Sunday, February 18, 2018

Another week closer to spring break!

I got reprimanded at school on Sunday because I was accused of telling a teacher when I would be coming for a walk through. Really? I love that the language barrier sometimes get us in trouble. Because if it’s said, then it must be true. At any rate, this was told to me just as I was leaving to go work on the continuous assessment. I just said I did not such thing and was offended that I was being accused of such a thing.  At our meeting we didn’t get much accomplished mainly because I griped about petty things at school. 

Stuart and I both went to collect the kids after school. Millie wasn’t feeling well, and had a meltdown when she was changing out of her school uniform.  So I convinced her that she and I should stay home while Stuart and Jack went to rugby. She had a bubble bath around 4 pm, got cozy in her fuzzy jumper, and we watched the film, Sing, for the hundredth time. 

School Monday was equally as fun as the day before. I was fine with Shaikha, our Vice Principal, but my principal ignored me all day. Oh well. 

I left school around 2 pm and went to pick up table decorations for the club for Valentine’s Day. I also picked up the last of our crafts for mine and DeDe’s craft day on Wednesday. I definitely had a lot going on this week. 

I got home, fed Jack, went to collect Millie from a play date at the mall. She had gone ice skating with her friend Zeina. 

Once we were home, the kids decided to take a bubble bath. They both ate some cereal and Millie went to bed. Jack stayed up and watched some television then was off to bed. 

Stuart got home just after 8 pm from rugby training. I fell asleep on the sofa around 9 pm, then woke up and went to bed. What a boring Monday we had. 

Tuesday at school I just worked in my office most of the day. I was to collect some scores of continuous assessment from my teachers to give to our Vice Principal. Sadly, I have some teachers who can’t follow directions. Ugh!  I got the information in the end, but it was like pulling teeth. 

The rumors are stirring over all this change in our school system. I just can’t listen because there’s no need to worry about anything until we know the true information. We’ve been told all kinds of things about our new contracts. I choose to not listen any longer. 

I left school early and sat in front of the kids’ school, waiting on dismissal. Every time I watch the way children are picked up from school I think of Diane Wells. She would have a heart attack at the car pool pick up. It’s frightful, at best. 

When Millie and I were on our way to her dance class, we saw a Lotus. 

Millie was terribly impressed. Once Millie’s dance class was over, I went to pick up Cathy and dropped off Millie. Cathy and I went for our last lesson of golf. Next week we will play 9 holes of golf, the culminating activity. Ya been so much fun. Cathy came home with me and Stuart was making pancakes as it was national pancake day. She stayed for a bit, but had to get home because she was having eye surgery the following morning. 

On Tuesday morning, Stuart had gone to the doctor because he was having sweats at school and his Vice Principal insisted. He got signed off for Wednesday. They determined that he just had a bug of some sort. 

Wednesday morning we were up and while I took the kids to school, Stuart took Cathy to the hospital to have eye surgery. She has eyelids that hang over her eyes, therefore making her vision impaired. I have the exact same thing. So if her eyes look good I am having the same surgery. 

I can only assume Stuart rested and watched Dr Who the whole day. Our friend James picked the kids up because we had given his daughter a ride to school in the morning. 

I ordered pizza and picked it up at the club to take to DeDe’s for the Valentine event. When I got home, Stuart had red roses for me. 

Par for the course, I got him a lot of nothing. We had agreed on that, but clearly he lied. The kids and I went to DeDe’s for our Valentine’s Day party around 4 pm. We did a couple of crafts and had pizza and snacks. The kids made their own Valentines. It was an enjoyable event, as it always is. 

When we got home, Stuart and the kids went to pick Cathy up from the hospital and I headed to the rugby club for the Valentine celebration for the Wednesday quiz night. Hannah and I had decorated and gotten prizes for the quiz, hoping to draw more people in to the club. It wasn’t a terribly attended event, but everyone who was there was complimentary of our efforts to make it a special night. I got home around 9 pm and went straight to bed. 

Thursday we had issues with a new teacher we received earlier in the week. Thank goodness I don’t have to sort through those things. I made some more reading books for our guided reading program and also did some walk throughs. 

Stuart stayed home again on Thursday as he just wasn’t feeling rightly. I was supposed to go to the doctor about my eyes, but didn’t realize that the Meseroll hospital in Abu Dhabi also had a doctor named Dr. Faten. So instead of booking my appointment in Al Ain hospital, I booked it in the Abu Dhabi hospital. Who would have thought there were two Dr. Fatens in two different cities. I called the hospital in Abu Dhabi and canceled the appointment, rescheduling it for Sunday in Al Ain. Ha! What a cotton headed ninny muggins I am. 

