Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eleven Months

"Yo, Mr. Elephant, Can you believe my mom makes us go thru this song and dance every month?  Enough already.
Yo, Mr. Elephant, Can you believe you don't have a better name than 'Mr. Elephant'?"
Height: 30.5 inches
Weight: 26 lbs
Number of Teeth: 6

*Dancing- Dancing is innate to a human spirit.  You hear the beat and you gotta groove. Palmer loves to get down to the tunes from his learning table and "Party Rock" when that Kia commercial comes on the TV.  Check out his moves:

*Talking on the phone - Like most kids of his generation, Palmer is obsessed with our iPhone.  Early on Rick reassigned an old cell phone to be Palmer's play phone in an attempt to distract from our working iPhones.  Just recently, Palmer engages us when Rick or I "talk" on the play phone and then hand the phone to Palmer. (Excuse the blurry iPhone photos.  The boy is hard to capture in action.)
Sometimes, a shoe is just as fun to talk to:
*Waving and signing "more" - Palmer likes to wave hello and good bye to everybody we see out and about.  It's pretty cute to see him wave to everybody and wave at random times when we are at home.  Palmer also knows what he wants now and furiously signs "more" when he wants something to drink or eat.
*Cousin Elle - As Elle and Palmer get older, they are learning to play toys with each other very nicely.  Palmer loves having a cousin so close in age.
*Climbing - The boy continues to be fearless.  His latest craze- climbing onto his little rocking chair and standing backwards while rocking the chair back and forth.  Hello, future trips to the ER!
*Being sick!  February has been a really really tough month for us. In the midst of cold and flu season, Palmer has jumped from one sinus infection to the next ear infection to the next pink eye infection to the next 104-feverish virus.  When you have two parents trying to juggle careers and full daily calendars, life gets a little hairy and we absolutely hate to see the little guy struggling and uncomfortable.  I asked the doctor when cold and flu season ends and she assured me May.  MAY?!?  Oh my.  Here's sweet Palmer with rosy feverish cheeks:

Poor guy.

Happy Eleventh Month, Mr. Palmer.  Just a year ago, your mommy and daddy were very very ready to meet you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Very Crafty Valentine's Day

I love Pinterest because I feel so crafty when I make something spotted on a pin board. Valentine's Day turned into a very Merry Pinterest kinda holiday. Check out my inspired V-Day crafts.

First things first...
Happy Valentine's Day from Mr. Palmer.  That's my boy.
Oh, did you need a hug, too?
Here's a hug from Palmer:
We woke up to heart-shaped cinnamon rolls:
 and 52 reasons why I love you:
LEMON PUDDING CAKE: Meyer lemons are a combo of an orange and a lemon and sweeter than ordinary lemons.  This is a light and airy kick-off to dinner.  Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake
Thanks, Pinterest, for helping us spread some love today.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Week With Dad

I put together some highlights from my week with Dad.  I hope you enjoy.

A guy's dinner at Matt's Rancho Martinez in Lakewood (before it moves to a new location):

A car ride in our neighborhood:

A Tex-Mex blow out:
(inappropriate photo removed by administrator)

Getting a little too excited about women's shoes:

A tug of war with Boston:

Dad's big poker winnings:

My new golf club set:

Although our Man Week was pretty awesome, we're looking forward to Mom's return.  The house got a little messy, and Dad's pretty confused about some basic things, like bottles, curfews, day care etiquette and my wardrobe.  Luckily, my grandma was here to help.  - Palmer and Dad

Friday, February 10, 2012

Qatar Part 2 and Dubai

I'm on my way home to see the boys.

Palmer started walking the week before I left and I hear (and have seen via video phone) that he has been walking up a storm.  I can't wait to squeeze his cheeks and see my hubby.

But, what a great visit and experience I've had over the past few days.

