Sunday, December 10, 2017

Santa Claus is coming to town.

Sunday morning we got up and headed to the airport around 7 am. We arrived in plenty of time to have a coffee. The flight was delayed to Belgrade which made us miss our connecting flight to Abu Dhabi. 

We were rerouted thru Frankfurt and then got the call that our first flight would be delayed, meaning we would not make our connection. So try as we may, we could not get anyone to switch our flight to the one going to Rome. In the end, after much conversation and some yelling, we were put up for a night at the Crown Plaza, free dinner and breakfast, and got an upgrade to business class to Abu Dhabi, a 6 hour flight. I’ll take that. However, I did miss a school day, which wasn’t in the plan. I’m sure they were fine without me. But to be honest, I was ready to get home to Stuart and the kids. 

We checked into the Crown Plaza, took our bags to our rooms and came down for dinner. It was total crap, but it filled the hump. I then went to my room and took a shower. I got into bed and fell asleep around 10 pm. I woke up just before 4 am to try to explain to my principal why I wouldn’t be at work on Monday. She wasn’t terribly humored, but it was out of my control so I had to just let it go. 

I didn’t ever go back to sleep. I finally turned the television on at 6:30 am. I just laid around for an hour or so. I had some coffee and then headed to breakfast at 8 am to meet up with Gina and our new Irish friend, Clodagh, who was in the same boat as us. After breakfast we all went back to our rooms and packed up. We met downstairs at 9:30 to catch the bus to the airport.  

Once we were at the airport we checked in and went to the business class lounge. Did I mention because we had all kicked up such a fuss we were upgraded to business class? I thought I might have done so. We had a coffee and waited for our flight. 

Once we boarded the plane we were given a beverage and a hot towel. The plane took off and I put my seat back. It’s like sitting in a recliner. I now hate economy class. We had dinner and I watched two movies, very comfortably, might I add. We had a lovely, plush blanket and a pillow that didn’t feel as if it was stuffed with paper. The flight was epic. We landed a bit early and I got a taxi to Rania’s, where I had left my car. 

I drove home, unpacked my bag, started a load of laundry (of course), took a shower, set up Elfvis for the following morning, went to the kids’ rooms to hug them, and then went to bed. I thought I would be more exhausted, but I really wasn’t. 

I was up and ready for work on Tuesday morning. We had been told the previous day that once students were finished testing, we could dismiss at 11 am for the rest of the term. With so much testing, this only makes sense to me. So once the students were finished testing on Tuesday, they were off to their homes. The teachers scored their exams for the rest of the day. Teachers were not allowed to leave early, but at least students were not in school. After a morning of testing the kids seem to lose control, so it was a wise decision by the powers that be. 

After school I finished up my shopping for the Winter Festival to be held at the rugby club on Thursday evening. Jack and Millie had choir practice at school. Their little group will perform at the Winter Festival. I’m sure it will be cute. They are excited about it. Stuart picked them up from rehearsal and I was home shortly before we had to go to rugby training. I unpacked the things I bought and off to the club we went. The kids trained while we sat and talked with other parents. After training, Scott and Clare met us at the club for dinner. We didn’t get the kids home until after 8 pm, but they went to bed rather easily. I followed, you know, after I had a nap on the sofa. Ha!

Wednesday I monitored the grade 5 boys’ math exam. While the students were testing, one of the boys was being exceptionally mouthy. I got down to where we were looking in each other’s eyes. When I told him to stop, he tried to slap me across the face. I was stunned. I reacted by moving back so that he didn’t actually hit me. It was crazy. Needless to say, his English teacher came in after the exam and escorted him down to the social worker to make a call home. It frightened me just a touch. He is a big boy and could probably hurt me. 

I left school shortly after testing to go work with some other Heads of Faculty and continue creating assessments for our teachers for Term 2. We are hoping to avoid confusion in Term 2, if that’s possible. 

Wednesday evening my friend Lara came over and helped me wrap sweetie bags for the winter festival. She stayed much longer than intended, but we had a couple of laughs and got the Santa gifts all sorted. We made 100 bags and thought that would be plenty. How wrong we were. 

Thursday I monitored an English exam, which was much too difficult for second language learners, but we pressed on. I left school to get something to eat and also to buy Millie rugby boots as hers had come apart at practice on Tuesday, and the youth tournament was at the weekend. 

