Tuesday

Interiors // Olive's big girl bedroom

With the excitement of her new baby brother or sister's arrival, Olive is mostly excited that she'll get a big girl bed in a new big girl bedroom. So we're currently sorting through all of our things in the spare room/creative space/office/junk room which is at the very top of the house.
It's such a big space that we want to create a play space for her as well as somewhere to sleep. She is currently in the 'cot room' which is so tiny that it only fits her bed, chest of drawers and book crate. So it will be really lovely to be able to give her a space of her very own with her toys and play kitchen.

It was once the loft space so it has slanted ceilings and a beautiful alcove where the chimney is, which will make the loveliest little reading nook. It has a very wide window (which may mean we need to get made to order curtains!) which gives so much daylight, it's the perfect space for the 'big girl' transition. The walls are already painted white but I love the idea of painting the bottom half in a block colour. I love the Farrow & Ball 'Calamine' paint as it's not a sugary pink, and I really like the combination of pink with the mustard striped pompom rug. I love the versatility of the colours, I don't want it to be a really girly environment... unless she wants it to be. She is pretty drawn to the princess dresses and loves twirling around in front of a mirror but I love that she likes playing with her train set and animals. She is also pretty keen on dinosaurs. She has a variety of interests so I like to keep it that way.
Having said that I have introduced her to Sylvanian Families and would love to get a couple more little figurines for her birthday/Christmas and love the idea of her playing with them in a traditional Dolls House instead of a plastic house that you can get for them. I always wanted both these growing up so I am kind of vicariously living through her - hey it's all honesty here! This may be on her Birthday gift list... maybe.

Olive currently has her wooden blocks and puzzles stored in these beautiful braided seagrass baskets and I just love having them around the house. Not only do they look tidy and stylish but we are happily avoiding plastic storage containers (sustainable living is easier than you think!). We have always practised the 'Simplicity Parenting' method, therefore Olive doesn't have a lot of toys so it is easy to store all her things in a couple of lovely baskets.
We also store her books in an apple crate, on it's side, so it's like a little bookcase for her. She may need another one when she moves upstairs because her current one is a bit full (not quite so 'Simplicity Parenting' with books, but I'm trying to be!). This doubles up as a bedside table or a space to line up her little 'Schleich' animals on.

I'm keen on Olive having plain coloured or patterned bed linen. As a family we try to avoid brands like Disney or other heavily merchandised products as we like to promote imaginative play as much as we can. If I gave her the choice she probably would pick out Hey Duggee pyjamas and Cinderella bed linen but whilst we have control on the decision making we try to avoid these where we can. Also not only are they probably more expensive they are usually quite garish - which is not our style. I found this beautiful fruity printed one from H&M which is really colourful and cute (and got Olive's approval!) and will go with the colour palette I have in mind.

I think I am just as excited as she is. It's going to be such a fun space for her. I want to make sure she gets equal amounts of play up there as she does downstairs. We will keep her little table for colouring in downstairs and make a point of keeping a selection of toys downstairs too. The sofa bed may have to stay in her room for the time being due to lack of space but it will mean I'll have somewhere comfy to feed baby when we're up there. And an excuse to buy some pretty cushions!

We also need to find a suitable bed for her as we will need the cotbed for baby when they arrive. We decided on going straight for a single to save money down the line. I have fallen in love with the idea of a white metal bed but Sebastian isn't keen so we're still on the hunt for the ideal. We will also need to find a chest of drawers for her as her current one will stay down here for baby. I like the idea of getting a second hand one and painting it in a block colour. I have seen so many on Pinterest and it looks so good.
Actually, do you think anyone would notice if I moved into the new room instead!?!

We probably want the room finished and ready for her at least a month before baby arrives so it isn't too much of a disruption for her. So much to do, so little time. You all know what I'll be doing this Summer!!


Any constructive tips welcome with any big transitions you've gone through with your toddlers -pre arrival of new sibling. As well as single beds for littles, am I missing any beautiful bargains?

Friday

A tiny secret

Back in January when I felt sparkly and powerful and made the decision that this year was going to be MY YEAR, I didn't think for a moment that it would be as big and magical as it would be.

For 6 months (technically 24.5 weeks) I have been quietly brewing the second batch of miniTTDER. And we couldn't be more excited to grow our petite famille of three to an even FOUR.
Olive is already the best big sister with helping me and saying things like "when the baby is here, I will sing 'Stay Awake' and play wiv it" and my hormones explode and I have to quickly hide my emotional tears! She also animatedly points out how big my tummy is when I wear dresses and then she strokes it, kisses it and nuzzles in to it and says "I love you baby" (I'm not crying, YOU'RE CRYING!!!).
Bébé number 2 is due in October and I couldn't be happier for an Autumn baby. Staying cosied up indoors for the first few months is all kinds of perfect.

After many discussions and umm-ing and ahh-ings we finally decided that we wouldn't find out the sex of the bébé. It took a fair bit of convincing to Sebastian that we should have another child and if this one is potentially going to be my last then I really want to experience the magic of not knowing. He of course is still to this day desperate to find out! 
I think I feel even more excited that we don't know. Okay we will have to buy some neutral newborn babygrows but whether this little one is a boy or girl they'll still be swaddled in florals and sleeping upon floral bedsheets because that's what we already have! So it really doesn't matter that we don't know.
So 3 more months or so of growing, preparing for change and enjoying my quiet evenings and each moment I can before our next chapter of soggy muslins, cosy home days and all the bébé snuggles.

