This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Not Maria’s nursery

Last week we were finally able to put the final touches on the baby’s nursery after what seemed like months of living with piles of crap up to our ears. Because before we could even address the nursery we had to tackle sixteen other projects first, and in the meantime everything we were collecting for the baby started to stack up in wobbly mountains throughout the living room. Every time we had company over I had to give a rambling explanation of why the path from the front door to the kitchen was booby-trapped, why there was a stack of burp cloths plopped on top of a wad of crib sheets teetering precariously on top of a bulk package of disposable breast pads. FOR MY CRACKED AND LEAKING NIPPLES. AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE?

One of the biggest things to check off our list was new carpet in the basement, something we’ve been planning to do since we moved into the house. The previous owners had a cat who lived primarily in the basement, and since we never had the carpets professionally cleaned before moving in, Jon’s allergies have made living his life nearly impossible. In fact, I may have brought up Jon’s allergies to our marriage counselor more than once, and she may have told me that OH MY GOD SHUT UP isn’t perhaps the most helpful reaction a wife can give to a husband who is complaining that his eyes have swollen shut.

So I took her advice, and the next time it happened I tossed a glass of water in his face and said SNAP OUT OF IT, FRANCIS. Much more instructive.

In the days leading up to the carpet installation I made a bet with Jon that it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes for him to declare that his allergies had been cured. He has a habit of doing this, stumbling over cures for various ailments and announcing, “I’m healed!” before he’s even popped the pill or rubbed in the ointment. He will look at a bottle of vitamins and pronounce that he already feels better, and when I point out that I cannot take him seriously he will start listing off all the reviews he read about these vitamins, all the comparison shopping and painstaking research he did and A FIVE-STAR AMAZON RATING CANNOT BE WRONG, HEATHER.

And I am not even kidding, there wasn’t more than five square feet of new carpet on the floor when Jon handed me a twenty dollar bill and said YOU WIN. This is just another example of how well we know each other, how deeply we accept and understand each other’s various neuroses, and I’ll just go ahead and admit that I have the better deal here because I am not married to someone who is Southern.

Once the carpet was in we were able to assemble all the other moving parts, starting with an antique brass bed that my mother found at a flea market well over ten years ago:

Why do we have a bed in the nursery? One, this room will serve double-duty as a guest room for the next year or so. And two, Armstrongs are not known for their peaceful sleeping habits. If this baby proves to be anything like Leta, Jon and I will most likely take turns with night duty in this room while the other one gets some sleep in our room. So let’s just say that this bed will prove as vital as my Prozac to keeping the family intact.

Next we moved in the crib:

And then the dresser where all the baby clothes that Leta used to wear are now stored:

Jon schlepped down boxes and boxes of those clothes from the attic last weekend, and I spent three days washing and folding tiny onesies and nightgowns in between curling up in a ball and crying about how small Leta used to be. Where did that baby go? That irritable, chubby baby who screamed a lot every day with the screaming? I remember the moment she first discovered that she could fit both of her feet into her mouth, the delight on her face revealing that she had finally found a reason to go on living.

And then fast forward to last night as I’m giving her a bath and she goes, “These bubbles won’t melt, right? Because only ice and chocolate melt. I love science!”

Just to preempt any questions in the comments, here is where I got everything:

All bedding is from Target.

Crib is the Oeuf Sparrow Crib in white.

Lamp is the Twine Floor Lamp from CB2.

Wallpaper is Daydream in yellow by Julia Rothman for Hygge & West.

Dresser is from a local place called Specialty Furniture.

Magnetic flower art on the wall is from Chiasso.

Handmade bunnies are from Loobylu.

  • Karen

    Love it! I have to admit, perhaps a bit embarrassingly, I’ve been waiting for the reveal since you said you were posting pictures like a week ago! And I really adore that bed..mad props to mom for the antique brass bed find.

  • I actually love this.

    and your anti spam word for this comment was ‘my spurted’. I actually laughed as I was typing it in and had to put it here. Immature humour? Nah. I was thinking of your nipple pads.

  • It’s very warming and welcoming, although the mobile with the little creatures on it kind of freak me out. Or maybe it’s because I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose last night.

  • Valerie

    Wonderful! It looks fantastic! Nice job to all of you, and congratulations on your impending arrival!

    Blessings to you all.

  • Karen

    Um..typo, was supposed to say ‘since you said you were going to post pictures’. I guess that’s more a grammar issue than a typo.