After school I  went to buy my new iPhone. I had way too much to do, and really should have waited, but I didn’t. I got home and went directly to the club to decorate for the Winter Festival. When we first got there not many people were there. By the time the choir started to sing there must have been 200 kids there, way more than the amount of sweetie bags we had. Oh, what to do. 

Millie is next to bow tie guy and behind curly hair guy. 

Sean dressed as Santa and came in on a Harley. We had told Jack and Millie that the real Santa had asked Sean to help out. I’m pretty sure this is Jack’s last year of believing. Once Santa arrived, the little helpers starts handing out the bags and then, fortunately, the club house manager had purchased more candy. So Santa’s helpers started just putting candy in plastic cups. We ended up having one plastic cup left over. There were Winter stalls where people sold handmade goods and we even had some crafts for the kids. The evening was phenomenal and was deemed the best Christmas party ever. I felt very proud. We went back to our house for tea before turning in for the night. 

Our Al Ain family, including Santa. 

The Al Ain rugby tournament started Friday, and because we are both committee members now, we had to be there both days. Friday we volunteered, helping set up and keeping the time for the matches. It was a really long day for us and the kids. Fortunately, Jack was taken away by Scott to hang out with Henry, and Millie went to her friend, Ciera’s house. They love the rugby club, but three days in a row is a bit much for them. It was definitely a busy weekend. 

Friday evening, Stuart had a match as well, so we were literally at the club ALL day on Friday. Unfortunately, Stuart’s team didn’t win, but he played his hardest game of rugby and was wiped out. We headed home and knew the following morning we would struggle because of being so tired. 

Saturday, 6 am was not my friend. The matches didn’t start until 9 am, but we were at the club to help at 7 am. Jack was on pitch 3 all day and Millie was on pitch 5. Some of their games were at the same time so I stayed with Millie and Stuart stayed with Jack. Millie’s team didn’t do so well, but Jack’s team got to the semi finals of the cup, the highest award. In the end, they lost by one try. Jack was heart broken. He HATES to lose. I totally get it! 

Here we are at Millie’s match. I think I was video taping. This picture was taken by the club photographer. 

Millie is the one in yellow and black. 

This is Augustina and Millie. They hate having their hair brushed, equally! 

I had a bit of a run in with one of the parents on Millie’s team. I was standing at the try line and he was sitting, talking to his wife he was facing me but her back was to me. I heard him say, ‘Rugby is not suited for Millie, I think’. And then he kind of put his head in the air while saying, ‘You know, she’s kind of like do to do’. So naturally I walked over to him and said, ‘Who did you say is not suited for rugby?’ And then he said, ‘Millie.’  I said, ‘That’s my daughter and what you just said was rude!’ I was so flabbergasted. I could not believe I stood there and actually heard someone talking about Millie, and his daughter was sitting right beside them. He came over to apologize. He said, ‘Hey, sorry about that, but I just said the same thing about my own daughter.’ I told him that he could say anything he liked about his own daughter but I didn’t appreciate him speaking about my daughter like that. I told him I would never speak ill of his child, especially in public where someone might hear, like the child’s mother. So that was that. 

On the way home Stuart dropped Jack and myself off at Abela so I could get Jack’s hair cut. We got home and both kids showered, then we headed to Scott and Clare’s for dinner. We took the dogs because they had been trapped in the house the last two days. 

Dinner was lamb stew. It was a bit chilly outside and definitely time for stew. The kids showered again at Scott and Clare’s, then it was home for all of us. And it was bed for all of us as well. What a week!

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

National Day, Dubai 7s, and a trip to Vienna

Sunday I was no longer in charge of the cover plan, which will be such a load off of my pate. I did monitored another test, which continues to be an adventure. I scored several exams and then left school early to go and see the eye doctor. He said my eyes were healthy and I just needed to wear my glasses to see long distances, which is not my favorite, but I will do what I need to do. 

Sunday night was rugby training for the kids, as usual. There was a bit of a skuttle about the Under 10 team that was broken up earlier in the season. Stuart stayed behind to see if he could help resolve some of the issues, but it as futile. It seems that the team Jack used to play with is not thrilled to be playing up with the next level. It’s good to know that sport parents are the same everywhere. 

Once I was home with the kids, they showered, ate and hit their beds. I followed them just after 9. 

