Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're In!

Well, finally we have moved to our new apartment! We have been here for four nights now. It feels really, really great in many ways and it feels quite incomplete in many ways.

What feels great....waking up in the morning and it's my routine with the kids. I make them breakfast, feed them lunch and get dinner (well try to) get dinner ready before Yanal gets home from work. I have my own space. I can make a mess of it if I want or I can keep it clean if I want, and I don't have to feel strange about doing either....not that anyone made me feel strange, but this is my own space to do whatever with! The kids have their own toys, books and movies! They have their own spaces to play together and they sleep alone. During the day, we play with their toys, read books, play hide and seek, peek-a-boo, go for walks, take naps together and jump around and dance to Aisha's favorite tunes. It's been a lot of fun to hang out with them. Although we wish Daddy was here with us...we miss Daddy when he's at work.

What feels incomplete....We are still waiting for someone to come finish doing whatever to the washer and dryer. Clothes are starting to pile up and someone is supposedly coming tonight to hook these up. However, this is like the 4th 'guy' who came over to hook it up....so I'm not holding my breath. In addition to the washer and dryer, the stove top was working before we moved in, but the 'guy(s)' couldn't figure out how to convert the oven to Jordanian electricity (or whatever). A 'guy' (the 3rd 'guy') came over to do the oven part a few days ago and now the stove top isn't working as well as it was before...grrr. The last thing that feels incomplete is needs to get a new bedroom set. As mentioned in a previous blog, they do not have closets here, so we have all these clothes and no where to hang them. We are on a mission to find a new bedroom set with the huge amiour (about 3x the size of the normal ones in the US-they have shelves, drawers and rods for hanging clothes). This way we can give our current set to Omar, and Aisha can have her complete set...everyone wins! Once we have the new bedroom set, then I can finish unpacking and hopfully things will start to feel normal!

We were very thankful to the 'guy' that came over yesterday to hook up the internet. He was the first 'guy' that came over and actually knew how to start and finish what he came over to do! It feels great to be connected to the world with the internet. Our phone line is up and running again also...for those of you who call us, it is the same phone number as you used before. Talk to you soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

PICTURES!

Here are the first of many pictures to come! I still cannot get my pictures uploaded. These are a few pictures from Rasha's camera today! ENJOY!
Don't forget to read my other posting from today, He's Calling Me "MaMa"!

Yanal and Bethany

Aisha



Daddy's Little Girl!


3 out of 4 (Beth, Yanal and Aisha)


Yaser and Lina

Dafi and Rasha

My Little Lady, Aisha!

Her cousin, Salem (Dafi and Rasha's son)


Best of Friends!



Tae-Tae (Grandma) Almanasir


.....and here's my little man Omar!

He's Calling Me "MaMa"!

Okay, I didn't believe it at first either. I mean common on, my little lady didn't say Momma until she was over a year old! He's only 7 1/2 months old...really...MaMa???!

I know at this age they are babbling and discoverying what he can do with his voice. He's doing that, BaBaBaBa, DaDaDaDa, MaMaMaMa and other babbles that he finds amusing. However, he is definately calling me MaMa!

He calls for me in the morning when he wakes up, "MaMa MaMaaaa!". He calls for me after he wakes from his naps, when he wants to be fed, and when he wants me to hold him, "MaMA"! He looks right in to my eyes and calls my name!

I can't say any more about it, other than he is amazing to watch. This little guy is so more active, aggressive and sure of himself than his sister was at this age. I just wonder what his future holds. I sometimes hold my breath wondering what our future holds when he is 2 years old...Omar is not passive like Aisha was as his age and she is now a busy, sometimes naughty, little 2 year old! I wonder what he will be like?!

I still can't believe it, MAMA! Simply adorable!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eid Al-Fitr in Jordan

What is Eid Al Fitr?!
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. It is a time of intense spiritual renewal for those who observe it. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr ("the Festival of Fast-Breaking").

Eid al-Fitr is a time to give charity to those in need and to celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.

Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is actual food (or money can be given to the Mosque to buy food and distribute) to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as "charity of fast-breaking".

On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in mosques or other arranged place to perform the Eid prayer. The Eid prayer consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.

After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.

Eid Al-Fitr in Jordan
As described above, Eid Al-Fitr is a 3 day holiday and we are just finishing day three. We have been busy over the past 3 days visiting family and they have been visiting us. The visits can be long or short. Most visits last around a half hour. This length of time gives us time to visit Yanal's entire family...his Mom has 6 siblings, his Dad has 12 siblings and many of these siblings have grown families of their own to visit as well (Mashallah, God Bless Them)!

During these visits we wish everyone a Happy Eid, eat sweets, drink tea or coffee and talk for a little while before going to the next home. The kids have fun eating candy, playing together and sometimes someone will put a little money in the kids' pocket. It is common that everyone is wearing new clothes to these visits. These clothes can be formal or just something nice to wear through out the next year.

The kids are also given a gift or two from their parents and maybe their grandparents or other relatives during the Eid. --- We bought Aisha a small keyboard with microphone that plays back her beautiful singing voice! My little lady LOVES to sing and dance, so she LOVED the new toy. She also recieved her very own swing (for now, until Omar grows up and wants to swing--LOL) from Grandma Almanasir. My little lady also LOVES to swing. Bring her to the playground and that's all she wants to do is swing, swing, swing; so, she's having fun with her own swing. Lastly, she was given a new dress from Auntie Rasha and some money from other relatives. Omar recieved some money which we will use to get him something special. ---

Because about 95% of the country is Muslim and they are all celebrating Eid, the malls and stores were busy, busy, busy the week before the holiday! It was like Christmas in the US. The streets were jammed packed with cars and people walking everywhere looking for new outfits to wear and gifts to give! The highway by the mall, near our apartment, was backed up over a mile every day from all the people trying to get to the mall.

My mother-in-law owns a chocolate store. In addition to chocolate, during the holidays she also sells homemade cookies called Maamoul(-sp?!). It is a small, labor intensive cookie that is filled with dates or nuts. Her workers and the household have been working hard on making literally thousands of these cookies for weeks before the Eid! Mashallah, her store was so busy the night before the Eid that she was open until 200am! She ran out of cookies and the workers were up all night making more and they have continued making cookies until yesterday!

The salons are also just as busy! Everyone waits until the last days before the Eid to get their hair cut, colored and blow dryed. Many of the women here have curly hair and they get their hair dryed at the salon to straighten their hair and make it beautiful! Even though many of them cover their hair with the Hijab (headscarf), they still women and have the need to be beautiful! It is also common to get pedicure, manicures and sugaring (similar to waxing) prior to the Eid. Everone wants to look their best. It has been rumored that many salons were open all night, the night before Eid. I guess many women waited and waited to get fixed and they were unable to fix everyone, so people waited all night for nothing! --Reminder, appointments here are uncommon. You just show up and wait your turn...note to self, not a good idea the night before Eid!

Some people here decorate the outside of their homes with lights. It is becoming more common, but it is no where near the decor of Christmas in the US!! Maybe 1 out of every 6 homes have a string of lights, a cresent moon with a star or a lantern.

It has been a fun and tiring experience, Eid Al-Fitr in Jordan. It's neat to see the traditions of other people. I have experienced Eid Al-Fitr in Milwaukee, but it's different from here because there are soooo many people visiting back and forth.

Yanal has 1 more day off (total of 6 days in a row, with last weekend) until he heads back to work for a day and then it's the weekend off again! Gotta love the paid holiday time-off they get too! It's fun to have him around so much...Aisha can't get enough of him!! (Omar thinks he's fun too!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

We Found a Pediatrician!

Hello! I just wanted to announce that we found a new Pediatrician! She was recommended to us and I really, really liked her a lot! Thanks to Yassar and Teresa for following up with the recommendation!

