There are no sports leagues in Angola, at least not ex-pat ones. So a parent at LIS started regular soccer tournaments for the kids to get experience playing. Every 6 weeks (or so) there is a tournament at the school, it starts in the morning and you play until about 12. This last tournament was Sophie’s first, she didn’t really want to do it last year (there are only a few girls who sign up to play), but we figured if we signed her up for the first one, it wouldn’t be so hard to get into it. Luck of all luck – Jeff was assigned to be her coach and her friends Toby and Kennedy were on her team. She had a lot of fun, and by the end of the tournament she was getting into the game. The games are short, 5 minute halves… and they play round robin with the 2 top teams playing a championship game. Toby was our all-star and scored almost all our goals. Our team made it to the championship game… but lost (to the same team who had dealt us our only loss of the tournament). Sophie enjoyed herself and our next tournament it this coming Saturday (along with a birthday party and the MB Thanksgiving party… just in case we didn’t have anything to do!). Hopefully she will enjoy it even if her friends aren’t on her team. (They rank each player and then divide them up amongst the teams to make each team as even as possible for each tournament) Here are some pictures from the day.
One night while hanging out at the Carroll’s, it was suggested by a few men of altered mental status that a redneck party would be a fabulous way to say goodbye to a family leaving our MB family. I took the idea and ran with it… so we had a redneck party on the grassy knoll in A block (AKA the ghetto of MB, and the farthest reaches of our community) not our normal party location. We set up several pop up tents (and then added sheets to block the direct sun), and about 15-20 camp chairs. We also had picnic blankets and an electric fan with the cord running across the street into the house located there (as seen in the corner of the first picture).
We had frisbee golf and beanbag toss games set up. We pulled a couple grills into the street and had ourselves a fabulous ghetto time.
It was SO hot when we started (not my best idea to start at 2 pm on a summer day in Angola), so Vivian had Charlie’s driver bring a kiddie pool… and our redneck party was complete when he drove down the circle holding onto a plastic pool on top of his car! We filled that pool up from an empty house nearby and it didn’t take long before all the kids had cooled off by sitting in the pool.
The day cooled down eventually, but we kept it nice and classy by making mixed drinks on top of the coolers, letting the kids run amok in the street (we were at the end of a drive – we aren’t totally crazy) and by finally having a lobster boil in the driveway of our friends home (we may be ghetto but our food was delicious) – we are pretty awesome!
I should include as a follow up to this post that the kiddie pool is still sitting in the grassy area of A block… it has yet to be claimed (and the original owners now are in California). Jeff has suggested digging a hole and making it a below ground pool for the folks who live in A block… they are not on board!
We took the opportunity to go to the farther beach over the 3 day weekend a couple weeks ago. It is such a great beach (but doesn’t have any facilities… and we pack in our own lunches). But it is a lot of fun, and we had a good sized group of people to play with and visit with!
The kids had a lot of fun running through the waves.
They also enjoyed playing and digging in the sand (as did Dave and Yvonne):
Catherine was nice enough to take Violet out in the waves while Sophie was boogie boarding (though the waves weren’t that great for boogie boarding, apparently).
There was a lot of visiting and fun times, and Hattie put her toe in the ocean for the very first time.
We had so much fun and were super worn out by the time we were ready to go home. Fun times in Angola!
I can’t believe Ms. HG has been in our family for 3 months! Seriously, every time I have a newborn I have this same feeling- I can’t believe they have been around for such little time, but they feel like they have belonged forever… we do love having her around!
Little girl is such a smiley girl (unless she is hungry, she goes from happy to super hangry in about 1 second… it is a feat, to say the least). She is so spoiled and loved here! She is always being held, and at every party (and we have had quite a few to test this theory) she is passed around from person to person… I thought she would be the child I always could locate… but she is just as hard to find as the other 2! There are a few normal suspects who have her, but she really is the doll of MB.
Silly girl has found her hands and is loving them, she sucks on them a lot and makes funny slurpy noises… she also wrings her fingers together in a funny way when she is calm and happy.
Hattie is NOT, I cannot emphasize this enough, NOT a good napper. She sleeps for little bits at a time, but the Moby Wrap is my saving grace, often times if I bundle her up and walk around a bit she conks out for at least a little bit of time, if not for a normal nap period of time! Then I just have to eat over her head, or cook around her, or stand while helping Sophie with piano or homework… but at least she is napping!
The girls still love their sister, they can’t keep their hands off of her, sometimes the love is pretty intense! They sure are cute with her, though!
