Author / Liz

Pandemic Purchases (that are primarily Prime!)

I certainly haven’t done much blogging in 2020, but between so much stay home time (and thus, some saved dollars) we have certainly made a few purchases this year that have immensely helped make this year a little more bearable.

I love reading lists of others’ tried and true recommendations, and I keep thinking I should share some of our top faves as we’ve been cooking, playing, reading and in general passing the time in 2020. (Full disclosure: In some cases, these are affiliate links, but these are all items we bought ourselves and would buy again!) This got a bit lengthy, so read (or skim!) but consider yourself warned ha!

Homeschooling / Play Purchases

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
All the credit goes to Page for researching this book. We ordered it RIGHT before the Pandemic hit and between suddenlytrying to follow his preschool’s curriculum at home, then welcoming a newborn, it sat on the coffee table for weeks after its arrival, untouched. When I first came back to it, I was admittedly intimidated by what seemed to be a very dry format, the amount of pre-reading/instruction for parents, and the length/duration to complete it. Fast forward to now, and I wish I had started it day one! When you break it down, a lesson has never taken us nearly the twenty minutes as touted, and I would say 1/4 of this book is simply instructions/script for parents to read that is repeated over and over and OVER in each chapter — by the time we were a few days in, Crew and I both very much had the gist of it and I could skim over much of the repetitive instructions and get down to business. We do as many as three lessons on a weekend day and commit to one a day after or before school the rest of the week. While the reward is certainly learning to read, he’s also in it for a new Switch game upon completion. I was so nervous I would teach him “incorrectly” or against how school would do it and confuse him — this book completely eliminated those concerns for me and Crew is really, truly, reading and his confidence and excitement about it is growing by the day.

Boogie Board
In tandem with learning to read, we’ve been working on writing and spelling and sight words. Sometimes it just take a fun new “gadget” to get a kiddo interested – and this was it! We actually saw ours being demonstrated at Costco and after Crew begged me for one, we agreed we had to use it every day for some reading/writing practice, as well as all his sketching he likes to do. This is nothing crazy – simply a write-on, click-to-erase tablet. But it’s novel and has been great for the brief last step in each chapter of the book above in which he practices writing a sound/letter.

Giant Desk Pad
It was a complete mystery if we would start school in person as scheduled up until the week it ACTUALLY started…so to ease the uncertainty, I bought a couple of things just in case (and truthfully, just in case they STILL may be needed yet this year if we go virtual). Crew likes to do work at our kitchen table, but the seams of the planks in the tabletop create ridges and uneven surfaces for certain work. Enter this desk pad, which is like a giant mousepad, (we got the medium size, 32″ wide) and while it makes for a large, smooth work surface (and rolls up to put away easily) I also love the surface that is clean-up friendly for stickier projects like playdoh, etc. It comes in tons of colors, but I don’t mind looking at the more neutral taupey gray if it sits out for a while.

Math Cubes
These were a whim purchase for a mere ten bucks but they have been worth their weight in GOLD. I could never have imagined how much they would get played with, but they are so open-ended. Crew has been a fan of the show NumberBlocks (a show that introduces kids visually to the concepts of counting and adding and subtracting) so these colorful snap-together cubes seemed to mimic that concept to me. I added to cart and thank goodness! He has not only practiced and improved his math, patterns, and more willingly for hours, but he uses them to build, to role-play scenarios of “guys”, and more. This might be the hands-down best surprise purchase of the year.