While I was at my appointment that didn’t exist, Stuart  took the kids to a birthday party at Bounce. 

I went to collect them at 5:30 pm. We stopped and picked up Cathy so she could come for dinner. Stuart made these hamburger pizza rolls. They were really good. I love when he tries something new. 

Friday we lazed around the house. I slept on the sofa for a while. I had woken up at 3 am and couldn’t go back to sleep so decided to go downstairs and watch tv. Jack was up just before 6, Stuart was up at 7 and Millie came down around 8. I did some Friday morning chores, then we left for Dubai to a rugby match at 1:30 pm. We dropped Stuart off at the pitch and then Millie and I went to Park and Shop, my favorite store in the UAE. Once Millie and I were done shopping we headed back to the rugby grounds to watch the match. It might be the first full game I’ve watched Stuart play, I’m ashamed to say. When they play in Al Ain I know everyone there so I’m too busy socializing to watch a lot of the match. Stuart played really well and even scored a try. 

We got home around 8:30 pm. The kids were up for showers and then went to bed. I stayed up to watch television for a bit. 

Saturday morning I was still trying to shake my cold. I laid around and watched television. Stuart went to the store to get some food for our roast dinner at the Richardson’s. 

Jack, Millie and I made blue velvet cupcakes, which I’m told were delicious. We left for the Richardson’s just before 5 pm, taking Duke for a play date with Biscuit, their dog, and a new puppy they had found that they named Snowy. She was so cute. 

As usual, we took the kids’ bikes as well as their shower things.  After dinner, the kids showered and we left for home shortly after 7 pm. The weekend was relatively uneventful. Ive come to love these types of weekends, the older I get.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Duke is home to stay and Oreo is on the mend.

When I got up and saw that Oreo, in spite of the fact that we had kept his collar on for the week, had somehow ripped his stitches again I thought I was going to scream. I had developed a cold and was not terribly thrilled about taking the cat back to the vet.

I did some walk throughs in the morning at school and then headed to work on continuous assessments. It’s my favorite part of my work week. Once school was out, we met with Jack’s teacher about his progress to this point. It seems that his silliness has subsided, thank goodness. 

We went early to the rugby club so I could meet with Hannah and the club house manager, Andrew. We tried to solidify the calendar for the remainder of the year. The kids played and then Jack trained. After he was finished, the kids ate the roast dinner at the club. Stuart stayed at the club and watched the rugby match between England and Italy, while I took the kids home for showers and bed. 

I had emailed Nadia, the lady who owns out vet clinic, about Duke. She said there was no law about having dogs in a closed complex. She said she would write a letter for us to give to the municipality if they came back to inspect our house. We thought that would probably do it. 

Monday Lara and I walked a different route. It seems the wild dogs, of which there are 8 living in an abandoned house, were not removed after all. School was full of organization and walk throughs. I ended up leaving early to go to Jack’s field day. We didn’t even know he was involved in track and field. He won the two events he entered. 

We took Louie to the house next to us from the field day. He wanted to stay to participate, but Rochelle had to take her girls to their cultural group practice.  We then decided to go to collect Duke from Scott and Clare’s. Once we had the letter from Nadia, we felt there would be no issues. 

Once Duke was safely back home we went to the club, fed the kids and went to the committee meeting. We got home later than I liked, and boy was Duke thrilled to see us. 

Tuesday morning I walked with Lara and Duke. I’m not sure he liked the new route. We can hear more traffic, but the light is better and there are no crazy wild dogs. 

I went to school and had a senior leadership meeting straight away. My cleaner rang at 9:30, saying someone came to the house about the dog. Clearly the municipality decided to come during the day, and wouldn’t you know it would be the only day someone was there, our cleaner. She told the man that we had a dog, but he didn’t inspect the house. She said his English was not great, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. She gave him my phone number so I expected a call. In the meantime, I called our complex to ask them if we were allowed to have dogs in our complex. 

Around 2:30 pm I got a call from the municipality. After about 20 minutes on the phone, I convinced the lady on the other end that the offending dog had been given away in December. I failed to mention anything about Duke. In the end, she said to me ‘This case is closed’. Whew! Shortly after the call from the municipality, I got a call back from the complex telling me animals were allowed in our house. 

