Home! Just down the street a pinch.

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Starting to feel settled-in enough to sit down and write some updates (even though the kitchen is still messy from early morning projects - blender crusted in dried smoothie, crumbs everywhere, fresh-ish muffins still in the pan). At least the pantry is finally organized?

So the big news is that we finally MOVED out of the temporary apartment! So that kitchen I was just talking about… finally our HOME kitchen, with all those little luxuries of having your own stuff - like measuring spoons. (SO nice to add the exact right amount of baking soda to a muffin mix… changes everything!)

After waiting 4 months for news about moving back into our place, we ended up finding a new apartment. Late February, we got a call from the landlord of the previous apartment to say that post-fire construction still had yet to begin - and in fact, they were still in negotiations with the insurance company on how to proceed. Finally, we gave up on waiting and began a serious search for a new place.

And as fate or luck or whatever would have it, we landed in a place with a very similar layout, on the same street, and even built by the same architect in the 1920s! It has all our little “musts” - walking distance to downtown and the waterfront, the old cachet of real hardwood floors and weird little vintage details like the sculptures of faces carved into the hallway threshold, and lots of sunlight.

There are a few details I don’t love (Mat says I dwell on the negative), but there are plenty of things I do like better here! To start with the positives: the floors are a lighter wood color which really opens up the rooms even more, and there’s a hook-up for a DISHWASHER, which is a luxury item we’ve been jonesing for our entire adult-apartment life. The bay window in the living room is a fun feature, too, and the dining room is huge. I’ll post some photos when I’ve reached a certain level of general satisfaction. :)

Update: Since I started writing this post last week, we got a dishwasher! Clap-clap-clap-clap-clap.

So now I can complain…. (just a quick indulgence, please!) The bedrooms are super tiny, almost comically so, and we ended up having to get rid of the guest bed we had in the baby’s room because it just didn’t fit. In an admittedly hasty move, I bought a futon to replace it before we even moved in, and that didn’t fit either! So it’s now in the dining room, of previously-mentioned grandeur, creating a kind of “chilling spot” as Mat likes to call it. I’m not entirely sold on it, but I have to say it’s growing on me. I also very much dislike, nay I say detest, that the washer and dryer are in the KITCHEN, with no door. It’s awful on so many levels! Not only is it an eyesore, but it’s just super unpleasant to be cooking to the invasive rumble of a spin cycle. Other cons of the kitchen: the terrible floor linoleum (I so loved the black-and-white checks of the old kitchen floor) and the yucky plastic “marble” grey countertops that you only find in rentals.

But, of course, that’s just it - it’s a rental!! I need to be less fussy about these things. Actually, I could tone down my fussiness on all things home decor-related, but… isn’t to know thyself… like a virtue or something?

we took a break from opening boxes a few weeks ago to visit our friends with babies! éléonore, right, is a few days younger than benji, and bleuenn in the back there is about a month younger. so fun to watch them wiggle around each other!

we took a break from opening boxes a few weeks ago to visit our friends with babies! éléonore, right, is a few days younger than benji, and bleuenn in the back there is about a month younger. so fun to watch them wiggle around each other!

In baby news, we have a crawler! Clocking in around the 9-month mark, little Benji boy finally put one knee in front of the other and discovered a whole new world. It made moving a bit more difficult, having to keep him more or less restrained for long stretches of time to keep him out of trouble. Talk about a danger trap - boxes everywhere, tools strayed about, nails, screws, hammers… all kind of death-related things.

And he turned 10 months this week!

I make a digital “card” each month in hopes of making a book of his first year… one of those “some day” projects I hope to get to before he turns 18!

I make a digital “card” each month in hopes of making a book of his first year… one of those “some day” projects I hope to get to before he turns 18!

As the weeks progress, we get more and more settled in, but it just takes time. I find the same roadblocks in my decorating projects as I had in the old place - not enough art for the walls, not enough furniture to fill the corners. Because we make so many custom things in our apartments, we don’t have a lot of furniture! Lately I’ve been obsessing over what chair to buy for the living room and what to stick on the invasively blank white walls in the dining room. And of course, to accomplish this without spending very much money. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get these decisions right the first time - because otherwise it’s a waste of money - but this adds quite a lot of stress, as you can imagine. And I’ve never been very good at thrifting… a combination of not having the patience and motivation to browse and browse, and now, a little too far outside of the big city, a limited selection of quality thrift spots. So I mostly just browse and browse the internet instead.

I wish I didn’t take this so seriously. I speculate that it has something to do with how we haven’t stayed in one place for very long these past years, and that “lived-in” quality - which is really what I’m trying to achieve in a few weeks but that can only come with time - remains elusive. I realize that I just need to be patient. But I can’t help but want certain things to get done so that I CAN stop going over it like a sore in the mouth. Like I actually don’t enjoy the process of putting the house together… but I REALLY enjoy it when (dare I say I can’t rest UNTIL) it’s done.

I’m just overly susceptible to the feeling and mood of my surroundings: our home first, foremost and most especially. We’ll get there, I know. Soon. Maybe when it’s time to move again?

(Mat would say I’m being negative.)

STOP BEING NEGATIVE, MOM!

STOP BEING NEGATIVE, MOM!

:)

Benji's First Christmas

Benji's First Christmas

Being an even-numbered year, it was Christmas in Québec! (Alternating between NM and QC these last years has been working pretty well so far).

I had really been looking forward to Benji’s first holiday - so many dreams of Instagrammable photos of baby in front of the tree and all that. (I’M A MILLENNIAL AND I ACCEPT IT.) So it was disappointing to not be in our home and have a tree to decorate. Technically we could have had one in our temporary place, but we just don’t feel at home here. So…2020 it will have to be!

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A New Mexican Thanksgiving

A New Mexican Thanksgiving

I’d been planning to do some traveling during my maternity leave, and knew it would probably be just Baby and me since Mat would be in school. At one point, in a flash of madness (blame the pregnancy hormones?), I thought it’d be fun to do the Camino de Santiago in Spain - 100+ kilometers of walking - baby-in-tow, with my dad… He laughed incredulously and appropriately at that idea. A more feasible goal was to take Benji to New Mexico for Thanksgiving. (I still want to do the Camino though! I’m looking at you, Pops.)

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Baby’s First Roadtrip: New England (A Cautionary Tale)

Baby’s First Roadtrip: New England (A Cautionary Tale)

Mat had a week-long break from school so we decided to make the most of it, and as it turned out, we tried to make a little TOO much of it. I don’t know what I was thinking when I was planning it, but even though I knew that traveling with a baby brings a specific set of restrictions… I somehow thought any problems would totally pause if you yell, “Vacation!”

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Back again

My half-hour on-foot commute the other morning was slightly challenging, but super lovely.

It's been ages since I've felt like I had anything to write about. (It felt so try-too-hard-y to try making an interesting post about what we ate for dinner, or that how many times a week we have to clean the entryway of its sidewalk salt-stains.) But I keep thinking that I want to anyway. I mean, who cares? (Read: who reads this anyway? I see you, Mom. And I love you.)

The part that always brings me back around to wanting to blog is really the DESIGN part. I get so impressed/obsessed with the stuff I see around. It makes me go, "That's really cool. I want to do that." So why don't I? Ok, ok, I will. :)

So without further preamble (I always feel like coming back from a long hiatus deserves a 3,000-word update on everything that has happened since the last post), I'm just going to dive right in. And by that I mean, re-posting my old favorites (mostly the Travel stuff from my big 2014 Eurotrip) with some added commentary, and sprinkling in the new stuff as it comes.

Next up: Some updates.

:D