School was relatively productive on Monday. It’s amazing the things you can get accomplished when you are only doing what is on your job description. We are still testing, and we are doing our best to get ready for National Day celebration, which is the countries biggest celebration of the year. Typically after National Day holiday the students don’t return until after the new year. We have grades 4 and 5 testing this year so at least those students will need to return in December. We shall see about the younger students. 

After school I went to collect some things for the winter festival. Once I was home, the kids and I went to the grocery store to buy some things for their cleaning staff at school. The school collects items and gives them to the cleaning staff just after National Day. We can’t call them Christmas gifts, but that’s what they are. 

We got home, had dinner, the kids showered and headed to bed. Stuart and Sean came home from training and I had dinner ready for the three of us. 

There was more testing on Tuesday. These tests are killing us. I hope they serve a purpose somewhere along the way. One of my teachers was accused of cheating with her grade 1 students. She was able to justify the grades fairly well. She stated her children wouldn’t stop talking during the exam, there were not enough tables in her room to spread them far enough apart, and they didn’t have test dividers. These were all very legitimate excuses. It was a good argument. We shall see if anything comes of it. I continued to grade exams. They have to be graded within two days of administration. It’s a stressful time for all of us. 

We decided to eat dinner at the club after the kids trained. Cathy and the Richardsons joined us as well. It was intended to be our last catch up before the long National Day holiday. 

Wednesday we had the last day of our grades 1-3 exams. After the exams the school was all a buzz with the National Day celebration. The kids performed songs and dances for the mothers. There were a lot of people at the school and everyone seemed to enjoy the afternoon. The students were all gone by 12:30 pm, and the teachers followed shortly after that. 

I ran a few more errands before heading home. Once I was home I lounged around for an hour or so. I really thought the kids would want to hang out with me before I left for the weekend, but they chose to play outside instead. Stuart took the kids to the club for the evening so he could train. Millie cried and cried because she didn’t want me to leave. I’m sure she was over it as soon as she was running around at the club. I left for the airport around 6 pm. 

I left my car at my friend’s house and got a cab to the airport. I arrived around 8 pm and met Gina at the Al Dhabi lounge, where we relaxed and waited for our flight. It is by far the earliest I have ever been to the airport before a flight. Our flight wasn’t leaving until 2 am. 

Once in the air, our flight to Belgrade, Serbia, was almost 6 hours. We had an hour and a half layover, then flew to Vienna, Austria. We arrived at 8:15 am, Vienna time. We were greeted by a driver who took us to our hotel. We stayed in the city center at the Do & Co Hotel. Of course, we were too early to check in, so we dropped our bags and headed out to explore the city. We had a map that told us of 7 Christmas markets. Our goal was to visit all of them. On our first walk we found 2 Christmas markets. The shopping began. We found some adorable ornaments and even found a shop with some unique gifts for Christmas. We had a bite to eat and then headed back to the hotel. 

It was snowing when we arrived. 

Our first market experience. 

The window in the hotel bar, looking out at St Stephan’s Cathedral. 

We got back to the hotel around 1:15 pm and had a warm beverage in the hotel bar, awaiting our room to be ready. At 3 pm we finally got into our room. We faffed about and then headed back out to the streets just before 5 pm, but it seemed much later because we had gone back three time zones and had very little sleep the night before, plus, it was already dark. 

St Stephan’s Cathedral

Christmas stalls 

Pretzels for dinner!

It was blustery outside, but the streets were busy. We shopped at the Christmas market right across the street from our hotel and then hit the area where there were permanent shops. We bought some items for gifts and then decided to get something to eat. We bought some roasted candies nuts and a giant pretzel and called that dinner. We then decided we could safely call it a night. We headed back to the hotel. I showered and quickly fell asleep just after 8 pm. 

Cathy had sent me a message that the kids were fine and that Elfvis was ready for the following morning. She’s such a sweet friend to keep our kids and to participate in our Christmas traditions. 

I woke up at midnight because the television came on for some reason. I quickly fell back to sleep. Then was up for good just before 6 am. Gina and I chatted and checked Facebook and just did a whole lot of nothing. 

Once we were up and ready to go, we headed out and down the shopping street by our hotel. Our goal was to get our vouchers for the hop on/hop off bus, but we got a bit sidetracked because they didn’t have their office open until 10 am, and we tried to get the tickets just before 10 am. Ugh!  Prior to that we had stopped for a coffee and strudel before getting too far into the day. 

