Dec 31, 2013

Revelations, past and on to a brighter future...

On January 17th, 1991 my life changed. It was a cold winter day in Markham (A suburb of Toronto) and when I  came home from school, I found my father huddled and in tears- a emptiness in his eyes that I have never witnessed before- a look that would forever remain. My mother was red eyed, and trying ever so hard to remain positive, and give us our customary after school snack. When we all got home, my parents sat us all down, and informed us that my fathers youngest sister had died earlier that day. I was in complete shock, I had spoken to her the night before, as she wished me a happy birthday and sang a song she sang to me every time we spoke,

"you're growing up, right in front of my eyes, you're growing up each and everyday..."

 A song I now sing to my children 23 years later. My aunt at the young age of 24 leapt to her death from a bridge in Downtown Toronto. Yes, she had committed suicide when to her life no longer was worth living, when her sickness has taken over her, and when she felt she was completely abandoned and helpless. That day, I did not only lose my aunt, I had lost my father, for emotionally he had leapt off that bridge with her, he was no longer the same man I knew. He was taken over by pain, agony, and a million what ifs. He put the death of his sister on himself, blaming himself for not doing more. Not realising that he really could not do anything else to help her. Looking back, I know I was a helpless child, but my father was left to go through that pain on his own. We did not understand what was happening. We knew we lost our aunt, we were out playing after the funeral and our life just went on. Childhood certainly has a beauty about it, where one can experience so much, yet move on and see the laughter and joys in life.

Twenty-one years later, my own father, after years of personal torment, after years of blame, after years of being dug deeper in a hole, a hole so deep he was unable to even try to come out even if he tried, he himself leapt to his death, now physically joining the part of himself that we lost 21 years prior to this date. It was only then that I truly understood what he went through, I started the blame game, I started the million and one what ifs, I still cry myself to sleep, I still smile while I drown deep inside, unable to really laugh without being consumed with guilt and dare not utter a word of my feeling to anyone so as not to burden them. It was acceptable at first, but now its been over a year, and sometimes too much talk of sorrow can make people want to distance themselves from you. In this year, I have grown, I really have. I went through a million emotions, I have started questioning everything around me, but il7amdlilah I have remained steadfast in my belief in Allah, and his ultimate plan. There were days in which I only got up because my children needed me, without even knowing, I believe they may have saved me from a certain end. I went on day by day for them.

Tonight is New Years eve, my father would call me on this night every year and say the same phrase; "This year will be our year, good things will happen". He really wanted this to be true, in my heart of hearts I know he did not want us to go through what we are going through, but I guess it was his time to stop fighting, he was ill in a region where mental health is ignored, in a society where suicide is seen as the greatest sin, and no one really wants to understand the root of the problem. No one wants to admit we have issues that need to be addressed, and people need to understand that depression is OK, having any mental health issues is OK, and like any physical ailment, there are medicines and help one can be given. There are people that can help, people we can talk to when we feel every door and window are closing on us.

A few close people knew about my father prior to this blog post, but today, on the last day of 2013, I am sick of hiding it. The past year has seen me through many first anniversaries of his death; the last time I saw him alive, the last time I spoke to him, our last words, the day he died (Allah yr7amu), the last time I saw his body, the last time I kissed his forehead, the day he was buried- that was 2013. Now I want to focus on different things,  I am not sure yet, but I want to raise serious awareness for this issue. I do not want to go down the same road my father had gone, I don't want anyone else to go down that road either. I want to take my experience, my loss, my pain and make it someones medicine. The help my father never received. The help my aunt never received. For so long I have wanted to remove the last 14 months out of my life, to ignore it as if it never happened, but alas it is impossible. I have changed, I am not the same person I was before, I can feel it. But now I shall try to start this new year afresh. With hope instead of sorrow, with laughter instead of tears, and with positive while releasing and completely letting go of the negative in my life, because I refuse to drown- I want to be stronger than that.

