Sorry we haven’t posted since we got to Canada, but between the crazy-busy leading up to Christmas, fighting jet lag, and keeping up with Liam, there just hasn’t been time. Mum and dad have been turning in each night the same time as Liam.

But we are here, it is cold, and we’re all having a grand time. It’s late Christmas Eve, Liam is asleep, and we’re ready for Christmas morning. But I know it’s already well into Christmas day (afternoon!!) for our family over in New Zealand, and middle of the night for Dan and Elaine & Co in the UK — SO MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! We already had a short but sweet Skype chat with Adam’s sister Sarah, up in the mountains in NZ. Looking forward to Skype chats with everyone else, either this week, or after we return home (when the time difference is a little more civilised!)

Liam was a great traveller for our flight over. He was kept well entertained through the entire journey, and our only complaint is that he absolutely refused to nap. By the time we landed and got our luggage it was 6pm local time… midnight for our internal clocks, and Liam was still up. A short nap on the shuttle bus left him overtired and irritable when we finally arrived at the Woolley’s, but a good night sleep got him well sorted.

It’s been a busy first half of our holiday here… first day was a bit of a ‘take it easy’ day. Liam explored Grandma and Grandpa’s house, got to know their Afghan hound, Lady Sarah, and finally got to meet his Canadian cousins, Hannah and Gabrielle, when Uncle Keith brought them over for dinner. We also managed to get out to one of those huge bookstores, and stock up on some english books for Liam — he loves his books!!!

Second day Grandma and Grandpa took us to a Cheese Factory, and we sampled and brought home some wonderful artisanal Canadian cheeses, and then took Liam to meet Santa (to whom he confided that he wanted a blue car). Liam tried his first ever doughnut at Tim Hortons, a Canadian iconic doughnut and coffee chain, and he liked it! (what a surprise!!)

Third day (21 December) was a bit of a mummy/daddy/Liam day, as we had a few final Christmas bits and bobs to take care of, so we braved the a shopping mall for a couple of hours, and then mummy took daddy and Liam to Hutches on the Beach, in Hamilton, for fish and chips dinner. Hutches is another of those iconic places that triggers memories of childhood — and the portions were so huge, there was no need for dinner that night! For what it’s worth, the fish still tastes exactly as I remember it… crispy batter, and greasy fish!! But the chips were always great!! Liam had a great time popping 25 cent pieces into the juke box, and requesting various Christmas songs. And he really, really liked the chips.

22 December was really lovely. Again, mummy and daddy and Liam took a little morning trip into Hamilton to visit Liam’s great grandmother, and his great Aunt Dawn and her husband Ian. They’ve never met Liam, and in fact, Deb hadn’t seen them for close to 20 years, so it was a wonderful reunion, a bit emotional, and there was so much to catch up on. Afterwards we high-tailed it back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, as we’d arranged for a photographer to come out and take family portraits, as this is the first time the grandkids were all together, and who knows what the future will throw at us. 2012 has been a shaky year. The proofs will be ready for us to see for around the end of the year — I have no doubt there are some fantastic shots.

23 December was another mummy/daddy/liam day — the last of the trip. We all headed into Toronto to visit two of Deb’s closest friends from back in her days in the big smoke. John and his wife Kerry hosted a lovely lunch at their home, joined by John and Deb’s good friend Admira. John has three teenage sons, all of whom are exceptional young men, and all of whom were happy to pull out their old trains, cars and trucks and entertain Liam for the afternoon. Needless to say, Liam did NOT want to go home, but he quickly fell asleep in the car.

Which brings us to December 24, Christmas Eve. We held our Christmas dinner tonight, as Hannah and Gabrielle would be spending Christmas Day with their mum and her family this year. It was lovely and loud… and I think the first time that I’ve been to a Christmas Dinner that had a kids table, without actually BEING at the kids table. Liam was well taken care of by his cousins, and by Keith’s fiance’s kids also. All were older, and hopefully charmed by Liam’s little toddler antics.

Christmas day will be a bit quiet for us. We’ll save most of the gift unwrapping until Boxing Day, when Keith and his families/families can come back out and join us. But Liam’s stocking from Santa is out and ready, and we’re really looking forward to his joy tomorrow morning.

So… off to bed for me!! Am not handling the time difference so well this time!

Merry Christmas all!