Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
More likely I won't feel settled into anything until the Little Monster starts sleeping through the night consistently. Just when I think I've finally figured it out and he sleeps all the way through, he's back to getting up 2 or 3 times a night. Ah well, this too shall pass.
More interestingly I had a really great visit with the in-laws. Yes, I am a lucky duck. My in-laws are great and we loved having them here for 10 days. They were troopers through the 11 hour time change and we did a few really neat things while they were here.
The most interesting of which was the tour of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque. The third largest Muslim place of worship in the world. It is the only one to open its doors to non-Muslims and the tour was fabulous. Not only was the building amazingly beautiful, but Mohammed, our tour guide, was welcoming and accepting of everyone (including the pushy bloke who repeatedly questioned the practice of keeping the prayer rooms separated by gender). He answered questions about the building, Islam or the local history and culture. It was all food for thought. No one should miss a visit to the Mosque while in Abu Dhabi including residents. It took me 10 months to get there, but I'm glad I went.
Maybe I am an official resident now having had our first visitors and visit to the Grand Mosque.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It took me several days to get ready for the month long trip. Planning, packing, planning, packing...
I edited and edited and stilled ended up probably taking too much stuff. I did some shopping ending up with more stuff, of course. So much for saving money this trip. At least we only had to stay in a hotel for one night the whole trip. I'd like to thank the makers of Claritin...
I couldn't help buying a few new clothes for myself and the kids. I just couldn't pass up the deals at Target for little girl. Oh and I stocked up on diaper duck refills. For those who haven't heard me rave about this scented diaper trash bags, they are one of the few things I really believe are a MUST have to contain the odoriferous mess of a new baby.
We had a fantastic visit with my in-laws including lots and lots of good Mexican restaurants. I ate my fill of Carne Asada and fish tacos. Now I really need to loose a few kilo.
As our Disney passes were set to expire, we spent two days at Disneyland. Little Girl hit a milestone at reaching 40 inches (102cm), and rode the Jumpin' Jellyfish ride. We also took her on Star Tours, which proved to be a mistake as she screamed and cried through the whole ride. Oops. I think my favorite ride was the new Toy Story ride in California Adventure. Lots of fun shooting balloons, plates, etc. from a moving cart with an electronic "gun".
After a couple of weeks with my in-laws and some wonderful visits with friends, including a visit to my high school and lunch with my French teacher. I went North of LA to see my sister and her family. Luckily it was a holiday weekend so we had a chance to enjoy her husband's fabulous barbecuing, get a manicure, go shopping, and have a pajama party with 5 kids under the age of 8 (my sister's three boys and my two kiddos).
I even managed to get to the pool to train with my sister and her triathlon coach. I enjoyed the workout so much, I'm going to start swimming here as soon as the jet lag has worn off and we're all sleeping.
Speaking of which, I think I'll try to take a nap while the house is quiet...
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The radiologist said that she had a sinus infection and Mastoiditis (infection of the temporal bone behind the ear). The optic never looks perfect. So hopefully the vision will just return to normal as the antibiotics clear up the infection. I'll keep you posted.
Monday, April 13, 2009
1. TAKE LESS STUFF
2. Bring travel size laundry soap so you can TAKE LESS STUFF
3. Check the airline policy before bringing the car seat on board and paying extra for an infant under the age of two. Etihad's policy is that the car seat MUST be forward facing. What a weird rule! Sitting in my lap is NOT safer than being in a rear facing car seat.
4. Business class is SOOO worth it on a long flight.
5. Don't leave things loose in the back of the taxi - you'll never see it again.
6. Check with your hotel and see if there are stairs. Just because there is an elevator doesn't mean you can get to your room (or even the front desk) without a flight of stairs.
7. TAKE LESS STUFF
8. Use goggle maps to plot your hotel. The website might not be accurate as to HOW LONG/FAR it is to the airport/train station, etc.
9. Definitely take a baby carrier like a sling, snuggli, baby bjorn, etc.
10. Don't bother with a big stroller, just bring the umbrella stroller and see if you can bring it on board to stow in the overhead - you might not get it back on the jet way and will have to carry your baby in the car seat you couldn't use on board all the way to the baggage claim.
