22 July 2008

Goodbye, my lovelies...

Last week I sold the two cribs from the nursery. I had bought the first one before Ben and Kennedy were born and we were in Surrey. After we'd moved back to the London area, we often went to see movies in Staines and right next door to "the cinema" was the most enticing shop - Mamas & Papas.

The windows were full of Perego "pushchairs" and the cutest baby furniture. They also sold toys, gorgeous maternity wear (usually "gorgeous" and "maternity" can't be in the same sentence but they can if it's Mamas & Papas!) I always said that whenever one of the kids started reproducing, I was going to wreck the budget in that store. Sure enough, Jen called late January 2004 to tell us they were pregnant. I think I was in Staines within a week at Mamas & Papas. I started plotting and figuring out what I was going to buy for my "Grandma Nursery".

Then in March, Tim and Megan came to visit and told us THEY were expecting as well! I think we were in Mamas & Papas in short order. We got each of them their stroller of choice and their first car seats. I think Mike ended up bringing them over to the US one at a time on his business trips. I'm sure the airlines wondered if he was running a black market baby stroller business - you know you read about those things ALL the time! :)

Anyway, in the midst of all this pregnancy fun, I did get my "Grandma Nursery" furnished. I bought this lovely "cot" (cribs in the US are what we'd call a cradle...).

Summerhouse Cot/Bed - White

And I bought a bedding set (or two...) as well as other fun decor items. I was "nesting" as my children were "nesting". We were SO far away it seemed. Never did the Atlantic seem so wide. I would find maternity things for the girls and send them with Mike on his business trips to Houston. He'd always make a trek to Austin or DFW if a visit with children was in the offing!

I spent most of that summer and autumn in Texas, attending baby showers, helping get their nurseries set up, shopping for baby clothing in fun little boutiques, dreaming, laughing, planning...(and hemorrhaging money). There's nothing like the news that you are going to be grandparents - and nothing like finding out you're going to have the pleasure twice within a couple of weeks! The babies finally arrived and we were in bliss. Mike was in and out of the country as much as he could for each of the births. To say "good times, good times" is an understatement. It was truly blissful.

When we made the decision to "retire" from BP and return to the US (not in a small part because we could NOT be overseas with those little ones in Texas, so far away), I made the jaunt back to Staines to Mamas & Papas and bought another cot to match the first one. The house we were building in Katy was going to have a nursery - and the chance of having BOTH children "in residence" at the same time was almost guaranteed! Sure enough, within a few months, Tim and Megan went on a vacation alone and we had Kennedy for almost an entire week! Jennifer and Ben came too and we had a blast! Ben and Kennedy were about 19-20 months old then, jabbering away, running everywhere, into everything. They loved "their beds" and would try to climb into them after story each night. There were many other visits, some with everybody, some individual families. But the room was used a lot and when they departed, I could go up there, sit and remember, relive the visit.

The next batch of grands arrived like the first batch - very close together. Late April, late May and early July 2007 saw three more grands making their Grand Entrance. I bought twin beds for Ben and Kennedy in the nursery alongside the two cots. Unfortunately, babies and toddlers seldom mix in the same room - one will wake the other up. Make that 2 toddlers and 3 infants and you have mayhem. And my lovely English cots were too big for the other bedrooms. So those babies ended up sleeping in pack-n-plays in their parent's rooms while Ben and Kennedy had the nursery. So I made a decision this month that I should sell the cots. The nursery was more than full with the two twins and the two cots, a glider and ottoman, a bookcase and toy box. And they were all in white. Frankly, it was starting to look like a nice but still institutionalized infirmary!

So I called a friend who had just had twin grandsons and made her the "deal of the century". She took me up on it right away and they came and disassembled the cots and took them away last week. I had NO idea how emotional that was going to be for me. I suspect I had transferred my emotions about the joy of becoming a grandparent onto those inanimate objects. And the memories of the visits of the children sleeping in those beds came rushing back to me. But I knew that the last three wouldn't be in cribs much longer anyway, we needed a workable sleeping arrangement and soon there would be the need for twin beds in there anyway.

So I've now ordered this for the nursery.

It's a daybed and will have a drawer with a trundle mattress hidden away that will go underneath. My plan is to get a cozy quilt for the top and have lots of plump pillows around to make it into a large couch where we will sit with grandchildren all piled on for story time, tickles and conversations. So my dreaming about "the next phase" has begun. Plus the new bed won't take up as much floorspace in the nursery as the two cots did. And until those wee ones are completely out of their cribs, I got this (which can roll through doorways without having to disassemble/reassemble each time).

Between that and a really large pack-n-play I got from Mamas & Papas (seriously, WHY can't they sell this stuff in the US of A?? it's WAY longer than the American counterparts...possibly the ONLY thing that is larger in the UK that the US...), I think I have my baby sleeping bases covered - elegantly too I might add.

The nursery was originally a Media Room (hence the outlet covers where speakers supposedly were to have been...and still might be, someday in the VERY distant future...) but we the builder put a window in and make the original "concession" area into a large closet. The game room adjacent is the play room so the kids have their own "children's wing". Someday I want to have the play room redone in black, yellow and white on a Mickey Mouse theme being the Disneyphiles that we all are. I have these cool figures (called Big Figures) I got at Walt Disney World that I want to base the room color and design on (about 21-24" high each). There are 5 figures - the "fab five" (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto) - and I think it would be so fun to have an entire room designed around them - contemporary, functional and most of all - FUN!

Minnie Big Figurine

But until then, we will stick with our fresh white furniture colors, with Winnie-the-Pooh Stieff animals and Shepherd Pooh sketches framed on the wall. I'll do a blog about the current nursery sometime soon with photos. I think rooms can be beautiful AND functional for children. And I know the kids love "their room".

But I am still missing the baby beds...or am I missing them being babies? Who knows. With estrogen it's hard to get a concise answer...so here's to "moving on".


Jenny said...

I really can't believe you sold them already.

They kind of are still babies, to me anyway :-)

Louisianna Jane said...

We lived in Staines for 18 months but I don't remember that store. Probably because I wasn't feeling all that clucky at the time- was having way to much fun seeing the world!!!!

Iona said...

I remember the store. I used to go in there all the time too. I was very clucky as we were trying without much success at the time. Staines cinemas were good too, I remember that was the last place where we were regular movie goers.

Cheri (aka "The Mom Lady") said...

Iona, the cinemas WERE good, weren't they? It was strange to see the last Harry Potter movie in the US and NOT at the Warner Brothers Cinema in Staines! And that Nando's chicken almost next door - we really miss that and wish they had it in the US.