Saturday, March 24, 2007

new photos

here are some recent pics of the baby....

the last one makes me think "what you lookin at Willis"... why, i don't know. but it's the cutest look... i think. i tried my best to get him to smile for the camera, but the more i tried, the more he refused. one day..... :)

oh yeah, the one w/ him on the sofa is daddy babysitting... thought he start him early on the oud! :)

bird flu next door

While watching the news this evening, was informed that the bird flu has hit the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, which is very close to where we are. Not sure of exactly where when it says eastern, but just knowing it's that close is rather scary.

They haven't had any human deaths - only birds - but the thought of it coming to Bahrain kinda freaks me out. Not only do we have four birds of our own, but my FIL has lots of birds, including chickens, pigeons, parrots... and all kinds of other little beautifully feathered creatures.

I'll be interested in reading the papers tomorrow to see what Bahrain is saying about it being so close... because the last we heard it was in Kuwait and they were taking measures to keep it from entering the borders... but now... it's too close for comfort... I think.

I'd hate to see birds destroyed for the sake of keeping bird flu at bay and I really hope it doesn't come to that.... because there are so many ppl who sale birds here - beautiful birds - so I'm really hoping it doesn't happen.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

bring on the rain... some stress needs to be washed away!

the wind is crazy outside.... which makes me wonder if it's going to rain. i hope. it hasn't rained in about a month and it'll probably be the last good one until next year... so i'm really hoping there'll be a down pour. we shall see.

the baby is doing a lot better now, since we changed his formula once again. i hadn't really gone into what was happening to him w/ this other formula, but it had gotten to a point that i was seriously concerned about him. when we first brought him home from the hospital, the pharmacist recommended that we use a formula called S26-LF. well, come to find out, this is lactose free... and after he started having problems w/ this one, we changed over to the Gold formula which contained milk products.

at first he was ok on this and really liked it. but soon enough, he started having severe cramping while drinking the formula and they were so bad that he'd claw at his face or mine if i was close enough, he'd scream at the top of his lungs, wave his arms violently thru the air, or grip my fingers so tight that his little fingers would turn white, his eyes would either dart back and forth or roll into the back of his head... and this would go on for the entire feeding period. then, when he'd have movements, he'd usually get the same thing w/ major grunting and crying... which i assumed was from it hurting or him being constipated or something.

i first called the dr. that saw him while we were in the hospital. we took him after his circumcision to have it looked at and it was at that time that i told the dr. what he was experiencing when drinking his formula. the dr. sorta blew me off and said that it was normal. since i'm not a dr. and figured that i was being overly worried, i allowed myself to believe what the dr. was saying. oh yeah, this was when he was using the lactose free formula. after we switched the formula - because i was worried that he might not be able to tolerate milk products later in life if we kept w/ this particular kind - i called the dr. to advice him again about what the baby was doing w/ the new Gold formula. again, he told me not to worry about it and to try it for another week and if it didn't improve, to switch again.

i don't know if any of you have ever experienced this, but i don't know of any mother that can sit and watch her child cry this way when he's feeding or watch a baby scratch at their face because of the pain that they're in. it was killing me, and all i could do was pray that the pain would pass and try to talk him thru it.... only to have it come and go like cramping w/ every feeding.

so after talking to a dr. friend of mine, i got referred to another pediatrician in Saar that was supposed to be really good. being one who doesn't care for drs. that have no bedside manner, i called and made an appt. w/ this dr. immediately because not only was he good but i was told that he was very patient w/ new parents and would answer any questions that you had. w/ that info alone, i knew he was the one. we take naief in and the dr. immediately starts asking me questions about what was happening. oh yeah... because the pain was so severe for naief, i had the hubby videotape it so that the dr. could see that i wasn't exaggerating about the severity of the pain. but... wouldn't you know it, we forgot the damn tape! well... it didn't matter because the dr. started asking me questions and it was obvious he believed me and knew what was happening. he even asked if the baby was arching backwards w/ his head and back... which he was... if he was throwing up and he was.... and so on and so on. i didn't know that the arching of the back was an indication of a problem.

