Recap – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas II (aka Boxing Day)

You made it. The last chapter of my long overdue novella, the Christmas of Yesteryear. Let’s do this!



Christmas Eve was chilled. We hit up the soft play to run some energy out of the littles and instead managed to cave to buying a slush and paid for it by having them totally ruin a lovely game of penguin ludo.


We cut our losses and put on the jammies and the Christmas films til bedtime.


The kids got the tray out and filled it with treat for Santa and the reindeer.


The placed it carefully under the tree…


… next to their pillow cases for Santa to fill.


We went to bed and the next morning around 5am Sandy woke up, I went in to cuddle him and he fell back asleep in my arms. About half six he roused again and I saw his little face all pouty by the door in our bedroom telling me, “Mummy, you went away! You left me all. on. my. own!” I asked him “Sandy, what day is it?” and he replied “Christmas Eve”. “Not any more Sandy, it’s…” “…CHRISTMAS DAY!!!” he realised, “has Santa been?!” I told him to check the stockings we’d hung on the door frame and right enough the big man had delivered. Sandy ran into Roslyn’s room as we listened to hear him say “Roslyn! Roslyn! Santa’s been! He has filled our stockings! Wake up!” and she dutifully did, running through, rubbing her eyes with one hand, cradling her stocking in the other. As is tradition we opened our stockings in our bed before heading downstairs to see what had been left under the tree…


…they were both very pleased to see that Santa and the reindeer had partaken in refreshments.


Roslyn was delighted with her main gift – a new baby, as requested.


Sandy finally got the shuttle part of his Playmobile space set he’d been after since his birthday.


And of course the packaging was well loved too.


This year Christmas was split over two days for us so everything took a far more leisurely pace. It was lovely to be able to relax in the house not having to rush out.


They each found a bell from Santa’s reindeer’s harnesses, a la Polar Express, after being captivated by the film this year.


Sandy was delighted and it seemed to make up for not having been invited on the actual train in the night!


We got dressed for the day and snapped a family picture before heading out to Stuart’s parents house.


The kids were thoroughly spoiled and delighted by their gifts there…

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It was lovely to be able to take our time at Stuart’s parents house too.


We got our annual Findlay/MacNicol Group shot again – a cracker (pun intended).

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After Roslyn’s nap we headed home to meet up with my parents and brothers for a mini Christmas dinner before the main meal the next day.


We got a little group shot here too but I think the candid one is better!


Christmas dinner was a hit thanks to the team effort of Jamie (starter) Mum (trimmings) and me (bird and dessert). And the drinks were faithfully covered by Pa.

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Check out anna and elsa’s subtle photobomb in the above picture ^^


I was especially proud of my pudding. I love the look, smell and general tradition of Christmas pudding but just can’t abide the taste. I want to like it, but I don’t. Peel isn’t the bit you eat, IMO. So I recreated a steamed pudding – honey and cinnamon – and put in charms too, like my Gran used to. It was perfect and Sandy kept going on about how much he loved it which meant a lot.

The next day (Boxing Day) we headed to Gourock and my Aunts’ new flat where we partied it up again…

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Class Acts.


We got another fabulous family picture too!


Dinner was perfect and we all had such a nice time. It was great to spread the fun over two days and get to spend more time with everyone.

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We plan to do the same next year and I’m sure it will be just as good.

Well, there’s the end of the saga, festive feeling in February can recede now, and I’m happy not to force Tartan on the kids again til St. Andrews. Maybe.

Recap – Ice Skating and Edinburgh’s Christmas

I lied. Teasing of pictures of the big day and all you get are some of us skidding around on frozen water. But also…


… this. Exhibit A: How I don’t put her up for adoption after she is a complete buttock. Which she is. Often. Daily.


Anyways, off to Edinburgh. We went by train because, you know, driving into Edinburgh is like cycling to the moon, which sadly broke my vow never to travel by Scotrail again (the details of I will spare you from, lucky you).


We got there early and hit up Costa for some hot chocolate and babychinos. Notice in this picture how my baby looks about twenty (wtaf?)


Aaaaand back to 2. Phew.


I’d booked for just me and Sandy to go on the ice and at first this was vindicated because he found it pretty tricky to get around on the little skatey attachments he had.


