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gros malin

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For the first time in my life I've seen a river almost completely iced over. It's eerie and beautiful at the same time. I find the cold bracing but the winds unbearable. AND I actually went on a Moms Night Out! The company was much better than the food for sure.

We've attended at least one National Symphony Orchestra "In Your Neighborhood" concert every year. In 2018 a friend and I attended the opening night concert at the Hamilton. I've had meals there several times (the menu is varied enough that I refer to it as an upscale Cheesecake Factory) but had never been to the downstairs concert area before. The two string quartets played the modern classical, including covers of "Kiss from a Rose" and "Take On Me." (Surprisingly sublime when performed with four basses.)

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When I was in college the week before final exams was called "dead week" because there were no classes. So that always stuck in my mind when it came to Dec. 26 to 31, every year. This year a young lady from the ward stayed with Z. I was in the office a couple of days and at home a couple of days, and it all worked out in the end. MoBob returned the night of the 31st, for a mellow New Year's Eve. I spent New Year's Day at Target since I had several gift cards, and that evening we trekked out to the Washington DC Temple only to find that all the lights were already gone....

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MoBob is currently winding his way from the south of Morocco to Casablanca and then finally returns on the 31st. While it's been challenging, it's actually been OK without him. My esteem for single parents is unrivaled.
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MoBob has been in Morocco for a week and we're actually fine. Granted, he's the "fun" parent and I've been insisting that we undo some habits (Z can dress himself *even if he doesn't want to*) but it's been alright so far.

After French class, we continued the annual tradition of attending "The Mini-Nut" which clocked in at 50 minutes, followed by our congregation's Christmas party.

For the first time we attended a family event at the Shakespeare Theater Company - a mini-version of "A Mid-Summer's Night Dream." Then we joined another friend that evening for the annual holiday sing-a-long at the Atlas Theater.

It snowed, and a little snowman appeared in the coop playground.
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I'm always irritated when the Christmas holidays seem to encroach earlier and earlier. Thankfully we're not in the Philippines where Christmas music starts playing in December and there are no intermediary holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - it's American (despite the problematic origins), it's about friends and family, and it's about food (and not presents).

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We are lucky to live in a vibrant corner of a vibrant city, where one can stroll down to the nearest concert venue and listen to National Symphony Orchestra for free. It was a treat to see the musicians in jeans and to see the new conductor for the first time. The program was pretty eclectic and I enjoyed the American composers (Gershwin and Bernstein) the most. The orchestra seemed pretty squeezed on up on stage but they were game, and the concert was followed by an after-party with a DJ.

MoBob and Z attended literacy night that night and received a number of free books. We also went to the opening of the local ice skating rink on Friday night.

On Saturday evening we attended a delightful activity at the Jewish Community Center. The end of Sabbath is marked by the havdalah which is indicated by the appearance of three stars in a row. The JCC rented an indoor planterium and the kids then did little astronomy-related crafts, and ended with the havdalah prayers. I told MB that many of the activities could be easily adapted for Ramadan.

On Sunday morning we went to a little friend's Build-A-Bear birthday party. Z came home with a new friend named Jack.

Followed by our friend's open house, and I attended a board meeting, while "Flash" had another playdate. And thus the weekend ended.
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This past week I had an unusual number of evening outings. In fact I think I only spent Friday night at home. I attended a number of committee meetings (for coop activities, for the PTA, and for the alum association) then rounded off the week with the Gender Chix, an informal group of women working in the same field. I still consider myself a Junior Chickadee despite the "senior" in my job title.

Poor Z had a stomach virus; unfortunately he still had an unpleasant memory of the flu shot last month and he heartily resisted the visit to the pediatrician on Friday. He was only mildly placated by a visit to the Fairy Godmother toy store afterwards.

He still had a slight fever on Saturday and we let him sleep in, then we saw the production of Color's Garden at the National Gallery of Art. MoBob said it was the best kids' theater he'd ever seen. (More than Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theater?! Or Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage?!)

While waiting for the show to begin, Z and I opened up the portable art kit.

When we got home, I dug out my one book on Matisse to show Z some of the original works that had been featured in the show.

Looking dapper for the primary program at church.

Post-church decompression playdate.
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