Make and Do

Make: 2010

Make: 2010

My one little word for this year is Make. I will go into details in another post but I hope to embrace the phrase ‘Get excited and make things!’ this coming year, including writing things (for work and pleasure).

I was also pointed by Ali to 6changes, a simple concept for introducing new habits in baby steps. I haven’t picked all of mine yet but my first couple are going to have to overlap due to deadlines:

Learn 2000+ kanji – starting Jan 1st
Write a book on microcopy and self-publish – starting February
Eat healthily – starting pretty much straight away with drinking more water, but properly kicking in, in March.

In terms of fun projects for 2010:
scrapbook more
learn to crochet properly
take a lofi (iphone or holga) pic everyday
plan a kickass 30th birthday
save for my trip to Japan
learn to drive
spend as much time as possible immersed in Japanese language studies
cross stitch, especially for Christmas next year
learn to use my new mixer
play with my camera and learn some new tricks – maybe do a course
sew some more with my machine
learn to play the piano
bake more fun things

Obviously there will be stuff that gets in the way or changes up but I think most of these are in the spirit of ‘making’.

Auld Lang Whine

New year’s eve. Not my favourite night of the year:
It pretty much marks the end of the holidays (although this year the weekend has the good grace to extend it by three days)
Everything is expensive, taxis are impossible, and there is a pressure to be out, you get in late and the kids still get up at 6am.
But stay in and the TV is crap, takeaway is prone to go astray on route, and the kids still get up at 6am.

For the last few years, I have been rebellious. I buy some food from M&S, I scarf a small drink from our drinks collection, we watch a DVD we got from Christmas and go to bed by 11pm!

Start the year as you mean to go on, I say.

Fun Times

Christmas 2009 was:

having the girls over for dinner and drinks.
cute red and white decorations scattered about
marking gifts with a ‘T’ or a ‘C’
Toby declaring he wanted to be an angel and not a farmer in his nativity, or failing that a fireman.
mulled wine fizzy cocktail
adorable baby giggles
mulled cider
gingerbread lattes
a real tree
Toby declaring the best bit of Christmas Day being Santa and Rudolph eating their snacks.
The Gruffalo and the Cbeebies panto.
suprise presents
filling stockings
a twinkling palm tree outside
iPhone polaroid pics
taking videos of the kids with our phone and the flip.
being at home with my baby
a Mummy and Toby trip to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum
cherry cheesecake and ham in coca-cola
deciphering Japanese originals of Prince of Tennis
listening to Rajipuri
writing a journal

Looking back, going ahead

Today is rotten weather. Really I can’t express how yuck it is out there. Wet, grey, miserable. I was really beginning to worry about all four of us being cooped up in here again but so far it hasn’t been too bad, thanks to a reprise of the cbeebies panto (again!), some chocolate, a viewing of Follow That Bird and now the Sesame Street Christmas album.

We are companionably pottering about and my head is caught between tidying up the new toys here and thoughts of the coming year and my one little word. Last year’s was ‘complete’ but I can’t say I was totally faithful to it. In fact I think I was attempting to fool myself. This year I shall pick a word more in line with the ‘Now Habit’ and ‘6 things’. I’m not going to make resolutions but I am going to list some goals for the coming year and some things I’d like to try.

And so, the wind whirls, Elmo sings and I think on.

December indulgences

Gingerbread lattes
Nativity plays (seeing Toby’s first one this year was just brilliant)
Buying gifts
Rolls of beautiful wrapping paper
Sparkly things everywhere
New Christmassy scented candles
Bundles of cinnamon
Gingerbread men
Finding new decorations
Mulled wine and mulled cider (just had to stop this list to make some :D)
Christmas scrapbook supplies and card designs
Advent calendars
Cream on top of everything
Chocolate coins
Playing games

Pyjama party

One tradition that I have picked up that wasn’t one of my family’s is that of Christmas pyjamas. You have a bath on Christmas eve and get all dry and find that someone has left you some brand new supercool pj’s and a new storybook for bedtime.
I’ve done it every year since Toby was 18 months old and even Casper got in on the new PJ act this year with some nifty footsie numbers. Toby got his pyjamas ‘from’ Casper this year (he came down from his bath to find Casper with the bag holding the pj’s and book) and was very excited. This year’s model was a Woody costume (from Toy Story) bought at the Disney Store and rather obscenely expensive for sleepwear but, hey, if you can’t splash out on your Christmas pj’s, when can you?

Cue Pear Tree!

