Thursday, 29 May 2008

Bouncers and Firemen

Does the phrase 'knee high to a grasshopper' seem relevant to anyone else? Or is it just me?!

Edward-Tedward is slowly discovering the joys of his baby-bouncer. He's not quite got the hang of it yet and spends quite a bit of time just dangling, but everyone so often has a little spurt where he hops about in a circle leaving a delightful circle of drool around him like some sort of bizzare snail!

The very dramatic fire at our apartment block, just days after we moved in!

We have settled into our lovely new London life really quickly, getting out to the shops is so easy now which is liberating for me, we have even had the chance to go out to the cinema (courtesy of Cousin Emily) to see the utterly fantastic Iron Man.

We are still getting used to a few things though namely our new phone which sounds like a fire alarm, the entry phone which also sounds like a fire alarm, and well actual fire alarms! Our neighbors down the hall managed to trip it by burning the dinner all very un-dramatic however later that day someone in another section of the building managed to burn their actual house! It was all rather exciting as three fire-crews, ambulance and police all arrived.
The fire was quickly contained and put out and no one was hurt thankfully. It also gave Luke and I the perfect opportunity to settle our long running dispute about what the towers by fire stations are used for. I always thought they were for practicing, Luke thought they were for drying hoses. Turns out we were both right, though the fireman I asked suggested I fib and pretend that they were just for drilling or even better to pretend he didn't know hehe!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

A very loud Crosslandish Sunday lunch

Grufffy and Diana educating Edward in the ways of Little Feet

Diana and Edward rocking some serious air-guitar!!

Mummy, or Grandy-Mummy as she is now known invited us all round for Sunday lunch as Shellie was already going to be there, and Diana and Edgar were over from Berlin and Portugal (yes there had been a Marillion gig, no I didn't go boo!)

We left pretty late, but as Mummy hadn't even bought the roast when we left I wasn't too worried. It was quite exciting as Luke and I went from the newly refurbished St. Pancras, it was the first time either of us had seen it. It's very nice, but given it's very air-port feel made me get terribly itchy feet and left me dreaming of jetting off to distant shores...oh well shall have to comfort myself with the tasty cakies we bought at M&S.

When we got to the Grandparents we were greeted by chaos, even more than I've come to expect! After years of having their bed downstairs in the lounge following an incident with the waterbed my parents have FINALLY had a new carpet fitted upstairs and so have gone back into their proper bedroom!!! It's still a mess and they haven't got their proper bed in their yet (instead they have stolen my brothers poor boy!) but believe me it is significant progress and I'm very proud of them.

They have also changed my old bedroom, I did have a fitted bed, desk and wardrobe, as well as lots of shelves but it has all been taken out, as well as the wallpaper being stripped and being painted white. It looks very bizzare and in my opinion smaller, it made me a little sad to see it so different, but oddly jogged very vague memories of what it looked like before I had the aforementioned furniture fitted.

Daddy or Gruffy as he is now know by Edward, was being very cryptic about it all, and talking mysteriously of 'plans being afoot' to change the house now all the children had gone ( despite poor Alex still living there for the best part of the next two years, not to mention uni holidays)... said 'plans' roughly translate as 'your bedroom is now my guitar room, and I'm going to try hard to get your mother to throw some crap out, whilst ignoring the fact almost half of it is actually mine!, ah well for them it is progress :o)

Shellie was very fazzled as she was trying to cook roast for 12, even though it was only the third one she'd ever cooked. Personally I find it bizzare you can get to 25 and have only cooked three roast dinners, and having cooked for that many practically every night at uni am not remotely fazed by it, but she was merry and martyring and I was in no mood or state of health to cook so I left her too it and snuck off to see Grand-Mummy who was in bed feeling pretty rough having had a nasty fall a few days before, naturally I took Edward-Tedward up with me as I knew his little cheeky face would cheer her up pretty speedily :o)

Eventually we got called down to dinner, and it was VERY tasty :o) and I ate it all. It was a very noisy affair as Daddy was playing his latest music find and everyone was very over-excited, but it was jolly fun. Afterwards I watched Alex and Luke play on the PS3 for a while and dozed on Luke's arm. Gruffy stayed with Edward in the kitchen and played him lots of music it was very cute as he was so excited. Not sure how Edward's hearing will fair in the long term but at least now his has an appreciation for Little Feet :o)

Far too late we headed home, driven proudly to the station by Uncle Alex in his new car :o)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

The Big Move

Edward checking out the new futon on the day it arrived!

