Saturday, March 26, 2011

Owen Questions.

The past two days have been filled with these two questions from Owen.

1. What Happened?
His "h" is my favorite letter that he says. Very airy and forced, it's seriously so cute to hear his little voice. I couldn't figure out where he got this from, until I heard one of the boys crying and I yelled,
what happened into the other room. I think he hears this a lot!
2. What's your name?
Then he proceeds to tell me mine "Angie... MY Angie." He asks everyone he meets and each of us all the time.

He's turning into a little chatterbox and because his voice is so cute I love every minute of it. Especially, the little "Yup" he says instead of yes.

He also loves saying "Amen" and starts saying it (not in his quiet voice) half way through the prayers during sacrament, we are working on this.
I'm not a fan of character shoes or clothing. I avoid that section in department stores and such, because my kids, unlike me, love it and don't understand how I have vowed to not be that parent with the kid in the tacky Disney clothes.

*Although Carter did have a really cute Cars hoodie, that wasn't tacky, it was gray and plaid with a little Lightening in the corner. That I could do.

Funny how things change when you FINALLY do have kids and they start to have real solid opinions on what they wear. No longer is it tacky, but brings pure joy to the little person decked out in their favorite characters. I do eat my words.
*But will still never buy them Disney tennis shoes.

I met my match last week and finally caved and bought the boys flip flops ala Disney. Above is Owen strutting his new Toy Story 3 flip flops and he has worn them everyday since. Carter has a pair of "robot," or better known to everyone else other than Carter as Star Wars flip flops. They make them happy, so that makes me happy- two happy toddlers in shoes that actually fit- yes, that makes me very happy.

Another Owen moment.
Grocery shopping Thursday afternoon. He was like this for an hour. Everyone who walked by pointed and smiled. Then while checking out one of the clerks tried to take the cart away with him in it. I'm holding Carter I kept telling him no and he kept ignoring me. Language barrier I'm thinking, or he's just ignoring me because I'm a woman, could be a combination of both. Finally I had to pull the cart back and he finally saw the sleeping toddler underneath. He was surprised and finally let me keep the cart.

Bedtime update. This week has been better. He likes to sleep with the lamp on and stays in his room and plays for awhile before falling asleep. We can do this. As long as he's not screaming, banging on the walls or destroying the room, he can quietly play in there as long as he wants before bed.

Hugs, A

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Bedtime has been a bit rough this past week. Well, in all honesty the past three weeks have been a big battle with our night owl two year old Owen.

I feel like we have launched ourselves back in time to when he use to refuse to go to bed and just scream and cry himself to sleep. He did this from 6 months until about 16 months. I have been at my wits end on how to not totally regress back to this.

The crib is now gone. Because even when it was there he could scale it in less than 10 seconds and be out the door and back to whatever room you are in. It wasn't even an obstacle anymore and most of the time he'd rather sleep on the floor outside of the crib anyways like in the picture above. Other days, instead of finding us he could sneak into Carters room while he was sleeping and usually try to jump on him to wake him. (Yes, I tried putting them in together- no good.)

So now he has two options.

Twin bed (why oh why did we not buy the full?) or toddler bed.

He's not a fan of either.

The even bigger challenge that we've faced this month has been to keep him in his room. We now have a baby lock on the inside, meaning he takes his naps on the floor laying up against the door in revolt. See not a fan of the beds. He's a carpet fan.

I can tell when he is actually asleep by laying my head on the floor and peaking under the "standard" 2 inch gap under the company door. There I can see the light on, because he's turned it on, and his little body curled up against the wall, thumb in mouth, blanket in his fist. And I leave him there for however long he sleeps.

Nightlights are gone. The last one he proudly announced, "I broke it." Well, that was the end of that.

For now he's not figured out the baby lock. That may be our only saving grace.

This is a stage right? Carter never did this. Owen is giving me a run for my money and he knows how stinking cute he is when he does it too.

