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November 17, 2006

Back to the grind

I figured I should get back to this posting thing. This here blog was getting a little dusty. The move to Chicago threw me for a loop, I suppose, and knocked me off what little schedule I was on. So, what's been happening. We've literally been here 6 months now and the big events keep piling up. In no particular order, we've bought a house; M started preschool for the first time; Josie's pregnancy with boychild has hurtled towards the January due date; and I've gotten immersed in my new job. Oh, and Meredith turned three. 2006 won't go down as a boring year for us.

We bought a house in late August, a 3 BR/2.5 BA in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Lincoln Park is in Chicago itself, a relatively close-in neighborhood with a lot of history and things to do. We're about a 10-15 minute walk away from the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is fantastic and which M has taken quite a liking to. She's grown fond of a gazelle, an ostrich and a "flamingo-bird".

The house is 3 levels including the basement level. The main level has the kitchen, living and dining, plus a 1/2 bath. The upper level has the three bedrooms, none of which are huge. But coming from NY, we feel like it's palatial. The basement level is split, with one finished half having a small den/family room and the other unfinished part having the washer/dryer and furnace and storage. We have a common courtyard with some neighbors, but we have a yard that is ours. Again, coming from Brooklyn, that's like nirvana to have a yard.

The new neighborhood reminded us a lot of Brooklyn in that it's very much a walking neighborhood, with lots of stores and restaurants and such. But it is more amenable to cars which is a plus. We have something we never had in Brooklyn: a parking spot. It feels so decadent to be able to run an errand in the car and know you'll have a spot waiting for. Pinch me!

J is progressing nicely pregnancy wise, no major issues to date. Boychild is scheduled to debut on Jan 24 (or 26; I get the date mixed up), so we're only about 10 weeks out now. Yikes. Just about when life has settled down and we've gotten into a pattern at the new house, that will all be shattered. Send any name suggestions my way. We're stymied. If boychild came early, his name might end up being Snoop the way we're going.

M is in school here, another first. She started in September, 3 days a week for a few hours. She loves it. She was really noticeably missing all of her cohorts from Brooklyn over the summer. It really made it obvious how much she had clicked with her little crew and that realization was, of course, heart-breaking for us.

She had a great attitude about it; she never pouted or anything like that. But we could kind of notice her looking longingly at kids she would play with at the playground when it was time to go. All of those interactions were fleeting. She'd play with some anonymous kid for 30 minutes and have a blast and then never see him again. So it's been great to get her involved with some kids that she's had a chance to get to know. (One boon for her that came out of our house search: she got to sample playgrounds and parks throughout the city. We know what's out there on the playground front, I can tell you.)

So, do we like it here? Good question. I think we do, and I don't mean that flippantly. It's just that life the last 6 months has been such a whirlwind and so non-routine, I don't feel like we've lived 'normally' here yet. We've been in the new house just over 2 months now, so any routines we're in are not exactly long-lived. We really, really loved Park Slope and our friends in Brooklyn, so that's been hard to replace. But what we've seen of Chicago has been great. The city has tons to offer and I'd say that all of our first impressions are As and Bs. And the same goes for the house. We've had a few surprises, but we all seem to be settling in well and it's feeling very much like a home. We're certainly looking forward to our first holiday season here. Plus we hear the winters here are...nice. Oh well, we'll get to use the fireplace a lot.

Signing off for now...

Posted by Greg on November 17, 2006 12:12 AM


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