Since the bus wasn’t an option after coffee, we continued on to the Naschmarkt where we met our walking tour guide of the market. Once we met her, we took a stroll through the market where she informed us of the history and origins of the different vendors. It was very interesting. We were able to taste some of the local foods and experience some of the local spices. It was terrible fascinating and well worth the time. 

The produce was beautiful!

Everyone enjoys a gherkin!

The Santa is filled with berry ‘punsch’. Yum!

After our time with Erica, our guide, we hopped back on the bus. We got off at another market, the 4th of 7 we hoped to see in our short stay in Vienna. We ended up touring a cathedral that allowed us to go up into the dome. On my walk back down my thighs started cramping up, because of the cold I assumed. They hurt so badly. I almost stumbled the last few steps. It was weird! 

The ceiling. 

The outside of the cathedral. 

We ended up riding the bus back around to the Opera stop, where we had started earlier in the day. We then walked up the shopping street back toward our hotel. We shopped along the way, as you do, and just enjoyed the festivities. We then headed back into the hotel to warm up and rest for a bit. Then back out on the street to find dinner. We settled on brats and pretzels (again) as that was the easiest and really what we wanted. We brought them back to the room and enjoyed our meal in front of CNN. 

Our walk back to the hotel 

Saturday morning had us up and out around 9 am to visit ST Stephan’s Cathedral. It was magnificent. I continue to be amazed at how these gigantic structures were built and remain erect, so many years ago when technology wasn’t even around. 

After the cathedral, we headed to Hop on/hop off bus. We took it to the famous, giant Ferris wheel just north of the city center. From here you can get a bird’s eye view of the city. The area surrounding the Ferris wheel is like a large carnival. The ride was 10 minutes long. The cars held 20 people and were enclosed, much to our delight. After the ride we indulged in some ‘punsch’. I chose lemon and Gina chose apple. We had to have some freshly fried chips to go with it as not to get too ‘punschy’. 

We returned to the bus and rode it to the Belvedere museum where we found the Gustav Klimt painting, The Kiss. We also found some fabulous sculptures that forced us to be silly. After the cultural stop, we headed back to the bus and hit the 6th of the 7 markets. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were not going to meet our goal of hitting all 7 markets. But we gave it our best. The 6th market was by far the largest and the busiest, as it was Saturday evening. 

The Kiss


A tree made of sleighs. 

Another market!

We wandered down the road to a recommended cafe called Cafe Landtmann. It was a beautiful building and they had really established the essence of moving people in and out of their cafe. We waited no time at all. We had a delicious meal of Wiener Schnitzel,  a cheese platter and a slice of apple strudel. It was the only real meal we ate in Vienna and was worth the wait. 

We left the cafe and headed back toward the hotel. We were in search of this adorable hat shop we had seen on our first morning in Vienna. In the end, we found it but sadly it was closed. I guess another hat was not in our future. 

We were back to the room just before 8 pm, and after a stop off at a local sweet shop. We got our items packed up and ready to depart the following morning. This has been a wonderful trip and exactly what I needed to get into the holiday spirit 

Before going to be, I got a message from Stuart, reporting that his team had won the Plate Final at the Dubai 7s, which is a HUGE deal for Al Ain Amblers. 

The winning team!

Stuart actually scored two tries over the weekend. This is one of them. 

The weekend was successful for everyone, even Elfvis. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Tests, tests, and more tests!

On Sunday I went to another school to write exams. Because everything has been a bit delayed this term, there were two other Heads of Faculty and myself who decided we would get a jump on the needed assessments for term 2. I had to leave early to go transfer the title of the Land Rover to the people that bought it. 

After I did the transfer, we went to the club for a tasting of the new menu and the kids had training. The tasting was of the New Mexican menu. Unfortunately, the food wasn’t terribly authentic, but we will live with it, I suppose. The chef came out and asked our opinion and we were rather candid with him. We shall see if he takes some of the suggestions. 

Monday was another day of assessment making and I was exhausted at the end of the day, but felt very accomplished. 

Once I left school, I went to the club to meet with Andrew and map out events for the following year. I suppose I am running for social secretary. If someone runs against me then I suppose they will have to just pick up where I left off. That election will be at the beginning of January. So until that time I am the acting social secretary. 

