The Listing of the House

We’ve met with our realtor several times and all is in order for our house to be listed in just a couple of days. He asked me to write the description of our home, as of course nobody knows a home as well as its owners. It’s kind of scary to be the one writing it, though—it feels as though the fate of our family and our family’s family rests in these words.

(It’s always so dramatic with me.)

Anyway, as I finished the blurb and looked at the photographs we just got back from the indefatigable Rhonda Steed, I thought to myself, I should share this stuff with whoever might still be reading my poor neglected blog. Once upon a time some readers asked me for pictures of my house, and I never felt it looked good enough to share… And although it’s far from perfect or even remotely Pinterest-worthy, this house will never be in better shape than it is right now so I figure I might as well share and share alike. (All images except the exterior shot are by Rhonda Steed, link above.)

Of course, if you know anybody looking for a house in Mayberry, send them a link to this post please and thanks. : )

Storage abounds in this 1300 sq ft. Raymond bungalow! With three bedrooms upstairs and one down, this renovated home has plenty of room for a growing family.

Tons of upgrades in the last two years include:

  • Engineered hardwood floors throughout, plus all new craftsman-style trim
  • Remodelled kitchen—new countertops, backsplash, sink, lighting, plus…
  • ALL NEW stainless steel appliances
  • Remodelled spa-like 3-piece bathroom upstairs
  • New light fixtures
  • Brand new garage door and opener
  • Fresh paint
  • Brand new shower in basement bathroom

Upstairs enjoy a 2-piece ensuite in the master bedroom, plus peace of mind having the kids sleeping just down the hall. A brand new 3-piece main bathroom completes the stylish new interior. An open concept kitchen and dining room are great for entertaining, and French doors allow a customizable living room off the main entrance (perfect for meetings, lessons, or quiet time).

The 98% finished basement boasts a wood-burning stone fireplace, a large family room, oversized bedroom, newly renovated 3-piece bathroom, two great sized storage rooms and a fully shelved food room. With closets and cupboards everywhere, you’ll never run out of storage space!

Outside a large semi-fenced landscaped backyard opens onto an alley, with plenty of space to park RVs, boats, or trailers.

Located on a quiet street just around the corner from a new playground and only moments away from shopping and schools, this house is a growing family’s dream!

For more information contact [redacted].

Front of House
Glad I had the foresight to snap a picture in the summer when the lawn was green and the flowers were sort of blooming.
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View of our living room, to the left of the front door.
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And from the back of the living room looking out. Several people have noticed that I colour-coordinated Hutch’s books in the bookcase—don’t worry, it doesn’t last.
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Here’s the view from the front entrance looking right.
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A closer look at the kitchen.

 

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Standing in the kitchen looking toward the back doors—in a second you’ll see the laundry zone and office zone.
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As promised—the laundry zone.

 

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And the office zone.
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View looking back into the kitchen from the office. This one makes me really happy.
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Master bedroom. Where the magic happens. And by magic I of course mean beauty sleep. ;)
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This photo won’t make the cut of pictures we’ll show in our listing, but I just love it so much I had to share it here. It’s the view looking from the doorway of our bedroom to the front door.  I’ve never thought much about this particular spot in our house, but I’m really going to miss this view when we move. Over the years I’ve tried to make our home warm and welcoming, and looking at this picture, I almost feel it worked.
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Hutch’s room. Many late nights/early mornings I rocked him in this glider, and as the pink sun rose and brightened up these walls, I felt my early postpartum panic slip away; I could face another day. This is a special room.
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Another view of Hutch’s room. Custom cupcake painting by the marvellous Modest Mermaid—order one, you won’t regret it. (It was such a revelation when I realized that bookcase would fit inside the closet. It made a world of difference in this room.)
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Nondescript guest bedroom, and the room where Hutch *actually* sleeps.
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Another shot that won’t make the cut, but I can’t help feeling warm and fuzzy when I look at this view. Hutch learned to crawl down this hallway. And walk. And run. And open those cupboard doors and dig through my toolbox.
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Here’s a peek into the “spa-like” (lol) renovated bathroom. I wish I had a before photo of this to show you guys. It’s so much better now.
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More of the bathroom.
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Yet more of the bathroom. I think this is the room I’m saddest about leaving, as it was the first room we renovated on a large scale, and I love how it turned out. Plus, they don’t carry that mosaic tile at Costco anymore, so I can’t copy the look in our next house.

