Month : May 2016

Loft Playspace and Our Ikea Latt Hack

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When I last posted about this loft landing between our three upstairs bedrooms and bath, it looked like this (see above). I was just starting to store some toys up here for a baby who was quickly becoming more active and interested in them, yet was immobile enough that I could do a little work here and there at my desk as he played.

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It’s several months later, and safe to say Crew has fully moved in. My desk (and all its cords, electronics, etc.) has been relocated to the guest room, a space I’m hoping to share very soon. This has left this loft area completely to Crew.

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To recap, this space is at the top of our staircase coming up from the main floor. It’s hard to get a level shot the way our stairs sit, but here is a collage of “home” elements that hangs on the wall as you come up. This wall makes me so happy – so many of these pieces have special meaning to us and the homes we’ve created since we were first married. The drawing is of our first home we built/bought, the print of the dog was my first anniversary present, and the floral shadowbox holds a copy of a key to every apartment and home we’ve lived in…And yes, to set the tone as we move upstairs, that’s one of our baby gates (seriously, the best!) that you see to the very left of this shot.

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To balance things out after the desk left, I moved the bookcase of toys to the room opposite the photo wall. An IKEA curtain rod and clips showcases some of my favorite art projects that come home from daycare (and some he makes here at home). Once they’ve had their time to shine, I’m keeping my favorites to later scan into keepsake books.

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As for projects yet to be created, these cubbies (which will eventually house media components when this space evolves to an older kid/TV hangout spot) for now hold all the art supplies that a certain someone can’t be trusted to keep out of.

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I love that this space also has a small nook of shelves way back in the corner, above the (baby-locked!) door to our clothes chute. It’s here that I stash Crew’s baby books so as I work on them, and the odds and ends that go into them — photos, documents, etc.

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The latest edition to this space has been an IKEA Latt table. It’s a total steal, and Pinterest is full of inspiration if you want to hack one of your own. I opted for some gray stain that we had on hand, as well as leftover chalkboard paint our builder left us after painting our chalkboard wall in the mudroom downstairs (another spot I need to get around to blogging!). The only new paint I added to the mix was a hit of “Peppery” by Sherwin Williams — I love the burnt coral color against the stained finish, as opposed to something more primary.

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Thanks for stopping by our loft playspace. 🙂 I’m committed to (finally!) sharing more of our home, yes, a year later, very soon!

Crew: 16 months

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From the beginning, there’s been a correlation between you and the number FIVE. It was May 5th two years ago (5-5) when a test revealed two pink lines. You were born at 5:12 in the morning, on the fifth of January, 2015 (1-5-15). So it’s kind of fun that with all those overlapping fives, the anniversary of learning we were pregnant also marks another monthly birthday for you.

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This month, you have entered full-on toddlerhood. You continue to be a HAPPY kid…until you’re pissed about something. We may or may not have laughed and used the word “psycho!” on more than one occasion. You talk constantly and have developed a screech you use at least once a day (you stop if I tell you to…but by then I’m already jolted by the sound!) as part of your expanding vocabulary. It occurs whether you’re excited, frustrated, or just want to hear yourself make noise.

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Fortunately, your vocab also includes more real words…your favorite phrase right now is a very dramatic “Uh oh…oh NO!”, a very pronounced “more?” which means just about anything from more snacks to more milk, to more going back outside after we’ve come in. I swear you’re trying to say “ah-side” when you want to go out. Which is all. the. time. (And another cause for screeches and meltdowns.) You want everything “ah-peh” (open). You’ve also developed an obsession with pretzels “puh-pul”.

Rainy Wednesdays = inside “pool” time 😜 #crewyeartwo

A photo posted by Liz Smith (@lizblogphotog) on


April brought a ton of cold, windy, rainy days, so among other activities, we filled a wading pool with ball pit balls – a good excuse to work on colors. You don’t always nail it if you’re busy doing other things, but you’re starting to discern yellow and purple, specifically. I’ve asked you to find me a ball of either color, and you’ve done so on more than one occasion. The wheels are turning!

