Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wrapping the year up with a bang

We are enjoying the holiday season to the fullest. First of all, Dad has lots of time off, so we've been having fun hanging around with him.

We kicked the week off by eating Freebirds, our Chanukah gift from Amy, Mianna and Gigi. It was yummy. Make sure you check out our photos to see how much I like beans.

Wednesday morning we looked outside to find that we had a visitor - an enormous possum slinking across the fence in our backyard. Dad wanted to send Peepa after it but Mom said she's too old and is no longer a match for a mean possum. Dad sprayed it with a hose while Mom banged pot lids together. Between the water and all the racket, the possum ran away into our neighbors' tree. Hazel said she thought it was kind of like a circus.

Thursday night we didn't have anything to do because Christmas Eve is pretty boring for Jews. Lucky for us, our synagogue had a great game/movie/Chinese food night. It was fantastic! I ran up and down a ramp, threw lots of food on the floor and threw a fit so loud it chased our rabbi away from our table, and made friends with a nice teenage girl. Mom and Dad really liked the food, and Hazel liked all the attention she got. Plus we got to stay up late.

Friday we had some visitors - my friends Clark and Benjamin came over to play. We had a great time. Clark's mom and dad brought an apple pie, so Mom was happy, and it was fun hanging out and sharing my toys with my buddies.

Another exciting surprise this week was every time I woke up from my nap the past two days, something changed downstairs and now we all agree it's like we have a new dining room. For Chanukah, Grandma and Grandpa got us a new hutch and we replaced our old light, which hung down from the ceiling and smacked Dad in the head just about every other day. Between the hutch, which hides lots of clutter, and the light, which makes the room seem much bigger, we all like our house a lot more. And Dad said it's nice to have conquered his nemesis.

Last year, we had so much fun looking at Christmas lights on 37th street that we decided to do it again this year, so that's what we did tonight. It was late, so Hazel and I wore our pajamas, and it was cold, so we really had to bundle up. My favorite part of the lights was a duck that had lots of glowing eggs. Hazel rode in her carrier under Mom's coat and a blanket, so only her little head, which was covered with a hat, stuck out. Hazel loved the lights and kept turning her head around to see them in every direction. See if you can find her in our photos from this week. It's like "Where's Waldo."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Goodbye Chanukah

Chanukah's over. I had a great time helping Dad with the candles each night, and I miss not doing that in the evenings since it ended, but we're having lots of fun with all our new loot. We enjoyed yummy waffles for dinner one night, thanks to Bubbe and Papa, who got Mom a waffle maker. Our house looks much nicer because we got some things to decorate with - new sheets for Hazel's room from Aunt Laurie and a toy storage bench from Aunt Pat, Uncle Neal, Aunt Susan, and Uncle Stuart. Hazel got a duck puppet, more beads, and a new car seat from Bubbe and Papa, and they gave me a latch board, a book, and a month's worth of Gymboree classes. Uncle Daniel sent us Babybug and Ladybug magazines, which are lots of fun to get in the mail and read each month. We're eating lots of Freebirds because Gigi, Amy and Mianna gave us Freebirds gift cards. We got some fun toy animals, sleeping bags and a xylophone from Pop and Mom Mom. And of course, we're still enjoying our birthday/Chanukah gifts we got from Grandma and Grandpa earlier this year - our picnic table, toy kitchen and playscape.

I've been helping Mom cook a lot lately. I used to only help her make rice, but since the pancakes last weekend, she is letting me help with other things too, like zucchini, a grilled cheese sandwich and smoothies. I really like helping out in the kitchen, and I love smoothies!

We were all sick this week and we went to the doctor Wednesday. He told us we just have colds which was no fun, but the real highlight of the trip was when we found out how big we're getting. I am 32 pounds and Hazel - who is getting really good at sitting on her own, by the way, and is also getting sneakier about grabbing anyone who walks by her when she's in her walker toy - is 16 pounds. The visit was also a chance for the doctor to take a good look at Hazel's teeth. Her second tooth came in while we were in Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving, and he said next up are teeth in the top front left side of her mouth. He said it won't happen next week but to expect to see them in the next month.

We haven't been going anywhere because we were sick and it's been rainy most of the time lately, but the past two days everyone felt a little better and the weather was nice so we went to the park. It was nice because we all could go since Dad was home for the weekend. Peepa and I really were glad to have a chance to run around.

Here are pictures of me helping Dad put the candles in the menorah, helping Mom make smoothies, and a cute picture of Hazel we took when we got home from the park.

Note from the editor (aka Mom): Before he went to bed tonight, Mitch asked me to proofread this blog entry. As soon as I sat down to read over the blog entry, a sudden, horrific scream eminated from Mitch's bedroom. Imagining that Mitch leapt from his crib, I ran to investigate. When I opened the door, Mitch was standing in the middle of his crib, pajamas open, pointing at his pillow with a terrified look on his face. On top of his pillow was his diaper. Fortunately, he must have been so startled when he took it off that he screamed right away and didn't have time to produce anything that messed up his crib. It was a very funny picture.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Chanukah

Chanukah started Friday night, and Hazel and I are having a very fun Chanukah so far.

Friday night, we went to a Chanukah party at our friend Clark's house. It was great, because there were a lot of kids my age there. We started off by lighting the candles and saying traditional Chanukah prayers. Dad was very impressed that I knew what to do (like covering my eyes when the candles are lit) - looks like all of the parenting center visits are making an impression. Then we had a delicious dinner. There was even a kids' table for me to sit at. We ate latkes (not my favorite - I am not really a fan of potatoes - but I nibbled on one) and had some other really good food. After dinner, all of the kids retired to the playroom. Clark has a lot of cool toys - my favorite was his guitar. Hazel slept for most of the party. I was sad when it was time to leave, but Hazel and I both were pretty tired.

