July 2007 Archives

The Zoo

We went to the zoo today with Corrine, Owen, Raisa, Adele, Rachel, Jacob, & Sam. Anna's favorite animal was the polar bear but she was laughing pretty hard at the monkeys as well. Sarah hung out in the sling most of the time and was relatively content but we started to get too warm so decided it was just time to head home.


Riggs! Come on!

Enjoying a book with Nana this afternoon.

Anna is now calling out to Riggs, "Riggs! Come on, Riggs!" just like I did on our walk this morning with him (and I'm sure this is also what Nana & Papa say on their walks with him). Riggs doesn't react to her calling though because she doesn't raise her voice at all and I just don't think he hears her (or thinks there would be anything in it for him if he came).


Sarah moved up to size 3 Pampers Cruisers today. She's been having problems with up-the-back-blowouts so we weighed her and she is 15 pounds and ready for size 3 diapers! I really hope she fits her size 3-6 months clothes until the air shipment (with all of the 6-12 months clothes) arrives in Korea...

She is also having major daytime-sleep troubles so I'm trying to formulate an action plan for her. I'm still operating under the assumption that everything will be better when we are settled in Korea and have our new routines down... so maybe another four weeks?

Georgetown Loop

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Anita, Craig, Anna, Owen, Raisa, & I went on the Georgetown train this morning. Corrine stayed with Sarah at Anita & Brian's. The train ride was fun although Anna was super scared each time the train whistle blew (asking her tonight, though, she claims that was her favorite part). Sarah only drank about one-half ounce from the bottle so I guess I'm giving up on her taking the bottle again (she hasn't done well with that since Doha and we've been trying each week to give her the bottle).


Testing out the new Baby Hawk on a walk.

Anna riding Craig's old horse (Anna calls it the "broom-horse").

Anna had fun helping Nana make some popcorn this afternoon.

Anita went to book club this morning so the four of us decided to take a walk. It's quite obvious we haven't been left to our own devices yet as it took us longer to get everyone ready for the walk than it actually took us to complete the walk!


We met Corrine, Owen, & Raisa for lunch at Gregorio's today. Sarah slept maybe 20 minutes on the way down and 15 minutes on the way back up. Each time Sarah fell asleep for a bit, Anna started in with a song or loud conversation that woke Sarah up again. I sat in the back and observed that Sarah just watches Anna the whole time so even if Sarah is quiet, it doesn't mean she is asleep: she's just being entertained (this would explain her over-tiredness when we arrived at Corrine's last week).

Anna went for a walk with Nana & Riggs by herself today and even held Nana's hand. Anna also gave Sarah another kiss goodnight. She is still really whiney though and I just really hope that once we are settled in Korea she will go back to her normal self.

Craig has been staying up late each night trying to get details worked out for our move (our boxes in Doha, our housing in Okpo, our tickets to Korea, our Baby Shipment) and it has been a nightmare. Today, however, it seems he has made some progress and we just may have our tickets to Korea (straight from Denver)!

Family Day

Ross & Sarah checking each other out.

Corrine, Scott, Owen, Raisa, and Ross all came up to visit today. Sarah got to meet her uncle Ross and Anna seems interested in her cousins and maybe even Aunt Corrine isn't so bad. Anna had fun watering Nana's flowers on the deck and took Riggs on a walk again this afternoon.

Audition Clip


This is partly for my cousin Greg and mostly to attempt to make up for how slowly I've been updating the blog while on vacation. I hope to get caught up soon, I promise! (And I'll move this down to July 12, where it belongs, when I do get caught up.)

The Forest

We loaded up my parents' Tahoe today and drove up to Craig's parents' house for the next two weeks. We literally had no room to spare in the Tahoe, it was quite obscene. The kids did well on the drive (about an hour and forty-five minutes) but I think Anna was a bit sad that we aren't going back to Grandma & Grandpa's and Jake & Sam's houses.

Anna is doing much better up here than she did at Corrine's. She went on a walk with Nana, Papa, Craig, and Riggs the Dog this afternoon and had a good time and she calls the outside here "the forest," which is accurate. Sarah sounds like she is congested, however; I hope it doesn't develop into anything.

Fun Plex, Beau Jo's, & Fat Albert's

I took Anna to the Fun Plex with Rachel, Jake, & Sam this morning. I think we were there for about 15-20 minutes as Anna has been acting terrified of the water for a few weeks now. I was actually surprised that I could convince her to get in at all. I am not sure what happened since she enjoyed swimming in Doha but we're skipping the bath most nights now. Just another thing I hope works itself out after we get settled in Korea.

