Lately

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Lately, we’ve been getting a jump start on summer with lots of little trips, events, and spending time outside as much as possible. The weather’s been beautiful, aside from a few rainy days here and there, of course. Our new house came with some strawberry plants that have been exploding with fruit the last few days. B loves to help pick them and eat them for snacks!

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Jordan went on a hunting trip for a week, so my mom and I took B up to Kansas City for a few days just to get out of town. We loved seeing the horses at my friend Jessica’s parents’ home, including this pony named “Tater.” B was all about feeding carrots to the horses.

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We did Crown Center one morning because the forecast was all rain, and made our way over to Union Station to visit Science City. We lucked out not once, but twice, with free passes in to Science City thanks to our Exploration Place membership, and we even got to play outside when the rain cleared out. Their outdoor area is crazy cool! It’s full of downtown views, and the playground is unlike anything I’ve seen. B loved climbing all over this jungle gym made of what looks like plastic Pringles chips, ha.

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Of course we stopped at Fritz’s for burgers and fries! B was in awe of the little trains delivering food. If you’ve never gone to Fritz’s in KC, the one at Crown Center is so fun! We had more than enough to do that morning at Crown Center with B, and loved topping it off with a kid-friendly lunch.

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Jordan has officially begun the golf brainwashing, and B is all about it. They love practicing their putts together, and it’s adorable to watch them bonding over this sport that Jordan absolutely loves.

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We got back from KC and had a brunch and shopping event with Kendra Scott in the Waterfront! It was so fun to see all the moms and babies that came out to shop for Mother’s Day.

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We’ve been having so many fun play dates with friends too! B loves her little buddies. Right before this photo, we caught these two playing in Mali’s water dish. Their faces crack me up!

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We’re looking forward to summer, and all the adventures ahead of us including some fun trips and a lot of time in the pool.

Madame Alexander

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B’s in a major baby-obsessed stage right now. She’s a little mama hen fussing over her babies, carrying them around the house, and feeding them her own snacks. Her Madame Alexander doll is so lifelike that B’s named her after a real-life friend of ours! Nothing amazes me more than watching B with her baby doll - she’s so tender and intentional with her. Being a mama to her doll is more than just pretend play to her. The doll comes with us everywhere, eats her meals in a high chair, and gets tucked in for “night night” when B does.

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It’s amazing the amount of time she spends playing with this little babydoll. (Babies are a lot of work after all!) I love that it’s encouraging her imagination and inspiring some nurturing skills. It’s a sweet time for B and I to bond too. I spent so much time with my dolls growing up - they were like my babies. I’m an old pro at changing velcro doll clothes and getting tiny plastic bottles ready for feedings. B watches me mother her doll with saucer-like eyes, and mirrors it a few minutes later.

In those moments, B’s imagination is growing tenfold, and she’s picking up more than I realize. She knows that baby depends on her for food, bottles, cuddles, and diaper changes, and it brings her tiny mama heart joy to be the one that does all of that. She’s learning through play that babies need a lot of love and care. I like to think it’s preparing her for the day when she has to share our attention and prepare to be a nurturing and protective older sibling.

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I turned around the other day and saw B rocking her baby telling it “Shh shh shh” just like I do to her when I’m putting her to bed. She gently kissed her on the forehead, and said “Night night, baby. I see you in the morning” as she tucked her baby in. I was seriously bubbling over from the cuteness, and opened my mouth to tell her how sweet she was with her baby when B stopped me and said “Mommy, baby sleeping. No loud! SHH!” I wanted to crack a smile so badly, but I just quietly whispered back, “That’s right. Babies need quiet when they’re sleeping.” Rule #1 at the Storey house: We do not wake sleeping babies. If there is one lesson she learns, let it be this one, ha!

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B actually started “pretending” with her baby dolls first before any other toy, and does most of her imaginative play with them. I’ve watched her display empathy with her dolls, as well as project her own fears and feelings onto them. It can be really eye-opening as a parent to sit and listen to her talk to her baby. Sometimes the baby has an owie or is sad, and it’s helpful to B’s coping skills when we walk through how to help baby feel better with a kiss on the owie and a cuddle with a reassuring “It’s ok!”

I’ve also noticed that when we’re trying to wind down from the day to go to bed, it’s a great transition for me to tell B her baby needs to get ready for bed. It shifts the focus onto the doll, so she still feels like we’re playing, but I’m really just winding her down with a good distraction. That takes us from high-energy playing to a low-key calming down period that is so necessary for a better bedtime routine.

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I know this doll will be around in our family for a long time. Just like our doll furniture that’s from my childhood, this Madame Alexander baby doll will be loved and treasured now, and passed onto the next generation to love. This specific doll is the Middleton doll - linked here. We love how lifelike and soft their dolls are. It makes for the perfect cuddly companion!