Here he is climbing back into the crib one night. Enjoy our little monkey, we do! Hugs, A

Monday, March 21, 2011


We've survived our first work week with Grandma gone.
We miss her. I miss her.
Owen asks for her each day "gma my house?"
I then say, you want grandma to come to our house? His response, "yup."
Thanks for coming to visit mom.
Thank you for helping with the boys.
Thank you for letting me sleep in later in the morning while you were.
Thank you for folding laundry and putting away dishes.
Thank you for watching the rest of the Bachelor season with me.
Thank you for exploring the Aramco bus systems with me and giving me the confidence I need to ride with the boys by myself now.
Thank you for walking and talking with me.
Thank you for giving us a few date nights.
Thank you for helping me paint the house and hang up pictures.
Thank you for teaching me that a monkey bathroom is ok.
Thank you for putting your life on hold to come be apart of ours on the other side of the world.

Thank you for being you and loving us.
We really do miss you.
Hugs, A


Last Thursday Mike and I had a great opportunity to take a day trip the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia to the company compound, Shaybah . This little community is nestled in one of the most extreme desert areas in the world in a sea of red sand dunes. Here the company has the only gas and oil facilities in the Quarter. It's an amazing production to see and you can tell it's one of the company "jewels" and used as showpiece. The community seemed to have a lot of fancy extras to impress. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit.
In fact the company has two trips a year and you enter a lottery for the chance. We won! Well, were one of the many winners. There were three bus loads of company employees and families that filled every seat in the company plane. My mom was gracious enough to stay a few extra days so Mike and I could go. The kids have to be 6 and up to go. So that left both of our little guys at home for a special day with Grandma.

Spending 12 hours together without the kids was a great break for both of us. I don't think we've EVER done this! Made us feel like we were back in college. We missed the boys, but it was relaxing to just be adults and not have to chase anyone else.

Here are a few pictures from our trip.
Mike outside the airplane when we arrived. The company has its own airport at the compound it's the fastest/easiest way to get in and out.
They had the best looking soccer field we've seen in the country. That in the middle of the extreme desert. Impressive. They do use reclaimed water on everything, so there is some conservation.In the background you can see some of the employee housing/dorms. The architecture here was beautiful.
Outside one of the community centers.
Best part of the trip was when we were turned lose on the actual sand dunes.On our way up. You can see Shaybah in the back.
Showing off some Saudi "skin." Nothing like some ankle. We weren't asked to wear abiyas on the trip but were told to dress conservatively because it is a bachelor compound. I know sometimes I like to break the rules. :)
On our way up to the top.At the top of a HUGE sand dune.The view of the compound from the top of our dune.
The other side.Just miles and miles of red sand and some of the largest dunes. They are so deceiving in size and you don't grasp how large they are until you get to the bottom. The sand was soft and fine on our feet and a beast to walk in at points.Pointing to the peak we climbed to from the Oasis rec center. This is above the hill from the compound and where we had a BBQ dinner as the sun set. It was a great experience to see this side of the world. A marvel really. To sit at the top of the dune and see the Lord's hand in it all. To feel small compared to the mass of the red sand desert. We've been blessed with a beautiful world and I feel blessed to be able to see it and touch it.
We are not here by chance. There is a reason and the Lord has a plan.
Hugs, A


Another adventure with grandma.
A morning at the other company compound called Ras Tanura.
A morning really just spent on the beach collecting sea shells and chasing little waves.
The water was clear and blue. Not at all what I expected to find here. It was a pleasant surprise and upgrade from the beach we use to visit in Texas.

Friday, March 18, 2011


There are a lot of "firsts" to be had here in SA.
Some of them good some not so good.
This was a good one.

Our (well this may have been Mike's third or fourth, but he doesn't count. First for me and the boys) first authentic Arabic restaurant and dinner.
We had BBQ chicken, beef and lamb. I stuck to the chicken.
Arabic rice, that was delicious and Owens favorite part.
Hummus and bread.
Followed by some kind of yummy coconut cake dessert.

