Posts Tagged suburbs

Calm before the storm and on the move

This morning, most of our friends and family back home are cleaning up after the big November Nor’easter. Even though we’re 350 miles away, we’re cleaning up after our own storm. I know, it’s not the same, but it’s been a crazy week for everyone!
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Our weather report is saying that we’re going to get hit with the Nor’easter this weekend, and if Accuweather is correct, I’ve only got a few minutes to write this post so I can hopefully beat the storm and go walk to do a couple of loads of laundry and grab some essentials at the grocery store.

So, yes, things have been insane around here. I’ve been attending event after event, and by the time I get home, I’m so exhausted from all the stimulation that I hardly have enough energy to do the dishes or cook dinner. Everyone does this sort of balance and yes, things could be worse…But damn, I’m tired.

In order for me to be able to attend these events in the city, we hired a regular babysitter whom Jack LOVES. She’s really great with him, he gets along great with her and the other little girl she watches BUT the main caveat is that she lives up in Jersey City. So, I do that walk up there by foot, even though on paper it’s 8 blocks away. It takes about half an hour each way, but on foot, with a stroller IN THE COLD RAIN, it sucks. So when I’m feeling baller, we take the $10 cab. Great childcare, even though it’s a trek, is worth it. Right?

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But aside from that whole babysitter situation, we’ve got the house hunting stuff going on. This journey is much more personal since it’s the biggest financial investment we’ve made to date. There’s so much to say about the house stuff…but I always feel that I need to tread lightly on this topic.

Let’s make this clear: I love city living. LOVE. I love being able to walk everywhere, even when I run out of babywipes at 10pm at night. I love having so much to do on any given day. I love being just minutes away and having four different public transportation options of heading into the City.

Yeah, I complain about the lack of amenities, but really, the tradeoffs make up for it tenfold. I’ll say it again, but I know many people who don’t “get” city living gasp at how we live in such a small space. EVERYONE does it here. Some people have less space, some people have more, but we’re all playing Jenga with our cars, kids’ toys, furniture and laundry baskets.

That said, when I’m told to “hang in there,” I’m like, for what? I love it here. I don’t want to leave!

I’ve GLADLY given up certain conveniences for proximity to everything. However, my personal sacrifice is much different than my husband’s. My laundry adventures aren’t as dire as the 1.5 hr parking chore that Jeff often endures every night. Yes, parking.

Sadly, we don’t have the extra $400-600/month to spare for a parking spot, so Jeff must circle around our neighborhood hundreds of times before he can find an on-street spot. And ultimately, Jeff’s parking debacle turns into a parenting debacle. All that effort spent on parking has interfered with Jeff & Jack time AND on our nighttime routine. And that, my friends, suuuucks.

So, as much as I don’t want to move, it’s clearly for the greater good. And that’s not say I wouldn’t love having a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Just right now, I love havinghouse in cedar lake all the other stuff more.  (But I’ll still complain about having to trek all that way to wash laundry!)

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I’m so sure my tune will change in time. And no, we will not be getting a damn minivan when we move to the suburbs.

And that’s where I am right now…but the actual house hunt is exciting. Last week, we checked out 9 houses in the neighborhood we ideally would like to move. On a whim, we checked out one house in a totally different neighborhood, and guess what, we liked that one the best. I won’t say we loved it, but there’s potential to love it even more. We’re at a crossroads about this house, but more than likely, we may be making an offer…

Jeff’s worked so hard on making this happen!  A huge thank you to him on that and to my parents for all of their support and encouragement.

But hello, that particular neighborhood is much more remote than we realized. There was real deer in a yard close to the house we liked. Deer!!

As we drove around that neighborhood, Jack saw this man mowing his lawn. I never realized this, but Jack has never seen someone in person mowing their lawn. I guess we’re not in VA enough in the summer to see people doing yard work, so it was hilarious for him to yell excitedly about a man mowing his lawn.

So, yes, as much as I love the city and living so close to it, I want my child to know the joy of his father yelling at him to mow the lawn on a Saturday morning. I want him to have his own space to expand his own horizons. I want him to know how wonderful it is to grow up in a great community, just like we did. But lucky Jack, he’ll (hopefully) live less than an hour away from NYC.

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And after he mows the lawn, he’ll have his momma yelling at him to get dressed so we can take the train and go to Museum Mile and enjoy adventures in the City again.

Poor kid :)

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Thoughts of coming home

The walls of our apartment have been closing in.  Every square inch of our carpet is worn from all the foot traffic.  And now, it seems, we play Jenga with clothes/toys/misc. stuff that we need, yet have no where to store.

It’s not breaking news, but it’s official: we’ve outgrown our 1 bedroom railroad apartment.

We’ve toyed with moving back to Va. Beach to be closer to family, we’ve shopped for condos in the NYC area and yes, we’ve perused the real estate sites for YEARS for houses in suburban New Jersey.  Circumstances have created unexpected roadblocks to our path to homeownership.  And quite honestly, it’s expensive to buy a home in the tri-state area, not to mention havoc that the whole real estate and mortgage meltdown created. Oh, and let’s not forget, if it were up to me, we’d never leave the Hoboken.

Jack and I are enjoying a week with family here in Va. Beach now, and I can’t get my mind off of what’s waiting for us in Jerz.  Of course, it’s nice seeing family here, but it’s clear that this is just a place we like to visit.

We had the chance to see a few friends already since we arrived early yesterday morning.  As usual, people ask when we’re moving back “home” and insinuate that we should’ve had enough of the NYC area by now…  For those not used to our lifestyle, the apartment rental, public transportation and small space sound so primitive, when really, it’s just a byproduct of urban living.  (I see those looks you throw us.)  But like the Jeffersons, we’re movin’ on up…

So you can imagine how good it feels to say, “Well, actually, we are in the process of finding/buying a home in North Jersey.  So, yeah, we’ll be settling there.

It’s no secret, but we love where we come from; but it feels so great to know where we’re going.

We’ll enjoy all this for now—the fun visits, the weeklong vacation with grandparents—knowing that things will undoubtedly change once we move.  For once, instead of trying to make everyone else happy with these frequent trips back “home” we can finally look forward to concentrating on us, and hopefully, the place we’ll happily call home.

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