Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Christmas Edition

I will be offline for the next 3 weeks.

Tonight I leave to spend Christmas with my family in Ireland.

The last picture is the pub where I plan to spend most of my time.

Happy Holidays Everyone - talk to you in 2011 !!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sand Storms

There was a sandstorm today. Sandstorms are strong dry wind blowing over the desert that raises and carries along clouds of sand or dust often so dense as to obscure the sun and reduce visibility almost to zero; also known as a duststorm. I was sitting on the couch (watching Y&R) and noticed it getting darker outside. I ran around the house closing all the windows.

The sandstorm in the pictures below occurred on 10 March 2009, the worst Saudi has had. The photos were taken from the Fasiliyah Towers in downtown Riyadh, I can see this building from my compound. Not surprisingly the airports were closed and flights cancelled.

It is not easy to envision how an entire city could be obscured from view and visibility at zero because of sand. There really is no way to protect yourself from the onslaught of sand if caught out and about. There is no warning. Luckily I have never been caught outside in a bad one - so far...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ahh Life In Saudi - The Muttawa

I have been living in Saudi for a year and a half and this is the first time this has happened to me.

I was sitting in the family section of Starbucks with my daughter. This section is for women only or a family. I heard someone speaking loudly, not yelling, just a raised voice. They kept repeating something. I turned around and standing by the counter was a man saying something in Arabic and then "cover" pointing to his head. My face immediately turned bright red and my heart began to beat faster. This was my first negative direct encounter with a Saudi and I was really embarrassed. I hadn't done anything wrong, and yet I felt like I had. I looked around for my scarf which I had in my stroller somewhere and covered my head. After this I noticed that the whole place had gotten strangely silent.

The Muttawa (religious police) are the only ones who would be bold enough to walk into a womens area. They patrol the shopping malls looking for un-Islamic dress or behaviour. At one time they carried long sticks with which to enforce their orders; for instance women who had not covered their legs completely might get a rap on the ankle with this stick.

Non-muslim women might be approached by the Muttawa and asked to cover their hair, as with me. The advice from the embassies was that women should always carry a scarf. If requested, the scarf should be worn until the Muttawa was out of sight, at which point it could be removed.

I finished my coffee and muffin, cleaned up the little lady, removed my scarf and walked out. I didn't see them again in the mall. I have forgotten the scarf at home a few times but I will be sure to keep handy at all times now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Snow Day

I have been hearing alot about snow everywhere. It has been quite awhile since I saw any so today is dedicated to Snow Days.

Things I don't miss about snow...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Visit To Turkey

Due to the high level of interaction between countries in the world today, diplomatic offices are needed in each country to aid in and allow such interactions to occur. Therefore embassies and consulates are generally found in capital cities worldwide.The embassy is responsible for representing the home country abroad and handling major diplomatic issues, such as preserving the rights of citizens abroad.

In Riyadh there is an area called the Diplomatic Quarter where all these embassies are located. The ground on which each embassy sits is considered that countries soil and therefore Saudi laws do not apply.

This weekend I went to a party at the Turkish Embassy. There were vendors selling an assortment of items (ie. rugs, clothing, jewelery). There was also a large buffet lunch, don't ask me what I ate but it was yummy! There was entertainment with musicians and children folk dancing. I didn't purchase much just some DVD's (bootlegs are huge in Saudi due to the strict censorship). I got the Season One of Glee which I cannot wait to watch. I first saw this show on the airplane and fell for it. Also got some Christmas DVD's for the kids, a really pretty scarf and some earrings.

All in all a good day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - First Love

I recently re-connected with my first love. We met when I was 14, he was 13. We haven't spoken in nearly 9 years. We did connect thru Facebook this past year and had the odd email. But we finally spoke on the phone.

This edition of Wordless Wednesday is dedicated to him.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Life As A Soap Opera

Since I was a teenager I have loved soaps. In high school I started watching Young and the Restless and As The World Turns. I still watch Y&R and ATWT recently ended. I now have to download all my favourite shows from North America. When I returned from holiday I had a lot of catching up to do (Young & the Restless, 90210, Greys Anatomy, Coronation Street, Dancing with the Stars and The Amazing Race). I have them all downloaded but still need to watch. I will get thru it. The are more daytime and evening drama's I would love to watch. However there just isn't enough free time for this so I had to decide on a select few.

Perhaps this is where I got my view on life. Was I always looking for the handsome prince to come and sweep me off my feet? Take me away to his castle and we would live happily ever after. Our relationship would be full of romance; sex would always be hot and passionate.

But real life is not like this. In daytime soaps I don't see the women being kept up all night with kids. Walking around in old sweats (if you have gotten out of your pj's) doing dishes, laundry and cleaning. At night when the kids are finally asleep and your husband has decided he now needs your attention and you have no energy or desire left. Romance - my hubby was never the "romantic" type.

Life should be more like the soaps - without all the drama, murder, evil twins and such. But alas I think that is just a dream. We are stuck in the real world. So I will just continue to live thru my shows.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back In The Desert

The vacation is over and the family has returned to the desert.

The holiday was great. Phuket is a great place with plenty of things for families to do. The beaches are beautiful and the ocean is warm like a bathtub. I think I also may have put on a few pounds due to the fact I had huge plates of Thai food every night. It was sooo yummy! There was also plenty of wine and beer. I certainly made up for the fact this is not available in Saudi. I managed to get some time away from the kids at the spa. I had 3 Thai massages, if you have never had one it involves stretching and deep massage. You wear loose clothes that allows alot of movement. I also had 2 foot massages, a facial and a mani/pedi.

The temps here in Saudi have dropped a bit. Daytime temps are around 25 and night time are 5 (brrr). I need to go thru the kids closets and see if any of their jeans and long sleeve shirts fit anymore. Funny how this now seems chilly to me. I am in for quite a shock when I return to a Canadian winter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Which Way To "The Beach"

We are going on vacation!

The family is heading to Thailand - Phuket to be exact.

If you have seen the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo Dicaprio this is the spot.

See you in 2 weeks!!

Wordless Wednesday - Important Dates to Remember

The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.

Next week is the beginning of Hajj here in Saudi Arabia.

Tomorrow (November 11) is Remembrance Day in Canada - in honour of the men and women who serve...Lest we forget

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tearing A Strip Off

Today I went for my waxing appointment before our holiday. My son was with me. I hope I haven't scarred him for life. I didn't think of it beforehand.

I sent him off to look at the fish tank when we started. As I was lying on the table and the lady moved from my legs to my bikini line I realized he was standing there. As he stood there watching with a puzzled look on his face he said, "Mommy do you have a johnson" (this is what he calls his penis)? Let's get it straight first, I still had my underwear on, I do not get a Brazilian bikini wax done anymore. As the esthetician giggled I replied "No becuz I am a girl". He said "Then how do you pee"? I decided this was the perfect time to use a trick all mothers know - distraction. I asked him if he would like to go to the store and get a treat when we were done.

Awkward situation diverted.

Note to not take the kids to my waxing appointments again!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Inside My Cage

To someone outside looking in compound life in Saudi seems pretty sweet. But after a while it also becomes your prison.

Compounds in Saudi are heavily guarded. Since they are full of expats they are a target for terrorists. There are high walls, covered in barb wire. Surrounded by army men with machine guns. To enter your must stop at security. Your name must be on a guest list. Your car is then searched, engine, trunk and underneath.

Once you are permitted to enter it looks like a vacation resort. There are palm trees and flowers in the perfectly landscaped lawns and gardens. There are grounds men who's job it is to manicure it everyday. There is a store for groceries, DVD rentals, a dry cleaner, and even a beauty salon. A restaurant should you decide to grab a bite. Swimming pools, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, tennis courts and playgrounds. This all sounds great, I know.

The one thing you don't have here is freedom. Many people I have met have been here over 10 years. I think they get use to this life where everything is done for you and cannot see themselves going back into the "real" world. You don't even have to clean your own house or look after your own kids. Maids/Nannies are extremely cheap and everyone seems to have one. I have not gone down this road so far and don't intend to.

I do feel safe here. Even outside the compound walls. Altho, I never forget where I am and that I am a stranger (and a Westerner) in this country. My guard is up and I always try to be aware of my surroundings.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Call To Prayer

This edition of "Wordless Wednesday" is the Saudi Call To Prayer.

This happens throughout Saudi Arabia 5 times a day. Everything shuts and people must go to the mosque to pray.

It is a beautiful sound - however the call at 4:00am can be quite annoying!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


BC (before children) I started doing Pilates.

I continued thru my first pregnancy with Pre-Natal Pilates. My class was during my lunch hour downtown. The class started with 5 people. By the time my due date rolled around I was the only student left. Which was good and bad. I enjoyed the private sessions (especially since I was paying for class ones) but the teacher had no one else to focus on but me, so she worked me hard.

During my second pregnancy I took Pre-Natal Yoga. This time I took a class close to my home in the evenings. The class was large and it was funny to see each new first time mom come in only a few weeks pregnant and they would look at us near the end of our terms with fear. After my second baby was born I took Mom & Babies Yoga. With a toddler and newborn in the class with me it was hard to get much serious exercise done, but we enjoyed it.

When we moved to Saudi I picked up a few DVD's to do at home. Never did them, I need to classroom setting to be motivated. Finally our compound started a Yoga class 2 times a week and I jumped at it.
So each Saturday and Monday evenings when the hubby walks thru the door I pass him the kids and say "so long"! This is my time to shut out everything and think of myself, do some meditation. At the same time get some exercise.

“I bow to the divine in you”. Namaste is a traditional Indian greeting of respect and thank you, with spiritual and symbol meaning. This is done with your palms pressed together at your heart, and lightly bow your head and shoulders.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Forbidden Word

My little lady "Buttercup" started saying a bad word this week.

It is driving me crazy. She never stops saying "it" - over and over again!

I don't know where she picked
"it" up. Certainly not from me, I have been very careful not to say "it" around her. I learned my lesson with number one "Mr. Magoo" when he started saying "it".

But little ones are sponges and pick everything up. You cannot shield them forever.

The word is ...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Life in Saudi

Today I am joining the "Wordless Wednesday" group.

The video starts out in dutch but the important parts are in English.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

@$#%! Friday

Ok, it is really Saturday here but it is still Friday somewhere so I am posting a @$#%! Friday post along with "The Mayor". In Saudi the weekend falls on Thursday and Friday and even tho I have lived here for over a year it still f*cks me up!

Last night while I was watching tv and the hubby was on his laptop looking at emails he mentioned that a group of his friends are on a "guys weekend". They all flew from Toronto to Dallas for a baseball game and some other sporting event. They were sending him messages from some world series playoff game. He said if we weren't in Saudi he would have gone with them. WTF!!! He can fly all the way to Dallas for a weekend but if I ask for a day at the spa here in Saudi he asks if it falls into my monthly budget?!

I said does that mean I could also go on a "girls weekend" when we return to Toronto? He said what do I need a weekend away for? He works all week and never does anything for himself - WTF!!!! This conversation was just going from bad to worse. I decided to bite my tongue and let it go.

Sometimes you have to treat your hubby like the children - you have to pick your battles.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not A Stepford Wife

I knew when I became a stay-at-home mom I would not be the type to be all "pretty" when the hubby gets home from work. Dressed, makeup, dinner on the table, this does not happen in our house.

I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl, if I have gotten out of my pj's that day. Or since we moved to Saudi it will be shorts and t-shirt. My hair will be combed, occasionally, usually just thrown in a ponytail. Makeup will be a tinted moisturizer with SPF.

One thing that I will not let slide is the house cleaning. I need to have everything neat and tidy. With 2 young kids you can imagine how tough this is to maintain. The hubby came home late last night and was hungry, he would usually eat out. I didn't feel like cooking anything myself so I took the kids outside to play and left him to it. Before we left I made a point of casually mentioning how hard I worked to tidy up after the kids and finished dinner, hoping he would get the hint and keep it that way.

Wishful thinking...

I returned to dirty pans on the stove, dishes in the sink and every cupboard in the kitchen open. What the f*ck is it with this guy and cupboard doors, he always leaves them open! I decided to leave it and hope he was going to clean it up later, didn't happen. There is a f*cking dishwasher how tough is it to put these things in there.

I got to thinking - maybe he thinks this is my job? Is it, now that I am home?
If he is expecting a stepford wife he is going to have a hell of a wait...

Saw this picture and had to post it - hilarious considering where I live!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keeping Up With The Jones

My birthday is during the summer so as a kid I never had birthday parties with my classmates. My school friends and I all went our separate ways the end of June until September.

My son's birthday is in October. Last year, his first year in school (JK), parents were told they can bring in a cake to celebrate with classmates. So that is what I did. I brought in cupcakes (instead of cake) and a small treat (candy) for each kid in his class. He attends a private international school where class sizes are limited to 12 kids. Easy peasy.... I am not the "Martha Stewart" type so I can handle this.

With each kids birthday last year things got more extravagant. By the end of the year parents were delivering cake, McDonald's Happy Meals and a large loot bag full of toys for each kid. Boy was I glad I had his birthday over with before this started.

Well today was the first birthday of this school year. And the precedent has already been set high. Again with the Happy Meals and huge loot bags. This kids parents must have even found out girls vs boys because his loot bag was full of Spiderman and Ben10 items. Great ! With my little guys birthday coming up in a few weeks what the hell am I to do. I hate the idea of trying to "keep up with the Jones".
Perhaps I will be the one to step up and "lower" that bar. I am sure that some of the other parents will appreciate this. Come on they are 5 year olds right?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blondes Have More Fun

This is true for me. I have always been blonde but after living in Saudi for about 6 months I was totally bored. I went to the hairdresser and said I want to be a brunette just to add some excitement to my boring existence here. I loved the dramatic look for a while. This weekend I decided I needed to return to my roots and I am lovin' it! Being blonde just seems to brighten up your whole face.

The salon also has a spa so I treated myself to a facial as well. While laying there being pampered I found my mind wandering back to the kids. Did the hubby remember to give them lunch? Hopefully he wasn't letting the boy nap (the hubby would usually do this while the baby napped) so he could have a break. Spending a few hours alone with the kids just wears him out, poor guy (insert eye roll here), then at bedtime wonder why he won't go to sleep. The kitchen was probably a mess, toys will be everywhere and so on.

This is suppose to be my "down" time but all I do is worry about what is going on back at home. I am just not able to switch it off.

Perhaps someday I will be able to walk out and leave it all behind when I close that door. I look forward to this day...

Special Note:
To my fellow Canadians - Happy Thanksgiving. I miss this time of year so much. The crisp cool air and the colour of the leaves. Enjoy...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lost - My 2 Girls...please return

never had a large chest, not even average. I wore a size 32A and even that was roomy. But before children everything was in proportion.

While pregnant I went to a 34B which was perfect in my mind. Unfortunately after 2 kids my girls decided not to return. My body had gotten wider (rib cage & hips) during pregnancy and stayed that way - I now wear a 34A. Shopping for bra's is such a pain for me. Nothing fits properly. Even my hubby has commented about the girls leaving. I now understand the term "flat as a board".

I am not against plastic surgery. I am sure the hubby would love a little improvement up top but is not willing to fork out the dough. So perhaps I should give this a try...

Boob job in a bottle: The £125 gel that says it'll make you a half-cup size bigger

Hell I am willing to try anything.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Don't Hate Me Becuz I'm Beautiful

Most men complain because their ladies take such a long time getting ready to go out. They spend hours in the bathroom doing god knows what. When they finally emerge and ask "how do I look" you better have the correct response without hesitation.

In our home one of us changes our clothes numerous times – indecisive and unsatisfied. We put on one outfit, discard that one and try another then another then another…only to end up in the original outfit 30 minutes later while the partner sits patiently waiting, more likely, impatiently waiting. They have so many items in the bathroom you could open your own drug store.

You might be thinking that person is me because I’m the girl, after all and isn’t that what girls do? Yeah, that’s the stereotype.

In our home "the girl" would be my hubby.

I can get myself and the kids dressed, house tidy, snacks packed and then we sit and impatiently wait for "the lady" of the house to pull herself together.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Me & My Abaya

Do you have to cover up? I always get this question from my friends or people I meet. Like most things in Saudi I have a love/hate relationship with my abaya. My FB status this week was "good thing about my abaya - doing school runs in my pj's".

Abaya's are worn over your clothes and it covers your body from the neck down. While it's not a legal requirement to wear them, you would be the only woman not doing so in the entire city, so social pressures and the prospect of being harassed by muttawa (religious police) and Saudi men is enough to motivate expats to respect their cultural traditions. Non-muslim expats do not wear headscarves except during Ramadan, out of respect for their holy month. However I always have mine with me just in case. Most Saudi women wear the trio of abaya, headscarf, and niqab (face veil).

You never need to worry about what you are wearing anymore. My purchases of clothes for myself has become almost nil. This makes my husband very happy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's Eat

Saudi has most of the chain restaurants in North America including TGIFriday’s, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. They are quite comparable to those at home. There are a few exceptions, however.

Every restaurant in Saudi has two separate entrances. The first is called the “singles section”, and no, it’s not for those who find themselves looking for love. The “singles section” is for men only, and is like any restaurant back home, with open seating. The second section is the “family section” which is for women, children, and any men accompanying them. The “family section” is comprised of several booths or tables each with a screen or curtains covering the area where women might be seen. Sometimes, there is a choice of open-seating, or closed booth, but often, it is only the latter. At first, I liked the privacy this arrangement offered, but I quickly grew tired of not looking at other diners. Part of the fun of going out to eat is people watching, and now I frequently don’t have that option.

Most of the Saudi women who sit in the open section do not veil their faces. Those who veil sit in the closed sections and are typically more traditional. I’ve caught a glimpse or two of veiled women trying to eat, and it’s fascinating seeing the coordination with which they lift the veil, put the food in their mouths, and yet reveal not an inch of skin. To be honest, all of this is fairly easy to get used to. What I can’t get used to, however, is no alcohol. I miss wine with dinner. I get annoyed looking at menus that offer up cocktails like Mojitos, Bloody Marys, and Margaritas without the good stuff. I’ve almost forgotten what a stiff Cosmo tastes like.

All in all, dining out is one of the few forms of entertainment one is allowed here in the Kingdom. There are no movie theatres, music concerts, festivals in the park, or other things that are available in other more liberal societies. I miss the Canada and our favourite restaurants. At least a few of the chain restaurants in Riyadh give us a little taste of home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Attitude Is Everything...

Each day I wake up and have to make the decision to have a good attitude about being here. Today, that has not been an easy decision. I have been suffering from terrible jet lag, unpacking from our trip back to Canada as well as the move to our new compound, kids to shuttle back and forth to school and entertain, the laundry needs to be done and folded, the dishes need to be washed. Welcome to the real world I guess. I love my life , but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I just want to run away from it all. To go to a spa for a day, or a cafe for coffee with friends for some girl talk, or sit down with a good book for an hour or two. Those sanctuaries are far away and unavailable here.

As I sit on the couch for five minutes to write this, one of my few indulgences, I am forced to think about that phrase. My attitude is everything, and if I adjust mine a little bit, maybe the day will start to look brighter.

"Do what you can where you are with what you have."
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, September 19, 2010

She Is Back !

I know I have been MIA for quite a while. I'm sure you can forgive a girl who was on vacation for 10 weeks. I managed to get a few posts in while I was on holiday. But as soon as the hubby showed up our calendar was full everyday. Plus the fact he has no idea about my blog, I wasn't about to say "hey, gotta run and post something".

Well the holiday was great. It was nice to be back to a normal life. I'm sure my sister was glad to see us leaving for the airport after taking over her home for 10 weeks. Going from a house with 2 adults to 6 adults and 2 kids I'm sure was challenging for her. She is a trooper!

Things I miss in Canada:
- my family
- my friends
- driving
- weather changes
- doing things on a whim
- so many forms of entertainment
- friendly people
- public transit
- sneaking smokes when the kids go to bed (hubby frowns on this so don't do much in Saudi)
- last but not least .... booze!

Things I like about Saudi:
- it's a dry heat
- my new house
- people from all over the world
- travel

I am currently settling into my new house on a good compound here, so unpacking boxes. I also plan to catch up on my soaps and my blog reading.

It's good to be back in touch with my bloggy friends - I've missed ya!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Random Acts Of Kindness

You very rarely see random acts of kindness. So I will share mine with you.

Today I was in the lineup at the coffee store drive thru. Drive thru's are one of my favourite things, who wants to haul 2 kids in and out of the car. This lineup was long and if you don't know the parking lot you can make a wrong turn before the entrance. A woman in front of me did this, and therefore lost her place in line. Other cars were passing her as she tried to get back in. I stopped and waved her to go ahead. She waved at me, something you don't see anymore either. Remember when people use to wave after you let them in on the highways. Anyway...when I got up to the "box" to order I was informed that the person in the car in front of me had bought me a large coffee. How sweet was that. As she drove off I looked over and waved at her.

This has helped me remember there are still good people out there. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. There is such as thing as karma.

So everyone go out and pay it forward - you never know what you will get back.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Catch Up

All week I have been saying "I need to get on that blog".

When I started my page the beginning of July I didn't think about the fact that I would be on vacation until September. The first couple of weeks weren't to bad. While the little lady was having an afternoon nap I would jump on the computer for a bit. But this past week we have been out everyday. My hubby arrives next week and the schedule is packed. We will be visiting friends and a couple of weeks at the cottage. I of course will also be dumping the kids with him so I can go out and do some "girl" things. Get my hair done, some shopping and lunch with the girls. I tried shopping with the kids but trying clothes on with 2 kids in the change room with you was not a pleasant experience. All 3 of us left that change room in bad moods. Really, I am happy that the hubby is arriving. It has been a long time since we have been together and I am looking forward to some quality family time.

My trip last weekend to Montreal was fabulous. My good friends moved there last summer and have a beautiful home. The weather was great, warm and sunny. There was plenty of good food, wine and a large yard with a swimming pool which kept the 5 kiddies busy.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Look Who's Talking

I was like everyone else with the first child, trying to teach them everything immediately including talking. Every new mother cannot wait until the first
"mama" comes out. With any children after that it is not the case. At least not with me and with some others I have spoken to. You try and delay everything as long as possible. You know as soon as they start crawling/walking they will be into everything and you will be forever chasing after them. As for the talking, you will begin to hate the word "mama" after hearing it for the millionth time in one day.

Unfortunately, after a while they just start to pick things up by themselves. While I am on vacation here staying at my sisters my little lady sleeps in the same room as me. This morning I am laying there pretending to be asleep because I heard her moving around. Of course there is the "mama" which I ignore and hope she will just go back to sleep. Instead the next thing I hear is "shit". I am thinking, did she just say shit? Only to hear it again. I don't think this is what she was really saying but in her baby babble but it sure sounded like it.

Note to self...when in the car driving with the kids and I feel the need to curse because some asshole just cut me off of jumped in front of me at the drive thru coffee shop, remember "internal monologue".

Tomorrow we have a road trip to Montreal. A friend and I are driving with all our kids (her 3 & my 2) ranging in ages from 8 - 21 months. We have plenty of snacks and movies ready. I sorta feel like Thelma and Louise - unfortunately we don't have Brad Pitt as a passenger.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Confession Time

When I returned to work after after my first child I was really looking forward to it. Getting to go out without my kid, dress pretty, put on some makeup. After a few months the novelty wore off. Just seemed like I had 2 full time jobs. After baby number 2 I didn't have to return because of our move to Saudi Arabia. Now after being home again I get the same itch.

Some mothers I speak with or read about on blogs talk about how great it is at home with the kids. They talk about all the activities they do, the crafts etc etc. I find it hard to fill an hour. My youngest isn't quite 2 yet and nothing holds her attention for more than 5 minutes. I do have to say one child was a lot easier. I thought if there was another they would entertain each other. NOT! They just fight with each other.

Today I drove by the condo my sister and I use to live in pre-marriage and babies. My son asked me what are we doing sitting here and I said "This is where Mommy use to live when she had a life".

What I wouldn't give to be able to sit and watch The Young & The Restless without little voices asking if it is over yet. Enjoy a hot coffee or meal. Ok I am not one of those moms who can make running the house, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining 2 kids seem effortless. I don't have that maternal instinct where I find joy in every little thing my kids do. All I see after finger painting is a huge friggin mess that I have to clean up.

I don't want a t-shirt that says "World's Greatest Mom".

Now that I have that out there I feel much better and can stop trying to be.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kidz Say The Funniest Things

Today was a rainy day so we head off to the shopping mall. We make a stop for coffee and snacks and while sitting there my son says "look how big that mans belly is". Not quietly either of course. I am trying to shhh him and explain how that is not very nice and we don't say things like that. All the while trying not to giggle. A time my BFF always remembers was when we were in a restaurant having lunch and of course during the meal my son has to go to the bathroom. After doing his business we return for him to yell across the place to my BFF that he went poo!

What is your funniest "I can't believe my kid said that" moment?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The last concert I went to was Coldplay when I was 6 months pregnant. So last night felt really good to get out without the kids and let loose. I went to see Jimmy Cliff. For those that do not know who this is he helped popularize reggae across the world. I guess along with Bob Marley he would be the best known Jamacian artist. It was like a huge dance party at Massey Hall. Anyone that has attended a concert at this great theatre in Toronto knows what a wonderful venue for a concert it is.

What would have made the night complete would have been if my hubby had been there. He is still back in Saudi due to join us here in about 3 weeks. He would have really loved it. My hubby was born in Kingston, Jamacia. He always said how crazy it is that we found each other. I was born and raised (until the age of 5) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. So for 2 people from totally different parts of the world to find each other is funny to us.

I guess another example of a "it's a small world".

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wicked Weekend

Look out weekend!
Tomorrow I am ditching the kids and heading out for a wicked weekend.

I have been wanting to get a few more tats (after I get the 3 I have planned that will make 5) so I will be stopping by a sleazy tattoo parlor for a consult and if they can squeeze me in perhaps I will get one or two done. Also been thinking about getting my belly re-pierced. I had it done pre-kiddies but during my first pregnacy I took it out and never replaced it.

After that I will be heading to my friends place for a girls night out! We plan to have some food and wine (light on the food, heavy on the wine) hit a club, perhaps a martini bar. I love my old neighbourhood. Everything I just mentioned is within walking (or stumbling) distance.

We will then crash at one of the girls places for a slumber party. Pillow fights in our pj's, isn't that what all men think we do at sleepovers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What A Crazy World

I haven't been able to get onto the computer as much lately. I actually have a life now. Which is great but I have got behind in my writing and reading online.

By now some of you have heard that The Mayor over in Crazy Town and I have run into each other. Well not actually met yet, but I have met her mother and sister. Seems like the wild and crazy universe has decided we need to met. For what reason - who knows. I just go with the flow...
But I cannot wait to get to know her better.

My week here so far has been spent seeing family and friends. It is so nice not to have to plan anything (where I need to book my driver) and just wake up, decide what to do, hop in the car and go. I LUV driving again. Cruising along the highway, windows closed because it has been so damn hot here, listening to tunes. Ok the tunes are Barney but that is ok - I sing along. As for the heat I know I live right smack dab in the middle of the friggin desert where it is a million degrees but we have no humidity. It's a killer.

I will continue to jump online and keep you up-to-date on my vacation adventures. So far we are off to a great start!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let The Sun Shine In !

Yesterday was my birthday. Not that I pay attention anymore. Instead of being a time to party it has become a time to dread. So I just sit back, hope no one remembers and I won't be another year older. But I did receive a wonderful present from The Mayor over in Crazy Town, either she is psychic or has friggin great timing. She passed along the "Sunshine Award" to me. I have only been blogging a few weeks now, what a great honor to have received already. It actually brought a tear to my eye when I read her sweet comments. Thanks so much my new friend.

In order to accept this award I have to pass it on to 12 other blogs that bring me sunshine! Since I am so new to this I don't think I am able to pass this along just yet. So stay tuned.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Veil Has Been Lifted

Ok the trip was a little bit hell but sooo worth it! Stepping out of the airport on a bright sunny afternoon. It is strange but you forget the colours in the world. The sky was bright blue, trees and grass so green. This might sound weird to everyone but living in Saudi there is nothing but the colour beige. The sky is the same colour as sand. The houses are the same colour as sand. I cannot even explain the feeling of coming out from under my veil. A great weight has been lifted.

A huge thanks to my sister and her hubby for putting up with us for 10 weeks!
I have the best sis in the world.

Have been Skyping with my other (but not better) half. Saying how much he misses us. Pullezzz, don't give me that shit! I know he is just laying around in his own filth loving the peace and quiet.

That's what I would be doing if the roles were reversed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Leaving On A Jet Plane

I am finally leaving Saudi and heading back to Canada for the summer. I cannot wait to get back to a normal existence. I am taking the kids and the hubby will be joining me in a month.

17 hours total travel time with 2 young kids, by myself!

I am a little frightened.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Yesterday my hubby came home and announced he had read an article about menopause. He proceeded to inform me that the symptoms I am having are normal. No shit sherlock! I didn't need you to tell me that.

When I had my second baby, by c-section, we had decided we were not having any more children so I had my tubes tied. When I finished breastfeeding my period returned like normal for 2 months then disappeared. I figured it was the stress of our move. When it still hadn't returned after 4 or 5 months I went to an OB. She ran tests and said it seemed like I was in early menopause, most likely due to my tubes being tied. I was fine with it, happy in fact! Come on ladies, if you are finished having kids who needs a period each month. The downside were the symptoms that go along with it. Hot flashes, mood swings ....

However the thing my hubby was most interested in was the mention of low sex drive. Because it is all about him, right? Sure it may be part of it but could it also be the fact that I am looking after 2 young kids, a house and on very little sleep. Even though both my kids sleep through the night now, I still don't. It seems that with all the years of disrupted sleep it is now a habit.

God forbid I suggest my hubby look after the kids for a week or two and let me have a much needed rest. Maybe then he will get some sex.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sand In My Eyes

I am sure you are wondering how the hell I ended up in Saudi Arabia. While I was pregnant with my second child my husband applied for a position here, never thinking anything would actually come from it. Well it did. He interviewed for the position 2 days after I gave birth and 6 months later here we are. In addition to making this move for financial reasons which is why everyone is in Saudi, we thought it would be a great experience for both us and our kids to see a different culture and part of the world.

Living in Saudi has been very challenging for me. It is very conservative. I have to cover up in an abaya (long black robe) whenever I go out. Women are not allowed to drive or work. I have a driver who takes me wherever I have to go. Everywhere shuts 5 times a day for prayers. Places like restaurants are segregated, they have a mens only section and a family/ladies section. There aren't any movies or clubs. Entertainment is non-existent. Alcohol is illegal. A friend of mine, a woman from the UK here as a teacher was just arrested. Her crime, she had a male friend helping her move some stuff. She was held for 4 hours and fingerprinted. Women are not suppose to go out with a man who is not her husband (or a close relative) unless it is a driver. They have public executions at a place called "Chop Chop Square".

Most expats live in a western style compound where you don't have to cover up, it has shops, swimming pools, gyms etc. These compounds have long waiting lists. We have been in Saudi for one year now and just got onto one. We have been living in a Saudi villa. Picture your house surrounded by large walls so you cannot see your neighour and they cannot see you. Saudi's do not interact with others, only their family. I have been extremely lonely and isolated. Me and 2 kids stuck inside all day, we have a small outside area but not really big enough for kids to play. Add onto that the heat (right now daytime temps can get to 50 degrees). There have been a lot of tears. So we are extremely happy to finally get into a more normal living environment. I don't think I could have gone on the way we were. I seriously was considering going to the doctor to get something for depression. Living here can break a person very easily.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pregnancy x2

My husband and I started trying for a family almost immediately after we married. We were both 35 and knew time was short. It took about 6 months before it finally worked.

My pregnancy was great. I was never sick, felt great and had the "glow". The delivery was something else. One night 2 weeks before my due date I got out of bed to go to the bathroom. After a couple of steps there was a large gush. My water had broken. I sat on the toilet until it finished, had a shower and went back to bed. My husband was unable to sleep now so he went to carve pumpkins, it was the day before Halloween. About 4 hours later the contractions started and we went to the hospital. I was only 1-2cm dilated, if my water had not broken they would have sent me home. Hours passed and finally I was 10cm. I pushed for over an hour with nothing. The baby was not dropping. Finally I was exhausted so they did a C-Section. The doctor delivered the baby "a boy"!

I always say if my second pregnancy had been my first there would not have been another. Right from the get go I felt horrible. I craved nothing but junk food. I slept horrible. Her delivery was uneventful. Due to problems I had with the first one my OB and I decided to have a scheduled C-Section.

My kids could not be more different either. My son was a wonderful baby. Cried very little and easy going. My daughter is totally opposite. She whines, cries, complains always. My son would be happy to sit beside me when we go out. She get frustrated in her stroller or highchair and screams to get out.

Wish someone would have told me downside of being a mom.
No peace in Mommyland !

Friday, July 2, 2010


This is my first attempt at a blog. So please be patient with me. It will probably be changing on a daily basis. Computers are like my car, I have no idea how it works.

I am a Fab 40 year old woman with 2 young children. I decided I needed an outlet to get out my thoughts and feelings, good and bad, in order to keep sane. Some things you cannot share with your hubby, family and friends. Since I became a stay at home mom I started reading blogs and figured I would give it a try. Most of the ones I have read all mention these wonderful children. Where are all the nasty ones? Just in my house? I will talk about the feelings of doom and gloom that also go along with being a mother. I know I am not the only one, most people just don't talk about it.

The name of the blog came from my feeling I have "Lost" myself after my children. I use to be the happy-go-lucky girl. Always in a good mood, laughing. Before I had children I asked a friend about feeling I was to set in my ways and would be to selfish to have children. She said all those feelings would change after I had a baby. They haven't I miss my old life sooo much. Does that make me a horrible person - fine I'm horrible.

Perhaps I should also mention I am a Canadian currently living in Saudi Arabia. That alone would drive a sane person crazy. Add onto that I started early menopause at 40.

2 Young Kids + Saudi Arabia + Menopause = Struggle For Sanity