We live in California. The Bay Area to be more specific. The East Bay to be even more specific. And if you are familiar at all with real estate or general housing pricing, then from that statement alone you’d understand that having toddlers (a boy and a girl nonetheless) sharing a room was not really done out of desire or preference as much out of sheer necessity.
When we bought our house it was a 2 bedroom 2 bath and just fine for us. Then we had Poppy and hit max capacity. Then we got pregnant with Hudson and remodeled and added a 2nd floor with a 250sq ft loft with a walk-in closet. That became Poppy’s room and the bedroom downstairs became Hudson. This was comfortable and worked for us at max capacity. Then our little surprise Holland came alone and we had to reevaluate our living situation again. Buying a 4 bedroom house anywhere in our area wasn’t really a practical option at the time (re: or quite possibly, ever) so we had to improvise with what we had. I knew that I didn’t want Holland sharing a room with anyone because the thought of having an infant + a toddler in a room together seemed a lot like a nightmare situation. I mean, at least toddlers can be on the same(ish) schedule and you can reason with them.
So, when Holland was a few months old and it was nearing my return to work I decided it was time to embrace the inevitable and move the kids together and start Holland’s room. When Poppy was upstairs by herself it was a big coral wall with white polka dots and aqua on the other walls. I knew I wanted to keep the aqua but eliminate the coral so that it would be gender-neutral but still colorful and feel like it was a fun space for both Hudson and Poppy. I painted the coral wall a really pretty leaf green that was bright and cheery and stood out. Then I added white vinyl stripes to the wall. Honestly, I feel like painting the stripes would have been better and easier but at the time it was quicker and that worked for me.
I kept the curtains as they were – coral dandelions on a white background on one side, blackout fabric in the middle, and a gray and white floral fabric facing out.
With the help of my brother and my dad, we made Poppy a really fun pink door bed. It turned out great and is working really well as a transition bed for her. She had been sleeping in her crib as a day-bed but it was taking up a ton of space and we were going to get rid of her big black furniture in order to bring up Hudson’s white furniture that had more storage space. The bed turned out really cute and I will be making a blue one for Hudson soon, too!
Hudson really likes helping his Grampy with all of our projects that he assists us with!
After her bed was made I made her some special bedding for it; a crib sheet, a toddler-size blanket and a matching pillowcase. The colors are bright and bold and fun and go really well in the room. You can also see her reading lamp that she has clamped onto her bed and her mobile she insisted we rig to the bed (which has since been removed).
For the room decor I bought some fun posters/prints on Etsy and either printed myself or ordered the actual prints and framed them in matching frames and hung them above the dresser. The “Forever & Always” I found already framed at Hobby Lobby.
I also made a really bright and colorful fabric pennant that I hung up on the striped wall. I used whatever fun bright fabrics I had on hand and made it 15′ long so that I could either use one long piece or cut it (as I did) and criss-cross it on the wall.
The room turned out really cute. It is bright and fun and cheery. They each have their own space plus we still have the reading corner (as previously blogged about) and their play area and art area, too. I’m excited for when Hudson is potty trained (for SO many reasons, obviously) so that his changing table can be converted to more dresser space on top of it, too.
Truthfully, it is not as bad as I anticipated. So, there’s that. Some nights are super easy and flawless and other nights I’d pull my hair out if it didn’t cost me so much to get it done! At the point of transition, Hudson was going to bed at 7pm and Poppy was going to bed towards 8pm. Putting one down while the other was either asleep or trying to go to sleep just wasn’t cuttin’ it so we had to compromise for a target bedtime of 7:30pm. Some nights it is more like 7:45pm but the 15 minutes really does make a huge difference, especially for Hudson. To combat this bed-time timing terror, I have recently eliminated Hudson’s naps so that both he and Poppy are pretty well exhausted come bed time and both can just pass out. It works 75% of the time.
Most nights go something like this; bath time, brush teeth, potty, jammies, hang out for a few minutes playing then they go upstairs, pick out books to read in bed, we read a story or two (or like, 8, if Brian is doing it and gets suckered into “One more book”), then they get in bed, Poppy turns on her reading lamp, and they both read books for anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Poppy turns out her light when she is done and ready for sleep and Hudson obliges even if he isn’t asleep or ready for bed, and they doze off easily, quietly, and without complications. Now. Other nights are very very different. Where EVERYTHING is a fight leading to bed time, bed time routine is a fight, reading books is a fight for whatever/every reason, and getting them to stop talking/yelling/fighting at each other from their respective beds is a fight. And then there are nights when they want to take like 98486 toys to bed with them and play when they should be sleeping. The upside is that they are in their bed and not roaming about. They don’t roam about nor do they get out of bed, ever, without asking for permission or yelling for one of us, first. Great thing, right? Right. Unless we are being beckoned upstairs like 20 times because their cup fell on the ground and they cannot get out of bed to get it. Or Hudson “needs” another book and cannot get out of bed to get it. Or Poppy’s piggy fell and she cannot get it. Or whatever else they can come up with.
Poppy is a good sleeper. A sound sleeper. Hudson… not so much. Some nights that kid wakes up no less than 8 times. Have I mentioned that he is 2.5 years old? Surely not breastfed and still not potty trained. Yeah. Totally uncalled for. But he does it. And sometimes when he does that and he fights going back to sleep he will wake up Poppy. Those nights suck and make me curse my house. And a lot of other things. There are also the nights where Poppy will wake up because she is certain that in her sleep she saw a bug from across the room and demand that we get this non-existent bug and then yell and scream about it. Yeah, I love when that happens.
Hudson almost always wakes up first and ridiculously early and almost always wakes up Poppy, too. I refer back to the not-getting-out-of bed on this one. They wake-up and scream for us to get them. We then have to go upstairs, turn the lights on and escort them downstairs. Even when we say “come downstairs!” they won’t. We have to get them out of bed ourselves. I guess we should praise them for following our rules so well…
So, I think you get the point. Some nights them sharing a room is perfectly fine and without issue. Other nights, it’s a total crap-shoot and they both are awake and doing anything but sleeping until like 8:30pm and the morning is just the same; unpredictable.
The plan is to transition Hudson into a toddler bed soon since he is still content in his crib but I think he needs more space and the ability to have a much larger toddler sized blanket to cover him – which will hopefully eliminate some of the middle-of-the-night calls for me to cover him up. No joke. Who knows how the bed-transition will go… I could end up totally eating my words on that one if he decides to no longer stay in his bed as he normally does so well.
Stay tuned for an update on the bed-transitioning of Hudson. Fingers crossed it is not a total nightmare!!!
Also – if you like Poppy’s bedding and the fabric pennant banner that I made – you can find listings for them in my Etsy shop & I can create a set for you and your kiddos based on your room/color scheme!!