She is clothed with strength and dignity

This is a picture of an obstetrical ultrasound with a baby in it

Mark and I wanted to know from the beginning whether we were having a boy or a girl, not that this would change anything, we just wanted to know. We’re planners and knowing anything that could ease the planning is always welcomed.

Something we have a hard time explaining (to some people) is why we feel keeping things fairly gender neutral is important. We don’t want to subscribe our children to a gender role from the moment they leave the womb. We want to be open to what their interests might be right from the beginning, we want them to know that we don’t believe in gender roles. After all, it is 2017!  Give the kids exposure to everything and let them choose what they like, what they want to do.

Yesterday we found out that we’re having a baby GIRL! I had a feeling it was a girl right from the beginning and Mark and I are so excited. We have her name picked out already (sorry, that stays in the vault until she arrives) and I can’t stop imagining what she’ll be like. I see so many possibilities for her and I’m so excited to see what kind of person she will be.

There are so many unknowns ahead, which is scary but also thrilling. What we do know, is that we won’t be dressing our daughter from head-to-toe in pink, or creating a princess nursery, or filling her wardrobe with dresses and sequins. We’re all for the occasional feminine item of clothing, a headband here, a dress there, but most of all we want our girl to be comfortable, and not look like a contestant from Toddlers and Tiaras

This is an animated image of three toddler girls dressed in pageant attire

We want to keep things pretty neutral. If our baby girl grows up to love frilly dresses and sparkles and baking and dolls, we will embrace and encourage that. If those things make her happy, we won’t stand in the way of that. We just want her to know she’s free to be whoever she wants without feeling pressured to be a certain type of girl/person. Hopefully she’ll enjoy Disney as much as I do, but if she doesn’t, I’ll accept that too :p

Look out Hillary, there’s a nasty-woman-in-training headed this way!

A

No longer homeless at the Holiday Inn

This is s picture of boxes sitting on a sidewalk behind a moving truck

The rumours are true, people! We finally left the dingy room at the Holiday Inn and moved into our freshly painted, cozy new abode as of March 10. Thankfully, we passed the lead inspection.

Moving day was overwhelming. Our IKEA order and moving truck arrived on the same day, leaving us up to our ears in boxes. We were happy to have the big stuff done in one go though, and grateful to have Mark’s friend from Toronto (who also moved to Brookline a few months ago) help with the heavy lifting. Sidenote – our moving truck driver was the sweetest local Bostonian man. His accent was adorable and he was really kind to us.

Most of the people we’ve come across in Brookline so far have been wonderfully friendly. The town definitely has a charm to it. There are moms with strollers everywhere, the streets are clean and there hasn’t been a panhandler in sight. Mark’s friend was telling us about the police reports he read about the town and they’re hilarious. Things like teenagers talking too loud, rabid squirrels and wild turkeys intimidating the locals (I’m not kidding). We’re also really enjoying the different eateries in the area. Until today, the weather has been pretty good to us too.

A big snowstorm is ripping through Boston as I type this, but I’m not super phased by it. I’ve seen storms like this, and worse, in Montreal and Toronto. It’s pretty entertaining to see all the locals here lose their minds over a foot of snow. I am happy that I don’t have anywhere to go today though. Once the weather is warmer, I plan to get out and walk around as much as I can. This area is super hilly, so I’ve got to get used to that. My fitness watch will be logging some wicked numbers this year!

Mark officially started work this week, so unpacking will slow down until the weekend. There is a massive laundry mountain in the nursery, a bunch of furniture that still needs to be built, and boxes that still need to be unpacked. We managed to get all the kitchen stuff unpacked over the weekend, which was a big accomplishment. We also ran the dishwasher for the first time last night and it. Was. Glorious.

Cooking hasn’t been a priority of ours for a couple of months now, due the chaos of the move, but we’re hoping to get back at it next week when our lives start to stabilize. In the meantime, it’s a lot of eating out and snacking. Our new stove/oven is gas, which is new to us, so we’re a bit nervous about cooking. I have heard that gas stoves are way better for cooking, so we’ll see.

I’m registering with an OBGYN this week and we’re hoping to have our anatomy scan soon! Can’t wait to see little peanut again and find out if we’re having a boy or girl. Of course it doesn’t matter in the end, but the curiosity is KILLING me.  Our little peanut is wiggling away these days and I’ve definitely been feeling/looking more pregnant. We’re at the halfway mark of this pregnancy already, it’s unbelievable! Looks like I’ll be heading to Target soon for some more maternity wardrobe staples. I can’t wait until I can just throw on summer dresses and Birkenstocks. Wearing pants sucks whether you’re pregnant or not, but it sucks more when you’re pregnant for sure.

