'Nursery' Tour

Before we had Jacob, I posted a house tour on this blog, with the promise I would show you what our house looked like after we'd had our son. Click on the link above to see what our house still mostly looks like, apart from the bedroom and an added layer of milk stains. I expect our living room will at one point also turn into Babyland (with a highchair, a playpen, and more toys), but right now we make do with a beautiful handmade blanket and a basket for his rattles and books, and so it's just our bedroom that has changed since this last post. 

While I labeled this post 'Nursery Tour', we live in a London-sized one bedroom apartment, so our bedroom = our nursery. To be honest, at this point I wouldn't want it any other way. 

Co-sleepER

We decided (as in my pregnant self nagged Jochem to the point where he was like 'do what you need to do') to go the co-sleeper route. I knew I really wanted to breastfeed and having my baby right there seemed convenient. We chose the Snüzpod 3-in-1 mostly for its looks (isn't it purrdy?), but in theory you can also use it as a bassinet and a standalone crib. We've only ever used it as a co-sleeper thus far and I freaking LOVE this thing. It was easy to set up and you can strap it to your bed at exactly the right height. We of course didn't know I would end up having Jacob via c-section, but I honestly don't know how I would have managed those first weeks of night feedings if he hadn't been so close. Doing a 'sit up' to get out of bed, let alone lifting an infant from a crib was pretty much a no-go, and with the co-sleeper I could just roll him to me and nurse lying down. Pure bliss, my friends. 

The adorable monkey toy was made by my close friend Sabra and clouds were made by my friend Debbie - Jacob absolutely adores looking at the cloud's colorful raindrops in the morning. The bedding is from Snüzpod (mattress cover and cloud blanket) and Little Green Sheep (blue organic cotton blanket). The swaddle blanket is from Lodger and was a gift from my mom, as was the musical sheep that hangs from the back of his crib. We usually swaddle Jacob at night, as he tends to move his arms quite a bit and ends up hitting himself in the head and waking himself up - I usually just swaddle the top of his body tightly and then leave his legs free to move. 

 

Changing Mat & Wardrobe

We don't really have room for a separate changing table, so we re-used this old set of drawers from IKEA and put a changing mat on top. It's right next to the window, so Jacob can roll outside and tumble down into the garden whenever he feels like it. Nope, just kidding of course. To be honest, I usually just end up putting the mat on the floor as the drawers aren't quite tall enough and it usually hurts my back to stand bent over like that. Also, while Jacob hasn't yet managed to roll over, I am sure he will at some point and it just feels safer on the floor. 

The drawers are now used to house his diapers (we use these) and all of his adorable little clothes (OMG nobody warned me I would get SO obsessed with baby clothes), that I organized by kind and size. I used washi tape to label the sections, so I can easily rotate out stuff that is too small (which is everything, all the time) and switch things up. Now, if you're thinking "a) that baby only seems to wear three colors, and b) those drawers look like she Marie-Kondo'ed the shit out of them" - you would be absolutely right my friend. Let us all be glad this isn't the fifties and I wasn't destined to be a housewife, because I would be annoying as fudge.

The bear bum pants are from M&S and the grey muslin cloth is from my favorite Dutch store HEMA (as are many of his clothes). Finally, not pictured here because the sun was really bright this morning (yes, really) - I hung some colorful pompoms above the changing mat for Jacob to look at while I torture him with wet wipes (he especially loves it when I try to clean the dried up milk from under his quadruple chin).

 

Hope you enjoyed that little tour - next time I'll do a little overview of my diaper bag and other out-and-about with baby essentials!  (I am not even kidding, I am that mom now. Seriously who even am I? Was this person inside me all this time?)

Journal Pages: The Swing of Things

We're slowly getting into the swing of things here at Maison Floor. 

I know that now that I have written this, Jacob will probably wake up every hour tonight. Possibly it's the 5,5 hours of consecutive sleep last night that is making me overoptimistic, but it feels like we have something resembling a life these days. Of course, every time I think that, Jacob throws us a curveball and [stops sleeping/suddenly sleeps all the time/is hungry all day/doesn't seem hungry at all/fusses all day/learns a new skill], but overall I'm just loving being a mommy right now (even as the current political climate continues to upset me).

