Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween! 

Our first Halloween in Saudi and our first Halloween with this adorable and cuddly bear....

That was Graham's original Halloween costume but it is a little tight so I was only able to squeeze him into it for about ten minutes before he started complaining. I bought while I was in Abu Dhabi (9-12 month size) thinking it would fit but in six weeks it was way too small. He is so cuddly though!

Since I can't find a pumpkin to do pumpkin carving...well, I found one but it was $50 for something that looked like it came from the pumpkin family but not really....I tried to think of a fun thing to do with Peyton. We tried making paper bag jack-o-laterns and well...they turned out kind of scary and weird. But it was fun and Peyton didn't know the difference!

I managed to convince Peyton to wear a new Halloween costume since she has worn her mermaid to every other event and it worked and so she was a pirate tonight! She kept telling me she was Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney. 

We then loaded up the other pirate and set out for Trick or Treating! I wish I planned better and made the wagon into a boat with a sail but I didn't think of it until we had already started! I need to plan better  next year especially since everyone here goes all out and even decorates their golf carts (what a lot of people use as their primary transportation around camp).

Peyton went house to house and did great with saying "Trick or Treat" and "thank you" and "Happy Halloween." She loved it and was full of energy and all about "getting more candy." She was so independent and went to every house "by myself."

This little pirate stayed in the ship and took in the sights. He lasted about 30 minutes or so and then headed back with Daddy to get his treat...some milk! They handed out candy at our house while Peyton and I stayed with a group of her friends and went to some more houses. 

We ended up with tons of candy and had a great time with friends. I loved seeing how much our community got into Halloween and was so impressed with how many people were out handing out candy. It was nice to see that community feel. 

And...this is a picture I found in Peyton's backpack that she did at school. I was so impressed with how well she did staying in lines, coloring things the appropriate is my new favorite picture!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Party

We headed to a Halloween party tonight and had so much fun! 

Since everyone has kids around the same age it was a kid friendly party but we still decided to get a sitter for Graham so he could stick to his routine and mostly so John and I could just have fun and not worry about him since Peyton would be playing with her friends!

Peyton wore her mermaid costume...

John pulled together some stuff and was a farmer.....

I made a dark fairy costume from stuff I found at a craft store.....including a tutu that took much longer than anticipated!

We had a blast hanging out with friends, meeting people's spouses and just relaxing! I have been hanging out with a bunch of ladies for awhile and we never end up meeting each others spouses so it is nice to get together, meet everyone and hang out. We laughed that we were one of the few American/Canadian couples and were largely out numbered by our Scottish and British friends! Funny how it has ended up that those are the friends that I spend a large amount of my time with! It was also strange that being here, I am primarily responsible for picking friends/people to be around as opposed to back in Texas where we would meet people as couples and then hang out individually. I have so much time during the day and meet people more easily due to convenience than John so I tend to be the one to make social plans for us. So, when he hasn't gotten to meet everyone and this is the first time...I get kind of nervous and hope he likes my friends! He did and had tons of fun but for sure a new dynamic!

I also had to laugh at how silly I felt in my costume! It is one thing to be an adult walking around in a costume in the states but in Saudi I am sure it looks even more strange! When the babysitter came to the door I quickly explained why we were all dressed up. She laughed and told us to have a good time but I am sure she thought we were crazy.

The host made amazing food....she had eye ball rice crispy treats, finger shortbread cookies, dips in the shape of brains and she went all out! So crafty and well done! And tons of scary decorations! A fun way to kick off Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Midweek Ramblings...

Some random moments from our week.....
  • This week has been better than last which was needed. We are learning that we need to find contentment and joy with where we are and are praying for that! I am also praying and looking for ways to feel purposeful with the time I have. Part of it will be pursuing interests such as photography but I need a place to serve and love on people. And it might not look like it did in the past or in the way I though it would but something has come up which I am excited about...see below for more details!
  • Friday night we went for a walk and then to the grocery store and while we walking we noticed the barber shop was still open. John needed a trim and so he went in and instead of just a cut he went ahead and took off a whole lot more. He had been talking about doing it for awhile and finally just went ahead with it. Graham took several looks at him when he came out and about the third look finally smiled. I love it and think he looks so handsome!

