trying to find idea's for C's first birthday party.  I'll do a post later explaining the process.  They're a bit time consuming, but fairly easy to make.

The last part of C's nursery features her magnet boards (the front of our fridge is not magnetic and she needs a place to practice her letters!!), bookshelf, and a gallery wall.  But this is where the room was only 95% done.  I hadn't thought about what to put into all of the frames yet, and so I used pics of C I had printed for her birthday party.  Seemed like a good idea, especially since those are my favorite pics of her first year.  But it came out a bit shrine-like.  I love my daughter dearly, but I was a bit creeped out by a wall-o-Claire.
 So, I searched through all our pics, and came up with pics of Claire and her most important peeps instead.  It's still a work in progress, but here's what it looks like today:
Some of the frames are still empty (or still hold the fake family pics they came with).  I have plans for those, and I want to replace some of the current pics with some art pieces I have my eye on over at Etsy.  Just got to save up my pennies first. :)

In the meantime, Claire is greatly enjoying her magnet board and chair, and I'm happy to have a functioning, decorated nursery for her.
Anyone else take FOREVER to finish their child's nursery?  I know I can't be the only one, right???

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