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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Operation Belly Button

Last week was natural disaster week here in Northern Virginia with an earthquake early in the week and a hurricane on Saturday. Luckily, we suffered no damage from either, so we decided to end the week on a high note and complete a mission we had been postponing for six months. It had to do with Chutney’s future and his belly button. Yep, you read that right.

Let me ‘splain. Since I hail from the wondrous and oft misunderstood land of Bulgaria, I am somewhat susceptible to various superstitions and old wives’ tales, one of which says that your baby’s belly button is so powerful that it will determine his/her future. Got that?

Just to clarify, when I say belly button I mean the left over piece of umbilical cord that shrivels up to almost nothing and falls off about two weeks after a child is born. It looks like this:

IMG_1007

It’s kinda gross, I know, but it’s got strong juju, so you don’t just toss it in the trash. Oh, no! Unless you want your kid to be a garbage man, that is, for the kid’s future career is at stake.

So what do you do with the thing? Well, you think long and hard about your kid’s future and you toss the belly button at a place that matches your kid’s personality and your hopes and ambitions for him/her. For example, if you want your kid to be a soccer player, you’d toss his/her belly button at a soccer stadium; if you want him/her to be a lawyer, you’d toss it at the court house and so on, you get the idea. Some people set money aside for their kids’ college education, we toss belly buttons*. Much more cost-efficient, don’t you think?

Coming up with just one place for each of our kids’ belly buttons seemed quite limiting to us, so several years ago, when Her Cuteness was a baby, we developed a patent-pending diversification strategy for belly button tossing. It involves cutting up the little shriveled up thing into pieces and placing them in several strategic locations. In Nia’s case, since we lived in St. Petersburg, FL at the time, one piece went in University of South Florida – so she’d get a good education, the second piece went in the Salvador Dali Museum – so she’d be artistic, the third piece went in the Pointer Institute – so she’d be a great writer (like her Dad, who was a journalist at the time), the fourth piece went in a swimming pool** – so she’d be a great swimmer, the fifth piece went in city hall – in case she decided to run for mayor one day. There was one more piece, which we saved for years, so we could toss it in The White House. Yeah, that very important piece got lost in the move, ruining our daughter’s chances of ever becoming POTUS (President of the United States)!!! Unbelievable, I know – she will probably never forgive us…

So, we had to have a second child. That’s right, in case you were wondering, the only reason we had Chutney was so we could pile all of our presidential hopes on the poor little guy. No pressure, Son!

And guess where the first and largest chunk of his belly button went?

In The White House, that’s where. Or The White House garden, to be precise. It was a little tricky, with all the security guards lurking around. But we did it and here’s the proof. IMG_1049

But shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.  And don’t be surprised when he becomes president one day, alright?

But we didn’t stop there. Because being POTUS is pretty much as badass as it gets but he can’t do that forever. This is not North Korea! We have term limits, which means he has to have a regular career too, so we had to do the whole diversification strategy for him as well. So smaller belly button chunks went to Main State and the Foreign Service Institute– so he can be a diplomat like Daddy; the Capitol – so he can be a Congressman, the Kennedy Center – so he’s artistic, the World Bank, University of Maryland, the University of Maryland football stadium, and a swimming pool.

So, Operation Belly Button, Chutney Edition was completed successfully this past Sunday and now we can breathe a sigh of relief because our children are going to be OK.

Whew!

*Although to be perfectly honest we are setting some money aside for the kiddos just in case too.

**When I say in a swimming pool, I mean in the grassy area at the pool entrance, not the water itself.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Conflicted

Well, ConGen is over and that’s good, I guess but I am feeling very conflicted right now.

I jumped into ConGen and put everything else on the back burner and that’s not working as well as I thought. I am behind with pretty much everything including this blog but most importantly I feel really bad about abandoning the kids. They are home with my mom and she’s doing her best but they miss me and their Daddy terribly. It’s not going to get better for a while because it seems like I may actually get into Hindi. I am really excited about that but at the same time dreading it a little because it means that both Paul and I will be at school every work day for seven months starting Sept. 6.

It’s what every working parent has to deal with, I know, and I’ve been there before but it doesn’t make it any easier. Our daughter is starved for attention and misbehaving and our son looks so lost and sad when we leave each morning. I’ve spent the last several days trying to give the kids my time and attention and do the fun things I wasn’t able to do with them when I was at school and I am just exhausted. And I have just two kids. I don’t know how the people with more kids do it…

I am also trying to get caught up with everything else before Hindi starts but my head is one big jumble that looks/feels like this:

Wordle 
Needless to say, I am not much fun to be around right now. 
 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chutney’s 6 months old

It’s been a long time since I last blogged. I have been pretty busy with ConGen, which is going well despite all the readings, case studies, role plays and weekly exams. But I digress…

Max turned 6 months today. We are delighted to report that he is doing great considering he was a preemie. He is happy and healthy and growing like a weed… a chubby weed, that is because he has almost tripled his weight since birth (going from 7.5 to 20 lbs).

A few weeks ago he started rolling over:

and sitting up:

IMG_0935

He says Baba (grandma in Bulgarian) and Mama.

He loves people, especially his Baba, who is watching him while I am at school. He adores his big sister, who loves to entertain him by clowning around. We are all quite smitten with him and can’t get enough of his smiles and giggles.

And yes, you are looking at the same baby in the video and the picture. It’s just that I gave him a hair cut after I took the video and he looks bald in the picture.

Happy half birthday sweet Chutney!

We are beyond thrilled that we get to keep you!

 
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