Charmingly Modern

A Plan for the Playroom

Back in October, I wrote a post about our upstairs playroom and how it’s pretty much a blank state (you can find the post here – A to do list for the playroom). Now that we are expecting baby #2, I’ve started to revisit the idea of the playroom, and I’ve also started to semi freak out about the idea of ALL THE TOYS that will be coming into this house, especially since now we will have both a boy and girl. Just to refresh your memory, here’s one view of what the room looks like (prepare to be bored to tears) –

boring playroom

Since moving in, we’ve celebrated Ezra turning 2 and Christmas/Hanukkah, plus we’ve been living our lives which means things accumulate and seem to multiply. What does all this mean? More toys seem to be in the house than what we originally brought in. This past week I really went on a toy cleaning rampage. Maybe “rampage” is too strong a word, but I really did go through everything and I put a lot of stuff away in bins to go down to the basement. I’m sure the bins will make their way back up again at some point, but by then the toys will feel brand new again! It’s a win for everyone!

So, now, all we really need to pull the playroom together is a bit of organization. My favorite thing!

I did make a To Do list for the playroom (as the title of that October entry suggested…), so let’s take a look at that list and see if it’s still applicable at all –

  • Paint the walls, upstairs hallway and stairwell some light shade of grey (with the eventual plan being to also paint the living room, kitchen, eat-in area the same shade of grey)
  • Add a board & batten treatment to the window wall
  • Add some simple white 2″ faux wood shades to the three windows
  • Paint the TV stand – not sure on the color yet
  • Paint the accent table – not sure on the color yet
  • Better lighting; relocate table lamps elsewhere
  • Toy storage solution
  • Better/more seating

From this list, the painting, board and batten and additional seating are all items that have to go on the back burner for now. I don’t really feel like additional seating is a must-have for this room until the kids are older and it transitions to more of a media room for movie watching, video games, etc. The main purpose of this room is to play, so I don’t want space eaten up by more large furniture.

The painting will be delayed probably until the summer, at which point we’ll hire someone to paint both floors – only the walls that end up connecting. And I thought I wanted a grey, but the paint swatch I’ve been holding on to now for several weeks is more of a taupey grey (greige? I don’t even know what greige is).

Lastly, the board and batten is such a fun idea, but it’s on the way far back burner, along with a few other really cool ideas I have for other rooms throughout the house. I have a feeling those will all be things we hire out, unless we suddenly decide to become DIY pros (and, to be fair, I am related to a DIY pro – my dad – and he has offered to help with a few of the projects we want to tackle).

Now, let’s take a look at the moodboard I put together for this room, after sitting in it for hours over the course of the last few days and really thinking how it could best work for our family –

playroom moodboard

The couch on this board is the closest I could find to the couch we currently have. I am not getting rid of our couch; it isn’t in the budget right now and, apart from not looking 100% great, it’s functional and for a playroom it’s just fine. Plus it’s a neutral color so it has that going for it. Plus plus, I looked up slipcovers at Target, and if I decide I want to change the color of the couch, I can do so for about $80.

On to the numbered items –

1 – White 2.5″ Faux Wood Blinds, via Home Depot
love these blinds. They are in almost every window of our house. They are extremely easy to install and they look great – it’s shocking to me how just putting them up in the window transforms the room. Not to mention, they’re also really efficient at blocking out light which is very important for the playroom since the windows face west, and that means as the sun sets, that room is flooded with very bright light that needs to be diffused.

2 – Pillow covers, via IKEA
These pillow covers are so fun! I really want this room to be bright and interesting for the kids, to help make it a place they want to spend time in. These covers are the inspiration behind the room and I’m going to use them to plan out other aspects like wall hangings and any potential accent wall. The oblong cover is the Knappsav and the square is the Akervallmo. Incidentally, both of those names are on our “maybe” list for girl names. Just kidding. Or am I…?

