Saturday, January 28, 2012

Taking care of Mommy

I don't know about other moms but for me, I don't take care of myself as well as I do everyone else. I don't eat regularly, I don't get dressed regularly, I don't make sure I get enough sleep and don't exercise. I just don't make it a priority to take care of myself and as a result my family gets a mediocre version of me. I don't function to the best of my ability without a proper diet, rest, and exercise. And after awhile of neglecting your health you need an intervention which came in the form of my mom! 

When I was in the States, I started as simply as making sure I was eating three meals a day. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous but I was skipping breakfast or lunch and then getting cranky because I wasn't eating. My mom also helped me get started running again and being active and also just being away from all my daily responsibilities of housework, I actually was going to bed on time. 

So, coming back to Saudi I wanted to make sure I continued and built upon what I started. I started by exercising. When we moved here I had a thousand excuses on why I couldn't work out, mainly because I had no time or no one to watch the kids...and well, I didn't want to and felt overwhelmed with losing all of the weight from my pregnancy and so I found excuses. Instead of allowing myself to see all the reasons why I can't go to the gym, I sat down and looked at what I do have and that is four days a week that Peyton is at school in the mornings and Graham naps. Take out one day for breakfast group and I have three mornings free. What was I doing with those mornings...a whole lot of nothing! Time to change, I put on my workout clothes first thing when I wake up, take Peyton to school, come home, put Graham to sleep for his morning nap and start P90X and workout! Perfect! I make sure all of my stuff is set up in the morning so I have no excuses. And by doing it in the mornings, I have more energy and it is the first thing I do instead of leaving it to the end of the day after everything and when I would rather just go to sleep. 

I also implemented a 10:00 PM bedtime for me. I need sleep and I have learned that I need 9 hours of sleep at a minimum to be a happy, functioning and patient mommy. So, I need to go to bed. No excuses. If it can't get done by 10 PM, it probably wasn't that important or I needed to reprioritize and be purposeful with my time. 

Also, we needed to sleep train Graham. With moving, traveling, more traveling and more traveling...his life has never been consistent and so we just continued to let him eat when he woke up to help us even make it through. That leaves us with a baby who wakes up constantly to eat and two tired parents. John is about to start a turnaround which leaves me alone with the kids 95% of the time and if I am a person who needs sleep then I need to make sure that Graham is sleeping through the night. We have been reducing the amount of formula we give him ate night for the past couple of weeks and then we started sleep training/no more food at night on Sunday night and the first time he cried a bunch and it was a long night but since then he has slept through the night consistently. We have been switching nights in case he does wake up but we are hoping this is the end of middle of the night waking!

Finally, although it seems the simplest, it is the hardest for me...eating three well balanced and healthy meals. Since I have been back I have been trying to eat better but it is so hard. I don't ever have an appetite for what I make the kids, I don't feel like making something different for everyone and I just don't eat as well as I would like. And if I am wanting to lose the last little bit of pregnancy weight and am doing all this work with P90X, I can't eat trash. So, I looked into a new program here on camp with the Carlton Nutrition Center. It is essentially like Jenny Craig but for us. I met with a nutritionist and was surprised how little weight I have left to go to my goal and we went over my calorie needs and sample menus. I picked out my menu for 15 days (I am not doing weekends) and they start delivering my food today! It gets delivered to my house every morning from 5:30-6:00 AM and it contains my breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks for the day. I am hoping this will help me eat regularly, retrain me the right portions and types of food to be eating and help me reach my weight loss goals so I can focus on maintaining and not the daunting task of losing weight. After 15 days, I go back and evaluate what I liked, didn't like, adjust my meal and decide if I want to continue. 

Hoping that all of this helps kick me off in the right direction and I can find the motivation, desire and feeling of significance to continue to take care of myself so I can be a much better wife, mommy and friend!

Friday, January 27, 2012

So excited...