Friday 16th May
A busy day for me today sorting out the last few bits before the move, which up untill today I don't think I really believed was actually going to go ahead, it all seems to perfect I'm waiting for something to go wrong!

I got a taxi mid morning down to Caterham to get the train to London as I had to sign the contract and pay our deposit. The deposit was partly paid online, but the transfer limit meant I also had to get a bankers draft to cover the last portion. This was sort of exciting as I'd never had one done before, but the person trained to do them at the bank was busy so I had to wait over an hour! However I did not waste the time and instead went to the little cafe at Caterham station and had a baked-potato and cheese which was very tasty, it was silly but it made me kind of sad that I wouldn't come past here again often. Eventually bankers-draft in hand I made my way to London. I dropped it off at the estate agents and signed the contract it was a very exciting moment :o)

I then got the bus over to the Brompton as I was due at clinic, it all went ok with my lung function holding steady around the 35% mark, not as high as I'd like but stable at least. We decided to up my inhaled steroids to get my asthma under control so that I can do more effective physio hopefully if I can keep my lungs clear I can stay out of hospital for even longer which would be lovely, however if this doesn't work I'm going to try oral steroids which are stronger.

I then made my way home to pack. I was a little miffed to find that Luke hadn't packed so much as a toothbrush by the time I got back,his excuse being that he needed the boxed I brought home with me......mmmm...... however some efficient nagging later and both he and Andy were up in the loft bringing down the boxes, whilst I packed the rest of the stuff from round the house. I think we all made it to bed at about 1am.

Saturday 17th May
I had to head up to London early as I had to meet with the inventory clerk (who was documenting the condition of the flat in detail to ensure no deposit money is unfairly taken at the end of our rent-contract) she was also giving me the keys! I took Edward with me so he'd be out of the way whilst Luke and Andy humped boxes and furniture into the van.

The inventory clerk went round the flat with a dicta-phone talking at incredible speed noting down absolutely everything in minute detail whilst Edward snored his head off and I trailed after feeling rather useless despite my original goal to be really picky about every single hairline crack!

Then began the LONG wait for Andy and Luke. I floated about the flat for a while, changed and fed Edward, then with nothing better to do went to sleep on the lounge floor. I phoned Luke and Andy a few times, as well as various people I was buying furniture from but then my phone ran out of battery, soon followed by my i-pod. leaving me with nothing to do, no way to tell the time and no way to contact the boys, so I couldn't even nip out for hot-chocolate as I had NO idea what time they would arrive! It was a quite bizzare and surreal period of time as I was drifting in and out of sleep and lost all perspective over what time it may even vaguely have been, whilst sat in a totally empty flat watching the drizzle with only little Edward for company!!

Finally at around 6.30-7ish they got there, and we unloaded the van. Well I say 'we', Andy and Luke did all the work really, I continued to be quite useless and only managed to carry in a few things before I got too tired and breathless to do much other than watch Edward, who was yet again snoozing.

We called Vince and Karolina who came round to help unload. It was lovely to see them again as it had been ages. Finally it was all done, we debated going for food but everyone was a bit tired, so we just bought some HagenDaz and Jaffa Cakes and sat on the lounge floor together eating them, it was good fun. Poor Andy Pandy then headed home for bed!!

Luke and I rolled out all the duvets and blankets we had, aswell as my pilates mat as a makeshift bed, Edward was lucky enough to have his cot in his own room for the first time, and that was how we spent our first night in our new home together :o)

Sunday 18th May
As if they hadn't done enough yesterday, today was to be another long day of humping heavy things around for poor Luke and Andy. As we don't have much money at the moment it was tricky to afford new furniture, originally I was going to go to IKEA but they didn't have the bed we wanted, and all their sofas cost too much, so I reverted to Ebay :o) The only downside being of course that we had to go and collect them all. So out went Luke and Andy to find all the random sellers and pick up up bed, matress, sofa and futon. Really I shouldn't have got the sofa and the futon, but I wasn't sure I'd like the futon and the sofa was such a bargain I couldn't resist. Actually in the end I think we will keep both as the sofa is awesome and the futon is just so handy for guests.

I unpacked while I waited for them. I got quite a bit done, but it was very frustrating as I was so breathless I had to keep resting for ages between each load or pile of stuff I carried from one room to another. However I got Edward's room pretty much sorted and all his stuff into his drawers which I was really pleased with. It was also nice to feel useful after not being able to do much the day before.