3 – Spice Rack, via IKEA
You may be wondering what a spice rack is doing in a playroom, so I will tell you. That little spice rack is only $3.99 and it has an endless wealth of possibility. It is 15″ long, which means it makes for a great little shelf. Since it has the bar in front of it, it’s especially good as a shelf for toys or kid items (or you can hang it upside down and the bar becomes a hook to hang things!). In the picture above of the playroom, you’ll notice the train table is in the front of the windows. I’ve actually moved the train table to the opposite side of the room, by the half wall (see pic below). I’m going to mount three of these spice racks, one on top of the other, for train storage because as Ezra collects more wooden railway trains, his table gets really overloaded and it’s hard to see what’s going on. This way, he can take out trains that aren’t being really useful (haha) and just focus on the ones he wants. I’m going to paint these, just not sure what color(s?) yet.

boring playroom before

4 – “Thomas the Train” Train Table, via Toys R Us
I don’t know why I numbered this particular item, because we already own it. But, I included it in on the board because it’s a large piece of furniture and is arguably the main attraction of the room. I don’t have much to say about it, other than it’s there. So that’s that.

5 – Way Basics Design a Cube Bookcase, via Wayfair
I knew I needed some kind of cubby storage for the playroom, and I also knew I wanted it to go directly under the windows. However, I was limited by the available wall space under said windows – only 26″ approximately from the floor to the sill. I originally was going to go with the Kallax 4-shelf unit and get two of them so I would have 8 cubbies, but I would have to lay them end to end (I was going to attach legs to the bottoms, though, to elevate them slightly off the ground). That wasn’t really the look I wanted; I wanted stacked cubes. And then in my internet wanderings, I found these cubes that you can group however you’d like – and they were 12.4″ tall! Perfect! I’m going to order 8 of them, so I will end up spending slightly more than the IKEA choice, but I will get stacked cubes instead one long line – and I will have a half inch to play around with if I choose to add legs. These cubes come in several fun colors, and I was debating going with the green, but ultimately I’m going with the black and I will paint a white outline around the edges of the cubes.

6 – Black Stripe Canvas Teepee, via Land of Nod
This is my major splurge for this room, but I am also so excited about it. Earlier this month, we moved Ezra out of his nursery and into his “big boy” room and throughout that process, I continually asked him how he would like his room setup. When we were talking about paint colors, at first he said he wanted a dark green wall and I was totally all over that, imagining this deep, jewel tone (like a mixture of deep green and black). Then I spied that teepee – what a contract against the green wall! It was meant to be! When it came to picking colors, though, Ezra switched gears and wanted blue so I filed the teepee away in my brain… apparently for the playroom, because it’s perfect for this room and now both kids can enjoy it.

7 – Latt Children’s Table and Chairs, via IKEA
The table and chairs we had in the playroom was a set that had been lent to us, and I thought now was a good time to return it since I’m working on revamping the room anyway. This little set from IKEA is very budget friendly and, I’m 99% sure I can paint it if I decide I want to add more color to the room. But I do like the natural color, as well (my only concern is that the couch is beige, the walls are beige/white and the carpet is beige).

And that about covers it! I have no idea what I will put on the walls; I think they will be blank for awhile because there is so much wall space to cover that I really need to think about what I wouldn’t mind staring at every day for the next however many years. I haven’t talked about the tv stand that’s in the room. That will be staying there for now – it works really well for storage of toys that won’t fit in the cubbies. I’m not sure how the color will look with everything, but it’s a black-brown Besta unit from IKEA and I have a feeling it will be just fine since I’ve got some black things I’m bringing into the room. Anyway, I don’t think it would take well to paint because it isn’t actually wood, so if for some reason it looks horrendous I think I would eventually sell it and get another tv stand.

There’s also the sofa table, behind the couch, that I had originally mentioned wanting to paint but I’m going to leave it alone. It will stay in the room because I don’t want to bring in side tables for the couch, plus it pops the couch out from the wall a little and helps eat up some space between the couch and tv stand (we don’t want a coffee table or ottoman in the room at this time).

I didn’t touch on every item on the To Do list above, but now that I have a legitimate plan in mind, let’s redo the to do’s –

  • Order three 2.5″ faux wood blinds from Home Depot
  • Order 8 black cubes from Wayfair
  • Pickup 3 spice racks, pillow covers and children’s table/chairs from IKEA
  • Order teepee from Land of Nod
  • Paint white trim on cubes
  • Paint spice racks (Bright green? Royal blue?)
  • Possibly paint table and chairs; decide once they’re setup in the room
  • Find a floor lamp
  • Remove the brown cabinet (it’s on the wall with the tv stand) – possibly sell?
  • Grab a few baskets for the cubes
  • Get rid of green table lamps
  • Keep an eye out for fun/vibrant décor items like throws, other pillows, etc.

Do you have any feedback on my plan? I would love to hear it! Thanks for reading :)

Posted in Home No comments

Our second baby is a…

gender reveal baby girl announcement

It’s official – Ezra is going to be a big brother to a little sister!

We found out back in December (the 13th, to be exact) so it was very difficult to keep this news in for quite awhile (though we did tell family right away!). There are a few reasons it took so long to share this gender reveal, and I will talk about those at a later date, but for now what matters is we are now wrapped up in visions of flowers, sparkles and the color pink as we shift our thinking from boy-boy-boy to girl-girl-girl.

I had mentioned in a weekly update that I had a tiny sliver of a feeling that this baby was a girl, but I never really entertained it much because the legend in our family is that boys are all you get when you’re pregnant. And, to be honest, I loved the idea of being a mama to all boys. But now I get the best of both worlds.

It was such a fun moment when we learned the sex of this baby. The ultrasound technician asked us what we thought we were having and we immediately said “boy!” Then he asked us what we hoped to have, and we said it didn’t matter really but we were 99% expecting it to be a boy because it would take a miracle of God for a girl to make an appearance. The tech was silent for a few seconds, then he said in the most sweetest of voices, “well, you got your girl!” I completely surprised myself by actually crying, which made the tech say “I thought you said it didn’t matter what you were having!”

And, really, it didn’t but I guess I secretly was hoping for a girl more than I realized.

We have talked with Ezra so much about him having a baby sister in his life. He is so excited and can’t wait to welcome her into our family. I know he will be such a wonderful big brother, because his heart is so tender and sweet. He’s already informed me that baby sister is welcome to use his crib (which he is no longer sleeping in, by the way, as of this past Wednesday night), see his dinosaur collection and even play with his trains. If that isn’t love and acceptance, I don’t know what is.

I’ve got a bunch of posts in my draft folder for my weekly updates, which I hope to sort through over the next day or two and get up on the blog. As usual, thanks for reading :)

Posted in Daily Journal No comments

Baby 2 Bump Progress – 19 Weeks

I don’t have a 19 week bump progress photo, so instead let’s compare my 18 week bump with this little one (top) to my 19 week bump with Ezra (bottom) –

18 week baby bump

19 week baby bump

December 19th – December 25th
19 Weeks

Wow… definitely showing a lot more with baby 2!

How big is baby? Baby is the size of a mango! Baby is about 6″ long and 8.5 ounces – steadily growing!

How I’m feeling? I’m feeling pretty good. It’s Christmas! I can’t believe how quickly Christmas came. It seemed like I had plenty of time before the big day, and then all of the sudden it was here. I went shopping with my sister this week and got some last minute gifts. I’m writing this the day after Christmas, so I can say that things went well despite the day sneaking up on me. We hosted Christmas morning brunch and that was so fun (and so delicious). Christmas Eve was spent with in-laws, eating more delicious food. And today, the 26th, we hosted more family and ate more delicious food. I’m wiped out!

Any cravings or weird dreams? If I was having any cravings, they would be totally satisfied by the sheer amount of food we encountered the last few days. So, I don’t have anything specific I want (though salads are still up there). I finally had a weird dream about the end of the world, with the laziest, most stupid zombies on the planet – they didn’t attack anyone. Instead, they just made biting sounds at the air and passively walked around. Easiest survival ever.

Any other details? My December appointment went well. The baby’s heartbeat is pretty consistent at every appointment – in the 140-150 range. Same as Ezra.

I want to write a separate post about Christmas, but before I get to that I did at least want to share this picture of Ezra. We tried out a real tree this year. We picked it up the weekend of Thanksgiving and decorated it then, too, so this picture is a few weeks old. We have absolutely loved having a real tree. I still put up the white one (and decorated it with all fox ornaments), because I will always love the cheese factor of white trees, but I think this real tree thing could be a new tradition for us.

Merry Christmas!



Posted in Pregnancy No comments

Baby 2 Bump Progress – 18 Weeks

18 weeks baby bump

December 12th – December 18th
18 Weeks

How big is baby? Baby is the size of a sweet potato…which really varies in size, but according  to The Bump, the baby is 5.6″ long and about 6.7 ounces. So not much change in length, but the weight’s gone up. Side note, but I hope you enjoy Aslan running by behind me, my house slippers, and Caspian crouched on the dresser behind me.