Both of my kiddos are sick and to my great surprise....I did not go home with a single script for antibiotics!! Aisha got scripts for her on going constipation and for the cough that causes her to gag and throw up every night. Omar got scripts for prn fever due to his vaccinations and a decongestant for his runny nose.

This MD was like the USA MDs, she worked with me. She had to mesh the vaccination schedules of Jordan and the USA, which vary slightly. She asked many good questions, had good answers to my questions, played with both kids to make them comfortable with her, and she had a thorough examinations! I am soooo happy and take back some of my previous comments about the MDs here in Jordan.

The only thing that sucked was the vaccines were not covered my the health insurance, so we had to fork over 125 JD, about $170.00 for 4 vaccines! As mentioned earlier, Jordan MDs and hospitals require that you pay at the time of service...bummer, when we were expecting everything, especially vaccines, to be covered...but what are you gonna do when he already received the vaccinations?! Otherwise, the insurance covered the exams at 100% and we only had to pay $1.00 for the 4 prescriptions! $1.00, awesome!

Well, I hope these meds help my poor, little, sick ones!! I'll let you know!

Otherwise....Happy Eid to all my Muslim friends and family! I will write more about Eid Al Fitr, once I experience the 3 days Islamic holiday here in Jordan!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sick of Being Sick!

Okay, they are sick...again! My kids have spent a total of 3 months here in Jordan and they are now starting their 3rd round of sickness. I am sick of them being sick! I don't remember Aisha getting sick this often in our old home. However, she wasn't exposed to this many people. She didn't play with many kids either. It's also that time of year when the kiddos head back to school, so I'm certain her cousins have brought some sick bugs home to my kids. Whatever the reason, I'm sick of it!

In addition to runny noses, coughs, aches and pains, throwing up and constant crying my little lady is also constipated! Grrrr......sick of constipation too! Same old story, she starts with not going for about 4 days and then she's backed up and scared to go over the next 2 weeks or so. TMI (Too much information) you might say, but I'm so tired of it. No matter what I do or say, she is 2 and stubborn and it hurts so she refuses.

ahhhh, I'm so tired.

On the flip side, Yanal's brother and his wife are coming to visit for the Islamic holiday, Eid AlFitr. They moved to Bahrain about a year ago from the USA. We are looking forward to spending time with them!! They will be staying about 4 days with us.

Other great news, Yanal's is off work for the next 6 days! Eid will be on Sunday or Monday. He has the weekend off (Friday and Saturday) and then he gets 4 days off for the holiday!! It will be really nice to spend some quality time with him. For those of you who don't know our previous arrangements, we were fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time together before now. I use to work 2 days, 12 hour shifts, and he was a graduate student. He only had class a few days a week, so we would spend nearly every day together. It is an adjustment for us not to see each and even more of an adjustment for he not to spend so much time with our kids. We will love this time off!

We are all set to move into our home. Just waiting for the TV and washing machine to be delivery and installed tomorrow. However, because his brother is coming to visit we have decided to stay with his family until after Eid. I was going to stay there tonight with the kids, boy I am sure glad I decided not to....Aisha threw up ALL over the bed and it was GREAT to ask Mary, the worker, to come take care of the bed for me, so I could take care of Aisha. I will sure miss having Mary around!

Well, that's about it for now! Hope you all have a great night and pray that my kids will get better soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Places to Visit in Jordan

This post is specifically for my parents who are planning a trip to Jordan sometime this winter. However, it is also for anyone who are just interested or would like to come visit us or visit Jordan sometime!

Amman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amman
Amman is the capital and largest city in Jordan. In 2008, it was estimated that there are 2,525,000 inhabitants.

It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The first civilization on record is during the Neolithic period, around 8500 BC.

It sits atop seven hills, which are represented by the seven pronged star depicted on the Jordanian flag. As it is situated on seven hills, it was a favorite place for Roman soldiers and officials. In downtown Amman there is a large Roman theatre, which seats 6,000 spectators. The theatre was built between 138 and 161 AD by the Romans and it is constructed into the side of the mountain and is still used for sports displays and cultural events.

