Shawn: Shawn is busy working and providing for us as usual. He has made time with the family more of a priority these last couple of weeks and we have all appreciated it! If not working or spending time with us he can be found obsessing over his 3 fantasy football leagues or playing video games which I don’t understand.
Combining work and play, we trick or treated at Shawn’s office and finally got to see his desk. Or as Clare puts it, where he “writes emails and makes money”.
Clare: Clare is loving kindergarten! Just recently I have noticed a lightbulb moment in regards to literacy – she can now usually identify what the first letter of a word is by sounding it out. She can write her full name, as well as her brother’s names and Mom and Dad. She loves doing her “homework”, which is self-inflicted and consists of working on writing letters and numbers in this little pink notebook I bought her. She also loves P.E., art, French class, Arabic class, Numbers corner, Music class and checking out books from the school library. I think that means that she likes everything about school :). She began riding the bus to school last month, which saves me almost 2 hours total every day in driving time. To say I am grateful to Clare is an understatement! She likes riding it most days, and the boys LOVE waving goodbye to “clare clare school bus” and welcoming her home. It’s a hero’s welcome every day!
In her free time Clare is most enjoying playing dolls, watching youtube videos of other children playing with toys, riding her scooter, and making up silly games with her brothers. We read at least one chapter of a book every night, and several story books throughout the day (most days). We are picking her up a new to her used big girl bike with no training wheels today, she is very excited to learn how to ride.
Clare takes swimming lessons every Friday morning for an hour and has become quite the little fish! She swims much better than I do and is progressing very quickly through the ranks in class. Fingers crossed she can get a swimming scholarship and I can use her college fund to buy myself something pretty!
Clare turns 6 this December. Most of her birthdays have been pretty legendary – Shawn and I feel like that is important since her birthday is right before Christmas and could easily be overlooked. This year her birthday falls on a Thursday (our “Friday” here, as our weekend is Friday/Saturday), and it is the last day of school before Winter Break. Her birthday will be filled with a holiday party at school, birthday treats she will bring in, and cake and presents with us and some close friends that evening. The next morning we will be heading to Atlantis for a 2 night stay. We also stayed there when she turned 3 and 4, but this time the boys will be big enough to enjoy it! We got a suite for this stay so we have separate sleeping area for the boys. It’s such a magical time of year there, as they go all out for Christmas and Santa will be there…we can’t wait!! Clare also can’t wait (neither can the rest of us) for Uncle Courtney and Lilli to visit us! They are coming right after Christmas and staying through New Year’s. We look forward to showing them around, bumming at the beach, introducing them to Dubai’s favorite pastime: Brunch, and seeing the new Star Wars movie with them.
Clare sharing a school report with her classmates about how water is used in her home.
Joe: Joe is our “wild baby”. Poor thing really gets a bad rap, even though he is well behaved usually, he is just so much more physical than his brother! He is always getting hurt, and requires a kiss from Mommy to make it better 🙂 Joe eats anything and everything, naps for 3 hours in the afternoon, and sleeps 11 hours at night most of the time. Thank you Joe!! Joe’s favorite thing in the world is “car-cars”. Everything is cars at all times. Car toys, car shows, car videos, stealing other kids cars, pointing out real cars, saying Beep Beep and Vroom Vroom randomly.
Joe: Always in need of a haircut, always in search of adventure, always wants a kiss for his owie.
Tom: Tom recently got his new glasses, and looks outrageously adorable in them, in my humble opinion. Unfortunately he will not keep them on for more than a few minutes, very politely folding them up and saying “Done”. The doctor said it will take awhile for him to get used to them. We shall see…..Joe of course is obsessed with them and wants to wear them all of the time.
Tom is also obsessed with cars. Is it just ingrained in them from birth? Clare never cared about them, and she had toy cars, it’s not like she wasn’t exposed to them. Tom also loves reading books with Mommy, just as Joe does. Their favorite books are Goodnight Moon and The Little Blue Truck. Favorite movies right now are Smurfs (all incarnations), Charlie Brown, and Cars.
Tom: Finally over his fear of water and his desire to eat sand.
Suzie: In the last month my life’s enjoyment has increased about 1000%, and yes that is mathematically possible. This is due to Clare taking the bus (No longer do I have to listen to the boys
whine and cry from the backseat every day), and to the weather. Seriously, fall/winter in Dubai is AMAZING. It’s freaking paradise. Cool breezes, yet still warm enough for swimming and the beach. We spend as much time as possible outside. Every morning I am outside with the boys, either at the beach or a playground, and usually with my Dubai bestie Erin and her daughter MG. In the afternoons I take all 3 of them outside, again either to the beach or playground or just on a walk/scooter ride. We have about 5 more months of this weather then it will once again be time for the long, cruel, hot, miserable summer.
Besides taking care of the family, and continuing to teach one online medical terminology course, I have been really focusing on health and wellness in 2017. I’m taking care of my body and I feel soooo much better for it. I’ve lost 50 lbs exactly, and weigh less than I did in 8th grade. I recently had a physical and my blood pressure and pulse are both lower than a year ago, and all of my bloodwork improved (it was all normal last year as well, but the numbers all improved greatly, my doctor wanted to know how I did it 🙂 ). I work out almost every day and eat right probably 99% of the time. I’ve started taking a yoga class every Friday and am really proud of myself for trying something new and not being intimidated. I lift weights in the gym 3 times a week, right alongside huge beefcakes and I no longer feel intimidated. It’s so empowering to feel strong!! I am so blessed to be able to afford a baby sitter two mornings a week, without whom I would have a lot less time to work out!
I have started weaning the boys. We are down to only one nursing session a day, first thing in the morning. In the next couple of weeks I will be cutting that out and then my body will be mine all mine!! I have been pregnant or nursing for almost 5 years of my life, and if you count in the time spent doing IVF and giving myself injections, etc., there hasn’t been a whole lot of my 30s that I have had my body to myself. I am ready!
This summer I am meeting my best friends in the world, my 7 “Quincy girls” from high school, for a long weekend at the beach in Maryland. I have never spent a night away from the boys before, so am nervous/so freaking excited to finally have time away. It will be for 5 nights, however with the time change and long flight I’ll be away 6 nights. Shawn has taken vacation from work and assures me that he is up to the task. I know he is, and I know they will all survive, but it took me a lot of courage to press purchase on that airline ticket. Any prayers for my husband and children during that time will be appreciated!!!
We love the beach!