Tuesday, June 16

I Thought of Another Way to Avoid Making a Decision Myself

There are many things in this world that I suck at, and President and CEO of that list is making decisions. Sure, if it's a big deal sort of decision, I'll figure out a path that works. However, if it's a minor sort of thing, I can't do it. Don't ask me where we should go for dinner. I DON'T KNOW. Don't ask me to decide if Enjoy the Silence or Down In It is the better song. I DON'T KNOW. Don't make me tell you whether you look better in the green shirt or the yellow shirt. I DON'T KNOW.

I DON'T KNOW.

This new house stuff is making those two brain cells responsible for making insignificant decisions psychotic. Just call them Larry and Curly because they are continuously bonking each other over the head with a baseball bat. Larry's all, "You decide, you moron." Curly is all, "Screw you. I ain't deciding nuttin'. Who you callin' a moron anyway?" Then they fall over each other trying to beat each other up. Neither one of them ever does anything useful like MAKE A DANG DECISION.

From what color to paint the walls to where to hang the dragonfly light fixture, I can't decide. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. In the weeks since we've gone under contract to buy the place, I have debated. Pondered. Shopped. Scoured magazines. Debated. Pondered. And not decided. I finally realized that there is one chief decision that needs to be made. If I can figure it out, all the rest of the pieces will kinda sorta maybe fall in place.

Oh, internet, help me figure it out.

The issue is this: I have too many choices for where to put the playroom. It's a ridiculous problem, and would very easily be solved if a giant tree would just fall on the house and render a few rooms useless. Since there are no trees anywhere in the vicinity, I think I'm stuck having to pick a room. Here is the rundown.

Choice #1--Bedroom 4: There are four bedrooms upstairs at the new house, and Alexis' future room is the larger of the two bedrooms at the end of the hall. Directly across from her room is a very tiny little bedroom. Pros: I would never, ever have to clean it because there would be no reason for anyone other than Alexis to ever see it. Cons: Not only is it tiny, it's also very secluded. It's at the furthest possible point from the rest of the house so Alexis could host a NKOTB reunion concert and I'd never know. That might also be considered a pro.

Choice #2--The Loft: The stairwell from the first floor to the second is very open and there is a decent-sized (10x15ish) room tucked above the dining room at the front of the house. Pros: The floor is not all that visible as you come up the stairs as you have to walk down a hallway to get to it. Thus, it would be OK if it were left messy, just so long as the mess didn't reach a height of, say, three or more feet. Cons: It's upstairs. I don't really like it when Alexis is on a different floor of the house than me. Also, I'm game for decorating the play room in the most obnoxious, kid-friendly way possible, and the fact that the room is 100% visible from the street might deter me from making it as crazy as I would like (also, the walls are visible from the front entrance and dining room--I would have to figure out how to transition from crazy to tasteful in the midst of that very open space).


(The Loft is to the left of that half wall. Like I said, it's VERY open to the rest of the house.)

Choice #3--The Living Room: The house has a family room connected to the kitchen (all one big open room, really), but also has a formal living room. It's not visible from the kitchen and family room since it's down the hall, but it's not that far away. Pros: It's big. I'd say 15x15, at least. While it does face the street, I worry less about people being able to see into it because trees/landscaping will eventually make those windows less peeper friendly. Cons: There's a bathroom connected to it. The builder intended for it to be able to be used as a living room or first floor master suite, so it has its own full bathroom. Which better not get used. Ever. Or I will scream at somebody. Seriously, that bathroom is off limits. There are too many of them in that house, and that is the one that I am declaring forbidden. If the playroom is right there, Alexis will have easy access to it, and I might not be able to stop it. Three year olds and a forbidden bathroom sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Aaaaand, I think just writing that all out moved me closer to a decision. Maybe. OK, maybe not. Tell me, oh wise internets, what do you look for in a playroom? Secluded so you get silence? Nearby so you can monitor what is going on? Big? Small? HEEEELP!

73 comments:

  1. If the door can close, that's where it should be.
    Open = too much cleaning for my happiness.

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  2. I would go with the living room option...but I'm horrible at decisions and change my mind a lot...

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  3. Also, lock the bathroom door. Even if it's one of those push buttons, you can lock it & hide the "key" somewhere.

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  4. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Love your bully.

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  5. Anonymous9:32 PM

    It's me, Wojak, but I still love your bully.

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  6. @Wojak--About 320 days of the year, you can HAVE the Bully. Today is one of those days. HURRY!

