Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas in Zihua

Merry Christmas to you all! We hope you shared good food and good times with good people this holiday. Here's a little photo tour of how we spent ours.

Mom and I sat up late on Christmas Eve sewing some last minute stockings and chatting. I woke up at midnight, after having fallen asleep on the sofa, to the sound of fireworks and dogs howling. It seems as though just about any occasion will do as an excuse to make loud bangs here. Rob rolled in at two in the morning after a very busy and also very successful dinner service at the club.

It was very hard to keep Lucas away from the tree and the taunting new digger at six thirty in the morning, so after half an hour of me trying to convince him to watch just a little more Pooh's Christmas, we were up rousing the house with loud sounds of delight. A big thank you to Deb who graciously lugged the ten-pound vehicle to Zihua in her suitcase for us. Lucas is in love with it. It was quite a struggle to get him into bed last night without tucking the digger in beside him for the night ...

Lucas was very intrigued with his Christmas stocking, and dutifully showed Daddy everything he found in his, and then in Abuelita's. He was, however, slightly disgruntled that Daddy received a Hot Wheels ATV in his stocking, and was sure Santa had made a mistake.

We were thoroughly spoiled by family who generously sent things down to make Christmas very special indeed. Although we missed everyone terribly, it was a warm reminder of how much we all do value our family and our friends. We were touched by the phone calls and emails we received. Here is Lucas with his new easel. Mmmm...chalk tastes goooooood...

After a lovely day of swimming, ice cream and relaxing, we ended the evening with shrimp ceviche, a roast pork, roast potatoes, carrots, a bottle of good wine and a game of Settlers.

Happy Boxing Day!

Monday, December 19, 2005

How can you tell it's almost Christmas?

Lucas and Daddy are OBSESSED with their chocolate advent calendar that Grandma and Grandpa sent. Mommy gets NONE... (Has she been bad?)

Pillo figures if he walks around with teddy all day too, maybe Santa will bring him a slab 'o bbq pork for Christmas.

Therefore with not many other visual clues around here, we continue our search for our Christmas in Mexico. Tree is up (as well as undressed and redressed many times throughout the day a la Lucas,) lights are strung, gifts are wrapped, stockings are non-existent (but hung metaphorically in our minds,) bugambilia wreath is hung, pork roast is purchased (come on...I know we eat a lot but we can't manage a turkey just the four of us!) and we know that Christmas must be just around the corner.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas - however it comes to you!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's a Boy!

A big congratulations to Lindsay and Ewart who just recieved Owen William into their lives last Monday morning. We can't wait to meet him... isn't he gorgeous?

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Soggy Apology

Christmas cards are coming your way...but they are all water damaged. :( A very full glass of water was tipped over on the whole pile of open letters. Oops. So please accept our apologies for the ratty look of them. Mom says it gives them character. (I think that's kind of like when she used to tell George and I that if a bird pooped on us it was good luck!) Hope you're all well! Ting

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Here we go again...

This week I started teaching a course to prepare students for something called a First Language Certificate. The job is great hours (one a day, Mon through Friday) and is very close to home. My class currently consists of only five students; a very interesting mix including the director and owner of the English school I'm teaching for, the wife of Rob's assistant, a guy who lived in Vancouver for nine years, and two young adults. I think it will be a great class, as they are such an enthusiastic bunch. Unfortunately it is creating some difficulties with organizing Lucas' bedtime, as it falls right smack in the middle of it. So far it has worked out with minimal tears on his part, but quite a bit of stress on us adults! We're having to choose between a very early bed time or a rather late one. Last night I tried early, and he slept thirteen hours, imagine! Needless to say, we tried early again tonight!

Rob is working long and odd hours as the busy sesason slowly rears its ugly head here in Zihua. Mom, Lucas I have been busy with my Aunt Pat and cousin Deb, who are here visiting for a couple of weeks. Rob and I made a very exciting discovery of a children's' play-place and activity centre that has just opened, and we have registered Lucas and myself for some classes starting in January. We've trimmed our synthetic Christmas tree but are still struggling with the stocking dilemma. We had planned to buy some cheap material and stitch some together, but every time we step foot into that zoo, Lucas has a temper tantrum and Mom breaks out in hives. We may use Rob's sport socks; they're almost big enough. ;)

I am still doing some yoga and have been immortalized on the new website of my instructor. Haha. If you look carefully you may be able to see the grimaces on my face. This month's evening class will be hosted on our roof-top deck, yet somehow I still can't get Rob or Mom to try... One too many tequilas and they're running around this place saying, "look at me, I'm Ting doing yoga!" But still no takers.

So we are just kind of here, awaiting baby-news from Linds and Ewart who are a week overdue, and getting ready for Christmas in our own quiet ways.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Visit to Morelia

Last weekend we went to Morelia, in the state of Michoacan, for a visit. It was a smooth sail all the way there due to these two sleeping beauties in the back. We stopped in Patzcuaro to eat ceviche for breakfast, then ended up staying most of the afternoon as we strolled through the shops and markets. We found so many lovely things for Christmas gifts, not to mention that we'd have liked for ourselves! Patzcuaro is truly a Mexican handicraft heaven.

Then it was off to Morelia, a further 45 minutes up the road. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and we could see why just moments after entering. The architecture is spectacularly preserved, the city is clean and very well organized for tourists. Although many modern conveniences can be found, they are cleverly housed within heritage buildings and display no garish signs on the outside. One can be walking the quaint streets and stumble upon a department store or fast food restaurant just within the walls of some circa 1800's building. Gorgeous. The weather was also a nice break, with temperatures dipping down to 10 degrees or so at night. We were surprised to find ourselves rather cold! Lucas kept pulling at his pants and hoody to try and get them off. Apparently he has become very accustomed to being in little clothing! Yet he was visibly excited by his new DC sneakers. (You may be able to see the blur of them running by in the pictures. He didn't stop running!!!)

We took a trolley tour on Saturday that had us all over the city getting a quick glimpse at most of the famous buildings and the aqueduct. It was the perfect toddler-excursion, ending with a tasting and tour at a candy factory where they were making up batches of fresh, warm guayaba jelly.

Nights had us taking turns, with Rob and I spending ours sipping wine with a view of the illuminated cathedral while listening to live music, and Mom and I watching the weekly fireworks and music show that accompanies the illumination of the Cathedral.

On Sunday we headed out to the zoo. As much as I don't particularly like the concept of zoos, I have to admit that it was wonderful watching Lucas enjoying the sights. He was all pointing and grunting as he watched gorillas, zebras, giraffes, leopards, bears, and everything in between. We will certainly return to the zoo next time we visit Morelia!

Of course the requisite Costco and Walmart visits were done, Christmas shopping was completed, we went back to Patzcuaro for another ceviche and we were homeward bound.
Sorry about the triplicate photo. I'm not sure why that happened, and it won't remove!