Double Nursery for Almost Irish Twins

04/20/2016

Isaiah and Josephine will be almost irish twins—more than a year apart but only by 2-3 months. Since they’ll both be using the changing station and be rocked in the rocking chair, it made the most sense to put them in the same room for this stage. (Though JoJo will sleep in a Moses basket in our room for the first few weeks or months while she’s feeding frequently through the night.) The other reason I opted for the double nursery was space; two cribs and two dressers fit more easily into this room than adding a crib and dresser into big sister Alianna’s already-quite-full bedroom. Much to her dismay because she desperately wants to share her room with her sister. That day will come, Ali, I promise.

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Zay is now in the full size blue crib, the same one Ali used for her first two years. It’s from IKEA, called Somnat. The little green bookshelf was a thrift store makeover I did a couple years ago. The French Paper monkey poster was a gift from a friend. I made Isaiah’s name sign while I was pregnant with him last year. The album cover is from my favorite band Needtobreathe’s recent Steams in the Wasteland, based on a passage of scripture from Isaiah that I love. The canvas was a gift from my friend Steph and says, “Take a deep breath, you’re home now.” I see it every day while I’m rocking and feeding Zay and it reminds me to pause and be thankful.

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The green fleece (cut up strips from a blanket) are to protect the crib rails from my little beaver who likes to teeth on wood. I saw the cheap, no-sew idea on Pinterest.

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The black acoustic guitar is mine from high school. The tall dresser currently has Jo’s clothes in it but I’m going to swap them right before or after she’s born so her clothes are easier to access during diaper changes. Isaiah is big and wiggly enough that it’s easier to dress him on the floor most of the time. The walrus painting was a gift from my sister-in-law for Zay. The bike riding deer poster is from IKEA. The rocking chair is from Amazon. The rugs are both from IKEA. Green black-out curtains from Target.

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Josephine will get the portable mini crib to start out. I use the storage boxes from IKEA under each crib to store sheets and blankets. I made the name sign for Josephine. I bought the rubies print from Etsy and painted the frame from a thrift store. I took the glass out so it wouldn’t be heavy or easily breakable since it’s right above the crib.

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The walls are Sherwin Williams Ellie Gray, same as our first nursery at our last house. I use a sound machine and a CD player with Jason’s Acoustic Lullabies album to muffle the household noises and help Isaiah sleep. I’m hoping it will help to cover the sounds of two babies in the same room and keep them from waking each other up very often, too.

Nesting is in full swing over here, thanks to Spring cleaning and 2nd trimester energy. I know it’s going to get harder to get around and be motivated to do home projects in the next 2-3 months so I’m doing all that I can do now. Twelve more weeks to go!

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Home Tour: Guest Room

11/13/2014

In a matter of five minutes our Next Kid’s Room can be converted into a guest room by removing the portable crib, crib storage box, changing pad and diaper changing supply cart.

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This little night stand was bought at a yard sale and made over when I was putting together our first kids’ room back in 2011. I like this clock in here because it has a sleep timer with ocean sounds, rain or radio.

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I debated about leaving the rocking chair, but it could be moved out easily as well. (It’s currently only $78.25 on Amazon!)

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The black acoustic guitar was a gift from my parents on my 16th birthday. My professional guitarist husband thinks it’s trash but I say it’s sentimental. If any of our guests get inspired to bang out some tunes on a cheap old guitar with rusty strings, they can feel free. Otherwise, it’s art.

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This mid-century modern dresser was a vintage store score from our first kids’ room as well. I love it because it’s changing table height (which is why I moved it into this room) but also because it’s beautiful, sturdy, solid wood and in great condition. I picked up the bookshelf from a thrift store and gave it a new life with paint to match the nightstand and a stained plywood back.

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RELATED POSTS:

Home Tour: Next Kid’s (or Kids’) Room (this room with the baby elements added back in)

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Home Tour: Next Kid’s (or Kids’) Room

11/04/2014

This room makeover is finally complete and ready for our next inhabitants—our next foster placement, baby Froggie due in April or overnight guests. The room includes the rocker I bought when baby Alianna arrived. We replaced the shower curtain we’ve been using in our foster kids’ room for the past 3 years with these textured green light-blocking curtains from Target.

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I stuck to my floor plan pretty closely but I decided that a footstool took up unnecessary space.

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The double bed is low and close enough to be used in place of a footstool.

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A second rug gives a fair amount of soft play space on the floor. The poster is by French Paper Co. and was a gift from my art school bestie, Renata, for our first kids room.

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I’m still a very big fan of this crib, which I nominated as The Ideal Crib for Foster Parents last year. It’s smaller than a typical crib and can easily be folded down to move into another room or store flat to about a 6″ depth. The poster and storage toy box are from IKEA.

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That blank spot above the dresser/changing table is begging for some artwork. Both rugs in this room are from IKEA. The vintage metal cart between the bookshelf and dresser holds diaper changing supplies, burp cloths, bibs and receiving blankets. It’s easy to move around as needed and is still stocked from Pumpkin.

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The bulletin board above the bookshelf is a collage of family photos, separated by “Who Lives Here” on the left side and photos of our former foster children on the right side. I have temporarily hanging here the first and so far only gift I have bought for our belly baby “Froggie.” It’s such a simple phrase to put on a bib but for foster and adoptive parents it’s always loaded… because we are not the only mom and dad in those cases. With baby Froggie, for the first time, we’re the only Mom and Dad. Our baby can wear this bib without anyone getting offended, feeling left out or jealous, and without raising any questions (unless we’re questioning his or her feelings about Jason and me, I suppose!).

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I’ll come back soon with a second part of this room tour when the room is converted into a guest room. I don’t think I mentioned in previous posts that this room is approximately 10′ x 12′. It can accommodate three people with a double bed and crib, night stand, dresser, bookshelf, rocking chair and standard size closet.

RELATED POSTS:

A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next (my current mood board and floor plan for this room)

A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next – Part 2 (progress photos)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee, Firefly and Pumpkin.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)

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Respite

10/27/2014

Last week we were asked if we could do a last minute respite placement for a 4-year-old boy. We agreed and then scrambled to get a bed ready for him. We’ve been in the process of moving furniture around in the past couple weeks (months?) and went from having a crib and twin bed in the foster kids room to crib and bed frame. Then two weekends ago we had a crib and no bed at all. This room is almost all the way put together and when it is, I’ll do a full post about it. But here’s the bed and night stand, ready less than 24 hours before our respite guy arrived.

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If I were to give his fella a blog nickname it would be Rhinoceros. He’s full of energy and stomps around like a large animal. He was full of noise and motion. He and Ali had a lot of fun. Jason and I were thankful it was just for two nights. Even though it was very tiring, I’m thankful we were able to help his foster family out with a restful break.

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A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next – Part 2

09/24/2014

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Yesterday I moved some furniture around to start pulling this room together. The baby side is pretty much set. I am going to sell the green dresser and move Ali’s vintage mid-century modern dresser in here just as soon as we get a bigger dresser for her room. I don’t plan to have all of that stuff in/under the crib. I would like to replace the curtain above with a light blocking one. This works OK but it’s actually a shower curtain and I’d like to get something simpler. Other than that, this area is mostly done.

Here’s the shameful side of the room. The blue crib needs a new home but I’m too emotionally attached to it right now. I need to figure out where to hide it before Jason gets home. This bed will move into Ali’s room and we’ll put a double bed and a night stand in it’s place. I taped the floor to show where the double bed will sit. It’s going to be tight but I think it’ll work. I’m also planning on adding another rug at the side of the double bed. When we have guests we can move the crib, changing pad and changing supply cart out in less than 5 minutes. Once I sat in the rocker I realized adding a footstool would be too crowded and not necessary since I can put my feet up on the end of the bed if I want to recline.

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RELATED POSTS:

A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next (my current mood board and floor plan for this room)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)

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A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next

09/23/2014

I call it “the next kid’s room” when it’s not in use. It’s our foster kid’s bedroom and it will most likely be our baby’s room. Much like our next kid, it is in a state of flux. Meaning: I’m not sure if our next kid will be the one I’m carrying or if we’ll get a call for another foster placement before then. I suspect we will get a placement soon since the longest we’ve ever waited between placements was 4.5 months. (We’re just shy of 3 months now.) We have a twin bed in here that I want to move into Ali’s room, a dresser I want to replace, and a crib we don’t need anymore. I plan to move a couple pieces of furniture (dresser and night stand) in from Ali’s room when I move the twin bed frame into her room. I want to replace the current curtain with a light blocking one. Jason and I decided that we’re going to put a double bed in the next kid’s room so that it can be a more suitable guest room option. All of these changes are so fun for my planning addiction and my interior design hobby. I’ve pinned everything I plan to purchase to the Nursery board on my Pinterest. I put together a mood board last week to help visualize all the pieces are parts coming together.

