Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nursery Reveal!

It pleases me that blogger is making it's way back up the ranks of my "most visited" tabs. We're making a comeback!
That I've now jinxed. Huzzah.

I'm finally gonna show off my baby's adorable nursery and probably blab a lot about where the things came from and how we came to own them and all that boring stuff. If pictures are more your jam, there'll be plenty of those, so feel free to skim over the words. I won't be offended. Probably.

My lovely baby being lovely as momma figures out the settings on our new Nikon. Our first DSLR! (See, I told you I was going to be blabbing.) We've been subsisting on old point-and-shoots or our camera phones and they just weren't quite cutting it anymore with our wiggle-worm. On a quick note, that lamb up in the corner is one that I remember having as a tiny child. It plays "Mary Had a Little Lamb" a BILLION times when pulled, but being so old, it quickly peters out to just tinkling a note every few minutes. So, in essence, completely creepy. 
The bumper we (I) bought on a whim from Goodwill before we even had an actual crib to put it in. Bell before the bicycle, right?

Speaking of creepy, this lil' gal is another toy that comes from my childhood. Her head is made of porcelain and yet she's made it through countless moves and remains whole and undamaged, which is nothing short of a miracle. She plays "Memory" from Cats and her head slowly moves in a circle. Not demonically around like an owl, that would be horrific, but rather led with the chin, as one would in an exercise warm-up...if that makes any sense. I love her to bits, though. Plus she kind of poses as the Mary to the little lamb from above, so it works.

Grandma Miriam gifted us that baby sign, and she painted it that perfect shade of blue herself! I love that it just happened to match the color scheme that really materialized out of nowhere. I didn't do it on purpose, considering most everything came from what we already owned or purchased from Goodwill.

This is the "fun" corner. Or, rather, it will be when Ander is old enough to really enjoy it. He's already showing interest in that piano book (and Mark has enjoyed playing around with it as well, so double win!) and he loves to lay on the floor, arch his back, and just stare at all the colorful books. The entire Series of Unfortunate Events was gathered over many years at various Goodwills all over the valley. I just recently, as of a couple weeks ago, finally found the last two I'd been searching for, just in time for this photo shoot!
As I mentioned in previous blogs, those letter blocks were made by my parents back when I was a baby and I am just overjoyed to have them for my own child.

I just had to include a closeup of this cute photo-set. Obviously, Ander is in the middle, with Mark on the left and myself on the right. It's my absolute, hands down, favorite shot of baby Mark. While I was pregnant I would hold this photo and just pray that our little guy came out looking exactly like Mark. And boy did I get my wish. I'm just there for good measure, really. In my jammies, holding a tiny kitten. As one does.
And of course, a photo of Andy from the hospital for comparison. In fact, I should probably switch out his photo in the middle since it's from his blessing back in the beginning of September and thus considered outdated. Like watching weeds grow!

And here we have the "where everything happens" station. Sleeping, diaper changes, laundry basket, blankets, the essentials. When Andy was tiny (who am I kidding, he was never tiny), we actually had the rocker in this corner and he would stare up at the large painting and grin like he was the happiest baby in the world. They were some of the first smiles he ever had. I like to think it's "haunted" by a friendly ghost.
Andy's crib was an adventure to come by. We craigslisted for weeks and had an unfortunate run-in with a jerk of a seller, but then it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because right after we lost that crib, this one came up, for cheaper, and it is such a beautiful color and quality make, we much prefer it over the one we were initially going to get anyway!

Best seat in the house. We got these matching blue recliners at Goodwill for $14. Total. They swivel, and rock, and recline, and they're so comfy. I lived in this chair when Andy was born. Slept in it, ate in it (cried in it), it made my life a lot easier. And I actually just bought that cute lamp yesterday at Deseret Industries. I'm seriously an addict, friends. Reference my thrifting post for further evidence.

That quote, "My whole heart for my whole life" got me through many a late night/early morning feeding and/or crying session with some semblance of my sanity. And however sweet the nursery always was, a little bit of added sugar never hurt anyone. /wink
Adorable hedgehog candle courtesy of the best gifter of all time; Allora. It's seriously stressful being her friend cuz you know she's gonna think of the most amazing thing to give you come the holidays and birthdays and you're just sitting here like, "everyone likes rocks, right?" #inadequatefriendisinadequate

So that's where we spend a lot of our time! It's a far cry from the crowded office/storage/baby room we had back in the apartment, and I'm so grateful that we now own this cute home and I've been able to decorate it however I wish. And now I get to do the holidays! We're so excited for Andy's first Thanksgiving and Christmas. He's going ga-ga for real food, so I'm anticipating lots of grabbing at the mashed taters (sweet or otherwise), peas, and giving me the begging eyes for some ham. We'll mash up whatever we can to see how he likes it, but poor guy will hafta forego the meats this year. And we may have a comatose baby come Christmas with all the noisy, crackly wrapping paper he'll inevitably be buried in. He'll be in absolute heaven.
As will mama and daddy. Naturally.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Oxymoron of a Frugal Splurge

This post has been made possible by Ander's new, magical medication for his reflux. Not as in I'm being paid by them, but that he's having a good enough day that I can actually take a second and blog! 'Tis a Thanksgiving miracle! Thusly, I give thanks.

Today, I'll be touching a tad on thrifting! Because I love it and it's been awhile since I've bragged talked about a haul.
Usually, my go-to place is Goodwill for half-off Saturday. But today we took a little detour through the good ole Deseret Industries. Thank goodness we did, for there were some mighty fine gems we would have otherwise missed!

