Recently in Gertie Category

Gertie: 1997-2007

I hope Gertie can finally find peace.

Getting Closer

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I couldn't actually get up to walk across the room to get a camera (because Gertie would have moved!) so I took this with the camera on the MacBook...

Anna sat next to Sarah on the couch today. Sarah was in the moses basket taking a nap and Anna & I were watching some videos on the laptop (no photograph was taken because I was still in my pajamas, sorry). The wicker barrier of the moses basket must have made Anna feel safe in spite of Sarah's closeness. I hope over the course of the next week or so Anna will start to warm up to her, or at least by the time Anita leaves and I'm on my own for two weeks!

Relaxed (For Sophie & Lily)


Departure & Arrival

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The angle looks a little funny, but this chair reclined completely flat. It took Anna a while to find a comfy position! Photo by Craig.

Wednesday morning I met the cleaning ladies out at the house and while I was there, a Realtor & a couple stopped and asked if they could take a look at the house. They were there a while and asked a few questions that made me think that they were interested. Later in the morning after I went back to the hotel & Craig, Anna, & I were driving back to the house, our Realtor called to say that that couple wanted to make an offer on the house! The house sits on the market for one and a half months with absolutely no action for three weeks and then someone makes an offer on the day we're leaving? Crazy.

Anna & Craig slept in until 9 AM and after we showed Anna that the house was empty and said goodbye to it, we went out to lunch and then got everything together for the airport. Gertie was easy to catch but this time she hissed at me (I guess the rushing around clued her in that this was a bigger deal than the last couple of times I've had to catch her last week (to go to the vet for her travel certificate and to move to the hotel). She complained a bit in the van to the airport and I was glad I thought to put the locks from our new suitcases on both zippers to Gertie's carrier as she did try to claw/chew her way out a few times.

We left the hotel a little after 1 PM. The international terminal was crazy but many thanks to Craig's work for forking over the money for business seats for all of us as we got helped at the counter quickly by waiting in the business line (I felt awful for all of the other parents with kids in the longer line so I really appreciated this more than I think I may have in the past).

Nothing too remarkable to report about the airport. Anna had fun looking at the airplanes from the terminal and getting a bit of exercise before we boarded. Craig sat next to Anna on the plane so I had it pretty easy with my new motto of "live and let Craig" whenever Anna was squirmy or fussy. Really, she was great though and we didn't even get out any toys on the plane (something that's never happened when it has just been me & her). She had her pig that she sleeps with and her pacifier but she couldn't convince herself to give in to fatigue (no nap today!) until about 10:15 PM. I did not sleep at all on this flight, but Craig & Anna slept about two hours. I guess I just couldn't relax or get comfortable enough.

Gertie did not like take-offs or landings but was relatively complain-free for most of the flight. When we got to Frankfurt we had a bit of a time finding the Lufthansa lounge but it was worth it when we did for a little bit quieter and more relaxing space to wait for our next flight with a cat and a toddler with only two hours of sleep behind her. Anna pretty much kept her pacifier from the time it was given to her—I was glad that it was able to provide her such comfort and am nervous about weaning from it in the coming year.

Really for as much waiting and little sleep we all had to put up with, Anna was a fantastic traveler. She had moments of irrationality, but so did I! Gertie wouldn't take a drink when offered (I was kind of glad since she hadn't used the bathroom for so long but I didn't want her to be super-dehydrated, either).

Anna fell asleep pretty soon after we got on the plane to Bahrain and slept for another three hours. There was a time in there after the three hours where she obviously still wanted to sleep but couldn't get there and I was holding her (I sat next to her for the first part of this flight & I slept, too!) and I had to have Craig take her because the only position Anna wanted was really uncomfortable for me & Baby.

I felt Baby moving a lot more during our travel day than I had for most of the time we were moving. I think because finally I was able to slow down and relax a bit. It was really nice to feel her and I'm looking forward to more regular movement!

