Sunday, May 21, 2017

A busy week for sure!

Jack woke up Sunday morning at 2 am and threw up on his floor. He was very conscientious and just hit the tile. Look kid was a wreck. Needless to say I stayed home with him on Sunday. Happy Mother's Day to me. The upside is that Stuart took Millie to Dubai for me for gymnastics. Yahoo! What a treat that was. 


Jack and I sat around and watched movies all day. It was actually nice. We did nip out to get the car re-registered and to take him to the doctor. 


Millie fell asleep in the car on the way to gymnastics so when she got home she was wired for sound and Jack was feeling better. Needless to say, getting them to bed was quite the challenge. 


Monday morning everyone was up and ready to roll out the door on time, which doesn't often happen. I'm usually barking at one of the kids to brush their teeth or get their shoes on. It was a better way to start the day. 


At school, the teacher I have been covering for has returned. Thank goodness. So teaching was not my assignment for the week. However, crowd control became my assignment. What a joy! The students, especially on our boys' side of the school, have checked out. Ramadan begins around May 26th, so we only have two more weeks with the students any way. 


After school we went to the pool. I decided to swim because my knee needed the exercise. However, it was especially painful on Monday and swimming didn't really help a great deal. But the kids got out of the house and we all cooled off for a bit. 


Once we were home we all had showers, fish fingers, sausage rolls and tater tots. Millie went to bed with little trouble and Jack watched television while Mandy and I had a catch up session. She informed me that she had started a series of rabbi shots because she was bit by a cat at her school. 


Tuesday, school was non-eventful, except for the usual boys running around the school. Cathy and I carpooled and then she went to Abu Dhabi with me to get jewelry for my two teachers at my school who are leaving. We ended up going to Al Dalma Mall and shopping a bit, mainly for stuff for Stuart's rugby tour. He called as I was heading to Abu Dhabi and said the Land Rover was over heating again. I wasn't exactly sure what he wanted me to do about it, but I think he just was irritated and I was the sounding board. He ended up driving the car to the mechanic, for the third time this month, and getting a cab home. I got home after a lovely Italian meal at Buca di Beppo, bringing some left overs for Stuart and the kids. I unpacked the car and headed for a shower. 


Wednesday at school I worked on some of my data charts for the end of the year data. It seems when Ramadan starts all the teachers are finished with their work, and that's when my work begins. I usually have the busiest time during the first week of Ramadan and then I can relax a bit. 


Wednesday an email came with the final draft of my children's book. I was so excited. Here is the cover. I can't wait until it is printed and ready to sell. 

Wednesday after school Stuart picked Jack up from school and his friend Eleanor came home with him. We went to Bawadi Mall. Stuart shopped for more trinkets for the rugby tour while I took the kids to Fun City. We then went to the club for dinner. Eleanor's mother came to pick her up from the club so it was then time for us to go home as well. I had a difficult time getting Jack to leave the club. It seems sometimes we can have a full day of fun and it is not enough. He always wants more. I suppose that's his age causing that right now. 

When they did finally get home, they showered and went straight to bed. Millie had scuffed her elbow at school on Tuesday and then reopened the wound at the club. As you would guess, her bath was filled with a few tears. 


Thursday morning I took the kids to school. Jack was getting his Silver award for earning 50 house points. He really does go to Harry Potter's school. He was thrilled I was there, and so proud of his accomplishments. He has had an excellent school year. 


Jack and his buddy, Harry, doing a school project. 

Going to his school made me late to my school. My principal is always very understanding about things that have to do with the kids. Once I was at school it was business as usual. I helped fill out a survey about English and Math, copied lesson plans for teachers, shot the bull with staff during their breaks, and finished up some more data charts. 


After school I headed for the weekly shop. Then I went to collect Jack from his math club. He claimed he had a headache. I think he just didn't want to do his homework. I decided to get home and shower the kids. We then went to collect the Land Rover around 5 pm. The kids had a nutritious meal of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, grapes, and crackers. 


We got home and Stuart cleaned up the back porch for our party to be held on the Friday. He also went around to Sean's to get the table and chairs he had said we could have. The sun killed the seats of two of our chairs so it was time for some new chairs at least. 


Sean came over later for a beverage as did Cathy and Mandy. We ended up ordering curry and just hanging out in the back garden, and I use the term 'garden' very loosely. 

Friday morning snuggle buddies. 

Friday morning Stuart was up cooking for our brunch at our house. We had planned to do a brunch at one of the hotels, as they stop during Ramadan, but we didn't book a table in time so we decided to move the party to our house. People started showing up around 1 pm and the food fest commenced for nearly 12 hours. The kids played in and out of the house, but didn't wreck the house as much as I had anticipated. They tidied up fairly well, and of course I climbed the stairs a time or two to do my own clean up. We laughed and played silly music games until Stuart got nervous our neighbors were going to get upset. We were quite loud, that was for sure. But I'm happy to report that our neighbors did not mention one thing about our overly noisy party. 


Saturday I got up and cleaned up the carnage from the brunch. The floors were sticky, there was still some crap in the garden that needed to be tossed and of course the trash bins were stuffed. Stuart and I had done come cleaning the night before, as I always like to do.  


We Skyped Grammie and Pop as soon as the kids were up, and then we headed to the pool for Henry and May's birthday party. We were there a couple of hours, had some lunch, and then headed back home. Jack was none too happy, but both kids were tired from the previous night's party, and a little down time would do them good. 



We took Molly to her first vet's appointment at 3 pm. She got a shot and had a delayed reaction to it. You would have thought she got shot with a gun, she carried on so. Once we were home from the vet, the kids helped me bathe Molly and then the two of them got in the bath. Jack had rubbed a rash on his stomach and begged me to bathe him. We told him that was why we bought rash guards for the pool because we didn't want him to be climbing on foam body boards and rub a rash on his chest. Maybe learning the hard way will cause him to wear his rash guard next time. 


Once the kids were clean, I showered as well. I then made their dinner while Stuart headed to see the bariatric doctor who did my surgery a year and a half ago. Yes, Stuart has decided this surgery is a good idea for him. He will have the surgery on June 2, and be able to be fully recovered by the time the rugby season starts in September. I think he is anxious to get it over with and get on with the results. 


When Stuart got back from the doctor, after having blood work and scheduling his other tests, I was putting Millie to bed. Jack was still on the sofa, but a tired boy for sure. Stuart started cooking dinner, which was a delightful pork green Thai curry, and shortly after we ate Jack went to bed. Everyone was spent. We are ready for a holiday for sure. It's hot and time for a break!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Back, knee, and car trouble.

We received a message from Brighton College letting us know that because of damage done from a storm on Thursday, there would be no school on Sunday. Well, that threw us a bit. Fortunately, Clare is always helpful and takes them for us when things like this happen. I ended up taking them to Clare's at 7 am and then heading to school. I taught the entire week again but was told the regular teacher would be back the following week. Time will tell. 


The boys' behaviour at school seems to be  a bit better. There seem to be more adults around during volatile times, which I know makes a huge difference. Ramadan starts in three weeks, so we just have to hang on until then. 


I left work early in order to get Millie to gymnastics in Dubai. We were actually on time for this class. Boy do I wish I would have never signed her up for this class. Ramadan timings mean her class will be moved to 2:30 pm instead of 3:30 pm. I'm not even sure we will get out of school in time to get her there. Oh how I wish there were something here that would be suitable for her. We are going to try out a new dance class in a couple of weeks so maybe she will get into that. 

Once we had made our McDonalds run, we headed back to Al Ain to pick Jack up from the club. He didn't do his homework for Sunday and was acting like a total booger. It's almost like he is a teenager but at the age of eight. It could be a long few years. 


Millie went to school in regular clothes on Monday because she had to put her Little Red Riding Hood costume over them. She had the dress rehearsal for her play on Monday. Stuart took me to school because our Land Rover died on the way to the club Sunday evening. He made arrangements to have our mechanic pick it up from the club. 


I taught in the afternoon, but had the morning to work on my end of the year certificates for my teachers. I also spent a great deal of time corralling the boys to take them to the social worker. One of my teachers brought me home from school. Once I spoke with the kids, Jack reported to me how great of a job Millie did in her dress rehearsal. The junior school was able to watch it. He said she knew everyone's part and helped those that forgot their lines. 


The kids were up doing their homework. Stuart had put their desks and chairs together so Millie was super excited about her new study space. I put some chicken in the crock pot and carried on with my after school routines. The kids and I took Molly for a walk once the sun had started to go down and it was less brutal outside. She tuckered out quickly and didn't pee or poo once when we were outside. Of course once we got back inside she peed on the floor. 


Stuart went to a Puckett Tour meeting, preparing for his rugby tour. He was then supposed to go to training but they ended up not having training. The kids showered and Millie went to bed straight to bed because of her ill behavior. I wish the kids could both behave appropriately on the same day. It would be super nice if they would coordinate their attitudes. 


Tuesday we were all up and very excited about Millie's play. Millie had told me that morning that it was important that Daddy brought her flowers to her performance. I cracked up inside. Sadly, we forgot to do so, but so did she so no big deal in the end. 


Cathy took me to work because our Land Rover was still in the shop. Stuart picked me up just after noon and we headed to Brighton College. Millie's play was brilliant. She knew everyone's lines and helped when she needed to do so. I was so impressed. You know, when Jack was young, every time he learned something we took a bit of pride because we knew his smarts came from us. With Millie, because of her beginnings, when she would learn something we would be totally relieved. This year has proven to us that she is a smart little cookie and we are so very thankful to God for the blessing of Millie and that she is a healthy, smart and sassy little girl. We are truly blessed with both of our kids. 

After Millie's play, Jacob's mum took Jack and Millie to a play zone so that Stuart could take me to get my MRI on my back. It was a quick process and the follow-up would be on Saturday morning. We picked the kids up and Stuart dropped us at the house, and went to the store, because the dog had been on her own for way too long. As you would guess, she had a lovely mess for me to clean up. 


Stuart went to get something for dinner and the kids did their homework at their new desks, which, again, Millie loves. We attempted to take the dog on a walk, but it was still a bit hot on the pads of her feet so we brought her back inside. 


The kids played around and then headed up for a shower. They faffed about and got a few check marks on their pocket money chart, which means they get money taken away. It didn't seem to phase them. However, after their shower and the mess they made, making them go to bed early seemed to have an impact. Cathy came over for a chat Tuesday evening after the kids were in bed. We just griped about school and talked about how ready we were for Ramadan to start. 


Jack woke up early because of his early bed time. He was awake just before 5 am. I  was off to school and shortly after school started, my 9 spelling bee winners headed to the Al Ain competition in town. I was the Bee Master, which meant I was the one who pronounced the words. Of all the accents we have here, it was decided mine was the clearest with word pronunciation.  Still yet, the panel gave me total crap throughout the entire spelling bee. My grade 4 students ended up winning the 2nd place trophy. We were back to school in time for the school day to end. I then rode home with some of my teachers as our Land Rover was still in the shop. 


I got home and the kids were restless, a bit wild for lack of a better word. Stuart put our door back on the maids room so we could start leaving the back door out to the patio open for the dog during the day. Once the door was on, Stuart headed off to a meeting and then training, but when he got back he said they didn't actually train. 


The kids went to bed at their normal time. Prior to Stuart leaving Millie was off the wall. She ended up being in her room for nearly a half hour. To break the will of this child, and not the spirit, is a difficult task. 


I was up on Thursday and apparently I did something horrible to my knee on Wednesday evening because it was swollen and difficult to walk on Thursday morning. It was a good thing I would be seeing the orthopedic doctor on Saturday for more reasons than just my back. 


Thursday I taught my three period and then went to my office to do some paper work. I got pulled into a boys' classroom because the person who was covering needed to go to the intervention room for some of our ill behaved boys. 


After school I headed to buy a gift for Millie's classmate, Dareen, then picked up Jack from his math club, took him home and he went to a going away party for one of his rugby teammates, Hunter. Millie and I then took Stuart to get the Land Rover, then headed to Dareen's birthday party. Her party was a bit over the top. However, we find that's the case here more times than not. Stuart went to the club for the Coaches Awards night. We picked Jack up at the club after Dareen's party and went to Clare and Scott's for a chilli party. As you would guess, by the end of the evening  we were partied out. Millie had fallen asleep about an hour before we left Scott and Clare's. 

Millie was irritated that she didn't get to take a picture closer to Hello Kitty. We did get one in the end, but she had to push her way in. 

We ended taking our friend Gereldine and her daughter Neen home. On the way we started to discuss the kids going to their new school. Jack wouldn't talk about it. He was cranky once they left the car. He accused us of not even trying to keep them at Brighton. It's so difficult to explain money matters to children. He will understand one day. 


We got up Friday morning and got ready to go to Dubai to see Mary Poppins. We went to Dubai Mall early, had lunch at an Italian eatery, and then headed to the Dubai Opera House, just a short walk from the Dubai Mall, where we parked. 


Mary Poppins was just as good as when I saw it in London. The kids absolutely loved it. To watch their eyes when the dancing and singing was taking place was quite a pleasure. I love to see their excitement when they experience new things. 


After the play was over, we headed back to the mall for a little browsing. I began arguing with Jack about the fact that we can't go to a store without him asking to buy something. He got stroppy and decided he wasn't going to leave the toy store. We did a grocery shop at Waitrose and then headed home. I had put the kids' jammies in the car, so they were all set to fall asleep on the way home. 


Kayleigh had stayed most of the day with Molly so she wouldn't be lonely. We had to stop at the house on the way back to get the Land Rover keys because we had left it at the club the night before when we went down to the Richardson's. We could hear her yelping, but carried on to get the other car. Once we were home both kids went to bed while Stuart and I cleared out the car. It was television and bed for us shortly after the kids were in bed. 


Saturday morning I was up and out to go get insurance on the Land Rover so we could get it licensed again. The first place I went isn't open on Saturdays. The next place I went wasn't open and wouldn't be until 9. Dang! This weekend had already been too busy. I really needed something to go smoothly. I went back home and Stuart made an English breakfast. I then headed to the orthopedic doctor for the follow up of my MRI. I thought I could sneak to the traffic inspection place and at least get my insurance, but the system was down. I was a bit late to my doctor appointment, but it wasn't that big of a deal. 


Once I met with the doctor, she ordered another X-ray on my knee because of what I had done to it on Wednesday, but my back MRI just showed that I was old. While I was waiting to see the doctor, after my X-ray, a guy came into the office where I was sitting and started speaking Arabic to me, showing me his insurance card and the splint he had on his finger. Really? I don't work here! I went out into the hallway, called a nurse over and said, 'This man needs something and clearly he thinks I work here'. She took care of things and all was right with the world again. 


The X-ray showed nothing knew. Again, I am just old. Once I left the hospital with some new medication, I headed to the booze shop, African Eastern to collect my free bottles of booze we had won at one of the Quiz nights at the rugby club. 


Jack and Millie were going to Bounce for a birthday party, so I decided I would meet Leanne for coffee. Stuart brought the kids and although I was in the same place I didn't see them. After a proper catch up with Leanne, I headed back to the inspection place. After some confusion, I decided to just get the insurance and I would have to get the inspection and license renewed the following day. Just before 2 pm my jobs for the day were finished. I drove home, picking up the kids from Sean's before heading home. Stuart and Sean needed to sort out some things regarding the rugby tour. 


