Thursday, January 28, 2010

planning a party

Started planning Naief's 3rd birthday yesterday. Hubby was still undecided until then on whether or not we should do it, but he relented and said yes :) We'll do it here at home and, believe it or not, I'm going to try my luck at making him a train bday cake! I looked online and they look relatively easy... so I'm gonna go for it.

Thought we'd keep it small, but by the time you start putting your list together, the number of kids grows real fast. But it'll be fun and he'll enjoy it, I think.

Gonna do a water balloon toss, musical chairs, pinata (sponge bob) and hubby will grill some Arabic meat and we'll do finger sandwiches, chips, dips, fruit salad, and cake and ice cream. The weather has been nice during the day, so the majority of the time we'll spend outside and then if the kids get restless, maybe we'll stroll up to the park after eating.

Gonna invite the in-laws, so it'll be interesting to see who comes.

Me and a friend are gonna take the kids to see Avatar tomorrow. We first thought it might be too violent, but we've both heard that it's not bloody or anything, and the fight scene is pretty tame, so I think it'll be an interesting experience - especially in 3D. I'm wondering how Naief will do wearing the glasses.... can't see him wanting to keep them on... but maybe he might.

Think we'll look at a German Sheppard puppy tomorrow. It's a girl and she's black and brown. We saw one today and found out that there's a puppy that's being sold... and hubby agreed... and she's not too expensive... so who knows, maybe we'll get a new puppy. Naief would love that, and a puppy could grow up with us and the cats, which will be good. Don't know for sure that it'll happen... but it could... :)

Naief is better now. Will take his antibiotics until Sat., and they've already made a huge difference. No coughing, no runny nose and he hasn't complained of any kind of ear ache, but think we'll take him in for a re-check next wk w/ his pediatrician and just make sure it's all cleared up.

That's about it for me. Nothing too exciting happening on this side of the pond. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

on my last nerve

Yesterday was a pretty good day, even though we had to take Naief to ER at 2 in the morning with a 39.2 temp. He had been running a high temp since 6, and after piggybacking Advil and Voltarin suppositories with no luck in stopping the fever, we ran him over to the government hospital, down the street. The place was packed, and the pediatrics ER was the worst. All the beds were full and kids were so sick that I wanted to turn the other way and run. After waiting about 30 mins, he was seen by a dr. and we were told he had a bad ear infection. He was given a suppository; we were instructed to give him a shower there and wait 30 mins to see if the fever was coming down. Trying to calm him down to take the suppository and then to get his clothes off to give him a shower.... and then waiting until 4 to see if the fever would break... we didn't get home until 4:30.

He slept until 11 and then got up, feeling fine or so we thought. No fever and he was running around like crazy, and then said he wanted to go to the air show. Begging actually.... so, what did we decide to do? Take him. He had a really good time. Loved watching all the planes, but near the end, he started getting a fever again, so we decided to let him have a crying fit when he couldn't ride the kiddie airplanes or bounce in the bouncy house, and take him home.

So... what happens next? We head over to get on one of the buses to go back to the parking area, and the place is probably 300 deep in ppl standing in line to get on a bus. Naief is sick and crying, had refused to wear socks w/ his crocs, so mommy takes off her socks to put on him, which leads to another crying fit... and we're stuck in a gawwwwd awful long line with all the little Arab beauties walking past us with high heels, fancy headscarves and fancy clothes - walking to the front of the line, that we can't see, and never coming back. So obviously they're either getting on a bus or getting in line up there. Time is ticking, more and more ppl (the beautiful ones) are going in droves to the front, the line is not moving and I'm getting pissed.

Security guys are walking towards our part of the line, counting ppl. As they go past, I tell Hashim that it's pretty good that all these ppl are going to the front and getting on the buses while we're waiting here... so as the little security guys come back our way, he starts talking to them in Arabic about it. What do they do? Make every excuse and obviously start saying how these ppl aren't being allowed and are having to come back, and then little ole me chimes in how that isn't happening and that none of these ppl have come back and we know they're getting on the buses. It wasn't but a second until the lady behind me starts in, the guys in front of us and the other guys beside us. I then tell him how our son is sick and the line isn't moving and why can't we get on a bus. He looks at Naief and motions for us to go the front.

I can only imagine what the ppl around us were saying, and I don't blame them. I would have been pissed too... but, they didn't have kids and Naief was sick, so I felt like we should have been given special treatment, since all these other women were being given special treatment for whatever reason. So... we go the front and immediately one of the headmasters tells us to go back... I guess looking Western and not being all dressed up made a difference. I then tell him that the security guy told us we could get on the bus and he then asks which one and I point to the back. I stand there, pointing... looking at him and hubby talking to him in Arabic.... frustrated, he lets us through. :)))) ehheheh

At the bus, an American (which I didn't know until she opened her mouth) with her family and husband immediately starts going on about all the ppl cutting in line and how she's been standing in line forever and that at least 1,000 ppl have cut in line. I immediately told her that we cut in line because our son is sick and and that, yeah, there were tons of ppl cutting in line. She snarled at me pretty much and said, "I DIDN'T MEAN YOU!" Everyone starts then... her daughter saying something like it wasn't 1,000 ppl, and she seemed almost defeated and said that it was a good bus load with her husband chiming in that it was prob more than a bus load. I understood her anger completely, but only wished that I hadn't been one to cut in line... but .... you know, sometimes we should (as foreigners here) do the same crap. Being polite and not standing up gets nowhere sometimes...

I get soooo sick of it, really. Ppl thinking that they can do whatever they want, and the thing is, they get away with it... that's why it's truly sickening, and probably why it keeps happening. No one stands up to it. No one says anything. Everything's "inshallah".... people are so afraid of pissing someone off.

Same thing today.... with ppl coming in to the studio to record. Supposed to start at 9 and finish at 1. Back to back recordings. But... does that mean anything to anyone?!!!!! No. Do they give a damn? No. Do they think about other ppl and their schedules and the fact that it's a Saturday - the weekend - and we've made the studio available to them, but it's our freakin weekend?????!!!! No. Instead, first lady comes at 9:45. If she wanted 10, why didn't she schedule at 10?! The woman scheduled at 10 had to wait a good 40 mins. before starting. Good thing hers only took 10 mins to record! Oh but wait.

The guy that was supposed to come at 11 didn't come until 11:40, and the ppl supposed to come at 12 called to say they couldn't come until 1:30, even though we couldn't do 1:30 and suggested 3... they didn't want 3. They had to have the work done by 3, so they had to come at 1:30.... well, tell me this... why didn't you keep your 12 o'clock slot, like originally planned if it was so urgent??? That would have given significant time to get the work to the client by 3!! And are they finished? No.

Nothing is ever on time here. No one knows what it means to be on time. Is this from getting things handed to them, wanting for nothing, and being pampered and hovered over all of their childhood and adult life, thus far? Is is because no one has the balls to say anything to anybody for fear of having their names tarnished or for fear of losing business? I don't know.. maybe it's me. Maybe it's because of the way I was brainwashed in the American culture and taught something far different... one FB friend said that it's because of the Industrial Era and how it was passed down to us, but didn't affect Arabia and how ppl here do things differently. They see relationships as more important and, therefore, business is put on a back burner. Ppl like to have things more flexible... talk about family life, how things are going... and then get to the business. Well, I guess that's one way of doing things... but I see it as rude. Ppl take others for granted and have no respect. I just can't imagine having a meeting scheduled at 10 and showing up at 1o:45 and then shooting the shit for another 10 to 15 mins, and then start the meeting... am I missing something here?

Not only that... but I truly get sick of ppl coming over to the house, unannounced and staying for hours upon hours. You know.. there is such a thing as quality time with your spouse... you know, that alone time that you don't get when you have a child. That alone time you sorta look forward to.... in the evenings.

aaahhhhh... now I feel better. ;)

Btw, the airshow was incredible! The American planes/pilots were the best, by far. One, in an F16, I think, came racing towards our area and broke the sound barrier right before he got to us.... looked like some type of time warp was happening behind his plane and the sound... oh man... unbelievable. I found myself in awe watching him race through the air. The B2 Bomber... the sound of that thing, left everything vibrating well after he was gone. Truly something. The French were really good as well and the Saudi planes at the end were also really good. A few of their stunts left me breathless.... that flying so close to each other that you'd think they'd crash kind of feeling....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

on my mind

I can hear cats fighting off in the distance... I hate hearing this sound, especially when it continues on and on, like this one - since they're still fighting and it's been over 5 mins.

There's a Russian woman that lives in some flats around the block from us and she lets her male cat out during the day and night. He fights w/ all the cats, and he's big, so I'm sure that many smaller ones are afraid of him. I feel like telling her to keep her cat inside. For one, these outdoor cats could have anything and pass it to him, he's intruding on their territory and, for all they know, he's wanting to impregnate the females and take their food (which is very hard to come by). It irritates me when ppl don't give a crap ... but as I must, I tell myself... "what to do"... and move on.

