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Self care at Christmas

I am delighted to say that I am still alcohol free after nearly 12 months - and I've got better at finding nice drinks and alternatives, so i don't feel deprived. I can't imagine how I got through last Christmas, drinking every evening. The different is amazing. I have the odd pang, but I just let it go and move on, normally having a nice cup of tea whilst waiting for the feeling to pass. Today I was in Orell Füssli, and treated myself to a new christmas blanket, glossy mag (yes, I'm gently graduating towards GH) and a new book. Life is good :-) This Christmas I will sit down and read and relax, and maybe write a few blogs here and there...

End of Term

Our house this week has been at fever pitch. Boys counting down until Santa comes, bring presents home from school etc. Mr.ncot and the boys did the tree on Weds evening, when I was out at my work's christmas party.

The last weeks have been a blur of baking mincepies, Polish cake for school & Hort, Christmas jumper day at work! But we did get the flat decorated, it's looking pretty good, including Chris the Singing Reindeer :-)

This has been a long and pretty stressful year, and the last 2 months have been very manic. Very happy to have crossed the finishing line!

End of School / we made it selfie


Mince Pies, Gifts for school, Bob the Unicorn at work!


Decorations!

Silvesterlauf 2018

Today was another advent first! M. ran in the U10 category of the Silvesterlauf, meaning, all on his own! I think he was secretly quite pleased not to be held up by Alan or I. He finished the 1.4 km in a very speedy time of tbc and was very pleased with himself.

P and I ran an hour later in the parent and child category. Same distance, slightly slower than M at ?, but very fast for my old legs! Patrick complained and talked the whole way round - "mummy, there's a gap there, run faster, overtake", "Mummy this is boring, there's so much space", "Mummy, why aren't we at the front?", "Mummy, why aren't we running any faster?". My answer to all these questions was out of puff panting "I'm running as fast as I can. This is supposed to be fun!"

Anyway, he got his medal and was happy. I could stop running and was also happy :-)


2017 was Markus with Alan, Patrick with me
2016 was all 4 of us together
2015 should have been all 4 of us together, but was just Markus and I
2014 was Markus and I together for the first time!

Christmas Cake Making!

A bit late this year, but the cake did get made, with a bit of (grudging) help from M!
Now I just have to find marzipan for the next step


And just for Aunty Sharon - we are still using your lovely aprons - 18 years and counting...

and one of M. looking moody, just because the photo makes me laugh!

Samichlaus, Steam Train and Sihlwald

This is one of my favourite advent traditions and I think I just enjoyed it for the last time... Our boys are growing up, but I'm grateful for this last trip.

This year Markus didn't want to come, but Patrick did, so the two of us went. I was a bit unsure as to whether he really still wanted to go, but he really got into the spirit of the thing. He stood wtih the other kids to listen to SamichLaus (who this year took as his public health lecture theme "teeth cleaning!) and then eventually also put his hand up to say his "Spruchli". More on this tradition here.
And then the big bag of treats and the train ride home. We had a lovely afternoon :-)



History of the tradition....
We first went 2013 (with Chris and Drew, Venus and family, Swete Family), then in 2014 (with my parents and Swete family), then just us in 2015 and with Konstantin and Bernadette in 2016. Last year it was just the three of us.

Pre Christmas Clear Out and Build!

Today I kept with my pre-Christmas tradition of buying new stuff for the flat, then getting someone in to build the stuff!

Last year I did this on 21st Dec and it involved completely re-organizing the boy's room!

So here's the result of today's aching back and 14'500 steps!

New shoecupboard (to hide all the foot-related junk), new stool for me in the kitchen and new Dyson installed in the corner of our bedroom (no room anywhere else!)


Lovely new chair for our bedroom, so I have somewhere to read and knit, plus some lovely orla kiely cushions for our sofa (passed on from a friend!)


I then cleared out half the cellar and stored it in our laundry room - thankfully no complaints from our neighbours :-)


And then I played cellar jenga! Mr.ncot still needs to sort his books and get all of them on the shelves... But we're getting there and at least we can get in the cellar now to look for stuff!


And now my back aches, but the flat is looking pretty good!

