Saturday, October 27, 2007

House Owners

It's amazing how life can change in one short week. Last Friday as I sat in this same chair in this same library, I had no idea how busy my life was about to become. To make a long (and complicated) story short (and simple), in this past week, we have become new home owners, and we have sold our condo. We are very excited. I was getting very close to my wit's end as we lost bidding war after bidding war, so we changed strategies, and were able to close a deal on a charming house in the west end. Here are the details:

It needs much work, but by the time we are moved in it will be more our house than ever. The house is a solid red brick semii, it has a very large living room/dining room area (very open concept, which we love) with beautiful hardwood throughout, and the kitchen is also a very good size. The kitchen needs to be completely re-done since the appliances are ancient, there are no cupboard doors, and besides, we are excited about designing our own kitchen. Beyond the kitchen is a storage room (an addition onto the house) which exits to the backyard porch. The backyard is very low-maintenance - interlocking brick throughout with flowerbeds bordering the sides. Beyond the back fence is a two car parking lane, which we plan on renting one or both out since we don't have a car. Upstairs has three bedrooms, but one bedroom has had one wall taken down, which is a weekend job to one day put back up. The upstairs bathroom needs to be completely re-done as well. The basement is partially finished, dry, and has a bathroom in good condition with a shower stall. All wiring is up-to-date, the roof is in good condition, and the house inspection only revealed a few minor things that are easily fixed.

It is in a fabulous location - five minute walk to Dundas West subway (which has an elevator for stroller access!), two blocks east of Roncesvalles Village, about a ten minute walk east to High Park, a 15 minute walk west to Dufferin Grove Park, a Loblaws just north of us, a No Frills a little further south, and a short street car ride to downtown. We couldn't be happier.

And as for our condo, it is bittersweet to see it go. We have loved living here, and we are both really excited for the new owner - she has bought a fabulous place. We signed the papers last night, selling it for exactly $1 over asking. :) Closing on the house is December 14th, and closing for the condo is January 3rd, so I guess this house is our family's Christmas present. We will have the two weeks over Christmas to paint, clean, re-do the kitchen and bathroom, and more, so we'll be a little too busy to do our usual Christmas activities. Luckily Ada is too young to actually miss Christmas, but she's going to love her new house, I'm sure of it. More room to run around, stairs to climb, her own bedroom, a backyard to play in, and fabulous parks right outside the door. But we are sorry she won't have any memories of our downtown home on the 36th floor.

Since I dedicated this post to giving details on our new home, here are some random pictures of our favourite little Ada.

UPDATE: I'm posting this a week after writing it - technical difficulties. :) We're going to see the house today, so I'll post pictures later this week - I promise!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An explanation...

I have now found a way to squeeze in some time to sit down and write something for this blog. Our library program has just started up again (it was off for the summer), and I'm really happy to put it back in our weekly schedule. The librarian who runs it is amazing. She has all the patience in the world for the twenty or so babies that are usually crying, babbling, whining, yelling, walking around touching toes (that would be Ada), or some other distracting baby behaviour. Meanwhile, she continues on with her songs, poems, and story books as if all the babies were quietly paying attention to everything she said. And all the babies really do love her - she has this presence that attracts them to her voice. It's quite amazing. On the other hand, she does not have any patience for the adults in the room chatting with each other during her program, such as making plans for coffee later or comparing baby stories. The program is for the babies, and there is plenty of time before and after the program to chat. And even though it can get pretty hectic at times (we all know how the domino effect works with crying babies), I have never been in a group quite like it. The one downfall - there are two programs every Friday, both occurring precisely at Ada's morning nap time. But I have found a way to take advantage of this. I've chosen the 10am group so that, even though that is the time she usually has her nap, she is so entertained by the librarian, other babies, adult's toes, songs and stories, that she forgets that she wants to sleep. Then, when the program is done, I tuck her into her stroller, find a quiet spot on the second floor of the library with a comfy chair, and I can relax for about an hour and half while she sleeps soundly. Normally at home during this nap, I'm half watching The Ellen Degeneres Show (I'm rather addicted - it's a real pick-me-up!) while I run around cleaning up from the night before and breakfast, continuing with laundry (a never-ending task), getting us ready to go out for the afternoon, or other household tasks. At the library, I am forced to sit and relax! Last week I flipped through a couple of old magazines, but I realized I could fully utilize this time by bringing along our extra Mac PowerBook and type out my week's Adventures With Ada. I hope this works!

So it has been so long that I haven't even had the chance to show off the pictures from Ada's birthday. We had a small party in our condo on the Sunday before her birthday (I guess that would be the 2nd), where Ada happily clapped her hands at every opportunity so that she could emphasize the power she had over the rest of us as we all clapped and cheered in return. She wore her flower party dress and hair clip again, and Jonathan and I made a cake in the shape of a fish - one of her first words. And, in first birthday fashion, she happily stuck her hand deep into the icing of the cake while exclaiming "Mmmm!" while licking it off her fingers. She knows how to host a birthday party.

Party dress

Opening presents

New book

New bracelet

Birthday Pizza

Finishing touches

Happy 1st Birthday Ada!

Yum!  Icing!

The actual day of her birthday was a Wednesday, so I wanted to find an activity that would include as many of Ada's current favourite things to do as possible. She was pleased with my choice of going to Centre Island. We made friends on the ferry, had many opportunities to crawl around the grass at full speed while "chasing" seagulls, had lunch with a view, played on a swing, and happily spent a full, smiling day together. It was perfect.

New friends

Playing in the grass

Lunch with a view


So much fun!

Birthday cuddles

So Ada has woken up earlier that I wanted, but she's well rested and ready to go. We're going to go to King's Cafe now where we will share a plate of curry vermicelli, and Ada will be spoiled rotten by the lovely staff there. It's handy having a cute little girl with you wherever you go.