That’s it for the upstairs.  Downstairs has not been renovated as much…I’m hoping DIY-ers will see this as a bit of a blank slate. Heaven knows I had grand visions for it myself, but there comes a point when enough is enough…at least for this house:

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Here you see the first piece of furniture we ever bought brand new together (the sectional). Everything else was either gifted or craigslisted.
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We did renovate this bathroom (well mainly just the shower, which desperately needed it). Fun fact: Kyle refuses to shower anywhere else now, that’s how much he loves this shower.


Not pictured: 3 different storage rooms and a spare bedroom that’s really not very interesting.

So now you’ve seen our house! Want to buy it??

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Selling a House is Fun to Do

We missed the self-imposed deadline for listing our house by about 30 days…in fact we still haven’t officially listed it. The problem is that I want it to be perfect before we open it up to showings, but I’m slowly learning that perfection is just not going to happen. That said, we do have a few small final touches we want to finish up before we finally (finally!) list our house…so we’ve extended our goal yet again…but this time only by a week.

(Oh, by the way, below are some snapshots of the kitchen post-remodel as promised…we bought all the supplies and left our contractor with a list of tasks, without seeing any pictures of the progress along the way, so it was both nerve-wracking and thrilling to see how it turned out when we got home. We are pleased…)
Kitchen After 2

Kitchen After 3

Here’s what we’ve done in pursuit of sprucing up our house since getting back from Christmas holidays:

  • painted the kitchen and mud room (mud room-ish area, rather)
  • finished filling and painting all trim upstairs
  • painted doors
  • updated doorknobs
  • bought a new (to us) sofa
  • ordered and installed a new (beautiful) garage door
  • ordered and installed a new (beautiful) stove
  • replaced 7 light fixtures
  • patched a hole in the wall
  • installed door stoppers to prevent future holes in future walls
  • filled in nail holes
  • rearranged living room furniture
  • rearranged living room artwork
  • drywalled a previously-unfinished storage room in the basement
  • rented a storage unit
  • packed the truck full of boxes 5x and hauled to storage unit
  • sold a bunch of stuff privately on Craigslist
  • sold a bunch more stuff  at an indoor garage sale (best idea ever!)
  • donated everything leftover from sale to local flea market
  • continued finding extra stuff and continued taking it to thrift stores

So you see why we had to bump the deadline a second time—we’ve been quite busy. Luckily, the only things remaining to do (at least the only things I’m deeming absolutely necessary prior to listing…there will always be more we can do, but it has to stop somewhere) are these:

  • touch up paint in living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms
  • haul a bunch more stuff to the storage unit/recycling depot/thrift store
  • deep deep clean the entire house (hopefully I can pay someone else to do this for me, because guys, I’m tired)
  • get quality photos taken by a talented friend
  • list
  • sell
  • repeat

Just kidding about the repeat part…I don’t intend to go through this process again for a very long time indeed!

But when we do decide to buy/sell/move again, it’s going to be a lot easier, because through it all, this process has taught me:

  1. It’s silly to hold off spending money on updating a house if we’re just going to update it to sell eventually—better to spend that money up front, enjoy the benefits for awhile, and have it all ready to sell when the time comes. (Of course, if not planning to update at all before selling, this is invalid.)
  2. I thought I was pretty good at decluttering and organizing, but ha! I’ll say it again: HA! I was nowhere near where I would like to be, but at least now I know that, and I’m working on improving. This is especially important since we intend to downsize significantly with the next place we live.
  3. We buy too much stuff.
  4. We store too much stuff.
  5. We will never again buy and store this much stuff.

I’ve been enlightened.

