January 2007 Archives

Cold Frozen Feet

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We snipped two of three pacifiers in Anna's bed tonight. Now I'm sure she'll only try out the pink one tonight so it will mean nothing! It's a night earlier than scheduled anyway; we'll see if there's a freak-out in the middle of the night, I guess. I can still attempt the original plan (telling her it is time to throw them out) tomorrow. We'll see if I have the guts to do it when I'm alone during the day.

Cold Frozen Strawberries

I'm adding a new category here: "isms." I want to remember all of the funny little things Anna says (and that Baby Girl will say, too!).

"Tore it into bite-size pieces!" (a tissue, mail, anything when made into smaller pieces)

"Cold frozen strawberries." (an ingredient in smoothies)

26 Weeks 3 Days Pregnant

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I finally met my doctor today and I really liked her. A bonus is that she speaks English very well so I didn't feel like I was straining to understand each thing she said. I told her about going in to the OB to get my membranes stripped with Anna and already being 6 cm dilated and how both my mom and sister had pretty quick deliveries with their second kids. So she said that at 39 weeks she wants me to come in every three days and once I am 3 cm they will admit me to the hospital. Part of me is OK with this plan, part of me is not. I mean, just because I was 6 cm when I went in for Anna doesn't mean that it was a quick trip from 3-6 cm. I told Craig that I am definitely going to be taking walks (on the treadmill so as to not get far away from home at all!) before those appointments so that at least I will feel like I've done as much as I can to help things along at home.

I did get to see Baby Girl again but they don't give you a printout so I can't share it with you. She is measuring on track and everything still looks good. I also passed my 1-hour glucose tolerance test.

Now on to the details of the visit: My appointment was for 8:15 but I also had to do the glucose tolerance test so I arrived at 8 AM wanting to get started on the test so I could leave at 9:15 or so (Craig stayed home with Anna for me since we knew this would be a longer appointment). I went to the OB desk and they said to go to the main reception to check in. I checked in and paid for the OB visit. Went back to the OB desk, they gave me a piece of paper to bring back to the main reception to pay for the glucose test. Why couldn't they have given that to me in the first place so I could just pay once, I do not know.

Someone took me over to the room to drink the glucose drink and when that was finished I went back to wait to see the doctor. (The receptionist tried to convince me to wait to see the doctor until after my glucose tolerance results were in but I said I'd rather just see the doctor now than wait twice.) I still had about thirty minutes to wait for the blood draw when I was finished with the doctor so I sat on a couch and just rested. Got the blood draw and was asked to wait for my results, they would be back in 15 minutes. 35 minutes later I met with some other random doctor and was told everything was normal. So, I was there for two hours and it would have been longer if I had listened to the receptionist to wait to see the OB until the results were in. I am so glad I didn't have Anna with me, but Craig was super late to his meeting because of all of that.

I go again in three weeks (2/20) and don't anticipate such an ordeal since it's just a regular checkup without any special tests being run. At some point, Craig & I need to get a tour of the labor & delivery rooms so I'll try to remember to ask about that next time.

Qtel & Sea Shipment

I called Qtel yesterday and was told someone would call my mobile. Nope. I called back today and was told they are "still experiencing technical difficulties" and Qtel will call me, I don't need to call them. I do not believe them.

Craig called the guy he worked with on the air shipment about the sea shipment and was told that our sea shipment is not here yet (our contact in Texas told us it was scheduled for yesterday). So, Craig has emailed the Texas contact to see what she has to say.

I guess part of our new daily routine is to make a phone call to Qtel and to the customs people. Too much fun!

Five More Nights

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We are still planning to make the move to a pacifier-free toddler this weekend. However, we are going to dinner at a friends' house on Thursday so it won't be until Friday at naptime that the fun will begin. I admit I am getting nervous.

The approach I think we're going to go with is to talk about how she'll not sleep with her pacifiers anymore for the couple of days beforehand and then I think I'm going to have her throw them out herself. I've already explained to her that the pacifiers are too small and that she'll be getting her big-kid-bed soon and pacifiers aren't allowed in that. I liked the idea of waiting until her 2-year checkup but am just not sure I should keep waiting and putting it off like I am. Her toddler bed should be here before then anyway (it is scheduled to arrive in Doha today) and I want to move her into that as soon as it gets here because I feel awful about her being in the Pack n' Play this long (although she's not complaining so I'm not sure why it bothers me—it just looks so uncomfortable!).

Wish us all luck and I'll be sure to report back how it all goes.

The Zapp


Anna just can't get enough of the Zapp.

Anna & I survived (although some days if felt like we barely made it) our first week alone without Craig in Qatar. I think it would have been better if we knew more people and were just a bit more settled. I think pregnancy hormones and toddlerisms aren't always the best mix though so even though this was a relatively short trip (just Monday to Saturday) for Craig, it was harder in some ways than his longer ones have been in the past.

Craig made up for it though by bringing Anna a cute little alligator puzzle, three bottles of vanilla for me, electronics for him, and a Zapp for Baby Girl (no, we did not need it but we're fools, I'm sure you'll agree).

