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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:

  1. Buy a kit and build one
  2. Make one from scratch
  3. Shell out a L-O-T of cash
  4. 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” :-D 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 :-D

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 :-)

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*(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

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