so... after examining the baby, the dr. decided/determined that he was having acid problems. so we have now changed to a new formula that has changed my babies temperament and, most significantly, reduced his pain to almost nothing. he does still cry and grunt when going to the bathroom, but he is no longer having fits of pain when he's taking the bottle. the new formula is great and doesn't hurt him at all... but... he doesn't like the taste as much and since it's much thicker, i had to cut all the nipples so that he could get it out. at first... it reminded me of when i was trying to breastfeed... because, like i said, he doesn't like to work for the milk, and when he saw that he was having to suck really hard to get this new formula to come out, he went into little baby fits again... so like any good mommie, i cut the nipples to make the holes larger and it worked. he gobbles it down, most times... and there is no more throwing up, no severe pain attacks.... nothing. i feel so happy now and am so happy that he's not in pain any more.


we downloaded the first episode of Season 3 of Lost. i wasn't sure what to expect, but the three characters that were taken at the season finale are now in the hands of the "others" and it looks to me that the experiments have begun. what was really odd though was at the beginning when it showed ppl in their houses talking about a book they were going to read in a reading group or some such thing... and all of a sudden it seemed as though an earth quake was coming, then they all went outside and looked into the sky and saw the plane coming down.... then all of a sudden you realized that these ppl were actually the "others" and that their perfect little neighborhood was actually on the other side of this island. it's weird.

i'm truly wondering what's going to happen to all of them and have a feeling that they'll be like rats in a science lab for a while.... and wondering if Sayid made it back to the camp and what's happening w/ all the others at the camp and if they'll continue to push the button... so i can hardly wait to see the new few episodes. but you're right Gazza, i do think this season is going to be weird.


oh yeah... went to the American Embassy today to get a passport for the baby... and here i am, an american, have been all my life and lived all my life in the States, but i'm having to prove to them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that i'm actually american. it's starting to really get to me.

here, since being in bahrain, i have met several ppl that have gone to the states to live w/ their husbands, got pregnant and had the baby there, and they got american passports for their kids... but they are now living in bahrain and have no intentions of living in the states.... but the kids have the passports... and i know of another few ppl who went there right before giving birth, had their kid, left after getting the proper documents (SS card, passport) and didn't even pay their hospital bills.. but they get the passport.... and i'm having to go thru everything i have to give them documents to prove that i'm american.

when i was young, my father died. my mother remarried and for the longest time i thought my step dad was my real father. after i guess the 9th grade, i found my birth certificate and realized that he wasn't. after this, i started going by my real last name for a while but since all of my official documents were in this other last name, it was easier to stick w/ that. it wasn't until i was in my 20s that i had my name legally changed to reflect my real father's last name. so... after years of apt. dwelling.... and moving around, i have no idea where any of these documents are.. the official ones like the legal document for the name change, etc. now, after having to get records from schools to prove that i went to school in the states and lived there, i have come to realize that it's going to be very difficult for me to prove things because some of these schools have my other last name... and i have no way of proving that it is actually me.

i get mad when i think about it. i know why my mom did this but i disagree w/ it. it's causing a major headache for me now... and i'm about to throw my hands in the air and say forget it... we'll have a bahraini passport for him and not worry about the american passport... but since i'm american, i really would like my child to have opportunties that i had and be able to go to school there later w/out paying huge costs for schooling.... just so many things. plus, later, if we/he wanted to relocate there, it would make things so much easier.

i'm in a real funk about all of this. have been calling schools trying to get information ... but it's such a pain in the butt. so far i can prove 4 years, but they have to have at least 5. you would think that my birth certificate would prove something. they even looked at other school records, but they weren't good enough. i took pictures and they said yeah it would work, but it didn't. i guess i was too young. i'm not one for keeping tons of receipts and such from previous years... i have bank statements but nothing that shows 4 years consistently... i have things that have come to my addresses in the states, but they say it shows a snapshot of a period... not anything substantial.

