Monday, January 28, 2013

... of tradition

Doing something twice counts as a tradition, right?  I suppose it counts if your intent is to continue doing it.  So this verges on tradition, because we've done it twice, we'd like to keep doing it, but aren't going to stick hard and fast to it. 

"It" is going to the beach to eat lunch as a family on Sundays.  I know that during the summer, the 120 degree heat will undoubtedly put a damper on that desire and the tradition will not be carried on.  But for now, the weather is fairly nice during the day and we want to take advantage of being able to enjoy the outdoors while we still can!  So we've been getting lunch and taking it to the beach that's right near our house.  People don't swim on lay out on the beach here, because we live in a "stricter" Emirate.  Just up the road, in the neighboring Emirate, tourists will go and lay out on the beach and get in the water.  We like our beach better.  Bathing suit clad people are not common here and we already find ourselves a little less comfortable around them.  So this week we ended up here on a nice, breezy day. 

Selah and Abram seemed to enjoy themselves.  

I mean, Abram definitely enjoyed himself.

He was like the king of the sand.  

Chasing after birds and expending a good amount of energy "running 'a water"

(although we didn't actually trek down to the water this time)

Maybe we will tire of the beach and our lunches there and we will find other things to do on Sunday for lunch.  But for now, it is the perfect little outing for this family.

Monday, January 21, 2013

...of 9 months

I had every intention of posting this last night, since today is technically her 9 month birthday.  But things got away from me (like the computer) and I had to postpone until this morning.  But I thought you would probably forgive me.  Selah's sleeping in this morning (went to bed before 8 last night and she's still sleeping at 9:30am!) so I'm going to finally get to finish and post it!  Maybe I'll even have time to do the dishes this morning before Quinn walks around the house to his office goes to work.

Date: Jan 21st, 2013

Weight: Absolutely no clue.  She doesn't feel very heavy to me and she doesn't seem to have grown much. So if I had to take a guess, I would say she might be around 16.5 lbs? I've got to start thinking in kilos, but it's too late right now and I can't even try.

Clothing size: Snuggly in 6 months still . She swims in 9 month stuff, but is just a little too long for some of her 6 mo sleepers. The best is that I still put her in a few 0-3 month cardigan sweaters and they still fit. I just went shopping here for the first time since arriving (for clothes) and I got her some adorable stuff.  Shorts and pants are usually 9 mo or 6-9 because I don't like to put too much pressure on her tummy when she is sitting up, but when she lays down they look like they are going to fall off her.  So she's basically staying pretty little.

Feedings per day: 4-5 nursing, 3 solid food meals.  Half the time she sleeps for 12 hours without eating and then it's only 4.  The other half she has a 2:30/3:30/4:30 feeding between her 8 am-8 pm night sleep. 
She's still on a limited variety of baby food because of what we can get over here.  But she's been eating Gerber Puffs like a champ (they were sent from the States by a through some wonderful friends) and she had bits of banana the other day.  So we are working our way into table food, slowly but surely.

Naps: 2 per day. Usually about 10:30-12 and 2:30-4:30 (ish)

New skills: Officially on the move!  She started scooting on Christmas day and has been getting more adept at it every day . She has just started getting her knees up under her and rocking, like she's thinking about real crawling. She is also able to go from sitting to crawling and vice versa, although she's not very good at it yet. I find her sitting up in her crib most of the time when I come to get her now.
And at small group tonight, she tried to go from sitting to crawling and got stuck a little and fell on her face on the hard floor.  It was maybe the loudest I've ever heard her cry . Poor thing.

Teeth: She officially has 5 and is working on the 6th one coming in right where she is chewing on that finger: 

Favorite thing: Still Abram. Trying to eat shoes. Being tickled.

Least favorite thing: Anyone other than us attempting hold her . It's pretty epic.  For being our sweet little rarely cries baby for so long, she sure has done her fair share these past few weeks as we've tried to let friends hold her.  

Potential Personality traits: Yeah, I'm thinking she may be a little more dramatic than I had anticipated.  Although sometimes it takes a lot, and I mean a lot to get her to smile if she's in a funk.  This progression of pictures was from about 5 minutes of me being  completely idiotic to try and get her to even crack a grin.  Some tickling finally worked. 
Abram also still works.  We tell him to make her laugh and he has this awesome fake laugh that he does and she thinks it's the most hysterical thing in the world. I love it.

Brother/Sisterness: They sure do like each other!  I'm so glad.  Abram does have this thing where he gives her toys that he knows she isn't supposed to have and then when she starts chewing on them he starts yelling, "Sey-yah!!  Sey-yah!!!"  Like he's so worried about her.  We are working on that . 