Once I left school, I went to get the kids McDonalds and ended up dumping my free cappuccino in the drink well of my car. At least it was contained, but it caused me to be late to get the kids from their extra curricular activities. This caused Millie and I to be late to her dance class. Oh bother. 

After dance, I dropped her at the rugby club and I went golfing. After golfing, I apparently snuck in the house, went upstairs and put Millie to bed, and showered. Stuart was surprised when he came up the stairs to put Millie in bed and I was in my pajamas. Ha!

I was up walking again Wednesday morning. It’s my free therapy for sure. I took the kids to school and then headed to Abu Dhabi for a book signing at a private school. I was almost late because I initially went to the wrong school. The fog was crazy, as it always is this time of year. The buses are not allowed to drive when fog is present. So many of the students were arriving at the same time I was. It was a phenomenal experience and it made me want to be a visiting author full time. I sold a number of books, so it was definitely worth while.

Once I was back in Al Ain I went to the vet to pick up Oreo. Hopefully he won’t need to be stitched again. He seems he had healed a bit in his 4 days at the vet. They had made him stay over as I’m sure they figured out we have difficulty keeping that darn cat in a confined area to heal. 

Once I was home from the vet, we went to Jack’s track meet. He won the 50 meter and his relay. He’s a fast little booger. I then went to the doctor as I was coughing and feeling flu-ish. Lovely! The kids went with Stuart to the club and when I finished at the doctor, who gave me Thursday off work, I went to the club to pick up the kids and head home. 

Lara came over for a chat and we decided to have a bbq at our house Thursday after school. We also decided to reward ourselves for walking 4 days in a row by giving ourselves Thursday off. 

Thursday morning I took the kids to school in the fog. I came back home and cleaned the back patio. Then I spent the day watching trashy shows and I might have slept some. I was wiped out and kind of regretting having planned a bbq for that evening. 

I picked the kids up from school, while Stuart went to the supermarket to buy some food for the bbq. Once the bbq started, we had a blast. There was meat for days, as it seems there always is at our events. I was wiped and ended up going to bed before the last guests left. 

Friday we went to the club to watch Gaelic football for a bit. We had lunch and came home mid afternoon. Cathy came over after her date. She had spent the day with a guy from Ireland. She said it wasn’t an instant love connection, but she was going to give him another shot. 

I got up Saturday, way too early. I met with Hannah at 9 am so we could talk about our upcoming events. We were hosting a Valentine event as well as a Giant Games night at the club. I took Millie with me so she could play with Sam and Ava, Hannah’s two kids. We didn’t meet for long, but got things accomplished. 

Once we were home, the kids enjoyed the nice weather by playing outside most of the day, while Stuart and I watched our new favorite show, Elementary. Cathy and Claire came over just after 4 pm and we had dinner just after 6 pm. The rest of the evening was chilled out. These lazy weekends are by far my favorite. 

We got our family photos back this week. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

That darn cat, and a run in with the authorities

Sunday I walked alone again. Lara can’t seem to shake this cold she has. When I got home from walking I looked at Oreo’s wound on his leg and he had gnawed off some of the stitches and there was a hole in his leg. Dang cat! I would have to take him back to the vet later in the morning. Fortunately, I was only at school until about 10:30 am. I left, picked up Oreo, headed to the vet and then on to my continuous assessment meeting. 

I went to the grocery store after my meeting. I then picked the kids up from school. When we got home, the kids did some homework. I then went to pick Oreo up at 4:30 pm. There was no kids’ rugby training, as they had their tournament the previous weekend and needed a rest. So Sunday evening, the kids went to a birthday party and the Princesses met up for a bite to eat. It had been ages since Clare, Rochelle, Leanne and I had been together. We had quite the natter (a Kiwi’s term for ‘chat’). It was a good laugh with wonderful friends. 

When I got home I watched some television, sorted Oreo out so he wouldn’t kill himself having his collar of shame on, and then locked him in the bathroom for the night. 

I got up to walk, but before I left, I sorted out the cat, took his collar off so he could eat and drink, and then hit the road with Duke. Oreo had wrecked the bathroom, but I couldn’t afford for him to wreck his stitches again, so I would get over the mess. 

I went to work and was to do walk throughs. Time got away from us so none of them got finished. After school, I had my observation with a presentation of engagement strategies. I did a dang good job, if I do say so myself. 

