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Archive for November, 2011

What is kid-friendly?

Yesterday’s weather was beautiful and my neighbor (and fellow apartment mom) and I took our kids to the playground and stayed until the sun faded.  We met up with another apartment mom from another apartment building near ours.

I asked them to tell me what their biggest apartment challenge was with the kids.  And I’ll be writing more on that.  But I learned that the other building is more kid-friendly than ours.  They have some big bonuses, like a small playground and a big pool.  The pool is an awesome bonus but I want to talk about the playground.

Having a playground is not as big a cost/responsibility as having a pool.  It gives neighboring families a gathering place outdoors and kids easy access to much-needed exercise.  You don’t have to get in the car and drive somewhere.  This maximizes the actual play-time:  If I have less than one hour, I’m not going to make a trip to the town park.  But if it was a short walk from my door, we’d be there a lot more.  I’ve been told by one or two homeowners with play sets in their backyards that their kids still want to go where there will be other kids to play with them.

Our building has space on the property for a play set and in recent years they removed a dilapidated swing set that did appear unsafe, but it was never replaced.  The message is clear:  don’t play here.

Tell me about your building:  What do you think is kid-friendly about it?

 

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Most homeowners I know prefer summer to winter because their air conditioning (if they use it) is cheaper than their heating cost.  My apartments have, until now, always included heat and I felt that I had the advantage in the winter months, with the exception of having to shovel off my car after snowstorms.   Someone else plows the parking lot and shovels the walkways.  This year, we are paying an additional $75 a month from September through April to cover the fuel costs after the long winter of 2010-2011.

Does your rent include utilities or seasonal expenses?  Which ones?

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Roommates

In Junior High a classmate of mine lived in a 6-unit apartment building.  I am not sure if her parents owned the building.  But in her family’s unit, her bedroom was an alcove off of the living room.  She shared this bedroom with an older sister, brother, and an aunt.  Yes, really.  I had never before been in a home where so many shared such a small space.  I felt deprived because I shared a room with my mom, while my brother had his own room (because he was a boy and couldn’t share with mom).

Right now my kids share a room and I share a room with my husband.  I would love if my kids each had their own rooms, even teeny-tiny ones, just separate.  I know a few families who have enough bedrooms for each kid and a playroom, too.

How many rooms are in your apartment, and how many people live there?

 

 

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Powerless

You probably know from the news, if not from personal experience, that our area was hit with a freakish October snowstorm that resulted in a lot of damage and power loss.  Ours lasted a little less than 2 days but those were two cold days.

We live on the 3rd floor and coming and going was a bit of a pain especially when the emergency lights in the hallways and stairs expired.  But the folks at the top had it worse – 7 flights.   Over all we didn’t miss the electricity much – it was a bit relaxing to have a reason to go to bed early.  But I sure missed the heat.  I thought we might have the advantage of being insulated by the apartments above, below and next to us, and maybe we did – but it was COLD inside anyway.  During the day we went out to get warm(er).  Being in an apartment house the reserve of hot water was used up immediately.  I hope someone enjoyed a hot shower and wasn’t running his dishwasher.

One thing I am grateful for is that we were out at a birthday party the day of the storm and it seemed foolish – I really wanted to be in my own home.  When we returned after a challenging drive home, we discovered that a huge tree branch had come down on the cars that were parked in the spaces next to ours (we have assigned outdoor spots) and had we been home our car would have gotten damaged, too.

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