Our flight from Frankfurt to Bahrain was delayed by about 45 minutes (after we were on the plane) but since we were all exhausted it worked out fine. This was an instance where it was better to have to wait on the plane than off! We stayed on the plane in Bahrain and were delayed a bit again because both the Bahrain & Doha airports were busy and we had to wait in line for takeoff and for a space on the tarmac in Doha.

Customs was smooth sailing and all of our suitcases came off just as we walked up to the baggage carousel (it helped that the flight from Bahrain was pretty empty!). We had to wait a bit for a bigger car to take us and our six checked bags, the cat, Anna's carseat & stroller, my backpack, Anna's diaper bag, and Craig's carry-on. We had a ton of luggage!

The drive to our villa was find since we arrived at 11:30 and traffic was light. Anna seemed excited to check out the new place and she helped me get Gertie set up in the laundry room with food, water, and litter. We got Anna's room set up and she was ready to hop in bed after a snack and some books at about 12 AM. I heard her cry/fuss a bit around 1 or 1:30 AM (we were still up unpacking a bit, etc) but didn't end up having to go in to her. She is still sawing logs at 7:40 AM as I write this now! How I have been blessed with an awesome sleeper!! I really hope Baby Girl takes after Craig this way, too!

Our villa is nice although the decorating style is definitely not my own; it is very formal and grand. I'll take & post some pictures soon.

Our rental car just arrived and I guess we'll start getting ready to get out and about to get to know our new city! I'll post again later with some pictures and more first impressions.

Last Things

We've gotten down to the last story time, the last coffee shop muffin, etc. Tanya came for my car yesterday so we're down to just Craig's car. We went to dinner for the last time at the "pizza parlor" with our friends last night.

Anna is doing remarkably well during all of this, but I'm sure she hasn't grasped the concept fully yet, either. She knows something is up and she wants to be with me & Craig but I don't believe she "gets" that we're not going to live in our house anymore, etc.

She did a great job in the hotel last night and is talking just a little bit now during her nap. Hopefully she will eventually fall asleep so we can take a well-rested child on the plane with us on Wednesday.

Gertie is doing well in the hotel, too. She is using the litter box, eating & drinking, and even slept next to me last night like usual. She's even purring a bit.

I, however, had a miserable night on the hotel bed. It is hard as a rock and both of my hips were aching by midnight! Oh well, if someone is not going to sleep well, I prefer it would be me and not Anna (because then we both wouldn't get any sleep!).

The movers packed up our air & sea shipments on Friday and I don't understand why they didn't take that away with them on Friday, but they have put most of that in the truck now and are packing up the storage stuff. They'll come back tomorrow to take the storage stuff. It was actually probably easier for us because we were able to add some last-minute stuff to the sea shipment, but it's kind of a pain to have to deal with them for three days instead of one or two. Oh well, we're almost done now.

Just two more nights in the hotel and then we're on our way!

20 Months & Moving Little Things

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The past week we have been driving around looking for Christmas lights on houses. We took Anna into town the night Craig came back from Korea and she was mesmerized by the giant Christmas tree in the park and the colored lights shining through the water fountains. It is so adorable how excited she gets about the Christmas lights! She excitedly exclaims throughout the drives:

"Let's find some more!"
"Drive around look for Christmas lights on houses!"
"There's some on ground/house/garage/trees."
"Let's go this way."
"Oh my, look at all Christmas lights!"

She likes to spot candycanes (big ones and teeny-tiny ones), point out different colors, and she especially liked it when we found someone with an inflatable carousel in their yard. She had the biggest smile when we parked in front of their house and gawked for a few minutes.

As far as moving goes, she seems to be doing fine so far. Grandma took her out to the Children's Museum & the carousel yesterday while the movers packed our air & sea shipments. She came home to boxes all over the house and exclaimed, "Oh my, look at all big boxes!" She had a little bit of a hard time falling asleep for her nap, but I blame that on the fresh scent of marker (that they labeled the boxes with) because it was really getting to me as well.