Helping me along the way are the two books I read/am reading this month:

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Both books have been revolutionary for me in different ways, and although I feel compelled to wait until we sell this house and find somewhere new to live before I can fully implement their theories, I nevertheless know them to be true. I feel certain in my bones that this—this minimalistic, clutter-free, waste-free, joyful way of life—is meant for me.

Since reading them I’ve pre-edited countless cupboards, closets, drawers, bins…all of them still need work and I’m not ready to tackle them as thoroughly and intensely as both books recommend, but even still, it’s liberating. For example, today I sold my nail polish stash (already cut in half since selling my least-used colours back in the fall), including base coats, top coats, finishing spray, and remover, in one fell swoop, and vowed never to go back to my nail-painting ways.

Essie Nail Polish stash

 

Why?

Because it takes a lot of time to paint my nails. Because it takes a lot of money to keep buying new and interesting colours (half of which I don’t even like once I get them on my hands). Because there are a lot of things I can’t do while I’m waiting for them to dry, like fold laundry or hold my baby. And because they usually look awful anyway since they always chip within 24 hours, no matter what base/top/in between coat I use. I’m just too hard on them, and the whole process is basically a lot of waste. In fact, I’d just painted my nails last night, but when I read Johnson’s advice on embracing the nude nail, I looked down at my already-peeling nubbins and thought, “I’m so stupid.” I set down the book, gathered my supplies, snapped a picture and posted it online, and they were out of my life within 35 minutes. It’s such a simple thing and it’s kind of embarrassing that I’m making such a big deal out of it, but it’s symbolic you guys.

I haven’t felt this passionate about life since I discovered poutine.

Posted in Book Reports, change, Cutting Back, Green Living, introspection, self-actualisation | Tagged | 2 Comments

2015 Is Here

So, an update on our lives: we’ve been to Arizona and California for the holidays, which was fun but perhaps a bit too long of a trip.

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By the end of it (three weeks in all), I’d packed and unpacked so many times (because there were actually four trips in one) that I couldn’t even find a pair of underwear, clean or otherwise, to save my life. We decided that next time we need to a) stay only two weeks, and b) buy less stuff while we’re down there. When we packed the truck up for the final time, we were shocked and amazed to see that all of our crap filled up the entire bed of the truck plus the majority of the backseat. At this rate we’ll never be able to have a second child simply because there won’t be room for her.

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It’s also not very eco-friendly or minimalistic of us to acquire so much stuff. So there’s another reason to avoid it.

While we were gone our contractor friend renovated our kitchen for us. It’s a mess right now and not completely finished yet, but I will endeavour to post photos shortly. We didn’t make a lot of changes, but the ones we did were very worthwhile: subway tile backsplash, new deep granite-looking sink, changed a nasty over-the-range hood for a shiny new microwave, and replaced old formica countertop with a more updated one. (In my dream world I would’ve gone with butcher block, but the entire point of this was to get our house updated enough to sell, and butcher block is not for everyone, so we decided against spending the money on it at this point.)

Oh, did you catch that? We want to sell our house! In fact, it’s an official goal of the Fairbanks family in 2015: Sell our house. A sub-goal is to have it listed (privately at first and then with a realtor if necessary) by February 1st.

We have tossed this idea around for several years, and finally we have made enough updates and improvements to feel like it might actually have a chance of selling. Now that we’ve officially committed ourselves to the cause, we can basically talk of nothing else. Our plan is to sell the house, move to the nearby bigger city (about 30 minutes away from Mayberry here), and rent for awhile, saving the equity from the (hopeful) sale of the house to buy a small (super-small) fixer upper with (again, hopefully) nothing but cash. It will take time and patience to find the house of our debt-free dreams, but we are willing to wait. As my Grandpa Leavitt used to say: there’s a deal a day.

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So that’s our plan for 2015. Other than that, it’s business as usual: Hutch is a tiny little destructor, gleefully tearing things apart wherever he goes. I do my best (and usually fail miserably) to follow behind him and pick up the pieces. Poor Kyle is working where he’s always worked, I’m working where I’ve always worked, it’s snowy as all get-out here in Mayberry, and all is right in the world.

