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Archive for the ‘gender’ Category

So I’m seven months late. My bad. Things have been crazy around here. But I thought I should hurry up and share how Big T’s nursery turned out before we move in a few weeks.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery

As you may remember, I decided to go with a giraffe theme. I love giraffes and I thought they’d be cute for a boy or a girl. Since we didn’t find out Big T was a boy until he was born, this theme–Along with a touch of chevron seemed perfect.

His room is sorta a nursery and craft room combo, but he doesn’t seem to mind sharing. When we move he will have his room all to himself, so I may ditch the chevron sewing machine cover, or incorporate it into my craft room somehow. We shall see.

DIY Alphabet wall tutorial

This alphabet wall is probably one of my favorite parts of his room. In a last-minute effort I got a few of my friends tohether and we decorated all of these. I’ve seen sets for sale on Etsy but they cost a pretty penny, and none of them had all of the elements I wanted– A button ‘O’, a “Disney” ‘W’ and other colors I like.

Here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Search for a set of plain wood letters on eBay. I bought this set on eBay.

2. Get a group of friends together, preferably crafty friends who have a lot of paints and skills. Shoutout to my friends Laura, Hope and Melissa for helping me with these! They did all the super cute ones. Lil’ J also gets a shoutout for decorating the ‘&’ and  ‘X.’ She loved helping.

3. Gather a variety of supplies: Scrapbook paper and modge podge, acrylic paints, even fabric, to decorate your letters to your choosing.

4. Lay out the letters and strategize what colors you want where. I made a plan for my favorite letters beforehand, then made sure not to put similar colors or patterns next to each other.

5. Paint, glue, and modge podge like mad!

6. After the paint dries, modge podge the top for an added layer of sealing.

7. Hang and enjoy! I used double-sided command tape to hang them on my wall.

Ty's-Nursery28-copy

Ty's-Nursery17-copyI’m not sure if I’m going to re-hang the alphabet wall betters in his room, or hang them in the play room once we move. I’m kinda leaning towards playroom as it seems more appropriate.

Since his nursery also doubled as a craft room I tried to keep the spaces separate but organized. His white bookshelves store a few books as well as his swaddling blankets (we seriously have over a dozen of these gorgeous muslin swaddling blankets by Aura Weavers and Aden and Anais), baby wraps, diapers, wipes, and a low basket of soft toys for Lil’ J to reach for her brother.

My mom gave me the baskets on top of the bookshelves. They had pink ties that I took off and sewed my own giraffe-print ties. I also spruced up the plain brown canvas baskets by hot gluing some chevron ribbon I sewed into ruffles. At the time I didn’t know Leechie was a boy, but I figured it wasn’t too girlie. I still find it cute.

Giraffe gender neutral nursery shelves

I also used the same ruffle ribbon technique on the green baskets on the diaper changer. I bought them from Ikea for Lil’ J’s room but wasn’t using them, so here they went! I keep the large one stocked with burp cloths, and the small ones hold his bow ties, and socks.

I used the same diaper changer and dresser I had used for his sister (she got a new big girl dresser) , but took off the pink drawer knobs and ordered some chevron and brown ones off Etsy. Over there I also changed out his light switch for a cute one I found on Etsy. And I hung a second piece of whimsical artwork I found by Nidhi. She is amazing! I couldn’t buy just one.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery diaper changer Ty's-Nursery12-copyTy's-Nursery21-copy

His funky crib bumpers are called Wonder Bumpers. I won them in a raffle I donated to. They are reversible and the other side has a pretty blue damask design, but I thought the brown was more versatile for the gender neutral nursery theme I was going for.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery crib bedding 2

His amazing minky blanket is custom courtesy of Rocker By Baby. We are not a very “punk-style” “skull enthusiast” family, but Amber always manages to make the perfect item for my kids. Lil’ J still loves her mix tape blanket. But OH I forgot how soft her minky is. I need to read up about keeping it this way. He sleeps on it every night. I bought the boppy cover to match.

The adorable safari quilt was handmade by Big T’s great-grami. And the two friendly giraffes are sound machines that his sister loves to play with.Ty's-Nursery01-copyTy's-Nursery20-copy

His giant friendly giraffe kinda replaced the idea of a mobile. One of my awesome readers emailed me when she noticed it was on sale for 50% off one day on Amazon. So instead of it being $100, it was only $50. It’s cute, and gives him something to stare at. Soon enough I’m sure he’ll be trying to ride on it.

Over his bed I also hung a very elaborate, very detailed vinyl tree that I finally finished taking the last sticker off of yesterday. I went the cheap route and got a $50 one off eBay that was split in like 100 different pieces that I had to puzzle together. If I get another I’ll definitely shell out the extra cash to get one that I can pull off in one or two pieces.

Also above his crib is the giraffe piece that inspired me to go with the giraffe-themed nursery. I love it!

Ty's-Nursery13-copyTy's-Nursery19-copy

And in the craft side area of the nursery I have a rocker chair I thought I’d sew a cover for, and for the foot stool, but instead I just draped with a crocheted chevron throw I ordered from a local woman. For the foot stool I just literally wrapped some extra fabric I had around the cushion it. It works!

Giraffe and chevron themed craft roomTy's-Nursery27-copyI wanted to tie in a bit of safari on my craft desk, and I fell in love with this elephant lamp. Originally I thought I’d do an elephant-themed nursery, so I’m glad I still used a bit of that in the end.

