My post yesterday had a picture of a dollhouse used in a laundry room, which inspired me to show you our dollhouse. I always wanted a grand dollhouse. Growing up I used a narrow, vertical bookcase as a “mouse house”. (To understand read my blog post, An Award, Moi if you haven’t already.) Clearly, it started in childhood because I thought mice were way more appealing than dolls!
I still have that bookcase (it’s in my oldest daughter’s room), but I wanted to take it up a notch for my girls. For Christmas a few years ago, I wanted a special toy for my girls that could be passed down to their children and I thought that they were ready for more than the plastic ones. Being the perfectionist that I am, I spent months researching dollhouses. My choices were:
- Buy a kit and build one
- Make one from scratch
- Shell out a L-O-T of cash
- Search for one online
Surprisingly, my husband wasn’t keen on the first 2 ideas – I actually thought I could make a grand dollhouse, but I knew it would cut into my girls’ homework and playtime, which is our bonding time. And I wasn’t keen on #3, so I searched and searched.
Sooo….Option #4 it was. After much searching, I found a gorgeous dollhouse with beautiful bones, but it just needed a little bit of touch up. It had to be repainted because the roof was purple?!? And not a subtle shade of purple; this was a smack-you-into-next-week shade of purple that was surprisingly persistent in its tenacity to peek through every crevice of shingle I missed. Also, I added some architectural details to make it a little more “detailed” I still want to fix it up even more, as I haven’t done the inside (staining floors, painting walls, hooking up chandeliers to the wiring, etc.)
Why so much work for this dollhouse? I love my children dearly, but I do not buy them toys unless it’s a special occasion.* (Books are the exception to this rule. They can have as many as they want at any time.)
So when it is a special occasion (albeit Valentine’s Day or even St. Patrick’s Day, when I leave trails of gold-foil-covered chocolate coins, rainbow-candy rainbows with cotton candy clouds and little gifts and notes from the leprechauns – What? Too much?), I try to make it as magical as possible, right down to the wrapping of the presents and the creation of fanciful bows with good wired-edged ribbon.
So I spent my nights working on this dollhouse after the children went to bed:
It may not look it, but this thing is HUGE!
Want to know the kicker? I bought it on Craigslist! 200 smackers. Not too shabby once you’ve priced them out! This is the 2nd of 3 purchases I’ve made on there, although it would be more if I didn’t already have my family’s furniture. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is a great resource
(Gratuitous puppy shot!)
I’m lucky in that my girls like to play where I am, so I put a blanket underneath so I can slide it across our hardwood floors and into the room that I am in. The real kick in the pants though, is that I probably play with the dollhouse more than they do
The Craigslist gods were clearly looking down upon me Now, if only they would let me find an old chandelier for our bird houses! I hope every one has a great day
*(Note: I find it a real struggle trying to find a balance with my children; I do not want them spoiled and over-indulged with every thing handed to them, which is why I came up with the ‘special occasion guideline’. On the flip side, they see some of their classmates/friends get quite a bit. In kindergarten, my child asked me for Ugg boots (wtf?!? – kindergarten?) because other girls in her class had them, they said they were fashionable and had created a group called the “fashionable girls” of which she wasn’t a part. GRRRRR!!!!
I told her no, Mommy doesn’t even have a pair of Ugg boots, and explained to her about designer labels, growing little feet/bodies, fads and spending money wisely. My sweet child felt alienated. I already volunteered at the school often and was “room mom”, but that upped my volunteering schedule to every week. Sorry for rant!)
For those that I lost due to boredom from now being “that person”, you know, that talks about their kids needlessly and incessantly, using the following key:
- Men: Children or child = favorite sports team, girls = the opposing team
- Women: Children or child = your pet, girls = anyone who does not like your pet. If you don’t have pets, swap out for Children or child = your best friend, girls = frenemy