A whirlwind

Abby and I have been home for a month and it’s gone by in record speed. One thing that hasn’t changed – it’s still 100 degrees (approximately) outside.  It’s November, and I packed fall/winter clothes, so it would be GREAT if it could cool down a bit. (Note, while it may be 70 this Friday, it is actually supposed to snow on Sunday. I love you, Ohio.)

The first weekend we were home, the timing worked our perfectly and I was able to meet up with a few law school friends who were in town to show off their darling baby girl.

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And the next day one of my closest friends from high school had a party to introduce her new baby girl, and our whole group was reunited for a few hours!

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A few days later I flew to DC to join JR for a long weekend. I barely took any pictures of the weekend – womp womp, but most of it was spent eating at some of our favorite places and relaxing. I did get one picture of our reunion with Amy, our dear friend from Kosovo!

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Meanwhile in Orrville, Abigail was having the time of her life with my mom, stepdad and brother doting on her and attending to her every possible desire. They went to story hour at the library, a pumpkin patch and a farm, and had tons of fun.

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Abby enjoyed multiple Halloween events dressed up as Doc McStuffins. She was thrilled with all the candy she received trick or treating. It’s hard to teach your child to only take one piece when the generous people passing out candy kept telling her, “go ahead, take a few pieces!”

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Could these kids be any cuter?

Then it was time for my little sister’s wedding! JR was able to get home early and he surprised Abby and I at the rehearsal. She was so cute when he snuck up to say hello. She did okay with her flower girl duties at the rehearsal, but she was perfect at the wedding! She tossed all of her flowers and at the end of the aisle she threw her hands up and triumphantly announced “I did it!” She earned herself a fancy cupcake which she promptly devoured.

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My sister was a gorgeous bride, and she and Mark had a wonderful time celebrating with their family and friends.

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After that crazy two weeks, I was happy to welcome one of my best friends from law school to Ohio for the weekend. We splurged on a hotel room in Columbus and visited some of our favorite places (Roosters and Bexley Pizza Plus!), and did a little shopping. Since we both have toddlers at home, we thought the best possible way to spend a Saturday night was at the movies and then going to bed by 10pm.  And it was glorious.

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JR had to return to Tbilisi for a little bit, but he is back with us now and we’re both teleworking for a little while. It’s hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving, and we’re just a few weeks away from my due date!

Halloween fun

We had the best Halloween weekend here!  JR and I haven’t lived in a neighborhood with Trick-or-Treat-ers in a few years, so we were really looking forward to passing out candy and taking Abby around to a few houses.

We started the weekend with trick-or-treating at the Embassy.  Sopo, our nanny, dropped Abby off in her costume all ready to go with braids in her hair. She does the BEST job with her hair.  I don’t know what kind of Jedi-mind tricks she uses to make Abby sit still, but I have no such luck!

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Blurry but cute!

Abby was immediately interested in putting all candy in her mouth, wrappers included.  She was displeased when I took the candy away, so in a quick attempt to appease her, I handed her a fun-size Twix.  JR was quick to point out that I’d made a huge mistake.  Chocolate everywhere.  Not a good plan when you a) are carrying your child around in your work clothes and b) need her costume clean again the next day.   We didn’t take any pictures of her chocolate-covered face, but once she had her first taste of that sugary goodness, she was hooked.

The CLO did an amazing job organizing the event.  There were over 150 kids, most offices decorated and passed out candy, and they had games, food, and activities for the kids as well.

Saturday was the neighborhood trick-or-treat.  JR and I had considered a few different costume ideas, ideally something that wouldn’t cost much and was easy.  As always, my mom helped with a package that included some granny clothes from Goodwill and a very classy nightgown in a 2XL to help us pull off our family costume:  Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma, and the big bad wolf.

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We realized Abby might be afraid of the wolf mask, so we had it sitting on the counter for a few weeks and occasionally took turns trying it on.  She was not into it at first but by the weekend she didn’t seem bothered at all!

