Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Playing in the rain

Gosh, the boys sure love the rain!
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Charlie, especially.  He did not want to come back into the house!
Eventually we'll have to get him some wellies too.  Although he didn't mind it one bit getting his feet wet and cold!

Happy 4th Birthday to Graham!

Can't believe our little boy is now 4 years old! This year, I could not make his cake as we have been so busy with getting the house organized for our move.  So, we ordered one from the local supermarket. Graham wanted a digger cake and this is what they came up with. It was perfect!
It was a bulldozer rather than a digger, but at this point, I don't think it really mattered to Graham.  He was in such a happy mood when we told him it was his birthday that day!
We ended up "borrowing" our neighbor's home since we didn't have any furniture at our place to celebrate the birthday.  Charlie is just eyeing the cake!
He actually took a swipe at the cake and there's cake on his hand which I later found out.  So I had to hold on to his hand so he didn't take another swipe! Finally, a somewhat decent family picture where everyone is looking up!
Cake time!
Surprisingly, the cake was quite yummy!
Charlie was quick to dig in too:
And then, time to open the cards - one from our neighbor and another from Grandma and Pop-pop. $4... yay!
Next are presents.  Yummy chocolates!
We went to the Mall later that day and Graham got to pick out whatever he liked from the Disney store. Thank goodness he is a good sharer:
Speaking of Disney, our fancy bands arrived from Disney a few days ago. Yes, we are going to Disney World in Orlando!  It will be my first trip there so I'm just as excited as the boys. Charlie can recognize Mickey Mouse now so it will be fun for him too!
These bands will be used for our entry into the parks and our hotel room, and we can also use them for our pre-paid meals. How cool is that!

I'm glad Graham's birthday worked out despite the half-empty house.  Thanks to our nice neighbors and Grandma & Pop-pop for all the nice gifts!

Last day at school

The boys are finally done at Discovery Learning Center in Broken Arrow.  Charlie spent a year there and Graham spent 3 years there!  We are going to miss the teachers there.  They were all so good to the boys.

On the last day, the boys sang.  Well, Charlie was attempting to sing, I guess:
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And then, Graham is somewhat singing on stage.
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I have to say, he does a better job at singing in the car and lately, at restaurants!

The boys are all set for school in Abu Dhabi.  Graham will have his school uniform of white t-shirt and blue plaid shorts. And he'll be in school 5 days a week. Hope he'll do ok with the transition from 3 days a week. Charlie will be at a Montessori nursery. Hopefully he will adapt well there too. He still cries occasionally when we drop him off at school.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dinosaurs at the Zoo!

We had forgotten about the dinosaur exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo until we arrived at the entrance. Wow... so many people!  Thankfully our membership card was up to date because we just scooted right through everyone!

So we wasted no time and went towards the "Zoorasic Park" exhibit.  Well, we had to stop on the way to take some pics:
Having some fun, obviously!
Okay, and we're off!  We're getting a little bit better about holding hands:
Still need to work on picture taking:
We're not exactly allowed to go beyond the ropes, but a petting a little baby dinosaur can't hurt :-)
The exhibit was prett neat.  The dinosaurs moved and made some loud noises.  It scared the boys a little bit at times. Probably a rare moment when both boys actually want to hold Mommy's hand!
After the dinosaurs, it was a quick break at the park and a quick Daddy & Charlie moment:
And then, back to running around the zoo.  Looks like Graham is in between the African and Emperor penguin.
And compared to a Chimp, only 3 ft tall!
I can't imagine the day when he is finally taller than both of us.  Speaking of which, Graham will be turning 4 years old next week.  How time flies!

Memorable trip to NJ to renew passport

Seems like there's never a dull moment now when you have to take a trip on an airplane.  The last time I was on one, my plane ended up in Missouri and back to where I started by the end of the day!

This time, my sister and I made plans to meet up in Chicago and then onward to NJ together.  Well, neither one of us made it to Chicago as there was a "ground stop" there due to a fire in a tunnel by the tower. We ended up arriving at Newark airport at 1am, which was almost 10 hours past our scheduled arrival!  I suppose if it's any consolation, we did actually end up in NJ (almost) that same day.

Thankfully, the process to renew our passport was less painful.  Everything was completed in just about 2 hours in the city.  Woohooo...!  And then, we just spent the rest of the afternoon having a good meal and wandering around the stores in NYC.  Way too busy for me, I think!  But the food was excellent!
Mmmmm... yummy lobster risotto!

Here's my sis and I with our renewed passports.  Quick thank you to my in-laws for having us at their home for such a short trip!
Hopefully next time we'll have better luck with our plane rides.  Although my sister's flight back to MN did not go off without a hitch.  Her 3pm flight to Philly was actually cancelled and so she was rebooked on another airline and didn't leave Newark until 9:30pm!

Friday, May 16, 2014

No more binky for Charlie!

So we've decided to take the binky away from Charlie.  It's been almost 2 weeks now since he has not had it.  I would tell him "Binky go bye bye!" and pretend to be looking for it under his crib (which is where it ends up most of the time!).
He's been obviously crying a lot more during bedtime but eventually he falls asleep.  It's just a matter of how long "eventually" is.  I'm going to miss his little face with his binky in his mouth though:
But I think it will probably be best for him, since his two front teeth are starting to jut out just a little bit now. Hopefully he won't cry too much longer for it.  Charlie used to just "chill" in his crib when he woke up in the mornings, but now it's "Mama bau-bau!" which means "Mommy carry me!"... which also means no sleeping in for Mommy!

Sale of Chandler house is finalized!