11. TAKE LESS STUFF.
12. Just because your train ticket says Rome it doesn't mean that's what is the final destination of your train and therefore the name on the schedule board saying what platform you need to be on to get on your train.
13. Leave an hour and half OR MORE before the train leaves the station to get something to eat and find your train.
14. Don't bother trying to pee at the train station. It costs a Euro and takes WAY too long to find and get back to your train. Just wait for the train, the bathrooms on board aren't too bad.
15. First class train cabins are ALLLLL the way down at the far end of the train.
16. TAKE LESS STUFF.
17. Take Sara as your tour guide, she knows the travel books by heart so you can relax and follow her lead.
18. TAKE LESS STUFF so you can keep up with Sara.
19. One big room is cheaper than two small rooms.
20. Stay near the airport/train station and make day trips.
21. Just because the taxi driver says there is a meter, doesn't mean he really has one.
22. TAKE LESS STUFF
23. Take one pair of SUPER comfy shoes that you KNOW won't give you blisters.
24. You can see a lot more when you leave the kids at the hotel with their grandmother.
25. It is nice to have an excuse to take a break and do things at the kids pace.
26. Restaurants in Italy often don't open for lunch until noon, close at 3ish, and then don't open for dinner until around 7:30. Buy a few snacks to have on hand for little people.
27. TAKE LESS STUFF, but don't forget the camera (with extra batteries)!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This is when the universe shifted. My friend told me that what I needed in this situation was Wasta. At my puzzled look she explained that we needed someone with influence and the next thing I knew she was on the phone speaking arabic at increasing speed and volume. I almost got worried when she started making gestures with the hand not holding the phone to her ear. In a blur J and I were in a cubical drinking really nice cappuccino from china cups with an Emirati man with a warm smile and good things to say about his time working in the US and hearing promises of him taking the visa application to the Chief of Immigration himself. He told us that the Sheik (King/President) offered him the choice of working at Etihad and living near his family or going abroad as an ambassador. I really began to see how Wasta worked. This man's job as Government Relations Manager frequently includes smoothing the path where necessary.
That afternoon J and I gathered up the application and supporting documents, adding some changes that we had been thinking of making to the appeal letter based on the advice of another friend in the building who managed to get her mum a visa. The letter now said that Mom is widowed and has no sons to care for her. I also noticed that the copy of dad's death certificate and my birth certificate may never have made it out of the envelope from the translator into the last application. We took all these documents back to the Emirati gentleman, but missed him as he was needed at the airport to handle another situation. So we waited all weekend.
On Sunday, the first day of the work week, we took the documents back to HR. We made several trips back to HR that week to gather remaining documents, copies of Mom's passport, the 5000 dirham fee, Mom's actual passport, John signature on the forms, etc. Once we had a temporary visa, Mom needed to get the Medical FItness Test (AIDS test and TB xray). The Government Relations Manager had called ahead and had someone meet mom at the clinic for the testing who walked her through the process, jumping to the head of the lines in front of about 50 other women. We waited through another weekend for the results. As Sunday came and went and we still hadn't heard I got nervous, worrying that we wouldn't get her Fitness Certificate for some bizarre reason.
Finally we got the call, they had the certificate, but needed more documents, money or signatures (I'm starting to forget what they needed when - a checklist would have been REALLY handy). Tuesday we took the Medical Certificate downtown and purchased a cheap health plan. I took the receipt back to HR. They needed another two signatures from John so after getting those I met a man at the airport who works for the Governement Relations Manager and he took the application straight to immigration. Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon we got the call that Mom had her visa! Praise Allah!
This morning I ran down to HR again to pick up the passport and there was even more good news. Most visas of this type are good for one year, Mom's is good for three! Yippee!
Now we can go to Italy next week without worrying about visas! Now I don't have to worry about Mom making a visa run every thirty days and possibly not been let back in the country. I don't have to work full time to sponsor her myself. Whew! I would have gotten a job and probably would have been fine, but I just really don't feel ready to leave Little Man. It broke my heart thinking about it.
