I wonder if the family room will ever feel totally “settled”. When we moved in, it was a huge space. I’m not even sure what the dimensions were, but it ran from the front of the house to the back and was wide, as well. During the summer of 2015, we split it in half and turned the front half into my bedroom (F eventually moved into my old bedroom). The remaining family room space was more contained and cozier and felt more useful.
I shuffled the furniture around a little while ago, swapped the sitting area and the kid area to give more space to the kid stuff (the slate tile in front of the patio door not being super play-friendly). I really like it now! It feels much brighter in the room now that the dark bookcases aren’t under the window anymore. It’s still pretty full of furniture, despite moving the love seat out to the barn, but I prefer that to big, empty expanses. The shelves behind the table (the left side of the second photo) house all of M’s home-preschool materials, and the rest of her area is her little kitchen and other “dramatic play” stuff.
We’ve been playing down here much more regularly since the shuffle. I love sitting on the sofa now that I can look out the patio door! Now we just have to teach F that the play food in the kitchen is just for PRETEND eating.
So, M is making us scrambled eggs now (with help, of course), and F has moved into her own room. Both babies slept in my room but in their crib (with one side removed and attached to my bed), which made it easy for them to start sleeping in their rooms. Or at least it went well with M, and the first night was unremarkable with F.
I hesitated more with F — she wakes up a lot, but she’s not as noisy as M was. And now I know how fast the infant stage passes, and I’m not in a rush for it to be over. But I wanted the transition to be easy for F, and I felt like the time was right. As reluctant as I was to move her crib, as soon as it was out, I wasted no time transforming my room back into a livable space. Instead of a baby hovel with cardboard over the windows!
The cats are happy.
Baby Sister’s room is… more or less done! There are a few things left to do, like putting up a black-out shade and making/finding better tie-backs for the curtain on the covered window (ideally — we’ll see if that happens). The crib will go into my bedroom before the baby is born, which is why it’s still in M’s sofa mode.
I think the theme of this room, if it had one, would be TOO MANY TOYS. Because, seriously. Why are there so many toys? One bonus to Baby Sister growing up will be being able to get rid of toys as she outgrows them. If anybody buys Baby Sister more toys, [insert threat here]. Pretty much all the furniture was in M’s room when she was younger, before she moved into her full-size bed and got the antique dresser, etc.
I was less concerned with getting everything ‘just right’, the way I did with M’s room before she was born, since now I realize how small a role the baby’s room plays for the first few months. But I did try to get everything sealed up, to keep both drafts and ladybugs (grr, arg.) out. So I think it’s ready-ish to go. Just ten more weeks (give or take) until Baby Sister can check it out herself!
Rob gets more riled up about some of the questionable craftsmanship in this house than I do (he’s used to houses in the UK being built out of solid materials like stones and brick), but one of the things that annoys me is how drafty a lot of the windows are. I mean, the house is only a bit over a decade old — we’re not talking about hundred-year-old windows here. Oh well.
M’s window stays sealed in the winter with plastic, but in Baby Sister’s room, I was dealing with two problems: a north-facing window that was both drafty and letting in too much light. M has a black-out shade on her window (I don’t know how people trick their babies/toddlers into napping without them), but Baby Sister’s room has two windows, which was really one more than necessary for the time being. So that north-facing one got boarded up! I actually used beadboard paneling that was left over from my bathroom. Put some weather stripping stuff around the edges of the back and nailed it into place. Problems solved (I hope).
You can see that more than enough light still comes in from the other window, which eventually will get a black-out shade. There are mini-blinds on this window (still in place behind the paneling, so the boarded-up-ness isn’t visible from outside the house), but I never had curtains on it before, so it’s actually cuter now than when there was a window there! And this should keep the drafts, light, and ladybugs (fingers crossed) out for a few years — until even Baby Sister is done with naps.
p.s. — The ‘theme’ of Baby Sister’s room is Toysplosion, aka all the toys that M has outgrown, even though they’re suddenly really interesting again, now that she thinks about it.