With this new job looming over Oz, the kids and I have been discussing what they want to do with their rooms. We’re going to be looking at getting some new (much needed) things around here, starting with a car. After we get the car situation sorted out, we’re going to be looking into some new furniture. Number one on the list will be bookshelves for the living room and the homeschool area (the kids have a LOT of books), but after that we’re going to turn the focus on the kids. I wanted to get the ball rolling with some ideas on what the kids are interested in, that way we can shop accordingly.
Luca is easy. He’s sharing our room right now, so he doesn’t get much say. He co-sleeps, but he does have a crib in our room. It’s kind of our “back-up in case CPS decides to drop by and has a fit over co-sleeping”. We really don’t expect CPS to come by, but we had an open case because of the social worker at the hospital. We were told we needed to have a final visit before they closed the case, so we wanted to be prepared. Surprisingly they closed our case without the final visit. We were lucky enough to pick the crib up cheap at a yard sale. We pretty much haven’t used it. There have been a couple of occasions where Luca’s been put down in it because it was a safe place for him to sleep unharassed by his siblings, but aside from that it’s possibly the worst investment we’ve ever made. At least I can say that we talked them down to half the asking price and we’re going to take his mattress and use it for Sander’s bed. The mattress alone is worth more than what we paid for the set. I can honestly say I can’t wait to get rid of that ugly, old, white crib. It’s funny because a part of me wanted a crib when Corde was born. I’d thought the same when the boys were born. Then Luca came out of nowhere and I didn’t even want to bother with a crib. There was no moment of wanting to set up the perfect nursery. I guess the thrill of wanting a nursery that I couldn’t have had finally worn off. I didn’t even want a changing table!
So, in Luca’s “room” we’re going to do a woodland theme. We’re thinking when we finally get the boys out of sharing the same room we may pair Beekee and Luca up in a room. I know it sounds silly to have the oldest boy and youngest share a room, but Beekee hates being in a room alone. I think he might feel better when he’s got someone to share his room. Ideally we’d have them each have their own room, but who knows. Anyhow, Luca is going to have a woodland theme. I’ve already picked the bed I want to replace that crib with. He’ll pretty much never use it at this point, but that’s beside the point. We’ll have it in waiting for when he needs it, and it will be a good spot for him to nap or to curl up and be left alone. We’ve picked out some awesome sheets and blankets for him as well as a couple of stuffed animals I’d love to get for him. I’ve figured out what dresser I want to replace his bright pink and purple one with, a nice earthy color. I even found an area rug at Ikea that would be awesome. I know he doesn’t have his own room so he doesn’t really need a rug, but if we could put it down by his bed it would be the perfect way to mark his own little corner of our room, and it would be great decoration for his own room too.
I’m not sure how we’re going to handle Beekee and Sander’s space for now. I found these great loft beds at Ikea that are reversible, I guess? You flip them one way and it’s a loft bed. Flip them the other way and it’s a low bed with almost a set-up for a canopy. They’re low enough that they wouldn’t risk being too high in their room and the boys could both easily get up on top. I’m thinking of flipping one into a loft with play space underneath for Beekee and the other can be flipped the other way so Sander can have a bed that’s easy to get in and out of at night if he needs to. I’m thinking we might replace the dressers that are too small to be functional with some plain unfinished wood ones. I got a great idea from Ikea to cover them with fabric. I think we’re going to do something blue with stars, like the night sky. Sander and Beekee have also requested something like a forest, so I’ve thought about doing arched canopies for their beds with stars, again, Ikea find, and maybe some simple crtains out of something woodsy. Owls are pretty big right now and I’ve seen some owl coat racks to hang on the wall, which the boys would love. I saw a couple owl nightlights while out and about too. I’d like to finish it all up with a costume box for the boys with some Robin Hood, huntsman, and other fairy tale inspired stuff. The boys have been getting into fairy tales lately, and they’ve always liked swords. Fairy tales, woodland themes, folklore, and wild animals go so well together! I just need to find a way to incorporate a raccoon for Beekee. I wish I knew how to quilt because I’d make him a raccoon quilt. Best of all, the idea is completely made up from the boys’ ideas. It’s also easy to evolve from fairy tales to outdoorsy, camping inspired, so I know that will be fun with how much they like to pretend they’re camping.
