the land down under: basement progress

G’day, mates! Prepare yourselves some vegamite sandwiches: we’re headed to the land down under.

What’s that, you say? You would like a little theme music for the journey? Oh, alright:

If you recall, for the first month of life in our new house, we were living it up in this colorful craziness:

During that time, we became very closely acquainted with the ugliness of our basement. Need I remind you that teeny tiny babies eat all the time, and our teeny tiny baby liked to take for.ev.er. to eat. Not complaining (I’ve actually felt super blessed by how well the whole nursing thing has gone), just explaining that I did a whole lot of staring at those rainbow walls.

This fact, coupled with our plans to renovate the basement into a studio apartment that we can rent out for a while, led us to put the basement at the top of our priority list. Even though we want to get things done as soon as possible, we also want to make sure that we’re wise with how we spend our money (meaning lots of quotes and planning) and that we don’t rush into anything we’ll later regret. So basically, while we have been “working” on the basement, we’re just now getting to the point where that work is actually visible.

We first started with the half bath that’s off the kitchen (you can see the door to it in the left corner of the picture above). Obviously, in order for someone to want to live here, we’re thinking they would like a place to shower.

So…ta-da!

Actually, this part of the renovation really did feel almost that easy. Although Zach has some plumbing experience (so far in this house he has replaced a toilet, faucet, and all the kitchen appliances), we figured that since we were adding something completely new, it would be better to let the pros handle it.

The plumber pulled the permits, added the shower and a sink, and also added a line for the stackable washer/dryer that will be located right outside of the bathroom.

So we went from this:

and this:

To this:

and this:

Yes, I know these updates aren’t so exciting in terms of basement beautification, but I’m sure whoever lives here will appreciate having them!

Next up, the kitchen!

nursery progress(ish)

So, this little guy is about to turn a whopping 6 months old!

(Picture stolen from my talented mother-in-law’s Facebook page. :) )

Needless to say, it’s high time I gave you a little nursery tour. So, let’s get this show on the road! Presenting…Hudson’s nursery!

I know, you’re impressed. We’re high style around these parts.

Yes, baby boy is still living it up in a Pack n’ Play at the end of our bed, despite the fact that he’s basically in kindergarten. As a side note, I paid $25 for the Pack n’ Play at a yard sale, and had mixed emotions at the time ($25 is more than I’m used to shelling out during our Saturday morning adventures). Thankfully, I can happily report that it may have been the best $25 I’ve ever spent. Since it really is his entire nursery set-up for the time being, we have loved all of the extra bells and whistles that came with this one, and have really used pretty much everything. We also like that the taupe and blue color scheme fits right in with the rest of the house.

Ok, so I guess I have some explaining to do. You may remember from the before pictures that there’s a slight mold issue in Hudson’s room. (Not an ongoing problem, but we obviously need to repair the walls before we move a baby in there.) You may also remember that we’re working on converting the basement into a studio apartment that we’re hoping to rent out. So, income potential is trumping cute baby room for the time being. Thankfully, Hudson pretty much sleeps like a champ, so it hasn’t been a big deal to have his crib in with us, and it’s actually made things pretty convenient.

All of that being said, you know I’m dying to start making a special place for our little man. So, in lieu of a full-blown nursery tour, I thought I’d give you a peek into some of the things I’ve been pulling together for his room.

The obvious place to start is the crib. I had pretty much decided on this one from Wal-Mart, but hadn’t purchased it because it would’ve just been sitting in a box taking up space. I also scanned Craigslist every once in a while in hopes that something just as nice but less expensive would turn up.

One day during my browsing, I found an ad that said:

This is a solid wood white crib with a slight distressed antique finish. It is heavy! It is an expensive crib- we paid over $1000 for it. The brand is Morigeau-Lepine.It does have a pull-out drawer. (I edited some stuff out since it was long, but you get the idea.)

After looking at the pictures, I was sort of excited (it definitely fit the style I was going for), but the ad didn’t have a price. The lack of price didn’t scare me, but the whole, “We paid over $1000 for it,” line definitely did. In my experience, people who like to tell you how much they paid for something generally want a pretty penny. Nevertheless, I shot off an e-mail just to check.

I was thrilled when the response I got went something like this:

The crib is free! We have been blessed by it and would like to bless someone else with it.

Yes, really.

So, of course I started babbling like crazy to Zach about how crazy amazing it was and how he had to go pick it up right away. (Thankfully, he didn’t mind. Free is one of his favorite words. :))

So, here it is in all its disassembled glory:

I love that it has a similar styling to the Pottery Barn Harper crib that I loved but wasn’t going to pay for, and it actually works even better with the other elements in the room thanks to the distressed finish. God is a pretty awesome provider like that.

Other fun details:

Our amazingly perfect crane mobile that the teachers at school made during our shower:

Furry friends (dog and bear from sweet friends of ours, elephant bought with my Christmas money last year because I couldn’t resist):

Curtains (I love the classic look of buffalo check, and the blackout lining on the PB Kids drapes is awesome. I was super excited to find these on ebay, and I especially love that the style name is the same as Hudson’s BFF. :))

Obviously, I’ll share more pictures once everything is set up, but for now, it’s fun to start pulling things together.

And with that, I’ll leave you with one more baby picture: