Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday cheer

This weekend we hosted our first ever Doha Christmas party with many of our new friends in this country (including their kids which totaled 14 kids under the age of 4!). It was a great bash and it's a shame we didn't have a chance to take a single picture.

In lieu of photos, allow me paint you a picture - there were gifts for all of the kiddos, a big holiday spread complete with homemade Christmas cookies, berry martinis (fresh berries over homemade whipped cream with chocolate shavings served in festive blue glasses - very Martha, if I do say so myself), mince pies, and hummus & pita (as a shout out to baby bump who is a few months shy to have joined us). The tree became a couple more ornaments bare below the 3' mark, Brenda Lee's "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree" played in the background, and parents & kids covered our entire downstairs chatting and playing. Good times.

The kids descended onto Isabelle's play room with enthusiasm and she was a star, sitting back watching these kids rip through her toys without so much as a fuss. I will say, she looked a bit stunned at times but held it together and I was so proud of how she played and shared with the other kids. She seemed to be most comfortable when sitting at her new, little drawing table, a little out of the chaos but still a part of the action, watching the whole party in front of her.

In other news, baby bump van der Meer is doing super. I had a check up this week and saw the little one taking a rare break from dancing and kicking, asleep with an arm tucked under his head and hiccuping. So sweet. At just 24 weeks, he is already a little person.

We are looking forward to having Oma & Opa arrive tomorrow and then Grandma & Grandpa arrive on the 26th. It's great to spend holidays with family, especially when you're pregnant with a one-year old and don't have to do the traveling. :)

Love to all of you, from all of us. xx

Who we're dancing to this week: Christmas #1's

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hippy-chic holiday wear

After Isabelle successfully picked off at least a dozen candies that someone laboriously stuck onto the gingerbread house, we left. I'm sure they were happy to have us.

{The return...and demise, of the Baby Mullet}

The cutest mullet there ever was...

However cute, mama had to draw the line somewhere

From cute mullet to cute pixie

{DEMK Christmas Party}

Santa did not make a good first-impression

"What the hell was that?"

Looking to Daddy to rescue her, since I clearly wasn't moving away from IT fast enough.

What? You're looking at me like I have something on my face.

One-upping Matisse

The ar-teest at work

...and a little of this

...and a dash of that

...see kids, this is how it's done

Who we're dancing to this week: A Very Special Christmas 7

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stay-cation, woncha stay?

It was Eid holiday last weekend, which meant that we had four solid days to do with whatever our heart pleased. After little deliberation, we decided to have a stay-cation, which turned out to be just what we needed. Thanksgiving kicked off our stay-cation, complete with all of the holiday trimmings. Then one afternoon we went the pool and another we went to the Pearl, but mostly, we just hung out at home and relaxed. It was superb. Richard and I topped our four days off with a lovely dinner out at a new, schmancy Lebanese restaurant on the Pearl, where again I ignored most (all) of my food but ate both of our shares in hummus & pita. Baby van der Meer sure has a thing for good hummus.

{Ornament Bandit}

So I guess we can assume that our Christmas Trees over the next few years won't have ornaments on the bottom 1/3

{Afternoon at the Pearl}

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm the luckiest mom in whole, wide world!

...because this is my baby girl

I know all moms feel this way, but there really are these moments when I feel I have the greatest child anyone could possibly ever ask for. Thank you Isabelle, for being you. xx

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend in Bahrain

Last week we returned from a short holiday in Bahrain to visit friends. It was so nice seeing old friends, one set of which also has a baby - an eight month old. Between their family and ours, the host family (a couple without kids) didn't stand a chance. They saw first hand that with little ones, you don't often get out of pajamas until noon unless forced, could go days without leaving the neighborhood (except for a trip or two the grocery store to get food...for the babies), and going to Starbucks can be as exciting as a night out used to be. They are probably either scared off having children permanently (nah, they loved it...I think) or are seasoned to the fact that vacations after kids will be quite different than what they're used to, however exotic - or not - the destination.

Despite our inability to conquer a new city with the gusto we once could, we did see enough of Bahrain to get a feel for it and had a lovely brunch at a restaurant that served famous, sweet, peach iced-teas the size of a wine carafe. Heavenly. Plus, Bahrain is just one of the bazillion places Richard has lived before, so I can claim to know more about the country than I do simply by association. From what I did see, Bahrain looks a lot like Doha, topographically, though you run across many more signs to Saudi Arabia than you do in Doha (simply because Doha is on the opposite side of Qatar that borders Saudi, not because they aren't there). It didn't stop being weird seeing next exit to "Saudi Arabia." Bahrain is apparently a more relaxed country, in terms of Muslim conservatism (ie: I think there are bars that serve alcohol and places you can buy pork). Perhaps on the next visit we can manage a trip to a museum or something...but I won't count on it unless said visit is at least when our children can walk, feed and dress themselves.

Interestingly though, on our way back to Qatar in the Bahrain airport I was surprised to see a man going through security in a white towel - over his shoulders and around his waist. (Think - a person exiting a sauna...except this person is dropping his bag on a conveyor belt in an airport). It was both comforting and alarming when I looked beyond and saw dozens of men dressed in white towels, until I realized they were on their holy trek to mecca - a journey called Hajj in the Muslim culture. Faithful Muslims are meant to take this journey at least once in their lifetime and it can be quite dangerous as millions arrive at one place, at one time, to live out what is the apex of their religious journey in life. It was interesting to see and I commend them for their bravery in doing this.

"What is this kid doing sharing my Mommy's lap? Not cool."

MY Mommy.  (This will be interesting come April...)