Keeping Busy in the City

It has been a long month.

Earlier this summer, our landlord let us know that she needed to sell the home we were renting.  We didn’t want to move, so we scraped and scrambled to purchase our modest city home.  Many people wouldn’t think it is big enough for a family with four kids, but this is home to us and we love it.

But, now that we (finally) own the place, the things that we easily ignored as renters quickly became nagging eyesores. The torn up wood floors. Horrible paint colors. Ill-conceived floor plan. Mud pit in the front yard. Time to make some changes.

I know in the grand scheme of things, these are just things.  And they don’t really matter. But since we will be staying here for a while we decided to fix up the place to make it more comfortable for our family.

First up? The wood floors. Oh they were in such bad shape.  To do the wood floors, we basically had to move out – a potentially expensive hassle that really stressed me out.  But, thanks to the kind generosity of neighbors who had recently moved out, we hauled our mattresses over to their empty townhouse and squatted for nine days. No toys. No TV. No hot water!

Just our imagination…and a big city to keep us busy!

Aside from a few hiccups, we had a wonderful week! Kids (and adults!) really don’t need “stuff” to be happy. Sometimes, a new activity and family interaction is really all it takes to make a day awesome.  So even though we didn’t have a home of our own, we did a lot that last week of summer (and none of it cost very much).

We watched the Chicago Air & Water Show with my parents and grandparents:

We went out to the suburbs to celebrate my grandma’s 80th birthday:

The kids and I went swimming at our favorite park district pools (where we also managed to sneak in a couple hot showers):

We took the bus to the beach (infinitely more fun than walking, of course!):

We hunted for mushrooms along our city streets:

Evie and Mack accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge from our neighbors, and they asked to do it AGAIN:

Heck, Vivian and Mack kept busy for an hour twirling a beaded necklace around an empty room in the house we were borrowing. Like I said, it doesn’t take much to keep them occupied!

It was a great week filled with take-out food eaten in our courtyard and agreeable summer weather. While it was nearly impossible to get the kids to bed (too much excitement invloved with sleeping on the floor), I don’t regret the decision to do it.

We moved back into our home the day before school started. Not ideal timing, I know, but since it is still summer we can keep the windows open and air the place out!

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Written by Maureen

More posts by: Maureen

1 Comment for this entry

  1. Donna R. says:

    Wow.. you put the uber busy folks to shame. Sounds like a real adventure that you’re happy to have behind you.

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