Boys’ Rooms Tour

After a long hiatus I’m back! If you follow me on Instagram, you might’ve seen this post:

instagram-paint-cans

In which I teased about a little bit of decorating that is ready to happen at the new nest. I also mentioned that I figured when painting eventually started at the new nest, I would be starting with small space like the powder room. But the boys have been talking about how “boring” their rooms are. Actually, they’ve told me how boring the whole house is. #brutallyhonest. And although we tried to make sure that their rooms seemed like home from Day One in the new nest (with success I think), I would tend to agree that its about time to give their rooms a bit of a personality boost.

To date all we’d really done in the boys’ rooms is install window coverings which were much needed for privacy and light management. And part of the delay in decorating was by design. I didn’t really want to be putting holes in the wall for shelves, prints etc. when I knew I’d be painting soon. But, I didn’t want to paint until we’d been in the house at least a year because the house would shift, and nail pops would happen etc.

There was never any doubt that I was going to paint the house eventually. The whole house was painted in flat paint. Its a bit of a nightmare for scuffs and dings (and fingerprints… ahem). And November of last year marked one whole year in the new nest for us, but of course, the holidays were upon us and I wasn’t ready to DIY or paint anything in December.

Harry's room 1

Harry’s room was pretty much a clone of what he had at the old house. Same bed, same bedding, same dresser and shelves. A bit more space to work with and some really cool angles in his room.

dsc_0078

Harry's room 3

Harry's room 4

And although he had talked about wanting some changes to his room, he was chugging along rather happily with his room. But what really got this project going was Foster’s emerging, ongoing, undying love affair with dinosaurs, in which he wants to steal all of Harrison’s “stuff” and have a dinosaur room to call his own.

Foster dino

So for me this had a simple solution, swap out most of the dinosaur themed items from Harrison’s room and put them into Foster’s room and a few other things to personalize it for Foster. This also meant convincing Harrison to “let go” of those items and “sell” him on a new room. Luckily it didn’t take much persuading as he’s growing up too and could understand the idea of his brother loving dinosaurs more than he does now. It didn’t hurt that I told him he’d be getting new stuff and he could help me plan some of the items.

Meanwhile, Foster’s room had undergone some transformation since our move-in day. We moved him into a nursery.

Foster's nursery

Then he outgrew the crib (quickly!) which prompted a mini update to the room including firetruck bedding and a few accessories.

dsc_0070

I figured red would be the colour that gave some continuity to the room once I was ready to actually decorate, but then he threw us a curve ball with this dinosaur stuff (although we should’ve seen it coming) and he declared that he didn’t want a red/firetruck room at all. He wanted dinosaurs!

So his room is currently a mix between firetrucks and his nursery. There’s red and green and blue, and his elephant lamp, and his animal banks… Fosters room 2

… and his nursery chair, and the ottoman,

Fosters room 5

Fosters room 3

but it is pretty clear that his walls are bare.

Fosters room 4

Isn’t it amazing how you can see things so clearly in photos that you miss in real life?

So, what’s next?

Well the paint is purchased and painting is definitely the first step. I decided that I’d keep the paint colour as it is, but give it another coat in eggshell finish to make it a bit more durable for the boys’ rooms. That’s easier for me – probably fewer coats – and also allows me to add colour and personality to the room in other ways. And hey! if Foster decides that he doesn’t like dinosaurs any more, I don’t have to worry about having a strange paint colour on the walls to work around. (Not that he’d get another makeover any time soon).

The boys are headed to my mom and dad’s for March Break this year, so I think that’s when most of the painting will get done. It turns out that when we’re home the boys are mostly in their rooms/sleeping so it is hard to disrupt their space and make it function for every day.

I’ve already purchased some new bedding for Harrison’s room, and I have some thoughts on how that room is going to turn out and the colour palette I want to use. I talked him out of a Pokemon room. #momwin

We have some dinosaur items that we’ve received as gifts over the years that never quite made it to Harrison’s room (this one or the old one) so I’m hoping to use those in Foster’s space.

I also had purchased some fabric for Harrison’s blue room, which never got used so I’m hoping to find a way to incorporate that into Foster’s room, as well as phasing out the nursery items by selling them on our neighbourhood buy and sell or on kijiji.

What are you up to?

