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!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Christmas 2012

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Christmas 2013

He’s getting so big!!

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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!)

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Here is a classic Sandy TV face.

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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.

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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.

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The boy loves his cars.

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

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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!

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These guys… ❤

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

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Getting his first chocolate coin.

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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…

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…and managed to score even more chocolate!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sandy loved his new Garage from Granny and Grumpy.

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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!

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His little face all giddy anticipation at pressing it again.

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Kisses for Mummy

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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!

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Most of the day was spent like this.

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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

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Santa

I’m welcoming myself back from the brink right now. Last two weeks… probably the hardest I’ve experienced. But here I am still going strong. Well, not exactly strong, but at this point going is good enough. There has been a lot of blog fodder recently, but things I just can’t write about until I’m back on solid ground. I slept the last two nights though, so something must be working.

We took Sandy to see Santa on Saturday. In fact, it’s the second Santa he has met this year. He didn’t meet one last year. The first Santa experience, well, probably the less said about it the better. It started out with a charming journey on one of those miniature trains, and went downhill around the time we were pointed out to follow a weaving path through a sort-of garden. We wandered through the neon snowmen to reach a big old barn and another weaving tour this time through what can only be described as Santa’s drug induced hallucination, featuring forest animals without legs, Elves sawing the toys instead of building them and a circus themed exhibit with a trapeze artist seemingly to repeatedly hang himself. All this going on with creepy christmas tunes ( siiillver bells…. siiiilver bells… ) and random animals in pens dotted around, including chickens clucking around the bottom of the circus area. Finally we reached Santa where, upon being plonked upon his lap, poor Sandy understandably let his feelings of the whole trip be known. I can’t say I felt any different. My brother was with us and he delighted in the whole thing, loving the creepiness and obscurity, and especially that the pen beside the start of the train journey stated “Santa’s reindeer”, and inside were two lama.

So we took him to the far more middle class environment of Dobbie’s Sandyholm in the Clyde Valley instead, in case we left him with any expectation that the freaky train scenario would be replayed next Christmas.

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But Alas the fear returned in Sandy. He was very happy to walk up the ramp, until I opened the door and he saw his red-clad nemesis sitting in his lair.

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In typical Sandy fashion though he managed through without much complaint. He doesn’t tend to make a fuss over these things.

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And he was rewarded with a new bath toy, which suits our little fish just right.

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Apart from that it has been nice to have Stuart around. A blessing really. And even nicer to be enjoying days and evenings in the cosiness of a christmas tree clad livingroom.

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On the tree are a pair of teeny tiny socks. A stocking decoration, yes? No, they are a hand knitted gift my Mum bought for the new baby. SO SMALL! We also had our 20 week scan last week where baby number 2 was declared perfect. Counting the blessings and moving on into the final part of the Christmas extravaganza here…

Decorating, kind of

Broken record over here: things are tough. Actually, things right now are the toughest I’ve experienced. It’s all too close to the surface to talk about coherently. Recently it’s felt like a never ending battle that doesn’t progress. One side gets the upper hand then the other side rallies, and this repeats, endlessly. I feel like I’ve been worn down, into the ground. The last two days have seen a bit of a change though. I’m not sure everything is going to be on the up yet, in fact I loathe to even suggest it because there have been so many times I’ve thought “right, this is it, this is rock bottom” only to find that there’s further down to go. It’s all relative anyway, so who knows. It’s hard to find the impetus to even put the camera in my hand when juggling so much. Usually Christmas decorating would be awash with cheery pictures of our boy and all sorts of festive poses, this time… well, you can see for yourself.

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Just as a side note, these two are the reason I keep going. How many times I’ve threatened to wave the white flag and then you just can’t, no matter how much you want to, because these are my people. Getting married does it, and undoubtedly having a child does in a much more relentless way.

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There’s something about the not-particularly-attractive-ness of these shots that made me feel I should put them up rather than take clean ones when things calm (if they calm..). It’s reality I suppose. The tree is up and it’s squint and I keep looking at it, knowing it’s wrong, but not fixing it. I’ve given in to imperfection so much recently. That would seem the healthy move wouldn’t it? To let things slide when it’s tough? But that’s not really me and I realise now I’ve not been letting go but letting myself go. So I’m going to get up now and go straighten that tree. And then I’m going to tidy this house and make a to do list and try to salvage something of myself before it’s all too late and I’m lost.

Wish me luck.

Photo Wall

It only took six months, but finally our photo wall is complete!

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Back at the flat we had a sort of alcove wall which I filled all the way up with frames. I love having pictures up and the effect irregular frames in specific spaces makes. Wandering around the show home before we had even bought this place I already had in my minds eye a new photo wall extending all the way up the stairs.

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We put the frames up a good few months ago, not long before I fell pregnant. It’s actually quite easy and fun. I just split the frames into piles according to size and randomly hung them to fit the space, making sure the biggest ones were spaced out away from eachother well, allowing smaller frames to come in between. It came quite naturally.

