Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trying to get into my groove...

I have been home a week now. I am still trying to get my ass in gear. I just seem to have no motivation to clear out the suitcases, do the laundry etc etc. Perhaps it is because it is 50 degrees outside and I have to kids under foot. That is enough to make anyone just try to hide under the covers all day.

I am doing my best trying to keep them busy. I take them on trips to the grocery store, very exciting I know. They argue and bicker about everything. Why can't they have to Kung Fu Panda cereal; can we stop in the toy aisle; why can't I have this giant bag of candy and the one heard most often "are we done yet". I take them to the pool a couple times a day. Since it is so hot during the day we cannot stay out to long. We go again later when the sun is setting. I hate putting them in front of the TV all day but sometimes I just need some peace.

To top it off I think I am going thru withdrawals. I could so use a nice cold beer or a glass of cold wine. My mouth is watering as I write this. If you haven't heard alcohol is illegal in Saudi.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Vacation


I am back.

I took off to Canada for most of the summer. I am back in Saudi and it is HOT! 3 weeks until school starts, lets see if I can make it in one piece and without having a mental breakdown.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Let The Fun Begin

Yesterday ( I know it was Saturday but that is the first day of the week here in Saudi) was the first day of summer vacation for my little guy. It was 2pm before I heard "I'm bored".

I am so happy we are leaving on holiday back to Canada until August. Altho I am kinda concerned that we will be back here for 3 weeks before school starts.

I love that commercial they have in Canada when back to school begins...."It's the most wonderful time of the year".....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May I Please...

Why do I feel the need to ask "permission" to do something???

Yesterday I received an email from a friend inviting me to join her at a function at the French Embassy. An evening concert of classical music in the gardens, food and drinks. A chance to get away from the kids for a few hours, I was really excited.

Here is the conversation:

Me: Anne (not real name) emailed to invite me to a concert on Wednesday night. Is is ok if I go? You will be home from work and I will have the kids ready for bed before I leave.

Hubby: Why do you want to listen to classical music? Is it in the budget, yeah know we have a budget.

I didn't even bother answering out loud. My internal monologue went "F@&k you, I enjoy classical music and the $40 will not be breaking the bank. Did I question if the IPad 2 you had to have, was it really needed or in the budget?"

I should just say "Hey I am going out on Wednesday night. The kids will need fed, bathed and put in bed. See ya....

Monday, May 16, 2011

And The Verdict Is...

We are staying in Saudi Arabia! for another couple of years anyway.

I am ok with this. I am settled here, have made some good friends and know my way around.

The "abnormal" has become "normal" !

We are heading back to Canada for a holiday this summer to get a break from the 50 degree temps.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Man Purse

One of the things that really annoys me is when the hubby asks me to carry something for him.

It starts with...

"Do you have any room in your purse?"


"Can you fit my wallet?"

"What about my cell?"

Then when we arrive at our destination...

"Can you hold my keys?"

WTF, how big does my purse have to be. To carry my things, the kids items and now the hubby's. I think I need to get a little suitcase to drag along behind me.

In order to stop this now I just make sure I carry a very small purse. The kids things go in the stroller.

So when he asks I can just say in a nice polite tone "Oh sorry no room, you should get yourself a man purse!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)

Feeling lost for words today so...

80's Rock Rules!!!

Takes me back to my teenage years when life was simple, tho I may not have thought so at the time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's My Pity Party & I'll Cry If I Want To

I have a question to ask - when do I get my break?

A lot of my friends, at home in Canada and here in Saudi, have been taking holidays without their kids. They have been going to Mexico, Florida, Bahrain, Dubai, Spain, London. One actually flew from Toronto to spend 2 weeks in Dubai with a girlfriend. This annoys me to no end. There isn't any way I could take off like that.

Reasons are:

1: The money. No way the hubby would let me spend that amount of $.

2. I don't have the child care. The hubby has only spent a few hours alone with the kids no way he would be able to handle a whole weekend or god forbid longer.

3. If I only go out for a couple of hours and the house looks like a bomb hit it, can you imagine how it would be after a few days or a week away.

He has spent weeks alone while I have taken the kids to visit my family in Ireland or returned to Canada for the summer break. I am really in need of some "ME" time. I need to sit and listen to silence. Sleep until late. Eat a meal while it is hot. Read a book. Relax, relax, relax....

I don't know how these women pull it off? Am I missing something??

If you are one that has done it - hate you!!! Kiddin...

If you are like me and have a child with you 24/7, we should plan a pity party.

Monday, April 11, 2011

She's Back...for now

Been away for a while.

It was my son's spring break so I decided I needed to get out of Saudi for a holiday. Went to visit the family in Ireland again. I love it there plus it is a cheap holiday (somewhat) we only have to pay for airfare, which isn't cheap. We had great spring weather and enjoyed our time there. We also had a chance to see some family we haven't seen in years. Sometimes I think I could live there. It is such a nice little village, life seems simple and easy. Altho, the grass always seems greener...

Now that we are back we need to decide if we are staying here or going. We are so on the fence with this. There are pro's and con's with each.

Stay tuned as to whether "Lost in Mommyland" will be relocating...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Do I or Don't I...

I just applied for a job today.

I have not worked in nearly 3 years. I was on maternity leave when my hubby received his job offer for Saudi Arabia and we have lived here for nearly 2 years.

I have just kinda been feelin an itch to get back to work. Interact with adults, talk about something other than diapers, potty training etc, sit and be able to work on something or think without interruptions for the TV, snacks or toys. I applied at my son's school. I sent an email to inquire about positions. They currently do not have any but said here in Riyadh people are always leaving to return home after contracts are up. I did not want to start until the Sept 2011 school year begins anyway. They liked my experience and wanted me to send in my resume. We will see if anything comes from it.

With my son already attending this school, my daughter due to start next year, it would be a handy place to work. I am not a teacher, I am an Executive Assistant, so I applied to work in the office. We can all take the school bus together in the morning and afternoon.

This of course will depend on whether or not we decide to re-sign another contract with my hubby's job.

We will see...

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Art Of Seduction

An interesting article I found - I think we can all relate to this...

My husband wants more sex but can't get me in the mood.

My husband and I have been together for 16 years, we’ve got two beautiful children and what, in many ways, seems a great life. But we’ve been stuck in the same argument about our sex life for years.

He’s always saying we should have more sex; it’s become his response to everything.

If I ask him why he’s grumpy, his invariable answer is we don’t make love enough — even though we do at least twice a month (but then he complains that I only do it grudgingly).

The truth is, I don’t feel inclined to act like a sex kitten when I live with a grouch, who puts no effort into seducing me. I need to be in the mood for sex, but he never tries to understand what puts me in that mood.

So you think your husband’s greedy and he thinks you’re grudging, eh?

Welcome to the world of countless thousands of British couples. This must be one of the most frequently cited marital arguments in the textbook. So much so, that I brought up the topic of your letter when out with friends over half term (well, we had to talk about something while the children ate their pizza).

There was hardly a man there who didn’t have some sympathy for your husband, and barely a woman who didn’t feel solidarity with you.

The men claimed their bad tempers would melt away if their wives made love with the same sort of gusto they had when they first met, while the women said they might be more willing if their husbands courted them as they had in the early days. Nor did the men seem to realise how long days spent combining work with childcare brought their wives to their knees.

Both sides thought they had the true grievance and therein, of course, lies the problem.

For anything to shift in this particular dynamic you both need to acknowledge the other’s gripe as legitimate. Isn’t it possible for you to consider that your husband does feel dispirited by the fact you sometimes push him away when he wants to make love to you?

You don’t need to be a psychologist to know your average man with a reasonably lusty sex drive does tend to feel cantankerous if he’s frequently rejected.

Indeed, unsatisfied desire makes grumps out of all of us — male or female. The sensation of unsated lust is a bit like a pressure cooker left on the hot plate to stew away, until it blows its top.

One man I know, who split from his partner over this very issue, says: ‘Everyone understands how some men get angry if they’re hungry, as their blood sugar levels are askew. I feel just like that when I haven’t had sex. No one suggests a hungry man should go without food, yet plenty of people seem to think a sex-starved man should just do without.’

The husband of a friend says: ‘You often hear women say: “Oh, he’s not interested in romance, he just wants sex” — but, for most men, I know wanting to have sex with your wife is your way of being romantic and saying “I love you”. Why do some women seem so unhappy that their other halves are still keen to make love to them? You’d think they’d be glad their husbands don’t want to run off with the secretary!’

The ladies’ side of the coin is equally valid. Most of the women I know who are in long-term relationships have jobs, children, and do more than their share of household duties. They often feel too exhausted by the end of the day to work up any enthusiasm for sex.

They also find it harder than their men folk to switch from domestic mode into erotic mode. One friend says: ‘My husband can turn off the TV at the end of the night and then suddenly be in the mood for sex. I need more of a preamble: I like to have a glass of wine and some space for kissing, talking and holding each other before we go to the bedroom. We may have been together for 20 years, but I still find it seductive if he tells me I’m beautiful.’

Tellingly, most of the women I talked to felt that little gestures — compliments and caresses — were more important than flowers and meals out. One wife of 12 years said: ‘The most important thing for me is sustained eye contact, so that I really feel my husband’s looking at me, not just looking for sex — but it’s frustrating how hard he finds it to gaze into my eyes!’

Another thing that seemed to divide the sexes was the men’s expectation that they would feel revitalised by sex and women’s sense that it was just another chore. But, if closely queried, most of those women agreed good sex perked them up, too.

No one’s suggesting that you become a surrendered wife who offers sex on tap, whether you’re in the mood or not. But can’t you offer your husband a truce: more sexual enthusiasm from you in return for more emotional attentiveness from him? After all, there’s only one way to test the proposition that your husband’s temper would be better if he made love more frequently — and that’s in the bedroom.

If increased erotic activity doesn’t sweeten his mood, there’s one last weapon in your armoury: you can always go on sex strike.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Another Movie

I feel more lazy than normal today, so here is my Wordless Wednesday.

I loved the first movie and wasn't expecting much from the next one. However, Paranormal Activity 2 gave me goose bumps !

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Big Question...

My husbands contract here in Saudi Arabia is up this year. After 2 years we are to head home in June. This week his boss came to him and said the board unanimously decided that they would like to renew his contract.

Oh No !! What to do...

Saudi is not a place I would stay forever. Some people I know have been here 10-15 years. You don't come to Saudi for the love of the place. It can be a suffocating, difficult place to live. You come for the money. They pay large salaries, give you a home, car, pay private school fees for the kids, plus it is tax free.

If this had happened a year ago I would have instantly said "No Way". Today I am in a different place. I am in a good compound and have a circle of friends. I know my way around. Have joined clubs that host events. The kids enjoy school. We have great holidays in places we would never have gone. Altho, I miss my family and friends. Having my own home and furniture. I miss, driving, not being restricted by prayer times, not having to cover when out.

We have about a month before the decision has to be made.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Newpaper Article - Valentines Day in Saudi Arabia

Florists told to avoid red as Valentine’s Day approaches


Flower shops and gift shops have been asked to remove all red items and heart-shaped gifts until after Valentine’s Day by the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia or Muttawa).

Celebration of the so-called day of love is frowned upon by authorities in the Kingdom.

Every year, Haia officials visit the shops a few days before Valentine’s Day, giving them instructions to remove all goods that have even the slightest hint of red, including roses, chocolate, wrapping paper and stuffed animals.

“We’re used to seeing Haia members a couple of days before Valentine’s Day asking us to put away all red items until after that day,” said Alan, a salesman at a gift shop.

“They also threaten that if we sell even one red rose or gift they will shut the shop down and get all the staff fired.”

Chocolate shops usually manage to make big sales the day before Valentine’s.

“Many young men come in a day before Valentine’s Day and ask for red chocolate boxes for the day of love,” said Hassan, a salesman at a chocolate shop in Rawda Street.

“They ask for heart-shaped chocolates in red heart-shaped boxes. If Haia men saw us selling those kinds of goods, they would stop our business, saying we are encouraging these young lovebirds.”

Members of the commission mobilize on the streets as part of a mission to trap couples who secretly meet in restaurants and caf├ęs.

“I was so furious last year when I was having a romantic dinner at a restaurant in Jeddah. Haia men marched in and grabbed my husband by his arms and cornered him, while I was surrounded by a number of them asking both of us stupid questions,” said Sara Naseem, a 27-year-old college lecturer.

“I was horrified by how they ambushed us and treated us like we were doing something immoral and inappropriate in public.”

The ban on selling red flowers on Valentine’s Day could have a negative effect on profits, according to florist Alex.

“Our annual plan for Valentine’s Day to keep our profit stable is to sell red flowers and gifts from under the counter or behind closed doors,” he said.

“We don’t sell them to everyone, we only make secret deals with trustworthy people or tell open-minded people to keep ourselves safe. We raise the price from SR10 for a red rose to SR30 because it’s the high season for them.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

@$#%! Friday - The Girls Part Deux

In a previous post I spoke of the "lost girls".

My story has taken a sad turn. My bra has been feeling a little uncomfortable lately so I decided to measure myself. As it turns out I no longer fit into them. My size has been reduced to a 36AA!

Try finding that size in a store, not too many around, I was lucky to find 32A before. I am happy to report I did locate some. I was in the lingerie department of Marks & Spencers and found some! Ok, it was in the "junior miss" department as I like to refer to it, but whatever. There wasn't any black or red sexy lacy numbers (can no longer be picky) but I did manage a plain white and also a gray one. Just happy they don't look to "little girlish".

After getting home and cutting off the tags I read this Q&A attached to it.

The hubby and I had a good laugh at this one. There was even tears. Not sure it is was because we were laughing so hard or because of the sad state of my breasts (or lack thereof). Altho he was quite excited about the possibility of a school uniform.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Bad Kid

I like to think my kids are good. They have their moments of course, they are only 5 and 2. But I just have to call their name or give them the evil eye and and they jump to attention (usually).

There is a new kid in our compound. I always try to reach out to new expats. I know what it is like to be in this very strange place for the first time. It is overwhelming.

I meet this woman and her son at the kids karate class. Her son is the same age as my little guy. He is clinging to her peeking out every now and then to watch the other kids. We start talking and I tell her that he will have to come by our place and play with my kids sometime. She was very pleased with this idea, she wanted him to have some friends.

After seeing this kid around the compound over the next week or so I change my mind. He is no longer shy and seems out of control. He jumps around on the shopping bus, banging into everyone. He chases cars (that are moving). He pushed my little lady out of the way to try and get on her bike. At karate he never pays attention, grabs the teachers props, hits and kicks things. Last week I wasn't at the class but my husband told me he jumped on my son and started wrestling with him. This was during the class, my little man was sitting there listening to the instructor and next thing this kid was on him. During all these instances his mother stands there and in a quiet voice says "Stop (insert kids name)". He never listens.

My kids would never get away with this. I am strict with them and they don't get away with much. I don't think I am being a "parent snob".

Needless to say I have not invited this kid over and don't intend to. His mother also drives me nuts, she talks and talks, about nothing. After a while I tune out, it is just like listening to Charlie Browns teacher.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Sing It Out Loud

One thing I miss in Saudi is being able to drive and sing. Doesn't everyone love that - it is the only place tone deaf people like me can belt one out.

I was in the car this week, listening to my Ipod and Journeys "Lovin Touchin Squeezin" came on.

Oh how I wanted to sing, don't think my driver would have appreciated it.

This video was live in Toronto, takes a few minutes for him to get singing but worth the wait.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Picnic in the Desert

The weekend in Saudi Arabia is Thursday/Friday. This weekend we went with a group of expats for a picnic in the desert. A Saudi man who owns falcons hosted the event.
A large group of westerners meeting in the desert with a group of local Saudi citizens is frowned upon, so this was a great treat.

Upon arrival, we meet our guide and his staff and had the opportunity to learn about how the birds are trained and cared for. We had light refreshments and Arabic coffee and tea around the fire. Afterwards, the birds flew and we got to see them in action while they hunt.

While we were eating our picnic, over the hill behind us a group of camels came to see what was happening. Now that is something you don't see everyday.

We also met another great family from the U.S. and will be getting together soon. These trips are a wonderful way to meet new people here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

@$#%! Friday - Fact or Fiction

Blue Balls - Fact or Fiction ?

I have heard both sides.
Some guys insist these do exists and some say it is just a way guys get girls to have sex.

Any opinions??

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Movie Review

I love scary movies.

I recently watched "The Devil" and it was great. The whole movie is a group of people stuck in an elevator.

For those from Toronto you may notice that the outside scenes look familiar, I think it is the corner of Bay/Adelaide, First Canadian Place.

I recommend it...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Motherhood Rocks!

For the past 2 days I have been dealing with a sick child. I am sure some day I will look back on being puked over and think it was funny. It is a good excuse to just lay on the couch and watch television!

Even tho this "Motherhood Tour" was in 2009 it stands the test of time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Art of Cleaning - Men vs Women

When dating, on a woman's first visit to a man's home she checks out his cleaning habits. I did this with my hubby. I was impressed that his place was so clean. Altho after dating awhile and upon closer inspection I realized it was an illusion. He was a fake - he only cleaned where you could immediately see. For instance, corners and around furniture would be dust bunnies because he never moved it while vacuuming; counters also had dust because the items sitting on them were never moved. Clutter was stuffed into a closet. The bathroom - the downstairs was reasonably tidy probably because he never used it but once the relationship moved forward and I went to the upstairs master bath well...I am sure you can imagine. Still we all think we can fix these habits with a man.

Fast forward many years...

I was away with the kids for 3 weeks. I figured he would tidy while I was gone. Upon first look it seems he did. The kitchen looked clean, floors vacuumed, pretty good. Of course he also made a point of saying how much cleaning he did, very proud of himself. However, upon closer inspection it didn't look like a duster had wiped any of the furniture since I had left. That is a lot of dust when you live in the desert. Before I had left I lost the little girls soother string. While bending down to pick up a toy there it was under the playpen, guess nothing was moved while cleaning those floors. I checked the floor cleaner bottle and the level had not changed since I left, guess the floors were not mopped.

Am I being to critical, I am a little anal about cleaning? Should I just accept he did his version of cleaning? Needless to say I have kept my mouth shut.

I have put together a few rules that I may post on the fridge before I go away again. The alcohol is not be available while we are in Saudi but will give him an idea of what to do.

Step 1: Crack a beer and put on some loud music.

There’s no way around it, the next 60 – 90 minutes won’t be fun. Might as well enjoy a decent beer and listen to your favorite album while you’re at it. Loud and fast-tempo music will help keep the boredom away. Alcohol will make the experience more tolerable.

Step 2: Put all the clutter away.

No sense in cleaning around the clutter. Your place will still look like a pit if you do.

Step 3: Dust using a Swiffer Duster

What a revolution the Swiffer is. The feather duster just pushes dust around. The Swiffer uses static electricity and an almost infinite amount of soft dust grabbing fibers to clean. Use it on everything from wood to electronics. Don’t doubt it. It works. Pick things up and dust under them. Don’t dust around.

Step 3.5: Crack another beer.

This ain’t over yet.

Step 4: Vacuum. Everything!

Vacuum everything. Use the bristle brush on counter-tops that you stand and eat over (there will be crumbs). Use the long corner attachment to run along the outer edge of any tiled floors. Move furniture. Lastly, take that bristle brush and move onto the bathroom.

Step 5: The Bathroom

Who knows why men avoid cleaning their bathrooms. Too bad it’s a deal breaker for most women if your bathroom is disgusting. Here’s a plan to making your bathroom woman friendly:

* Vacuum anything that’s not wet with the bristle brush.

* Wipe down mirror and counters.

* Scrub sink and tub.

* Scrub toilet bowl(don't forget around the rim and the seat).

Done. Finish the beer. Consider a third.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Hair Fix

Now that is something we could all use - a quick hair fix...

I have heard alot about "dry shampoo" and thought about trying it. This week when I was in Sephora (yes we have it here in Saudi) I saw it so I bought a can. If you have never heard of it - this "shampoo" is a spray that cleans hair without water while removing grease and odors. It is ideal for busy women wishing to have clean hair without having to wash it. My hair is extremely thick and takes along time to blow dry and straighten so it is nice to spray this on and get an extra day or two.

Direction: Shake can vigorously, spraying the powder from the root to the tip of the hair strand. After a few minutes, remove the product using a dry towel then brush.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Holiday

We have returned from our holiday in Ireland.

My Dad lives there and I go every year but it has probably been about 10 years since I went over for Christmas. What a year I picked. The news said it was the coldest December in 125 years. I noticed when I was in London's Heathrow Airport waiting for my connection flight that a lot of flights were delayed or canceled. Mine was only delayed an hour. Lucky because the next day the airport closed. When we arrived in Ireland it wasn't snowing but about an hour later after we had collected our luggage and going to the car it was snowing. It continued overnight and all the next day. News reports said it was the most snow since the early 60's. I don't drive there (cannot drive a standard car which most cars are there). I usually don't need it. My Dad lives in a small seaside town with a village that has everything I need, only a 5 min walk. Shops, cafes, parks... However, getting thru the snow with my stroller wasn't going to work. As you can expect a country not use to this weather, plowing streets and sidewalks does not happen. My Dad would drop us off each morning and I would call when I wanted to come back. Unfortunately the temps which were about -18 degrees were not good for the kids to play outside. The weather changed after Christmas, about 2-5 degrees, still low for there but much more bearable.

I don't know what I am going to do when it is time for us to return to Canada and have this type of weather for months every year. I am sooo not a winter person. By the time it takes me to get the kids ready with jackets, boots, hats, mitts and myself I am exhausted and don't feel like going anywhere.

All in all a good time "home for the holidays" I love spending time with my Dad and he enjoys seeing the kids (even if he does complain about the noise and mess).