Monday, March 26, 2012


Well next week is SPRING BREAK and our family is getting ready to ROAD TRIP around the UAE and see a bit more of this country.  I'll take tons of pictures and do my best to post asap!

Last night we were invited out on a YACHT trip around the marina, the palm jumeriah and the Burj Al Arab .. it was such a good time! It was such a treat to be invited! It was a pretty big group of friends .. we were invited through one of the moms in Paige's class .. her husband is a pilot for United and it was there big group of pilot friends.  It was a blast.  I'll post pics asap. (P.s. it was our first time to have "Angel" watch the kids and put them to bed .. I could get used to this).  :)

The move-in craziness (buying furniture and decor) has paused .. we're very functional with what we have, so it's nice to take a break from the furnishing phase and just live for a bit. 

The girls are in gymnastics, Max starts "school" at the end of April, swimming lessons start end of April too .. Paige has been horseback riding, Max is in Little Gym.. it's getting "normal"and that feels SOOOO good.  A big part of that, also, is that Mark has been HOME for over a week.  WOO HOO.

more soon ..

'til next time ..

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

we are hiring a live-in maid

Well .. it's official, we are getting a live-in maid.  I need to take some time to do some training .. just showing her how we like things .. but for now, she is going to be such a blessing and OH MY GOSH WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A LIVE-IN MAID!!! 

I just never, ever thought or imagined ...

I don't know if she'd appreciate me sharing her name, so we'll call her Angel .. it fits.  :)  Angel is Filipino, and is a single mom of a 16 year old son that lives back in the Philippines.  She left him when he was 5 years old to come make more money as a housemaid in Dubai.  She can make much more here than she could back at home as a "sales lady in the mall"  (her words).  Here, she is able to get money that will support her son and those that are caring for her son a lot better than if she was at home.  I love knowing that we are helping her help her family .. it feels less like I'm spoiled rotten and more like I'm doing something for someone.  (but I still feel totally spoiled)

We have a room for her that we've furnished (via IKEA, no doubt) and we also provide her food.  In return she does EVERYTHING... straightens up, cleans, does dishes, laundry, ironing, makes beds every morning, sweeps the floors every day, goes to the grocery store for me, (we have a grocery store you can walk to .. no, she can't drive), and she can babysit the kids!  Max has already taken to her and when he sees her, he says, "HI ANGEL!!" .. it's so good for me to know that he likes her because I will soon be able to go do things like volunteer in Paige's classroom and go on field trips with Brooke!!  (and go to the gym, and go to the grocery store alone, and get a mani/pedi, and ..and .. and.. once again, SO SPOILED!!!!)

It'll be "official" when all of the PAPERWORK is done .. She's been working here for a family from Romania that has 2 kiddos for 2 years,  (before that was with an Arabic family with 8 kids!) so we need to transfer her visa to our sponsorship.  I'm not going to explain the details because I'm totally clueless .. all I know is that she can get a UAE Resident Visa under our sponsorship and we have to provide that.  We also are to provide her a trip home once a year ... it's a process, for sure .. but SUCH A PERK!! :)

Okay I have to go get Paige from school ... it's 2:00, takes 15 min to get to the school, but if I'm not there SUPER early I won't get a parking spot .. she's done at 2:45. Yeah, I'll get one of the last available spots too. 

more later ..

til next time ...

Monday, March 5, 2012

PICTURES! horses, snow and house pics

 DIRTY FEET! (They say that's a sign of a happy kid!)

Horseback riding .. Paige has shown some interest in wanting to ride horses, so we found her a nice stable where we can get her some experience.  You can't start proper lessons 'til you're 7 or 8 here, so they're letting her do little rides for now.  If she continues to show interest and desire to keep learning, they may consider allowing her to take lessons before she's 7. Here are the pictures: 

visiting the stables for Paige's horse riding

 Brooke got to ride too! 

 a special treat for Max

 behind the stables, there is a petting zoo with CAMELS!  :) 

PICS FROM SKI DUBAI .. A field trip with Brooke's class:  

 this is the area where you rent gear .. 


 Brooke was "line leader" the day of the field trip!  

 Brooke and Isabelle all ready to go play! 

 I was in charge of these 4 kiddos while in the ski area (it was crazy!!) 

 Brooke and me.  :) 

 The whole class ready to play

 first thing Brooke did, SNOW ANGEL! 

 climb up this hill to get to the bobsled area

 Brooke in line to sled

 ready . set ... 


 My 4 at the top of the climbing hill .. plus some random kid :) 

It was a GREAT field trip.  I can't wait to go back and do more .. We only had about an hour to play and my 4 kiddos stuck to the sledding hill.  There's much more to do .. hopefully I'll be able to take more pics next time we go! 
here's a link if you want to see more of what it's about:

 Our marriage license is finally attested. . it's blurry, but that's Hilary Clinton's signature.  
(no more trips to Oman .. see a few blogs back if you're confused!)

Finally, house pics .. I have been wanting to wait 'til things were more "done" but whatever .. I think it's good to show the work in progress.  Nothing is on the walls yet, and I still need RUGS!  Slowly, but surely, it's feeling more "homey"  

 our kitchen table .. balloons were for Mark's birthday. 

 kitchen table from the other angle 

 family room

 family room, different angle. 

 storage area where the kids play in that refrigerator box under the stairs. 

 mark's office
(this will also be the guest room .. the futon-like couch is coming in a few days.. don't worry, it's comfortable!)

 built in closets in office/guest room


 kitchen - another angle 

 this is the room we haven't done anything with yet .. I'm basically standing in the front door, looking in. 

 standing on the stairs, looking down at entry way

 upstairs landing that we've made into a game room/play room

 Brooke's room .. will eventually have another twin bed
 Brooke's room, different angle. 

 The girls bathroom sink .. toilet/shower area is through a door across from the sink. 

 Paige's room 

 Paige's room, different angle

 Girls' bathroom .. I'm standing in the doorway, taking a picture into the mirror so you can see the room. 

 Master bedroom 

 master bedroom,  different angle. 

 master - another angle again

 master bathroom .. it's pretty cramped .. and Mark and I are getting used to one sink again.  :) There's a stand up shower across from the sink that we rarely use.

 master bathroom tub/shower .. I haven't decided what I want to do in the bathroom for decor, so I just got basic stuff for now .. hence WHITE everywhere.  :)

 I sneaked in and took a pic of Max's room while he was sleeping .. see him in his crib?  notice the "big boy bed" unused .. yeah, it'll stay that way for now.  no rush! 

built in closets in master

Whew!!  So there ya go!!  I hope you enjoyed the pics!  

..till next time!