Christmas wrap up

December 29, 2008

With the family gone and the tree taken down yesterday, Christmas already seems more than a few days ago! It was wonderful to have everyone here and to meet baby Lucinda for the first time.

Unfortunately Christmas day itself didn’t quite go according to plan for my kids. Lachie woke up vomiting and spent most of the day either being sick or sleeping- he did perk up enough to open presents and join us at the table for the first course but that was it.  However he is fine now, only a 24 hour bug and he is enjoying discovering all his new things.

Charlotte had a rough night, waking every half hour or so and just wanting us to lie next to her before she went to sleep again (which is very unlike her) she finally fell into a deep sleep on her mat as the sun came up. I had to wake her at 9:30 so we could open presents. We originally thought maybe she too was coming down with something but have since discovered she was scared Santa would come into her room (thanks to all the kids in the street!) so she wanted us with her so he wouldn’t come in…. on the positive side, she has stranger danger under control! But once she was up xmas morning she was fine, although very tired by the end of the day!

Their presents from santa were a hit, Charlotte loves her dolls house and plays with it constantly. Lachie loves his remote control car- although I am still trying to work out if santa bought it for Lachie or Clint!

Their other gifts are also getting lots of use especially Lachies scooter (thanks Aunty Keli, Uncle Brett, Livi, Brigitte and Ryan) and his computer (thanks Nanny and Poppy). Charlotte loves all her new toys- especially the dolls (thanks Aunty Fi and Steve, Nanny and Poppy) we have to negotiate with her at night as to which 5 toys she can have in her bed all there would be no room for her! Thank you to all the family for their gifts, they all have been used/ played with already and no doubt will get lots of use over the next year!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!

Heritage Village

December 29, 2008

The heritage village is a museum with displays on the Bedouin lifestyle and how they lived before oil was discovered. While entry if free, there is no real guide to say what things are/were for (a handout would be useful or an entry fee that includes a guide/tour)  but the kids enjoyed running around and playing on the old swings. I don’t think they got much out of the replica village huts but they liked seeing the ox, camel and Arabian horse.

There are workshops demonstrating the ancient trades (pottery, boat building, glassblowing, sword making, spinning, shell art and spice trading). Unfortunatley no-one was making swords and knifes while we were there but they were fascinated by the glass blowing and the man making boats.

But the sun was shinning and the village is located on the breakwater near the corniche so it was a lovely way to spend the morning.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

December 28, 2008

There are so many tourist attractions around Abu Dhabi and with both my sisters here for a short visit the past week has been  the perfect time to play tourist in our new city. One of the places we visited was the Grand Mosque.

The mosque is opened but still not quite finished with work on the gardens and some areas of the courtyards still being done. However it is still a spectacular place to visit. The mosque is one of the largest in the world and holds around 40,000 worshipers; they hold daily tours and it’s well worth the time to see not only the beautiful building and its design but also to learn more about their culture.  Out of respect women are given an abaya (long black robe) to wear as well as a sheyla (headscarf) to wear while in the mosque. I expected Lachie and Charlotte to comment when I put it on but they didn’t, just as they have never said anything about the locals wearing them all the time. It just shows how accepting and tolerant of differences kids are!

Ahhh clowns!

December 16, 2008

We discovered a couple of weeks ago at a party that’s Charlotte is scared of clowns! She was quite happy when the clown arrivedand moved through the crowd until…. the clown turned around with the full makeup on and that was the end of Charlotte. She begged to go home and buried her face sobbing in my lap until the clown left an hour later,then she was fine.

So as we headed off to Ben’s third birthday party on Friday I let her know there was going to be another clown there. She immediately said she didn’t want to go to the party so I had to carry her down the road and then it took alot of convincing to get her in the door. The clown was already there so Charlotte spent the first part of  the party at the opposite end of the courtyard shooting the clown lovely looks like this…bens-clown-face

However, she did sit in the same circle as the clown for pass the parcel- but she had to sit on my lap.

The stresses in the life of a 2 year old… poor baby!


December 16, 2008

Yesterday afternoon we finally got the phone call that I am now a resident (hooray),the kids became residents about a week ago but they were still waiting on my medical results which were held up due to all the recent public holidays for Eid.

Of course to make it more fun, once you become a resident you can no longer drive on an international license- it is actually illegal to drive from where you get the residency paperwork to the building where you swap your license over.

So last night we headed up to the licensing department, official paperwork in hand- including my letter from Clint allowing me to get a license (no I am not kidding!). It was a fairly quick process and 30mins later we were out the door with my brand new UAE drivers license!

Another piece of paperwork ticked off the list!


December 12, 2008

Last weekend we got rain!!!! Not very exciting for those of you living else where but when it only usually happens 5-6 days per year it’s great!

About 5 weeks ago it rained for approximately 5 mins and just turned the dust to mud, but last weekend was real rain on and off for 2 days. Nothing here is built for rain so it pools up flooding the highways and making great puddles around our street for the kids to jump in… they had a ball!

Exciting News… well for us!

December 3, 2008

It’s hard to believe it’s already December, but the first few days have been good ones for us.

On Monday (1st) the kids finally became residents! Hooray, now Lachs can be legal at school. Mine of course hasn’t come through yet but I have been for the medical so it shouldn’t be too long. That said, all government offices are closed for the next 11 days so nothing will be happening till after Eid.

The schools are also closed for the next 11 days, then reopen for 5 days before closing for Xmas for 2 weeks. It is because of national day (2nd), then Eid (religious holiday timed by the moon) is the 7,8 and 9th. So they decided to close schools and all government departments for the whole time plus a few extra days. Pity Clint doesn’t work for the government, he only gets the 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th.

More exciting news for the kids was the discovery that one of the supermarkets is currently selling weetbix. Called bixies but made by sanitarium, from Australia- even has the Aussie made sign! The kids are thrilled as they have been eating a dodgy substitute, good cereal is hard to find over here, plenty from America but it’s all at least 30% sugar. I have learnt that if you see something at the supermarkets you stock up as it is unlikely to be there next time, so I now have enough weetbix to last us a few months!

We also put our Xmas tree up on the first. It was lots of fun this year as both the kids were really in to it, it’s amazing what they remember from a year ago. Charlotte was very quick to point out that the special balls don’t have to go so high cause she is big now and wont touch them! As soon as we got the boxes out, Lachs was asking where specific decorations were.  Charlotte couldn’t put enough decorations on, and you can see how tall she is … the bottom branches are heavy with decorations.

They both had to put the star on…