Merry & Bright…

Merry Christmas, Darlings. However you celebrate I hope it was Merry & Bright (or at the very least safe).

I spent Christmas Day with the Toyboy’s family and all the days round about with mine. We had two little ones enjoying their very first Xmas and four bigger kiddies getting all hyped up about Santa. It’s a cliche, but Christmas really is better with children around.

I received lots of pretty presents & indulged in many delicious vegan treats (thank TB’s Mum & Sis). Of course I got spruced up for Mr Claus. I always got a fancy Christmas Day outfit when I was a kid & I’ve kept the tradition going in adulthood. This year I went for full on Sexy Fat Ballerina.

ly h Kerr, sexy fat ballerina

Bodysuit – Boohoo

Skirt – Ella

A plus size full length tutu is not actually that easy to come by. I ordered one on a whim and then fell for the idea of being a fat arsed prima ballerina. Unfortunately the first one never arrived. The second took much hunting down, but all that internet searching was worth it. This is a LOOK.

My clever sister somehow managed to predict my Xmas colour scheme and gave me the perfect accessories as part of my gift.

Next stacking rings ly h Kerr

Earrings & rings – Next

We’re now in that no man’s land between Xmas & Hogmanay. I intend to sleep lots, eat a tonne and cuddle little ones. I hope you have the opportunity to do the same.

Oh & Bronan loves his present. So much so that he barely moves off it. It’s a cat nip scratcher btw and god help anyone who even thinks of touching it.

Bronan Kerr

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The Spoonie Guide to Xmas…

Christmas is joyous and lovely and incredibly hard for the chronically ill. On top of keeping up with every day life there are a million other tasks to contend with. Not only is there shopping, wrapping & cooking, but there are a multitude of festive social events. Oh & the expectation that we’ll all be merry and bright.

When you’re chronically ill you don’t get time off for Christmas. Keeping up with seasonal demands when you’re in pain & exhausted can be impossible. Here’s my spoonie guide to surviving Xmas. Plus a little advice for friends of family of the chronically ill.

Make a list, check it twice.

The only way I can keep track of what needs to be done is making a multitude of lists. Lists help combat so many issues. If you’re dealing with brain fog, anxiety, impaired cognitive function, fatigue and so on, lists are life savers. I usually break things down into categories and try to assign a time scale to each list. The trick is to be realistic about how much you can do each day and not freak out if you don’t complete your list. Simply roll over outstanding items. Accept that some times you will have to make cuts. You can’t do everything. The world will not end if you don’t post the Xmas cards this year.

Start early & manage expectations.

I always start Xmas prep super early. The longer you have to get organised the more you can spread the work load. Getting a jump on the shopping also really helps if you have a tight budget. It is much easier to find smaller amounts of energy & money.

Be honest with yourself and others about what you can manage. If you have to trim the gift list or swap a phone call for a meet up, do so. I believe Christmas is about embracing the ones we love. Try to work out in advance which parties/get togethers you comfortably manage and communicate that. Float the idea of secret Santa style gift giving rather than buying everyone in your group an individual present. Expensive presents don’t matter. An enjoyable phone call or grabbing a quick coffee is much nicer than forcing yourself to suffer through social engagements that cause you distress.

If you have to cancel, make your apologies, but be firm. You didn’t choose to be ill. You are not intentionally disappointing. Remind yourself of this and try your hardest not to feel guilty.

The internet is your friend.

I do the majority of my Xmas shopping online. It is much less stressful and physically taxing to order from the sofa. The shops are crazy at this time of year. Not to mention the weather is awful. Stay warm & rested and get your festive haul delivered. This goes for food too. You can order in advance and have the Christmas groceries delivered as and when you need them.

Allow yourself to enjoy what works for you.

Christmas comes with a variety of traditions. Everyone has their own variations and seasonal essentials. It’s lovely to uphold family traditions, but only if they work for you. This is your life and your Christmas, you are entitled to enjoy the festivities. If something will negatively impact your health, don’t do it. There is no joy in activities that hurt you.