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I have a one year-old

Here is what I wrote in my journal around this time exactly one year ago:

Thursday 8 August, 2014

I feel like this day has passed in ultra-slow motion. It is the day before literally the biggest day of my life and it was so…mundane. 

I didn’t sleep well. I got up around 8:30 and made breakfast (english muffin, egg, canadian bacon, avocado, tomatoes, orange juice). I went on a walk to the post office, the  bank, the pharmacy, and back home. I showered. I went to town with my friend and her 3 children. I came home. I made a salad for lunch. I ate it. Linda came by to deliver some blankets she made for the baby. I sold some burlap to a lady on Mayberry Swap and Buy. I laid down for a few minutes. Kyle came home. We cooked dinner (ribs and jalapeño poppers, green beans, tomato mozza salad, grapes). Ate dinner while watching a few shows. Then did a couple of chores around the house (rearranging furniture). Tatum and Janelle came by with a hospital care package and had a little chat. I cried. I called my grandma back (she called earlier today) and had a nice little visit with her. 

And now I’m sitting here in the living room trying not to freak out about the fact that tomorrow I’m going to have a baby. 

But it’s no use. I’m freaking out.

-cpsf

And fifteen hours later I did have that baby.

Newborn Hutch(Some people don’t like this picture because it shows the blood associated with childbirth. I like it because a) it is real, and b) sometimes when Hutch cries even now, with his eyes swollen and his face so red and sad, he looks exactly like this. Not that I like to see my baby sad, but it’s fascinating that despite all the ways he’s changed, he’s still so much the same as the day he popped out of my nether regions, all 10 pounds 2 ounces of him.)

And one year later we are all still alive. I almost can’t believe it.

This year has been a whirlwind of extremes—sorrows and joys, fears and thrills—and yet I know we haven’t even come close to experiencing all the highs and lows that parenthood has in store for us.

Every night at the end of my prayers I say the same thing:

Thank You for sending us this sweet boy who is such a blessing and a joy in our lives. Please bless that he can continue to grow healthy and strong. Please bless that we can remember to be patient with him, and that we can make good choices for him until he is able to make good choices for himself. (And please help him make them—good choices, that is—when the time comes.)

Hutch 11 MonthsAnd most of all please bless him not to die.

Amen.

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Paris the Ninth: Versailles and Class’s end

Was going through the drafts in my draft box and found this. No time like the present to post three year-old photos! Except perhaps three years ago.

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This is an update of the amazing trip I took to Europe last summer three summers ago. Slowly but surely I’m posting about every day I spent on that excellent continent. To read earlier updates, click herehereherehereherehereherehere and here. And here. And here and here and here and here and here.

••••••••

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My favourite thing to do in foreign countries is ride the city bus and get off at any stop that looks interesting, then walk around until my feet are sore and hop back on the bus. I did that this day and discovered Canal St. Martin, a darling little area with street performers and picnickers and bridges at regular intervals. I walked down the canal way too far going one direction because every time I thought I’d turn around I’d see another lovely shop or vista that I had to investigate. It took me like two hours to get back and by the time I did the buses weren’t running as frequently so I was quite late getting home. But I didn’t get mugged, so the day was a success.

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The steps of Versailles. As a preadolescent my mom bought me a series of books about prominent girls in history, written from their own (fictional) perspectives, and my favourite was about Marie Antoinette. Knowing very little about French history at that point, all I took away from the book was how wrongly she’d been treated. Of course there was more to it than that, but her story stuck with me anyway. I felt she was my own personal famous friend. So going to Versailles was a huge accomplishment for me, a goal I’d set years before that I never really expected to achieve.

However, when push came to shove, I had already spent my allotted budget for the day and tickets to see inside the actual palace were too expensive for me. Plus we only had two hours there and I really wanted to explore the gardens. So I did, and although I do feel bad that I didn’t see either the palace interior or Petit Trianon, I know now that if I set a goal to get back there someday I will. So all is not lost.

