Archive for the ‘nursery’ Category

Have Glider? Will Travel.

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Posted by Rebecca, April 19th, 2012

Yesterday, Mike spilled the beans that we were able to hunt down the glider we were unable to buy on Monday. He also spilled the beans that he was born in Staten Island. That’s another story for another day, but I guess good things come from Staten Island!

How did we get it? Well, after I was slightly depressed after returning from Babies R Us on Monday (and stopping for a hot fudge sundae to lessen the pain), we came home and googled to see if we could find the glider elsewhere. We also searched for alternatives and really could not find anything for less than $1,000. I emailed the manufacturer, Klaussner, asking if the glider was sold elsewhere. We then went to bed.

On Tuesday I woke up feeling less defeated and more determined. If our local Babies R Us claimed they just sold the floor model on Saturday, there had to be more floor models somewhere! One of the perks of living sandwiched between New York City and Philly is that there is no shortage of natural resources retail centers.

These were our options within 100 mile radius, actually there were probably even more but I cropped the image. I did what any desperate person would do and I started calling stores.

I literally called about 10 stores that told me they had sold their floor models. I was feeling defeated again, especially when one store immediately responded with “Oh no! That’s been gone for a LONG time!” Then I called one store that never even had the floor model, but the woman was extremely helpful and checked what stores were showing that they had 1 in stock in the system. First she searched NJ, which I had already called both of the stores that supposedly had it. So I asked her to check Pennsylvania. Not a single store in the whole state had one. Then I asked for NY and got a nice little list that looked something like this….

  1. Staten Island
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Union Square
  4. Long Island
  5. Upstate somewhere

I figured I’d start with good ol’ Staten Island, since it’s really not that far from NJ. In fact, I grew up right across the bay from Staten Island and I thought that it was some sort of distant land. My childhood dream was to make it to the other side. I guess dreams come true?

I called and nearly died when the guy very casually told me that yeah, they had that. I asked if I could have it reserved for me and his response was, “you want the floor model??” So I told him that the chair is no longer in stock and all that is left is the floor model. He looked it up and verified that I was right, then told me that he had to talk to his manager to see if they could sell it. He called me back about 5 minutes later and told me that the manager said he could sell it. This whole part of the story confirmed what the employee from our initial visit to Babies R Us told us– that they have no idea when things are going out of stock. I guess this happened at a lot of stores and since people weren’t able to order the chair, they just took the floor model. They said they would hold it for me for 24 hours.

So, I took my insanely swollen feet across the Outerbridge on Tuesday.

Yeah those flip flops aren’t usually tight… I actually have quite narrow feet in my usual life.

When we got to Babies R Us, I explained that I was buying the glider they were holding for me and I had the same exact conversation with the manager on duty that I had on the phone. He questioned buying the floor model and I told him that it’s no longer in stock. He looked it up, confirmed that I was right, then said I could take it. But wait! It’s a floor model! Don’t I get a discount? He told me no….

So I gave puppy eyes and said that the ottoman had a spot on it (which it did), so he gave me a 20% off coupon and allowed me to use it for a furniture item. Woohooo! This was all great and better than I thought I’d be able to do, until I realized something. THE PRICES ARE HIGHER IN NY!

That 20% off exactly offset the price hike and the additional tax so that we ended up paying the full NJ price. I was annoyed for a minute, but I didn’t want to be too annoyed because I didn’t want to give up my glider. So I just swallowed my pride and paid full price for a damn floor model. Granted, it’s in perfect condition, but I didn’t even want to pay full price for a brand new glider. But that mentality is what got me in this position in the first place and after thinking I may not even get the glider at all, I’ll take it at full price!!

Thankfully, it fit in our small SUV. After driving all the way to Staten Island, I was afraid it wouldn’t fit.

When we got home, Mike was able to get it up the stairs all by himself. It’s really not a big chair, so it was nice to be able to get it in the room just 24 hours after I thought I wouldn’t even have a glider. However, when we put it in the corner that we planned on, it did not look right.

The crib dwarfs the chair.

The dresser dwarfs the chair.

So we had to rearrange everything tonight. We played with a few configurations…

Dresser on opposite wall, which I liked a lot.

Crib caddy cornered? Nah.

Crib straight with chair back facing door? Just okay.

Chair by window? LIKE!

But then that meant the dresser had to be moved back where it was originally to keep things balanced…

The crib was also re-centered on the accent wall and we were happy!

The chair is slightly in front of the closet, but there’s still plenty of room to get in and out of there.

We can also play with it more once we have the closet system in and some curtains up. This configuration leaves lots of open floor and wall space. Warning: Photo bombing cat ahead.

I want to get some sort of small storage to put next to the glider to use for books and toys, which will work now because we have a nice empty wall to use.

Mowie approves of the new location with nice view…

It’s seriously insane how small this room got with furniture in it! I always imagined that this room would be massive for a baby, but I guess not.

I feel 100x better now that we have the glider. Even if I had to travel to Staten Island and pay full price, it is still much less expensive than similar styles of gliders. And it looks great with the bedding, though I can’t show you those pictures yet…

How’s that for a happy ending? 🙂

We Did It

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Posted by Michael, April 18th, 2012

On Tuesday morning, Rebecca made about 8 million phone calls to various Babies R Us stores.  She started out calling New Jersey stores and working outwards.  In between calls, she’d vent to me about no one having it.  And I certainly didn’t help when I kept recommending different places to call — “call Maryland!” and “call South Carolina!” and “call China!”

Yeah, I’m the dramatic one in this relationship.

After a ton of calls, Rebecca finally got a hit; we finally found the glider!   She’ll tell you a bit more about the deets at a later time, but there was a floor model available at a store in my favorite part of New York City: Staten Island.  Better known as the place where I was born.

And here she is in all of her glory.  I wish I could have taken a wider shot of the room with the glider, but Rebecca had some stuff on the crib that screamed I AM THE GENDER OF THE BABY, so I had to be selective in my shots.

Despite being the floor model, it was in top shape.  There was a smudge on the ottoman, but as soon as we got home Rebecca was able to quickly clean it up.  God bless micro-suede.

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 🙂

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? 🙂

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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