Saturday, July 25, 2009

Welcome to the neighborhood!

So here's the set up: on the base, the housing is mostly divided into what we call "courts". Each court consists of 2 buildings, each with four 2-storied housing units, A - D, they're kind of like townhouses. So that's 8 units/families in each court. All the units in our court have 4 bedrooms. We share a parking lot with 2 assigned spaces each, and a communal garbage/recycle bin area.

When we moved in almost 2 years ago, there were 3 families in our building (A-C, we're unit D) but only 1 family in our neighbor building. Within about 6 mths, families A and B moved out of our building, so it was just 3 families sharing a space meant for 8, for over a year. It was sooooo nice! 16 parking spaces shared by only 6 cars! 8 backyards for only 3 families of kids! It was really quiet on our end of the street, and we were all very happy.

In the last 6 months, our court has filled to capacity. We now have the full 8 families, with a grand total of..........22 kids! Yeah, not so quiet anymore! Yesterday, there was a strange guy walking through our backyards with a video camera. Neighbor B went out to ask him what he was doing, and he replies "We're making a typhoon preparedness commercial and we needed a "what your yard should not look like when preparing for a typhooon" example!" I think our backyard has every outside toy ever invented, and it attracts kids from blocks away. We've got 2 trampolines, a large swing set, a pirate ship climber, a toddler roller coaster, a playhouse, 5 different sets of patio furniture, a gazebo, a motorized Barbie car, 3-wheeler and monster truck, 2 wagons, a toddler picnic table, more bikes and trikes than I can count and at the moment, 3 different blow-up pools and 2 slip n' slides. Whew! And still, we hear "Mom, I'm bored! There's nothing to do!"
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video

Ethan taking a spin on the toddler roller coaster.

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I think we've gotten really lucky, so far all the new neighbors seem really nice. We're planning an end of summer block party, and we regularly sit out front chatting, and lately, sharing some of our favorite cocktails in the evenings.

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Of the 22 kids in our court, there are 14 boys, 12 of them are 6 yrs old or younger. Pure heaven for Ethan! He loves playing with his "buddies" and will stay outside for hours everyday, hunting beetles, riding bikes and playing Transformers. Gabi is super excited because the newest neighbors (Unit A in our building) have 2 girls, one her age who's also starting 10th grade, and the other is only a year behind Meg. There are two other 11 year old girls in our court, and the last 2 girls are both only 18 mths old.

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With my B and C neighbors, we've started a clothing swap. Neighbor B has 2 boys, ages 6 and almost 5. Even though the 4 year old is only a few months older than E, he's nearly 3 sizes bigger! She sends her boys' hand-me-downs to Ethan. Neighbor C has 3 boys, ages 10, 7 and 2. I give E's h-m-d's to her youngest, and she sends her bigger boys' h-m-d's to Neighbor B. Ethan's now has more clothes for the next year then I think he'll ever wear! Very nice indeed!

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8 comments:

Sara said...

that sounds like a sweeeet set up! lots of kids to play with, lots of neighbors to do neighborly things with!

def. a part of american culture tha i miss!!! and that back yard area looks FUN!!

hand me downs are AWESOME. i've gotten so much for BG from friends and I'll be happy to pass it along when I'm done with it as well :D

gigihawaii said...

haha. Great! But if a typhoon hits, will you have to bring all the yard "toys" into the house? How?

thefukases said...

Ooohhhhhh I wanna go on the rollercoaster! I reckon a few drinks and that would be a blast! It must be great having so many kids around. One downside of living in the sticks- most of my neighbours have grandkids not kids!

Slime said...

Sara - yeah, it's been really nice, this is first time we've been such good friends with our neighbors. I've always been a big fan of hand-me-downs. Kids just outgrow stuff SO FAST, it seems ridiculous to spend gobs of $$$$!

Gigi - fortunately, most of the junk belongs to the neighbors, only the trampolin and one set of furni is ours. This will be the first typhoon season with all the toys, etc. so we'll see what happens. We don't typically get much violent weather here on the plains.

Fuka-chan - we tried it, hehe, it was fun! LOL And yes, it was after quite of few sips of "mommy juice"

Alisa said...

Oh Wow!
You are so lucky!
We moved from a small aq of 5 families (base housing) in the states, and we had the BEST Neighbors for over 2 yrs!
It was wonderful ... i miss it.
Soak up the Fun w/ new friends! :) Yucky U!!!!

gaijin wife said...

A few drinks and I'd give anything in that yard a go!! What paradise for little kids. So many of the though. You would have to search a five km radius to get that many kids here!!

Don't suppose you know where the tranmpolines were purchased? In Japan?

Chrysanthemum Mum said...

Sounds like a great little community you have there. The back yards must be heaven for the kids. We have a good network in my apartment building but not the play space unfortunately.

Lily said...

Wow- what an awesome community. Thank goodness I don't live nearby- my kids would be being dropped off in your backyard everyday.