Anna & I met Rachel, Jake, Sam, Mat, & Craig at Beau Jo's in Fort Collins and Sarah stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa again (she slept a good portion of the time we were gone so I was glad I left her home this time). Tonight though we decided to all go out to Fat Albert's where Sarah slept for part of the meal but was pretty tough to convince to then go to bed for the night. I'm thinking I'll stick to day-time outings for now as I have an easier time messing with a nap than with bed-time.

The Woods

Anna calls my parents yard "the woods" which I find intriguing since we had so many more trees at our old house in Texas. It's little things like watching her run around their yard that makes me realize how depressing it might have been to spend the rest of the summer in Doha not getting outside at all.

Impromptu Portaits

Is there really a question on what color Sarah's hair is?

This will have to be converted to black & white because there are a few of us in pajamas!

My mother and her baby brother.

Craig: the Kid Magnet.

Goodnight Kiss

Anna gave Sarah a goodnight kiss tonight.

Neil & Bonnie

My Aunt Bonnie & Uncle Neil came to visit today. Anna did not run screaming from them but kept her distance from them while thoroughly enjoying running around the yard with Jake & Sam tonight.


Anna, Sarah, my mom, and I went to Old Navy and Target today and Sarah took a short nap in Target and I had the hardest time getting her to take a real nap at home although it was clear that she needed one. I guess we're reaching the point where we can't let her fall asleep while we're out (which makes it hard because she has a hard time staying up for more than an hour and twenty minutes at a stretch).

Since Sarah didn't nap well, I left her at home with Grandma & Grandpa while Anna & I went to the airport to pick up Craig. Sarah refused the bottle again. Hopefully she was just not hungry and it's not the bottle in general.

Anna was so excited to have Craig back with us she talked non-stop from the airport (even more non-stop than usual which is impressive). She ran around my parents' yard like crazy and then had the hardest time falling asleep tonight. We are all glad to have Craig back with us!

Craig did get the villa packed on Sunday and the movers took the boxes on Monday. So, we shouldn't have to go back to Doha at all. We just need to get everything arranged with his company now.

Story Time & Biker Bar

I was not feeling well today so my mom took Anna to story time with Great Grandma, Rachel, Jake, & Sam and then my parents took her to dinner with the above and my dad and Mat. From the stories I got, Anna had fun at both and she even ate frog's legs at the restaurant.

Monthly Portrait: Sarah at Two Months

Sarah found her thumb this weekend; she's been spotted a few times getting it in her mouth but I think she's already more of a pacifier-girl now (although she still very occasionally falls asleep in her crib without the pacifier and she can still readily fall asleep in my arms without it (or thumb)).

We are getting some longer naps now (although not consistently). I am going to try to keep her up for longer stretches to see if that helps at all since she's getting so much sleep at night, I am not sure if that's what is hindering a good napping-day or not (she's taking 4 or 5 mini-naps and I'd like just 3 good naps, if possible, please, Sarah!).



The girls & I went down to Corrine's for lunch today. Unfortunately, Sarah had a big meltdown (she must not have slept in the car—I assumed she was sleeping along the way since she was quiet, but maybe she was just being entertained by Anna's reading and singing during the drive) and Anna was super shy. We had a nice visit and at least Opa got to meet Sarah (but I'll have to get their photo together the next time they meet after we're up at Brian & Anita's).

Double Rainbow

Cousins & Great Grandma

An ant (and Jake).

Where did Sam go?

Great Grandma Eldora (and Mat).Photo by Jake.

Jake & Sam spent the day with us all day today and it was a lot of fun. This is the first time I've really witnessed Anna interacting with other kids directly, calling them by name, and playing with them instead of just parallel-play. The boys are great at keeping Sarah entertained, too.

Great Grandma Eldora arrived around dinner time and just got to meet Sarah briefly. Anna was a bit skeptical of her tonight, hopefully she'll warm up to her a bit before Eldora leaves.

Moving Day

The movers are coming to pack up the our villa in Doha on Sunday. Hopefully everything else will start falling into place soon. (Craig sold Korando last week so we won't have anything in Qatar once Craig departs next week.)

First Haircut

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I took Anna to get her first haircut today and it went better than I had anticipated. She had the choice of a hippo, elephant, dinosaur, or car chair and she chose hippo. When it came time to actually sit on it though, she didn't want to sit on the hippo chair by herself so she sat on my lap on a regular salon chair. Once the stylist got started, Anna was calm and just watched herself in the mirror (I think this was the key to her happiness: she loves to check herself out in the mirror!). After the cut, Anna got to pick a "style" and she chose braids with clips. She said she had fun getting her hair cut and seemed pretty pleased with the experience and with her new cut.

