The Festival of Lights Draws to a close. It felt like the longest week ever that just whizzed by. A round-up of the second half of the holiday:
1. In case you've been waiting with bated breath, Ariella's sleepover was a huge success. You can stop bating now. She returned home Monday morning. Glad to see me? Oh no, just sad that it was over and when can we have another one, Mommy???? Love ya too, kid.
2. We had my sister and brother-in-law Leezy and Elie (of donut-eating fame) for dinner on Monday night. Our food - I made soup and latkes, and Donny made his famous sufganiot - was a big success. Last year, Donny did not have time to make the dough, so I attempted it, but I forgot that in the Gila Instruction Manual (yes, I come with one) it clearly states that: "Do not let Gila attempt to make a yeast dough. She will end up taking pictures of the yeast with her cell phone and sending them to Donny to see if it's bubbling correctly. And in the end, the product - say, a sufganiyah - will more closely resemble a hockey puck than a doughnut." So you can imagine the end of that little story....
3. On Tuesday, we went with the Misrad Haklitah on a "Chanukiot tiyul" in the Old City. Despite a lengthy stop at the Knesset menorah and numerous stops to explain stuff, the kids had a great time. They do love a good march through the Old City, and we took a secret, circuitous route to the Kotel. The trip had something for everyone: Ariella had her BFF, Yaakov got to go on a BUS, and Nadav was attached to me all night thanks to the Baby Bjorn. What could be better? Plus, there were doughnuts!
4. On Wednesday, we hung out at the Dimri park for a while. Sadly, I missed my chance to meet a mother in Israel. No, sorry, I know lots of mothers in Israel. But I missed my chance to meet A Mother In Israel. That's right, she was in Modiin, about two blocks away, but the timing didn't work out, so all we did was talk on the phone about how the timing is not going to work out. But now I've heard her voice. So we're one step closer...
5. On Wednesday - yes! Wednesday is a TWO-PARTER! - we had the annual Funnest Day of the Year Ever Ever Ever. You know it - the yearly trip on the train to the Microsoft Chanukah party. (I once accidentally called it a "holiday party," harking back to the old days of political correctness in the US of A.) For a successful party, just follow these 17 easy steps:
1. Wake up at 7:50 (yes, I know, very late, thanks to the 10:00 bedtime that happened in #3).
2. Ask, "When are we going to the train?"
3. Eat breakfast.
4. Ask, "When are we going to the train?"
"When is it 2:00?"
"Not for another six hours."
"Oof! That's not for a long time!"
5. Repeat step #4 all morning, each time lessening the amount of hours left, until, finally.....
6. IT'S TIME TO GO ON THE TRAIN!
7. Take backpacks that are filled with enough activities and food to sustain and entertain a small country for a month (provided the citizens like to color and eat apple slices). Walk to the train.
8. 2:42 - train departs
9. 2:50 - half the snacks are finished
10. Look out the window, eat, color, read books, eat, color, eat, look out the window, eat until.....
11. We arrive in Haifa! The most fun part of the party is now behind us.
12. Daddy picks us up and drives us to his office.
13. Now we begin the second most fun part...
14. Coloring on Daddy's white board! Eating Daddy's candy! Running up and down the hallways! Phew, this is the best party ever! (Digression: Donny confessed to me, "Now I understand why you're always cleaning up. The kids were in my office for twenty minutes and it's a MESS!" I just smiled.)
15. Now for the third most fun part....
16. The actual party! Get something painted on your hair/hand/face/arm! Do many art projects! Eat some corn! Build the world's most disgusting gingerbread house out of tea biscuits and chocolate spread, topped with candies that every child touched after licking the chocolate off his/her fingers. Mmmmmm!
The kids had a fabulous time at the actual party, and we ended up staying much later than I thought we would. Now for the totally not fun part....
17. Drive home! Listen to Nadav scream his head off pretty much the entire ride. I think it was his way of saying, "I've had enough of this holiday! Feed me when I'm hungry, put me to sleep when I'm tired, and for the love of oatmeal, stop schlepping me around." We hear ya, buddy.
And that was Chanukah.