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You have walked as much as a lap around the room at one time, and seem pretty steady, but have no real interest in doing it more than a few times a day, and only when it’s convenient. You continue to know you’re faster on all fours, and I swear your affinity for cars and anything that rolls along the floor motivates you away from walking as well. You’re getting steadier in even the last ten days, but I still wouldn’t call you a “walker”. It’s about an 80/20 split of crawling to walking by choice. Your doctor isn’t the least bit concerned, and while we cringe watching your knees on the sidewalk, and I’ve resorted to the cheapest pants (since you wear the knees out immediately anyway), we know you’ll choose to toddle when you’re ready. No rush.

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You must have been a beauty queen in your last life. You LOVE to wave at everyone and you totally have a parade wave! Up and down the grocery aisles, at restaurants, in the yard, everywhere you go, you’re waving. Your southern sounding “hah!” is becoming a more pronounced “hi!” and you have yet to meet a stranger. As long as Mom or Dad is close by, you’re comfortable around new people quite quickly, and most times will go to others without blinking an eye.

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You survived a second haircut with WAY less drama than the first one, shortly before Christmas. I chalk it up to going mid-day with less chaos and crazy kids around. Plus, hello, you got the magic word — a SUCKER! (Dum dums have become my hail mary and I keep one stashed in my bag now for the ultimate toddler deterrent!) I was nervous this second cut would clip away the curls, but to our delight, they keep coming in thick!  

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You love to “dress” yourself right now — pants, jacket, shirt, you throw them all over your head, wrapping them over your shoulders, and then give us a look like “wait, is this right?”. You will still try for a couple minutes at a time to put your own shoes on — one of your more patient tasks, but because you still equate shoes with getting to go outside.

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Your water table, your wagon, your truck, and the stroller are all favorites. You continue to love bubbles, watching Dad mow the grass (and doing so with your own bubble mower). You would love to be in the street, since that’s where the cars are — we play in the back of the yard mostly, so you aren’t constantly tempted! We have yet to run our sprinklers this spring, but I’m guessing that will be a hit as well.

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You cut some molars the last weekend of April, which were the first teeth that caused you any grief. It was short-lived, but still awful to watch, as you spent a whole day and a half whimpering and wanting to be held, and eating a super select menu of things. I continue to be thankful you’re a big milk drinker — we can always at least get that in you! Otherwise some of your current likes are hot dogs, pears (if you get to use a fork to eat them), yogurt and oatmeal mixed together, and while you haven’t shown much interest in eggs, when I had a piece of quiche the other day, you gobbled a ton of it. You still hate any noodles, and most fruits are still a no-go because of the slimy factor.  

I feel like we “talk” more and more now. Entire conversations, even if your end of them is mostly babbling and questioning inflections. We can say things like “we’re going outside, where are your shoes?” and you’ll go to the mudroom and find them. Or if we ask if you’d like to eat (and you’re hungry), you’ll make your way to either your high chair or the pantry door, point and say “nah?” (snack). You also love to sing and dance. The Wheels on the Bus is the big hit right now, and you try to roll your hands for “round and round”, flap your arms for the doors going “open and shut”, and bounce up and down when the people go “bumpity bump”. Your teachers say you sit totally still when you have music hour at daycare — you are entranced and want to follow along. Excited you’ll be a music lover like Mom and Dad!

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Looking forward to a second (!) Mothers Day already (your gift to me was letting me shoot a couple mother-son pics this morning at the Lilac Arboretum!) ;), a trip to Naples in a couple weeks (crossed fingers for a calm toddler plane ride!), and counting down the days until the pool opens. Happy sixteen months you crazy but oh-so-sweet little boy.

Love you tons and tons and tons. Thanks for being my reason to celebrate Mothers Day.

Mom