I took this picture this morning,
felt powerful to me,
reminded me that I am indeed being watched over by the All Mighty.

Not sure what else I can say, but I pray for good health to all, I pray for your happiness, I pray for your success, and I pray for cures to all the physical and mental ailments we have in this world, I pray for a brighter future, where the good memories can help me go on, and live the life I am sure he would want me to. I will end this years final post with my father said in his last Facebook status;



"May your fondest dreams come true hence!"


Sep 11, 2013

Jamooly World- Riyadhs very own Kidzania

A few months ago I noticed a friend of mine post pictures of her kids at a place that closely resembled Kidzania. A place where kids got to suit up in whichever profession they choose and are instructed on what the job description is, as well as getting them to physically act out their profession. Curiosity got the best of me and I tracked it down!

I took my kids there a couple of times this summer, and they had a blast! The Ramadan hours were a bit late, but I am glad that hours are now back to normal. My kids decided on being Policemen to follow in the footsteps of their grandpa who is the retired Director of Riyadh Police. The kids took loads of pictures and can't wait to present it to him upon his return from his extended summer vacation. They were taken through what a Policeman does, and then had them actually go out for a walk, where one of the young men (the workers were all Saudi from what I saw- except for the barber) was dressed as a burglar and ran out of the convenience store they have located on site. The shopkeeper ran out and asked the young police-girls/boys to go catch the robber. The kids ran after him, apprehended him, and took him to his prison cell. The giggles were contagious. My kids really enjoyed it! Next time we have planned to go a little earlier, and let the kids chose 3 activities- the concept is wonderful, the kids are learning, and although Chucke-e-cheese is great, this place has my kids are playing while learning which is Super duper great!!

Anyway, back to Jammoly world. The place is seriously amazing. I think I was more excited than my kids with the whole idea. The place boasts a huge auditorium style seating area for the many shows they have for the kids. The kids can be Policemen, firemen, paramedics, journalists, cooks, and so many more amazing professions in a wonderful educational yet safe environment- what else could a parent ask for? They get an ID card, and get Jammoly money upon completing their activities! They boast a big soft play area for kids, cafe's, and its situated right next to Chuck-e-cheese and a Java-time drive-through (I made use of that one!). It really is a kids paradise. And they have barber shop for the kids to  I will be going back again, as the last time we were there, we were cut a bit short after my daughter fell from the huge slide, and we rushed her to the ER- that will be another blog post!.

Anyway, I will leave you with the pictures I took, and I really think it's great for parents to take their kids. It is mainly in Arabic, but we requested that they explain things to our kids in Arabic and they readily obliged. (Yes... I am a parent of Saudi kids who can't speak Arabic... SAD!)

If you have kids between 3-12 take them over to Jamooly World! It's located on the East Ring road, between exit 14-15. You take a U-turn at ext 15, and you will see it on your right. This wonderful place was brought to us by National Family Safety Program.


Oh and the BEST part is, its a family place, no segregation. so pack up BOTH parents and the kids and have a blast!

Jammoly World Facebook Page
Follow Jammoly on Twitter!
Jammoly World Website
Also follow them on Instagram at @jammoly for some great pictures!

The Jammoly Camel Mascot welcoming everyone in!


To the left you can see the audotorium style sitting area. Restaurants are upstairs (I didn't go up)

Directions

This is the large soft play area. Off to the back you will find an area for younger toddlers/children

Teaching kids to recycle, the entire place has these as garbage cans.. one fore regular trash and then for recycling items.. wonderful initiative!

The stage!

Journalist

Firemen!

Theater!

Police!

Paramedics!

Journalism!

The front of the stage

My little man waiting to get a haircut!


Excuse the awful quality pictures! My phone was being very mean to me that day!

Jul 22, 2013

Failing miserably in the Parenting department!

