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!

 

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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.

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

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

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The placed it carefully under the tree…

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… next to their pillow cases for Santa to fill.

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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…

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

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

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

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And of course the packaging was well loved too.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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 ^^

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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.

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We got another fabulous family picture too!

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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.

Hospitalization (Round Two) and the Future

Apologies for the radio silence, but as you may have gathered from the title we’ve been in the wars again. A week and a half ago Roslyn got a minor cold. Sandy got it too and it was literally just a runny nose for him, but it went straight to Roslyn’s chest, as I later learned is common following a rough bout of bronchiolitis (which she had at the end of November). The other reason I could tell she wasn’t right was that she slept all night with only one wake up. Stuart was delighted and remarked that she was probably coming down with something. Too right.

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So this happened. Again.

We got her up in the morning and as soon as I picked her out her cot I could feel the effort she was exerting to breathe. I took her downstairs and went to feed her and she refused, another warning sign, though not as scary as last time as she had fed well all day and the night prior. Then I undressed her and saw a chest recession the size of a golf ball and it was on the phone to 111 who sent an ambulance. Sandy was pretty jealous of mummy going in the neenaw. Roslyn got some oxygen in the ambulance and was coping okay until we got to a&e and a million nurses descended in an unfamiliar room and tried to put IVs and tubes all over her and (quite rightly) she freaked out. You could see the abject terror in her eyes and her breathing worsened. The pediatric doctor arrived just as she was starting to turn a tinge blue and ordered space and quiet for her immediately. We moved her to the recus room and she got a nebuliser mask with the kind of drugs you get in inhalers. It wasn’t long until she was breathing a lot easier thankfully. Apparently it was a scary time but I don’t feel that scared looking back. Perhaps it was the calmness of the pediatric doctor or maybe it was the same mode I went into when Sandy went missing briefly in the park that time, where you know getting scared isn’t going to benefit anyone and just focus on the task in hand. Either way, I’m glad it wasn’t too traumatic. Luckily I was prepared for the inevitable hospital stay that followed, but glad she bounced back much quicker (largely due to it being post viral induced wheeze and not the horrible RSV bug) and we were only in two nights this time.

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Sandy coped far better this time too, mostly because he was well this time and also because we maintained his routine, consistency and I was at home more, letting family and Stuart watch Roslyn while I spent time with Sandy (and, realistically, the housework). We went to macdonalds for a treat on the afternoon I was with him and then to the hospital where I fed Roslyn while he played with the toy spaceship on the ward. I marveled at just how easy looking after only one child is!

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I was able to put Sandy to bed then Stuart came home and I went back to hospital. Roslyn was largely unsettled at night waking due to the noise and the disruption of the oxygen prongs up her nose. She wasn’t able to sleep on her front which didn’t help any either. I gave up trying to sleep between the 30 minutes where she did and ended up just reading for my PhD.

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After her first night she was much more herself and as she woke after the second night she ate her breakfast and played and generally proved she was ready to go home.

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So we got sent off with an inhaler and the happy feeling of a sleep in my own bed that was impending. That said there was still that familiar safety of the ward at night, the feeling of other people all going through the same and never being the only one up. It was coupled with the few nurses who remembered us and I felt quite surprised and warmed by it, that they cared to know us even though we were but a passing group of many surrounding sick babies in winter.

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So that accounts for some missed blogging. The rest of it comes under either job hunting or PhD completing, as well of course as being with these beauties.

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I’m in the home stretch now. As January comes to a close I’ve had the sudden realisation that not only do I need to finish a 100,000 thesis now, but that my funding runs out at the end of march, meaning I have two short months to find employment. I have applied for one job and I am applying for several more this afternoon. I am trying so hard to find something where I can afford to work part-time, so I can still be with Sandy and specifically Roslyn (who is very much a mummy’s girl and facing my working far younger than Sandy) on at least one day of the working week. I have the problem of not knowing how much of a salary to be shooting for, what is a PhD worth in this job market? It’s hard to tell.

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As for the PhD itself I have one chapter left to finish before only my introductory chapter and conclusion remain. This week will see the completion of that remaining chapter come hell or high water and then it’s some reading and onto the intro. I hope to have a full draft submitted by the end of February with then a month to review and format the final thing. I highly doubt it will be that seamless (though I hasten to add not through my own lack of timekeeping) but having the work done for when I hope to be starting a new job would be ideal. And thus closes my essay of why I’ve not been blogging.

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In other news little miss Rozzie has cut her first tooth, it poking through rather anti-climatically amid the hospital stay. She’s not been too bothered by it and a little ibuprofen here and there has helped. I’m surprised because Sandy’s first tooth didn’t come until he was 11 months old, and it was a top one, but Roslyn’s bottom left (her left) is there at the end of her eighth month. Speaking of months, she is almost nine months, which means she will soon have been out longer than she was in, which is quite a milestone, one I can’t believe has happened so fast. *Insert other growing up cliches here*

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On the 2nd of February our little man will be 2.5 years old. We celebrated 18 months yet it seems a bit weird to celebrate 30 months, but we will nonetheless. He’s such a boy now it’s untrue. I look at our canvas on the wall of him when Roslyn was brand new and his arms are still chubby and his face is still baby. Then I look at him now and he is lean and wise and grown. I can’t quite understand what happened but I love it. He makes me ridiculously happy each day with his love, humour and excitement.

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Apart from that we are enjoying once again settling back into normality with play…

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…routines…

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…fun…

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…and cuddles.

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I’m trying so hard to soak up every moment with them now, knowing the clock is ticking on my stay at home mum status. I wish so hard that I could just stay with them forever. It’s two and a half years since I became a mum and part of me doesn’t want to go back to being just me. But on the other hand I know nothing lasts forever and even if I feel it is a tad premature for Roslyn, there is independence there and I need to find some myself. I’m grateful to have made it this far with my study but so relieved that once I have completed the PhD it will be done and I can put a lid on this era of my life. A PhD and two kids is anything but easy, but I never expected it to be. I’m glad to be leaving research behind me and moving onto something new, and challenging, though I will undoubtedly mourn the loss of being with my babies every single day.

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I’m so grateful for the summer we had, our trips, the fun, the three of us. And for the winter with its snow, cosy times at home and a wonderful christmas.

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And as this weekend past proved it’s not the end of everything. There is still the weekend and much fun to be had. The prospect of holidays and days away.

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I can’t wait.