...Pottery Barn is coming to the mall that is about 40 minutes away from us...where we do most of our shopping! I am so excited! You should have seen my face when I saw the sign...John just laughed....and then started setting budget limits and rules!

I was just thinking earlier in the day how much I wanted new bedding for my birthday (which is a long ways away) and how I didn't want to pay for shipping for Pottery Barn all the way to Saudi....and now I don't have to!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ballet class

While we were back in the States, I went to a dance store with Peyton and bought her ballet shoes, a leotard and tights. I knew that there were ballet classes in Saudi and I didn't put her in them in the fall because we had swimming and I wasn't sure if she was ready to be a class setting like ballet since we were having issues at swimming and also I didn't want to overload us with first being there. Well, I thought she would be ready now and so when we got back I talked to the teacher and she went to her first class the Monday before we left for Oman. 

Here she is all ready for class....

Although normally parents are not supposed to stay during the class, I asked if I could stay during the first one to get a feel for how she did in there and if this was something we would want to continue. As soon as she got in there two of her friends told her to come sit with them which I thought was adorable and they both helped her with what to do and when. It was pretty sweet. Peyton did great, followed instructions and did really well. She also had a blast and I could just see her light up with joy while she was dancing around. 

She missed this week because she was sick but we are excited about Saturday and lessons then. They also have a performance middle of March and I had a coworker of John's bring over a white leotard and tights for her since it is part of the required costume for Swan Lake....yes, they are doing Swan Lake! How cute is that!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sick days....Pajama days

Both kids have been sick the past couple of days. Peyton with a awful sounding cough and Graham with a constant runny nose. So, we have been stuck at home....BORED! 

I will say that I am incredibly thankful for our large playroom that contains all of the chaos and mess in one room. We have spent most of our time playing in there, watching movies, eating at the play table, playing with Play Dough, playing Candy Land and just hanging out...then at the end of the day, I just have that one room to deal with! This is what the playroom looked like just 90 minutes into the morning and honestly the pictures don't show the true extent of the madness. We normally don't have the ball pit out which is good because I might go crazy picking up those balls all day long but since this was day three of being home I thought it provide some new entertainment and it did...both kids loved it and played all day in there!


Other activities have included Peyton jumping into Graham's bed when she went in to see him after his nap and they played in his crib for about 45 minutes which worked out great because I was able to organize his drawers and closet and put away laundry! They are so silly together. Graham ADORES his sister and just is in awe of her!

I am hoping that after this weekend they will have kicked whatever is going on. We have both humidifiers going and have tried to convince Peyton to do the breathing mask with no luck. Thankfully I have backup this weekend and then hoping we can resume normal activities and get out of house arrest on Saturday and play with friends...mommy's friends and Peyton's!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oman Day 3- Nizwa, Riyam Park and more

We were planning again on being up early to drive out to the town of Nizwa and be there early for the Livestock Market/Souq. Nizwa is one of the oldest cities in Oman. The whole souq/town closes around 11 AM for prayer and then opens up again that night so we needed to be there early. Of course....we slept through our alarms. We managed to get there with about 40 minutes left and were able to walk around the market and the souq area which is actually inside the walls of the old fort. Peyton loved seeing all of the animals...and I didn't explain why they were all there and what was about to happen to them!

I loved the huge wooden doors leading into the fort, there were all so intricately designed and massive and while I was taking pictures an Omani man told me I should take his picture...and then he brought his friend over. Yes, he is carrying a sprite...and a gun. Many of the stores inside the souq sold Khanjars and guns and swords and many people were wearing some sort of weapon.

After we were done with exploring the town and taking in the atomsphere we went to Lulu's Grocery store and picked up supplies to make a picnic lunch. We ate lunch and then headed a little farther to the town of Bahla which is known for its pottery. We arrived too late to shop for pottery but we did just drive around and explore. There is a beautiful fort undergoing perservation by the World Heritage Society and is  a UNESCO protected site. The fort was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Since it is still undergoing work you can't go in which I was sad about because it was such an impressive site. Here is a picture from Wikipedia....

