Author Archives: Jane

Sapling Status: 2 Months Old

Happy 2 months to Maple! Once again the time has flown by, and I have a feeling it’s going to be that way every month.

Maple’s Updates:

Maple 2 Mos Smile

This is the month where she discovered her smile. And oh, what fun it is to see her whole face crack open into a smile at the most random of times. She’s also been finding her giggle, though I haven’t been able to catch it in a video yet.

Maple consistently gained weight this month, which was a relief. It took about 2 weeks after her frenectomy for her nursing latch to correct itself, after which she became a perfect little eater. She’s finally on the cusp of growing out of newborn clothes and into 0-3mos.

At the same time, her acid reflux got so bad that she is now on Zantac. This was prescribed after sessions of projectile vomiting and a few times waking up screaming because she was vomiting out her nose and mouth. That was the worst. Her face had the saddest expression, like “why is this happening to me” and she was just screaming as I held her, trying to comfort her. I learned that seeing your child suffer, no matter how briefly, is an intense feeling.

Now that the ice on sidewalks has melted, we’re going for walks and she loves to look around from the stroller as we roll. It’s so much fun to see her curious face watching the world pass by.

Maple 2 Mos Stroller

She’s been having fun with baths. We fill the adult tub or the baby tub and hold her head so she can float and wiggle, which she LOVES to do.

My life as her mom:

This month I made peace with “not getting much done” when I’m home alone with her during the days, and it’s been awesome. I am happy to spend hours cuddling with her without going nuts.

Maple Shower Winning

I have officially achieved my pre-baby goal of showering every day no matter what.

The mornings are her most active time, so we spend a lot of that doing tummy time, making silly noises and laughing, and staring at ceiling fans.

I’m learning to fit smaller tasks into the shorter naps, and to tackle the more involved work during her longer naps or the evening. Ryan helps a ton when he gets home from work, and after dinner I usually work down in the Janery studio or office until midnight. Then I wake Maple up to feed her before I go to sleep.

This balance happened by accident, but it’s really working well. I’m enjoying the time in my studio more than ever because it’s so different from my time spent being a mom.
There were a few rough days, like the day where she woke up to eat at 3 am and fussed all morning and afternoon, until finally passing out around 1:30. That was a long day, because I couldn’t even put her down to make lunch. At noon I was eating peanut butter out of the jar with one hand while holding Maple with the other.

Maple Jane 2 Mos

We’ve taken her out to numerous restaurants and other places without a hitch, she sleeps consistently most nights, and she doesn’t really cry unless she needs food.I think that overall Maple would be considered a good baby, and I feel like we got extra lucky.

 

 

Planning My New Basement Office

I’m in the process of planning my basement office space. I have a small work space for my corporate job in my living room thanks to my secretary desk, but the Janery office will be in the basement TV room.

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For now my office has just the farmhouse desk I built and a file box, but there is more to come. These are the aspects I’m working on because I don’t have a full plan yet:

Desk

My plan has been to build a new desk, something large, with one solid board for the top and simple legs.

I built a farmhouse style desk for my old office, but after 2+ years of using it I’ve learned more of what I’m looking for in a desk. No drawers, because I want more leg space under the desk. A longer surface, so that I have room for my computer, but also room to spread out and work on papers.

I’m also considering making two identical desks so that I have an L-shaped workspace. I’m not sure if it’s necessary, though. For now, I’ve taped out the space the L-shaped desk would occupy. The first desk, against the wall, will be built so that the L-shaped desk plan can be used if necessary.

I taped out the space the two desks would take up, just to get a feel for the layout:

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Wall Color

I’m planning on repainting the walls. They’re currently painted a sort of eggshell white; it certainly shows up very yellow in the photos.  I think plain white walls will simplify things, and if I want to get colorful, I may put some fuchsia paint on the small triangle wall against the stairs.

Wall Shelves

I’ve installed Elfa shelf hardware from the Container Store (during the annual sale), after realizing I wanted wall shelves for storage. Installing this system saved me from having to drill holes and anchor every single shelf, which would not be ideal since this is a rental.

