Monday, November 8, 2010

"Where's the Book Nook?"

How much do you (or did you) play with your kids?
I ask this because I have no sense of what the normal and reasonable amount of time should be for

down-on-the-floor, undivided attention kind of playing.
Like, how many times a day should one stop to ice skate around the kitchen in her socks? And, how often should I blow out the candles on my "Birthday" cake? Or be the Mommy Elephant stomping up the stairs? This is my least favorite one because I don't happen to like ANY comparisons to Elephants!
You see, I think I spend a good amount of time playing with my kids. At least, my Mom says I do! Particularly with my 3 year old daughter these days while big Brother is away at school all day. And while I LOVE our imaginary time together, getting bossed around by a pip-squeak and being told where to sit or stand or how to wear my hat or which animal noise to make, sometimes this play-mate just needs a break. Or, needs to do laundry, cook, clean, pay bills, blog read literature, you get the picture. So, I have been trying to find something to keep this girl occupied so I can have more than 5 minutes at a time to get something done. By this age her brother was living and breathing all things Trains so he was a little more easily entertained.
The younger one, not so much.
My first thought was to add something new. And then I realized that she had something in her room she hardly ever played with.
See it over there in the far corner against the wall?
Hard to see, huh? No wonder she never played with that dollhouse! In one of my many "DUH" Mom moments I realized that it just was never easily accessible for her.
So Mommy did a little bit of rearranging.

And created a Book Nook for my girl!

 In addition to moving the chair over to this little corner, I realized that the space above the window was looking a bit bare.

I found these darling Iron scrolls at a second-hand store and thought they would do the trick!


Hung together they add so much character and charm to the space!


This change also gave me the chance to put a lamp over in this very dark, recessed corner where some dumb non-thinking contractor didn't bother to put any ceiling lights.


One basket for Library books and another for the current "Favorites"!

Here is another look at the room before...

And a close-up of the nook now...


And, now, the Loving Family finally has the space it deserves! You could almost hear them shout for joy!

After I revealed the new changes to Lauren and declared, "look sweetie, now you have your own little Book Nook!", she spent the whole rest of the day looking around the room trying to find where the Book Nook could be! Was it behind the chair? Under her bed? In her bookcases?
I don't think she got it. Do you?


Blessings to you from this
Southern Girl at Heart,
Vanessa

47 comments:

Jemsmom said...

I love this post! I know that I don't spend enough time playing with my 4 year old. I am trying to play more and get off this blasted computer during the day! I taught up until a year and a half ago and it was so easy to be super mom for 2 to 4 hours a night and the cleaning was done by the housekeeper! It is a whole different ball game now that I am the mom, housekeeper, cook, and all the other things! I don't mind it one bit, but now I feel guilty that I am not playing all the time. I have even (dare I say it...) told her she could have computer time or watch a movie so I could clean, blog, whatever... I am trying to be better though! I try to not be on the computer while she is up. I check it off and on, but do the rest in the evenings. Then I feel guilty that I am not with my husband! Ugh!!!! I did realize this summer that I was on the computer too much and made a point to turn it off during the day. She will only be little for a short time so I am taking advantage of it!

Love how you moved the room around. It is so cozy! We got Jemma a Loving Family last year for Christmas. She is hit or miss with it! It is cute though! Great job on her room!

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

Adorable room! Love the little reading nook.

I don't know about the play time....hmmm....my girls also had great imaginations and it was always fun to participate in the game de jour but...like you, I still had chores to be done and meals to be cooked. It's always about balance, isn't it?

NanaDiana said...

I used to spend a lot of time playing with my kids, too. It's good for them...and now I spend a lot of time talking and interacting with my grandkids. And...because I didn't get anything done during the day when my kids were little, I lived on coffee and would stay up all night cleaning. Yep! Those were the days.

Good for you for being a hands-on Mom for your kids. It is not easy to do because we are constantly being called by the world to be more than "just a Mom". It's hard not to cave into that trap..because Mothers aren't made to feel that Motherhood is all that important in the way life is lived today. You hang in there honey and your kids will bless you when they are grown. You will see the difference between them and the kids that had absentee Moms.. and I am not talking about working Moms...because I had to work when my kids were little too. I am talking about Moms that aren't "home" when they are home. Hugs-Diana

Ann Nichols said...

This is great!
How many hours did I spend playing with my kids? As many as I could! And you know what, now that they are grown they come back home very often and "play" with me!!!
Kids know whether they are being shoved aside or not. Enjoy every moment of every day because you know what - time really does fly by and although this time of them being grown is great too it is only so because of that time of sitting on the floor playing or running around the park, reading a mountain of books to them or doing whatever it is your child likes!
Have a great week!
Ann

Belinda said...

