Welcome, Little One

Today I have been reliving some special moments from 19 months ago. How can my little tiny baby be a toddler who says ‘lemon’ and ‘dinosaur’?! But I have another reason today for my trip down memory lane, not just that Jessica has turned another month older.

Today my wonderful sister and her husband welcomed this little girl into the world!

  
I remember so well that newborn purple colour, the feeling of surreal bliss at finally having your baby in your arms. That moment where everything changes in a heartbeat. That eternity when they look into your eyes for the first time.

Sending all our love to Macy Grace, her mummy and her daddy. 

Waiting…

ay Today is a very special day. As I type, my lovely sister is in hospital, awaiting the birth of her first baby. It feels so funny to be going about our daily lives while hers is about to change forever in the most wonderful way.

I’m working through a short ecourse called Make Over Your Mornings. I’m only a day in, and this wasn’t covered, but it inspired me to do it anyway – after I washed up the dinner things last night, I made Carl’s lunch and put it in the fridge ready for this morning. It saved me a few minutes this morning, but more importantly than the time itself, it has made me feel organized which is lovely!

I haven’t signed up for Fly Lady as I’ve done it a few times in the last and find the sheer volume of emails overwhelming and alienating. Inspired by a post over at Attic24 though, I am going to start doing 15 minutes a day in whichever ‘zone’ she is in. This week, the kitchen. I read her suggestion for Tupperware – storing all the lids in a ziplock bag. I think that could be really useful as however often I tidy out that cupboard, I always seem to end up with boxes and lids which just do not fit!

I’ve also signed up for the ‘Sophie and Max’ series over at Entangled Heart. 

Home For Christmas

Home…when it comes down to it, is there anything more we could want for Christmas? To be home with our family. Luckily enough this year, I got to spend Christmas at home with Carl and Jessica, at the home I grew up in, and the home he grew up in!

It was lovely waking up here, having Jessica sit between us in bed refusing to open her stocking. Every time I tried to tempt her to pull a toy or book out of it, she said ‘nooooooo!’ Very firmly! I had gone to bed on Christmas Eve exhausted and cross, and Carl hadn’t liked to wake me to ask where our stockings were, so Fathwr Christmas had left me an Ocado carrier bag!

Onwards to Mum’s house, and as much as it was nice to wake up in our little home, there is nothing quite like going home home. It is one of my favourite places to take Jessica, and she loves it there. Look what a beautiful job Mum did of decorating…

        

   

   

Although we were eating with Carl’s family later in the afternoon, Jessica had a mini lunch at Mums…and we had a taste too! Her sage and onion stuffing is the one thing without which there would be no Christmas!

Somehow I don’t seem to have taken photos at Carl’s parents. Jessica’s cousin was also there, and I think with two toddlers everything just got a bit busy!

I can’t believe Christmas and indeed New Year have come and gone already. Reading a few blogs where people who are not usually organized for Christmas were this year made me smile wryly, as I did not manage to be as organized as I would have liked. When I have finished writing this, I’ll be making a cup of tea and putting some dates in the calendar to make sure that this year I really am ready by December 1st!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas, and are enjoying these cozy early days of the new year. Welcome, 2016!

Cozy

Carl is out with his friends, and I have a sleeping baby. It is dark outside, and wet. As the occasional car drives past, I can hear the rain which has fallen on the roads slicking to the tyres. 

What to do on such an evening? What indeed!

   
 
Light this beautiful tea light holder (thanks Mum!) with a lavender scented candle, and go to bed early with tea, a hot water bottle and a good book. Oh, and Radio 4 just for good measure.

My eyelids are heavy already, but I do hope that I can stay awake long enough to luxuriate in this for a little while!

A New Year’s Resolution

  
There will be a lovely post-Christmas post soon, but I wanted to share with you a gift I had in my stocking which has inspired a New Year’s Resolution, which I have started early.

In the photo, you can see a beautiful notepad, the kind of notepad I would normally save for best, and so probably not actually use. But when I had breakfast with the lovely Midori Green a few days before Christmas, we were talking about something, and she pulled out her day book notebook to refer back to an idea we had had last time we met. At the time I thought what a good idea, to have all my lists, notes of books I want to read, recipes jotted down from the tv etc in one place.

