Saturday, December 27, 2008
We had a lovely, lovely Christmas. Despite all my anxieties, we got here safely, altho' the chains did NOT fit the vehicle, as Paul found when trying to strap them on in order to make it up the steep, unplowed road that leads to our apartment parking lot. After taking a more circuitous approach, we unpacked and snuck our Golden Retriever into the apartment (our strata council so far doesn't permit dogs officially) and have been pleased at how well she's adapted, thus countering my other significant worry.
Still, all was not yet smooth sailing -- with a fresh snowfall that night and on-and-off flurries right up until Christmas, we weren't sure we'd be able to get out again to pick up Bronwen, Adam, and Nola for Christmas together. They, meanwhile, were fully committed to remedying some problems in the breastfeeding program -- they've been getting some great support from their midwife and the recommendations/advice require devoting close to an hour every two or two-and-a-half either to nursing or to pumping or to bottle-feeding supplements. While I was a bit anxious about them, I knew they were fine on their own and I couldn't help but admire the absolute shift in their priorities. We explained to their sibs why waiting for a taxi in bad snow conditions on Christmas Day with an infant in sub-zero temps wasn't going to happen and resigned ourselves to making a great celebration even with a reduced crowd.
Christmas morning, Pater and I took Skeena out for a long walk in the fresh, deep snow -- she loves it and becomes a puppy again, romping around in a way that her 11-year old bones might have regretted later, but which she thoroughly enjoyed at the time. Then we headed home to relax and wait for Rhiannon, then Meg, Rob, & Henry -- as they arrived, Pater put together his standard breakfast of bacon, eggs, and fresh, hot biscuits, augmented by celebratory mimosas (orange juice and champagne). Gifts were opened, the dogs eventually settled down together, and we counted our blessings -- despite missing loved ones (Rob's family is in the Bahamas; Rhi's new BF back in Toronto; and of course, B, A & Nola were across the city while mine and Pater's extended family were scattered across the city and country), we were surrounded by love and comfort even in the depth of winter.
And it got better yet -- with a bit of warming, a delay of the latest storm from Christmas to Boxing Day, and some efficient street-clearing, Pater thought he could risk heading cross town to pick the kids up and they agreed they'd like to try getting out. So in our 500-sq.ft. apartment for Christmas dinner, we had Pater and myself, Bronwen, Adam & Nola (and all the accoutrements a small baby requires) and their friend Kris (whose welcome is always assured thanks to her great personality AND fabulous desserts -- she brought homemade mincemeat and tarts and a wonderful specialty like Mallowmar/Viva Puffs but where every ingredient is the delicious real thing), Rhiannon, Megan & Rob -- nine humans AND the two dogs! (There will be even more of us here on Monday when Zach and Joey arrive for Christmas, the second, so we're glad the rehearsal went well).
We NEVER shop on Boxing Day and yesterday's snowstorm made that NEVER even more emphatic. Instead, our only forays out were to walk Skeena and we were otherwise happy to honour a longstanding Boxing Day tradition of reading and eating leftovers. We're going to see how long we can keep that up -- today's Boxing Day II and I hope to squeeze a III out of the calendar as well.
This quiet time after Christmas might be my very favourite time of the year -- what about you? Are you enjoying some relaxing good times? Reflecting on the year behind you? Dreaming or worrying about the one ahead?