Monday, February 28, 2011

Kitty-proofing comes before baby-proofing.

I figure we have at least a few months before we need to worry about baby-proofing our rather baby-unfriendly home. Hey, we even have a head start thanks to the many outlet covers the previous owner left in the outlets when we bought this house nearly three years ago.

But in the meantime, we need to kitty-proof. Our cats are a heckuvalot more mobile than Butternut will be when we first bring him home. This seems like an impossible challenge when it comes to certain issues. Our cats? I love them. I really, truly, do love them. But they are kind of jerks.

Love Me (Cutie Version).

That's Cutie. I've had her since I was twelve, so she is very, very old in kitty years. I luff her, but girl is driving me crazy.

Cutie's vices: Her history of bladder issues and her recent kidney failure diagnosis mean that Cutie likes to pee on the carpet. I can't even talk about this vice, it upsets me so much. The kidney failure leaves her nauseated, so she now constantly wants to be fed, but just a teeny tiny bit. She sheds. Her virtues: She's a cutie patootie. She comforts me like no other. She's quiet, or she was until the kidney failure made her her start crying for a wee bit of food a dozen times a day.

DSC_2917 edited

Here's Cole. He's about nine years old, and El Hub brought him into our relationship - or brought me into their relationship, which is how I think Cole views it sometimes. Those two have a love like no other, at least not like any I've seen between a person and a cat. Probably because Cole is way more like a dog than a cat - he lets El Hub hold him upside down, squish him, roughhouse with him, and Cole loves it. I luff Cole too, but he's making life with Cutie much more difficult, so he's driving me crazy too.

Cole's vices: Chews cords. Eats all food in sight, including human food, but more inconveniently, Cutie's special kidney failure food. This is why we have to keep her dish on top of the fridge instead of keeping it on the floor all the time, which is resulting in her habit of constantly yowling at us for food. Cole goes in ALL the litter boxes, which ticks Cutie off, which leads to her peeing on the carpet. He sheds. He yowls if a door has been closed until someone opens it (including bathroom doors, which can be kind of awkward). He yowls at night, wandering the house carrying toys in his mouth. His virtues: Super duper lovey. He goes IN the litter box, unlike Cutie. He brings us the toys he carries while yowling.


So yeah, it's going to be wildly fun adding Butternut to this mix! Can't wait! Except that I totally could! Especially if waiting meant I could have Butternut like right now, but the cats could just go away to some sort of lovely and free kitty spa for a little while so I could trade one kind of crying and mess for another kind of crying and mess! But that's not happening, sigh.

There are too many pet-proofing issues we are trying to tackle (including one I am still debating as overkill, an automatic door closer for the nursery to keep out the cat fur and related messes), but there's one in particular I want to share. Due to Cole's hatred of being separated from El Hub and closed doors and his very loud yowling to let us know his feelings, we have concluded we will have to continue letting him sleep in our bedroom once we bring Butternut home. However, we had also hoped to have the kiddo sleep in a bassinet in our bedroom for the first couple of months as well, and we have no idea how the cats will feel about this intruder.

Enter Mission: Keep Cats Out of the Bassinet.

IMG_1053 former raw

This totally adorable Mickey Mouse playard (the Graco Element Pack 'N Play Playard) goes great in our bedroom. Or at least, it fits, which frankly is the most important thing for a piece of furniture that will be temporary. It has a bassinet and a changing pad and all sorts of fanciness that better come in handy at 3 a.m. when our three week old baby is squawking at us.

So, cute playard, or...

IMG_1054 former raw

...diabolical kitty trap?

Yes, those are sheets of cardboard with double-sided packing tape on them. When the cats decide to jump into the playard - which, undoubtedly, they will, because cats are magnetically attracted to things that are new and cat fur-free - they will get an unpleasantly sticky surprise. Hopefully the immediate punishment of landing on sticky cardboard will discourage them from jumping in there once Butternut is chilling on his super soft sheets.

So far, it seems to have worked with Cole. I was not there to witness it, but last night I heard a shout from El Hub before the sound of Cole running. I asked if he thought he needed to yell or if the cat was unhappy enough over the tape itself, and he thinks that Cole was plenty displeased to find himself stuck. Luckily, he was able to free himself and has not tried to jump in the playard since. Now I am just waiting for Cutie to learn the same lesson, and then I will call this mission complete.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Well hey, check "place for the baby to sleep" off the list.

Lookie here!

Nursery: Finished!