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It was so much fun seeing everyone dressed up and spending time with our friends and their kids.  After we passed out candy for a while, we walked down to a friend’s house for snacks and a special Witches Brew beverage while the kids played.  When I commented that I didn’t think I Abby received any Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, my friend E handed me her very last one, stashed in her pocket.  That’s true friendship.

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Little Red Riding Hood, worn out

Can’t wait to do it again next year!

6 months old!

It’s hard to believe Abigail is already six months old.  On the one hand, I feel like we’re really getting the hang of this parenting business and we have some good routines in place.  On the other, sometimes your baby goes from sleeping like a dream to deciding that 4am is a great time to wake up and play.  So, we still have a few things to work out.

From this:

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To this:

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She’s changed so much just in the last several weeks.  She loves to be on her stomach, and she’s getting so strong that she tries to do push-ups and planks.  She is incredbly close to crawling, in fact the other night I was so sure she was about to crawl that I contemplated ever so slightly pushing her over so she wouldn’t crawl while JR was out of town.  She can also sit up by herself for a few seconds at a time, although she tips over pretty easily.

We are working on feeding her baby food.  I had grand plans to feed her an avocado as her first food, but since I’d never purchased (or eaten) one before, I wound up purchasing a bad one at the store that we had to throw out.   So we went with applesauce and bananas, and she was not that interested.  Determined to use my fancy baby-food making machine, I bought a sweet potato (for the first time in my life) and very closely followed the relatively simple instructions to turn it into a puree.  I was beyond proud of myself when it worked – I was pretty much Tom Hanks in Castaway.

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Nevermind that the machine did all the work and Abby wanted nothing to do with said sweet potatoes, it was a big moment for me.  She actually hasn’t been interested in any of the foods we’ve offered so far, so I guess we’ll have to keep trying.  Or she’ll just drink forumla til she’s in kindergarten.

Here she is, less than impressed:

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We celebrated Halloween with an adorable elephant costume and some of JR’s famous pumpkins.

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Now we are looking forward to seeing our families and friends in Ohio in a few more weeks and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with our sweet baby girl!

Halloween Fun

As I’ve surely mentioned at least 100 times, Halloween is JR’s favorite holiday. In addition to his tight pumpkin-carving schedule, he was also busy this past week with several events at work, including the kid’s trick-or-treat, the huge kid’s party, and the adult party on Friday.

JR and I have carved pumpkins together almost every year since we started dating. I typically do the standard triangle eyes and toothy grin, but JR has always liked a challenge. In the last few years, he’s really stepped up his game and he’s crazy good at carving pumpkins. Not only does he carve them well, but he enjoys carving several each year. This leaves me with pumpkin guts and seeds all over the house, but it’s his thing. Here are a few he did this year:

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On Wednesday, the little kids visited the Embassy and went to each office to Trick or Treat. They were adorable in their costumes! One of our friends had a spare Scooby Doo costume hanging in her office, and I convinced JR to put it on “for the kids.” It was hilarious, but he would not allow any photos!

Thursday night, the CLO hosted a huge Halloween party for what seemed like hundreds of kids! All of the American families, the locally employed staff and their children, and a group from a local orphanage were invited for a night of fun. I walked over to help with some set up, and I was so impressed by how much stuff they had, and how cool it all looked. There were games (I was in charge of the Witches’ Hat Ring Toss), face painting, a haunted house (which was so well done), food, and so much candy. JR had a werewolf costume and spent the whole party in a cage in the Haunted House. Some kids were pretty scared, others wanted photos with him! Everyone seemed to have a great time, and we are lucky to have a such great people working in our CLO office to organize and run these events!

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This was my job during the party.

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I told you they did a great job with decorating. I couldn’t capture the haunted house very well, but it was very cool.

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My favorite werewolf! He was going for “An American Werewolf in Kosovo/Diplomat Werewolf.”

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One of the volunteers just so happened to have a full suit of armor!

Finally, Friday night was the adult party. I wore the costume my mom made for me (because she’s fantastic) and JR went as Cousin Eddie. One of our other friends was very excited to wear the Scooby Doo costume. The Count and Countess won the costume contest! JR plans to step up his game next year and take the title.

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Creepy Clown photobomb!

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