Scott called and he had taken Biscuit to the vet up by our house. He wanted to know if the kids and I wanted to ride with him down to their house and then Stuart could come when he was finished at Sean's. So we did just that. Stuart showed up about an hour later and we had a lovely evening at Richardsons, including dinner, good conversation and a show called Big Heads, which was hysterical. 


Another great week in the UAE. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cinco de Mayo

Sunday at school, I was in the teacher seat again.  It seems that my teacher who is not well will most likely battle this illness the rest of the school year.  It makes it very difficult for her classroom of students, as well as for me.  We don't have typical substitutes in this country so the responsibility usually lies on the Heads of Faculty, at least the English Heads of Faculty.  I can live with it.  This will most likely last for only four more weeks.  As in the past, we suspect the students will stop coming to school once Ramadan begins.  Sunday afternoon I was called in to a meeting where we discussed what we would do with the boy behavior. I was under the impression that we were changing things and my input was wanted.  I was clearly under the wrong impression.  We shuffled around some of the social worker responsibilities, but other than that everything seemed to look the same.  We will see if we get a handle on things before the end of the year.  I certainly hope we do, otherwise these next 4 weeks are sure to be long ones.


I left work as soon as the students were dismissed.  This gymnastics thing may be the death of me.  On a positive note, I didn't get lost this week and we were even about 4 minutes early to class.  Millie had a great time, she just hates the car journey.  I will plan better next week and bring Stuart's iPad so she can watch a movie. The gym is like one at home.  It has all the latest equipment and she has proven to start out rather well for having not had formal gymnastics before.  She seems to be learning the proper techniques, which is what I want.  However, if we decide to stick with gymnastics we are going to have to decide whether we are willing to sacrifice Saturdays to take her to Dubai.  The class in the week is too early and we would not be able to get her there each week.  It would make me very happy if they opened a nice gym in Al Ain so this wouldn't be an issue.  Woe is me!

Once Millie and I were home, after our fantastic dinner of Burger King chicken sticks, it was bed for everyone.  Sadly, Millie had napped on our way to Dubai, and we all know that a nap for Millie, no matter how long or short, means a late night for her.  She was in no mood to go to bed.  She did relent and stay in bed, but I don't think she fell asleep until after 8 pm.  Stuart reported that the dog had pooped and peed all over the house.  It's part of what I don't like about animals, and the kids don't seemed phased by it.  I am sure they will be once we start having them clean up the mess.  Operation 'take care of your own pets' will begin soon, hopefully.  After I had showered, Stuart ate dinner and we watched an episode of Designated Survivor.  It is a good program, but I have a hard time seeing Keifer Sutherland as anyone other than Jack Bower from the series 24.  Am I the only one who feels this way?


Once we were in bed, I continued to have to get up with the dog.  I must have taken her out three times, hoping she would pee, but having no success.  Then I was paranoid that she would get up and pee in the bedroom.  It's not that didn't every happen previous nights, but I suppose I think she will relapse if we don't consistently take her out at night.   She didn't pee all night and I had to force her in the morning.  Because of my sleepless night I chose not to walk Monday morning.  Needless to say, I was very tired at school. We had our annual spelling bee in the morning, where we found our top three spellers in grade 3, 4, and 5.  Those students will go on to the regional spelling bee next week.   I had to teach in the afternoon and wasn't prepared at all.  I just winged it and no one was harmed by my lack of preparation. 


When I got home on Monday after school, I tried to force the kids to do their homework.  That is the best part of my day, might I add. Stuart had a committee meeting Monday evening, so I took the kids to Clare and Scott's along with Molly.  We went for a while and the kids ended up having dinner with May and Henry.  Molly pooped and peed in their house, and in fact she peed on Biscuit's bed.  Our dog is an embarrassment.  Good thing she is super cute! We left in order to get home and sorted out for bed.  The kids had fruit before they went to bed, and then slumber time was in order.  I was asleep by the time Stuart returned from the club.


I got up on Tuesday morning and walked with Lara.  My hip was hurting so badly that I thought my leg might break off.  Deciding not to go to school, but rather stay home and rest, was a good decision.  Although I was told my orthopedic doctor was not available to see me, I left a message for her anyway.  She called and told me to come in at 2:30 pm and she would sort me out.  Waiting for doctors who are too busy to see you is no fun at all.  She ordered x-rays of my knees, hips and spine.  What she suspected was true.  My L4 and L5 vertebrae nearly touch and are putting pressure on my sciatica nerve, causing the pain that runs the length of my left leg.  She stated she would order an MRI for my spine and we would go from there.  She gave me some medication, but I only took it for one night.  I read the side effects and decided that I would rather take my chances with stretching and strengthening rather than risk an ulcer.  Ick! 


I was home and had a bite to eat before heading off to the tailors to get my new pants and shirts made.  Prior to my tailor appointment, Jane and Bryce stopped by to re-introduce Chase to Molly.  Chase was the puppy that sparked my interest in Molly.  Chase and Molly are brother and sister.  Uh, but I don't think you are supposed to try to 'get busy' with your sister.  Who knows.  Once Bryce and Jane left, the kids went to bed and I was off to meet up with Hassah, DeDe and Heather.  We all went to the tailor's together.  All of us had something we wanted made.  It was very exciting.  I didn't get home until after 10 pm.  The shops are open late, and once Ramadan comes, they are open even later.  It can be quite thrilling to go shopping at midnight during the week. 


