Sunday, September 16, 2012


Alright, after quite sometime and way too many vacation posts, I am finally sharing the newest addition to our house: 
Completely custom, handmade bunkbeds!  
It has been a long adventure, but I am very proud of the outcome.  
I made a Pinterest Board to help me store all my ideas for the boy's new room, and after much searching I stumbled upon my main source of bunkbed inspiration. 
I had been planning this in my head since before we moved in.  I thought this room would be the prefect place for them:
I have always been annoyed by these built-in shelves.  They were put in when a fireplace was added to the living room.  I like built-ins in general, but these ones were just so funky.  The ones to the left had a gap behind the shelf so stuff could fall back there,and both sides had lots of wasted space at the top.  This room had been our "Spare Room" (a reference to a favorite book, can you name it?).  This meant it stored a lot of my sewing stuff and other junk and was where we put up the big air mattress when we had guests.
To begin the project the shelves to the left got completely ripped out along with part of the wall.  The ones to the right just got some alterations.
Baabee (my dad) and Zach were the real builders on this project, but the design was mine.  I would like to claim I did more on the actually building, but someone had to watch the boys most of the time.  Despite my graduate degree in cutting wood with a chop saw, I think the men enjoy it more than me and could really use the practice (once you become an expert at something, it just becomes boring).  Painting was all on me, though. Thankfully I have the best little helper in the world who is always excited to put on his paint shirt.
We opted for "Dragon's Hide Green" again because Jimmy insisted.  Just like his mother, he doesn't like too much change.  I didn't complain since I still had a nearly full gallon from when we painted his old room.  Plus, this way I didn't have to worry about picking a color I might not like.  It also went well with the color scheme of the sheets and new curtains, but honestly, I really don't want a room that looks too "designed."  It is for my two boys after all.  I wanted a room that could grow with them until they are big stinky High Schoolers.  They will probably want new sheets by then and perhaps have fewer Legos on the shelves, but I think the beds should stand the test of time.  I had at one point contemplated just buying some bunkbeds at Ikea because I knew it would be cheaper and much less time consuming, but my heart was stuck on this.  The weird walls in this room were calling for something special and who doesn't need a good summer project?   
Adding a top shelf to these built-ins was the never-ending project that took days instead of the anticipated hours:
It was a good thing that nobody actually lived in this room yet because we gave ourselves the month of June and we had to leave for our trip before we were done.  They were officially complete at the end of July, but I was/still am doing finishing touches on the rest of the room.  Jimmy was so anxious to sleep in them and didn't understand what was taking us so long.  At least they were still really fun to play on.
I really wanted to use the old shelf space to make new shelves behind the headboards.  
After much deliberation, we decided to make "Nooks."  
Basically, it can still be a shelf for stuffed animals and water cups, but also a fun spot for the boys to sit and even stand 
(There is also a secret hiding space if you crawl under the beds that might come in handy for future games of hide and seek... don't tell)  
Maybe when they get bigger, we can add more shelf space, but for now they love playing up there.
We were all thrilled when they were FINALLY DONE
...especially Jimmy.
Gus loves them too, but he is not actually sleeping in them yet.  
He does know the cars bed is his, and loves to drive his cars along the road on his pillow.  
He also got a really cool moon lamp.
I also really love that Jimmy has his own desk now.  He sits here to do projects and workbooks all the time.  
I bought him a big new pack of crayons and a holder for his markers and pencils so he is all set.
I also love having so much more room for the boys to play now.
Some friends gave us a blue dresser with baseball handles that Jimmy thinks is the coolest.  He wanted to hang up all the Disneyland Postcards on the closet door and I stumbled upon the Disneyland Pennant while going through an old box of my childhood junk.  We thought these went well with the old Disneyland Map... We like Disney, in case you can't tell.  And obviously, we are excited that the Max poster from the boys birthday is not going to waste (I did, however, just make the realization that it is actually slightly frightening... good things my kids are not easily scared).
Finally, after so many days of waiting and begging and asking, it was time to sleep in them:
(Yes, Gus loves to scare us climbing up, but he is surprisingly good at it.  Still, I keep a close watch)
Sometimes we choose the bottom bunk for nighttime reading, but Mom and Dad definitely climb up there our fair share.
We were kind of nervous about Jimmy on the top bunk because he is a pretty restless and crazy sleeper.
We checked on him a lot the first night.  We found him asleep sideways with his feet sticking out:
Even with limbs hanging out, he couldn't be happier about these beds.  
If you come over to our house, I guarantee he will ask to show them off.
... I might offer as well.

Friday, September 7, 2012

last day at the beach

The fun had to come to an end and we had to say our goodbyes, but these Weisse Guys stayed until the bitter end.
We stayed until as late as possible on Sunday which meant we got the most time there, but also had to clean up and desperately try to eat up all the left over food. Then in order to avoid the traffic to get off the island we stayed with Brian and Shelly and their boys and headed over to Roanoke Island.  Actually, first we stopped at one of the more famous lighthouses on the Outer Banks.  Unfortunately, it is not only one that you are not allowed to climb, but it was also under construction and we couldn't even get a good picture out of the stop. We tried to sell it as slightly educational after a chat with a park tanger about sealife, etc, but I am pretty sure the kids were bored and disappointed.  
It helped that we found this much smaller lighthouse at the end of a pier.
We could go inside, but not up.  Believe me that little rope was difficult to keep these boys from climbing right up there to see the light.
Our next mission was to find a "Pirate Ship."  We knew there was one in Manteo, but we hadn't really looked into the details of the matter, so after the lighthouse debacle I started to get nervous.  Fortunately, we came across two.  The first one was fun too look at, but was some sort of expensive treasure hunt that we were not about to pay for.  The second was a replica of the Elizabeth II at the Outer Banks History Center.  
It was a little pricey to get into the Park, but we couldn't let the boys down, so the dads took the older boys, while the moms stayed back with Gus.  
They thought it was really cool, so it seemed to be worth the trip and the money.
Jimmy didn't really want to try out the historical weapons and machinery, but he watched Ben and Owen, which is just as fun, right?
We had a good lunch together and then our last stop before the car ride home was an ice cream shop.
(Brilliant for a kid who gets car sick, I know, but really we figured no matter what we fed him, it was going to come up... I won't elaborate on the fun details of traffic and puke on the trip back to DC.)
Jimmy loved these boys so much that he was almost in tears when it was time to leave.  He asked when we would get to see them again which, of course, I had no answer for. The good news is that they have planned a trip to Phoenix over their spring break, so it won't be that long after all.  YAY!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

fun with glow sticks

This purchase of mine for the beach was a hit with the kids
... and a few of the bigger kids, too.