For My Girls

There is always so much to be done in preparation for a new baby.  I realize that there has been a shift for me with recent babies though, in that those preparations often focus more on my other children.  After all, the new baby won’t actually need much, mainly just me.  So in order to make myself most available to take care of her, I need to know that everyone else is taken care of first!  Makes sense, right?  I spent about a week going through everyone’s clothing, a huge job.  Twelve or so bags went to Goodwill, and I bought everyone anything they needed for summer.  Swim trunks for the big boys, summer dresses for the girls.  I even found affordable shorts for my tall skinny Keats, so difficult to fit.  (My three big boys are all taller than me now!)

Between making sure that everyone would be clothed, and that my bedroom was in good shape for recuperating from birth with my new baby, I didn’t think there was much else major that I should reasonably expect to get accomplished in the house.  This time of year, the outdoors and all the projects there demand our attention.  We have the garden to work in, baby animals to care for, swarming beehives to deal with, etc.  This baby is joining us during a very busy season!  All the more reason that I have worked hard to tie up all the loose ends, and get my little space prepared.  I am kind of a maniac (you guys know this) and have a very hard time sitting still.  Relaxing is not my favorite activity.  But, I do think I’m nearly set to enjoy taking the time I will need to take care of myself and my new little one through the early weeks after her she is born.

We have family traveling up from Georgia to help out later this month, starting with Jonny’s older sister and our niece who will come stay during my time in the hospital.  When Jonny first shared this news with me, and the fact that they would be sleeping in the little girls room, my eyes got big as I said, “But they can’t!  That room is in terrible shape!”  Within hours, I was at the paint store.  Time to finally deal with the girls’ room!

When we moved Seth and Gabe out of their tiny downstairs bedroom and the girls into it, there wasn’t time to do anything but swap out belongings.  The walls were a medium blue, with plenty of dirty handprints.  The boys’ bunkbeds were falling apart, so we found a “new” set on Craigslist.  They were sturdy, wooden, and masculine.  But most importantly, free.  I figured I would paint them, eventually.  I found Larkspur a desk, also on Craigslist, also planning to paint it some day.  Then we moved in a bookcase that Jonny built years ago, and Sarah’s bead cabinet.  Over the past year or so, the girls have done a very good job of cluttering up their tiny space and the ugliness of it all has really bothered me.  Not enough to do anything about it though, despite the fact that I really wanted my girls to have a prettier space.  It’s hard to make time for all the things.

So here is what we did along with details:

It’s not perfect, and it’s not totally finished yet (And it may never be, so I better just go ahead and share what IS done!)

The walls were painted Benjamin Moore’s Queen Anne (HC-60).  I am terrible at choosing paint colors, but did an internet search, looking for a peach toned pink.  Benjamin Moore historical colors seem safe.  When we first painted it on the girls were really skeptical.  Everyone said it looked too peachy, not pink enough.  (It took two coats of primer and three coats of paint–Jonny says that’s because I buy hippie zero VOC everything.  Really, it’s just hard to go from blue to a light color, I think!) Now that it’s finished and dry, I can say that we all agree the color is perfect.  Exactly what I wanted.  The bunkbeds got two coats of primer and then two coats of General Finishes milk paint in Snow White.  They are going to get dirty and nicked up, but white seemed the only way to go.  Larkspur’s desk and Sarah’s bead cabinet (this was the cabinet that Sarah stored her clay beads in progress in, and it’s very special to us) were both painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg blue, paint I already had on the shelf.  Larkspur was hesitant to have me paint Sarah’s cabinet, but I assured her that Sarah would approve.  She  would!  The color is almost the same as what it was before.  I dug through quilt listings on Amazon.com (and several other sites) for hours, almost like pouring through racks at Goodwill, searching for the perfect, yet affordable quilts for the beds.  (Neither girl even had a quilt on her bed before now, just blankets.) I ended up with these.   The colors are absolutely perfect, pulling in a deeper shade of the peachy pink, and the blue of the desk and cabinet.  They did cost more than I wanted to spend, and they are kind of cheesy in that the pieced aspect of them is just printed directly on the fabric.  But they are otherwise perfect, and I love them.  I found inexpensive but soft sheets that match perfectly at a discount store.  The white lamp was a Goodwill find.

And maybe most exciting for the girls, Jonny finally put a doorknob on their door!  Of course now they want that door painted too.  For some reason they have a problem with the old wood with green paint streaks on it!  Picky, picky.  Jonny also needs to re-do the trim around the window and we need to buy new plugs for the screw holes in the upper shelves, but those are minor details, right?

I still have several bins of treasures/junk/stuff, whatever you want to call all the things that the girls hoard, to deal with.  And they will soon clutter up those upper shelves, but right now, their room is so pretty!!  And why, oh why didn’t I take a before picture?  I always forget those.  I just don’t like taking pictures of ugly stuff, I guess.

Comments

  1. We have hired a painter a few times in the last year and learned about Glidden Ultra Hide paint from Home Depot. It really covers and is quite low in VOC’s. The girls room looks wonderful!