Shopping is continually becoming more popular in Jordanian culture. Check out their malls: Mecca Mall, Abdoun Mall, Amman Mall, City Mall, Plaza Mall and AlBaraka Mall. Downtown Amman is always an exciting place to shop: many people for people watching, busy streets filled with cars and vendors, bazar's and small shop's to spend the day shopping and looking around at unusual and beautiful handmade crafts.

Petra (3 hours South of Amman)
http://www.visitjordan.com/Default.aspx?Tabid=63
http://www.petrapark.com/
Petra is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It is Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the mountains by the Nabataeans, more than 2000 years ago. It was important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metres high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury). A massive fa├žade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.

Fun fact: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed here.

Wadi Rum (near Petra, about 3 hours South of Amman)
http://www.wadirum.jo/
http://www.visitjordan.com/MajorAttractions/WadiRum/tabid/66/Default.aspx
Wadi Rum is a protected area covering 720 square kilometers of dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape.

There are many ways to enjoy the attractions of Rum, including jeep, camel and hiking tours. You can stay overnight in a Bedouin tent and gaze at the amazing panoply of stars.

Fun Fact: Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here.

Red Sea/Aqaba (4 hours south of Amman)
http://www.aqaba.jo/english/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqaba
Aqaba is well known for its beach resorts and luxury hotels, which service those who come for fun in the sand as well as watersports like windsurfing and Scuba diving. The Rea Sea is one of the most beautiful places in the world to Scuba Dive. Another very popular venue is the Turkish Bath built in 306AD, in which locals and visitors alike come to relax after a hot day.

Jerash (1.5 hours from Amman)
http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/jerash.html
http://www.visitjordan.com/MajorAttractions/Jerash/tabid/65/Default.aspx
Jerash, located 48 km north of Amman and nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead, is the grandeur of Imperial Rome being one of the largest and most well preserved sites of Roman architecture in the World outside Italy. To this day, its paved and colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theaters, spacious public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates remain in exceptional condition.

Dead Sea (1/2 hour from Amman)
http://www.visitjordan.com/MajorAttractions/TheDeadSea/tabid/67/Default.aspx
Without doubt, the world’s most amazing place, the Jordan Rift Valley is a dramatic, beautiful landscape, which at the Dead Sea, is over 400 metres (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast, stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products

Mount Nebo (near Dead Sea about 1/2 hour from Amman)
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/jordan/mount-nebo.htm
Mount Nebo is a 1,000m (3,300ft) high mountain in Jordan, opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea. This is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land before he died.
Because of its connection to Moses, Mt. Nebo has long been an important place of Christian pilgrimage. Excavations led by the Franciscans, who own the site, have uncovered significant remains of the early church and its magnificent Byzantine mosaics. A simple modern shelter dedicated to Moses has been built over them.

Bethany (near Dead Sea about 1/2 hour from Amman)
http://www.bibleplaces.com/bethanybeyondjordan.htm
http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/bethany.html
Less than 2 kms east of the Jordan River is an important place associated with the lives of Jesus and John the Baptist (pbut). The settlement of Bethany, where John lived and baptized. John 1:28 refer to it as "Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing". In John 10:40 it is mentioned as the place to which Jesus (pbuh) fled for safety after being threatened with stoning in Jerusalem: "Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days".

There are many, many more sites and places to visit in this small but amazing country. This small country has so much to offer for those interested in culture, history, the holyland, arts and crafts, adventure, shopping, and it's also filled with natural beauty! Come visit us!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Things Strange to Me...

We have been here for nearly 2 months now. As I am becoming more familiar to this place, I am starting to notice things that are different than what I am accustom to. I thought I'd share them with you....

1. They don't have closets. No closets in the bedroom, no pantry, no linen closet, no entry closet for your coats. Nothing! They all use large pieces of furniture to store their belongings.