i'm just miffed that i'm having to do this. having to make the calls, having to find the information when i'm an american. when i worked, these ppl would lie on their visa apps and get visas w/out a problem w/out having to prove anything. other ppl go to the states and get passports for their kids and have to prove nothing... but here i am an american and having to go thru this crap. at least they were nice today. the other day a few of them were quite rude... which i've seen in the past when trying to get a visa for my husband.

and to beat all... when we went last week, we took naief w/ us to prove that we have a baby. they had to look at him and all ... then they told us that we didn't have to bring him back this time, that all we had to bring back were the documents. so off we go to the embassy today, and wouldn't you know it... they said they didn't remember us and that they didn't see the baby! i was so pissed. even the girl that looked at him for a good solid 2 minutes, said she didn't remember seeing him. i thought hashim was going to have to go back home and get him to take him there once again, but finally she remembered when she looked at his birth certificate. she remembered us from the conversation we had about his name spelling. the woman tried to tell me that she always writes on the forms that she saw the baby.... well, she didn't write on any form that she gave us.... so i guess she was a bit mistaken about that.

maybe i should give up my citizenship, become bahraini and forget about the u.s. i feel like it. i get so sick of their crazy ways and the way they investigate you down to the underwear you're wearing! kidding... but it feels like it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm hooked

Last week MBC Action showed Lost for the first time... and since I've heard so many positive things about this series, I decided to give it a try. And whatta ya know.... I LOVED it! So... instead of waiting each week for a new episode and instead of having to deal w/ endless commercials, we decided to rent the DVDs. We're now on Season 2 and still loving it.

I spend most of my days here in the bedroom with the baby. I don't feel comfortable leaving him alone and since I don't have a monitor yet, and since I'm concerned about SIDS, I don't do much of anything except play and talk with him, watch him sleep (which is soooo enjoyable... who would have ever thought that watching a baby sleep could bring such joy!!) watch TV, listen to music, get on the net (sometimes)... and read. So... needless to say, when the baby is sleeping, there's some free time to enjoy it.

I've heard or read that they constantly kill off characters, and it must be true. So far, they've killed off several.

Do any of you watch this? I still haven't figured out what the big thing is in the forest that sounds like a dinosaur. I'm thinking it's some type of huge robot that protects the island... and I still haven't figured out what's up w/ the "others"... but I'm thinking they're part of this island experiment... maybe from the same group of scientists that put that guy down in the hatch... not sure though. I still haven't figured out why they steal away children.

It's very intriguing and I'm really hooked on it.


The baby is doing good. He has a lot of gas and cries a lot from it. It's heartbreaking to see him in such pain, especially when the only thing I can do is try and comfort him, which is really hard to do when he's in such pain. I do all the massaging ... and even pull his legs up to his belly, but usually it doesn't really help. I also try laying him on his stomach to relieve the pain, but at this stage, he only cries from not wanting to be like that. We've tried switching his formula but it hasn't helped. The dr. says not to worry that it'll pass.... which I hope happens sooner rather than later. It hurts him so much and hurts me even more.

His little eyebrows have come in and they give such personality to his face! His eyes haven't changed color yet but I do see another color coming in... and it sorta looks brown, but not sure. His eyes are focusing on things now, and when I call to him, he'll turn his head to look towards me. Can't tell ya what a feeling that gives to me! He's such a sweetheart... and even for a baby that is only a little over a month, he's already terribly spoiled. But have you ever heard - spare the rod, spoil the child? I think that's it... but not sure. Either way, I agree.

I have had ppl tell me not to hold him so much and not to let him fall asleep on me... which I understand... but, I will say this, I've seen some kids that weren't held when they were babies and I think I'd rather give that love to my child. I love having him fall asleep on me. I know I'll probably think differently when he gets older, but ... I'm not sure. I can see myself not having any probs w/ that even. Since we're only planning to have one child... I'd rather give him all of the love he can stand and not worry about later. So what if he desires to fall asleep on mommy!!?? But hey, he has me wrapped around his little pinkie already... so how can I say no! :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Utterly Ridiculous!!