The Mexican tasting the previous night made me hungry for my enchiladas. So once the guys left for rugby I made dinner. Jack and Millie had dinner, showers and then watched television until it was time to go to bed. Once Stuart and Sean were home, we all ate and watched some tv before hitting the hay. 

Tuesday was a stressful day. Our cluster manager came to school and was micromanaging us. I’m not a fan of people not staying in their own lanes, so to speak. As you would guess, I respectfully told her as such. It was not a pleasant thing to deal with. 

Stuart had come up with a new chore chart for the kids for when they get home from school, which includes washing up their own lunch dishes, drying them and putting them away. I hope they don’t lose the love for it. So far they both enjoy their new chores. Rugby training followed homework and chores. 

Washing and drying dishes! 

Once we were home, the kids showered and ate dinner while I called to speak with my dear friend, Ken. Because our VPN has been acting up for a while, our magic jack hasn’t worked. But all that has changed so I was able to catch up with Ken. It was nice to hear his voice and hear what was going on in their world. 

Jack went to school with Stuart on Wednesday because he was sick and neither of us could take the day off because of the testing. Wednesday school was manic. We had and will have testing for 9 days for grades 1-3. It’s overkill if you ask me, but clearly no one wants my opinion. The teachers stayed after school to mark the exams. They will have to do this each day for he next 8 days. It was kind of fun to all sit in the same room and mark exams. Those times are sometimes when you get to know people the best. 

After school I had a doctor’s appointment for a physical. I was supposed to be seen at 3:30 and it was around 4:15 before I actually saw the doctor. Once I left the hospital I headed to the post office to pick up a Christmas present I had ordered Millie. 

I came home to all the fun home provides. I arrived just in time for Stuart to get to training on time. He had bathed and fed the kids which was nice. They went to bed and I fell asleep on the sofa. When Sean and Stuart got home we all decided to call it a night. 

Thursday was another hectic day at school. I monitored an exam and in the hour and a half I was in the room I walked 3200 steps. It was a grade 1 class and they were needy!

We did a grocery shop while Sean stayed with the kids. Once we got home, because it was Thanksgiving we decided to go out to eat. We went to the club and ordered from the new menu. The kids played for a while.  In fact, Jack played touch rugby with some of the adults. He had a blast. We called it an early night because Jack had to be up and back at the club at 7 am to catch the bus to his rugby match in Dubai. The kids left the club without a fun, which seldom happens. Jack hadn’t felt brilliant the last few days, so I think he was fine with leaving. 

Friday we were up at the Dubai 7s for another day of rugby. Henry and May came with us as Scott and Clare were going to a brunch in Abu Dhabi. They spent the day with us. Jack played some awesome rugby. The new team he has moved down to is much more skilled than his previous team, so it is just making him a stronger player. 

After their two matches we headed back to Al Ain. We were at the house for a couple of hours and then went to the club to watch Stuart play. They killed the team they played. The final score was 100 to 7. They poured it on because the points help them when it comes to league points. 

Towards the end of the game Jack came to me and said he didn’t feel well and wanted to go home. We left as soon as the match was over. We were supposed to go to a big Thanksgiving party but in the end the only kid who wasn’t sick was Millie. May, Henry and Jack were snotty and needed medicine. So I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and got some medicine. They got showered and doses up. Cathy came over and we decided that the three of them would be fine at the house. We were simply going three doors down and would come back and check on them every half hour or so. Millie, of course, was a party animal and stayed at Lara and Brian’s as late as I would let her. 

We came home for good just before 9 pm. Scott and Clare got there and took May home, but left Henry. By this time, Millie had already fallen asleep on the sofa and I had carried her up to her bed. 

The boys were upstairs playing he PS4 and just carried on while Cathy and I chatted and waited for Sean and Stuart to get home. They rolled in just after 9, did a ‘drive by’ at Lara and Brian’s for food, and then came home and went to bed. Cathy left shortly after that and I went to bed as well. It was a fun evening even though it didn’t turn out as planned. 

Saturday we just laid around and did a load of nothing. The kids played outside and at friends’ houses. Around 3:30 pm we headed to the Richardson’s for curry. It seems to be a bit of a habit we have. Most Saturday evenings we have dinner with them. It’s nice and relaxing. They are planning to go back to the UK this summer and we will surely miss them. So we are trying to get as much time with them as possible this year. 

Just 4 more days until I’m off to Vienna!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Teeth pulled, rugby golf, and decorating for Christmas!