Quinn and I feel so blessed by this little girl.  She has been the best traveler in her short life and is the sweetest lady we could have ever hoped for.  Abram is growing to love her more and more every day.  I am so excited to begin to see her personality emerge and develop as she gets closer to one whole year!  I can't believe that it's been almost a year.  Crazy!  

I love you so, so very much Sell Bell.  You are my favorite lady baby ever.

Friday, January 18, 2013

... of stranger anxiety

We never really experienced this with Abram.  He was a faithful attender of "Kidstuff" from the time he was about two months old.  Every week we would take him to children's church and he was the one kid who, no matter how old he was, never cried when we left him.  I think he may have cried a little once when he was about a year and a half.  But otherwise, he's always been really great with other people taking him.  Maybe that's because there were usually new, distracting toys involved.

Selah had been doing so well with that.  She may not have been going to children's church like Abram did, but she was constantly around new people and mostly ok with pretty much anyone holding her.  Until recently. Now she cries when almost anyone but me holds her.  She even started crying tonight when I passed her off to Quinn and left her sight for a few minutes.  I know that stranger anxiety is common around 8 months, so this is pretty normal and I'm not worried or anything.  But it's a little sad.  I don't know whether to let her cry a little and keep trying to give her to people in hopes of getting her over it faster, or if that's some how detrimental to her.  Probably not.  But I'm just not used to seeing her cry.  She's our non-crier.  So seeing actual crocodile tears in her eyes and snot running down her face when I have to be summoned out of a meeting by the childcare workers just breaks my heart.  I'm hoping it's short lived.  For everyone's sake.

Anyway, she's been "saying" more things recently and I was trying to capture it on video.  But instead of doing what I asked, she got a little attitude with me ;)

 Silly girl.

Off to bed. We have a long day tomorrow of meetings and BBQ parties with neighbors.  Should be fun :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

... of taking after Mommy

We were offline for a few days over here.  It was harder than I thought it would be.  I guess I didn't realize how much I was doing on the internet.  And blogging wasn't even one of them.  Sorry about that.

Remember how I was going to write shorter blogs more often?  Yeah.  How about shorter blogs as often as before - which isn't that often.  We'll try that and see how it goes.

Sometimes we wonder who Selah looks like.  She has her own little look.  We've found baby pictures of Quinn that look just like her and sometimes I will look at the two of us in the mirror and see the resemblance.   And then I ran across these pictures from the beach the other day that were taking consecutively a few seconds apart:

Like mother, like daughter.

That's better.  Even with the junk on her face.  Sweet, brown eyed girl.

Can't forget about my hazel eyed boy...
and his beady eyed elephant.

Hope to be back sooner rather than later . But we'll see.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

...of a sick house

I now definitely have what the children have. Stuffy, gross nose and sore throat (they haven't been able to communicate that symptom to us, but now that I have one, I'm pretty sure they must be suffering from it as well). Abram had a rough night and now two good ones, sleeping all the way through in his tent which we moved to our living room. We did this because Selah is a day behind him and she's a baby. So when she wakes up unable to breathe, a dramatically loud process of booger sucking and consequent screaming ensues that would wake the dead, not to mention her sleeping brother. Her rough night was two nights ago. Last night was better, once we actually got her to go to sleep in spite of her stuffiness. I'm hoping tonight will be even better. 

Poor little girl. I have realized recently that while there are some pretty awesome things about being a baby (like getting to be pushed around in a stroller everywhere, being held and snuggled constantly by people you love, and not having to go to work), there are some pretty annoying things about being a baby as well. Topping that list would be sitting in a dirty diaper for as long as it takes for those people you love to realize it needs to be changed, closely followed by not being able to blow your nose. And it's not just not being able to blow your OWN nose. I mean, a baby doesn't have any kind of capacity to control the kind of force required to clear out idle mucus at the back of the nose and throat. Right now I am coveting Selah's sneezes because she inadvertently holds her breath and ends up shooting out loads of green snot every time. And I am there waiting with a fresh tissue and a "hallelujah". You might ask, what about the bulb syringe?  Doesn't that work for clearing their nose out?  Sometimes. If they cooperate. Abram actually loves it. We ask if we can suck his boogers and he offers his little nose with no fuss, knowing he will feel better once it's over. Selah, on the other hand, d.e.s.p.i.s.e.s. it. Abram never hated booger sucking that much at any age. Not sure what that's all about, but she cries so much that it almost makes it all futile because she creates just as much congestion crying as we were able to get out with the bulb. 

