When we found out I was pregnant with Aslan, we were so excited. We have always kept pregnancies “our little secret” for far longer than most, even from close family and friends. But this time I couldn’t help but tell the kids they were going to have a new baby brother or sister almost immediately after finding out. “It’s our little secret!” We told them, and each zipped their lips and promised not to spill the beans. About 5 minutes later our babysitter arrived for the evening and within seconds of her walking in Finn yelled, “We’re having a baby!”

As the excitement gave way to practicality, I started to panic just a little. Finn would be almost 4 when this baby was born, a far bigger gap than we had between any of the others. We had previously sold, given or donated almost all of our baby gear and clothing. I would need to buy new maternity clothes. And…oh crap… where were we going to put this kid?

Our farmhouse has a lot of square footage but only 3 bedrooms. Currently, our boys share a room and our 6-year-old daughter has her own room. It didn’t seem fitting with the age gap to put a nursey in her room and I wanted whatever we did to make sense and be comfortable. That’s when I realized, why do we need an entire room (nursery) designated to the one person who spends the least time alone?

So I got creative and came up with a way to utilize an open area upstairs into Aslan’s “area.” That’s right, when you’re the 4th baby you don’t get a room you get an area. But I really couldn’t be more pleased with how the space turned out. Our stairs open up to a small windowless room that acts a small foyer leading to the boy’s bedroom and the upstairs bathroom. Too small to be a sitting room, we really didn’t use it for anything but storage. What used to be a transition area without a real purpose now is very functional and gives us that cozy nursery feel for Aslan, she just doesn’t sleep there.

At 10 months, she’s still camped out in our room sleeping in her pack n’ play. At some point, we’ll build a bed and move her into Austen’s room and all the kids will be upstairs together. Who knew you really didn’t need a crib for babies. I think if we had another child I’d consider it a personal challenge to see if we could make it without some other “necessary” item like bottles.

We decorated with a custom bookshelf that Nick made which is in the shape of L-O-V-E. I did purchase a new changing table-dresser combination. I purchased a watercolor floral printed changing table cover and a few matching accessories. These baskets hang above the changing table and are perfect for diapers, wipes, lotions, etc. A crafty coworker gave me a beautiful painting and my good friend and custom sign-painter Sarah made an amazing subway art piece with Aslan’s name and stats. I wanted baby pictures of all the kids and a large quote so spent some time thinking that through. I settled on “And so together, they built a life they loved.” I think it sums up exactly where Nick and I are with these beautiful kids.