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gros malin

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Wasn't Halloween, like, yesterday?! And next week is already December....

We were all sick for most of the weekend. In order of severity, MoBob, myself, and Z. Z actually was fine, though his asthma seemed to act up at night with more coughing. I took a lot of preventive meds and took Monday off. MB was the worst and he's traveling to South Africa today (!) so I was concerned that he'd be stuck even more miserable than usual one of the longest commercial flights.

We managed to rouse ourselves to attend an activity at Tudor Place. It was OK - Thanksgiving-themed circle time with songs, stories, and ending with coloring - Z seemed to enjoy the giant Legos the most. I was hoping for a glimpse of the actual house but we stayed in an auxiliary building. Perhaps where the farm manager lived? If we were feeling better we would've walked up the street to Dumbarton Oaks but we went straight home to sleep instead.

Toddlers running wild around antiques!

I felt well enough to join a fireside for the launch of Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings on Saturday evening. I had met the authors on previous occasions and I was thrilled to see essays by many women whom I've come to admire and a few I've met in person. We had a good discussion about the selection process.

On Sunday our congregation had the honor of welcoming President Nelson for our chapel dedication. I wonder if he noticed our rainbow pins? Our new chapel is absolutely gorgeous and I burst into tears upon entering.

Z wanted to wear the big shoes for the big event.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with several other families. I made sweet potato casserole and garlicky green beens (the secret is the flavor packet from instant ramen). We are very lucky and thankful to have the life we have.
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Last week was unusually busy social-wise. On Thursday, I saw a number of my MoFem friends at the THRIVE Gulu fundraiser at one of my favorite restaurants, Hank's Oyster Bar. On Friday, I tried out Endo Sushi with a friend, and snuck a trip to Container Store afterwards.

On Saturday, we met with a friend from high school and met her friend (new friend!) at District Kitchen for brunch. I was impressed that the bacon strips were carefully served in the form of a star. We went on to a birthday party - we arrived early so we entertained the birthday girl while the parents set up.

The birthday girl on the pool balcony.

The birthday highlight was a lady clown who performed Motown songs with socially responsible messages like "Don't smoke!" After the party MoBob took Z home for a nap and I went on to Tysons Corner to meet my friend and her tween daughter and daughter's friend for a big snack at Nordstrom Cafe. Then we attended a performance of the Go Go Symphony at a gorgeous modern church. We'd seen GGS at the Atlas theater earlier this year and it was just as much fun this time. The musicians looked like they were really enjoying themselves.

As a Green Line resident I appreciated the Green Line Symphony.

On Sunday, we ventured way out into the burbs to visit with two friends and their families who had stayed with me in Rabat. I was impressed that they both kept detailed journals and read out loud excerpts of their visit and the rest of their trip throughout Africa.

The small human is not so small anymore.
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I've been meditating for five minutes every morning. I listen to a guided meditation on my iPhone while lying down in the dark, so sometimes I fall asleep again.

Z has been promoted to the next class up. His teachers evaluated him as "very bright." This is fourth class in the two years he's been at the daycare, which just seems so fast.

I've been re-vamping my wardrobe, probably too rapidly for MoBob's budget. I've decided that I don't want to deal with anything that requires dry-cleaning or ironing or shapewear. I feel a little nostalgic for some items of clothing, but I just can't be bothered.

Luckily our new housekeeper not only cleans but also does laundry. We still have to put our clothes away but already we have experienced a big time savings.

MB didn't have the day off so Z and I met our friends at Bullfrog Bagels and then enjoyed a performance of Point A to Point B. I suspect that Z enjoyed the bus ride to and from H St. more than anything else.
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I wouldn't say Z is experiencing the terrible two's, but his favorite word is still NO, now shrieked at an impressive volume.

Breakfast date with bagels.

New toys: Magnatiles from Craigslist.

Learning to put things away.

