Sunday, October 28, 2012

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Why is it the more I cut back on things, the less time I seem to have. I stepped down from PR at my women's club, but the person who took my place resigned. I found a replacement who is promising to be terrific, but I'm still doing a bunch of stuff for our upcoming fair. Not that it's terribly time consuming, it's just with the school fair coming up, work and a few other things, I never have time to myself.

I finally stepped down from the PTA - I'm not a class rep. And I'm so happy for it. The new reps are doing their job and they don't need me. Hooray! I'm still co-chair of the PTA and on the Christmas Fair committee but I'm not feeling the stress.

My son is in school for four hours a day yet those four hours are devoured daily with a million things and none of them for anything for myself. What I've  promised to myself is to disappear after half term (which is this week) and finally find some time to do the things I've been wanted to do. Such as: the gym, finish sewing the kids curtains, put a few things on eBay, get rid of the changing table (praise be!), finish potty training X, hang the thousand pieces of art we have and put pictures up in this house!

This week, is half term. I haven't put either child in sports camp, art camp, swim camp - none of it. With all our traveling and my insane work schedule (working from 1- 11 most days or later) I feel like I haven't spent the kind of time with them that I would like. So we're on a week of mommy and kids fun. I have crafts, baking, parties, sleepovers, trips to Warwick Castle, movies and more planned. We kicked it off last night with 'camping' in the lounge. We got out the sleeping bags (I left the tent out of it). We had a picnic for dinner with popcorn and a movie, all snuggled up on the floor with sleeping bags, pillows, pillow pets, Barbies, mermaids, balls, Matchbox cars and assorted other toys. They stayed up until 9:30pm! We had a blast.

Now they are at the park riding the zipline and climbing the 'rock' wall with Daddy as I'm supposed to be working (taking a mental  health break to write this).

Tonight we're having hotdogs and smores (made over candles with serious adult supervision). And we're playing games. I'm excited but already tired!

Hopefully, I'll have time this week to relax a little. With Halloween on Wednesday, we'll have to see. Tomorrow we put up the enormous cat eyes in two of our front windows. The kids love them. They make the room dark but everyone comments on how fun they are. I'll try and post a pic.

For now, I enjoy my quiet time as it's coming to an end in about 1 hour! Perhaps I best get some work done.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Quick Trip to NY

Last Saturday at this time I was jetting across the Atlantic en route to New York City. I had a busy week planned and was just enjoying watching a few movies and reading a manuscript. Little did I know how truly busy it would be.

I spent Saturday and Sunday nights with two different friends and their families. I've been friends with each woman for about 20 years. They are good, solid friendships that started in our twenties and  have lasted through thick and thin. We've been to each other's weddings, seen the birth of children, etc. etc. Both are exceptionally successful - both rose to the top of their professions: one in magazine publishing and the second in digital publishing. On Monday and Tuesday, I stayed with another extremely successful friend who is in the same industry I am. My final night was spent with my former landlords and our neighbors. All, such good, good people.

I have to say it was really nice to be surrounded by people I love, who are like minded, ambitious, super smart and driven. And true friends - I don't have to worry about how I look, what I'm wearing, where I live, or anything else. It's just comfortable, fun,  interesting and relaxing.

Then I worked my tail off for the rest of the week - which I really enjoyed. I don't work nearly as hard here in London as I did in New York. It's difficult to do that when you work out of the house. It's challenging to be motivated and sometimes it's just ridiculous - more than once I have had to shut my bedroom door (my desk is in our bedroom), run into a large walk-in closet, shut THAT door and take a business call while curled up on the window sill - just to get away from the sound of little kids playing in the other room (don't worry they are always supervised by the nanny or husband!).

While in NY I did a lot of thinking about my life here in the UK and the result, I fear, is not as rosy and I'd like you to think. I want to move back to the US for many reasons but the main two: work and friends/family. I am a working mother. I will always have a job, it's part of my nature. I wanted a job where I could work at home so I could have time with my children - and for that I'm appreciative. But they are both in school now - I just wish I had an office to go to instead of my bedroom.

The second, friends/family, is even more dire. We have no family here whatsoever. That is just sad. I wish we had some family nearby to share the holidays with, etc. I've made a small handful of friends that I know I'll always have, but then there is the majority of acquaintances that I could really do without. Some make me uncomfortable, I feel I've become gossipy, and little smaller of a person. I don't want to be a part of something that makes me feel icky - and I feel that one or two of the 'friends' I've made have got to go. Sound harsh? I guess so. But I want to be happy about the choices I make and the company I keep.

We're here for at least another 1 1/2 years. I have to make the most of it. I will continue to work the way I do and just visit NY more often (but not too often, my children need me, and I need them). And I think I'll just close the circle of friends I already have - the ones I like, the ones I can count on.

Finally, the coffee mornings that roll on for 2 hours have got to stop. I need to get this house in order once and for all!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Three years ago on Tuesday, September 29th 2009, I was heavily pregnant and coming to terms with our impending move to London. Things were in complete upheaval: I was busily getting rid of things, putting stuff in storage, preparing for a second child, poring over estate agent websites in London, worrying about doing my job from across the Atlantic, packing away clothes I still can't fit into, and wondering if I could manage it all.

I had the idea to start a blog about our move and parenting so I sat down, created 'Cross the Pond and scribed my first post. Which you can read here.

So much has changed since that day: I had the X-man, we moved, my sister's cancer came back and she eventually passed away last year, I've made friends, my other sister became a mother, I lost my favourite aunt of all time, Fen and my 10th anniversary (of being together) came and went, and both of my children have started school. It's a whole new world for me.

Every now and again I go through the blog to see how far we've come. There were a few really tough spots there but through it all one things remains constant: my Fen. Always there, always strong, sometimes annoying, but mostly he's just great. I picked the right guy, we have two precious albeit fiesty children, we live a good life. And for that I'm grateful.