Category Archives: house hunting

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

Earlier this year, I told my sister-in-law a cute anecdote about something BB#1 had said just before his brother was born. As we shared a laugh, I didn’t really notice that the boy himself had gotten up and left the room.

So I’ll admit, I was a bit floored to discover later that he was angry with me–for telling a story about him without asking first. I didn’t consider the story an embarrassing one at all–it has never been my intention to make my children the butt of a joke or to humiliate them in any way, and I abhor the child-shaming that seems to be so rampant online these days (have some foresight, parents!) In actual fact, the point of telling the story had been to show what a clever toddler he had been! But I suddenly remembered being his age, and how I felt at being the topic of conversation–or more specifically, the source of humour–among adults, and I could relate.

It was probably around the same time that I read this post by Tracy Chappell: Why I’m Breaking Up With My Blog. As an editor and writer for Today’s Parent, Tracy had blogged long before I jumped in. And not for the first time, my friend made me think. Although I had purposely kept the boys anonymous online, hadn’t used their photos, and wasn’t writing for the size of audience she had (*waves to reader: hi, Mom!*) I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was right: that the older my kids get, the less their stories are mine to tell.

So although I’ve never been the most consistent of bloggers anyway, I found it more and more difficult to come up with posts that didn’t make me wonder, “would my son(s) want me to share this?” I suppose I could have just asked them, but really, as Jennifer Pinarski points out in her own blog (suggested reading for new parent bloggers!), that’s expecting a child to make an adult decision.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure of my focus–would this be a “mommy blog“, or a collection of thoughts on random topics? My most popular and most commonly shared posts have been those about reading. And when visitors discover my blog through search terms, it tends to be in their quest for information about PFAPA. When the boys first started having these periodic fevers, there wasn’t much about the condition online, so I chose to share our stories in the hopes of helping other families dealing with it. I hope that I have.

In 2015, my top five posts have been:

But the fact is, this blog is called Mum2BeautifulBoys. And as I wrote early on, one of the main reasons I started blogging was to keep a record of some of the little things about parenting I would otherwise forget over the years if they weren’t written down. So while I’ve explored other topics, it has usually been through my parent-lens. And if I want to shift my boys’ stories offline, I’m not sure M2BB has a reason to exist any more.

So what does this mean for 2016? I’m not sure. I will continue writing, but I may need to create a new space, with a new focus, and a new name (got any good ideas?) And pick up a pen to record my family’s more private moments.

In the meantime, Happy New Year, Mom! 😉

 

*These posts are apparently “out” for 2016.

 

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Filed under breastfeeding, education, house hunting, moving, my kid just said, parenting, PFAPA, privacy, random, reading, real estate, the beautiful boys

Buried in Stuff

It’s almost October, and I’m just finally sitting down to write: what I did on my summer vacation. I moved. Which, if you’ve moved, you know is a special kind of hell.

Spent the month of June trying to keep the house in “showing” condition. Spent the month of July sorting and packing. And spent the month of August sorting and unpacking. Okay, starting to sort and unpack. The basement is still full of boxes, but at least there are just semi-organized piles instead of the labyrinth that took our moving guys a good 12 hours to create! So that’s progress, considering one of them commented “You aren’t going to have a basement when we’re done, you’re just going to have boxes!” Did I mention we moved on the hottest day of the year? Sorry, moving guys!

Turns out our 1,300 square foot townhouse actually had quite a bit of storage space, including built-in shelves, a good-sized utility room, a cold room and a loft in the garage, that our only slightly larger new-to-us detached home does not have! And we had made good use of that space, storing things that had actually never been unpacked when we moved in to our first home almost 11 years earlier! So instead of squirrelling away the bins and boxes, we actually have to look at them.

Which really begs the question, why on earth are we keeping all this stuff?!

We did spend some time prior to the move decluttering. For example, I gave away or donated or recycled probably 15 large boxes of books. Which left a mere 30 large boxes of books. What can I say, we love books! I kept my very favourites, any signed-by-the-author books I’ve received over the years, and kids’ books–for the boys, and for my classroom (which I currently do not have but you never know…)

I also parted ways with essays I had forgotten I’d written, journals I wish I’d forgotten  I’d written, and a bunch of other things including toys. Mine and my husband’s, not the boys’. Those we still have in abundance.

The good news is our kitchen is quite a bit bigger, and I now have cupboard space for things like serving trays and glassware that we got as wedding presents but never used. (Did I mention it was our 15th anniversary this month? Heh.)

But I’m still overwhelmed by what we do have, to the point where I don’t know what to do about it. Keep it? If I’ve held on to it this long, it must be important to me, right? Like my vintage Cabbage Patch Kids, circa the original craze in ‘84. Throw it away? Ugh, the landfill. And the memories! Sell it? Who else would want it? We’re talking well-loved Cabbage Patch Dolls here, not never-played-with, still-in-the-box. Donate it? If it’s too grungy to sell, it seems wrong to donate it too.

The thing is, we’re constantly at our boys to consider donating or otherwise parting with their plethora of “things” too—especially the papers and the toys. But how can we expect them to do so when we have difficulty with this ourselves? I know I’ve changed from a little girl who expected to live in a large Victorian-style home with a room just to display her doll collection to a woman who hates to dust and fantasizes about a kitchen counter with nothing on it. But actually throwing out those dolls, even if they are just taking up space in a box right now, is another story, one I can’t seem to write The End on yet.

Not to mention, our current reality is that my husband works from home and requires a great deal of equipment and a space to do his job, and I have only just begun my teacher hoarding. And with kids there comes a certain amount of stuff—we may have left behind the baby swing, stroller, and Thomas train years but have entered the snowboard, electric guitar and amp, adult-sized bike years. And then there’s the Lego…

We’re going to need a bigger house.*

 

 

*expect I’m never moving again, so I guess some of this stuff is going to have to go…

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Reasons I’m Not Buying Your House

We’ve been house hunting lately. We have yet to buy a place. Here are some reasons why not:

The hair salon in your basement. Someone will love that! I’m not that someone.

The price. You’ve priced it 100K too high for a house that needs 100K of work done on it. And yes, the pink 1970’s bathroom fixtures would have to go.

The smell.

It backs on to a restaurant. Convenient? Yes. Appealing? No.

It’s beautiful inside, but I can see a factory from your front door.

You turned the garage into a bedroom/bathroom.

2500 square foot house, and your kitchen still has less counter and cupboard space then my 1300 square foot townhouse. And my kitchen is the reason I want to move!

It’s going to cost me money to undo all the “quaint” personal touches you added over the years, and yet the price suggests you are expecting to get the money you invested back out. Good luck with that…

There’s a two-car garage, but you blocked it off with a fence and a shed.

The hot tub overlooking your family room.

I just bet the “green space” your house backs on to is used by the neighbors as a garbage dump, and the local teens as a place to “hang out” and “do stuff” on Friday nights…

Your neighbours’ toddler and preschooler kept running back and forth behind our car when we were trying to back out of your drive after the open house, while your neighbors just looked on and did nothing. I don’t want to be afraid I’m going to run someone over every time I leave the house!

The falling down fence in your listing pictures.

The alcove we called “the murder room”…

There’s snow in all the listing pictures, and it’s May. If no one has bought it so far, I’m certainly not getting suckered into it!

Your agent never responded to our request to see it! For reals!

Your neighbour’s above-ground pool is literally touching the shared fence, making it about three feet from the kitchen window.

Bonus: while I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the perfect house because of this, I’ll admit the unflushed toilet with the lid up did not help me fall in love with yours!

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Filed under house hunting, moving, random, real estate, Uncategorized