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Nesting…. nesting.. Nest..Ing.

We haven’t been posting much, mostly because we’ve been busy nesting.

That’s the technical term for pregnant mothers who start taking on home improvement projects in their last trimester, in a vain attempt to be as busy as possible and to not think about their heart burn and the increasingly difficult time they have getting out of bed. (I have been sworn to say no more on the subject… but let us say there is a possibility of a videotape of the spectacle at some point. After all, a guy has to have some leverage!)

Anyway, not to be indelicate, but we’ve been nesting like the proverbial rabbits. In the past four weeks I have put together from kits a Crate and Barrel Hutch, a Crate and Barrel Buffet, an Ikea cabinet, a Joann Fabrics sewing table, an Ikea desk with four telescoping legs, 6 or 7 Ikea book shelf units, an Ikea sofa desk, and probably some other stuff that I’ve simply forgotten about. Some of these things I’ve even put together twice! (I got it wrong the first time!)

All in all, best directions go HANDS DOWN to Ikea, whose illustrations are always very clear. Sometimes they don’t make sense, or are in the wrong order, but once I’ve put something together, and have three left over parts, I usually can look at the drawing and figure out what I messed up. Worst go to Joann’s, whose illustrations missed several key points, and it wasn’t until I re-assembled the piece a second time did it become clear what goes where– and then I had to re-jigger it so that the little pneumatic gizmo had enough clearance on all sides to go up and down.

I’ve also had to lug and lug and lug this stuff out of the car, up the stairs, and in the case of the ikea book cases all the way up to the third floor. Not easy! And a lot of this stuff said “must be assembled by two people” and of course that means two people that can lift stuff, not one pregnant person who definitely should not be lifting heavy objects. Suffice to say that Stephanie helped as much as she could, and I did a little engineering to allow the very heavy awkward objects to be placed on top of one another (specifically the hutch on top of the buffet– the hutch weighed 120 lbs, the buffet 140 lbs, and I had to put them into place together. Aside from the windows being slightly mishung– it looks very good.

Today I’ve spent most of the day trying to clean out the second floor office (soon to be the nursery) and move that stuff up to the third floor. I’ve been up and down the stairs probably 20 times today. (The gym’s not open today, anyway.) I’ve moved a whole set of bookcases down to the floor level to either be free-cycled, or more likely put in the garage for a rainy day.

Now it’s hamburger time, followed by a potential fireworks show

The split queen box

That’s what we now have on our third floor. It’s not some arcane chess or poker move – it’s what one needs if one has a tiny, narrow stairway and yet wants a queen bed up said stairway. Like us.

When we first moved into the house we moved my queen bed, with my beautiful pewtery scrolly bedframe, from my apartment. As loyal readers recall, we lived the first six or eight weeks on the third floor and, since we knew that our habitation on the third floor was temporary, we left the bedframe and box spring on the second floor, wrapped in plastic, and slept on the mattress alone. Next we and the mattress went to the office, and then, finally, the master bedroom was painted and cleaned and we set up the scrolly bed and box spring.

Adam has already blogged about the fact that after a few months with the queen bed we traded up to a king. We knew when we bought the king that we wanted the queen to go into the front room upstairs, to become the official guest room. But lo and behold, when the mattress delivery guys tried to get the queen box spring up the stairs – no go. Box spring too big, stairs too narrow, turn too tight, ceiling too low. (The queen mattress goes up there with some brute force – but it’s much more malleable than the box, of course.)

Thus the split queen box. It’s pretty cool – 30″ x 80″ times two. Works just like a split king box, which, perhaps obviously given it’s enormous size, is standard. The bed is now ready to go, just add sheets. I look forward to our first guests for the guest room when my sister and mom visit at Thanksgiving (though my mom was our first official overnight guest, on the Aerobed in the office last spring!).

list of stressful items

This week’s highlights: cabinets, carpeting, floors, heating oil, snow. Plus a funeral.

The last few days have been especially stressful, as we rushed out of town on Saturday to attend my stepgrandfather’s funeral leaving a bunch of things undone. Prior to jumping on a plane (which we had to do Saturday early to avoid the Blizzard of ’06), we ran out to Home Depot to place our cabinet order (yes, we’re back to Home Depot cabinets, more on that in another post). Of course, not an hour after we left HD did I regret the decision we made to order partial overlay cabinets, as I really don’t like the look. Inevitably, as soon as we landed in Chicago on Saturday I called to cancel the cabinet order, and we spent the whole weekend measuring every kitchen we visited (four in total!) to make sure of our dimensions. We’ll have to reorder this weekend if we’re ever going to get them.

Then, just before the funeral on Monday, Adam got a call from Aaron, who was working diligently in the house despite the 24″ of snow. Apparently the heating oil company we supposedly contracted with had forgotten about us and we were out of heating oil! And – the heating contractor had just arrived to rework our ducts. So en route to the funeral home, Adam simultaneously shopped for a new oil company (who managed to get us oil in two hours!) and got a haircut. Meanwhile, Aaron was digging out the driveway so that he and the heating guy could pull in, as Yonkers doesn’t allow cars on the street after a blizzard. Fortunately the neighbor kids we’d hired to shovel the sidewalk had gotten that part of the job done – I don’t think they knew what they were in for when we hired them on Friday.

So on Valentine’s Day Adam and I arrived back in town, visited with Aaron to make some more decisions, and then went to buy carpeting for the 3rd floor. A very romantic Valentine’s Day and gift, indeed: beige nylon berber carpeting, about $2k of it. Installing Friday. And, starting Tuesday, the floor guy will be sanding and sealing the floors on the 1st floor and the 2nd – LR and DR on the first floor, and master bedroom and hallway on the 2nd.

All the flooring progress is fortunate, since I’m moving a week from next Monday. Which brings me to the next stress: movers. In all the commotion surrounding leaving town I completely forgot that I’d meant to hire a mover last week, and started calling yesterday to find that a number of movers were already booked for the 27th. I did manage to get a bunch of quotes, however, and chose one that was both reasonable and really, really responsive. I’m still not sure when I’m going to pack….

No wonder I’ve had a migraine for two days.