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Posts tagged ‘holiday’

survival mode

With Junebug steadfastly refusing to nap in the evenings and Munchkin continuing his Tasmanian devil act by tearing up the house on a daily basis, we are still very much living day to day.

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any given weekday

There are only so many hours in a day, and they clearly are insufficient, especially on weekdays. We want to play with our kids after spending a long day at the office, but we need to get them fed, bathed, and into bed. We want to unwind, perhaps with a glass of wine or our favorite album on full blast, but it’s hard to get ten minutes of quiet time when one kid persists in popping out of bed with a litany of requests and the other requires constant, hands-on attention. Books? Movies? Going out? In an alternate universe, a short lifetime ago we used to enjoy these things too, but given the current state of play it’s hard to imagine how we ever had the time or energy for them.

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back to school holiday

Serving in Kenya, shortly after we got married and before we even thought about having children, we tried to take advantage of every extended holiday weekend to get out of Nairobi and explore the country. We continued to travel a lot after Munchkin was born, using our posting in Moldova as a springboard to explore Eastern and Central Europe, but we also came to appreciate the value of spending long weekends at home to soak in the wonderment of new parenthood.

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holidays at home

This is the second year in a row that we celebrated Independence Day stateside – no mean feat considering that we have been posted overseas for the entirety of D’s six-year career with the State Department.

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any day now

It’s T-minus 5 days, if the due date prognostication is to be believed, and while S is more than ready for this pregnancy to be over, the little lady seems content to remain comfortably ensconced in the womb for the time being. D’s parents, eager for their granddaughter’s arrival, call after every prenatal doctor’s appointment to request “an update on the due date.” Munchkin has adopted a more direct approach, pressing on S’s belly while chanting, “Come out, baby sister!”

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laidback holiday

“Here’s a kiss and a hug for you / I love you mommy for all you do / Happy Mother’s Day!” Munchkin sang to D, ignoring S’s softly whispered exhortations to substitute “papa” into the Mother’s Day song he had learned at school. “Happy Mother’s Day, papa, and babushka, and dedushka, and mommy!” he concluded. At least the sentiment was right, and he did tenderly refer to D as “my little fuzzy papa” a little while later.

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the birds of Namibia

After two months of sorting, the final tally is in, and it exceeded D’s hopes and expectations. In addition to all the spectacular animals we saw – cheetahs, lions, a leopard, desert-adapted elephants, and much more – we photographed 170 different bird species in just under two weeks in Namibia. All this without setting foot in the Caprivi Strip – the country’s remotest region, and the one that has the highest concentration of birds.

pearl-spotted owlet, Damaraland

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Cape Town baby moon

The weeks between our Namibian travels with S’s parents and the visit to Kigali of D’s parents passed by in a flash. No sooner had we settled back into our house and our jobs than it was time to snap out of our routine again. With S scheduled to travel to Pretoria for her 20-week antenatal appointment, we took advantage of D’s parents visit to organize a miniature baby-moon trip to South Africa.

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first explorations

Despite last-minute cancellations and unforeseen delays, we still arrived in Namibia a day before S’s parents, who were due to land in Windhoek around noon the following afternoon. We had agreed to rendezvous in the Kalahari Desert for the start of our tour together, and D suggested tacking on a short visit to Daan Viljoen, located less than half an hour outside the capital, as a way to pass the time until their arrival.

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keep calm and travel on

Although there were a few moments when time seemed to slow to a crawl, the first six months of our Kigali tour flew by pretty quickly. We celebrated the midway point of our first year in Rwanda with a two-week trip to Namibia with S’s parents. We had spent a long time poring over the itinerary and were looking forward to sharing Munchkin’s affections – and care – with his grandparents almost as much as nana and zadie were looking forward to seeing their only grandson. But first, we had to reach Windhoek for our rendezvous – and inter-country travel in Africa is never a straightforward proposition.

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