By the end of it all Luke and Andy were shattered, and both of them were in agony, both in all tiier muscles but especially their hands which were raw from all the carrying of poking sharp edged boxes and furniture. I was also feeling pretty rough, a bad combination of not having time to do all my treatment mixed with all the dust of moving made me feel really quite ill and awful, however we realized I'd left some of my drugs in the fridge at the last house, so I had to drive back with Andy to get them. It wasn't a bad run back, and we stopped and got some very tasty sandwiches, however by the time we got there I was wheezing terribly and just wanted to curl up and sleep, however knew it was best to go home so I could do all my treatment. I gave Shellie big goodbye cuddles, as I hadn't had the chance the day I left, and then Andy took me down to the train station. Luckily there was one going soon, and it was already on the platform so I didn't even have to wait in the cold :o)

When the train got to London in went into a wierd stop near the London Eye, too tired to contemplate faffing about in the underground I just got a taxi home which was actually pretty exciting as we went past Buckingham Palace.

I had expected to find Luke unconscious on the mattress on the floor, but no bless him he'd assembled and made the bed all ready for us to go to sleep...phew!!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Week Of Sunshine

As you can see it's been a fantastic but busy week, full of glorious sunshine. It's been lovely to be able to get out in the garden even though I must admit I haven't actually made it out there as much as I should have.

Mostly I just wanted to make a statement about how happy I am at the moment. So many of my diary /blog entries are depressing and miserable, full of moans about CF and not being able to breathe and being stuck in hospitals.

Right now is just wonderful, not perfect, but in a good real-life sort of way that doesn't matter. Yes my health could be better, and yes Luke and Edward can be monkeys, but with the sun shining and both my boys cuddled round me that seems kind of irrelevant. I wake up each morning to Edward's smiles, and fall asleep each night in Luke's arms covered in kisses. Though sorting the flat has been stressful, and not over yet, it is still fantastically exciting to think that soon we will be back in London where we will have a house to ourselves. The convenience of the city is also going to be liberating, I have missed it every day since I left and can't wait for everything to be either on my doorstep or just a bus ride away.

Here's to a long summer with my family stretched out in Hyde Park under blue blue sky :o)

Friday, 9 May 2008

Grand Designs

Luke looking very cute and Daddy-ish :o)

Luke and Edward looking at the groovy huts at the Grand Design we think should be put in the woods at Greatham for the teenagers to hang out in :o)

After the drama and excessive walking on Tuesday we, well I, spent Wednesday resting
and chilling out. Luke played WOW, and I watched bad reality shows with Shellie, including lots of episodes of the Apprentice and Project Runway.

Thursday the plan was to be at the estate agents by 12, but in reality we didn't make it till about half past. The agent there was very nice though obviously new as he struggled with the computer system. After we'd finished there we went to Starbuck's to feed Edward and also to get some drinkies and nibbles for ourselves. I had a berry drink and a butterfly cake, Luke had a hideous creme caramel thing that taste burnt and some cheesecake which obviously wasn't as it disappeared at speed :o)

After our naughty use of taxi's on Tuesday, and given the fact we were feeling rather poor as the costly reality of our new flat started to sink in we decided to be good and brave the underground. I tried to carry Edward's buggy as I've done it before, but I'm just not strong enough at the moment. So in a very impressive demonstration of manliness Luke picked carried everything down into the tube and we headed out to the Excel center in Docklands.

We are both big fans of Grand Designs and often watch it, then plan our own dream house so when we saw the show advertised we'd decided to get tickets and go along though we weren't quite sure what to expect. There had been a show on Channel 4 all week coming live from the exhibition but we'd decided not to watch it as we didn't want to spoil anything.

We got there, and after some compliments on our 'Rolls Royce of a buggy' we wandered into the show. It wasn't entirely what I'd expected, I think I'd thought it would have lots of entire rooms and houses on display. In reality it was lots of 'stalls' selling furniture, gadgets and then mostly materials such as granite with which to build and furnish your grand design. It was still pretty cool, and fun to look at all the things, however I think we would have got a lot more from the show if we had a house or were building one. Which I suppose in retrospect seems kind of obvious.

There were some fun exhibits there however, such a a clock that dripped glue as it rotated to form a sculpture, they had a camera recording it's progress so I suppose you will be able to watch its full formation on the C4 website or something. There was also a display where you could take a tree seed and in it's place leave a pledge to make the environment better. I took a silver birch seed and pledged to make more of an effort to recycle more of my medical waste as there is so much of it and a lot is card. Outside there was a house they were building, we hoped to see Kevin McCloud but he was, disappointingly, no where to be seen. I also had a look inside a little house called an Eco-pod, should the flat fall through I think I may buy one and have it erected in my parents garden.

