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!

 

20161224173558_img_0633

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.

20161224173630_img_0653

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

20161224174129_img_0670

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

20161224190046_img_0709

The placed it carefully under the tree…

20161224190229_img_0730

… next to their pillow cases for Santa to fill.

20161224190400_img_0744

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…

20161225064158_img_0756

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

20161225065915_img_0807

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

20161225073203_img_0840

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

20161225074526_img_0864

And of course the packaging was well loved too.

20161225074636_img_0886

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.

20161225083552_img_0951

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

20161225083622_img_0959

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

20161225083654_img_0967

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

20161225095501_img_0995

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

20161225103412_img_1031 20161225103635_img_1046 20161225103807_img_1047 20161225104009_img_1057

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

20161225104024_img_1061

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

20161225112158_img_1115 20161225131838_img_1151

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.

20161225163255_img_1218

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

20161225163429_img_1222

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.

20161225165539_img_1249 20161225165549_img_1250 20161225165610_img_1252 20161225165737_img_1257 20161225165807_img_1266

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

20161225173939_img_1282

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…

20161226122143_img_1344 20161226122425_img_1364 20161226125821_img_1401 20161226125859_img_1407 20161226132257_img_1423

Class Acts.

20161226132259_img_1425

We got another fabulous family picture too!

20161226161358_img_1471

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.

20161226163423_img_1487 20161226163655_img_1500 20161226172307_img_1507

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…

20161215185003_img_0030

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

20161217084847_img_0224

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).

20161217100307_img_0240

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?)

20161217100535_img_0250

Aaaaand back to 2. Phew.

20161217104039_img_0280

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.

20161217105631_img_0310

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)…

20161217110833_img_0316

…Rozzie got in on the action too.

20161217111253_img_0330

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.

20161217141629_img_0345

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.

20161217141854_img_0356

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

20161217141909_img_0357

Me, on the other hand…

20161217163044_img_0359

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.

Festive Frolics in Edinburgh!

Yesterday we took a trip to Edinburgh to see the Christmas market. We also met up with Auntie Emma to have a speedy lunch and swap of presents prior to the big day.

IMG_5047

Both Sandy and Roslyn were meant to nap in the car on the way over. I’m going leave you to guess if either of them did, but the words “5:50 bed time” might give a clue. Sandy was pretty hungry after the hour and a half journey – half of that spent on one blinking street in Edinburgh. Stupid Edinburgh traffic. Say what you will about the wrecking of lovely buildings, the M8 and Glasgow kick bum when it comes to accessing the city – so he got started early on some tomato sauce on a napkin. Yep.

IMG_5050

Roslyn was on surprisingly good form for one who refused to nap basically all morning (oops, I gave it away) and happily ate half my burger while Sandy scarfed down my chips. That’s one way to start the new years diet early I guess.

After Emma sadly had to retire back to work (bah humbug and all that) we headed to the Christmas market. Sandy wanted to go on the carousel and after a good walk up and down and round being very particular about the throne he should sit on, they settled in for the ride.

IMG_5069

Check out his “where’s mummy?” face…

IMG_5082

… and then his “there she is!” face!

IMG_5084

IMG_5086

IMG_5089

So cute. I’d have gone on too but Roslyn had finally crashed in the sling and I had the buggy to mind.

IMG_5101

IMG_5112

We ventured along more. Sandy wanted to walk but it was pretty busy so we made slow progress, especially with the buggy. I wish Sandy would still tolerate being in a sling on days like this!

IMG_5125

But we persevered and checked out the ice skating…

IMG_5134

IMG_5136

And viewed the old town from the market…

IMG_5139

IMG_5145

IMG_5150

Rozzie snoozed on and we stopped for waffles. Stuart had wanted churros but searching for them was hard going so waffles it was.

IMG_5158

Sandy was pretty happy because the waffle stall was right under the big wheel. I’d have loved to go on but there were big queues and we had given up on getting to the St. James Centre car park and abandoned the car half way there where the parking was limited to three hours, so the clock was tick tick ticking on our festive fun. Next year we will go earlier.

IMG_5162

Patiently waiting on waffles.

IMG_5164

And watching the wheel turning.

