Tuesday, December 16, 2014

the tree and meeting santa

Last Saturday we had such a lovely day. We decorated the tree (well the kids and Garry did while I took pictures and supervised from a restful place on the sofa)

it's so lovely to find favourite decorations again

the angel on top and a few silly poses to finish off...

 Then we wrapped up warm and headed to the lovely little cafe in our village to meet Santa.
There were lots of other people waiting to see him, lots of our friends and neighbours to chat with.
Mrs Claus was in a tent with a little heater reading stories to the children...

 We sipped on some mulled wine (non-alcoholic for me and the kids) and tasted all the baked goodies on offer until the elves called our names and it was our turn.
 We followed the path lit by tea lights up through the aviary in the cafe's garden.
 At the end of the path was Santa's hut,
 and inside the big man himself.
 He chatted with the kids. Asking them questions and agreeing that yes he had seen them the day before at school and preschool. He told them he fed the reindeer sausages! And asked them to leave him out some milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. Then he asked the kids to sing Jingle Bells for him, which we all did with gusto and he said to make sure we sing it again on Christmas Eve before the fire so he will know where we are.
 Then he gave each child a lolly and a little bag of treats.
When we had said our thank you's and see you soon's we had another listen to Mrs Claus' stories before heading off.
It was such a lovely, special experience, really understated and very reasonable, all profits going to charity. It was so nice too, being local, meeting people we knew and the food and drink offered by lots of elf helpers was gorgeous and home made. Carols were sung and we just loved every second.
Not quite ready to go home we went to the pub a few doors up and sat by the fire chatting with some friends and looking at all the little things Santa had given the kids.
 To end the evening we went 'dessoration' spotting on the way home. Stopping off at the promenade to sing another chorus of Jingle Bells under the village tree.
 Just as we were leaving the house that afternoon Garry had switched on all the twinkly Christmas lights so as we approached our house we were greeted by this beautiful, warm, cosy glow...
It was such a lovely day and has the makings of 'family tradition'. Talking of which, I was talking with Rebe about something we did last year: One evening before Christmas we had all cuddled into the living room together to watch Narnia. We had the fire blazing and Garry made hot chocolate with whipped cream served with shortbread. I asked did she remember doing that last year (the only the time we did this) and she replied, 'Yes and when we did the year before, and the year before that and the year before that.'
Isn't it funny how it made such a strong impression on her that she remembers it being a life long tradition.
This is what we give them isn't really? Memories so strong they last a life time!

Friday, December 12, 2014


holly & ivy

 Winter is well on the way here. The temperature has dropped. After such a mild autumn it is feeling cold...and my coat hardly fits over my bump anymore!
 We are starting to prepare for Christmas. A few days ago Garry, Joa, the dogs and I went to the woods to collect some ever greens to make wreathes and decorations for the house.

 We have made a lovely wreath for the front room and the boys made little ones to have in their room.
As well as getting into the spirit at home; slowly decorating the house, finishing off our shopping and thinking about (although not actually doing yet) writing our cards, Christmas do's are happening:
 The RNLI Christmas Ball. Held at the local hotel, organised single handedly by Garry. It was a brilliant night, made extra special by 2 of his brothers and their partners coming down and sharing it with us. We had so much fun and as I spent my beer money on raffle tickets I cleaned up and won some lovely prizes. We had a lovely wee dance and a nice meal, lots of chat and an awful lot of laughter.
 The school had their Christmas play which was simply brilliant. Rebe was an angel. She was handing out slices of cake as we arrived. Benny was a robin. It was so sweet and so funny and I only cried twice which is a minor miracle in itself!

Today is a big day for the kids. Santa is coming to Joa's preschool to visit the kids and then staying on to see the After School Club that Benny goes to. And at Rebe and Benny's school there is a Christmas Party with a prize for the most festive costume. So yesterday we baked in preparation. It was like a Christmas baking factory I tell you!
 Joa made a chocolate cake...

 Benny made Honey cakes and Peppernuts

 Rebe did the icing.
 Wow, I was tired after all that and didn't want to be in the kitchen anymore so Garry made dinner:
 they had bacon and cabbage and I had roasted butternut squash with walnuts and goats cheese.
Lately Garry does most of the cooking. He's really enjoying it, making up new recipes and we are really enjoying eating it!!
So off the kids went to school this morning, all dressed up. Joa in a smart tie, shirt and favourite trousers, Benny as Father Christmas and Rebe as a Christmas Tree.
 I can't wait to pick them up again to hear all about it.
I hope you are having a wonderful winter time too :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

late November

 a trip to the beach with Bubs
 Frozen crown for Joa's little friend
Car washing

Wow, what a busy few weeks we've had here. My mum came to visit, which was so lovely. We hadn't seen her since Easter so we had a wonderful time catching up. We had walks on beaches and little shopping trips, gorgeous meals out and wonderful coffee and cake. She babysat for us one evening while Garry and I went to watch Damien Dempsey in concert in our local town. It's been so long since I have seen live music, he was amazing, we really enjoyed it!

