Monday, November 27, 2006

when it rains, it pours

This is a picture of Muharraq at 8:45 a.m., yesterday, Nov. 26th. Muharraq is one of the biggest cities in Bahrain. (edit: hubby said that one of the license plates on a car is Saudi, so maybe this isn't Bahrain after all... apparently Saudi gets a lot of rain up north)

We had a major rain storm yesterday... hence the picture. I woke up to huge bangs that sounded like bombs dropping at about 4 a.m., with each one getting louder and louder - obviously as the thunder got closer - then all of a sudden at about 5:00 a.m., it started to down pour.

This is the first time, since living here, that I've experienced such heavy rain that lasted all day long. And... for that matter, I've NEVER heard thunder before in this country. It was quite different than thunder in Dallas and in the States... like I said, it sounded more like bombs dropping than anything. It was the weirdest sound and sort of frightening. When I heard it, I kept thinking... "what is that sound" - wondering if a construction crew had already started working that early (which isn't odd - it happens a LOT). I love heavy rain, the kind that lasts for days, but the rain here wrecks havoc on the streets and in the homes. I wonder how many of these ppl had insurance... and, if so, does the insurance cover such damage?

The streets in Bahrain aren't equipped to handle so much rain. You get massive flooding like you see here. So many streets were like small little lakes yesterday. It took us about 30 or so mins. to get to work yesterday, whereas it usually takes about 5 mins. I tried going down a street lastnight and it was totally flooded and blocked off. I wound up having to turn around and come back home. I can't imagine living in some of these areas that were heavily flooded. The open land next to our house has a small little lake in it now... but it's nothing in comparison.

Our house was leaking like crazy yesterday morning w/ little ponds forming in some of the bathrooms and in a couple of the rooms. Our garage had a steady stream of water coming down one of the walls. Any day now, I feel like something will happen and our garage will crumble. No, it's not that bad, but I can't get over how poorly things are built here. Our house isn't that old and it leaks like crazy. I can't imagine how it would be if it rained for several days w/out stopping. I think the whole country would collapse. Makes me wonder what ppl were thinking when they planned the streets and what type of ppl built these homes. There are no groups that come and check to be sure you're building properly.... no wonder houses are in such bad shape.

And the roads - they're crazy. Ppl act crazy... honking at you if you don't move fast enough. Lastnight when I was going down this flooded street, I stopped to allow a little tiny car to turn in front of me, and you'd think that I got out of my car and just left it there w/ the way ppl were honking. Plus, I don't take any risks when I'm driving and by myself. I try to be careful, especially in bad weather. Really, there were a few times that I felt like getting out of the truck and saying, "look, I'm pregnant... STOP honking at me and learn to have some patience." But, in all actuality, they wouldn't have cared. These ppl are like crazy idiots.... thank God you're not allowed to have guns here!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone... especially my family back home and all my American friends. Wow, it seems crazy that it's already Thanksgiving. This year has flown by and now the holiday season is upon us and Christmas will be here in no time. If you'll notice the pic, it has two little Indians standing behind the corn stalks. The significance of this is that when the pilgrims landed in America and started living there, it is said that they wanted to show their gratitude to the Indians for all that they had done for them, so they prepared a huge meal for everyone to give thanks. This is where Thanksgiving came from. Sad that the peace couldn't last w/ the Indians!

I've always really liked Thanksgiving. It's a time when you get together with family and friends for large celebrations with lots of food. My mom is such a good cook... I miss her cooking. She makes some of the best food for Thanksgiving. Some of my favorites are homemade cranberry sauce, her cornbread stuffing... ummm, I can imagine it as I sit here... it's just so good, she makes fantastic and interesting salads, the best macaroni casserole w/ lots of cheese and crackers on the top, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, choc. pie, pumpkin pie.... and don't forget the deviled eggs, altho my younger sister is the best at making these. I think I could sit and eat 4 or 5 of these at one time... they are that good. :) Ooooh... and she makes the best baked beans.. but now that I think about it, she makes those for Christmas dinner.

And let's not forget the turkey. My mom has always prided herself on her turkeys. They are always cooked to perfection. Nice and tender on the inside while being brown and toasty on the out. To smell one of these cooking in the oven on Thanksgiving is so wonderful... it brings back so many memories of spending time w/ my mom when I was a young girl. My sister has it so lucky in that my mom is there w/ her... I'm sure they'll have a big Thanksgiving dinner... and I'll call and get homesick, feel sad... and probably cry from a longing to be there.

