Friday, February 25, 2011

Cool Dude.

Yes, that is one very cool three year old.
While getting dressed for church this morning Carter requested another tie, blue sunglasses (just for the ride) and his own "brown seat belt" like dad's. Translation- That would be just his normal belt for his pants.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jelly Fish.

Have you ever seen one of these up close?A Blue Jelly Fish.
I grew up in the States on the East Coast. I only remember jelly fish being pink and fleshy colors. The slimy little fish we spotted today on the gulf of Saudi were a surprise to me and an immediate attraction for the boys.
The boys- Who wanted to poke them, throw sand at them in the water, pick them up and jiggle them. Lucky for all of us the ones the boys poked had already passed onto fishy heaven and didn't have any sting left in them.

This morning we ventured out to the company beach on the Gulf. (Company beach means that I can go the beach minus the fancy black dress- aka, abiya).

Compared to Galveston, the Gulf we are used to visiting, this was a big upgrade. Clear water, running water, covered pavilions, showers and bathrooms, feet washing stations, playgrounds and many lifeguards.

From here you can see Owen playing in the foot shower, Mike at the pavilion and Grandma sitting under our umbrella by the water.
Mike and Carter flying a kite. The dolphin statue is actually a shower and they have several of these placed along the beach.
Our boys LOVE the beach. They love everything about it and could stay and play ALL day if we let them. Pretty sure as parents we wear out far sooner than these too.Grandma relaxing for the few minutes Owen didn't drag her up and down the beach.
A view looking back from the beach and Carter and his chips!
No camel rides today as planned, but a great morning playing on the beach instead. We had no idea how great the little company beach would be and are excited how close we really are to it.

We went early in the morning before it was busy and were pretty much the only people there. Us and two other families we drove with. It was a nice, break out of the normal routine, take a deep breath of fresh air off camp and feel better, kind of morning.

The walls of camp and the confines of having to take drivers into town can feel claustrophobic some days. On those kinds of days I crave the ability to get in my car and just drive to where ever I want on my own time schedule. No prayer schedules to go by, no black dress to throw on, no drivers to call and my own ability to make things happen. The more time I spend here I appreciate what I had back home. I'm grateful to be an American, grateful for the privileges that the US gives us as citizens and as women. This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate our new life here, I am grateful for that too. But even with that, some days can be long and challenging. Sometimes even short days, have I mentioned how dark it gets early in the evening, can be challenging.

It's nice to try something new. It takes the edge off. The beach was the "something new" for me today. I relish the moments when my boys are happy, my husband is happy and relaxed and I can walk my bare feet in the sand and watch the waves wash away my tracks and with that - my rut.

Camel riding is still on the agenda.
Now that Carter knows it's on the agenda we are committed.
Hugs, A

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Still here.
Same old.
Same old.
Plus Grandma.

In the meantime.
Check out this cute kid and his new backpack. Grandma brought it on the airplane.
He LOVES it!Now if only the new two year flash, aka, Owen could stand still long enough to smile at me or at least not be blurry.Carter got one too.
In brown and the next PB size up.
He loves it too.
Just no pictures with him wearing just yet.

We're planning to ride camels tomorrow.
Well back to it.
Hugs, A

Friday, February 18, 2011

Closer to Home.

When the unrest began in Egypt if felt far away. I know that it's not really, but it did, it felt far. It was a relief when the people got what they wanted. The opportunity for democracy may now be attainable. I'm not an expert on any of these things. I am a mom of two sweet little boys who stays home. I read the same things and watch the same things that you do.

Now that the protest and unrest have begun in Bahrain it is much closer. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit unsettled about this happening closer to home for us. We know Bahrain, we love spending time there and it was always our backup plan to escape to if something happened here.

With all that being said, we are ok. We feel safe where we are. Bahrain is close, but it is on the other side of the causeway. There is a bit of distance.

Thursday afternoon we were driving home from being in town. We stopped right before the gate and the stoplight where the US consulate is on one side and the SA national guard is on the other. We waited at the light, as Humvee after Humvee turned out of the gate heading into town. The large buses looking like SWAT type of vehicles followed suit. We didn't know where they were going, and didn't think much other than to tell Owen to look at the big trucks. In hindsight, we have a feeling these military vehicles might have been heading over the causeway.

So we wait like the rest of the world. We go about our normal day here and pray things get resolved. Pray for resolution and peace. Pray for the inspiration and direction our family needs to stay safe while abroad and in the middle east.

My mom is now here. She arrived safe and sound and is doing well and has pretty much proven to be an all star without jet lag. Before she left she mentioned that she was worried about us and the unrest and protests happening around the middle east. Then she said, if she's with us she'd worry less. Or something like that. Regardless, it's so very nice to have her here. When we sit around the dining room table with her here, it feels like we are back in Houston. With her she brought the feelings of home. The boys are in heaven with her here and so am I.

Hugs, A

Monday, February 14, 2011


To really utilize the yard we were given here we decided to extend our patio in the front and back. We're really happy with the decision because now we have room for a patio set and firepit in the backyard and more room for the boys to play sand free. Although it's still Carters favorite past time and if you don't watch he tries to dumb sand all over the patio.

We had a mini smore's party and invited the Reynolds over.
Mike and his fire.
Me, Tiff and baby Andrew.The Reynolds.Owen enjoying a smore. This is before the marshmellow was all over his face.

Friendship Day.

