The End

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How Lovely Are Your Branches

Our tree (as you may have seen from previous snapshots) isn't exactly a colour theme, or an anything theme for that matter. It's filled with fun, quirky or plain pretty decorations. Many of them have come from David's childhood, and I know he looks for these once I've set up the tree and the little boy in him is always over the moon when he spots four particular red teddy bears hanging off the branches.

Here are a few of my favourites - and his - and why they're there.

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I bought two of these from the Christmas shop at Bluewater this year. I fell in love with how delicate they look and the fact that they are full of stars. I love stars. I also wanted to add some white to the tree and these two are it (for now).


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There had to be something related to Emily so when Sarah of Hollyberry Boutique said that she was making personalised tree decorations (amongst other things), I pounced. It's lovely to have a handmade touch on the tree.


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This is one of a set of snowmen and other Christmas-related figurines that David's mum passed on to us. I love the snowmen in particular. They have that extra bit of detail, like the bells on this one, and another one has a little knitted cardigan. I just think they're so adorable.


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This silver heart came all the way from Denmark via @annfenech - three of these hearts and two little figurines dressed in Danish Christmas clothing were sent to me as part of the Ornament Exchange I featured last month.


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I love this wooden stocking. It makes me smile every time I look at it :)


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These are also new. They are part of a set of clay ornaments that I bought from Lakeland - yes, they are breakable and yes, they will break at some point or other. But until then, their cuteness is irresistible!


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Remember those red bears I mentioned earlier? This is one of them. He is by far the most battered of all four but, while David loves them all equally, I have a soft spot for this fragile one. I can only imagine how many hours this bear spent in David's hands as a boy to have reached a point where he is now on the verge of losing an ear. And even then, I suspect he'll still make it onto our tree.



Did You Know?
Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lit in honour of Christ's birth.
(source)

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I'll be taking a little bloggy break over Christmas and the New Year. This will be a special one for us - Emily's first - and I don't want to feel like I need to be keeping up with my blog, as much as I love it any other day of the year. Rest assured though that you'll hear all about our Christmas upon my return in 2012! Until then, the very best to you all. May your Christmas be everything you want it to be, and 2012 start with a smile, and lots of love.

Charge!

Last Saturday, I brought the gifts out of their hiding place (it wasn't much of a hiding place to begin with, they were just out of Emily's sight) and put them under the tree. Emily hadn't shown much interest in the tree so I thought it would be safe.

And I can't say I was wrong... as long as Missy E is kept an eye on. She did however try and get her dangerous little fingers on the gifts. Everyone's gifts. Here is how it happened.


Attempt Number 1 (as caught on camera)
"I've figured it out... Wait till Mummy's not looking, then ransack the pressies!"



*note the guilty facial expression*


Attempt Number 2
The next day she really lost her cool and began making mad dashes for the tree in plain sight. Sorry baby, no matter how fast you are, I'm faster.


Attempt Number 3
"If I just hang out in the vicinity of the tree, looking innocent, Mummy won't be suspicious..."




Attempt Number 4
"Maybe if I take some toys with me it will look less conspicuous?"




Attempt Number 5
"A-ha! I'll pretend it's just the ribbon I'm after..."






... later ...



Maybe it was just the ribbon she wanted (not surprising, seeing as how she has no idea what's under the wrapping!) That, or she's just given up and is making do with her spoils of war. Sunday is going to be FUN! :)


PS. My sight is back baby! :D

PSS. Emily now has a blog! Check it out!

Pretty

Yesterday morning, with a packed day ahead, I popped Emily into the pushchair, ready to go out. Before I'd even strapped her in, I was howling in pain. Her ever-pointing finger and my eye collided. After some panic (wouldn't you if you suddenly couldn't see out of one eye at all for a few minutes?!), I splashed some water on it and headed out to run my errands, well hidden behind a pair of sunglasses.

I told myself it was nothing and it'd pass but I cancelled my afternoon plans as they involved driving and my sight was way too blurred to be able to do that! So Emily and I played on. She was determined to get her hands on the Christmas tree, so I thought I'd beat her to it and introduce her to the pretty baubles directly.

Here is a short clip of her investigating, and if you listen carefully, you will hear her say "pretty" when she catches sight of herself being filmed towards the end! (She's a modest baby...!)



It was moments after I stopped filming that the pain in my eye suddenly became unbearable and I gave in and called NHS Direct, who strongly advised that I get it looked at in A&E.

