Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hard Times, or Christmas Carol?

Hmm, realised that if I don't post soon I'm in danger of "stopping" my blog. And to think this time last year I was making a new year resolution to blog every day.

The problem I have, is I found Christmas just too hard. Therefore I realise I've been putting off blogging about it, as I really just want it all to be over. I know Dad would have been devastated to think that Christmas was spoilt for the boys by his death (if you know what I mean) so Mum and I truly put every ounce of effort into keeping this "normal".

I think we succeeded - Joshua didn't "remember" Grandad until two days after Christmas, so whilst it was then very painful at least it hadn't got in the way of his excitement on the day.

Oh, before I forget - Joshua won the mousetrap game! William had a complete hissy fit, lasting 20 minutes, but Samuel managed to stay really upbeat - I was so proud of him.

In fact, Samuel has been the best behaved out of the three over Christmas! Hopefully that means the extra efforts we made to help him in the run up to Christmas, and to avoid meltdowns, paid off.
William, however, has been a little you-know-what, and is still not eating properly. Anyone have any ideas? He doesn't have the tv on now when eating - but he still doesn't eat any quicker. He just sits there and forgets to chew/eat/feed himself.
So, Christmas - a brief synopsis:
Friday 22nd we had my brother and his family over for the Christmas meal. The boys had fun with their new toys, and baby Thomas impressed everyone with his new, wobbly, first steps.
Mum did a turkey dinner, and we had her home made, gluten free Christmas pudding for afters.

On the Saturday we had a lovely grown up evening out with our friends, Rebekah and Piers. The meal at the hotel was sadly a disappointment but other than that, it was good fun and nice to dress up for the evening. In the end I didn't fit into my evening dress, as bump decided to grow overnight. Good news was that it meant my maternity black trousers fitted!
Christmas Day I did the meal. We chose goose as Roarke doesn't really like turkey and Mum doesn't like duck. To cheat, I'd got a goose joint from Iceland.

Now I know the pictures on boxes aren't usually that accurate, but this picture had shown a nice slice off of the breast of the joint, and said it fed 8-10 adults.

Maybe it was a production line error - but there was no breast! The thing had been deboned, and there were the legs, and the skin to hold them together - and that was it! Oh, and THREE BOWLS full of stuffing.

Not only would there not have been enough for 8-10 adults, but we struggled to get enough for 3 - the kids had the sausages I'd cooked around it. Plus, of course, it was overcooked - 4 1/2 hours for what was actually just the legs was WAY too much.

Fortunately, I'd done lots of roast potatoes, carrots, plus cauliflour cheese, peas, yorkshires etc so it is not as if we went hungry. However, I could see how it could have really ruined someone's day. Roarke took the packaging and our pictures down to the store on Thursday and got a full refund - plus we are apparently due an official letter of apology and a "gesture of good will" from head office.

Boxing Day was quiet - other than going and putting out 200 Kleeneze catalogues! The boys seemed pleased with all their presents and have played really well. We have had so many lean Christmases - including one where they only had 2 presents from us, and they were both from the second hand toys shop - which we'd rather all forget, so this year we didn't look at the cost. Even then, old habits die hard, and totally up what we did end up spending, it was still less on the whole family than most people tell me they spend per child!

Also on boxing day Roarke and I bought ourselves a present - a new pc (just the stack) and a new router. Sore subject - the router has already had to be exchanged as it was faulty and this machine has crashed 4 times - and I haven't even loaded any software yet! It worked well though so that we could Skype my brother in Hungary and it meant a lot to us all to still be in contact with them over this period.

Just to add to the electrical woes, our new tv (you know, the one we only bought last month) has packed up - or rather, the digital bit has. We can get the terrestial channels but the freeview has just disappeared. We can't even use those functions on the remote, and if you call up "menu" the option for digital tuning has disappeared! First time an engineer can call is Wednesday.... good job the boys got dvds and pc games for Christmas!

I got a slow cooker from Roarke (it was the only thing on my "list") so today I am experimenting with it for the first time. I'm hoping it will prove its worth on the days when we have home ed events/outings, and I can put the meal in before we go out and not have to rush in and madly throw something together when we get back at the end of the day.

Darn - just seen its started raining and guess what we are due to do when Roarke gets home at 4 - that's right, put out more catalogues! For some reason Roarke and I always start Kleeneze in the winter (its our 3 time in 10 years of doing this) - we are obviously quite mad!

Still, the business serves a purpose - not only are the boys fully involved but it also brings in another income and is more flexible that Roarke's "regular" job. This will be increasingly important as the pregnancy progresses - he's never been in "regular" work during my pregnancies (other than the first one) as I need so much attention/care towards the end that a normal job is not flexible enough. Ho hum.

Right, so that was Christmas.
Now to get through the new year - which has always been the big low point for me since I was a teenager.


Linda said...

Glad the mousetrap game went well.

We had an Iceland Turkey breast (cook right from the freezer) last year and it was disgusting, fat too salty and funnily enough cooked far too quickly too, (although maybe our oven was 'thermostatically challenged' last year too!)

Hope you have a great new year.

Jules said...

Hiya hun, just dropping by to wish you a very happy new year. I know what you mean about the cost of presents, we paid for the whole of Christmas in cash this year, we didn't put anything on credit at all. Very proud of that fact, although it was hard.

(((hugs))) for you all.
Jules x

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,
Just popping by too wish you well for 2007. Sounds like its not going to be much fun for you, KWYM- as I have some 'new year' traumas too. I will be thinking of you.