We’ve Got 99 Problems and a Shower is One

A few weeks ago, we had our initial home walkthrough with our care worker and it did not go as well as expected.  We knew of the few things that we were missing (carbon monoxide detectors, safety gates), but ran into a few problems that we still have no solution for.  In our downstairs bedroom, there is a shower.  No, not in a separate room or outside of the room.  The shower is literally in the room.  Take a look for yourself!

Weird, right?  Here are a few problems that this shower poses:

  1. There are 3 stairs going up to it, which means that it needs to have a guardrail of some sort.
  2. According to regulations, no child’s bedroom can have anything attached to it that is not a hallway.  i.e., the bedroom cannot lead directly to a laundry room, garage, etc.  There has to be a hallway between the child’s bedroom and any other room.
  3. We currently rent this house, so we cannot just demolish the shower or cut off all water supply.
  4. Our care workers have never seen anything like this before, so they didn’t have too many ideas for us.

At this point in the ballgame, we were super frustrated with this development.  We know that we have come this far for a reason and we’re not backing out now, but we have no idea how to work around this glitch in our licensing process.  I would love to hear your ideas; leave them in the comments!

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The House Tour (part 1)

After deciding to move forward with the adoption, we moved into an awesome 3-bedroom duplex.  As promised, this is the beginning of a series of posts featuring our new house.  I would love your feedback or advice on decorating or styling our house.  It is a rental, so we do have limitations, but I am excited at the prospect of the house reflecting the Keckles.  Let’s start with the main floor.

This is the view from our front door.  It opens into our living room, with an arched entryway to the dining area.  On the right side of the photo, you get a tiny glimpse of the beautiful hard wood flooring that is a part of the staircase and upper level.  Notice also that the dining area leads into the kitchen, my favorite room in the house.

Here you can see a better shot of the living room.  We love the huge windows and mantel, even if the fireplace is non-functioning.  I would love to say that there is a “theme” to this space, but unfortunately, we have to work with what we have, which includes 2 retro recliners and a lot of hand-me-down furniture.  The glass-topped coffee table will be a goner once the kiddos move in, creating more playspace, since this floor will be the main play area.

Don’t you love our dining table?  We had that passed on from my parents and it is quite possibly my favorite piece of furniture.  I have no intentions of covering up those gorgeous windows, because they brighten this space a lot.  What you can’t see in this photo is the corner on the right side, which is currently filled with stacks of books and random toys.  We would like to make this a play area as well, but have not quite figured out where to move the books.  The bookcase you see used to be 6 feet tall, but was not sturdy and could have toppled over easily in the reach of toddlers, so we cut it down to the 3 shelves you see.

The whole house is a work in progress, but do you see anything we should move to the top of our list?  Any brilliant ideas for making it kid-friendly yet beautiful?

The House Hunt

Mr. Keckles and I pride ourselves on living simply.  Since being married, we have lived in 2 small(ish) apartments.  We probably could have afforded renting a house or a larger apartment, but it just seemed silly since my parents live 20 minutes away and could store a lot of the stuff we didn’t need right at this moment in our lives.  Because we have paid next to nothing for rent, we have enjoyed paying off my $20,000 in student loans in 2 years and have almost cut his in half in less than 1 year.  However, when we found out about the kids and decided to move forward, the first thing on the agenda was to find a house.

We debated for a few days on buying a house, and then decided to forgo that option in order to calm the churning that happened in my mind and belly at the thought of being that far in debt.  Can you tell we have issues with debt?  In deciding to continue to rent, we realized that we would have to compromise on some things we wanted in order to find a place in time.  You see, the town we live in is terrible for renters.  The only option you have is to rent from June 1- June 1 or August 1- August 1.  If the lease is broken, there are major financial setbacks and a tarnished leasing record.  As it was March/April when we made our decision, we had to find a place quickly.

We were picky at the beginning, wanting 3-4 bedrooms, no basement, no hard wood floors and a few preferences on neighborhoods.  After viewing four or five places in our price range, we realized there was going to have to be some compromising.  The sacrifice we just couldn’t make was living too far away from Mr. Keckles’ workplace and our cluster of close friends.  In the end, we moved into a beautiful 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom duplex with an unfinished basement (only for storage) and hard wood floors in the upper level.  Amazingly enough, the hard wood flooring is my favorite part of the house.

After finding out about the appellation, it has been hard living in this huge place all by ourselves.  Yes, there are signs that kiddos are on the way (a toddler bed, books, Diaper Champ, booster seat, etc.), but it is still quiet and seemingly empty.  My frugal self has to keep being reminded that it is okay to pay so much in rent and not necessarily use the space we are paying for.  It will all be worth it in the end.  Stay tuned for a picture tour of the house and updates on how we are transforming it to be kid-friendly.