We just had the quietest New Year's Eve ever, with just three (adult) friends by the time we reached midnight, the very first without children since Marie was born! Yes, Marie has stayed up for New Year's Eve every single year, even her first one when she was only three months old. And she did this year, as well, but not at home--my first baby went to her first New Year's Eve party. 14 does not seem old enough!!!!
Jacob, who is only 12, was also out for the evening. I'm not sure how wild the partying got at the Prayer House, though. His only complaint when he arrived home at 1:20 a.m. was that they didn't sing enough.
Lukas and Katie were going to stay up, but their behaviour left a lot to be desired yesterday and I couldn't face it. Helen went to bed right after dinner, totally exhausted (she's been in the "outgrowing-a-nap" phase for about two years: either she has a nap and is impossible to get to bed, or she doesn't have a nap and is fussy all evening until she collapses) and anyway not having any clue that anyone could ever think there WOULD be a reason to stay up, since the only time she celebrated New Year's Eve in Germany, with fireworks and greeting the neighbors and everything, was when she was not quite four months old. Katie went to bed a bit later than usual, but not a lot, and with almost no protest. Lukas stayed up until about 9:30, when Jörn got back from taking Marie to her party, and then went to his room with plenty of protest. He was allowed to have the light on and stay up as long as he wanted, but in his room. I know, spoilsport Mommy. He of course fell asleep long before midnight, but we kept our promise and didn't turn off his light until after midnight, and it was nice to NOT have him (or Katie) grumpy and miserable this morning.
As for Elisabeth, she neither had a nap yesterday nor was she fussy. She happily bee-bopped around until about 10:00, when she suddenly asked to nurse (breastfeed), but when I wanted to nurse her at the table (we were playing Settlers of Catan), she protested and pointed out of the room and said "Bed!" As I started to carry her out of the room, she turned back and wanted to hug Richard (oh, I wish I could figure out how to spell the way she pronounces his name, but I have no idea!), then Tim, but not Sue, but then as I started out of the room again, she turned back so fast I almost dropped her, as she called out "cuddle Sue!" So I took her back to hug Sue, then took her to bed, where she giggled as I lay her down, and quickly nursed to sleep. And that child slept until 10:25 this morning!!!!!
Sue, Richard, Tim, and I started a game of Settlers of Catan when Jörn and Marie left, which ended up being a very slow game, then after we finished that, played a five-player Settlers with Jörn, too, which was much more interesting. I know Sue won the second game, but I can't remember who won the first one. Jörn was rather bored, waiting for us to finish, but Elisabeth was enjoying entertaining Papa! We finished the second game around 11:30, I think, and then chatted until midnight. The others hadn't necessarily planned to stay that long, but there not being that much time left, went ahead and did so.
And here is the proof that I made it to midnight, the only two photos I took the entire evening:
This is Richard's phone, and the time is correct, so from that I was able to determine that my camera time is nine minutes off. It's very, very rare that I go to bed before midnight anyway, but Sue was more than ready to go home by that time, so they left minutes later. I sent texts to Marie and Jacob and stood outside looking at...well, nothing, really...for awhile. So different from Germany!
Our phone/internet connection wasn't working, so I couldn't make all the phone calls I'd been planning to make to my parents and siblings in the U.S. and Costa Rica. I did call my parents from my cell phone, but had no idea how fast that might use up credit, so didn't talk long. This morning I called the phone company (PrimeTel--we've been very happy with their prices and their service) and they said that a lot of phones had gone out in the thunderstorms last night, but they were quickly able to get it working again without even having to come to the house.
Internet being down last night also meant that I wasn't able to upload the last 50 photos I had to kodakgallery.de, nor to order any, so at this point I guess I'll wait until I get the next special offer from them to order photos, and will just continue working on sorting and editing 2011 photos in the meantime.