Another cool part of Chanukah is the menorah. When we brought out our menorah at home, Dad showed me how to put the candles in. I like making cool patterns with the different colors and it is very pretty when Dad lights it.

Chanukah presents are fun too. So far, we have gotten some really great presents. Aunt Laurie gave me a banjo, which reminds me a lot of the guitar I played with at Clark's. I've been playing with the banjo a lot the past few days. Grandma and Grandpa gave Hazel and me some bean bags, and Mom Mom and Pop gave Hazel some baby beads that are shaped like vehicles. Mom and Dad gave Hazel a cool alarm clock and gave me some magic markers and a watch. We are having loads of fun with our new toys and I am glad to know what time it is.

Dad was away this weekend and Mom was sick, so we had to find fun things to do around the house. Mom had to feed me, so she made pumpkin pancakes and let me help. I was of great assistance; Mom said it reminded her of the Little Critter books.

There are still 4 more nights of Chanukah left, so we'll have more to share later (Dad keeps talking about playing dreidel). In the meantime, here are pictures from this week's adventures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving this year at Grandma and Grandpa's in Pennsylvania. It was a really fun trip for all of us, especially me. I had a great time playing with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Daniel, Aunt Lauren, Aunt Jen, Uncle Ben, my cousins Mianna and Amy, and all of my other aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Hazel and I did really well on the plane. Mom and Dad couldn't believe it. I liked looking out the plane windows, pointing at clouds, birds, and other airplanes. Dad surprised me at one point by pulling Duck out of our bag. I excitedly lifted Duck up so he could see out the window. Dad also read a lot of books to me, and the plane ride seemed to go by fast. I was even fine when we were stuck on the tarmac for an extra half an hour. Hazel slept most of the way there but found time to say "Mama" for the first time ever. By the time we finally got to Pennsylvania, it was dark and I was getting tired. I was so excited to see Grandpa when we landed. After not napping all day, Hazel and I fell fast asleep on the car ride to Grandma and Grandpa's.

When we got to the house, we were greeted by Grandma, Aunt Jen and Uncle Ben. It was exciting for me to see them again. After a wonderful dinner with everyone, Aunt Jen helped Dad give me a bath.

Uncle Daniel and Aunt Lauren came over too. I spent the next few days visiting our relatives like Aunt Cindy and Uncle Steve at their cool Celtic shop and hanging out around Grandma and Grandpa's house, adjusting to my new surroundings.

There is so much to play with at Grandma and Grandpa's! One of my favorite things to do was running around in circles around the house. I also found lots of new books to read, including some of my favorites from home. I liked playing with and feeding treats to the kitty, and playing with the toys in the playroom. I also liked stealing the TV remote control from Grandpa, turning off the TV, and running away. The TV remote looks a lot like a phone, so I pretended to talk to important people on the TV remote. Grandma helped me each morning to wash my face, brush my teeth and hair and to use cups in the sink in her bathroom to dump water everywhere. Grandpa helped a little too and Aunt Jen showed me how to make a river with a washcloth and the water. Hazel had a good time and impressed everyone with her speed while scooting around in a walker.

Thursday afternoon, I was surprised when I woke up from my nap and was greeted by a huge crowd. Everyone had come over for Thanksgiving dinner. Cousins Mike and Lana and Seth, Aunt Jane and cousin Molly, Mom-Mom and Pop, Grandma B (aka Gigi), Aunt Steve and Uncle Cindy, and Aunt Chris and Uncle Larry were all here. It was sure fun to have so many people to play with.

For Thanksgiving dinner, Grandpa deep-fried a turkey. It was delicious. I also ate corn, bread, and Mom even gave me a little bit of pumpkin pie. Yum!

After Thanksgiving, we had a couple of warm days so Grandma took me outside to play. I brought some boots with me and got to splash around in some puddles. Grandma also showed me how to pull a wagon up and down a hill, throw a giant plastic airplane, and rescue earthworms from underneath a sandbox. I had a lot of fun playing with Grandma.

Because of the colder weather, I got to wear some new clothes - a heavy jacket, my rain boots, and some warmer shirts. Hazel wore socks finally (thanks to Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy for giving her some Irish socks from their store and Grandma's emergency shopping trip), and some tights. I wore my Batman shirt, which Uncle Daniel liked a lot. He wore his too, so we could match. Crime-world, look out!

Sunday morning we had a nice breakfast with Pop and Mom-Mom, then later that day, my cousins Amy and Mianna came over. Mianna is 6 years old, so she's a really good role model and playmate. She taught me how to make coffee and tea with Grandma's play kitchen set. We had a very nice breakfast together. We also chased each other around a lot. Mianna is really fun.

Monday, I stayed home and played with Grandma while Dad and Mom took Hazel to Chocolate World in Hershey. Hazel had a great time watching talking cows and Mom and Dad enjoyed free chocolate samples. On the way back, they visited Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy's store again and bought Mom and me presents.

We ended our trip Tuesday with a quick visit to Gigi and lunch at the Famous Hot Weiner. We still smell like hot dogs from that trip!

Our trip home Wednesday was not the greatest. Mom and Dad said Hazel and I were the best behaved people they dealt with all day. We were stuck in the Harrisburg Airport long enough that Hazel almost learned to crawl - she kept pushing up on her hands and knees! Also, on the way off one of our planes, I showed them what a seasoned traveler I've become when I picked up our lunch bag, turned around to wave "bye bye" and raced off the plane.

You can see pictures from our trip here.