4 months later…

*this was written 3 weeks ago

Holy guacamole Batman. After my fifteenth blog post request, I thought, “I better get on this. My fans are waiting.” No time like the present to embrace my guilt and get on with it.

I think all people really want to hear about is Keira and our house, so I might as well please the masses and start there. Phil and I are fine too – thanks for asking!

Little K is now 15 months old. Her vocabulary has changed so much. I think she understands everything, which makes me VERY nervous. Her favourite word at the moment is bubble. Her favourite food is banana. And her favourite objects are boots, books and balls. So pretty much anything that starts with the letter B is her favourite. I’m not sure how many teeth we have now. At least 10, but I’m not allowed to inspect very closely. 2 are very angry molars. Keira is a real trooper though. She very rarely wakes up in the night even when she’s sick. In fact, sometimes she really should notify us that she’s been sick, so that she doesn’t spend all night in her cot surrounded by last night’s dinner.

She’s got a little posse at nursery. There’s 3 of them – Poppy, Lorelei and Keira. They have there own language. They fall asleep holding hands. They wave “buh-bye” to each other. They also seem to steal, smack and cause each other much grief. So basically they are true friends. Keira changes rooms on Monday though, so all that is about to change. Keira will go from being the head cheese to being one of the youngest and possibly the only non-walker.

We bought bikes and today was my first attempt at cycling to nursery. It was tough and I’m glad we all made it out alive. It wasn’t the actual cycling – although the arctic-like temperatures didn’t help – that was difficult. It was the getting on and off and through the nursery gates and out of the house when you have a little person who thinks it’s a great time to bounce up and down on the child seat.

We’ve pretty much all been ill since November, but there’s no real point on dwelling on that. If I seem nonchalant about that fact, I promise you I’m not. I’m actually extremely paranoid and worry so much. So far I have no solution though.

The 2 weeks we were in BC we were all healthy and had the most amazing time. I still can’t believe how everything worked out. It was such an amazing Christmas. We didn’t push it this time by trying to do too much. We got lots of time with family. Of course, it’s never enough and the time flies by and I’m still glad we came. And I hope you all enjoyed seeing us, because we’re never flying again! We are still recovering from flying with a 1-year-old. She decided sleeping was highly over-rated on the way to Vancouver. We did meet the nicest people on the flight though and found comfort with the other parents across the hall who had a son slightly older than Keira.

Is that a good enough Keira update? There’s so much more, but where to stop and start. I’ll probably just need to blog more regularly (hah! no promises!).

When we got back from Canada. Our house was covered in a layer of dust. This was actually amazing news. Our friendly builder, David, had pulled out a chimney, removed two ceilings and re-plastered the whole lot. He managed to do it all in a week, which was actually ahead of schedule. What do you do when you find a good builder? You keep him busy and at your house!

So he moved on to decorating our living room. That’s what they say in England – “decorating.” It just means painting basically. We had plaster cornicing (crown moulding) put up, a new light fixture, radiator and painted the walls and ceiling a dark, dark green-almost-black. I love it!! I couldn’t be happier.

It all sounds very lovely; however, Phil says we’re basically “glamping.” We have exposed floorboards, which are permanently dusty. A radiator leaked on Keira’s carpet. Her carpet is already dingy, so this hasn’t helped. We have our sofa in the kitchen (our new, lovely sofa is at risk everyday of spaghetti stains and plaster dust). Everything is still in boxes. And I see no end to this state of living in the near future. We have 1 room finished (less floors and skirting boards (translate: baseboards), so I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time in there. Our bedroom is next on the list. And we’re still debating what to do with extending the house and whether to go back into the garden or up into the loft. And how to live through all of that!

In other news, Phil just passed his probationary period at work. Yeah!! Celebrate! Keep those cheques rolling in because we need them! Okay – I need them, so I can do exactly what I want to the house.

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She’s 1!

