Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Bird Nest

Yesterday I told you that there were some things changing around my house.

I failed to mention that we also made a few changes in The Bird's bedroom.  She had carpet in her room as well so it's gone and replaced with that same lovely laminate flooring.  She can now spill juice to her heart's content and I can just swipe it up with a damp paper towel.

Score one for mom.

Since we were changing the floor, we decided to go ahead and do a little bit of redecorating in Lily's room, too.

My mom came from Virginia for a quick visit and so I did what I do best when she comes to town - put her to work.  We made a trip to IKEA and got some things to not only jazz up Lily Bird's room but with the idea of making it a bit more functional.

For example, most of you know that Lily knows ABC order when she plays Alphabet Freeze on the iPad.  But I want to know if she can transfer that knowledge to other things, like those magnetic letters.  I also thought we might be able to do some matching games.

So I had the bright idea of hanging two whiteboards at a low level in her bedroom.

I'm not a total dunce, though.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to leave the magnetic letters out all the time.  I thought I'd hang a bucket above the whiteboards that she couldn't reach.  Then she would only do letters and games with me or Ryan or the big sisters.

Good idea, right?

Well, we'll see....

So here's some pictures of The Bird's revamped room:

Beautiful laminate flooring with a soft rug for playing.

 Cozy seating area complete with enormous bean bag perfect for looking at books or TV viewing.

Lily-sized plastic table and chairs.  Plastic is key here.  Lily can chew on it if she feels the need and I don't have to worry about her ruining furniture or ingesting wood.

I've learned a thing or two over the years....

Nice large family pictures hanging on a wire.  Lily likes looking at family pictures.  (I stole this idea from my mother-in-law, one of the first to notice that Lily liked looking at the big family pictures she has hanging on her gameroom wall.)

Here's a shot of how the pictures look above the little table and chairs.  Except I just realized I cut my father-in-law out.  Sorry, Grandpa!

My mom wanted Lily to have a large unbreakable mirror so that she might catch her reflection more often and express some interest in it.  So we hunted down a place that does acrylic mirror and had one cut just for her room.

I also wanted to place some of her favorite toys on an unreachable shelf so that she would have to communicate in some way that she wanted one to play with - a little purposeful sabotage to encourage talking. 

And the TV is up high because, I repeat, I've learned a thing or two over the years.

One of Lily's newest fun activities to do when she's in her room by herself is open all those dresser drawers and fling the clothing around the room.  

This afternoon, I'm purchasing a yardstick to slide through the handles so she can't open the drawers. How long do you think that will last?  Feel free to place your bets.

Now to the infamous whiteboards.  This is where they were hanging.  

And if you look closely, you can see the holes in the wall both where we had trouble hanging them straight and from when Lily ripped them off the wall.  It only took her about 48 hours to do so.  It looked really cute while it lasted.

I'm not giving up, though.  I'm trying to come up with some alternatives, like flat sheets of magnetic whiteboard.  Something besides painting with magnetic paint.  Because I don't like to paint.  And this is a DIY project.

Well, DIY + my Mom.

Actually, it's more a DIM project - Do It Mom.

I hesitate to show you Lily's adorable bed because it's a little different than most children's beds.  We needed a safer option for her since she is a destructive wanderer, a common trait among children with autism.

But I think we've been friends long enough now that I can show you this without you thinking I'm some kind of monster parent.

And here it is:  Lily Bird's Safety Bed.

It's truly a one-of-a-kind original design and was a labor of love amongst myself and the several others it took to design, create, build, paint, and decorate it.

Lily absolutely loves it.  Not that she cares that much about the decor.  But she does love getting all snuggled up in there, like it's her own little playhouse.  

So there you have it.  

A bedroom fit for a Bird.


  1. OK... I LOVE the little garden bed! That is so cute and such a clever way to deal with the wandering! we still use a baby gate to keep Little Miss in her room at night, but all bets are off once she figures out how to open that. I rue the day!

    I wanted to share something with you that might help the white board issue. We bought one of these for Little Miss a few months back and she loves it ==>

    It's not magnetic, but she can still practice her numbers and letters. As an added bonus, Little Miss gets to practice writing (she really needs to work on her grip).

    Ok.. before this comment gets too long -- one more question... where did you get that cute table and chair set? I LOVE it!

  2. Love the rug, and that may be the cutest bed I've ever seen. You may need to figure out a way to market that and sell it. How many parents would love to have something so cute and serves its protective purpose at the same time? You're amazing.

  3. Mom2LittleMiss - What a great idea on the peel and stick! I'm going to google and see if I can find a magnetic one, too. We could maybe do both the chalkboard and the magnets that way. The table, stools and chair all came from IKEA. They have other colors as well - and about $70 for the whole thing! :)

    Chair -
    Stool -
    Table -

    Amy - The rug came from IKEA, too. It's even cuter in "real life"! Ryan would love it if I could figure out a way to mass market the safety bed - then we could use the money to pay for our expensive Bird!

    Mary - Come on over!

  4. LOVE THAT BED! That is simply adorable! Looks like a little flower market. Really cute...Bet you could sell this idea to other special needs parents easily for those "wanderers".

  5. Bet Parents Magazine would be interested...just an thought.

  6. You should open the bed and take a picture of what it looks like on the inside! I'm fascinated! It's very beautiful from the outside!!

  7. I'm right there with Mary!! Or come work your creative magic at my house! :)

  8. Teresa - Maybe you can be my publicist!

    Whitney - Good idea on opening the bed. You can tell I'm a very amateur photographer with my iPhone camera. Never even thought someone might like to see the inside. Will try to remember to do that and post it.

    Darla - My creative magic only comes in short, brief bursts, unfortunately.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...