Monday, September 20, 2010

Things My Triplets Taught Me: It's Not About The Money

When we were preparing for the triplets' birth, we knew we were in for some major expenses. But we are practical people. And cheap. Some things were non-negotiable. We didn't have a vehicle large enough for everyone. And we didn't have a triple stroller. Or enough high chairs. And then there were diaper costs looming large. Not to mention the loss of my income and potential health care costs. Just thinking about it almost overwhelms me now, more than two years later! 

So we bargain shopped. We borrowed baby equipment from friends. We searched out secondhand clothes and cribs.

Which brings me to our nursery. This is no room from the pages of Pottery Barn. It's not perfectly coordinated. None of the cribs match. There's nary a crib skirt in sight. You could call it eclectic. Or you could call it inexpensive, which it was.

If we had all the money in the world I might have turned out an adorable, coordinated room full of expensive cribs. But we don't. And we HAD to buy a van and a triple stroller, so we had to pinch some pennies. Plus I'm just really practical. And cheap.

I did the whole expensive crib (it's the cherry convertible one in the picture below), coordinated nursery thing for Amelia. Her favorite part is the $30 secondhand rocking chair, because that's where we spend some quiet time together before bed. Heaven knows Amelia never slept in her crib enough for us to get our money's worth out of it!
I must confess I folded up the boys' blankets neatly for this photo.
Usually they get tossed over the edge any old which way.

When we found out we were expecting triplets, I figured the transportation was mission critical, and the cute nursery was nice but not necessary. I still tell expectant parents of multiples to put their money in transportation -- especially strollers -- not in their nursery which no one will really see and the kids will never remember. A good stroller is worth its weight in gold!

We were lucky enough to score three cribs and two changing tables on Craig's List. Someone was closing a home daycare center. When Jeff showed up and said we were thrilled to find it because we were expecting triplets, she sold it all to him for the bargain price of $100. We did have to buy three crib mattresses and two changing table pads to go with it, but our investment in furniture was pretty minor. Nothing matched, and I considered having it all painted white, but then decided that it just didn't matter.

I had wonderful helpers who repainted an old dresser and applied some peel and stick wall paper border to the drawer fronts to create a cute chest of drawers. And my sister bought us a bargain rocking chair at a thrift store.

The jungle theme was inspired by some cute monkey fabric I found for the curtains. Perhaps subconsciously I knew I was having three boys who would climb like monkeys?

Even though it's not perfectly coordinated and it would never make the pages of Pottery Barn or Land of Nod, our nursery still turned out cute and functional. It didn't break the bank, and you know what? The boys don't know any differently, nor do they care.

This is the room where they get rockabyes before bedtime. It the place where we have pre-bedtime parties with their big sister and sit on the floor to read books. It is the place where the boys fall asleep after partying in their cribs, and where they wake up to chat with their brothers before we come in smiling to greet them every morning. It is home to their blankies and lovies.

Despite the mismatched cribs and secondhand furniture, the boys' room is both comfortable and comforting. That is what is important. That is what they will remember.

And that didn't cost a dime.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

1 comment:

girlytwins said...

I could not agree with you more. There are so many more things mothers of multiples need over a cute nursery. We had three sets of grandparents that wanted to spoil our girls (only 2) so we spent more than we as just parents would have. But I totally bargain hunted. All our furniture was last years clearance. I painted the girls room and stenciled to give it an added cheap flair. A family friend made our bedding as a gift but seriously all that bedding got in the way and got dirty LOL. Our rocking chair was by far our best investment too and it was 20$ at a yard sale :)