We took Naief's documents to the Health Center two weeks ago to get his birth certificate. Well, Hashim went to pick it up yesterday and guess what..... they misspelled his name. Needless to say, I wasn't surprised. I have come to realize that a lot of ppl here don't want to work and a lot of the others are idiots. Instead of spelling it the way we wanted, it was spelled Nayef, and since we do not want our baby's name spelled that way, the hubby took it back to the health center and requested a change in the spelling. This was two days ago.

This morning he gets a call from the health center to come there.... so off he goes. I guess after about 10 minutes, I get a phone call and it's Hashim. Seems their little office can't change the spelling of Naief's name... and you know why?!! Because they don't have the spelling we want in their freakin ass database!!!! And they can't do anything about it, we're hearing.

Hashim is on his way to Isa Town because that's where the CIO is and in order to possibly get it changed, he has to go thru that office to do so. And not only this, but the health center says they don't have the telephone number to the CIO's office because they say they have no dealings w/ that office. What a crock of shit!

I refuse to allow them to spell it Nayef. We don't want it spelled like that and if they spell it like that, it means that all of his other paperwork will be spelled like that, including his passports, and that isn't going to work!

I've never heard of such a ridiculous statement "our database doesn't have that spelling so we can't spell it like that". Doesn't anyone know how to CHANGE THE DATABASE????? What is wrong w/ this freakin country!??? What in the hell are these ppl doing and what good are they if they don't know how to add or update the database?! Can't anyone have any freakin individuality in this country???? So basically... when someone is born here and applies for a birth certificate, you get the spelling that some crackpot came up w/ and you should be happy for it! Don't expect or want something unique because it just ain't gonna happen.

This is REALLY pissing me off. I can't stand incompetence and this shows a total lack of ability on their part. Thankfully Hashim is handling this because I might be one to make a total fool of myself if I were there... because I don't think I'd be polite in the slightest of ways....

Update: The hubby went to see the CIO and what did they say?? They can't change it either and we can try going to the Ministry of Health.... because the procedure takes too long and they just can't do it. Hubby isn't going to go to the Ministry of Health... so... I guess what's left is going to the American Embassy and seeing if they'll allow us to get his passport w/ the spelling the way we want it instead of relying upon the birth certificate. Who knows... maybe they will. I know that my mom's name is different on her birth certificate compared to her other identification papers....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dreams with fire

The baby slept a lot today because of his circumcision yesterday, which is wonderful because I got to sleep right along with him... and it was very much needed. He's doing ok. Is experiencing some pain but we got over the counter meds for that and it helps a lot. He did just fine w/ the surgery, and when he came out, he looked happy and was content so that made me feel really good. The dr. gave him a local, so he didn't feel anything. :) I'm so relieved about that and glad it's over.

Today while I slept, I had the strangest of dreams, so I thought I'd blog about the main issue which is fire. I dreamt that I was at this person's house. I didn't know him and his family and not sure how I got there, but he didn't know I was there, but his children knew. He was a mean man who controlled his family and everyone was afraid of him. During the dream, I had tons of laundry to do (which is no different than my real life situation!), but the only thing was, if I did the laundry then he'd know I was there because the water backed up into this huge bathtub in the house and couldn't be drained w/out him knowing, and since I didn't want him to know I was there, we were doing everything to get that water to drain.... during which time, I fire breaks out in the house.

I've never had to experience a fire at home or anywhere for that matter... but an aunt did. Matter of fact, her son started a fire in the house a long time ago when he was a child. They lost most everything. So I've seen the devastation that it causes.

Which brings me to my question of the day.

If a fire broke out in your house and you only had 10 mins to collect everything you possibly could and leave w/ it, what would you take? Not including family or animals. They are safe and you don't have to worry about them.

