Then, a few weeks ago, I saw the Holy Grail of beds had been just been posted by the Bloomington Habitat Restore. It was a Pottery Barn loft with desk area below. This was exactly what I had been looking for, in great shape and at a very reasonable price. Corey and I drove straight there and I practically flew up to the counter to hand over my money in exchange for the "SOLD" sign.
It was very difficult keeping the secret but we kept the disassembled bed in the garage until Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Corey and I tried to work as quietly as possible to assemble the bed while Lily snoozed in the basement (we told her she might have a glimpse of Santa that way, since he obviously would come in through the chimney of the wood stove). Being obsessed with all things medical, I created a little doctor's office below by making some curtains out of bed sheets, and adding a little plastic drawer set filled with bandages and first aid supplies. I printed out a handful of x-ray images I found online, an eye chart and some signage for her office. I punched holes in the signs and they are hung on tiny command hooks I installed. She can switch out the x-rays and change the "open" sign to "closed". We also added some inexpensive light bars from Ikea to the underside of the bed so that there is ample light, even with the curtains closed.
The bed was a great success and she has been doctoring everything in sight. Such a lucky find and I think I might love it even more than she does.