Let's preface this by saying that I am not pregnant.
Let's finish this by saying we'd like to be pregnant.
I won't go into the whole long schpeal of our situation or why we're "having kids so young" etc. But I will give you the short hand. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS (surprise, another blogger with PCOS and an unhealthy obsession with dogs...) you can google it if you're really interested in the chemistry behind it, but basically my body is trying to turn me into a hairy, infertile, chubby man child against my will.
It's lovely, really. But, the downside (ha, like it's the only one...) is that even with treatment (which I've been on for a year as of last month) your periods are very sporadic causing infertility. Because women with PCOS are used to not having periods, if you do get pregnant sometimes you can be quite a ways into your pregnancy before you discover that you are- or as my doctor and I kindly put it "until your body gives up the goods and makes magic pee". It's been a long, hard, personal road already, but in the event of a happy day where we find out that we are pregnant it will cause me to be very careful for the remainder of the pregnancy. AKA- no me doing what I do right now ("hey, that's ugly, where's the sledgehammer?")
Because of this, we are very motivated to have a nursery ready so I'm not inhaling sawdust and painting furniture potentially 6 months pregnant.
BUT, because no one knows when/if I will be get pregnant, we don't want to stare at a room full of baby stuff as a daily reminder of how we're not pregnant.
That is why we will be working on what we're calling the "Emergency Nursery." We are calling it this because we want the room to be ready (all the hard work done) and be usable, but also transferable to our nursery with just the removal of a few pieces of furniture and the addition of the basic baby stuff. If this process is unsuccessful and we can't get pregnant, we fully plan on adopting (actually, we are highly interested in having a mixed family regardless, and you never know when an adopted child will show up either, so an emergency nursery is useful for that too!)
This means we will be doing a happy, colorful, small guest room with a playroom attached to it. It will get used, especially since Brenna is currently living in our main guest room we need somewhere for people to sleep. It also means when our nieces and nephew visit us, they'll have their own little master room to play and have adventures in.
This also seems a little more fun to me because instead of a basic "baby" playroom, we can incorporate the stuff that I find fun. I'm much more of a 3-6 year old person than a 0-3 year old person. As soon as you can tell me what the hell you want, we're cool. Nate does the whole baby thing. I want books, and chalkboards, and art stations, and play houses. So since we're doing this technically for our older kids in our lives, I get to do all the fun, cool stuff.
Anyway, we have started to make a list of everything that we need to get done and I thought I'd share it with you guys. Let's start with the obvious.
Note: These pictures are not saturated or tinted, the room really is this orange which is why it is driving me crazy.
1.) Rip down the walls
This room has some weird angling. And, when we tried to remove the wallpaper, we discovered the previous owner of this house wallpapered a cardboard like backing and then spray adhesived it to the plaster. This means all of it needs to come completely down to the studs and get re-drywalled. We tried just taking the wall paper down, but it wasn't going anywhere. Then we noticed it was attached to the plaster and if you try to get under it the plaster comes down too. Rather than dicking around with it and releasing god knows how-old plaster dust into the room, it's just coming down.
We hope to leave the bead board up as removing it could damage it and we actually would like to keep it to paint. We'll see if this has to change. We will then add a new wallpaper that we've already picked (we'll go into the stuff we've picked when we get to it)
2.) Install overhead lighting
While we have wall/ceiling down (yes, the ceiling is wallpapered) we want to have an electrician come in and move the junction box from the wall to the ceiling. The room is so, so, dark. It really needs some overhead lighting. The electrician also needs to come look at some janky wiring that has been hiding in the closet.
3.) Paint the dresser
We bought this antique dresser earlier this year because the spindles on the mirror match the Jenny Lind crib that we love. The sad thing is that because the room is so dark and small, we need to incorporate as many happy, light colors as possible. And, after owning the dresser for six months we've noticed a lot of flaws with it that sanding and staining wouldn't resolve. It will be getting painted.
4.) Find a new place for the "office stuff"
We currently stash all of our home office stuff in here because they just would not fit in the jewelry studio space. We need to find a new "home office" solution for filing and office supplies. Please note: beer bottles will not be present in the nursery when a baby is present. Thanks, Steve, for not cleaning up after yourself!