As Keira would say, “Wow!” I would say that it has flown by, but the truth is that sometimes it feels like time is flying and others, well, seem like eternity. One thing is for sure, there have been many life long memories created. And never have we been in love with something as much as our Little K.

I always viewed the 1 year mark as a major accomplishment for Phil and I. That means we kept the most precious thing to us alive for the first vital year of her life (obviously every year is vital, but the first year they are dependent on us in a very basic needs sort of way). The threat of SIDS, choking, illness, birth, and many other dangers, make the first year feel like risk lurks at every corner. Never have I worried about things like I have in the last year. These are the kind of worries that are actual worries – not “Gosh, I hope I do well at that presentation” or “I wonder if anyone else on the Central Line noticed that I forgot to put deodorant on this morning.” (Note to non-Londoners – the Central Line – a.ka. Sauna Line – is ridiculously hot) I still wake up wondering if she’s breathing.

Which brings me to the next miracle of surviving the 1st year – sleep. Oh sleep. How I took you for granted pre-Keira. People always tell you, “Enjoy sleep while you can,” before the baby is born. As if you can take it with you somehow! Also, being super pregnant with mass amounts of hormones running through your body is not condusive to great sleep either, so stop telling people that. I know we’re through the worst of the sleep issues. Will there be times when it’s not great? Absolutely. I was a horrendous sleeper as a child. My mom had to buy me this odd looking polished stone that she called a worry wart that I would rub and take with me everywhere. I would wake up at night worrying that there was going to be a fire, a break in, that someone would have cancer. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with this type of material. So no – I don’t believe that sleep will just be a happy time where she requests to go to sleep and wanders off up the stairs to tuck herself in. And at the same time, it can’t be as bad as this first year. Keira isn’t even the worst sleeper I know and it’s been rough. So yeah! We survived and are now going to pop the champagne (and go to bed at 9pm)!

I think back to what was happening a year ago today. We were at the Whittington Hospital. After what can only be described as an ideal birth, we met our sweet, little girl for the first time. Phil cried basically for the first week every time he looked at her. And now I’m crying just thinking about holding our beautiful girl for the first time. I don’t think you’re prepared for how fragile they are. How dependent they are. How attached they are to you immediately. It’s hard to describe how awe struck you are. And then we packed her up, put her in a taxi, and went home. There’s now vague memories of numerous nappy changes and Keira only sleeping on my chest and feeding ourselves in shifts.

It’s absolutely incredible to now look at this super crawler, who “talks” constantly, as the same as the little bundle we brought home. I will forever be mesmerized by what the human body can do. I really believe now that we can do literally anything. It blows my mind when you think of pregnancy and then a newborn and then the changes that happen as they develop.

I’d like to start a birthday tradition, and I’d like you to join me in that. What advice would you like to share with our Little K? I’ll write these all down somewhere special for her to keep for every year. I think legacy comes up naturally when you have a child, and I’d like to be able to guide Keira whether I’m here or not (don’t worry – nothing is wrong with me!).

Keira  – I want you to see the world through a lens of love. That all people have something beautiful in them and it is your job to seek that in any encounter. And if you give love, you will receive it back.

To Keira from Dad – You are perfect exactly how you are.

Gosh we love you so much, Keira Grace Hack-a-rooni! And I truly believe that is why so many of our life long goals have happened for us this year, because we have had an abundance of love in our lives.

Now let’s pop the champagne and celebrate!

P.S. We were meant to have a great birthday for her at a restaurant along the canal with two other girls that turned 1 recently. Due to threat of chickenpox, we decided to cancel. So far no chickenpox at least. And so far nothing else has gone according to plan either. The cake burned to a crisp – courtesy of our crap oven (I am 100% blaming the oven!). I had intended on making my Grandma’s chocolate zucchini cake recipe and shaping it into a hobby horse just like my Mom did for my 1st birthday. She did take one bite of the cake I did make and spat it out, so basically all the effort was pointless anyways. She also bashed her head on the new wooden toy we got her and now has a very nice, rosie goose egg on her forehead.