I was up a few times in the night for Molly to pee and poop.  Sadly, she still has not had a successful poop outside.  I think she is under the impression that she can only poop inside.  How will we ever convince her otherwise?  We are taking one step forward and two steps back with this pup.  


Wednesday at school, we decided we would have the students start their Abu Dhabi Reads activity which was a pre-reading activity.  We watched Horton Hears a Who!  For second language learners, when studying an author like Dr. Seuss, a preview of a video is the perfect thing to do.  This allowed me to be ill-prepared for one more day.  Once I was finished at school, I headed to Brighton to pick Jack up from his Spanish class.  I then made him go to the grocery store with me.  I told him if he would help me find all of the groceries we could get the shopping done more quickly and get home.  He was up for that and was a great help.  Why didn't I think of this ages ago?


Wednesday evening we were all at home and Sean came over. We decided we would have Sean move in with us. He's on his own, without his kids and we want him to feel a part of our family. It's what expats do for each other. I don't ever want anyone to be lonely if I can help them.  He is like a younger brother to me and Stuart's best friend.  We spoke with the kids about it and they were really excited.  So we will now have a lodger.  We don't know when he will move in, but it will be before Ramadan.


Thursday morning we were up and out the door for our last day of the work/school week.  It was a relatively uneventful day, but still full of bad boy behavior.  However, more boys went home and were sent to the intervention room than have been for the last 12 weeks.  I suppose that's progress.  Thursday after school we headed to the rugby club for the adult player awards.  The rugby club has lost some of it's fun for me.  The committee has changed a bit so the club feel we used to have is not the same.  It seems recently we have just chosen to come back to our house, order curry and have some beverages.  It's much more fun. The weather was windy and sandy, so it made more sense to go back to our house.   So that was what we did on Thursday evening. 


Friday morning the kids were up making forts with every blanket in the house.  They started making them upstairs and kept playing in them most of the morning.  We decided to make a run to the grocery store again, as it was Cinco de Mayo and we were heading to Lara and Brian's that evening for the fiesta.  We had to get some things to take with us, appetizers and the like.  After the grocery store the kids watched movies and we really just had a bit of a chilled day.  It was nice.  It's getting to hot to be outside, unless you are at the pool, and even then you would want to stay in the shade.  We spoke to Grandma on Skype and then Millie and I headed to the golf club for her little friend Jacob's birthday party.  I sat inside while the kids played. I am by far the oldest mother of these little ones. It does make me laugh when the helicopter parents try to subtly tell me what to do without being seen as rude. For instance, Millie didn't bring her swimmers for the water balloons, but it's hot and fabric dries quickly and I had brought a second change of clothes. The hostess of the party finally guilted me into coming outside to watch the kids play, then pointed out to me that Millie was cold and might need her clothes changed. Right! Because we live in 100 plus degrees most days between May and November so I wouldn't want her to catch her death of a cold. When I asked Millie if she wanted to get changed, she looked at the mother and said , 'No, well I guess'. I think Millie thought we were both going to get into trouble from this mother. She changed her clothes, had cake, and then we left to join Jack, Stuart and a number of friends at Brian and Lara's for their annual Cinco de Mayo party. Their parties are really convenient as they live 5 doors down from us. 

The birthday bouncy!

Minnie Mouse face painting after the water balloon fight. Lovely!

Cinco de Mayo, UAE style. 

It was a great night. We got home just before 11, showered the kids and sent them to bed. While we were sorting out the kids, Molly pooped in our bathroom and when we opened the door it smeared like  mashed potatoes under the door. That was special. Endeared me even more to that cute little puppy. After I showered, I realised I had left my phone at Brian and Lara's. I walked back to their house in my jammies, shamelessly, and collected my phone. The people who stayed begged me to stay, but I wisely declined. 


We got up Saturday morning, Skyped Grammie and Pop, but the connection was horrible. We didn't speak long because of the connection. Boo!


Once we finished speaking with them we left for Abu Dhabi. I had to go get some gifts for our two teachers going back to their home countries this year. We also made a stop at IKEA and had lunch, which was unusually horrible. We bought the kids desks to put in the loft. We have decided they need an actual place to do homework. We returned to Al Ain in time to take Jack to a birthday party at Wadi Adventure. They were able to raft and play on the bouncy castle in the water, similar to Wipe Out. 


We went to Clare and Scott's for a bit and took Molly for a play date with Biscuit. She was actually quite friendly to Molly this time. Molly pooped in their house, which again is something we are super proud of. We didn't stay long as Millie started saying she was hungry. We took her home, loaded up our sectional sofa from the loft and I headed back to get Jack from his party and deliver the sofa to a guy who lives close to Wadi Adventure. 


Once that was delivered, we headed home, Jack took a shower and was off to bed. We fought with Millie a bit because she had napped on the way home from Abu Dhabi. That's always a bad thing for her. Once Jack was in bed she settled down. Stuart was in bed by 10 pm and I was at least asleep by then. 


It's heating up in the UAE, so my tan is getting ready to benefit!


Sunday, April 30, 2017

There's a new baby in our house!

Sunday we didn't have school. It was an Islamic holiday. I took the kids to see Boss Baby. It was a cute movie, but may have had a little more adult humor in it than they understood. 


