Friday, June 29, 2012

SUYL- Kids Rooms

I am participating in Show Us Your Life on Kelly's Korner and today is featuring kids rooms. 

This is Graham's room and it is actually a picture of what it looked like in Texas. It looks pretty much the same here but for some reason it looked better in Texas. Probably because I haven't bothered to paint here and don't feel like it :) 

I had a hard time finding boy bedding that I liked and after a long search we went to High Fashion in Houston and found some fabric and we went from there. My mom helped me make the curtains and bed skirt and the accent pillows. Then my mom painted these elephants to go with the decor. 

I made the lamps by adding ribbon to a simple Ikea lamp shade and I found the baskets from Babies R Us. The rug is from Pottery Barn Kids. 

The letter is from Etsy from Whimsical can find the link from this post I did earlier. And we found the bed skirt, changing pad cover from Babies R Us. I added drawer knobs I found at Hobby Lobby to an Ikea dresser.

Here is Peyton's room here in Saudi. I redid her room when we moved here and it is one of my favorite rooms in the house. The bedding, rug, wall art, curtains and decals are all from Pottery Barn Kids.

The art above her dresser is an original painting that my mom did for her. Peyton loves it and tells pretty much everyone who comes into her room that her G painted it for her.

As you can tell...her room is huge! It has a reading corner, room for toys and then her play table and easel. You could easily put two kids in here! All of her furniture (besides the bookcase that has her toys on it) are from Ikea and the other bookcase is from Target. The lamps are from Target...the pink one is from Ikea. I love Ikea for kids furniture because if they color on it, put stickers on it or ruin it, you are not out a whole bunch of money and don't take all that great of care of things!

There are the kids rooms! It is always fun to decorate their rooms because you can have so much fun with different colors and patterns!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Duck Pond....minus the ducks...

A couple of days after we got to Bellingham we made a trip to Whatcom Falls Park, which is one of my favorite places in Bellingham, to go and feed the ducks. 

We were ready for the large amount of ducks like the last time we went and we waited and waited with anticipation....

.......but we couldn't find any at all! Finally a couple showed up including a mommy with her three ducklings.... 

Peyton was so excited to throw them food. Check out her green dress up beads that came along! After awhile though we noticed none of the ducks were eating ....which made Peyton not so happy. She was very disappointed that they were not eating the special "duck bread" we bought from the store.

I am sure we will have several more duck feeding adventures during our time here!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What a trip....

So, we have made it to Washington and are attempting to get over jet lag. This is the part that I hate about traveling and when you are in the midst of cranky kids and irregular sleep patterns and 4:00 AM wake up wish you were still home with your routines, toys and beds. But...this will pass, hopefully soon, and we will be able to hopefully enjoy family time and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest!

Our flight home was probably the most intense flight experience I have had ever with kids! We got to the airport in Bahrain fine, made it through security with my crazy amount of stuff....I had a stroller, a rolling bag with a car seat attached to it, a diaper bag and Peyton's back pack. We then went towards the gate and let Graham run around while Peyton slept in the stroller and then made it through a second security check at the gate and then I woke up Peyton so she could walk onto the plane and off we went.

We were the first ones on, got settled, the car seat strapped in and Peyton back asleep. Graham was fine, talking, playing and being great. The plane however was HOT! There was little to no air flowing and it was hot. I didn't think anything of it but after a little bit noticed that I was feeling sick but knew we would be leaving soon and it would hopefully cool off. Then about 10 minutes before we were going to pull away from the gate....Graham started vomiting....constantly.....everywhere. After my initial shock, I grabbed an airplane blanket but the damage had already been done and it was all over here and all over his seat. I paged the flight attendants and they brought me some towels, wet rags, a powder to pour on the seat and soak up liquid, antibacterial spray for the seat and my hands and were really helpful. I went and got Graham dressed in new clothes and put a blanket under him since his seat was dirty and prayed that would be the end of it. I started fanning him with a magazine and we took off. He fell asleep and I prayed that was the end of it. When he woke up, it had been about 2 hours and I figured it was a one time thing so I let him have some water....immediately he started vomiting again. Again, he fell asleep but woke up about 30 minutes later vomiting. He fell asleep again and woke up 2 hours later and was asking for a drink and food, I gave him some water and a cracker and he was fine at first but about 30-45 minutes....more vomit. At this point it was mostly just water which made it easy to clean and manage but I was getting worried and felt awful for him. I had no idea what to do, what was causing it and had no idea how we would be able to do a 10 hour flight like this. He was such a good boy though and never cried and would get sick, look for a cuddle and then fall asleep. Such a sweet and good baby! We finally landed with I think no more episodes. Peyton slept the entire way and was great. We got off, transferred terminals, inquired what would happen if I decided to skip my next flight and take a later one and then went to clean everyone up. I first went to find some clothes in the airport for him since I only had one pair left and they were for the colder weather in Washington and so I wanted to save them as long as possible. I found some London Olympics shorts and shirt and off we went to get Graham cleaned up, attempt to clean the car seat some more and get settled for our 4-5 hour layover and evaluate what do to about our next flight. Since it had been a little while I decided to give him some baby food from a squeeze pouch I had and see if during the long layover he could keep it down. After eating he went to sleep....which normally I would have discouraged since I need sleeping breaks on the plane but at this point we all needed breaks! He slept the whole layover and kept the food down so we made our way to the gate and flight #2 praying that we could make it through this.....oh....and did I mention that I was sick and getting worse...I had a lovely cough, runny nose, slight fever and felt awful. At least Peyton was doing GREAT and being super helpful, easy going and all around AWESOME!

Our next flight went a whole lot better. Peyton watched movies and napped when she got tired and was  a joy to fly with. Graham wasn't sick at all and napped when he needed to and would play and did fine until the last two hours when he started getting restless and we had to walk around the back and allow him to climb all over me. It was a long two hours but nothing compared to the first flight. When we landed we headed through customs, got our bags and then the moment we were waiting for....seeing my mom and sister. Peyton was SO excited to see them! When we were in line at customs she was asking me how would she know what my mom looked like and she was worried about not recognizing her. As soon as I waved to my mom she took off running in between luggage carts and just was gone until she got into my mom's arms and gave her a big hug a kiss. She then looked my mom over up and down and studied her face. So sweet. 

So thankful to be done with flying for a couple of months and to have two wonderful travelers! I am thankful the trip home went so much better than I anticipated in terms of entertaining Graham. It was not nearly as bad as I was thinking it would be....minus the vomit!

We made it home after stopping for some Tim Horton's and then unpacked, got everyone settled and started the fun process of getting over jet lag....which started with Graham falling asleep at dinner and everyone waking up at 4:00 AM. Hopefully we will be done with it in a couple of days! Thank you for all the prayers for safe travels! They were answered!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On our way to G and Papa's House...

We headed over to Bahrain on Thursday afternoon to enjoy some time with friends over a nice adult only dinner and then after a day swimming at our hotel, and enjoying some time together as a family...

.....The time has finally come to head across the pond to G and Papa's house for a LONG break from Saudi and lots of time with family! We are heading to Washington for about seven weeks and then ten days in Muskoka to visit with my Grandmother to return back to the land of sand the end of August!! 

I am excited that Peyton and Graham can have some quality time with their grandparents but I am not looking forward to being away from John for that long. It is a long time to be away from your house and be a single parent. First step though is a really long flight from Bahrain to London and then onwards to Vancouver where we will drive down to Washington. Since I am flying back to Saudi from Toronto it was cheaper to fly into a Canadian airport. Cheaper works for me and it is the same length of time on the plane either way. I am praying hard that Graham is easy on the plane and would appreciate prayers as well. It is hard to travel by myself to Abu Dhabi and I am anxious, scared and overwhelmed with the 24 hour journey ahead of us.

I would really appreciate prayer for the following....
  • That I have the strength and energy to be alert and patient throughout the flights. That I will be able to have enough rest prior to leaving and during to be able to function and that God intervenes when I am clearly tired.
  • That both kids sleep on the 2:00 AM flight from Bahrain to London. That there night time sleep won't be too interrupted with having to head to the airport and that they fall asleep quickly on the plane and sleep the whole or most of the flight.
  • Prayer over Graham and that he doesn't fight sitting in the car seat, is easily entertained, can nap when he needs to and that I can clearly see and meet his needs quickly and before they become an issue
  • For grace from other passengers, security, flight attendants as we navigate through the airport, transfers and getting on and off the plane.
  • For safety during our travels and for the flight crew and pilot.
  • That Peyton is open to direction, in a pleasant and helpful mood and the typical all star traveler that she is. we go and when we return to Saudi the end of August we only have 11 days until Granny Martha comes to visit! So much going on and thankful for all the family time we have coming up these next few months! I see some spoiled grandkids in the near future!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good Morning...

I love coming and getting Graham in the mornings. It is one of my favorite time of the day with him. When he wakes up he just makes some cooing sounds, calls mama and sits patiently or stands patiently waiting for me to come. No crying, no screaming and if I take too long he will find something to do and play contently until I come. As soon as I pick him up, he snuggles closer into my arms, immediately puts his lovey by his cheek, puts his blanket around him and wants to be held and cuddled for just a few minutes before we start the day. I know he is done when he looks at me, gives me a big squeeze or a kiss and off he goes for the day. Such a wonderful way to wake up and I cherish my morning cuddles with him!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The smallest fish!

I am beyond grateful for the wonderful swim instructor we have here in Saudi. She is passionate about swimming, teaching kids and incredibly qualified. I am amazed at how much Peyton has developed in her swimming and am thankful to have such good instruction for her. I kind of have this secret desire for her to be an all star swimmer. With me swimming growing up and being a coach for summer swim team I would love it if she swam as she grew up. It is such a fun sport! 

