Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baseball in Dubai

Alexander is playing baseball and really enjoying it.  His coach is fantastic and the families are great too.  Some have been playing for a few years together and the team is really good.  Alexander practices once or twice a week and has a day for batting practice with just him, another player and the coach.  It’s a very devoted group.

We play our games every Saturday in Dubai – a little over an hour drive from our home.  When he had his first game we all went along.

         P1040998          P1050003

While we waited for his game to start, mom & Bella & Cameron and I headed to a nearby park.



Alexander usually plays 3rd base

    P1050007     P1050025



Look!  It’s the Burj Khalifa in the background.  The tallest building in the world.  It used to be called Burj Dubai but shortly before opening the observation area to the public in 2010 there was some financial issues and Sheikh Khalifa helped bail them out so they changed the name.  Some people still say Burj Dubai – but it’s the same thing. Don’t confuse this with the Burj Al-Arab – the famous Dubai sail looking hotel that you see on lots of Dubai pictures.




Enjoying the game with Nana


Eye on the ball!


And Swing!

After the baseball game we stopped at the Mall of the Emirates for a little shopping and looking.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in Abu Dhabi

We have a few things to be thankful for this year.  The opportunity to provide an experience in the Middle East for our family is a big one.  We have settled into our new home well and even though we are all missing home (and the friends & family back home) we have created some new routines here.

This was our first Thanksgiving.  I was soooo grateful and blessed to have my mom fly out here to be with us through our first holidays here and we invited some good friends over to spend Thanksgiving with us too.

I shopped for a week or two before Thanksgiving, in anticipation of having trouble finding what I needed.  One of the things I don’t enjoy here is the inconvenient way I have to shop.  There isn’t one store to go that has everything I need.  Heck – there aren’t even two stores I could go to and get all my shopping done.

In order to get Cranberry Sauce, items for stuffing, turkey, ingredients to make pies, etc… – I had to explore about 4 different places.  But – I got what I needed and we had a wonderful American feast right here in Abu Dhabi.


My delicious Turkey Appetizer of vegetables!


                               P1040959       P1040961

My candle centerpieces (different colored beans with a vanilla candle in it)

     P1040962     P1040963

                                             The turkey!                                                          Potatoes, Asparagus, Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes & Salad


P1040969  P1040972  P1040973

The kids played football on one side and Cameron decided to play some frisbee.


P1040981                    IMG_3482

While the kids were waiting for dessert, I challenged them                                                Apple Pie & Pumpkin Pie!

            to make something out of legos for Thanksgiving. 

  Katie (my friend’s daughter) made a turkey and Alexander made the first Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Abu Dhabi Science Festival

There is a big Science Festival happening in Abu Dhabi for a week or so.  There are activities up at the Corniche and down at ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center).  Mom, Brian, the kids and I checked out stuff on the Corniche one day and Mom, the kids and I checked out stuff at ADNEC on another day.

Here are a few pics:

                P1040914          P1040916

Some robotic animals


                P1040918          P1040919

A few different activities there


                P1040921          P1040922

Cameron racing to see how fast he could go in seconds.


                P1040927          P1040928


             P1040929        P1040931        P1040930


   P1040936          P1040943          P1040946


                                          P1040938          P1040939

Kids were getting a lesson in conducting heat maybe?


                     P1040945          P1040949


                             P1040952          P1040953

Alexander was trying to figure out how to build a car out of legos and testing out different wheel placement to see what made it go faster.  He spent a long time here and had a good time with it.  Cameron ended up watching and trying to figure it all out too.  The people were patient and very helpful.  It was a great hands on activity.

          P1040955          P1040956


                P1040993          P1040995

A couple days later at the Corniche.  The kids were excited to check out the Human Gyroscope!

Alexander & Bella on a Human Gyroscope at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival on the Corniche

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mom arrives!!

My mom arrived in Abu Dhabi today to spend the holidays with us.  We are all so excited to have her be here!  Her plane got in late in the evening from New York and she’ll be here through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s before flying out on January 5th.

I’m looking forward to showing her our new home, enjoying the holidays and having some adventures!

Eye Crisis

I have been wearing contacts for years.  I think I started in High School so that makes it almost 20 years now.  I know how to put them in and take them out and can do it without a mirror and in the dark if I have to.  Point being – it’s a routine, no big deal thing.

So….when I woke up on the morning of the 21st and put my contacts in and everything was STILL blurry – I was NOT initially concerned.  I blinked a few times, took them out and rinsed them again, reinserted them, blinked a few times and thought – what the heck???  I have back-up glasses that I usually wear at night and first thing in the morning with the same prescription as my contact lenses and they were fine so what is going on??

I figured that the lenses must be dirty (they are the throw them out every two weeks kind, that I usually leave in for about 3-4 weeks or until they feel yucky).  So – I thought it was probably time for a new pair.  I threw out the “bad” ones and took out a new pair (being VERY careful to put the right contact into the right eye and the left contact into the left eye since they are two different prescriptions).  I got them in and things were STILL blurry.  I blinked, I squinted, I blinked.  STILL blurry!  What the heck?  Now I started getting panicky.  I figured I must’ve developed a degenerative eye disease that came on while I was sleeping and is only affecting my eyes with contacts in.  Perhaps the temperature has affected my eyeballs or my contacts?  Maybe my corneas are changing shape rapidly?  Maybe the lenses were bad?  I threw them out and tried another pair.  SAME thing!  I threw THEM out and tried another pair.  SAME thing!  That’s it – something is wrong with me. 

I put my glasses on and was thankful that I was able to see fine with them.  I located my list of embassy-recommended doctors and called the ophthalmologist.  I got an appointment for the next day.  I hoped my eyes wouldn’t worsen anymore.

I brought along my contact boxes and contact case and of course wore my glasses.  I waited forever before entering the “investigation room”.  Turns out it was just the “exam” room.  (They have different words for stuff here that can throw you for a loop – I was curious why they had an “investigation room” in the eye doctor office.  What do they investigate?  Apparently, you and your eyes.)

So…they checked out my eyes and did the routine eye chart stuff and had me put my eye against the machine while they flipped around dials.  Everything was okay so far.  Then I went back to wait and wait and wait.  Eventually I saw another doctor.  He asked some questions about my general eye health and then sent me to another waiting room around the corner to wait some more.  Eventually, I saw ANOTHER doctor.  He asked me more questions and eventually determined that I needed to see a Contact Lens Specialist.  So after 2+ hours there (with Cameron in tow), I had to make ANOTHER appointment for the next day.

I went home confused, frustrated and concerned.

But, the next day I went back with my contact boxes, contact case and glasses on.

I waited not so long this time until I saw a NEW doctor.  He asked me some questions and examined my eyes.  He determined the prescription I should be wearing for my contacts and asked to see my boxes.  Turns out my prescription was the same.  Huh??

Then – he showed me the little “L” on one of the boxes and said that I needed to make sure that I put the “L” contacts in my left eye.

Ummmm – excuse me??  I KNOW that I wear a stronger one in my left eye than in my right eye because my left eye is worse than my right eye so I don’t bother to check for the little “L” anymore.  I know I didn’t just switch my contacts.  I mean ….come on – that should be an obvious thing to check right?  right???

You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

I sat like an idiot and laughed for at least 3 minutes in his chair. 

Yeah – I totally just switched my contacts.  One of the earlier doctors asked if I did and I told him that I KNEW what contacts go in which eye.  (duh – I’ve been wearing contacts for 20 years)

So…3+ hours of my time and $100+ of my money to find out that I put my contacts in the wrong eyes.

Well – thank goodness there’s nothing REALLY wrong with me.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zayed Sports City Open House

There is this huge sports complex near us that’s called Zayed Sports City.  I’ve probably mentioned it before.  They have a bowling alley (with 40 lanes!) and an ice skating rink, a gym, a bunch of football pitches (soccer fields), tennis court facility and a bunch more stuff.  We attended an Open House where there were lots of different activities going on.

You could try out a new game called Padel Ball (combination of tennis and squash I think?? with a net and a smaller racket and three walls).  You could do the bouncy house and bouncy slide (INSANE – with horrible supervision) or watch people do Zumba (INSANE – with kids running across the stage and parents ignoring them while the instructor tried to step over them – no  your child is not cute on the stage while someone is up there – they are a danger – ugh!) and TONS of people.  Bowling and Ice Skating were free (but TONS of people so the kids skipped that) Alexander spent most of the time playing “Football” (soccer).

The kids had fun trying out new things though so that was cool.  For whatever reason I only took pictures of padel ball.