I went to school on Sunday a bit frazzled. I really needed to go see another Head of Faculty about the way they were reporting grades this term, but my principal would not let me leave the school to do so. This, in and of itself stressed me out. I just got on with things and did my bet to get materials sorted in my storage room. Teachers were pleased and excited about their supplies. That made me happy!

After school I picked up Millie and Claire. Stuart picked up Jack a bit later as he had basketball practice. While he was collecting Jack, I took Millie to have her two teeth extracted. She was a trooper, but it was so sad to see her in pain. She wanted to go to the rugby club after her teeth were pulled, but once we got there she was asleep and decided she would rather have go home. So we stopped at Abela and got ice cream. She tried to eat ice cream but it was difficult because her lip was still asleep. I had fed her and had her take a shower before we went to the dentist, knowing those tasks would be undesirable once she was home. Stuart and Jock got home from rugby. Millie was excited to show them the holes in her mouth. Millie went to bed shortly after that as she as worn out. 

Poor baby!

Look at the roots on those suckers!

She woke up in the morning and had drooled on her sheets, which meant little remnants of blood was on her sheets. So I stripped her bed and put the sheets in the wash. It was a fortunate thing because I remembered Jack’s PE kit had not been put in the dryer from the previous night and he had to wear it to school again that day.  

Monday at school was busy but very productive. I finished handing out supplies and got some of the assessment tools sorted out for the teachers. I didn’t get home until around 4 pm. By that time the kids had done their homework and were outside playing. The weather is great right now so we try to throw them outside as much as possible. 

Some kids came inside to play until almost 6 and since, by that time, Millie had eaten a grilled cheese and a chocolate (Nutella) sandwich, I knew she would shower and be ready for bed, yet she wasn’t. She wanted a bowl of pasta after she showered. She’s been on an eating spree lately. I hope this means she’s going to get taller soon. Time will tell. 

Jack had supper and they both watched television for a bit. Then Millie was off to bed. I showered and came back downstairs for some television with Jack. Once Jack was in bed I napped on the sofa, my favorite thing to do, as you know. Stuart and Sean came home from rugby and it was time to call it a night. 

Molly peed on my bedside rug at 2 am, then peed in front of the bathroom door at 4:30 am. Why can this dog not learn to whine when she has to go? So I woke up a bit cranky because I was awake an hour the first clean up and then stepped in the second pee puddle when my alarm went off. 

I went to school early because Stuart was home sick. I find getting there before anyone else helps me get more work done. I left school for a meeting at the district’s main office in town. The cluster manager, who is in charge of about 8 schools, wanted us to meet so that we could come up with some common assessments for term 2. The meeting ended just before noon so I went to lunch with two other Heads of Faculty. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home, and met Stuart there so he could pay!

When we got home I mopped some pee! That dog! I relaxed a bit before picking up Claire from school. Stuart went off to have my car washed and then he picked up Jack and Millie from the after school activities. Once they were home they did a bit of homework and got ready for rugby. 

We had nachos for dinner and the kids went straight to bed after they ate because of their behavior after school. They had been asked to when get ready for rugby, but chose to mess about instead. Lately, both of them have been a bit off in their behavior, but Jack especially. 

Wednesday at school we started the first of 11 different exams the students would have over the next two weeks. We are becoming very test driven now, which makes me a bit sad. The day at school was busy. We had a parent meeting after school so parents could find out how their children were doing in class. Some parents were more pleased than others. I stopped at the grocery store again on Wednesday to do our weekly shopping because I know I would be in no mood to do so over the weekend.

I came home with KFC for the kids. We ended up going to the club and taking the kids. We had a committee meeting to decide on some issues that needed immediate decisions. When we got home, the kids had fruit and ice cream and then they went to bed. I ate some left over stuff and watched television. 

They have started decorating for National Day. Call me crazy, but this looks like a Christmas tree to me. 

Thursday school was manic. It seems that the computer exam that was given on Wednesday and was supposed to be marked on Thursday by the computer teacher, would not be marked because the computer teacher called in sick. Really? So, because we are short handed anyway, my entire senior leadership team gathered in the meeting room and marked exams. Awesome!

Thursday evening we were off to play rugby golf. When we left the house I decided I would just take my wallet instead of my entire handbag. That is when I discovered I had left my wallet in the grocery cart on Wednesday after school. Ugh! I immediately called the store and they had found it. I told them I would come and collect it on Friday.

