January 25, 2011

Nursery Makeover

Now I know this is a question that has been on the tips of your lips for weeks now, and quite possibly keeping you up at night . . .

Did we get the baby's room ready on time?

Sorta, kinda, yeah. It was mostly done by the time she came. I just added a few little touches here and there after she arrived. Ahem. Let's put it this way, there were sheets on her bed.

Remember how it looked? Like a cross between a tip and . . . well . . . a tip.

Part of the problem is that where we live, we don't have much storage. Because we'd dismantled the queen size bed in this former-spare-bedroom, the sudden appearance of all that clear floorspace was extremely appealing and acted like a magnet for a whole lot of stuff. You know, empty boxes, spare light fixtures, a toolbox, my fit ball, rope. Stuff.

About three weeks before the birth, John cleared it out, finding new homes for some of the stuff and ditching the rest.

Then I moved in and, with the zeal of a nesting pregnant woman combined with the misguided enthusiasm of a DIY Home Beautiful reader, I began creating The Nursery.

This was incredibly exciting for me because, despite having three step-kids and a little boy, I had never had the opportunity to create a Nursery.

The step-kids were 14, 11 and 8 when we set up home together for the first time and were unreasonably resistant to my ideas for nautical wall motifs and princess patterned curtains. Then when we had Jack, we didn't have a dedicated baby room at the house we were living in so he got shunted from one room to another, depending on which kids were staying with us at the time. Many times his cot was wheeled into the dining room for the night where he slumbered blissfully among the melted candles, empty wine bottles and the lingering scent of lamb korma wafting across his tiny nostrils. It is no wonder his idea of a great night out is going to The Rupee Room for a curry and naan before heading home to watch Masterchef.

Apart from all that, I was not just getting to decorate a baby's room, but a GIRL's baby room. I could see a lot of pink in my future. The question was, could I bear it? I like pink, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want to drown in the stuff. Especially not the frilly, lacy variety.

Looking around for inspiration, I went straight to the style guru Heather Armstrong at her website Dooce. Before Heather had Marlo in 2009, she wrote a post about putting the nursery together. The result was truly stunning and there was no way I was going to be able to create such a beautiful, stylish result. However I recalled one idea that I particularly liked. Here 'tis:

Two things I liked about this. The flowers crawling up the wall was a gorgeous touch, and from a practical point of view, utilising a chest of drawers for a change table was a great space saver. I promptly nicked the ideas. Thanks Heather!

I found another fabulous reference site at KidSpot - again some absolutely gorgeous nurseries (most beyond my spatial, technical and financial capabilities) but if you're after some ideas, there are some stunners to drool over (although some of them aren't exactly models of conformity when it comes to SIDS guidelines so ignore all those cot bumpers!)

Anyhoo, with a limited budget and a bit of homespun creative input, here is Francesca's Nursery.

We inherited some lovely furniture from friends - in the right colours!
These pretty Baboushka dolls are from Just 4 Kidz
We bought this Stokke cot when Jack was born and it has lasted beautifully
Jemima Puddleduck & Peter Rabbit keep those naughty Russian girls in check!

Francesca's parents and siblings keeping watch over her as she sleeps. Frames from Ikea.
I made the four canvases by painting them and applying paper birds, butterflies, hearts and dragonflies 

I cut individual blooms from a silk hydrangea (from Flower Power) & stuck them to the wall with pliable adhesive to create the climbing flower feature
So there you have it. Pretty and not too pink. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts because I'm sure in approximately twelve years the walls will be plastered with the 2023 equivalent of Justin Bieber and the stars of High School Musical XIV!

January 21, 2011

Twenty Eleven

Now listen here 2011, stop right there. You've galloped ahead to January 21 and I haven't even formed a resolution, let alone started breaking one!

First things first, I didn't like the way you started the year with the news that both my uncle and my mother-in-law have cancer. However you have the opportunity to redeem yourself by ensuring that their treatments are successful and they make a full recovery. And don't be stingy with the pain relief!

Apart from that, I have great expectations of you. I was particularly impressed with the way 2010 fulfilled my resolution to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby girl. Surely you won't have any trouble delivering the million dollars I need by the end of the year. (And don't think you can compete with 2010 by bringing me another baby, conceived naturally, of course, after years of trying and a gazillion dollars on IVF! That will cause a bit of a problem between you, me and your mate Murphy. Give one to Emily Jade O'Keefe instead. Pretty please.)

Y'know, as we creep ahead to 2015, I see that we're really no closer to the whole flying car, hover board and talking house thing promised in Back To The Future II. But, like Marty McFly, clothes that shrink or expand to fit the wearer is something I definitely think you should be working on. There are some women (no one in particular) who've just had babies that would love to fit into their size 10 jeans by winter. Just saying.

So anyway, I've decided not to form any resolutions but to simply demand a few things of you. Here are the things I would like this year:
  • The continuing health of all my family and friends
  • Five extra hours in every day
  • A fast rebuild and recovery for all the flood victims and no argy-bargy with their insurance!
  • A sensational year in business with our fabulous new biz partners
  • A lovely firm C cup, even when I've finished breastfeeding
  • For Jack to have ten and a bit happy months in Year 2 and for Francesca to realise the value of a 3 hour daytime sleep
  • The gift of hindsight BEFORE I make stupid decisions (the lavender gypsy top with the white a-line skirt was always gonna make me look like a fat cupcake!)
  • A wife (preferably with her own Le Creuset set, a collection of Manolos and a size 8 foot)
  • And don't forget that million dollars (I know it sounds like a lot but have you seen the price of real estate on the northern beaches lately??)
  • Oh yes, and world peace.
And the 'no thanks' list . . .
  • Bubble-bursters, naysayers and meanies, especially those in the guise of 'friends'
  • Bad wine and coffee. If I can only have one glass/cup of something, it's got to be a mighty fine drop.
Actually, that's a pretty short list but says it all really. Everything else is either covered in the first list or can be dealt with.

So how about you? What's on your list of things you want or would like to achieve this year?

P.S. Sending love and warm huggles to Emily Jade who is having an unwanted tenant evicted from her uterus today. Here's to 'more room at the inn' :)

PPS. A big hello to new visitors who've found your way here from Emily Everywhere (which, by the way, is a wonderful, funny and engaging blog written by a Brissy goddess). Lovely to meet you!
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