Cue a flurry of plans and my sister and her hubby saving the day by taking me to hospital and keeping Emily. David left work and met me in the A&E waiting room, where I apparently looked like someone had punched me in the eye. (Well yes, a baby.)

A&E was impressively efficient, seeing me in under an hour (I suspect I wasn't down as a minor case). The lovely doctor anaesthetised my eye (oh to have had that last longer than 30 minutes!) and checked it out, and sure enough there was a scratch over the cornea, narrowly missing my pupil. I was given some antibiotic drops to prevent infection and told it should be better in about 3 days.

Meanwhile, I sit here grateful for my touch-typing skills because when I look at the screen all I can see really are little letter-sized shapes, which as you can imagine is extremely frustrating. The unfortunate thing is that my injured eye is my good eye. My other eye is a lazy eye (just not the wandering off sort) in that it doesn't focus. I rely almost entirely on my right eye to read and see clearly, and you guessed it - Emily scratched my right eye. I thought I had bad eyesight before...

At the moment, if you had to ask me what I want for Christmas, I'll be happy with being able to read a sentence without guessing at the letters and words again! x

Just Us

I haven't openly admitted this but until last week, David and I hadn't yet been out together - ie JUST US - since Emily was born. There were a couple of times when we said we might but we never quite "got round" to it. But last weekend, when my brother was over, we took the opportunity to really try and get out once Emily was asleep.

Typically, that week, she'd started being really unsettled after bedtime - sometimes waking up screaming and needing to be comforted to go back to sleep. But my brother was confident he could handle it, and we decided to go ahead with our plans.

It was just up to us to decide what we wanted to do. The one thing we miss most from our pre-Emily life is the cinema. We really, really miss it. So we both wanted to go to the cinema, but then couldn't decide on a movie (we only had one shot at this - it HAD to be a great movie!!). So the cinema became just a drink. Then we almost cancelled the night out. Then it became a walk. Then, again, maybe we just won't bother. And in the end, we called up our favourite restaurant at 20:10 and made a reservation for 20:30, I quickly painted my face and were there just 5 mins late.

We had a fabulous three course meal with a bottle of what tasted like the best wine we've drunk in years. We chatted and planned holidays and generally enjoyed each other's company and when it was over, we walked (I stumbled, noisily) home, satisfied and talking about doing it again soon.


Emily, on the other hand, was not too impressed with our behaviour. After sleeping through the night again recently, she chose that night to wake up at midnight and refused to go back to sleep until 02:30. Trying to rock a fretful baby to sleep when tipsy isn't something I'd like to repeat any time soon... so maybe a bit less wine next time!

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Weekend with the Girls

Spent a few precious days with two of my bestest friends last weekend. They popped over from Malta for a flying visit (made shorter by a misunderstanding on the part of the taxi company who caused them to get to my house three hours later than planned), but it was an excellent weekend. Some highlights:

1. Emily pointing at things and saying "pretty." Everything she likes is now pretty. Daddy is pretty, the walrus in her bath book is pretty, her milk is pretty. You get the picture.

2. A much anticipated girlie dinner.

3. A (quite hilarious) Fruit Ninja marathon.




2000

Oh Deborah, do you recall?
Your house was very small,
with wood chip on the wall.
When I came around to call,
you didn't notice me at all.

I said let's all meet up in the year 2000.
Won't it be strange when we're all fully grown.
Be there at 2 o'clock by the fountain down the road.
I never knew that you'd get married.
I would be living down here on my own on
that damp and lonely Thursday years ago.



They played Pulp's Disco 2000 on the radio this morning. Release date 1995.

Back in 1995, I was 12 going on 13. It was the year both my grandfathers passed away, followed by a summer I'll never forget. It was the year I became a "young lady" (which prompted my mother to call EVERY member of the family to let them know - thanks ma). It was the year of the Aussie cousins, and what will forever be remembered as my "hormone attack" (no, I will not be telling that story). It was the year I first went away to Girl Guide Camp. It was the year we bought a new house and my sister got sick. In many ways, 1995 was the year that started turning me into the adult I am today.

I remember thinking that 2000 was so far away, it would probably never happen. And yet here we are, soon to be raising our glasses and waving farewell to 2011. How, pray tell, did that happen?!

Cars do not hover, air is not pure, robots have not replaced half of humankind, and Space is still not a holiday destination. Hah. Fancy that.

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