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Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

What are your plans for New Year? Are you hitting the town or, like me, are you curled up inside in the warm wondering when you last hit the dance floor? I think the last time I stepped into a club was quite possibly my hen party. I sobered up fairly quickly when the DJ was greeted to a huge cheer on asking ‘who here was born in the 90’s’! This was my cue to leave.

I’ve just got over Christmas, the last thing I want to do is go for a night on the tiles, instead, my husband is pouring over his Game of Thrones 4D puzzle at the dining room table (4th day in a row) and I find myself reliving my youth by watching Buffy re-runs: (incidentally it’s the episode where the adults of Sunnydale revert to their youth).

I’ll try and make it to midnight as this will be the time other half and I turn to each other, briefly mumble ‘Happy New Year Love’ then continue our separate thrilling pursuits. Who wants to be on the wrong side of 25 in a night club anyway?

Normally the new year is when I make a Bridget Jones style list of everything I intend to achieve….. It should look like the following although of course, It looked very similar last year

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• Lose weight
• Always hang the washing out as soon as the cycle has finished and not just refresh the machine every 5 hours
• Sort through all the cupboards which have been filled over Christmas in order to fool guests that I do truly live a neat, minimalist lifestyle
• Donate the Xmas chocolates
• Donate all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe because I’ll never fit into them
• Deal with the charity/boot sale boxes from last year’s (half) sort out, which accompanied us on our move and are now piled high in the bedroom
• Accept I’ll never look at old xmas/birthday/wedding/new baby cards again, bin them, thus freeing up space in 99% of all household drawers
• Make a start on clearing my student debt (boo)
• Decorate my office (cute Cath Kidson style florals)
• Stop using my husband’s office as a laundry room
• Remember to take up any items on the stairs when passing them
• Take painkillers the moment I sense a headache rather than moaning to my husband for 3 hours
• Remember to take the pushchair out of the car the night before if walking to school the next day, thus avoiding the rushed ninja routine with baby on hip at 8:30am
• Take all meat out of the freezer the night before rather than worry all day that it will not defrost in time for dinner
• Spend some time actually improving the house rather than googling design inspirations
• Be assertive with our half job cleaner rather than tipping her an extra pound every week
• Partake in spontaneous creative activities with the children rather than having to mentally prepare myself for the mess a week beforehand
• Take up running
• Update ipod for said running trips
• Buy running shoes
• Decide against running due to initial start-up costs
• Update this blog more….. maybe when I feel guilty about not running

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Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of this next year…….. I’m off to set the Big Ben countdown to record now in case I should fall asleep before midnight……. Might go an open some of those yummy Xmas chocolates also…..

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Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-La-La

Those of you who read my posts for aliljoy will know that this weekend we put up the Christmas tree! I know, it’s quite early but, after a week of Xmas music we thought, why not get really enmeshed in the spirit of Christmas, after all we did miss out last year!DSCF3807

Decorating the tree is one of those image perfect moments isn’t it? Where the family gather around in matching Christmas jumpers beside a roaring fire. The gentle whisperings of silent night crackles over an old gramophone and popcorn is thread delicately on string ready to be hung . The parents enjoy mulled wine and cinnamon cakes and the children tuck into hot chocolate and mince pies…….

REALLY?? NOT IN THE MACDONALD HOUSEHOLD

I guess you could say preparations for Christmas began in early summer for us. When house hunting there are those vital questions you ask yourself: is it near a good school; Is the area nice; are there enough bedrooms; Where will we put the Christmas tree?…. Luckily our house has a lovely little nook in the corner of the family room, perfect for our 6ft (artificial) fir. DSCF3799

On locating (and negotiating) the decorations from the loft and down two flights of stairs, we discover that said perfect nook does not possess a plug socket. It is conveniently nestled between patio doors and the archway to the kitchen, even an extension lead can’t compete with that. So what to do? Ah yes, the sofa shuffle!

For an hour and a half, we shout over the sound of Slade, while baby Roo sits patiently in the play pen and the eldest makes suggestions. We do a fantastic chuckle brothers impression ‘to me then, to you’ and finally, after trying and abandoning the idea of putting one module of the corner sofa upstairs, we successfully find an alternative place.DSCF3808

Unfortunately most of the letter guides have fallen from the tree branches and it takes 45mins to erect the beast. The eldest, having been very patient, asks to put the first bauble on the branches, ‘if only it had those little bits of string attached Mummy’ Oh Feck! Its 7pm and we need to start threading the ties. We promise her that tomorrow morning we will start the actual decorating. She is gracious and understanding!!

DSCF3815For two hours that evening, while I’m at work, the hubby painstakingly threads 100’s tiny ornaments and, at 10o’clock, I join him. We crawl into bed at midnight, satisfied we are all ready for the following day.

We don’t quite manage to fulfil that perfect image, we are all in our jammies and all too aware that visitors will be arriving later so the house needs to be in some sort of order, but, cup of coffee in one hand and plastic icicle in the other we have a great time making that tree sparkle! We are not even phased when we lift H to place the star on the top only to find it brushes the ceiling and needs to be placed lower, or when we discover baby Roo holding a loose thread and pray he hasn’t swallowed a bauble but, the shock comes when we decide to add the lights….. We don’t have an adapter plug. After all that hassle we have to decide if we want lights over Xmas, or a working telephone……………DSCF3812

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Prima Baby

As December draws near I turn my thoughts to the events of the past year. Our little boy is nearly one and soon the baby phase will be over (such a bittersweet farewell)… what an eventful 12 months: Not only did I start this blog, but we have also negotiated between the four of us, 2 new jobs, a house move, a new school and far too many sleepless nights….