We picked up Craig's new car today as well, and I'm hopeful he'll post at least some of the story behind it soon.

Baby Name Poll #5


99 days to go; can you stand another name poll?

Nursery School


Usually Anna cooks in her kitchen while I'm making dinner, but tonight she was "going shopping and to the ice cream shop" dressed as me!

This morning Anna & I checked out a nursery program for her for next fall. Ideally I would like to do just a mom's day out program with her maybe 1-2 half-days per week, but I haven't come across anything like that here. This is a brand new nursery and it is less than 2 km from our villa. It is Australian-run and uses the Australian & British curriculum. The fee structure is set up so the minimum is 3 days per week, but I imagine I could pay for 3 days and send her only 2 if that's what really felt right.

Part of me thinks it's silly to send your 2.5 year old out into the world when you are a stay-at-home mom, but another part of me thinks she'd really benefit from the socialization-aspect of it and for having a "big kid" thing to do after Baby arrives. Also, I think I'll really want to have some of that one-on-one time with Baby Girl like I had with Anna. Anna would go from about 8:30-11:30 or 12:00 2-3 days per week.

We can afford it so we will fill out the registration forms to get on the list for fall and give it a go. If she can't stand it we won't push it. If she loves then we'll all be glad we tried it!

25 Weeks & 4 Days Pregnant


Just another week until I finally meet my new OB! Names are still up for discussion, but I think we are settling into one more than another now. I've stopped obsessively reading my baby name books and the Internet for ideas and alternatives.

Every once in a while Baby will kick while Anna is up and around so I ask her if she wants to put her hand on my belly and feel Baby Sister. She snaps her hand over very quickly but doesn't seem to pay much attention to Baby's kicks or just doesn't notice them. Surely she doesn't "get" it, but I really think she's going to be an adoring older sister (with some jealousy at first for sure when Baby is demanding all of my attention).

Anita has her tickets to come out about a week before the due date so hoepfully she & Anna will have a good chance to bond before Baby arrives and suddenly Anna & Anita are new best friends! Of course I plan to set aside time to spend with Anna alone but I know it is going to be a great help having Nana here and then Grandma after that.

The current plan is that Anita will come for a month (that is set!--no turning back, now, Anita!) and then my mom will come for a month (with a week in between to give us a break from someone else in the house). The rest of that plan is that Anna, Baby Girl, and I will fly back with my mom to Colorado and stay there for a month (spending half our time with my family, the other half with Craig's). Craig will come for part of that trip and fly back with me and the kids (this way I don't have to do either flight alone with the girls).

I am feeling some anxiety (dread?) about both traveling with a 2-year-old and an (approximately) 8 week old and living out of suitcases for a month. However, I don't think we would plan to come out again until next summer if we don't come this summer so it seems to be the only thing to do even if it is exhausting and stressful. It will be really hot when we get back to Doha in August so it's not like we're really going to "escape the heat" but I can't help but wonder if it's just a bad idea. I know I really wasn't thrilled about traveling with Anna until she was about one year old so I'm a little worried that it will be the same only worse with two kids to think about.

I'm trying to tell myself Anna should be easy (once she's over the jet lag) because she'll have just spent the last two months bonding with Nana & Grandma so she'll be fine hanging out with them again. Baby Girl won't have to worry about jet lag since she'll still be up in the night (and so will I). And, of course I want to see my neice and nephews and for Anna to see her cousins again. (And yes, we want to see aunts & uncles, too!) I know I'll really want Opa & my grandma to have the chance to meet Baby Girl right away, too.

I guess I know making the trip is the "right" thing to do even if it's not all fun. Hopefully I'm imagining worse than reality will dish out and, in the end, I'm sure I'll be glad we made the trip.

New Routines

Anna & I used to go to the It's A Grind by our house each week before storytime. Now we are going to Starbucks each week before we hit the grocery store. I think in Texas we took Anna to Starbucks a lot when she was under 8 months old but then we switched to the It's A Grind because it was closer to our house. For some reason though she knew the Starbucks logo very well and would point them out whenever we drove by one. There is a Starbucks in every mall here so she always likes to point it out and often asks to go (she typically gets a muffin while we enjoy a coffee). She used to say "Starbucks makes boom-boom inside" which we never did figure out for sure (our best guess was that she was referring to the grinders & blenders making loud noises). Now she likes to point out that the mermaid in the logo has two tails. The other part of our weekly Starbucks & grocery shopping routine is that we must ride on the carousel. We do the carousel first, then Starbucks, then groceries. After a ride on the carousel, Anna spends a lot of time talking about it or Landmark Mall (where the carousel is located).

