Thank you all so much for your supportive comments. I am going to have to remove some for privacy but please don't take that personally.
It was a very hard several weeks. Ultimately the cons outweighed the pros. What a simple statement to summarize weeks of agonizing, googling, crying, endless long-distance phone calls, pounding on the calculator, and mentally reducing our household to whatever we could fit in a suitcase set.
We stay. I continue to read blogs written by expats doing what I want to do in Uganda, Haiti, Peru, and Sudan. Maybe someday it will be our turn.
Life has this way of continuing to hurtle you forward. In the middle of making "the big decision" - the sweetpea celebrated her 2nd birthday!!
Somehow she got it in her head that she needed a bike. She's 2! Honestly, how does she need a bike?? But she's seen the "cool kids" (you know, preschoolers) riding them and felt very strongly that a bike was her just reward for living 2 years on planet earth. We heard "bike? birthday? lemonade? bike?" every day for at least 3 weeks leading up to her birthday.
The grandparents, being suckers of the very sweetest kind, indulged her in the best of the best toddler bike and an equally exciting kitty bike helmet.
|Gearing up for the bike riding!|
|According to J, her eyes were perfect circles of amazement.|
|And she's off! An inch a minute!|
We also celebrated with a water themed birthday party. I had big plans for a water balloon toss and other activities but by the time I walked from the back door to the kiddie pool filled with water balloons the toddler gang mentality had taken over and the gang was busy pelting adults, grass, plants and the house. We made do with lots of water mister fun, water table fun, and, at Ariam's request, never ending lemonade. :)
|This picture sucks the breath out of me. She looks 18 years old already!|
|Love for Aya and love for cupcake frosting.|
|Hero worship. Ariam loves Elia. She can't get enough of her.|
|Prezzies. Lots of prezzies.|
I love you sweetpea. You are the sparkly light of our life.