One of the first things people ask me when they discover we did not find out Baby Russum's gender is how I shop for anything or what I've bought for the baby. These questions range from "What type of clothes did you buy?" "How are you decorating the nursery?" "How did people shop for your shower?" "What was your baby shower like?"
A few things to know... our baby does have clothes. I do not think he or she will have to go naked at any point after the initial emergence into the world, unless it's still 110 degrees outside and it's for reasons of comfort. Because sometimes our house gets really hot and we're all tempted to hang out naked around here. I did have quite a few baby showers and they were all beautiful despite the fact that they were not predominantly pink or blue themed. And we happen to need quite a few things for this baby - sheets, thermometers, diapers, play mats, bath tubs, bottles, pacifiers, etc. - as this is our first child, so it wasn't a huge concern that people weren't able to buy us lots of clothes. In fact, we intentionally didn't register for anything other than plain white onesies in newborn and 0-3 month sizes.
And the truth of the matter is... one of things I loved about not finding out the gender was not being able to shop. I'm sure if I would have known the baby's sex, I would have gone crazy and bought out half of Etsy by now. Not knowing has saved us money for sure. No doubt I will make some fun purchases once the mystery is revealed, but in the long run not knowing has been a fun and smart way to avoid over-consuming for our new little human.
However, the nursery was a little tough to envision without knowing if the baby is a boy or a girl. Although I can tolerate a duck towel and an elephant onesie, I'm not really big on "gender neutral" themes. I don't want my baby to live in yellow and green clothing, and I think jungle and safari themed things look boy-ish, even though we try to pretend they are neutral. If Baby Russum is a boy, he's going to be a manly-man all the way. The nursery will be blue and green with a focus on adventure and daring. I don't even know what this will include yet, but judging by his dad, I would guess surfing, flying, sports, lions and sharks, motorcycles, and guns might all be possibilities. Is it inappropriate to decorate your child's nursery with hunting paraphernalia? And if Baby Russum is a girl, she will wear pink... all the time. She might also mimic her mama's style by adding some gold, lace, and leopard print in the mix. And her nursery will be just the same... feminine and floral and pink and peach with all things girly-girl on every wall and shelf. Call me old-fashioned but that's just the way it's going to be.
But I couldn't feasibly not decorate the nursery at all as I wait to find out more details on our baby's anatomy, so instead of caving and decorating with yellow or green, I decided to create the most neutral base I could, using my favorite palette of white and gray. My plan is to splash the whole room with boy or girl accents when the time comes.
Here are the gender neutral details... All the furniture is white. The walls are light gray and there are darker gray accents throughout the room, including the stencil wall from hell that took me three weeks, two paint rollers and one scary tumble from a chair to complete. I got three sets of gray and white crib sheets, one with polka dots, one chevron, and one with a geometric design. I have white frames that will be hung on the walls at a later date. The books and toys are the most gender neutral items in the room, and I love seeing them out, waiting to be enjoyed by our child.
Here's a sneak peek of the room so far. Seriously, gray IS my favorite color...
My sister made the precious banner for my baby shower.
Our thought is to leave it up, but change out the flowers on the end to something more masculine if it's a boy.
This is the unfinished portion of the room. I have already ordered a new cushion for our glider from a shop on Etsy and I'm in her queue, but since it won't be made until we find out the gender, we can pick a masculine or feminine fabric when the time comes. Also, the smaller rocking chair in an antique, circa 1905, given to me by my great-grandmother. It's in good but not mint condition. I'm debating painting it white, but I know every antique lover out there would kill me if I did.
This is what I plan to buy in either blue/green tones or pink/peach tones after the baby arrives: window treatment, crib mobile, wall art, a blanket, a throw pillow for the gilder, a rug, and a changing pad cover.
I might regret it later when I'm shopping online in my sleep-deprived state, but I think this is a really fun way to build a nursery that is NOT gender neutral while still getting to be surprised by the baby's gender at delivery. I'll share more pictures after the nursery is finished in all it's boy or girl glory.