Yep, here we are ‘in the bleak midwinter’. Have I mentioned before how much I hate January? Very probably! The cold days, the long dark nights, not being able to get outside with the children, endless coughs and colds… I looked up images of wintry scenes and of course they’re all of twinkly snowscapes with bright blue skies. In reality, in the south of England this week it has been occasionally icy, windy, rainy, cloudy, grey and dark with very brief low sunshine breaking through. Sorry, this is turning into a weather report. I’ve always thought that one day, in retirement, it would be nice to spend the winter months living abroad somewhere warm and sunny.
I don’t like to choose a negative word on the whole but this week I feel like everything has been tainted by the lurgy. After a week of alternating shakes and sweats and headaches, eventually a nasty cough has kicked in and I’ve been feeling a bit sick, not sleeping well and still getting the headaches. It’s times like this when you realise just how much easier your single, child-free friends and colleagues have it – the ability to take a day off work and just tend to yourself, catch up on sleep and generally lounge in PJs swigging from medicine bottles are well and truly gone.
This week has been a very quiet one for myself and the family. Despite it being December now we didn’t actually have any Christmassy outings arranged for the weekend although we did put our tree up and decorate it (ridiculously early for us but I’m enjoying it’s twinkly presence and impressed with the fact that 2 year old EJ has mostly left it alone!).
As always on Tuesdays I have a list as long as my arm of things I need t cram into my six free hours. This always seems like such a luxury and I know I’m very lucky to have this time but I never, ever, get everything done and I’m usually both worn out and a bit disappointed by the time the school run rolls around because I’ll have had to shelve at least one or two things on the to do list! This week the Christmas cards and most of the wrapping was left undone, but at least I gave the house a good clean and tidy!
This week I have mostly been getting over my Christmas anxiety and malaise and getting on with the first necessary steps in order to start feeling a little bit on top of it all. Having said that I still have a lot to do!
During the week I have:
- Made a homemade snowglobe
- Made some jars of homemade brandied cherries (for gifts)
- Bought some books, pyjamas, santa hats, advent chocolates, slipper socks and a special silver reindeer bell for the children (plus a few other miscellaneous bits and bobs)
- Bought some more supplies for gifts in jars from Amazon (deliveries are all a bit sporadic and haphazard though!)
- Taken the children to see Santa arrive on a ‘monster truck’ at the local garden centre
- Booked tickets for the children to visit (another) Santa at Osterley Park and House (National Trust) this Sunday
- Attempted (unsuccessfully) to establish just what we intend to do with ourselves on Christmas day
- Chosen my food for my work’s Christmas meal at All Bar One
- Agreed with a good friend to book tickets for this year’s Woking panto starring, once again, JJ’s favourite, Justin Fletcher (AKA Mr Tumble).
- Confirmed a Christmas Eve lunch with my cousins and children.
Next steps will be sourcing presents for the hubster, EJ, my step daughter, my nephews, nieces, my Mum and Dad, Sisters and Brother in Laws, deciding what to wear and buying, writing and sending Christmas Cards. Phew!
I realise that this all might seem a lot of thoughts about Christmas already but for me, it seems less like four weeks and more like four days (i.e. four days without the children!). I will need to decide when to put up some decorations (I’m erring on later rather than sooner just because of the EJ destruction factor 🙂 ) and then making sure I still have the time to get all the presents wrapped and ready to pile around the tree cometh the hour…
Last month I decided it was about time I took my blog on a bit. Don’t get me wrong I have loved having my little space to practise my writing skills, waffle on about randomly occurring thoughts, document the ever growing & changing munchkins and the parenting journey as it happens, from the frontline. I still do and I don’t want it to become the kind of place where people see only reviews and sponsored posts and mourn the loss of real content. But, I would like to mix it up with a couple of tastefully chosen reviews – I’m particularly enchanted by the kind of child-friendly sponsored days out I see on some of the blogs I really enjoy a lot. Now I’m assuming that these kind of gigs are a lot easier to come by the higher your ranking?
