C.J + C.J.’s Mom = Interior Design Superstars

C.J. and I had one MAJOR summer project and we finished just before Labor Day, which means we made our deadline.  Barely.  The project?  A total room makeover fit for a gender creative boy who is obsessed with Monster High.

When I was pregnant with C.J. and we found out that we were having another boy, we created what we thought was an awesome space for him.  Walls filled with hand-painted clouds, various street signs and car-themed bedding from Pottery Barn.  We had been waiting for him to notice that his room didn’t suit him, he did in May and I promised that once school was out, updating his room would be our summer project together.  We had a ridiculous amount of fun doing it.  Mother/son bonding at it’s best.

Before: Right side of the room and C.J.’s bunk beds. BTW, he prefers the bottom bunk ever since he was on the top bunk and had a run-in with the ceiling fan. Score: Ceiling Fan 1, C.J. 0

Before: Left side of the room. Snooze.

PREPARE TO BE JEALOUS…

After: Left side of the room. Hand painted by yours truly based on the pattern on the Monster High napkins we had at C.J.’s 5th Bday bash. My hand cramped for days.

After: Right side of the room. C.J. still sleeps on the bottom bunk. Score remains: Ceiling Fan 1, C.J. 0

After: Poster and frame from Wal-Mart = Super Fancy + Super Cheap

After: Monster High bedding is supposedly in limited release right now and will hit stores by the end of the year, don’t you think Mattel should hook C.J. up with some threads for his bed? (We’ve been to EVERY Target in our county looking for the bedding, they say it’s out there somewhere…..I can’t find it.)

After: More Wal-Mart fanciness.

After: Hands down C.J.’s favorite part of the room makeover is this lamp. We waited all summer for it to go on sale at Target and last Thursday it happened. Our summer was complete.

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RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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45 Responses to C.J + C.J.’s Mom = Interior Design Superstars

  1. http://99translations.com/ says:

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  2. PaleGreenThings. says:

    Oh man, if I was a kid now, I would so love Monster High. I was a boy who loved Barbie and Classic Movie Monsters in equal measures, and it’s really cool that they have toys that blend the two. Also, the room looks amazing!

  3. CJ and I need to get together and talk Monster High! I collect Dolls, my boyfriend Action Figures, but we both have the major crazies over Monster High. I have around 30 now, all collectbile and such, but OMG I need his wall for my office…just so I can store black shelves with the dolls on them!
    <3 The Oracle of Dreams

  4. AAF says:

    My son (age 6) just saw the photos and is super jealous. He asked if we can do his room that way. : )

  5. Hennahands says:

    I just stumbled on your blog while goggling some tangled pictures online for my daughter. I am sitting here in tears reading some of the entries. My son, not even very effeminate, had a Dora birthday party for his 3rd. The lady at the cake shop was super confused when I asked her to make the frosting yellow (as it was HIS fav. color then). I was pretty snippy with her judgement over my 3 yo boy wanting a Dora cake! At almost 7, this same kid is into Legos, Ninjas, Cars and kitchen equipment. He will happily cook and play with dolls while his little sister tinkers around with tools and cars. I have heard my share of not letting him play dress up in fairy wings and not letting her pick Legos and dinosaurs for her birthday present. I can’t imagine having to be in your shoes dealing with hatred on the internet. I hope that you stay strong! Your son, who may or may not be gay, will at least be happy.

    P.S. That monster high stuff is pretty scary looking. Glad that your son isn’t freaked out by it.

  6. You are amazing. I have nothing but amazing amounts of respect at your dedication to your son, and to the idea that he needs to follow his heart. The wall decoration looks superb! Love the accent colors!

  7. Tom says:

    As usual, you are amazing! I love it! I painted my room with my mom when I was a kid and it was fun…but no where near as amazing as the finished product you put out.

  8. bluerosegirl08 says:

    THAT IS AN AWESOME ROOM GUYS! i love the room…..poor C.J. and the ceiling fan.I also think the lamp is the coolest part of the room.

  9. Lynda M O says:

    You all did great !~! I love the make over and I bet CJ will be happy there for along time to come. Or until Monster High falls into dis… what’s the word I want here >< ? I love you and the way you raise your family.

  10. Dennis Elms says:

    Oh, and yes, I am INSANELY jealous of CJ’s room!

