Saturday, August 27, 2016

Spa Time =)



Babygirl got her first professional hair cut recently!

Yes, she is six and a half years old. But her previous trims have just been done by her momma =). She's always wanted to have long hair, so why would we pay someone just to trim the ends up from time to time? 

And I'm super good at it too.

Except the opposite.



So I finally decided I'd spare her another momma trim, and take her to someone who actually knows what they're doing =).

The problem was I've only had one haircut in the 11 months we've been in Kuwait, and while I LOVED the cut I received there (really, it was a fantastic hair cut, really great service, and nice place!) I ended up paying 20KD ($66.39) when it was done.
And that felt a little steep for a wash, cut and dry.

I asked a friend whose lived here several years for a recommendation, and she gave us a great place to try. It was only 6KD ($19.92) for a wash, cut and dry.

Sister was a little apprehensive at first, but as we both laid back in the chairs and got our hair washed, she started to relax.

Big girl post wash...




Looking so grown up after her cut and blow dry...


Poor Brother, just hanging out, playing on his Kindle, waiting on the girls...

Luckily, he's a pretty good - and cute- sport about it =)


When we were leaving, Sister said "Momma, I LIKE the spa place!"

Me too, baby girl. Me too. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lately...


So. It's still wicked hot outside, so we've still been spending most of our time in our apartment.

It's just as interesting as it sounds.

And yet I blog about it!!
You're welcome.


What have we been up to?
Reading. On car seats. On the couch. Naturally.


David continues to teach the kids different poker games. They are now proficient in 5 Card Draw, Blackjack, 4Up 4Down, and Texas Hold 'Em. 
Which is to say, they're now better card players than their momma.


Another post, another picture of our daughter's creations...
(two crabs in the ocean, complete with kelp ("not seaweed, momma") and a small lobster in the bottom corner)
I am not great about keeping all of the children's art projects - there are simply too many - but I feel better about that when they've at least been documented in picture form =).


Brother drawing a family pic for Daddy to hang in his office...




We've had playmates over to help fill the the day, and logged many hours doing crafts...



...and being goofballs...








While we had the car, David and I snuck away for a dinner and movie date. We saw the new Bourne movie...love!



I took this little cutie with me to run some errands one day last weekend...



It's always a favorite when Daddy comes home from work!



Our friends ran into a childcare snag, so their kiddos got to hang out with me and the twins a lot last week. We had a ton of fun, and at one point I decided to take the four of them out for a bit... 

Little Adventurers! =)


We all lived to tell about it, and I offered up Thanks that God knew better than to give me quadruplets =)




Sister caught a little bug, and was down for a day or two...bless her heart, she fell asleep mid afternoon, watching a movie...




When you're indoors most the time, you may as well bake some cookies!







Over this last weekend, we packed in as much fun as we could with these fun friends, as it was their last weekend in Kuwait. 
Their jobs have them moving elsewhere, and we will miss them terribly!

We walked over to the mall - who needs a taxi when it's only 109! - and met up to see The Secret Life of Pets...super cute movie.




...and played...



...and hugged "see you soon..." because we don't say goodbye =)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Driving Miss Daisy

Okay so I haven't actually been driving anyone named Daisy, or chauffeuring anyone really, except for our children, but I needed a blog post title that had to do with "driving" and that's all I could come up with.
(If you've been around here for any length of time, you've likely already discovered that titling posts creatively is not a strength of mine)
But while I have not been driving Miss Daisy around, I have been driving!!

When my older sister learned of this, her first response was "but I thought you said the drivers there were crazy?!?"
She's absolutely correct.
A) I have always said that
2) they totally are crazy

I just channeled my crazy and joined in.

For our first several months here, the cars on the roads completely overwhelmed me. 
Even a ride in the taxi with our trusted, calm, safe driver could leave me jilted because of the chaos going on around us.


Two sets of friends here, who drive around on a daily basis, have both previously lived in Egypt, and they both have remarked that driving here is much easier and more organized than driving in Egypt. And I'm all like...Lord, please don't ever move me to Egypt!


I remember when Dave and I lived in Mexico, even though I was only there two and a half months, I began to notice a rhythm to what had first appeared to me as chaos in the streets. 
When first there, it felt like everything was a near-miss. I could not believe how many accidents *almost* happened. But the longer I was there and observed things, I began to realize there was actually a flow to it all...almost an understanding amongst all the drivers and pedestrians and bicyclists and stray chickens. It may seem insane and completely without order, but it works for them.
It's been a similar story here in Kuwait.
And while I'd still prefer the order and safety and laws of driving in the States, when some friends generously offered up their car for a month, enough time had passed here that I'd started to recognize some rhythm to the driving here as well.
So we said YES, and I've had the freedom of OUR OWN CAR for the last month!!!!!

Our friends were headed home to Europe for a month and said there was no use their perfectly good car sitting around gathering dust while they were gone. They were so kind in sharing it with our family, and so relaxed about the whole exchange - it was such a blessing. I was nervous in accepting their offer at first...what if something happened to the car while in our possession? It's a very nice, newer Prado Land Cruiser. 


They were quick to assure us that it's "just a car" and not only were they not worried something would happen, but it was replaceable if it did.
Pretty amazing attitude, right??

So, we took them up on their offer, buckled up, said some prayers, and off we went!



My first trek out was to the nearest grocery store, and I practically needed a nap when we got back.
I was SO tense from being hyper alert.

Each outing I went a little further, and soon enough I was cruising all over Kuwait like a boss. 


Similar to the last eleven months, there was a lot of "when in Rome..." kinda mentality to my driving. 

Is this a two lane street? One lane? No one knows...until a car passes you, on either the right or the left...as there are zero lane markers. 




Most the roads so have some sort of lanes distinguished, thankfully.
There are also Stop signs, which judging by the drivers here, are merely suggestions. 

Speaking of signs, the exits on the highway are all labeled. I mean, the sign may be well after the actual exit, but it will be there. Lots and lots of catching the next exit and turning around. 

Once I was driving on the highway and approached four lanes of brake lights. I, of course, started to slow down, thinking there must be some sort of accident. As we inched closer, I was able to see that, nope, there was no accident, but instead a bus in the far left lane was needing to be in the far right lane so he could catch the exit. Naturally, he just halted his driving, and stopped all traffic while he crossed all four lanes and took his desired path.
Not a single driver honked or expressed frustration at him.
Because, KUWAIT.


Sometimes the "lane" you're in, just flat out disappears...


...that, my friends, is a four lane highway. Or it was, before the line markers simply vanished. 



Need to fill up? Easy peasy. 
And cheap.
Filling the tank of an SUV costs 7Dinar, 500 Fills...$24.89.
Hello Land of Oil.



Sometimes you're driving along, minding your own business, and you learn something new. Like that the emergency lane that is on the left often doubles as a passing lane in Kuwait...







And no more parking spots? 
No problem.
Just pull your car up on the sidewalk and park where ever you'd like...






Most roads here are one way, with a heavy divider in the middle. This eliminates the crossing-traffic-to-make-a-turn, and offers up multiple opportunities for u-turns and really fun near-death-experiences of merging and trying to exit in these roundabouts...



Our friends returned to Kuwait, and we returned the car, and I gained more confidence in my ability to navigate life here.
And I again reminded myself to never say never, as I'd previously stated I'd never drive here. 
I also declared I'd never acclimate to the heat here, but as I dropped the car off at the airport a few evenings ago and waited for a taxi home, I couldn't help but appreciate the breeze and that the day had cooled down...only to look at my phone and learn it was 111 degrees.

Acclimated. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Judge not lest ye be judged



Has anyone else ever had their home look similar to this, and wondered if instead of cleaning, it might be easier to just move somewhere new and buy new stuff???




Asking for a friend.



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Because it's funny

We had a pretty low-key weekend around here. Dave was sick with a nasty cold a few days last week, and wasn't quite 100% back to normal over the weekend, and now I'm sitting here watching "Beethoven" with two kiddos who aren't feeling great.

It seems strange to get a cold in the middle of summer, especially in the Middle East, but it's hard on the body to go from 120 degree heat into cold air conditioning. When I'm out with the kids, I always carry a long sleeved shirt or jacket for each of them, as anytime we go inside a building, the AC is cranked so high it's downright freezing.

So...colds in the middle of August, in Kuwait, it is.
Not super fun, but could be much worse. I'm grateful I don't have a place of work I need to call in to, and that we have Netflix ;). In addition, we also have unlimited movies.
No, really.
I can't remember if I've mentioned this before or not, but there are zero copyright laws here in Kuwait. It's NOT illegal to download movies from the internet. Crazy, right?
It comes in REALLY handy on days like today when my kids feel crummy and just want to lay around but also require entertainment and preferably something "new" to them.
(the only downside of watching a new movie with six year olds is they have ALL THE QUESTIONS)

Anyways. 

Today I'm just gonna post things that have made me laugh recently, because who doesn't love a good chuckle??



 
Because TACOS.




(K. Kennedy, if you're reading, for some reason that made me think of you!)







If that isn't the truth, then I don't know what is. I rarely actually talk on the phone - I much prefer texting/messaging (if my parents who raised Teenage Kendra are reading, they are finding that hard to believe) - but if I ever do need to actually have a conversation over the phone, my kids need to be climbing all over me and know every detail about why I am saying what I am saying. And what the other person is saying. And why they are saying it. 





I really, really am.






Extreme thirst and tiny bladders always kick in directly after their heads have hit the pillow.





*hangs head in shame*
Just so, so guilty.




Truth.




It's important to have goals.









Amen.



Annnnndddd....you're welcome.

Happy Sunday all!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lately...


Last week we had some friends over for some fun...





We got together with some great friends and tried a new restaurant that just opened here in Kuwait - 5 Napkin Burger. I was asking the hostess to take a group photo of us, and she quickly went and grabbed some signage advertising the restaurant and asked if we wouldn't mind them taking a picture for their social media site as well?
Sure, why not?

Almost famous... 


An apparent outtake.
(Keepin' it real over here ya'll)

...and at least three times the staff came over to our table requesting our kids star in more advertising photos, which they happily obliged...


I just loved how my boy looked with his pen stuck behind his ear =)...



The building's Haris (meaning guardian of the building, doorman, maintenance man, etc) lives here in Kuwait, in a studio apartment in the lobby of our building, and his family lives in Egypt. He works hard here, every single day, and sends money home to Egypt to his wife and three children. 
As I've said before, this is an often heard story here in Kuwait. 

I feel so lucky that not only do we get to be here with David, but that his college paid for us all to come along with him. 

Our Haris, Abdu, goes home to Egypt once a year for a month or two, and his family comes here once a year. 
They arrived earlier this week, and the twins and I went down to meet them.
The daughter is six, and the son is four, and they also have an infant. 
L and A hit it off quickly with the six year old, reminding me once again that play is universal and a shared language is not required for having fun together.  We ended up bringing some toys down to the lobby so the four older kids could play, and I did my best to chat with Abdu's wife...she does not speak any English, and my Arabic is so very limited...but I know the really important stuff, like "your baby is so beautiful! Congratulations!"  =)
We played about an hour, probably could have stayed much longer, but we had another play date to head to.

And this particular play date included a teeny tiny kitten!
Totally this girl's Love Language!


This tiny kitty is so young, he still needs to be bottle fed...so precious! 
He was found abandoned, and our friends agreed to foster him for a bit.

He is just the cutest thing, and I kinda wanted to put him in my purse and take him home.


Shenanigans...

...and more indoor picnics...
...these four always have such a great time together.



These three do as well!
...a little Millennium Falcon play =).




Sweet girls...


We went with friends to this really fun McDonald's that had an interactive play table...



And of course, we've had some swimming...

This is becoming her signature move...





No better way to spend a 124 degree day than swimming and ice cream with friends... 


...with a little bit of basketball thrown in as well...





And sometimes, you just avoid the heat altogether, and spend the day inside, going on imaginary adventures all over the world with your best buddy...