Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some new pictures

Nothing new to say. Just wanted to post some pictures I took this morning. Working on my photography skills. :) I took over 100 photos, but here are four of the best.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A new haircut and a new toy

We went out again today to another mall. :) I promise I don't go everyday, but it is pretty high up on my list of interesting things to do in Doha. Actually, I happened upon a website last night that had a list of things to do with toddlers in Doha, including a music class, baby gym, and a newsletter for toddler moms. I signed up for the newsletter and I'm thinking of looking into the music class. Anyway, we went to the mall today. This one is called the Hyatt Plaza. Why? I'm not exactly sure, although one would assume that there is a Hyatt hotel connected to it or nearby, but there isn't that I've seen. But what I have seen, it's hard to miss actually, is the gigantic shopping cart out front. Seriously, it's got to be at least 30 feet tall. The reason we headed to the mall today was Nicky has been in need of a haircut for a few weeks now, and I finally broke down and went to the children's salon to get it taken care of. He sat up on the little chair like a big boy and did really well considering. No tears or fussing. I was sure that the electric razor was going to scare him, but he didn't seem to mind. It might have had something to do with the television playing cartoons right in front of him. Catie, meanwhile, thought it was great fun to watch them play with her brother. Since it was such a momentous occasion (Nicky's first big boy haircut) I decided to take them to Giant (the Walmart-like store) to get them a cheap toy. Well, I ended up buying them a ball pit. We've been looking at them for a while now, but haven't found the right one until today, something that is neat at the right price. When we got back home, the babies went down for their nap and I spent a half an hour blowing the ball pit up. It was worth it, though, to see the looks on their faces when they got up. They love their new toy!

If you put a ball on the slides, it rolls down and into the pit. Catie thought that there was something special about the balls that rolled down, I guess, because whenever I would roll one down, she would go and pick it up. :) She knew which color it was, too, even if it got mixed up with the other balls after it rolled down. I thought that was impressive.

Nicky was having a great time. You'll notice in this picture that he got a boo-boo on his chin the other day. :( He fell onto his cup.

Take a close look at Catie. She's licking the ball. Silly girl. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nobody likes me :(

I specifically asked for comments and nobody responded. :( Nobody likes me. :(

So, I came up with my own solution for my scrapbook page. Here it is:

In case you can't read it, the journalling says:
Toddlers' Creed
If I want it, it's mine.
If it's in my hand, it's mine.
If I can take it away from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it's mine.
If I think it's mine, it's mine.
If I give it to you and change my mind later, it's mine.
Once it's mine, it will always be mine, no matter what.

Comments welcome. :)

Another new scrapbook page

Instead of posting photos today, I'm going to post the page that I made with the photos. :)

Yesterday, I went to the Villagio mall with the babies. (Give me a driver's license and I head for the mall!) We met some Japanese tourists at one store and he took the babies' picture. Maybe they'll end up on someone else's blog too. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Scrapbook page

I've been playing with this page for weeks, trying to get it right. It's driving me crazy, so I thought I'd get some fresh eyes looking at it. I don't like what I wrote, but I'm having no luck finding a poem or something to put there. I feel like I say the same thing over and over on their scrapbook pages. Plus, it's very plain, but I don't know what else to add. Any help or opinions would be appreciated. :)

I'm Licensed!