It's a nursery! That nursery I alluded to showing off at our baby shower but then didn't show you any pictures of!

Nursery: Finished!

And a cat checking out said nursery since the door is usually never open in an effort to discourage an explosion of fur all over freshly washed baby things.

Nursery: Finished!

This has been a long time in the making. The painting alone - oh man - took Rob seven weeks and five separate painting sessions. No, I am not sure why it took so many painting sessions. I kilzed and painted my office THE NIGHT BEFORE WE MOVED IN, so you can bet your bottom that Rob had to endure my whining "Whyyyyyyy is it taking so long?" on many more occasions than I would like to admit. But don't feel too badly for him, he's a smart one so I think this was all part of a nefarious plan to get himself out of painting duty for the rest of our lives together. I will say that the nanosecond he declared the painting finished, he promptly started putting together the crib. Fingers crossed that he is that on top of changing diapers.

Nursery: Finished!

If you're shocked that I, the bibliophile, do not have more children's books - well, so am I. But they're expensive, and I am frugal, so some time soon I will be hitting up some used book stores to see what I can add to the shelves.

See that fancy schmancy light switch above the bookcase? That might be Rob's favorite addition to the room. It's a Lutron 300-Watt White 7-Speed Combination Fan and Light Control - say that five times fast. Basically, what it means to me is that I can dim the lights AND control the fan from our one little light switch, which I imagine will be handy once Butternut arrives.

The room doesn't really have a theme other than "Make Me Happy to Look At." So it shouldn't surprise you that teal shows up, or that there are Disney items in the room.

And why yes, that is a collection of Figment dolls. He's my favorite Disney character, before even Donald.

Nursery: Finished!

Disney touches - on the right is a giclée called "Art Attack" by Trevor Carlton and Stephen Reis that I picked up at Downtown Disney's Festival of the Masters a few years ago. Man, I miss their live performance that Disney used to host. Bring it back, Festival of the Masters planners!

Also, on top of the armoire (which is way too cluttered, but cut me a break, I'm too tired to sort out the knickknacks right now at 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant), there is a large stuffed Dumbo that was mine when I was a toddler. There is a great photo of me at age two or three struggling to hold this mammoth Dumbo as my dad holds me in front of the castle. I can't wait to recreate that photo someday with our son.

IMG_1041 former raw

IMG_1042 former raw

Owning up: this was completely inspired by Young House Love's asymmetrical photo arrangement. I loved it so much that I did it in our sitting room/front room area of our house as well. And yeah, I was inspired to the point of putting up the old school style portraits of myself and Rob, one each from our childhoods. D'aww, we were adorable.

A few more Disney touches: Disney scrapbook paper (the Buzz Lightyear and the comics papers), the Baby Mickey shower invitation done by our fabulous shower hostess Kelly, a photo of Mickey balloons in front of Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom that I took last year, a Donald Duck postcard, and a clipping of a Mickey Mouse painting from an old Festival of the Masters program.

IMG_1045 former raw

Who doesn't love Venn diagrams? And DIY art? I whipped this up in Photoshop after googling Venn diagram tutorials.

Nursery: Finished!

I miss Disney. We live a half hour away but haven't been since January 2010. This was the first year after several that I missed the Food and Wine Festival, and I WAS PREGNANT. What better time is there to gorge yourself on good food?

Nursery: Finished!

I wonder how much our little boy will look like Rob when he was a toddler? We were both blonde the first several years of our lives, so I will definitely be surprised if Butternut comes out brunette. Uh, or better yet, redhead.

Nursery: Finished!

Another place I have to credit Young House Love - the crib. They had the same concerns that I did about solid wood, non-toxic finish, and affordability. Thanks for doing the research for me, guys!

The Dirty Details:
Paint above of the chair rail - Behr's Cool Jazz
Paint below the chair rail - Behr's Intense Teal
Crib - Baby Mod's Park Lane
Dresser and armoire - my childhood furniture, thanks Mom and Dad!
Lamp - Target's Room Essentials 5 head Floor Lamp
Circle mirrors
Brown round storage ottoman - Target (not available online)
Chair - IKEA Poang chair found via Craigslist
Bookcase - formerly my parents' and then it lived in my office for a bit - thanks Mom and Dad!
Curtains - I made them, woot woot!
Light switch - Lutron 300-Watt White 7-Speed Combination Fan and Light Control
Donald Duck painting - "Art Attack" giclée by Trevor Carlton and Stephen Reis