the tiny tot is coming for a visit

I have been FaceTiming with my niece since the day she was born, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen her face-to-face in her short three years. She lives in Texas and, until recently, we lived in Michigan. It doesn’t make for lots of quality together time. Thankfully, my brother and I have a pretty good relationship and he agreed to let her come to visit me for two weeks in July.

Today’s post is primarily about getting ready for her visit. I’ll post again about what we did and how it went.

Mr. Smith and I do not have human children. We have a “luxury” chihuahua and a persnickety cat. Both are well cared for and pretty spoiled. As you can imagine, this means that we didn’t really have a child-friendly space or even a place for a child to sleep. This kid follows in the footsteps of both her aunts and grandma in that her sleep is not to be messed with or bad things will happen.

I was able to buy a used toddler bed and mattress from someone on Facebook Marketplace for $60! I prefer Facebook Marketplace over other online peer-to-peer sites because there are real names attached to both the buyers and sellers. You can look at their Facebook page and decide if they feel like a reasonable person or an ax-murderer before contacting them. As you might imagine, I prefer to work with reasonable people.

The bed was in marvelous shape and was super easy to put together. The sellers had used it at their child’s grandparent’s house infrequently (read: hardly used). We got a cute duvet set and blanket from Ikea to bring it all together.

We may end up reselling the bed after she goes, but I don’t think we’ll have a problem doing so. Plus, this means I didn’t spend over $100 on a new bed and mattress that would only have gotten two weeks of use.

Now that sleeping arrangements were covered, I next turned to creating a play space. Little miss
loves all things arts and crafts. I got a child-size easel with a HUGE roll of paper and a table with chairs. I found a recipe for playdough on Pinterest for us to try and I’m going get crayons and other coloring/craft materials. My brother did warn me about her penchant for coloring on the walls. I’m going to have to watch her like a hawk!

Every time I’ve spoken with her over the past few weeks, she has given me a list of things that she is going to bring. For example, she is bringing her goggles so that she can breathe underwater. Personally, I’m not sure if that’s how goggles are supposed to work, but who am I to judge? I only need to figure out where all of the stuff is going to be stored because I’m not really keen on toddler stuff being everywhere. We did pick up a storage chest that will hopefully be able to contain it all. I do love how excited she is about staying with us!

Our big splurge was a play kitchen. Personally, I was on the fence about getting one since it seemed a bit over the top, but Mr. Smith thought that little miss would have A LOT of fun with it and insisted. I’m glad that he did.

In all, I wanted to create a space for her that wouldn’t break the bank and that would serve as a happy space for her during the visit (and for the other smalls that happen to come by). In all, we spent about $250 on outfitting this room. It was also very important to me that this space be ready before our trip since I didn’t want to be pressed for time when we got back. I’ve found that slow and steady is the best as it prevents (or at least reduces) expensive impulse purchases.

I’ll let you all know how the visit went soon!


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