Nursery No More

The nursery is my favorite room in the whole house. It is full of beautiful sentimental things. Like Calvie’s “three week feet” and the painting I purchased on study abroad for my some-day nursery. It is the space in the house that has the most knitting on display too. Cal’s Hobbes, fox blanket, rainbow blanket and sheep mobile are four of my favorite knits and I like having a space where they can be out and enjoyed.

Before we bid adieu to my favorite room in the whole house we took some pictures.

IMG_6733 IMG_6857IMG_6858IMG_6715IMG_6862

Calvin turned two last week and has been climbing out of the crib for over a year (He wears a sleep sac to prevent escapes now). Ellis has been sleeping in our little handmade toddler bed for over two years and he was starting to outgrow it. It was time for a bed shuffle.


The nursery isn’t exactly gone, but all the trappings of baby are on the way out. I was sad to see the crib go, but the toddler bed has it’s charm for sure. Cal seems to like it too. In about six months Calvin will move in with Ellis and this room will become my office. I am really looking forward to having a dedicated space, but it will be a bittersweet trade. Fortunately I can enjoy the quasi-nursery a little longer.

How is Luke’s room set up coming along? I know you were really itching for a dedicated kid zone when you lived in an apartment. Does having lots of space in the house scratch that itch? Do you keep toys in Luke’s room? A common area? Both? Any nursery progress?


Two Much Fun

Calvin turned two over the weekend. I can’t believe it has been two whole years since he came into our lives and brightened our world. As cliché as it is the last two years have gone by in a flash.


We had a birthday bash for him over the weekend. We had a Magic School Bus party since that is Cal’s favorite show right now. It let us be broad with the theme since Magic School Bus is kind of all over the place.

I made him a volcano cake with dry ice lava. This picture is right after Adam blew out the candles because the dry ice popped and scared him (Adam, not Calvin. Nothing phases that kid).


We asked a friend who is turning a bus into a tiny home if they could bring their bus by for the party. So we had an actual Magic School Bus for the day. The kids loved running around on the bus and honking the horn.


The highlight for Cal was the dozen balloons. He carried them around all day. In fact they got so tangled before the party we had to cut them all apart and retie the ribbons, but once separated and dispersed to decorate the party Calvin quickly gathered them all up again and did not let go for the rest of the day. In fact, he fell asleep holding his bunch of balloons that had to be pried from his sleeping fist. Sweet boy.


I got to add to my kids party fails column. The first major fail was Ellis’ first birthday where we only served alcohol because we were so thrilled to have survived parenting for a year. The thirsty kids at that party would have liked more than water I’m sure. This year’s live and learn lesson was don’t put out a basket of sharpies when there are 15 kids under the age of six. They were for coloring wooden dolls for Calvin’s birthday dollhouse, but I had to remove them 2 seconds into the party when I realized what a tremendously bad idea that was. I have been doing some touch up painting, but it was worth it.


Pet Peeves

We are kicking off the first week of summer break with summer colds coupled with 5 days of rain. Other than driving through the bank and taking a few walks outside in between rain showers we have been home bound. I set up the tent in the living room three days ago and we have been recovering with high doses of TV and unsynchronized naps (which I can’t stand), but we are also going a little batty. Ellis just asked me “when daddy will be home?” It is not even 9 am, so I am calling this day as a rough one.

I do best with routine. I was excited to get into the swing of things and set the pace for summer, but since my kids are snot fountains we can’t go anywhere. In lieu of all the fun things I had planned and had to scrap I have been keeping busy with simple updates around the house, remedying some pet peeves, while we wait out these colds.

Pet Peeve #1: Pet Food Pandemonium
We have a lot of animals (2 cats, 2 chickens and 1 dog). The animals have a lot of supplies and the pet feed was disorganized and getting out of hand. There were bags of feed in the mudroom and overflow in Adam’s office. The food was so disorganized that it was hard to see when we needed more and we either ran out or had too much surplus. I think we also were attracting some other pets: mice. I decided that all the pet feed needed to be corralled in the same place and contained in a critter proof way. I grabbed three tins (that can stack if necessary) and free-handed some animals on them. At first I tried to color them in with sharpie, but it didn’t work so I switched to paint. To keep the paint from chipping I sealed it with my favorite mod podge. Now all the food is in one place and labeled (without words) so even the kids can grab a scoop and help feed the animals.



