Monthly Archives: December 2013

Our Christmas…

20131229-214343.jpg

I wasn’t going to do a Christmas post as I wasn’t sure if it would be boring for others, but I wanted to write down my memories of this year – my Rosie’s first Xmas, my Amelia’s 4th.

I have had a brilliant Xmas – it isn’t magical now in the same way as when I was a child. Over time Xmas has changed, shifted. Instead of gifts, now it’s about family and about being together. It’s about laughter, relaxing, films, craft and playing. It’s about eating chocolate at breakfast time, hot chocolate and spending every night wrapping gifts. It’s about anticipation. Its about love, and thanking everyone in my life for making me so vey lucky.

These have been my favourite bits of this Xmas:
– laying on either side of the sofa watching ‘splash’ with Amelia under the blanket on Xmas eve.
– Amelia and Rosie getting their new pjs and putting them on – Amelia had red love heart ones, Rosie had a ‘I love cuddles’ baby grow.
– Amelia looking out of the window looking for Santa (and she saw him a few times!)
– putting Amelia to bed, she said she heard the reindeer on the roof. I said that they don’t come until she’s asleep. She closed her eyes and said ‘mummy, say oh look at Amelia, she’s asleep.’ Trying to trick Santa lol.
– Xmas morning when Amelia saw that Santa had filled her stocking.
– Rosie sitting in the box that her presents had been put into (they were layered between paper rather than wrapped up.)
– seeing my family over Christmas.
– Amelia calling her new furby ‘purjy.’
– Xmas films.
– a lovely Xmas dinner at Craig’s parents house.
– presents 🙂

I got allsorts of gifts – waterproofs, bake off book, perfume, a onesie, pjs, simple products, a camera from Craig. Loads more but I won’t bore you all. And my girls loved everything too, although Amelia did point out that she didn’t receive the chocolate coin maker she asked for. Other than that she got all she wanted and more.

Got a little bit of Xmas left that I’m determined to enjoy 🙂 having a small get together New Year’s Eve, and we have toys to play with, tidying to do and films to watch. I love this time of year!

Xxxx

20131229-214402.jpg

20131229-214420.jpg

Advertisements

Silent Sunday

20131228-195546.jpg

Thinking of others at Christmas…

Last night I had a conversation with my sister which made me sad. My sister is a year one teacher (5 and 6 year olds). She was saying that in her class there are at least two children that she knows can’t celebrate Christmas this year. Not because of any beliefs etc, but because they just can’t afford to.

One of the children asked in her letter to Santa for a Christmas tree with sparkles on it, as they can’t afford any decorations this year.

Another mum went and bought her child a dress for the carol concert – when my sister spoke to her about it she explained that the dress came out of her Christmas fund for presents, and that it was going to be re-wrapped up as the child’s main gift. That child had asked for a fairy dress so she would get what she asked for, and will love that gift.

It just made me feel like I could and should be doing more to help others that need it. I haven’t done anything this year to help those that need a bit of support – it’s easy to think that others are helping, or that because I don’t have a huge amount of money myself that i don’t have much to give. But really – we are so so lucky, and what my sister was saying really made it real to me – poverty isn’t something far away, it’s something close by, always just a step behind us.

And if i was in poverty, I would want to know that at the very least, my children could get a gift on Christmas Day. And that the magic of Christmas would still be there for them even if on a smaller scale than now. And so – this year I think it’s a bit late but next year I am going to make sure that I give back to others. I will find a local charity which makes sure children have a toy at christmas, and i will donate old toys that my children no longer need. And I already donate occasionally to food banks, but I will do this more regularly as they need all the support they can get.

I’m so very lucky – my main worry is is my daughter is disappointed on Xmas day as she doesn’t have the main two things she’s asked for (a chocolate coin maker, and a Tiana barbie.) She has loads of other gifts, and love, and plenty to eat and will be warm and safe. Really, if she is disappointed then I need to learn from that – she is lucky and spoiling her by giving her everything isn’t always the answer. She is loved and she has plenty, what more could she need?

I will try to help others more from now on, because all it takes is one illness, one job loss, one bad thing to happen and we could be in poverty too. And if we were, I would hope that someone else could be my safety net, to help me and my children to survive, and to help my children not to lose faith and trust in others.
Xxx

Note to self…

To myself,

Now that you’ve just spent a ridiculous amount of money that you don’t really have on joining a gym, use it. Don’t be full of enthusiasm for 2 weeks and then lose motivation and interest. Don’t make excuses like ‘it’s cold / I don’t have time / I need to do something else (like eat cake). Go to the gym. You deserve this time, and your body needs to be healthier and fitter. Your thighs are getting wobbly (I’ve always been okay with my thighs before!) and your tummy has no muscles left, and you need time for you.

Set a timetable. Stick to it. Go when you don’t want to go. You might not fit in 5 times a week (never going to happen) but go at least 3 times. Craig has 2 days off – you have no excuse on those days. And one evening after work – you usually only sit on your bum once girls are in bed anyway.