After the movies we headed to the grocery store. Why is it that I can do all kinds of fun things for the kids, but when I need them to go to the grocery store with me because it's not convenient to drop them by the house first, they fall apart and are unruly. Geez!


Once we were home and their life had been brought back to normal, they watched television and played with the toys the rest of the afternoon. They showered just after 4 pm and we headed to their dentist appointments. Somehow we skipped he 6 month appointment so I knew the potential for cavities was there, especially with my stubborn, adorable little girl. Sure enough, Millie had a huge cavity. It was between two of her bottom teeth. The dentist didn't numb her or anything, she just started drilling, and Millie started crying. However, that child did not move a muscle. She squeezed my hand and tears rolled down her face. I felt so bad for her. She is the child that will always learn the hard way, and this is a prime example of it. She often refuses to brush her teeth as long as I think she should, and a cavity is the unfortunate result. Jack, on the other hand, brushes his teeth as if he's trying to get tar off the pavement. As a result, he had no cavities. Yahoo!


We got home and ate dinner.  Stuart had made burritos while we were at the dentist. It was then time for bed for the kids. I showered and then came back downstairs for some rest and relaxation. The dentist appointment had been quite stressful for me as well. 


I was up and walking Monday morning. It was good to get back into a walking routine. Monday was the first day of our school week and it seemed the longest ever. The boys in our school are on a major decline. Monday evening Stuart was off to rugby while the kids and I made cakes for his birthday. I had invited people over as a bit of a surprise but Millie let the cat out of the bag. She was looking at the juices I had bought for the kids and she said,'Mama, how many kids are coming tomorrow night?' Stuart was right next to me when she asked, so I just put my finger up to my lips as if to tell her to be quiet. So, thinking I didn't hear her she repeated herself, 'Mama, how many kids are coming to the party tomorrow?'  I responded with, 'We aren't having a party, Millie.' To which she blurted out, 'You mean Mr. Brian is not coming over?' Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag!


Once the kids were in bed Monday evening, I took a shower and had a bit to eat. Then I assumed the comfy sofa position and fell asleep. 


When Stuart had come home Monday evening he let me know about two Sri Lankan workers at the equestrian center who had been found face down in the golf course lake. I was telling Lara about it on Tuesday morning when we walked, and we both discussed how we never hear of people dying in the UAE. In fact, besides the woman who was killed the first year we were here, I hadn't heard of any other deaths. We know people die all the time, but it doesn't seem to be spoken about. 


Tuesday I spent most of my time at school chasing, yes chasing, boys back into their classrooms. Some of these students have already given up, and we have at least 4 weeks before Ramadan. It's a little concerning to think what the next few weeks might hold. 


On Tuesday afternoon on Facebook, my friend Jane posted a picture of their new puppy, which of course sparked an idea in mine and Stuart's heads. We talked about it and contacted the lady who was looking for adopted homes for the puppies, and we decided that on my way back from Dubai on Wednesday (gymnastic for Millie), I would go get the dog. We have lost our minds. 


Tuesday, I left work early to collect some science books from another school. This caused me to get home a bit early, which gave me time to start preparing for the party. I sat out some food and had plenty of ice in the freezer, or so I thought. Guests started arriving around 4:30 pm and the last one walked out around 10:15 pm. It's not the best idea to have this kind of gathering on a weeknight. It makes for very tired children the following day, as well as the parents. 


Wednesday morning came way too early, and needless to say Lara and I decided not to walk. I actually got to work late because I went to another school to collect more science books. I ended up having coffee with my friend, Ang, who is the Head of Faculty at the school that gave me the books. I ended up getting to school at 9 am and I left at 11 am. I was to go to a spelling bee meeting, but in the end I met up with Stuart and we went shopping for the puppy. Once we were finished, we headed home to put the purchased items in the house and I headed to Brighton to get Millie. 


When I got there she was going to apologize to one of the teachers for bringing her hand sanitizer outside on the playground. Ugh! She couldn't find the teacher so her teacher said she could apologize on Thursday. We then rushed off and into the truck. We would be 10 minutes early for gymnastics as long as I didn't screw up the directions. Oh, but wouldn't you know, I screwed up the directions. Shocking! Millie slept the entire way to the gym and we ended up arriving about 8 minutes late. Irritating! Why can't I follow directions? Don't know!


Once gymnastics was over, we went through the drive-thru at McDonalds. The truck barely fit around the bends. We both ate on the way home. Once we were in Al Ain, I plugged in the directions to the lady's house who had the puppies. I had told Millie we would be making a stop before going to the club to get Jack, but I didn't tell her it was to get a new puppy. When we got there, they let the puppies out. There were two left, but I had already decided which one we were going to take. Millie couldn't believe we were actually going to get to keep the puppy. She stunk to high heaven, but I guess being with 6 other puppies and their mom in a bedroom for 8 weeks would cause a little stink. 


Once the puppy was loaded up, we headed to the club to pick up Jack. We went onto the pitch and here came Jack and Stuart. Jack could hardly believe his eyes. He couldn't believe we were actually letting him have a dog. We loaded her up again and headed home to bathe her. In the end, the kids decided to name her Molly. Once she was fresh and clean, Cathy, Claire and Kayleigh came to see our little girl. They stayed for a bit and she bobbed around and whined. When Stuart got home, I put the kids in the shower and then to bed. That couldn't be done until someone was there to watch the baby....I mean the puppy, but same difference. 


