The Viper Pilot has been working essentially nonstop the past three or four weeks. He’s gone 14-16 hours a day and only comes home to sleep. I try to have something for dinner for him when he gets home but usually I’ll just pack extra food in his lunch and he eats dinner at work. I wish the military would be better about sharing my husband with me in our last few days as “just us” but I keep telling myself that he could be back at war. I try not to complain and vent too much (especially on the blog) but it’s starting to wear me out. I’m not worn so much emotionally as much as I am physically exhausted.
As this pregnancy progresses and comes to an end, I find myself a bit more tired and less motivated. And if I sit around and cater to those lazy feelings, then it gets worse and my body aches. I refuse to let that slow me down and I’ve found that once I get moving, my energy goes up and it helps me sleep better at night, a huge plus. So I keep busy all day long. Sometimes I don’t sit down to put my feet up until the Viper Pilot gets home and on some days I wasn’t resting until I crawled into bed. The longer he is gone, the longer I work. There is always something to do around here.
One of the bigger projects on my to-do list is what some people call “nesting.” Remember the gray crib project? Well, it has officially become (in the words of the Viper Pilot) one of my wild ideas. I wanted a gray crib. Really wanted a gray crib. Why? Because decorating a nursery is a lot more fun than I thought it would be and a gray crib would be the perfect centerpiece. I couldn’t find one (American sized) for less than $600, which is an insane amount of money for a crib, so I bought a used dark brown one for $80, sanded off the previous tenant’s bite marks and painted it gray. It was never supposed to be one of my wild ideas. It was supposed to be easy.
Close, but no cigar. Or as I used to say as a child, “close, but nose in the car.”
The Viper Pilot wasn’t keen on using the Annie Sloan wax and we went for a polyurethane finish instead. I told you guys this was our plan a while ago. WHY DIDN’T ANY OF YOU TRY TO STOP ME??!! He assured me that the poly would be a great and safe finish for the crib and even told me when he finished applying it that he thought I was really going to like it. He took two hours out of his precious weekend to apply the poly (remember, he hates to paint, think Oscar the Grouch but not G rated) and bless his heart, I hate it. It doesn’t look to bad from afar, but you don’t want to look too close. I thought I could be okay with it. But after peeking into the nursery to look at it throughout the day, while plugging my nose to avoid the strong fumes still emanating from it, I just couldn’t get happy about it.
So maybe we should have Googled this first. If we had, we would have found that the poly was a bit extreme. It’s how he’s wired, if he’s going to do something, then darn it, he’s going to do it right but he’s really extreme. Sometimes that’s a good thing, other times, not so much. A couple of examples…when we first started cooking together, I learned that he honestly believed that food will cook faster if the burner is on high. When I refinished our kitchen table, he said the finish I selected to go on over the paint (at the suggestion of the paint store expert) wasn’t going to be durable enough so we used the same finish that they put on the bottom of boats. You can see your reflection in it as well as every speck of dust, fingerprint, or spot of spilled anything, and it is impossible to wipe clean without using window cleaner on the entire table, but dagnabit, it’s durable.
Sigh. I should have known.
Because I didn’t have the guts to say it to his face, I sent him an email at work one day telling him that I was really sorry but I was going to start over on the crib. It wasn’t his fault and I was sorry but the poly turned the crib an icky yellow/gray color, it dried in globs and sticky in places, and the fumes not only filled the nursery but the entire house. I was really sorry and I wasn’t going to waste any more of his time on it. I would handle it from here on my own. I am pretty sure the word “sorry” was used at least ten times in the email. I felt bad but it just wasn’t what I was going for.
I stocked up on sand paper and set to work. A week later, I’m still not quite where I want to be with it – sanding the poly off takes a very long time, the sand paper fills up quickly, it gets really dusty, sitting on the hard basement floor makes my back hurt, and the slats in the crib make the job quite tedious. I talked to a friend of mine who has a lot of experience with chalk paint. I told her my story, asking for advice on how to proceed and whether the paint would go over the sanded down poly or not. Her advice was promising, there was still a chance to salvage the crib and get the look I wanted, but she ended with, “Good luck. I feel horrible for you.”
I still have the back piece to finish sanding, but I’m actually liking the look of the sanded down crib. It gives it a distressed look that looks intentional.
The good thing is, the baby won’t need the crib for the first few weeks after its arrival but I’m still hoping to get it finished before then. I plan to slap on another coat of the gray paint and apply the wax before baby arrives. I bought just a small amount of more paint, the wax, and a fancy brush. I am keeping track and the crib still hasn’t cost us $600 yet and is still cheaper than the new version of the same brown crib. As soon as the Deutsche Post to delivers it to my door, I can set to work finishing the project once and for all.
So maybe it was one of my “wild ideas.” The baby really doesn’t care what color the crib is. Nesting at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
On the note of being a bit “extreme” when getting the job done, a friend of our landlord’s son from Berlin and her mother stopped by the house this morning. The mother works with a winemaker in the local area. When she saw what we did to the grapevines in our backyard, she gasped. Apparently, we were NOT to cut them back as far as we did. You aren’t supposed to trim back the well-established wines. We may have misunderstood the meaning of well-established. Oops.
I panicked (we learned the other day that our grapes are not native to the Mosel region and are from Romania) and I almost started crying. We killed our landlord’s fancy foreign grapes. Oh, @#%^!!!!! She reassured me that it would be okay, and promised she wouldn’t tell our landlords. She said she will come back in January/February to help prune them to grow back properly and teach us how to care for them. She’s a really nice lady.
Between the vines and the crib, we’re 0 for 2. Let’s hope our luck changes soon.