Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cleaning the balcony

As the temperature is dropping to the cool mid 20s C in the morning and evenings (that's in the high 70s F), we decided to get an outdoor furniture set.  But before that, time to clean out the balcony!  Here's the sand accumulation after 2 dust storms:
Quite a task sweeping!  Obviously the sliding doors and the railing were dusty, and even the walls!
Maybe I should save it for a sandbox? Uh... maybe not!
Graham did not go to school as he was still on the mend with his cough.  He loved to be mommy's little helper, of course :-)
And the floor was back dirty again once we were done with the sliding doors/windows.  Check out that dirty water in the bucket. YUCK!
Ahh... nice and clean. Although probably not for very long. It will be quite a task to keep this sand free!
I thought golf was bad enough for my calluses.  The brooms are worst!
Here's our view from our balcony.  The sports resort next door is working on a new building.
And the view to our right - a sea of concrete villas and townhomes.
And to the left - at least there is some green from the fields down below.
Furniture is here!  The boys are busy supervising, as usual:
Tada!  Nothing like white cushions in a dusty and sandy place. Perhaps we should just leave the plastic on. Ha ha!
Here's the view from our dining room.
And my view this morning.  The perfect place to check my emails and "socialize" as Bobby puts it. Well, almost perfect.  I could do without those rails and also all that construction noise in the background!
Well, one balcony cleaned... 3 more to go! Although we probably won't furnish the rest of them. That would just be too much to upkeep!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Graham's airplane

We bought some legos for the boys and Graham came up with this!  He called it his SA 2 Rescue airplane.  I have no idea how he came up with "SA" or what it even means!
Ok, so you can't really see it clearly.  I actually had Graham take the photo of his plane :-)
A little bit better!
Ahh... there we go.  Very symmetrical, as you can see. And it even has the emergency lights at the top!
There's the #2.
And of course, the window/door at the back to put the people in it.
Graham insisted on taking all angles of his airplane.  And also, a photo of what was Charlie's airplane - scattered on the floor as you can see, as Charlie had dropped it:
"Awww...." as Charlie would say.  He just started doing that a few days ago. It's so cute!
Charlie has a vertical airplane - a little different.  Who said an airplane needed wings! Maybe he's onto something, like those fans with no blades. Ha ha!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Abu Dhabi / Home update

So not that long ago, we decided to get a table and chair set for the boys since they were always on the floor in the kitchen during snack time:
The stool is just a tad tall for Charlie but he's getting a hang of it now:
And I've also moved the easel into the kitchen. The boys have been using it a lot more here.
We've been using it for Graham especially, to learn and write his alphabets.  He can write "G" pretty well now and I told him to write a little "g" and he came up with this:
It was - like I said... a "little" G.  Too funny!
Anyhow, back to the table and chair set.  The boys have discovered other uses for them - well, the legs of the chairs to be precise.  "Hello...? Anybody there???"
And they would also stick crayons into one end and shake it until it comes out the other end.  And most recently, Graham discovered it also works as an umbrella.  Very creative!
And along the side of creativeness (or lack of), I saw a sticker height chart at the supermarket and decided to do that instead of drawing something up like I did in Tulsa.
Our walls are so plain so I'm glad we have something up!  By the way, Graham is 103cm (40.5") tall and Charlie is 88cm (almost 35") tall.
By the way, Charlie was 25% percentile in weight during his recent check-up. He's still our little peanut! But quite a feisty little one.  At times, he is so happy watching Mommy cook:
But when he's not feeling so great, watch out!
And that's been the past 2 weeks!!! Hopefully this new set of medication will help. And now Graham is coughing too. People say it's due to the change of weather. It's actually been quite nice in the mornings and evenings now. The temperature drops down to a cool 26C or upper 80s F. Can't wait till the days get that way too!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Charlie's wellness visit

Charlie finally had his 2-year old wellness visit.  We had to bring bunny bear along. Shoes on first!
And then, buckle up. Safety first!
Charlie did great at his examination.  All was good then (about 1 1/2 weeks ago), but now he has a terrible cough, the sniffles, and he's still fighting a fever!  It seems to be going around the nursery. Hopefully it will all pass soon (and hopefully not to Graham!).

