But enough grousing. I'm hoping to stay connected long enough and sufficiently glitch-free to catch up on some of the posts I've been missing lately. So here goes...
Back in mid-November, the Pipsqueak attended BFF S's birthday party. Getting there was a longish drive, so she (unlike her equally needy uncle) took a refreshing nap along the way. Once at the party, even after a spirited mask-making session, it took her a little while to open up and get past a sudden onset of shyness. Case in point: guess which one child in the photo below is sitting in someone's lap instead of playing with the other kids...?
All the noise & fun of a party soon got Miri back to normal, right on up to her complaining to AJ that the birthday girl wasn't letting her open the presents! (After a bit of a conference with Mommy, Miri did agree to merely kibitzing, which she proceeded to do with gusto.) It wasn't too much later, as the number of kids zooming around underfoot began to diminish, that the usual dress-up session began, and soon my little butterfly/fairy niece was happily following a taller bumblebee around the house, accompanied by a couple of princesses (off-camera). Meanwhile, all the older folks talked and kibitzed and reminisced, and I had a pleasant time sharing Gotcha Day stories with a couple of old friends. All in all, a successful party for the kidlings and a very pleasant evening for all!
Of course, the big deal after that was the family get-together for Thanksgiving. The Florida crew came up for the holiday, and we even got to meet a new boyfriend (who, contrary to popular opinion, neither ran screaming out the door nor called in those nice men in white jackets <g>).
As usual, Cousins A and M got along famously (he even willingly shared his iPad), and Cousin S -- whose 2nd birthday we also celebrated that evening -- proved to be a good buddy for the Pipsqueak both in quiet play and in a raucous, house-spanning game of Hide And seek.
And, since this was also a Hanukkah celebration, there was much rending and tearing of gift wrap before everything calmed back down & the kids all returned to their technology-oriented pastimes as us oldsters all sat & caught our breath.
As November waned and December waxed, it began to look like Old Man Winter was seriously considering a return to the area until, sure enough, he put in an appearance "for real" on the evening of the 9th. Starting that night, and continuing right on up to this weekend, we've had a series of alerts that seem to alternate between, "Snowmageddon is returning! Head for the tropics! AAAAH!" and "We'll have just a light dusting of white stuff on the grass, and even that will melt before the cloud cover breaks." In either case (and all the more realistic cases in between), I found the play of light on fresh snow worth a few bytes on my camera's SD card...
So now I'm finally up to this weekend... which was a bit of a milestone, since we took Miri to see her first Nutcracker ballet. Friends of ours turned us on to a kid-friendly "Sugarplum Extavaganza" put on each year by the American Dance Institute in Rockville, and it definitely did not disappoint. It started with all the kids being given gingerbread man-shaped name tags upon entry, with large (supervised) tables & supplies to decorate & personalize them, along with a crafts-type table where sparkly pipe cleaners, beads, etc. could be turned into all manner of crowns, bracelets & tiaras. (Not to mention a very nice spread of cookies, brownies, etc. free for all attendees.) Everyone then moved into one of the performance spaces for a very well-danced version of The Nutcracker that was abbreviated enough to hold the attention of an auditorium's worth of rug rats while still telling the entire story. The best part came after the curtain calls, when all the children were invited onto the stage to help put on their own ballet with the help of the (still fully costumed) corps de danse.
|I didn't blur this photo on purpose; I forgot I'd turned off the camera's|
flash and was balancing on tiptoe with the camera up over my head...!