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How to Combine a Home Office With a Nursery

When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter, I was faced with a major dilemma: give up my office for a second nursery or let my two girls bunk together. Neither option felt right for us, so I decided to create a space that I would share with my new baby -- an office that moonlights as a nursery (or maybe it's the other way around?).

This teeny-tiny room is basically a glorified closet. So I really tried to maximize the space and function of the room, while creating an environment that felt like home for both my daughter and me.

Here's how my tiny nursery + office hybrid came to life, in four steps.

Step 1: Common Ground

The unifying force in this room is the mural. I've been pining for a wall mural somewhere in our house for quite a while, and I even considered trying to paint my own before I found this gorgeous paint stroke mural from Anewall. I love the modern look it gives to the room the second you peek in. It's striking and eye catching, even to my three month old daughter, Gentry, who loves staring at it.

The shelving is also a place for our worlds to intertwine: my computer, camera and photos blend so perfectly with her toys, towels and baby monitor. The Japanese language blocks are from Bitte, my go-to for cute shelfie items. You can't go wrong on their site. They also have Chinese, Spanish, Korean and ASL blocks. My husband is Japanese -- my girls are Mila Yayoi and Gentry Miyoko -- so we thought the Japanese blocks might pique their interest in the language. The lovey and the little wooden bunnies are from Bitte, too.

Step 2: Baby Essentials

Although I get the most use out of this room, it is, ultimately, the room my baby sleeps in. The crib, the rocker and the blankets are all must-haves.

I fell in love with the Jubilee crib from Babyletto the second I saw it. It's a 30in-1 convertible crib, and it's one of the only new things in the room. I'm also obsessed with how soft the muslin quilt from Little Unicorn -- a registry must-have.

The rocking chair is the same one I've rocked my older daughter, Mila, in since she was born. It is so comfortable, but dreadfully covered in stains, so sheepskin Ikea sheepskin to the rescue.

Step 2: Mama Essentials

My half of the room is this glorious DIY wall mounted desk my husband put together for me.

The rails and brackets are Rubbermade from Home Depot. They come white, but we painted them green. The chair is one of our dining room chairs from Ikea that I sanded and painted gold a few years back. When we have extra dinner guests, I'll just carry the chair back to the dining table.

I mostly work from my laptop, but when I edit video I like to use a larger screen, which I keep in the closet with my wifi printer when they're not in use, so the room doesn't feel too cluttered.

Step 4: All the extras

A long time ago, a friend of mine taught me to first "go shopping" in my own house when redecorating. It's some of the best design advice I've ever received; and I love repurposing things (mostly because I'm sort of a hoarder and hate throwing things out), so I welcome it with open arms.

I love that nearly every piece in this room brings some nostalgia to the space. The cacti hanging on the wall are tiny pillows I made for Mila's mobile when she was a newborn. I didn't do a mobile in this room, so instead I literally went outside and got a stick off a tree in our yard and strung them up.

The brass swan (similar here) is from a vintage store in Baltimore, where my husband and I lived before becoming parents -- a little nod to our pre-kid life. Plus, I spotted the exact same swan in a scene of Mad Men in Don and Megan's Manhattan apartment. Kind of weird, but also kind of cool!

The cowhide rug is a gift from a friend who recently sold everything he owned and now lives on a sailboat. The camera is my first DLSR and the lens is from on of the Sony BetaCams I used back in my days as a television reporter.

For now, this space really works for us. Having a beautiful place to get my work done really motivates me more than sitting at the dining room table; and I love that I can stay close to my snoozing baby while getting work done.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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