June 2007 Archives

The Drive

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Yesterday my mom & I drove to Hyatt Plaza and Carrefour and I wished we had taken a video because it seemed like every street and every turn we were coming across some wild traffic (people cutting us off, pulling out in front of us, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc.). So today Craig, Anna, & I went out and I had the camcorder and taped the entire drive. Nothing remarkable happened at all (which, in the end, is actually preferable, I realize!).

The Carousel

This is from June 13, I'll move it down to the correct date in a few days.

Anna just loves this carousel that Grandma brought her, can you tell? I'm not sure where we'll find a carousel in Korea yet so we'll have to be sure to hit the one here in Doha a few more times before we go.


We said goodbye to the Sorento today. The guy who bought it is also potentially interested in Craig's Korando. Surely it can't be that easy.

Sweet Talk

There's a particular page in one of Sarah's black & white books that she likes; on one side it has a string of beads and on the other are four buttons. She has been consistently impressed with this page since she first saw it. This afternoon she was having the best time "talking" to the page and smiling at it. I considered running downstairs to get the camera to make a video (we were in Anna's room) but decided to just enjoy it instead since this was the most I've heard her talk yet. I'll add it to my list of videos to make.

Korea Update

There isn't one. We don't know when we're going yet except that Craig is supposed to be there for work starting in August. We're still hoping (against hope, it would appear) that we can fly directly from the US to Korea instead of flying back to Qatar in between.

Craig put ads out for both of our cars and got two calls on the Sorento this afternoon. He's out showing it to the second person right now. Hopefully at least selling the cars will be easy if nothing else is.


Sarah turned seven weeks old yesterday. She seems to be settling into some nice routines of waking for the day at 6:30 AM and getting to bed by 6:30 PM. Hopefully she'll have an easy time adjusting to our new time-zone next week; I'm not too worried about it.

There are still times I can put Sarah down drowsy but awake and she fusses herself to sleep. Other times she takes a pacifier. Other times I have to resort to the sling (I do this if it's been more than two hours of wake-time and I'd just like to get an hour out of her). The current routine is to read (recite) a story to her (Madeline, The Going to Bed Book, or Goodnight Moon) and then hold her for eight minutes. How I came up with this time is random but it seems to work pretty well for now. Something I noticed right away in the hospital is that Sarah likes to be held more than Anna did. Last night she ate at 6:00, was in bed by 6:30, and did not wake up again to eat until 4:00 AM! Hopefully we can get more mommy-friendly timings after we get to Korea.

Sarah is holding her head up really well and for longer stretches. Still not rolling for me, though...

Anna is saying, "OK" to giving Sarah Eskimo kisses but their noses have yet to make contact as Sarah inevitably starts winging arms around once they get close and Anna backs away.

Anna helped me make Grandma an Angel Surprise Cake with Raspberry Fluff Frosting today. This was the second cake from the Max & Ruby book, Bunny Cakes. Anna is making the pained-face in the photo above because we told her she couldn't eat frosting with her mouth directly off of the cake (I should have just taken a picture of her doing this though, it was actually pretty funny). Anna had the hardest time ever waiting to eat this cake after she got a taste of the frosting.

Why Go Private?

I have asked myself a million times what the public hospitals could be like if the private one we chose is so irritating a lot of the time. We could get free health care along with everyone else at the public hospital but the reason we chose to go private (and get reimbursed for most of it through our insurance) was we wanted Craig to be in the delivery room with me for Sarah's birth. And we live really close to the hospital we chose so it is convenient for the pediatrician, it is new, etc.

However, the inefficiency of the administrative staff there continues to amaze me. I have to wonder if it's worse or actually better with the public hospital. I went to my six-week follow-up appointment with my OB last week (and complained about the doctor who delivered Sarah while I was there) and asked for my records and the kids records since we are leaving Doha. Dr. Rizvi said they'd type up a report for me and to come back in one week. So, Anna & I drove over yesterday and neither the pediatrician's nor the OB's people had made the copies. I got Anna & Sarah's files (because there wasn't much there anyway, just a couple of vaccinations) but have to go back again for mine because the report wasn't written for me. I will actually be surprised if it is ready today.

