Living Abroad: Week 3

After a few weeks of living here in “The Kingdom” (that’s what all the cool kids call Saudi Arabia), life is finally starting to pick up.  Andrew is getting more and more reponsibility at work (ahem, working lots more), and the kids and I are finally settling into a routine.  With all of that, most of our efforts were focused on getting things into order for the arrival of baby#4 in a few days.

Part of that was sorting out some transportation.  No, we don’t have our iqama yet so can’t buy a car, but we are now the proud owners of a used little silver scooter.  Don’t laugh – it’s awesome.  So cool in fact that the kids only refer to it as “the motorcycle scooter”.  It’s like this guy only older and with a bit of rust…

Yes, we take that bad boy all around…well two of us at a time do (yes, it looks even tougher when it’s carrying around a few gallons of milk and some diapers).

I was scheduled to be induced on March 27th, mostly due to the fact that the hospital is 100 km away and my last labor was about 2 1/2 hours long and having a baby on the side of the road next to a camel wasn’t going to work for me!  I had a full week planned out in my head so that everything would be “perfect” by the time the baby was born.  Honestly, I should really know better than to do this, since it never works out!

After a few weeks of trying we finally got things sorted out and the kids into school.  Mason started Tuesday and Chloe started the following Sunday (remember weekends here are Friday and Saturday).  I was hoping that having them into school and having a routine would help make the transition easier.  We’ll see if that actually works out that way!

I was really starting to feel the pregnancy taking its toll on me this week, so of course Andrew had be super busy at work!  Isn’t that always how things work out?  He ended up working on Friday and again on Saturday so my hopes of a relaxing weekend with just 3 kids were instantly dashed.  But hey, I had a schedule to stick to, so I busted out my best “SUPER MOM”  attempt on Saturday.  I got up early on Saturday and started going to town making some freezer meals so that things would be a little easier in the coming weeks.  I knew that this was going to be pretty tricky since the kids usually expect to go and do something fun on Saturday (the curse of being an adventurous family:), so I bribed the older kids – if they would keep little Jimmy happy and outside all morning, I would take them to the beach in the afternoon.  Big bonus for living right next to the Red Sea and having incredibly bribable kids :)  They happily obliged and I worked like a crazy woman to get about 8 meals done in just a few hours.

By lunch time, I was completely spent and the kids were ready to go for a swim…um, my genius plan was starting to backfire.  We loaded up and headed for the bus.  Luckily, right as we were heading out of the door I got a call from Andrew telling me that they finished early and that if I brought clothes for him, he would meet us at the beach.  PHEW!!  Once again, the handsome husband saves the day!  We enjoyed a great afternoon at the beach and where the kids got a fun taste of Saudi decor when we discovered the free pony rides on these fancy guys:

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Don’t you just love the tinsel garland and ornaments on his neck?

Andrew also shot some fun pics of me and the kids playing as the sun went down:

pregnantsunset

Sunday morning, I headed to the store with one of my friends to stock up our kitchen.  Shockingly, the idea of going to the store with a newborn and toddler and then bringing our groceries back on the bus and then hauling it all back the few blocks to our house in 100 degree heat wasn’t sounding fun, so this trip was going to be a big one (especially since my friend had a car)!  Mid-way through the shopping trip, I was holding Jimmy when he started laughing and kicked me really hard in the stomach.  Like, REALLY hard.  I quickly doubled over part in pain, part because that brought on a strong contraction.  I was suddenly struck with dread as I realized that the baby might now wait until my induction date on Thursday…

Well, he didn’t.

He was born that night!  To hear the whole story, you’ll have to read My Saudi Arabian Birth Adventure…

 

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