Sunday, May 01, 2005

nursery tales

Joe's dad got in around 9:45pm on Friday night, and he had hardly even put down his luggage before he and Joe were all over the nursery like Garfield on lasagna. And I have to hand it to them, they really did a great job in there. It's amazing how much a little wallpaper border, some curtains and closet shelving can make a difference. Now all we need is the furniture. Oh yeah, and the baby.

The night before we actually started work on the nursery, Joe and his dad were tapping on all the walls, mumbling to each other about plywood and drywall screws and drill-bits. I don't know, I just work here.

Here, Joe's explaining to his dad about his plans for the wallpaper border. There was some disagreement on how this was to be hung--Joe wanted a one inch gap from the ceiling to allow for irregularities, Joe's dad wanted it flush with the ceiling, insisting that the gap would make it "look like hell."

I kept the peace by stuffing everyone with pigs in blankets, fresh out of the oven. Mmm, pigs in blankets. I'm a 50's housewife. Or a very retro 21st century apartmentwife.

After what felt like not very much sleep at all, we headed on over to the Home Despot--oh, I mean "Depot"--over in Chelsea to pick up some supplies.

Like, uh, wood. And screws. And various other widgets.

We decided to bring The Coop along with us to Home Depot, because we're trying to train her to be good in various venues of temptation--in this case, a store filled with potted plants and wooden planks. Past obedience trials included Buy Buy Baby, a store filled with stuffed animals that she is not allowed to touch.

She passed the test. Nonetheless, once we got home, we put up the gate to keep her in another room, because no matter how good she was being, I doubted that she would be able to be in a room with drills, saws, and a bucket full of wallpaper glue without getting mauled in some way. Or possibly stuck to something.

There's Joe, assiduously applying the glue to the wallpaper border. To my credit, I did a lot of the gluing too, and helped with the parts of the wallpaper application that did not involve standing up on a ladder. I just don't have any photographic documentation of this fact.

There they are, sticking that sucker up on the wall.

A close-up of the pattern. It's a farm-animal theme, see.

Yes, that is a syringe sitting on the table with the rest of the work tools. And here's the part of the story where I'm a GENIUS. See, after the border was up, we noticed that there were little gaps at the edges where there was a paucity of glue. Not a large enough gap to stick a brush or a Q-tip, but enough of a gap that you would notice. So I got out a 6cc syringe, loaded it up with wallpaper glue, and popped a 23 gauge needle on the end. This is what we used to squirt in micro-aliquots of glue into the gaps, smoothing everything out so that it all lay flat. See, I told you--GENIUS. And this contribution made me feel good, since I basically didn't know how to do anything else.

(If your next question is, "why do you have syringes and needles lying around your house?" the answer is not that I'm a drug fiend, rather that I have a mini-medical supply closet scattered all over the apartment, accidentally purloined from the hospital when I absolutely stuff things into my scrub pockets at work or on call.)

Sawing wood. This was to make supports for the shelving, I'm told.

Check out Handy Smurf here. How do they know how to do this kind of thing? I don't know.

The final step, putting up the curtain rod. This was harder than it looks, because drilling into the outer wall of the building required some sort of special drill bit for concrete, and we just didn't have the tools until Joe's dad flew them in from Ohio. Yes, I'm aware that the curtains aren't really blocking any of the light, but it doesn't really matter. We just needed to make that transition from transparent to translucent.

The finished product. Does it look like a baby's room now or what? Man, Cal had better appreciate all this, or we're trading him in.

Here's a little present we got for Joe's dad. At first he kind of didn't understand (a reasonable sort of confusion, since Joe actually did attend grad school at Berkeley for a few years prior to med school), but then he was like, "Oh! Cal! That's the baby's name!" Man, so far naming this kid "Cal" has been really convenient. Maybe we'll name our next kid "NYU" and we can get a whole new set of customized gear.

So it was a good weekend. And if the nursery stuff wasn't enough, we also (this is a huge for us) ended months of indecision and pulled the trigger. That's right, we finally bought a stroller system! And no, it's not the Bugaboo. More details to follow tomorrow.

Currently reading: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" A re-read, but a well-timed one, since I just bought two tickets to see the play in mid-May as part of Joe's birthday present. I'm excited to see this, as it was really well reviewed and we even got reasonable tickets (middle mezzanine) for half-price. I had a choice between back orchestra all the way on one side, and middle mezzanine. You would choose middle mezzanine too, right? Being all the way to one side messes up the perspective of the stage, don't you think? I need reassurance that I made the right choice by passing up the orchestra seats for something further back.

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