Sunday, October 31, 2021

Last Days in Doha

So as per every international move, we had to pack up all our household belongings and ship them. To prevent hold ups at customs, we aren't allowed to 'owner pack' any boxes. So we do some staging as I call it, separating what to send where (Air Freight, storage, rest of the stuff) and what is going in our suitcases (ie passports and the cat). So we had lots of 'do not pack' signs and a special 'do not enter' sign on the door to the room the cat (and Clarissa) were sequestered in. The teen had exams, so we worked it out to go to a neighbor's house (and then we hosted that neighbor's teen during their pack out a week later).

Knowing we are moving into an apartment without a porch, we opted to send our Arabic wooden benches to storage. One of the packers made a custom box for it! Check out this cardboard magic!


Usual - no dinner possible time - as the kitchen is packed up moment! Can you guess this mystery object?

Did you guess cat tree? The mover description said 'cat play tower'....accurate! We had a recliner eating a child incident....but everyone made it out just fine! Just like that we were in a very empty house!

We enjoyed a rarity....rain in Doha!! So every kid on the street frolicked for a few minutes before virtual school started.

The teen finished Ortho treatment and left the country brace free....I managed to get a shot of the dentist office....would love this view everyday!!

Clarissa completed her Living Museum project....she was the cutest Ruth Bader Ginsberg I ever saw!

You can watch her speech also!

We let Clarissa attend a birthday party at her friends (just cake/ice cream) and then she went on lock down lock down....we all had to get our brains tickled before we could fly to the US. She being the only vaccinated family member put her at risk...but would also cause a lot of travel upheaval if she couldn't travel. We went for testing we all passed and contributed to the daily count of tested individuals!

Then 48 hours later, we bid farewell to the abode we had lived in for the last 3 years!

I took a photo of the flight map on our arrival and then sent it to the teen....saying 'we have Washington on our side'.....insert Hamilton fans groan....

We had about a day and half in DC, but managed to get to the Visa office and have lunch with my parents!

Then off we went on home leave....our first break to travel anywhere since November 2019!!! Much fun to come....

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Arabic Couches

Before we left Doha, we scrambled around hoping to beat any more restrictions to movements and got some last minute items made. Both kids decided they did in fact want to some Arabic couches. So we went to this shop in the Arabic Souq that I had used before. Katrina Litanjid located at 25°18'21.0"N 51°26'40.8"E.

Each kid picked their own pattern and style. Clarissa went with a more Indian style cover.

The teen went with a traditional Arabic pattern. Great for virtual school and homework!

Our place is a bit smaller here in Frankfurt, but the Arabic couches can double as an easy sleep over bed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Someone turned 11!

It's that time....going to try and catch up on the I got behind during pre-packout purging, packing out, departing post, home leave, receiving everything at new post, organizing the house (and then there's all that other life stuff....and I got further and further behind). When I was just in purge mode, somebody turned 11! Given the school went back to all virtual over spring break, that put a kink in our already small, social distancing sleep over. So we regrouped and Clarissa picked two friends to come over (on two different days) to celebrate. 

She's really into painting (it's a fun activity to do when stuck at home). So we opted for a painting party. We prepped the canvases with a base later and then each guest's first initial in a fancy font. Since Clarissa was doing this twice, her second canvas was her teacher's initial.

Quick drying in the sun and heat!

At the parties, the girls painted their canvases the colors they liked - outside of course (we picked purple for the base since it is Clarissa's favorite).

Between paint layers we did fun things like water balloon fights and cupcakes! (The water balloon fights did get crashed by some other kids in the neighborhood....).


Finally product:

On her actual birthday we did an Oreo cookie ice cream cake which provided some angst. On one hand....Clarissa loves to bake so she wanted to help make it, but on the other hand it was the cake for her and she didn't want to help....such dilemmas!

We opened gifts in the morning of her birthday (I forget why), but saved the grandparent gifts until it was the afternoon in Doha and morning back in the US.

And of course she was gifted the next porcelain doll (my grandmother got them for me and I am handing them down to her).

While it wasn't the ideal paint party, sleepover, birthday fun we had initial planned....we worked within local rules and she still had fun!