Thursday we left Molly in the kitchen with a baby gate on the door. She was not happy. We could hear her howling as the kids got into Brian's car. The cats had not been impressed when we brought her home the previous night, and had actually stayed upstairs to avoid her. I suppose they will all learn to get along, or at least I hope they do. 


School was busy on Thursday. I taught three periods because my teacher was in the hospital again. I suspect she will be at least for a week. That's usually how long she is admitted for. Once I left school I headed to Al Ain English Speaking School to finish the kids' enrolment and pay their first instalment. My plan was to then go to the grocery store and collect Jack from his math club. Unfortunately, the school fun took way longer than I anticipated so I picked up Jack, dropped him off at the house, and then headed to the store. 


Once I was home from the store, we headed to the club for the youth rugby awards. Both kids were in their rugby kids and excited to get their medals of participation. Jack also received the Player's Player award, which is voted on by all the team members. He was so happy about it. He was also a bit cocky, as you can see in the picture. 

Coach and son!

We didn't stay long at the club. Stuart had a rugby 10s tournament all day Friday, so he felt the need to get home and to bed at a decent time, plus we couldn't leave our baby at home very long. We were all in bed rather early. 


The first night Molly was with us, she slept until about 4:30 am, I took her out and she peed, and I was hopeful this would be her routine. Sadly, that was not the case the second night. Boo! When I woke up Friday, I spent about 15 minutes with her outside to see if she would do her business, but no luck. She came back inside and within a minute she had peed and pooped on the floor. Really? Fortunately we have tile everywhere so the clean up is not that big of a deal. This was her game all day on Friday. 


We did absolutely nothing while Stuart was playing rugby. I felt it was necessary to stay home and hang out with Molly. I wanted to have a successful toilet training day, but the. I read that dogs are really not ready for toilet training until they are about 12 weeks old. That means we have about 3 more weeks of this fun!


The kids just played and watched movies all day. They were fed and in bed before 8 pm, and I had a bit of time to myself before Stuart got home. He was beat from a 5 game day in the sweltering heat. He took a shower and then we to bed, while I finished the Gilmore Girls. I'm so sad it's over!


Saturday morning I was up at 6:30 am with Molly. Jack was already awake when I got up. Millie woke up shortly after that and I made them pancakes. I sorted out the cats, who had actually started coming downstairs to at least look at Molly. They did scamper straight back upstairs when Molly turned their way, but I see this as progress. 


Once Stuart was awake I was off to Dubai with DeDe. We first stopped for coffee and then headed to the fabric souk. She and Hassah, our Saudi friend, get fabric from these stores in Dubai and then have a tailor in Al Ain make them stove pipe legged pants and jersey shirts. I, of course, had to get in on this. I'm so excited to get my new, one of a kind, outfits. They said the tailor takes about 3 days to complete their requests. We will probably see the tailor sometime next week. I will post pictures once the outfits are finished. 


We spent most of the day just shopping and having lunch and tea and coffee. It was just DeDe and myself, but we had a wonderful time catching up and just having girl time. We got home just after 7 pm and DeDe decided to come into the house to meet Molly. She fell in love, like you do with a puppy. Molly was tuckered out. She had spent the afternoon at Scott and Clare's with their saluki, Biscuit. Jack was disappointed that Millie and Stuart had taken Molly down to their house as he wanted to be the one to introduce them all to Molly. He was at a birthday party all afternoon. I told him he couldn't have it all, unfortunately. 


Millie was in bed when I got home, and Jack was showered and on the sofa. I went to tell Millie good night and then I headed for the shower. After my shower, I sang Jack a song and he was off to bed. Stuart and I watched some television and then he headed upstairs with Molly. I followed shortly after. It was a full week for sure! 


Monday, April 24, 2017

A three day weekend to look forward to.

Easter morning we were up and the kids hunted the Easter eggs the Easter bunny had left for them. Stuart and I had a bit longer that morning because we were going to a training in Abu Dhabi about reading. Once the kids were off to school, we headed to pick up another Head of Faculty and were off for another riveting training, where the first hour was only in Arabic. Sometimes I wonder why it's important for us to attend these trainings. However, a day out of school is nice. 

On our way home from Abu Dhabi, we stopped at the store to get something to bake and take to the potluck at church that evening. I made dump cake while Stuart went to pick up Jack from swim squad. Once the kids were home, backpacks were unpacked, and homework completed, they were off to take showers and get ready for church. 
At church the kids participated in several activities, we ate at the potluck and the service was after the food. The kids sat in the back and colored while I listened to the sermon. Stuart had an emergency committee meeting to handle some club business with the newly elected committee. After the service was over, we came home and both kids were fast asleep when we pulled in the carport. I took them up to bed and got my stuff sorted out. Stuart got home from his committee meeting about that time and went to say goodnight to the kids. I showered and assumed my position on the sofa. It was a nice Easter Sunday. 





Monday morning I had every intention to walk, but I couldn't drag my butt out of bed. In fact, I slept until 6 am, which is about 40 minutes longer than I should have slept. I was feeling in a funk, but got on with things anyway. The kids were up and going through their routines. They got ready for school and we all headed our own ways. 

