Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trick or treat

Little miss Isabelle loves to hide things. Especially when they are passports before a flight, daddy's blackberry before work, or mobile phones when you're expecting a call. One of our favorite treasure hunts involved turning the house upside down trying to find a mobile phone, that was ultimately found in the kitchen, in the cabinet, in a dish, with another dish and lid over the top.

A regular treat is to open the printer to see what surprise awaits us. Here are a few of our cracker jack surprises:


Another favorite game is playing with the garden dishes in the kitchen...

In the garbage, naturally

Who we're dancing to this week: (an oldie but goody) Goodwill Hunting Soundtrack

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Life back home in Doha

Isabelle is running and climbing and dancing and jumping (her jumps don't catch much air, but she has the moves!)… She’s a very active little one indeed. She is giving world record hugs and kisses (we get a mix of those fabulous, teethy, open mouth kisses and puckered up kisses). She is loving and affectionate and is still one of the happiest babies I've ever known. Her right first molar is poking through and her blond tendrils are growing long with a little curl in the back – just gorgeous. Now that the weather has cooled down a bit, we’ve been going to the pool a lot more. Between the blond curls and her little tan line, (despite loads of suncream I put on her porcelain skin), she’s looking a little bit like the Coppertone water baby!

And the talking. Oh the talking. Isabelle talks and sings, and shouts and shares, and is quite the master storyteller. She’s animated and looks you straight in the eye, while demonstrating a lot of feeling behind what she’s telling you. She has a rotation of about 35 words that come on a regular basis, and then a lot of words that she’ll repeat right after you as one-offs. She is beginning to put words together like counting to three (One, Two (dtuuuuu), Three (dreeeeeee)) or saying short phrases like “Hi Dada! Bye Dada!” I’ve been “Baba” for a quite some time, but the last week or so we’ve heard quite a lot of “Mama.” So I think pretty soon, a cow may begin to go “Moooo,” instead of “Boooo,” when you ask her what sound it makes.

Isabelle has always seemed to have a favorite word of the month - a word that she loves to say a million times a day. It started with Dada, then it was Cat, then it was Apple (Ap-ble), then it was Hi, then Mama (Baba), and now it is That (Dat!). All day long she points to what she wants and says Dat! Dat! Dat! As a result of her ability to demand things efficiently, we try to insist that she says Please, which for her is still the sign language version of hand to the chest, but that works.

Next week Isabelle will begin nursery, which I think she will love. I meant to start her last week, but you day seemed...just, right. Truth is - I’m having a harder time with the idea than I expected to and I can’t really pinpoint why. Logically I know she will love it and the social environment will be great fun for her. So, I'm not sure why I'm hesitating, because lets be honest, mama all day, every day...the kid gets bored of me! She needs more stimulation than one (pregnant) mama can provide. So yes, next week, she will start nursery. Unless, perhaps it’s better to wait until after Halloween to start… Maybe November? Well, then it's the holidays, so maybe we’ll just wait until January? I digress. The point is, nursery is on the horizon.

Richard and I will be celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. I really can’t believe it. It seems just like yesterday we were hopping up the isle, hand in hand, to the Beatles’ All You Need is Love in the little chapel in the woods. Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Richard is working hard – very hard. But he makes a valiant effort to come home before Isabelle goes to bed so he can see her and we love him like crazy for that. He has always had a good perspective on work/life balance, which I'm grateful for, especially when the corporate world is sometimes colossally inefficient and one has a lot to oversee. He is playing soccer 3 or 4 times a week and squash at least once, which makes him really happy, and therefore us happy. I have picked up my first freelance job, working to manage all of the public transportation for the upcoming Doha Tribeca Film Festival. So far it’s been a great experience and I’m enjoying contributing and learning more about doing business in a foreign country. Oh, and earning is nice too. :) The festival is later this week so fingers crossed it all goes well!

Bump is great. I am almost 18 weeks along, and feel well. I’m grateful the dreadful nauseousness is over. And actually, I think this has been an easier pregnancy than my first one with Isabelle, at least so far. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely FEEL pregnant - need loads of sleep and have a bizarre-o appetite (curry for breakfast, wanting nothing but hummus and pita some days, pickles (which I thought was a myth until this time around!), only want sparkling water to drink, etc. - WEIRD!). With Isabelle, I craved nothing (yet had many aversions). Amazing how different the experiences can be in the same body.

Love to all of you from all of us. xx

{A typical Saturday}
Yesterday, after waking up and drawing on her paper, her pajamas, and herself, she starts her day off by having her morning milk on her throne. Followed by getting dressed and accessorizing - mommy's bracelets are a favorite. Then we're all off to run errands and have lunch at Landmark. After which we head to the pool, where she loves playing with kids, further accessorizing with mommy's sunglasses and climbing UP the baby pool slide. It's a tough job being a baby.

{Playing at the park}
Isabelle's new big girl bike

She loves the trampoline, slide and fort at the park behind our house

...and the sand

'No Pants Friday'

{Heading out to the lovely Le Mer to celebrate my big 33}

And so it begins...the growing belly! Here I am at 15.5 weeks

{Another day, another afternoon at the pool}

Channeling Elvis - she loves to unzip her after-swim romper all the way down

{Friday brunch with friends at the Movenpick}
The restaurant had a lovely children's area to keep them occupied while mom & dad were able to catch up with friends

Feeding the little baby, she is preparing to be an excellent big sister

Can you find a little boy's bowl of chocolate ice cream?

...Isabelle found it too

{Playing hide & seek}
Her favorite places to hide are in the curtains or throwing a blanket over her head in the middle of the room. :)

{My luscious flowers from daddy and Isabelle - such a treat in Doha}

{Revving up for baby swim class in her swimming hotpants}

Our little Coppertone Water Baby

Who we're dancing to this week: Wee Sing Songs