Hopefully the rest of our new routines will involve some new friends; we're still working on that. We met a couple of nice moms at the playgroup yesterday (there were a lot less kids this time which was really nice) and we're planning to check out the over-2s playgroup tomorrow at the same location. We have met two of our neighbors here in the compound now. Our next-door neighbors have a 4 month old and a 3.5 year old and the other neighbor we met has an 18-month old boy named Theodore. Hopefully we can get to know them and some others better soon. OR hopefully we get moved into our permanent villa soon and there will be some kids near Anna's age there as well. With time I know it will come together, but this is the hardest part, I guess, when moving with a child!

Pocus on Your Poozie


Anna loves smoothies and asks for them multiple times per day. We all shared one at the mall a few weeks ago and then Craig started making them at home once I found a good stock of frozen fruit to use. This particular smoothie, or "poozie" as Anna would say, is a little thick as it was the first one I have made (a little too much mango juice, not enough milk, I guess).

The other mispronunciation that I find endearing is "pocus." When we're walking up or down the stairs we often have to remind her to focus or concentrate.

Baby Name Poll #4


I really think this is the last poll because I think we've made a decision. But, I can't seem to drop one name and shout the final choice from the mountain tops just yet. I'm curious to see what your opinions are on our final two; I'm pretty sure we can't go wrong with either choice and maybe when she is born, she'll just look more like one or the other? Perhaps this is a case for the 4-D ultrasound!

Ella Caroline: Ella for Eldora, Caroline for Carolyn. We changed the middle name to Caroline from Carolyn as previously posted. I love Ella for its simplicity but I worry it will date Baby Girl as a child born in 2007 since it is not truly a "timeless" name. (I should clarify that it's not the popularity of the name so much as the trendiness of the name. Right now on the social security list it is at the same spot as Anna, but the data for 2006 won't be up until probably right around the due date.) I love that it is for my grandma & Craig's grandma quite obviously (as Anna Adele is quite obviously for grandmas Anita & Adele). She could go by Caroline if she felt like she was trapped in a sea of Ellas & Ellies everywhere she went.

Margaret Elinor: Margaret because we both really like it, Elinor for, get this, all four great-grandmothers: E for Erma, El for Eldora, Elinor is a form of Helen, and Elenore is Carolyn's middle name. I love that! We would call Baby Girl Margaret, not a nickname (although we do like Meg). She would also have nickname options with Elinor if she wanted (Ella, Nora). I love that Margaret is timeless and I think it goes well with Anna. My only question is if Margaret Martin sounds okay or if the Mar-Mar part of it is a little too much.


I ordered Anna's shoes & swimsuit from LL Bean on Tuesday of last week. Someone delivered them to my door just now! I can hardly believe it myself! I paid more for the 1-2 weeks delivery instead of 2-3 weeks but I never would have guessed they would come in less than a week let alone be hand-delivered! Yipeee! They came through FedEx and we weren't charged any customs fees. Should I always be so lucky!

I did place a second order yesterday, for cloth diapers for Anna, but that will be sent through the USPS (international air) and that order is larger and heavier. I sent each package to two different addresses (one with a PO Box (the diapers) and one without the PO Box (the LL Bean order)). I will share the addresses with the grandmas probably after the diaper order arrives in the clear.

Little Things: Anna 22 Months

Anna is spending more and more time self-entertaining lately. Photo by Craig.

All I could think of was Steve Martin in The Jerk when Anna started tapping/stomping her feet to music tonight.

It has only been a couple of weeks since the 21 month post, but I think there's enough going on that I'll do this one now (and another later, if necessary).

Anna & music is really moving along. She's more into singing & dancing than the musical instruments we bought her for Christmas, but hopefully we can incorporate them more with her favorite songs: Bed, Bed, Bed by They Might Be Giants (she also gets super excited about In the Middle), any of the Dean Martin songs we play for her (mostly That's Amore, Everybody Loves Somebody, and Mambo Italiano), Elvis' Burning Love, What's New Pussycat? by Tom Jones, and Hopalong Peter by Jerry Garcia. When we're at home (as opposed to the driving in the car), she'll go stand right next to the speaker during her favorite parts of the songs. I don't know if she thinks she'll be able to see the music or what, but she's really consistent about it. And, of course, in typical toddler fashion, she asks to play each song over and over and over and over again.

I got her Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library and she loves these little books. Alligators All Around is her favorite right now and she can say clear as day on the Q page: "Quite Quarrelsome." I really ought to try to get that on video because it sounds ridiculous coming out of a 22 month old's mouth! Of course she has no idea what she's saying but one day instead of napping she was repeating this for about 30-45 minutes before she moved on to other things that were bouncing around in her head.

Anna knows letters & numbers but doesn't sing the alphabet song or really do a lot of counting. I'd say she's known these for a few months now so it's not really new, but I don't think I've really mentioned it before. She just loves noticing letters & numbers on things. We've been playing with her shape sorter (Melissa & Doug 12 shapes) and she knows shapes really well: paralellogram, trapezoid, oval, triangle, circle, square, rectangle, star, octogon, but gets pentagon & hexagon mixed up (this is where counting would come in handy!). She had a shape puzzle before she could do the sorter and she learned quite a few from that earlier, but she's finally gotten good at the sorter and we've spent a lot of time this week working on it.

