Friday, February 26, 2010

I heart lists

With baby #2 due to arrive in approximately 6 weeks, the nesting instinct is in full swing. Except nesting this time involves digging through our storage and revisiting old lists rather than going on a (whatwasbasicallyablind) shopping spree at Buy Buy Baby on Seventh Avenue. On one hand, I feel so comforted having been through this. On the other, I have yet to meet a person (and there have been several) who also have babies approximately 20 months apart who haven't said "Oh, it's so great; they play together and are great friends growing up" without preceding it with "It's really hard the first few years. Like, really hard." I haven't had the guts to ask for details but seeing as I was up with Isabelle 3 times last night, I can imagine. On the bright side, the way I see it is at least I haven't gotten used to full nights of sleep, diaper-less days, or life without a little body on my hip, arm or leg.

As I'm digging through my stash of pre-baby wisdom imparted to me by friends last time around, I thought I'd post these two handy lists. These may come in especially handy during those early days when I'm reminded that mama-of-a-newborn brain is actually worse than pregnancy brain.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Apples and Lillies

Daddies and daughters

Let me start off by saying that having guests is especially fun when said guests also have little ones underfoot as well. The same is true in reverse, when we are the visitors. How comforting it is to know that mornings are crazy, afternoons are disorderly but fun, nap-time is not only for the babes but also for parents who can, and conversations that actually start - and end - in the same sitting don't begin until after the kids go to bed. There is such an unspoken comfort to knowing this craziness is universal.

That being said, we had a great week with Richard's brother, Toby, and his family Kate and cousins Apple and Lilly who were visiting from the UK last week. Apple is 5 months older than Isabelle and Lilly is 5 months old. Ahhh, seeing Lilly made me all the more excited to welcome our little one home in seven weeks! It's only until you see such a little one that you remember just how *little* they can be. I find myself occasionally buying shoes and clothes for Isabelle that are way too small because unless she is next to me, I still envision her as a baby, only to be reminded when I see an infant just how BIG she actually is.

This was our first week-long visit from visitors that involved other children, which by nature of the situation, were given Isabelle's room, crib, and obviously toys & dinnertime arrangements for the week. We've had many a play-date, but admittedly we were a bit nervous about how Isabelle would handle sharing most everything she had for an entire week. However, I cannot express how proud we were of her - she was a STAR and absolutely brilliant with sharing her home & belongings. With the exception of just a couple ruffles over toys (I can actually only think of one, but there must have been at least a couple) she did not so much as utter a fuss over giving up her bed or room or anything that her cousins needed. I will qualify this by also saying that she is still a toddler - true to the textbooks. While not necessarily this week, I have on occasion witnessed her wanting every toy in sight unwilling to part with any of them, seen her throw a tantrum, watched as she throws food on the floor after asking her not to do so, etc. At the end of the day, she is a very strong, independent, clever little girl. However, just when you think the situation will be too much for a little one to possibly understand, leaving it ripe for tantrums galore, they absolutely surprise you with a maturity beyond your wildest expectations.

OMG. So cute.

Introducing Apple to the joy that is Beyonce before bath

Who we're dancing to this week: "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo

Friday, February 12, 2010

Will work for food

Mama got herself a job. I would categorize this as more of a gig actually; a weekly recurring gig.

I've been asked to write web copy for a growing business in Qatar, The Green Box. Specifically, I will author the weekly 'Juice' section as well as occasionally contribute to the 'Kid's Corner' section. The Green Box is the first home delivery service of fruits & vegetables in Doha, offering both mixed and organic produce in either 5Kg or 10Kg boxes. The boxes of green goodness are delivered every week and their website offers health tips, kids tips, recipes and now juicing recipes incorporating the contents of each week's box.

And occasionally I will post pictures of my finished products

Below is bio and web copy from the website...

KellyThe journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Although I still have many miles to travel on my journey in wellness and health, I feel grateful for the knowledge that I have accumulated in the last few years. For me, my awareness of the benefits of juicing came when I was pregnant with my first child. Those days my husband and I were living in Greenwich Village in the heart of New York City, working hard and playing hard. Prior to pregnancy, breakfast consisted of grabbing a coffee in one hand while hailing a cab with another, lunch on the run in between meetings, and dinner out. Often followed by a few cocktails. Fitting in my five daily servings of vegetables was not a priority.

And then I found out that I was pregnant. Though I always had an airy interest of wellness and health, I never had the time to really dig into it. This was my kick-start moment. I read everything I could get my hands on about optimum health. What stood out to me were the amazing benefits that raw fruits and vegetables have on the body and how seriously lacking we are, as a culture, in getting the amount we need. Here I was, newly pregnant and geared up to become best friends with kale, broccoli and cucumbers, yet I couldn’t choke down a salad to save my life. I was nauseous for over three straight months during my pregnancy and very few things appealed to me – certainly not salad. Refusing to let my diet lack the raw fruits and vegetables it needed to keep me - and the little one in my tummy - stay healthy and strong I sought out ways to get around it. That’s when I discovered Melvin at the organic juice shop on 6th Avenue and 9th Street, around the corner from where we lived.

MelvinMelvin is the quintessential health nut and juicer extraordinaire. Sarah Jessica Parker, David Blaine, Christie Brinkley, and Kerri Russell are just a few of the celeb clients that would go out of their way on a regular basis to have Melvin mix them a master juice. He stands 6’3”, sporting long dreadlocks and a Rasta hat, and always a big, teethy smile. Once I discovered the magic that is juicing, I went to Melvin daily…for years. For me, juicing was a way to get a big, delicious dose of those fruits and vegetables in a way that was an alternative to gnawing on carrot sticks. He taught me a lot about food combining and the art of juicing.

As time went on I invested in a decent blender and a Breville Juice Fountain to begin juicing my own veggies and fruit. I took the knowledge Melvin shared with me and built onto it with continued research and willingness to try just about anything. Though I’m the first to admit that I’m still a student in this big world of optimum wellness and health, I am excited to share with you my discoveries in juicing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Doha Days

As I've been busy catching up on all the Doha pictures from when my parents were here a month ago, I have been slow to share updates about my favorite subjects. Here's a quick catch-up:

First of all big news, little Miss Isabelle went #1 on her toilet this week!

Baby in the belly is super and is currently reenacting a Tyson/Holyfield match as I type. I'll be 31 weeks pregnant on Friday - the final stretch! (And oh how I wish that wasn't a pun).

Richard is great and gave a presentation today that was covered by a few of the major media outlets here in Qatar, one of which was Al Jazeera that televised it this evening. Since we're hippy nerds in this arena and don't have TV except for that which is picked up free and at random, I wasn't able to see it but he said it went well.

Isabelle turned 18 months on the 24th and continues to amaze us with her growth and development. She can now start singing the ABCs, but likes to skip C and go straight to D. She doesn't get much further than that but repeats "ABD," along with some of her original sounds, all the way to the end. I absolutely love hearing her sing along to songs. Speaking of, she still loves singing and dancing, doing finger & hand motions to some of her favorites like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Wheels on the Bus." Her new favorite song though is "All the Single Ladies" by Beyonce, which has become a regular pre-bath music video in our household. She'll ask to go up on the bed to dance (it's her stage), with Richard or I generally hovering around the side to catch her if she twirls off. She'll start "Uh oh uh uh uh oh!" (not quite to the tune, but she's got the Beyonce uh ohs down pat.)

She is back to loving her hats again and every time we go to leave the house she emphatically says "hat! hat!" as though leaving the house without it would be a crime against humanity. Her vocabulary continues to expand and we're getting more short phrases, like "see you soon!" and "sit down."

It's just incredible what a little lady Isabelle is already becoming. I had a moment not too long ago in the park when Isabelle was walking on the path along the hedge. She was stretching her hand out to glaze the bush as she strolled along the brick walkway and I couldn't help but be taken aback by how much she is hardly a baby anymore. It was one of these moments when I realized that time is flying by and here we are already walking, talking, singing & dancing - oh, and doing #1 on the toilet! It's all a bit magnified since I've been slowly getting out all of the infant accoutrement like the breastfeeding pump (god help me), the milk storage bags, the bouncy seat, the baby slings, etc...because it really feels like I was just using these things!


"Now about this alphabet thing...I think we need to eliminate C and go straight to D. Who's with me?"

{Happy baby, who appears to have just drawn with a purple marker on her face}

{Daddy & Isabelle on their way to the park}

Pink, on pink, on pink is the new black

I wasn't involved in the outfit choice, but as far as the socks and sandals look goes, Isabelle pulls it off better than most.

{A sleeping Souq Waqif}

{Edible Arrangements in Doha...} noteworthy only because an Edible Arrangements shop was next door to my office in NYC on 38th Street. I was so surprised to find one here!

Who we're dancing to this week: Beyonce!