IMG_5166

I’m a Glasgow girl at heart but you have to admit Edinburgh is a pretty city to look at.

IMG_5168

Sands was pretty taken with warm waffles covered in icing sugar…

IMG_5172

IMG_5174

… and Roslyn promptly woke up to try some too.

IMG_5179

IMG_5194

We went to the Helter Skelter which, again, time did not allow us to go on.

IMG_5199

But Sandy had a bit of a dance and we made up for it by taking him to see some amazing Christmas lights.

IMG_5205

IMG_5206

“WHOA MUMMY!!”

IMG_5218

IMG_5220

“HI DADDY!!”

IMG_5228

IMG_5230

Check out Mr Cool.

IMG_5236

IMG_5241

IMG_5244

IMG_5249

My Guys ❤

IMG_5261

All in all a busy but fun afternoon. We are out again this afternoon for lunch but hope to spend Christmas eve at home in our new matching festive pjs. I’m coming down with something so I’m just sitting here hoping it is 1) short lived and 2) something the kids have already had.

Fingers crossed please.

Oh and have a fabulous Christmas!

Festive Times

There’s something so magical about the lead up to Christmas. It’s this pull of festivity which renders even the mundane moments significant. I feel it to the extent that Christmas eve actually kind of trumps Christmas day in excitement. The anticipation and promise and the cosying down at home with warm lights in the dark and special food and drink. The whole driving home for Christmas thing, maybe snow… I’m all over that. I’ve never lost the ecstatic feeling which made it so hard to get to sleep on the 24th when young.

tumblr_ng9v43ninx1qcjh8ho1_400

The early years of my twenties found me devoid of Christmas spirit to some extent, struggling to find that feeling again, knowing the best was behind me and the magic of childhood gone. But now I’ve got these two babies and the magic is back. Not only do I feel it myself again but I feel it through them. Even if it’s just the wonder of Roslyn’s eyes as she sees the lights on the tree, or the joy in Sandy meeting the legendary figure of Santa, it’s so perfect.

tumblr_ng9v44PBKu1qcjh8ho1_400

We took a trip to Sandyholm. It used to be an independent garden centre and I’ve been going there since as long as I can remember. I have such fond memories of it, and my grandparents there. Since it has been bought by Dobbies but the status of this one location renders it Dobbies Sandyholm, its status preventing it’s character from being subsumed by a chain entirely. This might sound a bit silly, I mean it’s but a garden centre, but for some reason it’s a really festive place. I was saying this to Mum about how seasonal it is, how be it christmas, the coming of spring with bulbs and promise of seedlings, or summer and all the warm weather gear, it’s always a happy place to visit.

tumblr_ng9v47QtMJ1qcjh8ho1_400

We got some tea and cake at the cafe with the two of them before venturing to see if a certain man clad in red was free to see Sandy.

tumblr_ng9v56nWe61qcjh8ho1_400

I’d hoped to go with Stuart but it was all booked up on the weekends or at awkward times in relation to naps so we went on chance on a monday and it was dead. Sandy was all up for meeting Santa and ran through the festive little walkway to his grotto.

tumblr_ng9v82aYC41qcjh8ho1_400

I was getting Roslyn out of the trolley when I heard Sandy shout “oh Mummy!”. He was standing having just opened the door “It’s Santa!”

The look of delight on his face, that’s the magic right there. See Christmas, it makes me as soppy as anyone.

tumblr_ng9vc2RE3U1qcjh8ho1_400

Sandy was so happy to be in Santa’s little house. For the first time he replied after being asked his name “Shandee” and happily sat on Santa’s knee with Roslyn for a picture. It’s just too much! Then Santa helped him pick presents for the pair of them. While we picked Roslyn’s we noticed Sandy had disappeared back into the grotto and was setting his present up on the seat beside Santa, clearly wanting to settle in. I told him we had to go and he said “bye bye santa” and waved and grinned so hard when Santa delivered the all important “HO HO HO!” as we left.

tumblr_ng9verFjee1qcjh8ho1_400

Outside the grotto we found a carousel. It wasn’t on because it was so quiet but that didn’t stop Sandy climbing on and sneaky Granny illicitly operating it!