  2. Ginny, I just wanted to thank you for your blog, which I eagerly read for encouragement and inspiration. I found your blog when you guest posted on Ann V’s blog. I read your conversion story right when I was in the midst of doing my RCIA, after a very passionate journey with Jesus in the Protestant stream for over 30 years. I unschool my five children on a country property in southern Ontario, and appreciate especially your faith based posts (though really, aren’t they all!?), your beautiful pictures, and the simple/straightforward way you share your life with the world. Thank you for your candour and openness. Not many of us can keep up so well with blogging, so my hat goes off to you! Keep it up, and best of luck to you and your lovely family with the new baby on the way.

  3. It looks lovely!

  4. It looks fabulous. The new baby will be will be happy for her sisters and your guests will be very comfortable. I am sure Babies pick up on this type of joy! <3

  5. So beautiful. The paint was a great choice and the quilt colors look fabulous. I don’t know how you manage so many people in your space and still keep things so fabulous. I’m inspired to develop a maniacal side of my own 🙂

  6. So beautiful! Love to see the Nancy Drew books on the shelf – I loved them as a child, I remember being so disappointed that the library would only allow me to take out 3 books by the same author at one time. I would always have those 3 books read long before my mother took me back to the library.

  7. Bet the girls just love it….I do! The bed quilts tie in all the colors so well and they look just like your girls! It’s cheerful and sweet. Now just rest a little Ginny 😘

  8. I love it! The quilts look great in the photos and the cabinet is so special. I’m glad you got this done and now I’m sure you’ll rest 😉

  9. lovely Ginny! and you are so right about where the focus goes after there’s even one other child in the home! I love your redecorating and especially the cool looking bookshelves – what a great eye catching, yet simple design! Hurrah for you and your husband!

    peace
    Lynn

  10. The girl’s room looks very nice. Good job.
    Marion

  11. Tracy G says:

    Beautifully done! Everything looks so pretty. And the gerbils!!! My goodness, that photo of the threesome cracked me up. Thanks for making my day 🙂

  12. This week as plopped down on my chair for dinner, I announced to my husband that I don’t think summer is very restful. Summer vacation? Ha! We’re finished with school, but now I have all these house projects I’ve initiated (besides the gardening and animals). My husband says it’s my own fault. We didn’t absolutely need built-in bookshelves all along the dinning room wall or need to repaint the whole room. But I have to make use of my big boys’ muscles while they are home for the summer. I’ve got a whole list of projects! Winter is a much more restful time.

    The girls’ room looks lovely. It’s amazing how much clutter crafty girls can hoard. My eldest daughter was terrible this way and cleaning the room was always a major emotional upheaval for her.

  13. anniekitching says:

    Your photographs make everything look beautiful, even the door!

  14. I am new to your blog and am enjoying it very much. My children are in their 20’s now, but reading this post took me straight back to the simple pleasure and joy of creating a cozy comfortable room for little ones. We are expecting our first grandchild in the fall and I have been thinking of making up one of the spare bedrooms as a special spot for the little one when we babysit. Now I am motivated to take out old handmade quilts I saved from when mine were babies and paint the room a soft color and set up the used crib a friend passed down. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. It’s so beautiful! I would love a room like this. 🙂 Sadly, I cannot paint my walls….dang apartment rules. But this is a perfect room.

  16. I know what you mean about getting things like this done. But you did a beautiful job! 🙂

  17. That color really is just perfect for a girls room. And all of the elements came together so nicely! Very pretty!

  18. Marilyn F. says:

    Lovely color in the girls’ room walls. All your hard work has paid off because everything looks so fresh and new!!!

  19. The wall color is so perfect. Pinkish but not PINK. So soft.
    I was wondering if you can use the chalk paint to cover a bookcase that is made of that veneer covered wood. Do you think if I used regular primer it would stick? I have never used the chalk paint but the finish it gives to your furniture is really beautiful.
    Hope your girls have many sweet dreams in their new bedroom!

  20. Susan M says:

    Isn’t company coming a great incentive?? My husband LOVES when someone is coming over….the house is so clean!! Ha Ha

  21. Very pretty and I love the colours. Nothing like a girlie room. You did a wonderful job on you finds and the quilts. . This will be the room the girls remember as their childhood…..with all their hords.

  22. I don’t like taking pics of ugly stuff either! Brava for a job well done. It looks really beautiful! I remember when I did my oldest girl’s room . . It looked so nice . . and then it got VERY cluttered! Ah well!

  23. I love the idea of high shelves! They are so practical without taking up any room space. Lovely bedroom

  24. Oh, it’s so pretty. The shirt I am wearing right now is the exact same shade of ballet pink, and it is such a beautiful color, like the inside of a shell. With the blue it is gorgeous. (Meems’s room is sort of the opposite: blue walls with pink/peach accents.) I love the natural shelving, too, and Sarah’s cabinet is an elegant addition. So good, Gin. I can imagine the girls are thrilled. Xo

  25. I love all the photos. The colors are perfect!
    By the way, my old goat has mastitis. I have to take her temperature, strip her utter and give her injections. I hope you never run into this. No fun.