  • John and I have been talking about how we have been struggling with contentment and finding joy in where you are in life. We would like to do a study together. Anyone have any suggestions on a good study we could do together? I was thinking about ordering something to be waiting for me at my moms and then I could scan and send John the pages for the week or maybe he could get the ebook and we could do it together (through skype, email etc) while I was away. It would be nice to have that time apart to contemplate but would also be good to have something to do together and grow together even if we are apart. Any suggestions? 
  • Peyton had a cough over the weekend and woke up sounding worse so I ended up keeping her home from school on Saturday and took her to the clinic. The pediatrician is out on vacation so we saw another doctor and I was surprised how well he did with her. She has a slight bronchial infection, got some antibiotics and we were on our way...paying nothing! It is always nice to leave with a doctor's visit, antibiotics and not have to pay.
  • This is the weather report for today but it is pretty representative of what it has been lately...check out those lows! It has been amazing! I never thought that highs in the mid 90's would feel so good!
  • Sunday afternoon we went to Moms and Tots which is an organization here. They have there own meeting house provided by the company and it is run by volunteers. I have become friends with both of the moms that run it and they have been looking for some more people to step up and become leaders. They approached me and I am really looking forward to being involved with something meaningful and have something to fill my time. I feel so useless here. What I love about getting involved with Moms and Tots is that it is the first place new moms go when they move here and where they start to meet people. I know how hard it is when you move here and would love to be able to serve these moms at that time in their life. I am excited and look forward to when I come back getting involved, being accountable for something and just having some more purpose!
  • Here are some random photos I forgot I had on my phone though....I found this hat at the H&M Qatar and tried it on Graham...he is so handsome! Daddy didn't let us get it though and said we could look in Saudi and of course...Saudi doesn't have!
  • Tuesday I was supposed to have a riding lesson and the baby sitter never showed which was really upsetting. I was looking forward to that all week and really sad when I didn't get to go. And it made me feel like maybe this is something that just needs to wait until the kids are older and in school.
  • Because I was down about the missed lesson, Tuesday night I just needed to get out so we went into Khobar. I went to find some ring to use as a faux wedding ring since I realized the other day that the prong on my engagement ring is really bent and then my wedding ring (which I have been missing a diamond from for awhile) feels like the stones are loose. So, to prevent losing more stones I took them off but I don't want to be without any ring for the two months I am away so I found something at the silver museum for a whole $13 that will work in the meantime.
  • We went to eat at Outback! They just opened one here and it tasted just as wonderful as back home! They were really great with the kids which made a huge difference. They brought Peyton's food first, brought her a balloon when they noticed her getting restless, coloring books and it was such a nice time out. Graham sat on the bench side and enjoyed some bread...
  • After dinner we went to our favorite grocery store and picked up some snacks for the trip home, some meat to last us until I leave and then some more veggies/fruits to make Graham baby food to last until we leave. Peyton and Graham sat in the police car shopping cart and played together the whole time. They play so well together now and I love it! They entertain each other constantly and it is wonderful to watch. Graham adores Peyton and thinks she is hilarious and she just does so well interacting with him. 
  • I started to pack/gather/organize for our trip home and realized that Graham has hardly anything for our trip home and all my sweaters etc don't fit so looks like I will be ordering some stuff online to be sent to my moms house waiting for us. Old Navy is having a sale though which helps. Peyton hasn't grown much from last year so she has stuff left from last year and I got her a couple of things the other week so she is set which is nice.
  • This weekend we have a Halloween party to attend which I still haven't finished my costume for and then Peyton has a birthday party to attend. 
  • Then one more week...a Halloween party at school, a pre trick or treat party at our house, hopefully a trip to see friends in Jubail and then one more weekend (which we will hopefully be spending lounging by the pool with a margarita in Bahrain) and we leave to see G and Papa!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping...