Once I left school, I headed to meet Millie’s teacher. I got a relatively good report. The only negative was that Millie talks to much in class. So shocking! Once I dropped Millie and Jack, who’d been at swim squad, at home, I went to meet with Hannah. We planned out the social event for the rest of 2018. 

Once I was home, Stuart left for training. Just after he left, I got a knock at the door. The complex security guard was standing at my door, holding a citation that was written in Arabic. He told me it said that the municipality had been contacted regarding my dog disturbing the peace. I called Stuart at the club and he decided to come home and go to the police station to sort out the compliant. We were sure it was from the guy who lived across from us. He had complained about Molly, which caused us to give her away. We had hopes that the complaint had taken that long to get to us. 

Stuart found out nothing. He did go to the neighbor, but the neighbor denied calling the  authorities. I messaged the lady who owns our vet clinic, who is Emirati, and asked if she would translate the citation for us. She started helping us sort it out. The kids will be heartbroken if we have to give Duke away. We decided we would move him to Scott and Clare’s for a few days until we could speak to someone at the municipality. The citation apparently said someone would come to our home in three days to inspect it. 

I didn’t sleep well at all on Monday. I suppose I was worried about this citation. I know it will be sorted out, but what a pain. 

Tuesday morning it was just Duke and I who walked. On our second mile, the wild dogs who live in an abandoned house down the road from our complex, came out and started barking at us. They even started chasing us. Duke is a big wuss, so he was no help at all. He didn’t bark or anything, which is why I know the citation has nothing to do with him. 

Once we turned around and they stopped following us, I heard them still barking and a lady screaming as if she were being attacked. I ran back to the guard gate at my complex and asked the security guard to call the police. He said he wouldn’t, as it was not happening in our complex. There is something wrong with people who do not want to help others who might be in potential danger. I told him that was pathetic. Then I got home and got in my car to drive down to where I had heard the screaming. By the time I got there, there were no dogs or screaming lady to be seen. I hoped this was a positive thing. 

I went to school and was concerned most of the day. Our Emirati friend contacted a client she has in the municipality and stated he would speak to a supervisor over the man who wrote the citation. He said he would address the fact that he gave the citation to the security guard instead of bringing it to us himself. And she said he should have come to inspect our home at the same time. 

We hoped this meant they would come soon, while Duke wasn’t there, and check things out. Millie came up with the plan to take Duke to Scott and Clare’s until ‘that man’ came to our house, and then we could go and bring Duke home. We thought it was a great plan, but our moral guide, Jack, said we were being ‘sneaky’. We asked him if he wanted to give Duke away and then he decided it wasn’t  THAT sneaky. 

After school, I rushed to pick the kids up, feed them McDonalds in the car on the way home, dropped off Jack, got Millie changed for dance and me changed for golf, and then drove to dance. Our Tuesday afternoons are rushed indeed. 

Millie had dance, and seemed to love every minute of it. I picked up Cathy after Millie’s dance class, and then dropped Millie at the rugby club. Cathy and I went to golf.  When I got back from golf, Sean was home. He had spent the last two nights camping with the local soldiers. Stuart and the kids were taking Duke to the Richardson’s for his mini vacation. 

Stuart and the kids got home, and the kids showered. They had some fruit and then were off to bed. At golf that evening, we learned how to use the driver. It was so fun. I messaged the video my golf instructor took of me hitting the ball. I was so proud of my progress in just three lessons, until Stuart took the wind out of my sail with his only comment, ‘what happened to your balance?’  Way to build me up, honey.

I took Oreo’s collar off so he could eat and drink, but put it back on after about an hour. I am not paying for another stitching job. 

We watched television for a bit once the kids were in bed. At 8:25, I realized I had been snoozing. Stuart handed me the remote and said he was going to bed. I put it on the table and said I was also going to bed as well. I got a very long sleep on Tuesday evening. 

I got up to walk and Lara asked where Duke was. I told her the entire sorted story. Poor dog. He’s getting a bad reputation for something he didn’t even do. 

We had a spelling bee at another school on Wednesday. So I spent most of the day with two boys from my school. They didn’t do so well, but it was nice to be out of school for the day. When we got back, we had professional development. When we all got ready to leave for the day, there were 5 students sitting in the reception area. At that moment, it dawned on me that I had late bus duty. When the bus went to drop these students off at home, there was no one there to receive them. The bus drivers are not allowed to drop students off without there being an adult to receive them at the home. It doesn’t happen often, which is why I usually love having this duty on a Monday or Wednesday, because those are the days we stay late after school anyway. So I was bummed when I had to stay until they were all picked up. 