Easy-to-fly Kites
After reading reviews that these were “easy enough for a preschooler to fly” I grabbed them (a two pack) for some socially distanced outside time. It’s not the kind of thing we use day after day, but it’s a fun thing to have in rotation for days when the weather is right and we’ve needed to switch up our walks to the park or the sidewalk chalk. (But also, add ALL the sidewalk chalk to this list – we’ve burned through so much of it!) With minimal practice, we were able to get these successfully up in the air and enjoy them for decently long periods of time — unlike the memories I have of kites in the past! 😉

Cooking Purchases

Camp Chef Smoker and
Pizza Oven Attachment
One of the BIGGEST highlights of this year has been the emergence of my husband, who’s always liked to cook, as the smoker/fryer/baker master of the year. We had already been talking about replacing our grill with a smoker, and wow was this the year to do it. He has enjoyed joining groups and researching new recipes which we have happily taste tested for him. If you know Page he is the king of researching and reading reviews, so it was after no short amount of time that he settled on the Camp Chef, added the pizza oven attachment and we have used it multiple times per week ever since.

Speaking of pizzas, our cheese grater broke this year and we replaced it with this and while a CHEESE GRATER shouldn’t be life changing, this one kind of is. It shreds right into a measure container with a lid if you wish to store for later, and to cut down on space, the container flips upside down and fits inside the shredder when you store it. Even if it weren’t 2020 I’m pretty sure I’d be a little too excited about this thing.

The Better Breader
Page has also been baking — pizza crusts, focaccia, and sourdough loaves are his favorite (he has interjected here to mention to ONLY use King Arthur flour!) And we’ve been enjoying more than our fair share of some fried things (we regret nothing – it’s 2020) including breaded tenderloins (not to brag, but only in Iowa will they be as large as your dinner plate!), copycats of Buffalo Wild Wings recipes, fish tacos, and more. I am never excited to add another thing to store in the kitchen, but this makes battering so much more efficient that I will happily find a spot for it.

Coffee/Espresso/Cappucino Machine
And finally, because it’s 2020, the year of the newborn, and as an anniversary gift to ourselves, we invested in this bad boy. Not only will we save on drive through runs, but our mornings have turned pretty. damn. epic.

Good Reading Purchases

The Home Edit and
The Home Edit LIFE
For all of these things we’ve added to our home, you know my OCD self has to balance it out with some editing. I’ve been a follower of The Home Edit for years, loved and gifted their first book, of course binged the Netflix show, and recently devoured their second read. Recommend all around — if you’re home anyway, get to cleaning out some drawers and closets. It’s therapeutic, it’s something you can control. “It’s a system!”

With libraries closed and still only doing curbside, I’ve purchased more books than we’ve borrowed. For a starting-to-read Kindergartener, some of our favorite adds these past months have been:

If the S in Moose Comes Loose
recommended by a friend, this charming story, with awesome typographical artwork to accompany, is great for early readers to playfully understand how changing a single letter creates a whole new word

Did You Take the B from my Ook?
Similar to above, this book plays with dropping a letter from common words to create a silly read, from the creators of the hit title, “The Book with No Pictures”

The Gruffalo
also recommended by a friend, after loving Room on the Broom, this same author has a story about a mouse who outsmarts a whole forest of animals

Pick A Pumpkin
I try and add a seasonal title every year to our stash of books that only comes out for September/October. This keeps them “fresh” every year and we love the rhyming text and illustrations of this latest addition about a favorite tradition

Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave
this was one I bought to read the night before Kindergarten started, but the message rings true for me as an adult. Plus, the typography is downright gorgeous and it’s been fun for the graphic design nerd in me to introduce Crew to the many, many ways you can create the 26 letters of the alphabet.

A Kids Book About Racism
these conversations are tricky to begin with, and we are still finding our way to explain all the events of 2020 to our five year old. This book is helping to break down a very big topic.

What Should Danny Do?
A choose-your-own-story that explores different good and bad choices, and the outcomes as a result.

As for us personally, we are doing as well as can be expected and we are taking 2020 a day and a week at a time. While we are in school full time, I am always prepared for the numbers to jump and school to close, or at the very least, to be contact traced for exposure and homeschool for a minimum of two weeks at any point. Aside from those unknowns, we are trying to rally around some normal-ish activities, like swim lessons, and upcoming soccer and basketball leagues. We are planning to travel for the first time this year in November, and more than ever, we will be celebrating all the things, including of course all the upcoming holidays! Hoping to share a little more as the season goes on.