Boxing day – traditionally one of extra little presents, cold meats, salad and a metric butt ton of mashed potato. This year we had the presents at the end of Christmas day but everything else remained intact. Which is more than can be said for my health as I spent a lot of the day snoozing to fight off the perpetual throat infection I’ve had for weeks. This meant some repeat viewings of the cbeebies panto and the Gruffalo. We did attempt Star Wars but Toby would only tolerate 15 minutes of it (basically until R2D2 disappeared for a chunk) and that was with a midway break for chocolate pudding. On the plus side, we did have giant yummy raspberry panna cotta and an episode of QI after the kids went to bed.

Also, my true love forgot the partridge in a pear tree. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get two calling birds.

Glad timings we bring

6.15am – Toby wakes and runs downstairs to discover presents under the tree. He runs back up shouting ‘Father Christmas has been!’
6.20am – Toby corralled into his bedroom to open his stocking presents. Many squeaks and a ‘how cool is that?!’ gets a giggle even from Mummy, who still has her head under a pillow.
6.45am – all downstairs, except Casper who snoozes on. Mummy and Daddy have waffles with Nutella and Toby decides on marmite toast.
7.30am – some playing, some watching kids’ tv, at least two sneaky chocolate coins and then …
8.30am – when we could hold it off no more, Toby opened his presents (and Casper’s too!), merrily shrieking from one parcel to the next. We had marked the presents with big ‘T’s and ‘C’s so he could sort them out from under the tree and Toby was delighted this his was the biggest parcels in number and stature. Especially well received were the Buzz Lightyear costume, the Handy Manny toy and the Gruffalo Trunki.
9.30am – all done on the kid front, so Toby ‘helped’ us to unwrap our grown-up presents too. Daddy is very pleased his haul and Mummy is super-delighted with her (much lusted for but never dreamed of owning) red kitchenaid mixer. Well done that husband!
10.30am – time for a cup of tea and some more chocolates before preparing lunch. This year we went for the easy-peasy, trays in the oven option and – while never going to be at a full on ‘proper’ Christmas lunch – it was dead simple and really rather yummy.
11.15 – The opening of the bottle of peach bellini. Is Christmas the only time it is socially acceptable to drink before midday? The next couple of hours were spent noodling about, mainly looking for lost batteries, riding on Trunkis being Buzz Lightyear and a rewatch of the Cbeebies panto, and then …
1pm – lunch, om nom nom nom. Even Casper got in on the act with some delicious carrot and potato puree and a rice cake or two. Turkey breast, roast tatties, mash, cabbage, beans, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, stuffing, bacon, gravy. We were too full for pudding but I’m sure we’ll make up for that tomorrow!
2pm – Casper naps, so Mummy decides to nap too.
4pm – Swapsies! Daddy goes up for a nap and Mummy and Toby play while Casper goes up for another snooze. Toby played super nicely with his Peppa Pig toys.
5pm – Mummy goes to put tea on – dim sum, sticky ribs, crudites and other nibbly bits – and we all settle down to watch the new animation of the Gruffalo and eat.
6pm – time for a last round of presents, smaller ‘tree’ presents, some phone calls and a game of snake and ladders (plus the discovery that the Toy Story walkie talkies don’t work!)
7.30pm – kids in bed, or at least in their rooms, and Daddy relaxes with Dr.Who while Mummy takes a bath. A naughty raspberry creme brulee to finish off the day’s nommage.
9.30pm – all done and dusted, tomorrow will be spent playing with new toys but right now I am totally ready for bed!

Silent night?

Dean Martin is crooning, the washing machine is on its last cycle, the cats are snoozing (one even in the new catbed!). Daddy is going to pick up our own little angels and so the last preparation begins.

Actually, I’m really feeling the anticipation this year. Toby is excited, we’re excited he is excited, and I’m looking forward to him donning his Christmas pyjamas (Casper has some too), reading some new stories and (oh, please!) sleeping until the morning.

But before that, we have Christmas kids’ specials, garlic dough balls, lamb shanks and some hurried tidying to attend to. Going to go and lay the table ready for tomorrow and drink my last quiet cup of tea for a week!

Santa’s sacked.

That’s it. I’m done. I’ve bought every last thing on Amazon and stuffed it into boxes, bags and sacks. The kids have their own Santa sacks but for this year hubby and I are settling for pillowcases for our little gifts. I’m going to try and find a new and nice one each years until we all have our own but for now this will do.

I like stockings, in fact I have rather a collection, but you just can’t get more than a satsuma, some chocolate coins and a paperback in them. The second coming of Scrooge, aka the aforementioned husband, would say that was the point. Next year I might give him just that. For this year though, I’ve picked out a range of little bits and pieces – blank DVDs, chocolates, books and calendars – and we each have a sack of small gifts to play with on Christmas morning. Will it stave off the ‘presents! presents! can I have my presents now!?’ from Toby? Who knows. Any excuse to buy a glittery beaker with a floating Buzz Lightyear in the bottom though.