This weekend was a very busy weekend which is sometimes nice because it helps pass the time and it also means I have just two more weekends until I am back in the States!

My weekend started off with a Indian Night hosted by the Indian Women's Group here on camp. It was an evening of presentations about India, their culture, traditional outfits and dances and my favorite...homemade Indian dishes! I LOVE Indian food and it was delicious! It was a nice Girls Night Out as I went with a group of ladies and enjoyed something different. I wish I took more pictures but I only brought my little point and shoot camera and it was not working well with flash and I just got frustrated. I should have brought my camera. It was a nice night out and it made me very appreciative of the group of people I have found here and get to hang out with!

The Thursday morning we headed down to Khobar to do lots of errands. We had a very detailed plan (written out to every 30 minutes) to make sure to hit every store we needed to before 11:26 AM when prayer starts and everything (besides a select few stores and the grocery stores) close until 4:00 PM.

So this is how our day went...and how most shopping trips have to go...speedy, in and out and no time for relaxing!
  • 7:30 AM - Load up car with everything we put together the night before including a cooler in case we decide to get groceries. Start loading up everyone. Get Graham to sleep, Peyton her movie and I find my abaya and get settled
  • 8:00 AM - Leave the house...I had the keys in my hand at one point and Peyton sternly reminded me that daddy drive us...Mommy "no drive in Saudi." Thanks for that reminder...I am pretty sure the security guards at the gate would have reminded me and not allowed me to pass through.

  • 9:00 AM- Arrive at Silver Museum in the souks to pick up Christmas presents I ordered a couple of weeks ago. Store isn't open yet...wait....finally around 9:15 AM they open. I run in, John stays in the car with the kids. I get the gifts, buy two more and then run out...we are already behind schedule.

  • 9:25 AM - Program GPS for next stop, Zamils craft store. It isn't far away but it is on the outer parts of the souk and kind of tricky to get to. 
  • 9:35 AM- Get to Zamils and start to look for supplies to make a fairy costume for me for a Halloween party we have next week. I managed to find wings, spray paint, different colors of tulle to make a tutu and we are set. I am going to be a dark fairy so lots of black, glitter and hints off dark purple. Also pick up fabric to make an bandana and a straw hat for John's farmer costume. Total cost for everything $35! 
  • 10:15 AM- Run back to car, jump in and off to Toys R Us to try and shop before prayer.
  • 10:25 AM- Run into Toys R Us, shop for new toys for Peyton. She hasn't gotten new toys in forever and I really wanted to get some more age appropriate toys. We find some stuff but like always are disappointed in the selection/quality so I will be shopping again in either Bahrain or back in the states.
  • 11:00 AM- Head out of Toys R Us and run down to a wrapping paper store. Picked up some wrapping paper/boxes and walk to Ikea.
  • 11:15 AM - Realized we made it to Ikea before prayer so we run upstairs and grab some food before they close down.
  • 11:26 AM - Ate during prayer and then picked up a toy shelf/storage thing and headed out.
  • 12:00 PM - Decided to not go to the grocery store and headed home for a quick change before heading back out shopping to a bazaar at a friends camp.

That afternoon/evening we went to a bazaar at our friends the Perry's camp and got to shop, play with Gavin and chat with friends. I found a beautiful drawing/etching of a woman in traditional bedouin dress riding a camel which I am excited about getting framed and up in our house (I will try to remember to add a picture of it later). We also got cute personalized cups that my friend Lindsey was selling. Peyton of course picked a dinosaur to be on hers and wanted nothing to do with the flowers and girl stuff. It turned out really cute as she got a blue dinosaur and her name in pink and it totally suits her. Lindsey made one for me to use as a display so I got one for free and then John got a Longhorn one.

And yes....when we came home and put them out we realized we should have gotten one for Graham. But we are working on getting one for him so he won't feel left out!

