The boys have been in their cribs for a lifetime. Their lifetime, 3.75 years, that is. I actually have been a little embarrassed by the fact, seeing that just about every child past the age of 2.5 is in a toddler or twin bed. We here at Casa Silverman like to get serious mileage out of our purchases, however. That and the fact that our boys are shorties, made it a no-brainer to keep them in their cribs as long as possible.
We bought cheap and simple beauties from IKEA when the boys were born. 79 buckaroos for each, you couldn’t beat it! We splurged on the mattresses and went all organic, which I have never regretted. These cribs have seen the boys through thick and thin, from peacefully sleeping infants (mattress up), to pulling up to stand infants (mattress lowered), to potty-trained toddlers (side removed to make a mini daybed). Given that they had about two inches left before their heads and feet touched the ends simultaneously, it was finally time to bite the bullet and get bigger beds.
A little bit about me, I’m the type of person that gets totally fixated on an idea and pursues it relentlessly. That coupled with the fact that I loathe paying full price for anything makes for some pretty interesting research, shopping and decision-making. We quickly decided to mark the holidays/boys’ birthdays as our time frame to accomplish this. Easy enough. We also decided that we needed a bunk system that could easily separate into two twins, be high quality wood and construction, and, yeah, it needed to look nice. Nice enough to last us all another 15 years (I’m so not kidding!). But when I started looking at the prices for the good stuff at Land of Nod and PBK, let alone Room and Board and other higher end furniture places, my jaw hit the floor. Enter Craigslist and my relentless nature.
I know I’m not alone when I say, “I love Craigslist.” It fuels my crazy compulsions. Last year, I became OBSESSED with purchasing an office armoire for our living room. Up until then, we’d had an open shelving/desk system that was a cluttered chaos of crap every day of every year. In our living room! This armoire had to meet these criteria: 1) be a closed system, meaning you could shut all the drawers and drop-down desk and never know their was an office inside; 2) be high quality wood and construction; and 3) look really nice. Sound familiar? It didn’t help that I happened to see a gorgeous set-up at Room and Board for double our monthly mortgage. Something inside me said I could find it on sale or previously owned. I hunted every day. It drove me nuts. I dreamt about this freaking armoire. Then one day, there it was on Craigslist. The exact one I wanted. For half the cost. Mint condition with one condition. It was in Brooklyn, NY. Do you think that would stop me? That armoire now sits beautifully in our front room.
It just so happened my parents confirmed their travel to Austin via road trip for Thanksgiving while I was on my mad bunk bed hunt turning up nada in Texas. Chicago metro, a whole new market! After only three days of looking, I found it. Gorgeous alder wood, craftsman style bunk from Land of Nod. Two high-end mattresses, Land of Nod quilts, blankets, decorative pillows, curtains and lamp. All for well under our monthly mortgage. I love you, sweet home Chicago! My parents high-tailed it over there, checked the goods and confirmed the quality and condition. The seller happened to have mutual friends of ours, plus she’s possibly the nicest person you have ever met (we ended up talking on the phone for well over an hour and have plans to meet up on our next visit to the heartland). My parents drove everything down strapped to their wagon, Griswald-style, through wind and rain storms and threats of tornadoes. We had everything set up the day before Thanksgiving. Some things really do have a way of working out, as evidenced by the boys’ newly minted bunk bed dance.
It was bittersweet taking down those cribs. It was the last vestige of the boys’ baby days. With these bunk beds, I feel like they are officially boys and there is no turning back. The boys are enthralled with their new set up, along with being in a bigger room (we switched them into what was their play room). They switch who gets the top bunk every day, which I know we’ll eventually need to phase out, but for now there is too much excitement to not make it immediately fair. Aside from them each whamming their heads on the ceiling about ten times the first day, and Oz falling out of the bottom bunk in the middle of the night (?!), this transition has gone smooth as can be.
The day we set everything up, I quickly took pictures of the old cribs and posted them, plus the mattresses and bedding, up on Craigslist. By Sunday, everything was gone, and we had recouped 25% of the cost of the bunk beds. Craigslist comes full circle.
This post is dedicated to my parents, Lee-Lee and Papa Rick, who made this whole endeavor possible. We love you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!