So now all we have to do is worry about Mom's health, but that's another story for another day...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The funny thing is that I'm sitting at the dining room table typing this. Little man is playing on the floor, Mom is across the table from me playing a word game on her computer, and J is next to me on his computer playing a silly Army Men video game. It's a cozy little group, kind of like toddlers all engaged in parallel play. We're playing at the same thing in near proximity, just not playing "together". Still I feel much more connected than if I was sitting here alone and Mom and J were in different rooms.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The momentary feeling of relief fades quickly as I see the papers the courier hands me. They are the whole application with a blue rubber stamp on the top page with a tick mark on one of the lines. All of the writing is in Arabic and there are no new pages. This doesn't look good How can I find out what it says?
I grab a few things and head outside. Maybe I can make it downtown to the legal translator before I need to be back to pick up Little Girl from school. Oh, but there HAS to be someone in the complex who can read this!
I stop by the computer room; no one there can read it, but someone suggests the Lebanese guy who works in the gym. So I walk over to that building. He's busy, but I leave the sheet and come back after Little man's nap, trying not to stress the whole time I'm waiting.
I head back and the girl at the desk says apparently he had trouble reading the hand written portion, but he could work out enough to tell me the appeal has been denied.
I spend the rest of the day wishing I had a liquor license and knew where to find the bottle shop (liquor store).
I'm feeling better today, but I still don't know why the visa was denied or really what our options are now, I suppose we could plan a cool trip every thirty days.
The mall will have a McDonalds, Applebee, a cafe and other restaurants and stores. I'm most excited by the hotel. It will be so nice to have a place within walking distance for guests. On the other hand we can host relatives in Mom's room and let her have the hotel room (and a break from us).
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Little man has slept through the night for the last three nights. Not just the technical 5 hours, really slept through the night. He has slept at least 8:30 to 6:30AM. Seriously! It's about time. He also is pulling up on everything, has 3 teeth (working on a few more), can hold is own bottle and has pretty much weened to the bottle. I'm a little bummed about the bottle thing, but unlike in the US I just don't feel that comfortable nursing in public and I'm not really the type to stay home.
Etislat finally came to hook up the internet after applying for it over a month ago, yelling at the guy at the kiosk in the mall (way to go Mom), and about 6 phone calls to "customer service". Our neighbor upstairs has been waiting for four months. I got to video chat with the in-laws so they could "see" the kids. Little man has changed so much since they saw him in December. The wireless isn't great, so tomorrow, I'll try plugging in with an ethernet cable.
We finally are having curtains installed. We've been in this apartment for two months with NOTHING on the living room, dining room and Little girl's windows. We put up the cheapest (pretty sheer) IKEA curtains in the master and Mom's room. I hope they look as good as I have pictured in my head. We'll know in about an hour when they finish installing. I have roman shades in the bay window in the living room and pinch pleat curtains everywhere else. They are fully lined so hopefully they will offer some sound and heat insulation as well as privacy.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
After reading the letters, the poobah at Immigration that hands out the numbers and sends you to the right counter, told us we needed an mpost and to go to counter 3. This mpost word had been thrown around before and we could not get anyone to explain what on earth it was, how long it would take or how much it would cost. Turns out and mpost is a tiny piece of paper (stamp) that you pay AED15 (about $5) for that says you paid AED 15. Hmmm - I still don't really know what it is, but a least it was cheap and only took us about 10 minutes to get since there is an office on site that does this.
At counter 3 we were told to go to counter 4. The man at counter 4 said that we still needed a statement from J declaring him to be responsible for Mom. Before, we had be told by several people (HR and immigration) we might need the US embassy to write a letter saying Mom was dependent on us; which just didn't seem right or possible, especially since it isn't completely true. Just by changing the word dependent to responsible we saw a ray of hope in the situation.
Mom and I went to the Canadian Embassy and finally had some one who's first language is English explain what we needed. Unfortunately, she said we really needed the US Embassy to do it since J is the one with the work visa to sponsor Mom. Yesterday Mom and J went to the US Embassy with the letter we wrote. They were able to get the US Embassy to authenticate the sworn statement that John signed in front of them (official seals, stamps, embossing, etc).
Today, Mom and I went back to Immigration. This time J was not home to watch the kids, so we dropped Little Girl at school and took Baby Boy with us (not ideal, but it was too late to arrange a sitter and too late to wait for another day). First we drove the rental car (smashed car is still in the shop) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get the UAE version of authentication stamp. That went well taking about an hour that mom and I spent having breakfast at Carrefour (walking distance from MFA). After picking up the newly authenticated document, Mom and I decided to take a cab instead trying to find a parking spot that late in the day at Immigration.
