Monday, 19 December 2011

Musings on New Year

What with Christmas and all its build up, New Year very often gets overlooked, until the few days after Christmas when the high of Christmas and Boxing Day has died down and we start to look for our next big event, then it's like 'Woah, New Year, where can we go?  What can we do?  What shall I wear?'.

My personal experiences of New Year have never been magical.  In fact when I was young and single, the big 'amazing' night out planned usually turned out to be a big, expensive (and cold) flop.  For some reason, because you (and everyone else out that night) is anticipating a monumentus night, it rarely is.  Overcrowded, overpriced and over hyped what else is there to come away with other than disappointment?

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So when we had children and no longer really had the opportunity to go out for New Year, in reality that actually felt a bit of a relief.  Add into the mix that my children do not sleep through the night and making it past 10pm is a struggle, and if I do make it past the 22:00 hours, making it through the next day without falling asleep on my feet is impossible.  Thus for the last 3 years we have not bothered with NYE, I haven't even attempted to stay up any later than normal, more excited about getting up the next day and enjoying the start of a whole new year.

What New Year doesn't give in fantastic festivities however, it does give in hope for many I believe.  There is no better starting place for anything than the first day of a new year.  The opportunity to mentally shove a bad year out of the door slamming its behind far away and thinking 'this one WILL be better'.  Or to beautifully record a good year into the history books and think 'That was awesome, this one will be just as good'.  Whatever a NYE night I have had I don't think I have ever got up on January 1 and thought 'Hmpf bet this year will be as bad as the last' - what do you know, it seems I am a glass is half full person. 

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I love the gusto we start January 1 with (either immediately or once the hangover has worn off) the year seems long and for that day the year holds infinite possibilities.  Many write these down in the good old 'New Years Resolutions' tradition and even though those resolutions might not be fulfilled at least they started off in good stead.  When we do not achieve those things we hope to, most of the time it is things out of our control that mean they fall by the wayside (apart from 'do more exercise' that is usually a weekly fad that passes and as far as I know is a rolling item on every bodies yearly resolution list...).  Otherwise it is usually sad events we did just not see coming that obliterates the year, things that only fate / destiny / karma / God (delete as applicable to you) could control. 

I haven't made a 'resolutions' list for a while, I barely get time to make a shopping list, let alone one as frivolously as a 'NY Resolutions' list!  However as my determination of 'getting more done' has kicked in since this house move I am going to use the next few days, enjoying Christmas, but also giving New Year a look in.  It's time to think back over 2011 and neatly and articulately sum up the journey I have made throughout the year, think about the good (and the truly fantastic), the bad, the ugly (the latter two so I can acknowledge them and banish them away), garnish what I have learnt and keep it fresh in my mind and take note of what I still need to work on in 2012.  Then 2012, what would I like that to hold?  Well... I'll think about it and get back to you. 

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Has this made you stop and think?  What are your NYE traditions and do you make 'resolutions' you try and stick by?  Has the meaning of NY changed to you since you had a family?

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Friday, 16 December 2011

New Home, New Lease... Of Life?

At last I have made it back to the land of blog-dom, and how I have missed thee!  But I am most pleased to say that I am sitting writing my blog post in the warmth of our new family home, at our much longed for dining table, in front of our very beautiful Christmas Tree. 

So life is good, the move is complete (and went pretty smoothly), the unpacking is taking place slowly but surely (with J2 round my ankles I have been realistic and rather than expecting to be unpacked in two days have set myself a target of unpacking two boxes a day, so far so good).  The kitchen is functioning, the living room a Christmas haven and two bedrooms are, very nearly, box free.  Santa's elves worked hard this week to wrap all Christmas presents which just leaves one Christmas food shop to negotiate.  A packed out month but wow, it has certainly ensured that Christmas has come around quick.

I realised this morning however, whilst chatting with a friend of mine that since moving into the new house last weekend, the new house has given me a new kind of attitude towards things.  Certain things that I lacked enthusiasm to do have started to return, like cooking proper dinners and ensuring that we are all eating much more healthily, making sure I stay up to chat to Hubby about his day when he gets in from work (albeit a reasonable time of course, it's not always possible when J2 doesn't sleep through the night ... ever... if that had changed would have been great but alas...)  even that I make the effort to filter my nice coffee in the morning rather than making instant. 