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However, we had empty frames, or frames with old fallen photos in for a good few months while I was all sicky. I’d picked the photos already and had them waiting in a file on the PC, ready to order. But it took a while til I felt up to getting them sorted.

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When I finally did it was such a joy to receive these big prints, mostly of a certain little boy, and decide where to place them. Stuart was away down south so it was nice to have them all put up for him getting back. Now Sandy likes to point at them all as we go up and down the stairs, making his various guinea pig sounding noises of delight and question.

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It’s constantly nice to see that beaming face as you ascend and descend of a day.

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There is only one picture of our second though – the scan picture – so it will undoubtedly be a fluid fixture. I imagine swapping pictures every so often and allowing only the best to remain so that in many years time we have a sort of mixed time line of their development!

Living Room

I think since we moved the living room was always the one room in our new home which I found the hardest to perfect. It seemed so easy, a big, square room full of amazing amounts of light and a perfect view. But somehow we seemed to get it wrong from the start.

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While our furniture seemed to fit all the other rooms it seemed out of place in this big square. We had a long thin and rather small room at our flat, so perhaps that’s why.

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The brown sofa was where it was but there was just a floating chair and the television was on an old warped unit from my Gran and Grandad’s house and it just didn’t look right. When I moved into the flat originally, as an undergraduate student when Stuart was only my boyfriend, we were given numerous hand me down items of furniture. It seemed like a good deal – free stuff! – and we mixed it with the already dubious decor. I said when we moved I wanted all the items in our house to be loved, and chosen – or selectively kept – by us. We were married and had a baby and it just felt that the shabby student days should really be put behind us for good.

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So here it is, finally sorted. All it actually took was another two-piece sofa and getting the television on the wall, really. It may have sunk me into a pecarious financial situation this month but hey, it’s complete. When people come over now they no longer need to perch on the edge of our one couch, or feel isolated and on trial in the singular other chair all the way on the other side of the room.

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And here it is on a lovely sunny and frosty day. It feels much more cosy than it was.

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November

Here I am again to explain just why nothing has been on this blog in so long. It’s been another month of, well, stress. I think since I got pregnant I’ve felt pushed to my limit constantly. I keep waiting for things to settle but they don’t. Maybe I’ve been a bit daft thinking they will, what with toddlers, babies, jobs, PhDs and so forth cluttering up our existence! I am resigning myself to the fact that it’s going to be like this until May at least. Let’s face it, pregnancy ain’t the barrel of laughs it’s made out to be.

We have been adding good times in among the stress though, and among the illnesses. It’s funny how one little thing can railroad a whole week and put everything into disarray. Just as I finally got over the morning sickness (well, to a moderate level of functioning at least) Sandy got hand, foot and mouth disease. Mild rash and nothing else my bum, doctor. Poor man was up in the night and all the usual. He was off from being with his Gran for one day, yet that one day seemed to change me from a well rested and up to date (sort of) person to one on the edge of sanity, stressed to the max. The following week I got a cold which is STILL HERE. It’s probably a chest infection but I know better than to suggest to the doctors it could be anything other than viral. Viral illnesses negate the use of antibiotics and I’m fairly sure I am helping them keep their checky boxes happy by riding this out at home.

In the briefest of lulls between the end of the worst of the hand foot and mouth and the proper part of my lurgy we went to the switch on of the Christmas tree lights in our village.

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We never went to the switch on of the lights in Glasgow but always made special trips there for our first viewing of them. Suffice to say the bright lights of where we live now are a lot less exhaustive, but sweet nonetheless.

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A little lull in between entering (and subsequently losing) the raffle, and the switch on was spent at the park, walking UP slides, and generally getting angry when saved from certain injury.

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We bought Sandy a star with his name on for the tree. I look at it every time we go past and think about how next year we will be buying two stars.

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And so the lights came on and we have entered the festive season. Hooray!

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As you can see, Sandy was most impressed.

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And now some shots from yesterday, the first day of advent. Little man opening his calendar. He had one last year but certainly seems more taken this time around.

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We made the day festive by going on a walk to source wreath making materials. However the trip ended up in a lack of foliage and a crying Sandy and few words. I blame the hormones again, and the cold for Sandy. And the haze of festivity which makes me think nothing bad can ever come from ventures entered into in the spirit of Christmas.

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I used to get my wreath materials by taking sneaky trimmings from the lovely gardens at Cathedral Square and the Necropolis. Who knew nature wasn’t for giving me more than a few squishy berries and some reluctant ivy, which is still in a bag at the front door, un-wreathed. Plus I lost the kitchen scissors on the outing so that sucks too.

Alas, we will work something out, and there is always Christmas shortbread to be made.

I will finally be posting some more house stuff in the coming days, as our living room is complete and the photo wall finally has photos on it!