  • It beautiful! The decor is very relaxing, soothing and warm so hopefully that works and Not Maria is a relaxed and calm baby. My favorites are the birdy wallpaper (gorgeous!) and the dresser. I also love the mix of modern with vintage – really adds to warmth of the room and is sweet and cozy without being overly girly and foofy.

    Best wishes with your birth and delivery – I am really looking forward to seeing those first photos of Not Maria! I began reading your blog the day those frog baby photos of Leta’s arrival were posted.

    And I have to mention I’m a bit surprised that no one berated you within the first 37 posts for still having the May masthead up. Your readers are so slipping . . .

  • Wow, that is one hell of a gorgeous nursery!

  • Katie

    Loves it! Those handmade bunnies are TO DIE FOR! (Heh.) And I’m surprised that so many are surprised about the bed in the nursery idea. Anyone who thinks babies actually sleep are sorely mistaken. I know this.

  • two words: GOR-GEOUS.

    good job, Armstrongs.

  • Sara

    Not to out do you, but the flowers are also available here, and for a wee bit cheaper!

    http://www.delight.com/Delight-Your-Room-Wallflowers

  • rachel

    You are so enormously talented. It looks absolutely magical.

  • nessa

    Love the nursery…..so cute.
    We have been following your blog since our daugther was born..she is a few months older than Leta.So we totally relate to what you say.
    Keep us smiling,from Nessa and family in Geneva,Switzerland x
    P.s do you do the t.shirts in kiddie size?

  • nessa

    Love the nursery…..so cute.
    We have been following your blog since our daugther was born..she is a few months older than Leta.So we totally relate to what you say.
    Keep us smiling,from Nessa and family in Geneva,Switzerland x
    P.s do you do the t.shirts in kiddie size?

  • Francis

    Love it!
    But please discourage the use of bumper pads. They may increase the risk of SIDS, not to mention the entanglement and suffocation risks later on.

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/09/19/crib-bumpers.html

  • CS

    It’s gorgeous. I wish it was my room!

  • Absolutely adorable and beautiful and all sorts of other adjectives. Great job, Armstrongs!

  • Cat

    I think I recognize the brass bed from your post 6 years ago when you finally finished the beautiful guest bedroom at your old house, posted photos of said beautiful bedroom, and ended with a shot of your pee stick.

    So happy the bed has made a comeback, and if possible, is even more lover-ly than the first time around.

    It’s beautiful – love how all the pieces you’ve shown us fit together! What a lucky girl non-Maria shall be!

  • Susie

    Was the SPARROW crib chosen for its name or was that a happy coincidence?

    Either way, it’s awesome, as is the entire nursery. Wouldn’t you rather adopt a 40-year-old than have a baby?

  • Jen

    Gorgeous, Heather! Quirky and stylish. A bed in the nursery is a great idea, and that bed in particular is beautiful. I also like the flowers on the wall. I bet Not Maria will love it!

  • Isn’t it amazing to look at those onesies, and try to remember them so little.

    I loved the feet in the mouth phase……..they were quiet for hours on end!!

    Love the nursery.

  • Alicia

    WOW. Can that by my room? I swear, how does one come up with such a pretty space? A coordinated, functional, neat, pretty space?

  • Oh it made me laugh that you called him Francis! That is exactly what Mr. B and I say to each other when the other one is being insufferable.

    (The nursery is absolutely beautiful. You not only have a great sense of humor but excellent taste!)

  • Chris

    I had a bed in my daughter’s room until she was a year old. It was a complete lifesaver and made complete sense to me.

    Love the room, glad your done before the big arrival.

  • Johanna

    Just found you (from a recent New York Times article on the fortunate demise of helicopter parenting, which I read to further assuage my guilt about not already putting my almost 2-year-old son in soccer lessons). I’m 35 weeks with a second boy. Just came across your newsletter post and I really appreciate the idea – keeping a baby book just wasn’t working for me but I think the newsletter thing could stick. Thanks! And also deep thanks for your candor on the PPD – I got nailed first time around and am girding for a second bout, and the more sisterhood we have around it, the better.

  • Ellen

    Everything about that room is SO cute. I especially love the sheep mobile for some reason.

  • Christina

    It looks lovely. I adore the crib bedding.

    My 7 year old loves science too. He’s always asking me questions about gravity and space to which I promptly answer “google it.”

  • Mitra

    You’ve probably explained it before, but can you review how you get the flower magnets to stick to the wall. The room looks terrific!

