Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Recent happenings

Well, as usual - Charlie is still loving the face painting!
And also still loving soccer.  Charlie was Pass Master last week!  That's his 4th medal since he has attended four sessions now.  Hopefully he will continue to have such great enthusiasm:
In the meantime, it's been almost 1 1/2 weeks and I still have a bad tan from a sunburn!  I missed a spot because I didn't want to get sunscreen underneath my Fitbit watch during a round of golf.  Well... looks like the watch is going to get greasy next time!  Thankfully it didn't burn enough to hurt but obviously looks quite funny!
We continue to battle all that sand by Graham's school during pick-up.  It's been so windy lately!
Speaking of battles, it's still so tough to pack lunch for these boys.  You can probably guess which tupperware belongs to which kid.  Thankfully, Charlie still enjoys his vegetables but "no sauce, Mommy!", where as no greens for Graham and lots of sauce and "Just chicken please, Mommy!".  How do these boys actually belong in the same family??!
Last but not least, our little "visitor" from a couple of weeks ago.  A gecko!  Scared the crap out of Charlie when he was standing on a stool and peeing!  Poor fella!  Well, and the gecko too.  It couldn't scamper fast enough to get away from the screaming kid!... which made Charlie scream even more because it was squiggling around. Ahhh...!!!
Charlie was so traumatized we had to carry him around the rest of the night.  This one does look a little different than the previous ones we have seen in the apartment.  It has patches on its body and stripes on its tail and also a bit bigger.  Well, I did manage to capture it yesterday and decided it would be happier down the garbage chute.  Hopefully we won't see another one anytime soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dress up

Last Thursday, Graham got to dress up as his favorite story book character for school.  I asked him who he would like to be and he said "Emmet, from the Lego movie".  And I told him that the Lego movie is not a book but he said, "But we wrote one!"  Okay, so he did write a story called "Emmet and Princess Unikitty" last term and funny enough, his "book" is actually in the Reading Corner of his classroom!  Graham obviously won that argument.

So as usual, not wanting to spend too much money on school projects... here we go! I couldn't find an orange t-shirt for kids, but I did find one for an adult.  For cheap too!
The many uses of duct tape and color markers!
I managed to find a pair of orange sweat pants.  I think it was meant for girls but Graham didn't mind it one bit, even with those red and blue stars around the pockets.  Phew!
Can't forget Emmet's name tag:
After working on the costume to about 11pm the night before... Ta da!!!  He was so happy to put it on the next day!
I think I was pretty close to the original.  We just have to maybe work on Graham's hair next time :-)

So I guess the effort was all worth it.  I wonder what's next??!  Graham's school projects are definitely testing my creativity!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Speedy sports cars!!!

The weekend before last, there were a few races at the Yas Marina Circuit.  This is the same track used during the Formula 1 (except tickets are a lot LOT cheaper!).

Such a long tunnel to get to the race track from the parking lot.  I can't imagine it being packed with people. I would probably feel so claustrophobic!
Here we are waiting for the race to start. First ones up are the Toyotas.
Thumbs up from Charlie!
These cars were a bit loud.  I guess those ear-muffs aren't quite good enough!
After the race, the boys got to see the cars up close by the pit:
Graham even got to hold the yellow flag!
Pretty amazing what sort of sensors they have on the track.  Asphalt temperature and soil temperature?!? It's amazing how hot the asphalt gets (112.6F) when the air temperature is only at 84.6F:
There were some other sports cars on display on the grounds of the track.  I think we liked this one the best.  So pretty!
The next race were the Ferraris. These were even louder!
The boys were so excited to see so many of them.  Halfway through the race, there was a minor accident so the cars had to pull back into the pit:
Okay, race is back on.  I don't know how these guys aren't scared when they stick their head out in between the glass by the track.  YIKES!
Graham wasn't liking the noise too much from the Ferrari racing:
Charlie is still loving it! More pointing!
This is probably as close as we are going to get to a Formula 1 race.  I guess we can check this one off our "Things to do in Abu Dhabi" list then!

Sunday, April 17, 2016


We were having dinner at Yas Links Golf Club yesterday and I had my camera handy.
Not like Graham and Charlie noticed any of this.  They were too busy playing with the sand!
The sun continues to set.  You can catch a glimpse of the Abu Dhabi skyline in the horizon:

By the way, here's Graham trying to read the sign close to where they were playing.  His reading is definitely improving!

Well, I had my camera handy because I also wanted to give a little shout-out to Sundog sunglasses for their continued support of my golf.
Love the new KITT model.  Thanks, Sundog Eyewear!

Charlie's new drawings

Charlie was quite busy with the markers and the easel in the kitchen when we returned from our recent Spring Break trip.  When he was done with this drawing, he said it was him.
I guess I see the resemblence :-)
And then, with this one - Charlie drew a house where he sleeps (middle right) and then, to the left is a dog and to the right is a cat.  Hmm... maybe he's hoping for one of each in the future???

Back to Abu Dhabi

I wanted to share some photos taken from the airplane on the way back from Phoenix to San Francisco.  The landscape changes so quickly!

From crop circles and greenery:
To snowy rocky mountains:
To lush rolling hills.  Just amazing!
Oh, on a side note - Graham lost one more tooth!  Lower right lateral incisor.  He loves to stick his tongue through the missing tooth so you probably can't see the gap very well:
Graham and Charlie know the routine too well when we stay overnight by the airport hotel.  Room service!
These kids can't be any more different.  Graham has about 3 chicken nuggets and no fruit and Charlie has majority of the fruit and perhaps 1/2 a piece of chicken nugget.  Ha!  But one thing is for sure, they both love watching Tornadoes on The Weather Channel!

Almost time to get on the airplane!  Charlie snags an apple from the hotel lobby and keeps himself occupied with it during check-in:
Another 15-hour long journey.  So thankful for Business class.  The boys are spoiled for sure:
Graham loves to listen to music as he sleeps on the airplane.
And I get to catch up on about 3 new movies while traveling :-) What a fun trip!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Phoenix Zoo and Train Park

Graham and Charlie were able to enjoy the zoo even more this time with their cousins from Minnesota!  My sister and her family arrived the day after Grandma and Pop-pop had driven back to NJ.  I don't think Charlie was even born yet when they came by to visit us in Phoenix the last time, so it has been at least 4 years since Graham had seen his cousins.
Here they are: Graham (6 in May) , Michael (8), Charlie (4 in July), and Caden (5)
And here's me and my sister, Corina:
Another one of the boys:
Charlie is missing from the photo because he was busy trying to read the map and lagged behind!
After the zoo trip, we had another trip planned out for a park.  We met up with some friends from college there and as one of them were fishing, Graham and Charlie took the opportunity to cast a few as well.
They both enjoyed it so much.  It was too bad we didn't catch anything though!
And then, off to the train!  My college friends had their kids with them at the park too and all the kids wanted to be in the caboos:
So much screaming when the train went into the tunnel.  Too funny!  And Graham - being the "engineer" he is, wanted to know how the train worked and where the whistle was when we were done.
Last minute mini-carousal ride before ending the morning.
Desert Breeze was such a fun park!  Definitely a must-do again next time we are back in Phoenix!

More going on in Phoenix

It's busy as usual when we are in Phoenix.  Dental appointments:
I had my teeth checked too this time.  It had been 2+ years since my check-up. OUCH!
And then, some golf:
We even baked some Christmas cookies!
 We roasted marshmallows a couple of nights to make S'mores. YUM!
Charlie loves marshmallows!
And then, we brought the chalk out for the boys to draw on the driveway.  They really enjoyed that:
Charlie drew our family.  Awww...!
And then, they both got carried away writing from our driveway all the way to the end of the walkway.  Oops!  Glad HOA didn't complain about that one!
Maybe best to just keep them in the backyard.  Although somehow I think the toys are ganging up to all go outside.  Hmm....
This next photo is pretty random but looks like we can't get away from unique vehicles when we travel.  What a giant Jeep!
In other news... my cactus "Bob" (I've had him for probably 15 years now!) had a growth spurt with lots of little babies and flower buds.  Too bad I won't be able to see them bloom:
Alrighty - to be continued with Zoo trip and Day at the Park!