  11. Dennis Elms says:

    I am so blown away by the love you show to CJ in ways I could never expect from a parent. My own parents were exactly 50 percent supportive of my own gender-nonconforming behavior. They got me the Berry Happy Home for Christmas one year, but they freaked out if I wanted to read girl-themed comic books. It was always a minefield trying to figure out what they’d approve of and what I had to withhold or not bother saying/asking for/expressing/etc.

    CJ is incredibly lucky to have you as a mom. I hope you don’t mind that I posted a link to this on the Monster High official Facebook page with a request to the folks at MONSTER HIGH to get CJ his bedding – I am a huge fan of Monster High too, just like CJ, as an adult toy collector who specializes in monster toys & “the pink aisle” so MONSTER HIGH combines them both!

    Anyway, keep loving!

  12. Just wanted CJ’s Mom to know I left you some love at Debt of Gratitude. You can bask in the praise or share the meme — your choice. In any case, I think you’re fabulous!

  13. Fabulous makeover! One very lucky kiddo.

  14. Sarah says:

    Love the room! And can you please, please tell me where you got those awesome bunk beds?

  15. lastchance3 says:

    I, even at the age of 29, am entirely jealous of this room.

  16. Melanie says:

    I just discovered your blog via HelloGiggles, and would just like to extend my thanks to you for your touching & thoughtful writing. I’ve just read pages and pages of your postings with nary a pause. Your family has a beautiful dynamic — thank you for letting us into your very open home.

  17. jenxbyron says:

    Yes, I am jealous! I’m looking around my room, and thinking, if only it were as fabulous as C. J.’s!

  18. jorge says:

    Sincerely… what a marvelous room… its so nice, very xpresive, very girlish… I love it… congrats… mom and son

  19. DD says:

    Nice job! And sophisticated, too. Should last him well through elementary school. If only I could get my own gender creative 7-year-old son to clean his room so well!

  20. sweetpea616 says:

    That room looks GORGEOUS – I can think of about 5 young girls I know that would be green with envy! xD He’s a super-lucky guy to have a mom like you!

  21. Katherine says:

    What a lovely room!

    I’m curious, in the “after” bunk bed photo if you meant “still sleeps on the top bunk”, since in the before you said he prefers the bottom…

    Anywho, I love the room. I’m not familiar with Monster High, but I would sleep in the room!

  22. Victoria says:

    I want that Zebra bedding!

  23. Cheryl S. says:

    I am incredibly impressed with your accent wall! Nice job. And I’m glad the room now fits CJ’s personality. Love the lamp. My daughter has it in pink. I’m surprised CJ didn’t get the purple one to match the colors in the room!

    Thought about you this weekend when we were at the pool and there was a little boy playing with his barbies. His mom was embarassed at first, but he and I had a great barbie discussion. You could see the relief in her face.

    Here’s to letting kids play with whatever they want!

    • mark says:

      That was really awesome Cheryl,of you to do that. this column has had such far reaching ramifications, as you just proved. That’s one of the biggest things we really need to dissipate,the embarrassment of a boy playing with barbies, or doing anything associated more with girls when we are so proud when at least up to a certain point our girls are mimicking the attractions associated with boys. After that point in age the embarassment factor starts kicking in because they’re not feminine enough for the culture. well too darned bad in my opinion. That was a nice reprieve from what that mom was thinking was going to happen. Kudo to you for making it fun for him, nice for her.

      • Ally says:

        Hmmm, can’t reply to your email below for some reason. A lot of boys don’t like traditional boy things but start to conform because they see what’s expected. I see my son’s friends who disliked football when they were little are now all starting to play in middle school. I honestly don’t think they give a crap about it but they have people in their lives that are letting them know “that’s what boys do”. Mine hates football which is fine with me, I like his brain the way it is.

    • Ally says:

      I hope that mom finds this website and sees the joyful side of raising kids to be themselves. It takes a lot of courage to support a boy who likes girl things, I think, because you know the unkindness they will face and there is no worse feeling than watching your child in any kind of distress. The acceptance and kindness you showed that family probably had a bigger impact on both of them than you could possibly know :-)

      • mark says:

        yeah, it’s a sad state of affairs that anybody can’t just do anything just because they like it, without somebody else making up all sorts of stuff, and meanings of it when there is nothing to support that conclusion. For example, as a male, the stereotypical interpretation of my gender is that I should like hunting and Nascar and be super competitive. Well, I dislike all that, and so am no less of a man as a result. I also dislike knitting, poetry and baking, so in someone’s eyes that must mean that I am a real guy’s guy. Both of those are wrong.