Also, getting "a copy of your files" is not like in the US. The pediatrician's receptionist had to tell the records-lady what we were "allowed" to have a copy of. Why not just copy the whole folder and be done with it? It is, after all, my health (or my children's health) we're talking about, not this hospital's health (or their concern anymore when I leave the country). I am really interested to see what is in my "report."

Flip! Flip!

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Sarah rolled twice today from tummy to back for Craig while my mom, Anna, & I were at the Souk. Of course she wouldn't do it for me at all.... maybe tomorrow.

Al Zubara Fort

I have to shoot everything in our house at ISO 1600 and forgot to change the ISO when we got to the fort: oops!

I adjusted the exposure in Adobe Bridge and got kind of a cool effect.

Luckily, my mom also took a photo with her camera... (Photo by Adele)

A Petrol station I decided I had to take a picture of but ended up not wanting to wait for my lens to de-fog (from stepping out of the air-conditioned car into the desert heat) so you can see a bit of fog around the edges of the photo.

I've been wanting this photo since I saw the sign back in December or January but we never took the North Road anywhere after that trip to Al Khor. (Photo by Adele)


Note the camel's front legs are tied together so they can't get too far too fast. (Photo by Adele)

My mom, Anna, & I went for a drive up to Al Zubara Fort this morning. A guy asked if we wanted to go into the fort but Anna didn't want to get out of the car (couldn't blame her, really!) so we just took a couple of photos and continued on our way. We were feeling pretty sorry for ourselves that we hadn't seen any camels yet on our way home and then I spotted a bunch crossing the road in the distance so we did a u-turn and got pretty close to them; I think it was the highlight of the drive for all three of us.

Missed It!

I was trying to get a photo of Sarah lifting her head way up high this morning but she wasn't really into it when I was camera-ready. Today one of Craig's friends stopped by for a bit and while we were talking, my mom witnessed Sarah roll from her tummy to her back! I guess if it wasn't a fluke roll, I'll see it soon, too.

Not Yet

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One of these days I will capture Sarah's big smile, I swear. Maybe this weekend I'll just point the camera at her non-stop until I get it.


Anna had so much fun with her cat ears & tail that she wore them in the car on the way to playgroup (and back, although I didn't let her wear them in, Elmo stayed in the car dressed as a cat instead).



Today, Anna drank out of a pig cup, wore pig-tails, pink pig pants, wore a pig costume, played a pig drum, and got a new pig puzzle.

Lion Mask

Grandma & Anna made this cute lion mask today: ROAR!

Peak Fussiness

My favorite sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child says that babies will reach their "peak fussiness" at six weeks from the due date. As I've said before, Sarah's fussiness is not nearly as bad as Anna's was (although Sarah does have her moments—she's having one right now, actually). I am just hoping that the "peak fussiness" includes the older sibling at six weeks from the birth of the younger sibling. Anna had a major freak-out this afternoon that is making me really nervous for dealing with jet-lag-Anna in a few weeks (and then one or two more times this summer depending on whether we go straight to Korea from the US or come back to Qatar from the US and then go to Korea from here). I just have this awful feeling that things are going to be less-than-fun until we get settled in Korea and I hope I'm wrong about that.

Portrait Comparisons

I'm excited to add to this collage every month and see the changes in Sarah's face and personality.

Monthly Portrait: Sarah at 6 Weeks

Sarah turned six weeks yesterday! She is smiling a lot more but not for the camera, of course. Hopefully I can capture her adorable smile sometime this week though.

32:40 (Here I Go Again)

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I didn't feel like strapping on the heart-rate monitor and then I forgot the chip for the Nano so I just know that I walked 3 km in 32:40 minutes. I walked at an incline the first 20 minutes and then picked up the pace the last 12 minutes. My legs were super itchy from about 15-30 minutes though and it was awful!

I have ten pounds to lose to get back to where I was when I found out I was pregnant with Sarah.

Distance: 1.86 miles
Time: 32:40
7:45 PM

This Week:
Miles Walked: 1.86

Totals Since 3/25:
Miles Walked: 21.3

End of the Weekend

I wish I had something to write about this weekend but I think these kids are wearing me (and Craig and my mom) down! We went to out to Sarai (Middle Eastern food) on Friday night and Sarah slept in the sling the whole time. Today, my mom & I did a bit of shopping with Anna in tow. And just like that, the weekend is over. I really hope to get my mom out to see some camels before she leaves; maybe next weekend.

