Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the F Train and packing

Finally, we've sorted it out. We couldn't stay another month as our apartment is rented which ended that argument. I refused to live out of a suitcase and Fen's company wasn't keen on picking up the tab for a place for us here in NY! I'm relieved, really - it's just putting off the inevitable. So away we go.

I was back in the office again today - the subway ride was a hoot, as usual. There was a reformed crack addict preaching to the captive audience on the F train. For six looooong stops he raged on against the evils of the world. He proclaimed that he exchanged his crack cocaine passion for a devotion for God and gave the devil a black eye by doing it. Hallelujah!

I'll miss the subway!

Friday, January 22, 2010

You've got to be kidding!

I've finally come to grips with the move - even though it's been extremely hectic lately (with the baby, my sister's illness, the upcoming christening, the daunting task of sorting and packing, the baby's colic, going back to work, my terrible birthday, and the rotten head cold  from which I'm currently suffering). I accepted my fate and I've been toiling away diligently to get it all done.

Then last night Fen calls - his boss wants him (read us) to stay in NY for another month!! After we fought to move in March to no avail and then two weeks before the move they tell us to stay put for another month. You've got to be kidding! I was completely annoyed but somewhat relieved with the extra four weeks. That lasted less than 24 hours.

Our apartment is already rented so we have to move out. Therefore if we stay in NY we're homeless. I kept joking that we'd end up in a tent on the outskirts of London but here we may be in a tent under the Brooklyn bridge instead! There is no way!

We're trying to sort it out now - will they put us up here for four weeks before we move? It's so crazy and truly insensitive of them to assume we can just change our plans at the snap of their fingers. I'm not keen on living out of a suitcase for nearly 2 months - I can tell you that. There is no way I can settle Cate and X into any type of routine if we move three times within an 8 week period. It's not fair to the children at all.

Am I being too rigid? I don't think so but I have been known to set my jaw firmly when it comes to things like this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dragging myself through another day

The movers came for the preliminary meeting today. While walking from room to room I saw the place through his eyes and I have to admit I haven't been the best housekeeper lately. Plus we've started sorting, tossing, organizing and boxing things up so the place is a mess.  It looks like a two day job, so he said. they come wrap all the furniture and box everything one day and then show up the next day with the container to pack and then whisk it all away.

All of this is happening within two weeks. The air freight container is leaving either later this week or early next week - which means my computer is leaving me for about 10 days. I'll have to make do with the laptop. Ugh - I love my giant screen and huge keyboard but I'll live.

Meanwhile in real life, Cate has bronchitis and has been waking up coughing at night calling out to me. So I spend half the night nursing X and the other half comforting Cate. She's on a nebulizer which is helping a lot but she's still not out of the woods. She should be fine by the time we leave. I've had about 3 hours sleep for the past three nights so I'm walking around bleary eyed and every bone aching.

Today I'm heading to the hospital as my sister is having an out-patient procedure and I'm there to help her home. I'm taking tons of reading today to try and catch up on it all. I'll be there for about 5 hours. I'm not accepting any new stuff for the moment as I'm woefully behind in reading what I've already requested. I just hope there is some interesting stuff in my giant pile here - anything boring or ill prepared doesn't stand a chance right now.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I"m taking the day off. My husband, the kids and I are heading to our lake house for the day for a little birthday lunch and relaxing. We're also hitting the outlet mall on our way home so I can pick up a little sumthin' sumthin' for myself. I'd settle for a 5 hour nap instead of a new dress to be honest!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


My husband, the Kiwi, loves pavlova. When we were in New Zealand last year I picked up several packages of caster sugar so I could make pavlovas for him. Then my mother-in-law sent more over the holidays. I'm up to my eyeballs with caster sugar. I don't want to lug it to London so I've been making pavlovas - about 2-3 a week for Fen. He loves it.

They are absolutely fantastic - the above doesn't look like much but trust me - it turned out beautifully. Pavlova is a like a giant meringue - hard and crunchy on the outside but lovely and marshmallow like on the inside. I add food colouring to it just because that's how my husband always had it as a child. This one looks green but it's actually blue.

Tonight, we'll have it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream - ridiculously wonderful.

Here's the recipe (from my mother-in-law):

3 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
pinch salt
1 tbsp water
1 tsp food colouring (optional)

Place egg hites in bowl and whip until stiff with a pinch of salt and water. Slowly add sugar, vanilla, vinegar and cornflour (and colouring if you choose it). Whip still stiff.

Place in tray/tinfoil and cook at 300 degree F for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave to cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

23 days and counting

So we're moving in 23 days and the race is on. I'm up to my eyeballs with movers, quotes, lists, etc. The official movers are coming for an assessment on Tuesday to give us an idea of what we're in for this week.

We'll have two containers going over: a smaller on that takes about 10 days by air and then the major one which takes about a month or so ('so' being the operative word here). There is a weight limit to the smaller one so I'm debating what we simply MUST have over there: clothes, toys, cots, push chairs, my kitchen stuff (still sorting that), the computer, etc.

I'm still debating what we need to have with us in our carry ons and our checked luggage for the initial flight. I think the lack of sleep is making me indecisive.

I've got a lot on my plate other than just the move - my younger sister has cancer and I've been going with her to her follow up appointments and treatments. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago - went through the whole chemo/radiation and was fine for over a year. But it metastasized and is now in her lungs. She is NOT terminal but she will have chronic cancer for life - which could be decades. She will just live with it and have chemo treatments sporadically forever. It STINKS as she is a lovely, lovely person who deserves better. And she's so young! It's just not fair. I'm feeling guilty leaving her here in the city by herself but this was all set in motion before we knew her cancer had returned. Still, it doesn't make me happy to desert her. Sure she has friends and my family certainly won't leave her to herself but she lives right next door to me here in NY and we're very close.

