The camera isn’t working. Significance: We’re losing precious moments of Seabass cuteness. WHAT DO WE DO?!????
Don’t worry – we’re working on it. (I should say Dad is working on it. Do I have time to hunt down long-lost warranties and tinker with the delicate innards of a digital camera? Ha! No.) In the meantime, how about we take a tour of the room where I spend about 40% of my time these days? This way to the nursery!
Let me just start by saying that we are not rich. (RANT: Remember the days when two people with college degrees from good schools got wonderful jobs and didn’t have to worry about money? Not so anymore. Welcome to San Luis Obispo, California, where the weather’s impeccable, the community, inviting, and where well-paying jobs and cheap homes are near-mythological.) We knew we had to keep things cheap if we wanted a nursery with any kind of charm, so I turned to a terrific website called Oh-Dee-Doh. Their focus is on real people who decorate spaces for their children with spunk and ingenuity. One nursery, called “Charley Mae’s Modern Eclectic,” was the inspiration for our li’l Seabass’ nest. I loved the hunting and fishing theme, the crispness of the colors and the use of vintage and homespun elements alongside modern pieces.
So I kinda copied it a lot.
For instance, Jake made a foam core buck head (from a pattern on the www) and covered it in fun patterned paper. And I took a photo of a seabass using it as a template for this simple trophy fish.
I also admired the bird mobile in the Oh-Dee-Doh nursery, so I found a pattern for that and made it all out of scrap fabric and sticks from our yard. It hangs over Seabass’ bed and sometimes I catch him watching it turn. I love that something so functional and adorable was absolutely free!
As for the furniture in C’s nursery, I had to work some Craigslist magic. The crib was originally $395, but we got it from a nice woman in Paso Robles for a mere $65 because it was missing hardware and had scratches where its last inhabitant munched on it as a teething aid. With a little help from my handy dad, we got the hardware squared away while a little soap, water and elbow grease took care of the teeth marks.
The glider and ottoman were $10 on Craigslist because a young mom in Los Osos was tired of looking at the formula stains on the upholstery. Ten bucks: are you serious? Don’t mind if I do! With the help of a staple gun, a sewing machine and some cheap gingham, I was able to reupholster that bad boy to be good-as-new.
The dresser/changing table was definitely the most challenging of the furniture pieces. I loved its height and the shape of its legs, but it was from the home of a serious smoker. After scrubbing/primering/painting the whole thing to eliminate the smell and replacing some of the hardware, I feel that the $65 we paid was a little steep for all the work that went into it. I still love how it looks, though.
Other than a floor lamp and a shaggy brown rug, the rest of the room is comprised entirely of furnishings we already owned: A cheap standing bookshelf from Ikea years ago; concert posters for the bands My Morning Jacket and Calexico that I’d had framed for Jake; a pretty white shelf my dad made me for an apartment in San Francisco; mirrors in the shape of New Zealand’s two islands from our travels abroad; and a “howdy” wielded from barbed wire by a friend of my brother’s. It felt good to find a home for these things that hadn’t fit in anywhere else in our tiny home.
When all was said and done, I truly fell in love with this room. But there was still something missing: a night light! I found the dachshund night light from the Oh-Dee-Doh nursery online, but it was out of our price range. (Meaning: it was more than four dollars.) So I put it on C’s registry as one of only a few non-practical items (along with the Billy Bob teeth pacifier – I mean, come ON) hoping that someone would indulge us. Two baby showers came and went, but no night light.
Then, on the day we came home with C from the hospital, we walked gingerly, nervously, to our front door with the little dude in his infant car seat and found a package from Oma on the doorstep. The night light! “It’s Seabass’ first birthday gift,” she told me on the phone. Once again, hooray for grandmas! At last, our sweet nest for the baby was complete.