My Perspective

I'm seeing this view of Sarah more and more lately. She took three naps in the Hotsling today (one during playgroup at our house). The Hotsling is so much better than the Baby Bjorn on my back, it is not as hot as the Bjorn, and Sarah falls asleep almost instantly...


Sarah has been a bit screamy the past three evenings at bed-time. It doesn't last for long though and also the last three nights she has gone 8 hours between nursing. Yipeee!


Anna thinks this carousel that Grandma gave her is just the most amazing thing ever.


You can see that we have a very nice selection of eggs at Megamart. Photo by Adele

We ventured out to Landmark Mall today to hit the carousel (grandma & Anna rode), the grocery store, and get some Starbucks (Anna got "chocolate-to-go"). Sarah slept the entire time in the Hotsling: yay!

Rare Sighting



When Sarah fell asleep in the sling she actually looked much more comfortable than this! Elmo achieved comfort in Anna's sling right away.

Photos by Adele

The Baby Bjorn was hurting my back so today Sarah & I tested out the Hotsling and I think we both liked it better (although my shoulder started getting tired at the end of her hour-long nap). Anna thought it was fun to put Elmo in her sling, too. I have ordered a Baby Hawk that I am hoping to receive before our trip to the US but I think the Hotsling will work for our trip if the Baby Hawk isn't finished in time.

Little Things: Sarah 5 Weeks

Sarah is five weeks old today. I think I'll just say it every week: I can't believe it's been five weeks already!

One night after her bath, Craig handed her to me and Sarah suddenly looked really long. I guess she is finally stretched out instead of in a newborn-scrunch. Sarah seems to really notice me when I'm in a room now, she listens to my voice and looks in my direction. She gets pretty close to rolling while on the Gymini sometimes and her neck is getting stronger. I have heard a few little non-fussing noises but she's not quite cooing yet (I can't wait to start hearing her little voice more often, hopefully Anna will let Sarah get a word in now and again).

We are trying to decide if she's got a case of infant acne or eczema. Right now I'm washing with water and putting some Eucerin calming cream on to see if it helps at all. I'll take her in to have the pediatrician take a look at her skin if it doesn't start looking better soon.

Generally speaking, I am continually surprised at how "easy" Sarah seems and I've really enjoyed getting to know her so far but I'm getting impatient to see her personality come out even more! She is just super sweet and easy-going so far.



Craig asked me to get a picture of Anna for our Korean Visa applications. Of course this turned into an entire session (Anna has been asking to do portraits for a few days now so she was into it today for a change).

Strawberries, Cookies, & Another Tea Set

I have to go back to the Souk to get another tea set for Sarah.

Grandma made Anna a bunch of really nice felt strawberries: it was love at first sight for Anna.

Grandma made Anna some more cookies: lemon & chocolate chip. Lucky these are sugar-free!

Anna, my mom, & I went to the souk yesterday morning. It was so warm out we had to stop and get a drink at a coffee shop. We did get a few souvenirs but I now need to go back as I want to get something nice for Sarah from Qatar and I need to get her her own tea set. I guess the heat impaired my ability to realize I needed these things while I was there.

Grandma's Here!

I think Grandma's first words about Sarah were, "she's got red hair!"

Craig & Sarah passed out on the couch while Grandma, Anna, & I were picking up a few things at the Villagio.

Anna was pretty proud of the Earthworm Birthday Cake we made for Grandma (just like in the Max & Ruby book, Bunny Cakes).

My mom's flight came in on time and we were all glad to see her. She brought a ton of fabulous things in her suitcase, including an Elmo plate and the stuffed Elmo I ordered for Anna. I'll post video of Anna discovering her Elmo plate later on.