Then towards the end of the night we managed to end up in the carpet room. We didn't intend on buying a carpet but decided to look around and see what was there. I started to look at runners since we don't have one and we have a long hallway we could put one in. The guy kept showing all these persians and silk blends that I didn't like and then finally came to the hand knotted wool carpets. He showed me one and I loved it! I showed John, he liked it, they bartered...a whole lot and we came away with a great deal on a carpet! We decided it would be our 5 year anniversary gift which has even more meaning because my parents bought us a carpet for our enagagement/wedding that has our name on it and has various symbols in it related to a prosperous, long and blessed marriage. They bought it while in Azerbaijan. Well, now five years later we were able to buy our own carpet! We have several other carpets from my parents and their time in Azerbaijan but it is excitig and fun to buy your own!

I was even more excited when I showed my mom who has plently of experience shopping for carpets and she she loved it and said that we got a good deal and told me more about the details in the carpet and why some carpets are more than others and what to look for and apparently I picked a good one!

I tried to get pictures of all the kids in the carpets but I was not having much luck. I remember shopping for carpets all the time and my parents taking me to these random carpet shops down alleys and sitting in there drinking tea and having a blast. I look forward to exploring the souks and creating similar memories with my kids....but I decided to ease them into it by starting at a very westernized bazaar!

Oh...and when we got it home...Peyton saw it leading to her room and exclaimed, "wow, it is so pretty, thanks mom and dad, I love my rug." John almost died!

A busy but good weekend....two more to go and then I will be spending my weekends browsing Target while sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte! Mmmmm...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Midweek Ramblings...

This week has been such a roller coaster. With being excited and feeling great about riding again to the very next day just crying with frustration and hatred (yes I know that is a strong word) for where we are right now. As dramatic as it sounds, unfortunately I feel like that roller coaster and constant up and down is way too much of the norm here.