There was parents evening, there were trips to the city to do our Christmas shopping, there have been walks, there is school, doctors appointments, hospital appointments, art class, doll making, dinner with friends, Christmas craft fairs and the list just goes on. There has been very little resting (and probably less housework!).

Garry continues to be on the mend, but was called back to the hospital for further checks, the results of which we are still waiting for. But he is doing ok, keeping busy and being the most wonderful help here.

I am feeling fine, pretty tired at times (but that's not surprising when I read all that back!) the baby is kicking away like mad although as yet I'm the only one to feel those kicks. I can't believe we will be half way there next week.

The coming weeks look a little less manic and rather festive. The kids have their school nativity and there are visits to Santa as well as lots of little festive things we are planning on doing at home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ebb and flow

 Rebe making bread
Benny's trouser design
 Benny's trousers
 Joa's home, a picture he did at preschool. They have been talking about homes and family this week. The preschool have really embraced that our family has a different shape to the conventional family unit. They are really supporting us and Joa in this and I am so happy about that.

 Joa's Christmas card design: 2 jellyfish licking the jellyfish in the middle with 3 festive gifts floating above them.
 Rebe's tidied and reorganized room
 Benny and Joa's play corner in their room
work (or play)

This week I have really been feeling the ebb and flow of energy. This is normal enough for me anyway, but heightened due to the pregnancy. Some days I can re-organise and tidy half the house, bake and cook for a week and the next day I can hardly move and fall asleep several times during the day (whenever I sit down really). I'm learning to ride these waves of energy to enjoy it while it is there and to allow myself to rest and ask for help when I have nothing left to spare.

Today is more of a resting day, music playing, the heating on and my knitting on my lap.

Friday, November 14, 2014

whatever happened to october?

it just went past in a whirl!
There were the usual goings on...

processing a sackful of apples from our friend's orchard

the carving of pumpkins... best tried out in a darkened toilet!
 Lots of play, taking advantage, when we could, of the mild weather we've been having.
Benny's quarry game
 Crafting: Rebe made this 7 foot snakes out of old socks.

 Drawing: the kids working on spare copies of my mackerel pictures I've been working on in art class.

Getting hair cuts: This was Joa's first ever hair cut at a barbers. He asked the lady, 'Please can you cut my hair in a spike?' She tried her very best but even with 2 loads of extra-strong hair gel his hair wouldn't stay in a spike for more than a second. I guess the curl is too strong!
 I've been working away as best I could too. I made this sweet trio of dolls, little sisters that Santa asked me to make to be delivered by him on Christmas Eve (how I love that I am one of Santa's elves).
 and very excitingly I have finally finished writing my Under Rainbows patterns. I have been working on then for a few months; writing the patterns, taking pictures for tutorials, finding test sewers and knitters and then painstakingly getting them all put together and ready for sale in my etsy shop.
 There are full doll making tutorials for both Snuggle Buddies and 16" dressable waldorf dolls and there are clothing patterns for boy and girl dolls and all sorts of knitting patterns. I am so proud and happy to be able to sell these patterns. Oh and if you use the code SEWHAPPY there is 10% off this week.
 This is the link to my shop: www.etsy.com/ie/shop/UnderRainbows
 But that is not all... the real reason for the crazy busy fleeting past of October are these 3 things:

1. Garry officially moved in here Under Rainbows. Although he has been staying here unofficially for several months we made it official and moved all of his things here (including several...hundred...Elvis' or Elvi I think is the plural?!) So that was a lot of sorting and cleaning and moving. We piled everything into this house thinking we would have weeks to sort it all out and then...
2. He was taken into hospital in agony. Poor thing had a prolapsed disc in his neck giving him such severe pain that the hospital could do nothing for him to control the pain resulting in surgery after 10 days in A&E. That was a difficult time for us all, worrying and stressful and very, very tiring, but there was a very special moment in the middle of it....
 Garry was wheeled through the hospital into the maternity ward so that he could be there for our first ultra sound checking on our beautiful wee baby!!!!

We are so excited and happy. I am now 16 weeks. The nausea has passed thank goodness and that awful hit-by-a-truck tiredness has gone too replaced with general pregnancy tiredness.

We are due in spring, probably the beginning of May and I am feeling tiny flutterings already and I am dying to knit and sew teeny tiny baby things!
Garry's operation was successful and he is now on the long road to recovery.
Sp, now we are up-to-date and all of that crazy stuff is out of the way perhaps I can get back into a better rhythm again and I hope this will give me more time to blog, to record and share with you this very special time.