Most of you know this already, but, in case you haven’t heard, Jackson is going to be a big brother in two months! His little brother is scheduled to arrive around June 19. To get ready for the new baby, we moved Jackson into a big boy bedroom. You’re probably thinking this is no big deal. Well, it’s a big deal for someone who doesn’t decorate and has no sense of style. So, I had to enlist some help.
I recruited an interior decorator to design Jackson’s new room. While this sounds expensive, it’s actually quite economical considering the interior decorator is Jackson’s Aunt and Godmother and wanted to give Jackson the coolest room a two-year-old has ever had.
After purchasing the supplies, it was time to hire the handymen to paint, put together furniture, hang curtains, etc. Again, it also helps if the handymen are related (i.e. daddy and grandpa).
Per the direction of our interior decorator, we painted two walls bright green and the other two walls yellow and added a navy blue stripe around the top. If you know any Italians, then you know we own the market on white and off-white paint. When bright green and yellow were suggested for Jackson’s room, my entire family became skeptical. However, we went with it and it turned out great!
Jackson has cortical visual impairment (CVI). His eyes are fine but he doesn’t process what he sees as well as we do due to his brain abnormality. He sees bright and bold colors the best, which is why the color palette is bright and bold colors. We want Jackson to recognize his room and be able to see the colors and decorations. Another great feature of Jackson’s new room is there’s a ceiling fan. Kids with CVI tend to gaze at lights and fans. It’s not the greatest trait, but gazing at fans makes him happy, which we’re okay with accommodating some of the time.
We got a really cute bedroom set, but we had to make the bed accommodating for Jackson’s needs. We purchased a regular bed, not a special needs bed and jazzed it up for Jackson.
We put a pillow under the fitted sheet, so Jackson’s head can be elevated at night. Due to his low muscle tone, he tends to slide off the pillow, which is why we also use rice bags to position his body. The rice bags are the teal bags in the picture below. We put a rice bag on each side of him to keep him from tilting to the right or left and a rice bag under his knees to keep him from sliding down off the pillow.
As an added precaution, my dad sewed a flap into a fitted sheet into which we put a swimming pool noodle. On the slight chance that Jackson will roll over the rice bags (he has yet to do this on his own), he’d also have to roll over the swimming pool noodle before he’d fall out of the bed. The noodle is like a bed rail, only more discrete.*
*We just make this stuff up as we go along. We also ask other parents of special needs kids what they do in certain situations.
Below is Jackson’s first night in his big boy bed.
This is the decal on his wall, which we ordered pursuant to the instructions of our interior designer. The decal is on the wall over his stander and gives him something to look at when we’re putting him in the stander.
The picture below is a papal blessing from Pope Francis. Yes, it’s from the actual Pope and it’s specifically for Jackson Lorenzo Vanzant (if you zoom in you can see his name in the middle). It randomly came in the mail to my parents’ house a few months ago. It’s currently hanging in his old room, but will soon be moved to the Big Boy Bedroom.
Below is a picture from the doorway. One thing you may notice is that Jackson’s bedroom doesn’t have carpet. It’s easier to get his wheelchair and stander in and out of the bedroom on the hardwood floors.
In my opinion, the Big Boy Bedroom is a total success and the best decorated room in the house. Thank you to everyone who helped pull it all together!