Both Sides of It
Mommy, Read Me A Story About Death & Destruction

Things That Go Bunk In The Night


Yeeeeesh, what a downer week. Let's talk about...bunk beds!


Or, as Noah calls them, bump beds!

Or or, as Ezra calls them, boo beds! 


(I think he's actually trying to say "big boy bed," since he also refers to underwear as "boo pants.")

So. To recap: I started toying with the idea of moving the boys into a single room last summer, since they seemed to dislike being herding off into separate rooms at bedtime. I even asked you guys about it! And then proceeded to do nothing at all about it whatsoever. Yeah. That's so Raven Amalah.

Of course, just a month later the room-sharing idea was catapulted into Necessity when I got myself all good and knocked up. Ezra had to get out of the crib, and into Noah's room. (The "nursery" room is a postage stamp. If I'm changing Ezra's diaper and Ceiba walks in, it immediately feels all cramped.)

After looking around at all your creative bed-and-bunk suggestions and options, we eventually decided to just go with the traditional bunk-bed route, despite the fact that they fill me with no small amount of terror.

(And also: JEALOUSY. I wanted bunk beds as a kid SO BAD, you guys. Bunks or a giant four-poster princess-pink canopy bed. My mom was like, yeah no, here's a hand-me-down twin frame. I'll let you pick out your own comforter from TJMaxx. Take it or sleep on the floor.)

We "decided" on bunk beds because, well, Noah saw bunk beds at the store and wanted them. Wanted them BAD, SO BAD, as bad as I ever wanted them, maybe even more so, once he learned that after the bunk beds are at your house, you're allowed to take the "no climbing" sign off the ladder

Young mind = BLOWN.

Of course, we happened to be at Pottery Barn Kids at the time, where a nice set of bunk beds cost a nice amount of money, too much money for someone like me who still has nothing but eight-year-old IKEA furniture in her bedroom, combined with a couple stacks of giant plastic storage bins full of off-season clothes that I just push up against the walls and pretend that nobody will notice. Right? You never would have spotted them unless I said something just now. I mean, there's only like seven of them, whatever.

So we kicked off a very long search for inexpensive bunk beds. I voted for IKEA, but I guess some latent primal hunting instincts kicked on inside Jason's brain and he became fixated on trying to find something "nicer" on Craigslist. He would find the elusive solid-wood bunks from a reputable furniture manufacturer! He would track down the perfect set-up and finish! He would outwit that $1,600 retail price! RAWR. GRARR. AND ETC.

So that's how, after about three months of getting beaten to every single available set of second-hand bunk beds in the DC Metro area, we finally brought home some Pottery Barn twin-over-full bunk beds for a mere $200. 

(The only downside was that the previous owner's dog chewed on the bottom rung of the ladder "a little.")



(This is "a little" in Craiglistese, by the way.)

But! Who cares! Not Noah or Ezra, THAT'S for damn sure. 

I guess, taking the travel interruption last week into account, the boys have spent about five full nights with the new arrangement, and it's been stupidly easy. We moved Ezra from crib to bed justlikethat, band-aid style, like "this is your new bed, get in it," and he's been napping and sleeping there ever since. Last night was the first time he needed to be nudged away from the bookshelf and back into bed more than once or twice, while Noah simply scampers up the ladder and is immediately DEAD TO THE WORLD until morning. They don't seem to wake each other up at all, and our nightly battles with Noah over leaving the light on are all but non-existent, now that he has company. 

They've also been -- and this is where I know I sound like I'm totally making shit up -- playing together SO MUCH BETTER over the past few days. Not just playing around each other, but with each other. Noah's treating Ezra more like a playmate than like a nearby lump of play-dough who occasionally bugs him and messes his train tracks up. They're becoming friends. Something that I figured (or at least hoped) would happen eventually, but it really does seem like the roomie nighttime togetherness gave it a really nice little boost. 

There are a couple pain-in-the-ass things, of course -- after putting sheets on the top bunk I vowed to NEVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN, OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE, RAISES FOR THE BABYSITTER AND CLEANING LADY, and it's a little more complicated now to send Noah to his room for I Know You Won't Nap But Oh My God Go Lie Down Or Something You're Killing Me Here Quiet Time when Ezra actually IS napping. And sometimes I miss having Ezra CONTAINED for a little bit in the morning, since he now can come barreling down the hall and start yelling at my sleeping eyelids as soon as Noah is up and opens the door for him. 

And no, no one has fallen out of bed yet. Or horseplayed the other right off the top bunk. YET. I KNOW. I KNOW. JUST HOLD THAT SHIT OFF UNTIL JUNE, WHEN I CAN DRINK AGAIN. 

