Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holidays in Cyprus

We had a wonderful Christmas here in Cyprus at Oma & Opas. We're here for New Years Eve, then off to see more family in Holland for a couple of days then back to New York. Once home I will upload photos!

Love to all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Doha? Doha who?

We're moving to Doha ...in January! It is the capital city of Qatar and Richard has an exciting role waiting for him with the bank where he works. We're excited about the adventure this move will bring for our family. I'm sure there will be challenges, but what we hear from other expats who live there, or have recently lived there, is their experience is exceedingly positive. So the next few weeks are all about gearing up for expat life!

I'm still learning more and more about Doha every day, but here's what I know so far:

1) They have Starbucks
2) The weather is either hot or very hot
3) While driving you must watch out for camels
4) It's rich in oil money & is the leading home of natural gas, but it's also rich with Islamic culture. As with other major cities in the UAE, there is a growing dichotomy between increased respect for progressive, western thought & religions while honoring the conservative values that have dominated their culture for centuries. Do I have to wear a hijab or burka? No. Can Richard & I kiss and love on each other in the park? Probably not a good idea.
5) There will be lots of sand

To add to the craziness, we will be traveling to Cyprus to visit Richard's family for the holidays. We're very much looking forward to it, but I'm a bit suspect about my ability to stay relaxed on vacation while thinking of all that needs to be done here before our move. It's a good problem to have I admit, and it will be great to enjoy the holidays with family who have probably managed to get a tree up and various other holiday nicknacks to indicate for baby Isabelle that it's Christmastime. Otherwise, the only thing she'd know of Christmas is moving boxes & Skype.

In between seeing friends & family, working, planning for vacation followed by a move across the world, I am saying good-bye in small, manageable doses each day to this city that I have a sweet, strong love for. And good-bye to the people in it, who because of them, I have called it my home for the past 8 years.

Who we're dancing to this week: The Hotel Cafe presents
Winter Songs

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Big little Isabelle

Thanks Ginger for my very pretty pink boots!

Isabelle will be 5 months on the 24th! At her 4 month check up a couple of weeks ago she was in the 90% for height, for the second month in a row, which would explain why all of her pants are more like culottes. This proves tricky for the cold weather as socks are also no longer a reliable source of warmth, since her constantly moving feet are rarely able to keep them on. Fortunately, baby boots are really really cute and mom has a legitimate reason to buy them now as they are about the only things that stay on.

In other Isabelle news, her lukewarm relationship with pacifiers has officially turned cold. She's still determined to perfect the whole hand in mouth party trick. And she has found her left thumb quite useful, mostly for chewing. Her copious amounts of drooling and constant need for oral fixation continues to lead me to believe there will be a pearly white any day now, but nothing yet. Sleeping has been better once I was thoroughly convinced a little fussing wouldn't kill her. As a result, she's found a way to put herself to sleep...by talking. It's the cutest thing to hear her baaaing and gaaaing to herself before she drifts off. Don't get me wrong, talking herself to sleep is equally matched by fussing, but it's getting better. If there's anything I learned, what works this week doesn't always work next week. (Remember a couple of months ago when I said Bach would put her to sleep? That worked like a charm for a couple of weeks and then BAM, the magic was gone and eventually, I was so sick of playing that song to try to get her to sleep, that I could have boxed it and threw it out with the trash.) She still loves her walks in the neighborhood (as do I!), and is becoming a master flirt with all those who stop to admire her. Her giggles are contagious and her talking is gaining in breadth & sound - I think she's trying to bring 'inhale talk' mainstream.

{Baby's first Thanksgiving!}

Snoozing on uncle Steve was not part of her sleep regime, but oh well, it was a holiday

{She gets very excited about story time...}
I just...

...can't wait

...to see what happens next!

{Visiting the park where mommy & daddy were engaged!}

Baby Lucas with doula-in-training me :)