Monday, July 27, 2015

Reunions & Repatriation

Repatriation.

It’s a thing.  We don’t know yet if we are here in the US of A for good or just for now, but I’ve been here long enough to catch a glimpse of the repatriation process.

For starters, you feel a little lost.  Like you should feel at home and yet home doesn’t feel quite as much like home anymore.  I consider myself as American as they come - Republican, barred in Virginia (and thus uniquely tied to the legal soil of this country), Mormon, mommy blogger.  

And yet, walking down the non-sidewalk in my push chair (make that stroller), buggy board (non-existent here but for New York as far as I can tell), denim draw-string dress, Oxfords, and wide-brimmed straw hat in suburbia Wisconsin (visiting the sister with nine chillens till our rental opens up in New Hampshire) with my bubs (make that babies) in a mix of European and American attire, I feel like a bit of a spectacle for the minivans making a wide birth to my right.  All I wanted was a Sunday afternoon walk.  

Or when I tell people where I’ve moved from, or when they ask if I’ve had such and such product, or seen such and such on TV.  It’s not that things are lost in translation, it’s that there are no *things* to translate.  Add being Mormon and working in a self-created niche profession, and I might as well be from Mars.

Anyone out there have advice/gone through this before?   

In other news, my kids seem to be doing just fine.  The last few weeks have been full of family and reunions, and they have relished getting to know their cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles better.


We met up first with my mom in St. George and enjoyed what else - Cafe Rio!
this little girl got lots of love

These two reunite.  It's a mutually destructive/hilarious relationship.



my kids have never been so hot as they have been here

first hike in Zion's of the trip


Can you tell which are the iPhone pics, which the DSL?



Then we met up with my dad and Janet and her kids for another reunion in St. George. John John (named after my dad) was about as much of a joy as Esther - always gleeful, although not quite so big!








Yes, that's me with the whitest foot and leg.






Thanks to these Cedar City locals in the fam, we got into Taming of the Shew at the Shakespeare Festival!

And went on another hike in Zion's!  Gotta make that $30 entrance fee pay.











Lovin the Waffle Love.



Paddle boarding along side the man in the mask (aka Thad) was so much fun. Photo credit Jamie Garlick.

Photo credit Jamie Garlick

The whole fam damily (minus a few who couldn't come)! Photo credit Jamie Garlick

Photo credit Jamie Garlick

My adorable niece Abigail.



My dad's shirt proving true as my dad mapped out our journey to SLC rather than Googling it. :-)

Janet's outlived her cancer diagnosis by more than a year. Impressive.



Then it was to Salt Lake City for two days of work for me and then on to the Toler farm.






G loves his poppy.

Lance learned how to ride the tractor


G finally braves the "motorcycle tractor," aka the ATV



G learned to somersault on the farm.  When he is upset now, he'll do a  somersault, often on hardwood floors.  Ouch.




We then took the California Zephyr in a sleeper car to California.  It was about four hours too long, but otherwise very enjoyable.


G finally got to know Levi.  These two are so much alike it's sometimes scary! 

"I'm just having a little chat with the baby."




"It's surprisingly soothing to have a snake around one's neck!"


And we got to celebrate Suz' birthday while there!

Small Wonders:

  • Gideon has started to say “OK” when I ask him to do things, rather than “no.”  It’s adorable.  
  • G repeats everything - including when my dad said Jackson Hole, WY (another place we considered living) had “sexy marketing appeal” 
  • G also sings at random.  I often hear bits and pieces of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and The Wheels on the Bus.  The other day while driving in Vegas he surprised me by singing what sounded like bits of “I Am a Child of God.”  Sure enough, turns out he knew it.  He will often request “Child of God” now, “tra la la” (a bootleg version of “I Love You Truly” my parents sang to us when going to sleep), “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Wheels on Bus,” “Wheels on Bus Tractor” (please moderate The Wheels on the Bus to a tractor version), “ABCs,” “Prayer” (“A Child’s Prayer), and “Prophet” (Follow the Prophet).  He continues to request specific people sing specific songs, and he will let you know if he gets bored or doesn’t like your singing by interrupting with “No no, different song!” or “No song!” with appropriate gesticulation.   He somehow knows what are religious songs and what are not, and if he’s not in the mood, will say “No Jesus Song!” Cute.  Or something.
  • G's picked up on a few things we haven't specifically taught him, like "Thank you so much," "Oh, so cute!," "stop it!" and "stinky feet" (from his cousin, Truman)
  • Esther so much in the last few weeks I can hardly stand it.  She can go from sitting to lying position like a pro, and has start to realize she is mobile - she can rotate at will and back up on her tummy.  She's desperate to crawl.  She's also started bouncing/kicking when excited.
  • E's also particularly adept at communicating.  She's learned a sign - milk, and will smile to a yes or no question if it's a yes.  She's also started babbling in ways that sound like words - she's saying things that sound like "dada" "Logan" (her favorite cousin), and her little cousins today swore she said "Esther." Logan got her started by saying "ah" to her, which she will say back in succession when prompted, particularly by Logan.
  • She's gotten opinionated over night.  She doesn't like certain foods and will spit them out immediately. 
  • She can hold a food pouch and suck food out of it like a pro - so helpful!
  • She is the most joyful little baby you've ever met.  Happy doesn't cut it.  She smiles when looked at, belly laughs at short notice, chortles at her food, and will go to strangers who smile at her.  She is also exceptionally loud in her joy, often embarrassingly so.