Well, I’m off to enjoy a pantsless snow day with hot chocolate and maybe some unpacking.

A

Boston week one – friggin’ insanity

This is a picture of Intersection of Harvard and Beacon Streets, Coolidge Corner, Brookline, MA

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

I’ve come to understand that even the best laid plans don’t guarantee smooth sailing. That being said, when shit hits the fan, it’s not fun.

Our journey to Boston started well. We left last Wednesday morning, March 1, with decent weather and very few inconveniences at the border. We did have to get out of the car to go through some paperwork when we crossed, but it was pretty routine and the  guards we dealt with were pleasant. I’m sure it helped that we were fully prepared with all the papers we needed and happened to be a car full of white Canadians.

I should note that we’re actually living in a town called Brookline. We don’t live in Boston proper, but for those who aren’t familiar with the Boston area, it’s easier for us to just tell people we’re living in Boston. Anyway, we arrived at our Airbnb in Brookline  in the early evening, unloaded our stuff, and grabbed dinner before crashing for the night.

Our Airbnb was good. It was clean and in a great location down the street from our apartment. We were all Airbnb-virgins, so there were some surprises where it differed from a hotel experience. In the end, it served it’s purpose well and I will be giving the hosts a good review.

Our second day in Brookline started out great! We had an awesome brunch at Zaftig’s, recommended to us by a friend, and it did not disappoint! It was sunny and warm and we were feeling so good about the day. We made our way to the apartment to check it out for the first time in person. The outside of our building is nice and everything seemed good leading to our front door, but as soon as we walked in, we were overcome with disappointment. It didn’t look anything like the pictures and video the realtor sent us. The paint was peeling and cracked all over the place, the room we wanted to change to a nursery was a hideous pink colour, and the bathroom was an ungodly sight. This wasn’t supposed to happen. My exhaustion and pregnancy hormones took over and I had a meltdown. Lucky Mark.

Later that evening, things started to look up again, as we were told the whole apartment would be sanded, plastered and re-painted. This meant pushing our entire moving schedule back by several days, as the painters would be doing the job over the weekend and it was only Thursday. We had to delay our IKEA order and receiving our moving truck full of things, etc. Not the end of the world, but annoying. Fortunately, we booked the Airbnb for five nights anyway.

For the next few days/nights we explored our new neighborhood and began ordering household items we would need. We spent six hours in IKEA on Saturday going through each section, carefully looking for anything we needed and we placed an order to be shipped for this Thursday, March 9. We started getting excited for the week ahead and even though our wallets were feeling a bit light, we felt like everything was going to be awesome. By another stroke of luck, Mark found out he didn’t have to start at work until March 13, so the stress was starting to dissipate.

Yesterday, oh yesterday. We couldn’t extend our stay at the Airbnb, so we moved to a hotel this morning, all good. We found out the painting etc. was done and the apartment had been cleaned, again, all good. Then we realize that there is a potential danger of lead-based paint in the apartment and since the painters were sanding/grinding, etc., there may be a danger of lead dust in the apartment. Lead dust can cause damage to an unborn fetus if the mother is breathing it in. Shit. Mark had to go into work for several hours yesterday for some orientation stuff, double shit. So, my ever-so-patient-and-very-generous in-laws are working with Mark to sort out a solution to this potentially major dilemma. Legally, our property manager has no obligation to do a lead inspection until up to 30 days after the baby is born, then they are responsible for any fixes. This means that we have to pay for a private lead inspection to be done and possibly pay for a proper clean up of the apartment, etc. to remove any toxic lead dust. Fun! This also means I have to keep my pregnant ass out of the apartment in the meantime and the icing on the cake is all those orders for furniture, etc. we had coming had to be canceled or re-booked. Super fun!

This is where we’re at now. It’s been an emotional stress-fest over here but we’re doing our best to remain positive. Once the apartment is clean and safe for me to be in, it’s going to be awesome! We’ve got some great furniture on the way, the apartment is bright with lots of windows, all new. We have a nice deck to sit on in the summer months, and we have a dishwasher! That was a big seller for me. There’s a pretty park across the street from our building and the neighborhood is fantastic, full of young families.

We have so much to look forward to, this is just a minor bump in the road. The moral of this story is, if you’re moving to a place in another city/country and you can’t get there to see it in person, get someone you know to do so for you! Realtors don’t always share everything you would want to know before moving into a place. Thank heavens for helpful in-laws and a husband who does everything he can to keep it all together when everything feels like it’s falling apart.

In other news, my baby bump is more evident now and I can feel the little bugger wiggling around in there. It’s magic!

Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully some pictures in the coming weeks 😉

A