Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy November

Christmas has a habit of just sneaking up on one in the States. In Australia, we always seemed to be fully aware that it was imminent with store decorations and Christmas merchandise becoming apparent in October (or even September!) In the States, we are somewhat distracted. First there is Halloween, then Thanksgiving, with Nic’s birthday in between for us. Christmas decorations do not come out until after Thanksgiving - so it has always been a shock for us with so little apparent lead-up to Christmas. 

After Halloween, we had to find time to sneak in a 3rd birthday party for Nicolas before Thanksgiving arrived. Nic was adamant that all he wanted for his birthday was a ‘Batman cake’. This was obviously a response to Luc’s ‘Superman cake’ for his party. We again arranged for a party to be held at Jump Ahead Academy - a place where the boys expend some energy during the cold winter months. Paul organised for a Batman cake to be made at Sweet Mandy B’s - a favourite bakery. As is often the case with excited birthday kids, Nic cried for a large portion of his party: he only wanted to open presents and get his hands on his Batman cake. Other than that, it was another (mostly) stress-free birthday party - thank you to Eme and Katy for all the cleaning up! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving this year at home again. I have flatly refused to cook a turkey and I think Paul took this up as a personal challenge, arriving home from the Supermarket with a small turkey and Thanksgiving provisions. Paul then spent the larger part of Thanksgiving morning preparing and roasting a turkey and making Thanksgiving ‘sides’ (mashed potato, green beans and honeyed sweet potato). Not to mention the preparation he did the night before to ‘brine the bird’. I felt so guilty seeing him go to such great effort without my support, so Luc and I made reparations by whipping up a quick apple pie (so much easier with a pre-prepared pastry case!) We had our dinner as a late afternoon meal (halfway between lunch and dinner). Next year I promise to make more effort and support Paul’s turkey ambitions. Thanksgiving really is a wonderful holiday and I am beginning to appreciate it more and more. It would be so nice to celebrate with family, with no need for presents or any hoo-ha - just time to spend together as a family. I can see why it is THE most popular time for travel throughout the year. 

We are currently becoming very nervous about our impending trip down-under, but otherwise are well. Paul took the boys to the circus yesterday with our neighbour Greg and his daughter Meredith. The boys came home wide-eyed and sugar-fueled. Luc is currently the first to see or hear anything. (e.g. “I hear Mietta crying” with Luc’s response “Oh yes. I heard her first” or “Oh look at the snowman!” with Luc’s “Yes. But I saw it before anyone else”). Nic is going through a superhero phase that requires him to remove his pants - a la the Superhero undies-over-tights-look. Mietta is a happy little baby and a super-strong little girl. She has been able to hold her head up since birth and is now doing push-ups from her tummy, lifting her shoulders off the bed. She has rolled to her side, but has not done a full roll over as yet. She loves responding to smiles with a smile, and she chats away (and can be very noisy at times - trying to get our attention). Mietta LOVES having her nappy changed and will stop crying immediately if she is put down on the changing mat! I explained to Luc this evening that Mietta is always learning - and for example, if he were to speak to her, she would start to learn language. Luc immediately grabbed two small balls (i.e. Earth and the Sun) and began explaining to her how the earth rotates on its axis, and the difference between night and day!  

Photo: Nic, looking a little dejected after his candles have been extinguished

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