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If you were around yesterday, you saw my post about how our family is dealing with some big changes. Today I want to share some the ways we are trying to cheer up the house and girls!
We’ve been working with friends to convert our home office into a temporary bedroom for Mary Rose while she recovers. The goal was to avoid nailing holes and using paint. I shared our mood board, but now I’m here to give you a little more detail. I knew that temporary decals would be our friend. They add lots of color without painting the walls. I had a friend who used decals from Walls Need Love, so we grabbed two packs (to maximize the color on the walls) and put them all around Mary’s room. Mary Rose loved the decals and her sisters were excited for Mary’s recovery not only because Mary would be moving back in with them, but the bird decals are moving to their room when we turn the office back into an office.
I told the folks at Walls Need Love how much we loved the decals and they wanted you guys to have a chance to try them out, too! Use the code DecalsForMary20 to get 20% off your order at Walls Need Love through the end of the month.
After figuring out the walls, we moved to some curtains to add cheer to the room. I saw a pretty bed canopy on Pinterest that had a pom pom trim on simple white curtains. This was literally the easiest project of the whole room. I got a great deal on pom pom trim from Hancock’s because I finished off the rest of the spool. I got out my glue gun, and glued the trim to one entire side on the back of the curtain. Glue the flat part of the trim on the back of the curtain so that only the pom poms show on the front.
Next I bought a “hospital” table. Regular hospital tables are cold and not very kid-friendly so I went with a much cheaper and less bulky Laptop Table. Since this was just going in our home, we could dress it up however we wanted. It needed to function for her to be able to eat on the table, but to keep her entertained, too. She told me her favorite part of the table is that one side of the table was red colored wood because, “it’s pretty cool to have things the same color as your hair.”
We covered one side of the table top in sprayable chalkboard paint so she could draw on the table when she’s not using it. Then we spray painted the legs of the table pink and put colorful washi tape around the trim of the table. I wanted the knobs of the table to still work, so I unscrewed all of the knobs and too off the wheels, covered the top of the table and went to town. I only needed one of the small can of hobby paint from the craft store to cover all of the legs.
Then we used our trusty Silhouette machine to cut out some stars for the ceiling. She’ll be laying down a lot during recovery, so we wanted something interesting on the ceiling for her to look at.
When we told Mary she was moving into the office, she was most upset about sleeping in a room by herself for the first time in her life. We cheered her up by telling her we were going to let the family dog, Major sleep in the room with her and it instantly changed her mood. We were on the hunt for a new (clean) dog bed for him to go into her room and PetSmart surprised us by sending a super swanky one our way. I still don’t know if they knew what we were doing or not, but I tearfully sent them a thank you note for a very unexpected surprise! This is a super plush deluxe ortho bed and Major hasn’t ever slept in such comfort & style. We also put another little bed outside Mary’s window to encourage the outdoor cats to sleep by the window with her.
The last project, we had to address the bookcases. We have wall to wall bookcases in the office which needed to be covered to make things more friendly for Mary Rose (and a little brighter since it’s such a tiny room). I found a tutorial for DIY canvas curtains where kids can color their own curtains. I ran with this and decided to do 4 panels to cover the bookcases. I looked around at prices for canvas and the cheapest I could find was at Lowes. We needed 4 ft panels at least 12 ft long (with room for hems) so I bought one 4’x15′ canvas for $14 and one 12’x25′ canvas for $35. These are amazing prices for fabric and I was surprised at how thick the fabric was.
Mary’s friends and family are going to sign one of the panels so she’ll be reminded of everyone who loves her and who are praying for her. Two panels are being painted by her talented grandmother and we decided to trace a map of the US on the last panel (ignore the wrinkles). I taped the panel to the wall (you’ll need a lot of tape because these are pretty heavy), found a US map I liked, and projected it on the panel with the projector I use for all of my workshops.
Here’s where you come in. We want Mary Rose to know that people all over the country are praying for her, and a lot of you have asked if you can write her letters. We’re collecting cards and post cards from all of you who are willing to send them. We’re going to pin these to the map and our goal is to fill up every single state (even Alaska and Hawaii)! You can send letters and postcards to:
Mary Rose Martin
7001 St Andrews Rd #311
Columbia, SC 29212
Lastly, let’s talk money. Medical bills aren’t cheap even for those with great insurance. The first MRI Mary had, I got a phone call the day before from the hospital (while sitting in the Publix parking lot) telling me that I needed to pay our portion right then over the phone. This was a take-deep-breaths moment as she casually said the total was $1259. We have savings, thankfully, but it still is quite a hit. That was just the first MRI… Through all of this I’ve learned about a great organization to help parents with medical expenses related to their children. The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation provides grants to allow children access to health-related services not covered or not fully covered by their parent’s insurance. Families can receive up to $5,000 annually per child ($10,000 lifetime maximum per child), and do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible.
They gave MR some toys and games to play with and she’s already loving them. Their Grins to Go Bag is perfect to take with us to the hospital and then pack it all back up to take home.
When you purchase the Grins to Go bag through this link, you can donate it to one of over 200 hospitals nationwide where it would be given to a child staying there. I know from experience that kids can go a little stir crazy in the hospital and this would help them think about the games and grins rather than the fact that they’re sitting in a hospital.