I was officially released from my teaching obligations on Monday, and told that I would only need to be in the classroom if the teacher who had been ill became ill again and wasn't at school. Yahoo!

We stayed for parent conferences and only one out of twenty-two parents came to see me. It was nice to speak with that parent, however there still seems to be a disconnect when it comes to the parents in our community. 

I left school around 3 pm and went to meet up with my gal pals for Hassah's birthday celebration. We were doing dinner at PF Changs and then a movie. I did some shopping for the beginning of Stuart's birthday week. I had decided the kids and I would get him a present each day the week before his birthday. I started it on Tuesday, but in actuality it should have started Wednesday. I suppose another day won't hurt anyone. The gals and I went to see Fast and Furious 8. I just love those movies. They are full of action and comedy.....and Duwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Yum! I got home after the kids were in bed and showered, getting myself ready for bed. 
Tuesday I left work early so Stuart and I could go speak with the head master if Brighton College regarding the way the school fees jumped. Although we were able to meet with him and express our appreciation of the school, our plea for lower fees was not granted. We knew it wouldn't be, but we really had to just give it an effort. He said he really hadn't heard from many who were unhappy about the school fees. I just assumed that there weren't very many Americans at the school. The British are too polite to complain. They will just leave the school and no one will ever know why. So our meeting resulted in our decision to take them to a different school next year. It was sad, but the way it has to be. 

We invited the Richardsons over for curry Tuesday evening. Scott needed to go and get his car from the mechanic, so Stuart took him in the Land Rover, which had overheated on the way home from Brighton College. As they were traveling, it happened again and Scott had to walk to the gas station to get some water. Once they picked up Scott's car, they decided to leave ours. So on Wednesday, I had to borrow Clare's car to get to school. 

School on Wednesday was relatively quiet. I completed several walkthroughs, which are not my favorite things to do, but required. Once I was home Wednesday evening, the kids made an apron for one of Stuart's presents. 


They got sorted and were off to bed. Cathy came over for a chat. We mainly talked about my funk and how I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything this past week. I felt better after our chat. 

School on Thursday was just another day. I picked up Jack from ECAs and picked up the Richardsons as well, since I still had Clare's car. We went back to theirs for tea and once Scott was home we all headed to our house for Paella. Stuart was so looking forward to this evening. His mum had bought him a Paella pan for Christmas so he was anxious to try it. 
Henry ended up spending the night and the boys didn't go to bed until almost midnight. They were playing their iPads and were quiet, but still didn't get much sleep. They slept up in the loft, so when the air conditioner on our room blew a fuse at 5:45 am, naturally Stuart woke them up when he climbed over the sofa to fix the fuse. 

Friday I woke up with a stuffy head, and Jack was coughing. Neither of us felt so great. We didn't have any plans, so hanging around the house and drinking coffee was my desire. The kids played around the house, and at one time Jack traded Millie a 50 dirham note for a 100 dirham note. Somewhere in his head he thought he would get away with the trade. He's so clever. Naturally, we made them trade back. 

We lazed around until about 10 and then walked with the kids to Abela for a treat. They rode bikes and a scooter, while we walked. 
We were off to the pool around noon and stayed there until almost 4 pm. When we left the pool, Henry went home with Scott and we headed home for the kids to take showers before heading to Scott and Clare's for pizza. Karen and Wade came for pizza as well. We stayed until almost 8 pm, when we decided it was time for the kids to get some rest. I dropped Stuart at Andrew's so he could have a drink with Andrew and Sean. The kids were both asleep when we got home. They were shattered. 

Saturday morning Jack and Millie were up before 6:45 am, when I got up. We sat around for most of the morning and then I got on the computer to book our accommodations through Airbnb for our two weeks holiday in Italy this July. I had decided it would be cheaper than through booking.com, and I was right. 

We left just before 11 to take Millie to her first gymnastics class in Dubai. We had decided that it was time we gave her a little more attention in the sporting world. We arrived a bit early to the gym and were told we could go in to watch some of the students. Once it was time for Millie to participate, we had to go behind the doors. The owner said we were too distracting. Surprise! 


She finished after and hour and then I went to speak with the coach. She said she was a natural and wanted to know if we were willing to drive to Dubai once a week for just an hour. We decided we could handle it for the rest of the school year and then would make a decision about next fall when we came to that time. 

After we finished at the gym, we then went to the Mall of the Emirates. We ate at Texas de Brazil, a meat fest of fun. It was a place where they bring you carved meet, chicken and shrimp. The food was phenomenal, but too much for me for sure. Stuart was totally loving it, as was Jack. Fortunately for us Millie didn't have to pay because she is 5 years old. Thank goodness, because she didn't eat enough to feed a fish. 
We left the mall around 5:30 pm to see if we could go to Dragon Mart. Dragon Mart is supposed to be the shop where you can get anything you need. 
Well, it being a Saturday evening, once we arrived it was obvious there were no parking places. It was too crowded for all of us. In the end we decided to come home. We got a snack at the gas station when we stopped for gas. Then it was on to the house. Both kids were wide awake when we got home, but did go to bed. 

I showered and rested my weary head on the sofa. It was a great week and a very full weekend. We still had one more day of the weekend because the next day was an Islamic holiday. Oh what to do?