Hopefully this summer once she has the okay from the pulmonary group to fly, she can visit me in London. We've been travel partners for years - we've traveled the world together so it would only make sense that she visit me in the UK.

Heavy sight. Back to my sorting....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I can exercise again!

Got the greenlight for exercise from the doc on Monday. So today I get on the treadmill! Tomorrow I'll turn it on. And we'll go from there.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Out and about

So today I got up early (after 5 broken hours of sleep) and hit the city. I had a doc's appointment and then went into the office. Being with the early morning rush hour folks was a thrill! It's amazing how quickly you forget  how fast this city moves when you've been out of it for two months. Everyone is a huge bloody hurry, it seems everything is in a huge hurry - the cabs, the trains, even the guys selling coffee from the sidewalk vendors rush you along. but I managed to fall into step with them, even if I did huff and puff a little!

The subway was a madhouse as always and no one offered me a seat - which is perfectly fine seeing how I've lost all the pregnancy weight but still manage to have a poochy tummy. Then again, I wasn't offered a seat that often when I was obviously pregnant with a giant child. So I grabbed hold with the rest of the straphangers and was whisked away through Manhattan. Is it me or does everyone in New York wear black (including me)?The subway car was a sea of black, grey, navy coats - only a dash of color here or there. I had my bright green scarf with me to brighten the place up!

Doc went well - as I said I've lost all the pregnancy weight so I'm only down to losing all the weight I wanted to lose before I got pregnant. Seeing how I wasn't able to do it with one child, I have no idea how I think I'll do it now. But I've got hope in my heart and my eye on a treadmill. I've been given the green light to start working out and doing all things normal. it's nice to know the option is there but I haven't the time or energy to do anything about it right now. I'll leave it till London! i keep saying that - let's hope it happens.

I was in my office today as well, sorting my mail, opening boxes of new books that have come out since I went on maternity leave. There's nothing finer than seeing the product of your hard work finally become a reality. Even better: seeing someone reading a book you edited or sold on the subway/bus/plane/beach. I get a secret thrill out of it - even now after so long. Even better still: seeing it hit the NY Times Bestseller list - it's the ultimate badge of honor. Let's hope some of them hit it this year!

After being away from X and Cate for 3 1/2 hours I was ready to come home. As much as I loved my little morning of freedom - I love my little monsters and missed them. Both were overjoyed to have me back - which made it even sweeter. Overall, it was a lovely morning. Made me appreciate both the city and my children all over again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back at work

Reluctantly I started back at work on a part time basis on Monday and I have to say - it feels really great to be back out in the world. I can't believe the energy it gives me to be back negotiating and talking adult talk to my colleagues. My job allows me to work from anywhere so I'm working from home, and will work from home in London as well. At first I was apprehensive about keeping my job in London but now I'm glad I made the decision to do this. I don't know that many people in London so it will be nice to have something to keep me busy when I'm not with the kids.

Although, I've gone a little nutty with the kids: I have day care, nannies, play groups, etc. lined up to check out once we are on the ground in London. anyone ever hear of Busy Bees? Is it any good? This is the one the office is recommending.

So I'm wondering if it's a bad thing that I like to work so much. I really enjoy my job and have been in the book business for 18 years now and I still love it. That can't be a bad thing - right?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Resolutions

I've decided I'm not making a list this year. I have WAY too much on my plate as it is, so to try and set goals and change habits I'm just going to attempt to keep my head above water. When December 31st rolls around this year I'll take stock: both kids doing well, living in London successfully, have routine down and everything is going okay, still married and in love, haven't lost my mind and have no major complaints = successful year. That should be enough for 2010.

My ONLY goal is to potty train Cate and that is proving to be a monumental task since she is a headstrong, determined little girl. However, she has no idea who she's up against. And as soon as I can shake the fog from my head - she'll rue the day and hit the potty!

Okay, maybe losing the rest of the baby weight is a goal too. But if I don't lose it - I can just add that task to my new years resolution 2011. and I won't lose sleep over it either!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Colic is the worst

So my new year is not starting off so well... X has colic and I haven't slept in days. My whole body aches, my joints are creaking, and my head buzzes with that hungover feel of no sleep. Poor little duck cries hysterically unless he is nursing or sleeping on me. Last night was particularly bad. Just when X finally went to sleep, Cate started to cry in her room. At one point I was in bed with both children, who were asleep, and Fen was on the sofa snoring while I laid there exhausted but unable to sleep because my mind was racing with all the things I need to do but  have no time or energy to complete.

Our pediatrician said that colic will last about another month. Terrific - just in time for us to move. I have a feeling I'm going to be half dead by the time we reach London. I'm scrambling to get childminders and/or daycare/preschool in order before we even land but it's rather difficult when you don't know where you're going to live permanently.

I"m determined to stick to my mantra for 2010 which is: Joy. I'm sure it's out there but right now it's hard to see what with all the fog in my sleep-deprived brain. And to think I'm starting back at my job part time on Monday! What a mistake. Ah well, no rest for the weary.

Fen asked what I wanted for my birthday (which is later this month). I said a night nurse and a hotel room. He laughed. I wasn't joking!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's to a peaceful, joyful 2010. There's a lot in store for my family and me this year so I'm praying it will go smoothly.