I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And it's so far, so good.
I'm talking about the BIG MOVE of Jenna and her 5,387 baby dolls, tubs of baby clothes, baby bottles, baby crib, purses, Polly Pockets, and Other Assorted Stuff from her room, aka the Nursery, to Michaela's room, now called The Girls' Room.
Well, goodness, you may ask, how hard is it to move some things from one room to another?
Not hard. But when you HAVE no more room in one room and have to move things of one daughter's down to the playroom, which has no extra room except in the closet which you haven't cleaned out in nine years, you've got quite a project on your hands.
So... we cleaned out the closet. I enclosed almost all of it's contents in clear plastic bins (it's a sickness). We put up new wire shelving and rearranged the contents. I found old photo albums of Dan's family and sorted a bunch of pictures. I found an old photo album of when his younger brother Jimmy was born and was impressed by his mom's organization. I panicked when I realized that Jenna's baby pictures were all in a plastic case somewhere, not labelled with important milestones of "Coming Home from the Hospital", "First Bath", etc., and here I was about to have my THIRD baby and God Help Me I am NOT going to be one of THOSE MOMS who does nothing with her precious baby's pictures because she is too busy taking care of her kids and so how soon can I go out to a Hallmark Store and get an album? Turns out the answer was the next day. I bought a pink one and a matching blue one for Baby #3. I worked on the album, lovingly labelled it, and Jenna proudly showed it off to anyone who would sit with her and look at it. Of course, I ended up with about 70 extra spaces for more pictures so I had to order prints online from Snapfish to fill it up and now Photos of Milestones from Birth- Age 2: The Jenna Edition are winging their way towards my beautiful, pink, Concrete Example of How Much I Love You, Jenna, photo album. I also found a Christmas-themed premade scrapbook album and threw in some pics of last Christmas. Another project done.
Whew. And that was just the closet.
So the closet looks great. We tackled the shelves in the playroom next, rearranging boxes of CD's, DVD's, schoolwork saved from the past few years, and photos. Space was discovered and celebrated.
We hit a major snag in this whole process when Jenna decided last Sunday to throw an enormous hissy fit that she had to move out of her room. "WHAAAAAT????" she asked me incredulously, blue eyes bulging from her head, when I mentioned in a totally offhand way how fun it will be for her and Michaela to share a room. "I WANNA KEEP MY ROOM!!! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!" and I wasn't sure what to say. Part of me felt my heart rip out, burdened with the terrible responsibility of causing her this angst with my all-together-whimsical desire to produce more offspring, and the other part of me felt like saying, "Yeah, well, suck it up, kid. We're all going to make sacrifices." What I really did, though, was reassure her it was going to be fine and then strategized with my mom later in the week about how best to do this. We agreed that moving items little by little, a few at a time, would be best... make a change, give her time to adjust, and then make another small change.
Next it was Michaela's room. She has a whole wall of shelves in her room which enjoys various levels of chaos and order depending on how anal retentive I am feeling. Several times a year, we go in and clean it out (usually when she's at a sleepover at my parents' house) and remove garbage bags full of junk from her shelves. She loves having it be neater and doesn't care what we throw out. She was an awesome trooper and not only gave up tons of toys and stuff, she even tolerated me moving it all up to higher shelves so Jenna could have the bottom shelf and half of the next shelf up. I could not be more proud of how hard she worked to help me and how eager and agreeable she was. I promised to buy her a new stepstool so she can more easily access her toys and things.
So today was a Big Move day. Buoyed by with a playdate with one of her favorite friends later in the day, Jenna was in great spirits and open to change. I had her help me decide where to place items on these fabulous, spacious new shelves that were ALL HERS. And she took her job very seriously, carrying the baby crib and the babies and the clothes into The Girls' Room all by herself. I did some of the fine-tuning, moving smaller items and finding logical spaces for them and making the whole thing as attractive to a four year old's eye as I could. She even agreed to move an armful of babies downstairs into the playroom, giving us a little more space.
It looks great. The Nursery is cavernous now, echoing with the promise of blues and browns and new things. I am going to take pictures soon of my favorite parts of her room: her name written out on the wall, a cluster of photographs, and her wallpaper border purchased five days after she was born in a hormone-induced rush to make everything that touched Jenna, my precious little second-born sweet baby girl, pink and green.
And then I'm going to take it all down and start all over again.