Wishing everyone health!!

A Minecraft Kids Room

I always said I wouldn’t do licensed / character / branded stuff for my kids. (Yes, I was on a parenting high horse ha!) But as much as I’ve resisted t-shirts based on tv shows until now, it’s freaking 2020 and I’m leaning in to whatever my soon-to-be kindergartner wants to do with his room as we embark on this crazy covid school year!

I do love that Page and I are always on the same wavelength about this stuff — nothing too tacky or weird, embrace the theme but in a “cool” way. At least, that was the goal! I can’t bring myself to do a giant size creeper across a bedspread, but I can find ways to work in the icons of the game around his room. We started with the torch from Amazon – even I have to admit, it looks pretty cool lit up at night! I bought some styrofoam cubes and painted them to look like stacked TNT inside his lamp.

Like all things, this obsession will pass at SOME point, so we didn’t go crazy. I bought the Periodic Table poster on Amazon, and designed a smaller one myself of Emerald Ore with Crew’s gamer name. We added the lava nightlight and piggy bank from Target to his shelves.

We kept his existing comforter and shams, but swapped out the sheets for these relatively neutral ones. We also did a much overdue upgrade to his mattress. We’ve loved it so far and would purchase again!

Other details included a TNT storage cube from Target, and a creeper water cup to keep by his bed.

It worked perfectly that he already had these green IKEA cubes in his closet cubbies. Some quick black vinyl iron-ons with the Cricut and we had custom creeper cubes. (Say that five times fast!)

This was a fun “quick and done” project that we were able to swap out while he was at his last morning of pre-K. I managed to capture his reaction on video and I’m so glad I did – he was SO grateful and excited – the very best kind of response you can hope for when it comes to little boys and home decor ha!

Thinking of all you parents as you send your kiddos back to school this year, whatever it might look like for you. We are beginning in person (fingers crossed!) and taking it literally day by day. Covid kindergarten – heck covid parenting in general – could (and probably will) be a whole other post!

Stay well! <3

Greer: Year One, First Quarter

Month One

Your first month at home went quickly and slowly all at once. I have so many recollections of peaceful, quiet days, just the four of us settling in as a bigger family one day at a time. Thanks to six weeks of leave for your dad this time around, and the flexibility to work from home during the crazy times anyway, it was wonderful to have another (adult) set of hands and to help tag team keeping both Crew occupied and you happy.

Crew never missed a beat…and considering his world had been rocked for several weeks BEFORE your arrival, I was amazed how he took your arrival in stride. The time at home these days meant that while there was literally nowhere else to go or anything else to do, there wasn’t much else BESIDES bonding for you two to do.

It was wonderful to bring you home to our HOME, in sharp contrast to when we brought Crew home to a tiny apartment, mid-move. In these early days I’d leisurely set up little photoshoots and try on sweet outfits, capturing far more than your share of newborn photos 😉

My overwhelming memory during these early days is lots of delicious food prepared by your dad, lots of board games with Crew, and lots of newborn snuggles with our girl.

You were a much better newborn sleeper than your brother was 😉 From the first night on, you’d give me 3.5-4.5 hour chunks of sleep. I could actually time a 10pm feeding, put you down, and only get up once mid-night before being up for the day around 6 or 7 the next morning. Maybe it’s having realistic expectations the second time around, but I told everyone that ALL mamas should get to start with a second baby ha!

Month Two

There’s no way around saying it sister, you have been EXTRA this month! I’m happy to say you seem easier than just a couple weeks ago already, but all in all this month you have put us through our paces, wanting to be held every. waking. moment.

Babies know what they’re doing though, and you’ve kept us going with your growing range of coos, giant eyes-closed squinty smiles, and rolls everywhere we just want to munch on all day long.

You love snuggling, being naked, talking to the ceiling fans, and you are spending more and more time (read: a few minutes versus seconds) on your own here and there. You still sleep about 4.5 hour stretches at night (teasing us with one 6 hour stretch but never since!) and always on your side. You are finding your hands and love to suck on them but most of the time refuse a pacifier – and you are a HARD pass on the bottle right now but still don’t manage to miss a meal – 12.8 pounds, and 23.5 inches at your two month checkup!

