April 2007 Archives

Baby Pool

We're getting down to the wire so get your votes in for the baby pool! (Link on the right.)

Crosstown Traffic

Anita, Anna, & I got out to experience the thrill of sitting in too much traffic today. We had to stop and get Gertie some food and then wanted to go to the Villagio for lunch and to get a few things at Carrefour. I chose the absolute worst route and we sat in a lot of traffic. Really the traffic here is pretty ridiculous because it's not that big of a city but it just takes forever to get across town because there are too many cars, the lights are not timed well, and there is a ton of construction. Thankfully today was just exceptionally bad and not the norm or else Anna & I would never go out!

41:16 in the heat

Anita will say (and rightfully so) that I tried to kill off the family today. Somehow I thought it was a good idea to go for a walk on the Corniche this morning. I mean, it was only 91 degrees at 9 AM, how bad could it be? Anna started crying during the last quarter of the walk because she was so hot. Thankfully the air conditioning in my car works quickly. We came back to the house and had some cool snacks and water and I think we all recovered well. No more outdoor walks for us though, we're sticking to the treadmill the rest of the spring & summer!

Distance: 2.12 miles
Time: 41:16
9:00 AM
91 degrees, very slight breeze, sunny.

This Week:
Miles Walked: 2.12

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 15.93

Nice Flower Hat

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Anna fell instantly in love with this hat that Aunt Corrine sent along with Anita. She puts it on, grabs a couple of "friends," and runs around the house saying they're going to get Very Berry Strawberry ice cream (from Baskin Robbins).

Anna's Nana is Here!

Anita arrived safely last night although a few hours later than planned. We got her out in the sunshine (we slapped on some sunscreen and walked over to the pool) to help with her jet lag. She made it an impressive 12 hours her first day; I don't think I've ever had that kind of will-power. Anna is a little skeptical of Nana but I don't think it will take long for her to warm up to her. We might try to go to the beach tomorrow so I'll try to get some pictures then.

Swan Snowflake

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Anna latched onto Baby Einstein's version of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake today but, in spite of my corrections, half the time she asks to hear Swan Snowflake.


It was 90 degrees already by the time Anna & I were ready to get out of the house (9 AM) so I decided to just do the treadmill tonight instead of getting out in the sun & heat. Unfortunately it was little stuffy in the gym so I am not sure if I did any better (I guess at least the sun wasn't beating down on me).

Distance: 1.6 miles
Time: 30:15
7:00 PM

This Week:
Miles Walked: 3.2

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 13.81


Now that Baby Girl is head-down I am ready to walk again and get things moving toward spontaneous labor. It felt good to get moving again after nine days off! I will try to get out to the Corniche with Anna in the morning.

Distance: 1.6 miles
Time: 30:12
6:15 PM

This Week:
Miles Walked: 1.6

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 12.21

38 Weeks & 3 Days Pregnant

She flipped! I am so relieved. Now I feel like I can relax a little. I tested positive for Group B Strep so now I need to go read up on what that means for me & Baby Girl. Now I just need to focus on getting this little girl to come on her own without an induction.

I gained a lot in this last week (total gain is now 30 lbs) but my blood pressure was good (104/69). I will get an internal exam next week and also get my membranes stripped. Thankfully Anita will be here and can stay home with Anna for that appointment since today we had to wait an hour and a half to see the doctor. Thankfully Craig was with, but I think Anna is a bit more squirrelly when he is around so that made it a bit harder in some ways.

Wakes Up Singing


Anna woke up early the past couple of days, but this morning there was silence and then suddenly she belted out, "What's new pussycat, wo-wo-wooooah!" Fifteen minutes later she was on to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (the extended version with five verses that she has memorized but I have not (I've only memorized four verses)). I love that she wakes up singing (although sometimes she wakes up reciting books or nursery rhymes).

Also, the other night when Craig was running her bathwater, the two of them were singing a duet of John Lithgow's Singing in the Bathtub. It was so cute but I enjoyed it instead of running to get the video camera. Next time I'll run to get the camera (although Craig may not let me post that on the blog, we'll at least have it for our personal files!).

For reference, here are the extended lyrics (Nana & Grandma might want to learn this to impress Anna—she finds this song particularly soothing):

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

38 Weeks Pregnant


I just can't believe it when I look at the ticker on this site and see there are only 14 days left until the due date! It seems like the days are really flying by now. I only have a few little things left on my to-do list before Baby Girl arrives.

