spare oom: the saga

with miss layla well on her way (um, we are 5/8ths of the way from d-day with braxton hicks contractions in full swing...whaaaa?) we have been springing into action to get this house braced and ready to hold a family of four.

24 weeks two saturdays ago. the length of a cob of corn (isn't that shorter than a carrot, which she was like 2 or 3 weeks prior?)

while the sign is still in the yard, we will not be selling this house or moving until after layla can sleep through the night, even on the off chance that someone wanted to buy right now. i am just not prepared to be a breastfeeding mother of a newborn and a 17 month old while building a custom home and living somewhere that is not our own place. and parents magazine (love it, even though judah won't be their cover model...their only shortcoming) said the exact same thing about not moving with a newborn. i love when printed publications agree with me.

so here we are. we have one crib that can convert into a toddler bed and i found another toddler bed for a sick price ($55, anyone?) that matches the nursery perfectly. i also had a joygasm when i discovered (duh) that toddler beds use the exact same mattresses and sheet sizes as cribs which means we don't have to buy anything new! the plan right now is that layla will sleep with us in our room, in our bed (skip the SIDS warnings, please and thank you. we did this with judah and have evaluated the risks/benefits) or in the moses basket for the first few weeks/months while learning to go longer and longer between feedings.

during this period we will be seeing if judah is ready for a toddler bed. i cannot even imagine him loose behind closed doors...it's kind of comical. and then once she is ready to sleep in her crib and doesn't need us fetching her 5 times per night, the ideal place for her would be...wait for it... in the same room as judah. him in the toddler bed and her in the crib.

this is intimidating. judah is a very light sleeper. judah is also a climbing toddler boy. so i am kind of nervous about this. i have visions on him making a chain out of his stuffed lion collection, tying them tail to tail, and using it to scale her crib and then rappelling down on top of her. but if we could make it work the benefits would be immense. hopefully they would both learn to be heavier sleepers and to sleep through the murmuring and--dare to dream--crying of the other one. in addition we would be able to claim the craft room (that sounds lame to the MAX) which doubles as a guest bedroom, music room, office and library, as a blissfully kid-free zone. perhaps one of the only ones remaining in the house since our living room is the playroom, the kitchen is the cafeteria, the bathrooms are splashzones and the hallway is the track. adults are the native americans of our household, being relegated to smaller and smaller reservations of liberty in what was once our own land. plus judah has gifted us with several infected blankets in an attempt to virally eliminate us, so we're alike in that way too.

if this setup is too much for us or them to handle, there is room in the craft zone for a crib. we are hoping segregation is not the only solution.

to make room in this extra room as well as to, ahem, expand my sewing enterprises, we had put in some serious work. this room was pretty much the room of requirement (HarPot reference) for our house: anything that needed to be hidden, kept safe for a later date, or just forgotten about went into this room or its closet to hide out. it took a good 10 hours of jesse's and my combined willpower, anguish and pitsweat to get it ready to hold a new baby's clothes (the closet), space for a crib (if necessary), the crafting nook, the guitar chair, the bookshelf and a huge new ikea desk for my cutting/ironing. shwew. it was intense. i will have to post some before and after pictures, though the only before pic we have is from our real estate listing, so it doesn't look nearly as bad as it had become.

so here we are heading towards the third trimester and feeling fully prepared and totally blessed to be living in a home that i had previously said would be "impossible and intolerable" with more than one child. i actually said it be as bad with just one mobile child. we may not be smack dab in the very comfortable and tempting sounding american dream of a home with a room for every man, woman, child and pet, but we have more than we need and the faith that anything else will be provided in time (whether that be a new home, more patience and grace or a lobotomy) .

bonus: while we were busy getting the extra room all squared away, we didn't have time to catch up on our normal weekend tidyings. luckily, kids make awesome servants, and judah is really quite the helpful little worker bee so he picked up our slack (these are not staged one bit, p.s.)

hmmm, without the canister, it's more of an allergen diaspora facilitator than a vacuum, little buddy.

doing a little laundry. bubble solution makes your clothes fresh and floaty. good thinking!

anybody got any tips on making room-sharing work with wee ones? can it be done or is the craft room on death row?


  1. I've been wondering what your craft room looks like since the last time you posted a pic ;-) You had this itty-bitty desk in the corner. What does the new big desk look like?!?!

  2. Side bar: Parents magazine is not !00% correct. You really can move with a newborn! :-) Isaac is actually the only baby we have had that we didn't move with. With Ainsley we were waiting on our home to be built and moved in two weeks after she was born. That move wasn't stressful at all because we had rented a furnished place and put our stuff in storage just down the road from the new home. Oh, and it probably helped that we were putting furniture from a 3 bed 2 bath rancher into a 5 bed 3 bath colonial with full basement (great place for putting all the stuff you don't feel like unpacking right away). We also moved 6 days (yes, less than a week) after Eli was born from Maryland to Georgia. I flew with Eli and Ainsley and my hubby and his friend drove the moving truck down the day after. True- 3 years later and we still have some boxes to unpack (nothing like procrastination)!

    LOVE the nursing cover (I know, technically not in this post-but when you're the mom of three you learn to condense).

    As for room sharing-no advice. I am about to start on the boys' room now that I'm basically finished with Ainsley's. Eli CAN climb into Isaac's crib and LOVES to give him "big squeezy hugs" (basically Eli lays on top of Isaac), so I'm a bit nervous-but we have an excellent baby monitor and will probably go ahead and turn on the "nanny cam" in there to make sure Eli isn't tormenting his little brother at night. ;-) I think room sharing is great when kids are little too. My best friend and her sister each had their own rooms but would share the guest bedroom. When they were being naughty their punishment was to have to stay in their own rooms and they HATED it! Judah and Layla will be best of buds!

    PS-sorry this was so long!

  3. Keight, our motto at Bennett's Mill is "Expect Excellence." Well, expect, hope, plan for the best, but be ready to abandon the craft room or minimize it so baby can have her own sleeping space. To break Judah into this sleeping with noise, start being noisier when he is sleeping...running the vac, talking outside the room, etc. He's the one to change first. I'll also offer prayers. Love you and hope to see you all after school gets underway. I've missed my time with Judah. Also, hope all goes well with Jesse's surgery tomorrow.
    Love you all dearly!

  4. Hey, sorry, obviously I have no experience with having kids, but have you seen this? http://www.momversation.com/episodes/sleeping-arrangements-what-are-your-familys#videoplayback