Jack's Circus Nursery

Jack's circus themed nursery is my favorite room in the house.  When we first looked at our house, I immediately fell in love with the sun room off the master bedroom and knew it would be perfect for a nursery.  The baby would sleep in the cosleeper in our room, so the nursery would mostly be for toys and playtime, plus frequent diaper changes.  I remember deciding on a circus theme because it was delightfully gender neutral and I remember how horrible it was to paint those stripes, but how it was so worth it to get them done.  There have been lots of changes over the last couple of years to the nursery, but I haven't documented any of them here.  Most of those changes involved storing stuff in there until it could be integrated into the rest of the house, and there have been more instances of it being clutter filled with crap than I would like to admit (not that Jack would've known the difference - he was a baby and not yet mobile), but finishing the nursery exactly how I wanted it became a goal I knew I probably wouldn't achieve (no money, no time, loss of motivation, Jack changing and growing so quickly that I couldn't quite keep up).  Some days, I felt like finishing up the nursery was a lost cause - depressing, I know, but just once I wanted to completely design and execute to completion an entire room, and being so close to finishing the nursery made it feel like I was that much farther away from my goal.

And then it came time to get Jack a Big Boy Bed, and I panicked.  How could Jack be big enough for a real bed already?  I'm not done with the nursery yet and we're already turning it into a real bedroom?!?  Why is time passing so quickly???  How do I not have any good pictures of the nursery?  We've never even used the Montessori floor bed!!!  My baby is growing up so fast!!!  SLOW DOWN!!!  How sad, I thought, I haven't even finished the nursery.  Just once, I'd like to finish something I started.

So I figured I'd put on my big girl panties, stop complaining, and take some pictures of what the nursery has mostly looked like for the last two and a half years (I fully admit that I cleaned the room and made it presentable for picture's sake - Jack plays in this room, so most of the time it looks like a toy filled grenade has gone off in here).  "Finished" or not, this is the room that Jack knows - where he plays, where we hang out, where he learned to walk,  where he practiced tummy time, where he gets his diapers changed, where we live, and so I will document it as we have known it. 

This side of the room is my favorite.  Big Bear takes up most of Jack's Montessori floor bed, and Monster (the cat) the rest.  The cats definitely got more use out of this floor bed than Jack did, but it rolls up nicely and is great to travel with - very convenient to have a bed wherever we go.  Jack does like to cuddle with Big Bear and read books while sitting in his lap, though.  Dennis had the brilliant idea to put plants in the nursery, and I have somehow managed to keep them alive!  I love how they brighten up the room  - they definitely add an extra dimension to the space.

This glider has been on extended loan to us from my MIL.  I used to rock Jack while he had his marathon nursing sessions when he was a baby (with a book balanced on top of him, lol)  The stuffed animals usually sit here now, but Jack will sometimes climb up there with a book to read.  Speaking of books, that bookshelf is one I had when I was little and it's even more filled with books now.  Jack can just fit behind the glider to get to his books and toys on the bottom shelf.

I made sure to put pictures of Jack and I when we were babies (can you guess who is who?), plus a pic of Jack with his cousin, Olivia.  And those baby moccasins are on the feet of the baby in the big picture (still not telling you who is who).  That lamp is a hand me down from my Mom's neighbor and goes perfectly with all the other circus animals.  I love when hand me downs work so well without having to change them at all. 

I also made sure to put a picture of Dennis, Pigger, Butt-Naked, and I from one of my annual birthday trips to the circus.  This pic is from the year before we got pregnant - the next circus trip, I was 4 months pregnant (and when I came up with the idea for the nursery).  Too bad I don't have any good pics of that!  That crocodile is a flashlight that shines out of his mouth and makes a tick-tock sound while on.  It's one of Jack's favorites.

This is the view from our bedroom into the sunroom and where I keep most of Jack's playroom toys.  I try to apply Montessori principles (ie, simplicity and child led learning) in the home (try is the optimal word - I'm learning more every day, though), and I really love this bookcase for displaying Jack's things (our house is practically an Ikea showroom - the exact shelf has been discontinued, but that's a close second).  Jack has a lot more toys than this, but I've been trying to spread them throughout the house, and limit his choices of what he has to play with.  I like how clean and neat this looks, plus it makes it so much easier to clean up!  The polka dot rug is also from Ikea (I really should be sponsored by them, lol).  I like the contrast of the dots with the stripes on the wall.  I think they compliment each other without competing or being too busy.  I was originally looking for something zebra striped, but couldn't find anything in the price range I wanted.  When I found the Ikea rug (which was waaaaaayyyyyy under my price range), I couldn't say no!