Who doesn't love waking up with a bed full of balloons

Who doesn’t love waking up with a bed full of balloons

Fancy new bike. Can't walk but maybe she can ride.

Fancy new bike. Can’t walk but maybe she can ride.

Right, point at bike and see if it will come to me.

Right, point at bike and see if it will come to me.

Oh hiya (how the Brit's say hello)

Oh hiya (how the Brit’s say hello)

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I look innocent enough

"I'm only thinking about sticking this in my mouth, Mom. Honestly. Just look that way for a second."

“I’m only thinking about sticking this in my mouth, Mom. Honestly. Just look that way for a second.”

Just got her first pair of properly fitted shoes last weekend. Now she's a shoe expert and can't get enough.

Just got her first pair of properly fitted shoes last weekend. Now she’s a shoe expert and can’t get enough. Good angle on the goose egg.

Happy 1st birthday girls!!

Happy 1st birthday girls!!

Our neighbours had a 1st birthday party that we crashed.

Our neighbours had a 1st birthday party that we crashed.

It looks like she's walking in this pic, but she's not.

It looks like she’s walking in this pic, but she’s not.

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The cake that did make it - although she didn't like it, which is actually great. I'd rather her not take to sugar.

The cake that did make it – although she didn’t like it, which is actually great. I’d rather her not take to sugar.

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The actual eating of the cake

The actual eating of the cake

"Okay, so cake is supposed to taste better than blueberries. I think you're mistaken."

“Okay, so cake is supposed to taste better than blueberries. I think you’re mistaken.”

Wow! A picture of the 3 of us.

Wow! A picture of the 3 of us.

Keira’s First Halloween

Keira Halloween Costume

Keira thoroughly enjoyed dressing up for nursery yesterday. And she was pretty darn cute! The ladybug/bird costume was a big hit amongst the carers at nursery. Apparently, we should get some trick-or-treaters this evening. And next year we’ll be out in full force getting our own candy with our almost 2 year old – eeps!

11 months + 9 days: More big changes

I’m going to type this as fast as I can, because I feel like every minute these days is so precious. The big news: Phil is changing jobs again. I feel I can blast this out to the ether, since his drunken colleague announced his leaving to the entire company during a sloppy karaoke afternoon. Yes – afternoon, not night. Gotta love working in tech. There’s numerous reasons for him changing and I won’t go into the why except to say that he is really excited by what the new company is up to and they really went above and beyond to recruit him. 6 months is a short time to be at a company and Phil has felt all sorts of guilt about leaving. Ultimately, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope it’s the right decision. His current company is still happy with him too and would love for him to stay. So all in all, it’s gone much better than either of us could have anticipated. The new company is a startup in the financial industry and is up to some pretty cool stuff. They big time want to disrupt the banking world and who can argue with that? It could use a bit of a shake up.

My job is ticking along nicely. I’m definitely into it now after having 3 weeks being full time. I got to pitch with a couple of others for what could be our biggest project to date in the office. I have mixed feeling about actually working on the project though, since the program is estimated to be 2 years. That’s a long time to work on 1 project. And I love working on the residential projects and this one would fall into the commercial side of things. We’ll see what happens. I should also mention that I have now had 3 full days to myself and it has been life changing. I still did chores and stuff around the house, but it was so amazing to just look after myself.

On to more interesting items – Little K! Gosh, since my last post, she has changed dramatically every day. She’s had a couple of weird weeks in the sleep department and it’s hard to pinpoint whether it comes down to teething, being sick, developmental leaps, nightmares or any combination. Phil and I are pretty exhausted though. She’s been inseparable from her stuffed bunny lately (thanks Kathryn!) and takes it everywhere. She’s pulling herself up onto anything that she can. She’s started doing a “butt-in-the-air” crawl, which we’re told means she would like to walk. She is a full on chatter box. Nursery describes Keira as “always having something to say.” We had a 4 week review (8 weeks in) and they say Keira is great. They say she is very independent, but likes to play with the other babies. She loves to paint, which I still can’t picture without cringing about the mess. Nursery has been great for her and let’s her experience things that she wouldn’t get to do otherwise.

