Tag Archives: Christmas

The gift of sleep

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God knows how Santa got it all down my non-existent chimney – but I was thoroughly spoiled this year.

Most of the best gifts were sleep related; A White Company dressing gown (thanks Mum <3), an electric blanket, PJs, a new mattress…

That last gift arrived on the 27th and had been a very hasty iPhone purchase. Rod has been moaning about the mattress ever since we moved down from Aberdeen and the removal company placed it directly under a leak. One of our children also peed on it recently so – repulsed, when I changed the sheets, by the yellow stain – I hastily Googled “mattress sale” and PayPaled one that had a memory foam layer and hefty discount.

It was delivered rolled tightly into a tube by an Indian guy in a beany hat.

“Look boys it’s Santa!” I cried, so delighted was I to be sleeping hygienically. They looked at him, puzzled, but were happy to share in mummy’s joy.

Unwrapping it was like opening an adult-sized jack-in-the-box. It boinged as I cut through the shrink wrap and then bounced upright, terrifying the smaller one and sending the bigger one into hysterics. It smelled like fish.

“So did my flower necklaces when we opened them for my party,” the Wee Man’s girlfriend informed me when she came to play an hour later.

“It goes away.”

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So I left it lying on the bed frame and dragged the old one into KD’s room where the three kids discovered it was the best toy in the post-Christmas household. For hours they bounced on it and dragged it around, making dens and slides. Donutters, Duplo and Doh of the Play variety all lay untouched. At least there was minimal mess I told myself as I strictly supervised the jumping, convinced one of them would break a bone.

Later, as I un-boxed the new electric blanket, and made up the bed with freshly laundered sheets, I had a moment.

How old was I?

When exactly did shit like this start to matter to me?

I sat down on the showhome bed and couldn’t help but notice it was now lower with the new (cheap) mattress, so the reach up to the tallboy bedside tables was even more of a stretch. Rod was going to kill me. He hates my tallboy bedside tables. “I can’t reach shit,” he frequently complains, oblivious to the aesthetic.

AFTER: Bedroom

I bounced up and down experimentally. Not bad. Lower to the ground definitely – and therefore closer to the 85 chargers. Aha! I realised Rod would be pleased. A Kindle Fire and Apple Watch had also been in the Christmas haul, so two more chargers were joining the cable party trip hazard. I looked fondly at the Apple Watch charger. I was the proud owner – but had actually trumped his gift by also giving him a watch. His surprise had been delicious – after all, I’ve spent most of 2016 telling him we can’t afford a Tag Heuer. We still can’t, but when you choose a classic and finance it, rather than falling for the top of the range and wanting to buy it outright, we almost can.

Maybe we’re not completely pathetic, I reasoned, swaggering around with our wrist candy, eye bags reduced by our posh sleeping attire and cosy pee-free bed.

I wonder if my Apple Watch has a sleep app?

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Filed under Edinburgh, sleep

Giving to Grampian Women’s Aid

I’ve been struggling a wee bit adjusting to life as a mum of two. Mostly because I’m knackered but also because there are a million hormones making me crazy and I’m living in a city 150 miles away from most of my family. When you’re feeling low and a bit lonely, all you want is for someone to say to you, “It’s OK, I’ll help you.” I find it hard to ask for help, but as soon as I do, I get it, from my husband, my family and friends.

Not everyone is so blessed.

KD is growing so fast that I have a load of beautiful clothes he”s only worn once. I wanted them to go to someone who needed them, so I called Grampian Women’s Aid. The girl on the phone listened to me describe what I had and said: “Well we’re moving offices so we aren’t really accepting donations right now, but I can think of a woman who would really appreciate all that.”

That really got me. I immediately felt a personal connection with this woman and went back to the cupboard to find more to give her. After all, it had turned so cold, she’d need hats, mitts and blankets too.

I dropped off the bags this afternoon. I knew I couldn’t ask for any personal details, but I was told there were actually two babies on their way. “Are the women OK, are you supporting them?” I asked a bit pathetically. “Well obviously the circumstances aren’t ideal, but yes,” I was told. I suggested I could bring more clothes as KD outgrows them and she smiled and said that would be great.

I felt quite teary when I got back in the car. My gorgeous wee boy was asleep in his carseat and I had Christmas with my family to look forward to. Meanwhile one in four women are suffering from domestic abuse. It was too unfair.I wish I could do more. All I can hope is that these two women enjoy having some extra clothes for their beautiful new babies and that they feel like Women’s Aid has said “It’s OK, I’ll help you”.

I also hope that anyone reading this considers donating to their local Women’s Aid this Christmas.

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Filed under Aberdeen, charity

In which we move to Aberdeen

I wonder how many mums – or women for that matter – have had a wee snottery bubble this month? Mine happened on the morning of Tuesday 18th December. The slipper boot wouldn’t fit in the washing machine, I broke a nail trying to force it and then I had a coughing fit. I felt pathetic and had a proper wail on the kitchen floor.

This December has been particularly crazy. Rod was offered a six month secondment to Aberdeen and three days later he was there. The wee man and I stayed in Glasgow, buying and wrapping presents, writing and posting Christmas cards, dealing with the flu which became a chest infection and searching the internet for a suitable place to rent. I’m quite proud that a few hoarse sobs in front of the washing machine were all that happened.

Eventually Friday arrived and we could drive up to Aberdeen and view a few properties. By a magical stroke of luck, we found the ideal home –  a new build in a lovely area, close to colleagues of Rod’s and with a playpark nearby for the wee man. He surveyed his new territory with approval

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We get the keys mid-January so now we can finally relax and enjoy Christmas. We’re well again, we’re organised and we have so many lovely plans with friends and family. I wonder how many people are feeling this way today?

Meanwhile the wee man’s been preparing too. He’s working on a musical number for the post-feast entertainment

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He’s been helping me tidy the house

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And he’s learned a new skill which makes him even harder to contain.

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Here’s to a wonderful Christmas and a very prosperous 2013 for all of us! x

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Filed under Christmas, home

Do under-2s deserve Christmas presents?

I’ve been invited onto the MacAulay and Co show on BBC Radio Scotland tomorrow morning to discuss this – and would love to hear what you think!

So what do you reckon? Can you get away without giving them anything? Should you spoil them on their first Christmas? Let me know by commenting below!

What? No presents?

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