Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy UAE National Day!

It was such a busy week last week.  Graham had his 44th National Day celebration at school on Tuesday and then, Charlie had his in his school on Wednesday.  I managed to borrow a couple of thobes (National dress for the men) from a friend.  The boys looked so cute in them!
It's too bad Charlie didn't want to wear his to school.  Maybe next year :-)  But Graham was all excited about wearing a thobe to school.  Technically you're suppose to wear sandals but we figured Crocs would work too:
I, on the other hand, ended up buying a couple of Abayas. I'm glad I didn't trip over mine because they go all the way down to almost touching the ground!
As for Graham, it didn't take him long to figure out how to run in the thobe:
And sit like a local Emirati!
There was a lot going on at Graham's school.  There was sand painting that Graham always enjoys doing!
You basically pick out a picture and peel of each section and pour colored sand over the sticky part.  Tada!
There were also some traditional dancing:
Graham got to sit in a police car and play with the sirens and loud speaker:
And there's always a camel on site during these celebrations:
Like I said, always a camel onsite! The one at Charlie's school was quite verbal. This one sounded like it was growling!
Charlie opted for face painting at his school:
Captain America!
"Show me your muscles, Charlie!"
As for me, I opted for some henna.  It only took the lady a few minutes to do this:
And once it dries, it starts to peel off.  I decided to just clean it up so I don't have henna stains on anything else. It's quite tricky not to smudge the pattern when the henna is still wet!
Quite pretty!  And the color has gotten darker these past couple of days.
The boys will have a few days off next week for the UAE National Day.  Can't wait for a little break in the routine!

Friday, November 27, 2015

New turf on the balcony

A friend of ours recently moved to a new villa and during my first visit to their home, I stepped into her backyard of lush green turf.  Yes, artificial turf!... and I was so amazed and pleasantly surprised at how good it felt on the feet!  She had a couple extra sheets of it and I asked if I could have it and funny enough, it fit perfectly on our balcony when we laid it out - like it was meant to be!
On the first night, the boys were excited to have their yogurt on the balcony before bedtime:
Charlie is in charge of dusting during the day!
I think he has been the one using the balcony the most anyway :-)
So glad we are able to enjoy the balcony more, especially now that the weather is finally cooling down!
Bobby still doesn't believe how well the two pieces of turf fit on the balcony.  He is convinced that I had it measured out.  Well, I told him it would cost him at least a new vacuum cleaner because that's all we need to do to clean it.  I wish I had purchased that Shop-Vac back in the US - so much cheaper back there!

Goodbye Srixon, Hello PING!

I meant to update on this a while ago since I have now converted to PING clubs after being back from the US this past October.  With at least 6 years with my most recent Srixon golf clubs (and a total of 11 years with Srixon - from the very beginning of turning pro!), I figured it was time for a change. I did switch to PING wedges last year and really liked them.  It's amazing how much difference technology can make! And with the PING company situation in Phoenix, Arizona - it was quite an advantage for me to be personally fitted.  I needed something that would give me extra height and length, of course.  Who doesn't want to hit it longer!

And after 2 rounds of golf, I'm still adjusting to the new woods and hybrids but really loving the new I-Series irons!  I recently added a new gym class to my routine as well called Body Combat.  Lots of punching (with no gloves/sparing partner) and lots of lunges, squats, and kicking so I've been quite sore. I was feeling a lot better during yesterday's game compared to last week and it was obvious with my score: 75 yesterday compared to 80 last week!  And oh, also got a new putter.  I know... they say it's the "Indian" and not the "arrow" but I'm convince I needed a different putter as well :-)

Looking forward to more better rounds of golf.  I did beat Bobby 6 and 5 yesterday.  All I need to do now is try and out-drive him to crush his ego some more! :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Photos of the week

Despite all the cloud cover the other day, we have yet to see a real rainstorm here in Abu Dhabi!
Charlie enjoying "rambutan" - a local fruit that we get in Malaysia (although I can't remember where these were imported from).
And in case you're wondering what it looks like, here it is!  Reddish with soft spikes on the outside, semi-transparent flesh on the inside with a seed.  Charlie later discovered that there's a layer of skin that comes off from the seed, so that threw him off a little and he no longer like it.  Funny enough, that's the same reason why I don't like to eat Rambutans anymore either!
Charlie my sleepy, tired bear.  He fell asleep in the car so I put him in the stroller to bring him up to the apartment.  It's amazing how he manages to find a comfortable position in the stroller for his afternoon nap!
Embracing the upcoming National Day - I will be dressing up in one of these Abayas during Graham's picnic lunch at school. I was only planning on getting one but somehow ended up with two (Good discount for first customer, as they would always say!).  I had originally picked out another one but after some issues with alterations, the "boss" at the store had me pick out another one - so I picked out the one on the left.  It's a bit "different" or more "modern" as the store guy puts it and funny enough, Graham actually likes that one better and wants me to wear it for his school picnic.  We'll see how I do in it!
Still trying to figure things out here in Abu Dhabi.  Who knew that a splash park would only open from 3-6pm rather than in the mornings or all day.  Very strange!  This one looks really fun though.  Can't wait for our next trip out there during the correct time!
All was not lost as the kids came across a lady with a pet cockatoo.  You just never know what you'll find around here!
And there was also fun with the kite but despite a windy day, even I had a tough time getting the kite up in the air.  Blame it on the cheapy kite but not like the kids minded it one bit :-)
Good memories!

Graham is 5 1/2 years old

5 1/2 years old today! Somehow I just don't see myself as having an almost 6-year old kid!  Well, Graham has grown a full inch since July and is now about 3 1/2 ft tall.  He's still so skinny though.  We give him food vouchers for the canteen at school and all he seems to be eating at school is cake!
Yes, he is as cheeky as he looks!  We are still waiting for his tooth to fall off. It's the bottom right/central incisor.  I wonder how much longer!
Graham has been very busy in school (wait, so has Mommy with all his school "Home Learning" projects!).  He did a presentation on his favorite planet - Pluto:
And we also built his first Solar System using a shoe box and playdoh:
We've had a few incidents at school and most recently, I had Graham write a "I'm sorry" note to his teacher.  He also wanted to write "Do you forgive me?" on the other side of the note. Ha ha! Like I had mentioned before, cheeky little fella!  I have to say, at least his handwriting is improving. It's his least favorite activity!
Graham has still been a great big brother - always sharing!
Although, I'm not sure who is having more fun playing games on the tablet here, Daddy or the boys??!
When it comes to dancing, we know who is having the most fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

So tired!

We made it back to Abu Dhabi last week and are just finally getting through jetlag.  Although, I have still yet to finish unpacking!  The boys have been quite tired all week - barely finishing up their (early) dinners and falling asleep at the dinner table!  Anyhow, I thought it would be funny to put together a collection of "I'm so tired!" photos.  Enjoy!

Charlie on the couch, jetlagged obviously (back in Abu Dhabi)

Graham passed out in the car after dinner one night. It's a good thing the UAE is not strict on car seats!

Sleepy bears after splash (in Phoenix)

Charlie missing out on playtime

Also from jetlag, Charlie on the couch at Grandma's when we first arrived in NJ

In the car, Graham is fast asleep on the way to Moorestown, NJ

Charlie - too tired to eat (on the way to the Phoenix Zoo). Too funny!

After the zoo trip - poor Graham!  What are we doing to our kids! 

Not looking very comfortable, but I think Charlie is actually fast asleep in his seat on the airplane (enroute to NJ):

But we make it all up by buying things like Olaf fluffy blankies and matching eye shades. Graham is pretending to sleep here!

It's a good thing the boys can sleep just about anywhere!

Hair donation

This would be my 4th time buzzing my hair.  Wow, time sure has flown.  Can't believe it's been 8 years now since my mom passed away from cancer.   So, here we go again!  The hair will be donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to make wigs.

We bought a new pair of clippers for the occasion - nice and shiny!
Ok... ready, set....
One pony tail down, 3 to go!
Somehow Bobby disappeared in the middle of the session so I decided to take over. A little tricky!
All done!  Bobby did come back and help me finish up.  By the way, thank you honey for being so supportive!
Head is feeling a lot lighter without all that hair!
These clippers were nice and easy compared to the ones that I had in Tulsa.
We really like the buzz cuts on the boys.
Somehow, Bobby managed to disappear again.  No worries, these boys are pros at this by now.
Looks like the clippers paid for themselves!

Another couple more years until the next buzz cut.  Funny enough, the minute I got back into Abu Dhabi - I went to use the women's restroom and a lady said to me "This is the girl's toilet".  And I replied "I am a girl. I just have really short hair."  Ha ha! Perhaps I need to start wearing more girly outfits! :-)