This year was so different. It was magical to see Roman's face light up when we turned on the Christmas tree lights, hearing him trying to sing "Jingle Bells," and laughing with delight at our neighbor's giant inflatable Santa.
We went to Trinity Tree Farm in Issaquah to cut down our Christmas tree. Roman helped pick it out, and rode on a tractor with Helen. There was also a little red train to ride on, and an old fire truck just perfect for climbing.
Roman hung the first decoration on our Christmas tree, and loved helping to decorate. You will be surprised to know that our tree survived a toddler, a basset hound, and four cats relatively unscathed. However, we often came home to find the tree skirt out in the middle of the floor, but we're used to that ... the cats like to attack it.
We will always remember that our first Christmas together as a family was a White Christmas, which just added to the magic. It started snowing in mid-December and never really stopped. Helen and Roman were snowed in as Rich took our 4 wheel drive vehicle to work (our other vehicle is a Mazda Miata), but we had fun playing in the snow, and exploring the frozen tundra with Missy the Arctic Basset to guide us.
We picked the perfect day to visit Santa at the Issaquah Reindeer Festival. We took Roman's friend Sebastian and his mom Helena with us, and there were only two other families there. A fresh carpet of snow had fallen the night before, and it looked like a winter wonderland. Several reindeer live there year round and are named for Santa's reindeer (we think this one is Prancer).
We followed a little trail up to Santa's house, feeding the reindeer along the way. There was a warming fire place and cuddly lions and tigers to hold. Santa was great and spent a lot of time with Roman and Sebastian.
The weekend before Christmas, we all ventured out in the snow to Sebastian's 2nd birthday party. It was a lovely winter-themed party with snowflakes and a snowman, and homemade ice cream!
Roman was excited and a little bewildered Christmas morning as it was all such a new experience to him. He loved opening his presents and, after opening all of his, our sweet boy helped us open ours and jumped up and down excitedly when we opened our gifts. He enjoyed having the job of handing gifts to us.
Mama and Didda (that's what he calls Rich) bought him a tricycle, and he was so keen to ride it that we set out in the snow (with Missy leading the way). Missy and Roman are now in training for the Iditarod.
At Aunt Mari and Aunt JoAnn's.
With Ally the kitty toddler!
Well, Roman is a real chatterbox now. He's just starting to put three words together but that's amazing since he only started putting two words together a month ago. Here are some examples: "Man...in .....truck" "Box, mama, box .... those ... in box" (not exactly sure what "those" are), "feet...my feet", "mama's feet." He's very good with "me" mine" and plurals, adding the "s" at the right time, and saying "feet" for example instead of "foots".
"Bear! Mama ... bear....big bear, mama!"
Our plans for this year include British Grandma's visit in April, visiting Grandpa Gene and Grandma Victoria in Georgia, WACAP Family Camp, visiting the UK sometime in the late summer, and of course going to see Great Grandpa Harvey and Great Grandma Mildred. We also plan to have Roman christened this year (we haven't picked the date yet, Uncle Barry and Aunt Mari will be Godparents).
We thought we'd let everyone know Roman's current clothes size because people are always asking us.
"Digger, Mama....big yellow digger....dirt, mama...dirt!"
Roman and Polina. We met Polina's parents Sonia and Shah in Russia (and they live in West Seattle). Polina is 3 and also from the same area of Russia as Roman.
With much love,
Helen, Rich, and Roman
Some recent Romanisms ....
Rich has been teaching Roman to stand when he pees in the big "potty." The other day Roman followed Helen into the bathroom:
We tried to let Roman know the real meaning of Christmas, while also enjoying Santa, presents, and the Christmas tree. So each night we opened windows in an advent calendar and read a little book called This is the Stable, a children's story about the birth of Jesus. Once all the decorations were down the book was still around and Roman asked us to read it to him. When we got to the page with a picture of the stable Helen said "Who's this in the manger?" "Santa!" shouted Roman.
Helen: Sweetie, mama and didda love you very much. We traveled all the way to Russia to get you. We will always be your mama and didda and you will always be our son.
Roman: Race cars!...While visiting Sebastian and Helena
Roman (to Helena): Cheese ... pease!
Helena: I'm sorry Roman, we don't have any cheese.
Roman (goes to get his coat): Mama! Home!