Friday, February 25, 2005

Here you have the first photos of Aysha (who is participating in this post stapped to my chest in the BabyBjorn) from the new camera. These were a few of the highlights. The camera works great. I could crank the ISO setting up to 1600 and take these indoors during the day with no flash. The camera is easy to use and sync with the computer.

Mom is resting right now, and Grandma Germaine is down in the exercise room. Aysha and I are posting to the internet and re-organizing music files. I switched from MusicMatch to iTunes since I ordered an iPod yesterday. Ever since Lianne was here with hers, my curiosity about them has been stoked. I had been watching them on eBay for a week since Valentine's Day, but then Apple introduced a new line with better battery life, the ability to link directly to digital cameras and a lower price.

Yesterday we visited the Tareq Rajab museum, a private collection that a dedicated Kuwaiti keeps in his basement. He has amassed a huge collection of Islamic art, jewelery, clothing, instruments and weapons. It is the largest collection of art in the country. During the Iraqi invasion, he protected it by building a false wall while the National Museum was being emptied.

Here are the photos. Happy viewing! Honourable mention goes to the Hide family for providing Aysha her assortment of moose-themed clothing.

Moosegirl to the rescue!


Aysha and Grandma Germaine

Aysha with windows in her eyes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Karla had her first week back at work. It all eneded with the national day celebration on Wednesday. It is usually a day of hectic supervision of students as they tour the school. My little grade 6's were very well behaved and I had a great time this year (as opposed to two years ago, when it was no fun). Karla has been adapting to making time at school to pump between her classes so Aysha has enough milk at home to keep her fed during the day. We have a four day weekend, so hopefully Karla can get a bit of a reserve built up for next week.

Eileen (aka Grandma Germaine) arrived last night. And so we are headed for a big first day in Kuwait.

Eileen brought a new digital camera for us that we got so there is a chance that there might be some new photos soon. We ordered a digital body that matches our good camera. We can use the lenses we already have. It was a Christmas present that we were waiting to buy until we knew what was going to happen next year.

Here is one more photo of Aysha for you.

Who is that baby?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Yesterday was Karla's first day back at work. We got up, Karla fed Aysha, I made lunches. Sylvia arrived and we got out the door on time. It was a miracle. Work sped by and we were home again. Both Aysha and Sylvia survived the day.

We are full time parents on the weekend. Aysha was good this morning. I took her out in the little baby-pack for a walk while Karla was tutoring in the apartment, and we are going out again soon for groceries.

Aysha is having a nap right now, which is unusual for the day. She likes to be up, or to rest in your arms. But, on the advice of our friends Mark and Nancy, who just adopted a baby, we swadddled her up tight and put her down. They said that the tight swaddle keeps baby from waving those little arms around and distracting itself from rest. It seems to be working. She has been quiet for more almost two hours.

Here are a few more photos for her fans all over the world:

That's a wrap, folks

Mobile over Canada baby


Aysha takes over

Monday, February 14, 2005

Here is one more photo of Aysha that Karla wanted me to put up. Yesterday Aysha had a practice day for when Karla goes back to work. She was bottle fed all day and then breast fed in the evening again. She was very happy all day. The bottle must be easier for her to eat from. She was relatively happy in the evening too, but she ate more frequently and in shorter shifts.

It's hard to believe that Karla goes back to work tomorrow. Personally, I don't know why the school didn't give Karla the extra day and have her come back after the weekend. They have covered for her by moving the teacher out of Writer's Workshop, so they're not even having to pay for a substitute. And Writer's Workshop isn't going to get started again until after the weekend. The schools seems to think that rules have to be enforced to the letter when it comes to the staff.

Aysha has been reluctant to sleep in her crib. She would cry whenever she was put down in it, especially during the day. At night, Karla will sometimes put her in the bed with us, where she is much happier to sleep. We have been letting her cry a little more before we pick her up and using a CD with the sound of waves crashing on the beach. She has been better in her crib lately.

We are getting excited about Eileen's visit next week. I'd better get to work.

Ready to face the world

Saturday, February 12, 2005

So, Here I Am!