You are venturing out more and more into this weird world (including a first Target run) and you’ve met a handful of real new faces this month, including your GRANDPARENTS!

Month Three

Independence Day has been the GOAL to get to these past weeks but you are a different girl the past several days! Multiple doctor visits and no one declared you colicky, but screaming every time you’re set down isn’t normal either, so whatever it was about that newborn phase, we are very grateful it’s in the rear view mirror. Hellllloooo to the next stage of your babyhood and full steam ahead celebrating your first Fourth of July!

Three months is nothing short of magical. You are a completely different baby than this time a month ago and I like to think you are your true self now going forward — happy, smiley, and ready to party! You love ceiling fans, “if you’re happy and you know it”, your toes, and your big bro. You are finding new ranges to your voice every day and have graced us with many nights with 7/8 hour stretches of sleep. With the help of a Hail Mary in which we sent you to school with Crew two days a week, you finally take bottles (hallelujah!) and with all this stay-home time, you seem to be loving the change of scenery and faces.

While you technically arrived just minutes before Easter, you celebrated your first holiday on the 4th, and had your first pedicure. The very best part of this new happy baby is seeing your relationship with Crew blossom — he’s been waiting so patiently to get snuggles and smiley time with you and it’s paying off in spades. We love love love you oh so much Greer girl!

a (second) birth story.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

A complete opposite of her brother’s arrival, I knew, to the hour, when we’d be checking in to the hospital for Greer’s delivery. I’m not sure I would have opted to induce before the 40 week mark under normal circumstances, but as we all know, mid-April 2020 was anything but normal. I was of “advanced maternal age” this time around having just turned 36, Greer was cooking perfectly well, and in the interest of getting in and out before predicted hospital rooms “peaks” in the coming days, we opted for induction at 38 weeks, 6 days.

In the middle of so many unknowns and so many changes to how I thought things would go (including finding a place for Crew to stay when my parents couldn’t get back from Florida due to both cancelled flights and closed accommodations between here and there), I was grateful to at least know when this would happen, and that I’d be with my favorite OB from the practice, who had overseen the majority of my visits (the last several weeks of which had been just she and I since no visitors were allowed). I know she sensed that I needed something to go as planned so she booked me under the wire of 39 weeks so we would be on her hospital shift that week.

We dropped Crew off at our friends’ house for a sleepover (his first!) and it all felt so novel to be inside another family’s house after weeks of everyone keeping to themselves. If Crew was nervous to stay on his own, he never showed it and the excitement to play with friends both took over, and wore him out. Once I knew he was set, I was able to relax a bit more and focus on kid number two. We drove to the hospital laughing at how different this experience already was, and remarked for the seventy-fifth time how relieved we were to know we were both free of any symptoms or reason to not both be allowed into the delivery room — something we had been stressing in recent weeks.

Everything felt SO relaxed and familiar as opposed to doing this the first time around. Even though I knew it could go a hundred different ways, I still knew in so many ways what to expect, and again the lack of people in the past weeks made chatting with our nurses and doctors feel like a long overdue social hour. I remember it was SO quiet and there was the added step of going through security this time around, but I was very aware that it felt as if everyone was going above and beyond to keep things feeling light and happy. It was actually still so early in the pandemic that non-medical professionals didn’t yet have masks, so we were never asked to mask up – there were no spares to offer us even if they wanted to. In fact, the day we checked in was the first day the medical staff had been assigned face shields. But despite the added layers between us and the people around us, I kept feeling waves of relief, for all different reasons, wash over me and I can honestly say I wasn’t the least bit nervous. We were so ready to meet our girl.