Counting Down

I am officially counting down the hours until my mom gets here tonight (nine more hours!). The funny thing is that the last couple of days have gone really well. So well that I've gotten some down-time in the middle of the day and no major battles (Anna is sometimes not the best listener when it's time to go upstairs for her afternoon rest and Sarah sometimes doesn't want to fall asleep when she's "supposed" to). Sunday was so bad that Craig stayed home on Monday to help me and ever since then I've been feeling better and things are going better, too. At any rate, I know Anna's going to have fun with my mom and I can stop feeling guilty about splitting my attention between the two kids. Now, hopefully my dad can survive a month without my mother (it's not too late to come out for a week, dad!)...

One Month

One month bear portrait & day-three bear portraits.

Anna sort of wanted to be in the action when I took Sarah's monthly bear portrait today. Now that it has been a month, I asked Anna if she likes Sarah and she said, "yes!" She still doesn't actually want to touch Sarah but I think they're getting along just fine so far.

Sarah has been extra sleepy the past couple of days and even took a few naps in the bouncy seat because she just couldn't stay awake (and it's frustrating to try to keep her a awake just to turn around in an hour to try to get her to sleep so sometimes it is just easier to give in —especially if she's acting super sleepy when I'm trying to prepare dinner).

We are in the midst of trying to get Sarah to take the pacifier although I'm wishy-washy on it. She doesn't like the same brand Anna liked (Sarah acted like we were trying to shove rat poison in her mouth) but I found another brand that she does seem to appreciate. The problem, of course, is training her to keep it in her mouth so I don't have to run up and down the stairs 10 times in an hour. In the middle of the night she falls asleep after nursing and doesn't typically need the pacifier then but sometimes in the morning and maybe half the time during the day I've been pushing it on her. But, because she does sometimes fall asleep without it, I find myself hemming and hawing if I should be promoting it or not.

Sarah is not particularly screamy (yet—fingers crossed that she doesn't get super screamy just because I typed that!) where Anna got screamy at right around 3 weeks and it lasted for a few weeks. I've mentioned that afternoons are hard with her because she doesn't want to fall asleep but I think she has been easier than Anna at this age for sure (I remember rocking and shushing Anna under the bathroom fans a lot and I know we had introduced the sound machine by this point with her, too). It makes me sad to think that Anna's reflux was probably a big part of her problem and it makes me thankful that Sarah doesn't seem to have the same troubles.

Happy Grapes

Anna & I were eating grapes for a snack while I made dinner tonight and I found a couple of bruised ones and put them on a paper towel and told Anna to put any grapes that looked squished or bad on the paper towel and we'd throw them out instead of eating them. She put a couple there and then looked at one and decided to eat it and said it wasn't a "bad" grape, it was a "happy" grape.

Imagination Failure


I mentioned in Anna's "Little Things" post that she pretends that part of her room is "Stawberry Vale" and she picks strawberries. Apparently tonight when Craig was putting her to bed, Anna was in a panic because she couldn't find her imaginary container to put the strawberries in. Craig was quick on his feet and imagined a basket on the end of the couch and suggested she put her strawberries in there instead. Anna fell for it, put her strawberries in Craig's imaginary basket, and stopped looking for the one she (apparently) forgot how to imagine earlier.

Little Things: Sarah 4 Weeks

Sarah really seems to enjoy baths (I remember Anna objecting to her first one at least), in fact, she really doesn't object to much except being in one position or doing one activity for "too long." She's usually only up for an hour at a time so it works out well since there's only time to nurse, change her diaper, sit in the bouncy seat, and play in the gymini before it's time to start soothing her to sleep.

She has had a handful of projectile spit-ups which makes me nervous about reflux again. Anna's reflux got underway in week three so I'm hoping Sarah's massive spit-ups are just flukes and not a sign of struggles with that again.

Sarah's neck is getting stronger, she is filling out, and we're still getting the smiles & laughs as she's drifting in and out of sleep. Her longest stretch at night has been 9 hours (total fluke, it only happened once!) but usually she goes 3-4 hours at night between meals. We start the day between 5:30-6 AM and she is typically in bed for the night by 7 PM or so. Other total fluke sleeping stuff is that I've left her in her bed wide awake and she's gone to sleep on her own. I wish I knew how to time it that way every time, but I definitely do not!

Afternoons are tough because Sarah doesn't seem to be able to fall asleep easily at that time of day so I've been using the Baby Bjorn. It's hurting my back a bit, but at least I can use my arms! She also seems to want to cluster-feed right around the time I'd like to be preparing dinner.