We finally went this morning to get my driver's license. Ahmed, our guide for these kind of things, made his money today! I will never complain about the DMV ever again. Even if I was fluent in Arabic, I don't think I would have known what was going on in there. First of all, the parking lot was unpaved with huge potholes and puddles. Where did they get puddles? It's the desert and it hasn't rained since Tuesday. So, an unpaved, unmarked parking lot in this country means that you can park wherever you feel like it, even if that means it's trapping someone else in. Very tricky to navigate to say the least. The building itself wasn't much better. It looked like it was at least 100 years old, which here means it was probably built in five years ago. Ahmed and I (Brad stayed outside with the babies) walked in to a large room filled with people, some sitting in chairs covered with thin plastic, some standing at the counter, some milling around, almost all of them Fillipino. It's amazing. When two white women see each other in that kind of crowd, they always smile at each other. It's similar to when women smiled at me in the US because I was pregnant. Ahmed went to the information counter and had the woman there paste a picture of me onto my paperwork and then stamp it. Then, we walked across the building and up some stairs to get an eye exam. The crowd there was even pushier than the one downstairs. We pushed past the line to the counter, where I was told to wait on the other side away from all the other people. My information was put in to the computer immediately, and I was told to go to room one where a woman had me hold a piece of cardstock over each eye and read the chart. She then stamped the first page of my paperwork (the one with the picture pasted to it.) All of the paperwork is in Arabic, so I have no idea what it said. I pushed my way back to the stairs where I met Ahmed and we went back down to the first room. He went up to the counter while I sat in one of the plastic covered chairs. (By plastic covered, I mean it looked like a clear trash bag type material, which was so ripped up it wasn't providing much protection. I'm not sure if I was the one being protected or if it was the upholstry anyway.) After about 10 minutes, he came back and said that my paperwork was different and that I needed a different page stamped. So, back up the stairs we went, pushed through the crowd at the door again, and went back to the eye exam room. The examiner told me that she couldn't stamp that page because it didn't have my picture pasted onto it. So, back out to Ahmed and down the stairs to the information booth, where she pasted the picture onto the paper and stamped it. Back up the stairs to the exam room where the examiner stamped the correct page. Back out to Ahmed, then down the stairs to the first room where I sat while Ahmed went to the counter. Then, he told me to go into another room to the Captain. I pushed past another line into a small office where I handed my paperwork to a man in a military uniform. He put some information in the computer and told me something I didn't understand and to go out again. I went out of the room and Ahmed asked me if he had stamped the paper, which he hadn't. So, Ahmed went in and talked to him. Apparently, my information wasn't correct in the computer or something, so Ahmed went back to the counter while I stood this time. Soon, we went back to the Captain, and this time he signed and stamped my paper. Finally, Ahmed went back to the counter for the last time while I sat and when he came back he had my new Qatari driver's license! We walked back out to the parking lot, and when I got to our SUV, Brad was in the passenger seat. He made me drive home. I think I did a pretty good job. The tricky part is the roundabouts, but they weren't too bad, and I need to remember that the rules for personal space don't apply here, although I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with that.

One more thing. There's a little thing at the bottom of my posts that says comments. If you click on it, you can leave me one. I'd like that! If you don't have a google account, you can just click on the circle next to nickname and type your name in the box, or you can be annonymous if you want.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More Pictures and a Couple Adventures

So, I had a couple adventures yesterday. :) Brad has been sick for the past few days with influenza or something, so we hadn't been able to go out for groceries. We needed milk, however, so I drove to MegaMart. Yes, that's right, I drove. :) Granted, I regularly walk there, so it's not very far, just a few blocks from the apartment, but I did actually drive. It was completely uneventful, but I thought I would share my moment of freedom with you all. :)
As for my other adventure, last night I went out with some of Brad's coworkers for Tom's birthday. Brad decided not to go so that he could rest and watch the babies. Part of the group left earlier, and Tom wanted to take a cab instead of driving, so they asked the night watchman to call a cab. Instead, he called one of his buddies to come and drive us. He had a little stick shift car that made a host of disconcerting noises. The seat belts in the back didn't have clips. It wasn't like they were buried in the seats, they were actually nonexistent. He wasn't a bad driver, by Doha standards, but he did take us the long way, which was silly since he didn't have a meter and told us to pay him whatever we wanted. I rode back with someone else on the way home. :) Dinner was good, by the way. I'm told the restaurant we went to, Paloma at the Intercontinental, is the best Mexican food in Doha, and it was good. Not as good as the one in Denver, but still good. Brad is feeling better today, too, by the way.

Here's some pictures. I've been messing with my editing program, trying some new things. Sorry if some of these pictures look weird. :)
First, here is the twins reaction to a Christmas present that came late. (A wire and bead toy that Grandma Herzog sent.) Actually, they wanted to throw it around and we wouldn't let them.
Am I wrong for thinking my kids are adorable when they throw fits?

Just hanging out on the couch.

Nick's favorite toy. He's made the connection now that it changes the tv. It's really frustrating for him when we take out the batteries.