I have spent the last few days reading up on turning breech babies and c-sections. I'm still trying to think positive thoughts that Baby Girl will turn on her own and have only tried playing music down low where I want her head to be so far (she really liked the music from Baby Einstein's Playtime Music Box). I wanted to try swimming today but the pool was too cold to get fully submerged (they cool the pools here rather than heat them) . I got my belly in but Craig thinks I might have just scared her to my spine... Maybe we'll try to go in the afternoon tomorrow.

Craig got the base for the infant seat installed in the middle seat of the car so we can seat five people in the car while the grandmas are in town and we all want to go out (still assuming Anna will be civil to Baby Girl, of course).

Craig asked Anna who was in mommy's tummy yesterday and she responded, "Baby Sister [name we have chosen]." I am really anxious to see how she reacts when Baby Girl actually moves in with us in the next few weeks.

For now I am compiling questions for Dr. Rizvi about the c-section procedures here and just hoping that Baby Girl has turned by Tuesday's ultrasound (I have no clue how to tell what is what on my own so I don't know if she's changed position at all).

At the Beach

Anna had fun at the beach today moving rocks from one bucket to another. Today was kind of windy but the water was so nice to sit and relax in.



Driving through the desert today on the way to the beach, Anna looked out the window and said, "there's some dirt!"

Here to Stay

Craig is back from yet another trip to Korea (this last one was a last-minute thing) and he is staying put! Anna & I were happy to have him back this morning to say the least. He's got jet lag and I've got pregnancy insomnia—all part of the training for some sleepless nights ahead of us!

37 Weeks 3 Days Pregnant (Turn Around!)


This one is kind of hard to see: you are looking at the top of her head, the two dark spots are her eyes with a nose in the middle.

My biggest "fear" with having another child is that Anna has been so (relatively) easy that we're going to have a wild child for our next. Baby Girl had been sideways for a while, then she was head down two weeks ago. Today she is breech and I hope this is the extent of her rebellious side. Dr. Rizvi said she could still turn back around so I'm hopeful. I'm also going to research what I can do to encourage Baby Girl to turn around the right way.

I only gained one half pound over the last two weeks and my blood pressure was 107/66 today. I have been feeling some contractions over the past week or so, so I guess that means my body is thinking about getting ready at least. I'm trying to not stress out about Baby being breech for now and will just read up on what I can do about it and see if she's straightened herself out by the time I have my appointment next week.

In the System

I got a phone call tonight from the hospital and I thought for sure they were rescheduling my appointment tomorrow morning, but it was the pediatrician "confirming" that Anna needs to come in on Thursday to do a TB Skin test. I say confirming with quotes because this was the first I had heard we were to come in. All of this immunization stuff over here makes me nervous just because it is slightly different than at home but I feel like we have to do what they do here because we're here and not at home... It's also hard for me to keep it all straight (but I've ordered some little immunization record books to keep track of each of the girls vaccinations so hopefully that will help keep it all organized as we move around the globe).

Changing the Words

Anna has done this before and for a while, but it always surprises me when she does it so I thought I'd note what she did tonight. There is a song that goes (something like)

Three little ducks went out one day
Over the river and far away
The mother duck said quack, quack, quack
But only two little ducks came back

(and continues on like this until eventually all three ducks come back)

Tonight in the bathtub, Anna started singing this song while holding on to her big duck (it was the mother duck) but then dropped the duck, picked up a sheep, and changed the words to

Three little sheep went out one day
Over the river and far away
The mother sheep said baaaaaaaaaa
But only two little sheep came back

I just thought it was cute that she kept it up for the whole song. She was really singing up a storm this evening but I didn't get it on video because her nose is so stuffy that she was having a really hard time breathing and singing at the same time. I'll wait until she can breathe again before I try to get a video of her singing.


Anna & I went out to the Corniche again today. She has another cold so hopefully the fresh air and sun (with sunscreen, of course) will do her some good. It was sunnier today so I think that slowed me down a bit. That and Anna was up a lot last night (which means I was, too!) so we're both a bit tired.

Distance: 2.07 miles
Time: 41:15
139 avg HR
41:15 in THR
00:00 high HR
00:00 low HR
9:00 AM
84 degrees, 29% humidity

This Week:
Miles Walked: 2.07

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 10.61

G is for Mittens

Lowercase alphabet puzzle.

"G is for Gloves" (but that's what I get for shopping at a British toy store). Not a real problem in my book.

I mentioned the G is for Mittens thing to my friend Claire from the UK and she said that yes, they do call them gloves; I didn't ask if gloves are also called gloves though.

