I wish this title referred to some exotic travel plans, but alas, my air travels are done for a little while (I’ll be recapping some recent travel on the blog soon). Right now, we’ve been trying to figure out where we will be spending our first 3-4 months with our baby bug once she arrives.
As I mentioned, when we moved into our 557 square foot space, it seemed like it might be a bit of a crunch with two adults and a 70 lb. mutt who has zero sense of his size.
It wasn’t too long before we realized how tough it was going to be. After 3 years living, and largely working, in 270 square feet, I was no stranger to small spaces. But I loved my former neighborhood of Logan Circle, so with DC at my doorstep, I rarely felt the smallness of the space. However, settling into our new neighborhood together, we quickly realized it would be tough to call it home. The smallest quadrant of DC, Southwest, is home to some seriously ugly mid-century architecture.
Living along the Potomac River has been a saving grace over here, along with a beautiful courtyard pool and friendly neighbors. However, Southwest DC also lacks a walkable neighborhood. I mean, you can certainly walk in the neighborhood, but we miss having something to walk to- a gym, a yoga studio, a variety of restaurants. Call me a snob, but these are the reasons I’ve stayed in DC so long. Here in Southwest, there isn’t much going on and what with metro delays and parking hassles, its made for a nosedive in my desire to actually go anywhere outside of my little quadrant. Its just a lot more work. Getting to yoga class, which I gave up trying long ago, means about a 3 hour round trip expedition, completely negating any hard-earned yoga-induced bliss. Plus, with fall and winter ahead, the activity of the courtyard will soon die down and we will be back to feeling the isolation we felt when we moved in last January.
So I lobbied hard for a move. Yes, I’m that crazy pregnant lady. Our lease is up in early January, but I figured that maybe, perhaps we could juuuusttttt consider packing up and going elsewhere for a few months after the birth. It wasn’t so much about our space being too small (but that was part of it); it was that I half believe I might go a little nuts being in Southwest DC every day for the duration of my maternity leave. There are tons of neighborhoods in this city with vibrant parks and playgrounds and our neighborhood happens to be one without either.
So I proposed this elaborate scheme that we sublet our apartment or get someone to take over the lease and we find somewhere else to live for 3 months.
Logical? Not really.
It turned out that it was no problem to find people interested in taking over our lease. The problem was really finding somewhere else to go for 3 months that met 4 criteria:
1. It needed to give us more space
2. It was surrounded by a vibrant neighborhood
3. It did not extend James’ commute. (Less traffic = more happiness for the entire family. Trust me.)
4. Of course, it needed to allow our shaggy beast.
Despite plenty of sublets available in our time frame, none were an improvement in numbers 1 and 2, and those that were did not meet 3 and 4. So we abandoned the operation.
A few weeks later, James wanted to notify our tenants that we could not renew their lease beyond the original terms. Read: we would like to move back in come January. We feel bad about it, but also feel that 4 months notices is considerate and would give them time to look for new housing. One of the tenants asked if we would be willing to let him part ways earlier…and James responded that yes, we would entertain that idea if we could get someone to take over our lease. It wouldn’t make sense to carry our existing rent on top of the otherwise-covered mortgage payment. We loved the idea! Since finding someone to take over our lease hadn’t been the problem the last time around, we figured if our tenant wanted to leave early, we could make our way back to the house soon, maybe even in time for maternity leave.
Now, this all happened after we had just spent a few weeks trying to get our space ready for the arrival of our little person and the idea was finally sinking in that we’d be in the studio through January. We had rearranged all of the furniture, installed shelving for tiny clothes, made a makeshift changing station out of my home office desk, and basically cleared out two floor to ceiling cupboards of our own belongings to accommodate all of the baby goods we had recently acquired.
But the opportunity to move was one we wanted to pursue.
So the search resumed.
For a week.
In that time, we found about 5 interested parties.
And then our tenant came back and said he preferred to finish out the lease terms.
I was a bit crushed, but of course it’s his right to stay in the house for the duration of the lease. So now its final. We’ll be here, all 4 of us, in 557 square feet until early to mid-January. I was feeling up in the air with all of the back and forth but now I’m working on settling back into the notion of learning to be parents in a studio apartment.
I’m the one who got us into this mess (ahem, I mean living in the studio. I place responsibility for the pregnancy squarely on James…jk) so I am working on accepting the outcomes of this decision.
This little person will be arriving in our lives anywhere in the next few weeks. Living in this little space is going to be a trip and we are going to work on figuring it out as we go. We are working on living as small as possible for the time being and will certainly be providing updates on what we found necessary for the baby and what is just taking up our precious space!