Overall, she doesn't seem to mind sleeping in the pack & play surrounded by boxes or that she only really has two toys out to play with right now (her stroller & a firetruck filled with firefighter, dog, fire hydrant, & water bucket). We've been going out to eat so much it doesn't feel like we're home to care too much about the lack of "stuff" right now.

She's only asked for a couple of things that are packed in the boxes (the lego box, the sit & spin, and the footstools for the bathrooms) and seems satisfied when I tell her those items are in the boxes and will come to Doha after we arrive.

Even the cat seems to be doing OK with everything so far (she wasn't thrilled with me when I caught her and put her in the master bathroom while the movers were packing us, but she stopped meowing once she heard their boxes & tape going.

I think I'm officially at the point where I just want to get there. Most of our stuff is packed up and I'm ready to be done with the process on this end.

Cat Quandry

We're now officially confused on what to do with Gertie and are re-considering bringing her with. She had a recurrance of her "issues" this weekend that I really can't find an "excuse" for. I'm just not sure what to do anymore at this point—I'm starting to think I can't take her with me as her life is only going to get more stressful over the next several months (moving, new baby, possibly moving again) rather than relaxed and calm (as it has been here for a while). Putting her in a shelter doesn't seem like a fair option to her, either, since that will also be high-stress and then the probability of finding the "right" new owner is slim. I'm going to put a call into the vet and see if they can talk me down from the ledge.

It's Happening

We got our visas yesterday and Craig made our flight reservations this afternoon. It looks like Gertie will get to fly in the cabin with us, too—lucky cat!

I am getting our ads prepared to sell the cars and now that we have a flight reservation things should start moving right along (shipping dates, housing, etc.)

I'm taking Gertie in to the vet tomorrow to get some bloodwork done then I'm going to start working with a kennel in Doha to get her paperwork straightened out for the move (really annoying stuff: she needs a health certificate not more than 10 days old but Qatar needs 4-5 days to do their side of the paperwork after I get the health certificate. Basically not much to do in advance but I'll get done what I can now so it will be one less thing to think about.).

I'm relieved that we finally have a date. I'm stressed out about all that needs to happen between now and then. I'm nervous (in general) about the major life change. I'm excited to live overseas again.

More Little Things (19 months)

Gertie and Anna hung out on the couch together while I made breakfast this morning.

Anna has lately become obsessed with "going pee" on the toilet. This consists of me taking off her pants and diaper, setting her on the toilet (where she gets nervous after a few seconds and demands to get down), wiping with toilet paper, putting diaper & pants back on, flushing the toilet, and then washing hands.

She will do this several times in a row within a few minutes if she thinks of it and it's gotten to the point where I'm scared to go to the bathroom because I know she's going to want to do the whole routine when I'm done. Next time we go to Target I'm definitely going to get some Pull-Ups so she can learn to at least do the diaper & pants part.

I do have a potty seat for her but I am not going to take it out until after we're in Qatar because I don't want to use it now and then have to stop using it while we're in transit. So, she can sit on the big toilet for now. So far she hasn't actually done anything anyway so I'm thinking this might be another one of those obsessions that lasts a week and then fades. If not, and if it gets more intense then I'll rethink starting the training process before we go (with mental preparation for regression during & after the move).

Medical Clearance

The two things we need to go to Qatar are medical clearance and Visa approval. Anna & Craig are finished with theirs (I just need to pick up Anna's records from her doctor) and I went in this morning. The company provides a letter with a list of things we're supposed to have done and then Craig's (company) doctor verbally added a couple of blood tests and a chest x-ray. We asked my OB about the x-ray and she said it was fine as long as I wore the lead apron to cover the baby. My regular doctor, however, would not do it unless he had it in writing from the company. I'm not terribly excited about the x-ray during pregnancy but it sounds like the only hesitation on the family-practice doctor's part is that I'm still in the first trimester. So I'm waiting for him to call back after he talks to Craig's work, hopefully sometime today.

I am procrastinating sending out my mass email about Gertie. I guess I'm in denial but realistically I know I need as much time as I can get to find her a good new home.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Gertie category.

Dr. Clementine Lee & Chopstick Suhyup is the previous category.

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