Thursday, August 4, 2011

Crawl space discoveries

Unlike Tuesday's post which I wrote from an 88 degree office, today's post comes from a comfortable 76 degree office. After over 72 hours without AC it finally got hooked back up today, which was a welcome relief. We could get our AC reinstalled because the patio installation also officially ended today when the workers returned to seal the concrete. The patio installation should have ended on Wednesday, but some Wednesday rain set us back another day. All in all, the process went much more smoothly than I anticipated, despite being without AC during a Washington area humid August. So, I'll share how we settled on a concrete patio and post some patio pics once we can walk on the patio and put our new furniture out there, which won't be for another week.

The patio installation and subsequent AC switch off meant that the lower level of our house has been the most refreshing level for the past few days, so I spent the better part of yesterday being productive in our crawl space. I should also add that since Sunday morning I had completely lost my voice, so I was looking for a talk-free activity to take on while sweating it out in our house. Fortunately, my voice return in full by Wednesday night, and the crawl space reorganization was a fun success by the end of the night as well. In the process of sorting through everything in there I came across some fun discoveries packed away inside the crawl space.

We are fortunate that the home's previous owners put in a door for a crawl space under our entryway stairs. We access the crawl space through a small door in our coat closet. (Apologies for the bad picture!)

The crawl space has been a great place to store those items we don't access all that often. Now that we are trying to reshuffle our house and use all our storage space to the max, it was time to take everything out of the crawl space, throw stuff out, consolidate boxes, and reorganize everything as it went back in so that we could hopefully double the amount of stuff housed in the crawl space. If all goes according to plan, we'll even be storing a table and chairs in there when we transform part of the living room into the office/play area. I'm so pleased with the amount of storage inside the crawl space. Here is the after shot; as usual I forgot to take a before shot. But there is definitely plenty of space to fill as this is only about 2/3 of the crawl space, and even this portion still has space to spare.

You might notice that right now, besides the obvious chair that is waiting for its three friends to join it shortly, there are a few plastic bins in there and one milk crate that rather clearly holds a slew of stuffed animals. About half of the contents of the crawl space in its current iteration are items saved from my childhood. One clear plastic box is my catch-all container for all Stephanie memorabilia, including yearbooks, letters, school papers, childhood art, awards, play and event programs, newspaper clippings, and other sentimental objects. The yellow plastic container closer to the front contains items I specifically saved for future children, including some clothes, dolls, toys, books, and dress-up items. I would like to point out that I started assembling these boxes when I was rather young; I started the memorabilia box when I was about 8 and the items for future children I started putting aside when I was about 10. This organizational bone has been strong and virtually innate.

Yesterday was the day when I thanked my 8-year-old self for my foresight in setting aside these items. I hadn't looked through them in years, so it was super exciting to dig through these two bins yesterday as I uncovered objects that I started looking at in a new light now that the time to pass along some items to my own children is getting closer. I'm only now starting to think more seriously about a design for the nursery, so those plans are still being drawn up, and we find out the baby's sex in a week and a half. But no matter what, I know that the nursery will be gender neutral and I'd like it to contain on display a few of my childhood items (and I'd love to get my hands on some of Matt's childhood items to throw into the mix).

So, without further ado, here are some favorites:

Sheep stuffed animal -- this boy sat on the tall dresser in my childhood room until I was about 15 and decided I had enough.

Snoopy music box -- This is most definitely from the 70s as it was my older brother's toy before I inherited it. The pop-up Snoopy has seen better days, but I guess that's part of the "charm," right?

Caterpillar pull toy -- I think I knew to save this one because my mom made such a big deal when I was younger about how this was a special imported wooden toy from somewhere like Germany. It's still pretty appropriately funky.

Bank and nightlight -- I am not the type to buy a baby piggy bank, but somehow I grew up with this weird little plastic "Baby's Nest Egg" bank. It looks like it's from 1955 instead of 1981, so I'm not really sure of its origins, but it's quite familiar to me as I would look at it daily on a shelf in my room. The doggie nightlight is also a familiar presence. I had (well, still have) a healthy fear of the dark, so this little guy burned bright every night of my childhood probably right until I left for college.

Wooden milk truck/tic-tac-toe game -- This is another one my mom said I should keep, so I did, and I'm glad I did. Wooden toys are so 2011, right?

I realize few, if any, of these items are intended for newborns, and I do not plan on turning them into my own kid's toys, at least until he/she is old enough to treat them well. But I like the visions that are floating through my head of these goodies decorating the nursery. So, thank you, 8-year-old Stephanie, for making this possible.

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