Monday, 29 December 2008

The Moment When I Wondered if I bought the Right Baby Home from the Hospital

Remember Christmas Morning when you were a kid?

Tearing wrapping paper off with wild abandon and getting thoroughly stuck in (Ok so that is still what I do now but thats not the point people)?

Joyous, right?

Fast forward to Christmas 2008.

Where my firstborn child carefully unwraps each individual present before taking care to add it in a very orderly fashion to his tower of presents before moving on to the next.
I only caught a photo half way through but he repeated such shameless tidy shenanigans the very next day at my mum's house.

Heaven knows he didn't get the tidy or self restraint genes from me.

I hope it's not contagious.

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Saturday, 20 December 2008

I Blame That Geoffrey Giraffe

Recently we hit Toys R Us (Thomas pronounces it Toys R arse which always makes me chuckle because the A word is tres naughty here) with the kids in tow.

Knowing fully well that leaving toy-less would result in complete hysteria from our offspring.

Thomas chose a Ninja Turtle and Eli a Fire Engine, Police Car and Ambulance Combo.

Hysteria avoided.

But then he saw this:
The Hot Wheels Shark Park.

It was half price.

He started using words like awesome, car munching action and dare I say it? Flying Pizza.

I did my best to discourage the purchase but he had his heart set on it.

Oh and when I say he I'm not referring to Thomas or Eli.

I am referring to Rob.

Apparently boys never grow up.

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Thursday, 18 December 2008

Well That Flew by!

Dear Friends & Family,

We decided this year to be responsible and do our part for the environment and not send out Christmas cards to our loved ones and to try this approach instead. Well, really we're just incredibly lazy and disorganised but you probably knew that already.

(Techno retards please note that all words highlighted in a different colour font are actually hyperlinks to more information on that topic not just pretty writing).

2008 started on a massive high for us. Having one child master potty training over the Christmas break left us feeling the world was indeed our oyster. It is amazing how those little things really make a truly enormous difference. At the end of January Thomas turned 3 and it really has been a delightful age for him, mostly.

In February Rob was able to go to France for his 3rd annual snowboarding trip. Carol once again stayed home with the kids (and her mum). Carol incidentally is adding up all these snowboarding days and when it gets to a number she is happy with will get her own back and take a trip of her own, without either kids or husband, with just chocolate and books for company somewhere very warm and blissfully quiet.

In April we celebrated our 5th anniversary and wondered at where the time had gone.

It was also all change at church for us. Rob finally got released from his calling in the Young Men's program which he'd been involved in pretty much since we got married, so Carol finally got her husband back on Tuesday nights. Rob is now teaching the youth Sunday School class. Carol got released from her calling on the Relief Society Presidency (women's organisation) after a 3 year stint and was called to be the Primary President. A challenge she quickly grew to enjoy.

Also April saw our family grow by 4 fish. One has since passed away but we remain astounded (and a little bit impressed with ourselves) that we have managed to keep the remaining 3 alive so long.

In May our baby Eli turned two. May also saw Carol and Thomas endure an overnight stay at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary due to Thomas breaking his radius and Ulna driving a car down a slide. We hear these things are only to be expected when you have sons. We feel sure this isn't the last of our trips to Accident and Emergency.

In July we enjoyed a family holiday in Wales with 23 lovely folks from the Siswick side of the family. The sun obviously does shine on the righteous because it turned out to be the loveliest week of the whole summer.

Having waved farewell to playgroup in July (where he had been attending thrice weekly for the previous 9 months) in September Thomas started at Nursery School and absolutely loves spending his afternoons there. We also had a pleasant surprise when Playgroup called to offer Eli an early starter place rather than him wait until January and he now attends two mornings. All the workers adore him and we have had several offers to take him off our hands. Occasionally we have been tempted to agree.

Rob keeps busy at work with Velux and continues to take advantage of managing his own time and the perks that allows. He has been playing football in a fair play league based in Sheffield and as they had a break in fixtures for Christmas his team 'Yorkshire New Saints' were top of the league.

Carol keeps busy with the boys and is constantly entertained by their antics and enthusiasm for life. She is a bit concerned that maybe she now loves The Backyardigans more than the children.

Thomas loves his weekly football training with the West End Under 5's and loves being a Huddersfield Town season ticket holder along with his dad, grandad and Uncle Phil. He is getting big so quick, has recently mastered writing his name and we are constantly amazed at the wisdom and knowledge that pours out of his constantly moving mouth. He starts attending Primary at Church in the new year and is thrilled to officially be a big boy.

Eli still loves his penguin more than anything in the world and 2008 saw him slowly gnaw the poor diseased looking birds beak off. He still likes to entertain us at any opportunity and gives the best hugs ever. He recently moved from his cot to a bed and did so far more smoothly than we ever imagined. We love hearing his little prayers each day and other Eli-isms.

We are already enjoying the Christmas Season and seeing the boys buzzing with anticipation is wonderful.

2008 has been good to us.

We hope it has been good to you too!

With love,

The Siswicks
Rob, Carol, Thomas & Eli

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Deliciously Devious

Here in the blessed British Isles there is no expectation at Christmas time to buy gifts for teachers.

There is none of that 'room mother' malarkey either.

In fact teachers are to consider themselves honoured if they receive a Christmas Card from a parent. Mostly they get nothing. Us Brits are nothing if we aren't stingy.