But soon after we nicked a penguin aid and realised he could stand on the other side so I could fly round with him knocking little children and the elderly out the way (jk)…


…Rozzie got in on the action too.


As we went round little white blobs started falling out of the sky and I was all “oh my god Sandy it’s snowing… JUST FOR US!!!” and it wasn’t until after I realised it was eight degrees and the snow was fake foam pumped out for ambiance. Ah well, it was still amazing.


After this we meet lovely Emma for lunch and hit up the Christmas market with her, going on the big wheel in Edinburgh for the first time.


Stuart made a good effort at not looking like he hated it.


Me, on the other hand…


It was a great day, perfected of course by a cancelled train home and therefore a nap for Roslyn and my feeling vindicated in how crap Scotrail are.

Recap – Sandy’s Nursery Show and Santa Visit

Yes it is February and I am only just getting around to posting our festive period pictures. Insert usual excuses here. I know looking at Christmas pictures two months past the event isn’t everyone’s idea of fun but we got a new DSLR after our old faithful was stolen on holiday so they are good quality and super cute hooray!

On 16th December Sandy had his nursery show and despite being offered the part of a shepherd he decided he wanted to be an elf, like last year. It was super considerate of him to work with his mother’s obsession with direct year to year comparison pictures (he’s an enabler).


So he donned the elf costume again – this year the even cuter cut off trouser one, which presumably fits the older of the nursery kids. Last year we were so impressed with him because, baby that he was, he was brave enough to stand on the stage and he even swayed a bit to the music. This year we’d seen him slyly practicing moves to certain christmas songs when they came on (All I Want and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town) so had an inkling that we’d be in for even more action, but we were never prepared for this…


He was by far the most accurate and involved one on the stage, and I don’t say that to put down any of the other kids who were great, I say it to highlight the peculiarity of his sudden enthusiasm for being centre of attention, considering he is usually so introverted. We were so proud of him, he knew every move and sang every word.


# You better not pout, you better not cry…#


He was incredible.


And ridiculously cute.


And totally committed to his craft!


Perfect Elf!


Afterwards he got pretty tired of all the compliments and went back to his wallflower ways. He certainly chose a great time to shine.


It’s crazy to think that next Christmas it will be Roslyn’s stage debut, and scary too; she’ll probably demand to sing solos.


The other nursery event for Christmas was on his second last day, a special visitor.


Sandy got on his special Christmas shirt for the event.


And Roslyn was quite jazzed too.


His face when he spotted us in the audience… sob sob heart melty.


Each child went up when called and Sandy was second to last, he waited patiently, if excitedly, and when his name was called he was so excited to get a gift that he didn’t even stay still for the picture before launching himself at me to tell me…


The perfect run up to Christmas!

Next up in the Wow This is Overdue blog post series, Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day. Don’t get too excited though, it might take til next Christmas to find time to post it :S

Our Family Christmas

Apologies for this post being so late and somewhat out of season, but here it is, our family christmas in photos!

We started Christmas morning with Roslyn crying down her monitor at 5:45 as per usual so brought her through to our bed to watch some twirlywoos while we awaited Sandy rousing.


In the end Roslyn knocked on his door to wake him. He wasn’t all that pleased at first but as I whispered to him about Santa having been he sprung into life and was so excited to see our stockings all filled. We took them into our bedroom and opened them on the bed.


Then we headed downstairs and discovered that Santa and the reindeer had enjoyed their treats and he had left a few more gifts under the tree.


We took a break from presents for a nutritious Christmas breakfast…






… then got back to opening and playing.



The highlight of our gifts to Sandy was his Ezra Furman shirt and records.





He really loved them.


He was also very taken with Buzz Lightyear!


Roslyn got Jesse and seemed to like her but generally was rather crabby all of Christmas day due to the dreaded incisors.

I lamented to family later that I spent a fair bit of time in between getting dressed to go out refereeing a fight over a christmas present from last year – not looked at in months – which suddenly was back in favour with each of them at exactly the same moment. How convenient.


Next we headed over to the Findlays and had fun opening more presents, perusing the menu of Shug’s diner, and having some much needed down time from the whining of miss Roslyn as she napped!


