7.01.2011

settling in

We’ve moved. We’ve returned to our beloved city and our old neighborhood. Although only 7 blocks from our old apartment, the new house is technically in the adjacent neighborhood, but really, it’s on the cusp. We’ll still call it the old ‘hood. The Pie loves the expanses of sidewalk to crawl down. I don’t understand this. Doesn’t it hurt? Yet she can’t be bothered with the grass.

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Did you know that moving with a baby is hard? The packing, cleaning, moving, cleaning and unpacking is remarkably difficult to juggle with a baby who wants to be held and a cat who wants to dart out the front door.

Next time, we’re hiring movers.

(We’ve said that about our last 2 moves.)

But here we are, getting unpacked and figuring out where all the pieces of our lives go.

My little pie safe houses heavy cookware, cookbooks, spices, my mixer and food processor, bulk popcorn and lentils and tea. It’s behind the kitchen table, and represents the only clean corner in the house. Sadly I don’t even chairs to go around my kitchen table, so I can’t sit there and stare at the serenity.

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This little entryway table has been repurposed to hold a casserole dish and my crock pot at the threshold of the kitchen.

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Our living room, of course, is being lived in. The Mountain Man now commutes by bike, and we haven’t quite found the right landing spot for it in the evenings, so here it sits, in front of the fireplace. Half-unpacked boxes fight with toys and books for space. The cat is shedding like crazy. The Pie hasn’t yet discovered the fireplace but she loves jumping on the couch while holding back the curtains and looking out the window. This morning she waved good-bye to dad as he rode off, and then hello to the garbage truck.

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The kitchen is more “efficient” (read: stiflingly small) than I’m used to, and I’m trying to figure out how to use it most efficiently. Much of the cabinet space is going unused because the openings are too narrow for occasional appliances like the yogurt maker, crock pot, wok, and the food processor. The windows are wonderful. We bought a portable dishwasher from an old friend and it has been wonderful (except for the leaky faucet currently preventing its use. If you look really close, you can see the repurposed plastic bike bottle which now acts as a funnel to direct the water back into the sink) I simply can’t imagine hand-washing everything while also needing to spend an hour+ nursing a baby down to sleep each night. How did our mothers and grandmothers do it? Even with the dishwasher full and waiting to be run, I am hand-washing heaps of dishes.

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Walking around the neighborhood we stumble across familiar and new things. So many urban growers have raised beds built up in their parking strips, or rhubarb taking over the corner between the light pole and the sidewalk. People walk and skate and ride past our house on their way to work, and the evenings are filled with kids and neighbors on evening walks. The public life of the city is a cloudy memory – it had been so easily forgotten when we were away from it, but now we exclaim to each other “look at all the people walking around!”. We’re amazed and confused when people walk by and say hello – the only pedestrians in our old neighborhood were power-walkers, who couldn’t spare a breath for a pleasantry.

We’re home.

Our budget is certainly taking a hit to live so close to the Mountain Man’s office, but the time we’ve regained as a family has been amazing. Even while we frantically trade baby duty while the other unpacks a box in the evening, we’re realizing what we had lost by having such a long commute as an unwelcome third partner in the marriage. Where our evenings were all business there is now space for quietly taking in and processing the day together (assuming, of course, the Pie has gone down for the night). We may get to enjoy this summer after all.

We are of course still unpacking and shifting things, and all the manual labor (and no internet access for 6 days!) has left me to ruminate on plenty of post ideas. I have some guest posting coming up and will be writing as much as I can, but we may be seeing each other a little less often than normal for a while still. I’ll shoot for 3 days a week while I start re-building my queue.

Thanks for coming along on this ride. And for local friends, we’ll be having a garden party soon – by which I mean I will feed you beer and snacks if you bring your weedwacker and sweat equity to my yard.

5 comments:

  1. I like your little cookbook area. Very cute! I do find it interesting that kids like to crawl everywhere even though it seems like they're hurting their knees doing so. Good luck with the rest of the unpacking...we've been here for 3 years and I'm sure there are some stuff that we need to take out and probably get rid of.

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  2. My 2 most important life lessons prior to purchasing my own home - especially with small kids in tow. 1) always always always ALWAYS hire movers and 2) always hire a cleaning to service to clean the new place before you move in, and the old place after you leave. :o)

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  3. Big congrats. Always terrific to come back to where you call home. Good luck settling in.

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  4. hey, i'll be housesitting for rhonda later this summer. maybe 1. we can hang out and 2. (if you'll let me) i can babysit for you some night and you guys can have a night off!

    ~nathania

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  5. Totally understand about the packing/moving/unpacking phases - I'm currently in the packing stage! But it sounds like you have made a great move in the best interest of your family :-)

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