Anyway, we are praying that the worst days for the children are behind us. Abram started losing his voice last night and (I'm a horrible person) it was adorable. Not sure how it is this morning yet, but probably better. However Quinn and I are on the front end and beginning to pump ourselves full of vitamins, which we should have been doing beforehand, but we were too busy taking care of sick children. Luckily, we can blow our noses, so it shouldn't be quite as epic. But I just got over a sinus infection that lasted about two weeks just a day or so ago. I'm just annoyed at my body right now. Quinn hasn't been sick the whole time we've been here. So maybe we will turn his illness into a "well, praise God this is the first time you've been sick" mentality and that will make it better. 

At any rate, here's a picture of Selah breathing through her mouth yesterday. This worked when she was awake to make her less irritable. The problem arose the second her thumb went in her mouth when going to sleep. A thumb sucker with a cold is a pretty miserable thing, let me tell you. But maybe it will help her wean off of it a little bit. 

There's a sunny side to every situation, right?  Praise The Lord. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

...of just pictures

If you know me at all, you know that I can't not say something.  But I did want to share some of the pictures we got on Christmas day and a few since then, without much narrative.  Selah threw up a little a few times today, wouldn't eat much, and was a bit fussy, but overall in decent spirits.  I am guessing it is/was a little stomach bug, as I am starting to feel the beginnings of something as I type.  Excellent.  I guess I'd rather that it hits me at night rather than in the day when I am dealing with the kids.  So I'll bombard you with some pictures and a few captions and then I'm going to start praying that I'll be able to get some sleep tonight. 

Christmas Day:


"New" outfit I bought in the States that was too big for him at the time.  I finally pulled it out on Christmas as one of his presents.  This kid loves truck shirts and is starting to be very vocal about what he wears each day.  Funny kid.
Quinn got flip flops (for the constant trips across the courtyard between our kitchen/bedroom/dining room and our living room).

I got a bread machine! So not an even gift exchange.  Redeemed by the fact that Quinn, who is a serious bread man, has already benefited from this gift.  Two loaves down, many, many, many more to be done! 

Mobile for her crib (which I have yet to hang up, so she just holds on to it and chews on it).

We went to PF Changs with the Jennings for Christmas dinner.  After cooking a big breakfast, it was really nice not to have to do any more dishes.  Selah loooves Siena and lights up every time she sees her.  Sweet girls.  I can't wait for Selah to get older so they can really play together.

Abram dancing in the middle of the City Center.

Trip to the coast:
Steve and Katie invited us to go out to the east coast with them last weekend and stay in a very nice hotel, have dinner with some new and wonderful friends, and go to a friend's church the next day.  It was a very fun experience, because that's the city we are planning to move to next year.  It's much smaller and slower paced than where we are now and I think we are all looking forward to it.

Group photo.  The hotel had a pretty blue Christmas tree in the lobby. The guy who took the picture had a little trouble with the framing.

Trip home.

This is his "smile" face.  Love it.
Awesome new "car transporter" shirt from Nana and Papa.  Definitely a new favorite.

Small group friends.

Date Night:
We got a date night last night (Thanks Katie!) and went to a little shopping and dining area nearby.  Quinn wanted to eat at Nando's, a South African/Portuguese chain restaurant that he had been to with some friends when we first got here.  So we did that and then got a hot chocolate from Startbucks and walked around.  It was actually a little cold (without a jacket) and very, very nice.   

Nando's famous hanging chicken skewer thing.  It was yummy.

We are going to ride it sometime...

Blurry,  but it's the best one we got.

Then we went to the Gift Market on the way home.  We've been wanting to go for awhile, but have always had the kids with us.  That means we were either in a hurry to get them home for bed or worried about what Abram would do in such a place.  The gift markets are kind of like dollar stores.  Everything is under 10 dhs (about $2.50) and they have tons of stuff.  "Gifts", of course, like this votive candle holder...

... and housewares, like tons of dishes, pots, pans, utensils, towels, etc. Toiletries, cheap toys, cheap clothes, cheap lots of stuff.  A great place to buy some things and a bad place to buy other things, even if they stock said "things".  We purchased a bread knife, a muffin tin, a spatula, hand soap, a sippy cup, and a notepad.  It was a hopping place, even at 11:30 at night.  Overall, a good date night!  Next one we will go and see Les Mis when it finally makes it's way to this country.  I'm very excited.

Finally a video of the kids "playing" together while we prepared dinner tonight.  This is Selah with the stomach bug, so obviously it's not too vicious.  They won't be able to play like this for long for many reasons, but I think one of them may be that she's going to start putting up more of a fight soon.  Did you see that collar grab?  She's going to be a tough cookie! 

Here's hoping I'm able to fall asleep soon, although it's feeling like whatever this is is just getting started.  Boo.

Happy New Year.