Extra: Ordinary Moments

Parenting Success
Steve and I put the Christmas tree up last night, after the kids had gone to bed. We draped it in fairy lights but left it otherwise undecorated. And... oh my goodness, I wish I'd been videoing the kids' reactions when they spotted it in the morning. There were squeals from the littlest and the biggest was utterly speechless with glee. I'm so, so, so glad we opted to do it this way - it was a properly magical festive moment for both of them.

We devoted the rest of today to decorating the tree (bare at the bottom where the toddler can reach; congested in the middle where the preschooler can reach; so far lacking a star on the top) and strewing tinsel around the flat. We dressed the one year old - one year old! - in a ridiculous Christmas tree costume I couldn't resist buying in Sainsbury's last week and the eldest put on a festive frock. We ate leftover birthday cake. The TV stayed firmly off, which is a big plus for me just now because...

I'm really struggling with our downstairs neighbours' noise at the moment. It's not that they're even THAT loud. It's just that they've moved their TV through from the room underneath our dining room (where we only occasionally had to hear it) to the room underneath our living room (where we hear it ALL THE DAMN TIME). They crank it up in the evenings and seem to have some sort of sound bar bass thing which makes all the musical bits boom through our floor (they're having a Netflix binge of something with a theme tune which sounds like "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" right now - any ideas what it is?). It's a little bit too loud and we'll have to ask them to keep it down whenever we have people trying to sleep on our sofa-bed, but the problem, for me, is that I spend all day trying to get the kids to keep the noise down so they don't disturb the neighbours, listening to CBeebies theme tunes, listening to endless preschool chatter, listening to demands for snacks, listening to general sibling bickering, so, come the evening, I JUST WANT TO SIT IN SILENCE. Except when I'm watching that new Sabrina The Teenage Witch reboot. Otherwise: SILENCE. I'm not really dealing with this well.

Speaking Of Pop Culture
Good GRIEF, A Star Is Born is dire. The new one, that is. With whats-his-face and Lady Gaga in it. Not even her incredible singing can save it. So bad. So, so bad. Avoid.

Blog Admin
I've been working on moving my favourite posts and the most popular posts (*sob* at ditching those great stats I claim not to care about) from my old blog. I'm about halfway done, but it's been a big relief to find that I still like them and I still like the person I was when I started that blog.

Wreath Making
A parent friend who I met through Instagram, of all places, and I went to a wreath making workshop at the weekend. It was... uh... considerably less helpful than a YouTube video would have been. Possibly even a YouTube video which wasn't about making wreaths. And the instructor kept telling us about the yummy, extremely potent mulled wine she had made the day before WHICH SHE DIDN'T THEN GIVE US TO DRINK - poor show. But poking bits of tree into a metal ring whilst chatting to lovely people is a pretty nice way to spend two hours, and I now have a really pretty wreath - if I do say so myself - which I now realise I haven't photographed, and I've got five minutes left on my laptop battery, so... yeah... take my word for it being a success, okay?

Unexpected Expense Of The Week
A clothes horse. After a leg fell off the old one. Literally. Steve opened it up one evening and the leg plonked down onto the floor. We managed to keep it propped up against a chair for a few days until one of us had the chance to nip to Poundstretcher, and I know £12.99 isn't an ENORMOUS unplanned expense, but it was £12.99 we resented spending at the end of the month. And especially on something so dull. They don't even come in fun colours - what gives?!

Saying That...
We also coughed up £80 for a cordless Hoover (an actual Hoover, not another brand name vacuum cleaner getting caught up in decades' old marketing hype) and I'm a little embarrassed about how excited the entire household was when it arrived. Steve was excited because it would no longer be solely his job to vacuum the stairs; I was excited because the stairs would actually get vacuumed; and the kids were just blown away by this shiny blue tube of metal which made a loud noise and sucked up their scattered bits of pasta - they spent twenty minutes pushing it around the hall together, shrieking in glee. Long may this love of housework continue.




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