Christmas is drawing to a close and we have had a wonderful, if exhausting and overwhelming, time. Little E has been lucky enough to meet Santa not once but twice. She finds the concept of Santa fascinating and talks about him constantly but last year she was rather scared of him so I was hesitant to see her reaction this year.
To be honest not much has changed! She is still rather scared and clings to me like a limpet. This year I told her she wasn't allowed a present from Santa unless she took it from him and said thank you. This worked well and she was happy to have a little chat with Santa and shake his hand from a safe distance of about three feet. So I am a few years off getting a decent photo but we are making slow progress!
Sticking with Santa, we introduced a new tradition this year to help Santa deliver the presents; the Christmas key. As we have no chimney for Santa to access the house we have bought an elaborate oversized key to leave outside for him. When I showed Husband the key he looked confused and said it was too big to fit in our front door... I looked at him for a while trying to work out if he was having me on, realised he was serious, shook my head slowly and reminded him it is a magic key. This was a highlight of Christmas. Little E was obsessed with the key and could not wait to hang it on our front door before she went to bed. In the morning when then key had been posted back through the letterbox by Santa she was ecstatic! I'll certainly be keeping this up for future Christmases.
Next year we'll try and and spread the presents out even further than Boxing Day to help quell the overexcitement as I don't know how we'll cope with two little bundles of Christmas energy! But the most important/troubling question I have is where do you hide double the presents now you have no spare room? I think they will be sent up to Santa early next year!!!
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Little E met Santa last week (post to come) and her present was a paint your own Russian Babushka doll set. This was a great present because I have a beautiful set which she is obsessed with so now she can have her own.
The only part of this gift which I could foresee being problematic was the paint element. Little E loves painting but at nearly three she has not yet quite grasped the concept of staying within the lines. I had to squash my initial reaction to paint them myself for her and accept that the fun she of painting them is all part of her gift. And when I saw her painting them I was really pleased I let her have free reign because she loved it and was so focused.
The result... Well they are no longer recognisable as dolls but they are certainly unique and Little E is going to love playing with them - if they ever dry!
Baby bump has woken up in the last few days. It is like having a little disco going on inside. Until now baby has been pretty quiet and I have barely noticed the little kicks and jabs but now it is doing rolls and tumbles, all very visible on the surface. Hardly anyone has been able to feel baby move but with Christmas just days away all the family should be able to get their hands on a little kick. It is really reassuring to feel these movements and I am relax knowing baby is having fun in there.
Little E made husband and I a Christmas card at nursery this week. She decided to make a reindeer because she is obsessed with them at the moment (I have been forced to watch Nico the reindeer ten times this week already). I regularly catch her wandering around the house singing various versions Rudolph the red nose reindeer which suddenly morph into Jingle bells seamlessly. I think she is more excited about the reindeers visiting on Xmas eve than Santa.
Here is the card. I am rather impressed and, of course, choose to believe that she made all of it and was not helped at all by the nursery staff...
Do all little girls want to be just like mummy? Little E certainly does. From the time I wake up until bedtime I have a beautiful little shadow who thinks she is 32 not 2. This morning my makeup bag was the latest casualty. I stepped out of the room for a second and she swooped. Usually it is the blusher but today she went one step further; mascara. She knew exactly what to do and luckily she didn't poke her eye out. I had barely left the room but when I returned the silence gave her away immediately. The makeup looked untouched, the mascara lid was back on and returned to my makeup bag - oh she was the picture of innocence. Except for the black smudges around her eye (she had only had time to do one) and the brown eyeshadow around her lips...
This is not an uncommon occurrence - we've had red lipstick drawn all over the face which left stains for days and my favourite was 'bronzer belly' where she took a cream eyeshadow/bronzer palette and smeared the entire contents over her face, chest and stomach. You can't see her face in the picture but you can imagine...