I guess this should really be, move all the stuff not baby room related out of the room. We'll need to find somewhere for our guitars, the extra linens, the camping stuff and other misc crap that keeps getting dumped in there (hence why we call it the room of doom).
5.) Annex the closet.
Because the house doesn't come equipped with a linen closet and this room has a very large closet (seriously, right now we have a dresser in there and two hanging rows of like formal gowns and winter coats) that touches the hallway at the top of the stairs, we'd like to annex about 2.5 feet of the closet and create a linen solution in the hallway. Something with cabinets and drawers instead of a full closet as that will just get filled with crap instead of being usable. The nursery will still have plenty of closet space and we'll actually gain a selling feature that a lot of houses in our neighborhood don't have.
6.) Paint all the things.
The playroom and the main room will be getting a really, really light wall color to improve lighting in the spaces. It will be the lightest color in the wallpaper (which is like a creamy white). We will not be painting the trim or doors, true to our "no painting original wood" rule.
7.) Re-wallpaper the ceiling.
Yep. I said it, we are voluntarily going to re-wallpaper the damn thing. The way I see it is that babies look up all the time, why not have something awesome to look at?
8.) See if there's flooring under the toy box. If yes, then remove it, if no, then paint it and sew a cushion for it.
The fact that the room has a built in toy box is really cool. But, my problem with it is that it's really tall, and the lid is really heavy, so any kid playing in there won't be able to open the box and put stuff away themselves. If they can't get to the cool stuff, then what's the point of having it? It's also so tall that you can't sit comfortably on top of it making the bench thing kind of stupid. But, if there is no flooring under it, we will have to make it work. If there is flooring under it, we'd like to build something like this custom to the space:
9.) Remove the clothes rod in the playroom
This is the old terrifying picture of the room of doom, but you can see that previous owners used this valuable space as a giant closet. So we need to remove that so there's more headroom.
10.) Paint and Upholster cushions the Rocking Chair/Ottoman
We scored a really awesome rocking recliner (not gliding! we'd never seen anything like it before!) so they need to coordinate.
11.) Install bad ass front facing bookshelves along the wall.
I'm sure you've seen this everywhere, but we love the thin front facing bookshelves that a lot of people make out of spice racks so kids can see the covers. We'd love to do two rows of them along the long wall for board books. Pretty hardcovers will go in the shelving unit so they don't get ripped, etc.
12.) Upholster a pretty headboard for the temporary twin bed to make it look more finished. Also, buy bedding.
Since at this point, we're thinking it will probably be about another year before it is time for a baby to be in this room, we want the twin bed to look more substantial and to look like part of the room. Since we already have the bed, and mattress, this should be very affordable. We can also then store it until it's time to upgrade to a big bed in there. Plus, it needs bedding that fits as the queen comforter on it now looks damn silly.
13.) Window treatments
For obvious reasons.
14.) Possible French Door(s)?
I really like the idea of taking the solid door down temporarily and installing a french door on the main room/the playroom/both. The only way I would put a door on the playroom would be if there was glass so the light could still get through. I like the idea of one on the main door so I could check in without letting a herd of dogs into the room. The main french door will probably happen closer to baby time so that our guests don't feel like we're watching them sleep.
15.) Create a storage solution in the basement.
I know this really isn't for this room exactly, but all of this stuff needs to go somewhere. Even things like the twin bed- when we do get lucky enough to have a baby we need to have safe, easy ways to store things that will keep them up off the floor for a few years while the baby needs a baby room.
I think that is all I can think of for now...(2000 words later...) I'm sure this list will evolve over the next few months as we begin undertaking this room.
I really hope I didn't overwhelm anyone, but I work better with lists and with something as complex as this explaining myself helps sort it all out. This will be what we'll be doing the next few months, if you'd like to come along for the ride, we would really love you to join us :)
Again, this was not to fish for sympathy or old wives tricks on getting pregnant. We are not stressed about it, we are not sad, we are just trying to plan for our future and no matter what it brings us. We know we could be in a much worse place right now and are glad to have the support system that we do. I also ask that while we are going through all of this, every time we work on this room we don't get a thousand comments of "are you guys pregnant yet?" We promise when the time comes, all of you will know (hell, we'll probably be shouting it from the brand new roof top!) and we'll all have a virtual party together. Thank you in advance for all of your understanding while we work on this!