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While we were there a terribly ominous storm rolled in and we got poured on. Luckily I had my umbrella I purchased the day we got poured on in Chartres, and I ended up sharing it with a middle-aged mom and her teenage daughter. They were from Texas and the girl was probably the most stereotypically whiny American teenager I’ve ever met in real life. She was miserable, her cell phone didn’t work, why did they have to come to this stupid garden anyway. I wanted to shake her but instead I bit my tongue and thought, “Someday you will regret this.”

She probably won’t but it made me feel better.

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While I was waiting to meet up with the rest of the group to head back to the train station, I spotted this slug on a bush. It struck me as the most profound analogy for life: there I was at Versailles, a palace and estate legendary in its meticulous opulence, where the groundskeepers were literally walking around with cardboard cut-outs and scissors trimming each bush by hand to uniform size and shape, yet even they could not outwit the slugs.

Oh well.

Our crappy hotel was in a region of Paris far far away from all the historical parts of Paris. It was called La Defense, so named after this square tower. Many years ago when I nannied for a French family, the father of my charge told me as we drove past La Defense from a distance that he used to work in an office in that building. When I actually walked up to it and was able to see it in detail I became slightly less bitter about the horrible location of our lodging. I mean, look at it: it’s pretty neat.

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But all the cool architecture in the world couldn’t make up for the blisters I got from having to walk substantially more than we would have if we’d stayed somewhere closer to the hot spots.

Three years and I’m still not fully over it.

Oh well.

Posted in awesome., French, It's All Good, looking back, photos, Travel | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Routine, or The Days of Our Lives

I’m three weeks into being back at work and I am finally getting into a groove. Most of the time our days look something like this:

Hutch in the AM

5:30-6:00—Hutch wakes up crying in the next room over. In the morning he always wakes up crying, never babbling happily. (Or maybe he does babble happily for awhile and only cries when we don’t come for him… All I know is I am dead to the world until I hear those tiny desperate shrieks, and then my day begins.)

Hutch Destroys Blinds5:31—Kyle or I get Hutch, change his diaper, get him a bottle, and bring him back to bed with us where he proceeds to maul our faces or the blinds for the next hour, punctuated in nine-minute intervals by the sound of Kyle’s alarm. Kyle snoozes his alarm seven or eight times before he finally gets up in the morning. I hate it. It’s the worst part of my day. If things ever don’t work out between the two of us I can guarantee the couple’s therapist will pinpoint Kyle’s absurdly long wake-up routine and my inability to cope with it as the main cause for our marital troubles.

Hutch and Mom in the AM6:30—As a confirmed non-morning person, I was depressed to realize that my day really does go better if I just get up at 6:30 and face the day. If I buck up and do this, Hutch is usually tired out and ready for a nap by 9:00. If I don’t and instead fight with Hutch to go back to sleep until 9:00, naptime doesn’t come until 1 and then lasts so long he doesn’t get tired again at night until like 8 or 9 and it takes close to an hour to get him to bed, and the day is just completely buggered. The grown up thing to do is to get up at 6:30. I’m working on growing up.

7:30—Poor Kyle leaves for work, and I use his goodbye kiss as the real start of my day. He leaves and I finally get out of bed officially, though I’ve been awake at this point for over an hour.

Hutch and Sippy Cup7:30-9:00—Get up. Feed Hutch, usually some sort of chopped up fruit plus a little yogurt and/or oatmeal. Have for breakfast whatever food he didn’t want. Let him wander through the house destroying things while I try to get some work done. Give up on that and give my son some attention: read books, go on a walk, twice we’ve even had a dance party like what the good moms blog/brag (brog?) about doing and he looked at me half like I was crazy and half like I was the greatest and best person he’d ever seen. (My song of choice was “Bad Girls” by M.I.A., inspired by a recent marathon viewing of The Mindy Project. Which you should watch so it doesn’t get cancelled.)

Hutch at Naptime9:00—Give Hutch anther bottle and then lie down next to him in our bed. For some reason when he naps in his crib he inevitably wakes up crying after 20-40 minutes, never to nap again, but when he has a nap in our bed it lasts for 2-3 hours. And if I nap with him the whole time it can last up to four hours. (I’ve done it. Don’t think I haven’t.)

