Saturday, September 8, 2012

Over the Edge: Lincoln's New Toddler Bed

September 1st. What an eventful day! I told you all about my Prickly Pear escapades that filled the first half of it. But I didn't tell you about what happened for the second half. . .

Our friends the Copeland's and Smith's decided to reconvene with us (husbands and wives together this time) for an evening game and dessert night. I had made a beautiful scratch cheesecake and had it set up on my cake stand, a nice vanilla candle burning beside it. My hand-thrown dessert plates and turquoise and green bubble wine-glasses-for-water set out on the table. Squire and I had put Lincoln down for the night about twenty minutes before our friends arrived. Everything looked perfect. The mood was calm.

But, as our company arrived the noise startled Lincoln and he began to cry from his crib. I waved my hand at my guests, "Don't worry about it - he'll be asleep soon." But just then as I said that, as if from some horror film, I heard the crying voice of my toddler son getting closer and closer to the door. The door slowly creaked opened and out emerged my son in plain view. The horror! The surprise! My son had mastered climbing out of his crib the very night we had a nice date night at our home with friends. I put him on time out, changed his diaper, gave him a drink, sang him a song, and put him back in his crib - this time without bumpers thinking that would do the trick. It didn't. A couple minutes later he came bounding over the side of his crib - this time with a little blood coming out of the corners of his mouth from hurting his lip on his drop over the side. I was stressing out big time. "What do I do? What do I do?!" I asked my veteran mom friends. They gave me their words of advice. And we decided to just set up a pillow on the rug, with his blanket beside it, and tie the door shut. How sad! Lincoln screamed for a long time. Longer than the twenty minute limit I never let him cross. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity he fell asleep.

That night prompted me to write this as my facebook status: "My life is over. A.K.A. My 18-month old son learned how to climb out of his crib tonight! Please, pray for us. If getting him to sleep tonight was a forecast for the rest of the week - we're really going to need them! :/" And this week has been rough - with the exception of two naps and one bedtime. Most days, naps didn't happen at all.  

Luckily, I had had a feeling of urgency about getting a toddler bed for Lincoln (even though I planned to have Lincoln stay in his crib as long as possible, even for a few months after the baby arrived.) In my searching, I didn't find anything I was very crazy about. It seemed everything on Craigslist was super cheap quality with tooth marks from its previous inhabitant, or $300 and from Pottery Barn. I consulted Ana White's awesome website Knock-off-Wood and fell in love with the plans for this cute little farmhouse toddler bed. I informed Squire that, "That's the one I want!" And he graciously went to work shortly after I commissioned him to do the project. As it turns out, he had all but stained the bed and added the slats by September 1st. 

One shot of the bed in progress - the unstained headboard!
This weekend he finally got the time to finish Lincoln's bed. A welcome project to be finished - as Lincoln's crib mattress has been on the floor all week long.

The finished toddler bed.
Closeup on the headboard.
Squire wood-burned this message into the bottom of the bed, "For my son Lincoln, who climbed out of his crib when he was 18 months old. Love, Dad"
 For anyone who wants to know, we used one layer of Minwax's English Chestnut 233, and one layer of Satin Lacquer finish. We are very pleased with the color. And since Lincoln's crib/toddler mattress was a little bit wider than Ana White had accounted for in her plans, Squire followed this blogger's alterations to the measurements.

As soon as we brought the finished bed into Lincoln's room, he went to jumping and running around on it. He was very excited. Probably because he felt like he contributed just as much to its completion as Squire did. He was often in the garage, hitting it with his toy hammer and brushing it with clean paint brushes as Squire worked alongside him.

Lincoln working in the garage with his dad.
Don't that innocent little sweet look fool you! Haha. Lincoln was so excited about his new bed.
And since we're already on the topic of how awesome my husband is, I wanted to take a second to also spotlight the beautiful bookshelf Squire designed for Lincoln back in December. It has been serving Lincoln and his room very well. :)

Here are some more pictures of Lincoln's woodland/log cabin room:

The "Land of Lincoln" license plate was given to us for free by a nice vendor who thought Lincoln was cute, when we purchased the train picture from a local antique store several months ago.
Lincoln bounding into his bed tonight.
Loving on his daddy for making him his bed, and for playing some silly games together before bedtime.

I hope that this new bed, and the OK to Wake! Clock I plan on ordering this week for Lincoln, work to help him develop good nap and bedtime sleep habits as a big boy. Wish us luck!

Thank you for finishing Lincoln's adorable toddler bed, Squire. I'm not sure how it's even possible, but I think I'm even more excited about it than our son. :) You rock!


  1. I love the message on the bed. I'm now searching Ana White's website and trying to convince Jeff to make matching beds for the girls. For $50 that's a quality bed. I might even see if I can commission Squire for part of the work.

  2. 18 months. young to figure that out! With my girls we have been using some sleep techniques that I blogged about here - that may be of help to you. We are STILL doing it, and find it mostly successful. Only times it's not is when my kids just aren't tired enough yet, but most days, we maybe have to stay in the room with them for 5-20 minutes. It's SO much better than feeling frustrated and running back in every five minutes anyways. Hope you'll figure it out. The bed is adorable! If only we had power tools, I'd be all over building our own! Our girls need to get off the floor.

  3. Ok, that bed is amazing! Good job, Squire!! Also, I loved your wife-ready post. Had me cracking up! Loved the part about the skittles!

  4. Thank you Katie and Ricki. :)

    Katelyn, I really didn't use many power tools to make this. I only used two: a palm sander that I found on craigslist for $25, and a drill to make holes for the dowels to keep the headboard boards flush. The only essential tools are a hammer, nail setters, hand saw, key hole saw (if you are doing the arch), and tape measure. A clamp or two is nice to have also. To do the dowels one does have to have a doweling jig, but I only used the dowels because I am a perfectionist (the plans don't actually say to do that).

  5. Man! I wish we had those skills!! CJ mastered the climb at 13 months old and he's been on a matress in the floor since lol


  6. First off I would like to say terrific blog.You share such beautiful kids beds furniture.A toddler bed has the advantage of using the same crib mattress that your child has been using, which may make the transition easier. This bed is usually lower to the ground making it easier to get in and out of.



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