Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Move over and make room for Baby
He doesn't take very much space...
Babies may be small, but they seem to come with an inordinate amount of accessories. I have been doing my best to resist the urge to aquire mass amounts of baby paraphenalia, but you couldn't tell from looking. Car seat. Swing. Baby bathtub. Bouncy seat. Crib. Bassinet. Change pad. Diapers. Baby clothes. Jolly jumper. Mobile.
It seems I had baby stuff squirreled away everywhere. In closets and on shelves in the storage room. At my mom's. At my brother's. Now these possessions are having a raucous reunion in the major living spaces of my home, and we are feeling the growing pains. Ours is not a large home. It was a major exercise in math and measurement to figure out how to best fit a crib, Nik's new big boy bed, and a dresser/change table into Nik's small bedroom. We also found a way to squeeze the swing into the floor plan of our already crowded living room. Every day we get a little closer to being ready for our fourth family member to make an appearance.
Christmas is over, and the decorations are nearly all put away. We told Nik that the baby would be coming after Christmas, and apparently my body was listening to that, too. My Braxton-Hicks contractions are getting stronger and more frequent every day. Baby has settled down hard into my pelvis now, and I am noticing other little signs of prelabour - most of which involve bodily fluids of one kind or another, so I'll spare you the details. ;-) The sense of this pregnancy coming to a close is growing, and with it, a sense of urgency to get ready. My nesting instincts are in full swing. Be warned: If it isn't nailed down, it will be organized.
I needed to get a lot of organizational work done anyways, to make space in Nik's bedroom for a 2nd child, and to make space in the house for new Christmas and birthday gifts. I got started in the office, first.
I put a lot of the shelf toys for younger ages in storage to make room for picture books on the bottom shelf. Nik's new camera has found a home here, and his new jigsaw puzzles as well.
The storage drawers next to his work table were reorganized and updated with newer and more age appropriate supplies. The large bottom drawer still houses his play dough and accessories, but the middle two drawers are dedicated to colouring books and workbooks in one, and stickers and stencils in the other.
The top drawer has writing implements of all kinds: coloured pencils, crayons, markers and bingo dabbers. Then I repurposed a tray from Andrew's paperwork area to hold blank paper. There is green, orange and white out now, but I plan to rotate colours to keep it interesting.
The next major space to tackle was Nik's room. First order of business, a real 'big boy' bed. On our tight budget, it was Jysk to the rescue!
We put the bed exactly where Nik's crib-turned-toddler-bed had been, to try to ease the transition. It left a little bit of space between the foot of the bed and the wall, which turned out to be the perfect space to put the laundry hamper, Nik's library books basket, and a small toybox (which is filled with blocks, small cars and figures).
Turn to your right and you will see...
where we put the crib. It still needs to be converted back into a crib from a toddler bed, but you get the idea. The dresser/change table just barely fits between Nik's bed and the crib, but it does fit, and that was good luck for us. I cleared off the top, and put the change pad back, so when baby arrives, we are pretty much open for business there.
Adding the twin bed didn't leave much room for playthings in Nik's room, so we stole some real estate from the closet for his dress-up clothes (in the large toy box) and some pretend play items: telephone, tools, doctor's kit and cash register.
Making space for baby things in the dresser wasn't too hard. I moved Nik's diapers into a trundle drawer which easily fits under his bed. He only uses a diaper overnight now, so this solution makes good longer term storage, too.
After that, I consolidated Nik's clothes into the two bottom drawers of the dresser, leaving the top drawer ready to be filled with baby sweetness. It was so fun to take the newborn clothes out of storage, and I had a few new things to add, too, thanks to some sales and a baby gift from a coworker.
The side cupboard is only about half full right now with blankets and the baby sling, which leaves space for the new prefold diapers and cloth wipes I have ordered. I'll be so happy when it all comes together.
One last main floor space that needed some work was our living room. We wanted to make space for the baby swing in there, since it was such an awesome place for Baby Nik when we needed hands free to eat dinner. Nik also got a fantastic wooden kitchen set for his birthday, with new accessories, and we wanted him to have a place on the main floor for it. We can't hide all of his toys in the basement!
Here is what we settled on:
Not exactly a formal living room. This is a room that says, "Hi! Welcome! We have kids."
I love Nik's kitchen. It is simple and sturdy, and there is lots of storage space for toy food and dishes.
It is also right near the actual kitchen, and I am hoping that will encourage him to start more imitative and dramatic play soon.
Looking at the these photos of the only clean areas in my house (I had to tidy up for the photos!) makes me feel like I really am making headway with this nesting thing.
Now if only my hospital bag were packed...