As you can see in the pictures, rugby golf was so much fun, but I was terrible. We did win a prize, though. We might have cheated a bit. 

I lounged around most of Friday. After lunch I decided to go and collect my wallet. Only in this country would everything still be in the wallet. This is such a safe and trustworthy society. It’s one of the things I love about living here. 

We just chilled the rest of the evening at the house. Stuart made belly pork and veggies for dinner and we watched Wonder Woman. 

Saturday we got up and went to sell the Land Rover. Sadly we didn’t get much for it, but we did get rid of it so I was thankful for that. While I negotiated with a company called Sell Any Car, Stuart took the kids to Action Zone yo play some games. They won tickets and got cheap crap for the tickets. It’s one of their favorite things to do. 

After the car deal was over, Stuart dropped me off at Jimi Mall and I met DeDe to go buy some Velcro for Sean’s uniform. We then went to the knock off store and I bought some new Chanel sun glasses. They are fake, but look real to me. We ran into Clare and May, who were also on the look out for some fake designer things. 

DeDe and I then went to have a bite to eat. We haven’t been able to properly catch up since returning from summer holidays. It was nice to spend time with her. 

When I got home, Scott and Henry were at the house. Scott had come by for a cup of tea and to wait for May to be finished at a birthday party. We then all went to the rugby club to watch the rugby match between Australia and England. England won, of course, which did not make Sean very happy. 

The kids and I got a ride home earlier than Sean and Stuart. By the time they got home, the kids were in bed and I was watching Christmas Vacation. I had started putting up the Christmas decorations that afternoon so it only made sense that we have our first viewing of the season. I was asleep before the movie was over, true to form. 

It was a great week and one week closer to Christmas, which excites the kids......and me!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A busy week and a visit from Gina.

Sunday I got to school and my secretary messaged to say she wouldn’t be at school the entire week, which meant I would have to do the cover plan all week. Lovely!

I was able to get some work done and prepare my teachers for the data information they needed to give to me. It was a busy, but relatively productive day. 

I picked the kids up from school and got home to help them do their homework, the bane of my existence. I was determined we wouldn’t leave it until the last minute, this week. 

We went to the club early so I could meet with the club house manager about the Christmas Festival. I was happy to hear that all he wanted was for me to supply some activities for the kids, rather than full on games. It was decided that there would be Christmas market stalls where local artists could sell their wares. 

After I met with him, I worked out on the exercise bike. We came home and I was in bed by 8:20 pm. It’s the earliest I have been to bed in about 5 years. It felt good. 

Monday school was full of observations. Because we have been so busy at school, we kind of forgot we would have to have evaluations completed before the term testing started on November 22. Oops! So, two a day for the next week or two seems to be what is going to happen. 

When the kids got home from school they did some more homework. We were well on our way to avoiding last week’s fiasco. 

Stuart headed to rugby while the kids showered. Jack called me a liar and spent the majority of the evening in his room. He seems to be testing the boundaries more than I care for recently. He ended up coming down and eating dinner and chilling, then both kids went to bed. Since Jack has been a bit of a pain lately, Millie has made an effort to point out the fact that she ISN’T behaving like Jack. 

Stuart got home early and then he went to bed. I went to bed around 10:30 which was still early for me. 

I got up to walk on Monday morning, which has been my sanity recently. I was pleasantly surprised when the delivery from the warehouse I ordered on September 20, finally got delivered. I was as happy as a puppy with two peters. The room was a wreck, but at least the items were there and we could use them very soon. 

Once I left school, I picked the kids up. We got home, did homework and went to rugby. We decided to also eat dinner at the club. Neither of us could be asked to cook anything. 

Wednesday I had two observations that kept me from being able to go to Jack’s open house. He was really bummed about it. I felt so badly, but it was unavailable. In the end, the school nurse called because Jack had come to the clinic complaining of a headache. He has headaches quite often. We’ve had MRIs and everything, but nothing has come of it. After Stuart picked him up they went to the eye doctor, thinking maybe he needed glasses. It turns out that his eyes are fine. Stuart and I both had our eyes tested since we were there. We came home with new prescriptions. But I’m pleased to announce I still don’t need reading glasses. 

