Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Confession Time

Firstly, thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read my blog. It humbles me every time I see the visitor statistics and I thank you for sticking by me even when posting levels are low.

Secondly, I hope everyone has had an utterly wondrous festive season, with many fabulous memory making moments and bucketfuls of joyful smiles.  I apologise for being late with the well wishes.

Thirdly, on to the reason for this posting.

I confess that all has not being perfect in Classroom Free world.  I've been struggling to get through the days and my mind hasn't been in the best of places. Nothing serious, just severely lacking any sort of energy level and feeling pretty darn low health wise.   December hasn't been a good month for us, as we have all being hit by draining flu-like bugs.  I was really hit hard and despite my best efforts to keep everything together, I pretty much failed.

On the upside, I do think I had the best Christmas I have ever had, which is strange when I slept through most of it.  I had certainly been the most organised I have ever been, and the day seemed to flow really easily.  On the downside, Taisia was really quite poorly and has found sleeping very difficult. On Christmas Eve, and for the big day itself, she was covered almost from head to toe in a red rash and was generally feeling very tired and full of grumbles.  I spent a great deal of Christmas Day snuggling up with Taisia on the sofa as she was in desperate need for mama cuddles - this comforted both of us , so much so that I ended up closing my eyes and sleeping not once but three times!! The day sure went fast for me!  My wonderful husband cooked dinner for us all (I had helped him prepare it the night before), and the feast was scrumptious.

I had really put a lot of thought into each and every one of the gifts I bought and made this year.  I have definitely changed in mindset over the past year and instead of just splurging needlessly on useless tat just to increase the number of pressies for the children, I chose to put time and thought into each individual gift.  For Chelsea, her main present was a new mobile phone.  The look on her face when she tore off the wrapping was wonderful.  I have to admit I shed a happy tear or two.

Phone happiness

happy Chelsea 

Oh yes, Chelsea now has blue hair and a new cut, did you notice? *grin*. 

We have gone for a contract phone which we will pay for over the first year. I like the security of knowing she will always be able to use it if she needs to and doesn't have to rely on having credit. Another of her special gifts was a beautiful Alice in Wonderland themed bracelet I had commissioned the lovely June over at Goddess Jewels (on Facebook). Chelsea was made up when she saw it, and even more so when she knew where it was from and who had made it for her. Other gifts included the new version of "The Game of Life", jeans, make up, a watch, and handmade bath bombs. Joseph (now 14 following his Christmas Eve Birthday) didn't want anything other than money for Christmas which always makes me feel a little uneasy as I like to see an almost even amount of pressies for the children to unwrap. We did buy him a few things that we knew he would like, such as skinny jeans, a new belt, a watch, and the never fails to delight chocolate. He also got a chemistry set, the Monopoly game with the cash cards instead of paper money (we love it!), and Scattergories amongst other things. Good ol' family fun times are planned. Tiegan is now 10 years old. Can you imagine that? I can't believe that my quiet and gorgeous little girl has now reached double figures. It's a terrifying thought. I do love the fact that Tiegan is still very much a little girl in many ways, although shows signs of maturity when needed. Her wants for Christmas included Monster High dolls, books, make-up, and the new Harry Potter DVD. She got all of those, plus a new watch, a crystal growing science set, a felt maker, Disney's Dumbo on DVD clothes,and chocolate. She was smiling!

  Pressies

Tiegan 

Callum wanted the game console game Skylanders, the Dinobite game, and a Lego Ninjas set. He got all of those things along with a marble run set, the new version of Guess Who (much better as the cards don't fall out), chocolate and jellybeans, toy cars, playdough (he prefers the bought stuff to the homemade sadly) and clothes. I think he was rather happy with his lot, he kept saying "THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!"

  Happy Callum 

We didn't go mad buying gifts for Taisia as she is at that age where development and abilities are changing so rapidly. We did see quite a few cuddly toys that we fell in love with (or she fell in love with as we were shopping!) She spends a great deal of time cuddling her toys so the softer the better. We did get her some wooden musical instruments, including maracas, a tambourine and bells - they have been a huge hit which I knew they would be. Taisia is infatuated by music of any genre - rock and punk (thanks to the teens!) through to nursery rhymes and classical, it doesn't matter to her.

As a family gift we plunged for the XBox 360.  As much as I dislike "screen things", I succumbed due to the fact that our old Playstation 2 is on it's last legs and many stores have stopped selling PS2 games.  I couldn't stand to see Joseph's forlorn face any longer when he knew that he couldn't get the latest game for his console, and Lee (husband) has been secretly (or not so secretly!) hampering after one for a long while now.  Needless to say it was a big hit and all of us have enjoyed time on it so it was a good gift idea. 

I had planned on making a lot of the gifts for the children this year but despite my best efforts (at least I can say I tried!) that didn't seem to happen. I also wanted to make their Christmas stockings too, but my sewing machine died and time-constraints meant making stockings for 5 was putting too much pressure on myself. That is something I have learnt this year. I put far too pressure on myself to be "perfect". I strive for perfection then feel miserable when I fail. I prioritised this year and felt all the better for it. Not forcing myself to to complete everything was wonderful - less stressful for me = happier mama = happy kids. I hope this will be something that continues throughout 2012 and beyond. I can just be "good enough". 

I have some gifts for the children half complete that were meant to be for Christmas. They include a needle felted fairy toadstool house...

  Fairy toadstool playhouse in progress 

I'm hoping to finish it off and then add it to a felted fairy playscape. 
I started a dinosaur playscape for Callum, complete with needlefelted volcano, so that needs to be completed. I can't find a photo of it at the moment but will share with you as soon as I take another. 

