The 3 ingredient biscuit for entertaining small people.

a baked biscuit

I have moved this over to my recipe/parenting blog. The 3 ingredient biscuit

Twelth night

And so the end of Christmas, officially. Even the church has to stop eeking it out now. Mother nature threw us another reminder that it is nature and not the human calender in charge of the seasons, with another heavy dump of snow.

Toby has been out on my sledge with Daddy. I am working, albeit from under the comfort and warmth of my duvet. Next door have had their baby girl ahead of schedule (and the snow!). The last Christmassy thing for me to do is to put together my scrapbook album for this season.

The Best Bit



omnomnom, originally uploaded by RellyAB.

“Toby, what was your favourite bit of Christmas?”

“When Santa and Rudolph ate their snack!”

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.
snow!
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

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!

2 years ago today



Toby on the move, originally uploaded by RellyAB.

You were still a tiny toddler, only just on your feet, walking confidently. I was just getting used to you being my boy and not my baby.

Now you are a big brother, independent, wearing pants, brushing your teeth, finding jokes funny, getting tall and long-legged and you seem so so much bigger than in this photo.

Love you.

A gift

Thing1 and Thing2

Thing1 and Thing2

Capturing one kid in shot, looking at the camera and smiling is pretty tricky. Getting two is nothing short of a gift from the universe! I’m lucky that my boys seems to love each other’s company so much.