This week has flown by!
We finished the nursery last weekend, with a minimum of fuss/threats of divorce. There was only one instance where I nearly dropped everything and left the room for yelling and only one meltdown where each other’s mothers were disparaged (don’t ask!).
We do not do home improvement projects together well. I was raised by the original anal-retentive carpenter and had it constantly drilled into my head that one should measure twice, cut once, always use a level and in short, do it right. Miguel comes from more of the “good enough” and “just get it done” school of carpentry. Why go to all the trouble of using dry wall anchors and screws for that curtain rod if it doesn’t immediately fall down when you pound in two finish nails? Why mess with two coats of paint when one looks good enough (if you don’t look too closely…)?
Compounding this opposite dynamic is the fact that while I know how things should be done, I rarely have the patience or skill for it. So I don’t actually want to do it right, I just want him to. Not a recipe for happy campers. Still, I only had to do a minimum of riding him on the stuff I really cared about (two coats of paint, using a level on the trim), and managed to unclench and let the rest go (using white headed finish nails in the brown trim, then touching them up with brown paint).
And then the furniture drama started. After perusing the offerings at Babies R Us and in the JC Penney catalog, I settled on a set from JCP. I wanted a crib that was convertible to a headboard and footboard, a dresser style changing table with a hutch/shelves which would later serve as a dresser and bookcase, and a chest of drawers. I wanted something of good quality that would grow with him, but I also didn’t want to spend a fortune on a custom set from one of those chi-chi baby boutiques. Babies R Us didn’t have the styles, pieces and finishes I wanted all in one set, and I thought the JCP set would be a good compromise on price vs. quality.
Although I had been told that furniture can take 5 to 6 weeks for delivery, I assumed that was a problem for regular furniture stores and that JCP would stock and ship stuff quickly. Not wanting the stuff in the way while we were painting in there (recipe for disaster!), I waited until Saturday to order everything. And was told that both the crib and the changer were backordered; the changer until the end of June! I went ahead with the order anyway, hoping that they would beat the backorder dates.
On Monday, I called back to see how delivery of the rest of the furniture would be handled, and was told it was already on its way via UPS…Really? UPS delivers whole pieces of put together furniture? Like a moron, I just assumed that because the furniture was being home delivered and not a catalog pickup that it was like any other real solid furniture you buy from a furniture store. BZZZZT! WRONG! Further investigation revealed that not only was it of the comes in a flat box with directions in Chinese and only half the screws you need variety, it was also wood VENEER.
This is a problem on two fronts. 1: see above re: the carpentry problems at Casa Books-this type of furniture assembly is a challenge for those gifted with patience and building aptitude, at our house, it would be sure to result in janky construction, off-square pieces, and drawers that would only pull out if tapped three times in the right place while pushing the entire dresser to the left. 2: Veneers over particle board. As in flimsy, easily scratched and sure to break within the first 3 years. Not exactly the lifetime furniture pieces I envisioned. For that construction and life expectancy, I might as well save several hundred dollars and get the shit at Target.
Cue frantic calling, running around and internet searching for alternatives. Not only did I find that none of the major chains around here even carry nursery stuff, the places that do, with the exception of Babies R Us, have not 5 but 12 week delivery times! Panic! My wee baby will be sleeping in a cardboard box! (Also not yet sorted out, his name, daycare, pediatrician, stroller, etc! I am a bad mom already!)
So I made a return trip to BBRUs, dashing across town in rush hour traffic and confirmed, that yup, they do not have anything I like. Either they have the changing dresser and hutch, but no chest in the set, just a big honking armoire (why would you want two giant furniture pieces in one room?) or they had it, but in a light wood or white which I don’t like and wouldn’t fit the painting we’d already done in there.
I also looked at a Woodcraft furniture place, where you can pick from all sorts of pieces and have them finished the color you want. While it was more expensive than the JCP stuff, it was solid wood, not nearly as expensive as specialty kid store brands and I could get EXACTLY the pieces I wanted in the color I wanted, no compromising. However, they take 10 weeks, which was longer than I wanted.
Especially once I got home and counted off on the calendar and realized “Holy Crap! 10 weeks is JULY!” In desperation I visited the Target website but was completely discouraged by the terrible reviews on the pieces I would want. By this point, I was very stressed out and had no idea what we were going to do. It was looking like praying that wee baby would not arrive early would be our best option.
I called back the Woodcraft place to see if there was any way we could speed delivery times, and miracles, she’d talked to their ordering guy and because of the timing-they were just about to place an order the next day-they could get me everything by the beginning of June. Once they actually placed the order and got their delivery time from the manufacturer, they called me back to confirm and it will actually be like the third week in May. If they don’t have a lot of orders in to be finished at that time, it may even be earlier. Yippee!! Crisis averted.
The mural painter comes tomorrow. It is all coming together!