Saturday, January 23

A quick catchup Marty-fest

Since I don't have time to actually write a real post I'm going to see if prestidigitation works. Pay no attention to the chick behind the blog, instead behold - Photos!

(How many of you were geeky enough to look up prestidigitation before going on? And how many of you are super nerds and already knew what it meant??)

This is what happens when you get carried away taking photos and forget where you left the lens cap!

We were lucky enough to have Jo's Aunty Ruth visit us from the UK for two weeks. She's Jeannie's little sister and I'm pretty sure Marty could see the resemblance. We had a lovely time just hanging out and it was perfect timing for Jo to have someone at home with her now that she's finished work (we played tag with 'stay at home mum' so I'm now shuffling off to work each morning). Poor Ruthie saw all sides of a San Antonio winter - from lows of -8 C (which killed half our plants) to gorgeously sunny 20 degree days. She flew back to chilly London on Thursday and our dear friends the Wurfs arrived Friday (last night) so you can see why I haven't really had time to post!!

"Hey mum, look what I found! Can we keep it?" Marty and Aunty Ruth (or little Roo and big Roo)

Marty has become a box obsessive. Thanks to Amazon for sending one that fits him perfectly!

It's not a box - it's my comfort machine!

Marty loves his box so much he drooled all over himself with excitement! (he blames the rabbit)

Whose toes are those?

Dog gone cute

Like I said, this isn't much of an update, but I'll leave you with some video of mr talky talky chattering away to his toys :)

Friday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Tonight is a blue moon, the start of a new decade AND our ninth anniversary (I know, New Year's Eve... how corny).

As for New Year wishes, I'm going to quote someone who can say it much better than I can!
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

The post-Christmas post

We had a truly wonderful Christmas! It was spiked with pangs over it being our 'last' in San Antonio but it was such an enjoyable day with most of our dear friends here that those little moments of sadness couldn't stick around very long.

As I mentioned previously, we did most of our present opening as a family on Christmas eve, mostly so that we could call/skype/text folks back in Australia on what was their Christmas day. Christmas morning dawned like any other... cold and somewhat sleep deprived but we soon remembered that it was 'our first Christmas as a family' and all that jazz. There were a few presents for Marty that we hadn't opened (because he fell asleep before we got to them) so we spent some time in bed waking up and shredding paper, with Marty in his Christmas hat from his Auntie Frances!

Then we had about an hour to get showered and packed up before heading to John and Jo's for the day. It is amazing how much extra gear you have when you have a baby, and we're not really 'gear' people, so we really only had essentials. For a full day out those 'essentials' included the porta-cot (crib) so we didn't have to keep checking him to see if he'd crawled off the bed, his high chair so he could sit up with everyone and have Christmas dinner, his bedding (sheepie, magic blanket etc) so sleep felt like home and then the usual nappy-bag extravaganza. We also had a santa-sack full of gifts for our friends and a bunch of half-prepped food for dinner.

The big group Christmas dinner was planned for around 4pm, with pre-dinner nibbles and gift sharing at 2pm. We arrived at around 10am for breakfast, pre-pre-dinner gift swapping and half a day of cooking (my idea of bliss). I'm afraid I didn't take too many photos, but that is a good sign that we were all enjoying the moment instead of spending it all behind the camera!

Poggie in the kitchen prepping scalloped potatoes

The dinner menu was somewhat eclectic, and complicated by the fact that we had one vegetarian, one vegan, one gluten intolerant person and one person allergic to onions! I had premade a gluten free, onion free vegan stock and while not all dishes were edible by everyone I think there was enough variety to keep everyone happy, and stuffed! We had baked ham, roast pork with crackling, bacon stuffing (sans chestnuts because I apparently ate them all!)... so it was a bit of a pigfest! We also had scalloped potatoes, roast root veggies, grilled asparagus, lemon and garlic haricot vert beans, vegan moussaka and some other bits that I can't recall right now. The crackling on the pork came up perfectly for once and had to be guarded and dished out evenly to prevent an all out mid-kitchen brawl. Marty sat us with us and had sweet potato and ginger, pumpkin with nutmeg AND apple sauce! It was probably the longest he's ever spent in his highchair and he was just loving grinning at everyone round the table. We all wore our cracker hats and he managed to keep his blue Christmas hat on the whole time.

The dinner table beautifully laid out by Joanne

Speaking of the Roo, he had such a wonderful day. He almost got the knack of unwrapping presents but given the option he would always opt for chewing or drooling his way in. He coped really well with all the attention, had three long naps and one long walk and didn't make a single grumpy noise all day! Ah if only we could have Christmas every day, or perhaps we just need ten other adults to come and live with us...

The Christmas elf

Present swapping was a lot of fun. I won't bore you with the details however I do have to mention that I was totally spoiled by J&J and am now the proud owner of an 8" Shun chef's knife. She is gorgeous, 32 layers of stainless surrounding a VG-10 stainless core and sharp as a razor... Sharp enough to strip my half fingernail down to the nail-bed without shedding blood! Close call and a solid lesson in respect - but you should have seen that baby slicing through the pork!!

The rest of the day involved stuffing ourselves with yet more food including pavs and Christmas milk made according to my family's secret recipe (although mine tends to be heavy on the whisky).

I know it sounds trite but it was a brilliant day full of happiness and good friends and will definitely go down as one of those truly great memories.