A few highlights:
Adrienne took me to the Doha souk to see the merchant stalls.  The souk is an old-fashioned market with everything from spices to fabric to pets for your home.  Like everything else in Dubai, the souk is a fairly new construction built to look old.

I am still a little baffled over the necessity of dying these poor chicks day-glo colors:
I popped over to Dubai (just an hour's flight) for the day to see the sights.  I have college friends that are living in Dubai for a few years, so Hillary and her sweet daughter Leighton were so kind to be my tour guides for the day.
We squeezed most of the major Dubai attractions into about 8 hours.  The world's tallest building (for the time being), the Burj Khalifa was quite impressive.  
The indoor ski hill at one of the big malls is comical.  Hillary told me that some of the local men wear ankle-length North Face jackets to deal with the cold temps.  Excuse the glare, as I shot it thru a window.  
We also checked out the man made island shaped like a palm tree.  Here we are driving down the trunk:
I think the defining factor of this city is the amazing architecture.  There are a ton of skyscrapers, although it's unclear how much of it is actually occupied...
Pit stop for cocktails:
And onward we march to my favorite part of the day, the old Dubai port.  Goods are literally hot off the presses, or boats rather.  You will see anything from tires to mattresses to rice to garlic to children's toys loaded from these ancient-looking boats.  It was the most authentic-seeming part of the day and I loved how much of a melting pot the busy area was.
Back in Doha, I accompanied Adrienne to another sports outing.  Arabian horse racing is much more popular with the locals than golf.  ExxonMobil sponsors the big Heir Apparent Sword Race, a nationally televised horse race where the royal son hands out the winner's prize.  

We sat in a suite next to the Heir Apparent and I had a ball watching the royal protocol during tea-time, etc.  Since I was standing next to a *nice* man in a white thobe with a big gun at his hip, I chose not to take a photo of the royal leader.

But, here are some lovely photos of the beautiful horses instead.
And they're off!
This is the life.

But, I'm in love with my life back home, too, and can't wait to get back.  
Thanks, Adrienne, for being such a great hostess!  What a great time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Qatar Part 1

As mentioned, I'm in Qatar visiting my friend Adrienne for the week.

So far, we've filled the days full with tons of local entertainment and delicacies.

After the 14 hours of flying, Adrienne knew just the trick to deal with stiff muscles and jet lag: we spent Saturday at the Ritz doing yoga, getting massages and catching up with some NBC friends that work here for Al Jazeera English.
The gorgeous Ritz lobby:
There are paintings and large photos all over the town of Qatar's royal leaders, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his son, the Heir Apparent:
We also dashed over to a large man-made island, the glitzy Pearl, where great hope was held in the fact that restaurants could serve alcohol since it is off-shore.  Unfortunately, the government changed its mind and snatched back that promise so the restaurants and shops are slightly empty.

Nevertheless, check out the great glamour of the large yachts next to the couture shops.  The Qataris don't like to hide their wealth status as the world's highest GDP per capita thanks to their natural gas resource.
Since the country is so young and the boom is at such a peak, check out the never-ending construction:
My visit coincided with the Qatar Masters golf tournament.
The locals don't quite understand the game, so the tournament was quite empty and we had a lot of access to the players and the course.

Hanging with John Daly and his wild pants:
18th hole Exxon tent:
Check out the VIP section at the 18th hole.  I learned there is a whole hierarchy for who sits where in the thrones and people are literally readjusted if someone of higher or lower stature arrives.
Fun fact: The Doha Golf Club uses 25% of the city's water supply.  Check out the stark difference between the lush course and the sandy desert.
Speaking of the desert, Adrienne took me out for a great adventure in the sand dunes.  We went "dune-bashing", which is basically off-roading on the sand dunes.  It's a lot like a roller coaster, without any safety guidelines or waivers.

Check out our wild ride:
We also stopped at the gorgeous Inland Sea, where you can see Saudi Arabia across the bay.
I'm having a ball, but definitely missing my boys.  I'll be home very soon.