Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I am training myself to stop beginning sentences with, "in Brooklyn..." as I am learning that the only people who care about what's going on in Brooklyn are people in Brooklyn. Or maybe Portland. Unless it's in a magazine or on Instagram, nobody else wants to hear about it. And as much as I miss NYC, I get that.

Baltimore loves Baltimore and we want to too. We are working on it, and it on us. So here I go, one last time: In Brooklyn, I hated summer. I hated the increase in smells, the grime clinging to my sweat, riding the crowded subway, crushed (with two kids) against all the other stinky, wet, grumpy New Yorkers. I literally dreaded the warm weather and the accompanying sounds that would keep me awake late into the night. But in Baltimore! Oh lovely, somewhat suburban Baltimore. We have central air. We have outdoor space in front AND behind our HOUSE. Space for growing green things! It's amazing what that has done for my relationship with summer. Like, I totally get it now: Flowers bloom, fruits are ripe, bugs are swarming (real insects! Not just cockroaches and bedbugs!) the pool is open, dinner is grilled and it's all available to us in a way it didn't seem to be before. I really like summer right now. So thanks for that, Baltimore.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sorry for the Ambivalence of the Last Post and also, More Rambling

Bun is five!
We had the second and third birthday parties to mark the occasion and now we don't need to have another party or buy any more toys for quite some time.

With his new numerical moniker, Alden is riding a wave of confidence with an optimistic outlook that is so refreshing. He is really taking ownership of Five. He is five.

We found what we hope is going to be a really great Kindergarten for our five year old. It comes highly recommended from several, unrelated sources and we were all charmed on our tour. So charmed that Alden immediately referred to it as his school. We will have to find another school for first grade and beyond, as this is preschool and Kindergarten only, but it's such a nice fit that we're willing to extend the search. Saoirse could start there next year, too, which will be great. She seems ready now!

Baltimore is different from Brooklyn in so many ways, but one of the most striking to me is that almost everyone I've spoken to in our neighborhood sends their child(ren) to private schools. Maybe it's the lower cost of living overall, But (and I admit that I haven't actually met very many local parents yet) it seems that there isn't the big push to work with the existing schools that there is in north Brooklyn. The city also seems to make it trickier for parents who wish to send their kids to public school outside of their zone. As far as I can tell, there isn't an automated process with wait lists and letters mailed, simply the assumption that you will go to your zoned school. If you choose not to, you must present your case in person, not at the school you would like, but at the Big Office. So, for now we're doing the easy/not easy thing and ignoring the public option. We are very lucky to have family helping us out, giving us the luxury of options.

Speaking of luxury, this place has a washer, dryer and a dishwasher! And a parking spot. Unbelievable. May I never grow so accustomed to these things that I take them for granted.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hampden, Hon

We moved!
We didn't end up with the house that I pined for in the previous post, but now that we've been in our current house for almost a week, I have decided that this one is actually the better house after all. No sour grapes! For real. Central air cannot be beat in a Baltimore summer!

We love our house and our new neighborhood. The people are friendly, it's quiet, but not boring. There are a few small playgrounds within walking distance.
We found a good coffee shop, we love the ice cream shop.
We have a deck with lots of sun for growing plants we could never have in our Brooklyn railroad.
Grandma and Grandpa are less than an hour away to the north (and frolicking in their yard, pictured above, is a dream), Nona and TJ are an hour to the south and have already visited us once.
We have everything that we could want or need, minus a few things which will be settled shortly (schools, doctors, etc.).

The biggest problem is one that we already knew we would face: we miss our friends. Bad.
We were grocery shopping the other day and A heard a kid's voice from the next aisle over. He perked up and looked really excited for a second, then just looked disoriented and said, "I thought I heard Luisa Jane calling me." I had to turn away because I almost cried. I'm crying just typing this!

He's taken to napping in the afternoon, which is nice (I can blog!) but also a little sad.

I'm excited to share photos of us in our new place, but with all of the fuss on Instagram over deleted accounts and creeps reporting mamas for completely innocent photos of their children, I'm torn. On the one hand, I don't want to let a few nuts (or even just potential nuts!) affect how I express myself online, but on the other, I'm not just expressing myself, but sharing photos of and anecdotes about the most important little people in my life. People who can't yet decide for themselves what they would like to share with almost everybody. So. I made my Instagram account private, meaning you must now request to follow me. And if I don't know you at all and you have a private account, I probably won't allow you to follow. It's not personal. Sorry also to the great grandparents who may not have access to smartphones. I promise to be better about sending actual photographs regularly.

I want to be able to just say and show whatever is happening, but unfortunately I am feeling less free to do that right now, with all of the fear-mongering and finger wagging.
Whew, that topic is such a drag. I have unpacking to do!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We got home late last night, after a long weekend apartment hunting in Baltimore. Staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house is always fun and relaxing for us all, even when the littles are acting like wackadoos. Sitting outside and watching the birds is calming in a way I almost forgot existed. I'm going to try to conjure up that feeling when I'm on the train bringing Als to and from school.

We found two nice houses that we could see ourselves living in, both in Hampden. One we are really super hoping for. It's massive, for us, and less expensive than our current apartment. Plus it has a small yard and wee deck, a washer, a dryer, and a dishwasher! It's too good to be real. I'm hoping it will be, though. Hope along with me, please! We will find out this weekend if we're the lucky new tenants. Sigh! Must keep busy until then...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Things We Will Miss About Our Neighborhood: Street Art

We recently took this photo of one of Alden's favorite murals on our street (which is mural central!) and I'm so glad we did, because a few days later...
...it changed!

We were lucky to be able to watch the transformation. The bird artist was really kind and apologetic, saying that he didn't want to paint over the ice cream, but this was the wall he was given. Alden took it pretty well. Being able to pose with the roller probably helped.

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