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gros malin

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We went to IKEA to purchase a new bedframe and no one cried. We all displayed remarkable restraint.

I took the 30N bus all the way from Friendship Heights to Anacostia. I saw the whole sweep of the District of Columbia. Once we were in Anacostia I saw some surprisingly lovely sights: a fire station with a tower, a tennis lesson under flowering trees, and prosperous-looking red brick houses.

source: wikipedia

I attended an event on gender and climate change and shared the elevator on the way up with Femi Oke, formerly of CNN and now of Al Jazeera, and on the way down with Mme the Liberian minister of gender, children, and social protection. You can see me in the video way at the end, at about 1:10:01.

Even though it was cloudy, the cherry blossoms were still lovely.

We learned about jazz at the Smithsonian.

Miss Elaine showed us how to play our "instruments" in front of a jazz painting in the Hirschorn.

We took a double selfie.

We enjoyed the view from the leather lounge.

And then contemplated the fountain in the Sculpture Garden.

Then MoBob took the Nephew-in-Law shopping at Potomac Mills while Baby Z chauffeured around Paddington Bear.
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My trip to Rwanda was unexpectedly postponed and I was happy to spend a weekend at home.

We enjoy a SCOTUS-themed birthday for an adorable one-year-old. Only in Washington DC! On Sunday we attended a ​Mimouna brunch, a Jewish Moroccan tradition. We were packed into Shalom House, a lovely building near Dupont Circle, but left after half an hour or so because it was a little too crowded, even for couscous. We decamped instead to Yards Park to enjoy the gorgeous weather.

Future Supreme Court Justice?

We were ready to roll in the tricycle.

"Working" in the community garden.

Bored at Yards Park (but perked up with ice cream).
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Story time with Guy le Coq at the Alliance Française.

Easter crafting.

Birthday boy.

Receiving an Easter butterfly from Rev.  Martha.

Successfully hunting!

After an Easter afternoon walk around Old Town Alexandria, the birthday boy had his mini-cheesecake.


Annual family photo shoot.

I enjoyed two books set in Washington, The Bullet (Georgetown) and Nice to Come Home to (Adams Morgan).

I managed to attend two weeknight events, a launch of technical resources by our implementing partners, and the monthly meeting of a group devoted to restoring churches in my parents' home province.

MoBob's nephew is here from France for a couple of months, to hang out and work on his MBA thesis. Unfortunately he was detained at immigration for a couple of hours, despite his French passport. I hope the rest of his stay will be less stressful.

Off to Rwanda for two weeks on Friday.
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The daycare teachers now provide the worksheet with the monthly theme and I'm so happy that I can reinforce the theme at home with supplementary activities and in French. March was for animals and I'm sure Baby Z was the only child with a photo of himself on a donkey. April's theme is gardens and although I'll be in Rwanda for a big chunk of the month I hope that MoBob will at least take Baby Z to the local community plot.

We ended last week with BBQ at Willie's in Navy Yard, where Baby Z flirted shamelessly with the server.

Saturday was cold and windy, perfect for a kite festival on the National Mall if uncomfortable for small humans.

The pinwheel was fun while it stayed intact.

Sunday was bright and warmer so we headed across town to the beautiful playground at the Beauvoir School. We will definitely return!
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Weekends are as busy as usual. Last weekend we went to tot gymnastics, then a baby shower, and then we left Baby Z in the capable hands of a former intern while MoBob went to one concert (Saidi Fikri) and I went with a friend to another (Go-Go Symphony).

Sunday was MB's birthday, and we went to see Blossom's Rainbow with my mommy (and daddy I suppose) group, then lunch afterward at Waterfront Market. We closed out the day by visiting a showroom of Moroccan goods, where it was just like another slow Sunday afternoon in Morocco - lounging around on cushions, watching TV, eating cookies, and listening to people drone on.

All dressed up.

Lost in the parachute.

Calling his broker? Or his agent?
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I was really happy to see my friends there, and proud of their role in the revolution. I was sad to see that our charming little house was replaced by a government office.

Our flight out of Washington was delayed due to weather, so I ended up spending the night in Roissy, the strange little town dwarfed by the airport. There was a charming central village surrounded by clusters of hotels. Really a place of transients. It was too late for me to venture into Paris proper (an hour away) so I took the free shuttle to a huge shopping mall called Aeroville. I was not successful in locating anything with Tro-Tro the Donkey, but I did see a very fancy McD’s where you order on a touchscreen.

Just hanging out.

Little granary!

Suspicious cattle.

Bicycle pump.

Peeking into the latrine.

Admiring Zacky's photo.

Our constituents.
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I’m the only one of our three person team in the office now, and it’s been exceptionally crazy with illness and snow days and workloads and SO MANY DEADLINES. It’s St. Paddy’s Day today (I’m wearing red to protest the generations of Irish priests who colonized the Philippines) and we are looking back to the day before Valentine’s Day.

For the first time we went to see a women’s basketball game at Georgetown. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to see the marching band and the cheerleaders, just as for a men’s game. (except that the men play in Verizon Center, and not on campus). Even though the Lady Hoyas lost, the game was memorable for an attempt to promote kale. There was even a blogger from the Atlantic who interviewed us, among other fans.

