Monday, August 30, 2010

The birth of the Kruse family house - La nascita della casa dei Kruse

You might wonder why there is a blank space below. Well, this is because our life has been and it still is pretty much on hold. Being involved in packing, unpacking, living in construction zones, being a full-time mom and reshaping a brand new house (from deciding where to put the bathroom towels to finding a solution for storing all pasta and rice containers in one place, the list does not end). This means that you have no time for anything else. Having said that, please go past the blank space below (which, to be honest, I have not been able to delete despite my 5 years experience in web development!) and enjoy the historical pictures below, featuring the birth of the Kruse family house.
There will soon be more pictures here showing the birth of our new house. We first need to make this happen. Enrica, John and William

The kitchen:

da cosi'-
from this
a cosi' -
to this
a cosi'! -
to this!
(I will post the latest picture of the kitchen when available)
The master bedroom:
da cosi' -
from this
a cosi' -
to this
(I will post the latest picture of our master bedroom when available)
We saw a similar transformation in the second bedroom and in the living room. Latest pictures will be posted soon.

William's bedroom:
da cosi'-
from this

a cosi'-
to this
William was having fun in the yard with his water table
he was also going to the beach with his Italian friends
he was having fun opening
and closing the wooden doors of his new house
he was starring at dad working, at mamma taking photos
and at the new features of the house (in this case, he was looking at the secret passage leading to the attic)
he was happy!
On August 13th John and I celebrated with a bottle of Passito wine that my father bottled on the day I was born with my name printed on the label!

August 2010: Moving to Arlington - Agosto 2010: Il traslocco per il trasferimento ad Arlington

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goodbye Medford and Somerville - Addio Medford e Somerville

Today is "una giornata di fuoco", "a hot fire day" like my mom would say. John is still working in the new house (he still has to get the kitchen cabinets handles in place, he has to sort out the sink and the pumbing, he has to check that all appliances are working, he has to finish the French doors and put them into place, he has to clear the rooms from all the construction tools (yesterday I felt as if I was in a "cantiere" when I set foot in the living room of our new house!) so that the cleaner can come to get the apartment ready for us to move in, OMG, the list does not end!). I am in the old house, still struggling with my never ending packing. Last night I was feeling like a zombie, moving from one box to another in the endless search for empty space and to leave the first year of our life as a family behind us.

While packing, I had a year of beautiful pictures surfing through my mind, the latter ones below.

William at his favorite park with his friend Abi

William enjoying the pool with his friend Lydia

We really had a great time living in Medford and Somerville. Yes, you read correctly: Medford and Somerville. Yes because when we were watching TV, we were in Medford. When we were cooking, we were in Somerville! Our address was officially Medford but some of the bills were sent to our address in Somerville. Beside this address thing, I feel as we sort of lived in between two worlds for real: in between the colorful, ethnic, unpredictable and sometimes rough Medford and the trendy, urban, spoiled, studenty and sometimes snob Somerville.

Here is where the slide show starts: me arriving at the house with a fat belly and slowly going up the stairs of the front porch, while trying to learn how to distinguish between the dangerous and the innocent ice. Then my explorations of the stores in the Davis Square area. All urban and in good taste. Then the image of me on one of the local buses, seating next to a weirdo (i.e the one who would not stop saying that the blue color of the information boards in the street were about to change into green, meaning that we were no longer in Boston but in Somerville). Next to him, a nicely dressed professional working on his Mac, and me chatting in Italian with a friendly babysitter who was answering back in Spanish. The topic: how to survive through the winter with a small baby.

Then the bike path surprise John came up with while I was in London. The pleasant evening bike path walks from the Davis Square T stop to our house, while looking at the stars in the dark blue sky and while listening to the crickets.

Then getting the apartment into shape for our first guests coming to see us from London: Kirsty and Ian, so happy to find not only a couch for sitting but also books on our bookshelves and a kettle for making tea in our kitchen!

Then the slow but insightful discovery of Somerville, Medford and Boston, all easily assessable from our privileged rented apartment. This started feeling more like a luxury to me that it could ever feel before after living for a year in the middle of the American suburb, asking myself the same question over and over again: where do Americans walk to/meet? Yes because in America living at a walking distance from public transports and from a downtown center with little stores is an unknown concept. Finally, in our rented apartment I was able to enjoy walking to everything. Here comes a bunch of nice memories. The fun of trying new restaurants, new food - Ethiopian ended up to be my favorite discovery. My delicious lunches at the Danish pastry house, with a simple caprese sandwich. The filthy Italian deli stores with smelly cheeses I am sure I will miss, my favourite Italian non alcoholic Sampellegrino sodas and the breadcrumb that tastes of bread and not of garlic! The Middle East venue I heard of before coming to Boston reminded me so much of the venues I was spending my Friday and Saturday nights at in London. I was able to go to see the 4th of July fireworks and to even come home by subway with my pregnant belly without problems. Then what? The glasses of wine and cheerful chats with Anna at Il Pescatore restaurant to take breaks from the relentless job of looking after a baby. The therapeutic walks in the Tufts park to also show baby William how beautiful nature can be when surrounded by a dramatic urban landscape. Walks in the University campus to remember the good old days of when I was a student. Well, that image would always quickly change into a grown up William confidently walking towards the library building of the campus in his American college sweatshirt and the keys of his car in his hands. The fun of going to all these places, without having to travel for hours to get home!

