December, 2008

Over the weekend we discovered that Nina is very ambivalent about meeting Santa. We went to a fun Christmas party on Saturday afternoon with the Richmond Swedish group. All was well until the lights dimmed and Santa appeared, at which point Nina left the hall and wanted to head home. Coincidentally, as we were standing outside in the rather bitter cold, we met a man whose daughter had been seriously afraid of clowns as a child. Santa headed back up to the North Pole after ten minutes and we returned to enjoy the rest of the party. Pebbles has now been given a heads-up about Nina's feelings about the man in red, as he's visiting there this coming Friday.
Sam has been very creative lately. He wrote a "6-in-1" book about scary things (chapters included: sharks, snakes, spiders, crocodiles, thorns, volcanoes). It is quite an informative and entertaining book. :) Sam has also become a huge Jeremy Strong fan, so we are re-reading "Viking at School." We had Eric over afterschool last Friday, our first ever afterschool Vineyard play date, and that went quite well. We have Ewan scheduled to come over this coming Friday, after which I will have to do bedtime solo as H. will be at his Christmas party.
Nina has become quite speedy on the Puky, which we are very happy about. At this rate she'll be able to be on a tag-along by next September for sure. We did bike to pick-up today for the first time in a long time, but although we had the special stay-warm gizmo she still got rather chilled.

We had a very busy Christmas season, which helped distract us from missing our families. Both kids were excited about being in the All Soul's Nativity play, although each kid missed one practice due to illness, but it went just fine anyway. Nina left the stage about halfway through and came to sit with me, but Sam took his angel role quite seriously the whole way through. :) That inspired the kids to act out the story of the nativity many times at home, with Fwonk, Snub, Peppa, and Green Baby filling in most frequently as Baby Jesus. Sam's angel costume was really a shepherd costume and came with a headdress that worked quite well for Mary. It was very sweet to watch them and helped keep that part of the whole Christmas constellation in focus.
On Christmas Eve we went over to Marie-Louise and Glenn's, bringing along various Swedish julbord specialties. It was lovely to share those traditions with them and great for the kids to hear more Swedish. On Christmas Day we went over to Linda & Peter's bearing some American Christmas specialties and shared a very lovely meal with them.
Nina has been battling with some very resistant ear wax that may or may not have contributed to her having probable viral labyrinthitis (infection of the inner ear). Mom had sagely pointed out that Nina tends to get very clumsy right before she gets sick, which leads me to believe that this illness may be somewhat recurrent for her. For a couple weeks prior I had been at my wit's end because of her falling down left and right. But an infection of the inner ear would explain that very well as that affects balance. She will be booked for a specialist ENT nurse appointment at some point in the New Year, so I hope that will get the wax out, and that that in turn will improve her overall ear health.
Sam also came down with a sore throat and fever just before Christmas, but it passed without even requiring a trip to the doctor's, which we were very happy about.