Enjoy it. Enjoy getting fitter,being healthier and not having to force your jeans up round your thighs and tummy. Enjoy feeling confident because even if your body isn’t perfect, you know that you work hard to keep it as it is. Enjoy having time to yourself, time out to think of just you. Because you deserve some time to look after yourself. Sometimes you spend all our time looking after your girls and house. You need to remember that you are important too.

And stop writing to yourself. That’s just weird 🙂

Seriously – I’ve joined a gym (3 month membership for now.) it’s the one I really like, with a lovely swimming pool and hot tub and steam room. I want and need to get fit, and now that Rosie is getting older and not feeding quite as much I deserve it. So paying for this was my Xmas treat t myself – instead of a ‘big shop’ for Xmas I’ll do my usual shop with just a few specific extra bits (mince pies, real butter, cheese, stuff for a cooked breakfast, crumpets and fresh orange!) and not go crazy.

I weighed myself this morning. I weigh 10.10 now – it’s crept up from 10.2 to now, and so it’s time to bring it back down. I don’t feel unhappy with myself (I really believe that what anyone looks like doesn’t matter if they are happy) but I can feel that i’m getting to a point where I’m unhappy so I wanted to address it first. I know it’s silly in one way joining a gym right before Xmas, but if i let myself put on another 5 pounds (the average amount gained over Xmas) i know I’d feel rubbish. So I’m doing it now, with a focus on maintaining my weight not losing weight. And after Xmas ill try to lose slowly. But I don’t care – if I’m exercising I don’t care if I weigh the same, my body will still change anyway.

I’m starting to babble so I’m going now, before I bore you any further 🙂

Xxx

The ordinary moments…

20131215-211635.jpg

This is the first time I’ve joined in with the ordinary moments linky. ive seen the posts and loved them for a couple of months, but have never joined in. But today i just wanted to share one of our ordinary moments.

These photos were taken while Watching a Christmas film (polar express) on a lazy Sunday afternoon, getting in the mood for Xmas and having some quiet, relaxing family time.

As a family we love family film night on a Friday night, and Amelia really looks forward to it – microwave popcorn, hot dogs or pizza and a film together plus a bit of a later bedtime. And no computers/ mobile use by me or Craig during this time on a Friday! Over Xmas this seems to have extended a bit – it’s been nice to have lazier, quieter days, and we’ve fallen into a routine of watching a Christmas film 2/3 times a week. Sunday films on 5 are great, and it’s nice to just be together and not be rushing around doing housework / seeing other people.

This is one of the ordinary moments together that I love at the moment.

The ordinary moments linky is run by mummydaddyme and is all about capturing the everyday and ordinary moments that are the moments we will treasure as our children grow. If you would like to join in click on the link.

Xxx

Silent Sunday

20131214-213411.jpg

No more stats…

I’ve been thinking all day about blogging. More specifically, at why I’ve been blogging.

I’ve had a bit of a confidence crisis in the last week. I love blogging, and I like my blog (I always want to twiddle,but overall I enjoy reading it back) and although still pretty new, I’m enjoying it. I especially like getting to know other people through their blogs, and knowing that I’m not alone in some of the opinions or feelings I have.

But – lately I’ve started looking at stats. And suddenly, as soon as I did my blog went from ‘fun’ to being more like an added pressure. I felt like I had to blog, wondered why my followers didn’t go up more, wondered if people liked or hated my posts. And my blog. And me.

I was thinking today of stopping blogging. Or making my blog private, just for me. To get rid of the pressure. Because my blog will never be a ‘popular’ blog. I don’t know enough about marketing it, and I don’t have anything unique to make it stand out. I’m just me, writing about me. That’s not for everyone, and I know that. But I don’t want to stop writing, and i enjoy sharing my thoughts, even if nobody reads.

So from today, I’m not checking stats. I might have a look at my tots100 score each month (not that it matters) but I’m not checking how many page views etc i have. Because as tiaras and prozac says in a much better way than I just have, otherwise the numbers eat the words.

I am me, and I’m blogging for me. If anyone reads, fantastic, I love to hear what you think. If people don’t – well, I read my own blog. (And my mum does, so that’s one person I know will always follow me at least!) other than than, I’m not playing the stats game anymore – it’s not a competition – that’s not why I started and it’s boring. I blog what I want, when I want and in the way that I want. Because that’s all that matters.

Xxx

Things they say part two…

I wanted to add some more funny things that Amelia has said in the last couple of weeks 🙂

1. We were watching a film on family film night. I asked if she would like to live there. She replied ‘no, I like our world. And I don’t want to go and live in the TV anyway.’

2. On her birthday – ‘did my number 3 go to a different little girl?’

3. A conversation between Amelia and her dad:
‘Dad I’m annoyed.
‘What are you annoyed with?’
‘The plug.’
‘Why are you annoyed with the plug?’
‘It’s not doing as its told.’

4. She made this song up and was singing it over and over for a few days:
– here we go walking
On Halloween
Down the street
What’s that
It’s a ghost.

5. Coming inside, Amelia could see the inside door handle. She was amazed that the inside door handle also moves when the outside door handle is pushed down. We had to try this from both sides.

