First of all, the theme...Dh and I both love monkeys, and we really liked this print. As much as I would have prefered something more modern and not childish, this is a child's room afterall, and I am really glad we went with the animals. It became even better by adding the border at the chair rail level. Charlie really enjoyed looking at the animals from the changing table or his crib, and it was fun to go through the phase where he learned their names and sounds. I really think it was a learning tool. My favorite thing about the bedding is the fact that the curtains and bedskirt have raised animals that feel really thick and soft, like velvet. I didn't actually purchase much of the matching set. For one, I am not an overly matching person. Secondly, I was grateful for my sisters' advice and hers and my experience so I didn't buy things we wouldn't use.
- For example, I have never seen someone use the comforter and they are often quite expensive. If you are going to hang it on the wall great, if not its a waste of money in my opinion. We did buy a soft blanket, but it ended up spending 99% of the time thrown over the rocker as a decoration more than anything.
- I didn't buy a bumper pad. One reason is that kids use them to stand on and climb out the bed sooner. Another reason is because they can be a hazard, either by suffocating the baby or the ties that tie them around the rails. I did, however, later purchase a "breathable bumper" that took didn't do any of those things because I forgot why bumpers do exist-to keep arms and legs from getting "stuck" (not really, but kids think they are and freak out) and to keep the pacifiers in! This somewhat helped with both of these, but not totally.
- I didn't buy a mobile because they are overpriced to get them to match and have very few features. Children tend to hang on them, which isn't safe, as they get older. I will say that I do somewhat regret that for infants. I am told the babies tend to stare at them and drift off to sleep (duh, I should have thought about that) and I think it would have been a lifesaver in some cases. I may buy a fishe.r price on for this baby with all the bells and whistles for the price of the matching one with no features.
I didn't use the decals in the nursery, but in the jack and jill bathroom that adjoins the two kids' rooms. I think it turned out really nice. Again, gender neutral without being too pastel (which isn't at all my taste). Below these windows is the bench where the material for the cushions came into play. Sorry the photo is a little dark.
For the furniture, we are blessed to have had a place about an hour away that sold returned and damaged Ba.bies R Us furniture for half off. For example, the armoire had the back cardboard broken, so it was simply replaced and sold at half off. We never would have bought that piece and the dresser, but it was such a good deal and I still love our furniture. One piece of advice is, if you get a conversion crib, the rails are not included and they are notorious for no longer selling them by time you need them. My sister was able to get a generic set that looked fine with hers, but we plan on buying ours soon to avoid a scramble.
Our main splurge was the rocker. TCIE has mentioned before the Dutail.er rocker (not sure if I spelled that right). This beauty cost us over $700 (insane, yes!) and I have loved every second in that chair. My mom and sisters were right, you spend a lot of time there, and sometimes fall asleep there and a comfortable one makes a big difference. Ottomans are always overpriced, but nursing stools are very helpful. I never use the rocking feature on thsi one, so any nursing stool you can purchase would have done the same job for much less. But the rocker, I am in love with that rocker and look forward to spending lots of time in it again!
As far as personalization, these are super cheap target shelves (I got about 4 for $20) that dh hung. For Charlie I had the Wil.low angel of miracles, a St. Raphael statue and novena card, and a plaque with a prayer engraved in it. The prayer reads something like, let us never forget that this child is a gift from above...I engraved his name and birth date on it as well and plan on doing the same for the new baby. We will also put gifts and various things related to the baby's saints names, etc .
That's it. It is fun to see it all ready and waiting for baby #2! Thanks for letting me share!