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  7. Ooooh, intriguing! In the current floor plan of our house remodel, we are creating a loft playroom. Our loft will be different from yours, though, it will overlook the kitchen. So I can see it. It will be a family-ish playroom. The husband's video games are going there (he just doesn't know it yet). So yours? Hmmm.

    The decor you want for her playroom suggests secluded. But then, do you want her to play in the open or hide? Why not both? Store toys in the little room, but set up the loft for play. Add couches so you can sit with your laptop as she plays. At the end of the day, have her put her toys back in the little room.

    Or, you know, whatever you decide ;).

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  8. more pics of the new house :)

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  9. @Mrs P A -- I'm getting more pics Saturday. I took what I have right before we made the offer, so I was focused on capturing all the bad. I don't have a single pic of two of the bedrooms, the living room, and a bunch of other stuff. Oops.

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  10. ChickLitLisa10:01 PM

    I think you should use the 4th bedroom. Face it: no matter where u put it, Alexis will have toys and play in EVERY room. I think, based on the fact that you agreed to a hot pink high School Musical room...bedroom 4 fits that purpose...the bulk of the toys can be there...

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  11. @ChickLitLisa--Oh, ho, ho! Wait until you see what "agreed to" actually means. I'm clever like a fox, oh yes I am.

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  12. I would do loft. Think beyond age 3. Yes, for 6 months or a year you might want to have her on the same floor but as she gets older and louder and brings home friends, it will be nice to have it in ear shot without having to see it.

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  13. I was going to vote for the living room, but I like PSU Mom's idea. We turned our front room (which is like a small family room off of the kitchen and the office) in to the playroom. As Cooper and Maren have gotten older we have added a couch and some shelving to make it look a little more like a family room and a little less like a toy store that vomited. No matter what you decide, you will still rethink it in 6-months . . . we have been in our house 2 years and I am still moving thinks on a weekly basis to figure out where I REALLY want them.

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  14. OH, God, now I'm stressed just thinking about this decision you have to make! Because I'm like you - I cannot cannot cannot make decisions at all! Even simple ones. I always ask my mom what to do about everything. I know, I'm a big baby.
    We have a playroom for the boys in the basement of our house, and also, our family room (which is also open concept with the kitchen) is the main playroom. It used to look like a Pottery Barn family room, but when my first born was old enough to walk we got rid of the table and now there are just toys and boys and little Ikea tables and chairs in it. It is practical. We also have our more formal living room for looking at, since it doesn't really get used because who has time to entertain anymore, right? So, I guess if I had to decide... I'd pick the living room for your playroom. And maybe, even though you have lots of bathrooms to clean, let your girl use that bathroom as her own... it's better to keep her close by so you don't have to keep running up and down the stairs, you know? Good Luck! By the way, your house looks gorgeous! Love all the windows!

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  15. Nope, bedroom 4, and I'll tell you why - it has a door. It is small, therefore you can paint it how you wish, she can play with what she wishes (you can use a monitor to keep tabs or get one of those video thingies to see her).

    And.. what to do with the loft? A game room for hubby & you.. decked to the hilt with Penguins and Steelers stuff. Full. Blown. Sports. Room.

    Can I get an amen???

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  16. @Lisa--The Man Cave (basement) had better end up all Penguins or am I going to be very disappointed in my husband. VERY disappointed.

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  17. BTW, y'all, I forgot to point out that the living room has a door. Since it could technically be a bedroom, it's totally got the whole closed off option going for it.

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  18. @Lisa--Oh, and video monitor? GENIUS.

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  19. Living room, for sure. The house we were going to buy had a 8x15 room off the living room and that is now my gold standard for a play room. Right there, but a door that closes. There's no reason you can't lock up the bathroom, or shut off all the water to it and use it as a closet or something.

    By the time she's old enough that you'd want to have her farther away, a change in rooms might be needed (especially if you're anything like me and move furniture around monthly).

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  20. I am full of suckitude when it comes to making decisions as well. I have kidlings that are older, and I don't WANT to hear them or see them all the time.TRUST me. You will see in a few short years. The LOFT is the place for my kidlings.

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  21. That's a tough one. Our formal living room is the playroom and unfortunately it's the first thing anyone sees when they walk into our house. As much as I'd like to not have to clean it up very often, I do and that sucks. So, I can tell you from experience that having a playroom open to significant visitor exposure is a PITA. But having one as far away as that first room sounds isn't all that appealing either.

    And thus ends my completely unhelpful assvice... You're welcome.

