What’s New: A Room of Her Own

It has been an incredible week for me. As the community Children’s House program we’re working on creating takes shape, I’ve been talking with parents, dreaming, and making plans. I had one meeting this morning that has kept me on the edge of happy tears ever since and I can’t move forward quickly enough. I can’t wait until plans are solid so that I can share more with all of you, but this seems to be a wonderful phase in the evolution of my “big dream” and there seem to be many others who share a dream in line with mine and more than happy to join forces. I know I’m a tease, but I will spill as we go along!

Putting a bit more energy into the (other) things I love seems to make me a much more joyful parent overall, so life in the house has been pretty wonderful, aside from the standard toddler and still somewhat new baby challenges. Elliot


He was so happy to have gotten this runaway gourd under his control and into his mouth.

is obsessed with his sister, staring at her constantly, reaching for her hair anytime it bounces by, and even making the same faces she makes at him while interacting with his second best friend, his reflection. He seems to be trying so very hard to talk. He works so hard as he experiments with the different sounds he has learned how to make. He’s also in perpetual motion. I hadn’t realized just how constant his movement was until I had the honor of keeping a friend’s sweet girl while her mama and daddy went out on a date this weekend. She’s just a month older than E, and holding her was so strange, because she just sat there on my hip, smiling, occasionally cooing, and reaching out to touch things but otherwise mostly still. When I changed her diaper, she scarcely moved. Elliot is always kicking his legs and pumping his arms, wiggling and wobbling as though he has somewhere very important to go and he just can’t quite work out how to get there. If I put him on his back, he literally does crunches trying to sit up. He loves to play with his toes, and with anything else he can get a hold of. His fist is in his mouth anytime his hands are free, so I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the first tooth erupts.

Excited to be allowed to use mom’s (permanent) markers.

When we moved into this house, it had been quite some time since Annabelle had really cared that she had a room of her own, so we were in no hurry to set one up for her in the new house. She slept with us and she preferred to play mostly where we were, which was usually the living room or the kitchen, so all of the rooms in our house were used equally by all of us. All the same, something has been telling me it may be a good idea for her to have a room all her own again. Then she woke up Friday night due to a wet bed and the daddy tried to bring her into bed with us, but she asked to go sleep in the guest room instead. This made me certain it was time, so on Saturday we moved the guest bed elsewhere and replaced it with Annabelle’s bed, where she has been sleeping happily ever since. Before the new room, long stretches of time at home had become a bit of a challenge unless I offered some exciting and novel activity, but now that she has a space to call her own she’s happy for hours at a time playing with her “friends” (animal models) and simply enjoying her space. I suspect it will be even more special when we get it decorated to her liking. I feel a bit silly for not having thought to create her special space even sooner – it is clearly just what she needed. She gets herself dressed every morning while I’m getting around and comes out excited to show me what she has put on.

We have also gotten serious about setting aside special time for mommy dates and daddy dates, which is good fun for all. This weekend, Annabelle went out to lunch with her daddy and on an outing to the park with me. I’m already thinking about what we can do for our next one!

Do you have scheduled one-on-one time with your children? Do they have their own bedrooms, or share with another family member? Tell me about any of this, or just tell me all about your week – I truly would love to hear! Linky is at the bottom of the post.


Out to lunch with daddy.


The train has become old hat. Annabelle is not amused.


I seriously want to take a picture of him every time he falls asleep.

13 thoughts on “What’s New: A Room of Her Own

  1. Anna

    Oh my, this post brings back such sweet memories of my children as babies/toddlers.

    Elliott is so like Johnny was. I felt that he really resented being a baby and wanted to get up and mobile as quickly as possible. He crawled early and fast! I found him once, before I realised he could climb, above head height, hanging from a book-case and yelling in baby language for me. A certain amount of furniture shifting happened then. We had a playpen that we used to gate off one end of one room and everything that we couldn’t make safe went there, which I thought was better than putting the boy inside to keep everything else safe as it was!!!

    My kids have always had their own rooms. We have simple decorating rules in my house – the walls are neutral coloured. Everything else can be changed easily, curtains, pictures, duvet covers but the walls are cream!

    New in my house is the abandonment (if that is a word!) if keeping most of Livi’s toys in the loft and rotating them. She wants them all, all the time. I was like that too. If I was playing a game with dolls, which I did a lot, I used them all. My room always looked a mess to outsiders but to me it was beautiful. livi is the same. Her room is a school, or an orphanage, or a hospital and you need a lot of “friends” for those games. At the moment they are all under her bed. I need to think about a better way to have them all in her tiny room!

    1. melissa Post author

      Johnny sounds like he was hard to keep up with! I love your use of the playpen ;) I suppose it’s no surprise he turned out to be a gifted athlete. I can’t quite decide whether I think Elliot will be the sort of baby who climbs all over things and gets himself into precarious positions or not. He is constantly moving, and yet his personality seems to be very relaxed. I’ll be interested to see how that translates as he grows.

      I like your decorating rules! I am not one for painting and repainting, so we’re leaning toward the same. I can see Annabelle resisting the toy rotation eventually, too. Right now her favorite thing to do is either line all of them up, or stack everything into a giant mound. I went in this afternoon to find her entire closet emptied, and all of its contents added to a tower of animals.

  2. Discovering Montessori

    Annabelle is so blessed to have two parents and get to spend one on one time with both. I need to do this with my kids even though it is just me right now. Michelle and I often get one on one time when Ken and DJ are sleep, but no real adventure time. A big girl too sleeping in a room of her own by herself.

