My youngest brother called me last week and said, with a note of regret in his voice, that he was going to have to unsubscribe from my blog if the nature of my posts didn't change. I guess all the talk of pregnant watermelon bellies and rupture of membranes and bloody show got to him.
Duly noted, Jon. Thus, I present a pregnancy-free post. (But I can't promise this will stick. After all, I'm scheduled to be induced next week. This is only a temporary reprieve.)
Here's a real-life story problem for you.
How do you fit six people and a dog in a cozy-but-not-so-big, 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse?
My mind started chewing away at that puzzle last September, about five minutes after we found out we were expecting Baby #4.
Right up front, I want to say: We love living here. It's our home while we wait for our ex-house in Tiny Town to sell. And we are keenly aware that at 1900-square-feet, it is bigger than the dwellings of most of the world's population.
But we also knew it would take some rejiggering to fit us all comfortably. At the time, Connor and Natalie shared a room...
...and Teyla enjoyed her own space, the better to corral all the baby gear and keep the disruption of midnight wakings to a minimum.
Corey and I threw out a few different possibilities during the first half of the pregnancy. (Put all the kids together in one room and leave the extra room for the baby? Look into renting a bigger house while we continue to wait for our ex-house to sell? Put the baby in with us?)
But it wasn't until we found out we are having a boy that a good plan came together.
First, we decided change the rooms into a boys' room and a girls' room. Not only did it make the most sense to split the kids evenly, but it meant we didn't have to repaint. (The girls' room is pink; the boys' room is green.)
Then we settled on bunk beds as the only way to fit everyone into the 10-by-10 spaces.
Then I did the grunt work of measuring most of our upstairs furniture to see what would fit in the new rooms. (Things that didn't fit were sold on Craigs List. I'm ruthless about keeping things lately. I even sold the glider rocker when it was determined it was just too big.)
Then, when the kids were on spring break, Corey took a few days vacation to dismantle the current bedrooms...
... (creation is a messy business, yes?) ...
... assemble beds ...
... and get the new rooms ready for occupancy.
And when we were finished, I clapped my hands for joy. Literally. The new rooms are even cuter than I imagined.
Thus, I present to you: The new girls' room...
...and the new boys' room.
The one vital piece of furniture I couldn't fit in the bedrooms was the changing table. So that went into the hallway.
Actually, that's a fine compromise, since both Teyla and the new baby will use it for the time being.
I also had to move my old office, which was tucked into the nursery closet...
...into a corner of the master bedroom.
End result: I. Am. So. Happy. The rooms are adorable. And the kids love their new spaces. (This also served as Teyla's transition into a big girl bed, which has been a fabulous move for all of us. But that's a story for another day.)
The only problem outstanding is how to change the sheets on bunk beds. Because, good night, it took me stinkin' FOREVER to get them on and tucked in the first time. Right now, I'm thinking they will get laundered once a year ("It's the day of Laundry Jubilee, kids!") or when they get contaminated with bodily fluids. (Sorry Jon!)
Any tips from bunk bed veterans?