We checked in at 4:00 and by 5 they had broken my water. I think they gave it an hour or so and when not enough progress had happened, they moved to pitocin. Contractions picked up after that and in the interest of it being a second baby, they advised that if I wanted to do an epidural, to order it sooner than later. I would guess that was maybe 8:00 and by 9 we were both kind of drowsy and decided to close our eyes. Page was SNORING and I tried not to laugh while simultaneously being annoyed that he was so comfortable and getting some rest! Meanwhile, I just could not get comfortable and had this sneaking suspicion that I needed my nurse, Lexi, to check in on us.

I decided to let Page snooze another 15 before waking him to reach the phone to call her. I’m not sure I made it the full 15 but just as he paged her, she happened to be walking in. She took one peek and I’ll never not laugh remembering her facial expression. She didn’t even draw both hands back, she just used one to grab a radio on her shoulder and started paging through the list of everyone on call…of course not a one answered and I saw her go into serious mode, and yet I couldn’t help but laugh at the urgency. I remember she asked me, “Can you stay RIGHT as you are? And NOT move?” and I laughed again, asking, “are you serious?”

“Yes, totally serious. And I can absolutely deliver this baby if we need to do it that way.” Then she went back to calling on her radio with one free hand and finally got through to someone. I just remember her saying, “We are having a baby. Right now.”

Everyone who had been paged but had not picked up suddenly all flew into the room at the same moment. My OB got situated and three pushes later, you were out. Lexi hadn’t been kidding! 11:06 pm was the minute we met our girl.

I remember thinking I didn’t have ANY tears left in me after the past few turbulent weeks, but despite not crying, I was SOOOO very happy to meet you. Page’s first memory was just how LOUD those little lungs were, followed quickly by those chubby cheeks. We were amazed to learn you’d had your cord wrapped around your neck, not once but TWICE, and that you had managed to tie it in a knot — something so rare the nurses urged us to take a picture of it.

You had come out so fast that after a couple minutes on my chest, you had to have some fluid sucked out to clear your airways. Aside from that and a bruised face from your speedy delivery, you were in perfect condition. 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and 19.5 inches of chunky goodness.

It took a while to get bleeding and blood pressure under control for me, and I remember with the lack of visitors, trying to keep up with texts and updates was overwhelming and we were also SO exhausted by the time things calmed down around 2 or 3am. We got some sleep and unlike my first go round with Crew, I didn’t hesitate to let the nurses feed you a little formula if I meant I could get an extra 30 minutes here or there throughout the night and next morning. I remember laughing at one point when they did bring you in to me — you had such a hoarse, cackly cry at first – you sounded like a smoker!

I can’t remember now if the cafeteria wasn’t open at this time, or if the rules about going through the hospital were more locked down, but either way, friends and your dad made some nearby food deliveries happen. (Nothing tastes better than those first bites after giving birth ha!) I remember eating delicious food, watching you get your first bath, and updating the world that you had arrived.

I was very aware of how Crew was doing and knew he was worn out from one night of sleepover already. Despite only needing 24 hours in the hospital, because you were born so close to midnight, we technically needed another night before they could clear us to go home. We agreed that Page would go home for the second night and get Crew settled back at home, and the boys would come pick up the girls the next morning. It made it so much easier for me to relax and just focus on those early postpartum hours knowing that Crew was with Page and that Page could get a decent night’s sleep in a real bed, knowing all this aftercare would fall to him with no one else around.

After a rainy stay, it was suddenly beautiful and sunny when the boys came to get us. I didn’t think they’d allow Crew in the hospital but someone bent the rules and the boys met us in the lobby for this special meet and greet. Crew’s first response to what he thought — “She has very sharp fingernails!”

We came home to a virtual homecoming, with signs and balloons and little gifts covering our house. It was so weird but also so peaceful to just have that time to ourselves. I have no need to ever revisit 2020 but as far as birth stories go, this one was easy, happy, and packed with good memories.

We Will Tell You (Someday)

Someday we will tell you the stories of how the world was a bit broken.

We will tell you about how for weeks each morning was a numbers game, pitting new cases and available beds against estimated peaks and your looming due date. How we weighed all options about when and where to birth you to play odds in our favor.

