Before assembly. Dad already made a bunch of modifications at their house- which I'll show below- but it's essentially a bunk bed :)
This is the rail that is on the wall-side of the bed, you can only see the other side of it in the photos below.
Frame is up- this is almost all just the 'original' bed.. BUT with some special things! The plate on the front has "Emma Hope Cornish" carved in to it. This is a bunk bed, the kind that has 2 stackable twin beds. But... My dad took the 4 corner posts off the bottom bunk and made 4 new posts, stained to match, that were 8" longer. He also made the single horizontal bar between the two beds. This raised the top bunk 8" so that Mike and I can easily sit down on the bed and get Emma from the far back corner without banging our head or killing our backs :) Also, Dad (and Mom!) made the rail that goes on the side against the wall. This 'fills the gap' between the wall and mattress. It's the entire length of the bed and is removable (you can see the metal brackets holding it on- you just have to lift it to get it off but it's a tight fit). Mom took a large piece of mesh and bound it, then they put two thin strips of wood over the mesh the length of the rail and screwed through that to keep the mesh in place.
Brianna, standing in Micah's crib, watching the men work :)
Emma in her crib- you can see how TALL she is in that crib. She could easily lean over and fall out of it but hasn't figured that out yet! THANK GOD!!
Emma's first time in her new bed! This is with the side 'down' most of the way so it acts just as a crib rail would. It would keep her from falling out while laying down, but not from climbing or falling out when intentionally trying to do so :)
A view from the inside out- with the side up!
And here's the view from the outside... The side is made from canvas and mesh. It's one solid piece of mesh with 4 'pockets' of canvas, and all framed in canvas. The pockets each contain a hollow, lightweight metal pole. On the end away from the wall, there are holes in an extra piece of wood that's attached on the inside of the frame, and the pole has a 'stopper' on it to just get inserted into the hole. The side by the wall (on the right in the photo below) has an extra piece of wood attached the height of the bed as well which has a 'slit' in it for each pole end to be inserted into. Then there's a metal piece that rotates over the pole to keep it in place.
The bed has the ability of having a top bunk, but for airflow reasons we've decided to keep the top bed off since we don't need it right now and we'd need to put an additional fan in the room if we covered the top (we already do this for Brianna in the other room since she's on the bottom bunk there) because we have ceiling fans and the bottom bunks get hot.
Here's some monkeys scaling the bed... no need for a ladder... and yes, Brianna can climb it all! UH OH! (notice Micah getting away on the left... he sees an unattended room he could mess up! That's K and B's room and you can see the end of their bunk beds)
This front piece that secures Emma into the bed can all be removed, and it's just a bunk bed that the top bunk has been raised on. This makes it easier to change the sheets! We can adjust the height of the side by securing more or less poles, but we would probably want to replace whatever the top pole would be with a heavier one so if she pulled to stand on it there would be no question of durability-- right now she can't grab the poles to stand up as long as it's secured all the way up. The lightweight poles do have some give in them, though. These were $1.50 poles vs. the $15 poles... but very simple to replace in the future.
Also, the top pole and the one that's 1-up from the bottom both have a screw on either end holding the canvas to the metal pole so that it doesn't slide. Just by removing those 4 screws we can remove the 4 poles and wash the entire side piece.
So... there you have it! My dad has said he'd be happy to share the plans with anyone if there are others that would like to build their own. The bed started at $500, the mesh was approximately $50, the lumber and screws and such another $100 or $150. All together, roughly $700 and a LOT of man (and woman!) hours. The mattress was one we already had.
One more thing... I've been asked why we didn't just do a mattress on the floor for now for Emma or leave her in the crib longer. The crib is an easy answer. She's 6 1/2! She's 3' tall! She's maxing out the crib's size limits and doesn't have the ability to move around very freely... as well as banging her head on the side rail which is not just annoying, but can't be good for her head either.
The mattress on the floor... well, she gave us a very good demonstration of what she would do if given a mattress on the floor right after she tried out her new bed. We set her on the floor in her room and she immediately laid on her back and went UNDER Micah's crib. Then got stuck. Emma has no sense of danger, fear, and she has not begun to understand that because you say not to do something once, it means she shouldn't do it at ALL. This is not even CLOSE to being understood! So for her safety as well as the other kids' safety- with her being 'loose' in the room and grabbing them through the crib rails, etc... we knew she needed to continue to have boundaries in where she can be, especially unsupervised at night.
There you go... the long awaited adaptive bed for right around $700!!