Thursday, July 12, 2007

How much greener we talkin'?

Our home was originally built as two row homes in the late 1800s. Sometime between then and the 50s, someone had the bright idea to turn them into one hot Mama. And, she is. She's a near-perfect Colonial who is aging before our eyes, and fast. Another paint chip, another shutter piece cracked, Liana peeled more siding off ... etc.

It's no secret to most people who know us that we love our house and our neighborhood, most of the time. There have been a few situations that have left us more than displeased, but that all usually dissipates as we're walking to the farmer's markets on Saturdays or to the coffee shop midweek.

A lot has changed since we moved in here nearly four years ago as newlyweds. Infertility. Pregnancy. Twins. The First Year. Switching to one income.

We're finally seeing clearly for the first time in four years. And, what we're seeing is a mixed medium. We're parents now; things are different. If we knew then what we know now ...

As I scrub every little nook and cranny of this house this week, I am thinking about all the obvious anti-child measures that were erected in those early days.

First, the staircase (how does one home that was previously two have just one set, anyway?) leads to the top, where you have to take a steep step up either left or right to get to your next destination. In other words, there are really three landings. So, once we finally -- and I mean F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. -- reach the top, one girl starts climbing left; the other right. I'm always a nervous wreck at the top. Now they are learning to resist my directions, too, which is making that peak more painful.

Secondly, the bathroom is way too small and the door opens up to cover up half the bathtub. So, not only can we barely fit in the room together to bathe, but if I want to stop in to say hi or grab a baby who is crying, I have to first knock Da! in the back with the door, wait for him to move over as far as he can (about two inches) and then squeeze in long enough to grab a wet baby and then squeeze back out.

Heavens, what were we thinking?

I could go on. Really. But, what I'm wondering is if anyone is truly happy with their home or are you always, no matter what, seeking that greener pasture?


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

The only kid inconvenient thing about our home is that we have only two bedrooms and the kids can't fall asleep in the same room at the same time. So, we put our son to sleep in our room and our daughter to sleep in the kids' room and then carry him in after they are both asleep.

It's what we could afford, but I love it. I don't think I would really want a bigger place -- I'm pretty anti-big home. And the location is great for us.

We did buy it after the kids were born -- and brought them along to inspect -- so, we had a good idea what we were getting into in that sense.

PJ Hoover said...

I think everyone gets used to what they have. I visit friends and freak out around things at their houses and I'm sure they do the same at mine. But some houses are easier than others. Especially when it comes to stairs.
Post a picture so we can see it!

Leah said...

great post!

someone should write a book: "The Expectant Parents' Guide to House-hunting..."

I am pretty happy with our home, except for our stunning lack of foresight in not choosing a home with a decent-sized fenced in yard. Duh! what were we thinking? :)

LauraC said...

We put an offer on our first (and current) home two weeks after we found out we were having twins. We used a realtor with two kids and had her give us advice as we walked through homes. I think our house is perfect for us, some kind of cosmic fate to find THE home for us after one day of looking.

We walked into the house and the view from the picture window in the kitchen showed an enormous tree house... and I was expecting two boys.

Mama Zen said...

When I found out that I was pregnant, I picked the prettiest room in the house for the nursery. Hello, what was I thinking? It was also the room farthest from the master bedroom. Not smart!

bella said...

We moved to a new apartment with more space once Leo became a toddler and need to run around more. And it was perfect. For a couple of weeks. Then I started thinking of what I would change, what I will change one day. Maybe it is our way of acknowledging that our homes are living things, not static but always changing, a work in progress that echoes the shifting days.

Shannon said...

We were pretty optimistic when we build our home a year before we got pregnant. Now that I look back, I don't know why we were so optimistic and picked out everything for the "kids" even though we had been trying unsuccessfully for five years. lol. Human nature, I guess.
By the way, my grandparents had a house like yours in Pa. and the wall that seperated them from the neighbors actually split the stairs right down the center. It made for really narrow stairs. That's probably how yours used to be, too.

Wendy said...

i can really appreciate this post. now having sold our first home, i can honestly say, i'm not in a rush to buy another. the town house we're renting, while offering us lovely views, has too many hazards and we've installed so many child safety gates that my husband tells everyone we live in a gated community. the only thing worse than 3 steep staircases (which we have) are open stair cases (which we have). i think i have a much clearer vision of what to look for in a home when (and if) i'm ready to own again.