BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!

I finally found a bit of time to tell you about my Christmas. As I have a patchwork polish-english family, we celebrate in both ways as well. I’ll start from the beginning.

In Poland we celebrate on Christmas Eve rather then Christmas Day. Our tradition say, there should be twelve dishes on the table, there should always be one empty plate on the table, for unexpected hungry guest, who may knock on the door. We start our dinner when the first star comes out on the sky. Before eating, we share with each other a special wafer, called oplatek, and say Christmas wishes, usually of health and fortune. After that, some families read the Bible and pray, my family have never done that, therefore I don’t keep this tradition. Then we eat. My favourite dishes on Christmas table are pierogi (dumplings) with sauerkraft and mushrooms, and bigos – sauerkraft with mushrooms and meat. Now, before someone shout – There shouldn’t be meat on polish Wigilia (Christmas Eve)! – I will explain, that when I was a child we didn’t eat meat on Christmas Eve, it was more like a rule then tradition. In respect of animals that came to baby Jesus, there was NO! meat on polish table on Wigilia. But, when I was a bit older I remember, first hearing in the church, and then it was all over tv, that it’s everyone individual decision if he wants to eat meat or not. My family quickly adapted this information, and we do have a little bit of meat on this day.

This year my younger son, Ben (4) decided to help me with preparing dumplings, and we’ve had loads of fun doing this, although it wasn’t funny when I had to scrape dumplings dough from the floor after.

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Ben preparing dumplings

This year, before the dinner, mr P dressed up as the Santa Clause. We thought Ben will recognize him, but he didn’t! It was so good to see this happiness on his little face. Even Eva had a photo with Santa.

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Ben with Santa

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Eva with Santa

All children received one gift each, with a promise of more on Christmas Day…

Christmas Day is always a bit difficult for me, as my boys go to their dad, to spend some time with him. Me and mr P go to his parents to celebrate with them. But first, when we wake up we open our Christmas gifts. There has to be a gift for everybody, even for our cat. This year I’ve got a very special gift from mr P. I had a giant gift bag, with loads of wrapped boxes inside. Boxes where smaller, and smaller, and when finally I’ve got to one size of a shoe box, he told me to leave it, stand in front of a Christmas tree and close my eyes. So I did. And he took out the ring, and proposed… this is the best gift I could ever get.

I hope that this next year 2017, will be healthy, happy, magical, and full of good surprises, for me, and for you. Happy New Year!

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FATHER CHRISTMAS DAY

December is a very special time for my family. It’s the most magical time. And as I am polish my Christmas look a little bit different then British Christmas. I won’t tell you now about Christmas Eve , and Day, because it’s a story for a next time. I want to tell you about Father Christmas Day.

As everyone who celebrate Christmas ,  at the beginning of December I buy Advent calendars for my whole family including me and Mr P. And the first date on this calendar that we can’t wait for is 6th of December. All children go to sleep early on 5th of December ,  because Santa won’t come if they’re not asleep. And in the morning when they wake up ,  they find gifts under the pillows. Nothing big, little toys, and mainly sweets.

This shows children that he is there, he is watching, and he knows who’s good or not. That raise my question. Do you tell your children that Father Christmas is watching them? Or that he won’t give them presents if they’re naughty? I do, but this year my 4 year old was really scared, and didn’t want to be alone in his room after I told him that he’s being watched. It’s this thing, we tell children to keep away from strangers , and then at Christmas we say that old man with beard is watching them all the time and it’s ok! Never thought of this until this year.

Anyway my 4 years old Ben is a bit of  handful child. Recently he really wasn’t a very good boy, so along with the gifts under his pillow I left the letter from Father Christmas, saying that if he want to get this gift he is talking about a lot for Christmas , he needs to try a little bit harder. But Ben instead of thinking ‘Oh no! I need to be good from now on!’ just said ‘Mum he promised me I’ll get it!’ It didn’t really work as I planned…

AUTUMN HAS GOT ME

So that’s it. Summer is long gone, and autumn is fully in. It’s this first part of it, that I really like. It is a bit cool, I do have heating set up on minimum at home, but it’s still sunny outside. I like steady walks with shoes dipped in colorful leaves that nobody swept of the path; I like colours if the trees and how everything change. The middle stage between summer and gray and wet, late autumn… I look at people around me, seems that nobody can see it, everybody is in such a rush, that they miss the beauty of nature. I don’t blame them. They probobly have jobs, meetings, problems to solve. I have time. This is one of the perks of having a newborn baby. I take my baby in a pram and just wander around.