Figuring out how to arrange this nursery posed some challenges.  The room is practically nothing but windows and doors, plus a huge opening to our master bedroom.  Obviously Jack's floor bed couldn't go on this side of the room because of these two doors - the door on the right goes to our storage closet which also has a door to the kitchen - kinda like a secret passage way (I know, right?!?), and the door on the left is one of my closets - don't judge, Jack's clothes are so tiny he doesn't need his own closet (yet).  I found this small set of dresser drawers on Craig's List years ago (and someday might even finish painting it) and knew it would fit perfectly between the two doors.  Put a changing pad on top, and BOOM, changing table.  The dresser overlaps both door frames just a smidge, but both doors can open, so that's all that counts (especially when space is at a premium).  I use that dresser to store all Jack's cloth diapers, so they're easily accessible.  Squeak love to sleep on the changing pad and when Jack was a little baby didn't even have to get out of the way for me to change a diaper.  Siegfried (the tiger), watches over the nursery.  I'm still thinking of putting a mirror below that amazing carousel on the wall, but don't want to detract from its awesomeness.  My Mom also bought me that hot air balloon mobile while we were visiting friends in Kilgore (and I was pregnant).  She said it was for me, but we both knew who it was really for.

One of my clients gifted this carousel to me when I was pregnant.  I think it's one of the coolest things in the room.  I'm so lucky to have such wonderful and thoughtful clients.  I mean, how perfect is this merry-go-round?!?  I couldn't have thought up something this awesome.  

Between the storage closet door and the opening to the master bedroom is just enough space to put Jack's dresser and the dirty diaper bin.  There's exactly the right amount of space to stand between the changing dresser and Jack's clothes dresser to change a dirty diaper without feeling cramped or confined.  I keep Jack's socks and hats in the two blue boxes on top of his dresser along with his wipes warmer and other diaper essentials.  The dresser is a hand me down from my Grandma (and needs a new paint job - any suggestions? - I'm at a loss)  My Mom gave me that cool vintage Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey poster (there's another one on the wall above the floor bed) that look too perfect in the room.  I really have gotten lucky with having all these hand-me downs and random furniture work so well in this space.

This wipe warmer is hands down my favorite piece of baby swag (well, it might tie with the sleeping swing I got as a hand me down from my bosses).  My Aunt Maggie surprised me with the warmer in the mail when I was pregnant and I thought it was a cool, but unnecessary baby gadget.  Man, oh man, was I wrong!!!  Jack didn't mind cold wipes on his butt, but having warm wipes felt like such a nice and loving touch.  She also sent me the sock monkey scented wax warmer.  Definitely a necessity when there's a can of dirty diapers right next to you!  Also, I'm obsessed with Burt's Bees products and LOVE their baby stuff.  Hands down my favorite powder, butt cream, bubble bath, and lotion {all affiliate links, lol}

One last picture before I wrap up this post.  This is the other vintage Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey poster from my Mom.  Dennis and I thought this one would be a better choice to go above Jack's bed - the clown one is cool, but we didn't want to cause any nightmares.  Those two posters and the carousel are the only things I've managed to hang on the wall.  I've mentioned before how I plan to hang the rest of the pictures and art in here, and hopefully I'll get to that sooner rather than later, but only time will tell. 

Even though I don't feel like the nursery is finished (and it's now a BEDROOM!), I'm so glad I took the time to take these pictures.  I love this room so much that I don't want to have any negative feelings from it (even if those feelings stem from my inadequacies and not the room itself).  Looking at these pictures makes me realize how much I have accomplished in here and it makes me feel much better.

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  1. Christine MathisenMay 9, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    This room is awesome, and full of Ikea!!! Love all of it though really unique and cute!

  2. Wow! I love this room! Im not brave enough to do anything with my house like this so my walls are boring beige :/

    Those stripes are so wonderful, im glad you stuck with them, so worth it! And the plants really do add something. You two are so creative!!!

  3. What a great room! Nice lighting and the stripes are so awesome! It will transition well as he grows. :) Also - omg I so behind on my blogging stuff!

  4. Thanks! Ikea makes our world go round.

  5. Yeah, I'm pretty behind on all my blogging - I had another no-blogging month, but oh well, life gets in the way sometimes, right?


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