As for the house (side note: I love how our lives are so compartmentalized – Keira, jobs, house, and somewhere down the line – marriage), we fixed the damp in the front reception room (fancy British word for living room). The gutters have been fixed, which left a mess of the front facade. One job seems to turn into 10 others. Now we have to focus on getting rid of the chimney that is floating upstairs. We’re finding that having shared walls with our neighbours makes everything a bit more complicated. Our neighbours are great though, so no complaints. I’m supposed to be working on a planning application for us to extend into our back garden. When I will have the chance to do that – who knows? It is a priority though. I can already see how we’re getting more and more comfortable in our house. You might read that as a good thing. That scares the crap out of me. I don’t want to be complacent in our house and having it be livable. I want a beautiful space that I’m proud of and can enjoy. So maybe I should wrap this up and go work on the planning application.

One last note, for those that know, my dad had a heart attack at the beginning of September. He is doing so amazingly well. I think we’re all a little in shock. I need to see for myself though, so we’ll be back for a visit at Christmas. We’ve decided to keep this visit just for immediate family, since last time it was so completely chaotic, so please, please, please don’t be offended if we don’t see you. We hadn’t planned on coming back again so soon, but our perspective changed dramatically that week and I’m just super grateful to have a Dad (and everyone else!) to go visit. It was pretty bad and my Dad’s wife, Laura is truly a super hero. She did CPR in the middle of nowhere for 20 minutes and had no cell phone reception or support. The biggest gold star of the year goes to Laura! Can’t wait to see the rest of your smiling mugs at Christmas too and for you to spoil Baby K rotten. Remember – we do have to fly back though and carrying gargantuan suitcases is not our idea of a good time with a 1-year-old in tow.

 

Angel wings always help

Angel wings always help

"I can't smile in my new, designer coat. That's not very Victoria Beckham, come on!"

“I can’t smile in my new, designer coat. That’s not very Victoria Beckham, come on!”

This moring at Tina's. She was a total crazy person at home and a total ham at the restaurant. So from now on, we'll definitely be here on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

This moring at Tina’s. She was a total crazy person at home and a total ham at the restaurant. So from now on, we’ll definitely be here on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

First art piece courtesy of nursery

First art piece courtesy of nursery

Fall is here

Fall is here

Besties

Besties

Always cutest when they're sleeping

Always cutest when they’re sleeping

"Ya, sure, a side of avocado would be delightful. Is it too late to request some porridge?"

“Ya, sure, a side of avocado would be delightful. Is it too late to request some porridge?”

Mama, papa and baby bear boots.

Mama, papa and baby bear boots.

"Thank you Mr. Blueberry. You are so delicious and I think I will eat you."

“Thank you Mr. Blueberry. You are so delicious and I think I will eat you.”

Cannot get enough of this face

Cannot get enough of this face

Phil's DIY skills. Believe me - all the safety equipment is definitely necessary.

Phil’s DIY skills. Believe me – all the safety equipment is definitely necessary.

Come on - those views!

Come on – those views!

The views from a project I'm working on. I may have had a "London moment" and completely lost any sort of cool factor I had.

The views from a project I’m working on. I may have had a “London moment” and completely lost any sort of cool factor I had.

"This outfit is absurd." The toque is adorable though - thanks Grandma Freeman!

“This outfit is absurd.” The toque is adorable though – thanks Grandma Freeman!

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Thanks for the shoes Deb!! And great-grandma's knitted toque still fits! Yeah! We just got matching booties in the post too!

Thanks for the shoes Deb!! And great-grandma’s knitted toque still fits! Yeah! We just got matching booties in the post too!

