This year I felt the boys were getting to the age where they could enjoy and appreciate the holiday season. So, I thought I would do my best to make every day a magical one. We created an advent calendar with daily holiday to dos, we're counting down the days til Santa comes with presents with a Santa beard craft, and we even adopted Trix, the elf on the shelf.
Yurchik loves waking up in the morning and searching for Trix. If you don't know about the elf on the shelf you can google him and find out the fun traditions that take place once you adopt an elf for the holidays.
All 3 boys take turns gluing a cotton ball on Santa's beard. The twins don't quite understand Santa and presents but they love to do any crafty thing with their big brother! They have taken up cutting, pasting and coloring faster than he did because he's around doing it every day. It's so much fun to watch them all grow up together!
One of our advent activities was to go to the local zoo and see the "zoo lights". We had wanted to do this when Auntie Glo came to visit but the tickets had sold out. It was really neat to see all the Christmas lights throughout the zoo even if most of the animals were sleeping. Yurchik asked all day to see a zebra so it was a great moment when we actually saw 2 of them in the giraffe barn. He was so excited to see them all together (even a baby bunny hopped into the barn. He also hopped right back out when he saw the giraffes!) but I think his favorite moment was seeing the elephants pee and poop. He went on and on about the basketball poop! The funny things toddlers say never get old!
We also got the opportunity to cut down our own Christmas tree. That was a truly neat experience and nice to know that your tree is super fresh. Hopefully it will look great throughout the holidays and last for Ukrainian Christmas!
We are excited for Babcha, Dido and Pra Baba to come visit for the holidays. Tomorrow we are going to add to the countdown a special one for them (we did this for Auntie Glo as well). It's a fun way to build up the anticipation and a great way to prepare the kids for lots of visitors and changes to the daily stay at home and play with mom routine.
We are trying to get out and about and meet more kids and people. We've gone to a few playdates and are slowly making friends. It's not easy when most of the moms have only 1 kid that is able bodied and can play on their own so they can chat with each other whereas I'm watching 3 and 2 of those aren't quite big enough to be independent on the playground yet! They don't always remember to watch for the edges where there's no wall or things that require climbing skills beyond their ability. We will get there I'm sure.
The holidays are going well though I have my moments of sadness being away from everyone. When we hung the ornaments on our tree I realized that many of them were from friends and that made me tear up a bit. We have some wonderful friends in California and many that have also spread their roots and are separated from loved ones. We wish everyone near a far a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!