Saturday, 4 January 2014

Our Family Christmas 2013

Ever since I can remember, Christmas follows a certain tradition in my family. There have been the odd years when it hasn't worked out quite as planned, such as when an ear infection meant we couldn't fly to England or when I was heavily pregnant with Alfie, but most of the time, Christmas is about spending time with family in London.

I'd had a good friend's 30th birthday party the night before our departure and the free mojitos I had partaken of that night had left me a little fragile and tired for the flight, but luckily not too bad. I say luckily, because the flight turned out to be quite traumatic thanks to heavy winds and my fear of flying! The winds were batting our plane all over the place and the turbulence was heavy in response. I had a tired Alfie on my lap and Milo watching a film at the window and I was trying my best to not look terrified. Shortly before our trip I had photographed a flight attendant with her baby and discussed my fear of flying. She said that flying was just like ''riding on a bus'' to her and so I kept repeating this sentence over and over again in my head to calm myself. Quite miraculously, the bouncing caused by the turbulence rocked both boys to sleep! Milo has not slept on a plane since he was a baby and then, it always took my walking him up and down the aisle in a baby carrier to achieve it. I was astounded. I was also thankful, as I could then just focus on my ''it's just like riding on a bus'' mantra over and over. Just as we were about to land, the pilot had to abort the landing and climb us back up in to the air. This is the second flight to England in a row in which this happened! Up and up we went and I tell you, my heart sank. We made our way up through the clouds again, those damn clouds that had shaken us around the first time and I knew we would have to descend through them once more! I started to worry we would be diverted to another airport or worse, we'd run out of petrol and plummet! Seriously, this is what goes through the mind of someone who's afraid of flying! Eventually we touched down on to the safety of soil and a number of people clapped as a few tears fell from my eyes. I think I had held the fear in so hard, that it just came out of me once I knew for sure we were safe.

We spent the first day hanging with my parents and then, The Bloke arrived to take me on a date to Brighton whilst my parents babysat the boys. The weather was still raging and thusly, a little against us. However, in an odd way, it added a little adventure to the trip and certainly gave us a few giggles as we were swept along the seafront. We ate fish and chips, watched the waves crash along the shore and played the 2p machines on the pier. We explored The Lanes and picked up a fabulous vintage suit that made the bloke look incredibly dapper.

The following day was Christmas eve and we filled both my parent's car and The Bloke's, with presents and supplies and we gave Milo the choice of which car he wanted to travel in. He chose to drive with nanny and grandad and Alfie joined the bloke as we made our way to my aunt's house.

Christmas eve was my late uncle's birthday and it was traditional for the 'adults' to go out for Chinese on that night each year, whilst us children (many moons ago of course) stayed in with our nan. Despite my uncle no longer being with us, we have continued the tradition, only now, us 'children' are allowed to join and we all go out for dinner to celebrate in his absence. The usual restaurant has closed down, so this year we went for Indian instead. It was a great choice and we all enjoyed an evening of good food and chuckles. Especially as we saw a rather drunk man attempting to carry a large, real Christmas tree home on the way there ha ha. Alfie experienced his first taste of curry and particularly enjoyed some Sag Aloo which I plan to cook here for him.

For the first time, we spoke to Milo about leaving out something for Santa to eat when he drops off the presents. Milo decided that Santa would enjoy a 'Percy Pig' sweet, so we left him one of those, a chocolate and some Whiskey. Lucky Santa! He wasn't so interested in the Reindeer's needs, so they unfortunately were left hungry at our house! We said goodbye to The Bloke as he went to spend Christmas with his parents and I went ahead with starting some of the traditions of Christmas that I remember with such warm memories from my own childhood.

I felt a real buzz of excitement as I lay the boy's stockings on their beds before slipping off to bed myself. It was fun to be on that side of things. To be the parent sneaking in to the kids room, knowing what joy Milo would feel upon waking up and discovering his stocking. I was a little mistaken though, as, when he awoke and went to the bathroom, completely missing his stocking, I went in and had to remind him that it was Christmas day ha ha. Alfie was still asleep, so I quickly picked up Milo's stocking and slipped out of the room, closing the door to let Alfie enjoy some peace and quiet.

Milo's excitement grew upon spotting the pile of presents awaiting him in the living room and he was so good waiting patiently for the rest of the family to wake up. Alfie had an incredibly long lay-in after getting to bed later than usual, following our evening meal at the restaurant, and so, we started on Milo's presents with Alfie still in bed. Once Alfie woke up, we got to open the rest of the presents, Milo giving him a good hand of course and we spent a lovely morning playing with everything and enjoying Milo's delight.

We ate the biggest Christmas lunch I have ever seen and then were pretty much left in a post-food-coma for the hours following. Both boys were ill over the Christmas period, with Alfie having 3 days of fever, leaving my usually calm and happy boy very unhappy indeed and Milo was definitely not quite himself for a couple of days. Despite this, both boys dealt well with it all. Alfie slept a huge amount, clearly his body's way of recovering and Milo got over his illness pretty fast.

Boxing Day and the day after were spent with other family members, including my brother, sister-in-law and nephew who were able to come visit for the day. The bloke came and joined us too and so it was a full house and a proper family affair. We ate, played games, watched a bit of telly and drank a glass of wine or two. After my parents left to head back home to bring in the new year, the bloke came and stayed for a few days and we took a trip to The Gruffalo Trail in Essex and The Science Museum in London. I don't have any photos from The Science Museum as it was so insanely packed, that I didn't get much chance.

New Year's eve was a quiet one in, as the bloke was away with a friend and I spent it in, watching a film with my aunt and enjoying a glass or two of Prosecco. It was a lovely Christmas and New Year and I can't believe how quickly the time flew. The boys gave me some amazing lay-ins and it was lovely for The Bloke and my family to get to know each other more. I am looking forward to our future Christmas's as a family of four and of course, to what 2014 will bring.

I hope you and your family enjoyed your Christmas and NYE and got to make the most of some time off with loved ones.

Here are some more photos of our time in the UK.

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  1. such a nice post and awesome photos, Sarah. it all sounds so happy! wish you a very good 2014!!!

    1. Thank you. We had a lovely time. Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2014 too.


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