Yesterday was a lovely day. It began very early for me as I got up at 6 am. I called my brother and we had a nice long chat. Then from 8 to 9:30 I watched Foyle's War. It may not have been the best decision on Christmas morning, but it has become a habit while I've been here in Kazakhstan. Unfortunately the episode was quite sad.
As I was dressing to go visit with MLM Diane called me on my cell phone. She had just finished putting the final touches together for her first Christmas with her 2 daughters. It was lovely to speak to her and such a gift to have that phone call, but I found myself getting very emotional and I had to quickly say goodbye before I completely fell apart. But I didn't have time to cry as I was off to see my little man.
I'd brought a red shirt which I'd never worn here in Kazakhstan, so that became my festive garment. For MLM I'd bought a red striped shirt. I'd put it into a beautiful little plastic bag and it was to be his present. I'd really struggled with the idea of presents because there a toy or book I would have to take home with me, and that seems to be the worse thing to do with a gift.
Off I went, tearing away to meet my driver and translator. I'd discovered on-line at 6 a e-Christmas card from my coordinator and I got into the car to receive a gift from Yulia. I now have a large Santa magnet on the fridge and a very cute Merry Christmas Snowman sitting on my television. My apartment finally seems festive. Luckily Yulia was very helpful on the drive to the baby house making me feel better and helping me to laugh, I was much calmer when we arrived.
MLM was as always delighted to see me. We were able to go into the classroom today, and I began our visit by giving him his gift. He was very interested and enjoyed shaking the shirt out of the bag. His delight at seeing the shirt was very rewarding, and then he began to pull the shirt he was wearing off to put on his Christmas present. We even got a game of Coo-Coo as he changed. Then he had a little snack of apple juice, the apple he was eating when I arrived and the banana I'd brought. All to soon, and yes it was still just a 20 minute visit, it was time to say goodbye. He is beginning to equate Yulia coming to the door with me leaving so he tries to very gently close the door so Yulia can't tell us we have to say goodbye. I know he is a smart cookie. I then turned my crying little guy over to the nurses and we quickly left. I am proud that I didn't cry, but it was very hard.
Back at my apartment I quickly got myself organized for Christmas day with Kendra and her daughter Alexis. For Alexis I'd knit a little blanket for when she is in the stroller and I'd given her a little red truck that I'd brought from Canada (MLM has a blue one that he never chooses to play with), and for Kendra I'd bought a pound of American bacon (it was very dear, but well worth it, I hope it tastes as good as it looked).
I walked over to Kendra's apartment making a little detour on my way. On Friday Kendra and I explore another little mall and we'd found a real yarn store (and JB that is YARN not YAM store). This was a 6 foot square store filled to the ceiling on 3 sides with yarn. I decided to return to the store to purchase a crochet hook to make snowflakes as a New Year gifts for my team and black yarn to make a hat for myself. Okay, I'll be truthful, it was just nice to be in a yarn store. I may go back today.
After that I went to the little grocery seller across the road from Kendra's apartment where I bought a litre of Coke and a litre of Fanta. I also found a Toberone bar and some ice cream sundaes, we were in for a real Christmas feast. Kendra had a frozen pizza and she'd made a salad of yellow pepper, cucumber and tomato.
I arrived at Kendra's apartment at 12:30 and I stayed until 4:30, the day went so fast. Kendra had Christmas music on her IPod and we enjoyed our feast while Alexis napped and then we were entertained by Alexis opening her first Christmas presents. And then further entertained watching her play with the box her toy came in. A typical Christmas with a one and a half year old. All too soon it was time to get back to my apartment before it became too dark.
The walk to Kendra's had been very dicey as the temperature was just around freezing and it was raining meaning there was ice with water on it everywhere I went. The temperature had risen while I was at Kendra's and the walk home was fine for the most part.
I spent the evening crocheting snow flakes and watching DVD's on my laptop. And finally just before going to bed I put on my Josh Grogin album Noel. I brought it thinking I'd be going home on the 19th of December and that I might need something to help to get into the Christmas feeling. I finally felt like listening to it last night.
Today, Boxing Day is mild again, the temperature is already over 2C and it is only 10:20 in the morning, but it is wet outside. I'm not sure what Kendra and I will get up to today. I don't go to the baby house until 4 on Monday and then on Tuesday I go to court to ask to be his forever Mommy. I'm so nervous I can barely eat.
I hope everyone at home had a wonderful Christmas, and that the feast you shared was as delicious and joyful as ours.
Merry Christmas from Kazakhstan!