my own personal Xanadu
I was talking with Wendy this morning and she had me laughing at myself. My friends and family may have noticed that I reference the "lower level" constantly and see it as a source of hope and as an escape from the crowded feeling I get when my 2 kids are lapping the upstairs and screaming while I try to make dinner. (and knowing that soon there will be another one with us) It's true. I see the lower level as solving many of our space issues and really, everyone needs their Xanadu, right?
Patrick had a week off in September, when my dad came to put in the carpet, and I laughingly thought that most of the work down there would get finished up that week. Ah, silly girl, when will I learn? It was a damp week and my husband has a need to put about 400 coats of mud on the walls and so they never dried and so therefore never got finished and everything was halted. Then my exhaustion began, then we were all sick for the month of October, then November was taken up with the Craftacular preparations and December was Christmas and, and...here we are...with a little more mud still needing to go up.
To my dear husband's credit, he has worked on it fairly regularly when given the chance...a few hours here, a few hours there. A big part of it is me...when the weekend rolls around I usually need a break and he is the one that provides that for me, obviously. He is not up to working on it during the week, after work, and he really likes that time with the kids anyways. (Why he hasn't worked on it the last 2 years is not something we will discuss. Bygones. I'll just say that me getting super pist and hollering doesn't really get me anywhere.) (not taking all the blame, either, just saying that didn't help.)
Well now, here we are. With it being so close to usable that I can almost taste its' sweet usability. Soon, I believe with all my heart, we will be picking out paint colors. (by Feb.14th, maybe?? I'll ask him tonight.) After it's painted I can start moving stuff in! It will still need the following: ceiling, trim stained and installed (will wait until summer when he can have fresh air in the garage for this toxic job.), electrical done, and someday a fireplace and bathroom. But all that means nothing to me...we will be able to use the space and our new carpet! There will be room for other kids to come over and have some room to play! There will be a place I can send my children to while I am making dinner, instead of their bedrooms! Bliss!
Wendy and I were laughing specifically about how I say nearly everything can go into the lower level someday. This got me thinking and measuring, because it's true, I do say that about almost everything, and I should know if it will really all fit, shouldn't I?
The good new is...it will!
Behold my very unprofessional sketch of the Mythical Lower Level, or as I've come to think of it, my own personal Xanadu.
There is room for our futon, our new dresser (I've decided it can hold our TV (if we decide to put the TV down there) on top and all of our games in the deep drawers below), our chaise lounges, a long desk for my sewing machine and our other computer (to get it out of our bedroom), shelves on the wall for the crafty stuff I use most, lots of storage for books and toys and still plenty of room in the middle for playing.
This will free up quite a bit of room in our upstairs (and our bedroom) so the baby toys and gear will have some floor space. I may decide to keep the chaise lounges up here (or maybe one of them) and maybe even the TV. I won't know for sure until we start moving stuff around and since I love that, I am very excited. I see myself thrifting a couple more shelves and then buying new baskets to stash stuff in on them. fun, fun, fun.
We've also decided that we are getting the kids bunk beds and making them share a room, even though Ruby doesn't want to. Patrick really feels like the baby should have his own room and I think he's right. The kids will adjust...they'll have to. I have plans to paint their roomy plastic dressers I got when they were each babies so they look a little bit better and buying them each new bedding. Their closet will hold hanging clothes for both of them and then toys on the bottom, with some room left in the room itself for Ruby's dollhouse and James' favorites in his small storage cabinet.
The baby will have Ruby's room with our usual baby suspects taking residence inside. (crib, nursing chair, vintage dresser that holds a changing pad that they have both used) I tend to want my babies to sleep in their own rooms after a while and I do think this will be easiest if he actually has his own room.
Oh my gosh. I don't really expect anyone else to find all of this interesting but it was fun for me to figure it out and write it down. Now I can email this to Patrick, too! :) He and I both like how the small things we've done upstairs in the last couple of weeks have felt so it's fun to think about doing the rest of it.
But how is he supposed to paint when he's putting together bunk beds and cribs?? :) I guess I need to commit to giving him some good chunks of work time over the next few months, don't I?