It isn't just my makeup. The hair products attract her magpie like eyes with the straighteners being the holy grail. I am so paranoid about them I can't use them if I am on my own with her. She has also appropriated a small mirror for herself and has to apply her own body lotion and nip balm. So for Christmas what is she getting? You guessed it - her own dressing table! Do all little girls want to be just like Mummy?
Christmas is nearly here and I've been celebrating at various functions including my work Christmas do. Luckily my outfit fit ok and didn't make me look as big as the christmas tree but one thing has been severely lacking the year: the bubbles. I have not touched alcohol this pregnancy and the G&T cravings I experienced with Little E have yet to make an appearance but over the past few days I have found myself accepting a glass (just one glass) of red wine at these events and enjoying it immensely. This is a shock as I have never drunk red wine in my life!
When pregnant with Little E the NHS advice on drinking when pregnant was to limit it to a couple of units a week. This has since changed to zero alcohol and I was surprised to see the bottle of red wine on our table had (to my horror) a little picture of a pregnant woman with a cross through it! When did she appear? I casually turned her to face the wall so her judgmental stare could not shame me but I did finish my glass of wine...
I wonder if I am now converted to red wine or if I will revert back to G&T once baby arrives!
This week was very special. Mum and I had been waiting over six months for it to arrive: Wet Wet Wet in concert at the O2! I have been a fan of The Wets since I was about ten and have been lucky enough to see them live twice. The first time was back in 1995 when I was 14 and Dad took me to Wembley arena for my second ever concert (the first was Rick Astley in 1988, today's 1D equivalent...) Then we jump forward a decade to 2007 and Mum and I are at Wembley for the Wets to find ourselves in the third row (not sure how we managed that!). Probably the best concert of my life - and I've been to a fair few!
This time I have an extra passenger: a seven month baby bump. The O2 is not particularly easy to get to from our Surrey postcode and Husband was not happy with the idea of me jostling on public transport to get to and from the arena. So we decided to chance the traffic and drive up. The O2 has plenty of parking and it is easy to get in but we all know what a nightmare getting out of the carpark is at the end of a gig, so Mum and I decided to treat ourselves to the valet parking option.
Valet parking is £38.50. Standard arena event parking is £21 so it is an additional £17.50. You can pre book up to 5pm on the day of your event. You get your own dedicated entrance (same entrance as the VIP guests). You then drive right up to the arena where you are greeted by staff who swap your keys for a ticket and within 5 paces you are inside.
When leaving the arena your car is waiting for you at the drop off point. Just swap your ticket and you are off.
So how did Mum and I find it? In a word, perfect. We allowed plenty of time to get there in the Wednesday afternoon traffic and arrived 20 minutes before the valet parking opening time of 5:30pm. Not a problem. We pulled up to the well sign posted dedicated entrance and were immediately waved through because our registration number was on their system. We were told to follow the signs and look for the valet parking staff in black coats. You drive right up alongside the arena (which excited me because I saw the tour buses!) Easy enough but not quite easy enough for Mum who managed to completely miss the six guys in black jackets manically waving at her! After a quick U turn we pulled up to the valet parking reception and swapped our keys for a ticket. Within five steps we were in the heated tunnel leading us into the O2 emerging right by gate A. It was that easy!
We were early enough to easily get a table in Zizi for dinner then we enjoyed an amazing show with Marti Pellow *swoon* and the band on top form. Did I mention they were supported by Blue? Brucey bonus...
At the end of the concert we made our way back to the valet parking reception by Gate A and were warmly welcomed by the staff who radioed our registration through and kept us in the warm until the car was waiting for us. We only waited about five minutes before the car appeared and it was de-misted and lovely and warm inside, ready to drive away immediately. Within minutes we were on the main road out of the complex. We were home in an hour so overall a very easy journey and the valet parking experiene added an extra special touch to an amazing night. I would certainly recommend and will be booking again for those extra special nights.
This post is linked to the #PoCoLo linky http://www.vevivos.com/2013/12/13/post-comment-love-and-newbie-showcase-13th-to-15th-december-2013/
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.