Friday, September 26, 2014

New house, new rules

As the title suggests...we have moved to a new house!

Home sweet home

Our little family has relocated about 15 minutes away from our previous home, to a charming little town and into an allotment filled with kids and play sets and sidewalks and 211 mailboxes that are all identical. 

Entering the neighborhood

Some people would call it Suburban Hell. I call it My Piece of Wonderful. 

Coming from being the last house on a dead end road, surrounded by trees and no visible neighbors, this new living space does bring a number of adjustments. For starters, I can no longer walk around half naked. I actually have to put pants on when I get out of bed and get my coffee, and that's no fun at all! I have to be appropriately dressed to get my mail too, and that's really been pretty annoying so far. Sounds of birds and swaying trees have been replaced with the shrieks of children playing and the symphony of lawn equipment. But really, I don't mind that change too much. It's rather nice to hear kids playing. Despite the adjustments and allotment annoyances (nosy neighbors, conformity, restrictions and by laws), this place...My Piece of Wonderful...THIS is home to me. This is the environment I grew up in, and this is where I imagined I would raise a family if I ever had one. Plus, all the straight property lines and all those 211 identical mailboxes are very compatible with my OCD.

With moving comes lots of changes for everyone - a new bedroom, unfamiliar noises, a different daily routine environment, etc. So I decided, Hey? Why not throw in some more changes? 

First off, Addy must close the door when she uses the toilet, because there is a giant window directly across from her bathroom. 

And at nighttime, from the outside, you can see everything that's going
on in the bathroom if we have the light on
After two weeks here, she is finally starting to close the door on her own. Second, Addy must get dressed in her room, with the door closed, as opposed to anywhere else in the house. That might seem like something that should already be happening, but at the old house, I was in the habit of bringing her clothes downstairs at some point in the day to speed along the frustrating process of getting ready to leave the house. Therefore, she would typically get dressed in the middle of the living room. Funny thing is, I'm the one that's having trouble keeping up with this new rule; yesterday I brought an outfit downstairs for her to put on, and she kindly reminded me that "we don't do that anymore".

The biggest change I made is one that I have wanted to do for a while, and thought that coinciding it with a change in environment would make it easier. The big new rule is: all meals are eaten at the kitchen table. We have been very lax with eating in our house, so pretty much all food was being eaten at the couch. Yes, even a good portion of our dinner meals. Yes, I am aware of how bad that is...poor eating habits, mindless eating with the television on, not quality family time, lack of learning table manners, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Hence the change. I knew it would be met with sharp opposition, so my tag line for it was "new house, new rules". Any time Addy complained about sitting at the table or begged to take her plate to the living room, I simply stated my tag line. New house, new rules. And you know what? It took about three days, and she was completely on board with it. We now sit at the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm so pleased!

But I'm not the only one making changes. On our third night here, Addy surprised Matt and I both when we tucked her in to bed and she asked us to skip singing the bedtime songs. What?!?!? We have been singing the same four songs for almost two solid years...and on the third night in the new house, she asks us to stop? Upon our questioning why, she swiftly replied, "New house, new rules." 

Looks like we are all adjusting very well here. (-: 

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