Both thoroughly exhausted, especially poor Luke who'd had to heft the buggy and rucksack around single handedly, we headed home.

We have been half planning a trip to London to do something for ages, however haven't been able to decide on what to go and see, nor have I been any where near well enough, so it was REALLY nice to finally be able to go out and see something.

I suppose technically this was in fact our first family outing very grand :o)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Flat Hunting

Well after months of sitting about doing almost nothing due to either illness or sheer laziness this week finally saw us all be busy little bees :o)

The week kicked off on Tuesday when we went to London to view flats, I'd tried to arrange a bunch of appointments on the Friday, which had been both exciting but frustrating. A lot of the agents turned me away outright because I mentioned the dreaded 'DSS' word, however once I stopped mentioning that things all got a lot better, however a large number left me with maybes or 'so and so will call on Tuesday'.

It was the first time we'd even had to be out the house by a certain time which proved interesting and threw us both into a bit of a spin as I danced about with my nebuliser and Luke stood holding Edward's bag asking me what he should put in it. Despite the chaos however we made it to our first appointment on time. It was lovely quiet little street not far from the Edgware Rd. and the flat itself was lovely, however it was on the 1st floor. We didn't rule it out but knew if we saw something on the first floor, even if it wasn't as nice it would win outright just through sheer practicality.

We then had a bit of a gap between appointments and so decided to head over to Baker St. and get some food for us, feed Edward and find somewhere to change him. While we were there I also started opening Edward's savings account but annoyingly the woman was too busy to see us, so I did it over the phone, then the bloke buggered off and I couldn't find anyone to photocopy my passport, which was annoying as it means I'm going to have to go in another time.

I changed Edward in MacDonalds despite Luke and I's significant reservations he may catch chav germs. He screamed the entire time we were in there, clearly he has taste, and then promptly fell asleep the minute I put him back in his buggy so he didn't get fed in the end! (well not till a bit later clearly I didn't starve the poor child)

The second flat was split level over two floors, the bedrooms were downstairs and a bit dingy a fact not helped by the fact all the shutters were closed. The lounge and kitchen upstairs however were pretty nice, as they had really high ceilings and shutters. It wasn't as nice decor wise as the first place, however it won out on space and the fact it was kind of first floor.

After that Luke and I decided to go and get us some lunch at Zizzis as we hadn't eaten there for ages. They have changed the place it's all green and black now, which though trendy doesn't entirely go with the Italian food. While we were waiting for our meal to arrive I woke Edward and fed him, though kind of bashed his poor little head on the edge of his car-seat ooops!!

I realized we were going to be a little late for our next appointment, and phoned the agent who luckily was able to hang around and wait for us. We got a taxi over as we were late, and also because I was starting to get pretty tired having walked most of the way up and down between Baker St. and the Edgware Rd. more than once.

The taxi dropped us outside one of the entrances to a huge apartment block, we hung about looking a little lost debating which way to go to find the agent who was going to meet us outside Natwest. A big black chap, who turned out to be a porter at the block, came up and asked if he could help, we told him we were waiting to meet an agent, and he asked which one, clearly knowing most of the ones that regularly show people the block. He wasn't familiar with our one, but took us round the corner to Natwest and wished us all the best. It was a really nice warm greeting to the place and set Luke and I's hopes high.

Our agent finally appeared and took us round to a different, and much grander entrance that had kind of gardens. We went into a side entrance off that main courtyard into a marble lobby. The lift was only big enough to take Edward and I, so Luke and the agent went up the stairs. The hallway was carpeted and very clean and quiet, he took us to the end to the apartment he was going to be showing us.

Luke and I were both pretty excited as the whole place seemed really nice, and when he opened the door we were both thrilled as we looked into the wood floored hallway lit by nice spotlights. We walked straight past the brand new sparkly kitchen and through the double doors into the massive bright lounge that looks out over the gardened courtyard. The agents phone went off and while he answered that Luke and I showed ourselves round, which actually suited me fine as I find hovering agents kind of irritating. Both the bedrooms were big doubles, rather than a double and a single with a double bed squeezed in which is what you usually find in London. The bathroom is super swanky with a huge deep bath, and one of those showers that has those big wide heads. Oooo it was so exciting!!

As we were stood outside the flat leaving, and the agent was locking up Luke laughed at me and said I had that glint in my eye and he was pretty sure this would be the one. However we agreed it was best to see the last one, as so far each flat we'd seen had been better than the one before.

