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Monday, May 25, 2015

Coffee Cup Ramblings

It's mid term break here in Abu Dhabi, which means the kids are home from school and I am trying to keep us cool inside. Temperatures are around 110 most days and outside is simply not an option. And, seeing as losing your mind shouldn't be an option, indoor survival is where we are at.

We have no plans to travel this summer, which is quite the opposite for the average expat who lives and works here. Most people leave for 1-2 months of summer and the mass exodus that happens as soon as the last school bell rings is a bit depressing. It does mean less traffic, less mall crowding, and easier lines at the grocery store, so there is always that!

The kids are doing great. They are all growing and developing so well. There's always a niggling in the back of your mind that your kid will be a little messed up from being a TCK (Third Culture Kid,) but I think, for the most part, they are doing well. Except for the fact that they think America is a city and the only thing they know about Florida is there is lightning storms and alligators, they are very well rounded and well traveled. There's always time for geography and culture lessons later, right?

Grace shows her British English influenced language by asking why we are not going on "holiday," and when all of her friends are returning. Throw in her frequent use of the word toMAHto (tomato,) and references of putting the rubbish in the bin and she keeps us rolling on the floor with laughter. Poor thing also has some serious Southern twang to her vocabulary. We were practicing clapping syllables and the word was "Whale." She kept drawing it out to a three syllable word, "Way yuh luh," and couldn't understand why I was making her do it again and again!

Her schooling is still up in the air right now. We got some not great news about the school systems here yesterday and feel backed into a corner. She just finished All About Reading's Pre reading program and we will be starting the Level One soon, even though I swear we aren't doing formal "homeschooling," this year as she is only four.

Then there's Sophia.

She's a HOT. MESS.

A beautiful, sweet, hot mess with squishable cheeks. She says the funniest things it just makes me fall out of my chair most days. Ask her who her best friend at school is and she will answer "Jumaa. There are two Jumaa's in my class." And when you ask her which one is her friend, she will almost always answer "The naughty one." She climbed out of her crib for the first time last night and just started to cry when she realized she couldn't get back in.

She is currently running around the house in a red tutu, cowboy hat, and masquerade mask while yelling "He-Haw!" I'm thinking that's what a cowboy donkey would say.

Luke is all smiles and cooing. Not much to say about our adorable little chunk of a boy. He's a real joy to have and as long as he is fed and clean he is a happy little man.

Ian's work is just that. Work. He's surviving it and it is a great plus to his resume but not the best overall situation. Long hours. Stressful situations. Little else happens during the week and the weekends are just recovery times. He's still my sweet man who gets up with the baby in the middle of the night and read to the girls each night before bed.

And me? I'm smack in the middle of motherhood. Trying to maintain my own sense of identity in conjunction with motherhood (which is obviously a large part of my identity now and forevermore,) and have real, meaningful conversations with other adults on a nearly regular basis. You know, other than explaining a million times in a day what we will eat next, where we will go next, and why it is wrong to lie/hit/put chewed food on the table. And trying to main my sanity amongst the variety of repetitive tasks- wake, shower, feed kids, clean, feed kids, wipe bottoms, clean, feed kids, bathe kids, collapse onto couch/bed. Repeat.

Part of this stage is trying to hold onto my hobbies. Right now I'm really questioning what my hobbies really are.

Blogging? I've really fell off the bandwagon. I want this one to take root again.
Photography? I love taking pictures of my kids but hate that so much of our time is inside.
Reading? What's that?!
Exercise? I don't think so.
Travel? Not enough funds in the bank to make that a hobby.
Baking? LOVE it. But if Exercise is not one of my hobbies then perhaps neither should Baking.

The real question is what do I have the energy for at the end of these long busy days.

That's really it! Our family at the present time.




Monday, May 4, 2015

{Luke} Two Months

Happy Two Months, Luke James!

This past month has been slow and quiet for our little man. Would you believe I actually had to look through my phone pictures to figure out what happened? It was a great month, just not superbly memorable. The girls started back to school and we just were finding our routine as a family of five.

Around five weeks he turned a corner and just started sleeping better and his own schedule fell into place. He feeds every three hours from 6:30 am until 9:30/10:30 pm and then once during the night between 1:30 and 3:30. He is usually up for one hour and then napping for two.

For most of this month he hated being in the car and had a "witching hour," between 3-7 pm. Grace can still settle him with his Wubanub in the car, which is nice.

Luke smiled for the first time on April 2nd, Grace's birthday.

Luke went to the waterpark for the first time (and got sunburn on one side of his face!)

He celebrated Grace's birthday party by sleeping through the entire thing.

He celebrated his first Easter, was a third wheel on a disastrous date with Ian and I, got his passport pictures made, and had his first trip to the US embassy for passport and documents.

I guess there were some memorable things thrown in there after all!