Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pleasant Christmas Evening for Creatures Great and Small...

Tonight the girls and I decorated the tree. I brought out all of our lights, decorations and Christmas videos and books while they were still at school and had everything ready when they got home. 

The girls first listened to our Cedarmont Kids Christmas songs, singing along, and then we put on the old Frosty the Snowman video (Jimmy Durante does Frosty's voice) and worked together to hang the ornaments.

Our selection of ornaments was quite limited this year... Last year the kittens were still so small that they weren't a complete threat to the tree... This year they can dive bomb it and probably will... So I only put the unbreakable ornaments on.

In the top picture, Katya is hanging up these white mittens you can see below... I bought them the day after Christmas in 1999, the day I learned I was pregnant... You can also see Katya's picture from her first Christmas tucked inside that photo ornament! She had the chubbiest cheeks! (Well, I take that back... Natalia put "chubby baby" into a whole new category...)

Here's the finished tree. We have to use a fake one since it's so warm and dry in our apartment -- and since real trees aren't available until closer to New Year's (when the Russians put them up). 

All of the fuss decorating kept the cats on edge... and now they're exhausted. Aren't they sweet relaxing in their own little Christmas world? It's 1854 in cat land, since they're guests in Kirsten's pioneer world... This is what they both look like as they take their naps...

Asya is cozy in Kirsten's log cabin, snuggled up with her rag doll and kitten. 

Kirsten is all dressed up for Santa Lucia day, December 13th. She and her friend are eating traditional sweet rolls from that day; I bought the same rolls for the girls the other day at IKEA and they loved them! I love how the tree ornaments sold at IKEA are the ones featured in the illustrations in Kirsten's stories, the same traditional Swedish designs... (I got that tree at Walmart and the ornaments are from IKEA).

Lyalya, meanwhile, is sleeping in the snow. Guess he's not too cold!

He's certainly comfortable!!


Tina in CT said...

Wish I were there to do things like that w/you and the girls.

I recognize the white knitted Xmas bell that I'd knit when I was pregnant with you in CA, the baby blocks from 2002 that I bought for Natalia's 1st Xmas, the white tutu that I gave one of the girls a few years ago and Dora the Explorer that I gave Natalia. You have so many gorgeous breakable ornaments but guess they'll have to wait until you are in a house with a living room that you can close the door on so the cats don't break them. Didn't the cats knock the tree over last year?

It must be the usual 80 degrees in your apt. as I see that Katya is in her undershirt. Oh how I love my 65 degrees at home with my turtleneck, sweatshirt and flannel lounge pants. I remember how horribly hot it is in all the building there.

Your tree looks very pretty and with the lights dimmed, I bet it looks even prettier. The girls must be happy to have it up and decorated. More vinyl and gel window clings are enroute to you from Michael's for Xmas and winter. The AG scene book with the dolls all appropriately dressed looks inviting and I guess that's why the cats joined them. Cracks me up how they love the IKEA doll bed.

Guess I didn't get the St. Lucia gowns made for the girls for this year. I'll have to do them this winter so that they will be ready for you to bring back this coming summer for Xmas 2009. Remind me in January.

I remember buying the black Scandanavian sweater set when Katya was just a baby as I knew that American Girl was in her future. Little did I know how much it would be in all our futures. I love all the stuff and going to AGPlace in NYC. Can't wait to go in January when you've visiting me.

Hugs and Kisses to all!

Carey and Norman said...

Fun to see how you decorate while living in Russia (the things we do not consider when only traveling there to meet our children and bring them home).

We too love the Cedarmont Kids CD's. Our kids love them and we'd highly recommend!!

Tina in CT said...

When Tamara and Katya would come up on weekends or when I'd have Katya for a Grandma Streusel/Katya Weekend, those Cedarmont Kids CD's were on a LOT. They were very sweet.

Rachael said...

Love the new Christmas-y header.

Katya is looking so grown-up in pictures lately.

Those are sure some spoiled kittens!

Anonymous said...

The Christmas tree looks great. And your cats are so decorative - they go well with everything!

Anonymous said...

Oh, guilty, just watched Frosty the Snowman on your blog - always loved it

The Expatresse said...

I warned my kids about the cat (this is his first tree) . . . I said to only hang ornaments we don't mind losing if he breaks something. We haven't decorated the tree yet, so we'll see. He hasn't tried climbing it either, but he sure loves it.

Not only is it unusually warm outside (expected high of 11C today in Moscow), but it's warm inside, too. I'm wearing a sleeveless t-shirt. Putting the tree together made me so sweaty, I had to take a shower.

pearly1979 said...
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Annie said...

The cats in the American Girls setting always amuse me so much. We had a dreadful time with cats and Christmas Trees... No cats this year; I'll miss seeing them sleeping in the branches. I also miss a lot of those broken ornaments....

garnet said...

Love the cat pictures. That AG scenes book is so gorgeous. I long for one (or two or three) and keep looking on E-bay but haven't yet had the courage to go for it and spend that much money.