Twas the Night Before Christmas

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1822.  It was first published in 1823 and has become a firm favourite for a great many families around the world to read on Christmas Eve.  Since daughter number one was born, I have also adopted the tradition of reading this wonderful poem.

As my last post probably until New Year, I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.  Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog and thank you for all the support.  I will now let the beautiful words of Clement Clarke Moore sign me off for 2012.

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

Now Dasher,now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen. On, Comet, on,Cupid, on,Donner and Blitzen To the top of the porch to the top of the wall.  Now dash away, dash away, dash away all

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of Toys and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot. And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back. And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled, his dimples how merry. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth. And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Taboo Tattoo

Today I nipped to the toy shop to grab a couple of last things.  Naturally enough it was packed to the rafters and complete bedlam.  Thankfully, I knew what I wanted and knew where they were in the store, so I didn’t have to fight my way through the throng too badly.

Anyway I was just making my way back to the till to pay, when a man and a little boy walked around the corner right in front of me.  I didn’t really notice the father at first as I was juggling to avoid bumping into his excited little boy, who was about 5 years old.  The little boy was pointing to things and saying “daddy, I want that, I want that!  The usual, small child in a toy shop at Christmas wish list stuff.  His father replied with “will you shut the fuck up”  I couldn’t believe it.  He bellowed this in the little boys face.

I was dumbstruck and that’s when I actually looked properly at the father for the first time.  My hubby is almost 6ft2 and this man was taller than him, so I’d guess maybe 6ft4, built like the proverbial brick shit house, his head was either completely bald or completely shaved and it was covered with tattoos, they went right down his neck, even over his ears.  Emblazoned across is forehead though, in letters about 3 inches tall was the charming tattoo that read FUCK YOU.  In great capital letters.  I was truly amazed and (wetting my pants a bit at the same time)  I was all ready to give this “father” the death stare for talking to his little boy like that, until I looked at him.  Had I given him the look, he probably would have just pointed at his forehead!

I can honestly tell you that I scuttled away pretty damned quickly.  It just made me wonder though.  Why on earth would you want a tattoo like that right across your forehead?.  His little boy is definitely around school age and presumably learning to read, every time he looks at his daddy’s face, he’s going to read those words.

My heart really went out to that little boy and if his father hadn’t been a huge scary beast man, I think I’d of shoved a my little pony in his big rude gob!


Out of the Mouths of Babes

My friend has a 5-year-old son and a 9 month old baby.  She is due to return to work on 19th December.  Of course she is gutted about going back to work just before Christmas.  So after talking about it to another friend, decided to go to the Dr and blag some sickness to enable her to stay off work until New Year!

From experience of both being staff and having staff of my own, I have suffered at the hands of people doing this.  There was always at least a couple of people, who went sick at Christmas, resulting in someone else having to cover their work and not getting their time off.  A few female colleagues, did the same thing after their maternity leave.  It used to really annoy me – why was I having to pick up the slack for them, why was I the one being penalised just because I didn’t have a baby. Being a mother now though, I can kind of see why people do it.  I did tell my friend how I felt about it, but her mind was made up.

She managed to get an appointment with the Dr, but it was after school, so she had to take both the baby and her 5-year-old with her.  She went into the doctors surgery, sat down and the Dr turned to her smiled and said “Now Alison, what can I do for you today?”

Before she could utter a word, her son piped up and said “oh mummy’s here pretending to be sick, so she doesn’t have to go back to work!”  Argh, talk about a ground opening up and swallowing you moment.

The Dr glared at her stone faced, while she spluttered and stumbled for a reply.  Eventually she laughed it off and said her son didn’t want her to go back to work and he’s been coming up with all sorts of reasons to get her to stay at home.  She gushed to the Dr about how she couldn’t wait to get back out to work and be herself again!

She then made some excuse about being there because she had a slightly sore ear and could he check it was ok.  She then left, minus her sick note and having to return to work on 19th December.

So the moral to this story is, if you decide to feign sickness to take time off work.  Don’t take your child with you if they can talk or at least make sure they haven’t overheard your plan :0

Frosty Days

It’s been a strange few weeks for us, after my husband lost his friend, the girls both being sick and then the dreaded anniversary of our son on Thursday.  Finally though, the sickness bug seems to have left our girls, we have kind of pulled ourselves back together again and so yesterday and today have been outdoors days again.  Time to blow away the cobwebs, the hurt, the anger.  Just get outside, enjoy the fresh frosty air, get excited about Christmas and be thankful for the fact that we as a family unit are all alive and well.

