Category Archives: remodeling

lilu’s nursery tour

Planning a nursery for your first child is pretty silly business. I know I fantasized about diapering her on the changing table and tucking her all swaddled in to the crib. I bust out laughing just thinking about it because here we are, just 6 months in, and I don’t use the changing pad, crib, or swaddles anymore. My little girl is growing up faster than I ever imagined. Thank goodness we are having more babies!


Here is a reminder of what we started with:

Nursery starting point


And here it is today, all tricked out:

Napping in the Nursery
Don’t mind Lilu, she’s just taking a nap.



Decorated shelves
Top shelf: Hamtaro Adam gave me in college, a book from my Children’s Lit class “How We Live In Tokyo”, Lilu’s goldfish wash poof from my sister-in-law, a polka-dotted toucan from Loren, a wooden frog rattle from Glen, and a pumpkin I brought back from Japan for Adam.

Bottom shelf: A piece of coral I filched from my father-in-law, a treasure chest I gave to my mother when I was young, a starfish Adam gave me in Tarpon Springs, a blue sake bottle, a conch shell that was my mother’s, a cute card I picked out when I first wanted a child, and a ceramic shell I painted in preschool.


Changing station
The diapering station has a cloth wipes warmer and other assorted booty booty. We used a picnic utensil organizer from Target to hold toiletries and nighttime cloth diapers. The flower is a battery votive I got as a gift in college, the shells were my mom’s collection, and the littlest jar holds beach glass I gathered in Bermuda. The party dress was a gift from our friend Ilylia all the way from Malaysia. It has the prettiest mother of pearl buttons up the back.



Mini Bloom crib
Her little crib.



Handmade Quilt
Her handmade quilt from my college friend, Lissa. One of the greatest treasure in the room!



Lilu on the futon
Uh-oh she’s up. Better hurry! The icebucket in the corner holds toys, the ottoman hides her humidifier, and the futon is great for playing, sleeping, and changing. (More on that later.)


Reading area
We put this little bookshelf in the closet because I know she will be a great reader like her mom and dad. All of these books were either gifts or from our own childhood bookshelves. The cloud box is something I used in my Japanese dorm and holds coloring supplies. My friend Sachi sent the cute kokeshi doll, the start of a fine collection since I think I will get her one every year. I love them. :)


Packed closet!
And of course, her packed little closet. I love the wood hangers. They keep her onesies much neater than the heap of sleepers we have in her drawers.


Well that’s it and I wouldn’t change a thing!

50/50: set up the nursery

I’m due tomorrow! Time to set up the nursery! Yes, we are crazy. :/ lol But the baby hasn’t come yet so I get some extra time to get things done.


I’ve been having contractions every 30 minutes for 2 days, so I’m hoping this is labor starting up! Otherwise my doctor wants to induce on the 25th, which I am trying to avoid like the plague. Come on little Lilu! We are (pretty much) ready for you!

48/50: paint the nursery

We actually bought the paint for this room last year. Really. It’s the paint + primer from Behr. The color is Spa in Flat Enamel. I actually have everything picked out for this room, just like this paint, I just need to put it all together. I hope it looks the way I’m imagining, because we don’t have time for any do-overs!


We use a special painting technique to get super straight, crisp paint lines, which I found out about on Making It Lovely. It works like a freaking charm. It does take a lot of time, but it is totally worth it!



Nursery being textured



Nursery inside

47/50: set up the nursery closet

We need a new shelf, a cover for the pipe rod (yes, it’s actually a pipe), then we’ve got to sand, patch, and paint. This is also where our server, router, and security system are hooked up, so those have to be neatened up as well. Can’t wait! (I seriously can’t; I’m about to burst.)


Nursery closet starting point


The nursery closet After -- right

44/50: our last date night before baby

Today is my husband’s 30th birthday. Unfortunately we were too busy to drop everything and go all out for it. L My father-in-law came over to finish the kitchen. He got all the toekicks and trims on, so THE KITCHEN IS DONE!


Kitchen is DONE!!

