America's Walking City

 Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One of the most incredible benefits of living in the Boston area is the ability to walk to almost all of the places I want to go. Boston is fondly referred to as "America's Walking City" and is a beautiful place to cruise around on foot.

Living in Melrose has turned out to be a perfect location for us. There is an amazing Italian Restaurant across the street with a dry cleaner, nail salon, and wine shop right next to it. The downtown area is a short 15 minute walk and there I can find just about any store I could ever need. I can also hop on the T if I want to meet Josh for lunch or explore a beautiful museum in the area.

The little shops by our apartment complex. 

It dawned on me the other day that I rarely use my car any more. This realization occurred when I went out to the garage one Wednesday morning and was greeted by a dirty diaper that had been left in the car since Sunday afternoon. Although the search and recovery of this diaper was not a pleasant experience, it definitely made me remember how nice its been walking in the fresh air every day.

Two other benefits of not using the car:

1. We have saved a lot of money on gas.
2. We have accidentally gotten a lot of exercise.

If you read my earlier post Thank God for the Little Dove Chocolates  - you know Addison has been enjoying her freedom from the car as well.

When I woke up this morning I was greeted by gorgeous sunny weather and I knew it would be a perfect day to walk and explore. I had read about a little coffee shop in downtown Melrose that was getting great reviews and even has some gluten free goodies. As soon as I made Addison a bottle of milk and sippy cup of lemonade - we were on our way.

While we walked through the beautifully landscaped path towards downtown I took a deep breath of fresh air and savored the moment.

Downtown Melrose

This was such a perfect morning and it only continued to get better when we arrived at the coffee shop. It was as cute as the website said it was and they really did have several organic and gluten free items available. I decided this would be a great new spot for me and Addison and I could picture myself walking here for coffee every morning. 

I was having such a great time, I took a few minutes to log in to Facebook in order to update my status. Although I don't update my status often - I wanted to share this moment and have a way to remember the first time I visited this place...

Just as I was beginning to sip my tea, Addison started to fuss. Soon, she became so loud that several people in the coffee shop were taking notice and starting to stare.

NO Addison!!

That's all I could think. 

NO! Don't do it!

If only she could understand me I would explain to her how perfect this morning had been and that sharing a bottle and hot tea together was a very special moment. Surely she too had a great time walking downtown to the coffee shop (right?). This was all very serene and I wanted to convince her she had no reason to fuss.

She wasn't buying it. 

After about 10 minutes I realized we weren't going to be able to stay in the coffee shop and we had to start heading home.

I quickly regained my confidence as I stepped out of the shop's doorway and someone held the door open for the stroller. I remembered how nice everyone was here and was distracted for a moment. Unfortunately I didn't realize there was still another step and the onlookers watched as I almost dumped Addison into the street and knocked a porcelain dog bowl that was conveniently in my way.

What is this? What happened to my perfect-beautiful-no-need-to-drive morning walk??

I decided not to let that stop me from enjoying our adventure home where I knew I would put Addison down for a nap and enjoy a few minutes of quiet to myself. There were plenty of others walking about - some with coffee in hand, some walking their dogs, and others with babies in strollers. Addison and I started to sing the ABC song together...her randomly singing "da-da-da-da" at times - me trying to sing quietly enough so the other walkers didn't stare. Ahhh... the serenity returned.

Since Addison is walking now, I decided to let her out of the stroller once we got closer to home. As we creeped along at .00001 mph, she decided to stop and turn the other way. After a while she completely stopped - right in front of a driveway someone was trying to get out of. I decided I had better carry her back to the apartment and try to savor what was left of our beautiful walk and my peaceful state of mind.

And that's when it happened.

Reality. A big dose of it.

As we approached a parking lot I noticed a strange sensation on my waist. A moment later I began to feel a warm liquid drip down my leg.  My shirt started to stick to my side and with each step I could tell I was getting wetter and wetter. I swollowed hard, took a deep breath, and decided not to look until we made it across the parking lot.

So her diaper is a little full, I thought. No big deal. Nothing to worry about. I am a mom. I've handled much worse. Right?

