In Need of Artistic Help

May 31, 2007

I’m a left-brained person.  Not in the “I tend to think logically” sort of way, but the “what’s a color wheel?” way instead.  I might as well have been born without a right brain altogether, because I’ve used it so infrequently that it’s probably withering away as it is.  Give me a math problem to solve any day, but I would rather re-learn advanced calculus than decorate a room.

Hence, my problem.  I’ve been agonizing over the issue of the nursery for months already.  I thought I had a theme back when I was planning to decorate it gender-neutrally.  Now that I’m free to go blue-crazy, I hate the old idea for a theme.  Technically, the theme itself wouldn’t be the problem as much as making it look good.  When my first and most important purchase to bring the theme together–the bedding set–ended up not meeting my expectations, I was ready to scrap the idea and start over.

That’s exactly what I’ve done.  I searched for bedding sets at target.com last night and stumbled upon one I liked almost immediately, after hours of persuing what babiesrus.com had to offer and leaving disappointed.  The set was also on clearance if I could live without a dust ruffle for about half the price of the other cheap one I’d picked out from bru.com and learned to hate.  The target.com one is ordered already, along with some coordinating wall hangings, a window valance, and a rug (all together less than $100!).  I also found a generic toddler bedding set in what appears to be coordinating shades of blue.  As long as the colors truly do match, I’m most of the way to a decent nursery theme.

The problem I’m left with is the walls.  They are beige, boring-as-it-comes beige.  M and I are both reluctant to paint, so it comes down to creative wall hangings and shelves and the like to turn a boring, plain room into a nursery that works for both a newborn and a toddler.  That’s where I need help.  Here is the crib bedding set I ordered earlier.  I need, first of all, ideas for what to put on the two matching shelves we’ve already bought and installed in the room but never bothered to decorate.  Next, what else should I put on the walls?  The coordinating wall hangings will fill up the one blank wall without a shelf, but I still think I need something around the shelves on the other walls.  And third, how else do I bring the theme into the room without overdoing it?  The only furniture in it will be the two cribs, thanks to an active toddler who will use anything else in the room as a toy.  This means no lamp, diaper stacker, or hamper until PJ can be trusted again.

Okay, ready for your ideas and suggestions.  Please, please help.  I will not laugh at any idea you suggest, even if it totally does not fit our style.

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Could I Be a Hippie Mom?

May 31, 2007

The more plans I make for this baby, the more I realize I really do have a touch of that hippie mom in me.  Remember when I mentioned her several weeks back?  I felt bad for making the comment, even in jest, because I didn’t want to unintentionally offend anyone.  But I think we all have basic ideas of what this hippie mom looks like and how her parenting style differs from the stereotypical suburban mom’s.  Since it’s kind of important in my point of the post, here are a few of the hippie mom’s stereotypical qualities, at least in my mind:

  • adamant about natural birth, to the point of using midwives, doulas, water births (at home, of course), and the like
  • a breastfeeding activist, of course
  • insists upon co-sleeping and family beds
  • cloth diapers–disposable are bad for the environment
  • make their own baby food, most likely all organic
  • baby-wearing in some sort of sling

Have I forgotten any?  When I look at my list, I realize that my own mother fits at least a few qualities of a hippie mom.  She delivered four children without any drugs–not because she wanted a natural experience, though, but because drugs weren’t an option then.  She used cloth diapers–because they were cheaper at the time.  She made most of her own baby food–because Gerber’s wasn’t as readily available and was more expensive.  And of course she breastfed, but she wasn’t a member of LLL or anything like that.  My mom did all these things because they made more sense to her, not because she was trying to make a statement with her actions.

As time goes on, I find myself conforming more to the hippie mom than the suburban mom as well.  I would love to have a completely natural birth.  I’d even love to do it at home, but I know my previous complications will prevent that from ever happening.  I will breastfeed again.  I’m hoping the baby sling works out so that I can “wear” this baby.  A part of me wishes I could make my own baby food, too, although I highly doubt that ever happens (ever eaten my cooking? don’t). 

Again, though, while my actions make me feel like a hippie mom, I know in all truth that I don’t have the right attitude to fall under that hippie mom stereotype.  In fact, I’m much more likely a suburban mom at heart, driving my kids around to soccer practice and Girl Scouts (ok…Boy Scouts) in my mini-van equipped with the DVD player.  Just because I happen to breastfeed and own a baby sling will not change who I am at heart.  And you know what’s sad?  Despite how it sounds when I talk about this hippie mom, I almost wish I could be her.  I’m much more critical of the stereotypical suburban mom who plans her C-section weeks in advance, buys the best and most advanced formula to feed baby, owns stock in Gerber’s and Pampers, never leaves her mini-van, and depends on the best in technology to care for her children.  Even if that’s me.