Picture taken from Wikipedia

Since the kids were asleep we decided to head just a little farther and see Jabreen Castle. I knew it would be closed but we thought we would give it a try. I really wish we were able to make it in time to go in because I have read that it really beautiful inside. We wandered around the grounds a little before heading back towards Muscat.

On the way back to Muscat we passsed by the Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque. I really want to go inside a mosque while we live here but since you can't take kids in with you, that is proving to be a challenge. Maybe when I go to Abu Dhabi to see my sister this Spring I can work out a way to go to the mosque there.

We headed to Riyam Park to let the kids play and stretch after driving so much during the day. The play structure there was great and Peyton had a blast climbing, sliding and playing. This is one of the many different slides they had.

After we left the park we had dinner and then decided since everyone was happy and doing well to visit the souq one last time before we headed back to the hotel for the night and we are so glad we did. The souq was so lively on Friday night and we loved experiencing the sounds, smells and just the excitement. 

We finally headed back to the hotel and got the kids asleep. Then while John and I were spending time talking on the balcony we witnessed an Omani wedding processional arriving at the hotel to drop of the bride and groom. It was so loud and such a neat thing to watch! We finally went to sleep and then headed out to the airport the next morning and back to Saudi. 

We loved our time in Oman and wish we could have been there for another two weeks. There was so much we wish we could have seen and look forward to going back someday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oman Day 2- Dolphins and forts

On our second full day in Oman we made a reservation for a dolphin watching boat ride along the coast. Our original plan was to just have John and Peyton go and enjoy some time together. But when we realized how far our hotel was from the marina and how there was nothing to do in the areas surrounding our hotel we decided to do a shorter boat ride trip that didn't include swimming and go ahead and take Graham as well. The boat ride was only going to be two hours so we figured that we could make it work with him. 

We woke up incredibly early to drive to the marina and we just kept the kids in their pajamas and let them sleep in the car on the way. The boat company we were originally going to go with never showed we really were not sure what we we were going doing since this was the one thing that Peyton was the most excited about. Another boat company was about to leave and had space and so we went ahead and went with them. I am so glad that we had decided to bring Peyton's lifejacket with us because they didn't have one that would have been appropriate for him. 

Graham did great on the boat..he ate, looked around and then had a little nap. Peyton was fussy and a little whiny throughout partially because she didn't have enough sleep and we gave her life jacket to Graham BUT once we saw the dolphins she was beyond excited. She kept wanting to run from one side of the boat to another and to the front. I was worried that it would be hard for her to see the dolphins but there were so many of them that everywhere you looked there were tons of dolphins and they were jumping and it was beautiful.

After watching the dolphins we had a brief tour of the coast line and sites along there. It was beautiful seeing the cliffs against the water and then the buildings hidden in little coves off the ocean.

Peyton was pretty tired after an early morning and then the excitement of the dolphins and she just cuddled with daddy on the ride back to the marina and Graham slept in my arms. 

After our boat ride we got everyone dressed and then headed to get some lunch and off to see a fort in the town of Nakhal on the way back to the hotel. It took us about an hour to get there so of course the kids napped in the car and everyone was ready to get out for some exercise when we got there.

The fort was surronded by palm orchards and wonderfully restored. It was a little hard carrying Graham around in the Bjorn and I was pretty tired by the end of it! After we walked throughout the fort and saw all the various rooms we headed back to the hotel and ordered room service and then we all went to bed pretty early.

Peyton refused to take her picture with me and was being little Miss Attitude so this is the picture I got....she also came up with a hilarious story about how Princess Anooza was trapped in the fort and we needed to climb to the tallest tower and rescue her from the dragon with two heads. Her imagination  is so much fun to hear and I love the stories she comes up.

 This was the ceiling in one of the rooms. The patterns continued throughout the whole room.