Start as we mean to go on

We had such a lovely New Years Eve last night.  It was just us, and part of me was wondering whether we should be being more sociable but New Years Eve feels like it comes with such expectations that it’s not possible just to invite people round for a low key evening and I didn’t feel like doing more.  There is also the problem these days that what we would want to do wouldn’t necessarily be what the boys want to do socially and while we can work that out usually, for New Years Eve it feels like we should try and do something that pleases everyone at the same time.  So, in the end, having not told our friends whether we would be back in time for New Years Eve or not we just laid low and stayed in!

The boys had had B round to play for the afternoon and Joth had been working.  Anton and I went out for a lovely walk – he does so like pottering around and it was a beautiful day.  We only went to the pond over the road and to the bottle bank.  “Exciting” says Anton!

Anton then helped me make vegetable lasagne which everyone really enjoyed, except Lucas (damn, nearly full house on something healthy!) who grudgingly ate a few mouthfuls smothered in tomato ketchup and garlic bread.  Then we started to demolish the gingerbread house and had hot chocolates all round (the boys were using their special mugs from Prague for the occasion).

The boys did two sides each of the house while I did the marshmallow roof.  These are Lucas’s sides:

And these are Oscar’s sides:

And this is it getting demolished!:

Afterwards we watched a film that Santa had brought called “The Mighty.”  I hadn’t realised that it was based on the book “Freak the Mighty” which Granny had brought them for Christmas so that was an added bonus.  It turned out to be an excellent film (despite my worries all the way through that the film would stop working because cheapskate Santa had been to a car boot sale) but it was also a tear jerker.  At one point Oscar, Lucas and I were all sobbing and Anton was just going from one to another of us looking at us quizically.  It really affected Oscar in particular and even though we played a great game after Anton had gone down he still kept welling up when he thought about it.  We had lots of cuddles and chats about it and I was saying that as the film was about a deep friendship (where they changed each others lives before a tragic thing happens) that if we can feel deeply for other people and understand other peoples lives, as this film helps us do, then we can be better friends to other people.

Crying together is of course as important as laughing together but we did both last night as the Harry Potter Cluedo we played afterwards was hilarious.  Joth was in great form and had us all in stitches.  He can’t read any of the cards of course as he hasn’t got any glasses that he can read with even if he does his Dumbledore impression and balances them on the end of his nose, and he took great pride in his system of finding the solution before anyone else but hadn’t listened to the rules so didn’t know how to get to the finish and we weren’t going to tell him.  The boys were crying with laughter.

They went to bed after that and Joth and I finished off a film we had been watching called “When did you last see your father?”  which I found incredibly moving so Joth didn’t get his hanky back all evening.   I’ve got up this morning looking like I’ve done rounds with Mike Tyson.  That took us up to the start of 2010 at 12am when we found Oscar was still awake so we brought him down to watch the countdown on the TV and then all went off to bed.

The last few days have been wonderful all round.  The boys have been playing with all their presents from the smallest presents (like the jokes in their stockings and the tattoos) to the biggest like their warhammer, books and games.

Oscar’s New Year’s resolution is to “Bond with Anton more.”  Bless him, I think they’re both already fabulous with him.

Joth and I have been feeling in a much “lighter” mood than we have been for a long time.  Part of the essence of the chat we had together in Hemel was looking at the extent that his business has taken over our lives.  I was surprised just how much Joth was able to look at it all objectively when we talked and it’s made us feel much closer again.  It seems ironic at a time when he needs to work harder than ever, leading up to the conference in February, but it’s talking more about how we deal with the stress of it all, not just pretending it’s not there.

I was worried that because it is all taking so long to get off the ground (and we now can see that it can take longer still) that we need to find a way to “live” while we are doing it .  Not that we don’t appreciate what we have with his with him working from home but his load seems such a heavy one sometimes that it hangs over us all, but particularly Joth himself.  He doesn’t even have time for any other interests in his life and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of books he has read in the last five years.  That is far from being a criticism as I feel his determination to make it work is completely driven by his love for us all and wanting to make a secure future for us.  He has been working in the last few days and there has been a document to sort out about a difficult issue that was hampering progress but he has managed to think it through it without it shadowing everything for him which is amazing.  He’s also started reading to the boys again (which he hadn’t done for about a year, and no, I didn’t even mention it) and he’s being proactive around the house when he isn’t working (I don’t just mean clearing up, but just being more “part of it all”).

It isn’t just Joth of course, who needs to lighten up.  I find it all too easy, when I am in the thick of day to day stuff and the intricacies of making family life tick along, to get bogged down with details and not see the bigger picture.  I hate it when I over react with the children or with Joth just to get my point across when pointing it out calmly would do just as well, if not better.  I read somewhere that you can’t change fundamentally beyond the age of 28 but as I feel very different now to how I did then I’d like to think that there was still hope.  I do also find it interesting to note that everything seems more intense to me in pregnancy.  I probably give pregnant women a bad name with more extreme emotions and feelings.  I think even my dreams are more vivid and stay with me longer.   I often wonder if women somehow are checking all their options while they are pregnant and testing to see whether the environment that they are going to bring their offspring in to is the right one.  Or maybe it’s just me.

New Years Day brunch:

We’ve just come back from Salcombe beach where we met up with Peter and Jan and some of their friends.  It worked out really well as they had already eaten by the time we arrived (we were worried about not being able to afford to eat out with them and had just eaten a lovely cooked brunch deliberately so we wouldn’t be hungry) so we sat with them for a bit and then walked on the beach until Anton fell in the water.  He wanted to take his wet things off then and there on the beach so we had to go but it was too bracing to stay long anyway.  We really enjoyed meeting different people though and just being by the sea again.

Joth has just taken this video of the boys joining in with the New Years Day dancing on the TV:

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