Tags:

Blog List - December 2018

- Conversation we had on our way to school today
- Monthly update M
- Monthly update P
- Twitter update
- Why we should learn German
- The joy of not finishing books
- blogs versus ebooks
- Friendships are forever
- The tiger who came to tea
- November Sal's visit
- November UK travels
- November ELN conference and speech
- November Brussels
- Portugal Herbstferien
- Uetliberg with Patrick
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Work week, workshops & wroclaw
- Wroclaw in May & August
- Sharon's visit, June
- End of Kindergarten
- End of school year
- Lugano holiday
- Horgen walk with Kerry et al
- Uetliberg walk with Kerry et al

2017
- lj review - first sentence of each year for 2017
- Caro's visit last October
- London visit October Herbstferien
- Summer holidays

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On our walk to school today the boys and I had a fairly typical conversation. We covered the following topics :-)

- Why we dream and why P dreamt about Harry Potter last night
- Finders fees for finding Patrick's "Turnsack" (gym bag) and Markus' gloves
- Why Mummy shouldn't get a finders's fee in the (very likely) event that I find said lost items
- Why crocodile watch straps are wrong
- Why crocodiles are Markus' favourite animal
- Why and how crocodiles do a death roll
- What to have for tesa - Spaghetti bolognaise but with tagliatelle
- P said " I probably won't like it, but I'll try"

Going to work after that was a rest in comparison...

Advent, Advent

"I am a complete sucker for advent, on the one hand because I love the preparations for christmas, the candles, the build up. I like taking time to reflect and prepare for the arrival of that baby in the story. With both my boys, I found out I was pregnant in advent, so each year I look back with gratitude to Advent 2008 and 2010." Me in 2014, from this blog post

Here we are, the first Sunday in Advent! Preparations are well afoot in the Palmer / Moran household and for once, I feel optimistically quite organized!
- I have done 80% of the christmas shopping
- Cards and printed and ready to be written
- Advent House is set up at work, with a posted version sent to my Poland team
This weekend we've put up our traditional christmas tree posters, with numbered stars for each day. For the first time ever, I gave in to pester power and they also have a lego advent calendar each!

We went to the CS Christmas party for Kids on Saturday, made our advent ring (stick 4 candles on the wooden base!) and in pride of place, our new singing reindeer, whose antlers flash!

The rest of Advent will be busy - next weekend it's the Samichlausfahrt, the weekend after the Silvesterlauf. This year after Christmas we're going to the UK to catch up with all the UK Palmers. New and old. There's some IKEA furniture to be built, handyman booked, cellar to be organized. Why does Advent make me want to clear out the flat and then build IKEA furniture? Who knows :-) And then it's just food to organize, but this being Switzerland, I can do my online shop on Dec 22nd and still get it delivered on time!

Our new Advent Arrival, named "Fred" by the boys :-) and our traditional advent ring


Cards & Advent posters,& Lego Advent


Advent Calendars & Advent House at work


Christmas Trees, Sihlcity Deer!

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Advent Challenge!

So, i'm doing my own Advent challenge! Getting Active and Get Writing! The last time i did this was in 2014 and it was pretty successful in helping me get my sh1t together before Christmas! I miss actively blogging, but my backlog of blogs, is stopping me blogging actual stuff.

Here's me having done my first run tonight, the first one in months and months!
"Get Calm and Run" indeed - when I'm under pressure, when everything else is outside my control, I have to remind myself that I can control whether I move myself and go out for a walk / run!


So here's my challenge to myself
- 150 Intensity minutes a week
- Reach my goal of 10'000 steps a day
- Run three times a week
- Blog once a day
- and here's the updated list, taken from my last challenge, which didn't quite get going in November!

- Conversation we had on our way to school today
- Monthly update M
- Monthly update P
- Why we should learn German
- The joy of not finishing books
- blogs versus ebooks
- Friendships are forever
- The tiger who came to tea
- November Sal's visit
- November UK travels
- November ELN conference and speech
- November Brussels
- Portugal Herbstferien
- Uetliberg with Patrick
- Walking with Dinosaurs
- Work week, workshops & wroclaw
- Wroclaw in May & August
- Sharon's visit, June
- End of Kindergarten
- End of school year
- Lugano holiday
- Horgen walk with Kerry et al
- Uetliberg walk with Kerry et al

2017
- lj review - first sentence of each year for 2017
- Caro's visit last October
- London visit October Herbstferien
- Summer holidays