I recently made my first Etsy purchases for two fabric wall decals. After scouring local kids stores (all of them) and looking at many online options, I finally found the combination of whimsy and realism in the fabulous decals of Janette Design on Etsy. Her shop was amazing and it was honestly difficult to choose just one decal per child!
After finding some cute airplane finials for Damien’s room, I decided on an airplane theme for his room. I never themed Aiden’s room and now find it too “baby”, so I wanted a theme Damien would grow into. The red plane seemed to “pop” the most, so I went with that one – I loved the personalized banner aspect as well. The plane takes up a large amount of room on his wall and really looks stunning – I only wish I had a coloured wall so you could see the clouds too!
The decision for Aiden’s room was harder. I knew it had to be a train theme, but I liked many of the options. I also couldn’t decide on size. Like in Damien’s room, I wanted a decal that was about the width of his bed. I liked the perspective of this one, but wanted a more old-fashioned train with a variety of cars. There were many trains in this particular shop, but any trains that were tall would have taken up most of his wall (since they have multiple cars). Anyway, I ended up choosing the red and blue train and it’s super cute. Since Aiden already has wooden letters for his name, I wasn’t worried about him feeling left out when it came to not having a personalized decal.
The decals were relatively easy to install – they repositioned easily and can easily be moved in the future. The only challenges were the size of Damien’s decal and the need to make Aiden’s decal level.
Aiden loves reading. He can (and has) spent hours in a row reading. Most other parents call us “lucky” for having a child who loves to read. Indeed, in many ways we are. But, until they’ve spent several hours every day reading books… well, we set limits. ;)
We have a set of shelves in our living room that organizes most of Aiden’s toys and has one shelf that can hold about 15 books. I rotate books into this shelf every few months, as these serve as Aiden’s primary reading when he’s downstairs. He would prefer to read (or watch tv) to playing with toys, so we often negotiate that he play before he reads, or he reads X number of books then has some playtime.
Aside from this unscheduled reading time, Aiden reads 1-2 books before his nap, spends about 30 mins reading after his nap (most days) and reads 4 books before bed. All of this reading is in his room where most of his books are.
As much for our own sanity as for Aiden’s benefit, we have a large collection of books. Most of our books have come from swap meets or library book sales, though many have been purchased or given new as well. We tend to be overwhelmed when we get new books, as Aiden wants to read them constantly, so I actually visit the library very infrequently. We’ll see if that changes in the future.
Aiden’s new bookshelf arrived just today – I’m SO happy with it. It definitely beats having some books up too high on his hutch, stuffed into his side table, or simply piled up on the floor. I’ve taken away a few dozen baby books, moving them to baby #2′s room, and now have a fairly organized system for his books. He has a dozen or so anthologies, which I’ve organized into his side table shelf, and the rest have a new home on the above shelving unit. Off-season books, or books he’s not ready for, are up on his hutch.
I <3 organization.
I am now in organizational bliss. The perpetual state of toy chaos in our living room (aka the play room) was driving me mad. After we got rid of the play mats, which went from ok-looking to destroyed by the cat, and are maybe toxic anyway, and got a cheap carpet, my toy-overload-stress diminished. But not enough. Though we have bins, it was too chaotic for my liking. I could never find the toys I wanted – nor could Aiden.
So, I went on the hunt for an organization system. One that would fit our allotted space, have bins Aiden could easily remove, and actually look nice. None of that white particle board or rainbow bin crap they most typically sell for kids toy storage.
I first looked at the children’s stores and came up with no luck. I next checked Ikea, and the closest I came was the Expedit bookcase, though with the $20 clear bins it was going to be pricey and either too small (4 cubbies) or too large (8 cubbies). All the kids storage came in barf-tastic color options. By chance, I happened across the Martha Stewart shelving collection at Home Depot. Bingo! A 6 cube organizer in a tolerable color with $9 bins. I chose to leave 2 shelves open for books and larger toys.
And now… bliss! I can sort to my heart’s content. We have one drawer for music toys, one for cars, one for electronic toys and one for miscellaneous. Add to that the 3 drawers in our tv unit for food toys & blocks, and 2 bins for megablocks and soft toys, and it’s perfect. Not everything goes *away* at the end of the day, but most of it can. And Aiden knows exactly where to find what he wants to play with – it’s neat to see!
(And yes, I know I’m crazy)
When we first began sleep training, Aiden slept in his crib for the first time. He’d already learned to roll and, without me next to him, he started rolling all over the place. As a little guy, he kept getting his arms and legs stuck in the crib. We searched high and low for the Jolly Jumper crib bumpers, which were previously sold at Walmart, because they were breathable (which is better for SIDS).
Anyway, we couldn’t find them. So, we ended up doing an online order for the BreatableBaby bumpers from Toys R Us. They’re kind of fancy looking, which you pay for, but they did the job. I suppose it’s nice that they match our room decor.
My only beef with the bumper is that they slip down. Because they’re so thin, they end up going down below the crib mattress, so end up being not as high as you’d want them to be. We adjust them every night, but Aiden pushes against them and snaps them too. He’s still managed to wedge his leg quite badly once because he can get his legs above the lowered bumper. Still, it’s better than it was prior to having the bumpers.
Last weekend we went out to Ikea to purchase a new rug for Aiden’s bedroom. We’ve wanted one for a while, but it’s now an essential. We’re no longer able to change Aiden on his change table since he rolls the second he’s on his back and that makes it both complicated and dangerous to change him up there.
We’ve been changing Aiden on the floor. The rolling, however, means that his poor boy parts were probably getting quite cold on the floor when he did a flip mid-change.
We purchased the Lekplats play mat / carpet from Ikea, an inexpensive and fun carpet. It has a road that circles the landscape, which is in itself quite detailed. Later on he can take his toy cars around the city, even parking them in the parking spots. It should provide for a lot of fun!!