Friday, 9 December 2011

Calling it in

Excitement is building, there's a crescendo round the corner! Called the tree in and every morning the children find a decoration in a pocket of the advent calendar to hang from it's green boughs. 

Bunting success: I'd like to make more I doubt I'll get around to it as there are so many other things I want to/need to make

And crafting got so much more exciting when I discovered a new Hobby Craft megastore in town yesterday! 

Called the holly in, the children made a den complete with campfire under this fir tree whilst I gathered it.

And isn't it bliss when every day is a bake off?! 

I can feel the seasonal glutony starting already, but not sure I care, I'm dreaming of feasts, wines and cheese ... mmmm cheese.

Sentimentally I'm loving that my children sit spellbound at the echoes of my own childhood - classics - The Snowman and Father Christmas short movies by Raymond Briggs are in constant rotation now.  As my sister says - just to make sure they don't forget it's gonna be Christmas soon.  That song sends shivers down my spine and I hark back to the festive butterflies I used to have flitting about inside as a little girl.  I watch the smile creeping over Zanders face as Walking In The Air begins to play, he assured me he likes 'that one' best.  I see that classical music calls to him, it appeals to something deep inside - he's shown interest in the score, rather than the soundtrack, from the star wars films he loves as well.  So I dug out my CD of ballet suites as an experiment and you know what? calm settled upon a nearly chaotic household.

There is always Yin to the Yang in life though and indeed the season is no exception.  Alas, I have two poorly poppets at home on the couch snuggled in blankets, clutching hot water bottles with hacking coughs and temperatures - watching endless movies, which I'm cool with under the circumstances.  I'm smiling inwardly at the luxury of no longer working daytime's, knowing they can stay home as long as is needed without me having that niggle in the back of my mind that people in the office would rather I was at work or the fact they'll be taking it all out of my annual leave.  This was one major reason for giving a night job a go and already it's paying off in this respect. 

Illness, though undesirable, always makes a mama feel so needed especially as the children grow and start to exist more independent on a daily basis.  I like that feeling of really being needed by them.  That sense that only endless cuddles from mama can make some things better and with all these extra cuddles and snuggles we reconnect and bond some more, the oxytocin gets pumping round my bloodstream again.  It gives me a chance to flex my self healing muscles too so I knocked up a batch of cranberry cough linctus first thing to sooth those scratchy throats ...

Cranberry & Honey cough syrup

250g Cranberrys
150g Honey
1 Orange sliced
Good handful of fresh thyme
5 dessert spoons of demerera sugar
Echinacea if you have any to hand.

Put cranberries, honey, orange and thyme into a saucepan and just cover with water.  Simmer for half an hour then strain into a measuring jug through a muslin cloth then add the sugar and 4ml echinacea tincture.  Stir until the sugar has melted, leave to cool then pour into a sterilised bottle.  It will keep for several days in the fridge.  I let them drink a little warm from a glass, it's nicer than having it cold off a spoon.

And about half an hour ago they requested a bowl of frozen peas to snack on, which isn't unheard of but I made a note to self that neither of them has coughed since.  They are obviously well in tune with their own bodies and instincts.  What clever little poppets using frozen peas to numb their hurty throats.

I had to give myself brownie points too when I came home bearing two comics full of Christmas crafts and activities in the afternoon.  Seriously, mama did good - they were content and enthusiastic for hours despite their illness and Zanders comic gave me the chance to home school some.  We  counted, spelt, practised writing, matched shapes and  recognised numbers.  And it turns out he can actually really read already - not simply recognise letters - he see's words printed on a page and says 'Mummy - that says big' clever little poppet!

I love it when my table looks like this.

More winter heart warmers ....

Eating mince pie's the way the Somerset branch of our family eat them ... take the tops off and add as much clotted cream as you possibly can, replace top and scoff.  Calorific but the only way to eat them if you ask me ... literally the only way Cliff will eat them!

Paper chains...

 Watching Zander peel all the potatoes for our roast this weekend, persevering with the awkward  technique of a peeler in small hands...

Making winter wands out of Ash collected at Samhain.

Overspending in the continental deli and subsequently over scoffing Panettone and Panforte mostly all by myself, yum!

This cheeky little poppet scoffing popcorn as I strung it with cranberries...

Working with crystals.

The sumptuous full moon of last weekend coming up on the horizon; she looked so near, her light such a soft ivory that I wanted to reach out and pluck her from the sky.

These winter colours in the country park...

And mostly I am excited planning gatherings for the next couple of weeks.

I'm a bit disappointed in myself because in the chaos of adjusting to working nights and inevitable festive preparations my daily meditation practise has totally slipped.  I play the CD with good intentions most nights but fall asleep just minutes in.  I want to get back on top of it, I miss it and I feel I owe it to myself, my family and those that taught me.  I know being disappointed in myself is a judgement and I was taught that judgements are not helpful, they are the second dart. 

With many things on that never ending to do list that I've ignored so far this evening, I say sweet dreams as I try and move them on to my ta-da list! x x x

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