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I’ve also been planning where to put the furniture to make it all fit. I have a plan that I’m pretty excited about.

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Now to plan our next IKEA shopping trip…

RELATED POSTS:

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)

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Alianna’s Big Girl Room

08/19/2014

Here are a few more pics of Ali’s room to follow up yesterday’s post about her new doll house. She’s currently sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor. I’m still trying to decide if I should move the twin bed frame in from the other room or buy a new bed frame (either for her room or for the foster kids bedroom). I really like being able to snuggle up beside her to read books before bedtime. The beautiful owl blanket was made by my mother-in-law as a third birthday gift for Alianna. The quilt at the foot of her bed was made for me by my Granny when I was a baby. I love these handmade treasures!

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A Home for Lottie

08/18/2014

When I was a child my Granny made me a large set of furniture for my Barbie house. I posted about it a few years ago and it’s one of my most popular posts. Let me reiterate: I don’t have patterns for this furniture. It was made approximately 20 years ago by my grandmother who is no longer living. I’ve been hanging onto this for years waiting for just the right time and place to pass it down to my daughter. When Alianna got some Lotties for her birthday (our more age appropriate replacement for Barbie), I knew it was the right time. And then when my sister-in-law offered to pass on my niece’s Barbie house, I knew I had the right place to put it.

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Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids

03/07/2013

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

We really loved our last house but sold it so we’d have room for our family to grow. Specifically, we wanted to have more bedrooms so we could continue to provide a home for children in foster care. At our previous home, I designed a room that could suit one or two kids ages birth to five years old, male or female. It was a big challenge, especially with a small room. This room is targeted toward 2-12 year olds in my mind, though we’re keeping an open mind about ages at this point. It felt much easier this time around, I suppose because we already had the super versatile IKEA KURA bed (which can be flipped over to be a low loft bunk bed) and I’m not set on putting a crib and dresser in here…yet. (We do need to add a dresser ASAP, we found out last week.) Other than the bed and bedding, the woodland creatures curtain was the only other element we started with from the previous house.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I chose the green wall color based on the curtain. Also, green is supposed to be soothing and it’s one of my favorites. I read somewhere that mirrors are good for self esteem for kids. Ali loves looking in the full length mirror in her room so I put one in this room, too. It was less than $10 at Target. See that house reflected in the mirror?

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I found this when we were unpacking. I colored this picture in art class in first or second grade. I pray that our next kids will feel at home in this room and at our home. I added some cuddle buddies to the bed.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I started adding bits and pieces to this room without any kind of theme in mind; just using what we had available. A friend gave us the headphones pillow as a housewarming gift. We had the other 2 pillows already. The rockstar flashcards are the only 4 letters I completed when I started designing the series 4 years ago. Maybe I’ll finish it one day…

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

This old acoustic guitar that was a gift from my parents for my 16th birthday narrowly escaped the trash during the move. (Jason’s guitars are a million times nicer so he doesn’t see this as fit to play. However, I think some tween or teen might love it!) We also have a collection of random, discount pile Hatch Show Print posters that I thought could help fill the walls here.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

There are a few vintage ReAbide items living in here. This Florence side table works for now as a night stand.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

And this Mack arm chair (below). Before we moved in, I ordered a Nashville road map. I thought it might work as a big poster for this room. It’s colorful and free (as an AAA member) and I thought it might be neat for kids to see where our house is in comparison to where they used to live. The rug is from a local IKEA reseller. I think it’s the only thing besides the full length mirror that we purchased for this room.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I have a pack and play set up in here. I’m hoping it’ll be enough to convince our case worker that we’re equipped to take a child younger than two. Ali still sleeps in her crib and I don’t have much desire to buy and set up a second crib. If we accept a placement of a younger child, we might consider getting another one at that point…or maybe moving her to a big kid bed.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com  Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

The book ledges also came from the previous house. These books (with the exception of Pop Warhol’s Top…which I don’t recommend) these books were are all specifically chosen to be in this room.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

