Moving in Together

THE BABY IS COMING!  THE BABY IS COMING!

Well, not quite yet, but soon.  We officially have seven weeks to go until the due date.  The last kid was three weeks early so really we could be in the final four weeks.  That means it is time to get the show on the road and start putting together the baby’s room.  However there is the small issue of the fact that the room was until two days ago, occupied by our four year old.  

The girls went to Nanny camp last week and spent the week with my mum.  By all accounts it was an adventure-filled week and frankly I am impressed that my mum is still standing.  Perhaps by now she is dealing with the adrenaline crash and is sleeping all day to recover.  I certainly would have been exhausted by the pace.  It seems that everyone was basically fuelled by eating ice cream a few times a day.

I think a major difference between parenting and grandparenting is that grandparents can put in the bursts of high energy to entertain the kids and keep up with them with greater intensity over short periods of time because they get to give the kids back. They don’t have to sustain that energy level or creativity for a prolonged period of time.  In the case of our kids it also seems that they don’t fight with one another when they are at someone else’s house.  As a result no energy is drained by listening to the battle.  (Mum if you are reading this, rest assured they are back at it and have not lost any of their skills.) Tonight they were actually pulling each other’s hair while they were supposed to be brushing their teeth.  Honestly how does a simple routine task  turn into hair-pulling before the toothpaste is even on the brushes.  Yeesh.

So while the girls were away, we got to work.  We painted their new shared room and moved furniture.  I build loft bed number one and got the pieces cut for number two.  We used this plan from Ana White.  It worked well, although I made some modifications.  I made the stairs and platform narrower and the platform itself shorter to reduce the amount of space consumed by the bed over all.  I do need to fit two of them in the room after all.

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They look very narrow in this photo, but the stairs are a foot wide and the platform is just over 15 inches.  The plan called for the platform to correspond to the width of the bed, but I made it half the size.  So far it is working well.  I also added a bookcase to the other end of the bed.

DSCN0290

The bookcase isn’t quite done yet.  I still need to add the backing which will go on the inside so that the books will be facing out and therefore accessible.  We found a matching desk and dresser on Kijiji and put those under her bed.  The backing of the bookcase will provide a space above her desk where we can put pictures or a chalk board or bulletin board, etc.  Time will tell…

The most time consuming part of this project was the sanding.  Really I need to get some fancier tools to allow me to plane the lumber and cut down on the amount of sanding for projects like this.  I also had to rebuild several pieces as I went because I realized errors I had made in the modifications or some aspects of the plan weren’t quite clear, which led to other changes along the way.  The second bed is going to take half the time to build!

There will likely still be painting or finishing of some sort for each bed and finishing touches like plugs in the screw holes. For now the priority is to get the beds constructed and into the room and get the rest of the room set-up.  Once the construction is done I think the room set up falls to Laura so that I can move to the baby’s room and repaint it before putting the crib together and setting up the rest of that room.  I do have a shelf that I need to get done in the girl’s closet that will allow us to make better use of the space.  I’m also going to be adding a hanger bar at a lower height so we can hang their dresses and make them more accessible.  Our four-year old said “so we don’t have to just throw them on the floor right?”  Absolutely.  I will remind her of that statement in a regular basis I am sure.

Here is the unfinished, finished bed.  Think of it as a final draft. It does have a couple of painted pieces because I cannibalized her previous bed, which I also built, and tweaked to fit the plans for this bed.  Saves me having to store parts for beds if I can reuse what I have already built.  I’ll do another post when the second bed is done and show the two beds in a more finished state.

DSCN0291

What have your experiences been moving kids in with one another?  Do they like sharing a room?  Does it increase or decrease sibling wars?  Did you share a room with your siblings?  Did you like it?  Do you have any recommendations for us to make it a better experience for the girls?

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About DadGoesRound
I am a Canadian father of three girls and blog about Fatherhood, Kids and Current Affairs at www.dadgoesround.com

4 Responses to Moving in Together

  1. Susan says:

    I’m sorry but I’m too tired to reply. Nanny is resting her weary feet, clearing the ringing in her ears, and enjoying the sounds of silence. Now – if only I could find those darn cats.
    Love, NannyCampedOut

  2. Phil says:

    Cool. I wonder, though, about the opposite set-up: build the play area ABOVE the bed area. Sort of like a tree house/clubhouse indoors. The bed portion only needs a couple of feet of height, it seems, so it wouldn’t be a crazy high/dangerous level and one could build railings around it. Advantages would be that the bed is more easily accessible for tired kids (especially if they need to get up to pee in the night) and parents wishing to change the sheets (or who are carrying passed-out kids). I guess it depends what you want the play area to achieve; is it meant to maintain the open floor area as mush as possible or is it an additional reading/fun space? Can’t seem to find any examples online…

    • goroundround says:

      I think if I were to do that I would make the structure stronger. I wouldn’t be comfortable with this design as it is. A play area would likely result in more than one kid in it and likely some bouncing around. It would be totally doable though. In our case we need the space to put other furniture underneath so that we can both girls in the same room. We considered a bunk bed and were getting some griping and competition over who would get the top bed. Then we came across the loft bed idea and decided to do two beds so that they would each have their own space above and below if they wanted some space to retreat into. We are getting requests to add curtains to make the underneath space private as well. We are going to add a couple of those battery-operated lights that you push to turn on underneath over their desks so it isn’t quite as a dark. It looks like the customization will extend beyond my design changes…

  3. Pingback: Greatest Hits | Dad Goes Round

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