I'm at work today. It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving, that's for sure. I think if I were home and cooking, I'd feel more festive. But... I plan to cook tomorrow. We'll run to the store today to get all the things to make for a late lunch.. including the turkey. I found out yesterday that I have gestational diabetes, so I won't be making the pumpkin and apple pies that I had planned for... or if I do, I won't be able to partake... which makes me mad coz I was really looking forward to it. I haven't had pumpkin pie in at least 4 years.... and isn't it my luck that now I can't have it!!! And... I'll have to be careful of the carbs I eat since they break down into sugar once they're consumed.... fun fun fun.

After lunch tomorrow, I want to bring out our Christmas tree and put it up. I'm also gonna go ahead and decorate the house. I can hardly wait. The hubby brought me back a set of 10 CDs from Dubai of old Christmas songs. The ones from Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole... all the good ones... so can't wait to listen to those. I'll have to dig around and find my Elvis CDs... he does some of the best Christmas music. I also have another good CD from the Carpenters... it's really good. I grew up listening to the old Christmas songs like I'll Be Home for Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus, White Christmas, The First Noel... all the old songs. I've never been a fan of the newer stuff.... I guess it depends on what you grew up on.

I'm gonna look thru Amazon today because I wanna order all the old Christmas movies/cartoons that I used to watch on TV. There's nothing like that here, and I just have to have them. I'm not even sure that they have this stuff available, but I hope. I think that it's really great for kids, and since we'll have a little baby of our own soon and also since I'm a kid at heart... well... we have to get them. Some of my favs are Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Night Before Christmas, and we can't forget Cristmas Carol w/ Scrooge. Have any of you seen the one w/ Harry Winkler? Aaaah, that is one of the best ones. I loved it. There's also another one that is really old... it's also one of my favorites, but I couldn't tell ya who the actor is that plays in it. He was really old in it, so I'm not even sure that he's still alive.

Anyway... I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Spending time w/ family for the holidays can also be rough on some, and I've had my fair share of times like that as well... and for others, the holidays bring on depression... which I've also experienced. I just hope that all of you have a good few days off work.... and get to rest, relax and enjoy the fall weather back in the States, and if you don't cook at home, then I hope you can go out and have someone cook for you! I guess what I'm saying is... I hope you have peace in your life and find happiness this holiday.... and may you have a good hearty meal that fills your belly. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Princess Anne is in da house!!

Royalty has arrived into Bahrain... not the first time and certainly not the last.... but the nice thing about today is that I got to have a peak at the likes of such just a little while ago. My office is situated right next to the front entrance of our main bldg., and it just so happens that all guests come thru the front door and pass right by my window and office door. So... I got a good lookies at the Princess as she made her way into our bldg. "Sooooo", some of you might be saying and I guess it's not that BIG of a deal, but I thought it was pretty exciting. I see dignitaries coming here all the time but none of them interest me... there's just something about English royalty that makes me take notice. I wonder why... but you know, it's been that way since Princess Diana. Did the whole world wake up and take notice then, or is it just me?! I never paid much attention to English royalty before then, but now... I still watch what's happening to her two sons and I even watched when Prince Charles married what's her face.... Camilla.

Surprisingly, she is very normal looking. Don't know what I expected, but she wasn't dressed up or anything. Had on a cream colored dress w/ pink something on it... maybe flowers or some type of small print. It wasn't a real fancy dress - just simple, but yet she looked elegant... maybe that's due to the fact that she's a Princess, you think? She had her hair up in a bun, which I think is the norm for her, and she came across as rather tall. She had on gloves yesterday when she arrived into the country, but I don't remember seeing gloves today.

Anyway... the hubby said I should run up and say hello... tell her that I'm a Princess from the West... I laughed... can you imagine?!! They're sitting in the formal room right next to me... I can hear someone in the hall clipping their nails w/ clippers!!!!! Now... why are they standing out in the hall cutting their nails at a time like this?? Some men... they have no class! I have to laugh though... I wonder if they realize how loud it sounds?!!

Well, she wasn't here for long. They were prob here for a total of 20 mins.... what's weird is when you walk past the meeting room, everyone will be sitting around on the sofas in a huge half circle... but NO ONE talks. What's up w/ that? Why do ppl just sit, smile and have their pictures taken, but have no real form of communication. Ok... maybe it's formality and there was some talking.... maybe, hopefully there was. There were women in there this time... so... you know there had to be talking! I know they're all gabbing and laughing rather loudly right now... only wish I understood it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

10 weird things about me

I've been tagged by Munther from Drivel of 2 Modern Bahrainis to list 10 weird things about myself... so here goes. Oh yeah, you can find his list on his site - which, after reading his list, aren't things I'd consider weird at all. :)

1. I don't like talking on the telephone, except to my family. If it's someone new that I don't really know, I'll usually try to send an email instead. And even after communicating thru email, I find it extremely difficult to talk to them on the telephone.

2. I'm very particular about the way toilet paper is put on the roll. I find it to be much easier if the paper is facing to the front instead of coming from the back. ;) So, if someone puts it on that way, I will always change it.

3. I live in my head all the time and ppl have called me weird for it. Meaning => I can sit and just stare into space w/ ppl thinking that I'm not concentrating or such, but in all actuality, my mind travels a mile a minute and I'm not only thinking, but I'm planning, organizing, daydreaming, imagining, going over things that have happened.... all sorts of things. Used to, ppl would snap their fingers in front of my face and I've even had a few ppl tell me, "wake up"... but what they don't know is that I'm concentrating more than they could imagine.

4. I can have 5 or more conversations going on at one time and tend to leave many ppl in the dark because of this. There are very few that can keep up... which I guess can be an annoyance.

5. I can also talk really fast, altho I really try not to in this part of the world, and used to be criticized for it.... now ppl just think I'm weird.

6. I used to drink Pepsi and milk together. It's actually not bad... but I haven't in ... I don't know how long. ;) It was a Laverne and Shirley thing.

7. I believe in aliens.

8. I believe in life after death.

9. I also somewhat believe that if we don't succeed in what we are meant to do on earth during our life here, we will be born again and have to keep repeating it until we get it right.

10. I strongly believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. You do something bad to someone and you'll get it back 10 fold.... one way or another. Perfect example => Anna Nicole Smith. Yeah, some of you may think me mean for saying it, but I truly believe she's getting what she deserves.

ok... this is my list. I tag Alfanan, Puppy, Olivia, One Wink and whoever else would like to play along... just let me know so that I can read your lists! :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

drip drip drop little April shower!!

Ok, It's not April but you'd think it was by the way it's raining in Bahrain!!!! The rains have finally come and I'm just thrilled. I LOVE THE RAIN!!! I wish I could go outside and run around in it, acting like the little girl that I am, but you know, everyone would think me a nut... ok, I am a nut, but don't tell anyone! ;)

Seriously, it's so dark outside and it's pouring down. It has been sooooo long since the rains have been here. The weather is cool, there's a nice breeze blowing that's makes me a rather chilly. I have my window open and can hear it... now, I wish it would thunder and lightening. They said on the weather report this morn. that it was going to rain and we'd have thunder, but I've heard nothing thus far.

Gosh, I wish I was home. I'd love to have a good book, a nice cup of decaf, while sitting on the porch listening to this beautiful rain. What is it about rain that makes me feel so happy inside? A lot of ppl get depressed w/ the rain. I know my mother hates it. She says it makes her feel depressed... but not me. I've never minded getting wet in the rain... while some ppl run into the store or into the house, I walk as slow as possible. I can remember being in London years back w/ the hubby and it was raining. We walked around outside for hours getting soaked... it was so wonderful.

My MIL loves the rain like I do. Last year, when the rains came, I went to her house and we went outside and ran around like school girls, laughing and getting wet. I sit and think about her now and wonder if she's loving it as much as me. She collects the rainfall in plastic things and keeps it... not every time it rains but the first rainfall of the season. If I'm not mistaken, I think she uses it for something in particular - some type of tradition - or even drinks it. Maybe she doesn't drink it... but I can't remember. It's all for good luck and such though. I like that tradition.

Well.. now it has slowed down quite a bit and it's only drizzling now... :( It sure was nice while it lasted. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get soaked when I get home... maybe it'll rain like crazy all day today.

Happy day everyone.

Oh yeah.. the hubby is in Dubai so he's missing this. I think it's hot there.... I'm sure he'd love to see the rain... hopefully, if we're lucky, it'll continue for the next week or so.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Casino Royale

We saw this pic lastnight. Wow... what a good movie. I'm a huge James Bond fan and although I was a little disappointed when they decided to go w/ the new guy - Daniel Craig - because I liked Pearce Brosnan as James Bond and I wasn't quite sure if I'd like the new movie or what, but decided to go in w/ an open mind and give it a chance, and, boy, was I pleased.

He's really good as James Bond! I'd say he reminds me of Sean Connery but he's much better. There's something about this Daniel Craig. Is it his ice blue eyes? Blonde hair? Bathing suit scenes?? hmmmmm... I'll let you be the judge because w/ all honesty, it wasn't that stuff that made him sooooo good in my opinion. Yeah, he isn't hard on the eyes, but he's also a good actor. I'm not sure that I've ever seen him before in a movie. Is he mainly a British actor? I don't know, but I can't wait for the next movie... that IS for sure.

There's something about this guy that makes him the perfect fit, and I would have NEVER thunk it!! He pulls you in.... his attitude is different from the others..... there's a seriousness about him that the others didn't pull off. So for all of you out there screaming and yelling cuz Pearce no longer has the role... well, take my word for it and see the movie! It's delicious!

