Monday, August 31, 2009

Luka is Growing Up

Tomorrow is Luka's first day of Montessori School. I can't believe how grown-up he is. He amazes us everyday. I think that we are more nervous for Luka's first day of school than Luka is. He keeps running around the house saying, "School, school, school." I think he is really looking forward to it.

Let's see how he does...for now I will leave you with this collage of Luka's latest faces. They were all taken within the last 30 days. Isn't he a character?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Introducing Evan Pitan

Today, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy - Evan Pitan. He weighed 9 lbs 4 oz. He was a little bigger than his big brother Maxwell, but from the photos he could be his clone. I am so happy for my sister, Wole and Maxwell. They are so excited to have this new bundle of joy in their lives and who wouldn't...he is so delicious.

As soon as I heard the Skype voicemail of my sister saying, "In labor...I am 9 cm dilated...whoo...whoo...whoo" I called her and she was already holding Evan. Okay, I have to admit that not being there for the birth has had me a little down. I will never forget the present my sister gave me when she made me part of Maxwell's birth. It is still something that I will always remember and still gets me a little emotional when I think about it. But circumstances being what they are I couldn't make it to Miami this month. But being able to talk to her and having her call me as it was happening makes me almost feel like I am there with them.

After I spoke to my sister and Wole I called Maxwell (he was with Grandma and Grandpa). As soon as he got on the phone he yelled, "Tia Melissa I have a little brother!." His excitement was infectious and even Luka on the other end of the call was saying,"Brother, Baby, Brother." You can see how in love Maxwell is with Evan in this photo. He couldn't look more proud to be a big brother.

Moqui, Wole and Maxwell congratulations and please give Evan a hug and BIG kiss from his aunt, uncle and cousin in Maputo.

To see more from Evan's first day click here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A little jealous...

My friends Dan & Danielle recently had a beautiful summer trip in Cuba. Okay, so I have always said that I will go to Cuba when it is free...but I think that I have changed my mind. I don't want to miss out on seeing Cuba how it is now and see the real country and see the current Cuban experience first hand. I think that one day when big changes finally happen in Cuba the country will change overnight.

I will never get to see the Cuba my grandparents and parents talk about, but I think that even to this day Cuba has a special mystic and character that will not be there in the future.

Thank you Dan & Danielle for sharing the photos!

PS This is not an endorsement for Cuban Holidays...but if you do go to Cuba stay with a local family and not a fancy hotel.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tribute to Ted Kennedy 1932-2009

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican you have to acknowledge and salut his service to our country. This man certainly made mistakes in his past, but he was a real person committed to real problems and serving real people.

Yesterday we lost one of this country's great leaders. His passion and conviction led to many great things for our nation - civil rights, medicare, children's health care and much more.

Take 8 minutes to pay tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy. There is also a great article here.

Potty Training 101

Okay, I think I need some advice or help when it comes to potty training. A couple of weeks ago Luka did wee in the toilet for the first time (picture above). But then he sort of stopped. There were a couple of days when he would scream and cry at the sight of the toilet. Now we are back to the point when he says, "Luka pee-pee in the toilet." So we sit him down and then he makes noises as if he is going, but nothing. Purely for is quite cute actually.

How can I get him to actually wee in the toilet? Please help.

Attention Fashion Police

Okay, so everyone knows I can be a little controlling (but in a good way). One of the things I always like to have say over is Luka's fashion sense. I know I am his mother, but his boy is one of the best dressed in Maputo. I really love children's clothing and Luka's closet is a testament to that.

But last week I was out running some errands and I called Elizabeth (the nanny) and asked her to put long sleeves and pants on Luka so I could pick him up and take him on tour around town with my friend that was visiting. I usually lay out the clothes, but this time I was in a hurry so I just called her.

Well, when I got home this is what I found (notice that every item, even the socks has a different pattern). I think Luka picked out the clothes himself. I hope that is the reason he decided on this ensemble out of all the great clothes in his closet.

Dani and I were laughing for about 5 minutes. He was so proud of his clothes and I couldn't bring myself to change we went around town in this outfit.

In the end it is not a big deal, but I was a bit mortified that the Fashion Police would issue me a "Uncool Mommy Citation."

Mozambique Makes National News

This past Tuesday we were crossing the South African/Mozambican border and as we were waiting in the car for JJ to process our passports on the Mozambican side and I noticed a BMW unmarked police car and tons of people gathered around smiling giving the person inside the thumbs up. I was intrigued and not sure who the person inside was. My first guess would have been some famous athlete or maybe one of Mozambique's famous singer like MC, I was wrong.

It was a notorious killer who has repeatedly escaped from jail in Mozambique. They caught him in South Africa and were bringing him back to Maputo. He is known as "Anilbalzinho." He murdered a prominent journalist, Carlos Cardoso, in 2000. This man has escaped numerous times, this was his third.

Why was everybody so happy to see him and giving him the thumbs up as if he was just voted MVP of the World Cup? I just don't get it....

