Making It Home
I'm plugging this out at 6:47 am. Manasseh agreed to take on Freida-duty this morning so I can finally get a much-needed sleep-in day... with the time change yesterday morning and all, we've really been burning the midnight oil all week long. Problem is, I can't even sleep! Being in a new space is so disconcerting for me, and while we've been setting up our home since we moved in on Tuesday, the novel feeling still lingers. We've been able to nest-in most of our furniture and belongings (and I do admit once our coffee machine was plugged in and time-set, I felt much, much better), but there's still the unconsciousness of "home" missing in the way I wake up feeling each day. I guess it will take some time... I hope to take more photos soon so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about - it's the coolness of a new space. This duplex is much larger than our previous home, and while we setup our living room, there is still a good half of it unedited and empty. Plus, the plastered art-deco style of this unit lends itself to a cave-ish feel due to the intensity of a curved high ceiling. Also, the fact that we decided not to rush on paint options to get the job done before move-in-day means that we are living in solid white confinement - cold beans, I tell you. I find myself hanging out in Frieda's room more than any other spot in the house - it seems to be the warmest. :)
Freida on the other hand, has adjusted to her new digs just beautifully! She's ecstatic to be living in "ellay" and tells everyone she meets about her new move (the checkout guy at our new Trader Joe's got an earful! Including how here they give "much more stickers than my old Trader Joe's!"). She's just loving all the new neighbors, the backyard, and mostly the close proximity to all her favorite spots. I knew the move was going to be a huge transition-mode for her, and I decided to throw in any other transitional steps that needed to be taken along the way: the removal of ALL diapers and pull-ups (including nighttime and poop time), a new round of "ferberization" after a hectic off-schedule holiday season, and the removal of bedtime bars! Freida is now crib free! At some point over the holidays, she started climbing out of her crib. It was just awful and impossible to keep her on a sleeping schedule with her being much too cheeky to stay inside her room once she knew she had options! Right when we moved into our new home and unpacked her room, I set her crib mattress on the floor and created a nice and cozy little sleep-space for her. We had one night of slight crying, but she's been sleeping in it all night long ever since, and she just loves it (obviously, we are now on the lookout for an awesome and modern toddler bed)!
Having a yard has been simply insane!! Letting Freida run free in the early morning, get some golden sunshine on her sweet little face and breathe in cool fresh morning air while I whip up breakfast or tidy up around the house has been heavenly! Naturally, I have heaps of plans for outdoor decor rushing through my mind at mach speed, but I know I gotta take things day by day... There is plenty to be done first around the house; including serious landlord issues (clogged drains, painted shut windows, broken glass sconces, etc.), picking and painting, getting some form of temporary window treatments (until we figure out what we want to do with all the natural light), going through the last of our bagged and boxed items (that have somehow made themselves at home in the closets!) etc. And so the outdoors will have to stay on the back-burner for now... at least it's downright enjoyable right off the bat!
What's got me the most excited throughout this little journey has been the insanely warm welcome we received from this community! Ever since we moved on in, I've been getting text messages and offers to help unpack, to take Freida out for the day, to pick things that I needed etc. It's been unreal! I had home-cooked dinners delivered right to my door (which is so unimaginably helpful when you've been unpacking all day and haven't even kashered your oven and countertops yet!), goodies like warm chocolate chip cookies, cold drinks, and other delicious confections dropped off all week long, and on Friday I was literally unable to get much work done because the door bell was ringing off the hook!! Fresh warm challahs, homemade hummus, cookies, pies, desserts etc. It was so overwhelmingly kind and it made me feel so grateful to be joining such a wonderful and giving community! The last drop off before I ushered in our first Shabbos here was a gift basket from the Shaarei Tefilah Congregation and it was unbelievable! They had put together a beautifully wrapped up package with all sorts of housewarming gifts, including a a bound booklet of all the information a new community member would need: local kosher markets, mikvahs, shuls, emergency numbers, cleaners, late-night ice cream joints etc. etc. It was such a lovely gesture, and I think it was such a wonderful way to welcome new community members to the neighborhood - other communities should be taking notes!! :)
Thank you everyone for the warm, warm welcome! We can't wait to join in here and start making a difference!