Dairy Farm

We all visited the dairy farm today and got to see the cows being milked (and some lucky kittens getting a bowl of fresh milk). The kids seemed to really have a good time (Sarah fell asleep, so she was happy, too) and we brought home some cheese curds and ice cream (strawberry, of course).

Children's Museum & Aquarium

Anna & Raisa painting at the Children's Museum.

Shopping in the store.

Raisa dressed like a bird.

Anna dressed like a bird (and standing in a nest).

Anna & I met Corrine, Owen, Raisa, & Anita at the Children's Museum today. Anna was a little slow to get comfortable but had fun in the grocery store and dressing up like a bird. After the museum we walked over to the Aquarium and had lunch. We sat right next to a giant window and Anna really enjoyed seeing all of the fish swimming by (although she did not like the shark because he was big).

Sarah stayed home with Grandma & Grandpa but didn't want to drink from the bottle for some reason (only drank 1.5 oz from 8:30 AM to 2 PM). She slept well though so we're not sure exactly what the problem was since she has drunk more than that from the bottle before. It was weird to be away from her for that long and makes me really appreciate that I don't have to go to work away from home.


Anna is having fun playing at Jake & Sam's house on their little trampoline and "jumping like a frog" (although she's not actually jumping at all, just running in place). Tonight she was having a blast climbing up the ladder and going down the slide. The biggest thing she did today though was to refer to my dad not as "the other mouse," but as "grandpa mouse." No hugs & kisses for him yet, but she's not running away and crying anymore which is a great improvement.

Two Month Checkup

I took Sarah to the doctor this morning for her two-month checkup. Nothing incredible to report; the doctor said she looked good and everything was fine. She did get five shots though and I have never seen her that mad before. Poor little girl came home and slept for almost three hours. Here are her stats:

Weight: 12 lbs 12 oz
Length: 22.5 inches
Head Circumference: 15.75 inches

Sarah Sunday


Grandma-Mouse and the Snort

Anna calls the air conditioners in our house in Doha, "Snorts" (like the "snort" in Are You My Mother).

She has also taken to calling everyone "somebody-Mouse." Mommy-mouse, Anna-mouse, Daddy-mouse, Sarah-mouse, Grandma-mouse, and "the-other-mouse" (my dad).

Haircut, Sprinkler, & Gelato

Waiting to run through the sprinkler.

I took Anna to get my hair cut this morning. I'm hoping to get hers done this month and I wanted her to see me get mine done first. She had a look of concern on her face the whole time, but I don't know if it was because of the haircut or her newly intensified stranger anxiety.

This afternoon, Anna & I went to Jake & Sam's to play with some of their toys (she liked the dollhouse the best—it's the same one she has since my grandpa built one for me and Rachel) and hit the sprinkler again. Anna was having fun with the sprinklers until she got sprayed in the back of the head, turned around and was getting sprayed in the face and was frozen in shock, still getting sprayed in the face. Hopefully that doesn't ruin the sprinkler for her though.

After dinner, Anna & I met Rachel, Mat, Jake, & Sam at the new coffee & gelato place near their house. Anna had strawberry, of course.

Sarah continued her 45-minute napping trends until this afternoon when my mom picked her up, Sarah burped, my mom set her down and then Sarah slept for another hour or more. So, we might try that again tomorrow and hopefully that is all that is between her and better naps. She also took a bottle today (we're trying to do it at least once per week so she keeps up the "skill").

Nana & Papa (Corrine & cousins)

Brian (Papa) and Aunt Corrine checking out Sarah for the first time.

Grandma and three of four grandkids reading a really big book.

Brian, Anita, Corrine, Owen, & Raisa came up to meet Sarah and see Anna today. Unfortunately Anna was being incredibly shy and sat on my lap for most of the visit (why I have no good pictures because I was anchored down and only had the little camera). Anna tried to take a nap but said her shirt was "too tight" and got up. But she wouldn't come back into the family room and kitchen to visit with people and cried when Brian said, "Hi, Anna-Banana." I really really hope this is because she's tired and not the way it is going to be for a while. We're going to have a really rough time in Korea if that is the case.

Sarah was a charmer though with smiles and cooing. She refused to take a nap for the two hours before the gang arrived and then only napped maybe ten minutes on Anita while they were here. Thankfully she easily fell asleep after they left though (she looked exhausted!)

Two Months

It's a lucky thing I gave Jake & Sam one of these IKEA bears, too!

