The Girls’ Montessori-ish Room

I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off!  There are so many things on my to-do list: preparing for homeschool this year (we start at the end of this month!), getting caught up on my kiddos’ Shutterfly albums (now there are three instead of two!), sewing up some inventory for Small Circle, starting to think about upcoming birthdays and holidays… and then there’s just getting up, making breakfast, changing diapers, staying on top of the laundry, etc. etc.

Within this list of things to do are micro-lists, like craft items to buy, books to gather, papers to print and laminate, recipes to try, yadda yadda.  I wish things would just slow down.  So I can enjoy more of these moments…

Can you believe how big Adeline has gotten?  I’m so sad it’s going by so fast.  I don’t like to rush the stages, but she was so interested in mealtimes that I gave in and let her have a taste.  In the interest of Baby Led Weaning, I’ve mostly been giving her things she can hold and suck on, rather than making runny cereal and purees.  She’s been doing really well with it, and although there are times when I swear she’s going to choke on that big chunk of apple that just broke off, she’s good at spitting out the pieces she can’t handle.  The rest she gums to mush… and gets all over the place.

It seems that, with each child, I learn a bit more about mothering.  I guess the first child really is an experiment!  What is it they say, you make all your mistakes on the first?  I wouldn’t call them “mistakes,” but it’s definitely a learning process.

I have been introduced to both Waldorf and Montessori concepts in the past, but while researching homeschool methods (yet AGAIN!), I started falling in love them all over again.  There are some things that I already do that could be considered part of these educational philosophies – letting the kids explore educational manipulatives , nurturing their independence, having them help around the house, and so forth.  I especially liked some of the infant ideas and decided to put some of them into immediate action.

After reading a number of articles and googling lots of images, I decided to get rid of Adeline’s crib and opted for a floor bed (I just put her mattress on the floor).  I had recently rearranged Gwen’s room to accomodate her baby sister, but luckily I love to move things around and organize, because everything got switched around again.  In the move I cleaned out some of their clothes and belongings to simplify the room even more.

I’m sure the space will evolve with them, but this what their room looks like now:

Gwen’s bed is back in its original position, against the front wall, where Daddy hung the cute little house shelf I picked up for free (I had all sorts of good intentions to give it a face lift, but it hasn’t made it to the top of my list).  In the space below I plan to make a book sling to run the length of her bed; it will get the books out of another container and right at arms’ length.  I’m so glad she loves books!

I debated whether or not to keep the upcycled bureau as a dress-up station and finally decided to turn it into Adeline’s wardrobe.  When she gets old enough I want her to be able to help in choosing which clothes to wear each morning, and having them easily accessible is important.  I would love to simplify her collection even more, kind of like this nursery on Montessori ici.

The off-white furniture in Gwen’s room used to belong to my grandmother and I’ve always loved it.  I was a bit sad that I had to move the desk out, and I’m not quite sure what her closet will eventually look like, but for now the dresser/mirror is in there.

Here’s Adeline’s little corner, across from Gwen’s bed.  I put a thin changing table pad covered in pillow cases right next to the mattress should she roll or scoot off – which she has already done, on a number of occasions.  It’s so cute to peek in on her when she has just woken up from a nap; she starts exploring her surroundings and often moves to the floor.  And that’s the whole point!  Freedom to explore, not be confined to one space, reliant on mommy or someone else to get her up.

I wish I had a full-length mirror to put on the wall next to her bed, but I had to make do.  She has a small mirror at one end with black and white cards stuck to the wall on the long side – one of them covering an electrical outlet!  At the foot of the bed are some teddy bears and a treasure basket, which I will be more purposeful in changing when she’s able to sit up and look through it.

This change spurred another – finally dropping a whole bunch of things off at a consignment store.  I don’t consider myself materialistic, but I did feel a bit emotional driving away from the store, leaving some of those items behind.  I don’t think it’s the stuff, rather the memories created with it.

Anyhoo… my shelves are a little cleaner, the rooms more organized, and I’m breathing a little easier.  For now.  Adeline has been scooting around, moving backwards, getting up on her knees.  Pretty soon she’ll be crawling, aiming for the stairs.

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