Lets recap some random moments of the week and document the highs and lows....
  • High- I did a photo shoot of triplets about a week and half ago. I finished up the edits and sent the gallery to the mom and she LOVED them. Tons of praise and I was so pleased with how they turned out considering it was only my second shoot and my first doing babies...and there were three of them!
  • Low- we no longer have swimming lessons as the coach is taking some personal leave. Which means nothing to do two afternoons a week. I was planning on just taking Peyton myself and keeping with the consistent routine of having a babysitter come for Graham and we go but the first time we tried, she said she didn't want to swim without her teacher and she was scared of the big pool which is so far from the truth. In the end we left early, frustrated because she wouldn't even play and I told the babysitter we would call her when we got back because I didn't want to pay her and have the hassle of all of it if Peyton wouldn't even play at the pool.
  • Low- I locked myself out of the house while I was leaving to get Peyton from school which meant I couldn't get in the car to drive to the other side of camp. John also left his keys at home that day so he got a ride to the lock out office while I walked to get Peyton from school. A friend saw me walking and gave me and Graham a ride which was a huge help but it didn't help my already bad...I have had it with
  • High- Riding on Sunday day night for the first time forever and then my lesson on Tuesday. My lesson was so much fun and both the riding instructor and I had a blast. She teaches a lot of beginners/kids here so she had fun teaching me and able to use "real" horse riding words. We had fun! I am amazed at how easily it has come back and I just love being out at the stable and soaking it all in.
  • Low...really, really big and consistent low- Childcare or the lack of it. I stayed home before we came so I know what it is like but I don't know if it is the addition of another baby, living here, the removal of conveniences such as quick outings to give you a break, grandparents or maybe it is a combination of everything but I am going crazy. I am so drained and so worn out from parenting....yes, feel free to say that all parents are. I am also frustrated with the availability of all these great amenities such as great exercise classes, horse riding but yet I can't do them because I have Graham in the mornings while Peyton is at school. Or I can't ease the burden of grocery shopping during the week because I have both of them and there is no bus that leaves to get me back before Peyton gets out of school or leaves after school. It has worked out great with a consistent person for when we do swimming but now if I want to ride in the mornings which is when my lesson was this week because the riding instructor has no availability at night time and the babysitter can't come in the mornings, I have to find a different person. So, now I have two different people coming for a total 6 hours a week and it takes to much coordination and reliance on too many different people and schedules. I also hate that Graham is just the one that just is passed off. I never have a break from being mom. I have no where to go by myself or go do something by myself and now with the possibility of riding being that outlet the whole childcare issue comes back up. And honestly some things that are supposed to be "fun" and breaks such as play dates/coffee gatherings are not all that fun when you are dealing with a toddler and a baby while everyone else just has one child (either they are only children or the other one is off somewhere at a friends house, their husbands work weird schedules so they are home for two weeks and then gone for three nights (pilots) or at home with the nanny). I don't ever get to visit, relax and so it is really hard to get to know people without always looking like the frazzled/overwhelmed/crazy lady....which is pretty much a true description.
  • High- We had two really fun play dates. One was a Halloween party we went to and then yesterday we had some friends over to play. Since I had everyone over here it was easier on me for sure. I was able to get Graham to nap before they came and he woke up about half way through but I had all my toys/stuff to entertain him. It was a fun afternoon and I love hosting/setting up the table with fun decor and it was a nice afternoon.
  • Low- I am frustrated with losing weight from my pregnancy with Graham. Not so much the lack of progress because honestly I haven't put much effort into it. Not because I don't want to but because I don't have the time. I learned from Peyton that I have to work hard to lose the weight and I don't have the time to do it here. Well, I do have the time...lots of time in the mornings while Peyton is at school...I actually spend two to three mornings a week bored at home because I have nothing to do BUT I can't do anything because I have Graham. There is no childcare at the gym, too hot to run and so I don't work out and sit at home being down. And the afternoons get filled up with play dates and by the time John gets home I am so worn out from dealing with kids at play dates, swimming etc (and Peyton is no longer napping) that I just want to curl up in bed and forget about the day.
  • High - I get to see G and Papa and spend lots of time away from Saudi in 18 more days! And we are pretty busy with some stuff these next couple of weekends which is good. At this point I would leave early if it wasn't for some of the plans coming up and I know they will only help us feel more connected and make this feel more like home...some of the things I am looking forward to are ladies night with the Indian Women's Group who are hosting a "Night in India," an adult Halloween party, Halloween with Peyton and Graham, a baby shower, more riding lessons, a bazaar and one last trip to Bahrain to spend time as a family relaxing before I fly out.
I hate being so down and blah about living here and I keep praying that I find peace in where we are. None of this makes sense right now to John and I and we love to plan, know the answers and so this unknown...and five months of so hard. Why are we here? How can we make this work better because right now it isn't. And of course the same day that I just about lost it (the lock out day) was also the day that John was feeling the same way and just wanted to throw in the towel....coincidence? I think not....but we are stronger than that and we both are trusting in Him, clinging to His promises that He is control of this because right now that is all I have.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Cuteness

We went to a Halloween play date yesterday and had lots of fun...well as much fun as you can have when supervising your toddler doing arts and crafts and her resisting any assistance while your baby is sitting on the floor crying....but we did come home with two fun crafts and some play time with new friends.

And...I came home with the most beautiful mermaid and fiercest pirate ever!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just like riding a bike...kind of

After nine years pretending that horses didn't exist, that I didn't miss riding, convincing myself that I didn't need or want that in my life again....I rode a horse!