Foster – Eleven months

Dear Foster,

February was a short month but it was jam-packed with activity. Now that you’re crawling you’re really interacting with the world around you. Exploring the world and showing us your interests by being able to move around and get to what you want. You’ve also shown us a few new tricks this month. You’re clapping, waving, cruising around the tables and couches and learning to push the walker toy. And your adventurous side is showing.  The first time we put you in front of the stairs, you just went for it and climbed up with only a little bit of help. We may have some baby-proofing to do in the near future!

And because you can move around and get to the toys that you want to play with it has become pretty obvious that you have a favourite. You love the 3 in 1 Zebra ride along/scooter toy. You love to sit up there, press the buttons and watch the lights. Your balance is getting really good just by sitting up there.

Your adventurous side is not limited just to what you can get into, but what you’ll eat. You’re easy to please which is making my life easy. This month you tried pizza and I couldn’t believe the speed with which you devoured it!

You happily cheered along with me for the Canadian athletes at the Olympics. Well, at least you tolerated me for those 16 days. More than once I startled you as you were playing with my um… enthusiastic cheers. You just seemed to roll your eyes and then went back to playing. During the Olympics we travelled to Cornwall to visit Nana and Poppa and you were once again a great travelling companion.

You were a bit fussy over the weekend, but it was all for a good reason. Your third tooth popped through on Family Day Monday, much to your and our relief. But there’s no rest for the wicked! By the end of the month your fourth tooth had cut through too. I hope you get a little break because although you really are a champ when it comes to teething, you’re a little more drooly, a little more runny-nosed, and you understandably lose some of your great appetite and you’re just not your regular happy self.

We also celebrated your brother’s birthday a little early and made a trip to the indoor pool. There was a great wading area that was a perfect height for you to just sit in the water and take in all the action going on around you. You loved it and just splashed and chilled out in the pool with everyone. You’re a little fish!

We’re entering our last full month together full-time and I’m planning to make the most of it. I can’t wait to see what adventures we get up to this month, and I’m just hoping I can keep up with you.

Love,

Mama

Foster at the party

Olympic ready

Foster bear

zebra rider

sleeping baby

pizza monster

crawl about

laundry helper

11 months

Foster – Ten Months

Dear Foster,

The story for January, your tenth month, was all about the weather. I mean it was cold. See – CBC, National Post, CTV. On January 6th 32 cms of snow fell! And that was just the start of the snow and cold in January. But hey, this is Canada and we’re a hearty bunch so we did get out a little bit. Albeit, not that much. I will admit that I was planning our day around how many times I’d have to get you out of the car and into the stroller. If it was more than twice something got dropped to the next day or left as not important.

Around the beginning of the month we switched you into your new car seat. You were just pushing the size limits of the infant car seat so it was just easier to install the new one rather than continuing to guess if you’d hit the limit. Let’s just say, you didn’t love the new seat at first. I don’t know if it was because it was cold from being in the car or because it fit differently, but it was a struggle for about two weeks every time we got you in.

We did however, get out and about and bundled up. And everywhere we went people commented on your hat. Yup, that silly green hat is the topic of much conversation. Is it a dinosaur? A dragon? A monster? Someone even commented on your cute little frog hat. It was confusing, but one thing everyone agreed on was that it was cute, and you were even cuter.

At the beginning of the month you were still going backwards with your commando crawling, but you learned to harness it and figured out that your targets should be behind you. This has made you a much happier baby. By the middle of the month you were crawling forwards a couple steps up on hands and knees and then down to commando crawling. Then one day you were just up and on the move. I think you get faster every day.

Your newfound ability to move seems to have given you a new perspective and sense of adventure. We put the mattress in your bed down, so that you didn’t start climbing out, because you’ve started to pull yourself up on everything. It’s so fun to watch you explore the world from a different view. Harrison doesn’t always think it’s so great. Especially when you mess up his train tracks or knock over his tower. You’re both learning how to play together.

I can’t believe it, but we’ve started thinking about me going back to work. I’m trying to put that stuff aside and just enjoy my last few months with you. And you’re making it so easy. You’re quick to smile, love to cuddle with me and sit with me, and never want me far away. Don’t worry Bean Sprout, I’m not going anywhere.

Love,

Mama

the hat

bundled up

Foster playing

Foster climbing

ten months

A tisket a tasket, a giant basket

When last I showed you the play room, two of the items on the to-do list included baskets.

Shelving plus wall colour

I haven’t made it to Ikea yet to pick up a fifth basket for the shelving unit, but I did find a huge basket at Target from the Beaver Canoe line.

