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

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

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!

Christmas Tales of The Unexpected

by nicepaul, editing by me.

by nicepaul, editing by me.

Late Thursday night, Mother Nature decided to dump about 8 inches of snow over Brighton. A snow day was declared, although the snow was found to be too fine and fluffy for good snowmen building, and it was a fun Friday. Right up til about 4pm when it became clear getting a taxi to the work Christmas party would be impossible.

And so a city car club car was hired and Mummy and Daddy left their angels with the babysitter and ventured out into the snow. It was somewhat hairy getting off our hill but once on the main roads it was okay and the party was fun, if a little quiet because a few invitees could not get through the snow. The parents returned early to relieve the babysitter and all was good.

The next day was Saturday. The snow was still thick on the ground, having melted only a little the previous day. In fact, just enough to create a nice crunchy crust of ice. Mummy and Daddy brought round the babysitter again, with another hire car, and set off to get festive food and drinks. The queues were, predictably, horrendous but they battled on through.

After they got back home again, Daddy used the big red buggy to transport the shopping home over the snowy pavements which were now more like sheet ice. The word forecasters use for this is ‘treacherous’. The word Mummy used when she nearly fell over would get this journalling a specific age rating and so has been left off the record. Then the car slide on the ice so Daddy had to leave it where it was (on a neighbour’s drive) and phone the car club to say he had been defeated by the elements, despite fighting valiantly with a kettle and some cardboard.

Sunday dawned and much of the snow had began to melt. On the grass it cracked underfoot. On the pavement it was more likely anything cracking underfoot would be a person’s bones. Mummy and Toby braved the outside for a visit to Santa and were not thwarted by the lack of buses, the fact buses appear to be mortally terrified of hills or the fact that Brighton and Hove City Council didn’t think gritting pavements was a worthwhile pursuit. Our trip down an icy and very steep Varndean Road will be forever filed under ‘never again’. Anyone who wishes for a white Christmas in a place singularly unequipped for snow is welcome to take over my shopping.

Dear Santa

by McBeth

by McBeth

There is nothing big I ask for this year, just a simple list:

1) A lie-in for my and the husband together. Simply a day where both kids don’t wake before 8am would be *bliss*.

2) No arguments on Christmas day – my husband and small son not to be at loggerheads over what constitutes ‘enough’ dinner.

3) No poop and no sick to mop up. From anyone. It isn’t glamourous being a mummy, Santa.

4) For people to like the presents we have picked out for them.

5) A bar of dairy milk and a cup of tea.

Thanks, Santa. We’ll have some cookies out for you and an apple for the reindeer!

Festive nommage

by summer.lovin

by summer.lovin'

The trouble with being at home for Christmas with just the four of us is that just two of us eat adult portions and another one of us isn’t really tackling anything with lumps yet while Mr. Finicky will no doubt request salmon or fishfingers or gingerbread.

This means that my Nigella Christmas hasn’t seen me crack the covers for more than a recipe for mulled cider. I think I’m going to bake and make a gingerbread house with Toby, and I have some mixed fruit currently awaiting its fate in the kitchen, but beyond that I think this afternoon’s trip to M&S is going to provide Christmas dinner this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but 4 hours in the kitchen for one meal for two of us? I’ll go with the pre-made this year, I think :)
And now, to go and make my list.

Gifted giving

This year’s gifts include, in no particular order, most of the Fisher-Price singing plastic available for the under ones, a copious spread of Peppa Pig and Toy Story for the under fours and a metal robin watering can, a packet of lavender, two glazed tiles, two crocheted cakes, 3 packs of chocolate, a boardgame, a DS game, a metallic giant pink piggy bank (!), salt and pepper shakers shaped like VW campervans, tickets to a show, a thermal hat and mug, a smattering of books and some other bits and pieces for family.

The best gift I have bought this year has to remain a secret though, as it for someone who sometimes reads this blog and enquiring minds always want to know …

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou

… for Amazon next day delivery.
… for pre-cut scotch tape.
… for small Christmas supper parties with girlfriends.
… for twinkly lights and cinnamon sticks.
… for M&S doing easy peasy Christmas food so we can pick what we want to spend time on.
… for lumpy, glitter festooned, clay tree decorations made at nursery.
… for Muppet Christmas Carol
… for scarves and sleeveless gloves and hats like pandas.

The Annual Unwanted Visitor

I was wondering where it was, it seemed to be late this year, but it’s now here in its full glory. The Advent Cold.
Always a humdinger, always with a scratchy throat and super runny nose. Last year I couldn’t take anything because I was pregnant and I knew I was ill because watching unseen Dad’s Army episodes seemed like light relief.

Of course, Paul and I get it at the same time leaving us at the mercy of our children – one also ill and the other is, well, three. That should tell you everything you need to know about that. Thankfully they are both off to nursery so I think we shall retreat to our pits for an hour or two extra sleep (the day started at 5.30am) and then face the world.

A cold is a bit rubbish but a cold on little sleep is awful.