We got home and were able to lounge around for a few hours before having to pick Millie and Claire up from school. Jack got to feeling better, and was disappointed that I wouldn’t let him go to a friend’s to play. I follow my parents’ rule; if you come home sick from school then there is no leaving the house. He didn’t like that rule at al. 

I put dinner in the crock pot. Stuart and Sean went to rugby while the kids and I stayed home. The kids made their own pizza for dinner. I seldom do ‘fun’ things with them, so was quite pleased with myself. However, neither of them love the pizza very much. Oh well, I tried. 

I see this at the camel crossing, most mornings on my way to work. 

Thursday school was very busy. I got some of the supplies sorted, but manly just finished up the observation paper work for the week. I picked up Millie, Ava and Hattie from school and brought them to our house for a play date. 

The girls had a bit of a show for us during their play date. It was adorable. 

They stayed until around 7 pm, which is when Stuart picked Jack up from Adam’s house as he had gone home with him for a play date. The kids went to bed and Stuart and I started watching Ghostbusters with Melissa McCarthy. I, naturally, fell asleep. 

Sean had a date Thursday night, or at least dinner with a lady. I was awake when he got home at midnight, but tried not to be too nosy, which is so difficult for me. 

We got up early Friday morning to help set up the rugby pitches for the women’s tournament and the Under 9s matches which started at 9. Jack had an awesome two matches. His team is going to be really good. 

Afterwards the plan was to take Millie, go to my school and work on sorting my new supplies. Jack was going to go to Dubai with Stuart for his match. But then Stuart reminded me that we don’t work on the weekends so the kids and I met some friends at the pool. We took Ian with us and stayed for about 4 hours. 

When we got back, Jack ran away from home. The poor kids must be hormonal because everything irritates him or makes him cry. He got mad at me because when we got home from the pool I told the kids to go and take a shower. He didn’t want to do that. I told him we weren’t going anywhere for the rest of the day so I told him it would be one less thing he would have to do later. He argued and argued and argued, even though I didn’t engage with him. He told me I treated him like a baby. When I went upstairs I informed him he didn’t have to take a shower, and if he wanted to be a grown up then that would mean I no longer made his breakfast, lunch or dinner, and he would need to start doing his laundry, you know, the basic things adults take care of. When I left the bathroom he told Millie he was running away. I said, ‘That’s fine, but tell him not to take anything with him because everything in this house belongs to me. 

I heard him close the door. I followed him outside and, as he was getting on his bike, I asked him where he was going. He said, ‘I’m leaving!’ I said, ‘That’s fine, but you can’t take that bike. That’s mine.’ He said, ‘Well, actually Grammie and Pop gave me this bike for Christmas, so it is mine.’ I said, ‘You’re right! Off you go.’ Dang! He got me. 

I went back into the house, knowing he’d be gone for about 5 minutes. Now if it was Millie running away, I’m sure I’d have to go find her after a few hours. While Millie showered, she cried because she thought Jack had really run away. I kept reassuring her that he would be fine. When she relaxed for about a minute, she asked, ‘Since Jack is gone, can I have his iPad?’ She was really torn up by it all, clearly. 

As I predicted, he returned about 5 minutes after he left. He claimed he rode all the way to the round about by our house. There’s no way he did that. He didn’t have the time to do that and he didn’t have the nerve to do that either. 

We sorted everything out in the end and he decided that maybe he would be my child again. Wow, it’s difficult growing up. 

Cathy came over after the majority of the drama ended. We had dinner and chatted until Stuart and Sean arrived home from their rugby match. Then we all sat around and laughed the night away. 

Saturday morning I was up early because our cats were whining and wanted to go outside. To be honest, the hour or so I can get in the morning with no one awake is nice. Once everyone was awake, we got ready and headed for Abu Dhabi. We had made arrangements to get Gina, who was in town for the weekend, and we were going to the food festival called Taste of Abu Dhabi. We arrived at her hotel just after 10. Since Taste of Abu Dhabi didn’t open until noon, we decided to head to the mall for a walk around. 

Once we left the mall, we headed to the arena where the festival was. The kids played at the bouncy and then the bungee, while we sampled some delicious food. Of course Jack had sushi and Millie had fish and chips. It was a lovely day with Gina. We ended the day at the mall and then we took Gina to the airport. We got back to Al Ain at 7 pm, just in time for showers and bed. 

We stayed up and watched a movie, but as usual, I ended the evening with a nap on the sofa. All’s well that ends well.