6. I told her off for doing her angry face (she has a really scary angry face lol) and she replied ‘sorry mum, I’m just stressed today.’

7. I let Amelia watch the my little donkey video on YouTube and she called me the best mum in the world for it.

8. When we put the Xmas tree up, Amelia was so excited. She spent ages helping us with decorations, and said that she is so happy that she wants to cry (and she nearly as crying!) as we never say or do that I don’t know where she’s for it from, unless its genuine. I like to think it is.

Xxx

Festive Friday – cinnamon cookies (yum!)

20131206-092404.jpg

It’s that time of the week again – time to join in with festive Friday over at thinly spread 🙂 she has created a Linky full of Xmas craft / baking ideas – go have a look, there are some brilliant ideas there.

This week I made cinnamon cookies – I love making cookies anyway, and usually make either peanut butter cookies or double choc chip cookies, but as its Xmas I thought I’d do something a little bit different, and have a go at cinnamon 🙂 they were gorgeous too – I think when I make them again ill add a little less sugar as they are sweet, but other than that really pleased with them.

Ingredients:
200 grams butter/ margarine (I used stork)
200 grams golden caster sugar. This amount makes sweet cookies, if I made again I would only use 150-175 grams.
2 tablespoons golden syrup
300 grams flour (I used self raising by accident and they were fine, but usually I would use plain for cookies.)
3 tea spoons of cinnamon.
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.

For the topping I used flaked almonds and a pinch of cinnamon and then golden caster sugar in each.

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2. Line 3 trays with greaseproof paper / grease 3 trays.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl then add the syrup and mix.
4. Add the cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda to the weighed out flour, and then add all to the bowl and mix together.
5. Break into balls of roughly equal size. Mine made 19 cookies in total.
6. Put on the baking trays and flatten with your hand.
7. Top if you choose to – I put 4/5 almonds on each, then a pinch of cinnamon, and finally a sprinkle of sugar.
8. Bake for 12 minutes.
9. Take them out – they will still be really soft but they do harden up quickly.
10. Leave for a minute on the baking tray, then as they harden move to a cooling ram to finish cooling completely.
11. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a hot chocolate 🙂

20131206-093552.jpg

Festive Friday at Thinly Spread

Another generation…

20131205-083530.jpg

This is my nana. It was her 93rd birthday this week, and I wanted to write a little about her. My baby is named after her, and I think she’s wonderful.

– My nana was born in 1920.
– Nana never knew her biological Dad. I’m not sure of the details, but I know she was born out of wedlock, and that this was a big thing back then. Nana’s Mum never told her who her real Dad was, and she was brought up by a step dad.
– my nana got married during the war to my grandad, who she only knew very briefly. He was on leave, and straight after he had to go back onto the submarines. She didn’t see him again for 4 years. He was captured and was a prisoner of war for 2 years – nobody knew if he was alive still. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.
– Nana had 6 children. One of them (her 4th child) died before he/she was born. That’s when they discovered that my nana was rhesus negative. So am I. Now it’s a simple injection to prevent bloods mixing. My nana’s next two children were induced and my auntie had to have a full blood transfusion at birth.
– When my nana’s baby was born stillborn she wasn’t even allowed to see him or her. She never found out the sex. Back then they thought this was kinder – nana never got a say in the matter.
– My Mum was born early (about 4 weeks.) when my nana was 45. Nana was only allowed to see her at visiting time once a day, and only through a glass window. So she looked through the window to the incubator where my mum was. That’s the only contact she was allowed. She went every day just to look at her baby.
– there are 18 years between my mum (the youngest child) and her oldest brother.
– my grandad had cancer. My nana looked after him through it. He died at home, and nana describes it as something peaceful rather than traumatic. He was where he wanted to be in bed, and nana was with him.
– my nana has something like 46 grandchildren and great grandchildren. She sees most of us regularly.
– My nana is a bit like my second Mum. She looks after us all, awe see her all the time and she spoils my kids rotten. She loves children.
– My nana is responsible for my daughters sweet tooth (I’m blaming her!) when we visit she used to want to give her sweets. I said no. She compromised with cakes lol. Last time we visited she gave her two cakes because ‘they’re only little.’ She also wanted to give her two more cakes to bring home but I drew the line.
– my nana is hard to argue with lol.
– my kids might not grow up with a great nana, but they will always have good memories of visiting her.
– when I was little I loved visiting her and getting cakes too. (And picking brambles, playing power rangers with my cousins, playing on the swing and getting to choose from a variety pack of cereals for my breakfast, or getting to drizzle my own syrup on my porridge – as much as I wanted of course!)

People talk about who is their inspiration. For me, my nana and my mm are my inspirations, they’re kind, caring, would give anything to anyone, loving, always welcoming, funny and as stubborn as anything. My nana hates being old, and has conceded to using a walking stick when ongoing out but says that if she ever needs a wheelchair she would rather stay in and not go out.

I could write so much more but ill stop now!

I just love my nana Rosie.
Xxx