Soooo, here I am, after months of family nagging and prograstinating on my part. Jamie has made posts to the internet more user friendly in an attempt to encourage more involvement from his better half.

I have been remiss not only in posts to the web, but in almost all commications this year. The pregnancy and birth of Aysha, as well as teaching a new grade level, have left me with little time for anything extra. I nievely thought I would have a lot of time once I was on maternity leave to catch up, but to my surprise, Aysha requires so much attention, time, and energy, that even finding a few minutes to myself to grab a snack is a challenge.

I go back to work this week Wednesday. I know I'm not ready, but then I'm not sure if even another five weeks off would prepare me. Our nanny/maid has been coming for a few hours each day during the week ever since I came home from the hospital, so I know that she is used to our house-hold routines and Aysha. I can't imagine how I would go back to work without feeling so confident that Sylvia will take good care of Aysha.

When I was in high-school and doing a lot of babysitting, I once told my Mom that if I ever had children, I would like to farm them out until about age two. I was not a baby person! And although I love Aysha beyond words, I am still not a baby person. I will be relieved when she gains a little more independence (can walk) and communicate more effectively. Babies are cute and fun to hold for a few minutes or even hours, but they require all of your time and energy, and aren't nearly as interesting as when they can express their own thoughts. So what I'm saying is that I already can't wait for Aysha to become two! Does that make me a bad mother? I can't help it if it does.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I got back from Iowa late Monday night and Lianne left on Tuesday. I survived Tuesday and Wednesday at school, and made it to the weekend. There was a pile of work waiting for me when I got back to school, which I have used this weekend to almost catch up on.

We went to a little salsa party on Thursday evening, mostly to see our friends who we haven't seen since we stopped going to classes before Aysha was born. We did a couple dances but spent most of our time standing aound being proud parents and watching everyone coo over the baby. Aysha was content to be held by lots of different people even with the music and party sounds (The party sounds were kept to a baby-friendly level until after we left).

Last night we watched Garden State, which was fine. It was written and directed by its young star. It was recommended in the same vein as The Station Agent. Even though I didn't think it was as good, it still was a very watchable movie.

Here are a couple more photos for the family. They are from Lianne's visit.

Family by the gulf


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Karla and have signed a contract for next year (actually I signed them both). We are going to teach at George Washington School in Cartagena, Colombia. Before you get too concerned that Kuwait to Colombia is an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire move, the Canadian travel warning says: Canadians should not travel to Colombia until further notice, with the exception of the city of Cartagena and the islands of San Andrés and Providencia. (you can follow the link to check it out for yourself).

We will be teaching grade 7 and 8 English and Social Studies. The positions will be a lot like what we are doing now - we will each have two groups of students which is the same as in Kuwait. What is differente is that we will be the only English teachers for our level, instead of one of two or three. We will see both classes once a day for a 95 minute block where we will do both English and SS. The school is near the beach, in the touristy part of town. Here's a photo:

Cartagena, Colombia

At the bottom of this photo the area with the red roofs is the old colonial part of town. You can see the old city wall pretty clearly at the bottom right side near the water. Looking up, you see a very narrow crossing that leads toward the tall buildings. Just past that, about where the peninsula is widest, before it narrows again, is where the school is. Many teachers live in that area where they can walk to work, basic services, restaurants and, of course, the beach. We get a generous housing allowance that will cover rent, utilities (including high speed internet), the maid/child care, and even food. We just turn in our bills and the school pays them off (unfortunately, we can't reclaim the part we don't spend).

We will have three weeks holiday at Christmas, when we will be home to show off our tans! We do have to show up earlier than usual though. School starts on August 10th, and since it is our first year, we need to be there for orientation and to find an apartment on the 1st.

Here is a site with some photos of Cartagena, which is on the north coast of Colombia, in the Caribbean. And another good one of the old city.

We are both happy about the school. There was another another school in Colombia that offered us jobs, but it was in Medellin. We would have earned a little more, and one of us would have been the head of the department, but safety, number of students and positions made us choose Cartagena.