When I got home Stuart left for training. The kids had dinner and showered. They watched some television and then were off to bed. I just chilled in front of the trash tv I love. 

Thursday the English teachers collected items for our school cleaners. They make very low wages and are terribly appreciative of anything they get from us. School was virtually uneventful. Thursday evening Cathy came over and we ordered curry. She brought a dart board she had bought her girls several years ago for Christmas. We played darts and out a few holes in the wall. Oops! We then decided to play cards. We stayed up way too late for this almost 50 year old. 

Friday I spent the day with DeDe in Dubai. We went to a place called The Beach. 

It was a lovely beach with great art stalls and other fantastic shopping. We had a wonderful time. We ended up at Park and Shop, where I usually find some of the comfort foods from home. I ALWAYS spend too much money there, but it’s soothes my soul. Stuart had a match in Dubai so the kids stayed with Kayla, Lara’s daughter. I got home just before 7 and Stuart and Sean followed shortly after. Stuart was sore from the match. Sean said he played his best game ever. 

Saturday morning we woke up to Millie screaming. Seems she had tried to wake Jack to go downstairs and he slapped her. Pleasant! So of course, since Millie was awake, we all had to be awake. 

Stuart made breakfast and we sat around the house most of the day. Jack was grounded from electronics and both kids were at each other’s throat most of the day. They cleaned out some of their toys and then we got ready for our family photos. We dropped food at Scott and Clare’s and went to Green Mubazzarah for photos. I’m hopeful they will come out great. 

We ended up at the Richardson’s for a roast dinner. Clare was out of sorts as she had just found out she had to have a biopsy of a lump they found on her breast. I felt for her. That’s a scary thing for sure. She will have the procedure on Monday. It’s was a solemn end to a weekend. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A week of sport for all

I got up and walked by myself on Sunday. Lara had a cold, and by the time she messaged me I was already up and ready for walking. 

Sunday school was school. We had an awards ceremony that was to start at 9, but didn’t end up starting until 9:25. That really makes it difficult for teachers who are on such a time crunch when teaching all of the learning objectives before the end of the term. I left school early, as will be the case each Sunday for the rest of the term. We started getting the next term’s continuous assessments ready for teachers. It’s definitely something I look forward to each week. 

After school I was going to the driving range to hit some golf balls, but decided to go to the club instead. It was really windy so I wimped out of fighting that. We got home from rugby training and I went to bed before 9 pm. 

Monday morning I walked with Lara. She wasn’t completely well, but was feeling a bit better. She was congested but forged ahead. 

At school I organized the mess that had been in our supply room for nearly three months. I didn’t finish, but decided I could complete it on Tuesday. We had common planning amongst the staff and were allowed to go home early. 

When I left school, I went to collect Jack. Mandy came by for a cup of tea. We had a good chat. Stuart went to meet with the chairman of the club, but decided not to stay for training, which really messes up my trash show night. He made bubble and squeak and then another day closed. 

Tuesday I finished cleaning the storage room at school. It doesn’t look perfect, but I can live with it. I picked the kids up. Jack wouldn’t leave Judo and it went over the time. This made Millie and I late to her first dance class. At any rate, she loved the dance class and was thrilled to not be playing rugby any more. 

I went to pick Cathy up and then dropped Millie off at the club. Cathy and I then headed to our golf lesson. I have to say, I am loving what I’m learning about my golf swing. We are having a wonderful time. 

Once I was home I discovered that Millie had fallen asleep at the rugby club and was in bed when I got home. Therefore, she went to bed dirty, which of course drives me crazy. 

Wednesday I got up and started fixing the kids’ lunches. Lara messaged me and said she wasn’t going to walk. So I went anyway and decided to run the first mile of my two mile walk. It was great. I have to get back in the habit of real exercise. 

We did a lot of walk throughs at school, but I left school early because I just needed some time and since we are allowed 6 hours of private time each month, I decided to take three hours of mine. I got home and took a nap. It was glorious. 

The kids got home and neither of them felt well. Both were stuffy and feverish. They stayed around the house after they did their homework. They showered early and ate. Oh dear!

Stuart went to training and I relaxed with my reality shows in front of the television. The kids went to bed early with no fuss at all. They really didn’t feel well. 