It is truly amazing how something so special, the miracle of having a baby and loving it so much you could burst, is so mundane at the same time. We are all here. Every one of us was once this same miracle and hopefully loved as much by their parents or caregivers. 

Anyways, before I go even softer on you - here's last month's journal pages. We took a little trip to Holland in our car (! we're such grownups!) to see the family, which I found a little stressful (Will he sleep? Will he eat? Won't people judge me for how I feed/dress/handle him?), but went well overall.  Enjoy!

Meet The Artist

I joined in with the #meettheartist meme going around on Instagram, and even shot a little video of my process. Like a true n00b I shot it vertically (ACK!), but here it is anyway. Ya live and ya learn, I guess. Enjoy!

Journal Pages: Birth & Early Days

There's a show people kept recommending to me before we had Jacob, called 'The Longest Shortest Time'. Besides it indeed being a great podcast for parents, the title is also very apt - especially of those first days, weeks, and months with a newborn. 

With a small baby, somehow you're incredibly busy all day keeping this little being alive and well (take a pick between breakfast or showering before noon, you can't have both even though you've been up since 6 am), yet you do 'nothing' for long stretches of time as well. Whole chunks of the night, staring in silence at your baby's suckling lips, his fat little face, eyes closed. The endless rocking, and patting on the back to get him to burp (victory!). The many diapers you change and how you actually become incredibly interested in its contents (apologies for judging you before, friends with kids). Days and nights seem to linger on and on, and sleep often far away, yet somehow then he's a month older and has gained 2 kilos. It's strange, absolutely beautiful, and utterly exhausting, these early days. Below some journal pages on our little man's birth and the first weeks afterwards. Just a few drawings, but I'm proud to have managed to do them at least.

Jacob was born by 'elective' caesarian (backstory here) and although some women who have gone through this seem to feel like they 'failed' in some way, I honestly thought it was a wonderful experience. Having been in and out of the hospital often as a child, I don't have a dislike for hospitals or even surgery, and the whole affair was quite chilled. I walked into 'theatre', got a spinal block set up (meh), lied down while waiting for the numbness to set in, and not ten minutes later I was handed my beautiful baby boy. The doctors and nurses were nice and professional, I was comfortable throughout the procedure and afterwards, and was I able to go home swiftly and without complications. I do wish I had had at least one contraction (just out of curiosity), and I definitely hope to have our next child the 'natural' way (mostly for their sake!), but above all it was still the most wonderful day of my life despite it not being how we had originally envisoned it. I feel incredibly grateful for being able to meet our healthy baby boy in such a calm setting (they even played music!) and not bleeding to death (you know). Yay, modern medicine!

Designed: Jacob's Birth Announcement

Even though we live in London, and our son will no doubt grow up to be a Londoner (provided we stay here), we are, of course, a Dutch family. We speak Dutch at home, eat stamppot when it gets cold, and import our hagelslag (yes, grown men eat this on their toast for breakfast) by the boatload. 

Another Dutch tradition we chose to honor, was sending out a geboortekaartje after Jacob was born. I think the correct translation is 'birth announcement', although I've been met with many blank stares by my British colleagues when talking about these cards.

I created the design months before Jacob actually arrived (as soon as we'd decided on the name) and then after my c-section I just had to fill out the few missing details like his birth weight and time. The illustration was inspired by Mr. Floor's love of sailing, our shared love of travel, and the obvious symbolism of life being a journey. The design was based on modernist illustrators like Charlie Harper. The poem on the back (in Dutch) is a poem by a Dutch comedian, singer, and writer Toon Hermans. It stresses the importance of dreaming a little in life. 

I had the cards printed by Moo, as I've been content with their quality in the past and they're local to London (and I actually have visited their offices and printing presses for work a few years ago). I wanted the card to be something special and heavy; something people might hold on to for a bit, and the thick 'luxe' card stock with colored seam were perfect. 

I'd written all the envelopes beforehand (mat leave, y'all, it's a precious thing), and we sent out the cards a week after Jacob was born. The stamp on the back is from The English Stamp Company (who create lovely bespoke stamps, I can recommend them). 