We will tell you about the very real fears we faced at one point or another — that we wouldn’t be together for your birth, or just after, or that there would be a room available. That you would even be safe in, of all places, a hospital. Continuously changing our expectations for your birth became the only consistent thing we did.

We will tell you of how your then five-year-old brother repeatedly heard no, that he couldn’t see his friends or play on the playground. That we wiped down every package and grocery that crossed our threshold with the care of someone prepping for surgery. That all the schools and most businesses were closed, we stayed home for weeks, and we washed our hands until they hurt.

We will tell you how we went through security to enter the hospital and had our temperatures taken throughout the stay. That our doctors and nurses guided your birth from behind masks and face shields. That we all went home only 24 hours later.

We will tell you of how we had to grieve the idea of togetherness — we wanted to be with those facing their own challenges during this time. We wanted to share hugs with loved ones when we announced your arrival. We wanted your own grandparents to meet you, smell you, snuggle you, in person.

But we will also tell you all of the good woven into this crazy time. The stories of friends and family who stepped in to get us what we needed be it someone to watch your brother, surprise gifts to bring a smile, or much needed basics like Tylenol and diapers and formula we could no longer risk walking into a store for — assuming we could find them at all.

We will tell you about the superheroes in scrubs who worked harder than ever to calmly provide care, guidance, and new options in the final weeks before your arrival and who brought you safely into the world during your extra-fast entrance. They provided a secure bubble in which to meet you and where the pandemic didn’t seem to exist. I will be eternally grateful for that happy, hopeful stay after a month of swirling stress.

We will tell you how while we were away, friends and family left signs and chalked messages and balloons and surprises, covering our porch — they pulled off an actual no-contact homecoming celebration. It was incredible to feel so rallied around when we came home from the hospital to a quiet house but so many visible messages of love.

We will tell you about the rainbows and the heart windows, the teachers who read from home to keep kids like your brother feeling connected to the life he missed, and the first responders who cheered on staff at hospitals across the nation. The grocery employees who worked triple time but still loaded bags in my trunk from a safe distance and with a smile. The people who donated face masks to essential employees and the leaders who kept the nation moving us all forward. The employers who made safety a top priority so that people like your dad could work safely from home. The manufacturers that pivoted operations to build face shields and ventilator parts.

We will tell you how the people, six feet apart, came together.

Not very long ago, I hadn’t given your existence a thought, nor could I have imagined the current state of the world today. I know in my bones that your perfectly-timed arrival on this earth is part of a greater plan and you are living proof of hope and good things to come.

Someday we will tell you all of these stories, including how they ended: Snuggling a precious new life as this dark cloud over the world did, indeed, pass. It’s a bit broken right now, but the world WILL heal – and we are elated to welcome you into it, all the same.

Easter Baskets 2020 (5yo boy / nb girl)

One of my very favorite parts of mom-ing is playing Easter Bunny each year. I love anticipating the Spring season and some fresh stuff to play with, I love the bright colors, and frankly, I love an opportunity to stage and arrange a good basket!

This year is double the fun with TWO baskets — and I’m starting early, since there’s a very good chance we could be IN the hospital having this baby come April 12. Just in case, I’m prepping everything ahead of time (I’ve even stuffed the four dozen eggs — army men and gummy bunnies for the win!) so that all my mom would have to do is set it all out (and capture pics for me!).

I swapped Crew’s old basket and borrowed the gold baskets (from Wal Mart a couple years ago) from our office. I’m already feeling the need to keep it even in appearance between the two of them! I bought my carrot eggs at Dollar Tree but found similar ones here (I like when they’re flat on the bottom so they can stand alone) and monogrammed them with my Cricut. The bubble machine and bubbles came from Target and I figured they can be enjoyed by both kiddos.