Keep meaning to mention that we have been making the most delicious meals with our Riverford Recipe Boxes. Phil mostly complains about how long they take to make and how many dishes they create. They are really delicious though.

Keep meaning to mention that we have been making the most delicious meals with our Riverford Recipe Boxes. Phil mostly complains about how long they take to make and how many dishes they create. They are really delicious though.

Day to myself, Reading out in the park - check. Coffee & almond croissant - check.

Day to myself, Reading out in the park – check. Coffee & almond croissant – check.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to nursery we go. The boots look cool, but are purely for decoration so far and may be on the large size.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to nursery we go. The boots look cool, but are purely for decoration so far and may be on the large size.

Yes - daddy still does the majority of the nappy changes and I've got the picture to prove it.

Yes – daddy still does the majority of the nappy changes and I’ve got the picture to prove it.

This face just has to be trouble

This face just has to be trouble

I couldn't help it.

I couldn’t help it.

Can't quite manage to keep food just in the mouth.

Can’t quite manage to keep food just in the mouth.

 

Keira’s 10 months (+ some)

I’m behind big time in the updates. Keira is growing like a weed. She eats about as much as I do these days. Her favourite foods are blueberries and avocado. She’ll hoover a whole avocado if given the opportunity. And she has 6 teeth, which she reminds me of daily when she decides one of my body parts looks appetizing. She’s crawling everywhere now and has the bruises to prove it. She’s uncertain about grass, which just means we’ll have to give her more opportunity to be outside in it. She likes to make noise, whether it’s banging on our metal chairs, “singing,” playing with her xylophone or chatting with her friend Zoe at the other end of the bus. Her favourite song is Row, Row, Row your Boat where she starts immediately rocking as soon as you start singing.

It has been amazing having friends with a daughter Keira’s age across the street. That’s something that we never could have planned for and are super lucky to have. Phil and I even got a date night last night without having to pay a babysitter. And there seems to be lots of things to do with the little people in our new neighbourhood.

I’m a bit emotional this week. Keira starts nursery full time next week. My maternity leave is officially over. I won’t get to see her cute little face when she wakes up from nap time. We won’t get to stroll around town in the pushchair or sling. The time we do spend on the weekend will always be the 3 of us. It will be different. I remember back to Phil’s first day back to work after she was born and he came home to me balling my eyes out saying, “I don’t think I can do this everyday.” And now it’s over. It’s such a cliche, but where did the time go? It also means that my friendships that have developed over the last year will change when I can no longer meet up at the cafe or pub.

I’m excited to jump back into work. I had a great client meeting on Wednesday and want to see his vision through to the end. I like being on a project and communicating with everyone involved and designing every last detail. And I’m even more excited about our personal project – our house. I think that might have to be a separate post with pictures and floorplans.

Old house - 9 months old. Just happens to have the same outfit on. Apparently I like this one.

Old house – 9 months old. Just happens to have the same outfit on. Apparently I like this one.

I guess she'll come with us

I guess she’ll come with us

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Our back garden/prison yard

Love that we can hang our laundry outside in the back garden

Love that we can hang our laundry outside in the back garden

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Hugs!

Hugs!

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Play time at the local community centre

Play time at the local community centre

Are you digging the red carpet as much as we are?

Are you digging the red carpet as much as we are?

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Great new coffee place not far from our new house. Tina We Salute You. Right by the Olympic Park, which feels eerily like Vancouver’s Olympic Village. Hi Lisa & Petr!

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So we moved, I started work, Keira started nursery

We have officially moved. I feel like we’ve lived here for months already. It is 3 weeks today. It was not quite smooth sailing. The night before we moved, Phil had a stack of boxes fall on his head in the middle of the night. He seems pretty okay. Then Keira got sick, then Phil got sick. And not just normal sick, but foot, mouth & hand disease. Basically it kicks off with a fever and then your mouth swells inside with soars making it impossible to eat and you develop a rash on your hands and feet. Are you feeling itchy yet?