I’m going to add solid wood shelves just like I did in the nursery. I’m debating whether they will be painted white or stained medium brown to match the desk I will build.

Storage

In addition to the wall shelves, I’d like an under-desk, rolling filing cabinet for paper storage. Filing cabinets are really expensive! I’m considering this one from CB2 since it’s cheaper than most on Amazon, and it has small item storage in the top drawer.

CB2 TPS White Filing Cabinet

Rugs & Baby Play Space

The final consideration in all this planning is space for the baby as she grows. We’ve essentially divided the long basement into halves, with one for my office and one for our TV area. Right now we have the pack-n-play between the back of the sofa and my office corner.

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I’d like the space between sofa and desk to become the baby’s play space as she grows. Therefore I think I need a rug large enough to cover all the way from my desk to the back of the sofa.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be making decisions on shelf colors, the desk style, and storage. The rug will come last.

Creating a Home Office in the Living Room

Living Room Home Office secretary desk closedWhen you live in an apartment, space comes at a premium and you don’t always have an entire room to dedicate to your home office. But whether you use your office to work from home full-time or just to pay your bills, having a dedicated workspace is a necessary part of keeping your small space organized.

I had the luxury of a dedicated home office in our small rental home but recently gave it up to create the baby’s nursery.  As an alternative, I tried creating an organized office space in an unused corner of our living room that didn’t sacrifice the style of this space we use for entertaining.

Living Room Office secretary desk in useI set up my vintage secretary desk against some unused wall space between my living room and dining area.

A secretary desk is one of the best pieces of furniture for creating a low-profile office in a common area of your home. These desks usually have drawers on the bottom, shelves on top and a fold-out desk top that can be closed up to conceal your computer and other electronics at the end of the day.

Living Room Office desk comparisonThe upper shelves are perfect for storing office clutter, but style also matters when the workspace is trying to blend with an area that might be used for entertaining, like the living room. I kept things stylish with the following storage tricks:

  • A decorative white file box holds folders for my paper clutter, such as bills to pay, papers to scan or file, and coupons.
  • A shoebox and lid, wrapped in solid and patterned wrapping paper, contains notes and cards received.
  • Binders are a great organization tool, but they aren’t exactly decorative, so our household binders also got wrapped in wrapping paper.
  • A cubby holds blank notecards, while another holds a stamp dispenser and a pretty tea box for dumping loose change.
  • The addition of a few decorative objects amongst the “useful” storage on the shelf finishes off a polished look that complements the living room.

Using a desk with drawers offers the added bonus of extra storage space. While the top drawer of my desk stores office supplies, the lower drawers hold kitchen and dining linens that don’t fit in kitchen cabinets.

Living Room Office double duty drawer storageIf you don’t have a secretary desk, there are many other options for creating a workspace that blends with your apartment’s style.

In a modern space, the simple Parsons table provides a sleek workspace, and a laptop can be tucked in the middle drawer when not in use. In a more traditional living room, an antique or vintage wooden desk with big drawers could do the trick. The addition of a few small wall shelves above the desk provides more decorative storage space.

A few tips on making an office space blend in your living room:

  • A simple desk can double as a table when placed behind, or next to, your sofa.
  • When storing office items in plain sight, get creative with decorative containers.
  • If your desk lacks storage, a decorative ottoman with hidden storage and a removable lid could double as file storage and a coffee table or extra seat for guests.
  • Instead of adding clutter with a desk chair, find a seat that does double duty, such as a comfortable dining chair that can be moved back and forth between the desk and the table.
  • Keep cord clutter contained with cord wraps or clips. A tangle of cords cascading down the back of a desk and onto the floor will quickly make a space look less put-together.
  • Charge your electronics out of sight. A desk drawer can provide concealed charging storage; just drill a hole in the back of the drawer to pass the charge cords through.
  • In very small living rooms, consider letting your computer monitor do double-duty as your TV.

No matter how small your apartment, the key to sneaking an office space into your living room décor is to stay organized and keep clutter to a minimum. An organized space is always a happier space!

Living Room Office chair at secretary desk