About two weeks ago, Anna really started freaking out with Craig at bathtime. Craig has always been the one to give her a bath since the beginning. We decided that maybe I should give her a bath to try to change things up a bit since we couldn't figure out what the problem was. (We have to bathe her every night or else she her skin gets rashy—eczema.) One night I asked her if she'd rather take a shower and she said "yes" so we've been doing that since. Somehow she now listens to me and lifts her head back so her face doesn't get wet when I was her hair and there are no more freak-outs. Her bathtub has a hose for the shower so we sing the Hokey-Pokey while she showers so it's super fun.

Anna loves to look at herself in the mirror or her reflection in the windows when she is running by.

She is walking up and down stairs (holding the railing and usually my hand) and she can do the two steps to the carport by herself without holding on to anything.

Finally (I am sure that is what you are saying!), Anna really responds well when I say "three more times and then we're done" or "when I count to five we're going to...." It is pretty hilarious as usually when I get to five, she drops everything she's doing in a panic and hurries off to the thing I've said we're going to do.

Qtel Update & The Pacifier Fairy


I called them at 9 this morning and was told that there is a "technological problem" in our neighborhood and I need to call them in 4-5 days to reschedule an installation. I honestly believe that no one was going to call me to tell me this information. So irritating.

Anna has a cold though so we ended up staying home all day again today. I really don't mind staying home all day, it's just that yesterday I really wanted to go to that coffee and meet some new people so I'm still feeling frustrated about that.

I am attempting to formulate a plan to rid the pacifier from Anna's life. Although she only has it at naptime & bedtime, she is currently using a size too small (up to 18 months) and even if they did sell the next size here (I looked), I don't want to buy the next size. Also, since we are planning to move her to her toddler bed when the sea shipment arrives I don't want to get into the problem of the pacifiers falling off of the bed in the middle of the night (and having to go help her find them). And, of course, I'd like to not have her using the pacifier when Baby comes—and I don't want her own pacifier use in recent memory.

Since she has a cold this week, we are planning February 1 to be our first day pacifier-free (it's a Thursday so we'll hopefully have the worst of if on the weekend). We just need to decide if we are going to poke holes in them or talk up the "pacifier fairy" and have it be more of a voluntary thing on her part. If we go the pacifier fairy route, I need to come up with a good gift from the fairy... If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Edited to add: in reading other parents' stories about getting rid of the pacifier, I came across this hilarious photo.


Anna & I wasted the entire day at home waiting for Qtel. I called twice to ask if they could give me a window, the techinician's number, ANYTHING. Nope, the customer service people have no way of knowing anything about what the technicians are doing except that "they are out working from 7 AM to 8 PM and will call 10 minutes before they are coming to your house." So we sat and waited because I wasn't willing to go out and have to reschedule because there's no way I could go anywhere and be back in 10 minutes. Actually, Anna didn't seem to mind but I was (am) seriously irritated. When I called at 5 PM, the Qtel woman told me that "if the technician doesn't come tonight, they will be there in the morning for sure." And why am I supposed to believe her?


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I just placed an order from LL Bean as my test of the mail system through Craig's work. If everything goes as planned, we will get two pair of shoes & a swimsuit for Anna in 2-3 weeks. I decided to go with this order instead of the Amazon one I am really interested in because it is lighter and I'm not sure if there is a charge by weight or just value. I'll report back in 2-3 weeks (I hope!).

If this method doesn't work or ends up being ridiculous, then we may open up a PO Box with the Qatar mail system although I am under the impression it would be slower and the only advantage would be saving some shipping charges.

I want to note here that this is NOT the same address that was sent out with the Christmas cards--that is for paper mail only.

24 Weeks 2 Days Pregnant


I got a call from the hospital tonight saying my doctor is sick, did I want to see another doctor tomorrow or reschedule with mine. I decided to reschedule since I would really like to meet the doctor I plan to deliver this baby with! I will go on January 30 now.

We're down to two again: Ella vs. Margaret (and we've been teetering on Mary as well, but I think Margaret sounds better with our last name than Mary).

You've heard my speil on Ella. What do you think of Margaret? We wouldn't plan to use a nickname, at least initially. The ones we do like are Meg and Greta (but can't really use Greta since it is awfully close to Gertie). I have never looked at the M-names in my baby book (not even for Anna) because I was avoiding alliteration. Then I started noticing a lot of nice sounding alliterative names and took a look. We both really like the name Margaret: it is timeless, goes well with Anna, and there's even a flower named Margaret Martin.

The other thing I've been thinking a lot about is cloth diapering. From what we've purchased so far here with Anna, the diapers are nicer in the US. We're still buying Pampers but they are just different. I'm planning to send a bunch of newborn, size 1, & size 2 Pampers Swaddlers in the "Baby Shipment" we get through Craig's work and then start on medium-size cloth diapers. There are a couple of girls on the message board I am on that use cloth so I'm hoping they can provide me with some good tips. I've already found a lot of good info and am trying to decide what styles & brands I want to try. Craig is a major skeptic but my bet is that he'll be just fine (even with the poopy ones).