Then when I opened this notebook, I decided it was the perfect notebook to use as my day book. One of my other resolutions is to have a bit of a declutter – partly because we are moving later this year, and partly to mKe room for a beautiful but large play kitchen Jessica was given for Christmas.

One thing I can do to make some space is pass on some of my magazines. I tend to read them, and some I want to keep as the whole thing is so lovely (like Flow) or there is a book I want to look up and order, or a recipe I want to try…

So from now on (and I’ve started already!) I’ll keep my day book to hand and jot down the book titles and so on, and tear out any articles, recipes or interviews I want to keep as I read, then I’ll have the magazine ready to recycle or pass on.

Talking of Flow magazine, they have published a collection of four journals. They have lots of prompts inside, and I’ve been haunting the shelves of WH Smith trying to find them. Today I had success, and home with me they have come!

Carl is out tonight, so I plan on an early night with a cup of tea and a candle, radio 4 and my journals. Bliss!

Much to Do

Oh, there is so much to do, and so little time to do it in…I suspect this is a refrain close to many of us right now. I feel like my feet are hardly touching the floor, and this year for the first year, it just isn’t all going to get done. Most of the cards have been written and sent, but some have missed the last post, and some won’t reach their destination until Christmas Eve.

Next year, next year, somehow I will be ready by December 1st. I’m feeling refreshed after breakfast with the lovely Midori Green, who somehow makes me feel much more like myself. But I am feeling a little blue on some fronts. Each to their own and of course you don’t give to receive, but there are a number of people in my life who just don’t make the effort, and it hurts a little bit. Sometimes, in some quarters, it feels like I am doing all the work. I suspect it is nothing more than busy lives, but when it is several years in a row, I can’t help but think maybe I should take the hint.

We’ve had a lovely but busy day, and Jessica fell asleep as we got home about half an hour ago. Not ideal considering bedtime is just around the corner, but she was exhausted. I could have got on with my two oage to do list, but instead I am having a cup of tea and a quick blog by the Christmas tree lights.

I read so wing on Facebook this week, paraphrasing it said that the only person who can give your child a replaced and happy mum is you. Wise words and food for thought. It occurred to me that Jessica would rather have a happy mum playing with her and maybe not have a lush bath bomb in her stocking, than a frazzled mum waiting in a long queue and it all getting fractious. Reminding myself to pause, drink water. 

I think this is going to be my theme for next year, looking after myself better so that I can look after those I love better.

It is Carls birthday tomorrow. Somehow between now and Christmas Eve, there are a lot of jobs to fit into little pockets of time. I hope it all works, and I hope I can enjoy things and let the things that don’t get done go.

Making Merry

Today is a special day for several reasons. Thirteen years ago, I was standing on Tower Bridge in London on a freezing cold day as Carl asked me to be his wife.

This morning I took Jessica to her first concert, run by a wonderful company called Bach to Baby. It was so child friendly, and the music was fabulous – piano and trombone.

   
   
This afternoon Carl is taking a half day, and we are taking Jessica to see Father Christmas for the very first time. She loves animals, and there will be some donkeys for her to stroke which I think she will really enjoy.

I can hardly believe that in a fortnight’s time it will be Christmas! I still have much to do, cards to write, presents to buy and wrap…but right now it all feels in hand. I stayed up late to finish making our cards, and althoughmy initial idea didn’t work at all, the replacement idea I am pleased with.

  
I am sealing the envelopes with the same gold star on the front of the card, and, of course, putting some gold star confetti inside!

I’ve posted this before, but this song always makes me feel both merry and peaceful, all at the same time.

I must take a photo of the wonderful advent calendar I was given by the lovely Midori Green…a tea advent calendar! I am so enjoying sipping one cup an evening.
On Monday evening at WI, we learnt a craft technique using a dotting tool (which we got to take home with us!) and acrylic paint to make a card and a bauble decoration. It was simple but effective, and so good to spend some time just absorbed in crafting.

Our WI held a collection to make up some Christmas stockings for the children who will be in the Women’s Refuge at Christmas. We have enough for stockings and presents for all the children, gifts for the mums, and for the shelter in Harlow too! Oh and money was collected for a Christmas meal for them too. I love how much we achieve in our WI all working together.

Next week is our last WI toddler group before Christmas..we are doing a little party for the children. I just can’t wait!

And now Carl is home, so it is time for us to have some tea together and look forward to the weekend ahead.

Love

Mimi

Xxx