Colleen and I used to be co-workers. We became friends as we bonded over donuts when she earned her way into the Donut Club I started by writing a very passionate essay. We made a good team while working together on a series of Vegas projects. She was the artistic person, and I was the people person. Imagine that, ME, the people person. Anyway, now that she is a parent, she has a new client. If you like a good dramatic before and after story, enjoy Colleen’s quest about designing the perfect nursery.
I am a designer. I’m such a designer that it’s pretty much all I do all day. It’s my career, my hobby and my passion. My ability to deconstruct every minute detail of my environment is an absolute blessing and a curse. It’s my direct calling in life and it brings me the most complete feeling. Like the, I-can’t-even-see-straight-right-now, kind of feeling. I live design through every fiber of my being. So when I discovered that I was pregnant, of course the first thing I thought was, ”UH OH”…then it was, “YAY a nursery!” No really, this first thing I thought was how amazing it was to bring a life into this world. …ok, and then very shortly after that I started dreaming up a nursery!
I couldn’t wait to get started. Before I found out that I was expecting I had already been designing the room in my head for months. When I was at the store I’d peek over the baby sections and when I was online I couldn’t help but visit the most trendy baby sites. Of course, I didn’t want to be presumptuous and start buying baby things when I wasn’t even expecting yet, so I patiently waited. Then the time had come and it was finally time to start designing! ….oh, except there was one thing. One small detail that was going to hinder my plans. Our house was for sale and we were moving. What?!?!?!? So, I can’t start the nursery yet? uuuuuuugh….I guess I will wait. I mean, the house is going to sell in the next month,. right? RIGHT?!
About that house selling “in the next month”. It didn’t. Then one month went by… Two months went by… Three, four, five, six, seven… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I was so frustrated. As a woman who had thought about her daughter’s nursery her entire life, as a pregnant woman who just needed to “nest” and as a designer who just wanted to procure what was going on in her head, it was almost too much to bear! My plan was to hold off on putting a nursery together in a house that we were (potentially) not going to live in any longer, but I was seven months pregnant! The designer in me, my need for nesting and (oh did I mention) my out-of-control perfectionist OCD was going to explode. And it wasn’t going to be pretty.
Then that gloooooorious day came. SOLD!
Our house was sold and in a week we found a new house to buy. Yay! My visions are so close I can almost taste them! Our new house was perfect and move-in ready. Well, “move-in ready” for other people. But not for me. It needed work. It was a 1940’s bungalow with partial 1980’s renovations. So we purchased the house knowing that we were going to renovate someday. And by someday, I meant ASAP. The weekend we moved in we started demolition on what was someday going to be the nursery. It seemed like a good idea. Even though I was seven months pregnant, we thought it would be best to renovate pre-baby rather than post-baby. So our expectations were high, our goals large and our eyes wide with excitement. With baby due in two months, we set a goal to finish just before then. It was feasible in our heads at the time. (insert snarky laugh…)
Ready? Set! DEMO!!
Demolition had started and we opened up walls and ceilings for an all new room configuration in the upstairs of our house. And that wasn’t all that was opened. Apparently Pandora’s box also came with the house. (insert a Money Pit movie reference here) There were all sorts of issues that we hadn’t planned on. Oh, that plumbing needs to be replaced? Great. What’s that? We need ALL new electrical throughout the entire house now? Awesome. Oh yeah? Is that REALLY black mold? And is that a squirrel nest next to a bee hive in that corner? FANTASTIC.
Work progressed. Slowly but surely and I was still waiting for that nursery to put together.
Eight months pregnant had come and gone. Then nine months pregnant was upon us and we didn’t have a nursery. Now, I’m not talking about “not having a nursery” like we didn’t have the iconic nursery. No, I’m saying we didn’t even have four walls of a nursery. And on top of that we didn’t have a crib. Didn’t have a changing station, a swing, a seat, diapers… you get the point. I couldn’t set up a temporary nursery because my head was so jammed up with visions of the perfect scenario. I was still wishful that construction fairies would somehow finish our renovation in time. Well, baby was going to come, and soon!
I broke down and put together a “temporary nursery”. It was not ideal or iconic. It was nothing that I had ever envisioned bringing my first baby home to. It had a crib and all the necessities, but it also doubled as our office. The changing table was our desk and the diapers were right next to the printer. My shoulders would shudder; my face cringe and my eyes twitched every time I was in that room. The OCD was off the charts out of control! But we had a place for baby! Then baby came!
Baby was here(!) and it was bliss. Who are we kidding. It wasn’t bliss. Having a baby is dramatically life altering and extremely hard! Hard like, is-there-a return-policy-on-this-thing(?) kind of hard. So times that by a thousand because we were living in a house under renovations that we just moved into and the house was upside down with boxes everywhere. But we survived in our non-iconic mess and what wasn’t initially bliss turned into a kind of nothing-that-words-can-even-describe kind of bliss.
So we drudged through the months. Yes, I said months. Remember when I mentioned our TWO MONTH goal for completion? (reiterate snarky laugh – but much louder) Well, that didn’t happen. Baby was born in September and that month went by. Then October… and November. Then December. Then FINALLY. There was a day that it happened. There was carpet and trim. There was a door, molding and a closet all put together. Was it really happening? That glorious day was real and it was like taking a first breath of air from being under water for two minutes. I opened a package of tiny hangers, grabbed a little dress and hung it on the closet rod. I didn’t realize that it was going to make me as emotional as it did but it was something that I had envisioned myself doing for an entire year. It was the simplest thing. Just hanging clothes in a closet, but it was pure, uninterrupted and unmatched bliss.
So then it began, after what seemed to be the longest wait of my entire life. The nursery came to life.
To see a step-by-step guide on how to make the bird mobile, read Colleen’s post over at Fetetteblog.com