Today I had one of those days where you wish you could just hide under a rock and pray for the day to end without any casualties. I have been stressed out for a while now, for reasons that after really thinking about it, weren't really too important. Today's episode in the DAY of my life was of a whole new caliber.

I went out with one of my friends to take the kids to go out and play. We usually go to those huge jungle gyms they have in Malls, give in our payment, and just enjoy a couple of hours of letting the kids go free without worrying about losing them. The plus side is we get to chit chat about adult things while the kids are having all the fun in the world safely. Anyway, today, while the kids were playing, the man came to me and made a comment about how the kids could only pay for 30 minutes, and he showed me a sign. Granted, he was right. But I didn't get it, the place was empty, and my friend and I have been bringing the kids here to play several days a week without ever having any issues arise. That started to get me a little annoyed, and then at one point my 2 year old went a little too high, and I could not find him. I frantically climbed the hurdles, and made my way up, the guy came to me and told me I was not allowed up. I looked at him point blank and told him there was no way he would stop me as my baby was up there, and was crying. He mumbled something, and I kept going up. The issue is, I am usually very good at following rules, but after coming here so much, and seeing so much of the great customer service we got from the other workers. this one rubbed me the wrong way. He then mentioned something about it being prayer time, and that we had to leave. Again, that had never been a problem- prayers came and went without anyone being asked to leave often. So I quickly responded that as a women I did not have to go pray at the masjid, but he as a man should make his way to the masjid instead of bothering me and my children- yes I got a bit rude- but he had it coming! At that point I summoned my kids, my friend summoned hers, and we were getting ready to leave. I noticed the man was trying to explain himself to my friends driver, as he obviously didn't want to have to explain himself to me. I think he may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed- I think I did as well.

We made our way to the grocery store inside the mall, and as we were headed there, my son (middle one) kept running way ahead of me. I begged and pleaded... I tried to be the quiet yet stern mother, I spoke to him in both English and Arabic- in hopes that hearing the Arabic may make him see how serious I was and then I went on to screaming like a mad women- with absolutely no effect on his behavior. He kept dashing away, and being more daring. He drove me nuts.My son was one of THOSE kids you saw out and about, The kids that you would either judge or feel absolutely sorry for the mother. Once it was time to get into the grocery store I tried to have him sit in the shopping cart, and he ran away yet again. At this point my eyes started to tear up, and I was sure I was just gonna drop to the floor and cry my heart out. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was annoyed. I was sad that my little boy would keep driving me up the wall. As I have mentioned countless times, my daughter spoiled me, she listened. my daughter knew what i was saying with a certain look I gave her. She made parenting ultra easy, and I thought it was all easy peezy at that point. But oh boy was I wrong. Thank GOD my friend intervened, and had my son jump into her shopping cart along with her son, and she gave me the chance to pick up whatever I needed, as she kept my son busy. Seriously- GOD BLESS HER. I was ready to throw in the towel, and I think she noticed. Once we finished in the grocery store we made our way to the car park in the basement. My daring son, yet again made a mad dash, but this time he made a mad dash for the parking lot. I asked my friend to watch my youngest in his stroller, and I ran after my son. Imagine a women in Riyadh, clad in an abaya, shamelessly screaming and running after her son in a parking lot. Embarrassing! An old man tried to intervene, but my little boy slipped away from him as well. My friends driver tried to get him, and this slippery little kid was out of our reach. The marble floor (why the floors are marble are BEYOND me) was making my task even harder. I nearly slipped a few times. But I finally let completely lose, and ran like runner and caught him within seconds. I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell. I had this mix of emotions. That easy job of parenting wasn't so easy- I was miserably failing! How does a nearly 4 year old boy do this? How does he have so much power on me to bring the demons out in me. I love him to pieces, but something has got to give. I need this to all stop. I need him to listen. Can grounding him work now? Like seriously grounding. No iPad or tablets, no TV? no toys? For a moment, I even told my friend I needed to rent an actor to pretend to run off with my son on one of his crazy fearless dashes. Maybe that make him understand what I was so worried about. I vowed NEVER to leave his monkey harness at home again. It did keep him safe!