Yesterday I was reading in the English paper (Gulf Daily News) how 5 lions and 2 tigers were left here by the circus. Thank God the circus left. Ppl in my immediate area were complaining of roars at night and were afraid the animals would get loose. I have to laugh a little to myself when I think about the animals getting loose and scaring ppl, altho the authorities would probably kill them, so better for us that it didn't happen.

Saw pictures of the big cats in tiny, steel cages w/ no food or water. They're saying that they haven't been fed in 4 days (today being the 5th day), altho those in charge are saying something different. Makes me sick to think about how little ppl care about the lives of these animals. They only see them as entertainment. Forcing them to do stunts that they're not meant to do... parade them around in front of ppl, making ppl think they can be tamed. No wonder so many animals kill their handlers. Truly, I see why and don't blame the animals. The only thing I dislike is that the animal is usually killed after such. Animals shouldn't be in circus' ... how barbarian is this? I used to protest, in Dallas, against the circus with the animal rights' group I belonged to. We'd stand on corners and down the walkways handing out flyers that showed how the animals were beaten and kept in poor environments during circus time. Some ppl showed true interest while many made negative comments and trashed the leaflet right in front of me. I guess something I'll never get used to or understand is how ppl can be cruel to animals.

Oh yeah... think we're going to adopt another dog :)))) Two guys were walking their dogs thru our neighborhood last night and I ran in and got Noof and hubby to get a look. They were bull mastiffs (sp??) and soooo lovable. One was 11 mths old and the other 2 mths. After we came inside, Hashim said that we could go look at dogs. :) I can hardly wait.

Don't know how many of you have heard about this, but there's a British woman fighting for custody of her son right now in Qatar. She was once the wife of a Qatari national and years after he died, his family, in Qatar, asked that she bring her son to visit the relatives there. Stating that the grandmother was ill. After going there, she let her son go and visit the grandmother w/ the uncle and, since then, they're refusing to give the child back to her. They've only allowed to see him, supervised, twice or three times and are claiming they now have custody of the child. Petitions have been going around like crazy to get the son back with one being sent to the Amir's wife in Qatar and they're even taking it to Geneva. There's a facebook group and a petition online if you're interested in signing it. I think it's called 'Get Adam Back' or 'Return Adam'.

This has made me and some of my friends who are married to Bahraini's seriously think of our child's future if anything like that were to happen to our husbands. Me and another friend are going to get court documents signed and stamped that say if something were to happen to us or our husbands or to both, our families would get custody of the children. I can't imagine what this mother is going through and I find that I put myself in her shoes and it's frightening. Being a foreigner in a Muslim country with a child who is Muslim... well... so many things could happen and it doesn't look like the embassies get involved... for the British embassy is doing nothing for this woman, I believe. So could only imagine that the American embassy/govt wouldn't get involved....

We're headed out to the Bahrain International Air Show tomorrow w/ some friends. I'm sure Naief will love it. The Bahraini, French, US, Jordanian, and Saudi air forces will be doing their stuff, as well as Team Viper BAC 167 Strikemaster light attack aircraft, Sukhoi SU 27 jet fighter, and Mark Jefferies' Extra 330C solo aerobatic display. They're supposed to have stuff there for the kids and family.. so we'll head over there by about 11, the air show starts at 1:30 and they'll have fireworks at 5:30. I hope to get some good pics and I'll post them here later.

Saw my MIL at the park that's opened down the street from us late yesterday. She said hello and asked how I was to which I said hello and said that I was fine. Nothing else said.... haven't seen the in-laws in probably 2 mths. And you know... it's peaceful. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

happy weekend

It's Thursday and the weekend is upon us. The weather is turning cooler and it's getting windy this afternoon. Don't know what the temp is outside, but the breeze coming into the house is chilly... feels like it could be 50 degrees.... I know it's not, but it chills you to the bone! It's probably only 70 something.... I guess for those of you under heavy snow, this would be considered pretty nice....

Me and the music man went to the movies yesterday. Saw Sherlock Holmes. Good movie, but I think Guy Ritchie gets a little carried away w/ violence in his movies. The only one I can think of where that didn't happen was his little disaster of a movie w/ his ex, Madonna. Since it was considered a flop by most, and his other movies have been successful, that's prob why.... oh well. Hashim loved it and a friend of his did too, so it's obviously a guy thing. :)

Recently read the leaked, first five chapters of Stephanie Meyer's book ... a follow-up to the Twilight series, but this story is told from Edward's point of view. It's called Midnight Sun, and I must say... I loved it. Read it in a few hours. Couldn't put it down.... but I love these books.

