Thursday, 29 December 2016

The inbetween days..

The bit after boxing day but before new year when you forget which day it is and don't know what to do with your self. Those ones... Neither of us are working over xmas. Not back till the 3rd, 4th and 11th. We have said fare well to the relatives, watched Christmas movies, ventured out of the house for walks and such We had wanted to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park today for tweeny girl but we all have head colds. Nothing major but we don't want to be outside in the cold and with a whingy toddler to boot. Maybe tomorrow or NYE.

We have made soup with leftovers, frozen chicken pieces from our roast beast and pretty much lived out of our freezer rather well. The kids did disgustingly well from xmas. I have a stash of presents that I can re gift too. I have stashed remnants that can be reused, and have begun to remove the decorations slowly and sneakily.

As soon as January hits we are on countdown to Biggles leaving so are all a bit depressed to be honest. He will be away on courses for at least two weeks in January. He will take off two weeks from work prior to leaving for the middle east in Feb.

Normally at this time of year we would plan trips away and visits and holidays. Look for bargains, consider camping etc (Last year we did this in Italy of course) I could still do this but its all a little harder being so far away from relatives and good friends. If I was in the North East I wouldn't mind so much but we are South West of London. Easier to get to the South Coast than the North. 6hrsm plus  of driving with a demanding toddler who doesn't travel well IE sleep in the car, fills me with dread.

I also have our hound to think of. I will need to walk her everyday and will do this with small boy in either a back pack or buggy. We may be better just staying put and doing local day trip things.

I shall ponder. I also have resolutions or rather tasks for 2017 to list.

Simple ones
Exercise more -  dvd or some thing may be more practical to be honest. No child care for gyms or classes on a regular basis
Take my supplements regularly especially the omega 3 fish oils.
Organise my photographs and get some printed out for keepsakes. I have a fear or losing everything digitally despite having back ups.
Begin my masters reading.

Its not too hard I suppose. I do exercise dog walking each day.

I shall continue sniffling hibernation till I hit 44. Yes NYE birthday.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Traditions

Quick post as it's 0039 Christmas day!

We have our own prefered routine at Christmas and traditions if you wish.

We do our own food. We eat chicken not Turkey. We don't like it and it's too big with too much waste for us.

Only I eat Christmas Cake and Mince pies and Pudding.  So I eat them as a treat as Costa with a coffee. :-) Instead I make super rich hazelnut choc brownies and Shortbread. I always bake these with the kids. We try not to buy in too much shop made stuff.  For pudding we have home made pavlova.

The kids have a final advent calendar  clue led hunt for the last chocolate.

We try to scavenge the materials for a Christmas wreath prior to Crimbo.

Hmmm We went to Mass this year. Normally before Italy we tried to take in a Christmas  service or carols.

I have always threatened to make the kids wait to open their wrapped presents till after dinner. This year due to the excessI've presents I am doing it. They have Santa presents then a large bag from relatives to open then presents under the tree from us. See pics.

If we lived by the coast a beach walk would be order of the day.

The dog will still require a quick trot out.

Next year we won't do cards and give to Charity instead.

The excess - not from us!
 Santa child 1
 Santa child 2
Pressies under the tree for us and the kids to be opened after dinner.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Xmas joy... or not

Yes we have relatives descending. Only two so that's only 4 adults and 1.5 kids and three dogs.

I used to get this album every year. Oh and Oor Wullie. 

The  MIL always brings her own food as she is fussy. She is bringing a beef joint to go with our large posh fed chicken.  She does eat chicken. Who knows? I just let her get on with it. As long as she is out of the way  when I am cooking its fine.

We have gone for the usual and kept an eye on all costs. The kids had enough presents from us and Santa we felt. We were only expecting one or two more from other people. Hmm well we have a bucket load from Grandma and Aunties.  Neither of us were particularly impressed with the addition of so many more presents. Does that sound ungrateful? Well our kids do OK. They have birthdays and holidays and trips and extra curricula activities. I don't think they need to be overindulged to the point of vulgarity at Christmas.

Anyway the kids will be opening their presents at two different times in the day. In the morning they get their Santa presents and can open the huge bags worth of stuff that Grandma et al have purchased. They can wait to open their presents from us and other folk until after they have eaten dinner in the evening. Grandma thinks this is weird. I said it makes the day longer for them and they take the time to savour and play with gifts and appreciate what they get. It worked with me as a kid. I also had to go to mass on Christmas day morning albeit later morning but none the less, it was something else to look forward to- post Santa stocking.
The tree is over the top. We know. We don't care. 

We have told Tweeny girl that this is a one off and that next year she wont receive as much. We said this is a special year as we have come back to the UK. We will have words next year. In laws are quite materialistic and they like things and shopping.

We are taking the kids to Children's Mass and Carols on Christmas Eve at 1830. 'Why you doing that then? - Because its Christmas and there is apparently a reason for the vulgar display of consumerism, materialism, greed and gluttony.  We are also lighting a menorah - a gift from a Jewish friend and are celebrating Yule with said Jewish friend too albeit Yule will be before they arrive.  Grandma may be very confused.  We will give thanks before we tuck into our dinner too.
Looks like a Yule fairy mouse to me -  by the Frouds of course. 

Other than that we are mostly organised. I just have some biscuits to make with Tweeny girl on the 23rd. Small boy made brownies today.  Presents wrapped and under the tree. Last shop to do on 23rd.  I will eat my cupboards till then.

Scavenged Wreath made with a cheap oasis and some hair pins we had hanging around. 

Toddler party for boy tomorrow. Girl has been a whirling dervish of events and performances.
We made our Christmas wreath from scavenged bits from the park and a cheap oasis thing for £3.
Buying local butchery and green grocery.
Have purchased second hand pressies and others in  sales etc for kids etc Have put away pressies for birthdays.
Off to do London lights and Winter Wonderland on Thursday. Meeting Biggles who is working in the smoke
Next year we have resolved not to do cards and will donate direct to charity instead. Still using last years cards as gift tags. Some might moan but it's cheap and less wasteful.

Did I mention Biggles is being sent away in Feb? Yeah he is for 6mths. Well it has been a few years and it was his turn. We will make do. I have coped on my own before and wont be responsible for earning the money to pay the bills as well as being mum.  Could be worse. At least its not a war zone.

Chat soon.


PS. Got onto course - can start Sept 17 part time for three years. Need to sort out funding next. Working one evening a week plus extra shifts as and when till Biggles go's over seas. Have  extra cash when I finally get paid.