I didn't see the first Casino Royale from years back, so can't say for sure how it compares to the new one, but this movie had a great story line. It had a lot of action but wasn't over the top like the last two movies. The last James Bond movie didn't really sit well w/ me, but this one.... well, it proved to me that Pearce wasn't the right man for the job. This one took you from the edge of your seat one minute to a relaxed story line the next. It was full of surprises and every time I thought it was about to end, it started moving so fast that I wasn't sure if being pregnant and sitting thru this movie was such a good idea.

All the other actors in the movie were also really good. The bad guy played by Mads Mikkelsen was cool and relaxed. He had a bad guy confidence that I like to see. I like actors that can carry off really good bad guys and he did it well, I think. I've never seen this guy before either, so not sure what film credits he has to his name. James' big love interest was played by Eva Green as Vesper Lynd. I liked her in the role. She wasn't over the top like some have been in the past.... and I'd love to give you more details about her character and such, but I won't. The other short-lived, one night stand love interest was played by Caterina Murino. Loved her accent and both women were absolutely gorgeous.... couldn't ask for better girls to go along w/ James Bond.

I won't give any spoilers for it but I'd love to hear if you've seen it and what you thought. If you haven't seen it and like these type of movies, by all means, SEE IT!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

what's up today and this past weekend

For the last week our office has been under construction. They're repairing bathrooms and the main hall for meetings and such. The fumes have been horrible. Yesterday I decided to stay home, day before I went home at about 10:30 a.m. and today I'm thinking of just taking some vacation until all the work is done. It's just not healthy to breathe this crap in, and since I don't have a choice when getting up to go to the bathroom and such, I'd rather just go home.

Tonight I start my exercise class... I'm excited. My back is killing me and I hope I get some great tips on how to stretch it out or even pop it.... that, I think, would feel just fabulous. My tail bone is also killing me... it's weird the things that hurt... things you wouldn't imagine. I know that the hips move and such, so I'm assuming that's why it's hurting the way it is... but let me tell ya, it's not pleasurable.

Friday night we went to a BBQ. It was the first time in meeting everyone at the party, except for the hosts. I so enjoyed it. Everyone there - except the hosts - were expats married to Bahrainis. There were three British women and one Indian woman. They were sooooo nice. I've never really talked to British women before. My hairdresser is British and I post on some blogs of British women, but I've never had one-on-one chats.... and I loved it. They were nice. Different and better than I expected. We've been to the British Club a few times and the Brits weren't very open and accepting - sorta clickish, so I imagined it to be the same, but it was nothing like that. And the hubby got along nicely w/ their husbands, so it was a nice time all around.

It was good to meet women that have the same issues as me (as an expat married to a Bahraini man), same or similar probs w/ in-laws, and all of them had children, so we were able to discuss so many topics relevant to that.... it was a little slice of heaven. They gave me great advice, told me some secrets on what to expect and such after having kids, as well as how differently ppl treat you after having children in this part of the world.

We also discussed the whole issue of what language to teach the child. I had been leaning towards only teaching English at first for the mere fact that it's my native tongue and since I'm the mother, but they all disagreed. One lady had done precisely that and regretted it. Now, her two sons were having major probs w/ Arabic in school and she's had to send them off for private lessons and whatnot so that they could catch up. So... now, I'm reconsidering all of it and we're thinking that I'll speak English and the hubby will teach the baby Arabic. Plus, what a great way for me to really pick up the language. I know some Arabic... or I should say that I know LOTS of words, but I can't really speak in full sentences... so this will be a great way for me to learn it as well. I had wondered if two languages would only confuse the child but all of them said no. One of the ladies there said that her little girl now uses Arabic as her first language, interestingly enough.

We also talked about schooling and how it can be for kids of American, British or Indian mothers that are married to Bahrainis. They are treated badly in school, depending on where they go, for the mere fact that their mothers are different and this is something that I don't want. Most agreed that it's the public school system that has this problem, altho some have had the problem in private schools. I think a lot of it depends on the name you give the child, what they look like and if they know Arabic. So teaching Arabic will be key, I realize this now. It was nice to see their kids... what they looked like. Sorta gave me a feeling of what our child will look like. Isn't it sad how mean/cruel kids can be. I had my own issues in school from bullies and such, but I can't imagine being picked on, teased and tormented over the fact that your mom is American, British or something different. It's hard enough in school w/ peer pressure and just wanting to be accepted but to add on this... well, I just hope when the time comes that we pick a good school that doesn't have all of these problems. But really, is there any way to escape it? I doubt it.

