Where else can you celebrate every Tuesday with fireworks! Oh, and Sundays and every other Thursday...I'll tell you where, Manila! I'm not sure if it is just the holiday season, or if this is a regular occurance but, there are fireworks going off almost every other night here. At home, particularily in Utah, you can expect to plan on fireworks throughout the month on July due to the 4th and then again with the 24th. They are spectacular here, that is after you get over the heart-wrenching jumping-out-of-bed-naked and hitting-the-ground because you have no idea what the heck is going on part! Yeah, so by night 14 you are totally used to it! I was just carrying the sleeping Mr Holden to bed and he said, in his sleep, "oh mom, I hear fireworks," and then rolled over into a deeper sleep.
Well, onto other news, we survived the Typhoon. Mainly since it didn't hit here. There was a shift in the direction at the last minute and it actually did a number on the region south of Manila. I am relieved, Nate is disappointed (don't ask me why he was looking forward to experiencing it!) and I am sure there are many more typhoons to experience in our future.
It is hard to feel the Christmas spirit when we are used to snow and cold for the Holidays, along with the chaos of our new environment but there is so much celebration here. We have heard every possible rendition of holiday songs you can imagine here, and we have slowly given in to the spirit of the season. I was insistent we aquire a tree and decorations and due to my bargain hunting skills, we got a killer deal on everything! Lets start with the tree, $24 for the fake beauty; it was the last one and we had to "patiently" wait for them to strip all the lights and decorations off of it, so we could haul it back to the room. The decorations and lights came from a supermarket/department store (yes, supermarkets and department store are combined here!!!) and after we were inspired by the "ugliest decorations ever" department were able to purchase the goods. The skirt, for the tree that is, came directly from a fabric market where the prices were unbeatable! All of this combined with Holden's helpful hands and WALA, the perfect little tree for our little family! We also bought these fabulous hand stitched stockings and paid pennys to have them embroidered! Fabulous!
As I had said before, Holden is having the most difficult time of all of us adjusting. This is largely due to our many great friends family and neighbors we left behind. He told me the other day that he like the big buildings in the Philippines but that he likes his friends in Utah. He also asks to go back to Utah a lot, I want to go to (insert favorite place here: nama's house, to see Nodi, play with Olivia, etc) We signed up for Gymboree classes the other day hoping to meet some friends in the direct area. While we were there, Nate and Holden did a little "free play" (don't let the "free" part elude you, it was anything but, "free" means without instructor!!!) while I signed us up. Some of you may be laughing since gymboree is much like gymnastics back home (and we all know how frequently we attended that last few months!) Anyhow, Holden and Nate made friends with Arianna and her mom Thea. They recently moved from London. They played so well together, but of course...they don't LIVE here, they live outside the city, but we have plans to meet again on Monday for "free play." Our first playdate with the new playgroup is Thursday and our Gymboree class is Friday...I will let you know how we all do!