But so far, the pros outweigh the cons and it's all getting two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.


(I wish I had some better pictures to show you but the lighting in that room seems to be permaset on crappy. Also, our camera has started taking pictures like it's 90 years old in camera years. Which I suppose it kind of is.)


And yes. I totally splurged on the Star Wars bedding. Well, just the quilts and shams, anyway. The sheets and blankets are Plain Shit From Target. And the quilts were on sale! Still cost more than the damn bunk beds themselves, I think, but we can't ALL be mighty Craigslist bargain hunters, Jason. Some of us are still just hysterical nesting pregnant women who are stuck using the same beat-up crib and the same boring unisex crib bedding in the nursery for the THIRD TIME NOW and I'm NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT but if you don't shut up and let me buy Millennium Falcon quilts and R2D2 pillowcases RIGHT NOW I will probably cry. And THEN I will start acting irrational about stuff, 'kay?




Love that Star Wars collection! We have it too -- actually we have two sets of sheets - because after I bought them for our son our daughter was insanely jealous so I had to buy another set. Bad, gender-norming Mommy moment. But all fine now.


That pillowcase brought back memories - I used to have that exact set. And now I want it for my grown-up bed.


Awesome. But beware ...


Oh you saw that already :D


i can't tell you how freakin' happy i am to hear that it is working out for your boys...because that means that THIS WEEKEND, when we switch our kids into bunk beds, that it will go smoothly for them as well. or something like that. thankfully i'm not pregnant and can drink through the entire thing.


I swear to God Ezra and my son are the same person, in pictures at least. Not that they look anything alike, aside from the blond hair and still-kinda-baby-chunky-and-very-pinchable-cheeks. They just have *that* look about them--the one that says MISCHIEF. Love it.


You are so much braver than me. My kid (5 weeks younger than Ezra) is moving out of her crib and into a bed, um never? Especially since she can now open all the doors, but doesn't know that she could probably climb out of her crib. CONTAINED. HAVE TO KEEP THEM CAGE--I MEAN CONTAINED.

Big Gay Sam

Now here come all the bunk bed horror stories.

I had 5 siblings. We all had bunk beds. No one got hurt. 4 of my siblings are brothers and they're all straight.

however several of us did get stuck sliding into the crack between the wall and the top bed. That can be a little discomforting.


That is awesome!

Loretta S.

That was a great ending picture for the post - I almost snorted my coffee! We have two boys - 3.5 and 18 months and they share a room too - since the baby turned a year old - and they are the BEST of friends. My brothers are the closest brothers I've ever seen, and they shared a room forever - which is why I wanted it for my boys. There's something to it - you're right about that.


Try this to cover the previous owner's dog marks...
(If that link doesn't work, search Old English Scratch Cover.) The scratches will be there, but not as noticable.
Nice bunks, cute kids! =)

Heather B

Yep, my 2 girls who are the same-ish age as Noah and Ezra share a room now, too. Same transition, same results = awesome.


As someone who has made the bed in many a top bunk (summer abroad in hostels), you might consider a basic sleep sack. You only have to hook one end of the matress in and just toss the rest of the thing down toward the other end and throw whatever blankets over top. When he gets in, he'll just slide in from the top part. I think they may even have kid sized ones, but they are simple enough to make if you are so inclined. Good luck!


The two pictures of Ezra - next to the lightly-chewed ladder and the last one - kill me. Did you get him to pose with those perfect expressions or is he just some sort of blogger dream child?


Oh I see someone beat me to recommending Old English Furniture Oil/Scratch Cover. The Walnut variety (not the lemon oil variety) will totally cover up those bite marks so you will barely see them at all. They will virtually disappear before your eyes. Great bargain!


Wait. It's THAT easy to get rid of bunk beds on Craigslist? Not that I don't think your bunk bed decision is awesome, but...really? I can get rid of my full over full bunk beds on Craigslist? I mean, my kids would kill me, and my kids would have to sleep on the floor, but it's not like I wouldn't give them a pillow or something.

Can you make the people who buy your bunk bed disassemble it and remove it from your house too?


They are so cute!

And LOL at Raven. Best Zach Galifianakis quote.


The only bedding ever that should go on a top bunk is a sleeping bag.


Stimey - Based on our experience, bunk beds are a HOT commodity on Craigslist right now. Like, Cabbage Patch Kid XBox Kinnect Hot. Maybe because moving to a bigger house isn't as easy an option for families anymore?