Anyways, once I got home, I walked through the door and just broke down in tears, my husband was there, and I told him to take HIS kids upstairs for a nap. I was done. I was fasting. I was tired. I seriously have not felt so helpless in such a long time. That was my day, I failed miserably, and I hope that tomorrow brings on a better day. I seriously need it- not just for my sanity, but for my little ones as well.

God Bless

Jul 4, 2013

A drive through the desert...

My favourite pass-time in Riyadh, is grabbing a coffee and heading outside the city for a drive. We usually find ourselves in Diriya and looking at all the weekend homes that are magnificently built, the old Masjid of Imam Abdul Wahab and the old city that has been preserved (and is now under renovation). At times we  find ourselves headed towards Thumama road, and just checking out what the desert has in store for us. A few months ago, we were bored, and hopped in the car with the kids, got some snacks, and drove in the sunset (ok.. it wasn't sunset yet.. lol). We found ourselves at this place known to local boys as the 'death hill'.  I called it the Riyadh Nighclub! :) My husband told me him and his friends used to go there back in the day, and just do some crazy 4-wheel drive tricks up and down the sand dunes. I remember when I first got married, I went with one of his good friends and his wife, and we enjoyed some good old Sand Duning.. it was fun! And I even got to drive :) Anyways, I thought I would share a few pictures I took. There were huge crowds, my phone camera did no justice to show just how awesome it all was!


Some cars parked, you can see a few 4-wheel drives up on the hills.
I absolutely loves how the sun rays were peaking through the clouds here..
again wish I had my camera with me!
Some cars parked in the middle of the dessert.
Partying on a weekend- Saudi style!
This is part of Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahad Al-Sauds istiraha (Rest home )
Having a conversation n the dessert.
Who needs chairs... these guys are Squating champions!
I liked how these rocks were positioned.
I really wish people would keep the dessert clean.
Seriously got me annoyed to see so much garbage ruining the beautiful scene.
I loved these lamps.. aren't they beautiful?
He was selling coffee and tea, and refreshments from his truck.
These guys had music blaring, and were dancing... it looked fun!
You can't see it, but one of the guys was dancing with a tradition sword!
Just sitting a relaxing with a good friend for some good conversation.

Jul 3, 2013

How do we talk to little girls?


"What a beautiful dress", "You look so beautiful", "You are so cute", "look at your beautiful hair", "such a gorgeous little princess" and countless comments that focus merely on appearances rather then intellect. I am guilty. Very guilty of this. I have done it to my daughter, and to countless other little girls I have met.

My Daughter Lujain
Quite frankly isn't it what we are supposed to say to little girls? When saying it, it all sounds so right, these are the kind of words we are conditioned to repeat when we come across little girls. The problem is it can be seriously lead to her growing up and thinking that those are the only things she should strive for. My younger brother long ago told me that I should not only focus on appearances such "as you are beautiful" when  I am paying my daughter a compliment. He has reminded me often that I should focus more on her intellect. Talking about who she is inside, her achievements, her accomplishments, reminding her that she is a smart little girl instead of focusing on the 'princessy' dresses she still loves making her grow up to think that beauty trumps brains.