9:00-11:00—Work.

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11:00—Hutch wakes up, happily babbling this time if he’s slept long enough, crying if he hasn’t. If he’s still cranky I lie down with him and he usually falls right back to sleep. If he’s babbling happily I usually go in to find him already on his hands and knees waiting for me to rescue him from the edge of the bed. We have lunch together, usually punctuated by demanding yelps on his part because I can never seem to think of anything healthy to feed him quickly enough. I need a better system for that.

Hutch and Mom at Desk2Early Afternoon: If I’ve gotten enough done in the morning we will have the afternoon to play, run errands, etc. This time of day is hard because he’s not quite old enough to be entertained for long by toys or books or much of anything. The only thing he is guaranteed to love for more than 10 minutes at a time is a walk, which can be exhausting for me. I mean I would probably love walks too if I was being pushed around in a carriage with shocks beefy no-flat tires and a full UVA/UVB-blocking sun shade, but we can’t all be His Majesty the King.

3:00 or 4:00—If I play my cards right and don’t let Hutch fall asleep on our walk or drive (if we happen to walk or drive anywhere), he is usually ready for another 2-hour nap around this time. If my work is done I use this break to pee uninterrupted and start prepping dinner or doing laundry. Sometimes I also just eat a bowl of ice cream and zone out on Instagram. No shame in that.

5:00—Hutch wakes up. I don’t know if it’s because he’s felt neglected all day or just because he’s sick of my face, but for whatever reason this is when he starts becoming whiny and demanding. It’s also when I become very excited for Poor Kyle to get home.

5:45—Poor Kyle gets home. Both Hutch and I are glad to see him. The boys play. I pee again.

6:00—Dinner.

6:30—Dinner clean up, Kyle bonds with Hutch, I read or do more chores.

7:30—Bedtime routine begins. For awhile we would take turns giving Hutch a bath and bottling/putting him to bed, but as of late we’ve gotten into a pretty steady routine of Kyle doing bath time and I doing bedtime. Kyle is more fun to have as a bath-giver, and I am more patient to have as a bed-putter when I haven’t just spent the last 20 minutes being splashed in the face by an energetic toddler. Plus if Kyle is the one to put Hutch down I often hear the two giggling away in the nursery when Hutch is supposed to be winding down—I think Kyle just can’t resist those tiny little giggles, and I can’t blame him because he doesn’t get to hear them any time throughout the day like I do. So it’s good. While Kyle is bathing Hutch and getting him jammied, I spend 30 minutes or so outside watering my flowers and my vegetable garden. It’s probably my favourite time of evening, when the sun is lowering and I can enjoy the fruits of my labour. Sometimes if Kyle is done before I am he brings Hutch outside, freshly bathed and so happy to be outside, and we visit while I finish my work. I love that.

8:00—I get Hutch’s last bottle ready. (I don’t know what we are going to do when he stops having formula next month! Do we still do bottles but just with milk or do we switch to sippy cups altogether? I don’t know how I’ll get him to sleep without a bottle. I mean it’s happened before but it’s rare.) I rock him in his nursery with the blinds shut and lights out. He chugs away happily while I say prayers and then sing my favourite songs for him: “By Oh By Baby” and “Guess How Much I Love You, Hutch,” (a cpsf original composition). If it’s a good day he knocks off before the bottle is even finished. If it’s a bad day he finishes his bottle and tries to escape my lap and explore some more. Either way we usually come to an agreement and he falls alseep by around 8:30. I give him 100 rocks in the glider from the time his eyes shut until I put him in his crib.

8:30-11:00—Free time! Unless Hutch wakes up (which is becoming more rare but I never let my guard down—when you let your guard down is when they get you. Toddlers can sense parental confidence and will crush it).

11:00—Bed time.

And it starts all over again in 6 hours.

For one of those people who seriously needs—needs—eight hours of sleep in life, I feel I’m coping surprisingly well.