2. They don't use credit. In Islam, credit if forbidden, so most places do not allow you to purchase things on payment. For instance, we are purchasing a new TV and washing machine and only 1 place have we found that lets you pay by payments. It gets stranger, you have to go to your work, have your work pay for the TV or whatever and then you payback your work in increments! Same goes for paying for college, you have to pay cash for college rather than loans. This is the traditional way, some places are chaning over to using credit. It's so different than the US where every place that you shop they ask you to open a new credit card!

3. Most people (that we know) have at least 1 servant. My mother-in-law has 2 ladies that live with her and work for her. Thye do every and anything for her. Cook, clean, go to the store to buy groceries, help out with my kids, anything you need they will do. It's great, but strange to me.

4. The kids eat an unlimited amoutn of candy, and none of them are overweight! Seriously, the kids have it good here. They go to the store and come back with a large bag of candy nearly everyday...and really I rarely see a heavy kid! What's up with that?!

5. They know more about the US and other countries than we know about any other country in the world! There are many radio stations that play only English music, we get many American channels and movies on the satelite, American news is common news onthe front page of the paper and the headline news in English and Arabic paper/channels.

6. My generation and younger are all bilingual. They are required to study Arabic, English and another language of their choosing (usually French) from K4-senior year! maybe they don't speak perfect English, but they all know it. English is widely used in business, medicine and in the upper more educated classes. My husband's work is done mostly in English (and it's a jordanian government position). Also, about 50% of the signs around town are in Arabic and English. Interesting, huh!

7. Not much diversity. America is truly the "melting pot". You see so many people from all different backgrounds. Here you see mostly Arabs. They can be from a variety of Arab countries, but they are mosly Arabs. How every so often and depending on what part of town we are in, I do see afew Americans, Europeans and Asian people. It's funny because I cathc myself staring at them wondering what their story is!

8. Everything is so expensive! I am amazed at the prices of things being similar to that of the US. If you want to buy anything of quality, you will pay the same or more than what you would pay in the US. If you want to buy US goods, you will pay more than you would in the US. There is a free trade agreement between the US and Jordan, but US good are still spendy. For instance, I bought secret deorderant the other day ($2.50 in the US) it cost me $7.00! Amazing because this is considered a lower-middle class country. The average income here is a lot lower than that of the average US citizen. You can really feel the seperation of rich and poor here. I think Yanal said it best, in the US everyone shops at the same stores. We all go to Target, Walmart, the same grocery stores, etc. If you don't have a lot of money in the US, you can get it at a garage sale or buy clearance or the like. Here if you buy cheap, it will surely break! If you want something of what we would consider of normal quality in the US, you will pay a lot for it and remember what I wrote in #2.

I'm sure I will have lots more things to add to this list as time goes on, but I thought I'd share the things that are currently interesting to me!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

She Pee'd in the Potty!

Okay. So what this Blog does for me, you will never know. About 12 hours ago I wrote about being homesick...and I was near shedding a tear (I don't cry, I hate crying). I am still homesick; however, after writing my last posting I feel a lot better. Blogging for me is like I organizing my thoughts and make sense of life again. Thank you Blogger.com and thank you sister Sarah for the wonderful idea to start a blog!

Anyways........back to the BIG NEWS! Potty training a 2 year old. With all the things going on in our lives in the past 7 months, I have not really had a chance to sit down and focus on potty training my little girl. As you know 7 months ago I had my son...they say not to train when you have a new addition to your home. So we waited. 2 months later we went to Jordan to visit for a month..not a good time to train away from home. Then we wanted to try and knew that she was probably ready, but we were packing to move to Jordan....not a good time. Then we went to MN for a month to visit...again, not a good time. Now we have been in Jordan for 1 1/2 months, staying at my in-laws...didn't feel like it was a good time here either. Sure amongst all of this we have shown her the potty and tried to get her to sit on a few different potty chairs and talked about her needing to use the big girl chair instead of yucky diapers.

Well today, we unpacked the potty chair from our old home. My little girl saw the chair, asked "All done diaper" and started pulling her pants down. Mommy helped her sit on the little girl chair and she sat there for a while. As she sat there, she asked for her Daddy to come see her sitting on the chair. Daddy came over and praised her for sitting on the chair. Then she asked for "paper". Okay, not knowing if she went or not, i got her some toilet paper and she wiped herself. She then asked for "water" and wiped herself with the wet toilet paper. And when she stood up.....SHE HAD ACTUALLY PEE'D IN THE POTTY CHAIR! Ahhhhh, I can't tell you how proud of her I am. I praised her and told her today was a big day, gave her a huge hug and kisses! She kissed Daddy too!! She was just as proud as we were! YEAH AISHA! The joys of parenthood!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Homesick

Okay, so it was bound to happen. I'm homesick. I guess it hit me a few days ago and I can't shake it.

Maybe it's because I have had a lack of sleep. I've been lucky to get a good 3 hour stretch at night. Omar has been cutting another tooth and that keeps him up at night. He also gets up bright an early ready to play. Aisha has been waking up for one reason or another. Many times I have been bringing her into the living room and rocking her back to sleep so she doesn't wake her brother with her crying. I sleep in the same room with both kids, so every movement wakes me and them up.

Maybe I'm just tired of waiting to get into our apartment. I told myself when we moved here that it would probably take 2 months to get settled in, and we are on track for that time...but I'm so ready to get settled in! We have been living out of a suitcase now for 3 1/2 months. We have 2 rooms at his parents house that we are staying in, so we have things put in drawers...but it's not the same as having your own place. I keep telling myself it won't be too much longer, but every day is getting longer and longer.

Maybe it's just the kids are difficult right now. Or is it me without patience again? The kids are a handful right now. Boredom, teething, terrible two's, wanting to do it myself, getting into everything, not listening, hitting self and little brother, Mom without patience and no time to herself to regroup, equals alot of difficulty.

Maybe it's because I spent sometime visiting someone in the hospital this week and I realized how much I miss SFH! You gals may think I'm crazy, but I miss the routine of work and the friends I made at work. I know I talk to a bunch of ya on Facebook, but it's not the same as face to face.

Maybe it's because I talked to my family this week and they were all at the cabin having a great time..and we weren't there. I wish the kids were there to play with Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Sarah, Auntie Laura and Auntie Sharee. I wish Yanal had been there to wake up early with Jason to go fishing and catch a bunch of fish. I wish I was there to see everyone and just take a break from everything...!

Time to self is what I need right now. I need time to self to relax and regroup. To clear my thoughts and better my patience. I need to move into our new place to settle in so that we can get organized and fall into a routine of our own. I know it's coming and I know Yanal and I are working hard to make it happen. It just feels like it's out there dangling in front of me and I can't have it yet.

Patience, I need patience at this time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What's New Around Here...

Hello. Family update tonight.

Aisha is getting cuter and cuter everyday and in every way! Her language skills are really improving. It's cute to listen to her sentences. She speaks a whole bunch of gibberish followed by some English and Arabic. If you understand both languages, she makes prefect sense. She simply uses two languages in one sentence. It's also fun to watch her use an English word with her cousin, who speaks a little English, and she notices that he doesn't understand her so then she flips over to Arabic! Even though she is surrounded by the Arabic language, she is learning English from her Mom, Dad, Aunt Rasha, Aunt Zeina and Grandpa Salem. Everyone wants her to be bilingual!

Omar is also getting cuter and cuter everyday and in every way. He is getting his fourth tooth (top right) and is really getting into table foods! I know it's early to start table foods, but this little man is after them! He will throw an absolute fit if he isn't allowed to eat with us at the table! This week he has had rice, potatoes, dates, bread with oil, pizza and dessert. He is so cute when he bites down using his new teeth and then chews the food and frantically looks for the next bite! He is also working on crawling. He almost has it down...sticks his butt up in the air, kicks his back legs and pulls with his arms. He loves chasing after his small ball and it gives him great practice! Lastly, he is starting to sit up. Not an expert on his own yet, but he is getting fairly comfortable with sitting and he definitely likes the new angle in life!

