Sunday, June 27, 2010

Girls afternoon out

The summer in Doha is akin to the winter in the Northeast; you don't go outside unless you have to. It's smokin' hot here for the most part but occasionally you can find respite from the heat in late afternoon. Late afternoon is also when one little girl is usually busting at the seams with energy and eager to get out of the house, regardless of how much I tried to wear her out in the morning.

This particular day I asked her if she wanted to go to the pool. I watched as she - without hesitation - dropped what she was doing, moved with steadfast focus to put on her shoes, find her hat, get her sunglasses, put Baby Doll in the stroller, and head to the car. I never knew a child could have such efficiency! Game time was ON and she was serious about getting to the pool pronto!



Here's what presented itself approximately 5 minutes after I said something along the lines of "Want to go to the pool?"



Hat. check.



Sunglasses. check.



Stroller.check.



Baby. check











Friday, June 25, 2010

Meet Baby Doll


Our other new addition to the family - Baby Doll

Sebastian wasn't the only special delivery the stork delivered on April 16, Baby Doll arrived too and was waiting for Isabelle at the hospital that day. Despite her unoriginal name, she is a very much loved and looked after addition to our family. She is taken on walks, goes to the pool, joins us on car journeys - you name it, she's there with us. Isabelle is doing a mighty fine job of taking good care of her.


{Taking Baby Doll for a walk in the neighborhood}






Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sometimes...



Isabelle in her temporary "big girl" bed with the big cushy pillows (aka parents' peace of mind) on standby for the roll off.

Sometimes...parenthood means picking up the pieces of the video monitor that was thrown down 2 flights of stairs by your precocious daughter. It can be raising your voice like you told yourself you'd never do as a parent and exercising a time out that you wonder is teaching your not yet 2 year-old anything at all. It can mean carting your baby in and out of 105 degree heat all morning to the point that you're both cranky and tired. It can mean feeling rueful that it seems the only time you have to truly focus on your newborn is in the middle of the night. It can mean that your toddler, who refuses her "baby bed" will inevitably exercise her newfound freedom in her big girl bed by getting up multiple times a night between 11pm and 4:00am to ask for a book to be read to her, for "Dora," "water," "cho-co-late" (as if!), a diaper change or asking/demanding that you to "lay down" with her. It can mean, despite having a newborn at home, withdrawing your toddler from nursery for the past month to keep her home with you in the hopes that she avoids school germs for a while (and let's be honest, so that she avoids those frightful seizures)...only for her to get another infection anyway. It can mean chasing her around to get a stool sample to test for allergies and wondering what to do about a reoccurring eczema patch on her leg. It can mean feeling strung out and unable to keep up with household admin and dinner preparations.

BUT. At the end of the day, in the space after the kids are put to bed and the musical bedrooms begins, it is all made okay by the feeling of my husband's hand wrapped around mine and just knowing that all four of us are together, safe and sound, in this small corner of the house.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Everyday is brother's dA-day!


Sebastian has turned into such a good sport when being held by his big sister. He rolls with the punches, literally.


{Isabelle's favorite song to sing to Sebastian}
video
Isabelle learned how to sing 'Happy Birthday' in time to greet Sebastian home from the hospital...and has continued to sing him 'Happy Birthday' pretty much every day since. He doesn't show much enthusiasm, but I'm sure it's there.



"Helping" to change his diaper.


Remember when Sebastian only had this look of fear & discontent when being held by his big sister?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Welcome to Photo of the Day

Thanks Molls for my t-shirt, looking forward to hitting the slopes with you in a couple of years!


As I mentioned before, 'Photo of the Day' is something I started when Isabelle was a teeny tiny baby, intended to give Richard up to the minute news on her gorgeousness while he was at work. It soon spread to grandparents, great grandparents and aunts and uncles. This was a fun thing, and perhaps it will return to the immediate family one day, but as for now I need to streamline my daily tasks. As Richard says, we're in survival mode with two babies. I barely manage to find a minute to wash my face during the day, let alone send emails. When I do manage to send an update, so much time would pass that I'd forget what I sent when and what needs sending. So, now photo of the day will be posted in one fell swoop for all to enjoy...at least for now.

{Photo of Day}

June 5 - Isabelle likes to do pretty much everything on her own these days, including putting on her sunglasses.


June 7 - Enjoying mommy's 'bluebelly' yogurt pops on a scorching Doha day.


June 8 - The day Isabelle & Sebastian became dual citizens of USA & The Netherlands (actually Sebastian is yet to be a US citizen, but that should happen later this month).


June 9 - Baby Sebastian not minding his change of outfits one bit!


Cont. - He's such a happy baby, for which I'm so very grateful. Side story: we were at the doctor's for his check up the other day, and when she stuck the tongue depressor in his mouth to check his throat he didn't flinch and in fact gave her one of his shining smiles afterwards. What kid doesn't gag and act like they are experiencing their last breath? Already a flirt!


June 10 - Ready for lessons from Uncle Jay


June 10 - At play at Fun City with friends


June 10 - Clever cookie matching all of her puzzle pieces and once completed, lining them neatly across to the room to admire.


June 13 - Girls afternoon out - Mama, Isabelle & baby doll (who remains nameless, but is nonetheless a significant person in our family) heading to the pool.


Cont. - Before we even had a chance to get in the water, a big bowl of ice cream & OJ were delivered to Isabelle by a Qatari. They love kids, and that blond hair of hers is irresistable in this part of the world. As you can see, her 3pm snack is abandoned on the side and you can be assured that mama's veal casserole had no chance that evening with belly full of ice-cream. Sigh, oh well, at least she enjoyed every drop of it.


Cont. - where Isabelle goes, baby goes too...


...even into the pool if not stopped.


video
30 seconds of Sebastian breathing. Video worthy, you ask? You betcha.


Who we're dancing to this week: Barney's TOP 20 countdown

Friday, June 18, 2010

Go Holland!





video
Isabelle cheering on Holland




{Bouncy bouncy!}

Bouncy bouncy started innocent enough. One day during my final days of pregnancy when I was the size of beluga whale, I was feeling especially spent and came up with the brilliant game of bouncy bouncy to avoid too much physical exertion. Bouncy bouncy is simply bouncing Isabelle on the bosu ball, to which she giggles with delight. The idea was that I could bounce her on the ball while staying seated. However, what was meant to be an avoidance of physical exertion backfired into one of the most exhausting indoor activities yet. Not just because she wants to rocket as high as possible, nor because she is nearly a solid 30 lbs, but because she could do bouncy bouncy for-ever.



See, see right there? It doesn't look so bad does it? Oh but if you only knew...



...and bouncy bouncy is contagious...



...and the more bouncy bouncy spreads, the more it augments into worse varieties especially when slightly older kids catch it...



...and dads everywhere are at a loss of what to do or say when they discover their beloved daughter has now caught the worsened strain of bouncy bouncy...

Our weekly playdate with "Ewie" (Evie) and "'Fia" (Sofia) continued... It's not normally the case that dads are part of our playdates but this was the day that Holland played Demark in the World Cup so they were home early and decided to join us.


A happy daddy and Sebastian with the the Dutch victory - decked out in orange to support Holland
A reminder that an old toy can be a new toy when pulled out of storage - even if it's not age appropriate. Evie content as can be in the baby einstein - she is so good playing independently, she was happy as a clam sitting in here.



Lots of anti-bouncy bouncy negotiating going on...



It makes me so happy when our toys are actually played with...




{Lots of love}




Full of love



Showing him how his toy works...