Monday, August 31, 2009

Bank Holiday write-up

Hello from a Bank Holiday Monday in London! Needless to say, I'm glad you're reading...and that you haven't forgotten about DwL despite a severe drought on the blogging front from yours truly. I hate not doing the blog posts, but life has been very hectic lately - househunting takes up nearly all our waking moments (and I'm pretty sure I worry about it when I sleep as well!). We are still in the position where we have accepted an offer on our place, but haven't yet found somewhere to go. In the UK, you can verbally accept an offer and nothing is really kind of starting to seem absolutely certain (and then, not even certain) until you exchange contracts and have surveys done, etc. I have now seen 15 houses, in a wide variety of areas, and there are starting to emerge a few places that we might be able to start to imagine ourselves in. Here is where Matt's and my differing personalities come in: I, dreamy and optimistic, like a house which, when I walk into it I don't see it as it is now, but how it would be after having undergone some work (ok, a lot of work), in a lovely quiet street; Matt, pragmatic and even-headed, has spent the whole evening doing various calculations related to extensions and square footage (and I'm guessing the sighs were related to the cost or complication of these). My glasses are rose-colored; his vision is already 20/20. Anyway, stay tuned on that front.

We also had to deal with a newcomer to the flat this weekend...a 3-foot, 18-month-old terror who has replaced our sweet 17-month-old overnight. I think we are actually going to be relieved to go back to work tomorrow, because it can't be as hard work as Blake was this weekend - throwing food at mealtimes, screaming for most of the car rides to and from south London, not happy being indoors, not wanting to have a bath, and oh, I'm giving myself a headache recalling it! Teeth may be partly to blame - I think he may have had the top 2 molars poke through, but man, please let him wake up on the right side of the cot tomorrow!!!

We went down to Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday; we just went far enough to peek at a few of the floats before heading back to the calm, quiet emptiness of the Queen's Park sandpit. Blake was interested in the dancing crowds but a bit perplexed by it as well, I think.
Do you see those pink tights, Daddy?

Today I had planned a special "day off breakfast" - blueberry muffins, eggs and bacon. The idea was really nice, but the bacon started burning, the smoke alarm went off, Blake didn't want to eat any of it (apart from the entire muffin on a fork), and it just wasn't quite how I imagined it.

We then headed back down to saaaf London- my 3rd trip in 5 days - and after driving around an area where we'd seen 4 houses on Saturday (and today ruling that area out!), we spent a good few hours in Dulwich Park, playing on the swings and quacking at the ducks. For some reason the cheeky smile was back for these photos.

And so, on to another week. Maybe one of these days I'll get back into the blogging swing. I look forward to it, not only because it would mean I would get to be writing and not having "bloguilt", but also because it would inherently mean that the time I'm spending on the computer at home would not be spent on estate agents' sites. With that, I bid you goodnight.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy 40th, Mom and Dad!

My parents have been married forty years today - incredible! Hope you're having a nice day...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lela!

Hope you are having a great day - I will try to call to say hello!

Happy anniversary, Anna and Chris!

It was two years ago we were celebrating with you in Brighton - hope you have had a nice day!

Cooling off

Today was a hot day in London, the kind that isn't very nice if you have to be on the bus or tube (as I had to be). Perhaps that was why Blake enjoyed his bath tonight, although I think it had more to do with Daddy entertaining him through tickling. I tried to preserve his modesty in this video but failed midway through!
p.s. It is very British to complain about heat - I'm a bit worried about myself...
In terms of this blog title, we also have a little issue on our hands related to our "barracuda boy". Blake can one instant be very loveable and want to hug or cuddle, and the next millisecond be headed for the jugular (or usually the closest area of flesh, never actually the real jugular). I am trying a few things but the latest I am aiming for is the "non-reaction", which is sometimes hard b/c his teeth hurt! I hope this is just a passing phase, although he himself got a little love bite at nursery today. Apparently at nursery he just cries though and doesn't bite back, which is good (I guess?). I'm sure like everything, as my Mom would say, this too shall pass!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A preview of beach photos

When we came back on Sunday, it was a pretty abrupt reality check - 4 voicemails from our estate agent asking us for an update on our status. Uh, our status? Jet-lagged and not ready to think about this - is that the answer you're looking for?
At any rate, we've spent Sunday night, last night and tonight thinking about property and where we can go...we're considering South London since there doesn't seem to be much in our area - the basic problem is that there is just not that much for sale at the moment...making it kind of tricky! If I don't do as good a job on the blog in the coming days and weeks, it's probably b/c I'm trying to find us a home, but patient readers will be more than welcome to come visit if we do find something!
In the meantime until I can deal with the beach pictures, here is a cute one of Blake.

A return to London, and a "return" to Britain

We're back from vacation - and oh, how I wish I could be back in Topsail! We had a wonderful time - at some point I'll put photos up - but on Monday it was straight back into Britain as I had my citizenship ceremony. It was a rather drawn-out affair with lots of oaths ("I promise to learn the rules of cricket," "I pledge allegiance to tea" etc) but it was nice to be welcomed in as a citizen. The "Brent dignitary" who conducted the ceremony and handed out the certificates said to me when he saw I was from the US, "Welcome back!"
There were 12 nationalities represented by the 23 of us who were naturalised on the day: Afganistan, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Iraq, Jamaica, Somalia, Sudan, USA and I think Pakistan and Israel. We got a nice bronze medal and a certificate, and Matt was the hero of the day as he chased Blake around the Brent Town Hall for over an hour while we waited for things to start. During the ceremony, Blake was pretty quiet and didn't cause a disruption, so that was a result. Tonight, however, has been a different story, as jet lag seems to have hit the little guy pretty hard and he is having a bad time going to sleep (it's a return to the old days, and not a nice walk down memory lane!)
I should also say for anyone who wasn't sure, I've kept my American citizenship, and when asked, I will always say I'm American - because that's what I am and always will be!