Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moving On

It was in the 90s today. As I started the car in the parking lot at work, I had a brief flashback to the two sweltering years we lived in India. The seasons are changing again.

I came home to find my naked toddler running around the backyard. He was nothing short of blissful. I had a momentary punch-in-the-gut of guilt. Guilt for two years in Mumbai--one of which without his father. Guilt for uprooting him again in roughly two months. He's adjusted so well to America (except for the getting kicked out of school thing...details!). He's fallen in love with his assortment of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even a cousin here and there. He has a fenced yard, a slide, a playhouse. He can turn anything into a rocket. (Seriously. Anything. Recently poops have become "rocket poop!") He's just happy.

Husband finished up language class over a month ago, and is about halfway through his next bit of training. I had my last progress test this week, and am now counting down to The Real Thing at the end of June. A week of vacation, two weeks of training, a week of meetings and pack-out, and we go. I gave 60 days notice on our house today, and Husband has already reserved our flights. Girl is about to get her first passport, a black one, which must be such an odd experience for a child: I was immune before I could commit a crime, I felt European before I felt American. What a strange life we've brought them into.

'Bye, Home-The-Kids-Barely-Knew. 'Bye, American license plates and right turn on red. 'Bye, Trader Joe's. 'Bye, warm May afternoons. 'Bye parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. 'Bye, normalcy. It was nice having you, if only for a little while.

Hello, Europe. We've been dreaming of you. Particularly on those sweaty Mumbai nights and the sandy Anbar days. I'm sure you'll never replace the Mediterranean in my heart, but I'm willing to let you try. Hello, Euro, how nice to meet you and your sometimes painful exchange rate. Hello, well-marked public transportation. Hello, brutal winters. Nice to see you again, absentee voting. Tere, eestlased ja teie raske keel. Ma ka olen m├Átelnud teie kohta. Meeldiv tutvuda.

We've managed to nearly overbook our remaining ten weekends, trying desperately to squeeze in everything, from Tel Aviv reunions to a NKOTB concert [girly clap, girly clap] to one of the most anticipated weddings of my life. Husband feels less guilt, less remorse at leaving. This isn't his home, never was. But I'm a Virginia girl, a Washingtonian, and damn if I'm not going to miss it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Second Child

I feel a little guilty that all my Facebook posts, blog entries (few though they maybe), and anecdotes in language training are about Boy. Between his behavior problems and his general toddlerness, Girl can get lost a little bit. She's incredibly amenable to the mayhem that is our Boy-focused lives.

Boy loves to make her smile, and she constantly looks for him (unclear if that is out of love or self-preservation). She'll sit on my hip while I chase Boy through a two-hour playdate. She eats like a champ, sleeps like a champ, and gets various things stuck in her neck rolls like a champ. She looks almost nothing like Boy, and is just the baby I needed. I can't tell you how much I love to squeeze her and kiss her incredibly full cheeks. She turns five months old on Monday.













Malicious Pooping

Brilliant.


I love my children. I cherish bedtime for the snuggliness, the kisses, the story time, and, in Girl's case, the delicious feeling of a soft, round chunk falling heavily to sleep on your shoulder.



That said, parents who allege they wouldn't be happier if they were sleeping more are probably lying. Even the most attached of attachment parenting proponents has felt the tear-inducing frustration of a child who just will. not. sleep. I feel fortunate that, with rare exception, my kids are both asleep by 8:00 every night, which allows me a couple hours of completely unproductive and precious Mom Time.



That said, Boy is rounding the bend to three years old, and spends most afternoons fighting his nap. Because we've removed rockets from his room (he puts them "to bed" outside the baby gate), he's had to resort to other distractions. The latest is strategically timed poop. I'll give someone a kidney if that child isn't holding it in until/prematurely forcing it out two minutes after Nanny/Mom/Dad leave the room, making us come back to change the disaster that his diaper. If a diaper change isn't exciting, nothing is. With the right amount of squirming, giggling and kicking, it can take a number of minutes--just enough time to get the sillies and blow any possibility of a reasonably-timed nap.



Today, while he was actually going to the potty (!), I was commenting to Nanny that I believed his nap-pooping was malicious. Boy was apparently listening. His new word? "Malicious."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Easter


We had a lot of fun Easter Weekend. Saturday morning Boy helped me make carrot cake cupcakes. I usually believe cake is merely a vehicle for the icing, but carrot cake is a cake I actually like. (That's 5 "cakes" in two sentences.)



Boy helped mix up the batter.


And after nap, he helped decorate them.


I've since learned not to hand a toddler a jar of sprinkles.

After an interlude of playing outside (such gorgeous weather!), we dyed Easter eggs with Boy's godmother (who was a total trooper).



Sunday morning we went hunting for Easter eggs in the backyard. Boy did great.



He sadly took about three minutes to figure out where the last one was. I'll admit it was tricky. You know, on the seat and everything. In plain sight.



Later that morning we dressed up-ish for brunch at Dzadza and Grandma's house. Boy wore the seersucker pants I made him the week before (more on those later).



Girl looked adorable and sported a headband (against her father's wishes).


We played in the park I used to play in as a little girl.


Later that day, Boy spent some quality playtime in the backyard while I clicked away.










It was a great Easter, and the first when Boy was old enough for a visit from the Easter Bunny.