Finally we are getting back into the swing of things in the Pollard household. At last the bugs and sneezes seem to be packing their bags and moving on out. Finally I get the feeling that normality is resuming and we can settle back down to what we do best - living a fabulous and joyful life.
Yesterday was our local home-ed group meet. It was a big improvement on last week. Last week I felt really yuck. I didn't really feel up to going along to the group but a new family were planning to come along and I wasn't sure who else was going to turn up so I got my bum in gear, wrapped up cosy and took us all to Dawlish. I'm glad I did, we had a great time although I was sure to keep my distance from people to stop the spread of ill health. We didn't do the planned rockpooling session, the sea was going crazy and the wind was strong. Instead we fed the ducks. This led to so much laughter - the pigeons were viciously trying to get into the act! I can still picture Joseph trying to run away from a pigeon, only to have the said pigeon sitting firmly on his shoulder as he leaps around the place. Hysterical lol. The warmth of the hot chocolate in the cafe was very much welcomed too :) I did feel knocked out by the time we returned home though, so much so that the only other time we went out last week was to the Wednesday home-ed group at Exeter. The other days were spent at home with me trying to recover from the nasties.
The Teignbridge and Torbay group headed to Berry Head yesterday, a place I love visiting. The harsh cliff edges, the fortress ruins, and the military history all adds up to a place of great interest. We were really lucky with the weather - very little wind and quite warm. There were just a few spots of rain from time to time, but we didn't need to find shelter. I'm gutted that I forgot to take the camera, there were some awesome photo opportunities. Still, that gives me a great excuse to head back over that way another day - not that I need any excuse!
Once the children are safely tucked up in bed - apart from baby Taisia, she doesn't do bed apparently *sigh* - I've been taking the opportunity to plan a few festive ideas for the upcoming season. I am sure going to be a busy pumpkin this year, I've got soooo many ideas buzz buzz a-buzzing in my little head.
Now I have a confession to make.
I am usually a real festive party pooper.
Christmas bores me. I am usually just wanting it all over and done with.
The lead up to the day is so hectic and stressful - you can't go shopping without being shoulder barged and trodden on, everywhere is busy even during "quiet" times, and I hate how competitive it turns some people as they feel the need to ensure their children get the biggest, the best, and not forgetting the most.
One day and it's all over and done with, the big day passes and it feels like you've been left with a damp squib at the end of your firework box instead of the spectacular finale you were planning.
It seems gone are the days when Christmas was all about special family time and ol' traditions. Now you turn on the TV and get bombarded with adverts claiming you can only be "the best mum" if the family find an X-Box, laptop, digital camera and the very latest impossible to find anywhere gadget or three under the tree on Christmas morning.
Just pile on the pressure why don't ya, keep on piling on that pressure.
I have visions of precious mama's around the country counting their pennies and checking their bank balances praying they have enough to cover all that is expected from them. Expensive presents, gorgeous wrapping, fabulous decorations, exquisite food, not to mention the need to look utterly fabulous, the list goes on and on. If there isn't enough "real" money to cover the cost, no worries. It's expected that we will find a way to pay, any way - catalogues, credit cards, loans - you have to do what it takes to be a good mama. Then you can spend the months leading up to next years Christmas worrying about paying off this years, it's simple.
I know I'm not alone in feeling like this, just flicking through some awesome mama blogs out there demonstrates that there are many families out their stripping Christmas back to basics and just enjoying being together as a family.
I'm going to make a declaration on this 'ere blog.
The mama in this household will not be doing any stressing.
This mama is proud to say she won't be feeling the pressure.
This proud mama is going back to basics. I'm going to be introducing new-to-our-family traditions, making lots of handmade gifts, and generally ensuring that I too have an awesome Christmas 2011.
I've been looking for inspiration. Have you discovered Pinterest yet? I am rather addicted to it as my poor neglected family will tell you. But boy oh boy it is awe inspiring! You can see my pin boards here: http://pinterest.com/flirtyjunk/ or my Christmas specific one here http://pinterest.com/flirtyjunk/christmas-2011/ It has created so much excitement in my easily pleased mind. I have so many ideas of things to make and activities to do in order to truly make 2011 the best family Christmas season thus far. I feel like a child again, it's superb! One of the things I've been working on is an advent calender, with an activity a day. Activities range from baking mince pies to crafting with tissue paper, from taking an evening walk to view the festive lights to watching a festive film with hot chocolate and popcorn. I'll pop details on here when completed. We are also doing a family "secret santa" this year which the children are loving the idea of.
So, to end, I will warn you dear bloggy readers, that I will be sharing makes and creations with you over the next few weeks so don't tune in if festive chatter sends you running to the hills!
As for today, I'm in the kitchen creating an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday cake for a certain person's sweet 16 tomorrow...