And yes, I have a menorah, and we light it (almost) every night of Hannukah. And yes, Ethan has a dreidel even (although it was given to me as a party favor). And yes, I made "star of David" sugar cookies for our holiday cookie swap. I've done everything shy of dressing up like the Hannukah Armadillo and trying to explain the Macabees to Ethan (perhaps I should lay off the Friends repeats, no?)
My parents and uncle were here for Ethan's third Chrismukkah, which accounts for my absence on the interwebs (which is garbage because a couple years ago I totally managed to blog every day of November, including the entire Thanksgiving trip to my parents' house--so let's just be honest and say I'm a lazy, lazy blogger). They arrived a few days before Hannukah and left on Christmas morning; apparently short security lines at the airport on Christmas day is in the fine print of G-d's covenant of the Chosen People.
Ethan was adequately amazed by his loot this year. There were many cars, an introduction to Legos and scooters, and the blossoming photographic skills demonstrated in the previous entry were encouraged by the purchase of his very own digital camera, toddler-style. Melisss & Doug, Disney and Step2 all made an appearance.
I'm not sure how other toddlers deal with opening gifts, but this particular model seems to have the need to play exhaustively with each and every toy, as it is opened, before moving on to the next present. This means that present opening was an all-day affair for us. We thought if we let Ethan open his presents around 11am, he would have HOURS to whip himself into a lather going from one toy to the next and then by his bedtime, he'd be spent, go to bed easily and then the adults could exchange their gifts.
Not so much. Ethan started opening presents at 11am, and finished sometime around 5:30. He stopped only because it was time to eat dinner (of which he ate 2 pieces of challah and a bite of carrot). He went to bed that night saying, "I want another present" and we promised him he could open more tomorrow; this was true because he'd only gotten through half of his presents during that 5.5 hour stretch. I assure you it's not because we bought every item in Toys R Us; he simply had to become bestest friends with each toy as they came out of their wrapping.
We tried to take advantage of the culture LA has to offer (it really isn't all fake boobs and Uggs--but it mostly is). I showed my family the LACMA and the Getty, in both of which we were followed around by security like teenagers at the mall. Either we looked like scheming art thieves (erm, unlikely), or the security guards were afraid Ethan was going to put his toddlery fingers all over the 17th century masterpieces. All around good times.
We had much better luck at the Long Beach aquarium, where the masterpieces are behind thick glass which has been rendered perma-smudged by the countless grubby-fingered toddlers who have tapped on the aquarium trying to get Nemo's attention, or mushed their noses against the glass to get a better view of an eel hiding in the coral. No cranky blue-coated sour-puss room monitors there.
A little photo montage is perhaps in order.
and in an unprecedented feat of sleeping prowess, stayed asleep through the car-to-stroller transfer. I used to dream of this day and now it is here.