Thursday, July 17, 2008

Loving the United States

We are so enjoying our time in the States, I haven't had the time to post on here. :) Here's a quick update of what we've been up to:

We decided to go to Belleville First for church on Sunday, and we had a warm welcome from everyone. They all told us how much they miss my parents, and we also got to meet a new baby. The best part, however, was when I realized that my best friend, Angela, was there! We were so excited that we both started crying. :) After church, we all went to my in-laws for my father-in-law's birthday. We had some delicious steaks, and the twins had a blast playing in the baby pool. Here are some adorable pics of them and their cousins:

Nick and Brindy.
Ryder, Brindy, and Nick.


Catie and Ryder.

Monday and Tuesday for me consisted of doctor visits and errands. Brad and the twins went to the zoo with his parents and sister on Tuesday. On Wednesday we drove up to Chicago to my parents' new house. It's a little strange to have them in an unfamiliar house, but it's quickly feeling like home.

Some things that I forgot about in the States and/or am particularly grateful for:

1. When you order a large soda at a fast food restaurant, they really mean large. REALLY LARGE! I only need a medium here, but I keep forgetting.

2. I did our laundry today in 4 hours. 4 hours! It takes me all day and then some to do laundry in our tiny washer/dryer in Doha that locks up and doesn't give up your clothes for 3 hours.

3. We walked down to the neighborhood park today, and the twins had a good time walking around on the wood chips. Wood chips! We didn't have to dump sand out of their shoes when we left.

4. Walmart and Target. Need I say more?

5. Family!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We made it! We left Doha at 10:30 am Friday morning on a flight headed to Washington, D.C. The twins did as well as could be expected, not wonderful but not terrible. My plans for them to nap and then sleep like they were down for the night didn't quite work out. They slept about 4 hours total of the 14 hour flight. So, you can imagine our exhaustion when we arrived in DC at 6:30 pm, 1:30 am Doha time. Our long layover became even longer when we learned that our flight to St Louis was delayed by two and a half hours. We finally arrived in St Louis at 1:30 am, 23 hours after we began our trip. We've had one full day in the States now, with a Walmart trip under our belts, and we're feeling pretty good, exhausted but happy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top Ten Signs that You've Been in Doha Too Long

I've been thinking about this for the past week or so. So, here's the list in the style of David Letterman:

Top Ten Signs You’ve Been in Doha Too Long

10. You can watch television all night without getting distracted by the Arabic subtitles.

9. You have your braking foot at the ready, just in case the guy next to you on the roundabout decides to cut you off.

8. You give directions that sound like this: go left onto the Corniche, go straight through the next 3 roundabouts, turn right at the Burger King, go left at the next RA, keep going until you see the guy on the side of the road with the one-eyed camel, (yeah, the one next to the McDonalds), turn left at the next RA, in between Pizza Hut and KFC…

7. You’ve said hello and goodbye to at least 5 good friends.

6. You can’t decide if you want to go to Landmark Mall, City Centre Mall, CentrePoint Mall, the Centre, Villagio Mall, or Hyatt Plaza. Because you’ve been to all of them within the past week.

5. You are no longer surprised that the lady in the Abaya is cutting in front of you in the checkout because she “only” has ten things to buy.

4. You’ve considered paying for your groceries with packs of gum.

3. You think 25% off is a really good sale.

2. You find yourself craving a really good hummus.

1. You think the driving has gotten better since you’ve been here.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

We're celebrating the 4th with microwaved hotdogs and hamburgers fried up on the stove. Hope you all have a great day!

Here's something for your patriotic viewing pleasure. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One of Those Days

It started last night. We hired a babysitter and went out for Moroccan at the Grand Regency Hotel. I've never had Moroccan food before, and I have to say that it was mostly delicious. First, they brought out bread (which was suspiciously exactly like an uncut, un-toasted English muffin) and a spicy relish. I decided to go for the set menu since I had no idea what to order. Holy moley, it was a lot of food. First, there was a bowl of the most delicious soup. It was a cream of vegetable soup. It reminded me a lot of asparagus soup, which I love. Then, I had an array of salads. And I mean salads in the Arabian sense. I didn't bother trying the cold lamb livers; I'm not that adventurous. However, the cucumber salad was delicious. There was also an eggplant mash thingy, a salsa-like tomato salad, and something else I don't remember, all on little plates with tiny spoons. After that, I got my main course, served in the traditional Moroccan dish. It was roasted lamb. I wasn't a big fan of the spices. Finally, the meal ended with some yummy ice cream and fruit and traditional mint tea.

Okay, now back to my point. The babysitter put the twins to bed while we were gone; that becomes important in a minute.

Every once in a while, I go through a few days or a week where it's difficult for me to fall asleep. I didn't fall asleep until 12:30 last night. So, you can imagine my thoughts when I heard Nicky crying at 5:11 this morning. I went into the room because he wasn't showing any signs of stopping, and tried to put a pacifier in his mouth, but he already had one, and guess who was standing in her crib jabbering away? Ugh. There was no way I was going to be able to go back to bed. (I think they were excited to see me since I wasn't there to put them to bed last night.) So, I got the twins out of bed and followed them bleary-eyed into the living room, where I dumped some Corn Pops on the coffee table, got their milk cups out of the fridge, and let them fend for themselves while I zoned out on the couch. Before you get offended by the fact that I just implied that I ignored my kids, understand that it is impossible to ignore twin almost 2 year-olds for very long.

Around 7, they started acting tired, so I put them back to bed. After taking my shower, reading a little, doing a few things around the house, and playing on the computer, I was shocked to realize that it was almost 11 am and they were still sleeping. I fixed a good lunch, full of their favorite foods (PB&J, bananas, carrots, crackers) since they hadn't really eaten breakfast, and got them out of bed. They played nicely after lunch, until about 2, when I decided to try putting them down for their nap, because I knew they wouldn't make it until bedtime unless they slept in the afternoon. They fell right to sleep and slept until 4:30. I'm always amazed at their need for sleep. Sometimes I think it's a little excessive, but they've been growing like weeds lately.

When Brad came home from work, one of the kids brought him a diaper. Brad asked me if I had left a dirty diaper out (again :) ), but I was sure that I hadn't. I thought maybe the babysitter had. But why didn't I see it all day if it had been sitting out? At least an hour later, Brad noticed that Nicky's pants were wet, so I laid him down on the carpet, unsnapped his pants, and was incredibly surprised to see NO DIAPER! We have a Houdini child here. How did he get his diaper off and out of his clothes (a one-piece romper) with it still snapped up? We may never know.

It's been one of those days. Here's hoping I can go to sleep and when I wake up my life will be back to normal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Catie's Newest "Thing"

Putting toys in the highchairs. I thought this one was especially adorable.

100 Things about Me

This seems to be a bloggy tradition on the occasion of the 100th post. Here it is:

