Friday, December 30, 2011

The Basement, it is A-Changing

I am amused that I started this blog to chronicle the process of turning Julia & Maya's nursery into a big girl room and spiraled completely out of control as all things in life seem to do. The basement is finished (for now) and February begins our KITCHEN MAKEOVER!!!! Very excited about that!

Onto the basement improvements:

Before: solid color concrete wall, cluttered, exposed wires & hazards

After: painted concrete blocks in 2 different hues to create "brick" effect, break up the monochrome, and add warmth to the area; purchased CD cabinet to control & hide the sprawling CD collection


After: Bookshelf filled with toys all binned by type for requesting. 
After: Ikea swing replaced with  platform swing with interchangeable hammock swing 

Before: cluttered, unusable space

After: work area for the girls
Work table, PECS board, favorite activities binned for requesting, bubble tube and cushioned platform base for chilling out

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lay, Ladies, Lay

Maya & Julia enjoying their new beds!
After a loooooooooong pause in updates I am proud to post pictures of the girls' beds from Crib Bed by Mountaincraft!

The girls LOVE their beds! They are very sturdy, look nice and are made well! They both jumped on the beds, squealing in delight the day we got them!

My niece with Julia & Maya

It has been a trying several months since my last update. I am excited to be back on the blog with the news that I won a $20,000 Kitchen Make-Over from Platinum Kitchens & Designs, Inc!

I will happily update the progress of our new kitchen here!

Julia loves her new jungle themed room!

Repainted bookshelf
Repainted Wardrobe
Wall Stick-Ons added to ceiling fan
Highlights of some of the other decorating I've done! Both the bookshelf & wardrobe were repainted from white to bright colours to match the new theme. Both pieces can be seen in their original form in "before" post!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

We have purchased two new swings to take the place of the IKEA swing.
We will install one chain to the ceiling beam with a hook which will allow us to change swings. Will post pictures & reviews of products when we're done!
This is a less expensive mini-version of platform swings used in sensory therapy for vestibular issues.

The Airwalker Swing! A favorite of every child at Hearts and Hands Therapy

 $296 at especialneeds

Other great sites for therapy products:

When you purchase online at sites such as Amazon, Target, Home Depot, and 100's of others visit
first, then click on the participating retailer, and that retailer will donate a portion of your sale to
the Dare To Hope Foundation at no extra cost to you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shiny Happy Color

I just finished painting the upper walls! I love the color-it's very happy!

Thank you all who voted!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sensory Overload: AKA "The Basement"

It is time I mentioned the side-project gone awry, turning the basement into a more functional play & therapy room. This immediately went from "Julia & Maya-proofing the basement" to "major project".

The weird-looking apparatus is a mook jong, for martial arts training

Ikea Swing: great in theory, but the girls have low muscle tone so they must be monitored in it at all times.
Translation: it's gots to go!

Trampoline (a favorite), climby-thingy, and tons of wires & hazards to be removed
Shout-out to Troy for WiFi help! Old computer set-up in the basement for You Tube Yo Gabba Gabba videos, HiYa, and Dynavox programming! We hope to get a "Big Mack" switch for the girls to use computer learning programs like they use in school!

Special thanks to Miss Mary from Clesia Ventures for taking time last Saturday to help me clean out a good deal of the basement hazards! Not only an awesome speech therapist, but a fantastic decorator as well!

Maya enjoying speech therapy with Miss Mary!
(which usually involves a lot of snacks)
 Now that the basement is cleaned out, we have both an Airwalker Hammock Swing & a mini-platform swing to install in place of the Ikea swing. I plan to paint one of the walls in brick colors & install a blacklight over it.

I will post pictures & links to where we got everything as I post the new pictures!!!!!! I am very excited for Project Basement to get under way!!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Final Countdown

Options 2 & 4 are neck-in-neck. I'm having difficulty deciding how to paint the room! I need to start painting next week the latest!

Here is a picture with the top 2 paint samples & decals:

On the left is the light purple on top with the dark green on bottom. The right is the light green on top & keeping the same purple on the bottom.

Left or right? Whatever will I do?

Monday, February 21, 2011


I am far too excited over these rugs I found today! I felt the need to share:

Julia's favorite toy is her Zebra Bounce & Spin (how fitting for a jungle theme!) which needs to have a rug under it.

Julia loves her zebra!
Twistin' the night away

I am having trouble deciding which rug to get!
I wish I had room for them all.

The circular one would fit the zebra really well, but I just can't get over the cuteness factor of the lion, cheetah and tiger! And of course, I can't pick between the three!

Ideas? Opinions? I'm in "cute over-load"!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Color My World

I bought stuff today!!!!!!!

Now I'm getting a little bit more excited. I am holding a yard sale on Friday to sell off the Princess & baby stuff to make money & room for a JUNGLE THEME!!!!! See below for pix of today's purchases, but first:


For those who know me, you will be shocked that I waited until Blogpost #3 to bust out the poll feature. But it is here & I need YOUR help!


Refer to the previous post, (Just Like) Starting Over, to see the walls with the picture rail & window frame. The pink & purple used in the examples will be the same. Vote for the winning combo on the right side of this page!