So back we went over almost to Baker St. again and met the agent outside the flat. He took us into the building which like all the buildings down that street had the feel of being the kind of place where diplomats and very rich business men stay. He took us down into the basement and showed us the flat. I don't know why but I just didn't like it at all, it felt oddly like a hotel, and was tiny and not all that clean, it did have a nice little courtyard though which was very tempting. Overall though we decided it was a 'No' and that we should call the agent about the flat in apartment block.

We walked down to a park we'd seen hoping we could sit in there, but sadly it was a private one and you had to have a key :o( So sat in a very glamorous fashion on a salt bin I called the agent and we made our offer. He said it sounded fine, but that he'd have to speak to the landlord and he'd call us back and that if it was fine we could meet up and do the paperwork.

By this point I was REALLY thirsty so Luke and I headed back to the Edgware Rd. to get a drink and await 'the call'. Luke wossed out of going in any of the Asian cafes and so in the end we sat in Baskin and Robins which was bizzarely warm for an ice-cream shop.

Finally after what seemed like hours of nervously spinning my phone around on the table each of us pointing out to each other what a marvelous place to live the apartment would be the agent finally called back, and after clearly reveling in his dramatic moment told me our offer had been accepted. We arranged to go to his office to pay our deposit and sign the paperwork, and hopped in a taxi.

We weren't sure we were in the right place at first as the address on the business card was this huge swanky glass building with one of those freakishly quiet lobby's with imposing security guards. However we were assured we were in the right place, and had photos taken of us to go on our security badges. It seemed a bit overkill till we noticed that this building also happened to be AOL's HQ.

After a rather embarrassing incident involving a stupidly narrow doorway and Edward's buggy we made it into the agents office's and signed the paperwork and paid our monies. He explained that we were now going to be dealt with by another agent who would do all the contracts and things as he was just an introducing party and that the property wasn't actually marketed by him. In hindsight it was a bit dodgy and I think we were a bit ripped off by him as he charged us £175 just to show us one flat, but you live and learn! And actually the agency we are now with are far more reputable and I'm a lot more comfortable giving them disgustingly large amounts of money. (Even though technically it's my sisters money and the HB that's not the point!)

Exhausted and in no mood to negotiate buses or tubes we got a taxi back to Victoria and came home to bed!

All fingers, toes and eyes crossed the apartment is ours whoooo!!!!!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Been a while...

Like so many blogs upon the web this one has been horribly neglected for far too long, almost a year in-fact.

There are many reasons for this, partly I lost my log in details and couldn't be arsed to spend the whole 3 minutes it takes to find them. The last posts on here were just before exam season where I was rather busy handing in course-work and cramming so I just didn't find or make the time.

Not long after that I found out I was pregnant. I didn't want to write about it in public, I didn't want anyone to know because I was so scared I would loose the baby and I didn't want to have to keep going over it to everyone, and it felt like a lie to write and not talk about the most major thing going on in my life. In fact for most of the last year it has been all that happened in my life, as it took so much from me all I could do was sleep and grow my gorgeous little boy. I'm sure at some point I will write about the pregnancy in detail but there are many aspects of it I find hard to think about and I'm not in the mood and this is not that kind of post.

Edward Lawrence Crossland Dallyn was born on the 21st December 2007 and everything since has been rather beautiful for the most part. He is the most perfect little baby you could possibly wish for. He is so well behaved all the time, and recently has started smiling and giggling. It is such a joyous thing to fall asleep wrapped up in Luke's arms knowing that I will wake up to see little Edward smiling at me from his cot in the morning.

I'm enjoying being a mother very much, it's a role to which I'm naturally suited I think. I enjoy looking after people and fussing, which is perfect as that's just what babies need. I also love all the toys I now have an excuse to play with, especially the ones with that crunch-crinkly stuff in, it just feels so cool and makes the most awesome noise!!

My university course has gone on hold, however I intend to go back this September, I hope to go full time, but even part time would be lovely as I miss it terribly and I miss using my brain. I actually did some acupuncture the other day for the first time in ages on Luke's mummy, it didn't solve the problem, but it made an aspect of it a little better which I'm quite proud of.

At the moment we are looking into moving back to London. I have missed the city every day since I left last summer to go and stay at Luke's. We didn't move back there in September as we thought living with my sister in Caterham would work well, sadly is hasn't as we are too isolated and the whole house is full of mould and smells of cupboard!!

My health has been ok, but not brilliant, I started to pick up well after the pregnancy, but then have had a series of tummy bugs, colds and an infected port-a-cath which have kept me in hospital and away from my new family far too much. However I'm feeling very positive now and hope I can get a few really good clear months at home to enjoy the company of my gorgeous boys :o)