Posted in family, hutchface, It's All Good, kid stuffs, Married Life, thisandthat | Tagged | 2 Comments

Static Progress/Progressive Stasis, or What’s been happening with me

I decided not long ago that I need to stop stressing about writing beautifully and start worrying about simply writing. And writing simply. So today I wanted to get back to the basics of this blog and share a bit about what’s happening with me.

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Hutch's First Canada Day

At 11 months old Hutch got to experience his very first July 1st, aka Canada Day, aka the Pride of Mayberry. Every July 1st our whole town triples in size from all the family reunions that are scheduled, and there are three full days of festivities and merriment. This year Hutch got to experience his first pancake breakfast, his first Canada Day parade, his first family reunion, his first dirt bike ride, his first kernel of popcorn, his first firework show, and his first mosquito bite (of many). He did not get to experience his first 2k, 5k, or 10k, nor did he get to revel in the joy of the rodeo or motocross. His parents are mean I suppose.

Hutch's first dirt bike ride

I made him wear this vintage (judging from the polyester fabric, the cut of the overalls, and the retro font on the shirt, I’m guessing 70’s-era) outfit that I’d bought nearly a year before, back when he was still in the womb. I found it in a pile of clothes at a yard sale and would never have paid cash money for it but the seller threw it in with everything else. I thought he looked adorable and hilarious. Poor Kyle thought he looked absurd. He wouldn’t let me keep Hutch in it all day, so all I have are a few quickly snapped photos, but it was worth it. It’s probably even worth keeping for the next several years so that any other children that might come our way can carry on the tradition.

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On July 2nd my year-long maternity leave ended and I started back to work. (No, Hutch has not turned one year old yet. I actually took a month off before his due date to get things ready around the house because it turns out an 8-month pregnant woman working full time in the heat of summer has very little energy to nest, despite her best intentions.)

My boss has been amazing and agreed to let me work 1/2 the time I used to work, and from home. When I tell people this they usually express extreme awe and happiness for me. I usually agree—it’s very good fortune to have such a flexible company and boss to work for. Getting into a routine and learning to balance Hutch’s demands with my job’s demands has been stressful, but I can’t deny it has been nice to have creative projects on my mind again.

I’m still having tech issues with working from home, the main one being that my internet is pretty slow. As my job is 90% internet-based, this has become extremely problematic for me. Kyle and I are discussing switching providers and upgrading to the fastest package—to the tune of almost $200/month—but the main deterrent is that, well, it will be almost $200/month. Absurd, I know.

A friend and I were discussing this not long ago and we both agree that free, fast internet should be an inalienable right. Everyone should have it, everywhere, always. #dreamworld

In other news, I started hashtagging my own blog posts. #weird #orcool #youchoose

As the end of my maternity leave drew near, I found myself reflecting on the past year, mainly in the sense of all the regrets I have. I did not accomplish as much professionally, economically, creatively, or house-designally as I had planned to back in July of 2013. Back then, before Hutch was born, I expected maternity leave to be like a year’s paid vacation. I had visions of myself working out, taking walks, juicing veggies on a regular basis, sitting in my pristine house and cuddling my baby for exactly 11 months. In addition to that, I also planned on writing triple the amount I’d been writing on this blog, submitting work to be published, finishing my manuscript for my book, starting a garden, and learning Cantonese.

As it turns out the only major things I actually accomplished over the past 12 months were visiting Arizona three times with my baby, and keeping said baby alive.

It’s disappointing to fall so very short of one’s own expectations, but I’m getting so good at it that pretty soon I will come to expect such failure of myself, which will be perfect because, as a chronic failer-of-expectations, I will fail to meet even that newly lowered expectation, and the only way to fail at failing will be to achieve greatness once and for all—at last. Meaning, of course, that I will have passed through the entire spectrum of failure and emerged the other side victorious. And successful.

That’s the idea anyway.

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In more other news, Hutch has officially become a whirlwind of destruction:

Hutch Whirlwind#lilshit

Posted in blogger finger, failures, hutchface, introspection, It's All Good, parenthood, self-actualisation | Comments Off