And as a surprise, my mother-in-law also came over to help us clean up. She made our bed, did the dishes, straightened up, and even MOWED THE LAWN.

Adam's mom mowing the lawn

Yeah. Totally awesome.


Adam's 30th Birthday

I love my in-laws!


Later that night, I took Adam to the movies. He always talks about going to the movies, but I’m not much of a film person and it’s expensive, so we hardly ever go. But for his birthday? I can make an exception.


We saw the last Harry Potter, and it was surprisingly good.  (I say surprisingly because while I usually enjoy the heck out of these movies, Deathly Hallows Part 1 was boring and more than a little convoluted.) We had a dinner of hotdogs, sodas, and popcorn, and I later ate a little pepperoni pizza because I was still hungry. :3 It was really great and makes me want to go out on more movie dates. That said, I can’t wait for Breaking Dawn to come out! I love me some crazy vampire hussies! :F

34/50: choose new doorknobs

Our house has those standard brass knobs from the 90′s. I really hate them! So we’re getting brushed nickel ones that match the kitchen hardware. We’re getting the lever type, too, since I will have a baby in my arms and can open this type with my elbow. :)

7/50: clean up for kitchen work

My FIL is coming over tomorrow to work on the kitchen, so I need to clean up and take out the trash. Mostly I just need to organize the tools, wipe down the bathrooms, and vacuum. Adam usually does this stuff, but he suddenly came down with a cold. He’s even staying home from work today. :( We have our one and only birth class on Sunday, which I still need to prepare for, but I’m hoping he will have beaten this bug by then.


Anyway, here’s our kitchen progress so far:

Kitchen - left side cabinets

Kitchen - ride side cabinets

We still need to put a few more of the cabinets in. After that, we’ll install the counter tops. We have to do that before we can add doors, drawers, and all the stuff that belongs in them. (You know, the stuff currently filling up my nursery.) I’m so excited!

nothing says happy birthday quite like…

Cabinets. That’s right, slowly but surely, they’re going up! Happy 27th birthday to me!


The boys using good ole Ikea picture instructions.

Adam and his dad, building drawers


The cabinets were going in nice and level at that point, but it took a lot to get them there. First we had to tile the floors underneath the cabinets. We could have used another type of filler, but this was a cheap and easy solution.


OMG more tiling


Second, we noticed the walls were very uneven, to the point that they would definitely throw off the alignment of the countertop.


Not lining up


In order to fix this, the boys cut the portion of the drywall that butted up against the cabinet. Eventually they were able to get it perfectly straight. We were lucky that this was only a problem for the sink cabinet, because it was very time consuming and messy. If it were an end cabinet, we might have had to repair the drywall cosmetically, which would have taken up even more time. Considering that I’m already 30 weeks, we are cutting it close as it is!

we have doors!

A loooooooooooooooong time ago, Adam decided to replace the pocket door that leads to the hallway. Sounds simple right? Except that it was caulked in, and then someone drilled a thermostat through it. (Lesson: Nothing is ever easy in this house!!!)


Adam uncaulking the pocket door
Adam took out the thermostat and put it on the other side of the A/C in the hallway, & cut the caulk with a box cutter. Success!



But then the door was stuck. It had to come out, it was riddled with holes and had nails in it. Plus it’s that wonderful hollow style door that was so chic in the 60′s.


Here’s a video of Adam busting in the door, and almost busting his ass!


He eventually did kick the door in, but once we saw what was behind the molding, we decided to redo all the moldings in the house.



Which brings us to our story of the doors. You see, in our house, the only thing holding up the door frames were the moldings. So when we took the molding down, all the doors, frames and all, came toppling down. We have been living without doors since June 13th of 2010. That’s 3 days shy of a full year!! That’s why I’m so excited about a few doors!


We decided to harvest the nursery door and turn it into our new pocket door. Adam did this by adding wheels to the top. He got the wheels online. We then replaced the nursery door with a 15 lite french door.
New Doors

I feel like this makes so much more sense. We can close off that section of the house and the french door makes the hallway much more welcoming. Plus we can peek in on Lilu whenever we want without actually going into the room. :) I am so glad we did this!