Stuart and I had training on Thursday. I went to school first and then met him at the training. It wasn’t anything they couldn’t have emailed, but it was nice to be home by just after noon, with lunch and a stop at the super market. 

I picked the kids up after school. I spoke to Millie’s teacher about not letting Millie go to the nurse. It seems that she is a frequent flyer at the nurse’s office. I was always irritated by those kids. 

Cathy had her school inspection all week. She was ready for some rest for sure. She came over for dinner and some conversation. 

Friday morning Jack had a rugby tournament. He insisted on riding the bus. Stuart ended up riding the bus with him, while Millie and I drove up in my car. Their results were very good, but they played really hard. Jack ended up riding the bus back, while Stuart, Millie and I stopped at the outlet mall to shop at Tommy Bahama. We got some bargains, ate some lunch, then headed back to the club to pick up Jack. We ended up staying until around 9 pm. The hurling club had their annual tournament so we stayed to hang out with the Irish. They are a lively bunch for sure. 

Saturday was a lazy day for sure. Millie went to a birthday party, while I went to DeDe’s for a Favorites Party. When I got home at 6 pm, both kids were showered, had eaten and were ready for bed. The workers were in our house replacing Sean’s air conditioner. He was a happy chappy. We had only been calling about the broken air conditioner for 8 weeks. Better late than never. The rest of the evening was chilled and relaxed. Another week in the books. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A trying week, with an ill child.

Sunday morning came way too early, unfortunately. The fog was so thick that we had a lot of teachers late to school. This time of year, the fog can cause zero visibility. It makes driving quite dangerous. 

Once I was at school, I covered for our grade 5 boys’ class because our English teacher had a close family friend pass away and she had to fly back to Scotland for the funeral. I left school just before 11 to go to another school to begin work on the continuous assessments for term 3. We had a fifth person join our efforts, but she was more of a pain than a help. So we relayed to our cluster manager that we would rather our new addition not join us again. We had been granted permission to gather every Sunday for the rest of the term to make assessments. 

After school I came home with a few groceries, while Stuart was at the doctor checking out a rash that looked like ring worm. Thank goodness it wasn’t. It turned out to be some sort of allergy. I collected the kids from school and was told that Millie had visited the nurse because her head was hurting. 

Once we were home the kids changed into their rugby kits, did some homework, and played for a bit before heading to rugby. I worked out at the gym and then had a pot of tea in the club restaurant. When rugby was over, Millie came up and was crying about her feet hurting. She was also complaining of having a fever. When we got home, the plan was for the kids to shower and then have some fruit. They had their dinner before rugby. We’ve found this works better for both of them. I bathed Millie and she decided to just go to bed without having any strawberries, her favorite. I then knew she didn’t feel well. I rocked her to sleep and then went to take a shower myself. 

Jack played on his play station for a bit and then was off to bed. Stuart fixed dinner and we watched our new show, Elementary, a mystery show, as you would guess. We discussed who would stay home with Millie on Monday if she woke up not feeling well. 

Well, as you could guess, Millie woke up with a fever. So instead of debating who would stay home, Millie decided we both should stay home with her. Stuart took Jack and Claire to school while I stayed with Millie. We sat her up on the love seat, where she remained most of the day. She ended up sleeping almost 3 hours in the afternoon, which would prove to be a hinderance to her bedtime. 

Claire came over to babysit Monday evening because Stuart and I had to go to the rugby club for an Extraordinary General Meeting to vote for the Social Secretary of the club. I was running, as well as a female rugby player named Hannah. Believe it or not, the votes were split. So it was decided we would share the position, which suited me just fine. It meant we would have half the work, which would be beneficial to both of us. 

We got home just after 7 pm and Millie was still awake. She didn’t actually fall asleep until after 8 pm. The good news was that she felt a lot better. So back to school she went on Tuesday. 

At school I covered 2 boy’s classes. They worked relatively well, but were still super chatty. That day couldn’t end early enough. I stayed at school until it was time for me to pick the kids up from their extra curricular activities. Homework was rushed because we had to get to rugby. I fed them before they left, then I headed to the golf course for my first golf lesson. Cathy and Gemma joined me. We signed up for 6 lessons. I really learned a lot in the first session and can’t wait for the rest of the lessons. 

