Friday, August 19, 2011

Project Big Girl

Recently Fred did some handy work for my parents, so we all found ourselves hanging out at Grandma and Pop-Pop's for the day. Train tracks were built, cars were raced and when it came time for Sophie's nap she decided she didn't want to go in the pack n' play. I thought, well great. Where can I put her to sleep? Enter the trundle bed from my childhood bedroom. It is low to the ground and where Mason usually sleeps when he is visiting. Sophie was more than excited, to say the least, but I was nervous as to how it would turn out.

Surprisingly, she did really well. After some coaxing and instructing to, not jump on the bed, she eventually calmed down from all the excitement (this was her first time actually being allowed to sleep in a non confining bed), and fell asleep. She stayed asleep for about two hours without even falling off (seeing as my parents don't have any safety bed rails). It was this that encouraged me to decide that now was the time to say good-bye to the nursery.

So the next day, while Mason had his Grandma Sunday and Sophie was busy playing downstairs, I dismantled the crib and set up her big girl bed.
It was a long time coming. Sophie has shown interest in Mason's bed since January. Running into his room, jumping on his bed, pretending to fall asleep and looking so happy while he looks at me in frustration to, get her out of my room. In honesty, I have wanted to transition her since she turned two. Now that she is almost 27 months and has proven she can sleep in a big girl bed, there were no more excuses.

Her reaction to the crib being gone was priceless. She spent the rest of the time hanging in her new room with me, making it difficult to put things together because she wanted to touch and explore and jump on things. It was all so new and exciting and so freaking awesome for her.

Months ago, while having dinner at the home of a dear childhood friend, we ended up in their basement going through piles of clothes their girls no longer fit into, picking things out for Sophie. In the process, we got on the topic of toddler beds and left that evening with not only a bag of clothes but a cute white metal toddler bed as well. I am so very grateful for their ability and generosity in helping us out.

It sat in our guest bedroom until this day. Putting it together, I was a bit concerned that it didn't include bed rails like the one we got for Mason. However, since she did so well with the trundle bed at my parents, I thought we'd try it without them for her nap.
Doesn't she look so cute, and so not a baby, fast asleep in that bed? I had to peek on her just to make sure she was doing o.k., and she looked so peaceful and adorable so, I grabbed my camera. She did really well for the whole two hours in bed. Then I heard her wake up and...BOOM! Followed by screams and tears. Yeah, o.k., we need a bed rail. I remembered we had some handed down to us from family, so I dragged them out of storage and began to put them together until we realized they were longer than the bed itself. Uh...

That night I took a last minute trip to Target to see if I could find a bed rail that would work. I thought I found success. Unfortunately, when we put it on, we found out that there was only a 5 inch gap for Sophie to climb into bed. It made do for the night, but I knew it had to change for the long term. I mean, come on, seriously? A five inch gap to squeeze into bed? She's only going to grow bigger and quite honestly it seems like she's still in a crib. What was the point in putting her in a toddler bed then? I was frustrated. Torn between decisions, I called my friend and inquired upon what they used. The next day, I drove to her house and picked up the bed rail they used. It is 5 inches shorter so that gives her 10 inches of space now to climb into bed. Not as much space as Mason, but much better than before. Also, these bed rails were meant for a twin bed with box spring so I had to rig it to fit the toddler bed. My friend said they just zip tied theirs to the bed. I might have gone a bit overboard with the zip ties, but I can tell you, that sucker ain't going anywhere.

Here is an overall look at her new setup.
Since moving into this house, I have always felt the nursery room was small. Not big enough for an older kids bedroom. Now that the crib is gone, the room feels so much bigger. I moved the glider and ottoman out and into the guest bedroom, turned the book shelf on it's side for easier access at toddler height, and kept the starlight rug and changing table where they were for now.

Mason had a clear theme in his room; Cars. Everything matched perfectly, from the wall color to the bed and bedding, to the hamper, valance and border. Sophie doesn't have a clear theme. The walls are still the yellow and green with the half torn border that fit the starlight/nursery rhyme nursery theme. It's been hard to plan her theme, because she really isn't into one main thing like Mason. Yeah she LOVES TinkerBell but she also likes the Princesses, Cars, owls and deer, Thomas, Dora, Strawberry Shortcake...the list goes on.

Over the last year I have been creating and bringing things in, here and there, that she has shown interest in as she has grown. The bedding is from her first birthday. Woodland theme, with pillow and lamp and valance to match. The pinks and greens from the bedding go well with the current paint color in the room. She still has the butterfly mobile I made her a year ago. After she ripped it down a few weeks ago, I rehung it over her current bed at a height she can't reach. I fixed the butterfly collage and placed that on the bookshelf next to the vintage birdcage I picked up at Home Goods and was used for her second birthday. It still houses TinkerBell, hanging from some fishing line. I also utilized the two garlands from her party, the pictures from all the TinkerBell movies and the vintage scrap fabric. I plan to get wooden letters to spell her name and hang them above the fabric garland. Also from her second birthday party, I hung a second butterfly-TinkerBell mobile in the corner. It hangs over a big Birdcage we scored free from our neighbor when she moved out. The vintage Cinderella Poster we bought when I was pregnant with Sophie still hangs on the wall. It's a bit eclectic but I think it all works.

Of course Mason, not wanting to be left out, asked to have his room rearranged.
I moved his bed and bookcase to a different wall, so now we don't get woken up by his kicking the wall in his sleep anymore. His toy chest now sits at the foot of his bed and I moved the Cars table from downstairs, that went with his room in a box, into his bedroom. Now he can do school stuff and be creative in here. Hoping it will encourage him to spend more time in his room, playing on his own. At the same time, I decided to move the Lego table into Sophie's room along with the Mega Blox Legos and her talking tea set. The idea, to make it more fun for her to play in her room as well. It makes sense to utilize the space in their bedrooms and keep less toys downstairs to be thrown all over the floor.

This was a huge step for all of us. It was huge for Fred and I to trust that Sophie would stay in her bed all night and not randomly come walking out and accidentally fall down the stairs. It was huge for Sophie to be given the trust and freedom, so huge she hasn't quite accepted that concept yet. We still have to go and get her out of her room in the morning and after naps as she won't come out on her own. It has equally been huge for Mason to share the big kid role.

It's been almost a whole week with this new arrangement and all I can say is this. I love having her in a big girl room, and even after many months of knowing this day would come, I am finding it heartbreaking to admit that my baby girl is no longer a baby. Though, I have a feeling this realization was not so hard for her.
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