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  22. So I have absolutely no advice pertaining to anything you asked...BUT...with all that space and no furniture for most of it, I highly recommend buying this: http://www.littletikes.com/toys/jump-slide-bouncer.aspx and setting it up in one of the rooms for Alexis. When my aunt and uncle moved and had no furniture for their formal living room they did this for their kids and they absolutely LOVED it.

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  23. Yeah, see...here's the deal...no matter where you put the playroom, kiddos will be playing wherever you are. At least that's the way it is at our house. They never play in the play room...I wish they would!

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  24. My vote: Living Room for right now, lock the bathroom. You both will want the playroom to be the small bedroom later...like 3 years from now. But then again, that's a decision you can make later!

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  25. Oh, I would choose the one with a bathroom attached because, as she gets older and has more chores, her chore could easily be THAT BATHROOM and then you could store her and her friends/cousins/playmates in there and never have to see them until you want...that's just my opinion.

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  26. @Jenni--Ooooh, I like that stashing of the friends thing. I like it a lot.

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  27. From my own personal experience... put the playroom somewhere close to wherever YOU are going to be most of the time. If Alexis is anything like my kids... if the playroom is far away, it will simply be a place to store her toys, so she can drag them over the river and through the woods and plop down somewhere close by to Mommy. OR... she will be begging you to come and play with her.

    So, I say deal with the mess, lock the bathroom, and put the playroom closest to wherever your "work station" is.

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  28. Well in our house, the front two rooms are the formal living and formal dining rooms. Since we have four young kids and aren't formal in the least, we made those the toyrooms. Yes i said toyrooms as in plural LOL. And they are painted obnoxiously but everyone who comes to see us absolutely LOVES those rooms. One room two walls are orange, two are green and then there is like a drop ceiling and its purple lol. The other room is yellow and blue. To me, having them be near where I am, is really important. The four of them can get into mischeif like you wouldn't believe (not to mention fight and rip each other's limbs off). So long story short...I vote living room

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  29. @geena--The absolute perfect room would be the dining room because we will never use it and it has wood floors. The bad news is that it is the first thing you see when you open the front door. There's no foyer (totally bizarre), so you just walk into there. If it weren't for that, it wouldn't even be a contest. We might just end up with two rooms like you, though.

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  30. The two rooms, you see them immediately as you walk in the door (small soyer). And they are right across from each other. One room now is the train table, library and dressup. The other oom is all the other toys.

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  31. The loft is too open. You'll be cleaning it all the time and can't do over the top kiddie decorating in there.I'd put it across the hall from her room, to keep the toys contained to that area of the house, and stick a baby monitor in there so you can listen to what's going on.

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  32. Have you seen that Father's Day commercial (I think it's Sears?) where the guy gets a new grill, a new tv, and... a VIDEO MONITORING SYSTEM to watch their sleeping baby? You could use the 4th bedroom and totally get one of those systems. Then you can see (and maybe hear) what Alexis is doing. You could probably even install it so she doesn't realize it's there.

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  33. Dang. Lisa beat me to it (that's what I get for playing pogo instead of stalking your blog lol)

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  34. At first I was leaning toward the fourth tiny secluded bedroom because as she gets older you'll wanna send her off to play anyhow. But then I read that the living room has a door so it can be out-of-sight out-of-mind too. I keep our third bathroom door locked because I'm not cleaning three and the boys don't need their own bathroom... yet.

    Also when you have friends over who have kids it's nice to have a playroom where they feel comfortable letting their kids go play while the adults get smashed, err I mean play cards. Using the fourth bedroom might be too far away to trust the kids to play.

    Oh and in my house the loft would be used as a launch pad for toys, parachutes, and base jumping!

    Good luck and I can't wait to see more pictures!

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  35. Now that you mention the living room has a door, that gets my vote. Nearby & able to be closed off trumps all else.

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  36. I'd say find some way of screening the windows for privacy from the street, then give Alexis the loft. Make the tiny #2 bedroom into a library/reading room for her. Later it can be her study for homework. (If you really do want her downstairs, lock that bathroom door and give her the big room.)

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  37. I would use the living room. The 4th bedroom is too far away from where you'll be spending most of your time, I'm assuming - and like others have said - kids won't go play in a far off play room - at least not until they're older. Unless, you're planning on spending a lot of time upstairs while she plays... maybe use the loft as a sort of tv/office/your work and play area? Plus - the 4th bedroom is smallish - and little kids have big toys.

    I would not choose the loft.

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  38. The loft seems like a natural choice, though. It's perfect for kid stuff without being in the middle of everything. Besides - as she gets older, you won't care as much if she's on the same floor as you.

