Holidays, Meeting Santa & A Sick Baby

This past week has been a whirlwind. We’ve been in three different states, seen friends from three other continents, are celebrating Christmas four times in total…all with an ever active and mobile baby who has just, sadly, come down with her first cold. Like every holiday I end up feeling like it was all worthwhile but that I definitely want/need to spend the holidays at home next year.

We started our trip with a quick stop in New York; just enough time for a rich and delicious hot cocoa with a giant marshmallow from City Bakery, dinner with friends at Hudson Clearwater (whose Duchess drink has turned me on to gin), and a lovely long holiday meal at Gotham Bar & Grill (which is big and glamorous like new Las Vegas restaurants but also does a very reasonable $25 pre fixe menu).

Then we headed up to Nick’s mom’s in Connecticut, a charming and cozy place to relax, spend the holidays and get plump. Violet seems to have entered a new phase of babydom. She’s nearly crawling, can pull herself up, sits up, talks even more, etc. etc.; so it was amazing to have her using a high chair at Christmas so that she could actually join us at the table (which pleased her greatly) and sit upright to “open” presents.

I made a point of visiting the local mall to introduce Violet to Santa Clause. Initially Nick wasn’t too keen on the idea since technically it was really something for me and not for Violet, plus he kept imagining long lines and crazy holiday mallrats. And though I’m not a mall person nor did I visit Santa as a child, I had it in me that Violet had to get a classic first photo with Santa. To our surprise, not only was there only a five minute wait but Violet loved Santa Clause, which made the journey to the mall two days before Christmas actually fun. (We also met a great Santa & Mrs. Clause…they had been married for thirty five years and Santa had been playing Santa for forty years!)

Christmas was-as usual-filled with all the lovely British traditions Nick grew up with and which I’ve grown accustomed to; mince pies, crackers with paper hats and bad limericks, bread sauce, bacon sarnies & a chocolate log. My favorite part was crowning Violet-she seemed to recognize that she was officially part of the gang once she had her paper hat on.

Now back in New York for a couple days, Violet has been introduced to winter cold season. Stuffy and rosy cheeked, she seems to have a combination of heavy teething symptoms and a common cold. Steam, eucalyptus vapor and infant Tylenol are getting her through it, but I pray she is “unstuffed” for our upcoming flight home. Too much holiday merriment!

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