Corde’s room will perhaps be the hardest. She wants a loft bed where she can have an art studio under but we don’t have the ceiling clearance in her room. I’m trying to come up with ways I can make something fit in her small room. The television that doesn’t work, the coffee table, and the dresser all have to go. I’m going to try to talk her into a smaller bed too. We’ve discussed a day bed as a practical option as it would mean she could have a couch and a bed all in one and they’re often more comfortable than a futon. I got a great idea from watching a show with Corde to get a poster of one of Picasso’s works and back it with particle board to make a hanging for her wall. I’m also thinking I might have to do something cool like sew together some wall hangings, like a peace sign, a giant picture of the earth, and maybe the word “peace” in some bright colors. We’ll have to see what she wants to do. I’d love to turn the space into some funky, space inspired by artists with bright colors, but that’s me shining through. My vision is very, well, 1990’s. Her vision is a lot more 1960’s crossed with Earth Day symbolism. I think it’s a great idea. I have a funny feeling Julie’s going to look pretty well at home in Corde’s room! I just wish we had more space to work with so I could set her up with a proper artist’s space. I know she’d love to have an easel in there to work with, a desk, and some storage for her art supplies. As much as I kind of wish Corde was still the age of being a little girl and playing with toys, playing is taking up less and less of her time, unless it’s with Julie and Marie-Grace. Now she’s more interested in sitting down for art projects. A part of me doesn’t want it to happen. I want to hold on to my little girl being, well, little. At the same time a part of me just wants to run with it and create the perfect “grown up” space for her. I’d be happy to get rid of all her toys and replace them with tons of art supplies, a great reading space, and a ton of other things that she’s more growing into. Maybe we can use this time to help her grow up a bit more.
It’s kind of hard on me, harder than I’d expected. I never really thought much about the point at which Corde would start outgrowing her toys. I never thought about her taking on a focus in other things. I knew the day would come when she’d be more interested in pets, art, or whatever else, but I guess I’d always imagined it wouldn’t happen for a long, long time. I’ve also got to remember that Corde’s turning ten this year. It’s been a long time. She’s going to be officially a preteen and that’s going to mean a lot of changes. It just all seems like it’s happening too soon. Thankfully, her new room should be happening just around the time of her birthday, so hopefully this can be a way we can honor that change, recognize it as a reality. As much as I want to hide from it, the truth is it’s good.
So now everyone is extra hopeful that Oz gets this job. From the sounds of it, it’s a sure thing. He’ll be working long days and will probably be pretty exhausted, but it’s going to do a lot for us in the end. Oz even suggested I should apply for the same place and we could work different shifts. I’m actually considering it. I know it would be hard on the kids, and I probably wouldn’t want to do it for more than a year, but the money might just make it worth doing for a little while. It would pull us out of the rough spot we’re in and put us on solid ground. We could work on having an actual home. We could work towards having a house where everyone could have their own room. We could have rooms that are well designed and functional with furniture we like instead of whatever cast-offs we can get our hands on. We could have two cars, a gas guzzler to haul the family and something small and efficient for when less capacity would do. I could get my seeds and have the money to actually landscape, allowing for a sustainable garden and a lovely back yard to play in. It’s very tempting to at least try for the job to get us out of debt, make our home beautiful, save up for our dream wedding (which is probably not going to be terribly expensive by wedding standards, even if we do go all out!) and still put some away for when the kids get older. We’ll just do it slower if I’m not working.
In all of this we’ve also discussed what won’t change. My kids still want to shop for clothes at thrift stores. Beekee’s finds have them all excited about shopping there. We’re not going to make them give up anything they don’t want to. We’re not going to let this new income go to our heads, so we’re still only going to buy what we really need. We’re not going to start buying all sorts of crazy junk food (though I will be making sure we’ve got plenty of organic fruits and veggies in the house!) We’re not going to make the kids give up the things they enjoy doing to go on more expensive field trips instead. The kids like their inexpensive trips. We’ll just be increasing our radius from home. Most importantly, we’re not going to be giving up Family Day. Just because we have more money and can do more things together on a daily basis doesn’t mean we’re going to throw family days out the window. We’re still going to go to church on Sundays. We’re still going to make sure we get donuts before church (which should be easier because Oz will already be in the habit of getting up so early). We’re even keeping all the same rules, but we’ll probably all be a lot better at sticking to them because money won’t be a suffocating factor anymore.
I know all of this is a bit premature as Oz doesn’t even have the job yet, but they’ve pretty much told him he’s as good as got it. I’ve already told the kids this is a big “if” and we were already planning all of these things before this job opportunity came up, so it will still happen, just on a different timeline. We’re just all hoping good things for this job. It could make our lives so much better. It will bring us up from the point of living on state assistance to the point of being able to support ourselves. What could be better than that?