And yes, Jason had disassemble the bed and cart it off himself. I did not help, not even one little bit.


We have the same set of beds, same color also purchased from craigslist. Yea for Craig! And we (the parents) also sleep on 10 year old IKEA furniture. The kids totally have the nicest room in the house.

The full is currently in our garage and we are using the twin as a stand-alone bed for our 4 year old son. As soon as our little one turns 2 (in March) though the crib is going away and the bunk beds are going up. Which also means that I get to buy new bedding. Yea! And that the crib is now "free" for us to have a third baby. Double yea!
We do only have two bedrooms though so it is going to get tight in there - at least the furniture looks nice.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

The bunk beds look awesome! And the photos are so cute. Yay for roommates!


I LOVE a good craigslist find! We went that route to get our son (age 9.5 yrs) a loft bed with a full desk underneath for all the homework he's expected to do in 4th grade. And hold all his junk. 9 yr old boys have a lot of junk... we had to disassemble, haul away and reassemble the loft bed, but for $150 it was worth it. But I hear you on making that top bunk, and I admit I don't change his sheets as often as I would if he were in a not-so-high bed. The sheet sack idea is priceless - thank you. Your bedroom furniture is 8 yrs old? That's practically new! *I* am still using the dresser from MY childhood, my husband is using a hand-me-down from his father, and our bed? Is 15 yrs old. Somehow it works, but the kids room are so much nicer. It's the way it goes.


My little sister and I shared a room growing up and we had bunk beds. I honestly don't remember my mom ever changing the sheets- we knew where the sheets were kept and were welcome to change them whenever we wanted to. My favorite sheets had the Carebear Cousins on them, and I think that I went months without changing them because if I did my sisters might get my sheets. I was a weird kid.


Awesome bunk bed! Ezra looks so tiny on that big matress...but very cute!


So great! We're talking about putting both of our girls together in Zoe's room once Ana moved out of her crib. Not because we HAVE to but because we think they would enjoy being roomies.

And... you TOTALLY deserve to buy that bedding. When we had Ana she went into the nursery so there was no redecorating there. BUT I went totally overboard decorating Zoe's new "big girl room". I think it's a requirement for a pregnant woman to redecorate a room.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I forgot to tell you the BEST NEWS EVER.

My cleaning lady will change the sheets if I leave the beds stripped with clean sheets folded on them, the bottom bunks anyway. She is kind of short. I don't think she cares to see the top bunk.

Parsing Nonsense

Way to go, tiny humans! I'm glad the transition went well for you!


I want to say two things:

1. I am so so so happy you're pregnant, and I have thought of it OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY while going about my daily routine.

2. I have a frequent bedwetter in a top bunk, and I am about to LEAP from a CLIFF with the sheet/blanket changes.


a) how much did you have to pay Ezra to pose for the "chewed ladder" photo
b) when did Ezra start looking so much like Noah that it wasn't until someone else's comment that I realized THAT WAS NOT NOAH.

What? Growing up? Stop that, young man!
(props for outwitting the insane pricetag!)


cracking up right now. you are hysterically funny. i love love loved your story above. every single bit of it. what i love most about the story above:

1. the picture of the dog chews and ezra's face

2. how all of this remind me of when my oldest kids were in bunk beds (they are 16 and 18 now) it was a very bonding experience. . .

what i love most about YOU:

you are just like me in many ways and you are NOT PERFECT AND YOU DON'T PRETEND TO BE.

p.s. - you are NOT the only one who has those clear bins in your room w/ last season's clothes in it :+)


kari weber

We routinely do the water proof mattress pad-fitted sheet- waterproof sheet- fitted sheet sandwich. That way if a... uh... accident... happens in the middle of the night (or day!) You just whip one set off and back to bed you go!

Also, maybe just the fitted sheet and a comforter with duvet? Doesn't have to be down if there are allergies. This has made the whole making beds thing at my house WAY easier, because all they do is pull up the comforter. Also, washing is easy, as most are machine washable. I can wash my King comforter in my washer so a twin or full should be no problem!

My husband had bunk beds as a kid, and said the most fun was throwing things at the ceiling fan from the top bunk and watching them fling violently around the room! Good Luck with that!


never fear, I'm sure the ladder doesn't mind that it was chewed on if the boys dont. Teach Noah to change the sheets. My son put his on upside down, I said "didn't you notice the color?" he said he didn't and again, I don't think the sheet minded.


