Monday, 23 January 2012

Musings on Moving

This is our apartment right now:

Times this corner of the place by all the other corners of the place, plus the cramped places under our dining room table and our storage, and you might get a better picture.

There are about a hundred reasons I can think of off the top of my head for why we really should have moved a long time ago, but for all those reasons I am still overwhelmed by a strange sadness when I look at all these boxes. I can't help it, but I am really going to miss this place.

Change is inevitable, change is necessary, and change (in this case) is really good. Nevertheless, this apartment was our home for three years. It's where we were living when we married, where we brought our first baby home to, the only home that that baby has ever known. I guess packing it all into a few dozen Frog Boxes is proving to be much harder than I thought it would be.

Coming home, March 2010
First sleep at home
I was really worried about how Jake would be with all this packing and moving going on, but he seems totally oblivious, like it is a game where he puts all his stuffed animals into one box then takes them out and puts them into another.  The rational side of me knows that he'll be totally fine. Kids this young are resilient. They go with the flow, roll with the punches, adapt more easily than when they are older. Jake won't even remember this place... but that is where my irrational side's heart breaks just a little.

Naps on the good ole couch, with good ole dad
First Stanley Cup playoffs
Giggles in the living room
He loves this place so much now. He's never cared that it's too small, the walls too thin, the stairs with-no-elevator situation too cumbersome. He just cares that it's familiar, safe, cozy.  Every time I push the stroller through the front door he says "Home!" Or when we are out somewhere and he is tired he will tell us, "Home now".  It makes me sad just a little that he won't remember how much he loved it here, his very first home.

First Steps
I know, rational side knows it too, the new place is way better. Cousins live across the road, and there is a forest begging to be played in right outside our window. There is an upstairs and, praise be, a third bedroom. Space. Sound proof walls. A dishwasher. It's good change. He will love his new home.

But despite all the inconveniences, this home was good too. And I will remember it enough for the both of us.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Procrastinating, and the view outside my window

I can think of a million things I should be doing right now. Packing, laundry, ironing, packing, it goes on and on. Instead I am distracted by this: 

The view outside our window: Part I

It is snowing in our parts, and I am a sucker for snow. I love the crunch under foot, the quietness that falls over the busy street outside our apartment, the cozy winter feeling that makes me want to whip up a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows on top. 

It's so rare here in our city that when it happens I want to stop everything, put on my snow boots and run outside to make snow angles and igloos.  I was looking forward to our annual snow fall so much because I couldn't wait to watch Jake discover all the joys of fresh laid snow.  When it snowed last year he was still too young to really appreciate it and could only sit there, somewhat shell shocked, while I danced around in it in front of him. 

The view outside our window: Part II

So this morning I got him up, all excited with the anticipation of sharing a good romp in the snow with my boy, when imagine my surprise, I bring my baby outside and brotha wants nothing to do with it. Won't walk in it, sit in it, or touch it. He sticks to the shoveled side walk like his life depends on it, and when we have the misfortune of hitting a patch that has not been shoveled he turns to me or his dad with lifted arms and begs to be carried. 

There was an instant when he was standing there, arms raised, whimpering, when I couldn't help but feel cheated somehow, but he’s my baby and I love him no matter what. Even if he is a sun and surf dude, rather than a snow and hot chocolate gal like his mama.

And who knows, he might come round. After all, where we’re headed there should be snow clear through to April. Kid’s gonna have to get used to it sometime.


Other things that have made me happy this week: realizing that this has been the hit for about 4 months now and shows no signs of getting old. 

And this:

View outside my window, pre-snow
I’m lovin’ my boys something fierce these days. 

I’ll start packing soon as the snow melts. Swear.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Farewell Christmas, Welcome New Year

I just took the Christmas tree down. As in, I just literally closed the box of ornaments before sitting down to write this post.  Every year when this time comes it breaks my heart just a little. Since the end of November I have been living in a Christmas wonderland haze filled with Christmas cookie baking, present wrapping, holiday music playing, and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas reading.  It's been a busy and good holiday for us Boyds this year, and wrapping it all up and putting it away always brings me down a bit.

Pre-Christmas cookie baking.
But as much as I hate putting away the last vestiges of holiday lovin' around here, I am also really looking forward to this New Year because we'll be kicking it off in a big way this time: in a new home.

Yes, we've finally made the leap to home ownership, and the month ahead will be a busy blur of packing up boxes and digging through closets to separate the "keep" from the "definitely not keeping" piles.

Christmas tree decorating at Za Za's house.
A new space.  Our new space. It brings a smile to my face just to say it. We've been thinking about a move for so long I was beginning to wonder if that was all it would ever be, a thought, our big and distant dream.  It inspires and excites me in new ways to finally be standing at this moment where our own home is actually a reality. More to come on this later. For now here's a peek at our Christmas holiday blast.

We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house.  It brings me right back to my childhood every year we gather here. Putting up and decorating the tree, eating the traditional chicken soup dinner and too many German Christmas cookies, tearing open gifts after singing a few carols. It was great.
Decorating the tree on Christmas Eve.

Oliver and Jake figuring out what goes were.
Baby Charlotte's first Christmas.
 And then, bright and early on Christmas morning it was off to Victoria on the 9am ferry, where more family, more cookies, and more Christmas magic awaited us.
"Nana's house!"

 Jake is loving anything that goes choo choo right now.  Somehow Santa must have gotten wind of this because he delivered in a big way: choo choo trains in various shapes and sizes, a train station, and accessories, books and crafts.

He never actually told me in so many words, but I am pretty sure this Christmas was all his dreams come true.

We stayed in Victoria for the whole week after Christmas, and each day brought new adventures and surprises.  Like impromptu piano concerts (who knew there would be not one but two child prodigies in the family), and family walks down to the beach to have rock throwing contests.

Jake decorated his very first gingerbread train, although it's quite possible more icing ended up in his tummy than anywhere else.

 We visited the Christmas tree display at the Empress Hotel and got stuck at the construction truck themed one for a good 20 minutes.

Old friends came over for to catch up over snacks and Christmas cookies, and whatever time wasn't spent entertaining friends, or gallivanting around town chasing different adventures was spent down in Nana's den playing with a generation old tow truck and a two generation old train set.

The next generation of cool hanging out by the snack table.

We ended our holiday with a very special trip to the Royal BC Museum.  It was my first trip, and it was impressive.  We started out on the third floor where they had an entire section set up to simulate and old turn of the century town.  There was a dress shop, and a hotel, a gold mine, and a cannery. It reminded me of something out of Anne of Green Gables, British Columbia version.  And of course, there was a train station, where every 5 minutes the room would fill with the sounds and rumblings of a steam engine rolling through. Like his father years before him, Jake waited patiently on the old wooden benches for one train after another to whoosh by.

A rainbow outside the museum.

Let's just say, we'll be going back. 

He was not, however, as impressed by the life sized woolly mammoth at the exhibit.  To be fair he was really big and woolly and made weird noises.

When it was all done, and we were tucked back in our little apartment in Vancouver, I couldn't believe it had all happened.  It had been seven days, and Christmas already felt like it had been months ago. It was so busy, it was so worth every single moment.

No calm after this storm though.  Packing boxes awaits!  I've learned in the last couple of days that there is a lot more stuff tucked into the crevasses of this apartment than I originally thought could possibly be.

Happy New Year everyone! Happiness, health, and love all round.

The Boyds.