100 Things About Me

1. I am a Christian.
2. I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene, but I married a Lutheran.
3. We go to a non-denominational church.
4. My husband’s name is Brad.
5. We met at the Church of the Nazarene.
6. He’s 6 years older than me, so he had to wait until I was legal to date me.
7. Two weeks after we started dating, he moved to Alaska.
8. He moved home 18 months later, and we got married after I graduated from college.
9. Home was, is, and always will be St. Louis.
10. I went to Olivet Nazarene University.
11. I got a degree in Elementary Education.
12. I worked three years in schools and tutoring, but only used my degree for 4 months.
13. We lived in Las Vegas for five months.
14. We couldn’t wait to get out of there.
15. I loved living in Colorado Springs.
16. While we were there we had twins.
17. I love being a mom.
18. I’ve always been a nurturing person.
19. When I was little, I wanted to have triplets.
20. I wanted to name them Stacy, Tracy, and Lacy.
21. We named the twins Catie and Nick.
22. I always wished that I had a nickname.
23. My friend started calling me Rick in college.
24. It didn’t stick.
25. If I had been a boy my name would have been Eric.
26. I have a sweet tooth.
27. When I was pregnant with the twins, I craved gummy candy.
28. When I was little, I faked stomach aches so that I could have Pepto-Bismol.
29. I love almond croissants.
30. My favorite meal is roast, carrots, and potatoes.
31. My favorite ice cream is peppermint stick.
32. It has to be the cheap kind, where the candy has gotten gooey in the ice cream.
33. I microwave my ice cream.
34. Brad was my first and only serious boyfriend.
35. He’s also the first and only guy I kissed.
36. I like that.
37. I like digital scrapbooking.
38. It’s fast, easy, and cheap.
39. I like Hamburger Helper for the same reasons.
40. I have a bad habit of picking up hobbies and then dropping them when they get too hard or expensive.
41. I’m currently pursuing photography.
42. I have the photography equivalent of two-footer disease.
43. I read voraciously.
44. When we moved to Doha I started reading Danielle Steele because it was the only thing I could get for free.
45. I’m ashamed to say that I like her.
46. I am the world’s least athletic person.
47. When I was 10, I was on a softball team.
48. We called ourselves the Alley Cats.
49. We didn’t win all season.
50. I love watching movies at the theater.
51. Chick flicks are my favorite.
52. Shopping is my favorite hobby.
53. Getting good deals gives me a high.
54. I think a good gift is even better if the person who bought it got a good deal.
55. My mom leaves the tags on gifts so that she can brag about the deal she got.
56. I do the same thing.
57. I think my parents are the best.
58. My mom taught me how to shop.
59. And how to be disciplined. (I didn’t listen.)
60. And she has the gift of hospitality. (I did listen.)
61. I thought I was just like my mom, until freshman year of college when I was voted most shy on our floor.
62. I was shocked.
63. I’m reserved.
64. My dad is a strong person.
65. He knows something about everything.
66. I have an older brother.
67. We’re good friends.
68. My in-laws are great too.
69. They spoil me and my children.
70. I like that.
71. I spend too much time on the computer.
72. I hate housework.
73. But, I love a clean house.
74. I love to bake.
75. Cooking dinner is no fun.
76. But, I could bake cookies everyday.
77. If someone else would clean the kitchen for me.
78. When I was a teenager, my parents paid me $30 a week to clean the house.
79. I can’t wait until the twins are old enough to do some chores.
80. I used to collect porcelain dolls.
81. I plan to give them to my daughter when she’s older.
82. They’re probably worth $100. Total. For the entire collection.
83. I also collected rocks.
84. My favorite vacation memory is the rock store in Phoenix.
85. My parents took us on vacations all over the United States. We went to lots of historic places and toured many old homes.
86. I really appreciate that.
87. When I was in Junior High, I was on the Scholar Bowl team.
88. I was also a Bible quizzer.
89. I wasn’t fast enough in either.
90. But I was pretty good at bonuses.
91. I don’t like socks that have terry cloth inside them.
92. Or couches with buttons.
93. My dad called me the Princess and the Pea.
94. I have two speeds, shopping (slow) and walking (fast).
95. I leave the TV on all day for background noise.
96. I love to sing, but rarely sing in the shower.
97. I’d rather listen to a CD than go to a concert.
98. I cry when I see other people crying.
99. I like taking tests and I miss going to school.
100. I can’t pick a favorite color.

I'm bored

These things are so silly. Yet, I keep doing them.

What Your Fridge Says About You

You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.

You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you're mostly a saver.

You don't tend to be a very adventurous person, but you do surprise everyone now and then. You have a bit of a wild side.

You try to be responsible, but you don't always succeed. Your heart is in the right place though.

You are likely to be married - and very busy.