The ambassador hosts a holiday party in December, and Terry's grandmother had sent over the most adorable party dress for Alex to wear for Christmas ... so, guess who was the belle of the ball? I'll have Terry link a photo of her here, I made him take nice pictures of her for posterity. Our girl, as you will eventually notice, is more of a Mona Lisa smile kind of girl. There aren't many caught on film, although the one good shot of her "elusive smile" confirmed the presence of a dimple. Just one. So precious.
She handled the party very well, getting passed around to several people and having one hunger meltdown that was quickly corrected with some tasty vittles. Terry had gotten bamboozled into playing Santa and it actually worked out relatively well ... there is a photo of Alex with him somewhere in the world (wasn't my camera) and she isn't crying, probably because she could tell it was him - babies' sense of smell is the only one fully developed at birth.
Terry was Santa's helper on Christmas eve, going into work on his day off with a couple of other guys to unload the mail so kids could have their gifts on Christmas morning. We were invited to a friend's for dinner that night, so we even got to make one house call! There is nowhere good to park a sleigh in the Med.
On New Year's we began what will probably be the Mad-zak family tradition - modeled after Terry's family's - of a gift-free birthday, celebrated by the birthday person demanding whatever dinner and whatever cake or other dessert s/he desires. Of course, this will be subject to availability, and I guess I have to start learning how to make cakes.
Did we make it to midnight? Hell no! Sleep is more important than tradition and children and pets don't know about weekends or holidays.
Alex has finally started actually playing with things, such as the Skwish mom got her for Hanukkah and a baby rattle that had been mine many moons ago. She can hang out happily in her bouncy seat for a good 40 minutes, which means I actually eat many dinners with both hands and Terry doesn't have to cut my meat most of the time. She also likes the Snugli and is sometimes the only way to get a nap out of her. She is too bright for her own good, and I think we may not survive her toddler-hood!
On a sad note, today Terry brought my mom to the airport. Her 3.5 months in Malta were an invaluable help and I am not quite sure how we will manage on our own.