Some background...when I was young and we were living overseas, I started riding. We moved to Texas, I started riding more and more. My parents bought me a horse for Christmas one year....yes, I really was one of those kids that got a horse for Christmas. He was delivered to my door (in a large subdivision) on Christmas Day with a bow on him. Pretty much the BEST present ever! I loved my horse Glory so much...and I wish I had a picture of him on my computer or one I could scan but they are all in storage. He became more than just a horse. He was a friend, part of our family and like my first child. We spent so much time together between lessons, hanging out and taking care of him. I would spend endless hours just sitting in his stall and talking with him, brushing him. Well, unlike children, there came a time when I had to sell him. We sold him just before I left for college and then I stopped riding. It was weird to go from riding constantly to nothing. It was a hard time but eventually I just saw that as a part of my life that no longer exists. I moved past it. I stayed away from anything involving horses and found other hobbies such as running and started running half marathons and filled my time with new interests. we live 3 minutes away from a riding stable. Until now I avoided the whole place and just told myself that it was something we couldn't do right now. Well the other day while having breakfast I started a conversation with a lady and it turned out to us talking about riding and my history. She is looking for someone to lease her horse and asked if I was interested and if so to try him out for a couple weeks and to see if we are a good fit. There is lots to think about whether we want to go forward with the responsibility of a lease and there is a whole lot to discuss about whether that is a good option for us but I am starting out small with taking some lessons before I leave and tonight I was able to ride just for fun. I was supposed to just go out and discuss the lease options/details but while I was there she asked if I wanted to go ahead and ride.   

It was so much fun! I was nervous but within minutes I felt like I never stopped. I had a blast! It was such a relaxing, fun, refreshing time. It all came back so easily and I loved it. I always hoped that it would be easy to pick up and all those years I put into training, lessons and countless hours at the barn but there was a small part of me that was so worried that I would forget it. But thankfully it came back and I felt comfortable and natural. 

I have my first lesson on Tuesday morning and then I will try and have a couple more before we leave to help see if this is something I can fit into our lives and what it would look like. I don't know what the future looks like but tonight was just amazing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Comforts of Home

Moving over here I foolishly thought that there wouldn't be much in terms of food or other similar objects that I would miss. I knew I would miss Target but since I shopped there constantly before we left I thought I would be good. Oh...and of course I knew I would miss and do miss really good Mexican food, margaritas, guacamole and fish tacos. 

Well, funny thing happens when you can't have start to crave things you didn't want or need before.

For example...

I never ate Reese's Pieces before. I had Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (RPBC) but only seldom. Well, now I crave them constantly! I only find the large RPBC which is just not the same as the individual sized and I also crave the pieces. I found one bag several weeks ago and savored every bite and then my mom sent me some Halloween individual cups and I am savoring/treasuring/rationing those.

Other things that I never realized I would miss is MUSIC! We have no music in stores, only one radio station with awful 1990's music and I just miss hearing music while you are shopping. The only "music" I hear is the call to prayer. I call it music because when trying to explain it to Peyton when we first got here we called it "their song".

I miss USDA beef. The beef here (we buy Brazilian, Australian or New Zealand) just doesn't taste the same and I hate to pay $4o plus for a pound of good beef.

I miss magazines! I did buy some while we were in Qatar and paid $20 USD for 2 magazines...US Weekly and People. Kind of silly but it was so worth it....then I let Graham play with them one morning and he had a blast ripping pages and hearing the sounds. Probably one of the most expensive 20 minutes of free time I have had.

Another thing that is surprising is commercials! Being in advertising I never hated commercials but thought I could do without it. Well, the other night I was watching Private Practice on and saw some commercials and I was mesmerized and in no way annoyed. I feel like I am so out of the loop of marketing/what is in/ what is going on. In some ways that could be good but it was nice to see real advertising!

And I was having TV withdrawals...we have a pretty good satellite provider and get a lot of movies, cartoons and comedy shows, E! and other stuff and I record lots of random stuff to watch. But I feel like it is easy to pick up a comedy show like Modern Family whenever you see an episode come up on the schedule but for my dramas and favorite shows...I needed more!

And especially with all the shows starting up for the season I was having withdrawals not seeing them. They do eventually get broadcasted here but about a month behind and to combat that I was paying iTunes for each episode every week. Which was expensive and annoying having to wait for it to download all the time.