I found another puzzle at Giant that looked good last week but am really bothered by one of the pieces.

Oh yes, "X is for X-mas!" of course!

I actually saw this same X is for X-mas description at the Japanese one-dollar store today. The puzzle I bought was made by an Indian company. I am planning to take a picture of a xylophone and tape it over the Christmas tree because it bothers me so much. It just doesn't make sense!

37 Weeks Pregnant


With Anna at 37 weeks (I had gained 34.5 pounds). 22 February 2005. photo by Adele

With Baby Girl at 37 weeks (I have gained 24.5 pounds). 14 April 2007. photo by Craig.

As usual (thankfully!), nothing new to report. I have random complaints but nothing too major. I've been waking up between 2-4 AM the past few nights and have just been wide awake but somehow I'm muddling through the day OK. I have my doctor's appointment on Tuesday (which Craig is now not coming to) so I'll be back with a report after that.

The Beach

We went to the beach today. This time we were properly equipped with swimsuits (Anna has a new "swimsuit with strawberries on it from Mothercare!"), buckets, shovels, etc. Anna had a great time and I hope we can make it out a few more times this "spring" before it's too hot to even enjoy the beach!

Singing Along

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I wrote previously about Anna shouting "Satchmo!" from the back seat; tonight she sang along with You Are My Sunshine: "you'll never know dear, how much I love you; and I love you more every day." She's carrying a pretty OK tune, too (considering her parents aren't the best singers), so I'm interested to see how this develops. I'd love to get her on video singing but I am pretty sure she'll clam up when she sees the camera (will still try though!).


Anna was pretending to take a nap on the airplane with her blindfold (from Lufthansa) on tonight; I wonder if she'd really be able to fall asleep with these on if we bring them with us this summer?

Playgroup: Week 3

I was going to try to get a picture of the kids on the couch together but it didn't happen. All the kids were clustered in one little area here so I did take a few candid group shots instead. There were five moms today so the turnout was better than last time and makes me less concerned that the group will dissolve now.

Anna did really well today, I think because it was Ella's house so she was familiar with the surroundings. She did a couple of cute/funny things that I observed, too. Ella has some floor squares with the alphabet on them and Anna was off on her own two rooms away from me singing the ABC song pretty loudly. The other thing I noticed her doing was babbling away on a phone; I couldn't quite make out what she was saying, but it was quite the conversation. When I asked her today if she had fun at playgroup she said, "yes!"

Daddy Returns

Anna & I were glad to have Craig back today! It's also nice knowing that he will be here until at least my mom gets here in June. Now there are just a couple more things to get to on the calendar until Baby Girl's due date (doctor's appointment(s), start of music class again, and then Anita's arrival).


It's a good thing babies can't see very far the first few weeks or else Baby Girl would be pretty frustrated and overstimulated by all of the clutter in the "office" portion of her temporary room. I still have a bunch of stuff in the Pack n' Play to keep Gertie out (I caught her snuggled under the Boppy in the moses basket in the bassinet attachment of the Pack n' Play last week). I have no worries that Gertie will steer clear of this room once it is occupied by a teeny-tiny person in a few weeks.


All of the products in the grocery store have Arabic instructions/information stuck over (usually) the most important part of the English instructions/information. Luckily all of these stickers are pretty peel-able and I've always been able to read what I need to make the food inside.

Jamil & Jamila

I just couldn't not buy these dolls (Barbie-sized). I asked Craig if we should give them to Anna but we decided not to for now since we don't want her to latch on to them and have to bring them out to the mall with us. Jamila is the woman and she has henna on her hands. Jamil is her Arabic friend. Jamila has two other "friends" for sale at the store, an Egyptian woman (her best friend) and an Indian woman.

36 Weeks 3 Days Pregnant

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I guess I've been "nesting" a bit this week. I have Baby Girl's room mostly ready to go. Anna is even calling it "Baby Sister's Room" instead of "the office" now. Anna has become obsessed with some of the baby toys that are in the room and I am letting her play with them but I remind her often that they are Baby Sister's and she'll have to share with her when she gets here. I know this is too abstract, but I hope in repeating it often before Baby Girl arrives it won't be too hard to grasp once she is actually here. We'll see.

Anna really likes reading Bunny Cakes and one of the lines in the book is "Max's sister, Ruby" and Anna, when she recites the book always says "Max's baby sister, Ruby." I even asked her if we should name Baby Sister [our name choice] or Ruby and Anna chose Ruby. Anna very rarely choose our name choice but will refer to Baby Sister by the choice randomly as well. Serves me right for changing it on her so many times!