I was hoping I’d find some large basket-type container for holding stuffies, so when I found this basket, I thought I’d take it home. Especially since it was the last one in the store!

basket wide

It replaced plastic stacking baskets. They didn’t hold as many stuffed animals, they weren’t as sturdy as this basket is. The bins were easy to pull down especially as Foster likes to climb and pull up on everything now! And most importantly the basket is much prettier.

basket buddies

Look who I found! Foster approves.

Foster in the basket

So huggable!

And I almost forgot to tell you that I got a great deal. The barcode on the tag wouldn’t even ring up at the register or by any other method they tried. Even though I told them what price I thought it was there was no other basket to replace it with in the store since I grabbed the last one. I joked that since it wouldn’t ring up that it should be free. And the associate took $10 off the price! Goes to show it never hurts to ask, or to joke around!

So just one little big item ticked off the to-do list.

  • Get another basket for that fifth spot on the second row next time I’m at Ikea
  • I’d like to replace the white open baskets (that you see overflowing with stuffed animals) and get a large basket to store stuffies and hard toys that don’t fit into one of the cubbies
  • Add a reading nook with some chairs. Maybe make some bean bag chairs myself? (That would be a test of my sewing skills!)
  • Add art to the space and a place to include the boys artwork
  • Add labels to the bins and baskets so that the boys know which bin to look in when they’re taking toys out and definitely so they know where to put them back!
  • Change the light fixture. Husbandman wants something that looks like a spaceship. We’ll see.
  • Maybe include a table or an easel for doing artwork in the space?

Foster – Eight and Nine months

Dear Foster,

This newsletter is a little overdue. The lead up to and the Christmas holidays (aka December) were so busy that I didn’t get time to sit down and write to you about all the awesome things we did. So here it is now.

November was all about new foods for you. You continue to be a great eater munching down pretty much anything I put in front of you. You love sweet potato, eggs! and blueberries, but don’t love everything sweet. You still shudder at bananas and other sweet fruits like mango.

When you started trying to pick things up I knew it was my cue to start giving you Cheerios. And just as I suspected, you love those little morsels. And now even when I’m feeding you something else, you demand to have Cheerios on the tray at all times so that you can sneak them into your mouth between my spoonfuls. You are a tyrant about it, really.

In November we took you to the Santa Claus parade as your first Christmas-related outing. We had great weather and you were a champ as usual, just hanging out in your chair or with me or your dad.

You love playing peek-a-boo with your blanket and even seem to know when we want you to play by responding by hiding when we tell you to. You’re such a clever boy!

We also had a great family day at the end of the month and the four of us went to Ripley’s Aquarium and to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto. It was a lot of fun and you enjoyed watching the fish swim by and all the bright colours.

November was also the month that you started your efforts at crawling. You’re getting up on hands and knees, and you know that you’ve gotta get going somehow, but for November, just rocking back and forth.

December was certainly full of events and as usual you took them all in stride. More new food, lots of friendly faces, and you just took it all like a champ.

I took you to work for my work Christmas luncheon and you enjoyed the turkey and mashed potatoes. And you were a good boy at our open house too. Playing with and smiling for our many guests.

December also kicked off a good streak of sleeping through the night. You were doing pretty well until we headed to Nana and Papa’s and you slept in the front room. The silly snow plough kept waking you (and me) up at 5 am!

Speaking of Nana and Papa’s we spent 10 days there before Christmas and had some crazy weather. Lots of snow, lots more snow, and some freezing cold temperatures. Down to the -30s with the windchill! Brrr. We kept you bundled up and didn’t go out much so you stayed cozy warm.

You had your first cold in December, too. A nose that just would not stop running. You took it pretty well, but did not like having your nose wiped. I don’t blame you since I had to wipe it about once every minute. I didn’t know someone so little could make so much goob.

At the beginning of December we also saw the first buds of little teeth pop through. You got your two bottom front teeth for Christmas! Thank goodness. You were a drooly, chewy mess before they popped.

And, of course, I can’t talk about December without talking about your first Christmas.

We took you to see Santa, and although you weren’t too sure, you kept it together and we had no tears. Just a few wary looks for the camera.

You and your brother were terribly spoiled, but it’s so fun to watch you play with all your new toys. Your face lights up when the toy does. Its so cute.

We drove to London on Christmas Day for Christmas dinner with Grandma and Grampy and Jason and Megan. We were spoiled again. And just as you always are, you were a great little traveller.

