And then there were 4!

Goodness. It’s been a while?!

2013 has been very kind to us and we’re very thankful for all our many blessings. Many of you will remember that our offer on a house was accepted in January of this year. As a result of the house purchase running simultaneously with baby’s baking, all our free time was, well…not free?! We spent spare moments at night and on the weekends from January until April sorting out details for the house’s refurbishment (it’s an old Edwardian). In hindsight it’s hard for me to remember what types of details we needed to sort as our house, though lovely, still doesn’t have much for ‘polish’. There are still light fixtures, bathroom fittings and carpet runners to source–not to mention an external vent for the exhaust fan to be installed and a list of about 25 gazillion other things, but I do remember being very busy…doing something?

Our house is in a lovely bit of London which we found after 8 months?! of searching for someplace to fit our needs. We were looking for a ‘village’ located no further out than zone 2, excellent schools, loads of green space, peers and a sense of community. In Herne Hill, we’ve found all those things. So far, since moving into the house 19 April, there’s been a Sunday market every week, a free film festival with arty films projected outside the station, a video contest with the winning films being shown at an awards ceremony at the local pub, at least one street party, a carnival, a photography contest (G won second place!)…in short, we’ve somehow managed to find ourselves in England’s answer to Star’s Hollow (yes, I was very much a fan of the Gilmore Girls). And we love it here! And as for the question of peers, this place is swimming in kids. It’s the perfect place for young families like ours (though–with a looming birthday, I’m reminded that we’re no longer young. Within days my age will round up to 40?!?! :) ).

Meanwhile, Baby Coleman baked away plotting his exit into the world. Born 19 May, he was born 1 week and two days after his due date—one day after W’s due date in 2011. C’s birth was oh, so easy. After 1:40 of hard labour, he popped out and has been similarly easy ever since. Like most mums, my first utterings were ‘he’s gorgeous’. G’s parents were visiting for ~3 weeks after the birth and were a great help to us all. Their arms spent much time cuddling C and they spent many hours loving W, as well. By mid June they were back in Virginia and it was back to our ‘new’ life and normal for the rest of us. Little C has been a trooper as I tromp about the new neighbourhood with both boys in tow trying out new playgroups and activities. This is the tough bit of moving house/boroughs and having a baby simultaneously. EVERYTHING is new. The house. The furniture. The pots and pans. Babysitters. Grocery stores. Cafes. The family dynamics. The ‘local scene’. The double pram. The activities for children and babies. The family’s doctor. Schools. Nurseries. The baby. The pharmacy. It’s worth repeating. EVERYTHING is new to us. So, I guess it’s understandable that we’re just taking a gulp of air now–7 weeks after C’s birth and ~11 weeks after moving into our new home.

As being the mum of two goes, I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Of course I’m a proud momma and love my boys to bits, but a little part of me had heeded others’ warnings and expected the worst for a while. Of course there are good days and those which are a bit harder and I certainly sink into bed at the end of the day…but on the whole, it’s manageable. Perhaps that’s because I have a lovely husband who doesn’t complain loudly when the clothes haven’t been folded, or when dinner’s a bit late and who gets up early to unload the dishwasher. Or perhaps it’s because W still takes a nice nap. But whatever it is, I’ll take it. Our little life is good these days…

Looking ahead, we have much travel looming. Of course, Baby C’s American and British passports have been applied for and received. Now, we’re just waiting for a few rounds of vaccines before we head onto a plane. First, in early August C and I will travel alone to visit my friend Lottie and her lovely family in the Netherlands. Then, in late August we’ll all venture to Finland and St Petersburg to visit with our good friends from the States, Andy and Chiaki. And at somepoint, we’ll be very brave and make it onto a longhaul flight back to Virginia to introduce Coleman to the rest of his family. W can’t wait to see the cows and be spoiled to bits.

And not only are we traveling to see friends, but good friends have and are visiting us this year, as well. My good friend Lottie flew in for a day at the end of April (coronation day there), an acquaintance we made in Italy back in 2004 traveled from Vancouver to London and made time to catch up, my best friend from Uni will visit to celebrate her 35th birthday with us here in October and G’s uncle from California’s making his way in September/October, as well. So, while we’ve been delayed a bit by house prep and baby baking adventures, we’re back on track now for travel adventures and lovely friends’ visits for the rest of 2013.

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