Sunday, September 26, 2010

Signs you might be in the Foreign Service...

  • your idea of fashionable jewelry is a rubber vaccination reminder wristband.
  • your family's idea of a fun weekend is taking apart the furniture...again.
  • you no longer use your stroller for its intended purpose, but instead as a mail cart and grocery getter.
  • the first several months into a move, your spice cabinet looks more like a drug deal than a kitchen area. Baggies full of powder everywhere!
  • your kid is the only one asleep before takeoff. Experienced flyer!
  • calls from your family and friends at 2am no longer scare you; they just don't check the time zone.
  • every time you say where you live or friends live, people say "and where is that again?".
  • your fridge isn't only covered by your kid's art, but also with reminders to take your meds.
  • your address and phone number are no where NEAR where you actually reside.
  • your excuse to get away from the checkout girl's schpeal for coupons is "sorry, we're moving out of the country", but it's the truth.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spontaneous Combustion

Our credit card is on the verge of combustion. Think we are overcompensating for the plan to hunker down in Bangladesh, knowing there won't be a lot to purchase when we get there. We've been to the mall 3 times this week, not to mention Target, Best Buy, Trader Joe's, REI, etc.  Seems anything we like enough to take a second look at, we just go ahead and throw it in the cart... especially in the Disney Store. Good lord, the child has added to her collection of toys and recently has added several fun dress up outfits. It will be a good thing to get us out of range from nice malls for a while!

My camera arrived this week, HALLELUJAH! Now I just have to remember how to use it. And quick! There will be a plethora of colors and sites before my eyes in mere days. So we stopped at the bookstore (twice, Barnes and Noble & Borders) where I grabbed a photography book to TRY to educate myself. Hopefully I can read it during the 18+ hours of flying time. I've keep wanting to take a photography class, just still haven't gotten to it yet.

Also bit the bullet and bought a MAC computer today!!!! Wasn't really in the plan of purchases prior to departure, but necessary. My laptop has been firing blanks for about a month. This morning it took 6 tries to boot, and last week we took it to the Geek Squad, who gave a weak diagnosis. Didn't think dealing with a sick laptop on top of all the life changing events would be the best idea. I have a lot to learn about my new Mac.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Word on the street is that my camera is enroute to me - repaired.
Please oh please let that be correct! I will meet the UPS man at the door with a smile!
Though it will take up precious airline allotted baggage space, it would be SO nice to arrive in Dhaka with my "good" camera in hand :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gulf Branch Nature Center

We have spent a lot of time at Long Branch Nature Center, and went there again 3 times last week (once Ceiba and I, once all of us and once with a new friend & mama who'll join us in Bangladesh next June). If you're from the Pacific NW or even far Northeast, this may just see like any other park to you. If you're from the Midwest, like we are, Long Branch and Gulf Branch parks are sheer beauty, much different than the mud we are used to.

Little love trivia for you: Chris and I both grew up a few miles away from each other. We were both in the creeks and the woods almost everyday, exploring or looking for arrowheads. He probably never thought of it, but I always dreamed some cute boy would walk around the bend of the creek. Never happened quite that way, but once we did finally meet, hours and hours were spent holding hands or sharing glimpes along those creeks together. My mom even had to honk the horn from the house on more than one occasion to get us home for dinner. Where was I going with this post.... Oh yeah, I always dreamed of a creek like those at Gulf Branch and Long Branch, full of rocks and with crystal clear water. So we are getting our fill before we head out!

(above) Our attempt at a self portrait, but Ceiba felt like being "funny"

At Gulf Branch, we hiked from the nature center (cool place, even has a bee hive inside) to the Potomac River. The paths are nice, complete with stairs and railings along the rocky falls. Once we reached the river, we stopped for a quick snack before hiking back. No arrowheads were found, but I did find a silver spoon from the 1800s. A bazillion chipmunks and squirrels were busy storing nuts, and we spotted a monarch larvae getting ready to start his cocoon on a fence when we hiked back.

Ceiba was a trooper and hung in for the whole hike. Chris has been spending a lot of time showing her how to climb rocks and learn to confidently trek around the rocks and water. These frequent outings again reassure us how nice it is to be living in an apartment and have more spare time.

Grandma & Grandpa Visit

Three days after my sister's family came to visit, Chris's parents came out for a long weekend. Instead of staying in the DC area, we decided on a little R&R, so went south to Williamsburg. We stayed at Great Wolf Resort (thanks to a nice discount from our great sister-in-law who works at corporate in WI) in Williamsburg and also drove to Jamestown settlement. It was nice to relax by the pool for a few days with no agenda. And it seems I relaxed so much that I barely took any photos, sorry.

(above) pics at dinner and in the arcade at Great Wolf
(below) playing at the indoor pool at Great Wolf and exploring the ships at Jamestown
(above) Jamestown settlement, storytime at Great Wolf (did NOT like the wolf), Jamestown museum

Just when we thought we were getting old, Chris and I decided to give the huge indoor water slides a whirl. SO FUN! I loved them, especially one that went into a huge tunnel where we swished back and forth after a steep drop.... Chris... not so much, but sacrificed himself multiple times for my enjoyment. He was always happy until the dropoff, which was followed by curse words or "don't like this". We must have gone on it half a dozen times, even pursuading his mom on one trip. Am sure you can hear me cackling all the way down the slide as I watched both of them squinch their faces all the way down to the pool. Great entertainment!

Ceiba really loved sharing a room with everyone and having G&G stay at our apartment for a few days. It was nice to play and relax! We know how hard it was for them to say good-bye at the airport, not really knowing when we'll all be together again. But we promise to keep up the blog, Skype and keep everyone updated on how we are doing across the oceans.

Catch Up : Family Visit Sept 3-6

Early warning, lots of people pics and updates for family. You've already seen our DC pics, so here are just a bunch of family pics from when my sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew came into town over Labor Day. We only had Friday night, Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday, but wow did we see a lot of DC. And it was nice to have a chance to get a bunch of photos, though only one of all of us together.

We visited all the war memorials, White House, Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetary, Natural History Museum, National Botanical Garden, Capitol building, Great Falls National Park and much more. Hours were spent in the pool, on the Metro and eating (ribs, hot dog carts and of course Clare and Don's Beach Shack). We also took a hop-on-hop-off double decker opentop bus from Union Station, which allowed us to see a lot without walking to everything. It included a night tour, which we loved!
(above) all at the White House and Washington Monument (below)

(above) Capitol Bldg & Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, (below)Capitol Bldg & Smithsonian Castle
(above) Capitol, our babysitters!, carousel ride with Aunt Carrie-(below) hanging around, all of us at Capitol
(above) Union Station, kids on the bus top, Carrie and me at the Botanical Garden, our night pics (below)

(above) Great Falls Natl Park, (below) Crab Shack for lunch
(above) chillin in the pool at our house, (below) Georgetown and the Natl. Cathedral

Wish we could've spent more time together! There's nothing like sitting around in your pjs, watching movies and having snacks with the ones you love. We miss them everyday and wish I could squeeze them in our suitcases when we pack up. The hardest part of this lifestyle so far is being away from loved ones.