We found a line of taxis waiting outside Carrefour and went off to Immigration (baby boy fell asleep on the way) We got a number from the soldier next the poobah and quickly realized he had given us a "jump ahead in line" number. The counter was serving 436, but Mom had number 404. The gentleman that held 437 was NOT happy about this, especially since he had been displaced previously by a women with 402. I was across the room with a sleeping baby and couldn't help, but Mom held her ground! Way to go Mom!
Counter 3 guy sent us to Counter 4 guy (maybe he just has better English?) who told us we should have the newly authenticated document translated into Arabic. So we go back out front to the taxi stand. This time there isn't a line of taxis, but a line of people waiting. A woman in an Abaya (long black dress and head scarf) jumps the line when a cab finally shows up, we finally get one and head further downtown to the legal translator. The guy we normally use is booked up so we tried next door and we were able to talk her into doing it in an hour. So again we wait and eat lunch (lebanese shawarma- yum). After lunch we pick up the translation and take another cab back to Immigration.
There was a shift change so there wasn't a soldier next to poobah number guy and counter 3 and 4 had different people. This time Mom waited her turn, but it wasn't long. Again, baby boy had fallen asleep in the taxi, so he was nice and quiet. At counter 3 the man looked through all the papers and actually kept them. Which means we have ALL the papers they want. Whew! It only took 5 tries. I wish I could say that they issued a visa, but they didn't. It has to go to the appeal committee. I certain hope they convene soon (Sunday and Monday are holidays) and decide in our favor.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I wasn't feeling better this morning when I found out that the insurance company will NOT be covering the cost of a rental car while the van is in the shop. Oh, and the repair shop is a piece of work too. It was the sort of place where you take a look at the triple parked cars and decide to go straight home, only we couldn't as this really is the only place in town to get it fixed. Not 5 minutes after we parked the rental car did it get blocked in. J went to the office to check in the van and came back about about 10 minutes saying he had better take me home as this was going to take a while. There were about 20 men waiting to be helped an no one was paying any attention to him.
We weren't going anywhere any time soon as the rental car was seriously buried behind an SUV, so I played the woman card (more impact here in a muslim country) and told John to wait outside. I grab a service consultant and asked him to help me get the rental out. Then we commandeered him to check in the van too.
I decided to go downtown to the Marina mall in the rental this afternoon and discovered it is much more full efficient than our van since we got slammed with traffic from the convention in town. I have to say that shopping really is therapeutic. I was really pretty stressed out by the time we got all the way to the far side of the island where the mall is, but I felt pretty good when I got in the car to go home. And for what ever reason the trip home took only the regular 40 minutes instead of the 2 hours it took to get in. Bonus!
I'm looking forward to getting a TV and internet in the apartment so I can know about thing like a huge convention that has streets blocked off ahead of time. It would be nice not to have to sit on a concrete step too!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Ok Part II of my bad day. Little Girl is really sick. She had a really nice ice skating birthday (aside from a yucky blister on her ankle) but seemed a little off the next day taking a very long nap and having a bit of the sniffles. Monday morning she woke up with a raging fever and head to toe rash. I took her to the out patient clinic at the hospital and she had a blood test to confirm a bacterial infection. So she's on another antibiotic (we just finished the last dose from before when she fell down in the yucky bathroom), ibuprofen for the fever and an antihistamine for the rash. I'm worried about her, especially since she still has the fever. It goes down with the ibuprofen, but keeps coming back.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Yesterday I was hesitant to take the kids outside since the sand storm was so bad. It wasn't like you could feel the sand, it just hung in the air like fog. Everything is coated with a fine powdery dirt - except for the wobbly swath cut through it by Little Man's army crawl. I swept yesterday and this morning it looks like I haven't dusted in 15 years (for once that's not an exaggeration). Today I can see some blue if you look straight up, but it is still pretty hazy.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I'm starting to learn my way around but I did have another frustrating day of driving in circles. Of course it was bad enough that I ran into traffic and was going to be late to pick up Grace, but then it got worse. The fuel indicator light came on, then I missed the exit and got turned around and even more confused. The good news is that I ended up by home. The bad news is that I missed ANOTHER exit trying to get to the school from our neighborhood! We got Grace (she didn't notice that she was the last one picked up) and got fuel before running out, so really it wasn't that bad, but I think I would have bit your head off if you tried to tell me that in the heat of the moment.