Going in for a smooch! :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rainy Days

Believe it or not, it's been overcast and rainy here since Friday. This week must be the rainy season. :) So, what's better on a rainy day than staying in and playing with my new camera? I actually ventured into the world of manual settings today. Here's some pictures for you:

Brad being silly. He's an even more unwilling model than the twins.

Nicky says, "Mommy, I want to play with that camera!" Note the real tear by his mouth.

View out the apartment window to the left. Pretty ugly, huh?

View out the apartment window to the right. Can't wait to get into a nicer place. Should be happening fairly soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cutie Catie and a Cold Snap

We've had a cold snap here. Right now it's only 64 degrees outside. :) Actually, it really is cold, because we don't have heat, so it's only 67 degrees inside. Brrr... I bet you all have your heat turned up to at least 68. I've been using up all the twins' warm clothes. I'm going to have to do laundry soon, but our washer/dryer is broken. Again. Hopefully it will warm up again soon. In the meantime, we do have some space heaters. So, at least it's warm in the babies' room at night.

Since I had a post a few days ago about how crabby Catie has been, I decided I needed to post something more positive. By the way, Nick is as cute as ever, my little mama's boy. :) I was trying to teach Catie how to blow kisses today. She was sitting next to me on the couch and being very lovey, so I blew her a kiss. She thought it was great. So, she put her hand up to her mouth and tried to make a kissy noise. (She hasn't quite figured it out. Sometimes she clicks her tongue and sometimes she blows a raspberry.) And then she blew, but she didn't put her hand up, she just blew in my face. After that, she grabbed my hand and gave it a kiss, and then put her hand up to my mouth so that I could kiss it. She kept doing that over and over. I don't think she gets the idea. :) But, it was such a sweet little moment.

Here are some pictures of them playing today:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy birthday, Dad! And Happy Birthday, Grandpa, from the twins!

Monday, January 7, 2008

My new camera, teeth, and Brad in the States

We got an email on Sunday morning from Brittany, and then another from Brad's mom, letting us know that her father, Brad's grandfather, passed away on Saturday. We decided that Brad needed to be there for his family. So, he made arrangements and left yesterday morning for St. Louis. I just got an email that he got there safely. So, the twins and I are here in Doha by ourselves. Brad let all the guys know that I was here alone and told them to check up on me. Last night 4 different people stopped by the apartment to make sure that I didn't need anything. :) The one bright spot is that my new camera came yesterday so I'll be able to play with it while Bradley is gone and that will occupy some of my evening hours. I got some nice, clear shots of the babies. So, while I was editing them, I decided to show off some of their teeth. Catie now has 9 teeth: 6 on top including two new molars, and 3 on the bottom with another on its way soon. You can also see her little fat lip she got the other day when she was walking around with a toy in her mouth. Nick has 6 teeth: 4 on top, which are the most adorable little Chiclets teeth (big, white, and square), and 2 on bottom. I'm throwing in a couple other cute shots of them playing, too.

Catie has figured out how to get on the couch by herself. She just needs a toy or pillow under one foot to give her a little boost. I took this picture right before I told her for the hundredth time to sit down. Doesn't she look pleased with herself? Sorry it's so dark. User error--I had my hand in front of the flash. :) There's one thing I've learned in the short time that I've had my new camera--I have a lot to learn.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crabby Catie

Catie has been very crabby lately. On Tuesday afternoon she had a complete meltdown at the mall. She started crying in the grocery store and didn't stop until we got home 45 minutes later. When we got home, I happened to catch a glimpse into her mouth and saw that she has a molar. Poor baby! She was having trouble with it all week, and I didn't see it until it was too late; it's already through the gums now. Now, a few days later, she has one on both sides on the top. They're not very effective yet, since she doesn't have any on the bottom. So, since Catie was in a bad mood, we had to change our plans for Tuesday night. Brad took baby duty and let me have a night out. Isn't he a sweet husband? I went out to a Italian restaurant at the Ramada, called The Italian Job, with some people from Brad's work including Tom and his wife and 12 year old daughter who were here for the holidays. The food was delicious and it was nice to have a little break.

Here are the babies enjoying their own spaghetti dinner last night. :)