Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Fall

For the longest time Spring was my favorite season, but over the past couple of years something about Fall appealed more to me. Maybe it was living in the foothills in SC? The changing of the leaves was a stunning and beautiful sight! Hans and I used to go on hikes in the state parks and just breathe in that crisp Autumn air! I miss getting dressed up in cozy sweaters and drinking apple cider and coffee!

Oct. 31 at our fall festival

This year I was determined to have that "fall" experience. Even though we are living in the desert, I wanted to have leaves, pumpkin lattes, and a fall festival. So, we did just that! Yeah, it had to be a little more creative, but it was totally worth it!

Prizes at the festival and making fall crafts

We have a walled-in courtyard that surrounds our house. This was a perfect spot to host a mini fall festival. The kids came dressed up in there sweet little costumes! We had games with prizes. There was face painting. And instead of decorating pumpkins the kids decorated oranges. Like I said we had to get creative. I think in years past expats living here carved watermelons! We even made our own paper leaves :) Oh, and Lexi's favorite: we had CANDY! She loves some candy!

Thank you B.H. for taking these pics! I was too busy running around to even pull out my camera. So a huge thank you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

CSI Birthday Party

There was a murder at the local hotel. A yard tile was the weapon. The victim? A well-loved local signing icon... who done it? Lead CSI Hans spent the night questioning the hotel guest and staff. Was it the cleaning crew seeking to earn some money for the side job? Or perhaps it was the rival and ever-famous Omar? If not them, maybe it was one of the hotel guest annoyed by the late night concerts?

some of the guests and hotel staff

the body
the crime scene with hand-made tape; yeah, we have to make most things from scratch!

yummy cake made by Traci
It wasn't me. 
 Surprise Hans! Happy Birthday! We had a CSI themed party this year for Hans. It was a lot of fun watching our friends get into character! Best part? Hans had no idea! Everyone showed up dressed differently than normal. And Hans had to change too once I announced what his party was :) He was skeptical at first, but I think he ended up having a lot of fun trying to solve the crime! Thanks to my friend, Traci for whipping up the story! She did an awesome job! And Jully and Raquel, you two were fantastic! Thank you SO much for all of your help! Could not have pulled this off with out you ladies. Jordan took these wonderful pictures (even while being sick!) Also, for everyone who made food, here's a shout out to you: Shout! It was a fun party :)
our very own CSI lead investigator

Sunday, November 11, 2012

KG is 4 months

Kristopher Graham turned 4 months on Oct. 19! I know, I know, it is almost November 19th now. It has been a busy month! Asking for grace, as I know that this post is overdue. At least I took his photos!

Sleeping: Sleep, what's sleep? Haha! KG can recharge in about 5 minutes! He is like a bear. One night he is great and sleeps (hibernates) 8 hours in the night. Then the next 2 or 3 nights he sleeps for around 5 hours, waking up every 2 1/2 hours. He is still happy so I assume he is getting enough sleep. This poor mommy on the other hand is like a walking zombie! His morning nap is in his swing. And the afternoon nap really only happens if someone is holding him. Better go to the bathroom before getting him to sleep! Because handing him off wakes him.

going back to sleep in mommy's bed after first morning meal
Eating: He LOVES to eat! But, he only cries at night for milk. During the day I just have to pick up on his hunger cues. (Like when he starts sucking widely on my shoulder!) So during the day he eats about every 4/5 hours. And at night it just varies on if it is his sleeping night or not. Thankfully he is much faster at nursing. It used to take him like 45 minutes! I am still adjusting to his peanut allergy. Hoping if I am super diligent about avoiding them, that he will grow out of it.

Clothes: He is obviously eating enough, because he is in 6-9 month clothes! He is not so much pudgy as he is just long. And I know that the cloth diapers give his booty a bit more um-ph! Still, it is crazy how big he is compared to Alexis when she was his age. He is wearing some of her socks from last summer!

Likes: Bath time is a favorite for Kristopher. He likes not wearing clothes (or a diaper!) And he loves it when his sister plays with him.  He enjoys tummy time, which as become rolling around time! He can roll both ways now. And he LOVES to chew! Oh, and he likes riding in the stroller like a big boy! He likes to people watch! KG likes me. > Not trying to sound boastful about this fact. Its just that he usually cries if anyone else holds him. He pokes his little lip out slowly, then that little lip starts to quiver, and then the tears flow! Its like his feelings are hurt that I would pass him off to someone else! I love holding him, but it would be helpful if he would warm up to others! <

being silly
Baby items we are thankful for: the swing, the Boba baby carrier, my chewbeads necklace, Alexis' pink baby blanket. She gave him her back-up blanket in the car one day hoping it would quiet his crying and he took to it! Now whenever he is really upset it is the one thing that calms him. Maybe I should dye it blue?
     And believe it or not, I am thankful for his cloth diapers. Say what?! For those of you who know me, you know how much I hate doing laundry. I don't mind putting the clothes in the wash, I just dislike folding and putting them away. Strangely I enjoy diaper laundry! Maybe because it makes me feel like I am doing it for him? Funny how motherhood can change you :) I also love that it is helping us save on the cost of disposables.

This little man loves to smile and play! We had to get this after we found him trying to escape from his carseat!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

water in the desert

     This is a Monday in the Middle East post. Sorry it has been a few weeks since I last wrote. Two weeks ago it was Hans' birthday and last week we were really busy, so this is the first time I have been able to blog. And I am trying to finish it quickly in hopes that it might still be late Monday night somewhere?! haha! But not to worry, if you were sad about not having a post to read these past couple of weeks, there will be a number of post over the next few days :)

     Great news! We are getting city water! I have been doing my happy dance since finding out this bit of information. Now I can wash dishes, fill up the bath tub for Alexis, wash clothes, and yes, even flush the toilet without the fear that I may not have enough water. Up until this point we had to call to have our water delivered by truck. The water man drives up in his water truck, connects it to a pipe outside and it pumps into a large holding tank. There is also a tank on the roof (I think this is to help with water pressure.) Because the tank sits out in the hot sun, it is normal in the summer for the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet to scalding. Washing clothes in the day is a no-no, unless you want your colors to fade, and your clothes to shrink! I usually wake up around 6AM to put in a load of clothes because I figure by then the water will have cooled off a bit from the night air. I am not sure how the city water works as far as temperature goes, but I do know that the endless supply of water will be wonderful! Our outside tank is usually enough for 10 days or so... but we have been caught during a holiday week without any water because our water man was off work.  During that week we had to use some of our drinking water to give Alexis and Kristopher bathes. True Story.

Our drinking water
refills (and sometimes bath water)
Outside water tank

A water truck getting refilled at the spring and ready to bring fresh water. One truck load is enough for one tank. So they have to refill after each house. 
     One of the things we have learned since being in the Gulf is the importance of water. I have heard some Arabs say that water is a greater natural resource than oil. And the more water a country has, the more prosperous they are considered; this is why countries like the UAE build massive water fountains  everywhere. The malls in Dubai have the most impressive fountains that I have ever seen!  Alexis loves to see them. Really, these pictures do not even do them justice.

The Dubai fountain
Alexis  calls it "The Splash"

This one is inside the Dubai mall and is 3 stories high!
But, in seeing all this water, I am reminded of how "dry" it really is, and how little water seems to be flowing... Praying for His water to flow abundantly. 

This is the view from my front door

 "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams." Isaiah 44:3-4