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  39. I'm all for having a closed door on the playroom- contain the mess! So #1 is probably what I would do.

    That being said, I'm having the same issue with our new house. (GREAT PROBLEM TO HAVE, WOO!) I'm thinking we'll probably have several play 'areas' for her- some toys in her room, a corner of toys in the gigantic living room downstairs that will empty for a long time because we don't have any actual furniture to put in it, and maybe even a few things in the 4th (smaller) bedroom upstairs. That might help with boredom ("HEEEY! Let's go play in your ROOM! Won't that be FUN!!???!") and I like the idea of having somewhere on the main floor for her to play while I'm making dinner or working. Right now, in a split-entry, we're basically one-floor living which has it's bonuses.

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  40. I DON'T KNOW. We use our family room as the playroom, but it works for me because it is off the kitchen, so I can see what Dylan is doing. We use the living room for TV viewing and don't allow toys in it (well there might be one!) Having a bathroom off the playroom might be tempting the fates for toys to find their way into the toilet, etc, but it could be locked.
    Also, we used Craigslist to get some "new" furniture cheap. We got a couch FREE with an ugly flower pattern. Just bought a slipcover and it works!

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  41. Hmm. Looks like we aren't helping you out at all, what with giving you completely different advice at every comment!

    I'd go with the formal living room, personally. I'd want the playroom to be on whatever level I would be spending most of my time.

    The fourth bedroom would be tempting, what with the ability to close the mess away, but with it being so far away? I'd be anxious.

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  42. @Kelli--We actually have a bouncer thing that doesn't have a motor. I bought it before the one you plug in because I thought it would be dandy up on our deck, but it was too big to leave out there and has been sitting in storage. I can guarantee it'll be making a comeback very quickly after we move. Nothing keeps a kid happy better than a little *bounce* *bounce*!

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  43. @My Two Army Brats--HOLY CRAP! I hadn't thought about the launchability of stuff out of that loft. If ever there was a fun place to stand and throw things, that's it.

    I think I'll be keeping that little idea to myself. Heh.

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  44. I have the same model of home you have -- my advice is to keep the playroom OUT of the loft. The sound carries so far in that room. Your whole house will be filled with the noise. My pick would be the bedroom across from hers. I just put a baby monitor in there, turned down low so I can hear what's going on even in another room.

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  45. @Jennifer and @Jen--All of our furniture would fit in one room of that house. The vast emptiness is going to be funny.

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  46. I am partial to the loft - I love the open, bright space. As for it being on a different floor, do you have a video baby monitor? You could out it up to keep an eye on her. But I understand why you might not want to use it.

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  47. @Gina--We don't have a video monitor, but that could be fixed. What the hell, we're going to spend every penny we have on utilities and furniture, we might as well add a monitor to the list.

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  48. Living Room - unless you can ignore every loud noise that you hear from the upstairs. I know lots of people who have used the formal living room as a play room. The fact that it has a door is a huge bonus so you can close off the mess.

    Deadbolt the bathroom, otherwise there will be baby doll baths, getting water for real tea parties and other happenings in that room - lots of mess potential.

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  49. two other thoughts:
    1 - If you use the loft there is a chance the stairs become part of the play area - not so good.

    2 - Use the formal living room/bath as your master bedroom and just give Alexis the entire 2nd floor of the house :) That doesn't mean that their won't be toys downstairs as well.

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  50. @Megan81--Dude, WTH is up with the no foyer thing? Big ol' house and they could save 50 square feet for a foyer? That's REAL high on my things that annoy me (which I ignore because we got such a killer price).

    It totally makes sense that everything would echo from up there.

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  51. @Jennifer--That's not a half bad idea. Sure would save me from ever having to clean a hella lot of house.

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  52. The only one I don't care for is the loft. I envision toys going over the top down the stairs.

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  53. @3carnations--Is there a way to prevent that, even if the playroom isn't up there? I can't seem to get the kid to leave things in their "assigned" room now. Oye!

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  54. I meant literally getting tossed (whether on purpose or by accident) over the top of that rail.

    FYI, I am not a Jennifer. :-)

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  55. I still vote anything with a door that closes.

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  56. you're not going to like my answer. i say the living room, and i also say pick a different bathroom to declare forbidden. then you can make the one in the playroom HER bathroom. you can decorate it all funky, keep a step stool for the sink and stuff in there too so it won't be in the way in your bathroom.
    as for the loft, i say get a chaise and a bookcase- turn it into a reading/media nook.