Sorry this is a bit choppy, I hope to edit later.

Sarah is two months old today! She has her two-month well-exam on Monday; I can't wait to see how much she has grown. She is wearing 3-6 months clothes (she was in-between sizes so I just brought the 3-6 clothes on our trip and size 2 diapers (size 3 in Qatar, the sizing is different there).

Sarah's skin looks really good so it must have just been infant acne that we saw a few weeks ago (we are still using Eucerin Calming Cream each night though).

She has so many nooks and crannys to clean because she is so roly-poly (adorable!).

I've finally stopped changing her diaper in the night last week since she doesn't have a poopy diaper every time any more.

Kicking out of the swaddle, time to move to the sleep sack.

We're getting more cooing and smiles (although I've all but given up on catching one on camera at this point!).

Most people who meet her comment on her red hair and her chin(s).

Airport & The Sprinkler

Anna slept from 6:30 PM to 4:45 AM today (45 minutes longer than yesterday). Sarah was back to getting up only once after 6:30 PM but ended up sleeping with me after she woke up (the first night she ended up with me most of the night).

Since she was up early, my parents took Anna to the local airport to clean out my parents' hangar. Apparently she was fine going out with my dad (and mom, of course). I know my dad is having to keep his distance though which is hard.

We took Anna over to Jake & Sam's house to check out some of their toys and it was decided that the kids should get their swimsuits on and run through the sprinkler. I had to put Sarah to bed so my mom held Anna's hand going back and forth through the sprinkler. She claims to have had fun.

Fourth of July

Sleeping through the parade.

Sitting on Grandma's lap at the parade.

Photo by Rachel

Sarah & Grandpa enjoying a good book together.

Anna & Sam at the party.

Since we were all awake and, in what seemed to be in relatively good spirits, we went to the parade with Rachel, Mat, Jake, & Sam. We only stayed for an hour since Sarah could only sleep through so many marching bands and I think Anna's 4 AM wake-up was starting to get to her.

Anna took a 45-minute nap and made it until 6:30 again. We were able to go over to Rachel & Mat's for their annual 4th of July party for just a little bit (enough to go down the slides, play with some balls, have some food and chat a bit).

I was worried that the fireworks would be a problem and wake Anna in the night but it started to get windy and look like rain so I think the neighborhood fireworks were kept to a minimum (in years past, the fireworks were a nightmare (waking Anna and causing a long, long night) and I wondered why we came home just in time for them this year!).

Anna is acting super scared of my dad (and very shy of everyone else except me & my mom). I think the men-lifting-the-stroller in Doha didn't help her stranger anxiety. Sometimes she seems OK with him in the same room but other times will run into her room and cry. Hopefully by the end of our visit she will be comfortable around him. I'm not really sure what to do about it since this is new behavior (I'm not sure if it's jet-lag-induced, uncertainty because Craig is not with us, or just a combination of things).

Doha to Denver

Anna watching Bear Snores On in Frankfurt airport.

Anna sleeping from Frankfurt to Denver; she fell asleep just after take-off.

Sarah sleeping in the bassinet.

The girls did amazingly well on our trip. Anna had a few moments where she didn't want to listen to reason but they were just that: moments. And, thankfully, they were few and far between. I don't know how I would have done it if my my wasn't there though. She pretty much took care of Anna and I took care of Sarah.

It started out Monday night: we put the kids to bed as usual (Sarah around 6:30 and Anna by 7:30). Anna had a pretty major meltdown at bedtime that made me extra nervous for our trip. We woke both girls up at 9:30 and we were in the cars (Craig hired a driver to take all of our stuff since we and our luggage wouldn't all fit in the Korando) and on the way to the airport before 10 PM.

My mom and I juggled the bags through the first security checkpoint (before the ticket counters) and again through the second (after the ticket counters). We were lucky enough to skip the long lines and go through the "ladies only" line at passport control. We were also let into the gate area after not too long. There we waited for the bus to take us to our plane.

There was a minor incident getting on the bus as the gate agent told us we could leave Anna in her stroller to get on the bus but I couldn't help my mom lift the stroller onto the bus (I had Sarah in the sling) so I asked a man to help my mom. Three men zoomed in and lifted Anna's stroller onto the bus and she freaked out. She was absolutely terrified and I again worried that this was going to be a rough trip.

We ended up with a row to ourselves. We put the armrest up in the middle two seats and Anna was able to sleep lying down. I held Sarah with my arm resting on the Boppy. (I did originally have the bulkhead with bassinet reserved but the other woman in that row had two kids and one apparently had bronchitis so I didn't want to sit with them—the mom wasn't particularly interested in soothing her child, either so we had to listen to a lot of whining and coughing from the poor kid before he fell asleep.) Anna fell asleep maybe three hours into the flight and we had to wake her up when we were getting close to Frankfurt.

