Sunday, August 26, 2012

August Catch-Up (Part 1)

What Garrick was looking at...
...What I was looking at!
Towards the beginning of the month (the second week of it anyway), Garrick went on a business trip to Washington, D.C. (I "got" to stay home).  He sent me a few photos of his tourist-ing while I was busily trying to get our nursery ready for the newest member of our little family, with the help of my Mother (and even a little help from our 6-year-old nephew who was also visiting).  He sent me that first photo in the top, I sent him a photo of what I was doing!  I think he had a much better "view", ha!  But, after getting an extremely large bookcase emptied (nephew took boxes of books downstairs and loaded two of the giant sized Rubbermaid totes with books from the one bookcase), and all those totes and boxes and computer parts (there are four old, currently unused, computer "brains" and a busted monitor in that pile) moved out of what used to be Garrick's office...we had an empty room that we can now call a nursery!
The nursery!
Now for the really fun part...putting together all that baby furniture...ugh!  We started with the crib, because that's where the directions started.  I highly dislike Allen took several hours to get the crib "mostly" put together, with little to no effort (as far as parts not fitting and what not)...except for the fact that my thumbs and forefingers were killing me after hours of using the silly "wrench"! 

After we gave up on the crib (it was put together but nothing was tightened), we moved on to the changing table.  Here was our first big "we're never going to get this done" moment!  When we went to put the shelving bottoms on (the part you actually put stuff on), they didn't line up with the grooves in the cross beams!  We tried swapping them, we tried turning them over...nothing worked!  It was also getting late and none of us had eaten in about 8 hours, so we called it "break time" and went to get a late dinner.  Our break extended into bedtime and the next morning, we woke up with a solution!  We flipped over the piece that wasn't lining up and suddenly, it all went together like it was supposed to all along!

Last, but not least, we had the dresser to get put together...  We started with the drawers (again, because that's what the directions said to do...don't start with the drawers...) and upon trying to get the very first drawer put together...discovered that all the side pieces (the sides of each drawer) were warped so badly that they pulled against the screws and stripped the screw holes!  This would be the last thing we had to put together...I was dreading having to take the entire set apart to return it!  We had just spent the better part of 2 days putting it all together!  But, I loaded up all the dresser pieces and headed to Burlington Coat Factory (Baby Depot) where we purchased the set.  All I can say is that I absolutely love their customer service!  The cashier asked us to bring in the entire dresser, so I assumed we were going to get a new dresser box, but what the guy in the baby department did was bring us all the parts we were missing (the top piece in the back was missing) and all the spare parts he had for dressers!  He ended up giving us enough spare parts to make an entire spare drawer (minus the bottom of the drawer).  His side boards were all a little warped too, so he helped us pick the straightest boards and then gave us a few extra because he didn't have enough of one side (left or right) that would work, but it was really easy for me to move the drawer stop from one end to the other and make it work.  However, when we did get it home...I put the dresser together before the drawers so that I had somewhere to go with the drawers as we got them built!

Also, while we were at Burlington, a lady with twins had bought new car seats...I saw her putting them in her car when we got there.  When we came out to retrieve the dresser parts, she was gone and had left the old car seats (and all the garbage from the new ones) sitting in the parking lot!  I had my Mom go grab the car seats and bases...I plan to wash them up (the stink from spilled milk and such) and take them to a consignment shop or possibly use them as a trade-in for a discount at Babies 'R Us (25% off a new car seat when you bring in an old one, no matter the condition).  Either car seats!

The furniture set also came with a hamper (wooden frame with a canvas bag) that is supposed to go under the changing table, but with how we have the furniture set up currently, it covers the heat vent and impedes air flow in the room.  I'm not sure where I'll end up keeping the hamper, but for now, it is next to the crib, in a corner, and a big basket my sister gave me (that just happens to match the furniture perfectly) is under the changing table, full of bibs and other tidbits that don't have a proper "home" yet filling it!  Also shown above...the quilt I've been working on!  I ended up putting a lighter blue flannel on the back (and using a lower loft batting in it than I planned on) and quilted it "in the ditch" following the long sewing lines.  We left it long so it can be tucked in while on a toddler bed (or in the crib) and once he grows into a bigger bed (the crib can be converted into a Full-size bed frame), it can go across the foot of the bed or used on a couch or something.  I liked the colors so much, that I decided to make a whole "nursery set" out of it!  The curtains were actually pretty easy to make too...I sewed fat quarters together (long side to long side and short side to short side) to make two panels, which later became the two curtains.  Then, we had to go shopping for a backing that looked decent with the colors (and get enough to make a matching crib sheet too).  The next step required that we actually make the crib sheet next. 

The pattern my Mom has been using for crib sheets (I now have four sheets and I believe each of my sister's two youngest have a sheet as well) is 44-45" fabric, cut at 70-inches.  Cutting 8-3/4" squares out of the corner (got bigger if you don't pre-wash the fabric) and sewing french seams leaves a nicely finished corner seam at each corner!  To finish the sheet, double fold your raw edge to create a 1/4 to 1/2-inch seam (depending on your elastic), we used 1/4-inch elastic, so that's the size seam we used as well.  Don't forget to leave yourself an opening to feed your elastic in through!  Cut a 90-inch piece of braided elastic (if you buy the little packets in the fabric store or WalMart that are 3 yards, just cut off 18 inches and you're set) and feed it through the opening.  I put a safety pin in both ends, one to use to feed it through and the other to keep the elastic from getting lost inside!  Stitch the elastic together (I usually zig-zag mine, my Mom straight stitches her's together) and stitch your opening shut (if needed, you can also just make the opening super tiny to begin with and then just ignore it after you feed in the elastic, this is handy if the elastic needs replacing, but it's up to you.

To finish up the curtains, we took what was left of the sheet fabric (we bought 5 yards, plus 2 inches), folded it in half long-wise and cut to make two pieces that were each 45" wide by whatever was there (I didn't measure).  I then centered the backing vertically with the fat quarter panels I had already made and sewed both side seams.  I then ironed the seams open and turned the whole thing right side out (creating approximately a 2" border using the backing fabric), centering the fabric once more and ironing flat.  To make the rod pockets, I first stitched the seams at all four ends were the backing and been sewn to the front panels, so that the rods wouldn't catch in the wrong area of the pocket.  Then, I measured how much backing I had beyond the front panel and divided by 2, allowing for an extra fold to make the seam edges look nice.  I ended up with 3-inch pockets at both top and bottom of each curtain (because of the design and how they are sewn, they can be flipped over and swapped on the rod, there is no set "top" of the curtains)!  We also installed a light-filtering roller shade behind the curtains to replace the blinds that were there.  The upside to the roller shade, besides the cheap price ($10 for the shade, $0.75 for the hanging hardware, and $2.50 for the handle which is totally optional but keeps the rod from sliding out so I recommend it), no cords!  Nothing for a little one to get tangled in at all!  I've also purchased a set of curtain hooks to hold back the curtains...but they aren't installed yet.

In the above photo, you can see how I can tuck in the quilt.  I really like how all the colors blend so well together!  The wire rack is another long story...but that piece got returned to Home Depot, we ended up not needing the "extra" shelf.  You can also see the hamper I mentioned in this photo, behind the pack 'n the bottom left corner, that's my footstool with my breathable bumper on top!  The bumper is striped with greens, blues, and a bit of orange, and brown of course.  It just needs to be washed before it can go on the crib...also, the bumper fits down under the mattress a bit (to prevent kids from wiggling under the bumper) and it just doesn't fit when the quilt, sheet, and mattress protector are all in there!

Today while we were out and about, I found this cute little lamp!  I found it in the clearance section (near lighting) at Home Depot for $14 and couldn't resist!  The blue lamp shade is just a touch "off" to really match the room, but that's what I love about having so many shades of blue and green in blends in really well!  I may make a matching lamp shade to go with the room, but I still have a pillow to finish for the "set" first!  The base is a teal glass with a few holes drilled for the wiring...super simple!  I'll get the plastic off the shade and the tags and stuff off of it later...when I get a light bulb in it.  To the left of the lamp is our baby monitor...for a fee, we can listen in on our little guy from our iPhones, iPads, and iPods!  We played with it a bit when we first got it several months ago, but are waiting until; little man is here before paying the $56 (or whatever it is) for a year of service on it (it's plugged in because the plug is behind the dresser...).  The wipes container is holding one set of cloth wipes and is acting as a "placeholder" for my wipe warmer I still need to get.  Since we'll be using cloth wipes and making our own wipe solution, I'd like to keep them warm to prevent the coconut oil in the solution from solidifying out of the mix!  The fabric on top of the dresser is a receiving blanket my Mom made (the baby's first gift)!  I have so many hand-me-down receiving blankets and this one looks great (to me) and is keeping the top of the dresser safe from nicks and dings.
One last shot of the crib and quilt... 

To come in future posts...the closet!  This story needs it's own post, trust me...  Also, I don't have any photos of the closet yet and I really need them to show off all of everyone's hard work in there!  I may even write about all the clothes...but again, need to get them all put away and sorted still...

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