Option 1

Option #1

AKA: "The Lazy Option". Don't vote for this out of pity for me unless you really love it! Walls remain the same pink & purple it is now. Base board, picture rail & crown molding will be a light green. The window frames will be pale yellow.

Option 2
Option #2

Keep the purple on the bottom & paint the top a pale sagey-green. All trim will be pale yellow.

Option 3
Option #3

For those of you paying attention, this is remarkably like option #2. However, in option #3 the base board & crown molding are yellow, and the picture rail & window frames are pale pink.

Option 4

Option #4

"The Tinkerbell": dark foresty-green on bottom, pale bluish-purple on top, all pale yellow trim.


Wall clings I bought

With the aid of my assistant, Heather, I bought these adorable wall clings today. The plan is to use the second & third ones on the walls on the upper section and use the first on the wardrobe (which I can say with 90% certainty that choosing the colors to paint the wardrobe will be the next poll).

Close-up of wall clings I bought

Example from web

Photos from the Babies R Us web site-I plan to do something similar to the walls in the picture.

Our new switch cover!

And the new switch cover I bought today which I absolutely adore! Ta-daa!

Happy voting! Think about this hard! I have about 1000 paint strips from Home Depot waiting to go!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

(Just Like) Starting Over

I must start blog attempt # 2 by saying that I am overwhelmed with gratitude from the rather large amount of posts & emails I have received about Project Room Makeover. Keep it coming, it makes this transition easier to bear!

These are probably the cutest "before" photos ever. I love our fairy-tale themed nursery. I worked hard on it. My family worked hard on it. It's time to let go of that fantasy world and focus on what's best for Julia & Maya.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
Joseph Campbell

We have ordered Crib Beds for both girls this week. More on special needs beds later! The beds will be that medium wood color.

The "before" pictures:

Wall #1 Maya's Crib
 Wall #1: Maya's Crib

Shorter wall with entrance from hallway. Her "big girl" bed will go here as well. It will take up the entire wall up to the window.

Wallpaper border will be removed. Well, what Maya has not already removed herself. Everyone's a critic. (note her little legs in photo)

Wall #2: No lion, No Witch, Just  a Wardrobe
and Maya wondering what I'm up to

Wall #2: The Wardrobe

There is no closet in this room, nor is there a way to make one. As it turns out, warbrobes are ridiculously expensive ($2000-$5000 for anything decent). It looks like this white wardrobe will be getting a fresh coat of paint in its future, and new drawer pulls!

Tragically, most of those stuffed animals have been tossed. Time to be realistic. The girls never played with them & never will. The play kitchen has moved to another room. The book shelf will most likely be tossed or moved to make room for a more worthy storage unit. The most awesome curtains in the world (sewn by the most awesome Gramma in the world) Will have to come down for safety as Maya's bed will be pushed up against that window.

Wall #3-Please Help Me
Wall #3 is up for grabs!!!

It's time for the changing table to make way for a dresser. We really need clothes storage first & secure toy storage second. We need pieces or one piece that will not topple over, is sturdy, "babyproof" and holds a lot.

Julia's bed will come very close to the end of this wall & cover about an inch of the right side of the window. Curtains will be removed, the most adorable princess shelf ever will sell on eBay, and their table will most likely go to the basement. Note: the "Basement Project" is a side project which will also be posted at a later date!

Wall #4-Julia's Crib
Wall #4: Julia's Crib

Is anyone still reading this? I'm starting to feel like a Game Show Host. "Behind Wall #4...."

This entire wall will be taken up by Julia's "big girl" bed.

 I am thinking a cute & cartoony wild animal theme: monkeys, zebras, hippos, etc. Perhaps keeping the pink & purple and adding green & pale yellow accents to it. Input most welcome!!!

I have been collecting ideas on Kaboodle to keep them organized. I haven't bought anything yet, so it's all open for debate:

Ok, I'm kinda proud I just figured out how to post that!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And we're off.........

I have decided to create a blog about the process of turning my twin daughters' nursery into a big girls' room! For most parents this would be a very fun & exciting time. For us, it comes with mixed emotions: my twins are severely disabled due to a metabolic disorder called mitochondrial encephalomyopthy.

Maya with a fellow twin

Julia & Maya turn 6 in April, but function on a level par with 3-10 months abilities. They are partially wheelchair-bound, dependant on their energy level. They cannot speak or effectively communicate. They are unable to perform daily living skills such as dressing, bathing, brushing teeth, brushing hair. They do not understand basic phrases such as "Come to Mommy". They have "sensory issues" which results in a love of loud noises, white noise, spinning, swinging, and rocking, but do not know when to stop & sometimes overwhelm themselves. As a result, the girls will require some specialty furniture & all surroundings to be "baby proofed", which gets more difficult as they grow taller & heavier.

Julia enjoying a cupcake at the UMDF swim party

Enough whining-I'm determined to make this as fun of a process as possible! Julia and Maya are adorable (completely unbiased observation) and smiley & will have the best big girls room ever! With this blog, I hope to both inspire & learn from other parents about products, solutions, and life with disabled children  in general. Along the way, I encourage input from design & decor professionals and hobbyists, as well as funding options for such an endevour!