Thursday, 29 December 2011


What on earth would make me willing set the alarm for 7 am during the holidays? Getting my car serviced. Now while that is not very exciting itself it's the fact that I have actually left the house ALONE! I am completely and utterly by myself, if you discount all the other people in the shopping centre I have wandered into.

So I am drinking coffee here:

The thing is that I really love my family but I also need my space. the fact that Girl Child and I have been getting on each others nerves and I have been counting down the days until school goes back (still over 5 weeks away for those playing at home) means I need some space before I completely lose the plot.

So I am thankful for car servicing, today being the only day that Girl Child has slept in and for Mr E. who gets that I need my space. Who knows, by lunchtime I may have decompressed enough to want to have lunch with my family.

Today I joining in with Kate from Kate Says Stuff for the last Thankful Thursday of 2011.

Drop by and see what else people are thankful for!

In case this is my last post for the year, see you on the flip side when I will be joining in with Chantal for her Photo a day challenge for January 2012.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Ghosts of Christmas past

Today is Christmas Eve.

It's almost Christmas and that has me thinking about Christmases I have had before.

I remember that at one point as a child I had a big plastic sack which Santa put presents in. One year, when we still in Sydney so I was between 5 and 7 years old, I awoke to to see some of Santa's beard stuck between the door and door frame of our flat. I guess that explained how Santa made it it a first floor unit with others above it. I was thrilled. Suddenly there was a tangible thing that told me Santa was real.

We had moved from that flat before I turned eight but I also remember lying in my bed on Christmas Eve and seeing a red light which I was convinced that Rudolph was guiding Santa to my place. These are my two next memories of Christmas. When Christmas was still magical. That's the feeling I hope my children have when they are adults.

As I got older Christmas lost it's shine and the magic faded. Then one year I meet Mr E. My parents would always invite people who had no where else to go (his family lives interstate) over for Christmas lunch. And so he came and had Christmas lunch with us. I guess from there the rest is history.

If we ignore last year (when we had to leave him home because he was unwell and close to going to hospital while we went to Sydney for about 30 hours so we weren't actually together on Christmas day) then this is our 19th Christmas together. Once we had children then Christmas regained a little of the magic it had in the past. In fact I don't remember us having a tree before Boy Child was born but despite that the mainstays of the Christmas pasts for me - watching the Carols by Candlelight, having hot Christmas lunch continued.

We did Santa photos with Boy Child but Girl Child hated Santa so much that we have maybe 3 Santa photos wit her and one of her and Boy Child sitting on Santa's chair without him In the picture. So I don't have a set of Santa photos of my children that I had wanted but that's okay.

This year is my 12th Christmas with out my Dad and my 4th without my mother. Yesterday I received a Christmas card from my mother's cousin and it made me feel odd. I'm one the adult getting cards from the rest of the family. In one way I'm proud it finally be considered an adult and on th other hand I'm sad that my parents both died quite early. My children have no memories of their Poppy and Girl child has very few of their Gran. That makes me sad.

Anyway, tonight I will be sitting down and watching the Carols with my family and tomorrow Mr E. will be cooking a hot dinner on our new Barbecue and rotisserie. While we don't have a trifle or Christmas cake or some of the things I remember from my childhood, it will still be good. I'll have the lunch I enjoy and my beautiful family around me. Plus we aren't going anywhere so we can spend the day in our PJs if we want to.

I hope whether you celebrate Christmas or not, whether you have family to celebrate or not that tomorrow you have a lovely, happy day.

Monday, 19 December 2011

An Early Christmas

On Saturday morning we got up early to leave home about 7 am to attend an early with my extended family. It's lovely that they include us as we have no family here. My kids get to exchange presents with my cousins children and hang out with them all day. It's nice as we don't really spend much time with family.

Boy Child is the oldest of them all but two of my cousins cousins (does that make sense?) also have 13 year old boys so Boy Child wasn't actually the oldest there. Girl Child slots in as one of the older children and she enjoys playing with the younger children, so they both had people to talk and play with. Plus they got Christmas presents so they had things to do or play with as well.

They were both lucky enough to be given some cool and much wanted things. Girl Child has now got a 'Boy Barbie' aka Prince Nicholas from Barbie's Princess Charm School and two real ZhuZhu pets. Boy Child got iTunes and movie gift cards and will be going to his first ever concert in January. They are very happy and the presents we gave seemed to go down well, too. Lunch was great and relaxed. All we had had to bring were drinks and some nibbles which was very good because we almost didn't make it. With only 10 minutes to our destination, our car died at a set of traffic lights. Not a great thing to have happen anywhere but especially not at a busy Sydney intersection.

Mr E. and Boy Child had to push it through the intersection onto a slightly quieter road where we parked it. I called and got a family member to pick us up but poor Mr E. got stuck waiting for around two hours.  Firstly for the roadside assistance and then the tow truck. Thankfully, I had gotten the premium roadside assistance which meant that we were covered for a hire car to get home and they would bring the car the three or so hours drive back here to the car dealer.

So we are home and the car is getting fixed this week. Who knew a new clutch and flywheel would cost over $3,000? It's not a great thing to happen the week before Christmas but at least this year Mr E. managed to make it interstate. Last year we left him home as he was really sick and was close to being admitted to hospital. This year he managed to get sick (again!) but antibiotics have helped him enough that he had been able to work half days and come interstate with us. For that I am very grateful.

