Before The Baby made his appearance, I washed and re-oiled the wooden bench on our front porch in a fit of nesting. Now that the weather has warmed up, we've been making good use of the bench. Mr. C., The Baby and I sit on the porch after dinner and/or after The Boy and/or The Girl have gone to bed. The Baby seems to like the ambient noise of the City. I like watching and visiting with neighbors and friends as they push strollers, walk dogs, come home from work, or head to the park.
I love my neighborhood. Although I do like to take my children on outings in and around Chicago, I also enjoy just hanging around the neighborhood in the spring, summer and early fall. It is small, friendly, and has a fair number of desirable amenities - I could use a couple of more restaurants, but it's probably better for my budget that there aren't a lot of choices. I love the green space and the architecture of the houses that my neighborhood offers. Also, people are generally friendly here. They are also generally long-time and/or committed residents. Although some houses do turn over rapidly, most do not. We have little old ladies for neighbors on three sides. Not only are they nice little old ladies who care about my kids and my family's general welfare, they've also lived here for 60+ years.
There are many kids in the neighborhood and we see quite a few on their way to the playground. Yesterday, The Girl "made friends" with a toddler girl who was walking with her mother past our house the the park. We all ended up at the park at the same time, and she and The Girl played with each other (mostly chasing back and forth on the bouncy bridge). We also ended up walking to/past our house at the same time and The Girl cried when the other girl had to go home. Today, The Girl played with a neighbor's 8-y/o for a long while; I am hoping to "hire" little L. to come play with The Girl and The Boy for a couple of hours/week over the summer so that I can do laundry and housework.