Poor kid, Finn is already getting the second child treatment in that I’m late in making his FIRST monthly post.
I guess he’s kind of to blame since all my computer time has been taken up by his constant cluster feeding between the hours of 7pm and 10pm, after which I’m usually totally exhausted and end up going to be too. Not gonna lie, I’m mourning the easy days of, “I’ll do that after I put Ethan to bed.”
I’ve decided to invent a Boppy nursing pillow with a build-in laptop table.
Anyway, Finn is 1 Month old!!
He’s weighing in at a healthy 9 pounds 1 ounce and beginning to fill out quite nicely. He’s not doing all the much of course, but each day we see new light behind his beautiful blue eyes, he’s using his hands more, staying awake a little longer, and being a little more alert during those awake times.
He has discovered ceiling fans—oh how those wild, long-armed contraptions make him feel so happy. And tummy time…I had no idea a one month old could turn his giant, heavy head back and forth so well. He doesn’t even cry!
It’s clear Finn’s all time favorite activity is snuggling. He curls up and calms down so easily, always ready for a nap. In the crook of an arm or the warmth of an exposed chest. It’s harder than ever to get up in the morning when he looks at me with those still sleepy, post nursing eyes that beckon me back to the covers.
No crying during baths either. He loves squirming in the water, just looking around. He doesn’t get them all that often, but baths are already on his favorites list.
He doesn’t know it, but Finn’s already participated in some memorable events. He attended the Feast of Thanks at Ethan’s school where Ethan’s class sang a song. Finn loved the cool air on his face as we spent one evening strolling through the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. And someday we will tell him about what went on in our city this month…someday.
Next weekend we meet Grandma Johnson and Santa (though not at the same time). December will be a busy yet wonderful month. The last four weeks (almost five now) have flown by and each day we get a little closer to a new normal.
Overall Finn is the sweetest, easiest baby. I’m already so excited to watch as these monthly posts unfold…it’s gonna go fast.
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Remember that room I was going on and on about several months ago?
Yeah well it wrapped up just a week or so before the new occupant arrived…the final details took FOREVER and drove me nuts (like shrinking curtains and holes in plaster walls). Therefore I’ve been extremely behind on clicking “Publish” on this post, knowing I’d want to add a few more details after using the room for a bit.
Oh and the room is impossible to photograph. So bear with me.
Look back here to see how it all began, as just an empty space at the top of our main staircase. With surprisingly little time and expense (but a lot of help) we were able to transform formerly unused square footage into a third bedroom on our second floor, perfect for a nursery or office. We used some old, bought some new, and got creative with the theme—one that morphed from arrows to geometric shapes to a mixture of the two plus others.
We just added slowly, layering a patterns, textures, and colors. After finishing the back wall design, I agonized for week about a rug—any sort of pattern just competed with the wall arrows—so we picked up a simple shag rug and love it. Basic and oh so cheap. Getting it smaller than the edges of the furniture was key, anything bigger looked wrong. And it looks great below the big gray pouf, a last minute purchase that’s turned out to be extremely useful.
Storage was top on our minds when designing the room so anywhere we could sneak it in without ruining the fun, we did. Like the Ikea spice rack book shelves next to the rocker. The ledge shelving for pictures, and the industrial pipe rod down below where we’ll hang baskets and other hang-able items. My friend Catrina snagged the blue arrow shelf at Home Goods and it works perfect behind the rocker for yet more book storage…we have a lot of books and without good, close storage they pile up quickly.
See that little table tucked next to the chair? I agonized over it and finally pulled the trigger, ordering it in fear it would be too big for the space. But it arrived and is seriously perfect and couldn’t be cuter. It houses Finn’s white noise machine, lanolin, water bottles, and my Kindle…we sit there a LOT.
That under-the-crib real estate was too valuable to pass up so I found these two large baskets to store all kinds of bedding, burping, and pumping supplies. I’ll be editing their contents soon as there are about 6 sleep sacks in there and the only one we use is the Miracle Blanket.