I did manage to complete a needle felted Mermaid for Tiegan which she loves, it was the first gift that she opened on Christmas morning and the grin stayed with her throughout. The plan was to make a sealife playscape to go along with it, that shall be done one day soon. 

One of the gifts I did manage to finish was a needle felted lady for my mum...

  Gift for mother
I have also got another needle felted lady to show you, but can't share her right now as she is for the Greenparent Forum swap. We did have a visit by the tooth fairy just before Christmas though, and she left Tiegan a lovely needle felted little fairy lady...

  Little ladyFrom the tooth fairy 

I have really got into my crafting again which I'm loving. I desperately want to learn how to crochet, and have made a promise to myself that in 2012 I will crochet a blanket. I'm really enjoying needle felting, and am looking forward to when I get a new sewing machine (once the bank balance has recovered from Christmas) so I can get on with sewing things for our home. I'm going to take part in the Willowing life book in 2012 too, so have decided to set up a new blog just for my arty and crafty exploits to save clogging this blog up with non-home-ed postings. There is nothing on there as yet, but the address will be http://heartfeltmamauk.blogspot.com. I shall try to remember to tell you on here if I post across there the first few times.

I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am to see my youngest baby smile today. She has been so poorly and quite unlike herself for so long. She slept wonderfully through the night last night, and woke up with happy smiles and offering cuddles this morning - just like in the pre-illness days. Oh how happy am I?! The rash has completely disappeared now (I was very worried at one stage), and she is back to her trouble-making but oh so beautiful self once more.

  So happy

Mummy, I'm better again 

 We did see a glimpse that all was returning to normal yesterday...

  Taisia 

but shortly after that photograph was taken Taisia resumed a tired and grumpy state. 

Today though she has done lots of playing...

  playing

smiler

happy

so interesting

reading

we are friends 

I love how Kira has accepted Taisia, they are good friends with lots of kisses shared :) 

December hasn't been a complete and utter washout, although it did feel like that at the time. I had so many things planned, aiming for the "best Christmas ever!" status. We were hardly able to complete anything I had wanted to and spent many days just pottering around at home. I had wanted to visit places like the Babbacombe Model Village to see their festive displays, the home-ed groups Christmas Party, visiting Killerton House to see their decorations, and late night shopping so the children could see all the lights and soak up the festive atmosphere. Illness prevented all of these and many more. I haven't got half as many photographs as I would have liked to have taken, but looking back we had an ok time.

We baked...

  Our first biscuit treeMaking Mince Pies

Mince Pies
We made many, many batches of these!

First ever Christmas Cake
My first ever home-made Christmas Cake!

I painted...

  Unicorn painting

(That is the first piece of my own artwork to be framed AND HUNG in my house). 

We celebrated birthdays...

  Joseph's birthday cake 

 (The Thomas the Tank theme is a bit of a running joke in the family - I know that most 14 year old boys wouldn't choose such a cake...)

  Tiegan's cake 

 and enjoyed the company of Freckles the Fairy...

Freckles in the washing machine
Stuck in the washing machine!
Freckles in the pushchair...
Wanting to go for a ride in the pushchair apparently.

papered up doors
We went out shopping and came back to find the children's bedroom doors had been papered over!

Freckles in the dolls house
Whilst Freckles peeked out of the dolls house in delight.

whoopsie
She got herself in a bit of bother in the Christmas Tree.

tangled freckles
And in even more bother in my yarn bag.

Naughty freckles
The pesky fairy made a bit of a mess sometimes.

Freckles just hanging around
Whilst other times she looked like she was having fun just hanging around.

freckles reading
Very occasionally we caught her quietly reading.

Due to both Taisia and myself being unwell, we have spent lots of time sleeping on the sofa in the lounge. This has meant that Freckles was unable to move some nights (for fear of us spotting her!), so she hasn't been able to get up to as much mischief as I'm sure she would have liked!

So, back to normality now, and back to (slightly) more frequent posting. Thanks for hanging on in there!

10 comments:

  1. Ahhh it sounds like you had a fab time, and i'm so pleased to hear you're all feeling so much better!

    Love the photos they are brilliant!

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  2. great to 'hear' from you again - I have been worried about you! Looks like you had a great Christmas - well done you, being ill and keeping up with life is tough, and a kid with a rash is sooooo scary. Hope to see you soon. LOVE your needle felted ladies and your framed art, tres skilful. xxx

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  3. Lovely post - so full of real family life - and joy! Hope you are still enjoying these days, and looking forward to the New Year.
    Jacqui x

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  4. Lovely to see you back posting again. Taisia looks absolutely washed out - poor little one :( I sympathise - I think this is our first healthy Christmas in a good few years! I can't believe how much Taisia looks like Tiegan!

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  5. Confession?! Thought you were going to say you were having an affair with the Milkman lol.

    All looks great as usual Jules. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year x

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  6. Looks like an awesome time was had by all :o) Thanks for the name check for Goddess-Jewels!

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  7. Happy new year!

    I love your blog so I have nominated you for a blog award...

    You'll find it here:

    http://anordinary-life.blogspot.com/2012/01/versatile-blogger-award.html

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  8. SO glad you're all feeling better! Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas anyway, and i love all the Freckles pictures :-)
    Happy New Year!

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  9. loved sharing your christmas pics , the kids look so very happy , sorry you've been low , even so it still looks fantastic , hugs xxx

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  10. I love them little fairies.

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