To see the story on BBC click here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Safari Adventure

Recently Dani and I spent three days at Gomo Gomo Game Lodge. It is part of the Greater Kruger National Park. We were hoping to see loads of animals. Okay and not to sound spoiled because we did see lions, leopards, buffalo, zebras, giraffes and others, but we didn't see any elephants and the amounts of animals wasn't impressive.

At times as we were driving in our safari vehicle it seemed like hours would go by without seeing a single animal. That is the thing about a never know. It is the luck of the draw.

With that being said, Dani and I had a great time and we met some really nice people on the trip. The food was terrible (just being honest), but the ambiance was good. You can't have it all right!

To see more pictures click here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Girl's Night Out

Last night most of our hubby's were out of town and we wanted to give Stacy (on my right) a proper send off. She will be moving soon and we thought that a Girl's Night Out was the perfect way to say goodbye. We started off with drinks at Dani's (strapless top) house then we were off to Sassa's for drinks, dancing and some seriously entertaining people watching. We danced, but the real fun was watching other people dance to the kaleidoscope of music that this DJ was playing. In a span of 30 minutes he played Michael Jackson, Madonna's Isla Bonita, Kool and the Gang, Latin music (don't remember the names), techno, disco, Ace of Bass and other's I don't know. We had so much fun...let's not wait so long to do this again. We should make it a monthly event.

But I have to be honest with age has caught up with me. It was extremely painful to wake up the next morning after getting to bed at 2 am. How did I do it in college and just a couple of years ago? Oh, kids. Luka doesn't care that mommy was partying the night before. He likes to party early in the morning. I have to thank my friend Dani that is visiting....she let me catch a couple of more hours of sleep when she woke up. Thank you soooo much.

Some more photos from our night out...Say cheese Stacy!

What is everyone drinking? Hey where is my capirinha...they make the best ones at this bar!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Friends

Our friends the Miranda Family will be leaving Mozambique soon. For now they will head back to DC and then from there who knows where their next adventure will take them. We wanted to let them know how much we will miss them here in Maputo. I hope Raquel and the kids had a good time at the party today. I know that we will see each other soon...either in the states or in one of our upcoming posts.

It is always hard to say goodbye to the friends we make while we are living abroad, but with some you know that you will see them again. I have a feeling that Cesar and Luka will have a play date real soon!

Click here to see more photos from the party.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Splish Splash Luka's Taking a Bath

Luka absolutely love to take a bath! He also loves to pose for the camera. I call this look his "fake" smile.

More photos of Olin...

Luka and I can't wait to meet Olin on our next trip to Holland. JJ, the proud uncle was lucky enough to visit him on his recent business trip to the Netherlands. Isn't he the cutest?

Mommy and Olin...don't JJ and his sister look alike???

Here he is striking a pose with his daddy, Rick.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Having fun with Dani...

Here is a photo of the day we went to Maputo's Central Train Station. The station is beautiful and is sort of unique because there is a restaurant, bar and art gallery right on the platform of the station. Here is Dani outside of the train station. If you remember from the movie Blood Diamonds the station was used as a "hotel."

After the train station Dani joined me at an event that I had. My friend was coordinating a conference to promote business at the Port of Maputo and she asked me to have a table with the photo cards and prints that we sell of Mozambique. You can see more of the cards here. What is up with those glasses? You either love them or hate them.

Dani, decided to enjoy a coconut drink while trying to sell some cards.

She also got to see a performance from Milhoro...the same group that performed for Luka's birthday party. They are really great.

On Friday we drove 3 hours to Nelspruit and here we are enjoying a delicious lunch at Orange - the best restaurant in town.

After lunch we spent the rest of the day at the mall for some retail therapy. I was getting a little loopy as the stores were closing. I had to rush to get all the things I wanted. The stores close at 6pm. Doesn't that seem early to you?

The drive back home on Saturday was a bit of a nightmare. The line of cars that wanted to pass through the border went back 2km. It was insane!

On Sunday we went to the Southern Sun Hotel (formerly a Holiday Inn) and enjoyed some pina coladas by the pool.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What have we been up to...

Our friend Dani arrived last week and we have been busy showing her around town and hanging out with our friends from Maputo. Here you can see Luka and some of his friends last Saturday as they stare outside at the crazy rainstorm. We floated back home. The roads were is a sneak peak.

Later on in the week we took Dani to AISM (where I used to work) and Luka got to spin around and laugh at us trying to spin around as well.

We had to do some shopping so we took Dani to the Central Market.

Crab anyone?

After the market we crossed the street to Casa de Elefante (my favorite capulana store), where Dani bought some beautiful fabrics to take home. Luka gave his "thumbs up" on her final selections.

On the way home we spotted some clouds and rain in the distance.

During the week my friend Laura and I took Dani too Maputo Shopping Center for some retail therapy and coffee. Not much to buy there, but the coffee and rice cakes or "bolo de arroz" were delicious!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Digging for Crabs

Luka loves the beach and when he heard that his friends Frani and Peter go digging for little crabs on the beach he didn't want to miss out on the fun. So we all went to the beach, but the crabs were hiding out that day. It was a little cold for the little creatures to come out and play. The kids didn't find any, but they still had a good time.