It was basically (another) miracle that I found a compilation of three Mary Higgens novels that I didn't already own. I have 21 of her books already in my library, so I was mightily pleased to get this "three for the size of one" deal. I exhausted the library in middle school and junior high of her stories, devouring every word, so it's fun to collect them now as an adult.
Thomas Paine is a gift for a certain someone come Christmas.
I splurged a little at $3 apiece for the Sherlock Holmes volumes. It's "annotated" which basically just means there are historical factoids and pictures included.

I've been on the prowl for A Thousand Splendid Suns ever since The Kiterunner destroyed my life. It was on one of the last shelves I perused, thank goodness for persistence!
Huggermugger is one of the few board games that I actually have a decent chance at winning. I don't have the rational thought process or multitasking ability to excel at the strategic type, but conversely, no one ever wants to play boring old granny games when we're all together. So now I can coerce Mark into playing with me whenever I want.
Andy obviously can't use it now but the clock book will come in handy when he's old enough to start learning. The gears are functional and it's a fun little rhyme book as well. Not to mention it's a board book so he can't easily destroy it! #bonus
The ball is just for his little learning hands now that he's wanting to pick everything up and put it directly in his mouth, and the other toy is for his carseat now that he's got so much more awake time and does so well with car rides.

He's all about noise and lights, so the animal wheel and little learning laptop will be perfect! The middle toy is actually a crib accessory and has a soft blue light behind the waterfall, with cricket and water sounds.
The most expensive things were those Holmes books at $3, everything else was $2 and under and very gently used. Woot woot!

My advice has always been, as mentioned previously, persistence. This isn't a guaranteed experience. Sometimes I go and only find two books barely worth getting since they're missing their jacket sleeves, or they're perfect for a gift so that's why I buy them, not necessarily for my own personal library.
And I wouldn't really recommend Goodwill as a hotspot for children's toys. It's a crapton of stuffed animals, heavy on the "crap". I have ONE stuffed toy purchased from Goodwill, and it was basically only because I found it with the tags still attached, so I knew it was probably less germ-infested and still in decent condition.
Consistency is another pro-tip. I try to find time to go every half-off saturday, so essentially twice a month. Keeping up on the rotating inventory helps to not feel like I need to dig into every nook and cranny. That way I'm not overwhelmed. No to mention having a regular location. It can be daunting to walk into a tidal wave of other peoples' junk, hoping to find the one perfect item. For Halloween we tried finding a simple white dress shirt that we could really rip up and soak with fake blood and were unsuccessful.
One of the only reasons today's trip was even came remotely close to being the success that it was, came in the form of my best friend Allie. Literally every toy you see above came from her holding it up saying, "isn't this cute?! What about this?" It helped to have someone familiar with my tastes and needs rifling through the messy piles with me. Plus it's just fun to have a shopping buddy, and her daughter is hilarity incarnate, so that's a plus.

And that is the machinations of an addict. I hope it can be somewhat helpful to you if you're in the business of thrifting.

Stay thrifty, my friends.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I've probably been an exceedingly confusing social media friend in regards to our living situation but our house finally closed this week and I finally feel comfortable talking about it.

A general outline of this crap-fest:
-Sold Rialto in the beginning of April
-Moved into Apartment while searching for new place
-Bid on Dobson in June (and had a baby, nbd)
-Lost Dobson to some dude making a business deal
-Dude turns Dobson back over to the market immediately
-Bid again on Dobson and go under contract, closing July 30
-Dude has a massive IRS tax lien filed against him
-Extend closing to September 30
-Closing comes and goes
-Appraisal expires
-Reappraise, resign all our title papers, expect closing beginning of November.
-ANOTHER TAX LIEN. Lose all faith in humanity.
-Close November 3rd anyway and shout praises to the heavens.

It was a hot mess, guys. We nearly bailed probably five or so times. The insane part was finding out about the tax liens the SAME DAY both times we had gone in to sign the title papers, essentially meaning we should get the house.
The silver lining in all of this is that we were able to live in it for the duration of the crap-fest, not to mention the a/c unit went out (whilst I had a tiny newborn in July/August, mind you) and since we were renting that fell upon the seller to fix. We agreed to pay half of a new unit in escrow so as to not get swindled. So now our new place has a shiny new a/c! Just in time for winter! Heh.

But enough of the drama! It is ours, we own it, we love it, let's talk about how cute and lovely it is. I took some before shots waaaay back in June, while I was still pregnant! We had the carpets professionally cleaned, but other than that nothing really needed a lot of work. Also, forgive the warping, I had to use the panoramic setting on my phone to get even somewhat comprehensive shots of the rooms.
Firstly, the front living room. The "front" door is on the left of the picture, however it opens up directly onto Dobson, with maybe 15 feet to the sidewalk, so we mostly use the south door where we actually park the cars.

The previous owners had closed in both the porch area and the carport. This next photo is what we now use as the "movie room" and was the porch. It's on the north side of the house so it stays nice and cool and relatively dim. One downside to these remodels is that they were pretty sub-par quality work. The foundation of this room in particular is off so when it got to monsoon season, we ended up with some minor flooding in that first corner you see. This was also the cockroach room. /shudder

The hall bath. Miniscule and the bathtub is on a bizarrely steep incline. Like, we can't put shampoo bottles on the edge because they'll topple over it's that lopsided.

The master bedroom. All it had to do was fit the bedframe Mark made for us and it duly sufficeth!
There is also a bathroom attached but I didn't get any photos of that at the time.

The second bedroom, now the nursery, is about what you could expect of a spare bedroom.

And the den/office with the only door out to the backyard, where the obvious daylight is pouring in.

Here's a view out that back door/window into the yard. We have many plans for this yard-space, as it is about as bare minimum as it gets at the moment. 

And with a screaming babe, that's all we have time for today. Tune in next time, folks, for the After shots! (aka my excuse for barraging you with pictures of Andy's adorable nursery.)