So much big news this spring!  We should probably start with Nico’s first Judo tournament- the last Saturday of April.  He did pretty well- he fought against a couple kids who have been doing judo for much longer than he has.  He went 0-4 in the tournament, but managed a couple of really good throws. We agree that one of the main things that we he needs to work on is to not be overly committed to and off balance for a throw.  Most of the times he was thrown came about when he was off-balance trying to do something.
He had a really good time and paid attention for pretty much the whole day.  He was a champ- he didn’t seem to be bothered too much when he got thrown.
We also have been in the process of moving.  We decided in January to start looking for a new place, since our last landlord was raising the rent at the old place.  Given that there there was a lot we didn’t like about the place (how far from public transit, lack of a dishwasher, overall junky appearance), it wasn’t a hard decision to make.  Also, with only one dog, the backyard calculation changed a bit.
We had been kind of discouraged about places in Chicago- it seemed near impossible to find anything in a safe neighborhood on the north side- we were thinking that we might have to move out to the burbs (and take Nico out of his school) or do something else we didn’t want to do.  Dave (yeah, I am throwing him under the bus), because he reads DNAinfo every day, had heard about Rogers Park being real sketchy.  It is one of the few “pockets” on the north side of Chicago where there is some violence.  So, we (read: Dave hadn’t really ever considered it).
But then we started looking at places (in earnest) and ended up driving through Rogers Park.  It is really near Loyola- near the lake.  And Dave was like, this neighborhood is kinda cool.  Because some parts of Rogers Park (further west) are kinda rundown rents are fairly low here.  But there are several stops on the red line, which stops next to my office.  So, we focused our search here.
We ended up finding a place in a building that has mixed use units.  That is, the first floor has a pet salon, a massage therapy place, and a theater.  The second and third floors are residential.  The back side has decks and wooden stairs and walkways.  There is also a little courtyard which is nice.  There is a place for grilling (if we did that) and a place to sit outside.  The back deck is big enough to maybe have some plants and such- and I am going to be putting my deck planters up soon.
The residential spaces used to be a doctors office or dentists office.  So the layout in the common areas is fairly open.  The unit is three bedrooms and two baths.  Hardwood and tile throughout.  One of the bedrooms  is *much* smaller than the others- but that is where we’ve stuck JJ- its a little hidey hole.  The other two bedrooms are pretty big.  It’s on the third floor- so we almost always have a nice breeze going.  Its all new- so the AC works like a boss- which is something I have never experienced.  It also has a dishwasher.  A dishwasher.
Very happy with it.  Pictures to come!!

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