Establish your own Christmas customs. Whether that is embracing existing rituals or just making up them up from scratch. Deck the halls, wear an ugly jumper, stick cinnamon on everything or don’t. Suit yourself. Celebrate in style, but make it your style.

Don’t be a dick.

This is for the loved ones. If someone in your life is dealing with chronic illness, be kind. We know we disappoint sometimes. We get that we’re not the easiest to accommodate, but please be patient. Cut us a little slack. As inconvenient as our symptoms can be for others, trust me dealing with them every single minute of our lives is harder.

For all your days & nights…

My niece will be 9 years old this week. My tiny muffin is growing at record speed. She is the oldest of my niblings. The first perfect little person one of my siblings created. The first mini Kerr to steal my heart. Our wee goddess is not so small anymore. She does however remain utterly incredible. Which is why I give you this Ode to Athena.

Athena is girl who wins gold medals in her very first Jui Jitsu competition. She speaks with that Aussie tone that makes almost everything a question, but always make her point clear. She can mimic a Glasgow accent expertly & she turns it on with perfect comic timing. My muffin has always been precocious. She walked & talked before most; her tongue has rarely been quiet nor her person still since.

Bias aside this child blows me away. Her vocabulary is impressive. Her creative talents prodigious. She excels in every subject, but more importantly, she’s kind. My Athena will brook no cruelty. Be it mean names or rough handling, tiny animal or a giant Daddy, no feelings shall be hurt. She cries foul. This Goddess rules her world with benevolence.

My baby girl now has longer legs than her Mama and as much sass as you’d expect from a kid who’s ancestry includes a Scot and a Zimbabwean. She can always come up with a game we can play via FaceTime and she still ends every call with beep, beep, beep, love you. At almost 9 she has already worked out that Disney love stories are bull & clocked it’s important to watch the news. So much of the baby Athena is gone. She now prefers jeans over party dresses and ipad games over my little ponies. My little one is big and brave and so so smart, but she’s not grown yet. She still wonders if maybe I should have married a dragon and to my utter relief she still has time for long running video calls with her old Auntie.

No matter how incomprehensible her text messages get, Athena will forever be my muffin. I’ll always know where her select freckles lie. I’ll never forget the days she fell asleep in my arms. I will always love her more than my heart can handle. She has been wowing the world since even before her first breath. I’m certain she has many more wondrous feats in store for us. She hardly needs to be told, but,

Baby be a giant,

Let the world be small.

Deck the halls…

It’s December and you know what that means. Yup, it’s time to get Christmassy! My insomnia came in handy for getting decorations up bright & early on the 1st. Then I really got into the festive spirit with a trip to the most beautiful Xmas Fayre.

The Christmas Fayre was at House for an Art Lover, a stunning Charles Rennie Mackintosh building hidden in the middle of a a very cool park. There were many beautiful wares for sale, but the building itself stole first prize. Our little monkey enjoyed exploring all the pretty nooks too.

House for an Art LoverHouse for an Art LoverIHouse for an Art Lover

For our festive outing I wore giant polka dots. I don’t often wear white, but I couldn’t resist this dress. I’ve actually had it for ages (I forgot about it, oops), but this is it’s first outing. I love it. Add a cardi & some boots for cute day wear. Reveal the cute off the shoulder fit & some statement jewellery to up the oooh. As is often the case with Boohoo, size up!

ly h Kerrly h Kerr tartan boots

Dress – Boohoo

Tights – Asos Curve

Boots – Primark

As for my Christmas decor, it’s perfectly sparkly. It’s amazing how warm a sprinkling of festive cheer can make you feel.

ly h Kerr Xmas decsly h Kerr Xmas decs

The tartan around her did flow…

I’m Scottish so in my mind tartan is great & goes with everything. I will not be dissuaded from this thought process. Which, is exactly why I bought these boots & I will not apologise for them.

