Monday, 23 December 2013

Meeting Santa 2.0

Because this is Freddie's second Christmas we thought why not meet the man in red twice this year. We've had Christmas decorations up, been playing Christmas music pretty much since after Halloween and have been talking a lot about Santa so it was only natural that the next step was to say hi to the man himself. 

We went to see Santa first at the Commonwealth Pool a couple weeks ago. I'd heard from many people that kids around Freddie's age (19 months) were not usually big fans of meeting Santa and the odds of him actually sitting on his lap were slim to none. This, of course, did not stop us from going but it did make me take a shower beforehand in case I had to be in the pic, too.

Turns out this was a good move (thanks for the advice Francie!) because Freddie gripped my hand tighter than ever as we cautiously walked up to Santa. It was a long walk up to the big guy and Freddie was moving at a snail's pace- very unusual. But, when we finallyyyyyyy arrived at Santa's seat, Freddie waved to the elf and was very interested in the mini-Christmas trees, fake snow and reindeer.

He and I (our hands still glued together) walked up to Santa and said hi (well, I did). Freddie sat on my lap and leaned as far away from Santa as he could while still being close enough to accept the bag of reindeer food and a present from him. We took a few snaps and that was that! Once we walked away Freddie turned and waved goodbye to Santa and the elf and had a blast playing at the pool's soft play center for an hour. The pic of him with William on Santa's seat was taken after that hour- hence, the tired face!

We met Santa again at the Dad's Rock Christmas Party. This was such a hoot. Dozens of little kids running everywhere. There were cool toys to play with, including a really nice toy kitchen made of wood, and a disco dance party where they could show off their moves. Freddie's favorite toy at the party was definitely the balloons. I never realized what a great dance accessory they are!

Meeting Santa here was a similar experience. Freddie clung to me and would not let go but, despite the extreme skepticism, there were no tears. We got a family pic this time and a really cool book called "Santa is coming to Edinburgh." Thank you Santa!!

Freddie with his good friend Madison!
Wish I'd showered for this one!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Photo of the week- Like Father Like Son

So, today I missed out on our usual Sunday activity of taking Freddie to his swimming lesson at the Royal Commonwealth Pool (isn't it great how everything is 'Royal' here?). Freddie has been in swimming lessons since he was about 8 months old and it is always a highlight of our week. We make a day of it and get there early so we can watch the divers dive off the platforms, take a long, hot shower before getting in the pool and we always stay for lunch, always a delicious mix of sandwiches, crisps and fruit.

We have our little treats we like to get at the pool, too. For me, a hot chocolate from the hot drinks vending machine. It always makes me feel like I'm at an ice-skating rink when I get one of these, which makes me nostalgic for the time in 3rd grade when I decided I wanted to be a professional ice skater and took lessons. Note to anyone out there who is thinking the same- it is NOT easy.

And for William and Freddie, little cartons of milk with a straw. Here's a pic of these two peas in a pod from last Sunday. Aren't they cute?

And, if you're wondering why I wasn't at the pool today, it's not because I didn't want to be. I was at my first driving lesson. YIKES. More on that later!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

We got our Christmas tree!

The holidays always make me feel the most American. Maybe it's because my Mom always went all out celebrating any holiday when we were younger or because they just make you feel nostalgic in general or maybe it's because Americans have an enthusiasm that cannot be rivaled, especially in times of real celebration.

We get excited at the drop of a hat - something I love about our culture and never fully realized until I left the U S of A - and this is especially apparent around holidays. We go wild at the 4th of July, dressing in red, white and blue, setting off fireworks and attending/participating in parades. We throw Halloween parties complete with dry ice, "mud" pie with worms and haunted houses created in the garage. And we cannot celebrate Christmas without a fine, full and fat, real Christmas tree.

I searched high and low for a cute Christmas tree farm with hot apple cider and candy canes close to Edinburgh. I had no luck. I found one such place near the Scottish Borders but it wasn't open yet (and didn't have hot apple cider) and I had already decided I wanted a tree today (well, Sunday). If anyone does, however, know of anywhere you can go cut down your own tree here, please let me know for next year. Or I might just have to go get another one this year.

Anyway, we did see that our old trusty friend, Gorgie City Farm (where we met Santa last year) was selling trees and I thought this was probably as "cute" as we could get considering it is a kid friendly destination, it's close and we knew they were selling trees this year. I, as always, was concerned about timing because Freddie sometimes doesn't wake up from his afternoon nap until 3:30pm and the farm shuts at 4pm in the winter (sidebar- it is SO dark here. Always.).

So, I tweeted them and asked what time they sell the trees 'til. I was proud of myself for utilizing this social networking platform that I typically consider too overwhelming (it's impossible to keep up with everyone's tweets!) except for the case of entering blog competitions, which has become a favorite pastime. And, lo and behold, they tweeted back! Good news was- they were open until 8 so there was no need to rush. And, moral of that story, I might just have to use twitter more.

Here are some pics of us picking out the tree, shoving it in the car and decorating it at home. Freddie is SO excited about it and every morning runs in and points at every single ornament. I can't wait to see what he does when Santa comes!

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