Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer swimming lessons

We signed up Graham and Charlie for swim lessons this past month.  It was for twice a week and it's amazing how well they are swimming now!  They both used to wear their floaties a lot and right after the first swim lesson, we never brought the floaties back to the pool!
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Charlie said he was making a zig-zag :-)

And here's Graham. He is in the black speedos. We started calling them Torpedo shorts. Charlie's shorts are a bit shorter but he definitely thinks he can swim faster in Torpedo shorts!
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Swim lessons ended this past Tuesday.  Not sure if we will continue on with them as Graham and Charlie will have swim lessons at school once that restarts in September. But so happy with their one-month progress!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Playing dress-up

We recently were presented with some super-hero outfits from a friend that was leaving Abu Dhabi. How could you resist when the kids get this much fun out of it!
Arrrrg matey!!!  Charlie decided to even wear the outfit to the golf club for dinner:
Then, there's also the Transformer outfit:
Hmm... Spiderman and is that Batman at the local supermarket???
No wait, it's Super (Charlie) man!!!
Running around the supermarket again as usual!

Fixing watches

I brought some watches to a nearby mall to get the batteries changed out.  The guy seemed a bit rough trying to pry open up the boys' watch, so as I cringed I decided it was too much and decided to bring the watches home.  Then, after having to use small screwdrivers for something else, I thought - I should be able to use this one particular tiny flat one for the watches!  And so it began...
Success!!! Except when it was time to get the back-plate put back on, it was probably the more difficult part.  Yes, I had to use a hammer on this particular one and even so, it still wouldn't snap shut!  Looks like I might have to bring this one back to the pros :-P
And then, Graham and Charlie's Leappad decided to break down so we are back to using my handy-dandy little screwdriver set. I thought that maybe removing the battery might help so I had to get to the core of the pad (with the help of the internet of course):
After all that effort.... NOPE! Still no workie!  That meant having to reset the Leappad back to its factory setting. Thankfully that worked and it was just a matter of restoring all the games:
 All in a day's work - 4 watch batteries replaced and 1 Leappad fixed!

Recent happenings

Let's see... what have we been up to.  Pink icing with banana cake. Yes, just because we can!
Graham cooking more mushrooms.  He really LOVES mushrooms!
Watching lots of TV/DVD movies:
Some cat-sitting duties for a friend, although we are finding out that Graham is allergic to cats too!
Free playtime at IKEA.  Charlie is obviously tall enough now, but Graham just needs to double check:
At times the play area at IKEA is too crowded, so we roam around the floor.  Boys love to measure!
The golf club recently set up an indoor simulator.  Graham and Charlie can't get enough of it!
Lots of time roaming around the malls.  Fancy Lego work at this toy store.  Charlie is so funny with his poses:
Playing "rock, paper, scissors" but obviously not seeing any "rock", or "paper", or "scissors". I don't remember ever skewing away from the traditional!
We try out a sushi-train restaurant in Dubai. Great concept except there was suppose to be a lot more variety coming on the belt. We eventually had to just order some of the ones that never showed up. And unfortunately, the sushi was just so-so.  Kept the boys entertained for a while though:
Last but not least, a quick train ride at the mall!
The task of entertaining the boys continue as the summer holidays go on!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Charlie's new bed

Our good friends have moved away from Abu Dhabi recently and they decided to leave behind their son's Sports Car bed. So needless to say, I jumped on the opportunity to take it when they asked if we wanted it.
So glad we have the minivan!!!
Decided to snag the shelf as well:
Ta da!!! So happy that Charlie doesn't complain about not liking his bed anymore.  He was sleeping on the trundle bed when he decided to start sharing the same bedroom as Graham. 
It's crazy to think that Charlie was still in a crib when we first moved here.  That was 3 years ago! Speaking of which, Charlie's birthday is coming up at the end of the month.  He is going to be 5 years old!!!

Fun City / Fun Works

Graham and Charlie have been on their summer break since the end of June.  It's been interesting trying to keep them busy!  Apart from the little bit of homework that I try and make them do (which unfortunately comes with so much whining!!!), we have been busy at some Play Centers.
Thank goodness for Dollar Mondays! Dhs1 for the "Blue" games. Normally, this Transformer game would have been Dhs10.50/game!
And Graham came across this machine that was spitting out tickets (the "Pink" games will spit out tickets when you play them). I guess someone had won but just walked away from it. Lucky us!
Some indoor exercising :-)
It's amazing how you can actually have your picture taken on these car racing games:
More racing! Charlie is just able to touch the pedals:
By the way, Graham and Charlie normally start their day at these Play Centers in the soft gym - climbing around, jumping on the trampoline, shooting soft balls out of air guns, and lots more.  And you wonder why Charlie is so tired after a few hours at the mall!
I'm glad we are making the most out of the summer deal.  Dhs99 (USD27) for a 100 days. That will definitely cover us until school starts again in September!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sea plane!

A special rate came up for an opportunity to get on a sea plane with Seawings Dubai a couple of months ago and we jumped on it!  Figured this might be our only chance to do so.  We were planning on making it some sort of staycation last week in Dubai but an unforeseen expense of renewing our Emirates IDs ruined those plans. So it is just a day-trip then to Dubai!

We start out the day with a scrape in between the eyes. Hopefully this will teach Charlie not to mess with his brother:
And we're off on our little road trip!  Charlie is being cheeky and yet very sophisticated with his legs crossed during the car ride:
Graham also has his legs crossed but is shoving cheerios into his mouth:
A bit of a hazy day today in Dubai:
We arrive at Dubai Creek Golf Club.  Time for some lunch first.  Thankfully the kids' menus keep the boys busy:
We spot a sea plane coming in for landing by the golf club:
A glimpse of what our landing will be.  Pretty smooth!
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After lunch, it is time to check in for our flight.  Looks like we will be taking the BLUE route - down the creek towards the open water, then make a left to fly along the coast towards the Burj Al Arab hotel, turn right to get to the tip of Jumeirah Palm, where we will make a U-turn to come back around:
Graham and Charlie are reviewing the Safety Video:
Time to get to our plane!
Waiting at the jeti:
Family photo op!  Can't believe the lady only took one photo, so thank goodness this one turned out decent.  But Charlie seems to be looking a bit scared???
Okay, everyone gets situated in the tiny plane:
One of the passengers sitting behind me locks up the door:
And the push off:
We were go...!!!!
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A view of Dubai city. Too bad about the haze!
Who knew cruise ships docked here??!?
A view of the port with the city in the backdrop. Spectacular!!!
A peek at The World Islands, which consist of man-made islands in the rough shape of a world map. Unfortunately, construction has been halted:
The iconic Burj al Arab hotel:
And of course, the Palm Jumeirah.  Quite the sight!
Graham and Charlie having a great view of the Palm as well:
Happy Graham!
Charlie has somehow decided to look through the safety instructions:
One last look at the coastline along the Persian Gulf:
Spotted this fancy hotel just before landing in Dubai Creek.  Wow...!
Great flight!  Thanks captain!
One more thing to check off our to-do list in the UAE :-)