03 August 2007

A Blaringly Good Time Was Had By All

So, the sheva brachot went off without a hitch. It had been nearly a year and a half since we last hosted a gathering even approaching this size (just under thirty people, though our parties used to have closer to fifty), and I was worried we'd forgotten how to keep things going. There was much frantic last-minute cleaning, but we get our best cleaning done just before guests arrive. As do Gnomiand Mabfan, apparently. (They co-hosted with us and so spent the couple of hours before the event also frantically straightening up and arranging serving platters and checking things off lists.) We progressed from snacks to food to dessert at a decent rate, and after most of the guests left around 9:45 a few friends stuck around (along with the bride and groom of course) while we leisurely packed up the leftovers. Approximately half of every dish Gnomi or I made was left over, meaning we made just the right amount. The kids (pleasantly) surprised us by sleeping through the whole thing, from the first loud arrivals to the constant chatter to the joyful singing all the way to the drawn-out goodbyes. The only sticky part of the evening occurred when Julian noticed that one of the building's first-floor smoke detectors outside our door was making a funny beeping noise. "Just as long as it doesn't go off during the sheva brachot," I said.

You've heard the sage advice, I sure, to be careful what you wish for - because you just might get it. The alarm did not, in fact, go off during the sheva brachot,

It went off at just after four o'clock in the morning.

Now, if we hadn't had a solid week of near-daily false alarms last month,, this probably would have freaked me out far more than it did. Instead, my first thought upon waking was, Didn't they fix this stupid thing already? But, of course, you take these things seriously, so Julian and I grabbed the kids and headed outside, where we spent a pleasant fifteen or twenty minutes with our neighbors. Our overnight guests (the groom's parents) commented that we certainly know how to provide entertainment for company. A fire engine eventually showed up. The alarm, of course, was nothing, and we all shuffled back inside.

I did my best to get the kids back to bed by repeating the latter portions of their bedtime routine. Rafi fell back asleep by about 4:45, and I think we can expect him to stay that way until at least 7:00. Rita, on the other hand, is still awake. After repeated attempts to resettle her, we eventually decided to pull her into our room so that she wouldn't wake Rafi with her shrieking. She's tired, poor girl, but she has never been one to fall back asleep - even now when she wakes to nurse in the middle of the night.

The most frustrating part of it all is that we were on track for a good night's sleep for both kids. Rafi's only wake-up was at about 2:30 AM, and he went right back to sleep after nursing and having his diaper changed. With that kind of timing, we were probably going to avoid the two-wakeups pattern (once before 11 PM, one after 4 AM) he'd fallen into over the past week or so. Rita had not yet woken at all since bedtime, and for her that probably meant she was headed for a solid ten- or eleven-hour night. Not that I want my children to be up half the night, but it if we'd been having a night from hell anyway it would have been much easier to take this disruption in stride.

And I suppose now is as good a time as any to introduce Rita to early-morning blogging.

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