It has been really bitterly cold with the wind coming straight down from the North, we’ve had the first few really hard frosts and I suspect snow isn’t far away, the snow suits and boots are out in preparation!

We’ve spent our days, trying to get rid of some of the leaves and filling up the bird feeders, we went out and bought a big bag of seed that should keep them going until January.  So we filled up the feeders, made some more pine cone feeders and filled up a water drinker for them.  Then of course it was time for some ice breaking!  I realised the top had been left off the sandpit during the rain, this was now frozen into a solid sheet of ice.  So there was much fun sliding across the surface and trying to break free the football that was frozen into it!

Being back in the outside world feels good, I feel like a whole new person again.  I really don’t function well, being cooped up and neither do the girls, so these past couple of days have been like one massive release for us all :)

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My Little Lost Boy

This day 4 years ago is the day that my life changed forever.  This is the day that I was in the throes of labour with our darling boy, our miracle baby, our beautiful son.  He was eternally sleeping, his heart had stopped beating, life had been taken from him, before he had a chance to live.  That’s why I refer to him as my little lost boy.  Like the lost boys in Peter Pan, he will never grow up.

At 03:10am on 13th December 2008, after 17 hours of labour, he finally arrived, 31 cms long and weighing 1lb 2ozs, the weight of a bag of sugar. The rest, I’ve already talked about, but I just couldn’t hit his anniversary and not write about him.

We will miss him and grieve for him in one way or another for the rest of our lives.  I will love him for the rest of my life.  So this is a bit of a strange few days for us, I know that I will shed quite a few tears, I always do.  Although life has turned out to be wonderful, in the fact that we have our fabulous girls, losing our son, our first-born still hurts like hell. Nothing can ever replace the void, the space in my heart, the gap in our lives.  He should be approaching 4, he should be a cheeky little chappie, excited about Christmas and Santa, but he’s not.  That is a pain that I will never be rid of.

So forgive me if I am a little quiet for a few days, I will lick my wounds for a while, cry over his pictures and then return to life goes on mode.

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Mystic Meg Me!

I have a very good friend that I’ve known since starting at the IVF clinic all those years ago. She is a little younger than me (humpf) but apart from that our lives have almost mirrored each others.

Her journey into motherhood is a couple of years longer than mine. She has also had 4 miscarriages and a baby loss in her 3rd trimester too. However, about 10 Weeks after I had our first daughter, she had hers, she then had her 2nd about a month before I had ours.  Her husband is in the army – mine was.  She was a part-time police officer, I was a regular full-time one.  She has a younger sister in New Zealand, I have an older sister in New Zealand, albeit on different islands.  It’s scarily uncanny.

We have remained friends and always keep in constant contact with each other.  We don’t get to meet up quite as often as we used to.  We live about 60 miles apart, which isn’t much these days, but when you have 2 small children and a now much busier life, it is more difficult.  However, we would chat every day on Facebook, or text and phone each other.  Lately our Facebook chats have diminished, because she has taken on a part-time job, so she just isn’t online that often.  We do still text at least a couple of times a week and phone each other every couple of weeks.

Last week she had updated her Facebook status in memory of her baby, whose anniversary it was, she also sent a message to me, because she knows our own baby loss anniversary is rapidly approaching.  We ended up phoning each other and just talking for a while, we also arranged to meet up next week before Christmas.

Anyway that night I went to bed and inevitably I dreamt about her.  You know how it is, very often you see or hear something during the day and it will pop up in your dreams.  I dreamt that we met up and she arrived with 3 children!

Today out of the blue, she popped up on my Twitter.  I got a message from her telling me that she’s pregnant!  I actually squealed when I read it, both with delight and with shock.  I’m some kind of weird dream guru – haha.

Any of you that have read my blog before will know that I don’t believe in any of that stuff, I don’t believe in psychics, I don’t believe in fortune tellers and I don’t believe that dreams mean anything more than what has been on our mind coming out.  However, I had a real goose bump moment when I got her tweet.

So there you go, pointless post really, but I just had to share my spooky Mystic Meg moment and offer my services to you.  If anyone wants me to dream of them winning the lottery, or jetting off to some exotic location, let me know. haha, I am joking of course, but you never know!