We were making such good progress with a little potty training. I even put him in pull-ups:
And I remembered to bring the potty watch all the way from the U.S.!
Unfortunately, all that excitement only lasted one day. As he got more sick, he lost more interest in everything! Hopefully when he feels better, we'll get back on track with potty training.

Our Pass Master!

Graham was the Pass Master last week for the 4-year olds last week during soccer.  He was so happy and proud of himself, as you can see :-)

And there's nothing better than being the line leader as well. He loved doing that at his old school/nursery back in Tulsa.
There was a little "cry" moment in the middle of the session but at the end of the day, he scored 4 out of 4 goals during the one-on-one.  Hooray for Graham!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


I'm not exactly sure when it started but we realized that Charlie had a tough time saying the word "bicycle".  He would say "bi-cy-cycle". And then it applied to any word that has that similar sound to it.  Other examples are "tricycle" and then tonight, we realized it was the word "popsicle" too! Just watch and listen:
Too funny!  Every now and then, he will get it right, but for now it's just so cute to listen to him say it :-)

Medal for Graham!

Bobby and I were such EXTRA proud parents this past Friday.  Graham had his usual soccer class/school and at the end of it, he earned himself a medal!
At the end of every class, a boy or girl will receive a medal.  It is given out to the kid that 1) Listens 2) Plays hard and 3) Smiles.  I guess our boy finally had the right combination that day!  It was pretty tough the first session though because when another kid was awarded the medal, Graham cried and cried.  And even the next day he was still upset about it!  And after the second session, he sort of bit his lip and tried to hold back his tears when another kid was awarded the medal again.  Week 3 was better and finally, now Week 4 - he was almost surprised when he heard his name!

Charlie, on the other hand, was too tired to bother. He is almost always instantly asleep by the time we get into the car. He is such a tired bear after soccer!
I'm not sure if Charlie will ever get a medal in his class.  Perhaps not this session since he is a year younger than the rest of the kids in his class and still clings on to me during class.

And oh, I hate to admit it but I was so happy for Graham that I actually cried!  Happy tears, that is.  I didn't shed a single tear at my wedding but I cry when my little boy gets an award in his soccer class.  Who would have thought!
And oh, one other thing - Graham gets to be the "Pass Master" next week. He gets to wear a special bib for the entire class time. I'm sure he will be on cloud nine all day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Transformers in town

It was a surprise for the boys last week when we took them to one of the malls in the city to see the Transformers.  There were just 3 of them on show for picture taking:
Thankfully the lines weren't too long, although we did get there early.  The boys kept themselves entertained as usual during the wait:
I'm not sure if Bobby was perhaps more excited than Graham:
The anticipation...
Here he is... Optimus Prime!
Unfortunately, he didn't really do much. He just stood there and waited up on stage for picture-taking.  Ok, our turn!  Charlie was a little bit scared.
Graham didn't get too close either:
We didn't stay to take photos with Bumble bee and Megatron as it was a whole separate line/queue.  We were able to catch a glimpse of them from the upper floors when we were roaming around the mall.  They were at least moving around a little bit more during picture taking. I wonder if maybe the Optimus Prime suit was just too heavy to move in. Guess we'll never know for sure!
In any case, it's always a successful trip when both boys are fast asleep in the car :-)
 And we promised Graham a new toy since he has recently quit the habit of sucking on his thumb. Hooray!  I think we got away easy with just some playdoh :-)
I did just catch Graham sucking on his thumb yesterday when he was snuggling with Daddy and his blankie (Graham's blankie that is :-) so I threatened to return the toy.  Hopefully that was the last time!
By the way, I've been wanting to post pics of these two buildings.  Bob calls them the "pine cone" buildings.
So come to find out, these "cones" actually open and close depending on the time of day!  The photo on top was taken in the morning and here, this next picture - was taken later in the evening. See how the "cones" are all open.
And these "cones" or "flowers" as I would call them can be opened or closed independently of each other.  Sometimes I'll see all of them closed and just one or two are open.  What a neat idea!