Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Settling In, kind of

The last few weeks have been a confusing mix of amazing Bellingham sunsets; peaceful evening walks; good times with family and friends in town; and stress related to the Seattle house; hodge-podged childcare; and work. The Seattle house is soooo close to being listed, and our lives will really feel 100% less crazy when this happens. The hope is that it won't stay on the market long, and given the Seattle real estate scene, we are hopeful it will get bought quickly. We've had to (and by "we" I largely mean Jeff) finish a lot of projects on the house to ready it for the market and this feels extra draining given that we have already physically moved and would like to mentally move on as well. Jeff's been sleeping 3-4 nights a week in Seattle on an air bed to manage all the house work (not to mention his jobby job - the one that actually pays money) and I've been single parenting without full time childcare but WITH a full time job. It's not ideal. But Bellingham is lovely and our house is so filled with amazing light. And the sunsets. Have I mentioned the sunsets? Our Seattle house never saw the sunset because of a giant 1990's box house built 24 inches from the west side of our house. The sun set at approximately 1:30pm every day behind their behemoth of a home. Watching the sun set every night is very life affirming.

Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten for Edie. We had our "assessment" today with her teacher, Ms. Linville, who I'm told is awesome by other parents at Lowell. There are only 2 kindergarten classes at Lowell (compared to 4 classes at our Seattle school) and Ms. Linville said most of the kids don't know each other from preschool - so this will be nice for Edie to not be the only "new" kid. Edie scored 127 out of 130 on her Kindergarten "readiness" assessment today. Luckily, her teacher taught 1st grade for many years before moving to Kindergarten 4 years ago, and she said there were 2 other kids that scored high as well, so she'll have a little cohort in the class of kids who she can pull out as needed to challenge and keep her from getting bored. There's also another little girl we are told who has a birthday this week and will be 6 all year, so Edie won't be the oldest in class.

Edie seems excited, but is playing it down when quizzed. She's picked out her outfit for tomorrow and I can hardly wait to walk her to school and see her with all the kids. Tomorrow and Friday are half days for the kindergarteners and then the regular, full-day schedule begins on Monday. Her birthday falls between and we are having a cat-themed party for her on Sunday in our half-unpacked house.

A few pictures until I can upload more below. I didn't take any of me doing some mediocre parenting while trying to work at the same time, so this slide show is a little skewed toward the "lovely" part of moving…

Just a glass of white wine sangria at a bar we walked to from our house. No big deal. The view is only so-so here.

Edie and I went to the outdoor cinema in Fairhaven last Saturday with my friend Kristin and her brother Eric. They showed "Up" and the whole experience was super fun and charming. We brought blankets and chairs and snuggled in the back with a giant zip lock bag of home made snicker doodles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spoiler Alert: Edie likes Farm Camp

So Monday morning's drop off was a fluke. When I met her with her babysitter that afternoon she was chatty and happy as a clam. Her babysitter has Rapunzel hair in a thick braid down to her waist and Edie had decorated it with flowers. Then her babysitter had returned the favor by french braiding her hair and decorating it with tons of clovers and buttercups. Edie was VERY PROUD of her fancy hair.

She was excited to be dropped off at camp yesterday and sad that today is her last day with her afternoon babysitter, who tells her old timey folk tales that I've never heard and helps her identify different plants and flowers all over the Western campus.

We played at the Lowell playground after dinner last night again and met about 6 kids who go to Lowell, one was a boy starting Kindergarten this year. His older sister told me all about the 2 kindergarten teachers and how nice they are. 2 older sisters in 3rd and 5th grade showed her tricks on the bars. It was adorable.

The sunset views from our house every night are an amazing reminder that our lifestyle has changed dramatically. This move feels more right every day. Now if we can just get our Seattle house finished and ready to sell!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Highs and Lows

Last night Edie and Jeff went to the Lowell playground down the street and made a new friend. They are both monkey bar obsessed and she was also there with her Dad, who happened to be cool AND be good friends with one of Jeff's high school friends. They needed to use the bathroom, so Jeff invited them back to our place and they stayed for like 3 hours with the girls playing in the basement with Legos the whole time.