I spent Saturday with my sister & the cutest little monkey there ever was. It was a wet dreary day, so I went for cosy with splashes of random colour. As I said, tartan goes with everything so why waste time trying to actually match.

ly h Kerr

Tartan boots

Skirt – Primark

Shirt – Simply Be

Hat – Primark

Boots – Primark

Despite the rain & hat combo turning my hair into a hedge, we had a really good day. A spot of lunch, snoop around the hidden lane and then we checked out the refurb at my local library. It has been transformed from 60’s dinge to retro cool (that staircase didn’t look so awesome when I was 14) and the kid’s section is fantastic. Our wee monkey enjoyed a bit of story time & a lot of exploring. Whilst his Mama & I secreted little messages amongst the books.

Cardinals library Story time #projectpostit

The only thing better than tartan is libraries, so I win at Saturday.

Here comes the weekend…

I needed a few days to recover from my getaway, thus had a very lazy end of the week. I was mostly lolling around in jammies. I was still knackered by Saturday morning, so had to adjust my plans, but fun was still had.

I kicked off the weekend with a bit of shopping & sushi with my wee sis. Of course the baba was also along for the ride. He got a little bored of the shopping portion of the day, sushi though, he loves. He can’t eat it yet, but chasing it along the conveyor is a very good game. I have a bit of a spending bug at the moment, so I treated myself to some little lovelies (stay tuned for details). We did a lot of cooing over baby clothes. Plus some admiring of all the Xmas decorations that have just hit the shops. Then closed the day with tea, cake & a snooze for the little man.

I hit the hay ridiculously early on Saturday night. Paired that with an incredibly slow start on Sunday & hey presto, I had collected enough spoons to venture out. We grabbed a late lunch before indulging in lots of local talent at Yellow Movement Sunday. It’s a cool event held on the 2nd Sunday of every month. If you fancy an eclectic jam session & unique live acts, check it out.

It was a perfect autumnal day. The sun was bright, but the air chilly. Just the right weather for slipping on some velvet. This dress is an old favourite. I always feel foxy in it.

Dress – Pink Clove

Belt – ASOS Curve

Musical interlude complete it was time to head home & get my Jim jams back on. Having a good time is exhausting.

For your babies…

I’m sitting on the sofa trying to be still because my baby nephew is asleep on my shoulder. He just shifted a little, gave a big sigh & squeezed my arm with his chubby fingers. I can feel his breath on my neck & smell his milky breath. I’m in heaven. This is as close to complete contentment as I get.

I’m exhausted. My back hurts. My knee is throbbing. Yet, I feel happy & at peace. Soon he’ll wake. At first he’ll be confused. He always wakes up suspicious, checking all around him. I think he forgets where he was when he fell asleep. Once he has his bearings his face will break into a big smile. He’ll look at me like he is utterly delighted to discover I am here & I’ll melt for the millionth time.

I feel the same swell of love with all niblings. At the weekend I listened in wonder as my 2yr old nephew sang me the whole alphabet. My heart almost burst as these two beautiful boys played together. Bigger cousin being so gentle with his smaller counterpart. Baba giggling & crawling, so eager to play with his best friend. Every new skill he masters is wonder. I still relish every time he says Auntie Lynsey. The pride & excitement never wears off.

Earlier I FaceTimed his big cousin. She’s 8 yrs old & nearly as tall as her Mum. I remember her being this size like it was yesterday. I’ve watched her grow & learn, loving every single stage. Gone is our baby girl. My Muffin now wants to share her thoughts on cubism & send me animated gifs representing how her day went. Her report card not only applauded her academic achievements, but noted how she goes out of her way to be kind. She’s incredible. They all are. My siblings make good babies.

I am so honoured to have the to opportunity to help mould these precious little lives. They bring me a joy that cannot be replicated. Every smile & giggle & kiss & ‘I love you’ make all my struggles seem void. It is easy to be overwhelmed by what I don’t have. Life is bloody hard, but it feels ridiculously easy when I cause a smile to light up their faces.

Perhaps the next best thing can be enough. You have to take your wins wherever you can find them.