…which includes new babies, the joy of the holidays seen through the eyes of a 3-1/2 year old, special friends, and Christmas shopping that got done shockingly early! (I’m usually only beginning my shopping by this time, NEVER have I been essentially finished at this point!!)
But first things first — we have a new grandson! And after calling him Scoopie all this time, it’s taking everyone a while to make the switch to his real name, but we’re trying. Henry Lawrence Ostroski entered the world just past noon, one week ago (7 Dec) at 6 lbs 8 oz, right around 19″ long. Mama is doing well after the surgery and the family came home from the hospital on Wednesday. Avila is thrilled with her little brother, although I think is just a hair disappointed to fully realize (not that we haven’t been trying to forewarn her!) that he can’t really “play” much yet!
It’s been fun to watch each of the past Christmas seasons as Avila got older and more “into” it, and surely at 3-1/2 this year is the best yet. It’s all magical to her and her enthusiasm is infectious. Chris and Louise arrived on December 1st with her first gift, a gingerbread house kit to put together and decorate. We all had fun with that, followed a day or two later by a bag full of the makings for Christmas placemats. Avila (like most kids her age) LOVES stickers, so she was in her element and her family is getting to enjoy eating on their holiday placemats at home.
It’s a busy season for her with a holiday ballet performance last week, holiday gymnastics performance next week along with holiday school performance, and then a break from formal activities for a couple of weeks. On Saturday, just before Scoopie, I mean Henry’s arrival on Sunday, Jen and Avila got to have a Mommy-Daughtie day, including Breakfast with Santa at Jen’s office, followed by meeting up with us to get our Christmas tree and a small one for Avila. It was a fun day for everyone. (More pictures down below, and remember you can always click on a pic and see a larger version.)
Speaking of trees, we’re very happy with ours this year, and even more so now that it’s properly dressed! Chris and Louise stopped over briefly today bearing the first of our gifts—a wonderful tree-skirt hand-made by Louise’s mom (who has since passed) ten years ago. It’s the perfect size for our tree and room and is an especially dear gift from very dear friends. We’ve left it “bare” for a little while (although amazingly enough I not only have my shopping done but most of the wrapping done!) just to enjoy it, but it will soon fill with gifts. After our years in Costa Rica where we did almost no gift-giving, we still keep it comparatively simple, but even at “simple” there will be plenty under the tree it seems. (David and I have a tendency to take whatever we would have needed to buy for ourselves during these final couple of months of the year and wrap them for under the tree, so that skews the gift volume a little bit!)
Hope that the holiday season is bringing everything wonderful and magical to your family. We appreciate the gift of being able to experience it through the eyes of a child and through the miracle of new birth. May yours be as special too, in its own way.
Closing with a few random pictures. Enjoy!