Gosh, it was just so nice to meet others like myself and to have ppl to talk to. We had a really good time. Oh yeah... and GREAT food. They fixed bbq kebabs, lamb chops, grilled chicken and beef sausages - which were heavenly, and some spicy rice w/ all sorts of things in it, green chilis stuffed w/ pineapple, grilled cheese, salads, garlic bread, and some of the best desserts. I had this divine choc. cake... and I ate every last drop of it! :) I love me some choc. cake, that's for sure. I crave sweets now that I'm pregnant... prob why I've gained so much weight... you think??! :)

But at least I have the exercise class tonight. I hope it'll stretch me out and help me to sleep better. I used to be the drill sergeant that would push my husband when we went out walking/running and such, but not any more. We walked the other night and I wound up laughing at myself. I guess we walked for about 20 mins or so and by the time we were on our way back, I was having to hold my back and wobble like the child was gonna pop out at any moment. Not that I had overdone anything because I now walk at a snail's pace... but it's just funny to see me like this - in seeing the way I use to be - so driven and everything w/ exercise. Now I get tired really fast, my hips start killing me and I can only last for prob 30 mins.... nothing longer. It's weird how your body changes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Birthing 101

Lastnight we went to our second ante-natal class. There are two Indian couples in the class and one British woman that is having her 2nd child. Our first class covered the stages of pregnancy and we saw a slide show followed by a short lecture. We also had our first relaxation exercise that night (we get these every night), which was quite nice. It's nice in that I've done relaxtion/meditation before and am only hoping/praying that this helps during childbirth... but I laugh at the thought!

Our class lastnight covered labor. Boy, they don't waste any time in showing all the details, that's fer sure! ;) We watched a film that showed 5 or 6 ladies, and their husbands, before, during and after giving birth. Needless to say, I cried multiple times and felt totally freaked out a few times... and wondered, to myself, how the hubby was handling seeing all the graphics! What was funny is that the first couple in the film were British and right after she gave birth, the nurse fixed her a cup of tea. We all laughed afterwards. It was strange seeing her sitting up in the bed having a cup of tea.... as if she hadn't just pushed a huge baby out of a very small area... and she seemed perfectly fine. I will say, those British really know how to handle stress! ;)

There were a few women in the film that didn't handle the labor too well, but almost all of them were so quiet and hardly showed any real signs of agony. Only one in the film had pain meds during the process. One couple had a water birth, so it was nice to see this because I'm thinking of doing it. What was so sweet about it was when the baby's head and arms came out, he opened his eyes and looked at them while he was still under water and started moving his arms around. It was so touching. I found myself wondering if the couple were scientologists or something, or maybe hippies, because they were being so quiet and making everything so peaceful for the child. It was very touching. This woman had like 6 other ppl there during her labor and childbirth... not something I'd do, but... whatever floats your boat.

The hubby has decided to be w/ me in the delivery room. I can hardly believe it. He's the only one that I want to be around me, honestly. I don't want his family, my family or anyone because when I'm in pain, I like to be alone, not touched or bothered, so the last thing I want would be a bunch of ppl sitting around me while I'm going thru something like that. When his sister gave birth, the whole family was there... yeah, I know for moral support but I don't want it. What use is it to have them there? They're all talking, watching the TV and such... I'm not one for this. I want quiet and to go thru the pain on my own... not w/ ppl watching me. Am I the only one here or what?

His family has tried to turn him off on being w/ me in the delivery room, saying that it's not something that he should be doing, it's not good for a man to see this, and/or the hospital won't allow it. His older brother and mom have gone on and on about this. BUT.... the hospital very much wants the husband to be involved. They strongly encourage it. Not that I want him helping the dr. out, filming it or anything, but I would like for him to be there for moral support, altho he swears that I'll grab him and say "you did this to me!!!" and act like a she devil w/ my head spinning, while spitting venom and such! ;) hehehe Imagine. But you know, anything's possible!

His close friend's wife just had a baby. He's Bahraini and he was in the delivery room with her... he even cut the cord. This was a first for me in hearing of a Bahraini being in the delivery room. From what I gather, most men in this part of the world don't get involved in the birthing process. I'm really glad that his friend did this... now he sees he's not the only one. I think it's a good thing for the man to be involved... more men should be active in this and be there for their wives. It's not like they weren't involved in making it happen... so why not lend a hand or be there to encourage her or to give her strength... you know?

Lastnight, one of the guys was talking about how many men faint in the delivery room, and then the nurse started talking about how they can't take care of both the husband and wife... so if it looks like the husband can't handle it, they'll ask him to leave. My husband laughed, wiped his head and continued to sweat! ;) I wonder if he'll be able to take it. I've never really seen him in any type of emergency situation to know how he handles it. I've never seen him handle blood or anything.... so I wonder how he'd be. It makes me smile to think about it... I wonder if he'll freak out or if he'll be strong and try to talk me thru it. He told me that he'd bring a picture of our kitty Cedrick to help give support. And... he's really good at cracking jokes and making me smile when I'm upset or sad, so maybe he'll do just fine. Plus... it's not like he hasn't seen everything now and I mean everything... they showed it all lastnight in the film... so he knows what to expect and such. To think about it... I think he has helped me before when I cut myself... or maybe it was me helping him when he cut himself.