Is it just me or all the balloon animals on sticks having a moment? There are so many cute kits out there (most recently I spotted them in the Target dollar spot!) but only needing two, I opted to buy a mega pack of balloon sticks (because I WILL find other excuses to do balloon crafts!) and made the ears/bow ties out of cardstock to match their basket color themes. (I’ll have redraw the faces on fresh balloons as Easter gets closer, but this was a good practice run!) The items in each of their baskets are listed below. We aren’t sharing her name yet 😉 but their wooden name plaques are from this shop.

Here’s the rundown on Baby Girl’s basket:

Silicone bunny dish and placemat from Target | Ryan & Rose Cutie Tensils | Ryan & Rose Cutie Pat (stashed inside the bunny bag) | Swaddle from Target | Honest baby wash | Are You There Little Bunny? book | (not pictured for secrecy!) name hair clip

Here’s the rundown on Crew’s (age 5) basket:

Crankity Brainteaser game | Mega Maze game | boomerang, silly string, misc. from Dollar Tree | refill film packs with sticker frames for the Instax | foam shaving cream (for the tub!) and sidewalk chalk from Target | warm weather pajamas

Greer’s Poppy Nursery

It started with the crib sheet. It was one of the very first things I pinned (even before we knew we were having a girl) and I kept coming back to it.

I was so in love with the SW Faint Coral paint in our basement guest room, and I like the continuity of repeating paint colors in a home, so her wall color was an easy choice. I also knew that I wanted some subtle nods to children’s literature in her room as well, so this Roald Dahl sign quickly followed (I embellished it with these poppies).

It’s fun to see Crew’s crib take on such a feminine look this time around!

After adding the matching poppy changing pad cover, I was ready to branch out a little and find other ways to repeat the pinks, bright reds, and greens around the room. Enter the prettiest Rifle Paper Co. copy of A Little Princess to keep the book theme going, and for a nightlight, my brother happened to gift me this perfect pink salt lamp (similar linked here) at Christmas. The wreath is the crown of leaves I wore in her maternity pictures — you’ll notice it floats around the room in these photos as I try and find a permanent spot for it, which I think may be this shelf (brackets from Ikea and painted, shelf cut and stained by us) with my childhood copy of Madeline and some first gifts.

My favorite piece in here is the dresser, for both functional and sentimental reasons. We started with an Ikea Hemnes dresser because I love the layout of smaller drawers across the top for all the tiny things.

While I love the way it’s organized, it fell a little short in the details. So we swapped the knobs for some gold hex pulls from CB2 and Page added some Dad skill sawing off the existing legs and giving it a little height and interest by building a new base, which we stained to coordinate with the Roald Dahl frame. I love, love, love the finished product and the extra couple inches of height along with the blackout curtains which we hung as high as possible make the whole room feel a little bit larger.

The final touch was some hidden detail inside the drawers – something Page had seen elsewhere. A couple rolls of Rifle gift wrap and some double sided tape and I love this little peek of girlyness.

We reused the Pottery Barn glider from when Crew was a baby, and added the pink pouf from Crate & Kids. (I’m obsessed with that Petit Pehr blanket draped over the chair, from Mimi at Christmas!) The little throw pillow was a post-Christmas clearance find at Target.

I wanted to balance some of the warm wood elements with a little gold metallic, so we added the lamp and mirror from Target to tie in with the drawer pulls and a couple other details around the room.

And it’s not a girl’s room without some accessories — and I do love a good organization project. These IKEA “Sunnersta” rails and hooks are tucked behind the door for easy access.

I have her newborn and 0-3 clothing on-hand in the drawers, and I use the closet to hang future sizes so I can easily see what we have and what we need (I love to shop ahead and score a bargain!). The shelves below hold books and toys at her level. I love that it’s not jam-packed and we have plenty of room to grow.

The only thing I’d still like to add is a planter in the far left corner behind her crib to round out the green in here – just waiting on our greenhouse to open soon!

Otherwise, I feel oh so ready. Hurry up, baby girl. We are excited to bring you home!

And for sentimental reasons…sharing a link to our son’s nursery from a few years ago here!