Sunday, March 30, 2014

Religious education

Our friends held their son's birthday party at their church this weekend. This led to a conversation with the kids on the car ride home about what a church is, who/what is God, what is a religion and what different religions teach/people believe. I had been largely stalling on this version of "the talk" as I have been very unsure what I want to teach my kids. Thus, such spontaneous conversations occur and I can't be sure I'm actually giving them the information I want them to have.

After some thought at the end of the conversation, Alex reveals:  "I think Leprechauns and flying horses are real, and God is not."  Terry was so proud. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This is a little late but on the first day of spring (based on the equinox) was also the first day that some of our crocuses opened up fully.  Prior to that there was three of them just starting to pop out.  Nothing says spring here is here like the early spring bulbs popping up out of the ground.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kinda cool mom blogger news

I may have mentioned how much I love my mom blogs. One of them, The Happiest Home, ran an online course called Beyond Baby about how to figure out who we are when we aren't moms, especially as our kids grow up and need us less immediately and we had the time and space to be. Things went well and now she's writing a book. She invited blog readers to sign up to be on a "book launch team" and yep, I'm a lucky winner!  I will get a pre-release copy of the book and get to give feedback about various kinds of things along the way. The timing couldn't be better as the kids are getting more independent by the day at the same time I just re-entered the workforce and have been feeling more adult myself.

The book launches in time for Mother's Day (I believe, and understand schedules sometimes unexpectedly change) so I should have more to say about this - and I'll have a book review - coming up in the next month or so.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

She's coughing yet again

This time it's *the* cough. We are trying a new approach and yes food elimination is part of it. This sucks.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Drinking from a fire hose

My first week of A-100 has drawn to a close. We have heard the expression "it's like drinking from a fire hose" a million times or so, describing all we cover in these weeks. It's pretty accurate. The training isn't intellectually arduous, but it is like an endurance test. Spending 12 hours outside of the house every day is exhausting in any situation. When I get home I save my precious few hours each night before the kids' bedtime for family time. By the time the kids are settled and I have done my homework (yes, A-100 is now loaded with homework!) and a few chores to pull my weight around the house it is already past my bedtime, given the 5-something wakeup each morning. There is no downtime. I have spent this week being a hot mess, promising all my new colleagues that as recently as last week I was smart and organized.

First, a shout out to my amazing husband, who has uncomplainingly picked up my slack this week and will for the foreseeable future - although the not complaining part may change. I can only imagine what my nerves, attitude and ability to properly participate in training would have been like if he weren't doing so much.

Second, now that we're a week into it, I want to publicly state how much I appreciate our babysitter. I had asked her to do light housework during the hour she's here before the kids awake and coming home to a clean kitchen every evening is a real morale booster. She looks around and figures out what needs doing - she's prepped veggies for snack; cleaned the bathroom; folded laundry. The kids adore her, even a friend who met her at school dropoff had a positive reaction. Trusting the people who have the care of your babies makes the difference between being able to concentrate on your work and being an even hotter mess. I am so thankful this is working out so well.

We got the bid list this week. There are no DC positions. This is all I can say. So we are working through the options, putting places comparatively high where we said we'd never want to live and moving otherwise more desirable places farther down, as we delve into the whole package of what our life there would be like. Flag day promises to be emotional.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


The most exciting thing happened tonight. A neighborhood kid we know from the bus stop rang the doorbell. We've almost never spoken with him, the kids have never played with him. But, with the kindergarten confusion of what he actually wanted, he was able to make clear that he wanted to talk to Alex. And now all three kids have been running and playing outside for the last half hour. I thought such things only happened in TV shows and certain compound embassies.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Alex GI update

After barely two weeks she had completely stopped coughing, so we put her back on dairy. A couple of times she complained of heartburn after a meal that included dairy, but no other symptoms. We cut down a bit on dairy - no more milk at dinner - but stopped reading labels. I tested a hypothesis and gave her a glass of milk the other night and there was no heartburn, so we still have no real answers.

I'm working on a hypothesis that involves a structural issue plus a food intolerance issue. She may be catching Zoltan's cold as we speak so there may be more experimentation in the next week or so ...

Friday, March 7, 2014

An important week

After seven years, this was my very last week as a stay at home (or work part time) mom. I'm now just like almost all my friends, and like I would have been had we lived in the USA when having children. I have been reflecting constantly about how lucky I feel to have had this time. This week has also shown me, if I had any last lingering doubts, that this is a good time to get back into the work force and pursue a career. The kids are growing more independent by the hour as though they were simply waiting for us to give them the room.

Tuesday, the second snow day of the week, promised to be a frustrating one. I expected to have my children trailing after me while I tried to do three days' worth of errands in one. The weather was fine and the roads were clear, why would I not run my errands? The real question is: why wasn't school open? Instead, when Alex heard one of our stops was her after school care center to drop off some paperwork she decided to spend the day there. From then it was easy to convince Zoltan to go to sadik. They both protested when I came to pick them up that they weren't ready to go home yet. This pattern has continued through the rest of the week.

And there it is, folks. We are all ready to start our newest adventure - the first one for the family that hasn't included an international move (yet).

Monday, March 3, 2014

I do love my children, but ...

...we could all use a bit of a break from each other. I deliberately kept Alex home on Friday so we could have "one last special day". Four days later the kids and I have been each others' constant companions 24/7. And it seems that tomorrow is looking like another doozy of a day, made all the more poignant because Terry is having dinner with a friend after work. Yep, I'm alone with these cherubs from the moment they wake until the moment they fall asleep.  Here's a photo of them being adorable playing in the snow.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I still get a thrill ...

... out of letting the kids play outside without adult supervision. We lived in the center of a big city, in an apartment, for essentially their entire lives. A backyard is still thrilling to me. I get to stay inside and get something accomplished (even if it is just a blog entry) and they get fresh air and exercise. Win/win.

(edited to add photos: As you can see, they were chalking the deck and loving every minute)