If you recall, dear readers, I spent
a ridiculous amount rather a lot of time in late February and early March thinking about E.’s new medium-sized guy room as a way of displacing the anxiety I was feeling over losing the baby.
I obsessed about it, really.
I spent every waking conscious moment where I didn’t have something else that I had to be doing surfing Pinterest and online catalogues and measuring and thinking and planning and worrying.
It wasn’t particularly healthy, my obsession.
But it was a lifesaver at the time.
It gave my brain something to think about, other than the fact that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
It gave me a chance to escape from the grief, to focus on something positive, to concentrate on creating something beautiful for the child I did have.
Eventually I made most of the decisions that had to be made, and found myself realizing:
The downside to all of this organizing is I can’t spend hours trolling Etsy and Pinterest anymore, and I think that’s one reason I’m clenching my jaw so tightly it’s sore pretty much all the time. I need another distraction. Organizing the house is only getting me so far- I’ve already done my clothes, the linen closet, the cupboards and drawers in the basement, and my books. There’s still a lot more I could do, but I can only stand to do it in short bursts of frenzied activity.
I’m a little afraid of how empty I’m going to feel inside when we get E.’s room set up in April.
We didn’t, in the end, get his room set up in April. We looked at the calendar, and looked at our schedules and realized that it would be insane to try and do it then, and luckily E. stopped talking about it as much and we were able to wait until August, which made a whole lot more sense on a whole bunch of levels.
This room was important to me. Not just because of how much time and energy and thought I put into it after we lost the baby, but because it was the first time I’d tried, really tried to decorate a room as a whole. I don’t have a great eye for design, but I knew I wanted E.’s room to be something special, something that would suit him now, as the little boy he is, but that would also be able to grow with him. As I said in my first post about his room,
We never did much with the nursery. Q. painted it, and I put a lot of time and effort into choosing the crib (because I wanted solid wood) and the mattress (because I didn’t want one filled with off gassing nastiness). But all the rest of the furniture was mismatched hand-me-downs, and we just put some random things on the wall, and called it finished.
E’s new room is different. It’s not going to have a theme or anything- I’m not really a theme sort of person- but it matters to me that I spend some time on it. The nursery was always going to be temporary. This is a room he will be in for a long time- possibly until he moves out if we never have another child, as if we don’t we’ll have absolutely no reason to rationalize leaving our current house.
Plus, I know who he is now. I want his room to reflect that.
For pictures of what the nursery looked like, see here.
The one big outstanding issue was the paint colour- I only managed to put sample strips up on the walls a couple of days before we were going to start painting as it took a while to empty the room out (it had previously been my study). I had hemmed and hawed and changed my mind a million times, but when I put my four final options up on the walls it was immediately obvious to Q. and I which was the right one. E. nearly put a spanner in the works by deciding he liked a different colour, but hey, he’s three, so we waited two hours and then he liked the one we liked best too. It was a difficult decision because his room is north-facing and it doesn’t have a big window. I was worried painting it grey would make it too dark. I kept seeing Benjam.in Moo.re’s Rev.ere Pew.ter recommended online for north-facing bedrooms, and that was what we ultimately chose. I’m so glad we did.
What I found most surprising was how much better both rooms looked once their purposes had been switched. E.’s old room looks much better as a study- cozier and neater and better organized, and his new room is almost unrecognizable. Q. said to me once we had taken out all the furniture, “I always thought this room’s proportions were ridiculous, but it isn’t actually long and narrow. It just looked that way because of how we’d set it up.” My study had been in a constant state of chaos since January, when our basement flooded and we ended up storing quite a lot of stuff in it, but it had become even worse since we set up E.’s medium sized guy bed in his old room, as that meant all the ‘baby’ things (change table, rocking chair, etc.) had migrated into the study because we hadn’t had time to properly put them away.
Everything looks so much better now. I cried when we put E.’s furniture in his room, because it looked how I wanted it to look, and I was just so happy it had all worked out. Last weekend my Mum was here and brought the curtains that she made with the fabric I ordered, and we got the last couple of things up on the walls, so I was ready to take some pictures.
The bed frame and the night table are both from IKEA. The sheets are from Pot.tery Ba.rn Ki.ds (we used birthday money given to E. by his relatives).
We actually bought him this sign (from Alphabet Photography) for his first birthday. We never got it up on the wall in the nursery, but it’s up now.
The chair is from IKEA (as is the dresser, which is an old hand-me-down). The laundry hamper is from 3Sprouts. Q. made the shelves himself according to a design I found online. What you can’t see in this picture is the time it took to get those shelves straight (we do not have a straight wall in this house). Given they only hold 35 or 40% of his books, I’m planning on rotating them around regularly. Currently he’s obsessed with My Father’s Dragon and its sequels (which we have on loan from the library), so the other books aren’t getting a lot of use. The top shelves are too high for him to reach, but we have a step-stool that isn’t shown in the photo.
E. was adamant: “I want a clock in my room. A red clock. Then I will know when I wake up if it is morning yet.” It is helpful at quiet time- it cuts down on the number of times he shouts down the stairs at me, “Is quiet time over yet?” because he can understand the concept of watching the big hand get all the way around to the same number again.
My mum was so worried about making a mistake with these (especially since she’d never done grommets before), but she did an absolutely amazing job. They are perfect.
IKEA Expe.dit with a mirror (also IKEA) mounted directly above. E. made the painting at his nursery school last October. An unexpected bonus of running the Expe.dit along this wall is the mirror bounces more light from the window into the room. Q. thought I did this intentionally and told me I was very clever, but it was dumb luck.
In the Expe.dit E. has stuffed animals that have been culled from the bed (there are still at least ten animals on the bed), some puzzles, some Playm.obil, some Schl.eich animals, his Pla.n Toys pirate ship, his Brud.er garbage truck, and the double decker bus we bought for him while we were in the UK. The two red boxes hold his birthday cards and the mail he’s been getting, so he can look at them all whenever he wants. The pink box on top of the unit is his treasure box that he chose and painted himself. It has little things that are special to him, like a rock from the lake, pinecones, acorns, and a seashell from Oz. We usually have flowers in the red vase.
This bus decal runs along the wall right next to the door and the end of his bed. The wall above his bed is still blank because I don’t yet have anything I like for that space. Like the shelves, this decal took quite a lot of time to get on the wall.
I love his room.
“It’s the nicest room in the house now,” was Q.’s view.
And E.? He loves it too.