For the record books: Height: 24 1/4 inches, Weight: 12.5 pounds. Her hair is finally filling in, but still pretty dang crazy, look at the Alfalfa look she has in some of those pics (and ignore the lighting, I tried to take some good pictures for the Christmas card, but these are all unedited). She is strong and prefers standing or sitting to laying calmly. She also has no interest in tummy time, even though she is really strong and could hold her head up if she felt like it! She is sleeping well at night. She sleeps in the bassinet until 2 or 3 (about 5-6 hours) and then in my bed until sometime after 7. Since her arrival here in Angola Hattie has attending a Halloween party, so many BBQ’s at the rec center I can’t count, at least 2 pool days, 1 trip to the beach and the most epic red neck party in MB history (pics coming soon). She loves showers and baths, but is not a fan of the pool or the ocean (though both are significantly colder than bath water). She stays with my empregada without complaint (which I would expect because she is so little), but Alzira is pretty in love with HG – the other woman she works for told me that Alzira just chats forever about the baby and how cute and good the baby is. On Fridays, when I don’t have scheduled work outs, Alzira has been known to ask when I am working out, I assume so she has the baby all to herself!
Everyone loves baby Hattie Grace!
We had 2 weekends of Halloween celebrations, 1 weekend for the kids and one for the grown ups!
We started the Saturday before Halloween and had our Halloween parade, carnival and Trick or Treating. The girls decided to be Dorothy and Glinda the Good Witch. I made Sophie’s costume and my mom made Vi’s. I think they looked adorable. Poor Hattie had a cutie Snow White costume from Costco! I ran out of time and energy, though if we had stayed in cold Utah I might have made her be Toto, but it was too hot here for that plan!
The girls had fun with the different games, different crafts and getting their arms painted (as opposed to face painting). Then we walked around and trick or treated- always easy, if the house has a ghost on the door they have candy, if they don’t have a ghost you don’t ring the bell. We ended the night at Vivian and Lance’s house for dinner and fun. Here are some pictures of the night.
The next week Jeff and I got to party at Maria Teresa’s annual Halloween bash! I dressed as Katniss from Hunger Games (which was lost on a LOT of people) and Jeff was the guy from Hangover- and no that isn’t my actual baby… Hattie was home with the baby sitter. Our normal group of friends was all there, and we ended up hanging out in the conveniently accessible seating area for a lot of the evening- and then dancing- and then visiting- and then more sitting! We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the evening quite a bit! Here is an overload of pictures from the night (it was so hot that I lost my jacket and the bow and arrow throughout the night and Jeff didn’t carry the baby around for too long).
Fun times at Monte Belo!
Well, we have been back in Angola for a little over 2 weeks now… and we are back in the swing of things (sort of!). I realized I forgot a few pictures from our last few days in Utah, and thought I should share them, along with a few little things from here. I have a monster Halloween post (ha ha) coming… with way too many pictures and far too much fun.
Sophie was disappointed that she was going to miss the opportunity to dress up for school (LIS doesn’t have any Halloween celebrations) so she wore other festive clothing in the cold to make up for it!
Violet had her last official day at Ms. Sara’s… she still talks about it… she loved that school… but still doesn’t love forced pictures!
I started missing Fall and its colors… no trees like this in Angola.
Now that we are back we have settled into MB life quickly.
The girls are back at school and riding the bus (though that has been tricky for Violet… she also hasn’t participated in PE or swimming yet… but the crying has slowed and we are hopeful she will adjust soon). The both have what are considered to be the best teachers for their grades. Sophie was thrilled to get Ms. Rhena- she met her last year and likes her quite a lot. She also has her friend Toby in her class and her best friend from last year, Isadora, is there as well. Violet has Ms. Georgina who is the most patient teacher of the bunch - perfect for my shy little girl who is nervous about new things. Ms. Georgina is always willing to sit with Violet at the start of school (they start on the playground) and read stories or play games with Vi.
We have already started or crazy weekend schedule, rife with parties, potlucks and park days/pool days. I know, it is tough! Tomorrow we head to the beach with a group of friends. We had some friends over for dinner last week and this is how the kids watched part of the movie:
6 of them piled onto the glider. Sami, Allie, Toby, Chase and my girls… those kids all play so well together (and have too much fun). Unfortunately, Sami and Allie leave next week for the states and Toby and Chase move to the Philippines after Christmas. Let’s not even mention how sad I am that their parents are going with them. Thank goodness we have Disney with Sami and Allie to ease our pain this December!
We headed over to a friends house to visit, and Nathan, in his attempt to get my girls to like him, turned on Tinkerbell and gave them Cheetos and pretzels to win their affection!