However, what some of you dont know is that Baby Roo is in fact a Christmasmain day baby!! and, for that reason, our birth story has made it into the December issue of Prima baby this month. Why not check it out? And to get you into the spirit of Christmas you may like to read my version of events….

Twas the night before Christmas- A birth story

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Twas the night before Christmas- A Birth Story

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
I began some deep breathing, leaning over the couch
My hubby inflated, the birth pool with air
In hopes that the midwives, soon would be there.

While our daughter was nestled, all snug in her bed,
I located the waterproof sheet from the shed.
And carefully placed it, (I hear waters can snap)
Over our bed, to takea short nap

Next from downstairs, arose such a clatter,
I rolled off of the bed, to see what was the matter.
away to the door, I hobbled between
contractions that made, me feel very green

My husband, through nerves, had neglected to see
the presents placed under the Christmas tree.
so, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a confused dad-to-be, with a face full of fear.

With an increase in nerves, and a baby so keen
We knew the moment had come, ‘call the jubilee team!’
More rapid than eagles, with pain relief she came,
Despite the awkward date: Cheryl by name!

‘Now try to relax, take deep breaths and count
I’ll take your vitals and write an account’
Why not walk up the stairs, or bounce on your ball
This could take a while, I’ll be here through it all

Between each belly tightening, I declared it quite easy
Only during contractions, did I feel fairly queasy
So bowls were fetched, in case I needed to spew,
Not glamorous no, but I’m being truthful with you

And then, in a twinkling, I heard up the stairs
Some prancing and dancing, ‘Santas been’ she declares
And I held in the pain, and turned myself round,
Down the stairs little Harriet, came with a bound.

She was dressed in her jammies, so excited, oh bless her,
We decided the grandparents, place would be better.
The bundle of Toys, would just have to wait,
We promised her Christmas, but at later a date.

Next my waters were broken, and time it stood still
‘Rest and be thankful’, Cheryl told me ‘just chill’
The pushing stage, would be tough as could be
But I’d not be alone, and ‘power to me’

Well try as I might, with gritting of teeth
Our bundle of joy, was unwilling to leave
while a transfer to hospital, was my greatest fear
I was tired and grumpy, (swearing a lot- so I hear)

Though the journey was 10 mins, it felt like an hour
I cried and I winced and I felt I’d lost power
But when we arrived, I gave it one final shot
And stuck-baby turned, (much to my shock)

‘It’s a Boy’ cried my husband, ‘with lots of dark hair’
Overcome with emotion, I did nothing but stare
Finally here after nine month of waiting
So perfect, our Rupert (all 9lb 1 of-him)

Cheryl quietly worked, to her team gave call,
We’re very grateful for, the support of them all.
She passed on her wishes, when she took her leave,
‘Happy Christmas to all, look at what you’ve achieved’1003824_10152019283914498_238448189_n

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Half-term song

Hello all, So after a few days off I thought I’d share with you all what we have been up to over the half term, some I may even make into blog posts….. Extra stress on the MAY as I’m sure you’re still awaiting the rest of my experiment… cough…. cough, never set goals, you’ll only feel like a failure when you don’t succeed.
Anywho, given that there’s less 8 weeks till Christmas I thought I’d break into song…

For the half-term holiday the Macdonald family (had)

12 Plastic SpidersDSCF3585edit
11 cups of coffee
10 dirty nappies
9 home-made cupcakes
8 loads of washing
7 hours Ikea-ing
5 days off work
4 calved pumpkins
3 lie ins
2 days in Bristol
And a fast trip to A and E

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The Sorry Game

Ever the ‘Slummy Mummy’ I leave things to the last minute, I scoff at people who begin their Christmas shopping in July, and I fool myself that by waiting longer I can truly experience the magic of the festivities (by rushing around in a panic on Xmas eve….). Last year was the exception as December the 24th was my due date for baby Roo (but that’s another post entirely).

This lack of planning extends into all cerebrations (unless I’m baking a cake) and, on Valentine’s Day 2010 I messed up big time!! My husband (then boyfriend) spent days planning a treasure hunt around the house. He painstakingly crafted beautiful little notes with rhyming clues to the next, they not only joined up into a giant jigsaw puzzle of (positive) adjectives to describe me, but at the end of the journey was a beautiful engagement ring….. (cue romantic music).

I, on the other hand, left my planning to the last second leaving my poor other half with a crumpled card wrapped in the envelope of an old water bill…..oh dear!! ‘Go to jail, move directly to jail, do not pass go and do not collect £200!!!’ I was a terrible terrible girlfriend (with a shiny ring and a fiancé though).

Needless to say I had some making up to do and, for his Birthday, I plotted the ultimate in homemade gifts……

If you’re ever stuck for ideas or strapped of cash maybe you could give it a go also.

We are a board game family, That is to say, yes, we like nothing better than sitting on our bums for 4 hours asking trivia questions, taking over nations and using giant tweezers to get the funny bone out from a man with a flashing red nose…… In fact we like board games so much that,  rather than the usual duplicated crockery which most couples tackle when joining households, we had two of nearly every game.

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It was the spare game of monopoly which sparked my creativities and I set about adapting it slightly. May I present to you

MACDONALDOPOLY!!!!!

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DSCF3298There are certain places which we will forever associate with our relationship and, from the first homes, without heating, scummy neighbours and peeling paintwork to the beautiful stately homes of Cornwall where we would walk around hand in hand (use as an excuse to stuff our greedy little faces with cream teas), it seemed important to include them all…… in value order obviously. DSCF3300I included our cars and even replaced community chest with ‘Scotty’s Wallet and Chance with chance ‘Emily’s mood swings’. Inevitably however, in true ‘Slummy Mummy’ style there were few spelling mistakes oooops.

Why not have a go yourself? You can even leave the other properties visible so you can play It vanilla style if you wish…

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