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Although it seemed as if we did a lot this past weekend, we did squeeze in two long-ish (at least two hours) delicious naps. Actually the Saturday nap wasn't as fulfilling, as Z insisted on playing, so while MoBob and I managed to doze on and off, it was like sleeping in a construction site.

We had a team lunch on Friday at the Founding Farmers in Tysons. I'd only been to the one in town before, and this branch had a distinctly wealthy and sleek suburban vibe.

Saturday was rainy and gloomy but we made our way to Takoma Park for singing time in French with Madame Marie, who noted how much Z had grown.

We ran a couple of errands and then home for the aforementioned nap, then MB took Z to the Alliance Française to see A Monster in Paris as part of the Kids Euro Festival. I thought I had my Relief Society training at that time, but it was actually on Sunday, so I huddled in bed with a pile of magazines.

That evening the rain had cleared somewhat and we decided to attend Side Yards, which was kind of like a mini-carnival on the Anacostia. We ran into Z's daycare friend and his family, and saw lots of other friends from a distance.

The balloon animal lady on stilts.

The Primary Program at church was a delight, as it always is. Sunday's weather was absolutely gorgeous and we took advantage by visiting the duck pond and followed by a stroll along the Washington Channel to the Titanic Memorial.

Back home, Z and I settled down for a nap, MB returned home, I attended the Relief Society teacher training, and then we enjoyed a tagine together. And thus another weekend ended.
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Halloween was a hit or miss affair when I was kid, and MoBob didn't really experience the madness until we moved back to the US. So planning Halloween for Z was fun for both of us. I tried to appreciate the reality that this is probably the last year that I can tell Z what to wear.

I wasn't this committed to a costume though.

We visited the Alliance Française for crafts, games, and storytime.

We recycled the outfit from the SCOTUS-themed birthday party earlier this year so that Z can dress up as an activist judge. We went T or T-ing around the complex and ended the evening at a low-key costume party.

Growing up in California I was familiar with the Day of the Dead, and I was happy to take Z to the celebration at the National Museum of the American Indian. Here Z is contemplating the Virgin Mary/Eve/Heavenly Mother.

We visited the library afterwards and then the duck pond.

Z looooves flashlights so while MB had a conference call last night we set up "camp" in the living room and watched the light's magic.
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About once a year I am seized by an urge to *do something* about my appearance. This time my urge was manifested by a visit to Sephora, where, luckily, I had a Filipino-Am consultant.

Now my make up routine is: (all the products are Sephora or Neutrogena unless otherwise noted)

highlighter (finally splurged on YSL's touche éclat)

eyebrow pencil/brush
eyeshadow shimmery (beige and brown in one palette)

cheek stain (Tarte - has lasted 2+ years now)

lip pencil (NARS Sephora freebie)
lip color (Clinique's Almost Lipstick in black honey - also lasts forever)

As Dolly Parton said, "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."
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The days are getting shorter and darker but we love fall in Washington DC!

Someone wanted to wear Babba's shoes.

Lots of Halloween crafting.

One Saturday we saw our favorite local band, Rocknocerous.
Here they are with Bob Dorough, one of the original voices on Schoolhouse Rock. I was at the anniversary concert at the Kennedy Center as a preggy lady.

Then on to the Halloween train at Cabin John Regional Park.

The next Saturday we were excited for Z's first cinema experience: Miffy the Movie. The screening was sponsored by the Dutch Embassy as part of the Kids Euro Festival. Z paid rapt attention for the entire 70 minutes.

A mini-Polaroid hug with Miffy.

Giant Miffy.

Celebrating Miffy's 60th birthday courtesy of Georgetown Cupcakes.
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October's theme was "family and home." We're lucky to have a cozy home full of cuddles. We try to live by: "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." (Doctrine & Covenants 109:8)

We talked about our family photos.

We played with the finger puppet family.

We built with H blocks.

And with Lincoln Logs.

We enjoyed reading "The Family Book." All families love hugs!

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