So glad it's working out. Will keep fingers crossed that it continues. Also...nice Clueless quote. ;)


Sent my boy off to college (and his loft bed) with 2 sets of sheets. My SIL thought I was crazy thinking he'd ever change them. Last week he got the pukes and was so sick he threw up on himself in the middle of the night. (Really sick! Not from drinking!) I told him to be sure he changed the sheets in case any got on them. He assured me he "probably" would.

I close my eyes and hope for the best.


(Re: Ezra posing. The kid is a ham. A giant, spiral-cut ham of the highest order. He saw me taking pictures of the ladder and just wandered over like, "the hell you doing? I'm over HERE, you know." And that was the end of me taking pictures of the ladder, because TA-DA! IT'S THE EZRA SHOW!)

(He's sort-of figured out how to take self-portraits on the iPhone. God save us all. The kid has already mastered the Myspace Angles.)


I wouldn't worry too much about spending the money for the comforters. They'll probably be into Star Wars for a while so they'll be worth every penny by the time you get rid of them. Plus, I'm sure the new baby will also eventually want to use them!


Good to know! I have two girls three years apart and was wondering when--if ever--they could share a room. Right now they are 3 and 4 months and the baby is still up a bit at night but eventually it would be nice. Glad to hear that they actually wanted to do it!


Oh man, do I want that Star Wars bedding for my kids. *sigh*
It is true that the older kids start seeing the younger kids as playmates more when they share a room. Once we moved our youngest into the room with his two older brothers (yes, we have three boys sharing a room, question our sanity if you must), they started interacting more as peers than lord and peasant.


My six year old twins have slept in a bunk bed since they were three. No problems. (The top bunk does have a guard rail.) Then just the other day they and their three year old sister were playing up on the top bunk and she pushes the six year old off. He must've been totally unprepared/caught off guard. He landed on his head (!!!) and got a concussion. So... beware! I think they're great for sleeping, but BEWARE of having a bunch of siblings/friends/whatever up there playing.

Suzy Q

Cuteness explosion - KAPOW!


I just have toss this in: my boys (5 and 2) both wind up in the top bunk. Every single night the little one crawls up into bed with his big brother. The cuteness of the two of them snuggled together every night just about kills me, especially since the 5 year old informed me that he sleeps next to the ladder so brother "can't fall out."


Your stories are always so funny, and then you throw in some esoteric quote that just makes me snort. It always does. Also, I just made my husband watch "Clueless," and while he is a connoisseur of teen movies from the 90's (and "Drumline"), he was unable to understand the glory of it. It was sad times.


This mom of 3 boys and lover of bunk beds will teach you how to make festive lights out of used (!) shotgun shells and cheap strings of xmas lights and then your boys' rooms will be all set! No kidding, it's my best Redneck Martha Stewart project and in about 5 years they'll totally be ready for it. Even my Asperger's (very sensory) kid luvs them.

You're the queen of your house (I'm writing while my guys watch Women Out Of Control on TruTV and howl)


love it.
my 4 year old has the same marshmallow hot cocoa shirt and tries to wear it every day and i think it's the cutest thing ever. (also has the puppy pjs)

you crack me, my friends and my sister up on a regular basis. i was at disney with my sister and we checked your blog on her phone to find out the gender of #3.

also, maybe i've seen clueless too many times and assimilated its quotes into my everyday speech, but I can't pick out the quote.


1) ZOMG, I totally had that sheet set as a kid!

2) I'm with you on being jealous of the bunk bed. My brother was many, many years younger, so I was never, ever getting a bunk bed, and we couldn't afford a princess bed. BUT, my invisible friends Sara (the uber-good one) and Lisa (the not-so-nice one) (NOPE, No personality issues here) slept on DOUBLE bunk beds above me. That was as cool as I could get.

So happy the transition was easy!!!


$200 for the bunkbed? Jason is clearly blessed by the Craigslist gods. How long do think it'll be before the oys are launching themselves off the top bunk/ladder?

My kid's a jumper, so bunks are out in house.

Olga @ MangoTomato

I have a twin sister and we've always, always, ALWAYS wanted bunk beds. Alas, it did not happen...and now we live in different cities, not to mention we are in our early 30ies ;)


Not sure if this is a repeat or not (since I didn't have time to read through the comments), but! I have fixed many a doggie chew-mark on wooden furniture by rubbing brown shoe polish into the chewed up area, letting it sit for a few minutes and then wiping off the excess with a damp cloth. My dog, Steve, is a total jerk and I thought he had ruined my bookcase, but the shoe polish made it look basically like new (except when you look really close you can still see the gouges a bit). So glad your boys love the bunk beds! :)


wood stain would improve those chew marks or as I do- use brown permanent marker and fill in the bite marks!!!

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