Another Playgroup

Anna & I checked out another playgroup this morning. I met a nice mom from New Zealand with daughter named Ava who is one week younger than Anna. Hopefully we'll run into them again next week, too, but I gave her my number because she seemed nice and so did Ava.

The playgroup was held in one of the compounds' clubhouses. You pay 10 Riyals and you get a tea or coffee (I opted for a bottled water) and then you can also buy snacks. There is a guy there (a "bartender" if you will) to serve drinks and snacks. The place ended up being really packed with people and I don't know how much fun that really is. Mondays is for under 2s and Wednesdays is for over 2s.

We will probably go again next week to see if it's really that busy again and then we'll also check out the Wednesday group since Anna is on the cusp anyway. There were a lot of ride-on toys (and a good variety of other toys, too) but there was barely any room to ride the toys because of all the kids & moms and toys. In general, I'm looking for something a bit smaller and may end up posting an ad in the mom's newsletter to see if anyone is interested in setting up a smaller and more personal playgroup. But, this will be a good way to meet a variety of other moms anyway.

About every ten minutes Anna would look for me (I stayed in the same spot so she could find me right away) and say "go home again" but I didn't give in for an hour. I held her on my lap and gave her hugs and then she went off to play again for another ten minutes each time so I think she was just a bit overwhelmed by everything and everyone.

Music For Me

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Finally, the barrettes stay in!

The butterfly stamp.

Enough pictures, I need to run laps around the table!

Anna & I went to our first day of music class this morning. It is a ten-week class that runs over the course of twelve weeks (we have one weekend in January and one weekend in February off). By the time the class is finished, I will be super pregnant and Anna will be two years old!

Anna was really overwhelmed/scared/shy at the start of the class. She basically goes limp and avoids eye contact, gets really super quiet, etc. After each song she'd say to me "go home again" but I kept telling her that we were at music class and that we'd go home when it was finished. She liked it when the teacher brought out balls, but it was Old MacDonald that got her to warm up. We had some puppets to dance around during the song and she cracked smiles when we got to the pig and duck parts of the song. After that she relaxed a bit and seemed to start enjoying herself. She liked listening to the CD of songs on the way home so I am hopeful that it won't take too many weeks to get warmed up to the class. She was particularly pleased with the purple butterfly stamp she got on her hand at the end of class although I'm not sure how she's going to react when it washes off...

Craig's liquor permit came last week and he went with a couple of friends from work on Saturday to get it all squared away and buy a few bottles of wine & some beer. He seems pleased with himself except that our corkscrew is in the sea shipment and he didn't think to get one while at the store. So, I guess he'll be drinking the beer first. (Not that he'd be drinking a bottle of wine by himself anyway!)

He also went to look at a couple of cars, one was a Jeep that he was really excited about but the guy doesn't want to actually part with it until sometime in February. So, Craig went last night to check out a Korando and made a deal. I'm not sure of the details on that one when he'll actually get it, but he's excited about the price on it anyway.

Q-Tel called this morning and said that they are coming "on Wednesday" to install our Internet connection. I am a little annoyed that there is no window there because I was planning to go to a newcomers/oldtimers coffee morning on Wednesday morning and was really looking forward to it. We'll have to wait until next month though because we really want our own Internet!

Vanilla Beans


Craig found a package of two vanilla beans at Mega Mart this afternoon. The price? 45 Riyals ($12.36 USD). I don't know how I'll ever decide which dish is appropriate to use them in at that price!

23 Weeks & 5 Days Pregnant

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Not a whole lot new to report this week (this is a good thing, I think!). Baby Girl has been very active, sometimes I think she's more active than Anna was at this stage, but it's really hard to say. It's fun and it's gotten to where I can see her kicks from the outside. She has jabbed Gertie once now, too (Gertie just does not get that she can't sit on/poke her paws on my stomach no matter how often I push her off to the side).

My belly button is disappearing already, it seems to me this happened much later last time, but, of course, I started showing a lot earlier this time, too. I sent myself a pair of full-belly panel jeans in the air shipment which I am loving right now. I also sent my body pillow so I am sleeping much more comfortably as well.

Today, as of this posting, we are down to two names again: Caroline Eldora and Ella Carolyn. I don't suppose it would be the end of the world to go to the hospital with two names, but for some reason, I'd really like to pick one and start using it now (although we did not do that with Anna, I think that Anna is the reason I want to start using Baby's name now).

According to My Pregnancy Week by Week, Baby Girl is almost 1 pound (455 grams) and is 8 inches (20 cm) crown-to-lump length; about the size of a small doll.

Baby Name Musings


I have taken the poll off since there weren't many votes yet and we've changed the list again. We really need to make a decision on a name for Baby Girl so that I can move on with my life! It is an all-consuming obsession that was waning until I got my baby name books in the air shipment... Anyway, here is the current list (in alphabetical order):

Caroline Eldora: For great-grandmas Carolyn & Eldora. I like Caroline for its timelessness. We wouldn't use a nickname.