Yanal is also getting cuter and....okay, okay that's enough you say! Yanal's work is going well. Since it's Ramadan his hours have been shortened for the month. He goes to work an hour later and comes home an hour earlier. Many companies here adjust their hours for Ramadan because everyone is up late eating and visiting with family and friends. He has also been busy with getting the apartment in order. He is finding the right places to get good deals on new furniture, TV, washing machine and carpet (remember everything here is negotiable and it's all about who you know!). He is also calling around for all the things like satellite, Internet, etc. He is also busy with finding an electrician to change over some of our big ticket items from US to Jordan 220 whatever it is....thank goodness for men who understand these things!

Bethany is of course getting cuter and....puke, I know! LOL! I am busy with the kids. I am still staying at my in laws watching the kids everyday. Most days this is just what I want to be doing! I really enjoy the time with my kiddies, watching them grow and learning how to play together! I know I will have to find a job eventually and I am going to talk to a guy this weekend about opportunities that are around Amman. I am excited to make some money, but not to be working...I'd rather be with the kids and I'm really nervous about letting anyone watch them when I'm at work...what to do!!! I am also busy putting the apartment together. We go to the apartment sporadically during the week, with only an hour or two to organize after Yanal gets off work and then we have to head back to his parents house to break our fast. Needless to say, it is going fairly slow. Although, we are making progress and I'm hopeful that after this weekend we will be finished???!!

That's about it for now. Have a good night!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

10 Things I Miss Most...

1-MY FAMILY! I wish they were here with me to play with my kids and watch them grow! I also wish they were here to share this expereince with me. I am looking forward to my parents visiting this winter sometime!!!!! I am also looking forward to going home to MN next summer sometime!

2-Work.....yes I said it, I miss work. (Although I'm not too excited about looking for a job here, I am enjoying my time with the kids too much.) Honestly, I just miss St. Francis Hospital and all the wonderful people I worked with! I worked with the best group of people one could ever ask for and I had the greatest hours. I loved being a nurse on CPT, CIC and the STAT RN. I also miss working with the patients!

3-My Friends. I miss laughing with you and confiding in you. I wish that we had spent more time together when we could have. I hope to see you again someday.

4-Going for long walks in the woods and in the neighborhoods. Jordan is not set up for people to walk easily, especially when you are trying to push a stroller! There are sooo many hills/mountains here and everything is rocky. The neighborhoods were not set up with an evening walk in mind. Also, there are virtually no trees here, unless they are in an olive farm. Sometimes I joke that there is a forest over there and it will be a group of about 50 pine trees. There are a few state parks here and we are looking forward to checking them out someday.

5-The lakes...Lake Michigan or the Brainerd Lakes Area. Nope, no lakes in Jordan. There is the Dead Sea and the Rea Sea. However, the Dead Sea is way to hot this time of year and the Rea Sea is 5 hours from here. Thank goodness for Amman Waves and the natural springs for dipping your feet in the water.

6-Hanging out in a large backyard with grass. Not much grass here to lay on or to to play with the kiddies. I also miss just listening to the birds sing and the gentle breeze on a calm summer day!

7-My parents cabin! I wish we could go up north and hang out with the family, go swimming, fishing, hang out on the boat and take nice walks.

8-TARGET. Oh, how I miss the days of shopping at Target or even Walmart...man, I'll even take KMart right now!

9-Carpet...weird you may think, but try laying your 6 month old on the cold tile that is everywhere! Thankfully, my brother in law has carpet in the bedrooms that we are staying in otherwise no one has carpet! It's not easy to teach a 6 month old how to crawl and sit when the floor is hard and cold. Also, I have to keep him in my arms almost all day because you can't just lay him on the floor and let him play...I put blankets down, but then he scoots himself off of the blanket. The tile may look nice and is easy to clean, but it's not what I'm use to and it's not the best with a baby. Although nice for the messes my toddler makes when eating lunch!

10-Greens and Blues. Everything here is browns and yellows, from the hills to the buildings. Preety in it's own right, but I miss the greens and blues!

Even though I miss these things, doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself. I do like it here...but I do miss these things and many more!