So I literally have nothing to post lately. Other than posting what we eat for dinner on my food blog, I don't do anything. Here is every single week day for me: I get up when Kaden starts "ma ma ma ma"-ing, get Kaden breakfast in his highchair, microwave a cup of green tea for me, check my email (which is NEVER full enough, losers!), run Kaden a bath, strip him naked after the adventure that is Cheerios is over, being careful to note where they drop in the hallway on the way to the bathroom so I can pick them up before they dry into concrete and I am forced to get a knife to de-stick them from the tile.
Kaden sings and splashes while I sit in the toilet seat cover and either read part of my book, or an article or two in a magazine I've been mercifully sent by a loving relative. We dry off (yes, "we") and get new clothes that Kaden has taken to picking out himself... yesterday was a Tye-dyed shirt from Marcia and Deven and red and grey sweat pants. Today he picked out a (long-sleeved) "Central Michigan" shirt, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Fox, and picked grey shorts to match. What a looker! But he gets mad and feels inferior if I tell him he can't wear the fabulous matched clothes he picks. We're not going anywhere, so I go with it.
Then we head to the living room to "build" with his blocks. I make a really creative new-age high-rise eco-friendly office building and Kaden turns into The Hundred-foot Baby Monster and demolishes my creation. Then he chooses which blocks I build with next. Eventually he wants to do it himself, so I leave him to go wash a load of dishes (The evil, sexist sand man who has kept dishwashers from being common household appliances in the UAE, be damned). When my hands are sufficiently pruney and Kaden has had enough of the blocks, I dry up and we head to his room. There we take turns reading Spanish books, playing with educational toys (seriously, heh), and singing Mosque man when he blares through the window at noon.
About this time Kaden gets grouchy and we cuddle on the couch together while he drinks some milk and when he is ready, he hands me his cup and gestures for me to pick him up to take him to bed for his nap. I now have exactly 2 hours to do anything that I need to get done without Kaden hanging from my pant legs: laundry, the rest of the dishes, prep work for dinner, vacuuming, mopping, bathroom, etc. I pick two of these every day and eventually throughout the week, they'll all get done. With Kaden in bed I hop on the elliptical while I watch The View, then stretch and do push-ups and crunches in front of the TV.
When Kaden wakes up we get some lunch (usually either leftovers from dinner the night before or a peanut butter and "Mommy jam" sandwich) and TV goes off. After lunch we sing songs and point to our body parts. Kaden is consistent with where his belly button, nose and cheeks are... eyes and forehead are a bit confusing.
Then we start dinner, Kaden's new favorite place to hang out is perched on the counter top while I move around the kitchen. He thinks it is hilarious, though he'll probably jump off the counter one of these days and I'll be a horrible mother! But he's pretty safe so far.
Daddy gets home at 4, we eat dinner and chat about our days. They're both pretty much always the same. Then Daddy wrestles with Kaden while I do the dinner dishes (never ending dishes!) and clean up the kitchen. We typically watch some TV or a movie and Stu either goes to practice or plays Wii or computer some. We get Kaden ready for bed at 8:30, read a book (more like three of them) in our big bed together while he drinks a bottle, then we send him to bed at 9. Stu and I either play Boggle or Trivial Pursuit or read before bed and then it's light-out at ten.
Sigh. I've been reading the Boise newspapers online and watching some Channel 7 and I so miss being able to go to the store (BY MYSELF!!!) to grab some chicken breasts, or just a tub of sour cream, or whatever random ingredient at the local Albertson's (Or my beloved Winco!). I want to take my son to the park without risking both our lives on the drive to get there. Mostly I want to be able to go anywhere during the day, without my husband, and feel safe, not stared at, unless it is an admiring way from a man, and feel secure and happy where I live. It seems so trivial to be able to go to the store, but it is not something I am ever going to take for granted again once we get home. Sure, I will have to get a job again when I get home, but I'm definitely going to be taking my kid to the park during the day without his dad sometimes!
It's not that Stu isn't fun either! Haha. I love that we spend so much time as a family, going to the park and shopping on the weekends and whatnot. What I don't like is that it is a necessity. I want it to be a choice. We've spent more time together in this past few months than we EVER have before.
This place has finally gotten to me. I took in the experience as it was, I learned about the culture and the people and why they think the things they do, but now I am just so over it. The things that were initially interesting have become painful oppressions. The little things like washing my clothes and having them come out looking the same as I put them in, not pilled and faded after one wash, I miss. I want to be able to go into my bathroom and take a shower without having to keep the plug in the drain over night to prevent the cockroaches from crawling from the sewer into the house. I miss a dishwasher washing my dishes. I miss a general friendliness in the people I walk by on the street or at the mall. I am so sick of inherent hate surrounding my life. My son is a happy kid, but how long will it take him to start noticing the way people here look at us because of the lightness of our skin and eyes? Until you are living among these people, you do not understand the type of hate they have. It's a hate that is from a different century, a very uncomplicated, third-world mentality and way of life. And maybe I'm just sheltered by happy Idahoans.
I posted a job description on a local classifieds page offering child care (since really, I have nothing else to do) I figure the more money we can put away every week, the faster we can leave. I advertised myself as an American childcare provider, for expatriates. I've had a few nibbles from some Europeans and whatnot. But yesterday I got a call from a Pakistani man who said he was interested in my services for his 18-month-old. We're a few hundred miles from Pakistan here... we all are more than aware of anti-American Pakistani sentiment. Sure, it can't be all of them, just like all Americans aren't Christians, but there is a calculable sum of them who'd like nothing more than to hurt Americans for the sake of us being American. So I wavered on when we could get together for an interview. Do I tell him I am uncomfortable with his coming to my building because of his Nationality? Do I go for it and let him come over, assuming he is just like Stu, a man trying to provide a better life for his family? In America, I would never, ever have questions like this. Because we take advantage of how safe and secure we are. Our cops and legal systems are respected and DO SOMETHING if, let's say, someone is kidnapped, or worse, murdered. Here, you hear about it, but you never really hear of what happens to the "bad guys". And one drive on any street will tell you how little the cops are respected.
Maybe I am just an "idiot American" and I am too untrusting... maybe leftover feelings from 9/11. But I think a bigger part of it is having come into this with an open mind and eager heart and being severely disappointed in what I saw and felt. I am so humbled now and all I want is to put in our time so we can go home. This is really not what I hoped to gain from being here, and it makes my heart heavy.
Well, I started this post with the idea that I didn't have anything to say... Heh. Apparently.
I hope everyone I know and love is doing ok in America, despite the economy and whatever other personal problems you're facing. Know that there is a world over here where life really could be worse (not for me necessarily, for the people who are struggling to get by here). We really are lucky to have been born American. Next time you DON'T kill a cockroach the size of a poodle, or next time you hit the mall and someone smiles at you, think of us! I'm going to be the obnoxious smiling weirdo when I get home! :)
Side Note: HUGE thank you to Lonny for helping me with my "Consumer Question"! :) What a great amount of information that man has. I really did get to sleep easier that night knowing I had some options. Thanks!