I simultaneously can't believe it has been four weeks already (it seems like we just brought her home!) and I am forgetting what it was like to not have her around and only have one child. I am so glad that Craig is home this time around (he was in Korea for weeks 3-6 with Anna) but I'm wishing I had not spaced Anita's and my mom's visit so far apart... this is definitely tough in the beginning.

Craig picked up Sarah's first passport today. It is valid for five years and her picture is going to look out-of-date in just a few months.

Little Things: Anna 26 Months

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Anna's Joe Dirt photo.

Strawberry smoothie party.

Playing music in a tutu.

Since Sarah was born, and more particularly since Anita left, Anna has been incredibly particular about things (she was before but she's taking this to new extremes, I think). The gate must be shut at the top of the stairs the instant you walk up, Pink Noisy Cat has to lie on the couch just so before a nap/bedtime, etc., etc. This is the behavior that I'm linking most to Sarah's arrival since Anna really doesn't seem to mind me holding Sarah (what must seem like all the time to Anna) or any of the things I have to do with Sarah. Anna likes to "help" me change Sarah's diaper by picking out which one she'll wear and she likes to tell Sarah what is on the pages of the black & white books I've set up by the Gymini. If Sarah is crying, Anna thinks I should sing "Hickory, Dickory, Dock" to soothe her. Anna lies on the Boppy and says, "Are you nursing?" although she doesn't seem particularly interested in anything when Sarah is actually nursing and does well playing on her own when I'm otherwise occupied with Sarah.

If you tell Anna that we can watch Music Works Wonders after dinner she'll say "ready to eat dinner" I guess in hopes to get things moving right along.

Today I had a phone call and Anna was drinking orange-pineapple juice form a cup and straw and spilled it all over and she exclaimed, "you spilled orange-pineapple juice on your H&M khakis!" I love the specificity of it (she used to like to get into detail about where you are when you sneeze (i.e. "mommy sneezed in the car on the way to the mall"). I was proud of Anna when she needed paper towels (after she took off her H&M khakis, of course) and started cleaning up the mess on the floor.

Anna pretends that there are strawberries in her room and runs around with "a whole handful of strawberries" and gives me some "big, juicy strawberries." Today she had a big strawberry on her back (like the mouse in The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear). The strawberry patch in her room is "Strawberry Vale" from Bear Wants More. She picks the strawberries by wiping her index finger on the floor and walks around with open hands "holding" the strawberries.

Anna's dollhouse is still a big hit and the baby, "Ursula," in it has a lot of the same interests as Anna. She'll watch one of Anna's movies on the TV in the family room, ride in the stroller, eat pizza & strawberries in the highchair, and even uses the same line of Pampers Anna uses. Anna has a Polly Pocket that is the mother, I think, although Anna calls her Polly and she (Polly) pushes Ursula in the stroller and sets up the movies on the TV.

Grandma Propaganda

Who is coming on the airplane this week? Grandma!!

I've started the Grandma Propaganda. My mom arrives later this week and I'm hoping Anna warms up fast! Thankfully I have this Little People person that looks like my mother and a video of my mom singing a song she and Anna made up in Texas. I think the video is the key to success here (and Anna is really enjoying the video Anita made this time around so hopefully that will keep her warmed up to Anita when we see her again this summer). I'll have to work on Grandpa, Papa, cousins, aunts, & uncles propaganda when it gets closer to our trip this summer (Riggs the Dog is the only one who I know she's excited to see at this point!).

Baking Bread


Photo by Craig

Craig has been making bread this week (who doesn't get that urge when it's in the 100s outside?) and Anna seemed pretty proud that she got to help him (except Craig says she actually just watched because she wouldn't get her hands in the dough to help knead the bread). She likes to whisk the dry ingredients for me when we make cookies so I think she just didn't want to get her hands dirty with the bread.

The Bottle

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Anna & I went to the grocery store this morning and left Craig with a bottle for Sarah to try out. She took it well and now I'm excited that I will be able to leave the house every now and again and not worry that Sarah will be screaming for food the entire time I'm gone (Anna never took to the bottle, we think because of her reflux and possibly because we didn't try it until 6 weeks).

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