You should have seen all the men lastnight during the film. All their legs were jittery, expressions of fear on their faces and us women... we were covering our mouths, rocking back and forth, crying... KNOWING... and I mean knowing what is ahead of us and fearing it. We all asked about pain medicine - what's available, what is preferred, what helps, what doesn't help, does the water help... any and all questions were asked while we looked at each other, laughed sometimes and then came to the realization that we were next. :)

I worked w/ a girl a long time ago that filmed the whole process. She brought the film to the office when she returned and showed it to everyone. It was like they were all going to the movies... getting their popcorn, pulling up a chair and enjoying the show! (kidding, but seriously)... Who in the hell wants to watch a co-worker give birth??? I know I don't. I think it just changes something after that. I guess some women are into this... and if you are, well... hmmm... I guess I don't know what to say. I'm just not one for showing such a private moment to ppl that I work with, but some women figure that they've exposed themselves to so many ppl what's a few more... I guess that's the logic. Who knows. But... for all of you that have done it... I guess I could say, more power to ya!

Anyway... this was interesting, to say the least, lastnight and I will say, having him there w/ me brings a closeness to us. He can appreciate the baby more cuz I think it's hard for a man. Here the woman is pregnant and is feeling everything - the sickness, the weight gain, the baby kicking... everything and he feels nothing. So in watching these movies and getting involved... it allows him to have a special place in the whole process and I'm happy for this. I suggest it to all of you out there. :)

Happy day to you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Almost That Time

Can you believe that in about a month 1/2, it will be Christmastime??? This year has flown by and I can't hardly believe it. It's just crazy how fast time flies, the older you get.

Last week, I stumbled upon some great buys at Home Center ... things to decorate your house for Christmas. They have some beautiful things for really great prices. And I'm talking BD3, BD4 and BD5 priced items. I love to decorate the house for Christmas and since most of the things I have, I've had for years and years and years, I decided to buy some new things to make the house more festive. I'm thinking of getting some garland to put along the banister on the stairs, but then if I do that, I'm gonna want lights to add to the mix, so not sure if that'll work since sockets are difficult to find in our house - meaning - we don't have a lot, so hooking lights up seems like it coud be a headache and turn into a play problem for the cats.

I've already started shopping for my family and will finish it up at the end of this month. I do it early so that I can get the box shipped to the States in time for Christmas. Shipping from Bahrain is soooooo dang expensive. To ship by regular mail is a joke, so we have to use either Fed Ex or the other service that's reliable or else the box won't make it. My mom once sent a box to me via mail and it took over 4 mths to get here. I've sent things via regular mail and some things never arrived... same w/ my mom. Once she sent me a whole envelope full of pictures and it never arrived. This is so aggravating, so I've opted for not using the postal service in this country... just too risky.

We have a really tall, fake Christmas tree that we put up every year. This year I want to put it up right after the American Thanksgiving, which is on November 24th, so that I can enjoy it for a good month before having to take it down. I LOVE to sit at night and watch the Christmas tree lights blink on and off.... twinkling to a rhythm all their own. It makes my heart happy and brings such a calm over me. There are a few other houses in our neighborhood that do Christmas trees.... it's a good feeling to share that w/ other ppl. A few of our Arab friends put up trees... and a few even celebrate Christmas, surprisingly. I wonder if they get the same joy from watching the lights?

Haven't started shopping for the hubby yet... will probably do that at the end of the month as well. In years past, I've been bad in that I wait until the last minute to get his presents bought and wrapped, and under the tree so that he can enjoy them. I wait until a week or so before Christmas to get it done, which isn't much fun, so this year I've made a pact w/ myself not to do this - I'll see if I can stick w/ it. But let me tell ya... if you think that's bad, that little bugger waits until the day before Christmas usually to do his shopping!! I wonder what he'll do when it's time to buy presents from Santa?? hehehe can't wait until the last minute then!

And since I'm on the topic of Christmas... it brings my thoughts to cooler weather. This month it's supposed to start getting colder in Bahrain. The rains will hopefully come this month, altho I don't see how it's possible since it's still hot outside, but I can dream, can't I?? :)

Last year, I wrote a poem about the New Year, the cold temps and such and it was published, surprisingly, in the States last year. So... for your reading enjoyment ;) here it is. Note: I wrote this one day while sitting at my desk at the office. It was freezing cold outside, the winds were blowing like crazy and the poem just sorta hit me w/ a gust...