When I got home Millie was on her way to bed. Stuart had both kids clean and they had their fruit. I went to say goodnight to Millie and then came down to eat the curry Stuart had made. It was yummy. We just chilled the rest of the evening. 

Wednesday I covered a boy’s class again. They were so disrespectful, and accused me of not letting them eat. In the afternoon there were 10 of those boys running all over the tables and acting a fool. They were awful! In the end we had to send a message to their parents to come in for a meeting the following day. 

After school I met with my co-chair for the social committee. We mapped out dates for things for the rest of the year. She is very skilled and has a lot of connections. I think we will make a great team. When I got home, Sean and Stuart were off to rugby and I perched up on the sofa, watching random television shows. I really love my alone time on Mondays and Wednesdays. 

Thursday at school the parents came in.  Some of the parents blamed me for not having control over their behavior, allowing the boys to take no responsibility for their action.  While other parents were very supportive. Although their parents came in, the boys were not much better when I had to teach them the last period of the day. Thank goodness their teacher will be back Sunday. 

When I picked the kids up from school, I discovered that I had a pumpkin for a daughter. I’m not sure how she will eat for a while. 

Thursday evening Hannah and I met with Andrew, the clubhouse manager, to talk about the schedule of events for the remainder of the year. He gave some insight as to what the resort would allow and what would not be possible. After we left the club, we went to Clare and Scott’s for a wine and cheese night. 

Friday I woke up and did a whole lot of nothing. We were going to go to church, but in the end we didn’t. Jack was upstairs getting dressed and as he came down, he stopped to pet Oreo. He then discovered a gash on Oreo’s hind leg. So off to the vet we went. The doctor wasn’t there, but they decided to keep Oreo for the night and the doctor would mend his wound the following day. They cleaned up the cut and said it had most likely been there a couple of days. Sadly, our cats are more susceptible to injury since we let them go outside from time to time.  

When I got home from the vet, I washed Jack’s bed. Jack and Millie were out playing most of the day, while Stuart was off to a rugby match in Dubai. 

Millie decided to go skating so she could use the gear Cathy had bought her for Christmas. 

The kids and I watched Ferdinand, which was cute. Sean and Stuart got home just after the Richardson’s arrived for dinner. The kids played, and once again had a late night, so no baths were had. Ick! 

Saturday morning I got up rather early. Jack was already awake, with every light in the house on. We called Grammie and Pop, and then we were off to breakfast at the golf club. The plan was to plan and book our holiday for spring break. The Richardsons, O’Reillys, and the four of us were planning to go on a holiday together. 

We stayed at the golf club until almost 1 pm, but got nothing booked. It was probably best because in the end Gemma, Fechin and their kids decided they would not be able to go with us. So, the plan was on to have the Richardsons over Saturday evening so that we could book our holiday. We decided to go to Pattaya, Thailand. We booked the flights and a wonderful villa from Airbnb. 

While we booked the holiday, the kids played outside and took Biscuit and Duke for a walk. Once the Richardsons had gone, Jack and Millie took showers and went to bed. We were all a bit tired. It was a long week, but a good weekend. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A camping we will go.

I got up and walked with Lara, and took Duke. He walked well, but there was a barking dog that we couldn’t see because it was dark, so that startled us a bit. Duke didn’t even respond with a bark. He’s such a good dog. 

The kids started back to school and seemed thrilled to go back and see their friends. Our presentation was awesome. We gave all the continuous assessments for grades 1-5, in Mathematics and Science, that the teachers would need for the entire term. This would also be their grades for the term. We had some very happy teachers. 

Rugby started for Jack’s team on Sunday, but not for Millie’s team. I worked out on the exercise bike. I think, after the holidays, I have discovered that 3 or 4 pounds of weight gain scares me!!   Back on the strict diet I’ve come to love for almost 2 years. Home and to bed we all went after training. 

I worked in my office all day on Monday. It was great to feel I was going to be organized for the start of this second term. Monday after school I picked the kids up, they did some homework, and we headed to the club because Stuart and I had a committee meeting. The meeting ran longer than normal, so the kids got to bed a bit later than I cared for. It might take a bit to get back into our routine for school. 

Tuesday I walked with Lara, and worked most of the day in my office. I shopped after school in preparation for our camping trip over the coming weekend. The last time we camped it was disastrous. The wind nearly blew us off the beach and into the Gulf of Oman. We hoped for the best for the weekend. 

