Small Home, Giant Bed

Since moving out of our rental house two years ago, Austin and I have not had the luxury of having our own bedroom. In the bus and in our current home, our bed has been in the main living area. This arrangement was fine in the bus, the kids had their own room and we had the space in the front. 

It was fine when we moved into our space here too, but recently we began to feel like it wasn't the best use of space. We were getting tired of sleeping 5 feet away from the kitchen and our bed was taking up a huge portion of our living space. The kids also weren't utilizing the space in their room. Because we heat with a woodstove and keep their bedroom door closed, it's usually very cold in their room and the small open space they had for playing with their toys was always cluttered and messy, so they ended up playing in the living space, leaving the bedroom space useless. 


We decided to move both of our beds into the bedroom. We contemplated a few different arrangements: a bed for us and bunks for the kids, a pull out bed for the kids, two toddler beds and a bed for us, etc. Eventually we decided to use what we already had and put our king mattress and their full mattress together to make one giant bed. We ditched the bed frames and just have the mattresses on box springs to keep them lower to the floor. This not only takes care of all the clutter that collects under the bed, but I feel like it's safer for the kids. 


After looking at a few different "family bed" pictures, I knew I wanted our bed to look like one cohesive bed, even though it really is two. Each bed has its own bedding underneath, but by using two identical comforters and coordinating pillows, it looks like it's one bed! It worked out perfectly in this room, there's about 6" of space between the wall and the bed, which is where the kids store their blankies and special stuffies. It's a good compromise, they're still in the room, but not cluttering up the bed. 


It's been really, really nice. I'll be honest, we're not huge co-sleepers and the thought of a "family bed" has never appealed to me. But Felix sleeps most of the night in our bed anyway, and Abram has been having bad dreams and usually ends up in our bed by morning. The switch to a family bed has actually given me more space in bed. Felix sleeps against the wall, where there's a space without any blankets or pillows. I can roll over and nurse him at night and then roll back over to my own space. The kids rarely make their way over to our bed, and when Abram does wake up at night, it's enough for him to know we're close by. 

The kids go to bed on their own at around 7pm and fall asleep independently. Felix starts the night in his crib and usually wakes up for the first time when I head for bed at around 10:30pm, and then I take him to bed with us. 

I have to admit, one my favorite times of the day is that first wake up of his, the kids are sound asleep, Austin stokes the fire one last time to keep it warm during the night and we all crawl in the warm, cozy bed together. I love knowing we're all there together, safe, warm and comfortable. 


I can't say we'll continue this arrangement if/when we get a larger home, we dream of having our own room again someday, but it really is perfect for us right now. Moving our bed into the bedroom gave us all more living space and there's no longer wasted space in the bedroom. besides the bed, the only thing in the room is the kids' dresser, wedged at the foot of the bed. I feel like we've all been sleeping better, and that's worth a lot to me. 

Felix has been napping better as well, now that I can nurse him to sleep in the big bed and then feel comfortable leaving him (in our old bed I worried about him waking up and crawling off the edge) and closing the door, so he has a quiet place to sleep. I often end up sitting beside him while he naps, enjoying the quiet time myself. The kids read, draw or play quietly during this time. 


And to the many, MANY people who have expressed concern over our ability to enjoy "adult time", never fear! Turns out, it is possible to participate in such activities outside of the bedroom! 


December Ice Storm


We've had a few small snowfalls here this winter. It's not unusual to have a winter with little to now snow, but the past few have been snowy ones for us! 


Just before the last snow melted, we got an evening of sleet and freezing rain! Everything was covered in a thin sheet of ice. 


The next evening, the wind and rain picked up and temperatures dropped, causing the rain to freeze and branches to topple from the weight of the ice and the wind. Our power went out in the early afternoon and we scrambled to prepare for day or two without. The woodstove in the suite has needed repairs since we moved in and there's no time like the middle of an ice storm to fix it! Thankfully, my parents were able to get a hold of the last piece we needed and we managed to put it together just as it got dark and very cold! We stayed nice and warm in our little home with the woodstove roaring! The kids were excited to toast bagels for breakfast! 


It was pretty crazy to watch the ice accumulate, it coated our windows and pelted the tin roof! We were so grateful for a warm place to watch it! 


It was so crazy to go out in the morning and see how much ice and accumulated on everything, and the destruction it had done! Some branches had over and inch of ice! 


Hank found a good place to hang out under the bus! He spends most of the day in the barn, but ventured out for a bit. 


Almost as crazy as the ice on the trees was the ice on the ground! So many big chunks were falling from the branches, it wasn't safe for us to be near the trees! We lost quite a few big branches as well. 


Thankfully we had a new stack of library books to enjoy while the power was out! The kids made sure to check the lights every 5 minutes to see if they worked. Abram told me he wished we just had a *little* bit of power back! 


We were able to make a hot meal on the woodstove and eat together just before the power came back on! We were very fortunate to only be without for 24 hours, there are many people in our area who still don't have power after 3 days!