Firsts in Our Foster Family: Merry Christmas

Since becoming a foster parent to Our Sidekick I started counting “Firsts”. When you’re a parent you count, first steps or first words but with Our Sidekick being older (and able to do them!). I counted other firsts, our first experiences together.

This year was bound to be different, from the moment Our Sidekick moved in with us it turned life upside down and round and round.

I was all ready for Our Sidekick to be knocking on the door at like 6 am like me and Rich used to do to our parents (a lot of the time!!). Our Sidekick came and knocked on the door at 8 am which wasn’t too bad – it could have been a whole lot earlier!

Chris was milking it and doing his best to wind up Our Sidekick as much as possible before actually getting out of bed. (I thought my Dad was bad on Christmas Day – Chris was hilarious!). At one point Our Sidekick had gone downstairs and Chris jumped out of bed, got fully dressed and then got back into bed. I wasn’t sure what his thinking was but it was going to be funny that’s for sure. Our Sidekick came upstairs and started trying to wind Chris up but the more he tried to wind up Chris, the more he got wound up instead!

It got to the point that he told Chris that he wouldn’t be able to catch him. Well at this point Chris throws back the duvet, jumps out of bed and is chasing Our Sidekick around the house. Our Sidekick is bricking it and doing his best to stay just ahead of Chris. Well, I just listened to the cheers/screams/giggles while finishing my cereal and then getting dressed.

Because we were going out to lunch later on I dressed up in the go to dress for special occasions. I wore navy tights and my boots – figured it was smart enough for lunch out but warm enough that I’d be comfortable.

I then went downstairs and we each opened our first presents. Tradition in our family is that we open one present before we go to church, then we open the other presents after church while dinner is being cooked – when I lived with my parents our church didn’t have a Christmas Day service and so we’d get up at like 7:30/8ish and open all our presents then.

I opened my present from Chris which was a little unexpected and confusing at first. It was the front of a Christmas card and then the back of the Christmas card was cut into squares, triangles and other shapes to make it into a jigsaw puzzle.

First I stuck it all together and then posted a picture of FB and Twitter. It was hard and I was going to need help.

Help people. @cgbj created a puzzle for my Christmas present and I need your help. All the hugs and kisses are normal but in there are roman numerals. 7 and 4 but what does that mean?

Well, I was confused and I had no idea what the code was. I tried changing the kisses and hugs to 1s and 0s in case it was in binary code – I don’t know why this came to my brain first but it did so I went with it.

That wasn’t right and it broke the binary converter I was using on the internet. In the end, Chris had to give me a hint. I was struggling and couldn’t get it. He re-wrote it with little squares and rectangles – it was then that I thought why not try Morse code. Well, that was correct, the big kisses were dashes and the little kisses were dots. I went straight for Wikipedia as I know that they have an alphabet with the morse code equivalent. I worked out what the code was and it looked random as it was made up of letters and numbers. I realised that it could be a voucher code for something like Amazon or iTunes. Well I realised that it was far too short for an amazon gift voucher code so I tried it on iTunes and I was right. I put in the code and it started downloading Season 1 of Being Erica – which has been on my wish list for ages!

I set up my laptop on the worktop in the kitchen so that it could download the episodes while we were out. We all sat around while Our Sidekick played Lara Croft on the PS2 as he now had a new controller (That was his first present to open).

Following Church, we opened our other presents.

I got two “Grandma Bowls” which sounds silly but it does make sense. In our family, they are called “Grandma Bowls” because our Grandma’s all seem to have had one somewhere along the line. I’d seen an alternative in a local supermarket and was going to buy one a little while back but decided that it was a bit too much to spend on a mixing bowl was a little bit too much especially as at the time I didn’t need one (The Kiwi was still living with us and her Grandma had one of the bowls, that The Kiwi had adopted when her Grandma passed away). The two bowls that my Mum and Dad got me were a big part of my present but I know that I will use them. And who knows, maybe if I don’t damage them, they can be handed down and carry on the tradition of them being “Grandma Bowls” lol.

Mum and Dad also gave me two knitting kits – they are technically kids kits but I’m sure my Mum saw them and thought of me! They are both from The Little Knit Kit Company and are so up my street it’s stupid! I’ve started the Egg Cup kit and have the Surfer van one to do later – I think it’s got more work to it.

We had dinner at the Beefeater Grill at Priory Marina. Going out for Christmas dinner is such a new thing. In both Chris and I’s families, Christmas dinner was always at home with our parents and siblings. The dinner was lovely as usual and the waitresses were so friendly and helpful. The only major fail was the fly that had found its way into my chocolate sauce for the profiteroles. I’d finished my pudding when I noticed it – I spoke to the waitress who had been serving us when she walked past us. She went to see what could be done and came back and offered me a second portion of pudding as an apology – erm, well I’d just eaten a three-course meal – I was about to explode if I ate anything more! I could have done with having it in a doggy bag to take home for lunch today! She then offered me a complimentary drink – we’d just been brought a pot of tea in error anyway (which we weren’t charged for) so I was drinking that rather than wasting it and I still had like 3 mouthfuls of diet cola in my glass – I didn’t need a drink. We were bought the bill for the drinks we’d had in addition to the meal (you have to pay in advance for the Christmas day meals) and I was tempted to ask her if that bill (it was less than £4) could be waived due to the fly in my food but while we were waiting to pay I noticed that we were the only table still in the restaurant – everyone else had gone as lunch service had finished. I decided that we’d pay and I’d raise my concerns after – okay they might not be able to do anything but at least they’d be aware of the situation and know that Christmas Dinner did have a few hitches.

Following lunch we popped home so Our Sidekick could change his trousers and we could grab some board games – we then headed to Mum’s for a games evening – we were going to have tea but we were all so stuffed when we sat down for tea that we just chatted and nibbled rather than eating (I think Chris had two plum tomatoes that’s how stuffed he was lol)


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