Today we celebrated "Friendship" Day as the expats here refer to it. (You know Valentines Day.) This is not a very liked holiday in kingdom, in fact the weeks prior the Mutawa (religious police) are known to scour the shops to get rid of anything resembling valentines, red, pink, hearts, cards, and so on.
We are privileged to be here. This I know and respect. We respect the culture that allows us to work and raise our families here and on the company camp. So we celebrated quietly on camp and in our homes. That is enough for me.
Carter was his happiest this morning. He was the leader at school today and it was his turn for show and tell, combine that with the excitement of valentines to give his friends.
Because he was so thrilled to show me his backpack and valentines he actually posed for pictures. So here are two.
Owen showing off a Valentine. This was the only photo I could snap before he ran off.
Then, this handsome man...
Brought me these...

If you know Mike well, you'll also know that he doesn't buy flowers very often. So this was an unexpected treat. They are beautiful and bright and happy. They make me happy.
Tonight we stayed home, ordered food in, baked cookies, caught up on a few shows and just relaxed and enjoyed our little family. Can't think of a better way than to spend the night with those I love the most.

Since then Carter fell asleep early. Owen on the other hand climbed out of the crib and now Mike has fallen asleep on the twin bed with Owen. The house is quiet and it's nice.
Quiet is not a word that I would have used to describe our house very often this past week. So that would also explain why this time to myself is so refreshing.

So, how was your friendship day?
Hugs, A
Happy Birthday Val/ Pappa! Hope you had a great day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Week.

Before the posting begins a few photos of the boys.
The boys enjoying Katherines 3rd birthday celebrations for playgroup this past week. Owen is the cupcake king!
Carter in his king crown from Sunbeams. He was the king from the story of Daniel and the lions.
Owen watching a show way too late one night. He was not a tired kid at all. But he was happy so we let him stay up for a while.
Another week come and gone. I've actually had a few posts that I wanted to put together. The only problem was ripping myself away from the "Hunger Games" book series that I plowed through this week.
Now that the final book has been read I suppose life will resume yet again. There is laundry to be done and little projects that have taken second place to book reading. Mike is happy I'm done. I tend to get engulfed in good books and find finishing them bittersweet. Happy to read the end, sad that the journey is over. In this case, totally disappointed in the end. I mean really, all that and no further explanations or details. Lame. With this being said, I do still recommend the series. Does that make me a bit lame too?
I have accomplished more than just three books. We painted Owens room a great blue. We put Owens room together. Had our first backyard fire smore party. Took Carter to see Suessical that the Dhahran middle school put on. Got a hair cut. Spent a few mornings at playgroup. Enjoyed a few thunderstorms in the desert. Planted, planted and planted more plants in the yard and spent a lot of afternoons outside with the boys enjoying the weather and yard.
Amazing as well that the feelings of nesting in our new home has come back. It left right after shipment came and through the holidays, but now I am itching to paint walls, hang pictures and curtains and make this place ours.

We've been working on a visa for my mom to come visit. That has also come in and we expect her here in just a few days. I haven't told the boys yet. It's too exciting and I know the anticipation would drive Carter and me crazy. So on Wednesday morning I'll spill the beans and then the rest of the day we can rejoice in excitement for our first visitor from back home. How do you suppose I talk her into bringing a coke icee with her?

Best Carter Quotes this week.
At around 11 p.m. as Carter gets up to use the bathroom, he tells Mike,
"Daddy my feet not working."

On the way home the other day, Carter asks/tells me
"Mommy did a butterfly bite you on the foot right there? - Mommy a butterfly get you right there" as he points to the top of his foot. If you know me well enough you'll know exactly what he is talking about.

Best Owen moments this week.
He runs everywhere. There is purpose in everywhere he goes and he is determined to get there fast. This week he's started to throw his arms back like wings before he takes off.

So here I am just checking in. Doing good. Some days are better than others.
But such is life no matter what side of the world you are on.

Hugs, A

Happy Birthday Mom. Love you! See you in a few!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Writing it down.

These are the things I want to write down and remember. The little things I hear and see from my boys each day. The little things that I know I will forget unless I write them down. The little things that make having little boys so much fun. Not a day goes by that one of them doesn't say or do something that makes me smile, laugh and sometimes cry.


The other day we were working in the yard during the afternoon. The call to prayer begins to sound. You can hear it pretty much everywhere. Out in the distance it is played over an intercom from the mosque or if you are shopping over the intercom at the store.

Carter runs over to us and says, "Dad, I HEAR Tarzan!" Now standing at the stop of the slide, "Hey... Tarzan..." then he proceeds to make tarzan noises.

On the walk to church our friends asked Carter is he was as big as daddy yet.
He replied, "When I grow up I'm gonna be a big, BIG giant."
Then as we climbed the stairs into the building he changed his mind, "I'm gonna be a big, big Dragon giant!"

During class, his teacher asked him about his "baby brother" Owen. Carter quickly set her straight, just like any three year old would,
"He's not a baby, my brother poops on the potty, he's a big boy too!"

We had a busy Thursday, shopping for plants and then spending the afternoon working in the yard. It was a long day and this kid didn't stop for anything. He went to bed late, woke up early and then when he was in Primary he promptly fell asleep in the lap of his teacher. Out cold! For the last half of the hour. I couldn't believe it.


We had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner the other night. Owen loves anything with cheese. He doesn't however like the crust of most anything. So instead of eating this he picked up his little L shaped crust, clutched it in his hand like a gun and began "shooting" it around the room, complete with little shooting sounds.

Before naptime every afternoon I change Owens diaper and he tells me, "Mommy, no naptime," over and over again. Hasn't worked yet, he still goes down for a nap.

Last night (well pretty often lately) after I put Owen to bed, almost half an hour later, I hear, " Mommy... Mommy dink."
Pause, a little louder, "Dink, mommy, DINK."
All in the cutest little voice.
I walk in, "would you like a drink? Are you thirsty."
His reply, "Yup." I come back with a drink, he waits in the dark, reaches out and says please then thank you.

*I can't find my camera. Sadness. Still looking. Hopefully it will appear and then pictures will be posted.*