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  57. @Joes_Love--That actually dawned on me this morning. It would be nice to keep the half bath purdy and only kid-friendly that other one. No more tripping on foot stools and such.

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  58. @JoeyMcIntyreWantstoSexMeUpMcTimberlakeLover--Remember, Joey loves ME best. Don't forget it, yo.

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  59. Bedroom #4 You can always use a monitor to listen to what's going on.

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  60. I'd pick the last choice. I'd want my kid in easy view of the kitchen.
    Growing up we almost always had both a formal and an informal living room. The informal one was the one with all the kid junk, the more beat-up furniture, and a TV. The formal had all the books, nice furniture, and we called it the "quiet room" because a different code of behaviour went with it.
    I hope one day to have that option myself.

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  61. Holy comments, Batman!

    OK. Follow-up after thinking about this all night.

    I agree, loft = projectiles and stair danger for boys, and tomboys.

    Leaning more toward the living room / extra bedroom downstairs. Until, of course, your in-laws move to PA and need a place to sleep. Then, you're screwed so many ways toys are the least of your problems. Oh, digression. Ahem.

    The lack of foyer actually isn't that atypical for that builder. Logic isn't high on their list. Srsly.

    I am going to stick with my above thought that you need 2 rooms. Maybe make the living room her play/toy room and make the tiny upstairs bedroom her art room. Paint a whole wall with chalkboard paint and another with magnet paint to display her beautiful work. Lock the bathroom, good call. And loft - whole family chill with board game room. Done! :)

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  62. Bedroom. It has a door right? Toss the mass amounts of toys scattered THROUGHOUT the house right in there before company and close the door. Problem of not being able to see or hear her? NANNY CAM. She's getting older, you'll want to see her less and less. trust me. ;-)

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  63. @JustMiss--I still like to see her. Truly. Hearing her is a WHOLE other thing. I'm digging that cheap cams don't have sound.

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  64. Hmmm...I like the idea of having a formal living room. Unless you need to have an office somewhere. Do you have an office elsewhere?

    My first thought is to put it in Bedroom #4 and turn the loft into an upstairs tv room or office where you could hang out while she's playing. Of course, her toys would still be upstairs while you were cooking dinner or doing anything downstairs. But it would be perfect when she was just a *leetle* bit older.

    What if you made the upstairs bedroom the main playroom and let a small number of toys stay downstairs in a second family room (formerly the formal living)? You can just lock that bathroom so she can't get in.

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  65. I'd personally go with the loft.

    A) IT's open so even though it's another level of the house, you're going to hear if she hosts said NKOTB reunion.

    B) Learning to be in another place from mommy isn't always a bad thing. During transition, you could offer to hang out more often but then slowly allow her more space. I know that BB loves his downstairs playroom. And to be honest, so do I.

    C) As for decorating, could you decorate below the window/chair rail height? That might be rather fun.

    Love that this is your problem though. At a house plan FireDad and I were just considering, that was our issue as well. Made me giddy!

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  66. The decision seems blaringly obvious (probably because I don't have to live with it). Bedroom #4. Seems to make perfect sense!

    I hear ya about all the decisions. With the construction (gutting) of the new house we have to pick out EVERYTHING. Carpeting, tile, cabinets, toilets, sinks, paint, light fixtures, doors, windows, siding, shingles, countertops, and on and on and on!!!!!! It is madness!!!!

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  67. I love that you all agree. So helpful! ;-)

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  68. I vote for the secluded bedroom #4. It's near her room and away from the rest, so she can make as much of a mess as she likes, you can decorate it whatever crazy way you like... just make it as safe as you can, and check in on here evry now and then.

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  69. If your house is anything like ours, toys are going to end up in the majority of the rooms somewhere anyway but, if I had to choose I'd say bedroom #4. The whole "close the door and don't see it thing" just sounds too awesome.

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  70. Gawgeous pics of the house. Lovin' Alexis in that dress and shewt... I'm leanin' towards 4th bedroom, but that's just me. My SIL made their loft into a playroom and it lasted 6 months before it drove her nanners.

    But, that's just my opinion and we know what that's worth ;-)

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  71. playroom? what is this playroom of which you speak?????

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  72. Thanks, y'all! Decision made. You'll have to wait for the answer until we actually move, though. One month. You can make it!

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  73. Obviously you've not only got a huge response here, but have made a decision already. I'm still putting in my two cents because I can. I'm opting for close to the family. While this is not optimal AT ALL for cleanliness and color factors, I've found that kids choose to play where the adults are. Toy rooms that are in the basement or upstairs are never used.

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