Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Finally, I find some time to post about Christmas and New Year, although it's after midnight again. Where does the time go?
I'll keep it brief, if I can, picking up from where I left off. We were all up bright and early on Christmas morning, and Lara confirmed that Santa had been, and had enjoyed his whiskey, and the carrot for Rudolph had gone too. She quickly got through the presents in her stocking, then we headed up to Radcliffe, with the motorways been quiet, as they normally are on Christmas morning. We made it up before 1pm, which meant we could enjoy lunch just in time to watch the Queen at 3pm. There was to be no afternoon napping though, not with two two-year-olds to entertain. Actually, as it turned out, Lara and Elizabeth did most of the entertaining, tottering around in the dressing-up gear Auntie Catherine and Uncle Nick had bought for them both - what a great idea that was, it prevented any fighting over the necklace or high heels! Check out the video at the end of the post to see what I mean.
It had snowed quite heavily in the run up to Christmas Day, which made the whole place look very nice, when we found time to take the boys out for a walk. Jackson was able to take himself for a walk, by learning how to escape from Grandma's back garden into the farmer's fields beyond. Luckily, guided by Mishka's concerned barks, he was also able to get himself back through the hedge, which was a relief for all.
We drove back down on the Monday afternoon, as Olga and I had to work on Tuesday. We took over a big room in the company office for three days, and took lots of Lara's toys (and Lara) which meant that we didn't really get much work done, but Lara did enjoy watching endless programmes from CBeebies on iPlayer on the 42" screen there. It rained a lot during the week, but that just meant that when we took Lara to the playground in the park in Marlow, she had it to herself, although she spent more time stomping in big puddles than playing on the climbing frames and swings.
We stocked up at Asda (along with half a million other people) on Thursday afternoon, ready for a night in front of the TV. We called it a night at a more sensible time this year - 1.30am for Olga, 2.30am for me, compared to 6am last year when Sergei and Lucy were here.
The weather on New Year's Day was lovely, clear blue skies, so we made sure we went for a nice walk with the dogs, then called in at the local pub on the way home. Chris and Cara popped in, which was lovely as we'd not seen them for ages. Lara charmed the locals as usual and got a bottle of Oasis and three lollies for her efforts.
Other things worthy of a mention - when we arrived home on Monday, Olga's British passport was waiting on the mat, the final obstacle has been overcome, and now we can travel much more freely as a family. We're just waiting on Jackson's pet passport and we can all go and invade France for a few days.
Lara's been suffering with a cold for the past few weeks, but she seems to be taking it in her stride; we'd run out of Tixylix cough syrup, but when I went to buy some more today, I realised she can have normal cough syrup, now that she's two years old. So it's been two spoonfuls for me tonight, and Lara can have one spoonful if her cough disturbs her too much in her sleep. Oh, sleeping, yes, that reminds me. While staying at Grandma's we tried Lara out in a child's bed rather than a travel cot, and whilst she did fall out a couple of times (firstly onto an inflatable child's bed next to her bed, then later, from that onto the floor), it was generally deemed a success. She's back in her cot at home now, but Olga will take the inflatable one to Russia, and we'll see how Lara gets on with it for 10 nights on the trot. If she get's used to it, we'll modify her cot at home and take one side of rails off it, and use it more like a normal bed. She seems to be waking up regularly now around 6.15am, which is OK as this is the right time for us to be getting up for work, but we're still hoping that she'll have the odd day back waking up at 7.30am. Having said that, on New Year's Day Olga had to wake her at 10am, and this morning it was 7.30am. It's my turn tomorrow morning, so most likely she'll be back to 6.15am! We're planning to go to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park tomorrow, so an early start would suit us anyway.
Enjoy the photos and video...