As with most aspects of baby preparation, things haven't been going smooth. We've been rolling with the punches and keeping our cool. Brilliant things happen if you can just keep your cool long enough.
Moving one kid out and another one in.
We managed to move J out of her room, but sorting through her rubble of old toys and homework took significantly longer than we had hoped. The whole "get it all done during fall break" idea turned into a "Crap! We need to get these kids back into a real bedroom before Christmas!" ultimatum; an ultimatum that we were able to meet because of the help of my Mom and some of our remarkable friends.
Lesson Learned: Be diligent when masking off the ceiling if you are absolutely certain that you do not want to paint it.
We had a perfect storm of conditions for cancelling the scheduled painting in the baby's room. We ignored it and painted anyway. I, of course, could not paint because of the fumes. My Mom, who is an experienced and wonderful painter, fell so sick after the first 10 minutes of painting that she could barely move for 2 days. Abraham had to work. The painters we were left with were a great friend of mine from college who had never painted before in all of her life and my two daughters.
My friend, Jessica, did her very best to reign in the insanity, but alas, there were a few unavoidable splatters of dark blue paint on the "white" ceiling. The fumes were far too strong for me to get to the splatter before it dried and my Mother in Law assured me that latex paint remover would make quick work of the splatter in the morning.
About a week later, I got sick of waiting for paint remover and started googling solutions. One of the first and most professionally touted options was Goo Gone.
While it did take off the paint splatter, I found that it worked too well - and also took off the "white" (which turned out to be more of an eggshell color than an actual white) paint under the blue splatters. Frustrated, hungry, and running out of time before the Christmas holidays, Abe and I took our last gift card to the local brewery and shared a plate of fried pickles. We discussed options for trying to fix the ceiling without spending a ton of money or risking the fresh paint on the walls. We determined that we could go to either Home Depot or our favorite little antique shop, Abode, and ask for advice from far more creative people than ourselves. Being fans of the path less traveled, we opted first for Abode. We left in much better spirits than we had arrived in. The women at Abode had suggested several ideas that didn't sound bad. Creating a kind of faux-finish muslin or burlap canopy from the light fixture to the border of the walls seemed very artistic and would work with our steampunk theme. Still, we wanted a cheaper, faster, easier solution. We stopped by Home Depot on the way home and they suggested taking a bunch of paint samples with us to try to match the color of the ceiling. We did. As it turned out, it was much easier to match the ceiling than we had thought it would be. Unfortunately, we had no way of knowing what kind of finish the original ceiling paint was. Knowing that we needed a gallon of white (or nearly white...) paint to finish the only non-purple wall in the girls' new room, we opted to just do a gallon of the color we knew matched the ceiling. Worse case scenario, we'd have to very, very, very carefully tape off the fresh walls and paint the whole thing.
You guessed it: Worse case scenario. Luckily, Mom was feeling better and managed to tackle the rest of the work in both rooms in less than a weekend. I don't know what I would do without her.
After both the nursery and the tweens' new room had dried, I cleared out all of our stuff from the antique buffet and (on an insanely rare day of not feeling like a zombie) moved it into the nursery. I installed the safety outlet covers and brought in the rocking chair, too. To top off my accomplishments, I brought in the little pirate map pillow I had found at Ikea and tossed it on the back of the rocking chair.
Baby Steps: You don't need to eat the whole elephant today.
Now that progress had become a real, tangible thing, I was hooked. Unfortunately, my body felt differently. I had to slow my efforts and wait. This turned out to be a very good thing, however, as the kind woman next door started bringing over hand-me-downs from her son. These gifts included a nearly complete wardrobe (0 - 9 months), a jogging stroller, and a nice Fisher Price Swing. In the same week, the case of disposable diapers I had ordered on sale for our cruise in October arrived. The nursery closet was the ideal place to keep things. We set up what we could as time and my health allowed.
We found the old bouncer we had used with our daughters when they were babies and the neighbors gave us one that matches the swing, too.
I found the perfect frame for our steampunk Stitch in my craft & photography supplies. We found a vintage Hawaiian map online and printed it out with our laser printer to serve as a mat between Stitch and the white mat that was included with the frame.
Abe found an old clothing organizer in the basement and hung it in the closet. I found a package of 3 document frames on sale at the local craft shop for only about $7. I framed the 3 "Lilo & Stitch" lithographs that matched the room best and used Hercules Hooks to hang them.
I found my Dad's old globe in the basement and put it on top of the antique buffet to serve as a nightlight. We may end up moving it, but right now there aren't a lot of places to move it to.
World Market had some great sales just before Christmas and I managed to snag this frame for $6 and change. I copied an image from my "Chrono Cross" strategy guide that has great sentimental value to myself and to Abraham. It took a little trial and error to crop it right, but I'm happy with how it turned out. I also purchased a large woven basket for keeping clean diapers and such within reach.
All in all, it's not looking bad. (The white mark on the wall is just the light coming in from the window.) I haven't photographed it yet, but Abe's Mom gave us a cute rug for the room on Christmas, too. We haven't purchased a crib yet and the cradle we bought is still in the garage waiting for some love, but we've got time.
SINCE OUR LAST NURSERY POST:
Our favorite little antique and consignment shop, Abode, has moved! If you're anywhere near the Salt Lake Valley and would like to check them out, you can now find them at 959 east 3300 south.
More updates soon!