tumblr_ng9vhiWt7R1qcjh8ho1_400

We’ve been making things festive wherever we’ve been in Christmas outfits recently, especially the classic matching jumpers! Roslyn has been taken for a boy soooo many times lately.

tumblr_ng87t6iHwm1qcjh8ho1_400

Even at home having the decorations up and the festive oil burning means everything feels that bit more exciting.

tumblr_ngb9fuA21L1qcjh8ho1_400

tumblr_ngbd2qiuDn1qcjh8ho1_400

tumblr_ngcuiz7Akl1qcjh8ho1_400

The morning after the first snow Sandy went with Pa and Stuart, Roslyn and I took a day out to finish up the Christmas shopping. There was deeper snow on the way to Livingston which made the whole countryside seem so merry.

tumblr_nggom7OJAn1qcjh8ho1_400

It was lovely to spend some time just the three of us and reminded me of the days of me Stuart and Sandy when he was little baby.

tumblr_nggu0fUIVC1qcjh8ho1_400

Roslyn was a reindeer. Wait no, a MALE reindeer, apparently. Since when was a reindeer outfit sexed? All we heard all day was “LOOK AT THAT LITTLE BOY!” The attention was sweet and I gave up correcting to girl after the third person told us what a cute little lad she was. That’s what I get for not sticking to pink eh?

tumblr_nggvifWHyP1qcjh8ho1_400

We got Tapas for lunch and Rozzie was not so keen on chorizo. Oops.

tumblr_ngh3kgIpFA1qcjh8ho1_400

One of the highlights of the day was getting Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It’s a bloody good job I’m not in the centre more or I would be one fat fat fatty with that shop tempting me in.

tumblr_ngh3khKQTj1qcjh8ho1_400

Back at the old homestead we’ve been chilling. Sandy has been getting out his face on water shots from my measuring cups.

tumblr_ngiki8hIAa1qcjh8ho1_400

Roslyn’s been in excellent form, grinning from ear to ear pretty much all day long and loving cuddles and kisses.

tumblr_ngin30AD3y1qcjh8ho1_400

And there has been toast a plenty.

tumblr_ngin4x9vYb1qcjh8ho1_400

We’re all ready for the big day now!

Decorating

We put up our decorations last weekend. It was nice to distract us from the hospital infected weeks that we’d just emerged from, and also get away from the sleep training transition we are still going through. Change is afoot just now, but it’s going well.

IMG_4636

Stuart ceremonially put the angel on the top of the tree as he always does.

IMG_4645

Sandy decided to be naked.

IMG_4660

The decorations make for fun distractions/new toys for them. Sandy loves the nativity figures, I keep finding them in hilarious scenarios. This morning mary was looking forlornly into an empty stable for jesus, who was rocking out in the lift shaft of Sandy’s garage with a donkey. Joesph had obviously overwet the baby’s head and was face down under the christmas tree, and meanwhile the shepherd and a king were in deep conversation, overlooked by an angry looking cow.

IMG_4678

IMG_4693

The other highlight were the beads. I decided against putting them on the tree in favour of brown twine (rustic scandi christmas is all the rage up in my house) so they sit in a tin for Roslyn to go nuts for.

IMG_4723

I managed to get pants on him just so I could get some non-nude pictures of him. Christmas pants though so yay!

IMG_4731

IMG_4746

Obligatory family under the tree shot, first as a foursome!

IMG_4765

IMG_4781

You wouldn’t know it from the face but she was having a blast. Strangely she’s been so much more content since coming home.

IMG_4786

So all the decorations are up, the christmas outfits are in their second rotations and I ordered the goose from the butcher. Yes, goose. The butcher couldn’t believe it either:

Me: I’d like to order a goose please
Butcher: Oh it’s very expensive
Me: That’s okay
Butcher: I’m not sure how much it will be
Me: It’s fine.
Butcher: The last one I got was last year for Rena Thomson.
Me: (who the hell is that?) It’ll feed six though yeah?
Butcher: Oh it’ll feed more than that
Me: That’s great then
Butcher: Expensive though, last one was £55, it might be a bit more
Me: No problem
Butcher: Might be more like £60..
Me: Well, it’s what we’re after

Seriously. The turkey last year to feed 8 was £56 anyway so I’m not sure the great goose inquisition was required, but ordered it is.

