Category: Daily Grind

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Happy Birthday to Us!

We had a lovely birthday. Yes, that’s a royal “we,” since Bertrand and I share a birthday. It works out pretty well, since neither of us can forget. Last year, he got to pick the event (going out to dinner), and I got to pick the venue (the only sushi joint in Freetown).  This year; we both agreed we needed to do something relatively peaceful. I started out the day...

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Happy Independance Day!

What an amazing way to celebrate the Fourth. The last time I was in the States for Independence Day, I was in college. Since then, I’ve elebrated as a Peace Corps Volunteer, as an entrepreneur abroad, as a local hire at a U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, in Freetown as the GSO (logistician-in-chief), and now, back in the States as a plain-old-regular American Citizen. Lemme tell you, it is AMAZING celebrating...

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In which the Sondjos go to the Cherry Blossom Festival

A few weeks ago, we took advantage of the then newly spring weather to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival downtown. It was sunny, hot, and crowded—in other words, a typical weekend in downtown DC. I always forget that DC is a real tourist city, in a similar vein as any other large capital city. Millions of people come here every year to gawk and spend money, just as we...

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Easter with the Carpenters and Sondjos

We spent Easter with my brother’s family and my parents up in Maryland. Bertrand and I rented a car, drove up, and spent a lovely day eating delicious foods, watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs, and celebrating my dad’s birthday. No dinosaur comments allowed. My mom, bless her heart, made Easter baskets for the kids. I love the piggy bank, then gave her hell about the sparkly lip gloss,...

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On taking Grace to the ER … again

An awesome thing about being back in the States is excellent doctors with excellent medical facilities. A less awesome thing about being back in the States is that our (AMAZING) GP is up in MD near my parents’ place, and we’re down here in NoVa with no car. We’ve been taking the kids to the Crystal City Xpress Urgent Care for minor aches and pains and illnesses. They’re pretty much...

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Arabic is Arabic (or, why I have purple bags under my eyes)

Arabic Training, aka, Theresa has 26(ish) weeks left to achieve basic proficiency in Arabic, and is staying home today to take care of a sick baby and AARRGGHHH!!! Like many things that the State Department does, the language program at FSI is both awesome and horrific at the same time. Awesome, because really, who can complain about being paid to learn a language for nine months? Horrific, because bureaucracies gonna...

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On making baby food

After my last post, I got a few questions (and a few snarky emails) about making my own baby food. Here’s the thing. This works for me. I spend all day Sunday cooking *anyway* (thanks, paleo!). So it’s no big deal for me to steam more vegetables, then puree them before making some paleo mayo. It might be a real hassle for someone else, and that’s OK. My making Grace’s...

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Grace is eating solids!

The bad news is that I spent the weekend eating wheat products in hopes of increasing my milk supply. The good news is that I am now super clear on what types of food utterly destroy me when eaten in any sort of quantity. My supply did increase, but at the expense of my body. And it STILL wasn’t enough! ARGH! All this misery, and Grace still needed bottles of...

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On giving something up for Lent

For Lent, I am giving up negativity. I like my job. I like my apartment. I like my colleagues and their families. I love my own family. I’m happy with my progress both improving my health and remembering to just breathe. So why do I complain all the time? Why do I qualify my positive statements with caveats and warnings? Why don’t I always talk about the best in people?...

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On language training and parenting

Our first week of language training has been hard. Really hard. I get up bright and early to shower and dress. Then I wake up Bertrand. While he’s enjoying his morning ablutions, I make my lunch, get all of the kids’ stuff out, and study for half an hour. Once we’re both up and running, I wake up the kids, and we begin the hour long process of feeding them...