Archive for April, 2012

A Nursery Setback

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Posted by Rebecca, April 16th, 2012

Tonight Mike and I decided to go to Babies R Us to FINALLY order the glider we’ve been putting off buying for months. Not putting off because we were lazy, but putting off because we were waiting for it to go on sale like it was when we first spotted it.

I received my registry completion coupon on Saturday and decided that I would see if I could combine that with the 15% you save when opening a store credit card. If not, I’d just use the 15% off and deal with it, because I wanted this last piece of furniture to feel like I at least had the basics if the baby were to show up tomorrow (I have a feeling my baby is getting antsy in there, just saying…) I knew that this particular chair was a quick delivery item that you could get within several days, so that is why I’ve waited so patiently for the price to drop.

Well, we got to the store and didn’t see it anywhere. We looked around for a few and decided to ask where it was. Then the news hit. DISCONTINUED. Then even more news hit…the floor model just sold on Saturday and IT WAS ON CLEARANCE. Then there was a glimmer of hope when I asked if they could check if any other stores still had floor models and 2 in the area came up as having them.

(original image via Babies R Us)

Then my last remaining hope was crushed as the store employee called both stores and they did not have the floor models anymore. Mike was prepared to travel an hour or so first thing in the morning to pick one up if they did,  since it was already after 8 at this point.

I’m beyond disappointed. I felt like I actually made some organizing progress this weekend and I just really wanted a chair to keep the momentum going. Instead, I’ve taken a million steps back. Not only do I not have a chair, but I have to find one I like, that is affordable. Then, I’ll probably have to wait the standard furniture order time of like, 12 weeks.

I’ve already accepted the bad news that I’ll probably be working up until I have the baby, but to know I won’t have all of our furniture before than either? It’s like an extra blow. I’m just hoping this is one of those moments that turns out better than it would have if the chair was actually in the store…. like say if I find an even better chair for like a fraction of the price? That would be nice, eh?

I might try calling some other Babies R Us stores tomorrow. I mean if it’s on clearance and we can have it that day? I’d be willing to travel. Cross your fingers for a happy ending to this saga :)

Can You Imagine

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Posted by Michael, April 12th, 2012

Rebecca has been asking me all week what should we do above the baby’s dresser.  We know we want to rock the giraffe sconces, but we’re not so sure what to do exactly in between them.

Do we go with the classic three frame horizontal look?  Maybe one large frame?  We’ve bounced ideas back and forth to one another ranging from absolutely nothing besides the sconces to crazy framed patterns.

Ok, crazy framed pattern really means what you trendy kids are calling “chevron” patterns.  It’s called a zig-zag.  Seriously.  What’s easier to understand, “I think we should do a chevron pattern” or “I think we should do a zig-zag pattern.”  Yup, zig-zag.  Mike 1, rest of you 0.

Anyways, tonight I present you a combination that popped in my head as I was browsing 20×200.

(“Can You Imagine” via 20×200)

On the left, we have ‘Can You Imagine’ which instantly grabbed my attention.  For one, the background scenery reminded me much of our time spent in Hawaii.  And then the typography brought out the aspect of an imagination.  This baby girl or boy is going to have one helluva imagination; especially since he or she will be talking about Macky to friends as if Macky was a non-fur-baby.

But really, I glazed at this picture for a solid five minutes watching the waves grow as they approached me and then watching as they hit against the rocks.  Then I realized nothing was moving in this piece of art work.

(“Baby White Tiger No 5 via 20×200)

And then I saw this baby tiger.  What better way to make The Baby a crazy cat person than to hang a picture of a big cat?  Gotta start them young, right?

I love the simplicity of this piece, a baby white tiger on a simple backdrop.  But more importantly, I couldn’t help but think that this tiger had a piece of all of our cats — small sized tiger with big paws reminds me of Darwin, the fluffy white chest reminding me of Sunny (our precious guy we lost to panleukopenia), the big eyes with a slight tilt of the head reminding me of Mowie and the overall goofiness that Macky shares with this tiger.

In 20 years, you’re going to hear about The Baby having a TLC special about owning too many cats.

(“Closing Credits at the End of a Movie” via 20×200)

And to end, we have some artwork reflecting the geekiness in me.  I love that this really screams our youth while throwing several colors into the mix.  I really want to go play space invaders now.

