Tuesday 31 August 2010

Blog Award. I got one!!

I just got awarded this. My natural cynicism made me think it was just a link-building bit of spam but it looks real enough. Anyway, it's my first award so whatever it is, I'm keeping it!

Medical Billing
Medical Billing

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Jake at 2

Well, not quite but in a couple of weeks or so Jake will celebrate his second anniversary of life. Of course, he's been a part of lives for even longer, since January 2008 in fact. Truly I can't really remember the time before Clare was pregnant or since Jake's been here. Obviously I remember stuff we did and places we went, but not on a day to day level. So much changes with your daily routine, but because it happens automatically, over time you just accept it. Friends without kids, still say 'come over one night next week' with no thought of what that entails. Firstly, it's impossible without a baby sitter and with a week's notice, that's always going to be tricky. Alternatively then, taking child to them involves a travel cot, getting there early enough to settle and in all probability involves child not actually going to bed due to excitement and unfamiliar surroundings and ultimately leads to stressful evening.

I've said before that I prefer my life now. Sure, there's much less (if any) drop-of-the-hat action, but there's also less boredom. Before you could decide what to do on a whim, but if that whim never came, when then? Often, nothing. Hence boredom. Now it's all (to an extent) planned. Clare seldom has a non-work day without anything planned for Jake. And similarly at the weekend, there will always be something in the diary. It's still nice to do nothing, but that nothing is planned and therefore welcomed.

Since I switched blogs, this one has been somewhat neglected. Jake's development settled more and there was less to report on a weekly basis, however the last couple of months have seen big changes in him. It's less obvious when you see it everyday - another good reason for keeping this going - but he's turning, week by week, into less of a toddler and more of a little boy. For the first time, I'm not hoping he'll get a bit older. Since he was born I looked forward to the next stage. When he could roll over, then sit up, then climb onto the sofa, then feed himself, then walk, then talk etc. Right now though, I think he's at a stage which has the perfect blend of cuteness and cognisance. So he can't form complete sentences but he and we know what he's saying and at the same time still has some babyish features. I'm still really looking forward to a proper conversation and all the football games I'll watch him play but for now, this is the perfect age and one I'd like to crystalise.

I cannot believe he's almost 2!

Thursday 13 May 2010

Cleft lip and palate

You may have just arrived here having seen my Google Ad. If so, perhaps you've just found out your baby will be born with a cleft. Or perhaps your baby was just born with a cleft lip and / or palate. Here's what to do:

1. Don't panic - you will be absolutely fine. I promise.
2. Go to the very first post of the blog - May 2008
3. Read and relax!

If you want any advice from someone who's been there and got the t-shirt, leave a comment or email me at jamesfernie at gmail dot com

Once again, you will come through this o.k, there's so many worse things that could have happened and your baby will be / is beautiful anyway. I don't mean to be flippant and perhaps you won't agree with me until you've been through it all but pretty soon you'll look back on how you're feeling right now and be able to see it all in context. If I can help, I will.

Good luck.

A new blog

It's been two years since I started writing this blog and I've loved doing it. For many reasons it's been a useful exercise. I won't cover them all but by far, the comments I've received from others in the same situation have been what's made it worthwhile. I'll keep it going on this address for all things Jake and cleft related but for everything else the new place in town is www.jamesfernie.com. I've decided to install WordPress on one of our servers as it's much better (IMHO) than Blogger in terms of choice of design and its interface.

This blog is obviously supposed to be quite specific, a niche subject and all, and of late I've felt that telling you about my kitchen and the like is moving away from the subject. Perhaps it kept things more light hearted and helped bring some context to the whole cleft episode but I'd rather keep things separate.

So nothing's really changed, I'm just diversifying my ramblings.

No one really reads the crap I write anyway!

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Kitchen. Done.

Thank **** for that! Five weeks doesn't seem long until you live without a kitchen for that time. Also when your house is full of dust and mess and general building miscellany, you develop a sort of tic which doesn't go away until it's all sorted. The kitchen is perfect, or rather as perfect as a long and narrow kitchen can be. The bit at the end which opens up was the best part of the idea, it creates a destination so that the kitchen is a room to be in as opposed to purely a functional space. (God listen me, I've gone all Sarah Beeny!).

Fortunately the original work top had been cut too short so I did a deal to buy the useless bit and we've made a breakfast bar at the end which goes above a radiator. Another piece of genius created out of a mistake. The bar stools arrive today.

We're now in a predicament as to what to do with the loft. We have a 6-8 week window before the builders need to be off working on a major four house new build project and unless we start almost immediately they'll have to bugger off half way through. The problem is that in my naivety I applied to do the loft under planning permission. When you do this, in almost every instance, the planners make you scale down your plans. Because we'd already paid the architect I decided to capitulate and just get the planning through, based on a) at least we'd have some planning permission which we could sell on with house and b) we probably couldn't afford to do it anyway. It turns out however, that to do the simple loft which creates a small bedroom for Jake and a family bathroom using just the existing roof space (and therefore not needing PP) looks now to be impossible. We just haven't got the space up there to get the stairs in to allow a separate entrance for the bedroom AND the bathroom. There's no point in making it an ensuite as a) it's a single room - doesn't make sense - and b) we'd still have a bedroom downstairs without direct access to a bathroom - not sensible developing - so, I can either start work, apply to do the larger box dormer loft conversion and hope on hope that the permitted development consent comes through at the exact time we need it to OR wait until the boys finish the new build project.

Given that the overall plans for the loft centre around the potential to put a new baby somewhere and the knowledge that building projects ALWAYS take longer than anticipated, this could seriously affect things.

We could just create one bedroom in the loft within the existing pitched roof which would be a decent sixed double but then we'd need to cut our existing bedroom in half to make a corridor and turn our existing ensuite into a communal bathroom. I quite like this idea other than the fact that it involves building work on the first floor and therefore all the mess and disruption that goes with it.

I think that we will probably ask the architect to submit new drawings and get the builders started....this way most of the work will be done and we can then take a view on whether to build the box on the back or build the corridor downstairs, or budget allowing, both. It'll just be the difference between having two bathrooms or one and in a 3 bedroom house, 2 is a luxury but 1 is the norm.

Decisions, decisions.

Here's the kitchen. Good innit?!