Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year! And A Brief Explanation About Where We've Been

Happy New Year!

Geez, where does the time go? It feels like just yesterday I was blogging about our beach trips and our Sunday strolls to Usaquen, but three months has passed since my last post.  Three very quick, blink-and-you-miss- them, months.

And a lot has happened in those three months.

First there was this.

We are officially a family of five! Our little Lady R, arrived in early October clocking in at 7lbs 5oz and 19.5 inches long, making her my smallest baby yet.  My other two were well over 8 pounds.  She was greeted by her two very enthusiastic brothers and extremely happy parents. I was worried about how D would react since he was only 17 months old when she was born, but he took to her quite nicely, and even though there are a few jealousy issues when I am feeding her, he loves her and gives her kisses all day long.  His favorite is to bring her a blanket and say "Go night-night!" E is a pro at being a big brother, so his adjustment has been a breeze.  He is always eager to help and even though sometimes his "helping" is more of a hindrance (especially when trying to quickly clean up spit up or change a poopy diaper), I try to make him feel like he is always doing a super important job.  Now our family is complete, and we couldn't be happier. She is just the sweetest.  And since R was born here in Bogota, D was born in Adana and E was born in New York, I can officially say I have three kids born in three different countries.  Pretty cool!  

She goes back and forth between sucking her thumb and sucking her two middle fingers.

R at 7 weeks

A few weeks after R was born, we celebrated Halloween.  We are a family that truly loves Halloween. The boys each dressed as ninjas (since E is currently obsessed with Ninjago, although it's slowly being taken over by an obsession with Star Wars) and R was a little strawberry.  S and I didn't plan groovy costumes as we have in previous years because I was still living in the haze of newborn baby and didn't get my act together in time.  I ended up being a cat (super simple) and S had to dress as a scarecrow to go along with the "Pumpkin Patch" theme his team designed for the embassy Halloween party.  The party, by the way, was incredible.  I heard it wasn't nearly as elaborate as previous years, but I was still impressed.  Each section came up with a theme and then decorated their offices to match.  Everyone participated.  There was a Star Wars theme, my husband's group did Pumpkin Patch, plus Shark Attack, Wizard of Oz and Book of Life themes, to name a few.  There wasn't a single embassy employee not wearing a costume.  The kids got to trick-or-treat through each section, then we had hot dogs and quesadillas for dinner before heading home to deal with the eventual sugar crash.  It was a fun experience and we're already looking forward to next year.  Needless to say, we already have our family costumes picked out, but I'm not telling.


Shortly after Halloween, we headed back to the states for R&R and my cousin's wedding, in which E was the ring bearer.  R was only one month old at the time, but we got approval from two doctors saying she was okay to travel and we were assured that even though she didn't have a visa or diplomatic passport yet, we would have no issues taking her in and out of the country.  All worked out accordingly.  We spent several days in Key West where my cousin was married, then drove to Miami for a few more days while visiting with friends who lived in the area.  

Ready to fly!

R meeting her godparents, my cousin and her new hubby

R meeting my mom, Nana.

Key West!

I was so proud of this little guy.  He owned his ring bearer job!

Beautiful wedding venue

Me, E and the bride 

Strike a pose!

beach in Key West

Can you see the bags under our eyes?

Enjoying a swim in November

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Warm and cozy after their swim

Blowing bubbles at a museum in Fort Lauderdale

Checking out the baby crocodiles with our friend

He thinks he can fly this plane

And so does he


The princess and the pea :)

Next, we made our way to Austin where we visited with S's family, then headed to Baton Rouge to see my family.  The kids were spoiled by aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, and most of all Nana.   We went to book stores, parks, indoor bouncy house play spaces, museums, planetariums, swam nature walks, and ate at every delicious restaurant we could squeeze in.  After nearly 3 weeks in the states, we made our way back home.  Bogota hadn't really felt like home since we moved here, but since coming back from R &R we have started to feel more settled.  There had always been this sense of "something else is coming" and I think now that R is here, that "something" is here, and we are finally feeling like we aren't just passing through.  This is home...for the next 1.5 years, at least.

Enjoying the park with cousins

At the book store

"camp out" with cousins


D enjoying the kiddie play area while his big brother and big cousins
are bouncing in bounce castles nearby

On a nature walk through the swamps of Louisiana

Trying blackened alligator :)

Enjoying the arts and science museum in BR

Riverboat on the Mississippi in BR
Nana, cousin AA and R

Nana, cousin BB and R

E and the twins having too much fun on the trampoline

Tia and R

We returned to celebrate Thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Year's.  Thanksgiving was very low-key.  I cooked a small meal and we just spent the day relaxing and watching football and cartoons, and playing in the park.  On Christmas Eve I cooked the traditional Louisiana meal: gumbo and potato salad.  We invited our friends over (one of whom happens to also be from Louisiana) and we ate and drank wine while the kids played around us.  The night ended early though, since we all had to get the kids to bed for Santa's visit.  Christmas morning was filled with presents and pancakes, and the day was spent cooking and building Legos. E got so many sets and of course he wanted to put them all together all by himself.  So we let him.  D spent all day playing with his new cars and Paw Patrol toys, while R, completely oblivious to what was going on around her, napped and giggled her way through the holiday.  Christmas is always fun with little kids, and this year was the best.  Our entire family is here, and we can't wait to celebrate Christmases in the future.

Our attempt at a Christmas card pic.  Can you spot the unhappy child in this photo?

A crappy photo, but E was so excited for the Little Passports gift Nana got him.
He's hoping to get something on Egypt!

New Year's Eve was uneventful.  Unlike last year when we spent the night partying with friends in Turkey, this year S and I put the kids to bed and we cracked open a bottle of champagne in an attempt to stay up until midnight.  That, of course, didn't happen.  S and I crashed by 10:30 and did not regret it for a second.  We did manage to finish off the champagne though.  And we made a resolution too.  We both vowed to read 12 books this year--one book per month.  S and I are avid readers and love reading, but since having kids, moving and traveling, we realized we don't dedicate as much time as we used to. So, 2016 is "The Year of the Book" for us.  We're already well into our first books and it feels so good to be reading more regularly again.  

So that's what we have been up to.  The boys' winter break ends soon and they will eventually go back to their routine of school and play dates.  R is a delightful little baby who rolled over for the first time the other day, and she laughs and smiles constantly.  S is back in the groove at work, but looking forward to several 3-day weekends/holidays he has coming up this month, and I am still plugging along with my work while trying to spend time with the kids.  We are looking forward to having visitors this year too!  A lot of friends and family have said they want to come visit, so we're going to hold them to it!  We didn't have many visitors in Turkey, so we're hoping the close proximity of Bogota changes that!