wherever you go


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November life and weather

It has finally cooled off around here! It is so lovely. Winter in Saudi is beautiful. Cool mornings, warm days. I can wear jeans and a sweater in the mornings and be comfortable.  I can open our windows which I love.  You know that feeling in the spring when you can open the windows, it’s warm, and you feel the breeze? There’s an awakening with the change of seasons – it’s that same kind of feeling here in the fall or winter when it cools down. Things can grow again. You can go outside and be comfortable. Picnics and bar-b-ques are an option.

Myka just turned five. And the next day she was talking about turning six. Ha! I visited her school to bring cookies for the class, and she loved the extra attention. She wanted cupcakes AND an ice cream cake at her birthday party, and we obliged. We had a simple bar-b-que with friends. The kids all ran around like hooligans, and the adults got to visit. Last year Emery blew Myka’s candle out, she got upset, and I probably laughed. This year, we forgot the candles (including a number five candle we will now wait two years to use) so the happy birthday song was a little anticlimactic. A friend did pull up a candle app on her phone. Welcome to the new, safer way of blowing out birthday candles!  Now that Myka’s birthday is past, I wonder what she will talk about at school? It’s been her favorite conversation topic for weeks.

Emery is still adjusting to having a baby sister around, transitioning from naps to a quiet time, and generally being a two-almost-three year old boy. He makes big messes, throws big tantrums, and likes big hugs. He has the best laugh, and one of my favorite things to do right now is get him to giggle. He can be really sweet to Poppy, but mostly ignores her, though he is getting better.  Maybe he’s just realizing she isn’t going anywhere. He likes me to hold him, so when I can we sit in the recliner and snuggle. I think I’ll put a little stack of books there for us to read through. I’ve noticed that he is sitting through story time at the rec. center – a weekly event where young kids on the compound get together and sing songs and then read a book together. He doesn’t always make it through the book reading, but he likes the song part. He also will do at least one craft at art class. Sometimes two. He just joined me as I’m typing this, coming out of his room after his nap with his swimming suit.  There was some disappointment (and fussing) when I told him we were going to the beach tomorrow not right now, but now he’s sitting quietly if awkwardly on my lap.

Poppy is sleeping in the swing. She usually sleeps in there or in her crib, although one time when I put her on the play mat for some tummy time she promptly fell asleep right there on the floor. She is growing! My arms notice that she is heavier. We are now using 0-3 month clothing. I noticed the weather had changed when I was dressing her in long sleeves and pants instead of just a onesie. She is usually content and easy going. We posted a video on facebook of her talking with Stephen. Her coos and smiles are so precious! I often get a big smile when she first wakes up in the morning. We will be going in for her two month check up soon, hopefully this week.

My foot has fallen asleep with Emery on my lap. I asked if he wanted to sit in the other office chair, but, no, he wants to sit on my lap, so I let him stay. The things we do for our children…

Tomorrow I am going on a bus trip with only Poppy in tow. We are going to a Christmas bazaar at a different compound here in Jubail.  It’s a nicer compound. Fancy. And this is my first time visiting. I’m so excited!

November is crazy busy here for us. There are so many birthdays and events and the holidays are beginning. We have at least one birthday party a week. I feel like it’s one thing after another until February. But one day at a time! And I’ll try to take lots of pictures.

 


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Home and Away

When I get back home in Saudi Arabia there are things I miss:

Driving off to the store basically whenever I want

Grandparents available and quite willing to watch their grandchildren

Cooler weather

Wearing jeans

A crazy selection of everything at stores. (I especially like picking out whatever kind of juice that I happen to want. I know…weird.)

 

But there are things I miss when I’m not here:

Being together as a family

My own space with my very own things

Our friends here

Our regular routine (not that we have found it again yet!)

A swimming pool just a walk away

Even our cats, though not the cat hair..

 

Our big event since we have been back: Emery has switched to a toddler bed from his crib. I’m thankful for the two and a half years he stayed put in our crib, but during this last trip he perfected the art of climbing out of a pack-n-play. The plan was to wait until we got over the jet lag to switch to the toddler bed, but he was climbing out of the crib a lot. I didn’t want him falling all that way onto a ceramic tile floor (OUCH), so our first full day back he moved into the toddler bed.

Nap times are great. No issues. He just stays there and goes to sleep. Night time is Awful. He doesn’t stay in bed, he climbs in his sisters bed (they share a room), he visits the playroom and brings noisy toys into their room, he is waking his sister up, they both visit me in the middle of the night… It’s been four nights. The first night the time change kept them up until the middle of the night. The second night we improved to a solid eleven hours from 10:00pm to 9:00am. I thought, “Great! We are on our way!” Uh…Yeah. Now they just get up. All night long. It’s throwing my sleep off (on top of any remaining jet lag and being eight months pregnant), and I end up awake even between the visits of my children.

So I’m a little grumpy today.

And I will be changing my tactics tonight. Hopefully a change on my part will cause a change on their part! Maybe this is combining the transitions of jet lag and switching beds, so I’m just going through it once instead of twice?

 

Edit: I also miss Target. And pharmacy items in the grocery store. And Panera Bread.  Those cinnamon crunch bagels are *sigh* amazing…

Last night was much better! Emery came out of his room room two or three times before Stephen and I went to bed. And he visited once in the middle of the night. Also, he was up at 6:00 which was a little early, but I’ll take the overall improvement! I stayed in the kids’ room for about fifteen minutes after our bedtime routine to see that Emery stayed in his bed and everyone settled down.  Not sure if that is what made the difference; Emery was still awake though quiet and laying down when I left. We will see how tonight goes!