IMG_4796

Looking forward to a few weeks of festive fun with the kiddos now. I’ve handed in two chapters of the PhD in the last week so BOOM! I’m ready to celebrate! Now where’s the sherry…

IMG_4798

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas all! I’m really hoping that you had as good a Christmas as we did. It was in stark contrast to the more trying times of late and pleasantly stress-free!

IMG_3796

This year we were hosting our first ever Christmas dinner. To be fair I had a lot of help, my Brother brought the starter (homemade pate and prawn cocktail) and my Mum did all the veg and accompaniments so I was left with the Turkey, gravy and dessert.

IMG_3804

Oh and decorating a rather festive table! It was all a success, the turkey was from the butcher and came with oatmeal stuffing, all cooked fine and the desserts being chilled meant all they required was a quick assemble. I’ll do a post with the recipe later, they went down a treat.

IMG_3814

There I am, in my PJs, looking slightly whale-esque (despite being only five or so months pregnant…) getting Christmas butter between the turkey’s breasts and skin. A Highly glamorous job befitting of my attire.

And what did Sandy make of it? Well, let’s take a little trip back a year and check him out with his Sandy’s first Christmas decoration one year on…

IMG_1644
Christmas 2012

IMG_3830
Christmas 2013

He’s getting so big!!

IMG_3848

Sandy’s favourite part of of Christmas was undoubtedly his chocolate advent calender, which he is pictured here with, clasping it tightly. Said calendar made all meals times a big pain as he saw it as soon as he got in his highchair then had a meltdown when offered a spoon of anything that wasn’t brown and chocolatey. Even when we started hiding the calender he still tantrumed and found it anyway, coming over with it to one of us saying “ehhh! Bahhh!” (Translation: ME CHOCO MONSTER, FEED NOW!)

IMG_3858

Here is a classic Sandy TV face.

IMG_3883

On the morning itself he was a perfect angel and delighted in all the fun. One of the sweetest things was the incomparable joy he had in discovering a simple satsuma in his stocking, alongside all sorts of toys.

IMG_3887

IMG_3892

The most plentiful present he got? Cars. Cars, cars and more cars. Cars in his stocking, cars in santa sacks, cars wrapped up and cars in his new garage.

IMG_3897

The boy loves his cars.

IMG_3901

But who wouldn’t want to lavish him in cars, with a face like that?

IMG_3912

IMG_3919

Last year Sandy was still sleeping really poorly so I’m sure we were up later, but because he is usually up at 6am like clockwork (and was) we had plenty of time to chill and open presents. I remember last year having a whole bunch unopened when we finally got home in the evening, and not having an ounce of strength left to open them. I guess that’s what two-hourly wakings do to you!

IMG_3933
These guys… ❤

IMG_3934

IMG_3946

IMG_3948
I can’t express just how lucky I feel to have this little lad in my life.

IMG_3956

Getting his first chocolate coin.

IMG_3959

After presents we got showered and dressed and had tasty pastries before heading over to Gran and Granda’s where Sandy was lavished in even more gifts…

IMG_3991

…and managed to score even more chocolate!

IMG_4002

IMG_4007

There was a bit of a pre-nap meltdown, averted by cuddles and crackers. He watched his cousins open their presents then had a good sleep while we chilled out, which was really nice. The year before I remember rocking him upstairs for aaaaages to get a measly 20 minute doze out of him. This year he plopped in the cot for a good two hours while we ate toasties 🙂

After we headed back to base for having my lot over for presents and dinner. Instead of individual presents this year we did a hamper swap. We all bought a £50 hamper with any theme we liked. Then, when assembled we played a game where you sit in a circle and roll a dice in turns. If you get a 6, you can choose to swap your hamper with another. If you get a 1 everyone moves their hamper to the person to their left. There was a ten minute timer and a mad rush to try and roll a 6 and nab the one you wanted. I was pretty darn lucky to score not only my preferred hamper (a stationery hamper where a box file was the hamper itself, made by my brother) but Stuart also ended up with one that had a really useful big storage box I was eyeing to store Sandy’s now expansive duplo collection. Marriage, it’s the bomb.

