Archive for May, 2012

Something crazy is happening. We’re buying a house. I know we’ve been looking, so not really that crazy, but the way it happened took us totally by surprise.

A few weeks ago we saw a house we really liked, and for the first time I could picture our lives there. People told me I’d get the “this is the one” feeling, and with this house I did. It was a HUD home, so the bidding process is pretty different than a privately owned home, or even a bank-owned foreclosure. Last Thursday at midnight was the bid deadline, and by the afternoon of the next day they announce who won the bid. The simply take the highest bid, no negotiations.

Unfortunately our bid did not win. We were extremely disappointed because it felt like our home, and now someone else was going to be living in our home. But it is what it is, and we wrote it off, and started looking again immediately, assuming it just wasn’t meant to be. We’d find something else.

Then yesterday our realtor called. We got the house.

We have no idea how or why it happened, but the original buyer fell through, and we were the backup bid. We were completely shocked — we had no idea that could even happen. And we’re thrilled, so thrilled. Of course there is much to happen before we close and move in, but as long as all goes well, we’ll be in our new house this summer.

Let me tell you a little about it. First, it’s not in the city, which is where I wanted to be. Technically it actually is, but it’s far enough out that it feels like the suburbs to me. That was not my ideal situation, but I loved the house so much, it didn’t matter. It’s two stories: living room, family room, large kitchen, half bath and a three-season porch on the first; four bedrooms and a full bath on the second. The basement is large, and half of it is finished, while the rest is laundry and storage space. It has a big back yard and, wait for it, an in-ground pool. A pool was definitely not on our wish list, but our dream home happens to come with a pool and we’ll take it. I actually think my family is more excited about that than we are — I’m pretty sure we’ll have company everyday in the summertime.

We are so excited and feel so lucky. When things get more official, we’ll share pictures. Yay!


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For awhile I was one of those superstitious types who believed if you start planning for a baby, it’ll never happen. You have to pretend like it’s not gonna happen, then the world will surprise you. But after a few sessions of counseling and some other efforts to change my attitude toward the whole want-to-be-parents struggle, I decided it was ok to start operating like it was going to happen. Because it is. One way or another I’ll be a mother and Mike will be a father, and why not start doing some fun things to plan for it.

My first big move in that direction was to start thinking about a baby’s room. We’re not into a big Nursery Makeover thing, but we would like to provide a nice space for a future child. I wasn’t really going for a theme (I hate the question, “what’s the theme?” in regards to nurseries. Theme? The theme is sleep/cry/poop I guess.), but we do sort of have a thing with elephants and giraffes. My favorite animal has always been the elephant, and Mike has been called “my giraffe” since I met him. So that has unofficially moved it’s way into baby world. For instance, after discovering my first pregnancy (the ectopic, if you’re just joining us), Mike bought a set of bibs with giraffes on them and I bought a pair of baby pjs with elephants.

So anyway, recently my great grandmother moved into a new home and had to downsize her belongings. Among the knick knacks, I snagged an old clothes hamper covered in roses.

Everyone else passed it over, and I nearly did too. But then I had an inspiration. Recover it in cool fabric for a baby’s room! And my first nursery project was born. I looked around online and selected this fabric:

I decided if we were going to do elephants and giraffes, they had to be kind of classy. I call it classic whimsy. And this fabric fit the bill. It’s whimsical with the flowers and mushrooms and elephants helping them to grow with their trunks. But it’s classic in that it doesn’t look too childish nor too mature. Plus it had dark colors that would show the old pattern through.

First I removed the hamper lid with a screw driver, making sure to keep all the hardware nearby.

Then I wrapped the new fabric around the front of the hamper to the back. It wasn’t long enough to wrap all the way around, but luckily there was a board in the back I could easily staple into.

I didn’t bother making it look pretty in the back since it’ll be against a wall. But I just pulled the fabric taut and stapled all the way down on both sides. Then I flipped it on its head so the part that is normally on the floor was in the air. And I pulled the fabric taut and stapled all the way around, making sure to staple over creases and folds at the corners.

Once it was all stapled, I cut off the excess fabric. Then I laid it back down and got ready to staple the fabric at the top. I had a little help from Lennie on that one.

I also had to recruit Mike at this point. Because of the awkward angles, I couldn’t hold the fabric in place and also use the staple gun. So I held and he stapled. We just stapled to the inner rim of the top of the hamper. It was plastic instead of wood, which made it more difficult, but we figured it out.

Next I tackled the hamper lid. This part was tres easy. I just measured the fabric, place the lid in the center and pulled up from the middle on each side. I placed a staple on each side, then worked my way around, being careful to pull taut and staple down any pleats at the corners.

Once I finished the whole thing, I had to reattach the lip to the hamper with hardware I had kept handy.

And here is the finished product, open for business.

And for comparison:


I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. I love the fabric and the colors. It’s the perfect start to a future baby’s room. Right now it just sits in our spare bedroom, which will be the baby’s room if we have/get one while we’re still living here.

In the meantime, I’ve been scoping out and pinning other classic whimsy fabrics for when I get inspired to do my next someday-we’ll-have-a-baby project. Curtains? A pillow? Maybe even a blanket?

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