My sweet Oliver is turning 3 years old in a few weeks, which means that Penelope and Oliver have been room sharing for about the same time.
I always knew that my children room sharing would be a magical, but the moments of love, of laughter, of heartwarming moments that it has brought, is more than I could have ever dreamed of… and they just keep coming.
As their room transitions through their years – from cribs, to beds, to now a bunk bed- different spaces inside the room are created that grow with them. Lately, their love of books is what inspired the reading closet, and watching the room evolve with them, is a magic that I’m so privileged to witness.
Tonight, we read two books under the “Chistmas lights” as Oliver says. We cuddled and sang, and after two songs, the room was quiet. The room was lit by the twinkle of the lights, and it was a simple but magical backdrop to my babies’ dreams.
Time and time again, my children remind me it doesn’t take much. Their shared room could be half the size it is, and they would still have everything they need.
In a way, creating the reading closet showed me that even if their room was that little space, as long as it was full of love and magic, it would be perfect.
* Reading closet inspired by one of the mommy bloggers I follow on Instagram who created a beautiful #closetcastle for her daughter (picture here)
This time last year, I was finishing up the last little details of the Elephant costumes I sewed for Penelope and Oliver. At the time, they were both obsessed with the movie “Dumbo”, so making them Elephant costumes seemed fitting. I made a pattern using one of their bigger fitting pjs. I improvised, sewed and resewed. Cut an old baby onesie to make a quilt pattern for the ears, but mostly, I made them with love, so much love.
They were Elephants for Halloween, and they were the cutest little Elephants ever.
I had every intention of putting together a Woody and a Barbie costume this year, as per their request, but last week cleaning up, I pulled out their Elephant Costumes, and Oliver specifically, has been wearing non stop since.
I asked them if they wanted be Elephants again this year – they said a very happy YES!
As a lover of nostalgia, having them choose to wear their elephant costumes again this year, makes my mama heart so happy.
Next year, they definitely won’t fit these handmade costumes anymore. I’ll look back at pictures in years to come, at those two Halloweens in which they were elephants. I will remember how they loved those costumes with as much love as their mother had making if for them, and well, it touches my heart in ways I can’t express.
We put the costumes on today and did a dress rehearsal; added some make up and a few little new details, can’t wait to see them go trick or treating with this tomorrow.
Somehow, and always, Oliver and Penelope always find the most beautiful ways to show their affection, and the simple and beautiful ways to say I love you.
It seems like a very long time ago that I drew this and the vision for our family room was conceptualized. After weeks and weeks, it’s finally complete and seeing a drawing and a vision come to life has been SO wonderful.
We have renovated many spaces in our home now, but this particular built-in was my project. Aside from a few little things my husband helped me with, I built most of this on my own. The doors, the shelves, the electric fireplace encasing, the plexiglass door, installed hinges, used power tools, probably smelled and ate a lot of saw dust, but my goodness, I’m so proud of my handy woman work and feel so totally badass!
The transformation of this space, well, we all just love it so much and fits our little family so well. After a full day of play and toys all over the couch and floor, to family movie nights, to a corner desk space for me to write, to a space for quiet nights cozying up with my Adam with a romantic touch of a new-to-us electric fireplace, to a space for game nights with our family and friends; I’m so pleased.
We’ve only just recently finished this room, and it feels like it’s always been like this, which to me is the feeling of finding that perfect harmony to a room. Not just aesthetically, but for what it functions as, for the people who live in this space.
On the shelves, a lot of pieces that I have collected from years travelling, and getting to display them makes me happy. An ode to the years I’ve lived, with inspiration for the years to come.
Room by room, year over year, we have been renovating our home. We’ve come a long way, and though there are less rooms and spaces to renovate with the years we are here, it’s a wonderful journey to living in the space that as a family we have dreamed about.
I never imagined that this little room in the west corner of our home would hold such a special place in my heart. It is just a room, but symbolically, it’s much more than that. It’s the space my children have shared since Oliver was one month old.
At one point, this room had two cribs and a glider for middle of the night feeds, and now, a big girl bed and only one crib left; a space transitioning just as quickly as my children are growing.
And in that growth, so is their love for each other.
I remember researching articles (the few that were out there at the time) about room sharing before having Oliver, and reading about the benefits of children room sharing.
From a practical side, it’s incredibly beneficial.
Putting laundry away takes less time. They share a drawer so space is limited, but because of that, it forces us to only keep the clothes they actually wear. Bed time routine is done once with both of them at the same time, in the same space.
Financially, the kids sharing a room allow us the possibility to have a house with fewer rooms if we needed to reduce the financial load of a mortgage. Also, we only needed to invest in one of everything; one sound machine, one changing mat, one monitor, one diaper pail, because again, it’s all shared.
From the emotional side, the kids room sharing has given them, and us, more than we could have imagined.
A few weeks ago, when doing my nightly check in on the kids before going to bed, I shined the light on my phone towards Penelope’s bed, and it was empty. I walked over to the crib, and there they were. My babies, lying with their feet towards each other’s heads, in the most peaceful sleep you could imagine.
As a mother, walking into that scene filled my heart with so much happiness, love, and just pride.
This was all them.
We didn’t ask Penelope to climb into the crib after bed time.
Oliver didn’t have to share his crib with her.
But they did.
With no sound or protest, they both quietly feel asleep together in each other’s company, sharing not only the crib, but their safety, peace and love for one another.
Children room sharing really comes down to this…
Kids are adaptable. Create a routine that is consistent, put love and joy into it, and the kids will love it. Make bedtime something that you all look forward to, and go to bed with both your cup and their cup full. Love them so much, that they learn to do the same with each other, and then just watch.
Is it doable? Absolutely.
Is it a routine that needs tweaking every now and then? Of course.
I am so so so in love with how this ornament turned out! Not only is it super easy to do, it’s so personal and such a beautiful way to display your family pictures on your Christmas tree.
Materials you’ll need
Pine Greens ( DIY steps to cover some white here.)
Jingle bells from local craft or dollar store
Picture you want to use
Begin by cutting your stick into six equal pieces, each about 2″ long, and glue the ends together using a hot glue gun to form hexagon shape.
2. Using a hot glue gun, secure some pine greens to the bottom of shape. I love the contrast of green and white, it makes it look so wintery. To cover your greens in white DIY steps here.
3. Grab some berries and jingle bells, and secure onto the middle of branches.
4. Place your ornament on top of your picture, draw outline and cut out shape. Add glue to edges of paper and glue onto wooden shape, and add string loop to the back for hanging.
I absolutely love how easy, and how beautiful this ornament was to make! If you don’t want to use a picture, another variation you can do is to wrap the shape with some string to form a dream catcher pattern (image below). I didn’t print my picture on super thick paper, so when it’s on the tree, the pictures really shine when back lit by the lights on the tree.
It’s officially the first day of fall! I happily welcome this new season; bring on the colder days and yellow leaves! We had such a great summer, and without nostalgia, I look forward to another season with my babies.
We had a simple summer. My first summer as a mama of two. We traveled a little, but mostly, adventured close to home, or at home. I’ve said this before, but in the act of doing nothing special, the most special memories are created, and that rang true for this past season.
I’ve watched my little Penelope learn to ride her tricycle, to fly a kite, to more confidently go down a slide. My little Oliver learnt to crawl in the grass, to love the outdoors just as much as his sister, and started wanting to try taking steps – always with a big smile on his face. I could keep writing about them; I know and love every single thing about them. Instead, I leave this video – for me to remember, and for the kids to watch in future and know how much their mother loved them.