Sunday, May 31, 2009
So I thought I'd share one I received this morning:
how are you.. iam interested to you sweet heart
you looking very especial girl and beautiful
Worm regards? Hmmmm...
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Then, as if one date wasn't enough, Stu and I dropped Kaden off at Matt's and went to Benihana for dinner at the Rotana. It was nice, and quiet, :) and we should definitely go out alone more often. This was only the third date we've been on since we've been here without Kaden. Pretty pathetic actually. Matt said Kaden was good except that he cried for 45 minutes (not like him at all) when Matt went back in his room to smoke (which I don't approve of anyway). So my poor baby felt abandoned in a scary house. But other than that, things seemed to be fine. We might do it again.
I had a tough weekend on the home sick front though and I've felt kind of anxious the past few days. So I've been sleeping a ton and I still feel tired. I feel somewhat better this morning, which is good because Stu is back at work and I have to keep a monkey happy by myself. He's hanging on my arm as we speak saying "hand, hand, hand" which means he'd like me to hold his hand and go back and play in his room with him, so I will go. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!
Friday, May 29, 2009
One guy had on 8-inch arm bands that had 3-inch spikes sticking off them. Another was sporting a fanny pack. Hehe. Fanny pack.
Kaden enjoyed just chilling in his stroller (only about a half hour from bedtime too, which was awesome). And then he went from arms to arms of all his favorite men. Then, as expected, Abu Dhabians were in charge of the event (Abu Dhabi Police to be exact), and they screwed it up. Let me qualify the next part by reminding everyone how huge ADNEC happens to be; it could easily hold tens of thousands of people in some of the venues. Unfortunately, they had to pack 6 cars (including two fire trucks) and a stage into an area the size of half an American football field. There were about 400 people waiting to get in… we were stuck in the last 50 who got quarantined behind the ropes (after the assholes pushed and shoved their way past our stroller and filtered us back) and missed the unveiling. One lady said to me that it was like the produce counter at the supermarket... you have to elbow your way up to the counter or you will never get your stuff weighed as everyone else will just keep pushing past you. There is no such thing as "wait in line" in this country (because everyone else is better than you and is in a bigger hurry than you... so you should just wait for them). So no Senior or Paulie for us. Lame.
Matt was heartbroken and went out to sit on the trunk of the car while we got our consolation prize of taking pictures of the already unveiled bike that they wouldn’t even start for us. We asked one of the cop/security guards where the Tuttles were and he waved us backstage where we did get to see the bike Paul Sr. rode in on, and got a shot of the American Chopper camera crew as they were heading for their waiting car.
When asked why we didn’t get to see them, the cop said we could hang out on the Corniche tomorrow since they were staying at Emirates Palace and we “might get to see them”. Ah.
So here is the decidedly lame bike:
After we got the pics of the bike, we let Kaden walk down the red carpet, which he thought was pretty cool:
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I did a count today and I realized I’ve read 8 books since school ended, which was on May 13th. Today is only the 27th, so 8 books in 14 days, which is one book every two days. At that rate, I could give ML a run for her money and read 110 more books before the end of the year! I’m not going to do that, but it’s kind of neat to think of how many books one could read in a year if they REALLY put their mind (eyes?) to it. Instead, I think I will try to knit more to take up the time. Might as well have something to show for my time wasting instead of cooking and reading which show nothing (except a full tummy and some useless knowledge about Pigeons??? Marcia… what the heck is up with the Pigeon book??? Seriously. She sent me a book called “Pigeons”… it’s about… Pigeons. Haha. Ooookay. I will have to read it eventually to see what I’ve been missing in the world of pigeons).
Kaden has decided to ward off boredom, he will test his Mommy’s patience level over and over. Today I was talking to Mimi on IM for about twenty minutes. Kaden kept coming in and out of his room, so I knew he was alive and hadn’t choked or fallen to his death. What I didn’t know was that during his away-from-Mommy time he’d emptied an entire bottle of baby powder on his room. I say “on” because he quite literally covered every surface of his room with the fun white substance and then left little white footprints out of the room and down the hall. I was so shocked I didn’t even think to get pictures of it until I was done cleaning it up. Sorry about that.