Now we just have to get Christmas food for us and we are ready for it. Oh, maybe I should actaully make and send some Christmas cards - if I can find enough motivation. Plus some toys and treats for the animals at the RSPCA.  I'm looking forward to our nice quiet Christmas at home. I'm actually feeling the Christmas spirit.

Which parts of the Silly Season are you looking forward to the most? Are you feeling the Christmas spirit or are you feeling Bah Humbug about it?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

While Girl Child and i were yesterday at home with her tummy bug, we decided to do Christmas things. We made some shortbread stars and snowmen.  This year we made some chocolate as well as the normal ones. The ones on the left aren't burnt, they are just chocolate!

Shortbread Dec 2011

I also cheated a bit and added some water instead of the entire amount of butter so they are less short than normal but still very yummy.

Once they were made, Girl Child set about decorating our tree whilst listening to Wiggles and Hi-5 Christmas CDs.  I’m thinking we should get a new tree as we had this one for Boy Child’s first Christmas and it’s just a bit over a meter tall from the floor to the top of the star.  I’m also thinking we should get new Christmas music as the CD’s have the original Hi-5 crew and Greg as the Yellow Wiggle. Lots of nostalgia for me, there.

Tree Dec 2011 

Yes, the star is crooked!

I have also put up the garbage bag wreath we attempted from Kate Says Stuff – Easy Pease Rubbish Bag Wreaths. Ours doesn't look terrific but the thought was there.  Of course Boy Child says it can’t be a Christmas wreath because it’s the wrong colours.  We only had Yellow and Purple bags so that’s what we did.  And yesterday we found the little cross stitch that my grandmother had given me  quite a few years ago so that is the Christmassy enough for me.

Wreath Dec 2011

Now with those things all the in the house plus the two and half hours shopping I did today it’s really beginning to feel like Christmas for me.

What things make it seem Christmassy to you?

Friday, 9 December 2011

December: the busy month

It seems that everyone I know is busy at this time of year. I am trying to organise a dinner for some Mum’s at school who I used to catch up with for coffee regularly. They are too busy for coffee and all have different commitments on different days so I’m not sure dinner will be possible.  I have found an evening where only one person can’t make it but I probably shouldn't go either because Mr E. is supposed to be at something and his was booked first.  Of course when I asked him he had forgotten about it and said he would be home. Now we have realised that we may be double booked he has been very gracious and said that I can go to my thing, if only everyone else would actually commit!

I feel that I’m not really busy as I have been to one end of year function.  I was invited to a school P&C one which I turned down as I felt that I hadn’t really done enough this year to deserve that invitation. We also have Girl Child’s end of year school concert, an award presentation for Boy Child and an early Christmas with the extended family.  When I write it down like that it does seem like a few things.  Perhaps I’m mistaken in my belief that I don’t have much on.  Maybe not.  I guess I compare it to people who have 2 or 3 different work functions plus the social side of their lives as well.  This is when working at home makes me feel isolated.

Then there is Christmas shopping.  Mr E. and Boy Child are both sorted with their family presents.  In fact, they have both them for a while.  Girl Child is getting a number of small things from us – books, a doll etc.  I’m probably going to wait until after the early family Christmas to see what else I can get her. She also wants to tell Santa what she would like this year. At our place Santa only gives little things because he knows how many other people will buy them gifts.

I need to get both children gifts from my sister and my grandmother as well as gifts for my cousins’ 3 children – I’ve done the other 3 already.  I was planning on doing that today between Reading at school, Girl Child’s award in assembly taking Boy child to an appointment and then catching up with a friend (we have been trying to do this for maybe 5 weeks!) but Girl Child is home apparently sick with a tummy bug so my plans are in disarray.  No reading, no assembly, no shopping and probably no catching up either! I don't want to spread the bug around. 

Well… I’m off to make shortbread so that we can put the Christmas tree up.  That’s the tradition I started –  eating shortbread and / mince pies while decorating the tree.


Image from

If I make these fruit mince filled Shortbread Stars I’ll have all my bases covered.

What are you up to?  Have you got things organised?  Are you busy being social this time of year?

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I'm grateful 3 December 2011

Today I'm grateful for a few things.I'm really grateful that Nano is finished because it seemed to take up a lot of my thought process etc even if I wasn't writing.

While I was doing Nano, I had my procrastination going in full gear. I am grateful that I managed to clean out and tidy up the plastic cupboard and I also spent some time cleaning out the linen cupboard. As a result of these things I now have 3 bags of things to donate. Pity that my procrastination hasn't helped me actually get these things donated as yet.

I am grateful that Dance is over for the year. Girl Child loved her ballet costume and she had lots of fun. I am extremely grateful that our dance studio graciously accepted that Boy Child would no longer be dancing (on medical advice) with 7 weeks left of the year which included 4 performances at community events and the 3 concerts.

I am grateful that my children caught up with friends today and had lots of fun. I am very grateful that I get on with the parents of both children so I got to enjoy myself as well.

I'm grateful for the medical profession who have diagnosed and treated members of the extended family with various potentially life challenging illnesses or diseases with the last month or so. This has been a bit of a wake up call for me and I am very grateful that the health issues I have are minor in the scheme of things.

What things are you grateful for today? Link up with Maxabella loves.

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