This year I wasn’t doing Christmas dinner at ours which was quite a nice break, as much as I do like being a host.


Mum hosted and cooked and the only thing I was required to bring was my homemade pudding wine (which was good) and the parsnips and carrots. I’d saved the ones in my garden for the occasion and had been surprised when I went out in the pissing rain on Christmas eve to uproot them to find they were mostly a bloody foot long and required a lot of digging with the fork to retrieve. Worth it though, as they were tasty.


I got a bit snap happy at the dinner table between starter and main so I’ll just leave these here for now…







Here is Roslyn actually eating something. THANK GOD…






… and here is Sandy eating, well , a cracker.







Jamie clearly onto my attempts at candid photography by that point.




Here I managed to put Sandy off of crackers for life by slightly punching him in the face. Bad mum.





And here is our girl the cheeriest she was all day, because for once she wasn’t starving herself! She loves her “aimee” and wasn’t shy in telling us all exactly that.






Soon it was time for the littles to get to bed so we could, you know, actually open our own presents. So jammies were donned and off to bed they went.






We then played our christmas seceret santa gift game which was a roaring success once again.

All in all it was a fabulous and busy day which even included a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!! Roslyn and Sandy were both woken, driven home, and put back into bed with little disruption and slept through to the morning. Thank you baby Jesus!

Christmas, we are ready!

5 hours until it’s Christmas! So exciting!

It seems with Sandy and Roslyn each year gets better and better. They understand it more, their routines constrain the day less and generally they just have a more jolly time of it.

This Christmas eve we had nothing to do other than a quick jaunt to the shops to grab some last minute essentials (nappies, wipes, pepsi and pastry). So once we were back and Rozzie had napped we made some Christmas pies for Santa.



Christmas pies are my version of mince pies, they look exactly like them, but don’t have the same filling. Instead its a kind of spicy coconut cheesecake base instead.


Sandy is really excellent at baking now, stirring, measuring and rolling out dough. Roslyn on the other hand…


Well, she enjoys being involved!







Our pies turned out lovely and we played for a while before dinner.


Our festive spread had meats, cheeses, pates and crackers for us and lorne sausage and chicken nuggets for the kids. The usual then. Yep.





After dinner the kids had a bath and we all donned our new matching tartan jammies!!


(Roslyn’s aren’t actually new, they were Sandy’s two years ago, shhhhh!)





Then we headed downstairs to make some last minute preparations for Santa.


The kids laid out their pillowcases…


…and helped get a carrot for the reindeer and a christmas pie and milk for Santa.



Check out Roslyn taking the task very seriously *melt*


Aside from the tempestuous nature of one young lady at time we had a fabulous Christmas eve.


They are both fast asleep now and we can’t wait for the morning to see what magic has happened overnight…


Merry Christmas Eve!!


We FINALLY got round to making our Christmas wreath this year.


I was waiting and waiting for a day where I had the kids and it wasn’t raining. Such a day did not materialise until a day Stuart was off when the rain broke for two hours in the afternoon and we just managed to get our wreath walk in before the rain came back on.


Our foliage foraging area is in Baron’s Haugh, a fabulous hidden park in the middle of Motherwell.


It has several holly bushes and lots of expansive conifers to take a few cuttings from to create a beautiful wreath.


The holly bush surrounds an open platform area making it into a little den which Sandy named “the holly house”. Stuart, Sandy and Rozzie played in the house while I snipped a few sprigs complete with berries.


I was glad to have Stuart with us, not only because it is much easier to coral two wandering kids with two bodies, but also for the height advantage.


Roslyn wasn’t feeling herself all day but she perked up when she got out for her walk.


It didn’t last long though because she promptly face planted into a puddle of mud.


After that was resolved it was time for a quick trip to the river and the bridge with no sides which causes Stuart to lose control of his bowels before heading home just as the rain came on.




I was beginning to think there would be no time for a wreath this year due to how busy we are but luckily we fit it in and I’m really glad we did as I smile every time I see the wreath hanging from our door!

Christmas Light Turn On!

The festive period really started the other weekend when we went to the christmas light turn on in our village.


Santa had just disembarked from his horse drawn carriage when we got there so we took Roslyn and Sandy in to meet him. Sandy was more than happy to go but Rozzie got the fear so I had to hold her in the picture. Which is fine, cause I love festive photobombing.


