Sunday, July 24, 2011

he is here!

My best friend has had her baby! The whole family is doing extremely well. I am impressed with how calm and easy-going they have been about the whole thing - they are naturals!

Julie and Ken kept his name a surprise until he was born, can you believe it?! The curiosity was killing me, although I think it was a cool idea in the end because it made his birth that much more special. Julie called me late one Tuesday evening as Pat and I were peeling paint off of our basement walls (a lovely story for another time). Pat said that he didn't even recognize her voice over the phone because she sounded so chillaxed (though she claims it was pure exhaustion). She just wanted to let us know that we had a new baby friend, and everyone was doing well. We were soooo happy to hear the news and couldn't wait to meet him!! We went to the hospital on the following Thursday morning, on literally the hottest day of the year. Just walking outside was like melting into a steam bath, it was that drastic. We drove out to Chateauguay through the road work and traffic, but we didn't mind because we were going to meet Joshua (yes, I had caved and asked Julie to tell me his name over the phone because I couldn't wait any longer)!!

We were impressed with how nice the hospital is, not dreary and hospital-like at all really. It looks more like a strip mall when you first walk in, and light streams through the skylights in the main hallway. We tracked down the "pavillion des naissances" and found room 21, the second-to-last room on a long corridor, but very nicely and privately located. We knocked on the door and a few moments later, out came Ken with little Joshua resting in the crook of his arm. How precious and miraculous a newborn truly is. It's stunning at first to see them, you can't believe that they are finally here after a long journey from beyond. But there he was, tiny and adorable, swaddled in his blankets.

After a quick visit from the nurse, we were able to go in and see Julie, who looked fabulous for a lady who had just given birth. And no, I'm not only saying that because she's my friend. She had already lost so much of her weight and looked comfy and well-adjusted. I found myself hoping that I will look that good when I give birth. I hope I can be that "together".

The private room they were staying in had a nice large window overlooking a green space with tall trees and sprawling hills. Another nice feature was the double bed they got to share. I must say we will definitely consider this hospital when it's our turn, although it won't be for another long while, don't you worry.

Patrick and I took turns holding Josh while Julie and Ken recounted details of the journey they had just experienced, each adding dimension to the other. I am so glad we were able to visit and be part of Josh's first few days. I can't wait to watch him grow.

Congratulations on your beautiful boy my dear friends!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just a quick post to mention how cool our weekend was. It was my third time seeing U2 and I must say it's impressive how massive their concerts still are (this one in particular). Despite the disgusting crowds and the drenching rain at the end of the evening, we had a great time.

In store this week: painting the basement, receiving couches, finishing the grout sealer in the kitchen and bathroom, hanging more pictures, garden work in the backyard, hopefully finding a TV unit and starting my photo wall.... We'll see how productive I actually am.

I know I am due back with a "part 2" of the last few months. I'll add it to the list of things to do.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The last few months - part 1

Why hello, its been a while, no?! I'll be honest, there were some times that I contemplated whether or not I really felt like having a blog anymore. For the last few months, there has been so much going on that I never found the time or motivation to document because there was always something else to take care of. I haven't written for myself in ages, and am feeling quite stunted and uninspired and incapable in that department. With summer here, though, I really want to get back into it. I am disappointed that spring 2011 is a blur in my mind, uncaptured in words and in very few photos. So I will try to go back and fill in the missing pieces, try to tell this story of our move, of the end of the school year, of big life changes and little adventures.

If I take you back to early spring, I was an MLS-addict, obsessed with checking properties for sale, either hunched over my computer or oh-so-conveniently, pretty much anywhere I went with my Remax app on the iPhone. We racked our brains over tons of possibilities, looked into condos, made check-lists and jotted down calculations over and over, tweaking variables to find out what would work best. It was so draining and stressful for a long time, with so many unknowns and what-ifs. You can really get lost and discouraged in the process. But I am happy we toughed it out and did our homework, because it paid off.

Thankfully we found a great agent who understood our needs and eventually helped us find this place. We visited it on a Thursday evening and the following day, she managed to negotiate the price way, way down with the seller's agent. We were surprised and a little overwhelmed at how fast it started to roll from that point on. She stressed the importance of us making an offer right away, before the weekend and the possibility of an open house which would attract more people and offers. We were stunned, I think, when we went to her office that Friday afternoon, not fully aware of what we were launching ourselves into. We told her that we wanted to visit one last time before making an official offer. It was supposed to be my birthday supper that evening, but I dragged my mom away from cooking duties so she could come by again for some advice. All along I knew that I didn't want to let this place go, so after an hour or so of debating, of inspecting the place, of dreaming of the future, I filled out the paper work for the first offer and oh my lord what a feeling...
The next day, on my birthday, we received word that our offer had been accepted!! The only thing they didn't agree to was giving us the table (seen here) and chairs that they had been using to stage the place. We were disappointed at first, but we had already bought chairs a few months earlier and were going to be refinishing my parents' old kitchen table, so it wasn't really a loss. Also, the chairs were fabric, which wouldn't have stood the test of time or dealt well with spills and stains. The table was also glass, and although it was gorgeous, I think it would have been a pain to clean, not to mention that it wasn't the most child-friendly type of material, which would be a concern in the future.
So the next few weeks involved lots of calls, sorting, planning, organizing, and finally packing. Without including any of Pat's things or the kitchen items that were stuffed under the stairs in my bedroom, here is what my parents' basement looked liked (eeek!):
Honestly, looking at this, it still feels surreal. The amount of time that went in to coordinating all of this was monumental, but we did it! I am so glad that I moved in the month of May, before the last month of school and the need to move all the boxes from my classroom back into storage at home... Anyways, we were really lucky to have family and friends helping us a TON. Here we are on moving day:

Everything went pretty smooth overall, and although it was exhausting, it was exciting and fun at the same time. My mom and my uncle were especially helpful over weeks and countless projects, and we are forever indebted to them for all their hard work.

The last little while has been all about settling in, organizing, making it our space, decorating, and getting into a groove together. It has been a learning process. It has been a bit crazy at times. We have learned that a house will always be a work in progress, and that's okay. It was hard for me to accept at first, but I am coming to understand that I need to just let things be and appreciate what we have. I think we have done quite well for being here for two months.

There is much more to tell, but I have to get ready for work at the library. One more day before my vacation time. I will be back sometime soon to fill in part 2.

Enjoy the sunshine.