So that's the story behind Jacob's birth announcement! Much better than a Facebook post, no?

Journal Pages: The Final Days of Pregnancy

Friends who had been pregnant before had told me that by the end, they 'could not wait' to go on maternity leave. That it felt like they'd been pregnant forever, and that this baby was simply never going to come out.

I won't lie and say I wasn't over it by the end. My ribs were hurting, I couldn't sleep at all, but most importantly: I couldn't wait to finally meet our little man. The whole point of becoming pregnant, after all, was so we would have a baby, and I felt like I'd waited long enough. 

Going on maternity leave, however, was kind of strange for me. I don't think I've ever been away from anything for this long (I'm very fortunate my employer gives me six months fully paid). Summer holidays in college were pretty long (like three months?) and by the end I was itching to get back to it. I also absolutely LOVE my job. It's challenging, interesting, and my colleagues not just feel like but are my actual friends. Would I not go mad just sitting at home?

It turned out not to be too bad. I made sure I got out every day, and mentally and physically prepared for our baby's birth. Very necessary, as things did not go according to our lovely well-thought out birth plan (of course). Our boy decided to do a somersault at 37 weeks and sit upright like a little Buddha.

Breech babies usually do not make for lovely natural water births (in most cases, I hear it does happen), and after a painful and unsuccessful attempt to turn him (an 'external cyphalic version', or ecv) we were offered a choice: plan in an elective caesarian or find a doctor willing to have you try it the 'natural' way, most likely to still end in an emergency caesarian. I know there's people who have done this (or have managed to push breech babies out the 'natural' way) and I have DEEP respect for their courage and strength, but that wasn't me. And so we left the hospital with a date for our son's birth - the Friday after. 

Those last days were strange, and I spent the days preparing myself mentally and physically. I set up the baby's room, went out for coffee, removed all traces of cosmetics and jewelry (which required a trip to the piercing studio), read up on c-sections, and planned my last meal before the big day. I don't know if I felt 'ready' (or if you ever truly can be ready), but I did feel calm and mostly excited. Bring on that baby!

Mat Leave Crafts Part 1: Wooden Block Mobile

My parental leave has started, which means I spend most of my days cleaning the house, watching Law & Order SVU, reading up on childbirth, looking for my toes, and... handmaking our baby a boatload of things he doesn't really need. 

                                                            I seeee you (almost)!

One of those things is a little mobile, made from second hand wooden blocks I got at the charity shop. I read somewhere that babies' brains are stimulated by (black and white) patterns, and wanted to make our little boy something to that would get those synapses firing.

A few years ago my talented friend Kim made a gorgeous little mobile for her baby boy (see blog post here, she occasionally also sells them in , but they go quickly) and I was inspired to get crafty myself. 

I'm quite pleased with how these turned out, and it was fun to do, despite my dislike for literally watching paint dry (just kidding, I cleaned my fridge and labeled everything in the hospital bag while waiting. I am turning into horror mom already). 

                                                 Waiting for the first layer of paint to dry.

For instructions on how to make your own mobile, check out Kim's post, and these (link 1) two (link 2) tutorials on the Etsy blog! 

Journal Pages: #DecafBrain

"Being pregnant is hilarious" said my friend, as she was describing how by 8 months she couldn't tie her own shoe laces.

Now that I'm 8 months along, I am enjoying myself immensely of course. Also, ordering decaf in Rome is almost as much fun as misreading signs ('deep tuna massage' anyone?) due to #babybrain, which I think is more like #Imnotsleepingandoffofcaffeinebrain. 

Journal Pages: Iceland, Canada, USA

Somehow I feel like I'm doing this pregnancy thing all wrong. Well, mostly I feel great, but people keep commenting on how I should be taking it easy and focus on resting and relaxing before our precious little one arrives to come and take it all away. 

Rest and relaxation wasn't really what we had in mind when we booked our trip to Iceland and Canada earlier this year (before we knew we were pregnant), and work happened to ramp up right at the same time. So here's the story all about how, my life got flipped-turned upside down. Or, I mean how I non-stop traveled for a month while 6 months pregnant.