William Morris Mondays: Start Where You Are

You guys? I’m exhausted. I don’t know if it’s the holidays that did me in, or mild and persistent colds, or still not getting quite enough sleep. But I’m worthless after about 8-9PM. We started working on the babies’ bedtime routine so I’d have a little ME time at the end of the day. I put them down by myself tonight and got a glass of wine and I don’t even want it.

I DON’T EVEN WANT THE WINE, is what I’m saying.

That’s pretty tired.

At any rate, since my last post we managed to paint another room green, which concludes our trifecta of green rooms:
IMG_7326Wine and laundry. Always laundry. This is the middle green.
IMG_7327Never-ending Christmas. This is the darkest green.
IMG_7328Lightest green in our living room.

The lighting isn’t great, but you can see where we are (and quite specifically where I am in the top picture). In addition to these painting projects, and being mired in life and Christmas detritus, I rearranged the babies’ room slightly:
Version 2My goals were two-fold:
(1) move the changing table away from the window (previously, the cribs flanked either side of the window with the changing table in between, and the babies were starting to reach for the blinds and monitor cords during changings); and
(2) make it harder for a restless baby to see us in the hallway when we’re trying to get them to nap or sleep if their door is open (usually, we close it when they are down, but not always).

The other projects aren’t as exciting — we’re starting to go through closets and organize bathrooms a little more, which is necessary, but not yet at a point where I’m inclined to take or share photos.

Decluttering remains on hold for now. I am trying to live with our house and our stuff and let the house tell us what we need. I found that, if I “listened”, our old home did a pretty good job of letting me know when it was happy, or just too full to function. Systems work or they don’t. And if you’re patient, and look at why they fail, you can usually suss out whether the failure is due to a lack of organization or an excess of useless and/or confusing “stuff”. As it stands, and especially considering the additional space in our new home, I’m feeling a need for additional surfaces in most of our rooms (larger and/or more), and a lot (lot) more drawers. I’m not on a path of blind acquisition by any means: we’ve been here just over six months and we’ve been busy. I know pretty well when something is falling well short of it’s potential now.

Great Room: this room is in the best shape. As long as we’re wheeling an enormous stroller in and out of it, I’m pretty happy with the function. We are considering: a larger television (appropriate to the size of the room and distance from sofa to television), a better entertainment center (we currently use a library table my great-grandfather built) that will better hide components and cords from curious fingers and mouths, and recaning the seat and back of a rocking chair of my grandmother’s that was recently broken when we had folks over. We had a futon in here originally, but ditched it not too long ago when the air mattress my brother and his wife planned to sleep on in the basement sprung a leak. For privacy and function, we moved the futon to the basement and we actually like the extra space in the great room even more than we liked having a place to sit in the kids’ area. Longer term, my mom has 2-3 great mid-century chairs with removable cushions I’d like to put over there for story time, or we have midcentury molded kids’ school chairs in the basement which just need a lower table for crafts and the like.

Living Room: Granddad’s old library table would move in here and serve as my desk. My desk will likely move closer to the fireplace.

Dining Room: My husband’s colleague recently retired, leaving behind a credenza, large table, and lateral file, all nice wood. His office was willing to sell him the furniture at a deep discount, because they are slowly replacing the old wooden furniture with laminated crap. So we are buying it for a song and the table will function as a dining room table (our current table seats four and is cramped when doing so) and we’ll use the credenza as a buffet. The small hutch and table will still be used — I am considering moving the trestle table (folded back into a table for two) into the kitchen, which will allow more and better room for table + chairs + high chairs than the round table and two chairs, and I think there’s room for both hutch and credenza in our larger dining room. If not, the hutch will move into the great room and become the “landing strip” for that space, which is the room we come and go from most frequently. One thing that’s nice about using this furniture vs buying more expensive pieces for the space is that, with young children, we aren’t likely to do a lot of formal dining for a few years. And with the possibility out there of another child or children in the next few years, we could use the dining room as a master suite (using the first floor full bath and the study as master-related rooms) and open up our room to a couple of kids to share upstairs. A favorite thing about this house, and a huge reason we purchased it, was the flexibility of the layout — we could easily turn the large half of the great room we’re using as the kids’ half into a nice dining space without compromising our family room half at all.

Study: The lateral file will go in here, and then we will need an additional desk surface for writing. This room is tiny (TINY!) – just 7.5×7.5, but we need a laptop surface, writing surface, and additional file storage to make is work. We can use the padded bench as dining room seating, along with our existing chairs, and the existing desk will make a great option for one of the desks. An alternative to finding and purchasing a second desk may be using the dining room table, folded down into the smaller size,and keeping the round table in the kitchen. I will have to play with options. I do not think the round table will work in the tiny study.

Nursery: Good to go for now; we need to anchor the furniture now that the babies are starting to wiggle and roll.

Guest Room: I am pretty happy with this room as-is. With the shelves in the closet and the armoire in there, we don’t need more furniture, just paint. I will worry about appropriate furnishings when we’re ready to make it Anna’s room. Plus, we might be able to move a highboy dresser in there or in the nursery once we address the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom: This is, after the dining room, the most sparsely and inadequately furnished room. We have only a tall dresser and bed in our room. I plan to get matching 3-drawer dressers to use as bedside tables — we need drawers for shirts, exercise clothes, etc. — and a long, rather than tall, dresser for under the window (where the tall dresser is now) which will also offer two additional drawers (8 vs. 6) for our socks, undies, pajamas, and specialty undergarments.

Finished basement: Honestly? We will let this room decide what it wants to be. We’re inclined to move the great room TV down there (there’s a pool table and the futon right now) so that it can be a good retreat to watch the game and play pool, or eventually become a kids’ play room. But we’re in no real hurry there, and I do like that the futon makes the finished (and completely non-creepy) basement a fourth and viable bedroom when we have additional guests (or fifth if we convert the dining room).

So that’s where we are.
Also, I started this post at 9PM after the babies were asleep. I finished it at 3AM after the babies woke at 10:30 and were not successfully snuggled back to sleep until midnight, despite successful sleep-training efforts yesterday and the night before. We woke up at 2AM, transferred the snoozers back to their cribs, and I came down to pump and finish this post. I poured the wine back in the bottle at 10:45 when I realized we wouldn’t be able to convince the kids to go back to sleep. Tomorrow should be a BLAST you guys. It starts in about 3 hours. So. Goodnight! xx






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