Rather late in the day for my kids, I am realising little people are like big people in the way they are tempted to focus their attention on things by the way they are presented or made acccessible/attractive! When I lay out a group of toys, instead of having them in the toy cupboard it is amazing how they play with them suddenly - doh!! So making a gorgeous little book nook,(even if it takes a wee while to grasp for your daughter!), will probably result in lots more cosy reading moments and enjoyment of books. Ditto fun with dolls house. And how pretty it all looks. xx

Sue said...

First you confuse both of your kids with the multiple holiday celebrations and now you have your daughter trying to find an elusivse book nook!!! :-)
LOL, Vanessa- you crack me up. Once you sit down and start reading books to her in this corner, she'll finally get it. Until then, have fun being bossed around by a three year old! hugs, Sue

Melanie said...

I love the room. It is so sweet and has such charm. I have always wanted a book nook to sit and read. (that would be when I am not moving) I love the built in window seat. Great job!

Your home is so warm and inviting. Have a great week.

Christa @ Stories of a House said...

What a smart idea! I still rotate toys to keep the kids interested. It works like a charm! Her room is SO pretty, Vanessa!

Christa

Ashley said...

Her room is beautiful! I love the little nook. You decorate so well! We have toy cabinets with doors on them. And if I don't open the doors, the toys never get played with in there.

You are right, it is tough to balance the time. Some days, I am able to let my chores go and play all day. Other days, I don't do as well. I'm definitely still learning the balance.

Debbie said...

So guess which empty nester hung on ever word and picture of THIS one?

I well remember the playtime days. I love how you descibe being bossed around by a little pipsqueak. So true!

Now, as to your inviting solution? I love it. I mean I REALLY love it! Not only is it pretty and comfortable, but it does open up the room for her playtime. (And you are so right about that too. You both need some of it.)

I think her search for the book nook is just adorable. You scored some major Mommy Points with this one!!

michelle said...

What a cozy little book nook! Her room is just beautiful! You did a fabulous job decorating! I struggle with the same issue. With my first I worked full time so any chance I got I played, well when I didn't have laundry, cooking and all those other boring chores. The bad thing now she a hard time playing by herself. The little man plays well by himself and love cars! They keep him busy for hours! TO make a long story short I have yet to find that balance as well! I think anytime you spend with your kids is great, quality, not quantity maybe? :) Have a wonderful day!

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

The nook looks so inviting. I love the drapery fabric, so pretty! And Frenchy!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Vanessa~ cute little nook you created! I love that she has a spot for all her books and her dollhouse is happier now too!! The chair looks great over there- Really inviting and cozy! :)

Kristen White said...

What a great improvement.....I love it and really does look so inviting now! I'm sure she will spend hours in there creating and making imaginary fun :o)
Kristen

High Street Cottage said...

Love it! The book nook is simply perfection. I love that it is a little more grown up too, so she'll enjoy it longer.

Val said...

What a sweet and adorable room. I spend most of my free time playing with my children. It is my most favorite thing to do. Happy Monday sweetie!

Judy said...

I love this post. I used to spent all day playing with my kids when they were young. They went to bed early (6pm early) for years so I would wait until after they went to sleep to do everything else. To this day I am still their favorite playmate. They will usually pick me over a playdate...not sure if that's good or bad.

Kathy said...

Her room is adorable -the litle corner looks so inviting ( I hope to your dtg too ) I think it is wonderful that you take the time to play with your children -these times pass so fast -That bond you share will only help her survive out in this jungle we live-and she'll always know when she enters her front door she is safe -sounds to me you are doing an incrediable job raising your children and keeping a lovely home.

Karen said...

so cozy! The lamp did the trick. I absolutely love lamps - my hubby says please not another one to turn off before bedtime. But, the baskets are adorable. Her room is precious - I can just imagine your personality shining through it.

Lori said...

I just love your daughters bedroom! The window seat is so pretty. You did a great job decorating it. What an awesome mom you are!

Every room in your home is so beautiful! Wish you lived close to me so you could come give me some decorating advice!

Lori : )
Thrifty Decor Mom

Becca said...

Awwww, you write the best posts evah! I think you are one FABULOUS Mommy! The fact that you've created such a beautiful room for your baby girl, while now taking her age into consideration and creating a book nook for her, in your own beautiful decoratin' way. You truly are an inspiration, girl. Seriously! As for play time with my kiddo ... he's in preschool/day program most of the day, and, trust me, there are days as though I feel I am the world's worst Mommy. But, then, there are moments, like this morning, when I was "Mama Horsie," galloping around the house with my almost 50 lb. 3 1/2 foot 4 year old son hanging on my back laughing until he fell off ... and yesterday, I was the mommy "racoon" nestling into the blankets for a "winter's nap" as Jax called it. And, then we had to have a dance party. LOL. When I see the smiles and laughter on his face, it's then I realize I'm not doing *too* bad, I s'pose. Hugs, Becca

billi said...

they nor you are ever too old to play with your kids. Enjoy every minute you have with them because they are out grow that before you are ready, I miss the times I was not able to play due to outside interferences.Just be happy together.

Jen said...