I’m not sure if we’ll go with any of these, but I figured I’d throw them out there.  Maybe Rebecca will let me mount three LED televisions up there so the artwork can always rotate and be random.

Now that is a great idea.

Baby’s Dresser

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Posted by Rebecca, April 11th, 2012

Since we started planning a nursery, the Hemnes 8-drawer dresser from Ikea has been in my plans.

(via Ikea)

The question was the color. Ikea has a few options that would work– the black brown, the gray brown (pictured above), the white or we could paint it a bold color. The bold color was my choice up until we actually painted the room. When I saw everything all complete, I couldn’t help but think of a white dresser.

I figured this would be a piece of cake, we would just buy the dresser in white! But then I realized something– Ikea’s white furniture is not solid wood. Part of the appeal of the Hemnes collection was that (I thought) it was all solid wood. After selecting a solid wood crib that was made without the use of formaldehyde, I wanted to also have a safe dresser.

Our line of thinking around here has always been that we do the best we can. We knew that it would be impossible (or rather, out of our budget) to make a 100% eco-friendly, non-toxic nursery, but we wanted to make smart decisions where we could. I knew it would be inevitable that say, an upholstered chair and our hardwood flooring would off-gas somewhat, so we used no-VOC paint, solid wood molding for the paneling behind the crib, non-toxic construction adhesive and purchased an organic mattress and changing pad. We tried to cut out the chemicals where we could.

I also know that nearly no dresser is 100% solid wood. Unlike cribs, many dressers contain particleboard to make up the back of the dresser or drawer components, so I assumed this would be part of our “suck it up” off-gassing to account for. Still, I could not swallow the idea of a particleboard and fiberboard dresser. We started to look for other dressers that were white and solid wood.

I should mention here that my original, original thought was to find a secondhand dresser to refinish. I don’t know where all of these bloggers with awesome Goodwill stores and thrift shops live, but we looked for a few months and never found anything we liked as much as the Hemnes dresser. Okay, we never even found anything we liked, period.

In looking at other options, we quickly realized that no one can beat Ikea in price. Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod have high quality, solid wood furniture, but it is more than double the price of Ikea. $700 for a dresser was not in our budget. We also checked the usual baby furniture at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, but we did not find a single dresser we liked there either… and they were more expensive than Ikea.

We decided to take a trip to Ikea to check out the dresser in person. We liked it. We scratched our heads. We talked in the dresser section for probably 20 mins. We said our mantra was always to do the best we can within our budget. Since we’re going over budget with our glider purchase, we knew we couldn’t do it again. We decided that I was just being neurotic and that plenty of people have non-solid wood furniture. We cut out where we could. Mike told me that if this purchase was going to bother me, then we shouldn’t do it. But we did it, and it did bother me even minutes after buying it.

I felt that maybe we should have gone with one of the children’s furniture lines because at least they have some sort of certification from the JPMA or whatever. So I decided to email Ikea and ask them if their non-solid wood products met any sort of emissions standards, specifically if they were CARB compliant in the state of California (the strictest emissions standards in the US). Their response shocked me. Part of the email read:

We have strict rules concerning formaldehyde, and we do not permit the use of paints and varnishes containing formaldehyde additives. For wooden products, we apply the German E1 standard and have done so for many years now. For textiles, we apply the Finnish regulations.  In both cases, these are currently the strictest within their field worldwide.

I googled around a bit and found that Ikea had run into some trouble with formaldehyde emissions in their furniture products back in the 90s. Since then, they have a policy that they will meet the strictest regulations that exist within their markets, which for furniture is currently Germany. That way, they don’t have to make a separate piece of furniture to sell in the US, Germany, Japan or wherever. Kudos Ikea!

My googling also let me to find that the second round of California’s CARB emissions should be more strict that the European E1 standards. Interesting and good for California! Now if only the rest of the country would catch on…

I have seriously read so many documents about parts-per-million, different types of wood and standards around the world that my head is spinning. I feel much better about my purchase knowing that it contains minimal amounts of formaldehyde (since formaldehyde does indeed occur naturally in wood and some off-gassing will inevitably occur in all pieces).

Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to email companies and ask them about their policies. Even if it just helps you sleep better at night knowing what you purchased, it’s worth it.

Very long story short: We have a new dresser and we are very happy with it :)

Some parts of the dresser are indeed solid wood and the drawers are lined with adorable yellow striped paper. These little top drawers are perfect for storing our cloth diapers.

We thought of changing out the standard drawer knobs, but I actually like them. The dark balances well with everything.

It’s amazing how quickly a room can get smaller when you add furniture. I seriously used to think this room was too big for a baby!

We love how classy the white looks in the room. We’re happy that it only cost us $299 for a brand new dresser and that it came with some morals. Thank you Ikea for bringing some non-solid wood standards to the little people, you get a bad rap far too often.

Okay, who made it to the end? :)

Thirty Five

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Posted by Rebecca, April 9th, 2012

So I’ve reached the 35 week mark.

It’s weird, I didn’t really feel like I grew that much these past 5 weeks, but when I saw this picture I had a holy s#@* moment. I had no clue my stomach was protruding that far.

I decided not to put my hand over the center of my belly like I usually do so that my hand didn’t take away from the belly. I also decided to take a bonus frontal view this time, since who knows.. this may be the last time!

It’s crazy to think that I’m almost done. So many people now ask me if I’ve had enough… the answer is yes and no. I wouldn’t say I’ve had a rough time, so I don’t feel like I’m at my breaking point yet. I also have a ton of things to do before the baby comes. I know everyone says you’re never fully ready, but I’m sure those people have at least taken their car seats out of the box and have a closet for their baby. I’ve been insanely busy at work and drained on the weekends (which have also been busy), so in my fantasy world I would like to sit in a glider and read some baby books, knowing that everything is settled and mostly put away. I know there’s a fat chance of that happening at this point, but hey, I can dream.

I would like my baby here, that is one reason I’d like this process to speed up. Maybe once I start to waddle I’ll say I’ve had enough :)

I’m seriously amazed at how much my body has grown in the past 15 weeks or so. I can’t imagine what a 40 week picture would look like?

Nursery Listing

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Posted by Rebecca, April 5th, 2012

My brain hurts today and my to-do list is massive. We have loads of things in the works for the nursery, but nothing is completed for after pictures and stories. So! A random post of what’s going on it is!

First there are the things we’ve sort of done, or rather, started…

1. Buy dresser

(via Ikea)

Two weekends ago we bought a Hemnes dresser from Ikea. Last weekend, Mike started putting it together and did everything but the drawers. I’ll also have to share how we decided on this dresser and my little email exchange with Ikea.

2. Buy mattress

(via Naturepedic)

We picked up a Naturepedic crib mattress since I wanted to give it a chance to air out before the baby comes.

3. Buy changing pad

(via Buy Buy Baby)

We also picked up a Naturepedic changing pad. Both the pad and the mattress were chosen for their non-toxic, safer, compositions. But they’re both still in their packaging at the moment.

In the very near future (like maybe this weekend), we plan to…

1. Stencil the closet

I have a polka dot stencil waiting to take over this closet! I know it won’t take me long, but my energy levels depend on the day. I think taking a break from painting for a couple of weeks should be sufficient :)

3. Install Allen + Roth closet system

(via Lowe’s)

We hope to pick this up this weekend so that whenever we’re ready to get it installed, we have it on hand. I went through all of the baby’s things and I’m itching to put it all away somewhere!

3. Install giraffe sconces

(via Macy’s)

Yes, our first nursery purchase is still in the plans! That is, as long as we think they would be okay with the dresser once that’s in position. Hopefully this weekend will tell and all of the electrical won’t be too tricky.

Then there are the things we need to do somewhere in the future….

1. Buy glider…the glider that STILL has not gone on sale. I’m losing my patience.

(via Babies R Us)

2. Make some curtains out of the 10 yards of chevron fabric we bought to complete either one of our color schemes…

3. Find a bookcase, which depends on how much space we have after all major pieces are in the room

4. Add some wall art! I admittedly don’t have any concrete plans for this. I have to see how everything looks, since the room gets smaller with each piece added. Then I can decide if I want to add a canvas, gallery wall, paper laterns… I’m not sure!

That’s not too much for 5 weeks, right? RIGHT?!?

::blows into paper bag::

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