December 2017

School is over and winter break is upon us--the month just flew by. Marcus's orchestra (Mancini) performed at the big Christmas tree sale, Samantha had a piano recital, Samantha's choir performed in church singing "For Unto Us a Child is Born" with two violins, and both kids' orchestras (Samantha was in Rimsky, but was promoted to Sibelius starting in January) performed at the December concert. Both kids progressed in karate, Samantha getting an orange belt and Marcus getting a yellow bar on his blue belt. Marcus is reading a samurai series and Samantha has finished all the Magic Treehouses and is loving Cam Jansen. Helen can say many more words now: yes, no, Samantha, Marcus, Daddy, Mama, more, eat, sit, doll, baby, dog, cat, robot, and on and on. The big kids teach her new words almost every day.

Helen's daycare teachers, Mrs. Ortiz, Ms. Luz, and Ms. Alta, gave her a hand-crocheted hat with a jingle bell for Christmas and a packet of barettes, and her last day was December 18th until early January. I'm done teaching and grading and (mostly) prepping for the next semester, so I just get to have fun times with my babies for now.

City kids reading on the subway:

With Miss Debbie and her Girl Scout troop, getting excited about selling cookies--since this picture she's sold up and down our block, and hand-delivered many boxes:

With the church choir (and practicing at home):


With Miss Alyssa and after her recital:

In his Cub Scout uniform:

With Pop-pop:

Sarah and Sean welcomed baby Evie!! We are so excited for them! She's a December 5th baby.

Playing in the first snow of the winter:

A friendly grandpa gave this to Helen one day at school dismissal:

Samantha lost three teeth in eleven days, the final one on her 6th birthday. Her teacher made her a birthday crown, which she wore all day long in school and then all weekend long, as we celebrated her birthday once at our Friday night Chanukah party, next on Saturday at JP Lick's with Robert, then Saturday night at Max Brenner again with Robert, and finally Sunday at a Mexican restaurant with Sarah and Sean, Evie, Sarah's parents, and Emily and Nathaniel and their family. We went Christmas caroling with the JP Caroling Mob on Sunday night, and then came home to sing Happy Birthday to her one last time at home with cupcakes and treats. That's a lot of chocolate in three days! (In the first picture at left, she's writing out "Jingle Bells" in D major for herself to play on the cello, having transposed it from C, which she'd played it in on the piano, and picked it out by ear on the cello earlier that morning.)

We had a great time visiting with Emily's family--they all spent the night, and on Sunday morning, while I fried up a double batch of donuts and make shakshuka on latkes (shakalatkes), Andrew and Logan taught Marcus how to play Settlers of Catan and Samantha and Lyla made an elaborate plan to have Lyla's baby brother Caleb (about 9 months older than Helen) have a race with Helen around an obstacle course in the art room/playroom. Invitations to the race were issued, and promotional signs were hung up all around the house. Then spectators were going to be able vote for which baby they thought would win, by drawing that baby's face onto blank-faced baby outlines the girls made, and there would be raffles and door prizes (braided pipe cleaner bracelets, paper-plate tamburines, etc.) for the winners and everyone else. Very, very sadly, everyone had to leave before this spectacular event actually occurred.


We finally got to go to the Boston Tea Party re-enactment, and it was great--I actually found it very inspiring to be with a passionate group of people committed to fighting an unjust tax plan imposed on us by an irrational, out-of-touch ruler.

Some BU athletes visited Samantha's class on her birthday, along with the mascot, Rhett:

The last day of school before the break was pajama day. Thank goodness Samantha had new bee pajamas and a matching set for a doll!


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Created: 12/22/17. Last Modified: 12/22/17.