Chanukah was a complete blur. The kids came to love having Chanukah music on in the car and singing the Dreidle song. Although the holiday is only 8 nights, we had something to do every night for two weeks straight. We were either celebrating at somebody's house, or entertaining at home. Usually, our kids rise to any occasion and bring out the best behavior for others. We saw this breakdown as they got more and more tired, and in need of their normal routine. However, they did enjoy the holiday. We lit the candles every night, and it is so sweet to see those beautiful faces lit by candlelight, either saying the blessing with us, or watching quietly, sensing that this is something special. They did get to open presents every night, although rarely from us. Since they are easily overwhelmed, we bought very little knowing they would be showered by those around us. We were right. Unlike many of the kids we know, there wasn't one night that Hayden asked for gifts. He never gained any expectation that he should get something, and was often not terribly interested until he saw what was inside. He did think we should be making more cupcakes. I couldn't agree more.
On Christmas Eve we went out to see the lights. After driving through Candy Cane Lane, neighborhood known for it's elaborate displays, Hayden declared he didn't want to see any more lights. He now objects every evening to all the Christmas lights that are still on. Bah humbug.
- Latke cook off at my family party. Who would have thought my Catholic aunt's taco latkes would be such a hit? They were my favorite, along with the cranberry latkes. Among about 8 varieties of latkes, I didn't taste one I didn't like. Mom's husband one with a traditional recipe, but I'm not convinced they didn't stack the deck. Yeah Mom- I mean you! ;)
- Dinner for two at Fillip's family party. We arrived to find a little table set with a sign saying we won for dinner on our own. Fillip's Aunt and Uncle would be taking care of the kids through dinner so we could eat our meal hot. They actually had all the kids in their charge during dinner so the rest of us could relax. This worked out well for us only, as most of the other kids flipped out! Hayden was just as happy to be at the kids's table and was really great. Logan got Aunt Sally's number and took full advantage being fed, held and sung to through the entire meal. Smart kid.
- Hearing Hayden say he "won the castle lottery." Hayden has loved castles since our vacation in May where we visited Hearst Castle. He builds castles with legos and talks about going on "may-cation" in his castle, which is what he came to call the motorhome. He absolutely loves his big toy castle, complete with a king, knights with removeable armor and a working canon. He has been so excited and this comment was made to Fillip one morning completely unprompted.
- Being on vacation for 11 days straight!
New Year's Eve was nice. We had a few people over and it was a relatively quiet evening. I find it hard to get terribly excited about New Year's Eve for it's own sake. January 1 never feels any different than December 31st, and it always feels like forced gaiety to me. However, I do like having people over, so decided to host a few friends again. We put out way too many appetizers, and didn't even make dinner since everyone was full. By 11:30pm it was just us and another couple, which happen to be a couple of my favorite people to hang out with. Logan crashed by 9pm, but Hayden stayed up until midnight with us. He was absolutely adorable coming in to the living room with a champagne flute full of sparkling cider that Fillip gave him for the midnight toast. He was such a good boy, and I was so happy to bring in the New Year with him. Logan got scooped out of his crib and was so sleepy and confused by the hoopla. It was really funny, but nice that the four of us were together. Logan seemed relieved to go back to bed. New Year's Day was low key with all of us catching up on some sleep and hanging out in our sweat pants.
Now we are back to the daily grind. I really feel like it's going to be a good year. Despite all the ups and downs, when I look at our life, it's really quite great.
Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all a year of health and happiness.