What do you think? Love it? I really do! My daughter’s was decked out with lots and lots of pink but I loved going the gender-neutral route here, and I think the whimsical giraffes really fit my sweet boy’s personality. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it yellow and brown but I plan to set it up similar to this after the move. He’ll have more space though since it will no longer be a nursery/craft room combo. Perfect timing too cause my little big guy thinks he wants to start crawling.

Update: We’ve moved and our popular alphabet wall is now in the playroom.

DIY Wooden alphabet wall letters tutorial. #playroom #nursery #disney

Here’s where everything is from. If I’ve missed something you’re wondering about, let me know!

Chevron curtains/ iDecorateWithPillows Etsy
Vinyl tree/ eBay: Design4Wall
Giant giraffe/ Melissa and Doug via Amazon
Giraffe sound machines (big and little)/ Cloudb
Wonder Bumpers/ Go Mama Go Designs
Minky giraffe blanket/ Rocker Bye Baby
Minky booppy cover/ Rocker Bye Baby
Giraffe artwork: Savannah & Up and Away/ Nidhi Chanani Etsy
Custom white picture frames/ Ebay: Tabby7
Plain wood alphabet wall letters/ eBay: Anyshka_2
Elephant Lamp/ Carters via Amazon
Light switch cover/ ModernSwitch Etsy
Popup baskets/ Ebay (beige), Ikea (green) and Walmart (brown)
Diaper changer/ Craigslist
Drawer knobs/ Whimzicality
Polkadot burp cloths: HeartlandShop Etsy
Chevron throw blanket/ Handmade locally
Sewing machine cover/ YellowFarmHouse Etsy

Boy or girl? No one knows except the baby’s parents, and their two sons. This story of a genderless baby has made headlines the past few weeks across the world.

I’m sure it’s not the first time a parent has decided to leave their child’s gender unknown to friends and family, but for some reason this is a hot topic right now in mommyland.

One of the first things I thought when I first heard of the “gender neutral” philosophy was “these parents must have all boys.” Let’s be honest. You’ve seen me and how I dress Lil’ J. There’s no way I could have stuck to dressing her up in neutral clothes and skipped the dresses and bows. It’s not to say I think she shouldn’t wear pants or clothes in colors other than pink, but it’s just my preference (not the pink, the dresses). And her room is like an explosion of pink. But what else would you expect when that’s my favorite color? I’ve always been a girlie girl and I wanted to experience that with my daughter.

If I had had a son I wouldn’t have stuck with blues and greens, but I probably wouldn’t have decorated his nursery in pink frills; but I will admit, if I had had son after son and was still longing for a girl, I’d be totally cool with painting my boy’s toenails and get them some dolls if that’s what they wanted, and called us a gender neutral family.

I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works, and that there’s more thought behind this lifestyle rather than the color and style of their wardrobe and what kinds of toys they play with. So I’m trying to see where this Canadian family is coming from.

38-year-old Kathy Witterick and David Stoker have only allowed their midwives and two sons to know the gender of their third child Storm.

“The idea that the whole world must know our baby’s sex strikes me as unhealthy and voyeuristic,” Witterick said in a letter to ABC News.

Personally, I don’t know who this lady or her kid is. I don’t care if she wants to share or not nor do I care if her child has a penis or a vagina. I also HIGHLY doubt the whole world really cares, in fact, I don’t think it matters. To anyone. I think people are just curious. For heaven’s sakes, sue us for asking a common question about a cute baby, sheesh.

I mean really… Do they believe strangers are dying to know what their child is so they can buy the baby a frilly tutu if it’s a girl and plan her future career as a homemaker? Or if it’s a boy so they can say how great he’ll be at sports and how manly the little-tike looks?

My guess is this mom is doing this partly to raise attention to her “gender neutral” beliefs and to show that girls and boys don’t have to fall into certain gender roles yada yada yada. But deep down I truly believe there is a bigger motivation here. Motivation to do what she thinks is best for her baby. Trying to protect her baby from something she sees wrong in the world. And I can’t really blame her for that. In fact, I’m a little jealous it’s that easy for her.

I don’t know if I witness gender stereotypes in the same light she does. I don’t think boys or girls have to act a certain way. Maybe I’m missed this drama when I was in school because any stereotypes targeted toward my gender were overshadowed by a whole other issue–Racial stereotypes.

Wouldn’t it have been nice for my mother to have decided before my birth that no one would know my race. So no one could judge me right off the bat for the way I looked and decide whether or not they were going to like me based on the color of my skin.

Yep. That’s me.

So no one else could say I was ugly because I was different. Or that they didn’t want to be my friend because I was black.

If my mom could have shielded my race from the world maybe I wouldn’t have had to deal with the questions about why I “talk white.” Or why I didn’t listen to rap. I mean, all black people like rap right? And wear weave?

Maybe if no one knew I was black I wouldn’t have been told how I was supposed to talk and supposed act because black people are suppose to talk and act the same. Every single one of us.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if only she, my doctor and siblings new my identity, and I could reveal to the world, when I understood, and when I was ready to share my racial genetic make up?

But no. Its not that easy. I, like everyone else in the world had to learn through experience how tough the world can be. How crude and stupid some stereotypes are, and how you cant let them define you.

And that’s ok. Because it made me who I am today…

Read the rest of my post today on MyBrownBaby.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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