It is Passover . . . a lovely holiday that has those of us who are observing eating cardboard for 8 days. Okay, not exactly. Passover commemorates our freedom from slavery in Egypt . . . the story of Moses (queue The Ten Commandments). We have seders, a special ceremonial dinner, the first two nights of Passover, to retell the story of Passover and celebrate our current lives of freedom. We then continue to eat matzah and do not eat any bread/grains for 8 days to remind us that our ancestors fled Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have sufficient time to let their bread rise.
The first night, my parents hosted seder at their house. My brother and SIL and my two nieces all came down, and it was a good event. We grew up with a family who lives around the corner from my parents. My brother and their oldest daughter were best friends, and we always refer to them as our brother and sister. They were back in town this week for Passover, so as is our tradition, they came over to spend time at my parents' house before the seders began. My oldest niece was a bit unsure of the son . . . which is amazing, because he is so sweet and gentle that EVERYONE loves him! Early on during their visit, he "took" her nose and her ear. She mostly avoided him the rest of the visit, and cautiously watched him from afar. Just as he was getting ready to leave, she said "Excuse me, can I have my ear back?" He laughed for a second and then got very serious. He carefully took her ear out and put it back for her. He asked if that was okay, and she responded with "and my nose." He promptly returned her nose, she flashed him a smile, and walked away. Aren't 2 1/2 year olds wonderful?
During their visit, my younger niece was still napping. We decided that we would head over to their house to visit (and show off the babies to their Grandma) once she woke up. At 5:00, we headed over there for a visit. It was so much fun to introduce the next generation of our family to their Grandma. We had a nice visit before returning for our seder. When we were growing up, our families always did a seder together, so this holiday is filled with so many collective memories for us.
While we were at my parents' house, my SIL brought Micah downstairs, and my nieces took out their buckets of toys, and were sharing them with Micah. It turns out, Micah is ready for toys! My nieces showed him how to push a few buttons on some of the toys in the box, and he was using his hands to push buttons and make music play. I couldn't believe he was able to do that!
We hosted the second seder at our house. DH's parents, one brother and SIL, and two of their chidlren joined us, along with my parents. We had a lovely dinner, and Micah got to spend time with his grandparents and cousins. It was a very pleasant evening, and the food was wonderful (if I do say so myself). DH made turkey and meatloaf and chicken soup, my mom made brisket and kosher for passover mandel bread (Jewish biscotti) and I made the side dishes and dessert (matzah balls for the soup, matzah farfel, which is the Passover version of stuffing, asparagus, a spinach souffle, a broccoli souffle, kosher for passover brownies and cake - it is amazing how ground up matzah and eggs can actually taste pretty good!). I decorated the cake for my in-laws birthdays. We did have one disaster - the apple charlotte . . . basically, it is made from apples, raisins, crumbled matzah, and eggs, and it is kind of like an apple crisp. It is one of my favorite dishes. It came out perfectly, and I had it cooling on the range. DH wasn't paying attention, and when he turned the burner on to heat up the soup, he turned on the wrong burner . . . and kind of set fire to the apple charlotte. He was still hoping to save it and just cut out the burnt parts (yeah, right). My dad, in an effort to help, tried to move the dish from the range top to the granite countertop to get it out of the way while we were cooking. It was so hot that the minute it touched the cold granite, the glass pyrex dish EXPLODED!! Needless to say, we had to throw it away.
I'm now sitting in bed, my niece and nephew asleep downstairs, DH watching tv, and I'm typing this and watching Micah on the monitor. I received an email from a friend of mine who is expecting a baby soon saying she got the same monitor and has been playing around with it. They are looking forward to plugging it in to their tv in their bedroom at night. It is funny, because we were going to set it up and plug it in for everyone to watch tonight . . . and then we got distracted. In fact, I don't think we've ever plugged it in to the tv yet. I think we are going to try and plug it in soon and see if we can record some footage of Micah in bed - I'll try and post it when we do that. He is currently sleeping across the width of the crib (or at 90 degrees, as we like to say). He keeps almost rolling over in bed, but he does not fully make it over to his tummy - mostly because he keeps trying to roll "uphill" since he is sleeping the wrong way in his crib. He loves to get so close to the bumpers when he sleeps - I should be more worried about how close his face gets to the material, but I guess I feel like I survived on my tummy and with blankets in the crib, he should be just fine.
In the morning, my other BIL and SIL are driving down, and the whole family will get together. It is a good thing we have a ton of leftovers! I have a friend coming tomorrow night, so it should be a wonderful weekend.
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