The next day we went to a free class at JW Tumbles. Although we were in another subterranean indoor playroom, it was still fun, and Baby Z seemed to enjoy the variety of activities and the pacing. Afterwards we visited Barston's Child's Play; we had already visited the Chevy Chase store, and here we got Baby Z’s first set of Legos (Duplos, really). The friendly young man at the register agreed that Pink Floyd was not the most appropriate music for a toy store but it was his manager’s choice. We thought of going to the National Portrait Gallery’s Chinese New Year celebration (in Chinatown, or “China Block”) but we weren’t able to find parking and by then Baby Z had fallen asleep. We saw a two-person mini-dragon and got Shake Shack burgers to go.



While I was gone, and when I was back, Baby Z enjoyed the snow.

We did however visit the ER, but Baby Z pulled through, and we watched several movies on the Disney Channel.

He knows the medical scene well enough to look professional.

The first weekend after my return, we watched the production of Sunny and Licorice and a performance by Mr. Skip during the Intersections Festival and followed by lunch at Star & Shamrock, the famous Jewish-Irish pub. On International Women’s Day, I joined an ordained woman Catholic priest in dialogue for the Equal in Faith DC event, and then we all had dinner at Marx Café, which was more capitalist than its name implies.

At work I was flattered to be asked to join an interview panel for my same position but in another office. My field is a very tight sorority and of course I knew half the candidates. I remember what it was like to be on the other side of the table so keenly.

Baby Z started up tot gymnastics again after a brief hiatus; he was a little hesitant but seemed to retain a lot of muscle memory and willingly lifted his foot up for a stamp, for which the instructor praised him because apparently almost two year olds don’t spent a lot of time balancing on one foot. We went to see Blue at Imagination Stage, and Baby Z fell in love with the flower festooned jacket. We then met up with P at an empty French restaurant but I satisfied my salty vampire cravings with real anchovies. Baby Z had his first real playdate, with a little boy from church, and I hung out with the mom while MoBob weathered a trip to Costco. Afterwards I met a young woman who’d asked for an info interview at Paul Bakery near Archives metro, and then I went home to two sleepy guys and prepared my lesson for Relief Society. It went well enough, as these things go.
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I will be spending the last two weeks of the shortest month of the year in Burkina Faso. Faithful readers will recall that this blog actually started during our sejour in Ouaga, and we have many fond memories. I’m looking forward to catching up with new and old friends, though as always I will miss my guys with abandon.

I read somewhere that there are only X number of Saturdays until one’s sweet-tempered child becomes a surly adolescent. So I calculated, via the magic of the internet, that there were only 522 Saturdays between Baby Z’s 2nd and 12th birthdays. Subtract random days for illness, travel, etc. and the prospect becomes even more depressing. Since Baby Z arrived this blog has really become a chronicle of Saturdays, and now they are even more precious than ever.

So the first Saturday of February was quite action-packed. We spent the morning at the Air and Space Museum, to watch One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure, which was projected onto the round surface of the Einstein planetarium. The movie showed Big Bird and Elmo joining their Chinese friend to explore the sky. We hadn’t visited the museum in a long time so we walked around with Baby Z. More accurately, he ran around and we followed him.

Who knew that there was a fake dog in a museum of flying objects?
fake dog air and space

Afterwards we had lunch at Takorean which was pretty good. I love bulgogi in any form. Then we went shopping at Harris Teeter. Though it’s not as close as the neighborhood Safeway, it’s an infinitely more pleasant experience. I’ve never had to tweet complaints about HT. Plus there is a special “family” parking spot and Baby Z loves the shopping carts that he can “drive.”

We got home in time for a play date with Valentine crafts. Really it was more of a get-together for adults to chat and kids to run around. Then I joined ladies from church to say goodbye to a lovely friend at Red Rocks. MoBob and I were stunned at how much H St. had changed.

We didn’t do any of these heart animals.
valentine craft

After church on Sunday, the weather was so balmy that I took Baby Z to the local playground and then we visited the library for doggy story time. When we got home we joined MB for a Skype video call with my parents, who were so thrilled with Baby Z throwing long-distance kisses at them.

Practicing blowing bubbles.
2015-02-08 13.53.19

More drawing!
2015-02-08 14.23.41

Everyone was attentive.
2015-02-08 14.46.40
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I realized that every time MoBob leaves the country we have terrible weather. This time it was cold, windy, and occasionally snowy and rainy. We survived nicely enough, and now MB is back, with his ihram (white robes worn in Mecca), and a passel of photos, including one posed in front of the Victoria's Secret that he was not allowed to enter.

We visited the beautifully decorated Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center for a family event on diversity. We had a story, an activity, and a snack before trooping over to the National Museum of African Art. There we talked about colorful fabric and read a story about kente cloth in Ghana. The we walked over to the National Gallery of Art ice rink before the howling cold wind finally drove us home.

Serious work.
smithsonian 1 jan 2015

More serious work.
smithsonian 2 jan 2015

The Zamboni is fascinating at any age.
nga zamboni jan 2015

The Super Bowl XLIX tantrum. (because he wanted to use a toy truck to play the xylophone.)
superbowl tantrum 2015
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