Christmas already feels like it was two months ago, doesn't it? We managed to pack a lot into the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and then I went back to work, and now it all feels like a distant, twinkling memory (even though we have yet to take down our Christmas tree -- Joe: "It makes me happy!").
A few highlights:
We stretched out the Grammie and Granddad time as long as we could, until they had to depart for the airport. Every day since, Felicity has woken up and said hopefully, "Grammie and Granddad are here?"
To console ourselves in their absence, we went to the Museum of Natural History and checked out the Discovery Room, which is this great hands-on exhibit for kids that's tucked away near a side entrance. It's aimed at school children a little older than Felicity, but she found plenty to entertain herself. They had a display of masks that she could try on and read about, and she parked herself there for a solid half-hour.
"You're wearing a kitty-cat mask!"
She had Joe and I try on some of the other masks, but quickly declared, "You don't nike that very much."
She also sorted ladybugs and beetles and nested matryoshka dolls, and visited her favorite dioramas ("Nook! It's a BEAR!")
We got a bit of snow one day (we were hoping for more, but it ended up being a light dusting), and I took the little one outside and she dashed ahead of me, calling, "You're running, running, RUNNING through the snow! You're dancing in the snow! Look! It's snowing all over the place! The snowflakes are dancing through a moonlit forest!"
That night, Joe and I went to meet up with friends at the 21 Club for a very Old New York/ring-a-ding-ding celebration of Joe's birthday. 21 was just what I wanted it to be -- cozy and old-school (dark wood paneling and a fireplace in the bar/lounge, a low-ceilinged dining room with dim lighting and antique toys hanging from the ceiling), with a pretty waitress and a conspiratorial sommelier. It's not the kind of place you go to have the best food of your life, but the chicken hash was, in fact, quite delicious in a 1950s casserole kind of way -- it's something your grandmother would have served on a winter's night, and between that and the wine and the good company, we had a warm, wonderful, memorable night.
The next day, hangover notwithstanding, we had two other sets of friends over with their kids. One of the girls who came is six, and Felicity had met her briefly once before, which was apparently long enough for Felicity to fall completely in love with her. The girl couldn't even get her coat off before Felicity rushed over and hugged her so hard she almost fell over. Felicity took her hand and led her to the new dollhouse, then sat next to her and rubbed her back and petted her hair. She WOULD NOT stop touching and embracing her. It was so freaking cute I almost cried, and the girl was very sweet about it even though she was a bit surprised by all the love. After they left, Felicity kept saying, "You LOVE Ella. You gave Ella THE MOST hugs. You played with Ella a lot. You want to go to Ella's house and hug her!"
I suppose it probably wouldn't be as much of a love-fest if we could find an older sister for Felicity, but if any of you have first grade girls you'd like to send over from time to time for some ready admiration by an extremely affectionate preschooler, just let me know.
Another day (now I can't remember which one), I took Felicity to the Children's Museum. They have a Grinch exhibit where kids can make crafts and meet the Grinch for a photo-op. Felicity hugged the wooden cut-out Grinches and gazed adoringly at every illustration featuring Cindy-Lou Who, but when the real-life man in the Grinch-suit appeared, she fled the premises in tears. So. Santa: okay. Grinch or Big Bird: NOT okay. Noted.
On New Year's Eve, Joe and I headed out again (are we wild or what?) to a party with some friends at their apartment. Again, it was just right for us -- small group, fire in the fireplace, plenty of good Champagne and food, lots of laughs. No fighting with crowds or shouting to be heard. Plus I wore silver glitter heels and a sequined top. As we chatted our way through the evening -- staying awake, much to our surprise, until 2013 began -- I wished that I could teleport all of my friends into that homey space and toast all of them to kick off the new year.
So here's to all of you, and to all of us, for a happy, healthy, love-filled 2013. I raise my glass to you!