  26. Ginny, you amaze me! You have wonderful taste, your girls must feel so special! Take care of yourself, awaiting with everyone else to meet the newest member of your family! In my prayers.

  27. You and your family are quite ambitious during this exciting and somewhat exhausting time. The room is beautiful.

  28. Cindy in NC says:

    I love the shelving just below ceiling level. My eye went right to the Nancy Drew books. I’m glad some kids still read them.

  29. Good Job, Ginny!!

  30. Ginny, I love it. The room is perfect and I am in love with the colors.
    That quilt is perfect. I have quilts like that on our bed and the girls as well.
    I can’t wait until the new baby comes 🙂
    God Bless!!

  31. Beautiful and inspiring!

  32. I love it! You did such a nice job (once again)!
    May I ask you something about the colour? I always read that chalk paint is very delicate when it comes to scratches and this is exactly what stopped me using chalk paint so far. But your painted things are always so pretty! So I’d love to give it a try. What are your experiences with chalk paint in busy family life? Can it handle it? Or did you prevent the painted surfaces with something like protecion paint?
    Id’ be very grateful for your suggestions, Thank you, Ginny!
    Bora from Switzerland

    • I don’t think that the chalk paint (I have only used Annie Sloan brand) is more delicate than any other paint when it comes to scratches, and I just view the scratches as being “shabby chic.” 🙂 What I do like about the chalk paint is that it doesn’t become sticky over time the way that typical latex paint does when used to paint furniture. To make it more durable, I have been applying a coat of water based polyurethane to the tops of some pieces instead of the wax finish that is recommended. This has only been recently though, so I can’t vouch for the poly’s effectiveness yet!

      • Oh, thank you very much for your kind and helpful response, Ginny! And you’ve written it so quickly- amazing, really- and a huge joy for me, because I don’t take it for granted that blog writers with busy lifes take extra time to respond to their readers questions… So thanks a lot!

  33. Beautiful! We have that pink in our bathroom. I still enjoy it. It is lovely and calm. Your girls are blessed to be in such a loving family.

  34. Gwendolyn says:

    Ooooohhhhh, I love it! You and Jonny did a beautiful job…and I personally really like the look of the rustic door in the beautiful room. What a thoughtful mother you are to think of the other children at this time. You are amazing. Take care.

  35. It looks so nice! What a relief for you to be getting these things out of the way.

  36. Ginny, this is so beautiful! You’ve really convinced me that if I ever find nice furniture that is made of ugly wood/has an ugly coat of paint I should just paint it myself. Wow. It all looks brand new, bright, and welcoming. I absolutely love it!

    PS. How special that you have Sarah’s bead cabinet. That makes the room even lovelier :).

  37. Bonnie Schulzetenberg says:

    everything looks like it is in place! I am sure it is a great feeling to be finished with at least one room. I am glad you are the keeper of Sarah’s cabinet.

  38. karin-ida says:

    very well done the room is gorgeous! i love the door;)

  39. “Within hours, I was at the paint store.” That sounds just like me- I can deal with things not being great for so long until someone’s coming- then it suddenly becomes urgent. The room is adorable. The shelves Johnny made are adorable– what a wonderful bedroom thing for the girls to have a memory of when they grow up. The hamsters are adorable. Do they keep the girls up at night at all?? You’re such a thoughtful mum– you inspire me 🙂

  40. Jennifer says:

    It’s really lovely. Such beautiful colors and a nice space all their own. Well done!

  41. Caitlin says:

    Oh it’s beautiful! well done!!

  42. Jillian J says:

    It looks great!!! I love that your nesting is focused on the other lives that you have brought into this world, too often the older kids get lost in the shuffle of the new baby.

  43. Perfectly lovely. What an accomplishment, it must feel good to be mostly done. 🙂

  44. Oh it is SUCH a pretty room! I hope the girls will keep it looking just like new! I did my boys’ bedroom last year after it had slid into a pit … (here if you’d like to see https://qalballah2.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/their-room/) and they were so happy with it – they’ve even managed to keep it clean and tidy ‘so not to spoil it’. A quiet miracle in itself.

  45. I love it all!! The room looks great and I think it so wonderful that you have Sarah’s bead cabinet. That is just so special.

    I did the same big kid preparation before our current youngest baby was born. He was due in October so I spent all of August hunting for thrifted fall/winter clothes that were in good condition. I imagine I will be doimg the same this August as our new baby will also be joining us in October!

  46. You do a great job taking care of your family. They are very lucky and loved. 🙂

  47. It’s a beautiful space Ginny. I am amazed at all you and Jonny accomplished, wow!

    I have been painting kitchen chairs and I even managed to paint my picture screen. Next up on my list is
    the bedroom trim that has been waiting far too long and my hutch. I love what a simple can of paint can
    do for a room.

  48. Stefanie says:

    Ginny its just beautiful

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