Yesterday he was in my room, which is where I keep my knitting stuff (sharp needles and little eyeballs don’t seem like a great plan to me). He looked into my knitting box and said, “Oooohhhh! Wooooow!” He saw the baby dolls. Uh oh. So I scooted him out of the room and he proceeded to cry for ten solid minutes, all the while saying “Peas. Beebee.” and pointing to my door. I’m a complete wimp when it comes to his sad tears (not his brat tears, there’s a big difference) and I gave in and gave him the “beebee”. He instantly fell in love and has been carrying his beebee all over the house, kissing it, wrapping it up, and rocking it. Stu said a few months ago that he could have “no dolls”, but we won and he LOVES his new toy.
Here he is with his new “beebee”:
Monday, May 25, 2009
Also in the box from Marcia were some totally awesome Twilight bookmarks! I was excited. And there were a TON of these Great Bite mints, that Stu and I both love, so that is a nice stockpile. And there were a few books and other stuff that I'm looking forward to. I love it when we get packages because our own stuff gets boring, so it's always like Christmas. :)
Stu is still mourning his ipod not being here (the seller ended up dropping off the face of the planet so we are working that out...). I think he might get one from Apple to save the stress. And they can engrave it as well. That's kind of fun.
Kaden started his day coloring a cool little felt coloring project that Marcia sent and how he's having pancakes for lunch! :)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Also, Mimi sent me a couple of pattern books for dishcloths, so I picked one out and went to town and ta-da! Dishcloth. My hands ached by the time I was done, but it went fast and it always feels so satisfying when a project is completed. Here are the pics!
I just finished another James Patterson (with Michael Ledwidge) book, Step on a Crack. I am pleased to report that this one was MUCH better than the last one I read, and has encouraged me to keep reading them. I have a ton of them, so I might as well read them. This one was pretty good, another easy read, and it actually tore at the heart-strings some as well.
My Kindle 2 should be here in the next few days and I am SO excited to get a new toy. :) Stu and I have gotten back into gear on our healthy eating kick lately, so I have been having fun with the recipe-finding process and cooking of different food choices.
Kaden is STILL having fun with his golf set, which is awesome. That's about it for us! :)
Friday, May 22, 2009
Notice Kaden smashed face? He was wearing socks on his hands (I should probably explain this, but I’m going to let it go) and then fell forward and didn’t know how to “stop” himself, so he just decided to let his face break the fall. Luckily it was on the rug or it could have been a lot worse than just rug burn. Poor baby.
We all went to the Flower for dinner, which was fairly comical with all of those people. We were discussing the process one goes through while living in Abu Dhabi (coming from America) and we discovered it’s much like the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief.
Dan, all bouncy and giddy, and taking in his surroundings, was a pure joy to observe… he’s only been here a few days (the veterans call this stage “denial”). He’s still in the shock part of living here. Questions like, “Things are good here, right?” and “It’s not THAT different, right?” take up the majority of your mind (and are met with blank stares from anyone who's lived here over a year). We were laughing about how we’re all in various stages of the grief process and watching Dan and his elevated happiness punctuates how low the rest of us have become. Sad, but also funny.
Mike piped up and said, “And after about 4-6 months you fall into that intense anger stage…” See? Stage two of the model. Anger. I remember this one clearly. It was right after we got back from visiting home last August. I hated everyone in this city and held them all personally responsible for my misery.
Stage Three: bargaining. I don’t know how others have dealt with this stage, but in our home, the bargaining is always between Stu and I (and the world… namely America). We discuss how long we have to stay to get, say, a Nissan Titan AND a Charger, AND a house, AND a nest egg. This starts to feel overwhelming and impossible. We start saying, “Well, I don’t really NEED a Charger if you don’t really NEED a Titan…”. We put off things like clothes and household appliances because that will get us that many days closer to going home in the end.
Depression. I’d say this is the stage that Stu and most of the guys we were with at dinner last night are in. They walk slower, their shoulders and faces sag, and their general demeanor is just that much more cryptic. I’m sitting right on the line between Depression and Acceptance. Some days I’m good to go, other days I’m two mouse clicks away from booking the next plane home on Expedia.