So a really cool thing happened. This room developed a theme without me even realizing it! I suppose it started with the Nashville map, and then the Hatch Show Print posters, and then the guitar. The headphones pillow and the rockstar flashcards followed suit. The theme that developed—which happens to be something that every child who stays in this room, regardless of age or gender will have in common—is Nashville! Music City. Even the woodland curtains and botanical bedding and rug work. We live very close to a huge park so we see squirrels, owls , leaves and lots of trees in our neighborhood.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

It was important to me that I had thoughtful, personal elements worked into the design of this room. I didn’t want it to feel like a guest room. I want it to be a special room because it’s made for a really special kid…a kid we don’t know yet but I want him or her to feel comfortable, loved and wanted from the moment they walk in. I want him or her to know that we’ve been thinking about and praying for him or her before we ever met.

Here’s the floor plan of this room. It’s about 10×12.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

If you’re putting together a room for foster kids in your house, here are some things I recommend:

• Flexible sleeping arrangements
We have this room set up with a twin bed and a pack and play. Without much trouble at all we could flip the twin bed into a bunk bed and replace the pack and play with a real crib. Sometimes foster parents put together a really nice room for 5-12 year old kids and then God has a sense of humor and their first placement is a newborn. Flexibility is key for foster parents.

• Adequate Clothing Storage
This is one of our home checklist requirements from DCS. I’m hoping to add a dresser before too long but for now, we have a big closet ready with hangers and hanging storage for smaller items. We also keep extra blankets, pillows and sheets in the closet.

• Books and Toys
Admittedly, we don’t have toys in here but we do have a playroom right down the hall. It’s mainly because of the wide age range this room is open to that I haven’t put many toys in here. The stuffed animals are probably nice for any age kid, though. These books have been carefully selected to be in this room: Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care, I Don’t Have Your Eyes, I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew, The Little Train That Could, The Velveteen Rabbit, and the Sleep Book.

• Nightlight
Some kids won’t want it on but we have it ready just in case. A new room can be scary and dark. The nightlight is enough to make the whole room visible. We also moved Ali’s constellation turtle light in here because she doesn’t use it anymore. It projects stars on the ceiling for 45 minutes before shutting off automatically. We’re also required to have hallways lit and to have flashlights handy. We got this 3-in-1 night light, emergency light (comes on automatically when the power goes out) and flashlight for our first foster parenting experience. It is in our hallway.

• A Place for Photos
The frame on the nightstand that says “Welcome” is actually a placeholder for a personal photo. Thanks for another foster mom’s suggestion, I also added (after taking photos) a bulletin board with pictures of “Who Lives Here” (me, Jason and Ali with names by our photos) and a photo of our first foster placement with her name and hand print. I will add a photo of each new child under either category.

• Curtains without strings or cords
Another requirement for our home safety checklist—not that we have a curtain but that there are no choking hazards dangling from blinds or curtains.

• Rugs secured to the floor
Yeah, I actually stuck this rug to the floor with rug tape. Another item on our home safety checklist.

• Smoke detector
Our list doesn’t require it to be in the child’s bedroom but there is one in there per codes for a new house build.

• Egress window
Also per codes, in order to be considered a bedroom, a room must have a window that can be opened for escape in case of a fire. Our home safety checklist also requires this.


Kids Room: A Theme Developed

02/18/2013

When I started pulling together the bedroom for our next kids, the ones who will join us through foster care, I really didn’t have a theme in mind. I was just trying to use what we had. The woodland friends curtain was from the kids room at our last house and what prompted me to use green for the accent wall color. The bedding was also from the previous room.

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I ordered a Nashville road map from AAA because it was a way to get a large, colorful, free piece of art for the wall. I also thought it might be helpful for older kids to see where our house is in relation to where they used to live.

As I was going through our art collection one day, I decided this room would be a nice place to display our Hatch Show Print posters. (Hatch is a historic letterpress print shop in downtown Nashville that’s famous for their concert posters.) Jason wanted to throw my old acoustic guitar away but I saved it, thinking again about older kids.


As I looked around the almost completed room, I noticed a lot of music related items and considered replacing the woodland friends curtain, even though it had been my starting point. Just yesterday it hit me! The theme of the room is the one thing every kid who lives here will have in common: Nashville. Our house is not far from Hatch Show Print in downtown Nashville. We’re also close to Shelby Park so we see lots of trees, owls and squirrels here. I love when something comes together organically like that.

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(I wrote this post from my phone so please forgive me for their weird formatting and any typos.)