How I’m feeling? Honestly, I’m physically feeling great but psychologically I am feeling like a whale! I don’t know why I feel so huge because when I look at this picture, I look fine. It’s a trip watching your belly change so much. Apart from that, though, I’m still thanking my lucky stars that morning sickness has moved on and I’m enjoying not being sick 24/7.

Oh, I have noticed that my skin is drying out like crazy. I distinctly remember this same issue the last time I was pregnant. I’m not making the same mistake I made last time, which is trying a bunch of different lotions and giving myself a crazy rash. This time, I’m sticking with cocoa butter because it’s what ultimately worked best last time.

Any cravings or weird dreams? I’m starting to crave fruit and salads. Huge salads. Like, bowls the size of … huge bowls. Filled with piles of lettuce and all sorts of toppings, covered in honey mustard or some other delicious dressing. Salad.All.Day.Long.

No weird dreams – yet. I know they’re coming though.

Any other details? We found out on the 13th what the sex of this baby is! But I’m not sharing just yet because I want to come up with a cute photo to do so. I have my December appointment on the 22nd so they’ll have me schedule my anatomy scan at that time. I’m just going once a month for now. I can’t remember when it switches to every two weeks, but I think that’s late in the second trimester, or maybe the first part of the third trimester. According to that elective ultrasound, though, the baby is growing at a good rate and measures spot on for the weeks that I’m pregnant – yay!

The other big news is that Ezra can now climd out of his crib. Yikes! He has never really attempted this before, but had done it two times in the past (there were incidents that were far apart). One afternoon, I heard a thump from upstairs, some footsteps running and a doorknob jangling. Then I heard, “I escaped from my nap, mimi!” (my child calls me mimi, because I always called myself mommy…so he just started repeating the last syllable of that word). Then the next morning, he got himself out of bed when he was up for the day. We’ll see where this goes, but I have a feeling we’ll be moving him to a big boy bed a lot sooner than we anticipated. But, the positive is we won’t have to buy two cribs.

Posted in Pregnancy No comments

Baby 2 Bump Progress – 17 weeks

17 week baby bump

December 5th – December 11th

So, “they” say that with baby 2, you do things less. Less documentation because you don’t have time, less new stuff because you’ve already got the basics, less reading up on pregnancy because you already know, less less less. The only thing that less so far is bump pics that aren’t that great. Like the one above, taken with my iPhone. I had Alex take my bump pics with Ezra, and I need to do that again because I don’t want the next 23 weeks to be all selfie bump pics in my bedroom mirror!

I had mentioned in my last update that I would start bump updates at 14 weeks but when I looked back at that picture…. I did not have a bump. At all. So I’m starting the same time I did with Ezra – 17 weeks.

On to the update!

How big is baby? Still going by the bump, and they haven’t changed their fruit and veggie comparisons since I was last pregnant so, baby is the size of an onion – about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces. This baby could fit in the palm of my hand. The coolest thing happening this week with baby is the cartilage is turning to bone.

How I’m feeling? Finally human again. I had morning sickness this from 5 weeks until about 15 weeks. With Ezra, it lasted until 13 weeks. Morning sickness this time was WAY worse than last time, too. Like, there were days I was barely functioning and I had to – no joke – crawl up and down the stairs because standing up would make me vomit. Fun times. Anyway, I’m feeling a lot better now and I’m so happy that I can eat tomato-based foods again without wanting to explode.

Any cravings or weird dreams? Chili. All the tomatoey soups. Pizza. Stuff I hadn’t been able to eat for months. No weird dreams, yet.

Any other details? We just celebrated our seven year anniversary – aw! – so I’m feeling happy about that and I can’t believe here we are, parents to a two year old, in our second house, with another baby on the way. Wow. A lot has happened in these last seven years. I’m also feeling excited because we’re having an elective gender reveal ultrasound next week. I thought for sure that my OB would order my anatomy scan at 18 weeks, but the practice now waits until 20 weeks before doing that so that would mean we wouldn’t find out the gender until after Christmas or even the new year. I am way too impatient for that, so I called this place called Stork Vision and scheduled a 2D gender reveal. I’m secretly thinking girl, just because I have been so sick, but in all likelihood, it’s a boy. We’ll know soon enough!

Posted in Pregnancy No comments