  • Haley

    I love it not too babyish, not too adultish, but just right! 😉 I would actually wonder why people wouldn’t keep a bed in the nursery, having one makes perfect sense.

  • Jack’s mom

    Wow. That is one fantastic nursery. You’ve inspired me to do more with my 7 month-old’s room. Thanks, I needed that kick in the butt. 🙂

  • Angie

    Wow Heather, what an adorable nursery! Just perfect.

  • Lovely lovely lovely! Your baby is going to love it! And sleep peacefully 🙂

  • A bed in the nursery? What a great idea! This room is original. I like it.

  • Hollie

    Lovely. Simply lovely.

    We’ll have a twin bed in our nursery someday. We’ve got two in that room now and two twin beds AND a crib would prob not work…. I think it’s a splendid idea! Love the decor – esp the flower magnets. And, have you noticed lately, wallpaper is so IN! Kind of like how midgets were so IN 5 years ago?

  • Great nursery! I wasn’t sold on the wallpaper at first — like you care — but it works wonderfully with everything you’ve put in. Heck, I want to sleep in there! Your baby can have my condo. And I guarantee you won’t hear it cry when it’s your turn off-duty, because my condo is in Cincinnati.

  • Wow can I hire you to come decorate my whole house like Not Maria’s nursery?
    That bed is my dream bed from when I was a girl!
    LUCKY!

  • Cris

    Funny, funny, hahaha, sweet, pretty, funny, oooh nicely written, that’s clever, and awww so sweet…

    … and then I got to the photo of the dresser and the flowers on the wall blew me away and will you please adopt me? I’m older than you, but I promise I’ll never grow up 😉

    (also, yeah, isn’t that The Brass Bed from the Pee Stick Post? I’m just saying this because my captcha words are all urinal :p)

  • My parents had a bed in my nursery when I was little. It ended up being the bed I had until I was in high school, as well as the guest bed when we lived in our first house–I’d bunk up with my brother on the top bunk of his bunk beds.

    It’s also a very beautiful room and I wish my room now looked like Not-Maria’s.

  • Andia M

    Beautiful! You have a great sense of style. The room looks so inviting and peaceful. I never thought of having a bed in a nursery but what a great idea.

    Have you picked a name yet?

  • Divya

    How do you manage to keep your home so clean? Do you do dusting and vacuuming everyday?!

  • Dude, that is some seriously awesome room you got goin on there. Does it feel totally magical to be DONE with everything? Or are you like, reroofing your house in the last couple of weeks too?

  • IKEA can suck it for not shipping some of their coolest shit. ARG, those lamps are so bomb!

  • Beautiful room. Love the flowers on the wall and those little bunnies couldn’t be cuter.

    Makes me nostalgic for the way my daughter’s room used to be. Before the garish ’60s green and blue curtains from Pier One that she simply MUST HAVE OR SHE’D DIE. Nothing matches anymore. I just stopped spending a lot of time in her room. The greenish hue from the curtains was making me seasick anyway.

  • Rosemary

    Very cute, and very “you”. I must add though, despite the importance of design and balance, the changing table should be next to the crib so in the middle of the night you don’t have to walk across the room, and around the bed which I totally bet you will stub your over tired toes on! Anyway, that’s just two cents from a total stranger 🙂

  • I love that bed. It’s gorgeous. You did a fantastic job with the nursery.

  • JulieBrown

    This is just a heavenly nursery. I think my favorite part is the ‘flock’ of flowers on the wall. They look like a turning flock of birds in flight, echoing the wallpaper. But you probably did it that way on porpoise.

    Thanks, Heather, for showing us all how peaceful a nursery can be.

  • Amy (not the FB crazy)

    I love it! That is one lucky baby. 🙂

  • I think that tiny little Not Maria will enjoy this room. It’s really quite lovely.

  • Kate R.

    I totally expected better from you. Ha ha! Just kidding.

    It is so freaking adorable I can barely stand it. I want to go and re-do my son’s entire nursery, which I won’t because picking out paint colors again would probably bring my marriage to a grinding halt. Well done. Let the baby pooping begin!

  • Ellen G

    Lovely nursery, Heather. I love the modern touches mixed in with the antique brass bed.

  • Not Maria’s nursery is beautiful and so peaceful looking. The bed in the nursery idea is just genius and I feel like a fool for not having thought of something that useful five years ago when we had our daughter. Ah well, live and learn. I hope you never have to use it though. I hope she’s a sleeper!