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Better

Things are gradually getting back to normal around here. The kids are feeling better, and so far, David and I have stayed healthy despite the wealth of germs that I am sure were floating around our house. My hands are raw and chapped from over-washing. I have wiped all doorknobs, sinks, tables and counter tops, plus all areas of floor where the kids threw up with antibacterial spray or disinfecting wipes. David mopped the floor in Chloe’s room. I washed all the bed sheets, sick clothes and towels in an extra long hot cycle with an extra rinse. Our house has never seen a week like this and I hope it never does again.

I am not exactly a germaphobe, but I do take precautions, especially with the kids. We’ve all had our seasonal flu shots (except David), and I carry two kinds of hand wipes in the diaper bag and in the car. We also teach the kids to wash their hands, especially before meals and after playing outside. Okay, maybe I am a germaphobe, but I can tell you caring for two very sick kids is exhausting and stressful. This year seems to be particularly bad, all around the country. I am a firm believer in the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

One of the few highlights of my week was laying down the new rug in Leo’s room (after all vomiting had ceased, of course). It arrived while I was away. Our house has mostly wood floors, so the kids love having this cozy new place to sit and play. The image above shows a photo of it, and of Chloe concentrating on building an extra tall Mega Blok tower, which she was very proud of. Yep, things are finally getting back to normal. Phew!

 

 


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Nursery Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to spruce up Leo’s nursery for a while now. Currently his room consists of his sister’s hand-me-down white Ikea furniture (2 malm dressers, a billy bookcase, and a crib), a rocking chair, and two Isak prints, which I still love (you can see them in Chloe’s old nursery from a few years ago). The only things I’ve bought specifically for him were a grey minky changing pad cover, a colored bin set we found at a yard sale, and a set of shelves that we just installed.

It looks nice enough, but now that he’s a year and a half, his room is transitioning from a baby’s room to a toddler room – a comfortable and safe play area and toy storage are necessities. There is also the concern that Leo’s room is the coldest in the house, while Chloe’s gets the hottest. When we turn the heat up for Leo, Chloe’s room turns into an oven. Also, Leo’s room cools off quickly, especially at night. Room heaters seem to be either too hot or too loud, or a safety hazard.

Eventually we’ll put in replacement windows, which should cut the draft, but until then, David suggested an area rug as a layer of insulation. As long as it wasn’t white or light colored (which would just get dirty from the kids and dog) I could pretty much choose. I scoured the internet, including Ikea and Target, but nothing in the right size or for under $100. Finally, I saw a decent one on Craigslist, but it had sold. She told me it was purchased from rugsusa. I saw it on sale for the same price, including shipping, so I decided to go for it. I really hope it looks good.

The other thing I’ve been considering is a wall decal. I had one of David’s canvas paintings hanging above the changing pad, but Leo thinks its great fun to knock it down. A decal would solve this problem. I particularly love this one from LittleMooseDecals. I imagined it including Leo’s name and a slight tweak of the moon and asked if a customization was possible. Then Michelle sent me the image above as a sample. Awesome! Have I mentioned Leo’s walls are the same pale blue? And that I like clouds?

So, the question is, will these things go together, do you think? One thing I’ve learned about myself is that being a graphic designer doesn’t always translate well to home decor for me. However, I notice I gravitate to the same kind of nursery images on Pinterest, so maybe I should just go with my gut on this?


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Chloe's Nursery Mural and Decor

It seems I’ve never gotten around to sharing anything about Chloe’s nursery. Probably because it was rainy the day I took these photos and I think they look a tad gloomy. Anyway, like most parents on a budget we outfitted Chloe’s room mostly using white Ikea furniture. With the room barely measuring 10′ x 10′, and the closet taken up by David’s clothes (I take up the one in our bedroom), storage and organization were our biggest issues.

To increase storage we have two side-by-side 4-drawer Malm dressers , plus a Billy bookcase. One set holds clothes, shoes, and accessories, and the other set holds diapers, wipes, blankets, linens, toiletries, some future clothes and other items.

Chloe sleeps in a Gulliver crib. I like it because you can see the baby from all sides, plus it can convert to a toddler bed. For a while we were able to store boxes of future clothes underneath it, hidden by a beautiful bedskirt made by her Grandma Sandy. Then Chloe learned to stand, so we had to remove the bedskirt to lower the mattress, and now the bins sit out in the open next to the crib. Not so pretty, but not much choice. Grandma Sandy also painted the lovely flower and branch wall mural for us, following the design on this birth announcement. The ABC and 123 wall prints are by Sandra Isaksson. The only other piece of furniture is a navy fold down sofa that we already had. Originally we also had a rocking chair I bought through Craigslist, but David removed it to make room for the bins. Overall, it is a bit of a squeeze, and it continues to overflow despite our efforts to contain it all thanks to generous hand-me-downs that we won’t get to for a while. It is pretty functional, though, at least for now. 🙂


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Isak Posters for the Nursery

I finally decided to buy a set of posters I’ve been eyeing for months. If we’d had a boy, I would have totally done his room up using these colors as inspiration. However, they’ll still look great in Chloe’s room.

I first saw one of Sandra Isaksson’s 123 posters in an issue of LMNOP (a fun quarterly kids pdf magazine) and was drawn to it instantly. Then I looked up her other work and now she is one of my favorite designers. And check out this sweet “All About Baby” book! Is it silly to have two baby books?


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Sewing Baby's Blanket


Here’s a peek at our new Ikea dresser and bookcase. Holding up the lamp
and shade is Louis the lion, one of our many wonderful shower gifts.

I finally sat down to sew baby’s blanket. The print side is leftover Alexander Henry Kleo fabric from the lovely crib skirt my mother-in-law made, and the back is pink dot minky. At the baby shower, we received two pink and white minky quilts, so I was able to return one and buy a yard of plain pink minky fabric instead.

I noticed the price of minky varies widely at our local shops. I first saw it for $20/yard where we purchased the Kleo fabric. Then I bought it elsewhere for $15, and used a coupon. Later I found it at Joann’s for $12.99/yard, but their pink wasn’t the right match.

The other thing about Minky is that it is a little hard to work with, as my mother-in-law warned me. Plus I’m a newbie sewer and had never made anything with stretchy material before. Knowing this, I tried to put in a little more effort – smoothing out the material, pinning it more often to keep creeping to a minimum, using a longer stitch length to keep the edges from buckling, decreasing the tension, and sewing it with the minky side down.

I started by cutting out matching rectangles from both fabrics. With the right sides facing, I stitched the perimeter with rounded corners, leaving a small open section at one end to turn it right side out. I trimmed and graded the raw edges, turned it right side out, and then top stitched it about a half inch from the edge. The finished size is about 30″ x 40″. I think it looks pretty good, considering.

Now, onto other baby projects…

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