IMG_4088

After a brief chill in front of the tv with grumpa, it was time for Christmas dinner where Sandy reveled in the jolliness of the day. Seriously, he was hilarious, and on top form. At one point Granny went into the kitchen to check her vegetables and he just turned his head and kept going “Eh! Eh!” soon followed by “Oi! Eh! Bah!” shouting on her to get herself back to the table. So funny. Then Jamie told a joke, we all laughed and he puts his hands up to his cheeks and cracks this amazingly creepy and very loud maniacal laugh for ages. Of course we all burst into fits of laughter which spurred on his own efforts too.

IMG_4095

The food all went down well. Sandy didn’t really eat much christmas dinner but wolfed his jelly and custard. It really was a perfect day and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

IMG_4109

Boxing day was spent in the house just the three of us. We played, we ate, we watched tv. The perfect tonic to weeks (months really) of tough times.

IMG_4112

Sandy loved his new Garage from Granny and Grumpy.

IMG_4114

And Uncle Jamie got him a Catepillar dumper truck which, among its features has a button which plays macho man music. Sandy could not stop pressing it and dancing!

IMG_4118

His little face all giddy anticipation at pressing it again.

IMG_4125
Kisses for Mummy

IMG_4141

I used the box file from my hamper to store his plethora of toy cars. Sandy had other ideas of what should be kept in it though!

IMG_4144

Most of the day was spent like this.

IMG_4150

It really has been the best festive time. I’m gutted Stuart is back at work today and Sandy is visiting his Gran but I’ve been busy sorting out his toys, cleaning the house and taking my car to the garage (brakes, sigh.) Oh and feeling normality start to seep back in in a rather comforting way.

Merry merry!

ohsoamelia

First Frost

The first frost is a big deal to me. It’s another seasonal milestone, akin to that late summer morning where you take a breath of fresh air and can detect autumn in it. I suppose this is the same but for winter.

It wasn’t until I picked Sandy out of his cot and put up the blinds that I realised, the cars glittering with it. Every morning Sandy likes to point to the cars in the drive and on the street upon waking, you see.

IMG_3093

We made a point of getting him dressed and went out to help Daddy scrape his car to go to work, for the first time since early in the year.

IMG_3099

IMG_3101

It’s not quite as momentous as the first snow of the season but it’s pretty magical in itself.

IMG_3102

IMG_3103

IMG_3110

As Sandy toddled about the drive and I shamelessly paraded in front of the neighbours in pyjamas (warm, all covering ones big preggos wear I should add) and my raindbow bodywarmer, I lamented that he was going out with his Grumpa and not available to come on a frosty early morning walk with me.

IMG_3121

IMG_3126

But luckily another frosty morning followed and we went out with the buggy for the first time in goodness knows how long and took a trip up our country road.

IMG_3135

IMG_3136

IMG_3138

Ever since I’ve had Sandy I’ve found something so comforting about wrapping him up warm and braving cold days. It reminds me of putting him in a million layers in the sling and carting him to the south side of Glasgow for baby yoga, back in the days when he was still immobile enough to take part.

IMG_3140

IMG_3142

This morning he wore long johns and snowboots and a hat, and a jacket with a body warmer which pops into the inside of it. Ahh, I LOVE winter clothing!

IMG_3143

With this change it’s like the world has accepted that halloween has passed and is slowly allowing the winter and inevitable festivities to enter.

IMG_3148

As a side note, these Stonz snow boots are THE BOMB.

IMG_3152

Argh! Have you ever seen that much cute in one outfit?! All he needs is a little scarf!

IMG_3155

IMG_3160

IMG_3161

IMG_3162

IMG_3163

It’s like finding Christmas cards pinned up in the hedges out there.

IMG_3164

IMG_3165

IMG_3174

IMG_3178

IMG_3179

IMG_3183

IMG_3187

IMG_3189

IMG_3193

And the run of beautiful skies didn’t evade us on our walk either.

IMG_3194

IMG_3200

IMG_3203

So happy to be living in the country right now, and extra happy to be making a little progress from the dire side of pregnancy. It’s been very slow and tiring, much like my mood, but we keep trudging on. Hoping there is much more festivity to come this month, but no snow til December, please. Nothing worse than peaking too soon.