We went to the club for dinner to meet up with the Richardsons. They were going to England the following day for Clare’s dad’s 70th birthday. This would be the trip where they would inform their kids that they will be moving back to the UK at the end of this school year. I can only imagine their children will have mixed emotions about it all. I can assure you that Jack will be upset. 

We were home and in bed by 8:45 pm. The following day would prove to be a total bore. After school on Wednesday, Cathy came over to plan for camping. Stuart had all of the equipment ready and the food purchased. Our friends, Clare and Nin, informed us that they would meet us at the camp site on the Friday. Clare’s kids were going back to New Zealand on Thursday night so Friday morning was as early as they could get there. Jack was thrilled because Tua, Claire’s son, would be there for him to play with. After Cathy left on Wednesday evening, Stuart took the Richardsons to the airport. 

Thursday my team presented our project to 8 other schools. Again, there was a huge relief and gratitude for all of the work we did to make teachers’ lives easier. It was nice (again) to be appreciated and to help teachers in a mighty way. 

We got home really early from school as the presentation was short. We picked the kids up at noon from school to head to Fujeirah, another Emirate in the UAE. We left the house, packed for more than a weekend, at around 1 pm.  We arrived around 4 pm and started setting up camp. It was extremely windy, but we decided to brave it. We set up so that we could see the ocean from our tent. The wind died down around 7:30 pm and all was well. We had a bonfire and spent the evening chatting, well, maybe I snoozed, under the stars, in my camping chair. 

This was after we pulled over the first time Duke barfed. 

And the tent is up!

Because you can’t trust the wind, we put sand bags on each corner. 

Ready for a sleep. 

And the best camper award goes to? Duke!

Marshmallows are a must at a campfire. 

Duke was enjoying the evening, as were we. 

Then, it turned too cold for my feet. 

We awoke with the sun on Friday morning. After a breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and beans, cooked by Stuart, Jack and Millie, the kids got their swimmers on and headed out to the sea. Prior to that, though, there were fishermen who were bringing in he nets from the night before. Cathy took the kids down to see what they caught. They released a squid and a large sea turtle. The kids thought it was great. 


The kids tried to talk Duke into loving the sea. 

Claire, Nin and company, showed up just before noon. We sat around and chatted while

The kids played in the water and dig out sand for some sort of mote. Our neighbors, Adam and Grace (and their three little boys) joined us around 2 pm. They were not going to camp, rather were staying in the hotel next to the beach. In hind site, I think hey wished hey would have camped. They ended up bar b queuing with us and didn’t even check into their hotel until almost 9 pm. What a great evening we had. The kids ate banana splits prepared on the barbie, the adults listened to music and smoked sheesha, while having a chat, and life was good and easy. 

Nothing bothers this dog!

Snacks for everyone, even Duke. 

Cathy, the babysitter 

Never a day goes by that these boys don’t play rugby. 

Ah, banana splits!

We were up again at the crack of dawn. This time it was because Duke decided to bolt out of the tent at 5 am, barking at the golden retriever camping next to us. Duke didn’t actually go past our tent, but he sounded as if he was going to. Duke was the perfect dog for this camping trip. We tied him to a long lead off the front of the truck and the worse trouble he got into was wrapping himself around the camping chairs with his extremely long lead. 

Nothing says camping like a Nutella sandwich. 

Millie was playing with our little neighbor. 

The fishing nets. 

Everyone went to see the catch on Saturday morning. 

Saturday morning, after Duke’s ourburst, we were up and drinking tea to knock off the cobwebs. The kids were back in the water and we anticipated the dreadful clean-up and departure from, what Millie called, our ‘holiday’. It was simple, but lovely, and cheap. 

We packed up around noon and we’re on the road back to Al Ain by half past one. When we arrived home, Cathy dropped me off and picked up her tent. Stuart, the kids, and Duke had ridden in the truck, while I rode with Cathy. Fortunately, I was not privileged to Duke’s barfing two times there and one time on the return trip. Poor Dog apparently gets car sick. 

And this is what playing hard for two days on the beach looks like. 

Once we were home I got into gear. Stuart unpacked everything from the truck and I started putting everything away. We make a great team. He gets everything ready for camping and is the main chef while we camp. Then I’m he clean-up crew when we get home. Kids showered and fed, Duke bathed, fed, and asleep, I showered, and the laundry was a never ending cycle until load 8 was in the dryer at 1 am. Whew! There were two more blankets to wash, but they would just have to wait. Camping was an excellent way to end the week.