I washed all of Baby Girl's clothes (up to 3 months-size) yesterday and put them in the drawers in her room. I've put a stash of burp cloths and bibs downstairs and just need to set up the changing area downstairs. I bought some shades for the side-windows of the car today at Mothercare that will hopeufully fit my car (I am surprised that tinted windows isn't more standard here, actually) so that Craig can move Anna's seat over to the side this weekend (she will sit on the passenger's side and we will attempt to put Baby Girl's seat in the middle at least for when Nana & Grandma are here or as long as Anna can be civil to her right next to her in the car).

I still have a few odds & ends on my list of things to acquire for Baby Girl but, for the most part, I'm feeling pretty ready. I'm in the middle of re-reading all of the baby books I liked from last time (Baby Wise, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, What to Expect the First Year, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child). I've also re-read The Birth Partner and Craig has been reading that as well (since I am counting on him to get us through this giving-birth-in-a-foreign-country-thing unscathed! He will finally make it to my appointment next week and meet my OB.

Blook Time

I really should have been working on the next book as soon as I finished the last one. Unfortunately, I have to get started now instead. I have started with March 2006 (when Anna's blog ended last year) and will include the few entries from this blog that occured before March 2006 in the prologue. I have to go back and check out the settings I made for Anna's book (fonts, etc) and just stick to that system. You'd think that once I got a system down I could just keep it up each month. This book will also have to include a CD with the videos on the blog.

My plan is to do one each year (and will have a separate one for Baby Girl's first year and this pregnancy just like I did for Anna, although those entries will also be included in the "family" book). I'm still glad I didn't take up scrapbooking. This whole project, while daunting, seems like much less of a nightmare to me! (Of course I still want to do a book from our time in Korea but I won't do a separate one just for Qatar since those entries are all entwined with our family entries.) I still have photo books I want to do as well, but I have a feeling those will have to wait just a while longer.

For Nana

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Sorry, Anita, yours doesn't have video.

Last night Anna was running around the house shout-singing "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" with several verses including "riding six white horses," "we'll all go out to meet her," and "we'll be having cake and ice cream." I always remind her that this is Nana's theme song (since Nana can't go anywhere without comin' 'round a mountain first). The thing that really makes this for Nana though is that in the middle of this running around, Anna suddenly stopped and needed to vacuum with her little vacuum. I really hope she gets Nana's cleaning gene (and not my non-existent cleaning gene!).

For Grandpa

Anna is reading from Mickey Mouse Heads for the Sky and the last line is "I'm going to take flying lessons." Grandpa will have to take Anna out to the airport while we're in Colorado this summer to check out the planes again.

The other thing Anna has been saying lately is when she or someone sneezes she'll either say the conventional, "bless you" or she'll say (as my dad says when he sneezes), "Mercy!"

She has added "mercy" to her regular sayings and now after a good drink of orange juice she'll say, "mercy! That's refreshing!"

For Great-Grandma Eldora

Anna just thought it was hilarious the other day when I said "uff da" when I got off of the stool at the counter (my feet were swelling from sitting there too long).

Happy Easter!

It took a couple of eggs to get Anna into the Easter egg "hunt" but she liked finding them all. I asked her if she wanted to find out what was inside the eggs or eat the eggs we colored last night and she said she wanted to eat the eggs we colored. She liked picking out which color egg she and I would eat and then after breakfast, she was thrilled to find stickers inside all of the eggs she collected. She made three two-page spreads of sticker art (I usually limit her to one sheet of stickers because you just can't get stickers here like at home, thus our Nana & Grandma suppliers are always high in demand).

I should also note that I had my mom send the Easter egg dye kit (I have only seen Easter candy here, nothing else Easter-y and I have not seen any food coloring in the stores) and that I bought those plastic eggs last year before we decided to go to Paris over Easter; glad they made it in the shipments so we could enjoy them!

Easter Eggs

I forgot to tell her to put the egg in the cup gently with this first egg so she kind of tossed it in—oops! She was much more gentle with the rest of the eggs.

She was very impressed when I pulled out each egg and it was a new color (note the yellow egg on the bottom left of the photograph is what she is looking at).

Anna covers her face (and more often her eyes) when she feels overwhelmed; I think she was unsure of my enthusiasm and the camera, etc.

