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The stairs to our fourth-floor walk-up apartment got a workout over Memorial Day weekend: We took advantage of three days in a row at home to get going on the nursery and various home improvement projects, which obviously meant (Ben, my husband) carrying tons of things up. If it gives you any idea of how relaxing it was, consider this: We ended up driving down to Ikea *two days in a row.* While I haven’t reached a final decision on a dresser yet, the good news is that we finally made a decision on nursery seating, and we bought a crib (the Gulliver, which comes highly recommended by a friend of mine). After much deliberation (The classic Dutalier? A slick, modern Monte glider? A daybed that we could use for guests on occasion?) we decided to get a chaise that would allow for comfy lounging as well as nursing. The choice I thought we’d made in advance turned out to be less comfortable than I remembered when we revisited it in the Ikea showroom, so we strolled around to see what else was available, and we discovered that the new leather-covered options in the Karlstad line were both sleek AND very comfortable.
Great! And there was a chaise, supposedly. The only ones on display were built into sofas, but the guy swore they had a free-standing version, and sent us on our way with the furniture-pick-up form.
We paid and took our 90-pound, coffin-sized box out to the car, which just barely accommodated it. Got home around 9:45 p.m., at which point Ben single-handedly shoved the thing up all three flights before collapsing in a puddle and demanding ice water.
We opened the box and lo and behold: Holes in the sides, to attach it to a sofa. My reaction wasn’t very ladylike, I’m afraid. Ben, to his credit, remained extremely calm, and just said, “I’ll take care of it in the morning.”
And while it did require another trip to Ikea—funny, the box made it back down the stairs MUCH faster than it went up—he did handle it: There is now a chair and ottoman in the nursery, and I feel like we were treated fairly in the end. The stand-alone chaise, by the way, is only available in the UK and Australia. It might make an appearance in the U.S. in August. (Side note: We replaced the wooden feet on those pieces with tapered aluminum ones, which made them feel airier.)
We also listed the various furniture that had made the nursery a TV room on Craigslist and did a ton of other semi-annoying but necessary things around the house. But now that there is an unassembled crib in the nursery, I have a lot more things to figure out, despite being felled by humidity and heartburn at the moment. Number one: Which mattress? A more-organic option seems logically healthier for a baby to spend 70% of his time sleeping on, but there are so many options, all of them costly, that I’m pretty overwhelmed. Maybe next week I’ll try to sort that out; meanwhile if you have any suggestions, let me know!
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Mass. When she's not cooking or writing, she is gearing up for the arrival of her first child this summer.