Playroom Planning

Playroom Before

This was dubbed the “circus room” when we moved in, for obvious reasons. Originally there was a multi-colored wallpaper border which we removed and toned down just a little with a blue stripe…but it didn’t take away from the “circusness” of the room.

At one point, I had big plans to turn this into a workout room, and we even set up a TV so I could do my Jillian Michaels workout in it. But since I go to the gym in the mornings and ride my bike regularly (when I’m not pregnant), I didn’t really need to add any extra workouts to my schedule.

Now that we’re starting to accumulate toys and baby gear, we have all the motivation we need to turn the “circus room” into a playroom. And it will definitely NOT be circus-themed!

From the start, I had a clear vision of what I want this room to look like. Normally I shy away from really bold colors, but since this is going to be a playroom and it’s in the basement, I’m feeling a little braver than usual. Which is why I chose this color (Bayside by Valspar) for the walls:

Valspar Bayside Paint

It will probably look a little darker on the walls, especially since there aren’t any windows in the room, but I think it’s going to be perfect! The accent color in the room will be bright red, so we’ll keep the existing fan/light fixture…but the red floor must go! We haven’t picked out the new flooring yet, but we’re thinking of something fairly neutral that will complement the bright colors.

The nursery is our #1 priority right now, but the playroom is next on our list. The painter will be here in a few weeks, so I’ll update with pictures once he’s finished!

The Evolution of a Nursery

One of the reasons I fell in love with our house was the room right off the front hallway with the big, pretty windows. For two years, it served me well as a home office and studio.

Former Office

Eventually my studio outgrew the room, so we converted the two back bedrooms into a waiting room and office/studio space. So for the last two years, that pretty front room has been sadly neglected (except for in December when we’ve put the Christmas tree up in front of the windows). That will soon change, though, because it’s about to become Baby Rambach’s nursery!

Nursery Before

Now that we’ve cleared out the daybed and bookcase that found a temporary home in this room, it’s completely empty and waiting to be filled with furniture. Today our painter came and touched up the crown molding, and the carpet is being cleaned on Wednesday. Hopefully by next weekend, the furniture will be assembled and in place…but for now it looks like this:

Nursery Furniture

These gigantic boxes have been sitting unopened in the front hallway for several days now. I can’t wait to get everything set up so that I can start decorating — until then, I’ll just keep collecting ideas on my Pinterest board.

Music Therapy on TED.com

Tim Ringgold is a music therapist in California with an amazing story to tell. But if you watched the video above, you know that already.

I met Tim a few years back at an AMTA national conference, and we’ve kept in touch ever since via social media, email, and seeing each other once a year at conferences. I’ve been reading his blog, Bella’s Blessings, which has chronicled his family’s journey since his daughter was born with a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB. Though currently there is no cure for EB, Bella took place in a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota where through Bone Marrow Transplantation, she grew her sister’s skin on her body over time. Unfortunately, she died from complications of transplant on October 11, 2010.

Tim has been raising money to find a cure for EB, and he’s also been busy spreading the word about the power of music therapy. His video has been watched almost 5,000 times, and now it has the chance to be featured on the official TED.com website. If that happens, it would be the FIRST ever TED talk about music therapy.

Please watch the video if you haven’t already, and then share it with your friends and family. This is a story that should be heard by everyone!

I Like to Move It, Move It

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

Movement songs are SUCH an important part of my repertoire, as they should be for anyone who works with children. It’s just impossible to make it through a 30-minute or hour-long session or class without giving them a chance to get moving (even just a little goes a long way).

Move Your Body Along Album Cover

I recently pulled out this oldie for a music therapy client who is working on reading movement sight words and then actually doing them. Instead of writing a brand new song to include the words this song didn’t already feature — “stand, crawl, and run” among others — I simply adapted Move Your Body Along so that it covers each one of her target words.

Get immediate access to this, plus over 100 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources for only $9.99 per month…learn more about becoming a member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

Members, click here to access this post.

The Nesting Begins!

Basement Before

This is what our basement storage room has looked like since the great flood of 2010. Almost three years later, after living in denial that this room even existed, the nesting urge kicked in hard and I decided it was time to tackle it.

Zach wasn’t quite as excited as I was about whipping this room into shape, but he was a great sport. He took every single thing off of those shelves, and we went through all the boxes to decide what was worth keeping and what we’d be trashing. We filled the next room (our little boy’s future playroom!) with all the stuff that didn’t make the “keep” pile, and soon were left with a fairly empty storage room and a GIGANTIC trash heap.

Guess who then made about 12 trips to the dumpster? Zach was a trooper once again, hauling everything upstairs and out of my sight forever. While he did that, I organized the rest of the shelves in the basement and wiped down all the tile dust that still remained from the post-flood basement renovation. After all that work, we were finally left with a room that looked like this:

Basement After

I can hardly even believe it’s the same room as the one in the “before” photo. It’s no longer a safety hazard to walk in, and I actually know where everything is! A miracle after three years of disaster zone status. Everyone keeps telling me we’ll accumulate TONS of stuff once the baby arrives, so now we have a nice organized storage space to put everything that gets displaced by baby gear.

The nesting bug bit me hard, because I didn’t stop after finishing the basement. Next, we tackled the future nursery, which meant dismantling the daybed in there (and laundering/putting away all the linens and pillows) and completely clearing everything else out. Then I moved on to the laundry room, for which I bought matching storage bins and organized everything that had been cluttering up the shelves in there. The next day, I did a clean sweep of the master bedroom, closet and bathroom.

So what’s next? I have a huge list of all the projects I want to pursue now that the spring cleaning is mostly done, starting with the nursery. I can’t wait to get to work setting it up!

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