Wednesday, 19 June 2013

getting a move on

We are mostly moved into our new apartment -- or at least, it is more and more resembling a liveable space and less a precarious cardboard maze.

We did a bunch of the move by bicycle.

I hauled flattened boxes generously donated by Sasha & Ezra's parents
For about three weeks, we spent our days off packing boxes, labeling boxes, and pedaling boxes the mile and a half to our apartment. Or just roping random pieces of furniture together in bike trailers and pedaling the load slowly over potholes and train tracks.

we borrowed this awesome trailer a couple times from the bike shop where HB works

For me, moving by bike wasn't so much about badassery or green energy or being a hot alternative hipster mess; it was mostly just the practical solution to wanting to move stuff during our month of double occupancy, when we don't own a car.

We did rent a u-haul for the stuff we just didn't have the equipment to safely move by bike -- couches, mattresses, that sort of thing. With help from my parents and our favorite housemate RK, we spent all of Saturday driving the u-haul back and forth and getting stuck waiting for literally every train that chugged through the city that day. (We moved RK's stuff too, to her new apartment.)

The best thing about our new apartment is the location. It's walking distance from a weekend farmer's market, a daily produce stand, our favorite bakery, our favorite brunch place, a good pizza place, a community garden (which has a 3+ year wait for a plot, dammit), and the park that hosts our city's chapter of Food Not Bombs. Our apartment is also just a few blocks from the apartment where RK and our other favorite former housemate E will be living! We had hoped for a close proximity but hadn't prioritized it at all; we just got really lucky.

we took a picnic dinner to the park last night to watch the clouds at dusk
Our apartment has some other good features, like front steps for my ambitious tomato container garden, a gas stove (which we have to light with a lighter half the time?) and enough space in the living room for me to cram both my desk and my drafting table into a corner. And a bathroom we're not sharing between five people, and a kitchen that will stay clean when we clean it, and windows that are less than a century old.

It has some weird built-in-the-1920s oddities too, like a bathroom sink with separate taps for cold and hot water, and a door in the bedroom closet that leads not to Narnia but to the toilet, and approximately three electrical outlets in the whole damn place, but it has charm, you know?

We took around freshly baked cookies to introduce ourselves to all our neighbors last night because we are those people. So far everyone's really friendly but a lot of them smoke cigarettes on their porches, which is frustrating because it's technically a non-smoking property and I'm a sensitive and delicate butterfly. One apartment has kids (!), one has a hilariously bug-eyed chihuahua named Nibbler, and one was so full of pot smoke that I'm pretty sure my hair still smells like it after the sixty seconds it took to hand cookies through the doorway to the extremely delighted occupants.

Stay tuned as we continue trying to adult.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

cycle challenge

The family that HB used to nanny for organizes a regular group bike ride for kids in our city. This time around, I asked Sasha if she wanted to do the ride with me. Did she ever!

Sasha tends toward sedentary. She prefers tv programs to parks, read alouds to running around. But at the same time, she completely idolizes me and my bicycling ways. She often says that she wants to be just like me when she grows up, "not owning a car, and riding my bike everywhere." Recently the hero-worship has won over the discomfort of physical activity. Just in the last few weeks, she's taught herself to ride her bike without training wheels, without much formal assistance or even much encouragement. She just decided she wanted to do it, and practiced and practiced after school every day until she got it down.

So with her training wheels off, the seat raised, wheels refilled, and bicycle frame lovingly buffed, Sasha, HB and I joined the group bike ride for kids!

Sasha did fantastic. She totally challenged herself in areas she has previously been hesitant to explore: riding up and down surfaces that are not perfectly level without getting off and walking her bike, riding on streets where cars travel and not just the sidewalk in front of her house, riding in a relatively straight line (important when you're in a big group!), and riding for longer than 20 minutes at a time (admittedly with very long breaks in the middle for kids to buy treats at the cupcake and ice cream shops along the ride).

Since the ride, she tells me that all she wants to do is ride her bike.

My job here is done.

High fives,

Monday, 10 June 2013

Sasha Says, ep. 20

Sasha introduced me to one of her friends using their teacher's nickname for the kid, "Clofish" (rhymes with blowfish) instead of her actual name, which is Chloe

"Let's be vampires. And spies."

"Princesses are my worst enemy!"

"Parents always say yes to playdates."

"There are a lot of nutcases here!" (It turns out she was referring to a helmet brand that lots of people were wearing on the group bike ride for kids)

"I'm feeling very unpatient."

"There are two kinds of petrified. One is like petrified wood, and the other is like in Harry Potter." (Characters in Harry Potter #2 are immobilized by a marauding basilisk)


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Athena does the park

We've had a few hot, sunny days this week, so I've packed Athena into the stroller for a few glorious two-hour stints at the park. Often when I've brought her to the park in the past she'll spend the majority of the time just standing and staring at the other people there. Or sitting and staring. Or holding onto my leg and staring.

But with these longer park dates, she spends the first half hour in observation mode, then she starts to explore the play structures. She likes the baby swings and climbing the stairs to slide down the toddler slides. She has been a fan of bark chips for weeks, but now she has discovered daisies too.

And she's starting to interact with the other kids! Today, Athena and this two-year-old named Violet took a shine to each other, and followed each other around the playground babbling. Violet kept saying "Baby!" and gently hugging Athena. It was adorable.

I can tell that she likes the park because when it's time to go, she screams bloody murder as I strap her into her stroller. (Waving "bye bye" to the park seems to decrease transition-time shrieking.)
High fives,