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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Things that delight

Mince pies were the overriding theme of last week. (That, and trying to teach all three bigger girls all the words to The Twelve Days of Christmas, in a blatant bid to veer them away from that song which they still all frequently break into at the most embarrassing moments.) Anyhow, I made a LOT of mince pies - I gave some away, and ate more than I am willing to admit to, as well. 

And I made my Christmas cake. And it did not burn. This, is a thing to be pleased about. Especially after last year. 

Christmas cake - this year, Mary Berry's recipe is being trialled...
My best friend cannot abide any dried fruit. This, I just cannot understand, because I love it all. 

For Sang
Another highlight of the week was taking baby Charlotte swimming for the first time, and her absolutely loving the experience. Also lovely, was having the biggest littlest girl at her side, and seeing her pleasure at being the eldest during a remarkable outing. She is such a kind little girl - when not being wound up by big sisters or having a ridiculous Rumpelstiltskin stamping fit because she is tired, that is.

We enjoyed food with friends, too. Big roast pork. Delicious. 

The biggest girl turned to me one bedtime last week, and asked, "Are Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny all the same people, Mummy?". Rumbled! She is now happily in on the grown ups' secret, and enjoying keeping it alive for the younger ones. I was surprisingly unmoved by her new found knowledge - quite pleased, if anything. Another sign she is growing up, and, as it brings with it so many lovely things - like a love for story writing and illustrating - I do not feel sad. 

biggest girl's notebook
She later admitted to me that one of the ways she enjoys winding her little sister up (the middle girl) is by telling her she is being cast as the character with messy hair (as above), or some other undesirable trait.

Bedford skyline
This was the sky the girls could see from their attic room one day last week. And later that day the weather was atrocious.

I have had a complete fail so far on making any Christmas presents for the girls. Tell a lie, I am pretty close to finishing the toy I have in mind for baby Charlotte. But for some reason, I am procrastinating over doing the last bit needed. Instead, my attention has been swayed by these little stars.

I saw them on Sandra's blog, Cherry Heart. It is full of inspiration, and I am not sure how she finds the time to make all the things she does. I often look at blogs and think to myself, `Oh yes, that will be nice to make one day...'. Erm, in my fantasy perception of how much time I have, that is.

The reality is that these stars may never make it into the pretty garland I think that will look gorgeous on my tree. And, that I will be making at least one of my children's presents on Christmas Eve. And also, that I will almost certainly fail to write all the Christmas cards I intend to write.

For me, the back continues to annoy. Thankfully no longer at crisis point, but there as a constant limiting factor. This means little time spent at my sewing machine, because sitting down triggers the pain. Long evenings of sewing are just not doable at the moment. But, on the bright side, the back issue forcing me to slow down has led to me adopting a slightly different mindset. No longer trying to be Super Mum has led to a happier, less stressful way of life for us all. Who knew. More time to just enjoy being a mum. And no one notices or cares about half the things I have let slip, such as the ironing and the kitchen floor not getting mopped in ages.

Okay little one, stop growing up so fast - you hear me?
People often give the impression they think either I am mad or Super Mum to have four children. I am neither - and I honestly think motherhood is a lot more enjoyable fourth time round. But then, maybe it has just taken me this long to ease into the role and appreciate all the fun there is to be had.

And finally, the today's triumph. The biggest girl and I have just made our very first Christmas wreath together. No real idea what we were doing, but I wrapped loads of wire round the soggy moss base I'd bought from the local florist for a couple of pounds, while she directed me on where to put things. Most of the things were either donated by my friend Sarah (I have her to thank for the chillies and limes) or foraged from the local park. I don't think that last act was illegal...

Roll on Christmas!


  1. wow! the wreath is amazing! you two should be mega-proud! :-)
    You have inspired me to make my own mincemeat next xmas as I've never tackled it before! xxx

  2. Love the wreath it looks lovely! I hope you don't mind but I am going to copy your idea of cutting out a star shape on the top of mince pies - they look terrific!

  3. Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job as a Mummy, and who cares about kitchen floors anyway, right? I love your stars and even if they don't make it into a garland this year, there's always next year! You'll know why I get more time to crochet when I tell you I'm only Mummy to one! No beautiful babies to care for for me and those darlings are real time eaters! :)

    S x