Nursery ideas for our new home

Before Toby was born we did the whole expectant parent thing of painting the nursery, getting new carpet, choosing the furniture – although actually we just matched the walls to the curtains we already had up in the room and the only new furniture we bought was a cot. For a while his room didn’t have any other decoration but when he was about six months old we decided on a space theme. We added solar system stickers to one wall and a Dr Seuss quote with some rockets on the other wall. My brother and sister-in-law bought him a space rocket rug and when he moved into his big boy bed before Christmas we bought space themed bedding too.

Dr Seuss quote and rocket bedding in Toby's nursery

Toby loves his space rocket room and he can tell you all about the planets – Mercury is really, really small, Venus is really, really hot, Jupiter has a big red spot, and Saturn has rings – what more do you need to know?!

Solar system stickers in Toby's nursery

Poor old Gabe though, he hasn’t even got a room of his own. He’s heading towards eight months old and is still sleeping in his co-sleeper crib in our room. There are a few reasons for this; we have a three bedroom house but our third bedroom is full of Barry’s computer, bookshelves, the sofa bed for when we have visitors and all the other accumulated junk that doesn’t have anywhere else to live. We were hoping that the boys would be able to share a room but with Gabe still waking in the night, and usually up at between 4 and 5 am I don’t think we’re quite ready for that yet! So for now he’s staying in with us and we’re going to have to try squeezing the cot in our room soon as he’s not got much room left in the co-sleeper.

Gabe sleeping in mummy and daddy's room

However, we are hopefully going to be moving house sometime this year to go and live nearer to our parents and we’re hoping the move is going to be sooner rather than later. We’ve been looking at four bedroom houses so that the boys would have a room each and then they can share when they’re a bit older. I’ve been Pinning lots of nursery ideas already. I really love the grey and yellow of this Snuz bedding so I think I might go with those colours as a start and then maybe go with clouds and rainbows. It would need to have lots of storage too – I’m a bit obsessed with buying clothes for the boys at the moment so we would need somewhere for them all to go, and somewhere for all the cloth nappies too! I’m mostly looking forward to him having a room of his own though, at least until he’s a bit older.

I guess then when the boys are older if they want to share a room they can. There are so many cool bunk beds and cabin beds out there – I know I loved having bunk beds with my brother when I was small, until I fell out of the top bunk when I was seven and split my eyebrow open on some Lego at least! I know when they’re a bit older I might not get my own way as easily but I’m hoping we can avoid the cartoon character bedrooms for a good few years yet anyway!

For now I’m just hoping we get our moving plans under way soon – I don’t really want Gabe to still be in our room when he’s one!

**This post is in collaboration with homify

Relocating: where do you start?

AddR hReading

I think I have mentioned before that Barry and I have always had the intention of moving from Scotland back to the north west of England at some point in the future. I am originally from Blackpool and my parents still live there. I’ve lived in Scotland for twelve years now but before that I was working in France for six years on and off, and away at university so I haven’t really lived in Blackpool properly in nearly twenty years, although I still refer to it as home. When I met Barry five years ago he was living in Manchester near his parents but they have since moved to Cumbria. Barry moved up to Scotland to live with me about eight months after we first met and we always said we would probably move back to England eventually. Since we’ve had the kids the urge to move back ‘home’ has got stronger, particularly for me. Having no family support locally is really tough at times and although our parents visit fairly regularly it’s nothing like having them around the corner. Toby does now know his grandparents and he recognises them between visits but he was probably about eighteen months before he really started remembering them. And of course Gabe has no idea who his grandparents are! I grew up with my grandma living round the corner and I saw her all the time…I’d like that for my boys, and of course having babysitters a bit closer to hand won’t hurt either! There’s also the fact that although all our parents are by no means old, and they are all in relatively good health at the moment (apart from my dad who currently has his leg in plaster after busting his Achilles’ tendon because he forgets he’s not 25 any more) they won’t be young and sprightly for ever so living nearby will definitely make things easier in 10, or 20 or even 30 years when they are needing our support.

The other factor to consider is that we always said if we were going to move we should do it before Toby starts school. There are lots of differences between the Scottish and English school systems, not least the cut off date for starting school which I think could mean if we stayed here Toby wouldn’t start school until he was five, whereas in England he’ll start when he’s only just turned four. As he could be starting school nursery next year when he’s three, it seems like the time we have to move is quickly running out.

So, we decided that instead of just thinking about it we should actually start doing something about moving…but where do we even begin?

We know roughly the area we would like to move to. I don’t want to go back to Blackpool but I’d like to be within an hour’s drive of my parents at the most. I’ve spent many hours online browsing houses and I’ve found a few we like the look of. But we can’t move without a mortgage and we won’t be able to get a mortgage without at least one of us having a job to go to. Of course we’ll need to sell our house up here too before we can buy a new one, but the process of selling houses is quite different in Scotland than in England so that’s another thing to consider.

I think we probably need to get the job thing sorted first because without a job to go to we can’t do any of the other things. I’m still on maternity leave at the moment but previously I was on a temporary contract so I don’t actually have a job to go back to when my maternity leave ends. Luckily being a teacher means I can get a job anywhere there is a school and there are lots of schools within commuting distance of the area we are looking to move to. I just have to hope something suitable comes up, but probably not until the start of the next school year. I know my teaching qualifications are transferable to England too (which isn’t the case if you are wanting to move from England to Scotland to teach) so that makes life a bit easier. Barry is a software engineer which also means there are lots of options when it comes to where he could work so hopefully the chances of at least one of us finding a job are fairly high.

So then we come to houses… what if we see a house we like and want to put in an offer? Can we do that if we haven’t sold our own house? Or what if someone offers on our house but we haven’t got anywhere to move to? Should we sell anyway? There’s always the possibility of renting temporarily but I don’t want to have to move twice if we don’t need to! And then even if we manage to co-ordinate all that don’t get me started on the logistics of actually packing up a house full of stuff and two kids and moving us all 200 miles down the road!

You know what? On second thoughts I think we might just stay here!

In all seriousness though, if any of you have moved to a different area before and have any top tips on how we even begin to go about relocating then please do let me know!

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