The perfect nursery by fire

Hollis' nursery has gone through about 8 makeovers. No kidding. When I got pregnant, I was in school and money was tight. We bought a crib from friends for $100, I repurposed two book shelves into "closets" and I left the buttery-yellow walls as they were since we wanted a nice, neutral wall color for our baby anyway. My big pre-baby splurge was window treatments from Ikea; these lovely leafy things.

But it always looked like shit. I mean, I did the best I could with what I had, but it never looked put together or like I meant it. I rearranged the room, I added a $35 changing table from a consignment store, I bought canvas drawers for storage, but it just wasn't clicking.

I emptied the closet of all things adult and converted it into a proper closet complete with baby shoe shelves and clothes racks. I got rid of the shelf-closets altogether and that was a big improvement. I added hooks, decals, a couple simple photos of Hollis and our family, book rails and still no jiving. Then, the unthinkable happened. The crib got recalled.

It was all quite accidental that I even found out about it. In my quest for a zen-like, balanced feel to the room, and one that was also safe, I put my changing table up for sale on Craigslist in hopes of earning enough money to buy one with doors or drawers on the bottom.

In so doing, I also had to put the crib up for sale because they "matched." Within about 24 hours I got bites on both pieces of furniture. The potential buyer for the crib, Betty (seriously, that was her name), asked me for the model number and manufacturer. At the time, Hollis was sleeping and the info was in a packet under the mattress. I told her I'd get back to her the following morning.

The packet didn't have the manufacturer clearly labeled so I Googled DV830N and any name I could find on the packet. I discovered it was made by Jardine Enterprises and I even found a crib photo that seemed to be mine! I also found a recall list that, luckily, didn't have DV830N listed anywhere on it. I promptly emailed Betty all this new info I found. Meanwhile, I'd sold the changing table and so was really counting on the sale of the crib to go through.

About an hour after I'd emailed Betty, and after I'd fed Hollis breakfast and put him down for his morning nap, I was back at the computer to keep researching a better picture of my crib. And lo and behold!! I found it and boy did I! I found a more extensive recall list and DV830N was on there and it even had a big ass picture of my crib!! Ack!! I immediately went my email to contact Betty, but she'd beaten me to the punch. There waiting for me was a lovely little note from her asking me if $200 was worth the safety of a child and could I "stand before God with a clear conscience just to make a buck?" She told me what I should do (take the ad down immediately and get rid of the crib only with total disclosure and for free) and that she hoped I would do the right thing.

My initial reaction was, "What the fuck?!" I mean, I was LITERALLY just about to email her that I wasn't selling it anymore because it looked like it was recalled after all and I was going to have to follow the recall procedures outlined by Jardine Enterprises for the safety of my own child who was sleeping in it right now. Then I thought, "No, wait... she doesn't know you from Eve. She's assuming the worst, yes, but it's not personal." So I wrote her back that it was a mix up on my part and of course $200 wasn't worth the safety of a child and that I wouldn't be selling it. She didn't respond.

I couldn't shake it off, though. I was totally shook up by the whole incident. I was offended, freaked out, and worried about Hollis' safety. I went back to the computer and wrote her a second email. Short and to the point, but basically thanking her for being such a conscientious consumer because without her diligence I wouldn't have known that Hollis was unsafe. She wrote back, "Thanks for being a person of integrity. Betty"

I figured this was a lesson in self-reliance and -confidence. I couldn't look to Betty for a pat on the back or validation, I was going to have to know it of myself all by myself. - ANYHOO - back to the nursery revamp. So now it's practically an emergency to get a new crib. Jardine Enterprises will give me a $275 voucher for a crib at Babies 'R' Us but it would be a retroactive credit, obviously. Long story short, I ended up getting a fabulous crib for $400. They didn't have any for around $250 that I wanted (literally, the warehouses were empty and there was no idea when they'd get more). This $400 crib is brown and white and comes with a trundle drawer (yeah!) with clean lines and it's much smaller (looking) than the recalled one.

I painted my old dresser white and brown, too, and bought a white changing table from Ikea and now the nursery positively hums with balance and clean lines. I LOVE going in there now. In the middle of the night I relax in the glider with Hollis and can sink into the peacefulness of it.

It's all for me, obviously. I know Hollis could sleep in a laundry basket and be just fine and Anthony doesn't have any such standards or needs, but I do. I need it to be clean, organized, and efficient. The diaper genie needs to be on the left, because I'm a left-handed diaper-changer (who knew?). I need the wipes, diapers, baby Tylenol, teething relief, and Q-tips to be handy and up high. I want his toys to have a place of their own and his linens to be tidy. I want his room to be super baby-proofed, but still stylish. It's a tall order and I couldn't have designed this room a day sooner than last week. I didn't know what I needed from it until then.

He's got tons more room to play now and it's a cinch to vacuum. Look at him here, oh so happily sucking away on his chew toy (by the way, his shirt says, "I GET MY MUSCLES FROM MY DAD") with Tony the Pony in the background. Even Tony the Pony matches! - a total accident, by the way. Yay!!! I'm finally done futzing with this room! What a relief!!

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