Back before I had a baby, I put a certain amount of importance on home decor. I agonized over throw pillow choices, spent over a year selecting our bedroom curtains and stopped using my favorite shampoo because they changed the packaging to something that looked ugly in our shower. The amount of thought I put into designing Mazzy's nursery is borderline embarassing. I carefully selected every item— from the crib to the mobile to the knick-knacks on the bookshelf to the upholstered storage ottoman that was going to make sure every toy had a home. I loved the end result and for a few months the nursery existed as a lovely little oasis in our often overcrowded two bedroom apartment. But more recently, my "perfect nursery" has met the hard realities of having AN ACTUAL BABY. A baby who's armed with an agenda I call: PROJECT NURSERY TAKEDOWN.

PROJECT NURSERY TAKEDOWN began when Mazzy first learned to stand. The bookshelf had to be rearranged for safety purposes. For the safety of the child or for the safety of the items, I am not sure.

The next strike involved the large mirror hanging over the changing table. Mazzy started kicking it. Harder and with more of an intent to destroy each time. To retaliate, we decided to better anchor it to the wall. Blah blah blah tool fix-it construction stuff and now there is a golf-ball-sized hole where the mirror used to be. The baby officially won that battle.

The next blow came when the weather turned cold and we started wearing jeans. What can jeans do to harm a nursery? Well, when jeans are worn on a cream color cotton twill glider chair, the dye rubs off into the fabric and creates a big blue mess. Kinda like The Cat in the Hat just paid you a visit. You can wash the fabric but it will happen all over again so now we have a white sheet lying over the whole thing like it's dead body waiting for burial; our third casualty in the baby war.

And then a few nights ago, my beautiful handmade (not by me) mobile had the misfortune of falling on Mazzy while she slept. Mazzy was fine but by the time I arrived on the scene, she had crumpled and chewed that mobile like it was breakfast. I hung it back up, but it's clearly suffered some significant wounds.

And finally, there's "The Barrage of Toys". Everytime you put the toys away, Mazzy is back with a vengeance tearing every toy in reach off the shelves. I used to put everything back at the end of the day but after the zillionth time, I threw up my white flag and left it all there. And each day since, Mazzy's curiousity increases, her reach gets higher, and the devastation grows.

The nursery isn't the only room that's been effected by the baby. Mazzy's largest weapons are housed in our living room. Weapons like the Wheely Bug, the Woodpecker Baby Walker, Rody the Inflatable Hopping Horse, and the infamous Jumperoo. Her ultimate goal, I'm convinced, is to wipe the entire room from existence and to open a Gymboree franchise in it's place. To top it off, Grandma, aka Mazzy's First Lieutenant, has informed me that she is getting a mini-kitchen for Mazzy's 1st birthday. I've seen those things— they've got more counter space than my own kitchen— and they are terrifying.

Speaking of the kitchen counter, more than half of it has been taken over by bottles, suction cup bowls, cans of rice cereal, Playtex drop-ins, and Medula pump and save bags. If you want to use the toaster, you have to build a baby paraphernalia pile to the right of the sink to open the door.

Even the dining room table hasn't escaped Mazzy's path of destruction. The modern bowl I finally settled on as a centerpiece is now filled with squeeze bags of Ella's Kitchen baby food. Plus the high chair blocks the coat closet and the area in front of the washer/dryer has been repurposed as "The Stroller Parking Lot". Sometimes I look around our apartment and am momentarily confused because I think I have mistakenly stumbled into the stock room of a Buy Buy Baby.

Before I got pregnant, I had dreams of buying a new couch but knew it was a silly thing to do right before you started having kids. Now I treat our old couch like it's my last soldier standing in the baby war zone. No matter how many toys surround it, I always make sure it's pillows are perfectly fluffed, the throw is folded just so and the back is squared perfectly with the wall. It's a minor victory but at the moment, it's the only one I've got.