Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March: Post Quarantine

I divided the month of March (the longest month on record to date) into a pre quarantine [link here] and now post quarantine. Qatar is not on full lockdown or curfew {yet?}, but most everything is shut down and the only outings we've had our he grocery store and a couple craft stores that were open {surprisingly} for additional school supplies.

1. Jason started working from home, which we are super thankful about and has been really helpful.
2. Jason has been wanting to make his own oat/almond/walnut milk variety and got on it with his "free" time. First batch!
3. I lamented the coffee shops closing and he {rightly} pointed out we can make most of the drinks at home and proceeded to order me a slated caramel latte with his newly made milk.
4. All dressed up and no where to go. 😆
5. I was laying in bed reading after we put the girls to bed at 7:30. At 9:00 I heard them call out to me. The little punks had built a "party" in their room in total silence. I am not sure if I am more annoyed or amazed at their antics. The next morning when Jason went into the room the first thing they said to him was "we built a party!"
6. Zoom chat for moms night in with some friends.
7. I looked up form my bed and saw this. It was terrifying.
8. Decided to clean the keyboard that hasn't been cleaned in probably nine years. 
9. CeCe enjoying her outside time and Olivia petting her. 

We celebrated International Waffle Day with homemade waffles on the patio. The sugar high was combated with bouncy castle and running around.

This also happened. Jason went to a shop for something (I can't even remember what now...) and found this on sale and it was the last one. So it came home with him. Now he's on the hunt for a third vehicle to add to the girls' garage...

Jason and the girls were supposed to do a Daddy-Daughter camping trip with friends the last weekend in March, but since camping was banned they obv couldn't go. Instead they setup the tent in the backyard (and vacuumed it - so proud). We made a bonfire and enjoyed the weather and I enjoyed the camping aspects of the fire, but also the comfort of my bed as I snuck inside for bedtime.

1. We have been having all our meals outside to enjoy the weather and break from the house while we can (#summeriscoming)
2. Evelyn helped me make cinnamon rolls.
3. They were really good!
4. Madi and her Zoey.
5. Visiting with our neighbors and practicing good "social distancing"
6. Me enjoying the view and a beverage in the evening.
7. Anahi and I braving the store for much needed school and craft supplies.
8. Zoey enjoying the bag from said school and craft supplies.
9. We brought boards with us from Baku to make these GPS signs of the places we've lived and Jason got the numbers printed and put on and hung them. LOVE how they turned out!!

We ordered a fun cookie decorating kit for the girls and spent an afternoon having fun amidst the homeschool chaos that has been happening the past few weeks (an entirely different post is needed for that - ha!)

The other huge thing that happened this month is that we have two new bike riders!! Last weekend the girls asked to take off their training wheels and they practiced riding. Evelyn picked it up fairly quickly and Olivia was determined and never gave up and caught up quickly to her sisters. We are so proud and loving taking short biking breaks during the day to get some fresh air and exercise.


March: Pre Quarantine

As I was organizing photos for this month's update it seemed natural to separate them into a pre quarantine and post quarantine post given that March lasted for 285 days it seemed like (am I right?)

We kicked off the month with the absolute cutest spa day ever that my friend Anahi hosted for the girls She's a boy mom and said she'd love to do some pampering with my littles and we jumped at her offer. She made fun avocado and honey face masks, painted their nails, and gave them some fun makeup.

The girls dressed at three different versions of Fancy Nancy for International Book Day at school and loved seeing how their classes dressed and watching a parade the school did for assembly that day.

I serve on the board for our Women's Ministry and we hosted a fantastic conference called the Games We Play the second weekend in March. It had rich and applicable teaching and some much-needed fellowship.

1. Madi came home with vegetable soup her class made and we all got to try. Yum!
2. & 3.  I celebrated International Women's Day with friends.
4. Zoey lounging off the side of the 15 foot drop to our stairs.
5. Organizing school supplies. Little did I know then just how much we'd all start using these... 
6. Pomegranate quinoa feta salad. Delish.
7. Playtime outside while the weather is nice (much more of that to come...)
8. A fun fossil activity for bath time!
9. Madi has been loving posing with the cats in their many sleeping places. 