Me... well, I'd get clothes and definitely family photos and pictures. Many that I have can't be replaced and there's no way I'd want to lose those things. How about you?

A month or so ago there were huge fires in Malibu, California. One of the main things that ppl mourned were family photos and heirlooms.... things you can't replace.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

10 Favorite Songs

I've been tagged by Munther from The Drivel of 2 Modern Bahrainis to list 10 of my favorite songs. This is a hard tag for me because I love music and my tastes change so much w/ each passing year. But... when I think about favorite songs that always make my heart shine or make me dance in my chair or even get up and dance... well... some of these come to mind... altho, I wouldn't consider these particular songs dance songs, except for one. The rest, well, they are just favorites.

They're in no particular order...

1) True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. She's an incredible artist. I love her style and uniqueness.

2) Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor. I love her music... her voice is incredible... it's only too bad she doesn't put out the songs like she used to.

3) Rapture by IIO - This song made my heart fly when I heard it because it reminds me of how I feel about my husband and the way I felt when I met him. It will always be my most favorite.

4) Constant Craving by KD Lang. I love her voice and this song is so beautiful.

5) Thank You by Dido. There's just something about this song that makes me sing along every time I hear it.

6) Metro by Berlin. Aaaahhh, I love Berlin. Saw them in concert years ago and they were fabulous. Hashim thinks they're too 80's... but I don't care. I love 'em.

7) Beautiful Stranger by Madonna. This song also reminds me of my husband and that's what he was to me when I first met him... a beautiful stranger. :)

8) California Dreamin by the Mommas and the Pappas. I love this song. Always makes me think of California and how much I love it there.

9) Imagine by John Lennon. This is a beautiful song and one that I wish we could all live by.

10) Foolish Games by Jewel. This is another absolute favorite of mine and it touches my heart in so many ways. She's such a wonderful singer w/ such a beautiful voice. And really good in concert.... she did nothing but stand in the center of the stage and sing.

Ok, this is my list. I could have probably listed another 10 or 20.... by I'll save you guys. ;)

I tag Olivia, Puppy, Jane, and Christopher.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

circumcision.... here we come

Sunday is the baby's one month birthday.... he'll no longer be a newborn but will now be an infant. Not sure that it makes a huge difference, but I'm starting to see changes in him. For one, he's starting to focus better, his motor skills are in full swing, he's eating a lot more, loves to sit up (w/ my support of course) and watch the goings-on around him, and is developing a small bit of his very stubborn personality....ok, maybe a large bit. :)

One big thing that will happen this Sunday is his circumcision. I'm dreading it. I know it only takes a few minutes, but the thought of him having the pain, even for that long, is more than I can bear. My husband's brother had the surgeon videotape the surgery and I think Hashim wants to do the same, but I really can't imagine it. I guess it's a guy thing. But really, in thinking about it, who would want to see such a thing once they get older?!! What guy would want to see that being done to him as a baby? My husband's brother thinks it's soooo cool and is very proud of the fact that he had it videotaped, but, really, I see no point in it. But... then again, maybe I'm missing something.

Things have been going well, for the most part. The baby has a lot of gas and cries from it a lot late at night, but I think it's getting better... altho, I say that and then it gets bad again... so w/ time, I know it'll pass... and once he starts rolling over it's supposed to considerably lesson... so I wait for the day. I'm dead tired. Sometimes late in the night (or the wee hours of the morn.), I find that I can barely keep my eyes open to feed him. I try to keep things as quiet as possible when he wakes up for early morn. feedings so that he won't wake up entirely cuz the little bugger is difficult to get back to sleep.

One morn. I learned my lesson the hard way... I think I talked to him a little too much and then changed his diaper (which is a big no no when he wakes up unless you have no other choice).... after that, he refused to go to sleep, so I spent a good hour 1/2 rocking him in my arms and trying to get him to calm down so he'd drift back to sleep. And once he's fallen asleep in my arms, putting him down on the bed is not so easy because as soon as I move my arms, he starts complaining and usually wakes up. He loves to fall asleep on me though and most days I can't deny him.... but after a while it kills my back and my arms and after two months, he'll expect it all the time, so I'm working on getting him to fall asleep on his own, but it's hard. He loves to sleep next to me and since he's a little angel.... well, you know what I'm gonna say... it's tough.