And therein lies that last stage: Acceptance. I think Acceptance for what we’re gone through here and the sacrifices we’ve made along the way will be finalized when we step off the plane in Boise. But I’ll let you know if it comes sooner than that. :)
When we got home we opened a box from Marcia which had a golf set for Kaden! Opening it, he saw the child-looking plastic and started squealing with delight and saying, “Oh-ho-ho.” So I got it all set up for him and he entertained himself with it for well over an hour without stopping. GREAT GIFT, MARCIA!!!
We decided to get a bottle of wine for the finale of American Idol (yes, a day after everyone else saw it), but when Stu brought it home we realized we didn’t have a bottle opener! The last bottle of wine we got here was over a year ago, so we didn’t even think about it. Being resourceful, I got online and found a site that explained how to open a bottle of wine on a boat (like a yacht if you’re not prepared). It required a screw, a knife and a fork. We used just the screw, but we got the idea. Stu screwed it right into the cork and then using his manly man muscles popped it right out! Master! So that was worth some pictures.
We really enjoyed American Idol and stayed up WAY too late to see the results we already knew, but it was worth it.
Today we did our normal grocery shopping and then I measured Kaden (we’re supposed to remember to do it every month, but we’re usually a few days off in either direction). He grew another half inch since the last time we measured him with Matt last month! Sheesh, the kid never stops growing!
We had a pretty relaxing day today and soon apparently Matt, Mike, Kyle, and Dan are coming over. We were supposed to go eat dinner with them, but they are having a late lunch now so we will see.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So today we got to play with play dough for the first time, which was cute. Though messy. Here he is in the new world of play dough!
And then he was whining later in the day, so I went into the bathroom and rescued two toilet paper holders that we then “colored”, which Kaden thought was the COOLEST idea. I was thinking they could be any number of things with the right additions. It’s amazing how creative you have to become as the parent of a bored child (without resorting to TV).
Sunday, May 17, 2009
“Hup!” So I get up to go see what he needs “hup” with and this is where I find him:
“Umm, how did you get in your bed?” He grins and tells me “Tah-tee” and holds up his Charlie dog. Okay, he needed Charlie:
“But how did you get in your bed, baby?” And he shows me:
What I MEANT to blog about was the really awesome pens Mary-Leah sent a while back that I just broke out for Kaden to use yesterday. They are a paint brush with the paint inside the stem of the brush. So you don’t need any actual paint and there is no water to rinse the brushes or anything. You just start painting and the paint flows out. So cool! Kaden thought they were awesome and had a great time! Here are the results:
I did enjoy that one though and last night I started another one of the series, this one called Cat & Mouse. I like how the chapters are short so you can read it everywhere (like while you pee, hehe) and therefore it goes fast. I figure since I have the books, I might as well read them! :) Plus my Mom and Lindsay like them, and they rarely steer me wrong! :)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Then this morning Kaden decided to wake up extra early so we got our grocery shopping done in record time since there was no one there at 8 in the morning. It was nice to get it done so quickly. We went home and then Stu and I played volleyball (yes, in the house, heh) and then Kaden finger painted while Mommy and Daddy colored.
Kaden and I also took a couple-hour nap, which is always nice. Now we are all up and I’m going to make some burritos for dinner and hang out. Here are some pics!
Confused by the paint (he used a paint brush this time)
Daddy working on his shapes. :)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This book is certainly depressing, but it was a different type of misery and desperation than the last book. The book was addicting, often accompanying me to Kaden's room to sit on his floor and "play", sneak-reading out of the corner of my eye while I served as the voice of his little animals for him.
If you've considered this one, I say read it. It has it's share of heart-wrenching parts, but it does end up basically as it should, all things considered. I think Khaled Hosseini is a wonderful writer and if he does write another book, regardless of it's soul-crushing content, I'm sure I'll read that too.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
If anyone has any fun activity ideas, let me know! (Also, feel free to email more often these days... I have a LOT less on my plate)
Today we are working on shapes! :)
Monday, May 11, 2009
We came home and I set to work on Kaden's room, organizing all of his toys by category and brain-stimulating level, which he promptly destroyed. Haha. But now he has some bins I can easily dump his toys into to "clean up". I finished organizing my little nook in our room and I am so excited to have a place in our house that is mine and that I don't have to share. It's been a long time since I've had anything that was only mine! :)
We finished the night ordering in Chinese food and watching Jerry Maguire (which says the f word a LOT and I never noticed that before I was watching it with an almost-two-year-old-who-picks-up-everything-we-say-now. So we apparently need to be a little more choosy when it comes to movies from now on.