Other than actually building the room, the changing table was probably my biggest “project”. When I was about one minute pregnant I randomly fell in love with this simple little mid-century-ish dresser at a local consignment store. On an impulse—not that normal for me—I bought it and plopped it in my garage with plans to paint it bright, shiny red. It was in rough shape.
Once the nursery plans started to form I realized with a little work, it would make the perfect changing table for our tiny room—we left the closet door-less for just this purpose. Here’s a look at the before and after:
It’s not as luxuriously spacious as Ethan’s giant Ikea dresser/changing table, but it fits the open closet perfectly and has just enough drawers to meet our needs. Plus, Ethan’s room is right next door for overflow when needed. I think the fact you can see under the dresser, due to the tall legs, opens things up a big in the small space. Plus it’s just really fun seeing those angle mount tapered legs!
Without getting too far into the before/after detail (that’s another post!) we basically chopped off the legs, added new ones, sanded the whole thing down, and hosed it with bright yellow paint.
Some shelving and a tiny closet rod help make the room’s “changing closet” extremely functional. We’re still moving things around a bit to meet our daily storage needs but overall it’s working out well. One change I made immediately was to flip the little crate (on the bottom right, just above the changing pad) over to hold our water dish and cloth wipes.
Artwork for the room popped up sporadically. I’d see a cute print on Brickyard Buffalo (a great flash sale site everyone should check out!), then I’d find a free printable or some wrapping paper I thought may work. The pant hangers were a fun addition to hang some of the prints while others got stuck in old frames I found long ago at Goodwill. Feathers, arrows, and, for some reason, antlers were the end result.
This “F” print is amazing and by a local artist. I picked it up at City Sprouts and love when Ethan tells me about all the little images, always emphasizing the “F” sound.
I even made some art! When I saw this geometric stitched elephant art I just had to give it a try. Once I had my canvas and some embroidery floss leftover from our felt alphabet project, things went very quickly. I followed the instructions exactly and it was enjoyable to spend a few evenings stitching away. The result is pretty adorable if I do say so myself.
I mentioned wrapping paper…this “print” is made up of a piece of beautiful Paper Source wrapping paper. Only a couple bucks set in a simple old frame. I love all the colors and textures, it was the perfect addition to the tiny wall between the doors.
I made Ethan’s mobile so when I saw this little ditty on Design Mom, I knew it was the perfect solution for Finn’s nursery. I picked up some air-dry sculpting clay on one of my million trips to the craft store and gave it a try. Ethan even had his own little clay project going on while I worked. After a couple hours of rolling and cutting, a few days of drying, and another few minutes of painting, we had a beautiful mobile I think Finn will love.
Some day I’ll go into more detail on the tricks I discovered in this process, but over all this was simple project and looks great in the space.
Last but not least, there’s the bedding. I considered for a minute paying a premium for a crib sheet from Etsy, but after finding this ridiculously easy tutorial, I decided to order the fabric I wanted—adorable yellow herringbone—and make one myself. My sewing perfectionist mom was doubtful about the simple instructions, but we gave it a try and it worked perfectly! The cost for fabric and elastic was about $22 per fitted sheet and they took maybe 20 minutes to align, cut, and sew.
As for the skirt, I ordered enough of this simple grey and white stripe fabric to make three rectangles, one for the front and one for each end (I figured why do the back?), hemmed them, then secured them to the mattress support with ribbon. We will be able to easily shorten the skirt when we lower the mattress down the road by either trimming it at the unfinished top or just tying it higher on the mattress support.
Finding cute bedding for Ethan’s room was impossible so I knew making my own would be the way to go this time. So easy and exactly what I wanted.
So there it is! Our itty bitty nursery perfect for our itty bitty Finn. I’ve spent what feels like a year in that orange chair already and the dude is only a month old. The room is fun and visually stimulating in the daylight streaming through that big window but quite and calming in the wee hours of the morning, all very conducive to making baby happy.
If you are at all interested, here are way too many other posts about our nursery adventure: