Sunday, December 30, 2007

Al Khor

Yesterday we headed 50 km north of Doha to the northeastern tip of Qatar to the town of Al Khor. On the way out there, I caught my first glimpse of camels. They were far way, and I didn't get a good look though. Al Khor was built up because of the pearl diving that used to take place there. We tried to figure out why anyone lives there now, but we weren't able to. There were many large beautiful homes, so perhaps it is a vacation spot, although the beach wasn't all that nice, pretty rocky right next to the water. We strolled along the beach for a few minutes, but the wind was a little chilly for the babies (it was about 68 degrees.) We also spent some time trying to find the pearl museum, but we were also unsuccessful in that. We ended up stopping in a grocery store/food court. Catie and Nick had their first experience with a coin operated ride. It scared Catie and Nick wasn't sure what to think. After it stopped, he liked playing with the steering wheel. We saw an American family there. It looked like three generations, with teenagers/young adults, middle aged couple, and an older couple. They didn't know what to do there either; they said they were just wandering around. :)

The babies' walking has really improved this past week. They can easily walk many steps, and I see them walking more than crawling. They're growing up so fast!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! We are having a great Christmas so far. First, the babies slept until 8:15. Yay! Merry Christmas to Mommy and Daddy! Then, we got them up, changed their diapers, and brought them into the living room where we had set up all their new Christmas toys. It was so fun to see them discovering each new thing. They loved every bit of it. Then, we ate pancakes and scrambled eggs. Yummy. :) After breakfast, the babies played some more with their presents, and Brad and I opened ours. I got a new robe and slippers from my parents, some movies and, of course, the dishwasher, from Brad. We got a new camera from Charles and Ruth, but it hasn't come yet. I got Brad a book called Toilets Around the World, an espresso machine, some Puma shoes, and two bath sheet towels. Oh, and Bradley got a DVD binder from my parents, too, as well as tons of movies from his parents.

Yesterday, we indulged in a time honored Christmas break tradition, making a fort in the living room. The babies pulled it down almost immediately, but they loved playing peek-a-boo with the blanket. And, Catie learned about static electricity.
Also yesterday, I found this hidden Mickey, and I had to share. Believe it or not, it landed like this all by itself, and it is standing straight up. (Hidden Mickey is a term they use at Disney world for all the Mickey heads that they incorporate into everything.)

By the way, it says December 24th as the date for this post because I started it last night, then decided to wait until today. I don't know how to change that.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Attempt at Tikka Masala and a Practical Joke

We found a box of Tikka Masala mix at MegaMart and decided to try making it on our own. (That's the dish that Brad had at the Indian restaurant.) It was very easy--cut up chicken breasts, mix a cup of plain yogurt with the masala mix, and marinate for a few hours. Then, I made some basmati rice and cooked the chicken in a skillet. It smelled delicious. However, when we started eating it, we couldn't believe how spicy hot it was! Brad only ate a few bites, and I didn't finish all of mine. We finished out the meal with two big bowls of plain buttered rice. :) Luckily, I didn't give any to the babies before I tried it myself.

There is a store near the apartment that sells all kinds of junk. It's like the Doha version of Big Lots, except worse. We went there a few weeks ago to buy a wicker chest for the bathroom. Brad had previously bought one there, and we decided we could use more storage. They still had some of the chests, however they were all broken in some way, and they were still charging full price, about $30. Anyway, we went back there yesterday to get some baskets. (We separated the babies' toys into four large baskets so that we can give them only some of their toys everyday--less to pick up and keeps the toys more interesting we hope.) While there, we picked up a fuzzy toilet seat cover. Now this is different than the toilet seat covers you see in the US. This is actually a cover for the ring part of the toilet seat. I've attached a picture to make it clear what I'm talking about. I believe they called it a seat warmer. I suppose there are people who actually use them, but I can't imagine using it more than once. So, being the silly people we are, we bought it for 5 Riyals ($1.50ish) and put it on Perry's toilet while he was out to dinner. :) (Perry is one of Brad's coworkers.) He found it very amusing. :) If you ever need a white elephant present (silver plastic carafe in the shape of a chess piece, anyone?) give me three weeks notice, and I could come up with some duesies. :)

Now, for your viewing pleasure: the twins in the tub. I wish there was sound. You'll have to imagine their happy noises. (Click on the picture to see the video--hope it works.)

Friday, December 21, 2007


Okay, so I was sure that somewhere or someone told me that a blog was a biographical log, but apparently I, or the person who told me, was mistaken. I looked it up on Blog is short for web log or weblog or something like that. I would hate for someone else to go around spreading misinformation on my account. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Souqs at Night

On Tuesday we went to an Indian restaurant (jealous, Andy?) at the Marriot. It was very nice, and the food was authentic. We had a crispy bread type thing to start, with four different toppings: spicy mango, mint yogurt, something that tasted like barbebue sauce, and another one I can't remember. Then, Brad got a creamy chicken soup that was delicious, and I got the chopped salad. They weren't kidding when they said chopped. It was cut into tiny pieces, but it was easy to eat and tasty with a lemon dressing. We ordered three types of pan (flat bread): plain, garlic, and potato filled. They were all very yummy. I can't remember the name of my main course, but it was chicken with a yellow sauce. It was very spicy, but also delicious. Brad ordered Tikka Masala. It was chicken with a red sauce, also very good, but not as spicy. We also had saffron rice with our main dishes. It was all very good, and the service was excellent if a little difficult to understand at times.
Afterward, we decided to go to the Old Souq. It is a totally different experience going there at night than in the morning. First of all, the parking was crazy. Twice, we got there first for an available parking spot and someone else came in and blocked the way for everyone else, in the process making it impossible for the car in the spot to pull out. Finally, after about ten minutes when I told Brad that we should just go, we lucked into a spot at just the right time. The smell at the Souq is hard to describe, except to quote a line from one of my favorite movies, Sense and Sensability, "the air is full of spices." The lights at night make it look almost magical. The main walkways were crowded with people out to dinner. The people here eat dinner late at night. Most of the restaurants don't open until 7. In front of one of the restaurants, we saw a group of musicians playing traditional music. It fit perfectly with the scene. We stepped into one shop to look at his baskets, and the shopkeeper was so kind. He offered us samples of his honey--very strong flavor--and a sesame date--very fresh. He also offered free bottles of water or a coffee. It was so charming, we bought a box of almond dates from him. We haven't opened them yet, but I believe the pit has been replaced by an almond. Yum. Although I would never go to the Souq on Thursday or Friday night (their weekend), I definitely think I would go again in the evening. It's fun during the day, but it's enchanting at night.

I'm a blogger!

This is my first post on my brand new blog. Yay! I'm a blogger! :) Just in case any of you who don't frequent the internet much don't know, blog is short for biographical log. I will use this to post new pictures of the twins, as well as my other updates which I was sending out before in mass emails. My plan right now is to post at least once a week, hopefully more often, but I don't want to bore you too much with all the details of my life.
So, on with what you really want, a new picture of the twins: