27 November, 2013

Dubai World Expo 2020

Congratulations to the UAE on winning the World Expo bid for 2020.  History in the making after 147 years, Dubai will be the first Muslim Arab country to host.

17 October, 2013

Reflection Time...Moving Half Way Around the World

I recently came across some videos I took of our house and the children right before moving overseas.  Some videos just captured our home and neighborhood as a way to share them with the kids down the road, and some were of the kids saying goodbye to friends.

This one broke my heart.  It was the last video I took before leaving.  We had been preparing the kids for the move for months in advance, but you never really know how they're feeling unless you ask.  At this point, our house was empty and we were heading out to the in-laws for our last two weeks in the USA.  The children had tearfully given their dog to a family friend just days before.  We were chaotic, running around with last minute details, and all I really wanted was to know how the kids were feeling, so I asked.  You can see moments of getting choked up, but also the excitement of a new destination.

I think they were just as confused as I was about the move, but I'm so glad things have worked out so well.  They have made wonderful new friends, seen things they'd never dreamed, and now call the UAE home.  I think its time for another "check-in" with the kids...stay tuned for an updated video!

Question:  How did your kids feel when you were moving overseas?  What were they sad about?  What were they excited about?

04 October, 2013

New! TravelingMom 101 Family Travel Tips Book

Its here and its yours!  Take a minute to check out the newly compiled 101 Family Travel Tips book compiled by the expert family travel bloggers at TravelingMom.com.  I'm sure you'll be happy you did!  Please feel free to share it with your friends, and come back and share your own thoughts!

23 September, 2013

Surviving When Daddy's Away

It's 3.5 weeks into my husband's business trip and I'm so thankful there are only three days to go until he's home.  I thought the tearful goodbye was going to be the hard part, or perhaps taking care of the heart-broken dog who thinks my husband is her best friend, or the kids missing daddy.  Nope!  I was wrong.

How do you survive balancing your personal and professional life which includes three children, night school and a love sick dog?  

You fake it 'till you make it.

Yep.  That's all I've concluded.  No wise words of wisdom.  Just that piece of advice...fake it 'till you make it.  I decided that knowing he was coming back, eventually, made things almost harder because I just wanted him back NOW.  And I knew he would be soon...this wasn't a forever gig.  So, I just pretend all is ok on the outside, keep everyone happy and balls all up in the air, and hope I don't drop one on my head.

It's been a comedy of errors since my husband left.  We've had an AC unit go out, a shower mount fall off the wall, illness, a broken arm, a giant goose egg to the back of the head, water delivered that has sat outside cause I cant lift it inside, shattered spice jar all over the kitchen floor, a vacuum that decided to break when the jar shattered, a neurotic dog who licks the door hoping daddy will walk through, a month old dirty car I just can't seem to find time to clean and grey hair growing in that I just haven't been able to color.  (When your friend points out the grey, you know you've been neglecting yourself.). One thing after another...and that's just my home life!

However, through it all, I have my little vents on Facebook with friends, I hash out the work day with a coworker before heading home and I try to keep a smile on my face and continue helping everyone around me.  So what if I wear the wrong shoes, forget to turn the crockpot on or drive to a destination only to realize its not where I wanted to go.  

I kept the dog alive, the kids fed, most of the house in one piece and managed to keep my job.  Super mom, no.  An overly organized mom who can pretend, most times, that everything is under control?  Yep.  Faking it 'till we make it...which right now, is three days longer.

How do you handle transition into one parent households when your spouse travels?  What's the funniest thing that has happened while on your own?

02 September, 2013

Kid-Free Zones on Airlines

Have you heard about the latest buzz surrounding airlines and kids?  Several Asian airlines are the forerunners in now offering kid-free zones on flights, hoping to appease those who want little to do with kids on flights.  Seriously?  AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines think they've come up with the solution, and its expected that more airlines will follow. 

I can understand not wanting to hear a baby cry, a kid scream or a frantic mother shouting at her kids to be quiet.  Have you been in her shoes?  I bet she's more terrified of your reactions and thoughts about her parenting and her kids than you even care to consider.  As parents, we do what we can, when we can.  A flight might just be one of the most unpredictable situations we can put our children in, and we just hope and pray that they make it through peacefully without anyone scrutinizing.  But "hiding" children on a flight is like having smoking and non-smoking areas on a flight...it didn't work.

Several companies, like Etihad and Emirates are doing it right.  They are providing goodie bags, toys and even stuffed animals and blankets...all with the child's peace of mind at heart.  Etihad has even just recently announced their brilliant program, Flying Nannies!  They  know families need to travel and they know its not always easy.  Here, they've come up with an idea to help parents and kids instead of hiding them.  "They’re here to provide an extra pair of hands – whether it’s helping to get the children settled for bed, keeping them entertained or simply offering advice and support to parents." -Etihadairways.com

What's your take on "kid-free" zones?  Peter Greenberg shared his thoughts as well.

30 August, 2013

Fresher Food Overseas?

Now this is what I call fresh eggs.  Since living in the UAE, we've noticed things are more "organic" than back home.  We often find our eggs covered in feathers (and other chicken 'stuff'), instead of cleaned and pretty.  This doesn't just go for eggs either!  We've found feathers on chicken too!  

Vegetables in the local markets (excluding Spinneys and Choithrams) come in odd shapes and colors and are frequently covered in dirt, or at least spots of dirt.  They aren't uniform in size nor shiny and colorful.  You can find produce represented by at least ten different countries in one store alone.  Kenyan avocado anyone?

29 August, 2013

Our First Vine Video

Have you heard of Vine?  It's an app for iPhone or Android and its pretty much amazing.  Take up to 6 seconds to feature whatever you want, like a mini-preview.  You can shoot, upload and share right from the app.  Shoot scenes from where you are, of a project you're working on or highlights of your day of sightseeing.  Vine gained 13 million users in only 5 months.  Are you Vined yet?

The Packing Timeline

Last night, six hours before having to leave for a week long trip, my husband was finishing his packing.  Is this a guy thing or a person traveling alone thing?  If it were me, traveling alone, I'd be organizing, checking off a list, laying out outfits and planning at least two days before the trip.  I know, this is totally a girl thing to do.  But how can you pack last minute like that and be sure you have everything you need?  I'm waiting for that text message from my husband telling me he forgot something.  Of course, if I were traveling with my family, I'd be planning a week out.  But I'm curious, when do you pack?