Monday, 30 December 2013

A few Christmas Happenings..

There's something about being the proud possessor of a toddler that brings the innocent naivety back to Christmas. I had forgotten just how exciting putting up a plastic Christmas tree can be, but not how many of its fake needles it drops all over the floor. "Look Mummy. bells! Look! Look!"
I also enjoyed his struggle to pronounce the word "baubles" and his insistence on putting the star on the top of the tree, which nearly went so horribly wrong, but thankfully didn't.
I loved his mounting excitement as presents slowly appeared under the tree and his mounting frustration that he couldn't open them all just yet.

We had to get through his birthday first. I think as he gets older he's going to resent having a birthday in December, but it does help keep Christmas at bay for just a little bit. I made him a 3D stegosaurus out of sponge cake and Renshaw fondant icing (if you're reading then I really love your brand and perhaps you could send me some? I'm getting quite a bit of passing traffic on this blog now....)
He he, sorry.
Anyway, though I say it myself, I think it was quite a good cake and by the look on Josephs face when they brought it out after the restaurant meal, all candles blazing, he thought so too. I had a lot of fun making it, and the face did owe a debt to Wallace and Gromit, I have to admit. Definitely something about the eyes....

We have a cardboard plate for Santa. I picked it up cheap one year and now it seems to have stuck. It has a circle for a mince pie, a long triangle for a carrot and a small circle for a glass of sherry. I have to admit, I wasn't going to bother with sherry this year. I quite like it, but as I'm host to an ever expanding passenger at the moment I can't drink it. My other half is the only one about who likes it (even when he's not pretending to be Santa) and he was quite well supplied with some scotch and ginger wine so I thought he didn't mind. Turns out, you can't have a proper Christmas eve ritual without sherry, so we ended up with some anyway. He's happy as he's got a bottle of sweet sherry, which he prefers and I can't stand anyway. I like the dry stuff.
I feel a little bereft, having to have a totally "dry" Christmas. Ok, I'm not the biggest drinker at the best of times, but I do like the odd glass of wine and at this time of year I like to indulge in a little bit of port and lemon of an evening. Sadly all I can do is ask for a sniff of someone elses drink and I did allow myself one very small mouthful of wine after I had gorged a plenty on the big day itself, and I felt a little guilty about that. Joseph just downed pineapple crush like there was no tomorrow and was off playing with his new Thomas the Tank Engine before pudding was even served.

Ah, pudding, my one true shame of the season. Hand made stuffing in the bird (paxo is a dirty word in my house), proper gravy (bisto is an even dirtier word), proper roast veg (who's this Aunt Bessie person and why is she so popular???), all the green veg steamed and then doused in cream, cheese and breadcrumbs (it's the only way to make sprouts not taste of nasty) and honey glazed carrots. Not a single packet made item, and not a single healthy thing either! Did I mention there were two types of stuffing?
We even had home made custard for the pudding.... but the pudding was (sob).... bought.
Yes, while I should have been making a pud and leaving it to mature, I was too busy being ill so I just didn't get round to it. I did make a cake, but not a pudding. I'm so ashamed. It was quite a nice pudding though, and two minutes in the microwave after all that had slogging for the main course is something of a relief.

By the way... are you allowed to eat royal icing when you're pregnant? The bought roll out fondant stuff is ok, but home made royal icing is icing sugar and raw egg white. Given that the white is the more dangerous part of the egg, I'm not sure, but I can't help thinking that all that sugar would kill off most stuff.

Funniest memory of the season? The sight of my poor husband being made to be a donkey by my niece and son. Joseph likes the idea, it seems to have stuck.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Curious Incident of the Vomit in the Night Time

Now I mentioned in my last post that I was unfortunate enough to catch a stomach bug not once but twice. The viral vector for all this horror? Joseph of course, but it's anyone's guess where he picked it up from. Small children, viruses, it's just how it goes.
Many children get sick, and many manage to do the worst in the middle of the night and sit and scream until a poor sleep starved parent gets up and begins the process of clearing up the gross horror. I've heard stories of small children who've been sick over night and because they're still not properly awake have gone back to sleep amidst their eruptions, bringing a not so nice surprise to the luckless soul whose turn it is to go and wake them in the morning.

Joseph seems not to like either of those options. His logic seems to work in a different way. He knows he's Not Allowed Out Of Bed, a fact he uses to its utmost annoyance and does make me worry if we'll ever get him nappy free over night. He knows he's not supposed to wake us up, which is nice too, but he seems to lack the higher level of reasoning that concludes that perhaps Mummy would prefer to know about things like vomit as soon as they happen rather than several hours later.
He also didn't fancy sleeping in a gross puddle. So what does he do? He turns the splattered pillow over and calmly goes to sleep on the other side. He can't have made much noise at all doing any of this, my husband is a very light sleeper.
I went in to his room that morning and thought to myself - "That's an odd smell. What's that stuck to his bed sheet?" and this lead me to the not so nice surprise lurking under the pillow. I have spoken to a number of parents with little ones and not one of them have had their child do this. Perhaps his logic was more like that of the blokey sort of bloke who turns his pants the other way out to get an extra day of wear and to put off doing the washing.
He got over the bug in record time and by the afternoon was his usual bouncy self. I kept him on dry crackers for most of the day to be on the safe side after making the classic mistake of giving him some Shreddies and a glass of Nesquik for breakfast. Not a nice combination to have to mop up off the floor, believe me.

I, however, did not throw off said bugs so easily and had to spend several days in bed with nothing but glasses of water and dry crackers, feeling utterly miserable. Shortly after that I caught the flu and I still have a cough.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Things that go BUMP!

I realise that I have had a significant absence from this blog, but as per usual more people seem to be reading it when I'm not adding posts than when I am so go figure.
It's probably best I explain myself. I have not been lazy, I am pregnant! Woo-hoo!
It started off all right, but just like last time I developed some rather unpleasant hormone induced cluster headaches. Managing a toddler when you're struggling to focus is quite hard, and writing any sort of blog post when you can't concentrate on small print is impossible. Anyway, I got to 12 weeks, had a nice healthy scan picture and thought, oh so naively, that I was on the mend. That's what happened last time anyway.
Not this time. As the headaches waned away, my usually reliable stomach decided that it was feeling rather left out of the whole business and decided to chime in on a depressingly regular basis. What really puzzled me was that I was perfectly capable of keeping down an unhealthy lunch of crackers slathered in butter, but not a nice healthy dinner of chicken and vegetables. All these slightly hippy-type women who blather on about your body "knowing what to do" clearly haven't met people like me. I simply point out that last time, when it came to labour, my body didn't know what to do and this time it seems to have even less of a clue. I keep craving soft boiled eggs, something I'm not supposed to eat. I don't want hard boiled, just soft - or fried. I'm guessing it's something to do with the protein content, but why my system should only be interested in runny yolks is beyond me.
At last the sickness decided to bow out at about 20 weeks and I could stop being told by people that I must be having a girl because the scan was pretty clear. It's a boy, and how sick you are has little to do with it.
One again, in the heights of naivety I decided I must be feeling better and started to enjoy life again only to be hit by two stomach bugs in a row. A few weeks later, when asked, I confidently responded that I was definitely on the mend only to go down with the flu the next day. Now, I even suffered having to have a flu jab which left me with a sore arm and a swollen armpit gland for a whole week. I was not amused to find myself ill with one of the strains it somehow doesn't cover.
Baby seems fine though, but the constant sickness seems to be segwaying neatly into constant indigestion and regular reflux is probably right round the corner.
Still, I've learned my lesson. Don't ask me how I'm feeling, it seems to be something of a loaded question.