The girls and I baked some chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon that they shared with the neighbors. 

Our compound hosted a resident party filled with some delicious food and fun activities like face painting, henna, balloons, and a popcorn and cotton candy machine.

We went for some drives in the range rover and had some playdates and fun with friends.

1. CeCe enjoying Evelyn's chair.
2. Jason's homemade smoothies which I love having for breakfast.
3. Playdate with a friend we discovered lives in a compound closely.
4. The most delicious Venezuelan chicken and cheese dish my friend Anahi made for us. 
5. What ended up being our final girls night out before the restaurants started closing...
6. It hailed. In the Middle East. Twice. The second time we captured the pieces and measured them.
7. & 8. We also had massive lightning storms and I caught pictures on my iPhone!
9. The day schools closed. I sent Jason to the one store in all of Qatar that sells alcohol. We knew something was happening...

Before the quarantine happened we also had a couple more beach trips, visited the inland sea, had some cooking classes at Eataly, and celebrated Jason's birthday

Shortly after the schools closed, the restaurants followed suit (some still open for takeaway and delivery), then shops closed, and now coffee shops have closed. We have not been given a curfew, but the beach and camping has been banned and all social gatherings have been called off, similar to the rest of the world. Stay tuned for the post quarantine happenings...


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Beach Outings (Exploring Simaisma Beach and Purple Beach)

The schools in Doha were dismissed Monday, March 9 with instructions that e-learning would begin the following day. We took a gamble on things not being quite set for the online learning and headed to the beach for a day of fun in the sun before homeschooling full-time began.

We decided to pick a beach closer to the city that would allow our friends to meet us there for the day. Simaisma beach was closely, had built in shaded coverings, and great bathrooms. #win

The weather was perfect and the kids spent the day enjoying the outdoors and freedom!

A couple weeks later we met up with friends on a Friday to enjoy the beaches one last time before they officially closed for quarantine precautions here in Qatar. I am thankful we got out these past few weekends while we had a chance!


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Happy Birthday Jason!

Happy birthday Jason!

We started Jason's birthday by singing to him and making him breakfast burritos. He had work and the girls had homeschooling but we made sure to paint him some pictures and bake a birthday cake for him!

That evening we headed to our friends' house to celebrate with pizza. They have an amazing pizza oven and were fabulous hosts covering all the toppings and making the day spent with friends perfect and memorable. 


Happy birthday to one of the most amazing men I know. You are hard-working, patient, honest, and kind. We are thankful to have you balancing our family and leading us. 



Monday, March 16, 2020

Inland Sea Adventure

One of the things we still hadn't experienced yet was heading out to the desert for some dune bashing and a visit to the inland sea. We loaded up the car and met up with friends for the adventure last Saturday and had an amazing time.

We pulled off along the way for some pictures and flower hunting. These gorgeous (but parasitic) flower is called a desert hyacinth and is rare and endangered. The kids loved finding them and seeing how they were rotting (decaying?) from the bottom up.

We made it out to the inland sea, waved at the Saudi border, and set up our site to bbq, relax, and visit while the kids played in the water, sand, collected shells, and decided on their own to pickup trash from the beach.

It was a blast and Jason's counting down the days until he can head back out and dune bash some more!


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cooking Classes at Eataly!

We had heard that Eataly hosted cooking classes, but attending their pizza making on National Day last December was our first time trying one. Needless to say, we were hooked! The class was free, incredibly well-organized, and lots of fun for our girls.

We joined the {free} Doha Festival City Kids Club that gives discounts for stores and access to special events hosted at the mall. When we received an email saying Eataly would be hosting two weeks of free classes we jumped on the registration list.

The first week of classes was pasta making. The organizer recognized the girls, welcomed them back, and again the class was organized and run very smoothly. They loved making their own noodles and the twins discovered they love "white sauce" [alfredo sauce] with pasta!

The following week was a cookie making class where they whipped up a batch of chocolate cookies that we shared with our neighbors and friends.

Thank you so much to everyone at the DFC Eataly for the fantastic memories and delicious food!

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