Monday, June 10, 2013

progress, nursery-style.

Saturday was one of those great weekend days when the stars aligned and stuff got DONE. Little, everyday stuff - laundry, making a delish breakfast, doing the dishes, picking up the house, dusting (ugh. worst.), sweeping - as well as bigger (or at least not as frequent) stuff: staining more fence pieces, reorganizing my closet, shaking out the bedroom rug, caulking and painting the crown moulding, painting the nursery closet ceiling and shelves. Yes, good times, feeling productive, etc. We even wrapped up our house chores that evening in time to head over to Cap'n Frosty, the site of our first date ever, which was 10 years ago this past Friday. Cray-zay.

So long for now, clothes that don't fit well these days. I
hope I see you again in...well, let's say this time next year?

Aaaand then there was Sunday. When the aisles were too crowded at Ikea and I wanted to shove Allen wrenches into eyeballs. When the lawn mower broke (again). When the screws were too long for the new vent covers. When I found out they discontinued my face sunscreen - the one kind I've found that I'm not wildly allergic to. When I ran out of caulk. When three different stores didn't have any Orange-Glo to help fix up the nursery floors. I know, I know, big sad first-world problems, but nothing like a counterproductive Sunday (which seems to be a pattern) to take the wind out of Saturday's sails. At least I unlocked the next Candy Crush episode.

And I didn't poke out any eyeballs. Or meatballs. Also bought
the dresser we'll use as a changing table. Small victories?

Sunday's anti-progress aside, the nursery is definitely coming along. The crown moulding is 100% finished, and it's amazing what a little a crapload of caulk and paint can do.

Not sure why the walls look beige here. Trust
me, they're not. Lavender, maybe. Beige, no.

Anytime you do crown moulding, you're going to have to go back with caulk and paint to make it look more seamless. That goes double for an older house like ours, where the ceilings and walls are no longer flat and at perfect angles with one another. In this room, the moulding seemed to pull away from the ceiling more than from the wall, so I went around and caulked the entire top edge. There were a couple places along the bottom of the moulding where I needed to caulk bigger gaps, but the bottom was, thankfully, mostly flush with the wall. 

I never actually use painter's tape when I'm painting, but it's the bomb when I'm caulking.

I went little by little around the room, taping off portions of the ceiling, caulking the edge of the moulding, and running my finger along the caulk line to smooth it out. I kept a wet washcloth nearby to wipe off the caulk off my fingers (make that double entendre a double, please, sir). I also filled in the nail holes with caulk as I went, and I removed the Frog Tape as quickly as possible - partly to preserve the straight line before the caulk started to dry, and partly because whatever the previous owners used to paint the ceiling suuucks, and it started peeling off in a couple places when I left the Frog Tape on too long. Not Frog Tape's fault - previous owners' fault.

Partially caulked

Once the caulk was dry, I did a quick sweep with a Magic Eraser around the room to clean up some of the major smudges and scrapes that J.J. and his dad left behind during the battle for the crown. Thankfully, they all wiped off easily. Then I did an easy coat of off-the-shelf, no-VOC, semi-gloss white paint on all the crown moulding, and?

Ahhh. Looking much better. You know, minus the random piles of painting tools and such. Oh, and in the small-changes-big-impact department, we changed out all the old, crusty, black outlets with new, white, child-safe outlets (and a new white light switch to boot, replacing the paint-encrusted old one). You can see one of the new outlets in the picture above. 

Again: Ahhh. So fresh and so clean-clean. Need a "before" for comparison? Yeah, me, too.

This is, like, before-before.

All in all, looking better. And although Sunday was anti-progress, there are a few things on the way to make this room just a tad bit more nursery-like - namely, a rug and a crib! The changing table (a.k.a. the dresser from Ikea) is waiting patiently downstairs for me to finish the last coat of ceiling/shelf paint in the closet, after which I can give the floors a thorough scrubbing, after which I can start assembling said changing table.

So the modified, short-term Nursery To-Do List is looking like this:

  • One more coat of white paint on the closet ceiling and shelves
  • Test a swatch of Benjamin Moore's Jamaican Aqua against the rug, when it comes
  • Scrub those floors! And continue praying fervently that the mold splotches aren't toxic
  • Find shorter screws and attach the return vent & heating vent covers
  • Assemble dresser and crib
  • Find light fixture, glider, and organic crib mattress
  • Start designing the closet interior to magically include bookshelves, toy bins, a clothing rod, storage, and a hamper?
A final note to the peanut gallery: Dude. Don't scoff at the lists. Lists are keeping me sane right now. You should see my work to-do lists, considering camp starts a week from today. They're sub-divided into such fun categories as Center Licensing, Camp Licensing, New Center Staff, New Camp Staff, Exiting Staff, Current Staff, Today, Tomorrow, This Week, What to Move to Camp (because it's off-site, just for funsies), Camp Binders, Counselor Orientations, Junior Counselor Orientation, Family Orientation...yeah. And somehow it'll all get done. At the very least, the air conditioning works this year, and it's not supposed to be 100 degrees quite yet...I'll take it.

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