New Year

A new year comes in on this crisp wind
that's charging off the Arabian Sea.
It sweeps across this desert oasis
like a windstorm filled with fury.
Each hair follicle stands erect and
salutes thy master for its crowning glory.
No one escapes as it rushes up to greet you
with a howling hello.
Your mind is carried away like
a gust of wind so fast
that you're frozen in time.
It caresses the soul with a chill
that's straight from Heaven.
"Hello New Year," the wind screams o'loud;
may the masses horde together,
warming themselves,
whilst wishing for a warmer day that will
allow us to play on the sandscapes
of yesteryear.

Happy day everyone :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

housemaid vs. nanny vs. babysitter vs. daycare

So many ppl here have housemaids raising their children. This is something that I've never agreed w/... not even once. Many ppl call these babysitters nannies, but they're not. They are housekeepers and some of them don't even do that well.

So in looking at this situation, and w/ the pressure I have on me to let these housemaid's take care of my child when that dreaded day comes to go back to work (meaning after I have the baby), I will have a big fight in front of me because I will IN NO WAY allow such a person to watch our child. No WAY. I know several who do this and see nothing wrong w/ it. My husband was raised w/ a so-called "nanny". I know she didn't clean house and her only function was to watch the children, which she even did at the childcare center, but .... was she really qualified, I ask myself. I know that he had no major issues as a child... other than not having his mom around as often as he would have liked... but I think a lot of children of parents who work could say the same. But... my big thing is....

Qualifications. That's what it all boils down to in my mind. Housemaids come here to clean house... but so many ppl have them clean house, fix the meals, watch the children, feed the children, play w/ the children, do the madam's hair, do the madam's nails (all salon work for all of the family including males), do outside labor, wash the cars.... and the list goes on and on and on. So... in looking at this, how can a person like this be able to watch a child and why would a parent allow such?

Many families have multiple housekeepers w/ one being assigned the duty of watching the child - or depending on the day - depends on the housekeeper watching the child. I see this all the time. We'll go out to eat and the family has a housemaid chasing after the kids, walking around w/ the baby in a stroller or you'll see a group of children out running around and a housemaid chasing after them. I always ask.... "where are the parents!??"

Makes me think that society is sorta lazy when it comes to raising children. Not only does the mother give the baby off to her mother immediately but then as soon as the child is old enough, the housemaid takes the baby. Why wouldn't a mother want to bond w/ her child? What mother or father wouldn't want the pleasure of watching their child's face light up when they're playing a game or laughing from something that is so special that at the next moment, that time is gone forever.

But... then I think about daycare. This is probably something I'll have to do. Don't know yet what will happen because who knows what time holds, but daycare is something I'm seriously looking at. Altho, some daycare facilities have housemaid type of ppl watching the children... don't think the good ones do, but I think some might opt for that. Daycares can be good for a child. They'll be able to be around other children to play and to socialize, but my only thing is that I want a place w/ good English speaking individuals that can teach my child and I don't want religion forced down their throats from such an early age. Many places here have big time religion-backed facilities... meaning that they have whole periods dedicated to religion based studies. I wonder... is this for all ages or just preschool and up or what. Personally, I don't want someone else teaching my child religion. I know it must happen in school, for all schools here have religion classes, but I don't want someone sending my child messages about religion that I don't necessarily agree with.

I think a lot of time is spent, in the schools here, brainwashing children. I know I'll prob get a lot of ppl criticizing this line of thinking that I have, but this is just how I feel. I saw it first hand at a daycare that my MIL runs. All the women there are highly religious and some believe things that I don't believe.... so, therefore, how could I feel good about having women like this raise my child? Not that they'd be raising my child, but when your child is spending 6 plus hours w/ someone... something has to sink in. The most significant years for a child are the first 6... basically everything that they'll take on into their adult life is learned during this timeframe, so, to me, this is the most important time and I don't want just any schmoooo out there taking care of my child. I'd rather do it myself and this is what I'm struggling with.

A ton of ppl in this part of the world don't agree w/ a mother being a stay-at-home mom. While this is looked at as a really good thing in the States, it isn't here. Or not by the large majority, including my in-laws. I know I'm going to face heavy criticism when this time comes and have already, matter of fact, but I don't care. How many chances do you have to raise your child? You get one chance and one chance only. Unless I find a qualified school/preschool and such, I don't know that I'd feel confident in allowing just anyone to raise our child. How could anyone feel good about such a thing? How could anyone leave their child w/ just anyone? Altho, many do it.

