For more entries focused on finding contentment in everyday life, please visit Like Mother, Like Daughter.
I’d always envisioned sewing quilts and curtains, painting the walls, and lovingly preparing a nursery while waiting on our little one’s arrival. Instead, we had one week’s (tentative) notice. We brought the twins home to a mostly bare room with a few bags scattered around the walls and a box of loaner infant clothes from a friend. That first night Carl scavenged around the house for rocking chairs, a lamp, and a table, we changed the kids on a folded towel, and they slept in laundry baskets in our closet. We’ve gradually been working on pulling together a more practical room for them using items from around the house, thrift store purches, and a few new items. Their room contains more storebought items than I’d planned because, it turns out, it’s much harder to craft those adorable baby items once the twins have arrived. With my arms full of babies, I made the decision to spend just a bit more than my normal penny-pinching temperment allows in favor of having a workable room sometime this decade. It’s not finished, but we have a rough framework – lots of “natural” touches like bamboo and baskets. Themes of navy, sage, and yellow that will grow with them as they get bigger. Furniture so mismatched it almost works. Here’s a quick tour, snapped in bits and pieces during the babies’ morning routine, and starting with the view from the doorway:
The breakdown, with links where applicable:
Rocking Chairs: Already owned. Originally purchased from thrift stores and borrowed from other rooms when we brought the babies home. I love feeding the twins and thinking about the 80 or 100 years of parents rocking babies in the same chair before me.
Pillows: A (Christmas?) gift from my parents, that ended up looking nice when plopped down in the nursery one day.
Jenny Lind Cribs: From Target/Amazon. We wanted a new crib due to all the old recalls and drop-side safety concerns. These were reasonably priced and non-bulky. We bought the first one on sale (can’t remember the sale price), and my parents gave us the second one as a baby gift when the twins got too long to sleep together. It pays to shop around – just day to day and store to store I found $20 price fluctuations.
Mattresses: One was a hand-me-down, one came from Target after the options at Walmart weren’t very good.
Sheets/blankets: Gifts from friends and neighbors.
Table: An old folding table from Walmart that we had around the house. $8 or so originally, I think? It’s not pretty and it doesn’t match anything, but it does it’s job holding dripping bottles, sticky medicine, and baby hair oil without causing worries.
Vaguely Ikat-ish Rug: From T.J. Maxx. They often have a great section of clearance rugs. I think this was $40 or so back in the fall. We had a nice oriental rug (a gift to Carl from his family years ago), but needed something that was easy to clean and wouldn’t cause stress every time our son spit up on it while we paced the floor.
Lidded storage baskets under the cribs: From a bulk sale at the grocery store. They mostly hold toys the babies haven’t grown into yet. We also keep the pack-n-play (baby gift from Carl’s family) under the cribs.
Geometric Navy and White Curtains: From Lowes. Around $22 each after the military discount. This is the kind of thing I’d prefer to sew, but after three months of not finding time I decided buying some was the better part of valour. Probably not a bad financial decision once you consider the cost of heavy fabric for drapes and the time invested…
Blackout material to back the curtains: We picked a material that is also designed to provide an environmental barrier since we have old single-pane windows that let in a lot of cold/heat. $6.99/yd, bought for half price so $3.50/yd at JoAnne Fabrics. My visiting mother helped cut out the material. Rather than sewing it on, we clipped it to the top of the curtains with the ring clips – so far it works and looks great. A nice change from jury-rigging a sheet over the blinds every night as we did for the first three months.
Curtain Hardware: Curtain rings, curtain rod, brackets, all from JoAnne Fabrics at 50% off. I don’t remember the price.
Bamboo Blind: Also from Lowes. The previous white slatted blind in the room frayed and broke, and had to be replaced after it no longer worked and couldn’t be fixed. I picked a Levelor bamboo blind with a privacy lining because I love the look and Levelor is a solid/durable brand. Around $70 after the military discount, I think?
Here’s the view into the other corner and along the wall:
Baby Swing: Hand-me-down from a friend at church. Very useful for feeding twins alone since the waiting/finished twin can hang out upright in the swing while I feed the other.
Dresser: Craigslist. I love dressers that are up on legs, so we jumped for this one when it popped up used at a great price back in the fall. I’d been planning on painting it and using it in our bedroom, but when the babies arrived we changed course. It had a deliberately distressed finish, which I suppose works well for something destined for toddlers… I’m debating changing out the handles.
Lamp: Hand-me-down. The base used to stand in my brother’s room. The red shade was Carl’s idea to keep the glare down at night and make things cozy and drowsy when feeding the babies at bedtime. He originally jury-rigged one with a red pillowcase.
Changing pad: Target. We haven’t bothered with a cover since we like the wipeable surface.
Diaper/burp cloth basket: Old. Used to be storage in my college dorm room. The little wooden basket holding the hand sanitizer and toiletries came as the holder for a baby shower gift.
Diaper Pail: Arm & Hammer. Bought with a gift card someone sent as a baby gift.
Trash basket: Old. Stolen from another room in the house. Originally 50% off at Hobby Lobby for $6 or so, I think?
So there you have it, our not-done but coming together nursery. The back wall not shown has their closet door, fan for white noise, laundry basket, and humidifier. Definitely not the most scenic part of the room…
Our baby smurfs, out on a family hike in the winter woods:
The challenge of collared shirts when you have enormous cheeks and no identifiable neck.
My parents came to visit, and my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins all drove up to see them and meet the babies. It was crazy but fun – we’re lucky the babies have so many relatives who love them (only a fraction of whom they’ve met). Most of the day looked like this: a swirl of people, with babies being passed from hand to hand at the center of it: