So...I've been going back and forth about when to leave and if I go with Brian or on my own. I've worked on pro/con lists and I've asked dozens of people and gathered information. I think I have a plan and I think it will work:
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions/input/personal experiences. It has really helped me to make a decision that I believe is going to work the best for us.
Talked to Brian and I think I have a game plan. I always feel better when there is a plan. Let me know what the plan is and I can take it from there.
Brian has to go to some training for his new job in May (here in the states, but a plane ride away from where we live). He will return at the end of May and be home for about a week and then he will most likely head off to AD on his own.
I will stay for the month of June while the kids finish up school. At the end of June we will have the movers come and pack stuff up for storage, stuff up for our Cargo Shipment and stuff for our Freight shipment. Then, we will move into a hotel or with my mom (his employer will cover 30 days at a hotel for us). I will have time to get the carpets changed out, everything professionally cleaned and ready for renters.
We will spend the month of July here in the states, surrounded by friend & family and beautiful weather that we can be outside enjoying. We really have a wonderful Summer here that comes after months of being indoors while it is gray and rainy and will be itching to get outside. The kids will be able to do the Summer Camps that they enjoy and spend time with their friends.
We will leave in early August (with my mom) and fly to the East Coast where we will get to spend two weeks with family. My grandparents and loads of aunts/uncles/cousins live back there and who knows when we'll see them again.
Meanwhile.....Brian will get to figure out cable/internet/phones/driver's license/how to get to the store/whether I need to pack anything I didn't already think about/where the mall is/etc.... and be able to settle into his new job, knowing that me and the kids are back at home having a good time and surrounded by the comforts of home for a little longer. He doesn't need the added stress of a family of 5 getting settled in, while he is trying to settle in with a new job. He can send me pics of the new house and neighborhood too.
Then, in mid-August I will fly (on my own) with the three kids from NY to Abu Dhabi. Even if the trip sucks and my youngest is a raving, hyper, non-sleeping toddler - it's only a day. I can handle a day. I can pack some Xanax or have a glass of wine on the plane (great suggestions). It will be okay. It's one day of travel. I will arrive in AD in the middle of Ramadan, but won't have to be there for the entire bit of it. Brian will be settled and some of our stuff will have arrived. The kids will have 2-3 weeks to acclimate to the time change and the weather and maybe meet some other kids.
It will all be fine.
This is my current plan. I know it may change, but I think it will work best for us. Having a plan feels better.....