So, where do I start? I just had a quick read through my most recent posts (if you can call them 'recent'), and the last time I wrote I had just received my permanent residence visa, we hadn't begun our kitchen renovation, Paul was working in Ayelsham, I hadn't even won the magazine contract yet, we had just started the Quest for a Martini (that would be the IVF process in Donna-speak), and Elijah was waking us up with lectures about monster trucks.
Elijah is still waking us up with lectures about various boy-related things, but all the other topics mentioned above have, um, evolved is perhaps the word I'm looking for?
Elijah is all growed up - he can ride a big boy bike without training wheels. It's one of those parenting milestones that I never expected to make me emotional, but it did (yes people, I do have emotions). He's been practicing for a while, but this weekend when he had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's, he took the leap from little boy to big boy and doesn't need any help anymore. Sniff sniff. I'll get a video of him soon.
A little while ago we went to Dover Castle - here are some pictures from our day. They've done loads of work to the castle, and now it's a real attraction type thing rather than just an empty cold building. We had a lovely time, we did.
Onto other subjects - our kitchen is completely done (though it has been for about a year or so). Here's the before, under construction and after pics:
Before (with the garage door still there) - that's our whole kitchen on the right:
Here's another one, for some added drama:
There's still a lot that needs doing to our house, but it's all little stuff. We're probably gonna move to another house anyways, so I'm happy to say that all the major work is done.
Last time I wrote Paul was working in Ayelsham. Well, he's not only no longer working in Ayelsham, he has a totally different job. He was working as an electrician in Ayelsham on residential houses - now he has a job pricing huge commercial projects at hospitals and things. Don't let him fool ya, he don't like it none. It's a big boy job with lots of responsibility and he's always stressed out and has to deal with idiots all day long. He sometimes gets to wear proper office clothes and looks quite nice, but he doesn't seem to think that's a job perk. He's just waiting for me to make enough money so he can quit and be a domestic queen. That would be nice. Then maybe I wouldn't have to iron no mo'.
Ok, onto the next subject. Last March I was approached to design a magazine (I've been running a design studio for, um, a while now). I won the contract and coordinated the design for about 6 months, and then moved into an editorial role with it. I was havin' a grand ol' time with it, but, to make a really long story short, the magazine's publisher was another one of those business guys I seem to attract - you know - the dishonest, crazy, sketchy, bad guys. He never paid me on time, the magazine was always printed late, he was allllll talk, and was bound to ruin my reputation at some point or another.
Sooo - the magazine's publishing director (Adam) and I left the dishonest, crazy, sketchy bad man and have started our own magazine and publishing/design/digital communications company. Despite weeks of legal battles with the sketchy bad man and thousands in legal fees, we've come out on the other side and had our launch party for the magazine on Tuesday night, which was faaabulous. We gots clients comin' out of our ears and I might just get an ulcer from stress, but hey, it'll all be worth it when we can sell the company for £5mil. I've finally found someone that works as hard as I do, wayhay!
My job is pretty stressful and I work about 80 hours a week, but it's definitely not all bad. I get some amazing perks. No one tells me when to be at work or when I can and can't take time off. Paulo and I got to go to Bruges and Greece a few months ago, and we're always getting posh nights at nice hotels, gourmet dinners, and all sorts of press passes for cool stuff. Here's a visual selection of some of the perks of being Editor of a lifestyle magazine - all these experiences and meals were free. You are allowed to be jealous (just ignore the working 80 hours a week bit).
The only problem with all this free posh stuff is I'm gonna get supa chubby if I don't watch out!
The most recent freebie event for the magazine was the Leeds Castle Open Air Concert last Saturday. Here are a few videos of the night. It was amazing - set right next to Leeds Castle with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and everyone has picnics and just has a lovely time. Here's my biz partner Adam being patriotic (nevermind Paul's superb singing):
Here's the concert finale - fireworks and cannons to the 1812 Overture:
I hope you're all enjoying every letter I type, cuz it'll probably be another year before I do it again.
So, onto the last subject mentioned above - the Quest for a Martini (a baby). Where do I even start with that one? Paul and I have gone through months of poking, prodding, shelling out ridiculous amounts of cash - and in the end we found out we have to have IVF with ICSI & PGD.
Don't know what that is? I shall enlighten you.
I think most people know what IVF is (test tube baby - well, more like a petri dish baby). We also need ICSI - which means they actually inject the eggs with sperm rather than let the sperm swim anywhere (don't want them to get tired, you see). Then PGD is where it gets really crazy.
PGD stands for Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis. After fertilizing the eggs, they let them grow in a petri dish until they're 8-cells. Then they take a single cell from the embryos and do a biopsy on that one cell to make sure the embryos have no chromosomal abnormalities. Hopefully there will be at least one embryo with balanced chromosomes, which will then be transferred back to me and hopefully I get pregnant, though there's definitely no guarantee.
I've been on the IVF drugs for 19 days now, and hopefully only have about 8 or 9 days left. One of these nights I'll video me doing my injections (2 every night), so you can feel really bad for me. Here's a picture of all the crap I have to do every day. It's making me quite moody. Irritable. Emotional. Bitchy. Yes, that sums it up. I'm going to eat some chocolate.