All these things had started to fall by the wayside, and I know I have a lot on my plate of important things to do in general with J1 and J2, and some of the afore mentioned things are not over important to most people, but they were things that were important to me.  I have been able to realise now that I was getting so stressed out with the lack of living space at the old house and having everything bursting at the seams so that there was not one single uncluttered surface that it was closing in on me and having an adverse affect.

However, new home, new attitude, I feel less stressed, thus I want to start making an effort with my appearance again, and have proved in the last couple of days that I can do it, and with J2 snapping at my heels.  I located clothes that had been holed up in boxes because we had no space to have them out that I forgot I had, to be honest I forgot I had anything other to wear than jeans!  It's funny, because of feeling more 'glam' (even found my heels) I have felt more like 'me' and more empowered and in control which in turn has made me more determined to get things in order without being dictated to by a 21 month old all day. 

I have been positive on being able to unpack without someone looking after the boys, yes with some whining in ears, but I have in general been able to do it so maybe I was always underestimating what I could get done or maybe the new house has had a positive impact on J2 too.  He certainly has more areas to investigate and keep him occupied, albeit more call for me to have eyes in the back of my head.  But am I...dare I say it... seeing more light at the end of the tunnel on the trauma of toddler hood?  Will I...dare I think it... survive?

Our house move has co-incided with a friends recent predicament that I have been discussing with her at length, should she take voluntary redundancy from her full time job because it was having a negative effect on her home life.  This lead to numerous discussions about the pro's and con's of being a SAHM and we came to the same conclusion, until we sacrificed it we didn't, or perhaps couldn't, appreciate it.  But without sacrificing it we wouldn't know that when we have it we should make the most of it. 

What we also established was that being a SAHM didn't mean we had to lose ourselves and all of our own identity as is easy to do when you are lucky enough to be in a position to be a SAHM and your job is 100% home and children.  It is o.k to think about giving yourself 20 minutes to get dressed and make yourself presentable, especially if that makes you feel good and has a positive impact on your day, if encourages you to think 'Yes I will make plans to do x y z' or just puts you in a better mood to think 'I'll plan a good day'.

My friends situation made me look at my own and re-evaluate.  My days were becoming more 'slummy-mummy' than 'yummy-mummy', my scheduled style was being lost and as a resulted I was becoming tetchy, stressed, frustrated and in turn hard to live with and not much fun for the kids.  So I am using this new home, as a new start and at a fabulous time to start being more 'mummy social', no better a social time than Christmas.  Take today for instance, we have had a fantastic day catching up with a friend and her adorable little girl that I haven't seen since the Wedding in March.

So today was a good start to 'yummy - mummy' days.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I have been Featured on Our Footprints on the World

As always I am super pleased when a fabulous fellow blogger asks for 'Guest Bloggers' and this year Kelly-Marie over at had the most brilliant idea of featuring a different blogger and their vision of Christmas for the whole month of December, making her blog the most Christmas filled one I have come across yet.

My guest post, about how me and mine celebrate Christmas has been featured today 

Only 10 more days to go...

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dear Boys - Letter of Life 3 (Family Friday)

Dear Boys

November 2011.

This is a very exciting but stressful time for us all at the moment.  We are moving house.  Mummy has been very stressed trying to pack up the house into boxes and Daddy has been on the phone, a lot, trying to organise all the other things that comes with moving house.

Sadly, as much as we love our current home we need some more space, and thus began the search for our new family home.  We have been very lucky and found somewhere that we can be moved into before Christmas 2011.  The house is a 'period' house, which is very different for us, but means we can have the most awesome Christmas Tree in the window at the front and we think it will be a wonderful family home.

I hope that our new home is the venue for as many happy memories as we have had in the current one.  As excited as I am about the new house, our old one holds a lot of our most precious times:

I was pregnant in with J2 in this house, and subsequently in labour
It was where we all brought J2 home for the first time and where J1 had his first cuddle
It was where Daddy proposed to Mummy
It was where we woke up on our Wedding Morning
It's where J1's first tooth came out
It's where J2 started to crawl and then took his first steps
It's where J1 started to sing songs

There are many more memories but these are some of the biggest ones and that is going to be difficult to leave behind.  A happy place is always harder to leave than an unhappy one, so I suppose that is a good sign, that we have all been very happy here.

In the mean time Mummy is sorry that she has been a bit stressed and busy over the last week or so, but by the time you read this when you are all grown yourself, you will probably understand the amount of work that is needed to move home.  But it will all be worth it.

So we say goodbye to our old home with much fondness and go forth to our new home with much hope.

Love Always