Thursday, May 30, 2013

Riding the Rails

As we anticipate the arrival of Baby 2, most of the prep work involves getting Bert into his big boy room and making the nursery available for his little brother. We already had the furniture (it was mine as a kid), and the room had been functioning as a guest room. Because the furniture is dark green, we opted to work with what he had and go for a woodland/rustic look. We aren't totally finished, but Bert has already moved in.

The first step was replacing this beauty of a light fixture. Not only was it ugly, it only operated by the pull chain. Not the most ideal function in a child's room.

So after much cutting, climbing in and out of the attic crawlspace, and grumbling,

we had a light switch,

This is what happens when Keith does home decor shopping at Cabela's.
 and a working light.

The new fixture looks kind of funky here, but it actually has a really nice aged copper look in person.

Now, on to painting. We went back and forth on color a bit, but finally settled on a light tan called "Blonde Wood." I washed the walls and taped off the room one day while Keith was at work, then we edged the room together and he rolled it on a weekend. For the second coat, I edged during the day and he rolled it in the evening when he got home.

Next up was blinds. Like almost every other room in the house, the were old roller blinds that were really grimy and brittle. I found some room-darkening cordless blinds online from JC Penney, and they were really simple to install: just screw two brackets into the window frame, and snap the blinds in.

They really do darken the room and the color almost exactly matches the walls.

Here's a sneak peek at the art that will go on the walls. It is all in frames but we haven't hung them yet. Keith and I are in agreement that we both really hate hanging pictures, mostly because of our old plaster walls. That and one of us must have one leg shorter than the other because we can't agree on what looks level.

All of that leads me to my now-it's-funny story. We had everything done in the room that needed to be done prior to Bert moving in, except for one thing: bed rails. Since the bed doesn't push up tight against the wall, we wanted a set that had a rail for each side. So last weekend, we headed off on a shopping trip for a bunch of things, one of which was the rails. We found a double-rail at Babies R Us and though I was a bit vexed that I couldn't find the 20% coupon that I knew came in the mail just days before, we went ahead and got them. We planned on putting Bert in the bed that night so later that afternoon, we opened up the box and deciphered the confusing assembly instructions, only to find that they wouldn't work on the bed. Because it is a "captain's" bed, with drawers underneath, there is no box spring. Which means sandwiching the rails between the mattress and box spring is impossible. We tried every configuration we could think of, contemplated buying a box spring or building something to allow the rails to fit below the mattress before finally calling it a day and putting Bert to bed in the crib.

After the little man was settled in for the night, I started searching online for a different bed rail option. On Amazon, I saw some foam bumpers that went under the fitted sheet. Then a lightbulb went off: in one of those forwarded emails about household tricks you wished you had thought of, I had seen pool noodles used as bed bumpers. I told Keith and he looked a bit skeptical at first, concerned that a single pool noodle wouldn't be enough to keep Bert from rolling out of bed. Then we hit on the idea of putting three together in a sort of pyramid formation to create a higher bumper. At this point, it was after 9:00, but we were so anxious to see if this would work. Keith called the first of our town's two grocery stores to see if they had pool noodles. We were cracking up as he waited on hold, picturing the guy who answered the phone searching the pasta aisle for pool noodles. Strike one, they didn't have any. So he called the next store. Yes, the girl said, the did have them, 2 for $4. Score. So Keith went out and got an armload of them. He said the women working were very intrigued as to what kind of fun he was going to have that late at night with a bunch of pool noodles, and the bed rail idea was kind of a let down.

But here's the thing: they absolutely work. A little duct tape, a half dozen pool noodles, 5 minutes, and we had bed bumpers for a fraction of the cost.

Bert has two nights and three naps under his belt and they stay put just fine and he hasn't rolled out. He has climbed out, but that's to be expected. The only disappointing thing is this morning on our walk, I saw pool noodles out front of the dollar store. It could have been a $6 project instead of $12.

All that's left for this room is painting the inside of the closet, hanging art, figuring out some curtains, and putting his quilt on the bed.

I got a little teary on Monday afternoon, laying him down in his big bed for the first time. He's our baby, and he's growing up.

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