        I’ve come to the conclusion that if we changed our way of looking at things in a binary gender way, but more of a humanistic view we’d all be better off. I have always had just plain likes and dislikes, and not believing any of them were so because of gender, but just because that’s who I am. I do not believe in boy things or girl things except when there’s a specific purpose for their use. they’re just things that I either like or don’t. I’ll admit in my early years I felt something wrong with me, as a man (boy) because I didn’t like traditional sterotypical thoughts and activities as other males. I have alot of them, but not all. As I got older, especially after delving into the realms of gender discussion and study, that I accepted that I simply have likes and dislikes like everyone else does, and they have no meaning beyond that.

        Whatever I do or don’t do people will have an opinion of whether they like it or not. That is totally fine with me. What I don’t accept is their interpretation of it as they form judgments about me without having anything to support that conclusion. I know we do this of course in order to use our experiences to make sense of our world, but we should also understand that just because they’re our experiences doesn’t mean they’re everyone else’s reality or experience. I can’t count the number of times that my experiences have led me to false conclusions. I hope this makes sense.

  24. Parker says:

    I’m sure C.J. is proud and he probably thinks his mom can do anything. I think she can too.
    Just out of curiosity, what does the left side of the room look like?

  25. Toys are toys, the only gender they have is the one WE as adults assign them. Kids just want to play. Four is the typical age when kids pull away from their nursery designs and its so wonderful that you got to do this project together. The room looks great! Wow on the argyle wall!!! Monster High dolls are highly visually stimulating (and they are fun too), I can certainly see what drew your little one to them. Very creative boy indeed. (and I would have waited all summer for that lamp too! Have you tried finding the bedding online? Maybe just be something they dont carry in store.)

  26. Awesome! Could you try Target online or amazon, etc for the bedding?

  27. Hala J. says:

    Ah, I AM jealous!!! Amazing work! Glad CJ is happy with the new look and you two had such an awesome time together creating it!
    :-D

  28. Paula Turner says:

    I love the room. I love how you looked at it as a bonding experience. I love how it was driven by his interests and tastes. I am an empty nester with a house full of rooms that still reflect the children who lived in them, including a basement with walls the color of Easter Eggs where my teenage daughter and her friends chose to hang out because they all had a hand in the makeover. You are a role model for parenting. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Rachel says:

    I wish my room looked like that! I don’t currently have a room, but when I do, I want it to look like your son’s! :3

  30. chasecarter says:

    Such a fortunate young man. I’ve been following you two for such a long time in silence, there is little to add. Bravo. !!

  31. applepipspip says:

    Hello from the UK : ) I found your blog totally accidentally & I am so pleased I did. When checking my emails I always scan for your rainbow and it makes me smile so much. I have a little girl called Alice who is 2 and I have introduced both ‘boy’ toys and ‘girls’ since she was a baby. Her play room is full of peppa pig & Thomas the tank as I think its important for a child to know that this stereotype society we live in is wrong and she should be and play with whatever she wants to play. C.J is such a special little guy & I just wish the bully’s parents taught their kids that its ok to be different. It will only make him stronger & he will grow up to be one of the best guys around, whatever sex he chooses to be. Thankyou so much for being brave enough to share your special life online for people like me to see.

    I look forward to many more C.J updates

    Pippa & Alice
    X

    • We do the same with toys. Our daughter has cars and blocks, our son has dolls. Of course, this leads to “Stroller Derby” being the most popular game to play at our house LOL

      It is a sad thing about bullies. We’ve actually begun using the word “weird” ,and similar words, to describe each other at home. There is nothing wrong with being different, and by using words like that fondly, our kids will be better prepared to love their differences in the face of a bully. Differences should always be celebrated.

  32. What a fantastic summer project for the two of you, and the results are, as they would have said in the 70′s, fantabulous! I agree with the previous poster that it’s quite a sophisticated design, very forward thinking…and so easy to change out the Monster High stuff if something else takes over as C.J.’s fave. You two should be very proud!

  33. Tommy says:

    What a lucky gender creative boy to have a mommy like you. My husband thinks the room looks very adult and sophisticated. I feel like I’ve had a peek in a celebrity inner sanctum. Nice job.

  34. :) I’m all smiles. This will be a good one to cover with Sofia :)

  35. dovesoh says:

    Totally love the “after” room design. SO fashionable and cool. :) Wonderful transformation and good work, mommy and son.

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