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December 01, 2006

Finally finished the kids' room

Room_sm_a New_room_sm

This was Gwen's room before her referral.  We had many months during our wait to make it "just perfect" and I fondly remember going in there every night before bed to look around the tidy quiet space and try to imagine what it would be like with a warm soft noisy little bundle of love in there.  I loved her room! 

But only 8 months after coming home with Gwen, we closed escrow on our new house.  It was very sad to leave the mural I painted and all of the memories the room held and drive away forever.  So we decided to recreate the room at our new house.

Here's the new room.  The paint colors are identical (we switched cameras so the colors look different in the two pics)

We moved into our new house in mid July and thought we'd have plenty of time to work on the room but just 3 weeks later, we got our travel authorization to go back to China and bring Maddy home.  Before we left, we managed to get the room repainted and we hired someone to come in while we were in China to install the crown molding.   

As soon as we got back, I painted the mural of the two frog sisters very quickly (while Daddy was trying to keep the kids out).

The ceiling is 9 feet high in this house so we needed to purchase a new ladder before we could install the white trim and hang the wall paper border.  That finally happened last weekend but we were one roll short on the wall paper border so I went to www.kellyrightsell.com and tried to order one more roll but it was DISCONTINUED! 

After many hours of searching and fretting, we heard from their customer service rep that they'd found a roll for us.  Phew!   

The room isn't as cozy and pretty as the original nursery but it's a "working nursery" now and it'll be pretty again some day.

We had to screw the lamp to the nightstand to keep the girls from knocking it over and breaking it. All of the toys are relocated to the playroom. The beautiful "Isabella" cribs by Babi Italia have been covered with Crib Tents and the room has been arranged to accommodate two small children who need to equally share the attention of parent(s) who read stories from the twin bed in the middle.

The crib tents became necessary when Gwen decided to climb out of her crib.  Since we'd had such good success with the Ferber Method (You can read about it here:  cry it out), we weren't looking forward more sleep issues.   While she was contained in her crib, Gwen was sleeping through the night and wasn't crying at all anymore but we knew there was no way she'd stay in a toddler bed so the tent was a wonderful find.  Maddy probably doesn't need it but we use it on her crib because she insists on having everything that her sister has.  We even took the tents to China and, with some creativity, managed to make them fit on all of the weird shape/size cribs we encountered there.  An added bonus is that both girls have come to accept that anything with the tent on top of it is their bed so transitioning Maddy to her full size crib was easy and traveling with the kids is easier too.  Best of all, they LOVE their crib tent!

A few words about The Ferber Method:

I know many adoptive parents are opposed to this and I also had concerns about it but we tried co-sleeping for five months and it just wasn't working. Gwen was spending several HOURS each night screaming at the top of her lungs and there was nothing I could do to comfort her.   Now that it's all been said and done, I can honestly say that Gwen has cried less in the 9 months we've been doing this than she did in just one week of co-sleeping with me. 

Since Gwen was already functioning great with the Ferber Method, we figured that it would be easier to get Maddy on the same program rather than attempt something new with both kids.  So, for the first week home from China, we all slept together as we adjusted to the time zone change.  Then, when the girls were pretty much on California Time, we went back to our old ritual of bedtime stories, kisses, "zip and tuck" (tuck them in and zip the tent) and light's out.   

Maddy did great with this!  Sometimes she would cry for a few minutes and we'd feel bad so we'd go in and try to comfort her but that always backfired and (just like Gwen), she'd cry more because she wanted us to take her out of her crib and our refusal would lead to more crying.   We finally resorted to staring at the baby monitor and listening to her cry and we'd watch the clock.  Luckily, Gwen didn't seem to be bothered by Maddy crying even though they share a room.  It never failed that Maddy (just like Gwen) would put herself back to sleep in less than 30 minutes and usually in less than 5 minutes.  We've been home for less than three months and she's been sleeping totally through the night without any crying at all for almost the entire time. 

Another Ferber success!

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