In the spirit of designing and decorating Audrey's Big Girl Room, we took a quick trip to a local thrift shop looking for vintage goodies. With stools and a recycled bulletin board to cover, fitted sheets and pillowcases for oddly-sized toddler bedding to make, and a budget to stick to, we were on a mission. We poked and dug and sorted, and came home with a bag full of treasures that were paid for with the change out of Mama's wallet!
Some of the fabrics were turned in to something right away, and some of them are still waiting for the perfect inspiration, but all will be loved and repurposed in some important project.
Piles of lovely old linens
Transforming old in to new
Mini-fitted sheet of poppies (poppies will make her sleep... sleeeeep...)
Oh, how we've been busy lately! In preparation for the new addition to our family this spring, we have been working on a very special space for our first born. We decided to keep our amazing nursery just the way it is- crib and all- for Henry (hoping to stretch the life of the mural painted by Mimmy a few more years), and prepare a toddler room for Audrey in lieu of a second nursery.
Work has been underway in the room next door to the 'Baby Room' for a while now, and my oh my has it kept us busy! We decided to model the design for the room after the art and style of Rien Poortvliet found in The Book of the Sandman and the Alphabet of Sleep. We've moved furniture, covered and taped, primed and painted, and painted and painted and painted. It was a family effort, but I'm happy to report that with the help of Daddy, Gramps, Mimmy, and the generosity of our family on many levels, the Big Girl Room is to the point of substantial completion, and our Big Girl spent her first night in her toddler bed last night. Let's fondly look back over the whole project and process together...
Preparing the room... the "Before"
Ready to help Mama paint!
Primed and ready for color
The base wall color
Mimmy helping Mama with the special touches
Same day as painting, Gramps and Daddy put together and install Audrey's shelves
Next in the room: the Big Girl Bed
Then the table Mimmy and Pappy made, the chair Aunt KK painted, and the stools Mama covered
Finally, some vintage fabrics, a few things on the walls, and one happy Big Girl
We finished the major 'phase one' projects in Audrey's Big Girl room on Saturday, and Mama nested and worked to make it homey Sunday and Monday, and on Tuesday when fitted sheets were ready, we braced ourselves, closed up the Baby Room, and put Audrey to bed in her Big Girl Room for the first time. It took some adjustments on both our sides and a little bit of stubbornness, but Audrey slept in her toddler bed and woke up in a great mood the next morning.
There is still so many things to make, refinish, build, sew, and tweak, but we're off to a great start, and Audrey really does love her Gnome-ish homey new room!
Funny how a small, plain, carefully wrapped box delivered to your door on a blustery morning can add a ray of tropical sunlight to your day...
Our new 'pets,' 4 fragments of rock and man-made ceramic covered in zoanthids!
We look forward to learning about zoanthids, feeding them, and watching them grow and spread! They already have added new interest to our tank, and some new and beautiful colors. Now all we need is, perhaps, another fish?
Some days, there is nothing better than staying in, working on house and home, and having pancakes for dinner. When we woke up around 6am this morning to the sound of wind howling and rain blowing, I knew today would be one of those days. As the temps dropped throughout the day and rain turned (briefly) to snow, we went about our work and play, cozy and dry and thinking of pancakes! Funny how that works. When dinner rolled around, we were ready, and we were spot on- it truly was a pancake kind of evening.
Where we spent our playtime
'Making dinner' with her pretend food and her Buzzy Bee pillow by the fire
Finally, time to help Mama... it's pancake time!
One of Audrey's favorite things: flour
Dinner at last: whole grain pancakes, homemade/home canned applesauce, milk, and coffee
Our pancake dinner was worth the wait, and if they look good to you, too, then please try our awesome, healthy and totally tasty recipe, and have them for dinner on the next dreary day when you need something warm and golden!
Healthy & Tasty Whole-Grain Pancakes
3/4 C whole-wheat flour
1/2 C buckwheat flour
1/4 C rye flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (heaping)
1 C nonfat buttermilk
3/4 C nonfat milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 generous TBS honey
2 large eggs
2 TBS canola oil
Combine dry and wet ingredients separately, then add wet to dry and mix until just combined (do not over mix, a few lumps are totally OK). Pour in 1/4 C measurements on lightly greased griddle/pan and cook until bubbles form and remain, then flip and cook for ~1 minute more or until golden brown. Serve warm and buttered. Excellent with blueberries, walnuts, and/or chocolate chips!
*These freeze really well and keep for a couple months if you put them in a single layer in a freezer bag and suck all the air out before sticking them in your freezer!
As my little amateur potager garden sleeps through the damp, chilly, gray winter, my mind is active with thoughts of all the green things that will be growing within it's raised beds in a few short months. I can't help but get a little excited thinking about the re-shaping, expanding, digging, building, and planting that I'll be doing shortly with my little garden assistant! What a fun and rewarding hobby we've begun.
Baby Brother will be here soon (a lot sooner than I think any of the family has let it sink in, really). We have been going about our busy toddler-centered lives up until now, thinking that the big D-Day is sooo far off. Well, lets have a reality check here: Baby Brother will be here in 2 months. That's all! We have about 9 weeks to really get ready, and my, isn't there so much to do?
The foremost task on my priority list has been to coerce a final decision on a name for this little manchild. I am happy to say we have finally agreed on a name, which originates both from family history (favorite uncles and a great-grandfather) and a mutual liking by Mama and Daddy. Baby Brother will be named...
Henry Warden Ware
It has brought a sense of peace and closure (to Mama at least!), and almost a feeling of permission that, yes, now we can move on and make way for this new little person that will be entering our lives in such short time. Preparations have commenced and projects have been started, all of which will be shared in this space as more develops to show!
For now, we all have new tasks and to-do's to do, all with a happy state of mind and an eye to March when Little Henry makes our Three a Four!
The first week of the new year at our home has been spent in recovery mode, packing and organizing and cleaning out the old to make room for the new! What a great opportunity to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for.
Even a handful of Christmas ornaments, now three Christmases old, reminded me of The Beginning, when our wee one truly was wee and we were completely clueless. What a difference perspective makes! What a beautiful ride it's been getting to know our daughter and getting to know ourselves as parents. What amazing mementos we have from that time of chaos and learning.
As I clean out closets, purge cabinets, and nest for the rest of the coming winter, my mind wanders to the 'new' that the New Year will bring. Aside from the amazingness that we have already experienced as a family of three that will continue through 2011, we will be adding someone new and wee in just a few more short months that will bring all new learning experiences, joys, fears, and things we can't even anticipate but will treasure always. We are truly blessed. Happy New Year!