So this is Christmas…

Week 31, Day 6

Merry Christmas! I only realized from looking at the calendar last night that it was already Christmas Eve. Because I was so spaced out on my dates, I missed out on brining my turkey (so we are having venison sausage and Camellia crowder peas and cabbage for Christmas dinner). Usually I’m a walking, talking, caroling Advent calendar, but this December has been different.

Michael's bathroom, post-tub demolition, pre-shower building

Main bathroom (mine and the Little Dude's), showing the insulation charred in a 1984 house fire and a little wasp's nest in the wall. That all came out.

Main bathroom, with new insulation, Hardieboard, and subway shower tile. What you can't see, besides all the dirt and dust and tiling crew's tools, is that they mixed in some of M's off-white tiles with some of my very white tiles, creating a pattern instead of pure white tile walls, and had to take them down and start over. Gah!











First, we started our Absolutely Necessary Because Pipes Were Leaking In The Walls Of Both Bathrooms house renovations. This was two weeks ago. We also got serious about getting the nursery ready, which meant pulling every single thing out of it so we can paint, pull up nasty carpeting to replace with low-VOC cork flooring, and install the furniture and baby things we’ve slowly been collecting. So where I would normally put our tree, there are components for various IKEA cabinets and random pieces of furniture pulled from different rooms. Where I would normally stash the ornament boxes, there is a huge pile of wonderful baby gifts from our New Orleans shower and near-daily UPS deliveries for which there was no room in my office/the nursery before we pulled everything out of there. Where I like to shower and primp, there are boxes of tile and dunes of sheetrock dust. Where Michael’s toilet should be, there is bare concrete floor. Every place we’d like to put something away, something is already there on a temporary basis (i.e., our entire dining room is furniture and Kim’s-office-and-library storage, while the dining room set sits stacked in the space off the kitchen and living room with all the aforementioned gifts, and the garage, in addition to containing all of the garage-storage, now holds all of the laundry room, which is another saga).


Some of everything all in a pile... cork flooring, paint, pieces of closets, baby gifts, stuff going to Goodwill, furniture to sell, furniture to move, etc., etc., etc.

In other words, our open floor plan has closed way down, and just ’tis not the season to try to wrangle all my Christmas tchotchkes into the mix. So we have a mantel full of Christmas cards and one cowboy boot stocking sent to Little Dude by his Bubba, a spot on the kitchen counter devoted to shortbreads and fudge and my sister-in-law Nicole’s pralines, and that is it for the holiday spirit. While I recognize that this is just wise and practical, and it was my idea to begin with, I feel downright Scroogey about it from time to time and came thiiiiis close to hauling off and buying a $30 7′ Frasier fir at Whole Foods on sale on Wednesday just because I needed a tree, horrendous allergies be darned, before I came to my senses and hurried myself along.

The office/nursery, holding more nursery stuff than office stuff...

...holding a little less as the stuff gets moved out into the living room and other spaces...

...and now, this morning, after Santa Mike has been hard at work.









This is not to say that great gifts are not being bestowed today. Since before breakfast, Michael has been working on the nursery floor. So far he has pulled out carpet, carpet padding, little strips of splintery carpet framing held in by huge nails, and half the baseboards. This afternoon, the plan is to paint (a nice buff-cream color in a zero-VOC paint with white trim), and then tomorrow to lay in the cork flooring. I don’t even need a ribbon around the five-foot stack of flooring boxes to be excited about this.

The $690 Oeuf Sparrow crib, object of design-fetishist desire...

...and the somewhat acceptable substitute Baby Mod ParkLane, not quite as eco or as elegant, but do-able and $400 less.








We’re also narrowing down the crib choices, and I think that as much as I wish I could do otherwise, I am going to be wise and practical again and give up the $700 eco-crib from Oeuf and go with the $300 quasi-eco-crib from a major big-box retailer instead, investing some of the savings into a very good and very health- and eco-conscious mattress made by the Amish in northeastern Ohio (that could be a joke, but isn’t) and some more of the savings into other organic nursery items that Little Dude will be in closer contact with than his crib walls (cloth diapers, crib sheets, sleep sacks, onesies, and so on). Once again, I recognize that striking this balance is The Right Thing To Do, but I’m not loving doing it. I want to be able to give this Little Dude every cool and amazing thing there is.

Though, as Michael points out, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. It’s just a question of defining “cool and amazing” properly.

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