But then it just kept dripping down my leg. My shirt, my shorts...the entire right side of my body was completely soaked in less than a minute. Unfortunately, there was no way I could put Addison down in the parking lot so I just had to grin and bear it. (As my best friend likes to say to herself when gross things happen to her: You won't die; You won't die; You won't die)

I soon was able to stop and change Addison's diaper in the grass. Of course I was still soaked for the rest of the walk home but at least the beautiful sun was beginning to dry me off. As I headed inside I began to wonder if I still liked "America's Walking City" as much as I had before our morning walk.

Yes, I decided. At least she didn't get pee all over the car.


My Little Girl Is Growing Up...

 Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Addison starting walking yesterday and the past 24 hours have already been so much fun.


The Adventures of Addison

 Saturday, August 20, 2011

This past month has been full of many exciting adventures! Addison and I have been able to visit some pretty cool places and are having a lot of fun.

Here we are...

Stocking up at the Container Store our first week here...
Visiting the North Shore Mall play space...

Enjoying a walk around the harbor at UMass...

Taking our first carousel ride together...

Exploring the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum...
Crawling around the Boston Children's Museum...

And mommy's favorite so far: playing in the fountains at the greenway downtown.


Goodbye Virginia

 Monday, August 8, 2011

It's official. I now live in Massachusetts.

Reality set in when I walked out to my car this weekend and saw the Massachusetts plates that have now replaced the old familiar ones from Virginia. It is amazing how the DMV can change your life by handing you a shiny driver's license and new tags for your car.

This past month has definitely felt like a long wonderful vacation, and at some level I've been thinking I'll be returning home to Virginia very soon. Now that my VA tags are in my hands instead of on my car, I guess it is sinking in that I am here to stay.

So goodbye Virginia. You were very good to me and I hope to visit often.


Southern Hospitality??

 Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I am a southern girl.

I like a good ol' North Carolina pig pickin', I love going to the State Fair in the fall, and I think it's super fun to cheer on the Wolfpack while wearing my Meredith College sweatshirt.

I will have to admit, I am not the most country of all Carolina girls (sorry dad!) but I do pride myself in being from the south. Here are a couple of other little facts that give me some "southern girl cred":

#1. My dad owns a farm.
[The farm also has a driving range, paintball course, and horse trails]

#2. My brother has a tattoo of North Carolina on his arm. For real.

#3. I've been to a few Demolition Derbies.

NC State Fair 2008

#4. I am super proud of Southern Hospitality and was a little nervous about moving to the North where everyone has an attitude.

I couldn't have been more wrong...

Everyone here is incredibly nice.

And I don't mean nice because they have to be. I mean genuinely warm, friendly, and interested.

I just got off the phone with Rite Aid. I hate calling Rite Aid. You have to push a zillion buttons just to talk to an operator and if you want to speak with a real person, they seem annoyed at you for not pushing enough buttons to get your answer taken care of without have to talk to them.

So I called the Rite Aid here in Massachusetts in order to transfer a prescription from Virginia. I went through several prompts in order to talk to a live person and had my speech all prepared in order to make the call as quick and smooth as possible. As I started to explain that I just moved here from Virginia, she quickly interrupted me to welcome me to the area. She continued to be very friendly as I gave her additional information which led to us talking about me being a teacher, having a baby, and Josh taking a new job in the area.

What the heck?!!?!? The Pharmacist? Why was she being so nice?

And she is not the only person here that has gone out of their way to be nice to me - that actually has turned out to be the norm. I was in the gas station the other day and the lady went out of her way to help me get the best price on the drinks I was purchasing in order to take advantage of the sales.

I will have to admit, never in the South have I had so many people be so consistently nice, talkative, and friendly to me. So much for my illusions of Southern Hospitality. I am going to have to think about that one for a while.



 Monday, August 1, 2011

As I sit in my messy, disorganized, undecorated apartment, I am reminded of how much I enjoyed our home in Fredericksburg. It was the first home Josh and I had together and we lived there for almost seven years.  There are a lot of great memories inside those walls and I am certain that I will miss it terribly.

But you know memory can be a very tricky thing. Humans have an amazing ability to forget pain and focus on the positive (which is why I MIGHT try to have another baby one day). Everyone has heard the ol' saying "the grass is always greener on the other side" - I am realizing that applies to our homes as well.

So with that said, here is my house in Fredericksburg. It was always clean, always organized, and always decorated beautifully.


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