Since last year I had to do the swimming with Peyton, poor Graham was left out but this year Peyton swims on her own in her own class and I do swimming in the mornings with Graham while she is at school. 

He LOVES his Moms and Tots class! He always says "hello" to all the babies and is just so enthusiastic about the whole thing. He is very comfortable and chill with swimming and will do everything you ask with a smile. 

Here he is saying hello to a friend....

And getting some mommy cuddles while we wait for our turn to practice swimming under water.....

Love his bubbles under the water. He has been doing awesome with going under and reaching and kicking! 

Here we are singing the Grand 'Ol Duke of York and riding our noodle horses. You have to lift them up which is kind of challenging for mommy....

Practicing our kicking. He is so chill. I love seeing the differences between Peyton and Graham. At this age Peyton was NOT interested in organized swim lessons, just wanted to swim "myself" and would just go under the water and was impossible, she had no fear which is what I love about her now. Graham just floats, not as eager to jump in and a little more timid about the whole swimming thing, would prefer to not go under the water but will. He still likes water but not as much as Peyton who LOVES the water and is so confident about swimming and has so much enthusiasm for it!

Practicing floating on our back....we sing a silly song about scarecrows sleeping and jumping. 

We love our swimming lessons and between the two lessons a week for each of them plus one other day a week I take Peyton by myself to practice, we are at the pool almost every day which is one of the better ways to cool off when it is 116 outside!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day trip to Bahrain

Last Friday we decided to head to Bahrain for the day. We normally go for the weekend and spend the night but decided to make a quick trip and we had so much fun. We will for sure be doing more single day trips in the future.

We visited Ric's for breakfast which is our usual stop for our bacon and good Texas style breakfast! I love the breakfast burrito is probably one of the best I have ever had! 

We originally planned on taking the kids to a water park but we had a bike accident the night before which required Peyton to visit the ER and have some glue and tape on her chin which meant no water. Instead we paid a visit to Build a Bear and she picked out a pink bear which she named Emma.

After Build a Bear we walked around the mall a little bit and looked in some stores and then came by the movie theatre. We saw that Madagascar 3 was showing and debated whether or not to give it a try with Graham. We decided to go for it and off we went....

And then Graham and John left shortly after this picture and after the movie started (about 5 minutes total). Graham had no interest in sitting still and it was not going to work. So, the boys left and went shopping for electronics. Peyton and I LOVED the movie! It is one of my favorite kids movies by far and it was so much fun. The last time I was in a movie theatre was before we had Graham so it was long overdue and I enjoyed seeing it with Peyton.

When we got out we found John and Graham who had found John's Father's Day gift...a Bose Sound System for his iPod. I was struggling with what to buy him, he was struggling with deciding what he wanted so I was happy to see he found something for himself and finally spoiled himself instead of always buying stuff for us. We spent the rest of the day wandering around and then headed back. It was  a nice short break from Saudi and a Friday trip I see us doing often when we return.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Day With Friends

A week after we got back from our trip we were able to spend time with our friends The Perry's! We are both getting ready to head back to the States and I am so glad we were able to have some time with them before we were all gone for the summer. It often bewilders me how we are both here in this crazy adventure and how surreal it is at times. I am so thankful to have them here and thankful for the friendship. I wish we could see each other more but I love that no matter how long it has been we all (mommy and kids) can all just pick up where we left off. It is easy and refreshing and I am so thankful for that!

Here is Graham and his buddy Miles, he is about 3 months older than Graham.

And here are the best friends. They always pick up right where they left off and no matter how long it has been you would never know the difference. I LOVE that they have known each other since they were around nine months old. It is crazy to me to see how much they have grown!

And for they are at nine months old visiting Palm Beach in Galveston! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Other Rome attractions

We were so fortunate to have TONS of time in Rome to wander around and not be rushed. We saw so much! 

We spent several evenings in Piazza Novana either walking and enjoying the atmosphere, eating dinner, having a picnic on the benches or eating gelato!

We saw the Pantheon which John and I both listed as one of our favorite places we saw in Rome. It was mind blowing the architectual feat and I loved it!

We went to the Rome Zoo when we had enough sights and just wanted to do something for the kids to reward them for being awesome. It was fun for everyone and a nice break from buildings....

We saw the Trevi Fountain and threw in some coins. We actually saw the Trevi Fountain several times in our wandering around and trying to navigate around Rome.

We visited one of the best gelato places in Rome and enjoyed more gelato. The line was crazy but we were patient and the reward was well worth it.

This was the sunset one night as we were walking across the bridge back to our hotel. 

The walkway up to our hotel, Hotel Santa Maria. It was a wonderful place to stay and highly recommended. We loved the space it provided for us and the kids for the price, it was a great location and the staff was amazing!

Me and my partner in crime! Many times we thought we were insane to be traveling with two kids and doing everything we were doing but we made some good memories, had wonderful conversation and grew in our marriage. Looking forward to our upcoming travels and what more experiences await!