December in review

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 08:01 am
chanaleh: Snoopy in a Santa hat (xmas)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Happy 2018!

... See, this is why I never post, because all I wanted to do was make some quick notes about the fun things from the past month-plus. And by the time I get it all out, it's taken like 3 hours (cobbled together in 10-minute chunks).

Nevertheless...

Saturday night 12/2, my friend Kim (from junior high!) hosted a "cookie party" which ended up being a bunch of (mostly) middle-aged (mostly) moms sitting around drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity. It was a type of socializing I don't do much anymore, and it was fun to get to go. :-) The invite said "bring 4 dozen cookies to share" so I baked one of my mom's favorite old recipes called Lemon Drop Cookies, which were a big hit.

Saturday night 12/9, we threw a holiday dinner party for some friends, mostly [livejournal.com profile] etrace's bandmates and their wives and girlfriends. I say "we" but it was entirely him, making a roast beef and all the accoutrements. All I did was assemble some hors d'oeuvres, buy booze and cupcakes, and do some cleaning and setup; but it was definitely a joy to do some full-scale entertaining for once. It ended up being 6 couples including us, so we had to set up a second little table in the kitchen, since our square dining table only seats 8 (you can squeeze a 9th chair on a corner in a pinch, but that's the limit), and it was kind of glorious chaos. Also, one of the couples brought their 2 little girls, ages like 8 and 5, and they spent the whole evening running up and down the stairs with Aria and sneaking chocolate out of the candy dish (we found about 2 dozen Hershey's kiss wrappers and accompanying chocolate smears all over Aria's room at the end of the evening).

Tuesday afternoon 12/12 was my company holiday luncheon, at which (when they have them at all) they do a year-in-review dog-and-pony PowerPoint show and raffle off a bunch of prize giveaways, by which I mean like 100 prizes for 400 employees. I won a $250 gift certificate for Four Hands Furniture... which, weirdly, makes three years in a row that I have won the EXACT SAME prize. It would have been great if I could have saved them all up to buy one useful thing, but instead we've acquired one chair and one barstool, and now I need to figure out if there is one other small thing in their line we can possibly use.

Tuesday night 12/12 was the first night of Chanukah. The last couple years I've found that making latkes only on the first night and last night is a good way to pace ourselves, and still get maximal festivity out of it. We also got latkes on Friday night 12/15 since it was the monthly(ish) Shabbat service and dinner at shul.

Saturday night 12/16, Etrace had two other holiday parties to go to, so I stayed home with Aria. I'd tried to get a friend to watch her for a bit so I could come along to one, but it fell through. He felt kind of bad because last year I was sad about not getting to go to the same party, but honestly, it didn't bother me this year.

Sunday night 12/17 wasn't an event I actually got to be at, but worth noting: it was the 2nd annual Gala fundraiser at [livejournal.com profile] tremontstshul. Note that the inaugural one last year (12/12/16) honored 4 of my old friends, including SCO#2, and I already wanted to be there so bad I could taste it. But the idea withered on the vine -- especially when [livejournal.com profile] jessruth ended up planning a whirlwind wedding in NYC Dec. 20, so I got a different teleporter-style trip East instead. Anyway, so in October of this year, [livejournal.com profile] tremontstshul announced their 2017 Gala honorees: my bestie B"H, and SCO#1! As one might imagine, the first thing I did when I saw the announcement was jump on Orbitz and price plane tickets. But again, practicality won out. One of these years...! Not that they could possibly raise the stakes any further after that, but still.

Tuesday night 12/19 was the last night of Chanukah, and my dad came out to have latkes with us. He brought Aria a Fisher-Price Noah's Ark set (at my suggestion), along with some money for her college fund. Etrace took video of the first and last nights' menorah lighting so we could see how well Aria learned the blessings over the course of the week; by the last night, indeed, she was singing along noticeably (although not very intelligibly).

Friday night 12/22 Etrace had a band gig, so I invited [livejournal.com profile] cycon to come hang out with me and Aria. He brought homemade cookies, and I made two kinds of chicken-pasta bake (green with pesto and red with diced tomatoes, both with cavatappi) that all came out delicious.

Sunday night 12/24, we did what we've done the last couple years, which is drive to my cousins' in Plainfield, IL, for Christmas Eve dinner. Apart from crappy driving weather, it was a nice visit. They have 3 kids ages 17, 11 and 5 (that last being the one we inherit all Aria's clothes from), and it was nice to see all of them, plus my cousin K who was up from Florida, and my aunt J who lives in downtown Chicago but is getting older and frailer all the time. These years will be over all too soon.

Monday 12/25 we stayed home in our pajamas all day, opened presents and made pancakes. This was the Year of Paw Patrol for Aria (her current favorite show), but Etrace also got her a fire truck and a Black & Decker toy toolbox. :-) During Aria's nap we watched White Christmas and then another ~2 episodes of Stranger Things (still working through Season 2).

Tuesday 12/26 my office was closed, so I dropped Aria off for a "playdate" at my co-worker's so we could finally go see The Last Jedi! (If it weren't for Star Wars releases, we would probably never make it to a movie theater at all. Those are certainly the only movies we've seen in the theater since Aria was born.) Etrace was a little nervous about seeing it since the reviews had been so polarizing, but in the end he couldn't understand why there's been so much rancor for it; we liked it a lot. I am solidly on Team #Reylo now and would be ready to see it again ASAP, but that'll probably be the DVD release (coming in April!).

Thursday 12/28 we hit a new parenting milestone: being awakened at 4:45am by puking toddler. :-( She'd experienced carsickness on two previous occasions, but never thrown up in her bed. It was on and off all day Thursday, and she had a mild fever Thursday and Friday (with goopy nose and cough). By Saturday morning 12/30 (when I had again signed up for Torah reading) she had spiked to about 102 and looked peaky and miserable, so I gave her some Tylenol and went off to shul with great misgivings, planning to call the doctor if she wasn't better by the time I got back. But while I was out, Etrace messaged me that the fever broke and she bounced out of bed demanding lunch, so that was a relief.

She was still sickie for a few more days, and all weekend would NOT sleep for more than an hour unless I was physically holding her. On New Year's Eve, I finally managed to put her in the crib about 11:20pm, came downstairs in a daze, and then she woke up again shrieking and wailing about 11:50. So I fetched her downstairs and we poured champagne and gamely toasted the countdown on TV over the howls of cranky sick toddler. Fun times.

Still, I thought to myself (and said to Etrace), there's no one I'd rather be celebrating with. <3 How lucky we are to be alive right now.
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