Friday, July 30, 2010

Lunch Time

After the aquarium we had lunch all together. I sat with the kids while Eric and Ginny picked up the food. You could definitely tell it was lunch time - we were all getting kinda squirrley.

Baltimore National Aquarium

We got up early on Thursday morning and by 0730 were on the road to Baltimore, MD. The trip is only 54 miles but according to Mapquest it can either take you 1 hour and 7 minutes or 1 hour and 50 minutes depending on traffic. We had no traffic problems and pulled into the Inner Harbor of Baltimore right on schedule. We met up with the DeVries Family and once again I thanked my lucky stars for Fort Friends. There is something special about those folks.

The aquarium was in a beautiful building and had lots of interesting displays. O especially liked these big tubes filled with bubbles and I especially liked all the poisonous frogs they had on display.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Water Time

I have been on a quest to find a playground that has a little water play area. I googled everything and kept coming up with waterparks - you know like those real water parks with slides and wave pools and all that fancy stuff. All I wanted was a little-kid friendly place with some water shooting out of the ground. Seattle has parks like this and I kept thinking "if Seattle has them with their colder weather " then...dang I knew Virginia had to have some. I finally found them listed under "spray grounds" or "splash grounds" and today we managed to check out two that were only about 6 miles away from where we live. As you can imagine, O loved them. It was hysterical to see him yell and scream when the water would come and go. More then once he got a face full of spray when the water turned back on.

Old Friends

We spent most of the weekend with our old friends from Fort - Pete and Ginny and their two boys Alex and Kyle. They live in Virginia, about 3 hours away and they drove up for the weekend and stayed with Pete's dad. We spent hours at the pool; eating, drinking, sweating and swimming. It was so great to see them - it felt like just yesterday and really its been about 2 years. Thanks you guys for the amazing reconnecting weekend - it was just what we needed! Orion and Alex digging for treasure

Pete and Kyle sucking on a Lime

Trying to stay cool on a 105 degree day

O talking to Kyle

Little big boy Kyle

Friday, July 23, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Loving the Closet!

I was thinking this weekend about O and what a flexible, easy-going kid he is, especially through all of the recent changes. Including 4,400 miles in cross county road trips, new houses, new people, new routines. It is enough to make even a "stable" adult like me a little crazy, let alone an almost 2 year old. The one thing that hasn't changed much is where he sleeps. When I was pregnant with O, I turned a large closet we had into his bedroom and since then he seems to always wind up in a closet of some sorts. In hotel rooms, wheel-chair accessible rooms are great for putting up the pack-and-play in the bathroom and when we moved into our new DC apartment we decided to try out the HUGE walk-in closet as a place for O to lay his head. As you can see from the pictures his crib fits perfectly and he seems to love it.

On another note - last week the Ali Crew got their first set of vaccines. Working in healthcare, I was pretty much up to date on all the routine vaccines minus all the interesting travel ones. Those include the rabies series (3 shots), meningitis, yellow fever and typhoid. We each got 2 shots and we each have two more visits until we are up to date. Holy smokes - I really hate shots and my arm is still sore from the yellow fever one. O was a champ - not even a tear and after the nurse gave him a lollypop I think he thought it was Halloween again. This Wednesday will find us all back at the nurses office getting ready for round #2.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thinking about Guyana

Eric has got me thinking about Guyana lately. He found this great web site and I found it really inspiring. It seems that everyone we talk to in the FS seems to think that if you can live in Guyana you can live in Africa. I would imagine its a pretty spot-on comparison but having never lived in Africa - I can't speak from experience. All this thinking about our time in Guyana made me go back and look at the pictures from our last trip there in April 2008. I hunted through and found some of my fave pictures.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The After Party

Big Day

Today was my official Swearing-In Ceremony for the 114th Foreign Service Specialist Class - sounds fancy doesn't it. It was! The ceremony was held in the Benjamin Franklin Room on the 8th floor of the Department of State Building. This is a beautiful space - amazing crystal chandeliers, lots of antique furniture and a beautiful collection of bright green dinner wear from the 1800's. It has a vaulted ceiling with ornate gold trimmed squares and a outdoor space that has views of the Capital Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Potomac River. Eric, Lotte and O were able to survive the metro and the long hot walk up 23rd street to join me for this event. We had a few distinguished speakers and then all of my class was introduced by name, speciality and country of assignment. Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy - Under Secretary for Management administered the following oath:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith an allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the Office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.

After the ceremony we all took the sweaty metro back home and cooled off in the pool! Later in the afternoon we celebrated at our newest favorite place - Claire and Don's Beach Shack with happy hour margaritias and appetizers! YUM!