Last week after I finished The Wednesday Letters (pretty good, easy read), I picked up A Girl Named Zippy, which I had been passing by every time I was looking for a new book to read. In true judging-a-book-by-its-cover form, I ignored it because it "looked" boring. Wrong! I loved it. It was clever and laugh-out-loud-funny in parts (just as Stu!) and I really enjoyed it. I was bummed when I finished it last night. (I won't even tell you what book I picked back up once again... but I swear it's only temporary since I have a final today and tomorrow... then I'll pick a new book!).
Today I spent the morning making "dinners" which entails me making stuff I plan to put right in the fridge for Stu to be able to take to work throughout the week. I made Broccoli Soup and Chicken with Biscuits... two of my favorites. If you need something new, they are both on my food blog and are fabulous!
That's about it for us! I great weekend and this week is the last week of school.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
From that vantage point and with a little mental distance, you can almost fool yourself into believing the hype about how great this place is. When I talked about how this is "home" for Kaden and going back to America will actually be the weird change and adjustment that coming here was for Stu and me. She said, tongue-in-cheek, "He lives in paradise!" True, true. :)
Then she and I met up with the girls for our monthly knitting meeting, which was wonderful and refreshing as always. There was a little damper with Eva not being there and missing her, but otherwise it was a wonderful time. I stayed a lot longer than I normally do because Stu managed to conjure up a sandwich for Kaden for dinner. I think he will be creating many more meals in my knitting future. Hehe.
This morning we ate breakfast and then headed off to Toys R Us to let our child run wild just like the locals do (when in Rome...). They have swing sets and ride-on cars set up for the kids and Kaden had a BLAST. We initially went to see about getting a slide for his room but they were all of the swing set variety and unfortunately that would mean moving his bed out of the room and spending double what I plan to pay for his first car on a freaking toy (seriously, right around three grand [and I'm talking dollars here]). So we decided we'll just have to make more stops at Toys R Us on the weekend. It's already too hot to play outside (without scalding your butt off on the slide). Stu got a computer game out of the deal though and Kaden picked out a kitty which he bawled on as we left the store.
We hooked up with Matt and ate at the Lebanese Flower once again. And it was yummy once again. We stayed for hours and nibbled and snacked. Good times.
We also switched the entertainment center from Kaden's room into my room. He's been able to climb into the drawers for a while now and I keep worrying he is going to pull it over on himself. BUT, this meant that I suddenly got more storage space and I can put all my crafty crap in there, so hopefully I will USE it because it will be more organized. This is going to be pretty important here in the next week or so when school gets over with (all A's bitches! Can I get a woot woot?). I've been worrying about the integrity of my sanity now that I will have nothing to keep my mind off of being gone (it didn't go so well last time...).
Anyway, luckily Stu has tomorrow off because of an Emerati holiday (Armed Forces Day?) and it also happens to be Mother's Day, so I get to spend it with my boys! Yay!
That's it for now. Sorry we haven't been online much lately. It sucks when I don't see anyone else get on for weeks, so I tend to forget to even get on after a while. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend! :)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Maybe I care more about what is going on today in Pakistan because every day my mind is with Eva, one of my best friends here, who has recently gone there with her husband and son (husband is Pakistani). I hate that she is there and I want her either back here, or better yet, back in America. I worry and fret and think bad thoughts.
While MY biggest worries range from which Kindle books to order, convincing my son NOT to jump off the couch onto the (very hard against little heads) tile, to which house I want back home, millions of people around me are suffering in ways I could never imagine.
I don't know what the answer is. I've been trying to convince Stu to have a little more empathy lately. Everyone else is fighting their own battles, they could all probably use a break (even if they ARE glaring at you while they cut you off... bastards).
Part of me really just wants to return to my little world of recipe ideas and Twittering, but it's hard to ignore headline after headline that demand a little attention.
What do you do about disturbing headlines? Do you do the whole, "It's not my problem" and turn on a sit-com instead? Do you care a bit, but say there is nothing you can do (If you really think this, read Three Cups of Tea... one person CAN make a difference)? I'm just wondering how everyone else sleeps at night...