Maddie has been sleeping in our room in the few months since she has been born but those days will quickly come to an end soon and we needed to start planning for how to get everyone into the girls' bedroom. Up until this point, Josie had sleeping on a day bed and Ellie was on the floor with a crib mattress that she was quickly outgrowing. Their room is not huge and so we were left with few options for sleeping arrangements. Bunk beds seemed like the perfect solution.
Jolen did some research and found some great bunk bed plans on ana-white.com. We've long admired this site and used it to help build a bookcase a few years ago. Looking at the plans that we found, it seemed doable, affordable and fun. All of those things proved to be true, at least to some degree and for most of the time.
We decided to build it in Great Falls because my father-in-law is pretty skilled with tools and woodwork plus we thought he would enjoy being a part of the process. I'm really glad that we made that decision. It was great to work with him.
|Learning how to better use the chop saw. My usual tactic more closely resembles grip and rip as opposed to carefully lining up and being accurate.|
|The results of our first trip to the lumberyard. Note the word "first" since no project is complete without multiple trips to the store.|
|There was a lot of "supervision" time during the project. My father-in-law claimed that Maddie needed to be held but I think he secretly enjoyed not having to do all the work.|
|One of my favorite parts of any project is when things first start to come together. I can only make so many cuts before I need to see some kind of progress. It motivates me to keep going.|
|At one point, we had 3 different drills set up with different bits. It helps to work with someone who has all of the correct and needed tools.|
|A few nights found us working as long as light would allow us to.|
|Proudly displaying our first finished end|
|This was 1 of probably 1,753 cuts trying to get the trim just right. Painstaking but absolutely worth it.|
|Fully assembled for the first time|
|Josie really wanted to help|
|Ellie was so excited to be able to climb up the ladder|
The nice part about working with my father-in-law is that work is done very deliberately and with a great deal of patience and precision. My usual pattern when doing projects is to "power through it" and get it done quickly. After putting so much time and effort into the project in Great Falls, I really wanted to get it finished quickly once we were home so that we could enjoy it. After driving the 6+ hours home, I set up the first board to screw it back together and promptly punctured a hole in it. I had forgotten to set my drill and mistakenly tried to place a screw with the power setting way too high. A great deal of frustration set in but thankfully my wife's cooler head prevailed and we shut it down for the night.
The next few days consisted of slowly reassembling the pieces and transporting them upstairs. Our constant mantra was "We've put this much effort into it and so we might as well do it right." The hard part of this for me is that it took so much more time and that meant the house was in almost complete disarray for the better part of two weeks. I don't do well when the house is messy and so it was a challenging time to have everything in an uproar.
|There was a ton of sanding that needed to be done|
|Once the sanding was done, it was time to prime|
|By the time that Jolen took over the painting, I was emotionally spent and didn't do a very good job of taking pictures of her working|
As we finished up the sanding and priming, we needed to figure out what color we wanted to paint the bunk beds. Jolen and I threw a couple of ideas around between the two of us but the reality is that those conversations were a complete waste of time. Ellie heard us talking one day and declared that she wanted the beds to be pink. She actually started out saying that she wanted her part to be pink and Josie's to be purple but there was no way that I was going to paint two different colors. We asked her a few times what color she wanted over the span of several days and she adamantly insisted on pink so Jolen and I relented. We went to the hardware store and were able to find a pink that Ellie liked and that we didn't think looked too much like Pepto Bismol. All in all, I have to say that I really like the results.
|Already planning on building another one if we have a 4th girl|
|Ellie was over the top excited when she saw the reading light her Tanana Nana had bought her|
|"If Sissy is doing it, then I want to do it too!"|