Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for Christmas Cheer

Family and Holidays

…and just like that, all good things come to an end. The holiday is over, all the friends and family have left and Thandi goes back to school on Wednesday. Tragic really!

The holidays have been good. Good to see friends and family, good to take a little time out, but, in their own way, some stressors too.

Work over Christmas was very busy – lots of babies, lots of heartache and some craziness thrown in for good measure! There was one baby born on Christmas Day; and such a fun delivery! It was a privilege to be involved. But, as I mentioned I had more than my fair share of tragic cases too – twins born too soon to stand a chance, miscarriages after long awaited pregnancies; my heart did break a little more this year. But that is the nature of my role, it isn’t always J&J babies and roses…

On the friends and family side, it was busy! My brothers arrived over the weekend of the 22nd with their respective families; and then our German friends arrived on the 23rd, just in time for one of those big fat crazy family Christmas lunches. It was noisy, it was hot, it was messy, there was tinsel and ribbons and confetti crackers. Totally crazy! The feast was good; the gifts appreciated and the love palpable!


The aftermath of Christmas meant lots of cleaning and washing! Thankfully, my fairies stepped in and lent hands, and my house survived the chaos! In between trips to the office, we had the chance to visit some friends staying just out of town – good to catch up, good to connect on different grounds.

On the 29th we headed, with our German friends and our local friends, to Blanco, a fun guest farm near Tarkastad (very rural Eastern Cape). What an experience. There are families who have been coming to Blanco for over 50 years, and they keep returning; It felt like we became part of a very special family while we were there. The kids had a ball – horse riding, swimming, riding bicycles, playing tennis, jumping on trampolines, playing card games – all the things that a good holiday requires. The grown ups slept, swam, ran and walked, drank good SA wine and enjoyed some craft gins! All essential when the temperature hits the upper 30’s! One of my favourite things about Blanco is the compulsory tractor ride for all the children in the afternoon; what this means is the adults all get an afternoon kip! Yay! A very festive New Years party happened – with the theme being announced the night before – Blanco Burn – so the 31st saw all the guests traipsing through parka doing some shopping. Our best buys came form the Co-op! And we won the best dressed table!

A s the dust settled on the party, it was time to head home and back to reality – I did some deliveries, saw some patients and then we celebrated through the weekend, ending with a magnificent party at friends yesterday, to wish our germans farewell. Or rather, as they say in Afrikaans, Totsiens (Until seeing).

It was a holiday where I know we made some awesome memories with our children – cookie decorating with the family was special too; crazy uncles in the pool; endless rounds of ‘Would you rather?’; spontaneous dance parties and swimming with the moms (“But G, you even got your hair wet today!” said one little girl to her mom!) memories that I hope my girl will carry in her heart…

Merry Christmas

… to you and your families. I hope you are making some incredible memories.

I’m trying hard to emulate my Dawny this season, when everything had to be just so – from her special biscuits, to Christmas Cake, to a roast dinner. It’s been a tough season, but today I woke up with a song in my heart.

Miss you Mom, lend a hand with Dad if you can.

What the elf did next

He’s been busy!

Having a Frozen inspired moment!

 getting stuck into a bag of homemade fudge – cheeky guy! Photo Booth!

We all know an evil genius (not really, I know) needs his minions!

Harry Potter came to town for a quidditch game!

Someone saws us baking and decided to get in on the deal – messy business!After a rainy day, last night someone got stuck into the drawing and colouring in.

(my brothers arrive tomorrow for a couple of days to see if they can help me out with our dad – relief!)


… to get that Christmas spirit going here, guys! Thandi and I had fun this weekend. We baked up a storm – biscuits, fudge, coconut ice, a gingerbread house. (I really appreciate how you can see the difference in her arms here – a permanent reminder of what she has endured this holiday in her splint – that left arm is pale, (look at her hands esp) and skinnier than the other)

We decorated our tree, we embellished the house, it’s been good to sort out, throw out where necessary and clean up. Getting things in order pleases me. The fact that there is a lot of mess first distresses me, but thereafter I am destressed.

(In my decluttering, tonight I tackle the spare room!)


…I am really relieved that all of the formal Christmas gatherings are now done. I have no commitments left to anyone, except my beautiful family. Book club, supper club, work – I can tick them all off my list. They’ve all been fun, I have enjoyed the events and functions, but I am burnt out and broken; and it’s hard to slap a happy face on and be jolly all the time, when inside I am just wanting to curl up into a little ball, go to sleep and hide away from the rest of the world…

What I am excited about is the adventures of Mungo, our elf on the shelf. He is having a whale of a time! Despite thinking he would only make an appearance this coming weekend, a certain someone developed FOMO, so the elf was beckoned…

He’s back!

getting tangled in some Christmas lights , and bringing a joke.

A high stakes monopoly game was underway!(I love how frazzled Elsa looks in this picture!)

Give an elf a shweshwe apron, and he’s a messy genius in the kitchen! (strawberry milkshake for the win!) (and some graffiti!)

BatElf and BatRosita save the day!

3…2…1… blast off!

6 days done, let’s see what the next 12 bring!

the grinch

…seems determined to steal my Christmas! I am sick, have a horrible cold, that is just lingering. My ear has been so blocked and sore since last night, it’s horrible. my voice is going too. And now I have some work that can not be delayed and must be done on Christmas Day.

Guys! I have a 5 year old, this just isn’t fair!

Bah bloody Humbug and a Merry Christmas to you too.

3 more

days to Christmas! Argh! It has been a crazy week, work has sabotaged me at the most inopportune times, and I haven’t got all the things done I need to. Tonight is my chance to tweak the last few decorations, brandy the Christmas cake, and make a batch of biscuits. I need to also make a dessert, which is one of those that kind of looks after itself, so I will get that done, and then tomorrow I marinate the meats and make sure I have the other things I need for an awesome celebration!

I have a few more gifts to wrap, and then it can come!

The blogosphere has been quiet, so I will send you my best wishes now, in case you don’t check in again. May you have the best time with friends and family, may your pudding be filled with coins, your tree adorned with decorations and your heart full! Merry Christmas!