Monday, March 23, 2009

home is sort of where the heart is

I can hardly believe we've been in our house for over 5 years already.
It seems like just yesterday when we moved to our neighbourhood and could not stop smiling for months each time we had to walk around the corner to all the fantastic shops or walk through the neighbourhood admiring all the beautiful old homes.
I would have to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.
Do I really live here?
It was a big change from our previous "hood" and I don't think we have really stopped smiling come to think of it.
It's such a great part of the city.
Close to everything, safe, very family friendly, yet still urban and interesting.
There is tons of green space in the area with lots of parks and huge tree lined streets.
Minimal crime, very pretty homes which for the most part, people really seem to look after with a strong sense of house pride.
We often joke and call it pleasantville.
But when we originally moved in, we kind of figured it would be our 5-7 year home.
Eventually wanting to move into something a little bigger.
See our house is probably one of the smallest in the neighbourhood.
Sure it's cute, but every time I walk Lulu to school I can't help but to stare longingly at every other house on our street.
I try to not get too depressed and keep reminding myself how lucky we are to be even in such a lovely neighbourhood, but some days I just get so frustrated.
Maybe we should just bite the bullet and move.
The problem is that our house is pretty charming. (and more importantly- affordable)
It's 80% custom to exactly how we want it.
Most people think our place is pretty "stylin" but to us it's just that little bit too small.
It's definitely not our dream home- but I guess for now it suits us for the most part.
I can't really imagine ever throwing a big party in the middle of the winter- where would all the coats & boots go?
never mind all the people.
I don't know why I fret over stuff like this- but I do.
so we have yet to really throw a party- with the exception of Lulu's 1st birthday which I think comprised of maybe 16 people.
But who am I kidding- even if we lived in a McMansion, I doubt we would ever really get around to throwing a big party.
Now that Lulu is getting older I'm wondering how to accommodate a house full of kids for her upcoming birthday.
And I feel bad that she can't run around without us constantly saying "be careful!!" worried that she is going to ram into a piece of furniture.
For the past couple of years we've been looking at other places.
Going to open houses etc. but we would have to assume a pretty hefty mortgage if we made the jump.
And I wonder if the stress would really be worth it.
We could move to another more affordable part of the city, but really- I don't think we can bare the thought.
We love it here that much.
I always try to make myself feel better by telling myself that we live a "European" lifestyle.
And really who needs more rooms to clean and look after?
But who ever thought a front hall closet and 2 car parking would be considered a luxury?
Ah the joys of city living...
Both big daddy & I grew up in fairly substantial sized suburban homes, and it's just strange to think that lulu will never know what it's like to play ping-pong in the basement or have a big walk-in closet or heck a big grassy back yard to run around in.
we just had to flag stone the backyard...
oh the guilt...
Sometimes I even wonder if one of the reasons I'm not sure about ever having a second child is because we would most likely have to move.
which really is pretty lame considering the people we bought the house from had two kids (and ended up moving a few doors down- to a slightly bigger house)
I should just be grateful that we have a house (especially these days) and not be so consumed with keeping up with the Joneses.
Which maybe if I am really being honest with myself is what all the angst is all about in the first place.

edited to add- a mere hours after I wrote this, Lulu was running around the dining room table dressed like a fairy and having fun, when she trips on the rug and flies head first into the banister.
There is such limited space in the dining/living area to move- never mind run like a fairy.
she now has a huge dark goose egg in the middle of her sweet face and I just feel even more guilty.
I just wish she had more room to move and play and not for stuff like this to not have to happen.


ourlittlefunnybunny said...

I wish I could tempt you to move over to me in the dark side of the suburbs...
The grass always looks greener on the other side. From the way you describe your home I think it sounds pretty near perfect to me. Who needs big parties!! We have a big home and trust me we never have big parties...maybe when Sam's a teen...god help me!
It is hard to stop comparing yourself to others and what they have...I think we all do it...
Right now I'm jonesing for a tiny cottage that I can escape to...dreams...

But if you do decide to come up to suburbia move near me! ;-)

kgirl said...

I understand. I mean, you've been to my house - there's no way it's smaller than yours, and I am just slightly outside of the more desirable part of the neighbourhood. Our floors creak, and my kitchen needs to be reno'd desperately.

But you know what? Nobody ever cares if the shoes are piled in the hallway and the coats are piled on an upstairs bed, as long as the food is piled on the table, and there's friendly people to share it with. Our house is full every weekend. People can figure out where to put their purses.

We entertain what we call our 'suburban wet dream' every 4 months or so. But then we look around and realize that this is such an amazing place for our kids to grow up; their life is cozy and safe and small and warm. Sure, we are definitely going to need to put in another bathroom, and I'm not going to say that our feelings won't ever change, but my daughter was born in our bedroom. Can't imagine leaving it behind right now.

amanda said...

Both times we moved in this city (just recently and when we were new here) we had a very difficult time deciding between in town (small house with character, short commute, no storage, small yard etc.) or a McMansion outside of town with a quarter of an acre and a heck of a commute. Somehow we managed to find something in between. And it's perfect... until we change our minds and move again! Isn't that how it goes though... you visit a friend in town and want to live in a cute house in town and vice versa? I guess you just have to decide what's most important to you and your family and go with it.

Ms. Porter said...

Even though I AM in the burbs, I can totally relate. We live in one of the smaller homes in our neighbourhood. I can especially relate to the whole goose egg problem, I just finished telling Bert that our kids can't really run around in our's just not that kind of house. We would have to give up location if we wanted something bigger which I can't justify right now...and might never be able to.

Oh and as for the parties in a small house? Before Bert and I were married (but while I was a working adult) I lived alone in a wee condo (less than 800 square feet) and I used to entertain ALLLLLL the time. Nobody complained, I always had a large crowd, and I know for a fact it was alot of fun. Even now in my wee house, Bert and I do alot of the family gatherings and have also hosted parties, baby showers, etc. Our house is easily the smallest house but someone we end up doing most of the hosting and nobody complains!!! I agree with Kgirl, it's the company that is key, and good food helps! I still get what you mean though.....

Mac and Cheese said...

Up in the burbs, we've got running space and still plenty of goose eggs. Still, every time I head to mid-town to where we lived pre-children, I feel an ache to be back there. Happiness is where you're not.

sam lamb said...

We've been in our tiny city house for 7 years now, and each year we have the "debate". But we can't imagine the burden of a bigger mortgage and the prices in our neighbourhood have skyrocketed, plus we love the location way too much to leave. So even with baby #2 on the way and 2 adults who need studio space we're just making it work. 1 bathroom and no hall closet is hard, but families did it for years before us, and Sadie loves the prospect of bunk beds. I always tell myself it makes me limit "stuff" - and that's a good thing.

Now if only I could get over how dark the house is...

kittenpie said...

Well, I grew up in one of these houses, with no hall closets or sizeable room closets. It can work, and you just learn to have lots of hooks and pegs and off-season stuff goes in boxes. Some bedrooms you can build a big closet into (we're doing one now! Whee!). But yes, we could never have a thrid, so I was a bit worried about if the second had turned out to be twins...