My friend Jen has been watching HG while I had tennis lessons, I walked in the other day to see HG chillin’ all happy. Adorable!
When my good friend Jessica was visiting town (and Jeff was still here), we asked her to take some pictures of Hattie. I can’t even express to you how much I love the pictures that she took! She is so talented and so nice to use part of her vacation to work. Here are my favorite shots from the day- overkill, maybe, but I couldn’t narrow it down anymore than I did, sorry!
Sort of… we have been trying to do an awful lot before we leave for Angola. So, here is a peek of what has been happening to the McKissicks- Utah version!
Sophie is getting to be such a big girl… she really is growing up and it makes me sad some days… but she is so fun right now, and so excited about things, and, usually, a big help.
We headed to the school carnival, late, but the girls got to do some rides, and see friends, so that was fun!
We ate some killer Middle Eastern food… that platter was GIANT… seriously!
We tried to buy apple cider… ended up picking peaches and apples at the farm- they were out of cider, so sad!
We visited Scheel’s, rode the Ferris wheel and had some ice cream, and saw fish… that place is crazy huge!
It snowed- on the 4th of October… so Sophie got to wear an old sweater of mine (my Grandma knit that sweater for me, isn’t it amazing!).
We watched a lot of baseball… I enjoyed an afternoon game with just Hattie, a plate of nachos and enjoyed being able to chat with Jeff while it happened (he was still awake!). My favorite part of the last game of the season (for the only team that matters) was when Sophie came downstairs to say it was time for dinner. She saw the game was on, said, “The A’s are playing, and you didn’t tell me?!?” Then she proceeded to flop down on the air mattress and watch an inning before Grandma hollered at us to eat. That girl is getting to be such a treat!
Hattie and I flew to Houston one Tuesday afternoon, she appeared in person at the Angolan Consulate to be fingerprinted, and then we flew home Wednesday evening. Her first plane ride, and it was the fastest trip ever, but it happened and accomplished everything it needed to. Visa is now in hand!
For Red Ribbon Week the school had Super Hero dress up day, and Sophie went as Storm (from the X-Men).
I have been soaking up as much time looking at and enjoying the mountains… I sure love seeing those gorgeous mountains, and miss them a whole ton when I am not here… beautiful!
That is about all… there has been more- the girls and grandma enjoy Jump Around Utah… but I never take pictures, I just play with them. They have also been enjoying cousin time, aunts and uncles and serious quality time with Grandma and OGO… it has been really nice having the girls enjoy some good time with them, we have never lived nearby and so this is more fun time than they usually get!
It has been a fast month, and baby girl is getting so big! At her appointment yesterday she weighed in at 10 pounds 14 ounces and 23 inches. That puts her in the 55% for weight and 75th for height.
Little girl continues to eat well and sleeps pretty good at night. Most of the time I only wake up one time at night to feed her, and then she wakes up about when my alarm goes off for her next bottle. She is a strong girl, she holds her head up great, she loves trying to stand (as did her sisters… I am guessing this means early walker again) and she just wants to be held and played with and talked to. She coos and makes cutie noises that I love and she is getting really good at smiles. I haven’t caught a good one on camera… but when I do, you will see it! She loves when her sisters play with her and smiles the most then!
Her hair is getting long, though the bulk remains on the back of her head… so she still has the craziest hair. I get that she looks like Jeff A LOT! I see a lot of my girls in her, so that means she is probably a good mix of both of us. Her eyes are still super dark brown and they are big and alert throughout the day.
We sure do love this little girl, and Daddy can’t wait to see her this weekend!
I took advantage of being back in the states and signed the girls up for a couple of extra curricular activities. Sophie was in piano and we tried for T-ball, but they were full… so when she heard Violet was taking gymnastics she wanted to do that as well.
Violet was one of 2 in her class, and her coach was just fabulous! Super cute, nice, sweet and accepting of my little girl who generally takes a good 10 minutes to warm up. She had a great time… she loved jumping in the foam pit, jumping on the trampoline and perfecting her somersaults and backward rolls. She also did pretty well on the bar, but complained it hurt her hands. Sorry the pictures aren’t great quality, but the light isn’t great in the gym… still, I wanted to document the cutie girl as she worked hard!
Sophie also did great… the time of her class was SO busy, about 5 classes at one time, so it was hard to get as many pictures… but I tried. She really tried hard and learned a lot, she got quite good at bars… which I always stunk at!
I love that the girls were able to do some classes and learn a little something new.