Have watched some good movies/documentaries lately. Saw The Blind Side (loved it), District 9 (great, thought provoking movie), Saddam's House, Precious (didn't like it as much as I thought I would), Where The Wild Things Are (sad movie... I cried a few times), Princess and the Frog (very cute and Naief loved it), New Moon (loved, loved, loved it and can't wait for the next one), Where in the World is Osama bin Laden (liked it and think lots of you should watch it... I was actually scared for the guy when he was in Jerusalem and almost attacked by the fanatical Jews there!!!... scary stuff - no one did that to him in the Middle East, interestingly enough), The Age of Stupid (really good documentary about climate change. left me in a quandary about life, really), The Root of All Evil (documentary that questions if humanity would have been better off w/out religion or the belief in God), and some others.....

which gets me to one big thing that's been on my mind a lot, as of late, and that's faith in God and the existence of life after death. I know these things are all about one's belief and faith, and how strong these two are in one's life, but at this stage in my life I'm starting to question more and wonder if there truly is a God and IS there anything after we die. Arguably, this all comes down to my belief in God and to what has been written... but is it as simple as that? For me, no. So as not to riffle any feathers (which I've maybe already done), I'll leave it at that.... but, maybe later, I'll talk some more about it.... if anyone's interested. :)

later gatorz....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to a music man

My man's bday is today..... so thought I'd post a pic here of him in the studio... it's one of my favorites.

May you have a wonderful day Hashim.... I love you.

Happy day everyone!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year everyone!

some of the females

a male snuggling/kissing hashim :)))

these camels are so sweet

Wow... can hardly believe it's 2010! Time sure flies by when you have a little one around. Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and the new year is finding new beginnings for all of you.

I've considered not blogging any longer, but.... after talking with a couple of friends, I've decided to keep on with it while some of you are still interested and/or just bored :)

Being a mother, I find that most of what I have to talk about is my child or home life.... but since there are some times when something juicy happens or too funny/stupid not to sure, I'll try to keep it fun, light and entertaining... try, that is. :)

The new school term has started here and Naief goes back tomorrow. We had a tumble tots class this morning and he loved it. There are 3 other boys in the class and 3 girls... all the same age/thereabouts as him. One little girl scratched him in the face while in class, he cried and then she tried to do again, but I stopped her. Her mother apologized - the little girl wouldn't - and said that she's rough because she has an older brother at home and has learned to be aggressive because of it. So... next class I'll have to keep a watchful eye on her.

Our Christmas was really good. I got gift certificates for a facial and Moroccan bath at a spa here - have already used my Moroccan bath certificate and it was absolutely fantastic. For those who have never had one or don't know what they are.... this will give you a little info on it.... It's done in a steam room where you lie flat on a stone/tiled table, and they first lather your body w/ a special soap which happens to have a very strong odor and if it gets into your eyes... watch out. It stings like no soap you can imagine - I happened to get some in my eye this time around.... not fun. After lying in the steam for about 5 - 10 mins., it's washed off, and you then get scrubbed down w/ this glove that takes off all your dead skin - and sometimes skin if they rub too hard. It hurts a little, but is worth it in the end. Then you are rubbed down w/ a mix of herbs (rosemary, thyme, etc.) and left to soak in the steam for about 10 mins. Again, washed off and soaked in a yogurt and herb mixture where you lie for another 10-15 mins. When this last part is washed off you are then rubbed down with oil. You also get a hair wash, scalp massage and conditioner that is kept on until the end while having your bath.... my skin has never felt so good and I've promised myself to have it done monthly.

Think I'll go this coming week for the facial. Been needing one of these for a while and might even upgrade to one that's more fitted to my skin type and needs. Ahhhh, I love to be pampered and don't do it nearly as often as I'd like to.... but... family first. :)

Thought I'd add a couple pics from this past weekend. We went to the camel/date farm in Jannabaiya and Naief loved it. The camels were soooo sweet and tender. And HUNGRY. Poor things. The thing I don't like about it is that they keep the males tied up to chains w/ their front legs tied together all the time. They said it was because they fight and kick, but I still found myself feeling sad about it. They had some that were probably yearlings and they were soooo skinny and hungry. We fed some, but they told us, after a bit, not to feed too much because they'd fight from wanting the food. :( Oh well, it was a nice morning.

Also went to see Where The Wild Things Are and was somewhat disappointed in it. I found hardly any happiness in the movie... ok, maybe a couple of places were happy, but not as much as I would have liked. I cried at the end... it was so sad. Naief liked it though and hubby didn't seem to be bothered one way or the other.... obviously it was just me.