ahhhh.... It's so quiet. All I can hear are birds chirping. I have the most spectacular view-- an unobstructed expanse of rolling farmland with actual barns and silos-- no joke! I think I love it here.
Perhaps I wasn't meant to live in the city?
We arrived almost a week ago and have the essential parts of the house out of boxes, if not in order. I love the house, I love the neighborhood, I love the town, I love the QUIET! We haven't heard a siren since we got here.
So the house is great. It's very sunny, very spacious, has tons of storage. I honestly think I'll be able to keep the house neat, if you can believe that. I love that the playroom has all the toys which can disappear at night. I love my fireplace and covered tv cabinet. I like the kitchen, I'm getting used to the open design. Ron put away all the kitchen wares out of the boxes so soon I will have to re-organize everything to my liking. I'm not going to continue on and on about the house; you'll just have to come visit to see it. My in-laws were here for a couple of days and I never even went into the basement guest room and they seemed very much out of the way so guests are welcome welcome welcome!
My neighboorhood is great so far. It's been super hot so no one has been out the last day or two but there was the cutest parade on July 4th-- a firetruck followed with all the kids in the neighborhood on bikes or being pulled in wagons with balloons and flags etc. Then in the evening there was a pot-luck at the park (1 block away) for the families on our street and there are tons of kids here. Supposedly there are two princess-y sisters right near us ages 3 and 5 but we haven't met them yet. My next door neighbor ACTUALLY BAKED ME A PIE. I'm not kidding. Other neighbors dropped off rice krispie treats and chocolate covered oreos. One neighbor lent us their brand new lawn mower so Ron could do the yard (which took all of 20 minutes). People wave. A girl had a lemonade stand out yesterday and cups of lemonade were 10 cents.
We joined the pool, which is really big, VERY cool (a huge sand area with shade and water structures, two huge water slides, snack bar etc.) and only cost $130 for a family of 5. It doesn't open until 1:30 though because of swim team. Talia is going to take lessons starting in two weeks. I got my library card and the library is very nice with a kids play area. Luckily it has the whole online reservation thing so I can get whatever books I want from 7 counties.
Yesterday we went into downtown Madison (15 minutes) and went to the farmer's market. I am unable to describe the magnitude of the market so I won't even try. Those of you who've been here know what I'm talking about. It just confirms the whole atmosphere of Madison in general-- people are really into local agriculture and outdoor activities. I bought lots of fresh local produce, cheese, bread and rainbow tie-dye socks for Talia. I even got shelled peas. I bought the MOST BEAUTIFUL flower bouquet (I don't even have a vase big enough) for $5.
Talia's school is the coolest place ever. There was a little table at the entrance last week that had a foam board and next to it a basket filled with found and donated objects in red, white and blue-- detergent caps, lego pieces, a few small knitted squares etc. and a bunch of rolls of tape. A sign said- please add to our sculpture as the week goes by. So simple and yet so creative. There are live birds in the school. They get produce from a CSA for snack. The director decided not to charge me for the full month because Talia was really only going three weeks. THIS is what the Midwest is like! Someone came by today with cookies and gave us a Kettler tricycle for Talia to ride for the summer since her boys had moved on to bikes.
Alex seems to like Wisconsin also. He has hopefully grown out of his colicky stage and does not cry for hours on end for no reason. He still really doesn't sleep during the day at all. It's quite strange. All you want to do is put him down and every time you try he wakes up within 10 minutes. He does generally sleep ok at night, waking mostly to eat but sometimes will wiggle around and grunt for hours between feedings but not really awake-- he doesn't open his eyes and doesn't exactly cry. He does need care during that time-- binky, patting etc. and thus we are exhausted. We bought him a fancy swing and a bouncy chair so he's not as neglected as he was in Philly.
Well I'm really tired. I wrote this email in two sessions so sorry if I've repeated myself. Ron has another week off and then he's working full time. He *might* take Talia to Chicago this weekend for his dad's 60th and I might stay here with Alex. Even if the kid doesn't sleep during the day I can just sit with him in front of the tv, maybe run some errands (I think I've given Target about $1000 this week) and try to RELAX. I'm going to bed.