We had a seven-hour layover in Frankfurt and we were lucky to find three seats together to camp out in right away. We were near the bathrooms and restaurants but we were also right on the busy pathway so I had an annoying time with nursing (I don't care to nurse in public anyway and this was just too many people, too noisy, etc.). At any rate, Sarah did sleep most of the time and was a super easy traveler as I don't think she complained at all the entire trip.

On our flight from Frankfurt to Denver, I had the bassinet again and a 12-year-old boy sat next to me. My mom & Anna had the seats behind me. My mom held Sarah on take-off and I sat next to Anna. Anna fell asleep shortly after take-off and then my mom & I switched places. The seat in the bulkhead row on the side of the aircraft were super narrow (because the trays come out of the arm of the seat there) and the only way I could nurse Sarah was to sit sideways a bit. But, once the bassinet was installed she would have been bumping her head on the bassinet, so we went downstairs to the bathroom each time she had to eat (besides the fact that I didn't really want to breastfeed next to a 12-year-old boy anyway). The bassinet was an arm-saver though!

I bought Anna a special seat belt for the plane so we wouldn't have to lug her carseat around the airports but Anna didn't really like it so my mom wanted me to sit next to her for the landing because Anna wouldn't listen to her about wearing the seatbelt. After we switched and about ten minutes before we landed in Denver, Anna threw up all over. I asked the flight attendant if I had time to change her and I did. So I got Anna cleaned up and wiped off the seatbelt, threw Elmo in a plastic bag (he was soaked), and we put a few clean blankets on Anna's seat and she was back in the seatbelt before we landed.

We waited what felt like an eternity to get our luggage (six checked items including carseats) and then met my dad on the other side of customs. Finally, we were on our way to my parents house! I gave Anna a bath and put her to bed at 6:30 PM and Sarah was in bed by 7 PM. Anna slept until 4:00 AM and Sarah was up three times after 7 instead of her usual one time.

29 Hours


Both girls fell asleep pretty soon after we got into Grandma & Grandpa's car.

We made it! I had fully intended on doing an hourly play-by-play because I was prepared for a nightmare trip. I was pleasantly surprised by both of my girls: they are excellent little travelers! Lufthansa coach was not nearly as impressive as Lufthansa business class though which was disappointing.

I'll get into the details later, but we are here and are now working on getting on Colorado-time.

So-long, Qatar!

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Things I'll miss about Doha (relative to our new place in Korea, not relative to the US):

  • The friends Anna & I have made in our playgroup
  • Activities for kids (like music class, etc.)
  • Good shopping (both "stuff" and groceries)
  • Winter weather was pretty great!
  • The Corniche
  • Camel-spotting
  • The beach (although we never checked out Korea's beaches so we might be happy with theirs as well)
  • Starbucks at every mall
  • Having a carousel so close by (and kids play-areas in every mall and most restaurants)
  • We didn't get to try it, but I like the selection of pre-schools here much more than what Okpo has to offer.

Things I won't miss about Doha

  • Dealing with the administration at Al Ahli hospital
  • Slow Internet
  • Q-Tel!
  • The time difference between battery-powered clocks and ones plugged into the wall (the frequency of the Qatar electric grid is too fast so I have to re-set the clock in Sarah's room about once per week or else it gets too far ahead to make sense anymore (I need a digital clock in there for my night-visits to her room)).

Medical Clearance

Some wheels are in motion (thanks to Craig being a squeaky wheel) and we got his company doctor to sign off on our medical clearance today. We're still waiting for the "official" offer from his company but Craig is still hopeful that we can get our stuff on its way before he leaves for the US (and that we could possibly go straight to Korea from the US). I'm at the point where I don't care either way (I do still have a preference), but I just want to know what we're doing. I can't wait until we get to Korea and get settled because that means we'll be staying put for a few years and not having to deal with this again for a while (and to think that Sarah will be older than Anna is now when we leave Korea is a bit mind-boggling to me).

Eight Weeks

Tiny Voice: Sarah at Eight Weeks


Elmo got Sarah to talk a bit this afternoon. Of course she was smiley before I got the camera out, too. I guess she doesn't want to share it with the world just yet. It's funny how Sarah is already obviously interested in everything Anna is doing (or maybe it's just the hot-pink clothes Anna has to wear lately that are attracting Sarah's attention).

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