Anna & I dyed Easter eggs this afternoon and she seemed pretty into it (no, I don't know why I didn't brush Anna's hair before we got started; I'm on day five without Craig so we are just in survival mode, I guess). We did eight eggs so we did one of each color and then two eggs we moved around to different dyes for a while to make unique colors. I told her that the Easter Bunny would come tomorrow morning to hide some eggs and that tomorrow is Easter Sunday. I guess I figure we can get into details about what Easter is actually about when she's older.


The last time I took Anna's portraits was in November for the Christmas card. It was sunny in her room, her hair wasn't in a total knot after her nap, I had just enough energy, and I really wanted to get these done as soon as possible! Of course I had a really hard time because I can't lay down on my stomach or even bend like I usually do in a portrait session and Anna didn't particularly want to sit still (not that I wasn't prepared for that). Anyway, here the the shots I got. I really hope she will cooperate with me when it's time to take sister shots when Baby Girl arrives. I'll definitely have to only attempt those when I have an assistant around at first.

Two-Year Portrait


Anna's 5-Day Portrait

Anna's One-Year Portrait

Anna's Two-Year Portrait

No Wonder!

It's no wonder I've been feeling warmer lately. We've had the air conditioning on for a few months now but I've attributed my warmth to being pregnant. When I actually took the time to click on my own link to current weather here in Doha (on the right), I see that the high today was 89 degrees and 73% humidity. That would explain why the pool has been feeling really nice lately! Now I almost wish I didn't know what the temperature was... it's going to be an interesting spring and summer!

Playgroup: Second Date

Today was the second playgroup and only two other moms were there. The others had legitimate reasons for not coming (family in town, previously scheduled doctor's appointments, child up all night, etc.) so I hope it was just a fluke and that next week has a better turnout. Of course people will start traveling for the summer soon, so I'm just hopeful we can keep the group together come fall!

Anna had a good time and I think it was helpful that there were only three other kids there so it was a little less chaotic than last week at our house (and she didn't have to share any of her toys which is always easier!). She talked about it a lot on the way home so that is always the best review for an activity (she's still talking about Family Fun Day and riding the camel and the pony).

The mom who hosted today is due two weeks before me so I'm really counting on her labor & delivery experience to go well to psych myself up for the same (she is delivering at the same hospital with the same OB). I think now that I'm definitely having Baby Girl here I'm beginning to panic ever so slightly about unknowns due to delivering in a foreign country. It will be OK, I know, but sometimes the imagination can get the best of you. (Besides I can't really base my anticipated experience to Kirsten's because this is her third, she is going for her second VBAC, and she is planning to use drugs for pain-relief: basically nothing at all like my situation!)


Anna & I went for a walk on the Corniche this morning. It was really windy so on the way out I was walking with the wind and it didn't feel so bad, but on the way back, Anna's stroller sunshade was catching all the wind and causing quite a bit of resistance so I got a very good workout out of that. Craig has the Nano so I don't know exact distance but I think I went a little over 3k (according to the markers on the Corniche). I'll have to walk it again with the Nano later and update my numbers then.

Distance: 2.07 miles
Time: 39:55
144 avg
39:52 in THR
00:00 high HR
00:03 low HR
9:00 AM

This Week:
Miles Walked: 4.44

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 8.54

35 Weeks 3 Days Pregnant

My appointment actually started yesterday. Anna & I had to stop in to the hospital to get some bloodwork done in advance of today's appointment. Since I am getting toward the end of the pregnancy I'm booking my appointments two weeks out instead of four weeks out which means I'm not getting the coveted 8 AM appointment time anymore. Today's appointment was for 9:45 AM (got in to see the doctor around 10:30). Next time I have the fabulous appointment time of 10:45 and I hope I get in before noon! Hopefully Craig will be able to join me on that one (although Anna is such a patient little kid and really easy to bring along on these appointments so I just can't complain about it).

I piled on the pounds between the last appointment and this one, however, my total weight gain is only 24 pounds which is good. I finally remembered my blood pressure this time, it was 116/65. Baby Girl is head down and Anna said "there's Baby Sister" when she saw her on the monitor during the ultrasound.

I asked Dr. Rizvi all of the questions I had from the tour that weren't answered and I was happy with the answers which is good. I mentioned to her that the woman who gave the tour seemed confused that I didn't know which days I needed to book my room yet which made me wonder at what point we will start talking about induction. Dr. Rizvi says their policy is to not go over 41 weeks. At home it was 42 weeks but I am feeling fine with 41 weeks. I just hope I don't make it that far because I would like to avoid induction. I will start getting internal exams at 39 weeks and my next appointment is on April 17 (37 weeks 3 days).

