We had a lovely, wonderful time this weekend. Last year J and I took the weekend to our selves and spent overnight in DC for my birthday, and we decided we’d try to make it an annual affair. Well, we managed to do it a second year in a row. My parents came down and watched the kids while we enjoyed the marvelous weather. We stayed at the Omni in Woodley Park, and after a five mile stroll down to Dupont Circle, to the White House and then across the mall, we worked up a good appetite for our late seating at Obelisk. This years meal didn’t disappoint (sweetbreads, sardines, fresh burrata for starters, chestnut tagliatelle with hare as a primi, roast guinea hen breast as my secondi, cheese and then a chocolate something with a coffee sauce – YUM). We rolled ourselves back to the hotel and slept in. Well, for us – habits die hard, so by 8 we were both awake. Spent most of the morning in bed  – watching pics and videos of the kids. (Yes, I know.) We took a walk up to Cleveland Park for another fabulous meal at Ardeo/Bardeo (the crispy brussel sprouts were to die for, and I had a steak and eggs which was *perfectly* cooked) before heading back home.  It was exactly what we needed, to take a night off and for once be a couple instead of the engine of our family. It’s the only way to keep our sanity, honestly.

But we missed the kids even during our quick trip away from them. Both of them did fine with my parents. Savita is now at the age Annika was when Savita was born, which is mind boggling to think about. Annika continues to be a riot. She’s turning into a teenage girl, I swear. The other week she said, “O. M. G.” to something, and we just about bust a gut. (That’s all J.’s fault, by the way, I never say that.) We asked her what it stood for, and she said, “O is for Octopus. M is for Mama. G is for Garden.” “Octopus, Mama, Garden.” Guess what phrase has made it into the Shah family Lexicon?

This week back on the merry-go-round. Work is thankfully steady, and it seems that one client is going to get busy soon. I’ve pretty much finished six years under my own shingle. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bored at times with the type of work that I do, but the tradeoffs are worth it. I have a to-do this week to sit down and do some strategic planning in terms of the company and the direction. I’ve taken on a couple of small clients who are frankly more annoying and demanding than they are worth.  Unfortunately I gave them a break on my rate AND promised a signed a contract with a period of performance of one year – guess who won’t be renewing?

Didn’t watch tonight’s debate. To say that I’m disenchanted is to be mild. I know who I’m voting for, but neither campaign has particularly endeared themselves to me this time around.

Sat down and reviewed the budget and did some forecasting. Almost fell off my seat when I saw what childcare + preschool costs will be next year.  Octopus, Mama, Garden!



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