The kids had a go on the bouncy castle. Roslyn loved sitting on the middle of it bouncing her bum up and down.


And Sandy enjoyed it too on his second time on, after the abortive first attempt which involved many large children flying around.


I think we were too late to get them a christmas decoration with their names on it this year, might make our own and take them up later!


We even managed to get a family shot!


After we got home we spent a glorious evening just relaxing with the smell of cinnamon coming from the oil burner and nutella baked goods in the oven.


Sandy and I played where’s rudolph and I was surprised by how good he was at finding him in the crowded pictures.



Roslyn played with her new baby, giving it “juice” (she’s such a nurturer)


We coloured lots of pictures too and Sandy did an incredible snowman. I’ve been really enjoying seeing him come out of his shell arts and crafts wise of late!


It was a lovely festive family day and there are many more to come before the 25th!

Christmas Decoration Craft

I came across some old silver hoops the other day and decided to get out the glue gun and some wooden stars from Hobbycraft so Sandy and Roslyn could help craft them into decorations.


Firstly the kids painted the wooden stars red and green and we stamped on the back an S or an R so we knew who had done each one.



Sandy was very particular with his painting, exerting a lot of concentration to get each star totally covered!


We let the stars dry and then I did the fiddly bits the kids couldn’t manage; using the glue gun to stick on invisible elastic thread over the hoop to form a transparent web which would hold the stars. Next Sandy helped stick down two stars to each hoop; one of his and one of Roslyn’s on each.


Finally we added some pva over the decorations and the kids went glitter happy!


I think the finished decorations look fabulous and we can’t wait to give them out to family to hang on their trees!




Christmas 2014

Christmas started early this year. 5am to be precise. Thanks Roslyn. But it gave us time which was actually a good thing because we visit Stuart’s parents in the morning and have my lot over in the afternoon AND we have to fit a nap in somehow so it’s a busy day. Stuart and I got showered while Roslyn played and Sandy slept. When he woke up eventually (perhaps because I was too excited and started shouting HO HO HO next to his bedroom to rouse him…) he was still a little warm from the temperature he had been getting on and off, but it didn’t stop him. He immediately came to the bedroom door and looked up to the frame for the empty stocking which had been hanging there last night. He was excited to see it now on the floor, full of presents instead! We were going to open the stockings in our bed but Sandy demanded we go downstairs so we did. He went into the livingroom and was delighted to see that Santa had eaten his pastry, the reindeer had nibbled the carrots and that the “santa juice” was all gone.


We got stuck in to the pillowcases from Santa, Sandy’s mostly filled with tractors!


There was the obligatory struggle to open various types of packaging by me…


…and then Stuart when I gave up.


Sandy was just as excited to see what his sister had been given.




They loved their gifts and, as is typical, the little things were the biggest hits of the morning present parade…


Two manically fast wind ups I gave Stuart which Sandy delighted in being chased by.



Roslyn adored her fisher price telephone, though you wouldn’t be able to tell it from this picture.



We gave Roslyn her main gift. It’s an idea I stole from a friend, a charm bracelet with an “R” on, and we can add new charms each year.


There was time for a quick Christmas jig before we rushed off to get dressed for heading out.


Here we are, all in clothes, some of us matching (yep, odd one out in her snowman jumper) and no-one with stains on (yet).


All I wanted for Christmas (though I wouldn’t be in a hurry to give back my What Would Carl Sagan Do T-shirt)


Check out Rozzie having eyes only for her big brother.


We got to Gran and Granda’s and Sandy was happy to rip into more presents. He loved his Tow Mater pillow pet.


Roslyn tried her first chocolate and decided it was not for her.


Sandy got a brilliant big slide to attach to his climbing frame from his grandparents.


He was pretty happy with his lot.


They were both utterly spoiled.


Check out Sandy’s angel face in this one…


…and Rozzie’s here. Ahhhh!


You can probably tell from Roslyn’s face here that the 5am wake up (oh, and the ten minute micro nap) was starting to take its toll. So we set up the family photo and got snapping before she exploded in a ball of rage.


And it was a success… NO CRYING CHILDREN HOORAY!