I found out that it will cost 3500 dirham to fix my computer ($953). I guess I won't be getting it fixed for a while. Maybe I'll take it to the Apple store in the states on my next visit. It is looking like I'll be in California in May. I might make it to Colorado as well.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
My first trip behind the wheel was uneventful. It wasn't a big deal as long as J was there to navigate. So I ventured out to Carrefour with just Little Bean. I got there without incident, and had a grand time of browsing the aisle without worrying about anyone else. Coming home, however, I missed the exit. As I was figuring that out, I blew past the next exit. By the time I figured out I really needed to turn around I ended up on a road that didn't turn around, but sent me half way to Dubai (OK more like a quarter of the way) before I could get back to my exit. It's a learning process. It would be nice if things were labeled better, but it is probably easier than driving in Boston. Of course some of the drivers here would terrify any Bostonian. Lanes, rules, speeds all seem to be optional. There are very few left turns and LOTS of roundabouts. So you can see where you want to be, but you just can't get there. J pointed out the Facilities department building he was trying to get to before we arrived and noted that you can only get to it if you are going in the right direction and know where to take the unmarked exit...
I guess I better become an expert on the local landmarks quickly.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
So on to itunes. I purchased the few episodes available that I had not yet seen and then added a couple of shows for Grace including Dora and Babar. Well, I don't know if it is itunes or the lovely connection we have to the internet, but it took about 6 hours to download Dora - why I tortured myself twice (once to download and then again to watch the darn thing), I just don't know.
Now I'm sitting on the HARD tile floor in the computer room because all the chairs are taken (we should have internet in the apartment within a week - supposedly - I'm not holding my breath) and trying to get itunes to download the next Grey's. It keeps quitting for some reason. My cheeks are numb and ankles sore, but I refuse to give in and let the computer win. I will watch my crappy show and enjoy it! OK, it still has 2 hours to download, no 88 minutes, no 2 hours and my tush is starting to go beyond numb and into hurting. I can't really stay down here for two hours. Not if I'm going to get any sleep at all.
On another (and much more important) note, I may not have to go to work here after all. I probably will do some substitute teaching and I may consider working in a year or two, but I would really prefer to stay home until the little man is at least one, preferably three and in school. J went into HR and they said we should be able to get Mom's visa done if we get certain documents translated into Arabic and show that I have a permanent visa. We'll see. Rules here are more written in sand than stone. It all depends on to whom you are talking and who you are with at the moment. Apparently being a women alone can be an advantage in places that have lines. Hmmm... It is a balance between needing J to be there since he's the one employed and being better taken care of if we don't have him around - WEIRD.
Oh! itunes says only 12 more minutes. Maybe I'll make it if it doesn't crash again! I hope I didn't jinx it by putting it down in writing.
Monday, January 26, 2009
On another note, last night J and I were speaking to another pilot when he mentioned he was enrolling his son at the Canadian International School and that they were accepting new students and looking for teachers. We visited today. We might be able to get Grace in this year, but we definitely can get her a spot for next fall. They don't have any need for a full time teacher this year, but can use me as a sub and then get me on full time in the fall. I would just have to get the right paperwork with the right stamps to the right people. Ugh! I don't know how anyone gets anything done around here! I left my teaching portfolio in my basement in CO in an unmarked box in storage room that is packed to the rafters. I have NO idea which box has my diploma in it either.
So another paperwork nightmare begins...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
So barring the spit up, things were going pretty smoothly. I took a cool picture of the sunrise over the mosque which I've uploaded it to Facebook. I got LB (my daughter) dressed and out the door on time for school. J (husband) and Mom dropped LB at school and went on to try to get Mom her visa.
While they were gone I thought I'd have a leisurely breakfast. I got the oatmeal made, tea brewing and bread toasting. Then Little Man started to fuss, of course. So I put him in the high chair and made him some cereal, while my breakfast cooled, thinking I could eat and feed him at the same time. Ha! He was crying and fussing by the time I had it made so I left my breakfast to chill while I attempted to feed him. Nope, not happening. He just fussed and cried some more. So I took him out of the highchair, while my oatmeal congealed, tea turned bitter (I left in the tea bag) and toast grew stale and fed him "from the tap". The good news is that he only spit up a little bit and fell asleep.