The first days in the new house we thought, “Oh man, we’ve made a horrible mistake.” The stress of getting the keys (which only happened the day after we exchanged contracts, which was 4 days away from us being homeless, and in this country, that happens) overtook any thoughts we had about actually living in the house. And it needs quite a bit of work. The biggest concern is the damp, so we’re trying to get that dealt with right away.

However, WE OWN A HOUSE IN LONDON! That fact can not be overshadowed. We’re on the ladder in one of the most difficult places to buy a home. After just 2 years in the UK, we made one of our biggest dreams – home ownership – a reality. And it is going to be FUN designing our space. We’ve already spent hours thinking through the floorplan, and, if you’re interested, I’ll share the details on the blog.

Less than a week after moving, I had my first day of work in 9.5 months. And Phil had his first day with Keira all to himself, which unfortunately coincided with her first day of fever. I’m not going to lie – going to work was awesome. Thinking things through, chatting with people in the office, having a coffee by myself while it was still warm. I will be 3 days a week until middle of October and I think the transition is healthy for all of us. Keira loves going to nursery, which has made this whole change so much easier. The people at nursery say she is a joy to have. She doesn’t have a panic attack when Phil drops her off. She’s always happily playing when I pick her up. There’s a few minor tweaks that we’re trying to make at nursery, so that it’s in line with our parenting and what’s important to us: 1) her diet – vegetarian & organic when possible, 2) using nappies and wipes that aren’t full of chemicals and 3) getting time outside. We’re lucky that nursery provides food. I just wish it was of a bit higher standard, which I understand that they have budgets, so the onus is on us to provide food we believe to be nutritious.

Also, I did pretty well in a client presentation, which has boosted my confidence. I’ve really been thrown in. There’s no, “Oh, let’s ease in the woman whose been on mat leave.” I could have handled a day or 2 of that. But I love where I work and it’s great to be in the office.

Keira is an awesome little person. I can’t help but gush. She is changing so rapidly these days. This week the crawling has really started. She has been a mattress and soft landings crawler until now. Can’t blame her. And she still prefers to walk while we hold her hands, which has made my legs feel like seizing up at any moment. She chats up a storm. At nursery, they say she is quite happy to sit and play and chat. She does a really strange, deep grumble that is a bit disconcerting. She claps when you say “Clap.” Good monkey! And waves at people. When we’re on public transit, she’ll actually lean over to get people’s attention and then beam at them. She even connected with a late teens/early 20’s guy that was doing his best to ignore her, but eventually she won him over. And I’m not just saying that as one of those annoying mother types who just thinks her daughter is the cutest. Or wait, maybe that’s exactly what I am. Every tiny morsel she attempts to put in her mouth. So far she’s eaten a wide variety of things that live on the floor.

The biggest thing that’s happening right now, I’m not sure I’m allowed to discuss. And I can’t not mention anything because it has literally consumed us. There was a major health scare and it’s made being so far away really crappy. It’s made everything else that we worry about seem so irrelevant. Sorry for the mysteriousness. I hope it gives some context as to why updating the blog over the last while has been at the bottom of my to-do list. I do think it’s super important though. I love looking back at the old stories and what was happening.

And lastly, it’s my mumsy’s birthday tomorrow, so I will give a big, squishy virtual hug!!! Love you!!

Happy birthday Nanny!!

Happy birthday Nanny!!

We got another date night while Gaby was here! It was so great!

We got another date night while Gaby was here! It was so great!

Right before the sand went directly into her mouth

Right before the sand went directly into her mouth

Swings are awesome

Swings are awesome

Ahhh... watch out for the walking ones.

Ahhh… watch out for the walking ones.

Highbury Fields - we'll miss you

Highbury Fields – we’ll miss you

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But we will not miss you transit. Actually we will. The overground has A/C

The day we got keys! Keira on the overground

The day we got keys!