Today maybe less peaceful, as my boys started half term break at school, but still lovely. This is me, the mother of three, I tell you STOP! Stand for a moment, smile and look around. The world is beautiful, we just need to look at it.

COLLECTING MEMORIES 

Are you a memories collector? I most of them just in my head, or on the photos, but sometimes I leave myself other “souvenirs”. This is mostly when it comes to my children. I have a little box for each of them, where I put the memories of the first few weeks of their lives. What’s inside? Hospital bracelets,  first dummies, Ben has got a little hospital hat, and umbilical cords ( just the piece that fell of baby belly). My Paul can’t understand how can I store something like umbilical cord, but this is polish tradition. I’m pretty sure my mum still has got my cord, if it didn’t fell apart after so many years. 

Last Sunday we visited Paul’s mum. She gave us another memory. Paul’s christening clothes! She kept them for over 30 years, and they look like new. I don’t care if it’s old fashioned christening dress, Eva is going to wear it for her first big day, that way we’re going to have a very special memory.

The first week

We’re back at home with baby Eva, tomorrow she will be one week old. This week had been very chaotic, we still keep on trying to get back to our routines, be with Eva all the time, and don’t forget to pay enough attention to Oliwer and Ben. This is not an easy thing…

First thing I want to tell you about is after birth. Remember when Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton walked out to people less than 12 hours after giving birth to little princess? She looked stunning, and I hope she felt like this as well. Trust me, if anybody told me to dress up, sort myself out and walk out after giving birth, I’d tell him to go to hell. And my girl was born quick and without any complications. Can’t imagine someone who had a hard time giving birth doing that. After this stressful and painful time, your body still hurts for at least a day. Your “inside” needs to clean itself, so you have bleeding, that can be stronger or weaker, depends on how your child birth went. And there’s a belly. Don’t let yourself think, that it will disappear a day after. Oh no, your pregnancy belly is still there, just squashy and empty, it’s not easy to get rid of that.

Eventually, if everything is OK with you and your baby, you’ll go home on the same day. And here reality awaits for you. Tiredness is a common thing, you wake up thinking of going back to bed. Baby has got it’s own rhythm, and you have to adjust yourself to it, plus make sure you don’t forget about your other kids, make sure they don’t feel left out. I’ll tell you from my point of view, that it’s easier done with younger children, than older ones. My Ben (4) is happy just to sit with me, have some cuddles, help me feeding
(as I don’t breast feed) the baby, while Oliwer (11) needs something more, not even with me, it’s more about Paul and dad – son relationship. So we work on it. They did some “men shopping” together yesterday, today they went to watch our local football team, even though they both support Manchester United. But the point is, they spend some quality time together. Believe me, i can see the change in Oliwer straight away. He is happier, his aura was a bit grey this week, today it shone brightly…

Work out your way. Most of mums wants their man to help them at night time. Get up when baby cries, and be awake when they are awake. For me it doesn’t sound right. I’m very appreciative of what Paul does for me. He’s two weeks off from work, and help me
a lot at home. He does cleaning, shopping, and help with the baby. He just wants me to focus on Eva and have a rest. Seems to me a bit selfish and unfair to wake him up at night, while he does so much during a day. Soon he’ll go back to work, I can’t expect him to go there tired, because he had to get up at night. How we worked it out for now, is that I get up at night, and then in a morning, he takes Ben to school, then look after Eva, and I can catch up with some sleep. Works for us just brilliantly.

In the end I want to mention feeding your newborn. I know, that midwives and doctors say, breastfeeding is the best way. But my daughter is big, she it’s nearly a double what newborns usually eat. I tried to breastfeed, but there wasn’t enough in my breast for her. If this happens to you, don’t stress yourself, just change to bottle any time, nobody will say a bad word, you’re not doing anything wrong, ready milks now are as good as breast milk, they contain everything what your baby needs.

So find your way with everything, and just enjoy being a parent.

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Baby Eva Monika, 3 days old

THE BABY IS COMING!

It wasn’t suppose to be this way. I imagined panicked,  broken waters, unexpected contractions. Nothing like this. I went for a usual check to midwife yesterday. Unfortunately she discovered  that my blood pressure is sky high, there are proteins in my pee and my legs are swollen. Been send to hospital for a check. It turned out I have a condition called Pre-eclampsia. So I had to stay in hospital and just wait now until they take me over to the labour ward to induce the labour. Can’t wait,  but I’m very stressed at the same time. So please everyone fingers crossed it’s going to be quick and easy.