31 October 2008

Child Care

The other night Mike went to a prayer meeting. Child care was provided, so he dropped the baby off before and picked him up after. There were maybe a dozen other kids there.

When Mike walked into the room to retrieve our son, all the kids were happily watching a movie being projected on the wall. Mike scanned all the little ones for H but didn't see him. Then he laughed. All the kids were sitting on a mat starring up at the movie on the wall. He was sitting at the bottom of the wall under the movie and staring back at the kids.

He really loves to watch kids. More than movies, apparently.

How I love him.

26 October 2008


One day of packing pandamonium.
One day of hauling hell.
One day of arranging amusement.

Tomorrow... habitation happiness?

23 October 2008

Some Photos of the Littlest Man...

Can you believe he'll be one in a week and a half? Of course, he is walking to the closet to hide in it, brushing his teeth (kinda), looking cute in his PJs, and getting big scrapes on his face.

He's my boy!

18 October 2008

Four Stops

Tonight we spent the evening with friends. We made four stops...

First stop: Walk along the Nile. The sun was setting and it was nice! The bumpy 'sidewalk,' overgrown shrubbery and mud puddles made it a little less enjoyable... but nice nonetheless.

Second stop: A new hotel in the city. Opened a month ago. Crazy expensive... 400 bucks a night. We felt like we were in a different world. The place was gorgeous! They had a number of different restaurants and lounges, a beautiful lobby and even a hookah garden! Too bad that you have to pay $3,250 a year just to use the pool. But a girl can dream, right?

Third stop: Roadside juice bar. These are common here. Fresh squeezed juice! Mango, banana, orange, grapefruit, grape, apple... take your pick and expect it to be blended with half a cup of sugar. $2 a cup... now this is more our price range!

Fourth stop: The new 5 pound shop! ($2.50). Let me tell you... this is revolutionary! 'Fixed prices' are rare in our part of the city, as are 'one-stop-shops'! This shop had clothes, candles, toys, dishes, dustpans, tupperware, plastic baskets, party supplies, tote bags, hair dye, disposable razors, mirrors, and so much more! The only item I purchased was a new toilet bowl brush... but I'll be back for more fixed-price shopping soon!

16 October 2008

Let My Hair Down

Today I let my hair down. Literally. The weather has SLOWLY started to cool down. It's still 102 out, but for some reason it feels cooler. Maybe the humidity is dropping now. Who knows.

All I know is that I wear my hair down about 1 out of every 200 days. Looks like it's ponytails for another 199 days.

12 October 2008

A long visit

My ex-house-helper came for a long visit the other morning. She started working for me a couple years ago, and during that time got married, got pregnant, and now had her first child! (that's why she is my ex-house-helper.) She knew we were back in the country so she stopped over with her son to say hello! She stayed longer than I expected, but we managed to visit for a few hours about this and that (all in Arabic!). KuKu was a sweet, sweet boy and I was so happy to meet him! He smiled at me with his big gummy smile and then took a long nap cuddling with a couch pillow.

09 October 2008

Oh no.

So, it's about time to switch H out of his infant seat (okay, okay... it's probably way PAST time to switch him out of his infant seat). So I dug out the big kid car seat that was given to us and was about to wipe the layer of dust on it when I saw on the back it says. "Do not use after December 2005." Expiration date?

WHAT?! Did you know this? I did not!!

A marketing ploy... for sure, right?

Nope. Turns out car seats expire. Mostly due to material deterioration. Oops. Only made worse from storing car seat in hot temperatures. Double oops. The websites say that such a car seat should be hit with a sledge hammer so that no one ever tries to use it again.

Further investigation on the internet led me to some more links. And then I did what no mother should ever do. I followed a link to a test crash with a (plastic) child in an expired car seat on YouTube. Don't do it mothers. Just don't.

So, I guess my expired seat is better than me always holding my son in my lap in the front seat (like the locals do... and I do to sometimes, let's be honest!). And, at least there are no freeways to drive on. Gotta look on the bright side... cause it's all we've got!!

06 October 2008


Today M did some serious negotiations with our soon-to-be landlord.  After days of wavering, we decided to go ahead with the big flat with huge veranda.  We wavered because the place needs A LOT of work.  But we are familiar with the place and so we know what we are getting ourselves into.  I would have liked to have a nicer place (with nice ceramic tiles instead of yucky old cement ones, and efficient air coolers, etc.)... but I kept thinking "At least they'll be no more surprises."

Housing is a struggle here, it seems you never know what you're gonna get until you've lived in it for one year.  

The first place we rented was a really nice flat north of town.  It was great in most every way except that it was too far away from the center of our city and the driving back and forth was too much.   So we moved.

The second place we rented was a smaller, older house much closer to the center of town.  But last spring ants came pouring out of the floor and walls making our lives stingy and frustrating.  So now we need to move.

The new place has good and bad things about it... but either way, at least we know what we're getting ourselves into.

At the end of negotiations, we agreed to pay 30 dollars more a month than we would have liked, but the landlord agreed to pay for the whole house to be painted and for a water pump to be installed (tenants have to pay all upkeep and improvements unless negotiated otherwise).  We have one month to get it ready before we move in and start paying rent.  So we are pretty happy!

But... ask me again in one year...