December was the month that you got on the move. To your dismay you could only move backwards. This was endlessly frustrating for me you, because you had a goal in mind but could only push yourself backwards.  You could see your target but just couldn’t figure out how to motor yourself there. You got yourself into some pretty hilarious positions, though. Like under the bouncy chair, under the side table, under the arm chair. Pretty much, under anything and then you’d get stuck and start to cry and we’d have to rescue you.

December was a really happy month filled with family time (since your dad had a nice long break from work, too) and so many wonderful memories. It’s one I’ll remember for a long time. Thanks, Bean Sprout.

Love,

Mama

aquarium trip

 

looking innocent

 

8 months old

 

a gift from Santa

 

Christmas at Nanas

 

trying to crawl

 

Christmas Eve

 

with Dad

 

Christmas morning

 

The very  hungry caterpillar

 

First Christmas

 

9 months

 

Foster – Seven months

Dear Foster,

Your seventh month was kicked off in style at your very own half-birthday party. I invited some of your friends over for brunch to celebrate that you are half way to a year old already! This mini-milestone had lots of people asking me if I was sad that our time together was half over. And though, yes the thought of that makes me sad, I know that we have so much more fun ahead of us. I’m trying not to wish our days away.

This month we celebrated your first Thanksgiving. Once again you were a great little traveller as we made our way to Nana and Poppa’s house for a family dinner. You literally didn’t make it past the front door at Thanksgiving dinner before being scooped up for snuggles from my aunts.

Most of my family couldn’t believe how big you had gotten since they saw you last in May. And it’s true you’re growing so big. You’re just flying through the stored bins of clothes that your brother wore. In fact, you’re already in some of the Christmas sleepers that Harry wore. I’m hoping they’ll still fit you at Christmas this year. If not, new PJs for you buddy!

We made it back to KW in time to take you to your first parade. It was my first Oktoberfest parade too!

You’re continuing to show me that you’re a great eater. This month you’ve tried more foods like fish (sole), peas, carrots, corn, and apples. Oh, and how could I forget?! You also tried Mum Mum crackers and to say you love them would not be an understatement. I handed you your first piece and you knew exactly what to do with it. You had it gone in just a few seconds. Sometimes you eat them so fast that if I look away I check your chair or the floor to see if you’ve really just dropped it. So far, that hasn’t been the case. You just pound those melting crackers back! You even like the banana ones. Go figure.

You’ve also been loving your toys. You’re interacting with them a lot. Passing them from hand to hand and reaching out for them. You’ll even reach out for a toy when we’re at swimming lessons. You’re really loving the water this session and kick your cute little feet and have even got your hands going in the last couple weeks.

You and Harry spent an evening with my aunt Brenda this month as your dad and I went to celebrate aunt Megan’s wedding! I was a little reluctant since you’ve decided that you want nothing to do with taking a bottle, but we practiced without being fed by me for a few days before and you seemed to be fine with food in cereal form so I crossed my fingers and left you and Harry with Brenda. I’m told you guys were both perfect angels. Your dad and I were gone for about 9 hours. That’s the longest you and I have been apart!

With Halloween approaching I thought we should practice your sitting skills, since I thought it would be nice to get some pictures of you in your costume sitting up. So for a week or so before Halloween when it was play time I’d sit you down on the floor instead of laying you down, and prop you up with lots of pillows behind you and lots (and lots) of toys in front of you. You were definitely ready to learn to sit up because, though you were wobbly, you barely flinched at being sat up and seemed to like the ability to play with toys and view the world from a different angle. And sure enough by Halloween your sitting was getting pretty sturdy. Enough that you could sit for a few minutes without losing your balance. You can even correct yourself if you lean a little side to side. This mama is so proud!

By the way, you had not one, not two, but three Halloween outfits. I tested my sewing skills and made you a Fozzie Bear costume. Never did get a picture of you with your hat on and your pink nose. Nevertheless I think it turned out great. For trick or treating you were a little lobster. Grandma at the lake saw the costume and sent it for you. I dressed as a fisherman and wore you in the carrier. You were a little lobster caught in my net. And how could I not put you in the monster costume that Harry wore for his first Halloween? You are both adorable little monsters.

I’m already looking forward to celebrating your first Christmas, but like I said, trying not to wish the days away. So in the meantime I’ll be filling our days with lots of mom and Foster time. Because, really, I just can’t get enough of you.

Love,

Mama

Foster 7 months 1

Foster seven months 2

Foster seven months 3

Foster seven months 4

Foster seven months 5