Last night I finalized the hospital bag checklist and the birth plan/birth preferences document. Now I just need to print them and gradually start tossing things in the suitcase. Just three more weeks before Anita gets here so Baby Girl is "officially" allowed to to come any time after that.


Since my energy boosts are pretty scarce (even now that I have high motivation to get back to the gym) I walked on the treadmill tonight for 45 minutes instead of 30 just in case I have a low-energy week again this week and don't make it back out to exercise more than a couple of times. I might try to hit the Corniche with Anna a few times this week since I do find the treadmill kind of boring; I know I'll be missing my nice Zooper or BabyJogger but the Zapp will have to do (Anna still loves that thing!).

Distance: 2.37 miles
Time: 45:20
139 avg
44:28 in THR
00:00 high HR
01:18 low HR
6:50 PM

This Week:
Miles Walked: 2.37

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 6.47

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now?

It's not really up to us, but it's one of our hottest topics to discuss each day right now. When Craig was originally offered this assignment, we were to spend part of the three years in Qatar and the other part in South Korea. By the time we arrived in Qatar, no word of moving to South Korea was being spoken and it looked like we might spend the entire three years here. Now, after some meetings last week, South Korea is being discussed again. Of course there is no time-frame for this and it could not happen. Here are the things that I want out of our living situation:

  • Move out of this particular villa so we are off of the street.
  • Just move one time: either across town or to Korea. (However, if we are not moving to Korea until, say, June 2008, then I will be happy to move across town to get away from the street noise in this villa.)

In my dream world we will go home for a month this summer and instead of flying back to Qatar, we fly to Korea. Part of this dream is that they pack up our stuff before we leave for the US so four weeks of air-shipment and sea-shipment waiting time is spent while we are vacationing in the US. I honestly don't see that happening but, well, it would be nice. I just hope Anna can handle the next move as smoothly as she handled the move from the US to Qatar. Baby Girl will be fine as long as I can keep my stress-level down I am sure. Who knows what Gertie is going to do.

Until we know anything I have to operate on the thought that we're staying here. I find it really hard to "live" my life when big unknowns like this are looming over my head.

One Complaint

I really try to maintain a positive outlook on the place where I am living since, from my observations, those who complain about where they are living tend to be unhappy and those who find the positive tend to be happier. I can get over crazy drivers, they are everywhere. I can get over poor service in restaurants because we really should be eating at home more. The one thing I cannot get over is the fact that there is a law in Qatar against smoking indoors and yet every time we are out we see (and smell) people smoking inside the malls.

There is a giant no-smoking sign as you walk in Landmark Mall. There is just about one no-smoking sign per wall and column at Starbucks. People typically don't smoke inside Starbucks but "outside" in the mall walkways, as if they think they're outside. Now, maybe I could get over this if their cigarette smoke wasn't drifting toward me (35 weeks pregnant) and my daughter (2 years old) and ruining our experience and our air.

I have yet to work up the nerve to say anything to anyone because as I see it, it is something that is just overlooked. I get that native Qataris probably think they're above the law or whatever but then the expats do it, too. Today I really and truly almost said something to the Qatari man or the expat woman smoking near us (we were sitting there first!). Instead we just got up and left. I'm leary of saying anything to a Qatari because I don't want to get us deported (no, I don't think that that is so far-fetched) so if my short fuse blows one of these days it will probably be directed at an expat.

It's not the smoking so much that gets my temper flaring as the blatant disregard of the no-smoking signs posted everywhere. If it were legal I'd suck it up and deal with it better but I can't help but feel endlessly frustrated in this particular situation.

Keep Your Head Still So I Can Pull Your Hair

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This one makes me sad. Every day I ask Anna if she wants barrettes or pigtails and she always chooses pigtails (but if her hair is exceptionally nice in the back sometimes I don't ask and just put barrettes in because I like that look better!). The past few days when I've been putting pigtails in her hair she says, "Keep your head still so I can pull your hair" and I always correct her and say, "no, I don't want to pull your hair! When you move your head I will probably pull your hair, if you keep your head still, I won't." No amount of correcting is getting the correct phrase out of her mouth though. She keeps picking pigtails in spite of the (hopefully minimal) hair-pulling involved.


On our way back from music class today we were listening to Louis Armstrong's rendition of Heigh-Ho (The Dwarf's Marching Song) and there is a line that goes, "You've heard him sing, now hear him blow, the king: Satchmo!" and in perfect timing I heard Anna shout from the backseat "Satchmo!"

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