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December 29, 2006

London Visit: Part 14 - Week Two

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Baby Callum is now 10 days old.  The National Health Service provides at-home, mid-wife, after-birth care so he was weighed at 1 week and was almost back to his birthweight.  He eats, sleeps, and spends a little time between each feeding with his eyes open.  Henry and Syd check in on him periodically but have been busy with a belated birthday party and Christmas. 

I continue to do a daily sketch, but most have been items or scenes from around the house or neighborhood.

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Sydney had her belated birthday party on December 23rd (instead of 12/20 when Mom and Callum were still in the hospital).  My daughter made a Pooh cake for her and had Happy Feet penguin plates and cups.  She and Callum will have birthdays one day apart in the future!

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Partidge's, in Duke of York Square, is the specialty food shop in the area - a place where we stop for fresh baked bread on our way home at lunch or dinnertime.  This is the first time that I sketched individual bricks - and it made me realize that I get no joy from these kinds of details! 

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My daughter, son-in-law, and baby Callum joined the rest of us for Christmas Eve dinner at Oriel, a brasserie on Sloane Square.  There are almost no restaurants open in the area on Christmas and our son and daughter-in-law arrived from Washington DC to see their new nephew and celebrate the holiday.  The restaurant was very gracious and set up an area next to the table for Callum's pram.  He was bundled and slept peacefully during dinner. 

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We bought Christmas presents for Henry and Sydney when we were here in October - and they really seemed to enjoy them.  She now takes the big bouncing Tigger to bed with her - along with monkey, books, a special pillow, quilt etc.  Henry learned where New York, London, and Washington DC are on the globe and then had fun telling us about the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  He wanted to find out where Africa was before we put it on the shelf.

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The neighborhood was very quiet on Boxing Day.  While Henry and Syd went to Battersea Park with the guys to ride scooters, Rachel and I took Callum for fresh air and a stroll along King's Road.  We have no idea what Boxing Day commemorates and saw many possible explanations on Wikipedia.  Osborne and Little (that previously had ice cream cones and fish in their 4 windows), now has gigantic Christmas stockings outlined with little white lights.  I also sketched the clock on the Chelsea Town Hall, something I wanted to do since July.  

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There was a special, old-model London double-decker bus parked along Duke of York Square the other day.  I previously sketched one for my grandson from a photo on Morgue file - but now saw one myself on the street.   I never found out the significance of a free ride in the Art Bus.  We take buses all over the city and love to take Henry and Sydney to the top deck!

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Yesterday my husband and I went to the Rodin exhibit at the Royal Academy and I did a 2 minute sketch of "The Thinker."  I hate uploading this because it is really out of proportion and barely representational.  But it is my daily sketch and part of my learning process.  Today we are off to the Imperial War Museum again with Henry and Syd.  They LOVE the interactive submarine and ask us to return during our visits.

December 24, 2006

Christmas Decorations: London

There are beautiful Christmas lights around Sloane Square and in Duke of York Square in Chelsea London.  I take photos every time I walk through and wanted to share them.

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Sloane Square and Peter Jones Department Store

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The street lights along King's Road Chelsea all have these mini-trees.  The blue "ball" is one of many hung in the trees at Duke of York Square.

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Sloane Square looking north to Sloane Street.

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These lamp post lights are around the square and on Sloane Street leading toward Knightsbridge.

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Sloane Square looking toward Court Theatre. 

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One of the shops in Duke of York Square - beautiful trees on the roof add to the lights around the open area next to Partridge's Market.

 

December 23, 2006

London Visit: Part 13 Callum Arrives 6 Weeks Early

I am trying to continue with a daily sketch, even though our days are full - with Henry and Syd at home and Rachel and baby Callum at the hospital.  I don't have a scanner and therefore chose to photograph my journal pages.  The light, the angle, the shadows are all an issue, but I want to document this wonderful week now rather than waiting until we return to New York after the holidays.   

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A fun window display at Green and Stone art supplies on Kings Road.  I was on a mission to find bottle nipples and couldn't walk by the window without a quick sketch.

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Henry and Syd went to Budakwai for a 75 minute play session on Monday and Thursday morning.  I sketched the children while I watched - although I didn't even try faces.  The child in pink with a heart on her shirt is Sydney.  The boy is orange - with a face - is Henry.  He insisted that he needed a mouth!

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We went shopping for Callum supplies.  Mothercare on Oxford St. has the following clothes sizes: Early (up to 5 lbs), Tiny (up to 7 lbs), Newborn (up to 10 lbs).  We bought Callum a fluffy white suit and hat to come home from the hospital in Tiny - although he really should be in early!

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EDM Challenge #98:  I saw these Santa and Snowman ceramic figures in the window of Waterstone and the small gold Christmas tree in the window of Pier 1 as I was doing grocery shopping along King's Road.  This is a wonderful week for us - especially now that Callum arrived and we know that Rachel will be back home with her family for our Christmas celebration.

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Our last daily visit to St. Mary's Hospital - we just got word that Callum and Rachel are coming home tomorrow!  I took lots of photos of the hospital buildings from outside, but chose to sketch the exterior door to the maternity hospital where Rachel had her prenatal visits, hospitalization and delivery this week.  I wanted Callum to have photos of his hospital, since Henry and Syd were both born and live in New York City.

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Callum and Rachel came home from the hospital today.  He has a really nice Moses basket in the living room and the two soft, furry duck toys were sitting in it waiting for him to arrive.  We are so happy!  Uncle Jason and Shannon arrive tomorrow for Christmas so we will have our in-house Pediatrician here.  Callum is eating well and was 4 lbs 11 oz at discharge!

 

 

 

December 21, 2006

EDM Challenge # 97: Best Christmas Present

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Henry and Sydney went to meet their new brother on Wednesday.  Callum James was born Tuesday at 7:38 AM - 4 lbs 14 oz - and 6 weeks early.  Fortunately, he was absolutely fine right from birth and both breathed and fed well.  We are all very relieved.  There was just no way that this baby was going to wait until his due date!  The plan now is for Mommy and baby to come home tomorrow.  Then we can celebrate sister Sydney's birthday (no one told her it was yesterday) and Christmas.  One of their uncles and aunts are flying in on Saturday - fog conditions permitting so we look forward to a wonderful family Christmas celebration far from home.

 This was Sydney at Christmas in 2004 and then 2005.  She started life even smaller - 3 lb 13 oz and was discharged from the NICU at dinnertime 12/24/2004.

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December 18, 2006

Arrival in London

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My daughter and I both must have known subconsciously that our schedule would be changing completely this Christmas.  She set up the baby's room one day before being hospitalized and wrapped all of the presents.  I finished all of the gift sewing before going to Orlando on a 6 day business trip.  That made our change in plans possible - but still not ideal. 

Things are still stably unstable - and she is so disappointed and bored to be in the hospital instead of enjoying the wonderful decorations and festive activities of London.  Meanwhile we're having a great time with Henry and Sydney.  I loved arriving to her Christmas tree and Poinsettia plants and sketched them for my daily sketch on Saturday (12/16).  I'm testing a photo of the sketchbook page, instead of a scan to see if this will be a temporary solution to my lack of a scanner.  The colors seem grayed out. 

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