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What I like about January 1 is that is tends to be a nice and quiet day, usually quite relaxing, like a breath you take before a new year starts.

We drove over to my parents' yesterday in the morning for the New Year celebrations. We always celebrate at home as it is a family holiday for us. We Skyped with relatives in Minsk and in California to wish them Happy New Year and just to chat and chilled a bit. Around 5:30 we all dressed up, mostly in red and pink colors, for the upcoming Rooster year, (except Bear who was a black rooster), and took lots of annual photos around the New Year fir tree. Then we had our holiday dinner. So much yummy food! My Mom made the usual olivier salad and pod-shuba (beets with herring), crab salad, fish liver salad and beets/plums/nuts salad. She also made regular veggie salad and cabbage/egg pie. And for main course there was meat french style (meat covered with potatoes and dried apricots). And there were open faced sandwiches with salmon and also with caviar. And bread, of course. So much food! (and lots of leftovers for today). In the past, I wasn't always a big fan for beets and herring classic, but I'm really into it lately.

After this giant meal, we did bedtime for Tanya and I put her to bed. I was pretty much falling asleep with her but my Dad made sure to get me up by 10:30pm to sneak out of the bedroom so I could come downstairs and have some desert - they got fruit tart cake, and there was zefir (marshmallows in chocolate), and dried fruit, with tea, of course.

Then we mostly watched TV and hung out until midnight and watched the ball drop while drinking some sparkling juice. Then I just went to bed, I was very tired. But, of course, I couldn't easily fall asleep once I was in bed and the night was a bit restless. Still, it was a good calm new years, full of deliciousness and family time, just the way I like it.

In the morning, Tanya slept in until 7:30am, but then we all got up, got dressed and went downstairs to the New Year tree to open presents that Ded Moroz (Russian Santa) left for Tanya (and a couple for Bear and I) under the tree. Tanya got 4 books (2 from me - Crocodile Gena in Russian and one of the Elephant and Piggie books in English, and 2 from my parents - both in English - 5 minute Princess Stories and When the Tiger Came to Tea). And she got a little magnet fishing game, which is also a puzzle, and a nice tea set with toy dishes, cups, tea pot, forks and spoons. She is playing with all her new toys. I got Bear a Deadpool graphic novel he wanted (we split our presents to each other in two - some for Christmas and some for New Year) and my parents got him an Amazon gift certificate. I got "Star Trek Beyond" from Bear and the last Leonard Cohen CD and a book by Stefan Zweig from my parents. I was very happy with my presents. I'm listening to Leonard Cohen right now - which is a little bittersweet.

Around 9:30am, Bear, Tanya and I went to the playground. The weather was beautiful today, not too cold, and sunny. Tanya went on her little tricycle, which she actually pedaled by herself a little bit today. It felt like the whole world was still asleep. There was no one about and very little cars on the road. We had the playground to ourselves. Well, and the three squirrels who kept chasing each other. I had fun watching them. There was also a field full of geese right outside the playground - we watched them walk around a bit in the little puddle. They had black necks and white faces with black beaks and white bellies. Tanya really liked watched them. It was just very relaxing to spend time together, chase Tanya a little around and go down a few slides. It was only when we were about to leave after 11 when someone else came. New Year is definitely a nice quite day.

I even got a little nap in when Tanya went for a nap and read my book too. I'm reading "It's hard to Be a God" now and the main character's attitude to the culture he's studying is driving me a little crazy. I go from liking the book to slowing down in wanting to read it because of the whole "civilized" attitude of the protagonist. Reading Strugaski brothers is always strange though.

We came home after all the naps, I unpacked (including all the holiday food my Mom passed along, yum), paid the January bills (at least for this apartment, still have to do the new one), and just catching up online a bit. Overall, a nice day.

I don't do New Year resolutions but I guess I want to try to be more present and not waste too much time online. And read and write, of course.

I'm not very concerned about LJ issues, I don't write anything that should matter to any government, and I have been cross posting from Dreamwidth for years - in fact it remains my face. But if anyone wants to add me on DW for back-up, I have the same username .

My Remus/Sirius Small Gifts story was posted a week or so go. It's called Christmas in July. If you are curious you can read it here.

And finally my Book List 2017 is here with books I would like to read this year.
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Today was very very cold, again. I had jury duty today, so I had to venture out in it. Bear left for work early and my Mom already came over by the time I got up at 6:45. I left at 7:30 to get to the courthouse by 8:30. It's a straight shot on a subway, so it wasn't terrible. But walking even 2 minutes from the subway to the courthouse was super freezing.

I had the shortest jury duty ever. I got to the courthouse, got in line to get in the building, waited about 10 minutes to go through the metal detector and then went downstairs to see if I could get dismissed as a caretaker since I'm home with Tanya most of the time. I brought her copy of the birth certificate and everything. And in about one minute they dismissed me for 2 years. So then I just left the building and went to take the train back home. I got home by 9:20am. Because of construction on the subway line, I did have get off a stop earlier and walk 10 minutes and that was super freezing. I had gloves on and my fingers still got frozen.

My Mom stayed until Tanya's naptime. She is much less than a pack rat than I am - I don't like to part with sentimental favorites like my old backpack. So I let her toss it - that really works for me, letting my Mom get rid of old clothes or things I know should go. So we sorted my make-up and cleaned out two old backpacks to throw out. I do have a brand new shiny purple one and I want to limit things for the move at the end of February. We also took some photographs and postcards from the bedroom wall.

For the last four days, Tanya actually wanted to nap in her own toddler bed, that is pushed next to my bed. She slept in the crib until she was about eight months old and then she totally refused to do so (my Mom was the first one to yield to her crying and pick her up and take her into her bed). So Tanya has been sleeping with me ever since - which really does work for us, since I could get sleep and not be a zombie at work, and Bear prefers to sleep in the living room so he can stay up later and not feel like he is disturbing anyone's sleep. We periodically did try to get her back into her own crib - we converted the crib into the toddler bed, but she really didn't want to. But this weekend I mentioned that the crib, where she basically keeps lots of her stuffed toys, will be baby's bed and we will get Tanya a whole new bed for her own room. She was like, "No, this is Tanya's bed." And she is staking the claim ever since. She still wants to sleep with me at night - she is comforted by my hair, but for naps she is all about her bed now.

While she was napping, I was reading my book - I finished Jemisin's "The Fifth Season" and Novik's 3rd Temeraire book lately - so I started non-fiction "The Last Days of the Romanovs" by Helen Rappaport. (In the evening, when it's dark I'm reading Strugatski brothers "It's Hard to Be a God" on my Kindle). Hoping to get these two more books in before the end of the year. And do some book review posts.

And after the nap, I left Tanya with her little video game, which she is allowed to play for 10 minutes a day, and called my OB's office for the results of the genetic blood test. Everything looks fine, which is great. I also found out we are having another girl! Now we just have to come up with a name. It was easy the first time, since we named Tanya after my grandmother and her middle name is from James' grandmother. With this one we are actually looking at name lists.

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