Well we have a solution now...VPN! Which allows me to watch them on or since I have a VPN that says I am in the States. Before it would recognize that I was overseas and not let me watch. This is also going to be a big help with downloading books for my Nook. Before my mom would just do it for me which wasn't a big deal but I hated having to burden her and as silly as it sounds, one extra email to her of which ones I wanted seemed like too much work and never got done! Over the weekend I was able to catch up on Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy and I also decided I am going to start watching Pan Am and Revenge. I am excited and it makes me feel like I am not in the middle of nowhere!

Overall I guess it isn't too much that I am missing....oh and add...HEB Texas Coffee Blend, real Starbucks with variety and real baristas who don't mess up your order, Chick Fil A....and I am for sure looking forward to sampling everything when I am back. Maybe I should start a list of things to do like Peyton has?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Love my Saturdays

I don't know why I love our Saturdays is pretty much a Monday and I never loved Mondays back home. Maybe it is because it still feels like a weekend day in my mind even if John is back to work and we are starting a new week. I have a pretty set routine on Saturdays and it is the only day that I am pretty set on maintaing a consistent schedule. I have found that it helps us have a much better week.

This Saturday started off with finishing up our Halloween decor at our door! My mom sent us a package with lots of Halloween goodies and we had fun decorating and also have lots of fun things for a Halloween party I hope to have for Peyton and her friends. Feels kind of weird to be having Halloween decorations up in the middle of the desert when it is upper 90's but it is fun!

I always start of Saturday with dropping Peyton off at school. Her school is about a three minute drive and not far at all and maybe when it gets cooler we will walk but for now we drive. She actually asked to go to school so we left too early and I let her and Graham come sit in the front seat while we were waiting. I don't let her sit in the front...or Graham ...even if that is what all the Saudi kids do...seriously...there is no such thing as car seats and it is a common sight to see a baby sitting in the front seat in someone's lap. I will never get used to seeing that or not get angry every time. Anyways...while we were waiting we played with the a picture of Peyton and Graham, Peyton showing me her show and tell object for "C" day and then she took some pictures of me. It was kind of nice to just chat and be silly together.

After school drop off, Graham and I go and drop off my dry cleaning. The water for our washing machine is hard, salt water and ruins clothes. I have learned to just dry clean nice jeans, pants, dark dresses or shirts and pay the tiny bit and have them done right than have ruined clothes with bleach marks. Pretty much it is only darks that get streaked so my dry cleaning is limited and at $5 for 8 shirts and 2 pairs of pants...I don't think it is breaking the bank. 

After we drop of the dry cleaning and pick up a copy of our community newsletter that has everything going on for the week we head over to our dining hall for Saturday morning breakfast/coffee time that happens every week. 

We have a group of 15 ladies but each week it is only around 5-6 there and it is always a joy to sit around a chat and catch up with a variety of women. These women have meant so much to me and are always a source of encouragement, comfort and just a fun to be around. Such a mixture of ages, nationalities, stages of life but we all find commonality in something and can sit around for hours. It is always a great way to start the week and the weeks I am not there I find the rest of the week just kind of drags on by and is not the same.

I then pick up Peyton, Graham goes down for a long nap and I get her lunch and she watches some cartoons while I pick up, do dishes, start any laundry we didn't get to on the weekend and just make sure the house is in order for the week and we have meals planned. I try very hard to stay home the remaining part of Saturdays because if I am out here and there or having coffee/play dates all afternoon I find myself feeling overwhelmed and it carries over to the rest of the week. Throughout the day I will plan some play dates for the week, plan the next week meals (I do it a week ahead since it is so much work to get groceries) look at our grocery situation/to do list and determine if we need to make a trip into Khobar and if so when would be the best and finally just catch up on emails and other things to do. It always ends up being a busy day and such a nice way to start my week..productive!

So...happy Saturday and looking forward to a wonderful week with a play date at a friends house, play date at our house, Graham immunization appointment (we do delayed vaccinations so he has one a month), hopefully a horse riding lesson, Mommy and Me Yoga, swimming,  a bazaar at a friends camp and I am sure more things will pop up!