    Eliot is keeping busy as usual I see and I would want to take a picture of him too, so adorable and plump I could just hold him for hours.

    And yes you are teasing, I understand you holding out. It seems like a jinx for me when I mention something and it is just in the planning stage as my grandmother always said ” Loose lips sink ships’. Thank you for updating us on all the fun stuff that is happening with you and your family.

    1. melissa Post author

      Thank you! I feel super fortunate to be able to trade off and share special time without too much logistical trouble :)

  3. Rach

    How thoughtful to have alone time with the kids. Elliot sounds like a livewire and like he loves all that is going on. He is very gorgeous. Bet A loves her room, B likes hers a lot, although does prefer to spend more time downstairs.
    And I am so happy for you abiut your project. Sounds like you might have met some like-minded people – always a huge boost. And have made some connections too, friendswise, even better.

    1. melissa Post author

      Thanks, Rach. I’m definitely finding like-minded people to inspire and encourage me and it’s great! I still feel a bit like the new kid in town, but more at home all the time.

  4. Jessica

    Yes, we have separate dates with the children, and even have mommy/daddy dates once a month.
    Our children’s individual dates depend on time,weather,cost. Typically the child and adult do something together that they have mutual enjoyment in. C.J. and Chris go to the game store and play a lot of games together. Jasey LOVES the coffee shop atmosphere so we go and eat a treat drink our “coffee” hot chocolate and talk. At different times they will need more or less one on one time with both or one or the other parent.
    Ah, the bed rooms. Jasey and C.J. each have their own room. Complete with their choice of decorating so we have pink fairies and army stuff lol. Alex started in our room and is most of the time, however the crib and his stuff is in Jasey’s room. Jasey who sleeps better with people than alone is sleeping with C.J. He has full over full bunks. They both sleep on the bottom. The idea is that when Alex becomes old enough he will go into C.J.’s room and Jasey back into her own. C.J. rarely rarely ever wakes up or is in our bed. Jasey still ends up in our bed about 1 night a week. Alex ends up there about every night. We have considered changing the playroom into a bed room, but I REALLY like having that area to play.

    1. melissa Post author

      Ah, dates with each other are super important, too. It’s great that you schedule them regularly! One nice thing about A not taking naps is that she now goes to sleep easily quite early, so we can have at home dates after bedtime almost any time we want :)

      Your bedroom arrangement seems perfect! I can see how you’d want to keep the playroom, and I suspect Alex and C.J. will do great in a room together – C.J. seems like such a great big brother! I always shared rooms with one sibling or another (at times all 3!) growing up, and there were definitely moments when we did not like each other at all, but for most the part I think it was a good experience.

  5. Amy

    So Elliot is a mover and a shaker, huh? Sounds like a lot of fun! I’m glad to hear that Annabelle’s new room has been a positive development for all of you. =)

    I would love to implement parent/child dates, but we haven’t gotten that advanced yet. It sounds like you all are doing great with it already!

  6. Janine

    We’re still keeping it hush – Haven’t told our parents yet! – but I am actually about 13 weeks pregnant with our new sibling! I’m super excited, but also feeling a lot of pressure to move Sebastian along. Mainly, cut down on night nursing (He sleeps well through the night -usually – but still must nurse at bedtime), and possibly move him into his own room. It’s dependent on us buying a new, bigger bed so that we can afford to move the twin out of our room. But even with that done, I won’t know where to start!

    Elliot sounds just like Sebastian as a baby – Always moving and going!

    My husband doesn’t take Sebastian out alone often. I do on occasion, and often in the summer. Daddy dates are usually just hanging out when I take a nap or (rarely) go out alone. I should send the boys out more often, but I like to go on dates with them too much!

  7. Laura

    Oh. I am so happy for you. A community Children’s house program must be something super exciting to work on. Congrats!!!
    Elliot looks so big already!!! I am taken aback at how little babies are only little babies for a very short while, specially second children. Or, am I mistaken?
    That’s wonderful that Annabelle has a room of her own, where she is happy to be in. In our case, after some summer months when Marina was sleeping in her own room, we’ve gone back to the family bed. She seems to sleep much better snuggled up between us two and we’ll stay like this until she expresses her wish of going back to her room. In the meantime, I think we will rearrange her room a bit more Montessori like.

  8. Amy

    We think one-on-one time is so important! That being said, we don’t always do it. Daddy’s job keeps him busy and he goes to school full time. But, over the last few months, he was able to have Saturday morning bike and park dates with Q-ball while I was completing my long training runs for my first half-marathon (just finished it last weekend!) It was a wonderful time for all of us, and we hope to keep up a similar schedule. We are also trying to do “un-dates” where my husband or I get some time for ourselves while the other one is having one on one time with the other parent.

    And, I can certainly relate with having a child who never stops moving! Whenever I see other kids out and about, I always ask, “are they always so quiet/still/etc?”

  9. Gauri of Loving Earth Mama

    Wow, I love that Anabelle has taken to her own room so easily and joyfully. I have been wanting or at least wondering about doing that for Nica. We got her a new bunk bed which she loves playing in but does not seem to be ready to sleep in. And honestly, my next event horizon in this area is weaning, so I figured I’d get us over that hump first, before jumping into the ‘oh, yeah, and you need to sleep in your own room, too’ thing. But I actually think she would sleep better as I tend to wake her up when I come in. *sigh* It is all heading in the right direction, though, I think, and it feels good.

    LOVE the photo of Elliot sleeping, at the end. Precious.

    Cheers for the inspiration and resonance, as ever and good luck with your super project!



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