My 5 year old daughter has requested I put make up on her when seeing me applying it to myself, and I have obliged with a little lipstick or a little blush without giving it a second thought. It didn't cross my mind that I was teaching my daughter that she needed makeup to be more beautiful- but seriously, when I put a little lipstick on her, and she looks in the mirror and now thinks that image is what beauty is- I have made a pretty big mistake. In all honesty, this parenting thing is really hard. What we do, what we say, is really very important. It can impact our children more then we can ever imagine. I know it will not be easy, but I need to show my daughter what real beauty is. It is not the mask we cover our true self with, but rather being happy and comfortable with who we are. Being able to converse, and discuss a topic. Complimenting her on her achievements instead of her looks. It won't be easy, because to be perfectly honest, its is so deep-seeded in me, that I will probably still pay her physical compliments- because I do want her to know that she is amazing just as she is. I must also remember to fully engage with her in a real discussion, showing her how beautiful her brain is in addition to anything else. To let her understand that what she has to say or add to a conversation is important. I really hope that I can do this right. As I said before, and will say countless times, this parenting thing is hard, and very tricky. But is truly the most important job in the world.

I will leave you with the excerpt of an article I read yesterday that really spoke to me,

"Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments."


The link to the entire article is here How to talk to little girls



Jul 2, 2013

Here comes a rant...

Is Saudi Arabia perfect? I don't think anyone would ever say it is. In fact I am pretty sure no one would state any country in this magnificent world is perfect.
  • Yes, I would LOVE to drive, and still have high hopes for the day driving is finally fully 'traditionalized'- as we all know there is NOTHING illegal about it under Saudi law. Heck I would love to be able to do things as a grown adult, and be at the steering wheel of my OWN life!
  • I would love to have a little more freedom, would love to be able to go to a movie theater to watch a movie instead of  checking out and downloading pirated versions of it online (yes I admit it- I am forced to break some kind of semi-international law). 
  • I would love to be able to go and watch a sports game- any one of them. I love the feel of watching a heated game. 
  • I would love to be able to go out, and dress as I like- but admittedly in my now post baby and larger frame, it helps to cover up under the 3baya- and even makes last second runs out in my 3baya let me still look fabulously done up -no one needs to know I am wearing pyjama's under my lovely 3baya!
  • The hai'a... how can I discuss my issues without mentioning them right? Just last week I witnessed 2 members walking around a store in a mall here, and just pick out clothing they deemed too riskee for Saudi Arabia. The same clothing that came in through customs, the same clothing that will be donned UNDER a 3baya when out doors. They even confiscated some mens t-shirts, don't know what was on it, but I am guessing it was no 'acceptable' to this particular guy. By the time I finished my transaction, the clothing that was being taken away was at about 20,000 SAR. So although I do believe there is some good that they do, I do believe their job needs to be much more restricted., and confiscating clothing from stores really shouldn't be their business.
Now on to my rant, there are a lot of wonderful things here, and I have had it up to my  (pointing to my 5'9" top of my head)  about people constantly complaining about things here. I have noticed that to many, Saudi's are people to be loathed, detested and hated and can NEVER be good. They find negative in every aspect of life here. And I must again question, if life in Saudi is so positively repulsive, that living here has you hating and loathing the citizens of the country to that extreme, and that evidently everything done here disgusts you, why remain here?. I have never had an issue with constructive criticism, go back and read my posts... I am pretty darn good at that. But all out hate campaigns irks me. When people take news coming out of Saudi, and translate it incorrectly using words they are sure will stir up International sensational news- That freaking annoys me.

In my years here, I have been 'too religious by some, not religious enough by others, too conservative by some, and too liberal by others. It can seriously be annoying. Why not let me just use my own brain, think on my own, and let me be myself instead of a sheep that is part of your herd? Why must I be part one group or another.. why can't I see right from wrong as I personally see fit. I really thank you dad may you rest in eternal peace for allowing me to think outside of the box...


Rant Over

Kids pizza is ready, and I have 3 hungry kids staring at me, and cursing this laptop :)


Jul 1, 2013

Feeling a little Nostalgic...



To all those that may not know; today is Canada's Day! I am reminiscing today, and remembering the Fireworks we would go and watch at Canada's Wonderland and the fireworks that would erupt throughout the city. The festivities, the kids events, the Red and White! Admittedly, I took all that for granted when I was there, but as the saying goes, you don't truly appreciate something unless you no longer have it. So as I sit here at my kitchen bar in my home in Riyadh, I will say it. I miss Toronto, I miss the green, I miss the air, I miss my Freedom. I miss it all- and if I sat here and made a list of all the things I missed, this would be a never ending post.