My kids are teenagers but I have a passion for books and this definitely looks like a cozy place to curl up & have some quality mommy/dtr time!!!

Jen said...

My kids are teenagers but I have a passion for books and this definitely looks like a cozy place to curl up & have some quality mommy/dtr time!!!

Debbie said...

Hi Vanessa...what a great, and thought provoking post! First let me say, what an ever so charming room...lucky to make a book nook for her. When my boys where little we played, played hard. I did though make a lot of play dates and get together with other MOM's...that helped me get through those toddler times. It was good for them as well. Hey I can be a big kid too, but sometimes they really do think you are a their entertainment. They need to learn to occupy themselves and use their imagination too. You are a great Mom..you will find the balance you need.

jessica said...

Hi Vanessa,

Your blog is so inspiring! I love it and I can tell many,many others do as well! Which brings me to my next question. How have you been able to link up with so many followers in such little time? Very impressive! Me likey! :)
Great job!
Jessica

Dayle said...

Reading to my daughter was one of the greatest pleasures of her childhood ... for both of us. You've created a wonderful little nook.

Kristin said...

I want a nook too! Maybe you could come over and do some rearranging for me in the corner of my room. ;o)
Very nice!

xinex said...

Your little girl's bedroom is adorable. I love where you moved the chair and table. I am sure she will play with that doll house now that it is easily more accessible. You are such a good mom...Christine

Farah Muzaffar said...

Love her reading nook, and the changes you made are simple but transfers the room a more comfortable.
I also dont know how much playing with a kid is good, but I love it, I love kids of your daughter age, when they speak so innocently, my both kids are grown up but I have little nephew and niece and I can spend hours with them or any kid.
Its a lovely post. Hope you would like to pay a little visit to me at
http://craftaworld.blogspot.com/
Love
Farah

Lori said...

It is like you added a whole new addition onto that space. Makes me want to redo corners.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Vanessa,

I really love the way you make your children's space feel gorgeous. The iron scrolls, for example. IO would NEVER have thought of putting them into my children's bedrooms.

Sarahx

Pamela said...

What a beautiful change Vanessa! I just love it! I admit some days we play more than others. I do not remember ever having my mom play with me nor does The Hubster. It was always more of us going and doing things. We like to read and do Legos and snuggle on the couch. Those are our faves.

All That Glitters said...

Love the changes!!!!!I feel like I don't spend enough time with my kids. Which is sad to me.

Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Very cute!

Miranda said...

Beautiful room your daughter has. I love the changes you've made. *I* want that reading nook!

I've found that kids having a pretty and clean space to play in is integral to them playing happily. I can tell when mine drift out of their rooms and start mulling around like they have nothing to do, it's usually because they've made too big of a mess of their space and it's no longer fun to play in. We go in and reset and suddenly they notice toys they didn't see before. :)

Traci said...

Hey Vanessa, it looks great! What a wonderful idea!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Your so cute Vanessa, I'm not picky about that kind of stuff, so don't worry about it :)
XO

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, I love how you created that reading area and the scroll things look really good above the window. I am sure she will play with her doll house more now while she tries to figure out where the book nook is. Thanks so much for joining.

Midwest Cottage said...

It's adorable. I love the book ends on the wall. I love wrought iron. It's amazing how as they grow into different stages how you have to move their rooms around.

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Just stopping by from Kim's B&A party! Love the scroll work. It just sets the nook off. Oh for my babies to be little again so I can read to them!!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That is just so precious! You are a very good mommy...and creating something special that she will remember always! I would love my own book nook! Very wonderful! ♥

Lori @ Projects Plenty said...

What a lovely room! You are a great Mom. I loved reading this post... although my son is in college, it seems like yesterday he was you daughters age.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I love your book nook! What a great spot to curl up in! How cute your daughter was looking around ~ I imagine she was looking for an actual thing that would be a "book nook". : )

Angela said...

Beautiful space. A girl's dream. Another thing that entertains mine for long periods of time and can be educational is chalkboard painted space. We painted the inside of our pantry door and created a trimmed out 5'x 5' space along a back hallway leading to the garage and they LOVE it. They play school, draw pictures and entertain themselves and each other. We can guide & interact with while we work and they play in the kitchen and on the bigger one in the hall they can get creative or I write a bunch of fun/educational things for them to do/work out on the board and they never get tired of it.

Kim said...

What a pretty room! Everything looks so warm and inviting. About spending time with the children--lots is great, however, they do need to learn how to entertain themselves, so if you have chores, don't feel guilty. My 11-yr. old can still play for long periods of time with her Polly Pockets while we're in the same room.

Sailing Simply said...

I am so glad I have found some time to explore your blog a bit more. I am sorry I missed this one. I love how you moved the dollhouse over so it's more visible. Great thinking and I hope it works. Being a mom and playmate is exhausting, I remember! I wanted to tell you though that your daughters room is just so pretty! I absolutely love how you decorated this room!