We are so happy that everything is now done with the Chandler house.  Thanks to our realtor Brock for taking care of things!
We're going to miss the house, especially those fancy dark bamboo floors and not forgetting our built-in BBQ, fire pit, and artificial putting green.
It was a good start-up home for us in Phoenix but we are definitely happy with the sale of the home since that has enabled us to now be in Gilbert, right by the golf course!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Moving to Abu Dhabi!

Yes, you heard it!  We are moving to Abu Dhabi very soon.  Bobby accepted a job there recently so we are preparing to move the whole family there.
And first things first - putting the house up for sale:
We signed some docs this past Tuesday and once the photos were taken and posted on the internet, we had 2 showings on Friday and one today. Wow... talk about some quick responses!  And we ended up with 2 offers today. Yay!  Obviously we had to pick only one, so hopefully we picked the right one.

Perhaps the pretty flowers in the front yard helped with the sale. Our azaleas were in full bloom when we returned from Phoenix:
And these other flowers in the planter were in full bloom too. I can never remember what these are called but they survive the summer pretty well and come back even fuller the next year.
And the day lilies in the backyard are coming back with a vengeance!
I planted 2 bulbs a few years ago and then, Bobby - thinking it was a weed, pulled out one of them and thankfully missed the other one.  And now there are 7 of them!  I hope we'll be around to catch them in full bloom. I know that they normally bloom right around in the middle of June, close to my mom's anniversary.

And we had our neighborhood garage sale today and we sold almost half the furniture in the house!  This one guy must have thought he hit the jackpot when he dropped by the house and ended up looking around the inside of the house.  He came back 3 times with his truck and at the 3rd and last time, he brought his whole family and then some! Here's Charlie, a little unsure of the whole situation during the last truck loading:
I suppose the timing of this guy showing up at our house was a good one since we were needing to clear the house up after receiving the news on the offer for the house this morning.

But now, we are down to leftover cushions, a memory foam mattress top that we forgot to get out for the garage sale (thankfully!) and a teddy bear seat in the living room. The rooms sounds so bare and echo-ey since that same guy took all of our rugs too!
And thanks to our neighbor for lending us some barstools. Just a minor detail that was missed once all the furniture was gone as to "Where are you going to eat?".  Kitchen countertop is a little messy now but thankfully no showings tomorrow. Hopefully no more!
Gosh, what an experience today was but all in all, a great day!

Charlie is 21 months old

Can't believe Charlie is going to be 2 years old in less than 3 months!
He is definitely talking a lot more these days.  His new words lately are:
- "I do" as in Charlie wanting to do something
- "Birdhouse" - we have one in the front yard with 2 birds and little birdies!
- "Play" when he wants to go out and play
- "Snack, please" when he wants a snack
- "Read, please" when he wants you to read a book
- "Daddy's home!" when Bobby walks through the garage door returning from work
- "There..." when Charlie completes a task. Too funny!
- "I did it!" as you will see in the following video:
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And he loves to give big bear hugs to his brother and also lay on Graham:
And sit and bounce on Graham. Ha!
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It's amazing how Graham tolerates it, although there are times Graham would start to complain saying Charlie is doing this or that.
Both boys are going to need their haircuts soon.  Hopefully bribing with a couple of lollipops will help!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The boys loving golf time

Every Sunday at the club by the Gilbert house, the kids are allowed to go out and play on the course.  We decided to take the boys to the driving range instead:
Ready as usual!  Charlie is already warming up in the parking lot:
Charlie seems to be favoring lefty:
Oops!
At least he looks cute doing it:
Graham on the other hand is favoring righty, but with a left-hand low split grip!
He did get lucky a few times:
The video probably sums up the day:
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And speaking of golf, I did play in a Cactus Tour event during our stay in Phoenix and finished T-10 with scores of 76, 75, and 73 at the Legacy Golf Club!  Not too shabby for only putting a little bit of practice time.  Even Bobby was happily surprised :-)

And we also had a chance to meet Jimmy Roberts.  What a nice guy!  He was doing a story on a Cactus Tour player -  Bobbi Lancaster, whom I've become friends with recently. The show "In Play with Jimmy Roberts" should be airing in the summer, after the British Open.  I was interviewed to be part of the show since I was paired with Bobbi on the first day during the tournament at Legacy GC. We'll see how it turns out!
And oh, I asked Jimmy Roberts to sign an autograph for Bobby as he had asked for one. And this is what Jimmy wrote.
Definitely something to frame up and treasure for the rest of our lives! :-D

Loving the GIlbert house

It didn't take long for Bobby to hit the golf course during our trip to Phoenix.  There's a golf hole literally in our backyard!
Don't know if you can see Bobby through the fence but if you haven't noticed, it's almost 100F!
And it's amazing how Charlie loves to just sit and play next to his big brother when the yard is so big for both of them!
And look!  My cactus (which funny enough I named "Bob" during my college years) now has one bloom! It's a tiny one - to the far right, closest to the tree trunk.
Some other new things in the Gilbert house?  Well, let's just say we're not buying any more of those bean bag beads!
Phew! I'm glad there's a double zipper once it was all said and done. The boys seems to enjoy laying on the new teddy bear:
We also had our first puppet show.  Too cute!
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The boys also "helped" as usual with more home organization:
As usual, here's the before:
And the after.  Ahhh... serenity!
And while the boys were away, there was more assembling to be done:
The new shelves (to the left) fits perfectly and just enough space for that lamp!
The house is definitely coming together and as comfy as we were in the Chandler house, it's amazing how we're even more comfy and homey in this house.  I'm glad we moved.

By the way, here's the flower on "Bob".  It's too bad it only lasted for a day or so, so I'm glad I caught the bloom in time!