So I will just say Happy Canada's Day to all my fellow Canucks! Happy 146th Birthday oh Beautiful Canada, you are getting more beautiful as the years go on! I miss you! I shall see you next summer, but will spend time in the West Coast, and East Coast!


I took this pic on my last trip to my beautiful city Toronto, as I rode the ferry to Center Island.


Jun 30, 2013

Noor Al Qahtani ROCKS!


I just wanted to give an official shout out to Noor from Noor Al Qahtani. As you can see, she has redone my blog after I won one of her giveaways. I think the look is cleaner, and much better then I have ever had it! I am in love! I hope this will be the final push to have me properly blogging again. So yes.. THANK YOU Noor, you are an amazing and talented person mashallah. And if any of my readers are in need of a blog makeover, go check out her goodies at Blog Me Pretty.

Much Love, and God Bless!

Jun 19, 2013

Blessed...

I remember when I first found I was pregnant with my daughter. I remember the excitement and fear all balled up into a crazy roller-coaster of emotions. I remember sleepless nights where I convinced myself that I would be the worst mother ever. Other nights I would sit back and wonder how anyone in their right mind would allow me to care for a baby. I have never done it, I wasn't the type to even babysit babies or toddlers. I was sure I would do it all wrong. Other nights I was full of confidence sure I would be amazing. And other nights I would simply stay up due to heartburn or kicks in the weirdest of places. 

I had a little secret, that secret was that I absolutely loved having the baby in me- heartburn kicks and all. I loved being the only one with that connection with MY baby. I say MY, because at that time, she was all mine. Selfish yet absolutely true. I remember when she graced us and entered this world, she single handedly made me grow up within moments. The girl that walked into the labour room, was not the same Mom who walked out. I lived for someone else, I no longer did my own thing. Six years on and I have experienced that magical moment 2 more times. Each time, as precious as my very first time. I remember the ultimate fear I had when pregnant with my second, I was sure there would be no way I could care for two as I care for one, that there would be no way I could love them both equally, that my little baby girl would be jealous. This was not the case, it turns out my heart had room for more then one child. It was proven that my simple heart was much stronger then I ever gave it credit for. I loved them all, and sure the love did not decrease for any, but simply multiplied as more people to love one another joined our little family.

Today, As I sat outside with the kids and listened to the laughter, it hit me. It hit me hard, but with zero pain. I smiled as I acknowledged I have everything I want in my life right here. I am giving my best to be the best possible mom I can be to these children. There are days when I doubt myself, days in which I feel I am drowning and incapable of going on, days in which I foolishly feel I want much more in life. The reality is, Allah has blessed me. He has truly blessed me, il7amdlilah. The moment they run to me with arms wide open, calling me mommy, and loving me for who I am, not who others want me to be. Everything I have sacrificed for them was well worth it. The choices that I have made to put them first I would never dare undo. And I know that it was not all my doing, all thanks goes to the amazing, strong woman who raised me to be who I am today. Opinionated as I am, she has accepted me, and allowed me to become the mother I am today. I love you ya Mamati el 7elwa. 



May 12, 2013

Neighbors Socializing and Summer events

Here is a little back story on today's 'Phenomenon'. In Saudi Arabia, things are a bit different in the neighborhood kids playing field. Since all the homes here have high walls with yards closed in, there is little to no interaction with the neighbors  I lived in my FIL's house for 8 years, and never once met the neighbors  I have lived in my house here for nearly 2 years, and only made a connection with one of my neighbors after our husbands met. Children barely interact with other children. The high walls make it nearly impossible for neighborhood kids to meet, and play together in a traditional sense. Anyway now on to my story:

So I am cooking in the kitchen like the awesome (rolling eyes) Domestic Diva I am, and then suddenly I hear my children talking to someone. I turn down my music, and listen to them. The conversation was going like this:

Lujain: Hi
Neighbor Kid (NK): Hi, where are you?
Lujain: I am here, Are you really a kid?
Neighbor Kid: I am M.H, what is your name?
Mansour: I am Mansour
Lujain: I am Lujain, and this is my baby brother Abdullah, are you sure you are a little kid?
Neibor kid: Na3am (meaning yes)
Lujain, I am in KG2, and I have PE tomorrow.
Neighbour Kid: I am watching Mickey Mouse and eating a banana...

Excuse the dusty ground... we have construction going on, and well.. nothing ever stays clean in Beautiful and Glamourous Rio De Najdero~


The conversation went on for about 30 minutes, and all this was going on over the wall, Abdullah my youngest even got into the conversation. I had to call my friend MR to share this amazing site! My kids were standing on our side of the wall, and the neighbor kid was standing on his side. They were completely and utterly mesmerized with it all. They were so excited to have other kids to interact with. Such an adorable little moment. The conversation took many different adorable turns. The kid would go between speaking in English and Arabic, and I just went on with my cooking while they were in complete awe of what was happening. So my kids have asked me to bake cupcakes sometime soon, so they can walk it over to the little kid. Here is hoping that this is the start of a new friendship. It would be great to have play dates with neighbors and not have to wait around for driver issues to be resolved for play dates with kids on the other side of Riyadh.

Anyone have plans for the summer? Will you be travelling? Staying put? Activities for kids? I will probably be suffering the heat within the GCC this summer. Short 'Sanity" trips out of Riyadh, but mainly staying put.

If anyone is interested a good friend is starting up some workshops for kids this summer, so feel free to contact her ASAP. It is on a first come first serve basis... and why not let your kids enjoy their summer and still learn in a super fun environment!




May 5, 2013

A Post that is as random as what really goes on in my head...

It is that time again, when most people will leave the scorching Saudi heat, and make their way to more pleasant locations, where they can relax, and be themselves among strangers. Ramadan this year hits us right in July, making a full summer away nearly impossible, because lets face it no matter how hot it is, there is no place like Saudi to spend Ramadan. Where the entire nation will switch over to barely working and lazy during the day, and up and bustling all night long. Taraweeh and qiyam prayers calling out from the many masjeds spread around our lovely city. In contrast many televisions through out the region will be set to the Ramadan musalsalat- there will be Khaleeji, Turkihs, Shami, Masri, Indian or whatever tickles your fancy to keep you occupied while you stay up till Fajr. Well that is the case in many homes. In my home, the kids will not sleep at 7:30-8pm as is custumary during the school year, but will probably stay up till 10, for my sanity, and so that I won't have them up and running around at 6am when I am trying to get some shut eye. Yup, thats me being a Selfish momy- Sue me!

So yeah summer heat is on its way, I have no idea where I will be travelling to. The in-laws will be going to their usual spot in La Jolla/San Diego. And this will be my very first summer where I won't be pregnant, pushing a baby out, or breastfeeding! Its been 6 1/2 years! And this summer, I have vowed (huge fail) to be back in my pre baby clothing, to go and get myself a drastic haircut. FINALLY get my teeth whitened, and maybe even do LASIK or whatever eye surgery will work to make me 'not blind as a bat'. Maybe while doing all that, I will finally learn to bake a pie!


Lastly, would like to give a blog shout out to some of the sweet ladies here in Riyadh that I got together with on Thursday, it was wonderful finally catching up with the ladies (Mandi, Nicole, and Laylah, and welcoming in a new face to the group - Mama B.

I FINALLY found a (nearly) OMG burger!


A New Gelato place opening up on Tahlia... looks delicious!
They actually supply these carts full of deliciousness for events!

Light at the end of the tunnel?




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