I also have a serious urge to get some creative moments in before I completely lose myself again due to the lack of alone time ... and of course to gain my golden ticket out of the office once and for all. Time to get inspired and motivated for ALL the good changes that this year can bring me, and embrace the (insert swear word) out of it!

Wednesday

Last week

Last week I chose to spend my time completely devoted to Olive. So much housework, small jobs and getting places take over our days together and with the way I have been feeling lately I just really wanted to take it slow and enjoy moments together.
After Olive's bout of sickness etc last week she has been completely out of sorts. Her routine is off, my routine is off and honestly we have both been very grumpy. I'm extra hormonal, she is extra stroppy and demanding and we're both probably fairly exhausted.
On Wednesday after a little dancing to the radio and blowing bubbles first thing, we got dressed and left the house. I took Olive to the small soft play area in the centre and let her run and bounce some energy around. Thankfully it was quiet so I could just peacefully watch her from the side.
We then walked to the coffee shop hand in hand for a little quality time together. We both had coffees (she had a babyccino but as we're "big girls" she calls it coffee!) and shared a buttered toasted teacake. "Cheers"ing after every other bite. Whilst I was still sipping my vanilla latte she sat cross legged on the floor reading the shop's books and occasionally coming back to finish her colouring in. 
It was one of those 'Proud Mama' moments. She was being so well behaved and lovely and kept saying "Thank you Mummy!". My little aching heart had started glowing a little - like the Grinch's. It was the best date I had had in a long time. My little friend, my little sidekick.
We then went off to buy some fruit and went home for a little sticker book fun before naptime.

Olive had a long 2 hour nap (thank you universe!). After a cuddle on my bed, she had an ice cream whilst we chatted. She helped me to put the washing on the airer and then we painted in her magic colouring book. We had a lovely afternoon of colouring in, free play and dancing together around the living room after dinner. Such a wonderful day. We were both less grumpy and just enjoyed each other's company.
Thursday went a little differently. Olive was not her best self at all, and in turn neither was I. The best part of the day was when we went out for a walk to meet her Gramps and Nanny Leanne for lunch.
On the way there we befriended a cat, smelled some flowers and spied some pigeons. We met my Papa at work and then sat in the park and it was such a lovely hour. Olive was sweet, well behaved and an all round super cutie. However when it was time to go home she was too tired to walk and wanted carrying for most of the way (eek!). The afternoon was very much the same as the morning - a little bit grumpy. After dinner we both did some colouring in and I let Olive have a long play in the bath.
On Friday we popped into town first thing to get some supplies and back home for an early lunch and silly living room dancing together. After nap time and some book reading on the sofa, we popped back out to meet our lovely friends for a playdate. It was a good idea to let Olive run around and let off some steam before heading home for a mini jacket potato and broccoli.
And a good idea for me to see a friend whom I always feel completely at ease with, especially when not feeling my best self. The kind that doesn't out-rightly ask if you're okay, but does it in a way that makes you feel like you want to answer... if that even makes sense! It probably makes zero sense but I know what I mean. She's a kind hearted Mama whom I feel I can cry in front of if necessary.
Saturday, Sebastian took the little lady out to the soft play area and left me at home to get ready in peace. I made us all some lunch and met them in the park where we all sat nicely on a bench. We spied a robin and were surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was the perfect lunchtime with my two favourites. We let Olive run around a bit as she just loves it when we go to a big open space- it makes me feel a little guilty that we don't have a garden for her to explore in. However it does nudge me to take her out more often! ...(and to manifest the heck out of my dream of having our own garden one day!).
We came home and had a chilled afternoon of napping, free play, and cuddles on the sofa. And yes, that is the same outfit as the day before - turns out 2.5 year old's are pretty persistent with their choice of outfits!!
My mama came over on Sunday, whilst Sebastian went to the studio to work. We did a lot of catching up until Olive woke from her nap and then we got started with the baking. We made cheese scones (where Olive mostly whisked the egg wash, played with the flour and ate all the grated cheese!), then whilst she helped me with the washing up my mama basically whizzed up TWO batches of muffins in a flash! We had a batch of blueberry muffins and the other was cherry and white chocolate. SPOILT!
It was a dream afternoon! And honestly I've never seen Olive more excitable. She just loves to help... and to eat!!! "are they ready now, are they ready now!?!" when the buzzer on the oven went for the cheese scones. "Yay! Wahoo!" I love this little darling. She was in a lovely mood. But then again so was I - with the delicious smell and the tupperware boxes stacked high full of treats, it was hard not to be!!

It was so lovely to spend some quality time with Olive this week. She has been so out of sorts over the last few weeks. Clingy too. I suppose she is probably going through some sort of phase or maybe she just feels like she needs to some extra love or attention or both. I keep reminding myself that we all have our 'off' weeks and that we need to be there for each other through all of them. It just so happens that both Olive and I were having one at the same time. But that's okay because there is no one I'd rather hang out with when I feel like this!