And from one family…


…to another! My parents and brother arrived after we had a brief hour long napover and downtime for Stuart and I. I say downtime but I distinctly remember the hoover being out and something to do with making gravy in this era.


Stu-MIL love in.


Much like last year Jamie helped make up a wooden flat pack toy for Sandy. His “nee-naw man house”.


Roslyn let her hair down, and her dress up. Hussy!


And I ROCKED the christmas pudding shirt.


She looks like a little doll here!


Once Fran and Lib arrived it was present central again and both the kids did well to keep going strong through the barrage of thoughtful and amazing gifts they got.



I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: SPOILED.




I don’t have a finished picture but here was the goose pre-roast. Personally I LOVED it. So much more moist than turkey and much meatier. On the whole the room was split over it, half loving and preferring it, the other half favouring traditional turkey. Stuart was the decider but he stayed on the fence. Mind you, the way Roslyn tucked in, I’d say the goose won it. This year anyway 😉


Christmas dinner, for the 0.5 seconds Sandy stayed at the table. He ate pretty much half a slice of toast and fifteen chocolate bars all day and was high as a kite by this point so we put on the snowman and snowdog to bring him back down to earth slightly.


Roslyn half inched one of Sandy’s presents and impressed us by alternating putting it on the wall…


…and on Pa’s face. Clever girl!


The home made crackers went down a treat, and all in all we made £11 on the scracthcards in them. They cost £9 so we were up £2! Roslyn loved her hat, Sandy… not so much.


Hat Parade!


Not long after this picture Sandy and Roslyn ran out of steam so Stuart and I took them to bed. Afterwards we did our annual christmas hamper secret santa. They were all brilliant! We also did another little secret santa game where everyone brings a random £10 gift. You start with a gift and each roll a dice. If you get a 1 everyone moves presents to the left. If you get a 6 you swap your present for another of your choice. It’s so much fun. We put a timer on for ten minutes and watched as people tried to hold onto the ones they wanted. Fran was mad for my “hunks of 2015” calendar (made up of pictures of sandy), Lib wanted a Reindeer wall hanging, I was all about the foot massager and Jamie wanted Stuart’s gadgets. With one minute to go we had mostly what we wanted and then someone got a 1 and it was all change then the timer ran out. Slowly we all started re-swapping til we all had what we wanted, except Mum, but she had bought something she liked for herself anyway 😉 It’s great fun to try if you are looking to keep gifts to a minimum and hilarity to a maximum!

After that our guests headed home and Stuart and I tackled a little cleaning and Goose stripping before retiring to the couch for all of ten minutes before giving up and going to bed.

It was a brilliant Christmas and as my Mum mentioned probably the most hectic we will ever have based on the kids’ ages, so if this was the one with the most stress potential and it was a winner I can’t wait for the years to come!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Christmas Eve 2014


We had a lovely Christmas eve this year. It was probably a little more work-based than I’d have preferred but I was ill the day before and had to prep for hosting the next day so we did what we had to.


Luckily we managed to get most of it done before the post-nap period and had some time just playing with the kiddos. Stuart is SO FUNNY, making the snowman fall off the snowdog.


My little lady love.


Hilarity all round.




Here’s Roslyn with her lovely DanYell Christmas decoration.


I was so glad that by Christmas eve they were both not sick. Well, mostly, because Sandy had a slight temperature, but it passed. PHEW.


We took to the floor for a favourite: Brio.


We all have our own jobs when it comes to brio. Stuart stacks pieces of track in piles based on size (OCD city); I go to ridiculous efforts to make the track and have every. single. piece. used; Sandy pushes the trains round saying “CRASH CRASHHHH”; and Roslyn sucks on the bell.





We all had donned our matching(ish) festive reindeer jammies and settled in for the evening. Stuart had picked up the goose in the morning and we were all bunkered down for the night. Christmas eve is so cosy and exciting!



Roslyn couldn’t contain herself. So much so that didn’t go to bed til 8 that night and got up at 5 the next morning. Jeez.


A little hot chocolate went down a treat then it was time to leave our offerings out for Santa…


Rozzie be like, “I’ll pour the sherry mum, k?”


And on that CLIFFHANGER, I will leave the rest of our million christmas photos for the next post…