Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 21, 2015 - Happy (early) Halloween!

Life is good and busy in Dar these days.  The Tanzanian national election is on Sunday – there is a very high energy all around us!  We are getting out of dodge tomorrow morning for our family vacation to Cape Town.  To say we are a little bit excited would be the understatement of the year.

Grace had off of school last week and the first part of this week.  She was back just for today and now Noah's school is closing for their October break starting tomorrow.  Today he had a very big Halloween party at his school - it was CRAZY hot but super fun.  I was dressed as the Tooth Fairy (thrilled that I can still fit into my wedding rehearsal dinner dress after 8 years and 3 kids) and he was a pirate...we were a cute couple :) There was a parade and songs and jokes, and then 6 different stations of Halloween-themed games.  It was a great way to kick off our vacation.  

I would like to promise that I will blog a lot from South Africa - but clearly you would have no reason to believe me.  I will certainly try, or at least do a great recap when we are back.  We have many things planned...great food, shopping, wine, and fun!  Can't wait to share it all with you!  And I should have some Tanzanian election news to report as well.  We are hoping and praying for safe and free and fair polls, and that the honest results are announced with minimal civil unrest.  Time will tell.

Now I have to pack!

October 21, 2015 - One-and-a-Half!

Sweet Aya Karen is 18 months old today.  One-and-a-half!  How on Earth did that happen?

She is such a great baby…really a little girl these days.  Just to get it out of the way, her least awesome quality is still her sleeping.  We had a few great weeks but for the last 10 days she’s been pretty terrible again.  This morning she started her day at 4 am, calling  “Peekaboo, Mama!” from her crib.  So there’s that.

But in all other ways, she is gold!  She talks a lot – telling her siblings, “No, no!” when she doesn’t approve.  Or confessing to me, “No, no!”  when she has done something wrong (and then we have to go hunt for the scene of the crime).  My favorite thing that she says currently is “All more!” when she is finished with something, instead of “No more” or “All done”.  “All more!” is crazy cute.  Grace and Noah can spend hours just asking her to say stuff – all of which she tries, and most of you can tell what she is trying to say.  Grace is thrilled that she says something that sounds an awful lot like “Gracie” and Noah is content with “Oah” for now.  She can also say “Oligah” (for Oliver) and something that sounds like “Chisafer” for our cook Christopher.

She genuinely thinks that she is much older – easily 3 or 4, and keeps up with the big kids as such.  They can get really upset when she won’t leave them alone, but as the youngest of four children myself, I completely identify with her and help her hang with the big kids as much as possible.  Aya likes to sit at the table to do “homework” with the big kids and has committed a few offenses coloring on the walls.  She also likes to build Lego (thank God!) and to hunt for our tortoise (currently on hold since she had a very close encounter with a snake earlier this week).

Aya is a complete “Fars pige” these days (that’s a Daddy’s Girl!)…you should see her glow when he comes from work.  You can hear from anywhere in the house following him around or hunting for him…”Hi, Far!  Hi, Far!”

Aya is game for a dance party at any time of day – most recently at 5:45 this morning.  Aya loves her baby dolls and playing with them all the time.  She loves to read books with anyone who will read with her, and it’s fun that Grace can read many books to her now.  Aya also loves the water – if we would plop her in and let her lose she would be thrilled (um…she doesn’t know she can’t swim!).  I am surprised every day at how much she understands and can do…and she often elicits a lovely trip down memory lane to the days when Grace and Noah were just as innocent and precious.  She can throw a great temper tantrum and sometimes it is hard to figure out exactly how she believes she was wronged – but even those are adorable (it’s mean to laugh at her sorrow, but she is so funny!).

She’s our best eater at this age!  Aya’s hair seems to be a little bit ginger or red – it will be interesting to see if that stays or goes!  I have no idea what she weighs or how tall she is – I guess she’ll have a check up in a couple of weeks.  She has an amazing laugh, an amazing smile (despite some of her teeth coming in a little funky), and is one of the best baby-huggers I’ve ever encountered. 

 Kristoffer and I have been saying lately how she is really just at THE cutest age and we enjoy her so much (but good Lord, please sleep until 5 at least!).  Take a look for yourself…

Our Sweet Aya

Happy Half Birthday, Sweet Girl!