The hubby has been doing a pretty good job in helping me out, but he can sometimes be a big grouch at 3 and 4 a.m.... so I often find it easier to do things myself. And... when I wake him up in the wee hours, it's hard for him to wake up and if I say something, he usually doesn't understand me. I always wished for a deep sleep like that and have never had it... so I guess it's a good thing now. I've noticed that the baby is a light sleeper like me, which isn't a good thing, let me tell ya! But, it helps me out because whenever I hear anything from the baby, I wake up immediately.... so I find that I don't feel so afraid.

The in-laws... well, I've been staying at our house and away from that unwanted stress. I find it easier to be here and to do things on my own. Even if I make mistakes... at least I learn from them. I do things differently than this culture does and find that it isn't looked at as a positive thing. And it's not just the in-laws that make the comments... I find that some women feel like it's their duty or think it's ok to butt in and give their opinions about things that are really none of their business. I can't tell ya how many times I've been told not to put the baby in an infant car seat! If I saw things from their point of view, I'd be hurting my baby and damaging his bones, as well as bruising him. And.. I've heard the same about carrying the baby in my arms.... and from not wrapping the baby like a mummy.... so many ppl say the same thing... I'm hurting him or will make his bones bad. When I hear this, all I want to say is... "ok... do you see all the ppl from the West crippled?... NO! So leave me the hell alone, ok!!" This also goes for holding the baby. I'm told over and over that I should only hold him so that he's on his side w/ his arms pulled into the front. If I don't pull them into the front, they tell me that he'll grow up w/ his arms/shoulders bent backwards.... it's hard to explain what I mean here or what's told to me, but it's not true. I know that the baby won't grow up w/ his shoulders bent backwards.... and plus... I don't want his shoulders pulled inwards anyhow. I know that my baby isn't going to break when I hold him... but many seem to think he will.

But... I don't say anything. I mind my tongue. I will say though, my niceness in this area is running thin and it may not be too far down the road that I make my opinions known and when I do... well, I know it won't be looked at as a positive thing. So be it though.

I found out from my hairdresser that most of the British don't circumcise their sons... and a lot of ppl in the U.S. don't do it.... and Indians don't do it.... so I was talking to my husband and told him that we shouldn't do it! ;) Here he didn't want to neuter our cat but he can't leave well enough alone and not circumcise his son... I find it funny and love to tease him about it. Not that I wouldn't do this, because I know it's better for the child and a lot cleaner, but.... the thought of it... well, it hurts my heart to know that he might be in pain and how it will probably hurt to have it done. But I guess w/ the cat, it was different. At least we're not removing the baby's testicles! ;) :)

One of my SILs told me that her son slept thru it, which I think is a bare face lie. Maybe he was asleep prior to it being done, but I know a child/baby wouldn't sleep w/ that type of pain. I've seen my baby sleeping prior to having his blood drawn and as soon as they start to take it, he screams in pain. Now... you tell me how they can circumcise a child and he not feel it because he's sleeping???? I don't believe her. I can't stand it when ppl lie for the sake of lying. Does she think I'm stupid?! I think she does.

Anyway... today's been good so far altho I got vomited on earlier today, and I mean so much so that all of my clothes were drenched in it. Poor little guy. He didn't cry... he just matter of factly threw up all over me... and all over himself. Gosh, I've never seen a baby throw up like that before... the stuff just spewed outta him.... like a little volcano! ;) It kept coming and coming. I found that I got mad at my husband for feeding him too much.... the baby kept crying and he thought he was hungry, when he actually needed his diaper changed! So.... I got good and covered. It's okay though cuz I know it won't be the last time... and when it's your child... it's okay.

Happy day everyone.