When Mike and I decided to leave downtown and move out to Suburbia 4 years ago, it was a hard decision for us. We loved everything about our life in the faster-paced part of the city. I loved that we could walk to work, dinner, groceries or coffee. And I loved that our street had mature old trees on it. I did not however love the cost of living, the lack of parking situation and the fact that we didn't actually own our own space. Now that we've more or less adjusted to the harsh 360 of a move to the suburbs (although let me tell you, I still have my days!) I see many more benefits to being where we are. This isn't to say that if I won a million dollars I'd not up and change things tomorrow, but I do feel like we've found a happy place in the home we've made ours for the time being.
I do have to say one of the false conceptions of life in the suburbs is "space." There are huge McMansions out here to be sure. Ours is not one of them. Before June arrived we made a bunch of changes to our house, including moving Mike's office (he works from home) to a corner in the basement (it's finished and pretty bright I promise!) and remodelled our guest bedroom and of course Juney's nursery. We also converted our mainfloor dining room into another sitting room because we found there wasn't enough living space in our main area. When we did this, we got a lot of flack from well-meaning family members who warned us that soon we would be over-run with toys and that June would need a place to keep them.
I grew up in a house where my room was my kingdom. It's also where I kept my toys. I can honestly say it never occurred to me that we would need a whole extra room to keep toys in. I've awakened to the fact that kids come with toys. They just do. I don't know how they do, but they do. Despite this, I'm not budging on my principle to keep June's room her own. I feel like until that time, even if we had a toy room it wouldn't be used anyway. Don't kids just always find a way to figure out where you are, and then join you? (Like even if you are in the bathroom?) Even now, if I'm in the kitchen making a tea, June will crawl from the living area and find me. So realistically for the time being, it makes sense to me that we use our living room for all purposes. As she gets older and starts playing on her own more, I expect she will use her room more. Until then, I've got no problem breaking the mould and making it a space for all three of us.
We got these amazing interlocking foam tiles which have been one of the best "baby item" investments we've made! I love the fact that they're not toxic and don't stink like plastic! Also they fit in with the living room and if you squint they kinda look like a flat carpet ;) They've been so so great to have as June as learned to squat and pull herself up (resulting in a million and five head bonks... all unavoidable). Having them has allowed her to use the furniture to practice on and now she has learned how to cushion herself if she happens to take a tumble.
We use some colourful bins from ikea to stash her toys in when were not using the space and I keep a big bin in the corner of our family room in the basement and rotate things out as she gets bored with them... because that happens pretty quickly with kids, yes? Or is it just my baby? :) If I'm being perfectly honest, the best distraction for June these days is Cliff. He never really leaves her side and now they've started this hilarious game of "I'm gonna hold something up for you to grab (June) and then you take it (Cliff) and I'll chase you (June). It seems to tire both of them out so I'm ok with it :)
Have a great weekend everyone!!