Then this morning it rained and I dropped Edie off at a new camp in the woods of Western's campus called Farm Camp. She hated it, clung to my leg and asked me to stay with her. This has NEVER happened with Edie. She loves new things and is so outgoing that it made me feel terrible. I had to kiss her goodbye, tell her it would be fun and walk away. She sat on a bench next to two other girls, looking sadly at the ground. One of the counselors at this camp is supposed to babysit her all afternoon, so I won't pick her up until 4pm on Western's campus. Cross your fingers the rain lets up and they get to do fun things and Edie has a change of heart.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Our first round of moving (note Edie on the left in the back):
Empty house (after official moving day):
Edie's empty room. Sniff.
Last day of school at Perkins. Triple sniff. Here she is with her favorite teacher Libby:
And her favorite babysitter/assistant teacher, Gabrielle:
Our first sunset in the new house:
Living room evening view:
Pool time with cousin Luna:
The dreamy view from my bed:
Edie's first day at "Art Camp" in Bellingham was successful. She got her face painted like a kitty and she has told me 100 times this week that one of her teachers is a "REAL LIFE FAIRY" (oh Bellingham).
Mort is DYING to get outside.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Moving Day

Tomorrow is the big moving day. It's bananas. We are mostly totally unprepared. And then I dropped something heavy and awkward while trying to load it in my car for Goodwill and it slid down my leg and sliced my ankle open last night. It's not cute. And thank god we hired legit movers because I'm not sure I'm able to do much of anything to help tomorrow. And there is also the fact that I am washing dishes in my upstairs bathroom sink and eating take out for all meals basically because we have NO kitchen in Seattle right now. Combine that with an injured ankle and a canceled gym session = tight pants city. Things are a bit chaotic. But tomorrow is moving day! Moving day! Crazy, stressful and exciting moving day!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Old House

According to Blogger, I wrote this post on December 14th, 2014. I never posted it because it felt too revelatory. Like it needed to preceed some kind of announcement that we didn't have. Which isn't true anymore, so I feel like I can share it with you. Because it will perhaps explain why our decision to buy a house and live in Bellingham isn't so sudden after all.

December 2014:
We are fast approaching our 10 year anniversary in this house. In the spring it will be 10 years since we  walked in the front door of an open house and decided this was "the one", we would make an offer on this 98 year old house and it would become ours. This is the house we acquired our first pet in, the house I whispered the words, "I think my water just broke" into, the house we brought Edie home to, and the house we've slaved over, fought over, and generally spent all our money on. Sometimes it almost feels like this house is a member of our family - after all, we have had more tense discussions about how to restore this house than about raising our own daughter. If you had told me 10 years ago that we would STILL be fixing up this house, I would not have believed you. I was 25 and stupid, but also - this house was a real doozy hiding behind pretty tulips and a whole lot of "potential".

Before this house, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment for 5 years, and before that I spent 3 years living with various roommates in college. Growing up, we moved just once, when I was 8. This means that as we approach 10 years in this house, we also approach the longest period of time in which I've lived in one place. I don't think this is the only reason that my body is itching to move on, find something new. I find myself dinking around on Zillow, looking up random houses in random places just to play pretend and picture myself living there. This is us… living in a modern house with an open floor plan, and this is us living in a city loft with industrial warehouse windows, here's us leaving the city behind and living in a house by the water in LaConner…

Perhaps it's just the latest flurry of random repairs that we've had to throw money at, but I feel like breaking up with this house and finding something new. We didn't buy this house with kids in mind. I wasn't thinking about sharing a bathroom with my daughter for 18 years, or how nice it would be to have kids watching a movie in a basement playroom while the adults enjoy a dinner party upstairs. In fact I specifically remember scorning finished basements when I was 25 and stupid. And don't get me wrong - this is a sweet house. I still look at this house every single day and the potential it holds practically screams at me. I can perfectly envision this house with new siding and a classy coat of paint and I'm 100% that it will be the most charming house on the street, maybe the whole neighborhood. I can see myself relaxing on a new deck out back with my new kitchen door open to my fancy pants kitchen. But we are still some steps away from that and even then, we have started to ask ourselves a bigger question - "Do we want to keep living in the city?" And if not, where do we want to live? Finding the answer to that question is potentially more difficult than finding an affordable remodel contractor.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Moving on

Photos from Edie's preschool "moving on" ceremony below. Apologies for the lack of posts lately - big changes are afoot with the Culver family and things have been a bit busy as a result. More on that to come soon.

First up was a celebratory dinner at Vios:

With her teacher Annette:
With French teacher Catherine (pronounced Katrine) with her signature snail puppet named Zhou Zhou L'Escargot.

All the kids moving on to Kindergarten next year:
Edie getting her badge of completion and shaking her teacher's hand:
With fellow classmate and bestie:

Also with their third amigo, close friend Eliza (pronounced Eleesa - her family is Dutch):