Daylight Savings Time

I am thankful for daylight savings time, only because I’m so tired that I am in my bed by 9:15 pm, which is really like 8:15 pm and very early for me. The day was full and busy and I’m exhausted, especially after losing an hour of sleep.

I thought Sunday’s were supposed to be a day of rest. Just not in my house. The day went on and on with “nothing” to do but a little bit of work, and church, meetings, planning, shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry and so on. I’m pooped and prepared for the upcoming week.

So here we go…to bed early. What a gift.

Happy birthday to my BFF!! I’m so glad you were born. 

Hope y’all have a peace-filled and healthy week! 

nAMaste

This Is How

…I watch movies.  

I go, go, go all day and whenever I sit down to relax and watch a movie, my eyes close no matter what. I try so hard to keep them open, yet I fail. And in the end, when I open them again, I wake up to see the credits rolling. What a great movie!

Goodnight, my sweet friends. May the weekend bring you rest and peace.

nAMaste

Quotes and Sayings

Sometimes when I’m tired and don’t want to really think about something meaningful to write about, or if I had a blah day, I look for inspiration from quotes or sayings that resonate with my day. 

For example, yesterday I was tired after our week of vacation (so ironic to be tired after vacation, isn’t it?) and I was admiring the full moon.  There were several things I could have shared, but I didn’t have the energy to formulate and articulate my thoughts, so I chose the simplicity route, with a quote about the moon that connected to my one simple image.  

Simplicity was what I wrote about the other day and I’m sticking to it again tonight.

One of my favorite sayings came from a little delft blue tile, that my mom used to have with a Dutch saying. I didn’t really understand it until I grew up, but basically it said (more beautifully) in Dutch,

“In the concert of life, no one receives a program.”

Think about that.

We don’t know when our concert will end, or when the intermission will come and whether there will be one or two or none.  Maybe there will only be One Act. Or maybe there will be ten! We just know that we should be enjoying the show.

Hmmm…put that in your pipe and smoke it!

That’s all I have for tonight. It’s been a long and good day.

Time for my intermission. 

Good night.

  

Wilted

Today I felt like this flower. Wilted.

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Still standing, but feeling kinda heavy.

Nothing in particular but lots of little details that added up to a lot. We had a busy weekend with Jeff returning home, car shopping and buying all day Sunday and Charlie’s birthday party and all day and night celebration yesterday.

Today had the refrigerator repair guy, the Sears washing machine repair guy and the bathroom remodel repair guy all over throughout the day. I had my three kids and two of their friends bopping in and out, and trying to get the kids to read and help with chores in between today was a bit too much for me.

I am exhausted!! Calgon, take me away!!

We still managed a family dinner, our first one with all of us together again, just the five of us at home, which I loved, despite my nag session.

Even though I feel wilted, I know how good life really is. Hope you had a good day! xx

Day 253: Goodbye, Dubai

Believe it or not, I’m tired! All of us are pretty exhausted. Jeff’s actually already asleep on the couch! We are not ones to come home relaxed and refreshed after a vacation because we try to fit in and see as much as we can wherever we go. My motto is “we’ll sleep when we’re dead.”

Last night the kids were in bed after midnight and Jeff and I around 1:30 am. I always like to sit and chill in the quiet and write my blog before going to sleep. We were up at 5:15 am to catch an 8:30 am flight to Holland. I think the lack of sleep might be killing me – or at least my head! Maybe that’s why I keep getting headaches.

Asleep in the taxi on the way back home

Asleep in the taxi on the way back home

Before I pass out, here are a few quick observations about Dubai:

Weather
* It’s so nice and warm, even at night. It was very comfortable at the beginning of April, but I hear it can get unbearably hot very soon.
* The air feels humid and warm, like Hawaii. And the feel of the town feels like a mix of Miami, Vegas and the Middle East.

Shopping
* You can use a credit card anywhere you go, unlike in Holland. I miss being able to use my credit card.

* You can find anything you could possibly want. There are large malls everywhere around town.
* Stores are open until 12 or 1 am and people are out shopping.
* Stores are open on Sundays until late too! Love it.
* Customer service is available in the malls. People actually help you, and acknowledge you. In Holland, it’s hard to get help or the attention of those working. I don’t understand that.

 

Food
* Any type of food you like is available in Dubai. We ate Ben’s Cookies from London, Baja Fresh, Baskin Robbins, Starbucks, and drooled when we saw PF Changs.
* We ate Lebanese food for Easter outside on the patio with mostly locals on The Walk — that’s a first!
* Coke cans have the old fashioned tops with the pull tabs – so retro and cool!
* NO alcohol is sold in stores or restaurants. You have to go to a hotel to buy liquor.

Retro Coke can pull tab top

Retro Coke can pull tab top

Entertainment/Culture
* Since the culture/religion doesn’t believe in alcohol, you will see people out later in the malls and restaurants, smoking hookah pipes and watching soccer games on big screen tvs, cruising The Walk in really fancy cars with plastic covered leather head rests which was so strange to me.