You eat on the floor laying around on pillows and sitting on rugs.
We had an extra large room to ourselves. We went with our good friends and their three sons. Another view of the room.The boys took advantage of the large padded room and wrestled, chased and played duck duck goose while we waited for food.
There were vintage cars made over as booths upstairs. The boys thought they were pretty neat.
My mom in the hallway. You can see all of the private rooms. Every dining area is private so that the woman can unveil. A lot of things I have found are private in this country.Funniest part of the night was just watching Owen. At one point he was running circles like a cartoon character and would only turn his head to smile at you then keep running. I wish I had that on video.

Here he is playing superman.
Showing the muscles with Tommy.
"I'm superman!"
Then "taking off" leaping off the pillows. Owen has no fear and did this over, over and over again.

Royal Cashmere.

My mom is packing up getting ready to travel back to the States. I just jumped on our blog and realized there is so much to catch up on. I wouldn't call her visit really busy per say, but we did do a lot and had a good time having her stay with us for a month.

Now it will be a challenge to post and update. But perhaps that will be what I need. Something to focus on so I'm not too sad in the coming days when the realization hits once again that we live so stinking far away and she's gone.

My mom and I like to shop. That shouldn't come as a real surprise to any of you. You know me well enough. So while she was visiting we made it to a few of my new favorite places to go downtown.

This little souq sells everything you can imagine from Cashmere and other places. Great tablecloths, runners, fabric, knick knacks, jewelery, clothing, wood carvings and so much more. I believe we made the shop keeper very happy that morning. My mom has since filled a box to take home.

Just look at the walls in this place. Not an inch left uncovered. Every time I go I find something new.Carter didn't have school that morning so he came along. He loved this little camel stool. He also loved the shopkeeper who took him next store for candy.Mom shopping for table runner which she plans to make into curtain panels. There are two walls covered just like this. Ready to come for a visit to go shopping with me yet?
Hugs, A

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ribs with Mom.

We were getting antsy. The whole stay out of Bahrain for weeks thing was getting old. So last week, before the crazy intervention from the Saudi army began just yesterday and the causeway was closed, we scooped up the family and headed over the causeway to show grandma where the expats go for a good time.

Rics. Best American food in the Middle East.
It's true. They say so on the wall as you walk in.

We dined on BBQ pork baby back ribs with the BEST potato salad I have ever had. I am a ribs girl and I was pleasantly surprised they were so good. It had been five months. I will not go that long again.
See the goods below.
The boys requested blueberry pancakes. How great is that we can have dinner and they can have breakfast. Owen is ALL about pancakes these days.After dinner we explored the "bunny patch." It's just outside the lobby of the restaurant. You can see one of the cute little bouncy guys by the walkway.
After dinner we did a little grocery shopping then headed back home. We avoided the pearl round about where the protests are happening and stuck to the other highways.

Not bad for a night out of the country. Ribs, Pancakes, Bunnies and a little excursion to the "sin" (ie: the pork) room at the grocery store.

If it were only this easy to go to Bahrain all of the time. The fastest we've ever made it over the causeway and back. Record time 30 minutes and only four other cars to content with.

We're just glad we made it across the border last week before things got worse. Now we just wait and watch to see what happens next with Bahrain.

Hugs, A

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Half Moon Bay.

I have beach babies who love the water and the sand.
I have a mom who loves the beach.
I also like the beach, not so much the process of packing to get there and unpacking the sandy mess after wards.

So this past weekend that's what we did. We packed up and went back to Half Moon Bay. This time there wasn't a blue jelly fish in sight. Just a few waves and some cold water.

Favorite photo of the day.
Walking out onto the sand bar. I'm not as far away as it looks, promise.
Check out the beginning of Owens tan line. Cutest farmers tan ever.I don't know how Mike talked the boys into getting in, but once they did they kept going back for me. Blue lips and all.Our good friends the Johnson's came out on this morning adventure with us bringing with them Owens favorite person, Louie. Every beach trip has a picture of Carter eating chips.We came and went before noon.
Perfect timing, because that's when the sea of abiyas come out.

Hugs, A