He slept in the pack-n-play, which is so much more convenient than my arms. I was able to dress and groom myself in peace! I even got some cleaning and laundry done.
The bad news came when Mom and J got home. Regardless of the "no problem" attitude and J's employer, there will be no more sponsoring of in-laws. Mom can't be hired as a nanny because she's American. Huh? My guess is Americans are too expensive. So Mom will stay on a visitor's visa, making a trip out of the country every thirty days while we appeal (not likely to change anything) or Mom or I get a job. I don't think it would be difficult for me to find a job (J was asked if I was interested in a job when he signed LB up for school), but I would have preferred to stay home with the baby. We're going to see if there is anything available for mom first. Double Rat Farts!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I've been spending the last few days doing laundry and trying to find places to put things. I hope DH doesn't mind me rearranging his piles to put things away or at least hide them. I've decided that the apartment is far too bare and empty to have piles of junk. In our old house, it blended in and didn't look quite so bad, but when you've got an expanse of shiny tile floor that pile of crap really stands out.
Hubby's friends received their shipment from their last house so they have stuff flowing out the front door into the common hallway. They've decide they didn't need two little white computer desks and we've promised to put them to good use. At last a receptacle for the paper pile. The file cabinet I bought should help too... as soon as I get some hanging file folders.
In a few days we'll receive a delivery from IKEA with a couch, arm chair, footstool and 3 bookcases. We took home a coffee table and a child size table and chairs. I'm not entirely happy with the couch color. I really wanted a particular couch because I found it to be the most comfortable, but there wasn't a huge selection of colors. So I found myself making what I think of as a very American choice. Denim blue and the chair is blue and white strip. Oh well, I can also have a cover made for it later.
Maybe the same guy that made our friend's curtains can make covers for the white dining room chairs that aren't white anymore. It didn't take long, did it? I think I'll have him make roman blinds for our living room windows and curtains for the bedrooms. So much saving money!
I'm going out to a different grocery store this afternoon. I'll write tomorrow about that little adventure.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Of course IKEA arrived exactly when they said they would. So I have my mattress pad and a couple of bookcases. I think I need about 20 more of those bookcases. Where do you put things when there are no coat closets, linen closets, basement or garage??? I have NO idea where I'm going to put anything when my 20 boxes arrive from the states.
After lunch we finally got going to the medical center around 3. It was NOT easy to find. Especially since it wasn't in the building we were told. There is a whole block of hospitals and medical centers and the immigration health tests are held in the Disease Prevention and Screening building (not exactly the same as the preventative medicine department at Khalifa Medical Center). Let's not even get into the dead ends, one way streets and parking lots with random double parked vehicles.
Once we were in the right place it all went smoothly and efficiently. The women's screenings are on a separate floor from the men so J couldn't go past the first waiting room. First, I got a number by presenting a copy of my entry visa and passport. Then I waited in line in a different room to pay 250Dhm. Once I had paid and had my picture taken, I went through another door and waited for the next available phlebotomist to draw blood. After that was done, it was through another door to wait for the next x-ray technician. She told me to take off my sweater and bra, but leave on my t-shirt....OK... After the chest x-ray (I'm pretty sure I don't have TB), I went through yet another door and ended up in the same waiting room where you pay and then out to the main waiting room where all the men are hanging around waiting (ironic). I have to go back today after 4 to get the results so I can take them to J's company's HR department for my permanent visa application.
After all that, I made a quick (ha ha ha) trip to Carrefour. J waited in the car so I got to go aisle by aisle as slowly as I wanted without anyone sighing or whining. It was really quite pleasant even if it was busy there. Of course I spent way too much time and way too much money, but there you go. I came home to a hot dinner (THANK YOU MOM!!!) and kids in jammies.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I'm starting to reevaluate my shopping priorities. Maybe curtains should be higher on the list. Right now the top of the list is a couch.
Today J got home about 2AM from his trip. He's sleeping in, but I can't afford to let him have a day off. We need to get to the medical clinic to get my blood test done for my residency. I need to be able to drive! I'm going stir crazy feeling trapped. I guess I could have taken a cab somewhere yesterday but I didn't really NEED to go anywhere.
