Monday, December 28, 2009

A December to Remember

Happy Holidays Everyeone... here's a quick peek at Tatiana's first magical Christmas in the US.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Trip to Sunny Florida!

Being coy with the giant dog that Grampa & Gramma bought me. I am not spoiled am I?
Playing Jingle Bells at the mall after meeting Santa

I also got a bike from Grampa & Gramma... here's Grampa trying to help me ride...

And they had a wagon for me... I liked pulling as much as riding...
Swinging at the park with Aunt Kay -- my favorite!

As you can tell -- I LOVE swinging!

Swimming is a close follow up to swinging!

Swimmin'! I was so glad I got to go swimmin'!
Last week, Tati and I got a quick respite from the freezing cold temperatures of Michigan during a trip to see Grampa and Gramma in Florida! This was the first plane ride for T since being home from Russia - and guess what - NO FEARS! T was a champ! Our flight on the way down was delayed, and other than being bored in the airport, she handled the delay well. We even got lucky enough to have our own row and she managed to fall asleep on the plane for an hour or so. For a kid that typically needs no distractions to fall asleep - this was a big deal!
We had a great time and great weather in Florida! As expected, Tati was spoiled by Grampa & Gramma! They had a bike, a wagon and a stroller ready for her use. And oh yeah! A pool! We saw an alligator, visited Great Gramma Helen, visited Aunt Kay, Uncle Dick & Kara and -- saw SANTA CLAUS! Silly mama left the Santa picture at the mall after lunch, but thankfully some kind soul had found it and turned it into the concierge desk! WHEW!
T was highly impressed with the warm weather and the fact that she was able to wear capris, shorts and go swimming again. While mama wouldn't trade a white Christmas for anything, I think Tati would give away any toy for the ability to swing and swim everyday. The girl is a fish. Grampa & Gramma (and their friends The Steve's) were amazed by T's lack of fear of the water.
Mama had a great time taking a break from work (my first real vacation days since Russia!) and just hanging out with T and Dad and Sharon. It's wonderful to see the holidays through a new set of eyes!
I have noticed as I get older, I have huge expectations for what I think Christmas SHOULD be, and most years, I am disappointed. All build up, and then it goes by so quick, I forget to enjoy it. It's hard to not enjoy it with Tatiana around. Years back I was living in the Detroit metro area. I'll guess it was 1994-95ish. My gramma was still alive and I was wrapping up some last minute errands before heading home for the holidays. The song "Sleigh Bells" came on the radio, it was lightly snowing and I was done with work for the year. I had a sense of joy and happiness wash over me with excitement and contentment that I'll never forget.
I felt that feeling with Tati this past weekend, and it's the first time since then that I can remember it! Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Happy December all! I don't think I have gone this long without blogging since I started the blog last year. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks, with lots of seasonal preparations! Plus, I don't know why, but when the daylight gets shorter and shorter so does my ability to stay awake these days!
Here's some pictures from the past couple week's events...

Watching "Grinch" with Gramma Darlin' (and Roo!)
Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day meal...
Hanging out with Mary at Thanksgiving celebration
Checking out the Santa Christmas tree

At Elmo's Green Thumb with Gramma Darlin
Big Bird!
The trees are up, the house is decorated inside and out. Presents are pretty much purchased and wrapped. WHEW! Now it's time to enjoy!
We're celebrating a couple traditions this year -- an advent calendar (with chocolates!) and Elf on the Shelf. I always loved advent calendars when I was younger. I looked forward to opening each window every morning. This years version sits on the counter near Tatiana's high chair and she's very quick to point out each morning that we have to open the day's window! And believe it or not -- the child that doesn't have much interest in candy? LOVING the chocolate piece everyday! Double bonus!
The Elf on the Shelf is another new addition that I had been meaning to do. Then I heard rave reviews from my friend Joanne (thanks, J!) so I decided to do it! Our elf did not receive a very creative name - he's Red Elfie. But she loves looking for him each day. I am not sure that she understands yet that he's supposed to be reporting to Santa on her behavior... but all in good time! She recognizes Santa in pictures - but I am not sure she understands what he stands for and brings.
I am realizing it's difficult to explain the true meaning of Christmas to a 3 year old - and not stress the commercial aspect of it! I did hear on the radio the other day someone say "Christmas is Jesus birthday and to help celebrate it, we exchange gifts and love with those we care about". Not too bad!
Tatiana continues to amaze me each day. She's changing more and more every time I turn around. Yesterday in the car on the way home from the store she took her shoes off after I had asked her to leave them on. (She's fascinated by taking her shoes and socks off in the car, which I did too when I was little!) I handed her the shoe to put back on and reminded her that I asked her not to take her shoes off and she replied: "mama, I sorry I take off shoes". What? She loves saying sorry - but doesn't usually have a "reason" to. But it was used correctly AND almost a full sentence! Leaps and bounds.
I promise I'll post sooner next time (and I'll try to mean it!). Enjoy your December!