What else? True Grounds? Did I forget him? My faithful coffee shop was in Somerville off-course, the only one foot steps from our house which, no matter how early in the morning or late in the evening, no matter how hot or cold outside, I could always reach in 2 minutes from our house. To quickly forget a day of screams with a creamy cappuccino or with the occasional ice latte. There, I could read a novel, write a posting of my blog or simply star at the mixed crowd of students, professional writers and artists, spending their whole day working and I could easily forget the view of dirty diapers. Then my Italian baby class at the nearby middle east food restaurant, thanks to my knowledge of middle east cuisine, which got the owner impressed. They now serve the yogurt drink I mentioned to them!

And finally the best picture of the whole slide show: the walk to Davis Square for the spicy Tibetan meal which would help my boy break the waters. I remember the colorful details of the houses I was looking at, the cars stopping in front of my fat belly, the colors and shapes of the strollers I was bumping into (mostly Bobs and Phil and Teds). The brief trip to the launderette to take a one second piss, wondering if I already got my waters broken, while I was still enjoying the after taste of my Dalai Lama. My waters did break after all, short after that, in the Medford part of our house, just when I was preparing to go to bed.

Then the return home with baby William from Mass General hospital and William's first year, including when he started eating his first "piatto di pasta al sugo" in our Somerville kitchen and when, few days ago, he started crawling in the Medford side of the house, off-course. Finally, our sweet kitty Cokie - I unfortunately stopped giving her the attention she deserved * - and my dear American friends visiting me at home to help me get through the difficult days. I cannot think of any of them in a different house.

So now there should be enough images here for you to imagine how sad I feel about leaving the old house. The other images of the slideshow are in the previous postings. So I will stop here to say this:

Goodbye Medford and Somerville! - Addio Medford e Somerville! You have played a really important part in my life! - Hai avuto un ruolo molto importante nella mia vita! Sigh

* Perhaps that is why Cokie has left us on the day of the move :-(

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The lizard - La lucertola. Yes he is! William is officially crawling! - Finalmente! William gattona per davvero!

William is officially crawling. Yes he is! Absolutely! It is called "combat crawling" or, according to my husband, the expert in commando techniques, it is also called "low crawling or commando crawling". There he is: my boy, in the entry way of our apartment, creeping towards our master bedroom! Is he William? Today, all of a sudden, I see a brand new William: yes, William, the boy who used to play for a long time in the same seated position with a couple of blocks and cups next to him and who would suddenly freak out after failing to reach the more attractive block further away from him, is now a mini soldier who is trying to sneak into (and perhaps demolish with joy) all of my stuff! Great.

Can you imagine living a life without being able to move and then suddenly be able to go everywhere and explore everything? It must be like an epiphany after months of boring seating, dependency on mom for a change of scene, and painful exercises with the same boring view of the floor, for a baby to suddenly realize that it is possible to go to see (and get) everything that is around!

Today for the first time William put himself onto his hands and knees and pushed his bottom up three or four times. I cannot describe my excitement when I saw that. The neighbors who live in the unit above ours probably can. He then used his core muscles to push forward and move around the room. I was starring at my little lizard, completely shocked and proud. Because of that, I was not able to film his first crawling attempt but only later explorations of the house. I will never forget the way he looked at me and giggled all excited, just after pushing himself forward, while he was removing the baby books from the book shelves, the ones that I was offering to a friend in that precise instant. Few seconds ago he was pushing himself into the laundry basket and "plop"! (Italian sound) Now the floor mats and all the towels that were in the basket are on his head! Luckily, he is ok.

What an exciting day. But this also means that the days of William playing by himself, while I am doing the cooking, the laundry and a bit of blogging, are now over. How about the move to the new house in less than a week? That's right, just as we've started to pack for the move to the new house in less than a week, William has started to move as well. Isn't this a bit ironic?

Before I go to bed to start picturing in my mind how life is soon going to change for us, below is a video of one of the happiest moments of William's first year of life (or at least that's how I see it):

Next step are hands and knees crawling. Yay William!