Here you take your kids to school leave them there and stay away.

Returning only to collect your kids or dutifully attend concerts and other presentations when permitted.

I am perfectly happy with this arrangement.

But at Christmas I go the extra mile, I want to make a good impression.

I want to let the teachers know I appreciate them both educating my kids and taking them off my hands several hours each week.

So again this year in a bid to make an everlasting impression I baked (if you can call stirring and chilling baking because really that is all the effort required).

I baked Banoffee pie, crisp chocolate biscuit crumb base, filled with dense swirled caramel and melted Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, topped with banana and finally whipped cream.

Why make the effort if it isn't even expected?

It's all about being teachers pet.

And when I say that I'm not talking about the kids I am simply talking about me!

From the tears in Thomas' teachers eyes I'd say Mission Accomplished.

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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Angelic, Really?

On Friday I was absolutely swollen with pride as I went to see my firstborn in his first ever school Christmas concert.

A couple of weeks previously we received direction that the Nursery Class were gonna to be a choir of angels in the production (which I quietly found highly amusing because the furthest thing you can probably find from an angel is a three year old) and that in aforementioned role my son would be required to wear an angel costume.

I explained it to him and he responded promptly and with disgust, "No!"

Turns out angels wear dresses and as he is very much a boy there was no possibility of him wearing a dress ever.

After convincing him to trust me that angels are actually men (despite them being depicted in nativity plays worldwide as sweet little girls) and they wear 'special robes' and not dresses he finally agreed to participate. Though there is a possibility he agreed to participate solely to shut me up so he could concentrate on more important things, you know, like Diego.

So here is my very own little angel pre-performance. It is amazing what you can accomplish with a pillowcase and some tinsel (my sewing machine conspired against me dressing my son in a dress too and refused to work) when needs must. Crazy face courtesy of insisting on saying cheese with gusto.
The concert was so lovely and I only caught him picking his nose once (his new hobby) and fortunately he was far from the only one.
And for 30 entire minutes 39 3 and 4 year olds actually were angelic.

Too bad it didn't extend to the two year old I had to take along.

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Monday, 8 December 2008

So That's Where Snow Comes From

This morning Thomas gave us an extensive discourse on where water comes from as only a 3 year old really can.

So I asked him if he knew who made the snow (I like to be topical you know).

'Yes' He promptly replied.

'Santa and Jesus'.

I couldn't help but think the world would be a sublimely nicer place if Santa and Jesus were responsible for everything, not just snow.

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Friday, 5 December 2008

What Exactly Goes On In Those Little Brains?

A couple of days ago as Rob pulled onto the drive Eli started yelling with excitement "Poo-Daddy, Poo-Daddy!"

Thomas corrected him and said "No E-I (which is exactly how he pronounces his name, I am doing you a phonetic favour here) it's not Poo-Daddy it is Who-Daddy."

I'd like to take this opportunity to correct them both.

It is actually Ho-Daddy, Ho-Daddy and if you have no clue whatsoever what I am referring to then you obviously have been deprived of the 217 hours of Backyardigans that parenthood has forced upon me.

The Ho-Daddy reference is from the Surf's Up episode. I totally recommend it BTW. Anyhow that is a massive tangent so I'll get back to the point.

Eli responds, "No Daddy is a giant like mummy!" (I'm 5 feet 10 inches hardly giant proportions but I guess to a little person it could appear that way so I won't take offense, much.)

"NO daddy is bigger than mummy because he is the boss!"

How on earth did my three year old form such a politically incorrect opinion? I'll have you know Rob is neither the boss of this household (or anywhere else really) or even taller than me.

I am an actually an entire inch taller. So there, Thomas. I must be the boss if height is the only requirement.

As if that wasn't a treat enough last night when I thought both my boys were sleeping somewhere around 10pm Thomas unexpectedly shouts my name out. He didn't sound upset so I chose to respond from my seat on the sofa (the benefits of dwelling in a teeny tiny house) wondering what he could be wanting at such an hour when he should have been in a peaceful slumber for hours.

His response?

'I am getting big boobies like you'.

Cue near death by laughing fits for both Rob and I whilst Rob explained that boys don't have boobies.

And for the record I think he is the first and no doubt the last person to ever use the word big in connection with my boobies.

Because we all know when God was handing out the boobs I was obviously in the queue for a zippy metabolism instead.

A girl can't have everything.

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Monday, 1 December 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

It actually snowed this morning (about 37 snowflakes to be exact but hey, snow is snow!) and it just seemed far too perfect to not get festivities under way.

Eli about to throw the bauble at me because he could make it 'stick' to the tree.

So excited for Christmas this year!!

My little elves getting the job done.

On a side note the Eli monster is officially out of his cot and in a bed (our house is 100% baby kit free, hallelujah!). He even slept through falling out of bed on night 2 and slept this morning until 8:30 (we can only hope it wasn't concussion related). Joy! Here he is sporting his new haircut courtesy of Joel and the most random hairdressing technique ever.

SO proud of their efforts! (Please note we have never been to either the Hard Rock Cafe or Copenhagen, T Shirt courtesy of Thomas drenching himself whilst washing his hands at school today.)

Obviously I let them have free reign and decorate the tree to their own preference.

Which was of course to cluster all the baubles in one preschooler high area.

So of course I stripped it bare and decorated it beautifully when they were tucked up in bed.

Here's hoping they never notice the difference!

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