We also need to go to the grocery store. We're running out of things we can eat without a stove. Maybe they'll really hook it up today. Maybe...
Sunday, January 18, 2009
At 8AM I called the gas man and... he answered! Woo Hoo! Even better he said he'd come today at 1PM. Wouldn't that be nice. I'm not exactly holding my breath.
Grace is staying home again from school today. I don't think her teacher would want to deal with her, umm... toilet issues...
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I used this morning to clean a bit. It seems like every time I turn around there is a layer of very fine dust on everything. So I vacuumed and mopped and scrubbed anywhere the baby had been eating. I haven't figured out what to use on the very shiny tile floors. The all purpose cleaner left streaks. So one more thing to adjust to, how to clean...
This afternoon the gas man should come to hook up my stove, or cooker as they are called here. IKEA should also deliver my mother's bed and mattress. At least the air mattress she's been sleeping on is high quality.
Back from another crazy day of shopping. Went to IKEA and got
stuff and ordered stuff. I got my bucket arm chair to sit in. We got
laundry hampers, shower curtains, room curtains and enough stuff to
fill a cart. We're having 3 shelving units delivered along with a
mattress pad to cushion my side of the bruiser of a firm mattress that
my dear hubby (DH) picked.
OMG! It's the 15th. We had the stove, washer and dryer delivered and
installed today. Simple right? Wrong! The stove is gorgeous, too
bad I still can't use it. That's right, we have a gas line, but we
need someone to hook it up. The good news is that we're finally doing
a load of laundry. The bad news is that tomorrow starts the weekend
so it will be Sunday the 18th before someone can hook up the stove. I
think the last time I cooked a meal was about the 5th or 6th. I just
want to have a home cooked meal, nothing fancy, just spaghetti or
DH is out trying to find a hardware store that will sell him anchors
for the concrete walls so he can hang the curtains. I'm really looking forward to knowing where things can be purchased and even more driving myself there. I can't drive our car until I have a UAE drivers license. I can't get a drivers license until I get my permanent residency. I can't get my permanent residency until I get my blood test. I can't get my blood test until I drive down to the clinic, but I don't have a drivers license! I guess I'll will wait until my DH is available to drive me, not that I can shop by myself until I get a bank card in my name...
but I do look forward to the days when they both sleep through the
night and stay asleep until a reasonable hour.
My daughter wants to go swimming again so here we are at 7:00 AM and
she's already in her bathing suit. I told her we need to wait for
either her dad or nana to get up to watch her brother. It think I've
stalled her for at least an hour or so. In the meantime, we've got
catch up homework. Yep, my 3 year old has homework. Her teacher
wants her to do the worksheets that the other kids have done in
class earlier this year like tracing letters, circling words with the same beginning
I've been trying to get this place tidied up which is difficult when there really isn't anyplace to put anything. I did notice something
last night. All the piles seemed to have only one person's things, my
Yesterday was Friday and the first day of the weekend. We went down to the Corniche where they have a family playground with another pilot and his family. One of the climbing structures is shaped like a pirate ship. The kids had a blast playing. Then we walked down the waterfront to a cafe for lunch. It is really beautiful here. One thing that was a little different was that the cafe was on the men's beach which is separated from the ladies and family beach by a solid wooden fence. Apparently single men can not be trusted around women in bathing suits.
After lunch we went to IKEA again. We were going to take the kids in with us, but after a morning of romping on the playground both fell asleep in the car. Nana stayed in the car while hubby and I ran in and got a couple of things. I've been actually cold in the middle of the night.
When I arrived in Abu Dhabi my husband had purchased mattresses, fitted sheets, pillows and pillow cases and a couple of very light weight bed spreads. They are not in fact any thicker than a sheet. He did buy our daughter a complete comforter and duvet cover, and my mother got her own at the first IKEA trip. I
was waiting until I choose a bed to decide what duvet cover I wanted, but
I gave in and bought something yesterday. I got black and white so
hopefully it will go with any bed we choose.
I also got extra pillows, light bulbs for mom's IKEA lamp, more drawer
bins... I don't know what I'd do without IKEA! I've started a very long wish list. The top of the list has sofas and more storage units, but a bed would be nice too.