Ella Carolyn: Again for great-grandmas Eldora & Carolyn. I love Ella but am concerned that it has risen so fast in popularity recently that she'd be just another Ella (lumped in with all of the Ellies, too) and that her name would be dated (like, say, Jennifer from the 70s).

Sarah Harmon: Even though it has no family ties, Sarah has been at the top of my list since we found out we were pregnant. I really like the timelessness of it and I also really like how Anna & Sarah sound together (although I realize that's only relevant for about 16-18 years of their lives). Since Sarah is not a family-name, I like Harmon (my maiden name) for the middle since there must be some family significance in Baby Girl's name.

Got It!

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Craig just brought me my new Sorento and it feels like I'm driving a tank. I imagine I'll get used to it soon enough but it is bigger than the CRV and definitely bigger than the Accord. I hope I can hoist myself into it when I'm super-huge-pregnant!

Anna, Anna What Did You Memorize?


This is one of the books that arrived in the air shipment yesterday, we read it once yesterday but it has been over a month since it has been on our regular reading list so we were surprised when Anna was off on her own "reading" through some of her old favorites [Let me know if you need "subtitles." Since we know the book and her speech, it's obvious to us what she's saying!]. Kids have the most amazing memories—I barely remember what I read on cnn.com ten minutes ago. I am continually impressed by the things that Anna talks about, remembers, and the things that make big impressions on her.

Baking Cookies

I was feeling a little sad that we didn't do any Christmas baking and since Craig has been asking for snickerdoodles for about a week now, Anna & I got to it this afternoon. We did have to use ghee since we couldn't find vegetable shortening at the store (incidentally, you cannot buy vanilla extract here because it contains alcohol. I haven't found if I can buy vanilla beans or not).

I put Anna in charge of rolling the balls of dough in the sugar & cinnamon. She took her job very seriously. I didn't see her try to sneak any bites and she did a really good job! The cookies themselves turned out pretty OK. They didn't flatten out though and I'm not sure why (still cooked all the way through and tasted fine). I had to mix the dough in the largest pot we have because I only have one mixing bowl (I bought myself) and it was too small to mix both wet & dry ingredients in it.

Once she was done rolling the dough in sugar & cinnamon, she tried a few baked cookies and then got down and got to work in her own kitchen.

Leave Her Alone!


Anna & I went to the park near our house this morning but the gates were closed so I guess we were too early. So, we drove up to the park near the Corniche instead. The playground was occupied by a lot of kids. I can't say what nationality but they didn't speak English. Their teachers (?) were with them and the kids and teachers swarmed around Anna, trying to take her hand out of mine, lift up her sunglasses so they could see her eyes, etc. Anna & I pushed our way through the crowd (I'm probably being a bit dramatic, but not much) and went for a walk through the park instead. I don't get it. Anna was obviously uncomfortable so why do they keep pushing?? Poor Anna. I don't know what to say to these people who obviously are just trying to be friendly. I just told Anna we could leave and walk around the park instead and didn't talk to the kids & teachers.

After our walk around the park, we stopped at the playground again because the school-group had left. We had the equipment to ourselves but I guess Anna wasn't having much fun because she said she was ready to go home again.

I guess I'm finding this really frustrating and I don't know what to do about it. I'll have to talk to some of the other moms and see what they have experienced and how they've handled it. I think one person coming up to us is OK, but swarming around a toddler is just not right and I can't think of why the teachers wouldn't tell the kids to back off (because the teachers were part of the swarm!).

I'd be interested to hear what YOU would do/say in this situation. Leave some ideas on the comments section, if you will. I think I'll just start by saying "please don't touch her" and hope that that has some effect.

Air Shipment & One Car

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Our air shipment arrived this morning. They said they'd be here between 11-12 and came at 10:45. Anyway, I'm so glad it is here! I think Anna was a bit overwhelmed seeing so much of her old stuff here. She was probably most excited about a cat pillow, her Lego box lid (so she could pretend it is a changing pad), her train, her books, and her soft chair.

I spent her nap building her kitchen that I bought for her in October in anticipation of this move. She loves it and she was spent a lot of time cooking and baking with it. I put it in the kitchen so she can cook while I cook (I really don't like how the kitchen is separated from the living area in this house, but that's the style for the other villas I've seen here, too).

Craig spent part of his day procuring a car for me. He test-drove the Sorento and made a verbal deal with the owner and all sorts of transactions need to happen before the car is actually ours but I'm excited because it was basically in our price range (a little higher, but on the low-side of high), it's relatively new (I've never had newer than a 2001: the Matiz in Korea!—at home the newest was my 1999 Saturn (that didn't even have power-steering!)), and it supposedly has a few bells & whistles. I hope I like it when we get it!

And, in baby news (I suppose), my back is killing me today. I don't know if it was unpacking (there were only ten boxes), building the kitchen, or just running around non-stop but I am in a bit of pain when I get up to walk. Hopefully I can take it easy the next couple of days and my back will feel better.

We're Legal

We got our Resident's Permits today—they took the crying-photo of Anna, thank goodness!

Our air shipment has been cleared in customs and we're supposed to get it delivered "in the morning." Craig did a little bit of car shopping tonight on the board at Mega Mart and is going to go check out a 2005 Sorento for me tomorrow. We'll see how that turns out: it will be nice to have our own cars instead of the rentals. I am not particularly fond of the Accord (it is a nice car, drives well, etc., but I find it awkward with the car seat in the back: I really liked my CRV, I guess!) and want to be sitting up higher.

Anna & I had a good day today. I was little worried if I'd have enough energy for her after Craig has been home for two weeks and helping out a lot but she was just great today. We went to the vet to get Gertie's food then we went to Landmark and rode the carousel and then did our grocery shopping at Mega Mart. This was the first trip to the grocery store (or any store) where she acted like she did at home: pleasant. I am wondering if having Craig home was throwing her off and now that it's back to the two of us she knows what to expect.

Number Puzzle

Anna has been loving the number puzzle I picked up for her at Dais-O yesterday. I wish all of the things I bought her were only $2 and created such enjoyment.


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Three riders: two robot jockeys and one man.

This man waved us over so we could take a picture of him with Anna. (She wouldn't let him hold her though—she's a smart one!)

This appeared to be a rather upscale team of camels with their crisp white covering and the maroon edges (Qatar's flag is white & maroon).

This man wanted a picture of Anna (on his cell phone), so when he was done I asked him if we could take his.

We went back to the camel race track this morning to see the camels. We'll have to plan to go back another day for the races; they are in the afternoon so we'll have to plan to miss a nap that day. We'll wait a few weeks so that we don't use up all of the interesting stuff to do right away though.

It was pretty cool to see all of the camels and all of their different blankets, muzzels, etc. We did see some running on the tracks but most were walking back toward the stables. Anna thought it was really cool, too, and we had a bit of a hard time convincing her to leave ("let's find some more camels!").

The Friday & Saturday Weekend Thing

It's not that it's Friday & Saturday vs. Saturday & Sunday that throws me off, it's that the day of rest (day where all of the stores are closed in the morning) is Friday, the FIRST day of the weekend. My mindset is to run around like crazy on the first day of the weekend and then kick back on the second. So, we have to get used to relaxing at home on the first day and then running around on the second.

We actually did get up and go to church this morning so we could "sing church songs." Anna did a good job except that she was getting so excited about all of the letters on the bulletin ("there's an A, K, B, O!, etc.") that Craig ended up taking her out for most of the service (no nursery available at the church we attended today). She really needs to learn how to whisper is all I know right now. We went back to the same church we went to on Christmas Eve, an Anglican church that is very near our villa and seems nice enough.

Updated Pregnancy Journal

I was attempting to keep a separate journal for this pregnancy, but as soon as I announced the news on this blog, it has just been easier to do everything over here. So, I've moved all of the earlier entries over to this site and posted a link on the right (under archived sites) to this current pregnancy's entries. So, for those of you that I shared the other journal with, you no longer need to check the other site, it's all just going to be over here from now on! (There were also a lot more entries over here that had tidbits about Baby that weren't on the other journal so now everything is nice & tidy in one spot.)


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Anna & I had a playdate today with some people we met at the Dairy Queen a few weeks ago. The mom who hosted (Gill) & I are planning to do a baby-sitting swap every couple of weeks so that we can go out with our husbands every now and again while the kids are in bed. This is the mom with the daughter named Ella (20 months) and a son named Alex (2 months). Ella is a sweet little girl so I am not feeling swayed away from that name after our visit! There were two other kids (and two other moms) there as well, James (21 months) and Sonny (Sunny?) 4 months. The moms were from the UK or New Zealand so I had a bit of a time deciphering some of the things they said from time to time. I know I'll get their lingo down soon.

Anna seemed to have a good time but after about 90 minutes said, "go home again." I like that she tells me but she's usually ready to go before I am. (At the Christmas dinner we attended she didn't say "go home again," she just brought us her shoes and then ours—she was ready to go!) Anna & Ella & James all played together really nicely. There was a basket full of pretend food and Anna kept giving one banana to Ella and then keeping one for herself. I've never really seen her try to give another kid something before so I guess this is the beginning of her trying to figure out interactive-play with others? She paid almost zero attention to the fact that there were two babies in the room though.

I am planning to ask the moms & kids I've met over for a playdate after we at least get our air shipment so we have more toys to play with.



Not sure what these formations are called but we weren't really expecting to see them after only seeing flat desert the whole way.

Pedestrian crossing.

Bundled up at the beach. Photo by Craig.

Anna had to bring her pig with her and she didn't want to get down and walk in the sand. She did like looking at the water though. Hopefully we'll be able to go back when it's a bit warmer and less windy (although I don't plan to go when it is HOT. Photo by Craig.