Pet Peeve #2: Dish Swap
I LOVE our dishes. We started collecting them before we got married. We add a couple of plates or bowls at a time. They are Japanese and handmade and only available in weird places (like the Smithsonian gift shop). It was becoming increasing hard to replace pieces as they broke. If we could find the dish in the right size it was crazy expensive (like $30 a dinner plate, which is too rich for my blood). I was also becoming increasingly neurotic about using the plates (or having people wash them which is a drag when you don’t have a dishwasher). Last week I stumbled upon a great set of dishes at the thrift store. They are handmade Japanese stoneware, just like our dishes, but the pattern is different. The pattern is actually Adam’s favorite. He has one mug that he drinks his coffee from everyday. Initially I was only going to buy the one mug as a spare for him, but the more I stared at the dishes the more I thought they might work. As fate would have it we ran into a friend in the thrift store who was able to watch Cal while I purchased 24 new dishes (for only $15!). When I got them home I realized they go enough with our current set (not a match, but similar in a way that won’t drive me nuts). I decided to keep everything once I saw it on the shelf. We only have open shelving on our upper cabinets for now so the dishes needed to look ok together for this to be a solution to the endless chase of replacements of the first set. Because both patterns have the same edge you can barely tell the different. So now we are dish rich instead of dish crazy. A much better way to be.

20160602_104113 20160602_10402320160602_104015

Pet Peeve #3: The Yarn Overflowith
I store (or should I say stuff) all of my yarn into 5 cubbies of an expidit shelf in the office/guest room. It is color-coded (which I believe in for yarn, but not books). Anytime I want to select yarn I slide out a bin and skeins pop out like accordion snakes and balls roll everywhere. I have longed for a less dusty more visible solution. For years I thought that would be a barrister bookcase, until I realized that a glass front china cabinet would be even prettier, curvier and less expensive. So my sweet husband gave me an early birthday present when he trekked out to pick up a bow front glass china cabinet off craigslist for me. It is waiting in the wings for Calvin to graduate to a shared big boy room which will free up the nursery as a dedicated office space for me. But I couldn’t resist trying out some yarn in there in the meantime. I can’t wait to actually be able to see my whole stash and not have to spend 10 minutes cleaning up and re-stuffing yarn into the open cubbies.

20160602_100142 20160602_14033520160602_105228


City Mama, did you see the bonus room reveal over at YHL? I thought the triple chaise couch/bed thing was pretty genius. Do you have any rooms big enough for that in your new abode? How are you settling in and getting organized in your new space?

Striving for Normal

In the midst of grieving we have been trying to have normal too. Over the past month we have packed in three really great getaways.

First we took a weekend trip to the spot where we were married. Eleven adults and five kids crammed into one house for a camp over. We had an impromptu ball gown birthday party for my sweet niece, Finley. We went to the thrift store (where Adam scored his wedding suit) and bought out all of the fancy dresses. (This was actually my dream for our rehearsal dinner. Everyone would have to construct an outfit from the nearest thrift store and then winner would earn the right to officially witness our marriage. The timing didn’t work out 8.5 years ago so it was nice to finally fulfill my thrift party fantasy).


After that adventure we headed to the beach for our annual family beach week. Each year, in lieu of gathering for Christmas, Adam’s family goes to the beach for a week. This year we had 15 people (including 5 cousins). It was relaxing (as relaxing a vacationing with little ones can be) and tons of fun. The kids are all getting older and more independent. They were all obsessed with observing the fish Uncle Andy caught each day. We even snagged what I am sure is our last baby beach nap.

IMG_2363 IMG_3235 IMG_3275 IMG_3303

This past weekend we took on camping with five kiddos under 6 (because we must be crazy :)) We headed to nearby Jordan Lake with friends from Peace Corps who live in NC now. We are basically family so camping with the five kids was actually surprisingly easy. We enjoyed the full spectrum of seasons in our 24 hour trip. We took advantage of the summer-like 80 degree weather to swim during the day. At night it got down into the 40s and felt downright fall-like. It was cool, but clear enough to sleep without the rain-fly (a camping first for me). In the morning the kids went for a paddle in the mist.


Taking 3 trips in four weeks isn’t really our “normal” but in this case it was just what we needed.