Thursday, April 28th, 2016

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The semester is almost over. Classes are done next Monday, when I will give my final exam, and then I have to finish all the grading by May 11th. I just printed out the exam, so I'm all set in prep. Now just to grade Paper 5.

I've been a little bit consumed by watching Season 1 of "The Flash" on Netflix in the past week, so I suspect I will only start to focus on grading once I finish the final two episodes. I love this show, which is a little unexpected. But the villain is so, so good and the tension is built nicely. I'm a tad obsessed at this point, which hasn't happened in a while. Watching the whole season at once only confirms to me that that is how I prefer my TV now - all at once with no commercials. I think I will continue to watch this show just on Netflix, the same way I do with "Agents of Shield" - it just works so much better watching at my pace in a month, rather than over the course of the year.

It's Passover and I'm keeping it - so no bread or pasta or rice or oatmeal for me. It's been cottage cheese and eggs and cheese for breakfast and lots of potatoes. I do miss my bread - but it is only three days left. On Friday, we were still at my parents so we had a Seder there. My parents don't really like the whole ritual, just the food, so I did a very short version of prayers from my Haggadah. But the food, as usual, was delicious. Tanya really loves chicken soup (the other day, I was giving it to her at home and she wanted to say "Tanya is eating soup" and was trying to get to the Russian word 'to eat', saying the English one. So I helped with 'Tanya kushaet soup" and she corrected me with "bulyon," which is Russian for chicken soup. She cracks me up) and she really liked munching on mazza.

On Saturday, after my parents drove us home and Bear came home from work and food shopping, we drove to Queens to Marianna's for our friend Seder, which we do every year on a convenient Passover Saturday. It was a smaller gathering this year, since Janna's baby is only a few months and she opted out. It was Marianna, her husband Adama, their daughters Galya and Ida, Yeva, Bear, Tanya and I. The boys took care of the kids while Marianna and I with some assist from Yeva cooked. It was so nice just to cook together and talk.

Our menu this year was chicken soup with mazza balls, Ethiopian cabbage dish (potatoes and cabbage), asparagus, salad, baked wild salmon, mazza bread with mushrooms and onions, eggs and desert (I got a Passover cake in Costco). And I put together the Passover Plate, of course Adama got plaintains which we usually have every year too, but it was getting late so he gave us some to take home and Bear made them Monday. Lots and lots delicious food. I still did a shortened Seder since we had to leave by 8, but I got most important bits in.

Tanya didn't nap in the car on the way there and, of course, couldn't settle down for a nap in a new place filled with new fun toys, so she didn't nap. She did very well, surprisingly, and wasn't too cranky in the evening. She fell asleep right away on the way home at 8pm, went to bed quickly again once we got home and slept in until 7:40 the next morning - so she caught up on her sleep. But Saturday she was just excited to play with Galya and then Ida, once Ida was up from her nap. For the first time, Tanya was actually playing with others, not just parallel playing, but playing. Even last time we came for a visit, she was more cautious. This time, she even led Ida by the hand herself to join in some game. It was fun to see.

Yesterday, we went to the playground twice, in the morning and in the afternoon. And both times she started following two girls around. In the morning, it were sisters who were maybe 7 and 5, playing on the slide, and Tanya wanted to climb on the side like them and touch their jackets. And in the afternoon, she saw two other sisters, maybe 4 and 3, drawing with chalk, so she went to the opposite corner of the playground to her stroller to get her chalk, then ran to the girls and joined them. Offered them chalk, tried jumping/running after them as they jumped the chalk drawn numbers game. They were mostly puzzled but let her follow them, prompted by their mother. She is starting to join it, though.

And she is making more and more sentences - in present and past tense. And it's often so amusing to me. Yesterday morning, I was washing the floors and she would come up to me and try to grab the mop and wash the floors herself, saying "otdai shvabru", loosely translated as 'give me back the mop', kind of. It's funnier in Russian.

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