I’m not sure why I got so motivated to get on and do ‘things’ with the blog these last couple of weeks, but I have finally undertaken some stuff that several of my more successful compatriots got on with about 10 months ago!
After going self-hosted a couple of weeks ago I have been adding various useful tools and widgets and then, after what was, really, quite a brief brainstorm, I decided to take the bull by the horns and launch my very own, very first linky, The Truth about… which went live on Tuesday.
A slightly different approach to Word of the Week this week. As it’s the last week of the first half term of JJ’s school life, I thought I’d do a little round up, so my Word of the Week is: Endings (of beginnings).
With the first six weeks of ‘big school’ life under his belt here are some of JJ’s highs and lows:
- Week 1: initial thoughts – three afternoons checking out the new toys (educational, you say? Huh?) This is going to be a piece of cake.
- Week 2, day four: Abandonment as no-one shows up for pick up. Daddy eventually twigs that the end of the school day is at 3.10pm, not 3.30pm
- Week 3: The ‘interpret it yourself’ letter game arrives home in his school bag rapidly morphing into a ‘memory game’ with unintentionally hilarious results when an A, S, E and R are chosen, but not in that order… (fortunately his spelling skills are still rubbish)
- Week 4: it finally transpires that the ‘Dinner Lady Special Award’ doesn’t actually mean that the plate was cleaned, more of an indication that there was an over-print at the sticker factory. Memory loss (with regards day’s activities) off the scale.
- Week 5: 15 parentmail emails clocked up, 1 sponsored event under his belt, 6 new friends whose names escape him, one small hole in one of his two branded school sweatshirts.
- Week 6: after-school meltdowns reaching an all-time high with teary wailing at the very suggestion that the tablet isn’t charged up for his continuing Peppa Pig marathon, or that juice is provided in the ‘wrong’ cup, or that his flashing shoe won’t stop flashing, or…well just anything really.
So there you have it. The end of the beginning is nigh and it, probably, couldn’t come a day too soon – put the brakes on the rollercoaster!!
Happy weekend WOTWers!
I know, I know, I’ve read very similar posts by others in the past too and it’s really a very personal thing. I’ve been putting this process off for, literally, months. I decided to go self-hosted and up my game back in April – probably just round about the time that Sara from Mum Turned Mom posted her really helpful guide at which point I popped over to TSOHost and laid down my fiver for ownership of andthenthefunbegan.co.uk. I also made enquiries immediately with Helen Braid from Ellie Illustrates and assumed that having a re-design would necessitate the move to self-hosted. It turns out that that’s simply not the case – she can design a header which fits in perfectly with the WordPress Forever theme and slot in a nice little page background too with no effort whatsoever on your part. I enjoyed designing my new look but I guess I then laid back on my laurels and just decided not to worry too much about making the big techy move – something which kind of scared me!
In the last week and a half I have had the opportunity to meet up with two lovely new friends I’ve made through blogging – Elfa from Californian Mum in London (who invited me along to a fab beauty promo event at John Lewis) and Hannah from First Time Mummy who lives ten minutes from me and invited me over for tea and a chat. Talking to other bloggers has made me realise that I’m ready to stretch myself a bit more – I’m ready to go self-hosted, make a bit more of an effort with promotion and appearance (which is not to say that I’m not still a little bit in love with the Wizard of Oz header that I designed and Helen from Ellie Illustrates created months and months ago now), and potentially take on a few review gigs.
It’s been JJ’s second full week at big school. He seems to be taking it in his stride but just at the point where you think a new routine is bedding in, it seems that the dust is once again un-settling as tiredness creeps in. What started off as a pretty chaotic madcap pre-bed ‘routine’ has rapidly descended into the ninth circle of hell as JJ not only encourages his little brother to ignore me and defy my every wish but also seems to be possessed by the devil a little himself, kicking, screaming and seeming to relish this new found naughtiness.