Move day - breakfast at Ottolenghi

Move day – breakfast at Ottolenghi

Our new kitchen Keira doesn't seem to mind that it's a disaster.

Our new kitchen Keira doesn’t seem to mind that it’s a disaster.

We still spend lots of time out for coffee or a pint.

We still spend lots of time out for coffee or a pint.

Favourite toy - the iPad

Favourite toy – the iPad

First day of work

First day of work

At the office selfie

At the office selfie

New pub and it was quite good

New pub and it was quite good

These 2 are the cutest

These 2 are the cutest

Congrats Keira on your first week at nursery!!

Congrats Keira on your first week at nursery!!

The park by our house on a beautiful day.

The park by our house on a beautiful day.

Those chubby legs kill me. I just want to eat them. That would be a very bad vegetarian.

Those chubby legs kill me. I just want to eat them. That would be a very bad vegetarian.

Busy

Does anyone else hate the word busy? I think it’s used too frequently as a euphemism for “I just don’t really care.” So I’m here to tell you that I’ve been too “busy” to write a blog post about BC.  The honest truth is that I just don’t want to spend the time when Keira’s sleeping to write a post of that length. I still don’t know where all our pictures are. I can’t wrap my head around how to make it an interesting post for those that aren’t included. So it just hasn’t happened. God – it feels good to just be honest.

What I have been doing whilst Keira sleeps is phoning our solicitor, thinking through how to design our new home and worrying about whether or not the sale will actually ever happen. Throw in a bit of time on gossip and design blogs and there’s her nap time gone.

Since we’re on the topic of the house, I’ll fill you in on a bit. As most of you know, we have 2 weeks left in our current flat. And apparently the solicitors still haven’t received everything to complete the purchase of our home. They have everything from us. I think. Although, we found so many errors and mistakes in the contract, that I wouldn’t be surprised if what we signed has no real legal consequence. This country, which I love living in, has the most infuriating process for buying a home. We are meant to exchange contracts by today at the latest. We’ve got 8 hours to make this happen and I will be on my phone pestering like it’s nobodies business. If I don’t pull this off, then please send flowers to the closest psychiatric hospital – preferably ones that are all 1 colour – those are my favourites. Do you think we qualify to live in a homeless shelter?

Did I also mention that we actually own no furniture? This includes a mattress, which I consider to be the most essential furniture item.

Oh – and Keira starts nursery on 24 August. Just the transitioning part before she’s there permanently as a prisoner. I can only worry about 1 thing at a time and right now nursery comes after house.

I also notice that as my level of house stress rises, so too does my level of alcohol and coffee intake (decaf – let’s not get too excited).

P.S. I will have a lovely assistant (Gaby!) staying with us as of 10 August, which in my mind means I get all these things done that I’ve been meaning to do (i.e. start packing).

In the meantime, I’ll distract you with pictures of babies. Keira is now almost 9 months old. Gadzukes?!

More pub babies

More pub babies

"This is going to be a long day. Jet lag, oi!"

“This is going to be a long day. Jet lag, oi!”

On Dad's shoulders for the 1st time

On Dad’s shoulders for the 1st time. Sock still not located.

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“Chickens? I had my own to look at in Canada at Granny and Grandpa’s. Moving on. Where’d that giant pig go?”

Visiting Hackney City Farm

Visiting Hackney City Farm

Keira & her buddy Joey

Keira & her buddy Joey. Leaf was in mouth shortly after the taking of this photo.

Keira & her buddy Casper

Keira & her buddy Casper

She loved this thing and I'm really hoping we don't have to buy one

She loved this thing and I’m really hoping we don’t have to buy one

Pub babies

Pub babies

Some are crawling, some aren't (ahem - Keira)

Some are crawling, some aren’t (ahem – Keira)

But she did manage to pull herself up in her crib (and then crash and hit her head)

But she did manage to pull herself up in her crib (and then crash and hit her head)