Friday, April 26, 2013

Pictures, Plans, and Feelings

Today's post is going to seem really odd to some people as I'll be talking about a room that is very, very important to me, and it is a room that doesn't even exist yet. This is going to be long, full of pictures, and probably more about me than you'd care to know. This is my disclaimer. This is not a post for sympathy, "tips" or compassion- it is in the interest of transparency (as this is what we will be working on) it's just the way it is and this is how we're dealing with it.

Let's preface this by saying that I am not pregnant.


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:

I'd love for it to be wall to wall- I love that it can be made with buckets for toys and books on the top sections and having a space for toys on the bottom that any kid can get to. This means no "MOM I NEED THIS OUT OF THE TOYBOX". It's all about planning ahead.

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!


  1. "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." I think that is a darned awesome approach. Great to be prepared for your family, no matter how long it takes or how you guys build it.

    This is my first time commenting and I just wanted to say that I love your blog and you seem like amazing people, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the space. :)

    1. Thank you, Lisa :)I'm glad we were finally able to pull you out of lurkdom.

  2. I also had PCOS (and endometriosis). For years doctors told me I had no periods because I was too thin, proving--I don't know what. Just that the whole damn baby-making thing is pretty mysterious and frustrating. It was a long, hard journey to parenthood for me (that ended in IVF twins). Wishing you all the best, and think your room plan is awesome and smart.

    1. Thank you, Rita- it amazes me every day how many people suffer from things like this but no one talks about it. Women need to come together and support each other about things like this- what happens behind closed doors doesn't need to alienate people.

  3. this room is going to be so super cute looking... I can't wait to see how it all turns out! And the playroom attached to it is such a neat feature of the house, if it ends up being your forever home I can also picture it as a really cool angsty teenager space too. :)

    1. And who doesn't love a good angsty teenager room!

  4. That room is going to be so fun for a kid! I'm excited about your fun wallpapered ceiling!

    I bought a crib before I was pregnant with Ari....and then I was like, "omg--what have I done?! I've jinxed it!" But, obviously, I didn't really ;)

    1. Ha! So...what you're telling me is if I buy the crib... ;)

    2. That's right--I'm saying if you buy the crib, you'll have four boys ;)

      (to clarify, I only bought the crib because we came across a great deal on one at a garage sale...I wouldn't have rushed out to babies r' us before I was pregnant for one or anything)

  5. I love your plans. It will be such a beautiful room when you're done. PCOS is the meanest bitch around. We hate her. But we're better than her. We're NOT HER. You got this :)

    1. We are NOT her. I'm glad we have each other

  6. There are so many cool things about this room, I can't wait to see how you guys work your magic on it :) I'm so glad you are keeping the beadboard, it will look amazing painted. The door and beautiful floor I'm drooling over. I wouldn't worry too much if there is no flooring under the toy chest. You can always go to a salvage place and piece old flooring boards into it, and stain them to match. That toy bin/bookshelf piece is amazing! Which I had them when my boys were little!

    1. Thanks Jeanna! I'm really excited about it, I just hope the end result matches the mood board :)

  7. Infertility SUX!!! Even if it's not forever - it still sux for as long as it's happening.

    I'm 48, and was never able to have children -- the dreaded "unexplained infertility" is what got me, so I'll never be able to point that evil eye at anything specific. And that sux in a whole different way as well.

    I think you are going about this the right way -- you know there may be obstacles, and that things might not turn out as planned, but you also have a plan B as well, so that is awesome.

    I'm glad you have your bestie there with you to work on this project -- you can be silly and crazy, and just have fun with it, and it will help keep your mind off the "what if -- what if not" crap.

    The room has awesome potential!! Can't wait to see the photos of how it comes along.

    In the mean time, I'll keep you in my prayers. :-)

    1. Thank you. I'm sorry that you had to go through that- it is emotionally exhausting month after month. I hope this is as good as we all want it to be!

  8. oh my gosh! That wallpaper! Sounds like you guys have a great plan. Can't wait to see what you do with the room.

    1. Yes. Maple leaf wall paper. Pure Michigan? ;)

  9. I would have loved this room as a kid... all those cool angles make it seem like a cool tree house or something. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  10. Emma,I love that you are making this space for kids, because then you know you'll be the favorite place for nephew and neices to visit and the grown up guests will smile, too at the overall fun of the space. This seems like a very good plan for whatever the future brings. I am at the other end of the cycle with 'itching' to make a guest room (or two) with the empty bedrooms of our 'empty nest'. I'll be sure to send you pictures as that progresses. :)

  11. I really enjoyed this post. In a few weeks we'll be moving into our first home and I have big plans for turning an upstairs bedroom into a nursery. But since that's also at least a year away I've been trying to think of ways to keep it as a guest room in the meantime which can be then converted into a nursery without too much fuss. Like you, I am already looking forward to the small kid stage and not the squalling infant stage. ;)

    1. Sounds like we'd get along wonderfully!!

  12. My husband and i are pretty much in the same boat as you guys! We have two dogs.. recently fostered and almost had 3! But, she was adopted.. and we have a house.. that needs lots of work! we have been trying with no luck recently too.. ive though about doing a baby room but im scared to jynx it.. im kinda crazy like that! but it seems like you guys are really connected to your community and no matter what.. a baby will make its way into ur home :) good luck! im sure its going to turn out amazing! :)

  13. That is going to be a really cool space! I was shocked you are thinking of wallpaper again! I thought you might have had enough of the stuff already. I am sure it will be much cuter than the stuff you have been tearing down.

  14. That is a hella a lot of work, whew! I'll be excited to see how it all turns out! And best of luck with the baby-making!!

  15. Okay geez just caught up what the f is up with me!! Girl I can tell you that everything happens for a reason and will happen at the right time. The emotion of trying/being pregnant/not being pregnant was basically my 2012 along with a miscarriage. I'm excited to see how this room gets transformed and what happens over time. It's an insanely exciting time for y'all. I'm also going to live vicariously through you since I have no place for the baby that's currently in my belly! Yikes. Now stop reading this comment and go get all crazy on Nate. (Nate, you're welcome.)


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