I have so many things facing me in the months ahead. Obstacles that could turn into nightmares.... but I am firm and have decided to stand strong no matter the odds and no matter what anyone thinks. I don't care if ppl talk behind my back... I don't care if they think badly of me for wanting to raise my child MYSELF, I don't care what they say. You have one chance to get it right... why play w/ that?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My BIGGGGGG secret :)

Over the last few months, actually months ago, I mentioned that I had a secret but couldn't tell it. Not sure if anyone picked up on it because I was somewhat coy about it, and then a few blogs ago, I talked about keeping secrets and how well ppl could keep secrets and such. My sister was dying to tell my secret and has been pressing me for months to tell my secret... but I didn't and now I will.

I didn't for many reasons, which I'll get to in a few. I guess the big thing now is to open up and spill the beans.

Well.... I am pregnant. :)

Six months to be exact. I started the first week of my 6th month this week.

Many may wonder why I kept it a secret for so long... probably thinking me a bit strange, but there are reasons behind it. Reasons that I don't really agree w/, but because I have respect for those around me and because you just never really know, I kept it a secret.

I think a lot of my blogging as of late is based on my pregnancy. I wrote about adoption and even had one blog friend ask me why I didn't want children... she didn't know about my pregnancy. That's why I chose that topic to write about. Yeah, a long time ago, I didn't want kids as I said in my post... never thought I'd have kids matter of fact, but low and behold... I'm gonna have a baby! :)

First off, it's a HUGE taboo here or there's so much superstition surrounding childbirth in this part of the world, that anyone and everyone will tell you not to tell a soul that you're expecting until you're well past your 3rd month. Then, after my third month, I had my MIL telling me not to tell anyone until after my 5th month... now I have her telling me not to buy anything for the baby until after my 6th month. It all causes me a headache and because I'm American and childbirth is a HUGE deal in the States, something that is celebrated w/ parties, lots of talk w/ girlfriends, and all that jazz, it was been so difficult for me not to tell anyone.

I've told my family... and have only now told a few close friends of mine. The reason behind this is that I was pregnant last Sept. and had a miscarriage which caused me a lot of emotional distress for many months and I think, on my part, there was a lot of fear surrounding this pregnancy and the fear that if I got too excited about it and told, I'd sure enough lose the baby. Plus, soon enough ppl will see that you're having a baby, so I figured when that time came, I'd then let my friends know. Well..... that time is here!! :)

It's weird because now I can sorta explain all the absense of memory that I've had over recent months (and some who have wondered w/ my blog comments that I've left on their sites can understand this - so many times I'd draw a complete blank w/ things) - which is a common occurance w/ pregnant women, my mood swings (which have been plenty, believe me) and pissy attitude at times, my cleaning freak attitude that has hit me over the last month (this is the nesting stage my sister tells me), my many blogs about things of the past and memories of childhood fun, all the things that I've found in my things at home that I've kept over the years, all my girlie posts... and so on and so on. This has all been because of my little hidden secret.

Here, in the ME, and even in other countries like India, Mexico and such, there is this thing called evil eyes. I was told that my last miscarriage was because of this (and many tried to say it was because of our cats!!), and for anyone who has experienced such a thing and is foreign to it like myself, it can come as quite a shock to the system and even frighten you to a point that you're afraid of your own shadow. Well... this has been a big part of not telling as well. I guess w/in the last month though, I've become quite impatient w/ the whole evil eyes thing and have pressed my husband for weeks to just get on w/ it and that I'm gonna let the news out. So, today, is the day... the day to put it out there.

So... Puppy... here are my happy thoughts! :) I'm pregnant. :) I'm going to have a baby and I'm really happy. So happy that my emotions get the best of me and my eyes are tearing up as I'm writing this.

That's the thing w/ pregnancy, you can cry at the drop of a hat and I do. ;) My emotions have been crazy. One minute you're happy, the next you're sad, the next you're mad. My husband has loved it, believe you me. ;)

Me... well, when I first found out, I was thrilled, elated and almost in a fantasy type of world w/ it, then reality set in and I got serious about it. I worry a lot.... about all sorts of things really, so you can imagine my life. It's getting better now, since months ago I decided to put my worries in God's hands and not flip out over the stupidest things (altho I still do)... but it's better.

My sister will be overjoyed that I'm finally saying something on my blog. She's so happy and we chat all the time about it. I'm so glad I have her in my life to talk about this w/... she has a 6 yr old and wrote everything down when she was pregnant, so she likes to whip out the 'ole baby book and tell me this and that whenever I have a question. Altho, sometimes this makes me very lonely and fills me w/ longing to be close to my family in the States. I've been having a lot of this lately... I think cuz it's getting close and I'm starting to panic a little about all the formal things and the needs of the baby. There are just so many things and you think you know everything and think "oh, how hard can this be".... UNTIL, it's your turn. :)

So... there's a lot that to write about and I'm sure I will now and again, but I'll try not to overload my blog w/ it... cuz I do love to write about all the demented stuff that comes into my mind! ;)