We planned to head out to where the camel races are held but got sidetracked by all of the road construction and kept driving to Dukhan instead. After the first camel crossing sign we passed, I turned to Craig and said, "am I supposed to be led to believe we're going to just look out the window and see random camels walking around?" and then looked out the window and we saw some random camels walking around.

We did see quite a few camels but usually they were too far away, we were going too fast, or we didn't spot them in time. Also, I have discovered that I am not the worlds' best taking-pictures-from-the-car photographer. I am slow! Also, every time I opened the window to take a picture I'd let a lot of dust in so I had to make quick decisions to determine the worthiness of a shot...

There really wasn't much to see in Dukhan (as far as we could tell) so we didn't really spend any time there. Plus it was windy and cold at the beach again and Anna only wanted me to hold her, not daddy and I just can't hold her very long because of my sciatica. So, we drove for about two hours (total) to see all of this (there were a lot of exciting excavators, rollers, etc. at least, to break up the monotony of the desert scenery).

On the way back we saw where we should have turned to get the camel races so we might try again on Saturday. Will post pictures, of course, if we make it.

The Knife

This happened a couple of days ago but I just got around to taking the picture tonight. I really can't wait for our cookware to come because there is no reason why this knife should have broken when I was slicing up some cheese for Anna's snack. It's going to be a long wait for that sea shipment though! Hopefully we'll hear something positive about our air shipment when we call tomorrow.

22 Weeks 3 Days Pregnant

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Photo by Craig

There isn't a whole lot new to report this week but I've gotten a few really strong kicks lately. So strong I didn't think it was possible. Is Baby saying "stop eating so much junk, mom" or is she saying, "eat a little more of that yummy Baskin Robbins you've been indulging in"?

Anna has referred to Baby as "Ella" twice now... Does Anna know something we don't? I am still waffling—every time I think I've made a decision the other name starts looking more attractive... We might just have to bring two names to the delivery room with us at this rate.

I did manage to find some full-panel maternity pants at Carrefour yesterday which is a great relief as only one pair of pants I brought with me is feeling comfortable anymore. I know I have one or two more pair of pants in the air shipment, too.

2006 Meme

I haven't done a meme before, but this one, from Momma to LG, looked good so I thought I'd copy her!

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Joined a playgroup.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes, my goal was to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight so I could get pregnant again! My goal for this year is to just survive the first few months with an infant and toddler.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Erin had her sweet baby Logan & Minsue had Zachary (I hope to meet him someday!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My great-uncle Albert.

5. What countries did you visit?
France & Qatar

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Not sure, but I know I had more sleep in 2006 than I will in 2007.

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 14, 2006: Anna turned one; November 29, 2006: the day we found out we're having another girl.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
My photography business made a profit!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Being impatient as usual.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Black MacBook! Wahoo!!!!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mother, she never fails to impress me with her selflessness.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Tom Cruise, I guess (just appalled, not depressed)

14. Where did most of your money go?
Electronics as usual.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching Anna grow and learn.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Pop! Goes the Weasel: the most played song on my iTunes and the iPod.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
Happier, thinner and fatter (I probably weigh the same or a little less right now as I did last year at this time but I'm wearing bigger clothes since I'm pregnant so it's a different kind of fatter), richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home (in Qatar) with my family

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
More and more with my family

22. How many one-night stands?
Um, none

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, I'm pretty sure I don't hate anyone!

25. What was the best book you read?
Mary Karr Cherry and Jeanette Wells Glass Castles

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Music that Anna & I both like (Cake Mahna, Mahna, several songs on our Jazz for Kids CD, Dan Zanes, John Lithgow, a lot of Louis Armstrong, The White Stripes We're Going to be Friends... always on the lookout for more!)

27. What did you want and get?

28. What did you want and not get?
Our air shipment... we'll keep waiting into 2007.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I am not absolutely positive I watched any this year (surely there were one or two but I can't recall what they were!)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We went out to dinner and gelato; I turned thirty.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I could have convinced myself to keep up my workout routine into this pregnancy, hoping I can pick it up again soon.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
"comfortable" (I really need to work on this!)

33. What kept you sane?

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't know how to answer this one; I go to Celebrity Baby Blog a lot though.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hanging Saddam on the first day of Eid al Adha (and seeing the photos on CNN.com constantly—if I wanted to see the photos, I'd click on the article!)

36. Who did you miss?
Tillie, she would have been so great with Anna

37. Who was the best new person you met?
The moms in playgroup.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Patience is a virtue.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
" you'll never know dear how much I love you, and I love you more everyday"

Mambo, Italiano

She got a bit camera-shy, but she was really groovin' as soon as she heard this song (Dean Martin CD purchased for That's Amore). I've been trying to get her to dance for a while, so I was surprised when I turned around and saw her bouncing up and and down without prompting—must be the Italian in her!

Happy New Year!


Best wishes for a wonderful 2007!

Craig is staying up to watch the Broncos (starts at 12 AM here) but I am going to bed in 2006 (Baby & I just can't stay up that late).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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