Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Thunder Bay Christmas III

  I think my favourite part of Christmas is the preparation for it. It's the days leading up to the big day. People are shopping and baking, leaving for holidays, arriving in hometowns to visit family and friends. It's the hustle and bustle that I love the most.

 We arrived in Rob's hometown, Thunder Bay, Ontario over the weekend. We were greeted by Uncle Peter, Grandma Marlene, Nonna and Papa. We let Alina go around the corner on her own and we heard a very excited Nonna yelling "Hiii Alina! Merry Christmas!" She was wearing a Santa hat with a tiara on it. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. From that moment on Alina was whisked away, checking out Christmas lights, the snow, the decorations on the houses leading up to Nonna and Papa's. Once we got to the house, she was taken upstairs to her very own bedroom, that was decorated and completed with a colouring table and chairs, Frozen bedding, stuffies and enough toys to keep her busy until next year. Oh and her very own Christmas tree that her and Nonna decorated together that night. It was pretty incredible. To say that Alina is loved would be an understatement. It definitely warms my heart coming here.

  I've known Robert for over ten years now. I've been to Thunder Bay five times and this will be my third Christmas spent here. I was explaining to Rob that I appreciate this trip the most. I appreciate coming 'home' to a home, whether it be mine or Rob's. I appreciate being able to go out and leave Alina without worrying about her. I appreciate the family and the friends I have been adopted by since I met Rob. It's just nice to be apart of his bigger picture.

 We've only been here for a few days and we've already finished our Christmas shopping. We went skating outside last night and today, after Alina's nap we're going to plunk Alina in a sled and take her for a skate. I've been appreciating the evenings, when Alina is tucked in bed. I sit on the couch in the living room upstairs, surrounded by the glow of the Christmas tree and decorations all around me. I sit and relax with a drink and some company. It's been great.

What part of Christmas do you like the best? 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Evolution Of Alina &Santa

Year One- 

  As you can see, Alina's first experience with Santa didn't go so well. She was less than impressed at nine months old. That year, we went to Thunder Bay for Christmas and Alina was thrust into many laps and she got used to seeing new people by the time our trip was over. She even sat on Thunder Bay Santa's lap, with her folks and she didn't cry that time.

Year 2 

 Last year, Alina brought her baby with her to see Santa and let dad hold her, while she attempted to be brave. Unfortunately I tried to sit her on Santa's knee and she lost her cool pretty quick. So we took some photos of her on the stool by Mrs. Claus' leg. She did high five him which we took as a small victory. She talked a lot about Santa that year but couldn't quite make the trip to his lap.

Year 3 

 This year, Alina has been rehearsing what she was going to ask Santa. Every Santa hat or bearded man was pointed at and named Santa. Let's just say that she's a big fan of the guy. There was a wait list to see him so by the time it was our turn she was pretty excited to talk to him. She told him exactly what she rehearsed; ponies (purple and a pink one), more peoples (Little People princesses) and a unicorn. Santa also convinced her that she wanted some new things for colouring. Now that's been added to her wish list. She was very quiet and still but in the end she was totally thrilled that she was brave and asked him for everything she wanted.

 Christmas was pretty damn brilliant before but now that we have a kidlet, it is so fantastic. Every moment is memorable and she appreciates everything!! Before she understood that she could have presents for Christmas she told Nonna that she wanted a Christmas orange for Christmas. I mean, how cute... and simple. 



Saturday, December 05, 2015

He Won't Bite My Hands ...

 Visions of sugar plums are dancing through my head and it's barely December! It was probably two weekends ago that I found myself watching Christmas With The Kranks on t.v. Normally I would hold off watching any Christmas movies until December. But for some reason, I am eager to get right into it!
 Earlier in November Alina, Rob and I were at the mall. Alina saw her first Christmas tree of the year and ran over to it to inspect the snow and see if it was real. We saw that Santa was already there taking Christmas wishes. She watched in awe and wonder for a moment, staring as he talked to a little girl. She broke her Santa trance to say, "He won't bite my hands.." Kids are so funny. I reassured her that no, Santa wouldn't bite her hands and that I would like to hope that no person would ever bite her hands. What a goof.
Rob's infamous light display that is our house!
  Even my staff Christmas party was in November. We always get a great meal, fun presents and a kooky gift exchange. We have our party at an oceanfront beach resort so it's a great excuse to dress up too. We had a photo booth this year which was also a very nice touch to the night. Another reason for me to have those Christmas tunes forever playing in my head. That's another thing, I am so ready to listen to Christmas tunes every time I'm in the Jeep. I don't normally feel this warm and fuzzy about Christmas, but this year is different. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!

The only photo of us all dressed up at my party.

We're headed to Thunder Bay mid December for Christmas. I imagine my mom in law is just vibrating with excitement at the thought of having all of her kids and her grand baby under the same roof at the best time of the year. I'm looking forward to all of the goodies she bakes and cooks in preparation for the holiday. She's probably going to have the house the most decorated it's ever been in anticipation for Alina's arrival. Rob's parents are definitely the best grandparents I've ever seen. Obviously they love her but it's shown in their adoration for her, their attention and commitment to making every minute with her a fun and memorable one. We Facetime with them all of the time and they were showing us that it snowed. Andrea was in her pajamas and rubber boots and had Rodney record her outside, building a little snowman for Alina. Now that is love. Best. Grandparents. Ever.

Eating supper, watching her grandparents build her a snowman in Thunder Bay.
   My excitement for Christmas started early this year and now every weekend leading up to Christmas is an exceptional one, filled with Christmas traditions. This weekend we got our Christmas tree and will be decorating it tonight. Alina and I went to the family swim this morning and Olaf and Elsa were there with fun pool games for the kids to play. I hope everyone else is getting into the spirit because there's nothing like this time of year. Everyone is a little more cheery and generous.

What is one Christmas tradition you can't live without!? I have a lot but one food tradition I have to keep up with is Mom's Crab Dip!