We will have the top 2 floors along with a fabulous rooftop deck. You may think we put all our eggs in one basket, but we really did have about 7 apartments scheduled for viewing . . . but after seeing this one we canceled all the others. Just look at the photos. It. Is. Perfect.
1.) Garage parking -- great for those snowy, below-freezing winters.
2.) Viking kitchen appliances. Oh yes, Jeri Anne WILL learn how to cook more than the 5 recipes I know.
3.) There are 3 full bathrooms. No further explanation necessary, I'm sure.
4.) The master bath has heated floors. Heated. Floors. I never in my life thought I would live in such luxury.
5.) Directly across the street is a really, really cool park that has a playground, dog park, tennis courts, a couple of baseball fields, a big grassy area for picnics, and, wait for it . . . wait for it . . . a ginormous SWIMMING POOL!! Hooray! I will finally have easy access to the water! And we have a beautiful view of this park right from our deck and balconies.
But what makes this apartment (or is it actually a condo? not sure) even more special is the neighborhood. Oh my goodness, it is exactly what I hoped it would be. You know how you picture yourself in a city before you visit it? The way you'll feel walking down its streets, the types of buildings, homes, and even flowers you'll see? Then most of the time you get there and it's not exactly what you expected . . . but this time it was EXACTLY what I expected. Old homes with front porches, tree-lined streets, parks covered in young children and stay-at-home moms, restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating, fabulous little boutiques and gift shops. It couldn't be any closer to exactly right. We will easily be able to walk to the park and the sprinkler park that's just a block away. Roscoe Street with all its neat restaurants and boutiques is only 2 blocks away.
And everyone was soooo nice. In every store we stopped in, the salespeople were eager to know where we were from and so excited that we are moving to the neighborhood. The children's boutiques (there are at least 3!) try to have little social outings and events for moms and kiddos, and they know all the gossip on the preschools, public schools, music and art classes, and where I can go to get "linked in" to the neighborhood. They all seemed so proud of their little community and tried their best to share a little wisdom with us.
Since my new occupation will be Stay-at-Home Mom, I have been a little nervous about finding places to get out and meet new friends, but something tells me I'll be okay. That something is the overwhelming presence of the Double BOBs and Phil and Teds . . . at every park, on every sidewalk, at every restaurant, in every store, and hanging out on the front porches of homes. It is apparent that is neighborhood is overflowing with young couples who have small children, and they are taking complete advantage of what the neighborhood has to offer. No one seems to have a problem with taking their children everywhere they go . . . and no one else seems to mind that the kiddos are there.
Since everything I've written so far doesn't quite sound "big city-like," you may have forgotten that we are actually moving to Chicago. Here's the latest belly shot (31 weeks) of Mack with the river in the background . . . and a bunch of other people.
Oh, and I had my first doctor's appointment with my new OB office, which went really, really well. The office is in the Neiman Marcus building on Michigan. I mean, really? That seems so fancy and big city and just a little too much for me. But a girl in a shoe store told me her OB office is in the Playboy building -- ha!
I'm trying my best to soak up all the advice possible to make my transition a little easier. So far, this is some of what I've accumulated:
1.) Buy a knee-length North Face quilted coat for the winter. I might feel like a marshmallow, but every Chicago hip mom has one. And of course I will do whatever I can to be a hip mom.
2.) Get a zoo membership for the obvious reason of being able to go to the zoo anytime I want but also for free parking -- that is, parking for the very nearby beach.
3.) Do not carry a heavy purse and do not wear uncomfortable shoes. There is a fantastic little shoe store in Roscoe that only sells really cute shoes that are also comfortable. Why, yes, I did buy a pair while I was there.
4.) Little boys do not wear John-Johns to the playground. Hmm. I might have to give in to Clint's request and not let Mack wear "sissy clothes" after he's 1 -- at least not on a regular Tuesday afternoon. I think before 1 it will be okay, but after 1 it's all knit and Merrills. Maybe we can handle this.
5.) Little girls do not wear smocked outfits to the playground. This rule I do not care about. Mimi will wear smocked clothing until she is 16.
And speaking of little girls' clothing, I have something I need to ask of you. I made a cute little outfit for a sweet friend, but it is a little too small. The top ended up fitting more like a 6 month than a 12 month (oops, that's what I get for trying to be too cool for a pattern), so I am making another and would like to sell this one (see photos below). If you need to buy a gift for a 6 month-old little girl, just let me know!