This post was sponsored by Madame Alexander Doll Company.

B's Big Girl Room

Ever since we moved in, I’ve been scheming and dreaming of ways to decorate B’s big girl room. I wanted it to reflect her personality with lots of color and unique details. I love how it turned out, specifically with the wallpaper from Loomwell that I think completes the room.

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We started by choosing the bed first from Wichita Furniture & Mattress. I loved the treehouse bed because it seemed cozy like her crib, but was really unique and fun for a big kid room. It immediately reminded me of the book “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which was exciting because we’ve always tried to incorporate some elements of New York in Brooklyn’s room just because of her name. New York has always held a special place in my heart, too, for no particular reason other than I just love it there. The art, food, sights, and history are just spectacular. I’ve also read the book a few times, and used it as a loose jumping off point. Overall, I wanted B’s room to be a little vintage, super playful, and cozy.

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The removable wallpaper came from Loomwell, and I knew their Ash wallpaper design would be amazing behind the treehouse bed. It’s got a vintage vibe, but is also totally updated and modern. Plus, adding a big pop of blue with the Ash wallpaper took me out of the neutral + pink only scheme we’d been working with so far. I loved the challenge of bringing that color into the rest of the room, and it added such a whimsical feel after it was installed.

My husband did an awesome job of installing the wallpaper - we used the same company in B’s nursery at our old house, and were thrilled that it was so easy to take down (bittersweet for sure) when it was time to move. It was easy to convince Jordan that a removable wallpaper would be ideal after we saw how well it worked at the last house! A few other things to note: The print quality and feel of the paper is stellar. We have a super light wall texture in B’s room, and this held nicely on her wall. Obviously samples are highly suggested to test this in your own home, but Loomwell’s wallpaper self-adhesive does well with lightly textured walls according to their FAQ page.

I ended up painting all of the artwork in B’s new room to A.) Save money & B.) Have full creative control. It was a lot easier to stay within the theme and color scheme this way! I thought the apple and pigeon were a fun ode to NYC, and they were SO fun to paint. I was really inspired by the brand Oeuf NYC and pictures of the founders’ Brooklyn Brownstone (linked here if you’re curious). We’ve named the pigeon “Bernice” after Bert’s pigeon on Sesame Street. She’s got a lot of confidence rocking that beret, and I dig her sassy sweater.

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The rest of our house isn’t nearly as playful or colorful as B’s room, so this was really a place for me to let loose. My childhood bedroom growing up was also really bright and fun, and I think it’s so important that kid spaces foster imagination and creativity. That being said, we keep the majority of her toys downstairs for now, and are really trying to drive home that her bed is for “night night time only” to promote better sleep habits. It’s gone well so far - fingers crossed, knock on wood ;). As she gets older, it’ll be fun to watch this room evolve with her.

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B’s room in our old house had a lot of modern pieces, but this time I wanted to bring in more character with pieces like a vintage rug and wooden toys. I even found an antique copy of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” on eBay! I love how much richness and interest these old pieces add to her room. There’s a touch of history to each one, and it’s like they’re bringing their own little bits of wisdom and magic into her world.

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I think the key to making a kid’s room feel “designed” without being stuffy is bringing in more grown-up pieces (such as throw pillows, rugs, and baskets from the non-kid part of the store) to mix in with quirkier and more playful elements (vintage toys, pom-pom throw blankets, funky art prints, and children’s books as decor). I love that trends like the boho look work so well with kids’ rooms too! I shopped a lot of places like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Target’s Opalhouse line for pillows, throws, and decor (all link details at the bottom of the post!)

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I may have gone overboard with the pillows, but that’s nothing new for me! The shape of the bed and the way it sits in the room reminded me of a day bed, hence the overkill on pillows. I’ve linked all those beauties below (minus the pom pom pillows - those are both sold out now sadly so I found a similar one from Anthro):

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We kept her little rocking chair and reading corner the same, with the addition of a magazine rack my grandpa made that I painted pink to match the room. I love that the books literally surround her chair. The books I have on display are linked below!

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I’m sorry in advance that a lot of this furniture isn’t linkable! B’s treehouse bed is on display at Wichita Furniture & Mattress if you’re local (along with some awesome other kids furniture!), and we ordered her dresser and rocking chair 3 years ago when we did her nursery. Her pale pink comforter is also not online, but it’s from our local (family-owned!) Ashley Homestore, and we love how light and cozy it is. I’ve linked similar pieces below for anything that’s vintage, custom, or discontinued. Thank you as always for supporting the blog by shopping with my affiliate links!