Hookahs at the sports "bar"

Hookahs at the sports “bar”

* There are very few people walking dogs, and we might have seen one or two cats – unlike in Istanbul where they are everywhere! Signs are posted by the Marina especially that you will be fined 200 DHRMS if you don’t pick up after your pet’s doodoo.
* Outside of the Walk area, we heard the Call to Prayer from the mosque towers.
* Prayer rooms are available at the airport.
* Expensive cars are driven by the locals up and down The Walk. One dad had his 3 year old boy sitting on his lap driving with him in his ferrari.
* The women dress differently. Some are covered head to toe. Some have their faces completely covered, and some show only their eyes. Most have their heads completely covered. Some of the burkas have sequins or designs on them, but most are all black for women. The men walk in white thobes with a white headcover and typically white open toed sandels. What you’ll especially notice is that for the women covered completely, most carry an expensive designer handbag that rests on their forearm and designer shoes, which is all you can see of them and differentiates one woman from another. You’ll also notice that they wear beautiful eye makeup to highlight that part of their body that you might see.
* Most don’t wear wedding rings.
* Women can drive.
* No beggars or homeless people were noticed.

Transportation
* We took taxis most everywhere and most prices ranged from 30 DHRM to 80 DHRM which is about $7.50 – $20.
* Seat belts were not required.
* The metro system is especially clean and modern, yet moves more slowly than the metro system in Holland. It is also not completely connected to all or most areas of town.
* We tried to ride the bus, but we had to have a special card to ride and they didn’t sell them at the bus stop nor on the bus.

metro map Dubai

Souqs
* We visited the Souqs late at night last night to see what they were like. We got a feel of how the working class lives and walked through the narrow connecting streets along the way. We bought a couple souvenirs, but no gold or textiles, for which they are known.

* We probably didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked because we got there late and were very tired and hungry when we arrived after 9 pm.

* The boats on the creek would have been fun to ride if we hadn’t been so hungry or tired.

gold bracelets in the souq

gold bracelets in the souq

gold prices in Dubai

gold prices in Dubai

And that’s all for now, folks!  We’re back in Holland again where the temperature was a mere 3 degrees Celcius.  Home COLD home.

Day 50: Transitioning

Lots is happening and I realized last night that it’s tiring! I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 pm. You’d think running a household, meeting new friend’s, shopping, and working out would be easy, but it’s not, really. I have to think and concentrate and focus more intensely than usual on things I usually wouldn’t spend time on pondering – like where to but rain boots. It’s all good, though.

Christian left yesterday for a class trip overnight for two nights. Juliana left today with her class and was very excited to go with her new friend’s. They have been away to sleep away camps before, so it didn’t feel too bad to let them go, but then again we’re in a new country and it did create some stress for me to let go. They are becoming more independent, which I love and desire, but it causes me to change and let go and let them be responsible for themselves. Ying and ying. Good for them and good for me, yet another change and transition, and it’s still all good. I’m just mindful and aware of the transition is all, and did I mention, a bit tired?
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But my new expat friends say this feeling is very normal and that I should feel this way. It’s good to be “normal”!! Its nice to share stories with other like women. Today there was a gathering for the American Community from our school at one of the women’s home.
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I always enjoy meeting new friends and hearing their stories. There were new moms, working moms, moms with MBAs beginning to look for a job, moms preparing to move back home, and permanent moms who have lived here for 11 years. There were moms who are career expats considering meeting with child psychologists to determine the effects the expat life will have on their third culture kids. We talked about learning Dutch and not learning Dutch, and I found another friend who plays tennis. We talked about plans for Halloween and where to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving. It was a great day to network and to connect and to share knowledge, and to discover more about my new “normal”. I love hearing people’s stories and connecting with them. That was one of the things I loved about Stella and Dot – it gave me a reason to get out and meet new people and share stories and style. And so today I’m happy and tired and loved every minute of it.

I wasn’t too tired to play tennis before picking Char up from school. I think playing gives me more energy to keep going.

I declared today, Charlie Day, that he could pick his favorite snack, and plan our afternoon, since I only had him to look after. I thought it would be a nice reward too, because he’s been trying harder to behave and to adapt and be happy. He chose a chocolate chip croissant and to play on the playground.
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Afterwards, we went to the toy store for him to spend his gift money that Jenny so graciously shared with him while we were on London last week. He picked two Play Mobil motorcycles with police characters. I think it funny that we gave away all our Play Mobil toys before we moved and those are the toys he is choosing to collect here. He reminded me that Tyler B. said he could come over anytime to play with them, so he’s not worried about having given them away. Phew!!

And to wrap-up the day, the three of us drove to Haarlem for dinner tonight. It was nice to get in a car and drive across town and to go on a date.

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We met up with Jeff’s friend from work, which really made life feel normal. I loved it! Afterwards, Charlie wanted to see his drum set so we walked over to his house, 2 blocks away. It’s so nice that things are so close.
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Haarlem is a beautiful city! Can’t wait to go back again.

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Tot ziens for now. xo