We had a very, very busy weekend, but it was a really good weekend. Well worth it!
On Friday, Oliver and I went to a Chanukah party at Evie’s school. The party afterwards was fun, but for me the best part was going to temple. I had never been inside the temple (any Jewish temple), and I was very curious. It was so much fun! My favorite part of the day was seeing all the kids spinning like dreydles while singing the dreydle song. We definitely never had that much fun at church when we went for school!
At the party they got wooden dreydles and some chocolate gelt, so Evie and I played dreydle at home. It was a lot of fun, and simple enough that Evie could understand, even though she couldn’t spin the dreydle very well. Unfortunately, we eventually will run out of gelt, since she keeps eating it (we didn’t let her eat it all at once).
In an interesting dichotomy, Saturday morning we went to see Santa. Well actually, first off, Evie and I made oatmeal and danced our butts off to Christmas music. There are actually two radio stations in Chicago that play only Christmas music, so we had our choice. The funny thing about listening to Christmas music on the radio is that you’re constantly saying, “Didn’t they just play this song?” They all sort of run together after a while. But it certainly put us in the Christmas mood.
So anyway, they tried to have some sort of holiday celebration in the neighborhood with all day crafts, lights, etc. The only part we were interested in was seeing Santa, since we usually have to drive way out to the suburbs or something, fighting big crowds, crying kids, and barely escaping with our life. So we showed up to the restaurant listed, camera in hand.
Now, I’ve been to that restaurant before, and I wasn’t really sure where they were going to put Santa, or how it was going to work. It was as sort of claustrophobic and disorganized as I feared. Also, they tried to push their “Christmas brunch” on us, and when we said we were only there to see Santa, they charged us $5. Oh well. Between that and the parking, it was still well worth it to see Santa in the neighborhood with a very limited wait.
Evie was a little nervous about Santa. It took us two tries to get her up there. I had to agree to stand with her, but when she got up there she went on his lap without me. She was too shy to talk to him (and anyway, she couldn’t think of anything she wanted, which I take to mean that we are the best parents ever!). We assumed that Oliver would sob his eyes out, since he’s been going through a mommy-only (and-very-occasionally-daddy) phase lately. However, he just stared at Santa with huge round eyes the whole time, and never cried once. I think he was just like, “What is this crazy talking beard thing??”
Overall, everything went about as well as possible. As far as Santa goes, he was ho-ho-hoing like there was no tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him jollier. By the end of the day, his throat must have been raw.
The ironic thing was, we ended up spending the rest of the day shopping in the suburbs anyway. I don’t know how the rest of the neighborhood festivities turned out. It was cold and snowy, and outdoor crafts seemed a little much. Maybe we’ll give it a try next year if they do it again.
Evie and I also found time to play in the snow for awhile, and we made a nice (read small) snowman in the front yard. Afterwards, Sara made us some hot cocoa (and Sara’s homemade hot cocoa is to die for!)
On Sunday we put up our Christmas tree. We have an artificial tree, so we left the bottom row of branches off, so Oliver can’t reach up and topple the whole thing. It actually looks pretty good without the bottom row (and more room for presents!). We also hung up the stockings and replaced Evie’s butterfly lights with Christmas lights. Evie was really excited about all of this, but eventually lost interest and I decorated the tree alone. She gets pretty excited about the Christmas tree though, and she’s upset that we don’t keep it lit 24/7.
Sunday night, Evie and I had a sleepover. After supper we both got ready for bed and then put our sleeping bags out in the family room. We watched a movie and, in a bizarre twist, Evie wanted to watch an Elmo potty video. So, not only was there not a plot per say, but she’s already seen it, and the whole thing is set up to convince you to use the potty, which she has been for a long, long time. She didn’t care though, she loved it. She said to me, “If there is a scary part, I can hide in my sleeping bag.” Not a lot of scary parts in Elmo potty videos!
Afterwards, when we turned out the lights and we were whispering and giggling, she said to me, “Daddy, you’re my best friend.”
Unfortunately, the night went downhill fast. Evie was really sick and she was having trouble breathing through her nose. She was waking up every 30 minutes or so. Finally, around 11:30 or so, she woke up with a really tight chest and a croupy cough.
I gave her some medicine and broke out the humidifier. We moved into her room so she could sleep in her bed, and the humidifier would be more effective. I slept on her floor for the rest of the night, and it seemed to go a little better after that. However, it was a disappointing end to our special night. It’s always hard to see your kids sick.
However, the sleepover was still the highlight of a very nice, very busy weekend. I didn’t even mention the part where Oliver managed to cut his finger on something and crawled around in the kitchen for like 20 minutes afterwards, spreading blood on about every surface he could manage, including his, my and Sara’s clothes! He didn’t seem to mind though.
So, except for that, it was about all you could ask from a December weekend!