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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Life Lately

It's a Saturday night here. The girls have been in bed since before 7, thanks to a long day at the waterpark. Ian and I skipped the laborious process of cooking dinner and washing dishes to instead have a snacking dinner while watching Parks and Rec. My favorite meal of late has been oatmeal, apples, cinnamon, and frozen (thawed,) blueberries. I can eat it several times a day if necessary.
 
Life lately has been...busy, full, and tiring.

Busy because our normal routine has extra doctor appointments thrown into the loop as the pregnancy progresses and Ian's work load means that any "honey do's" are slipped in on weekends or evening after the girls are down. His to-do list lately has looked like this:

  • Get rid of the pigeons that are plagueing my life (I HATE pigeons. Birds in general, but pigeons especially.)
  • Fix everything that is falling apart.
  • Pressure wash the outside before the heat sets in (it's coming, it's coming!)
  • Build a fence so that our back garden is enclosed and so that we don't have another stranger walking into my house and standing in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking dinner. Good times.
The girls get to go to preschool three half days a week and I find myself cramming in as much as possible during those three precious hours. Can I go to the grocery store, meet with my accountability partner, and study Arabic all while fighting my way through crazy Abu Dhabi traffic? Or should I drop the girls off and sit in the car in the parking lot for the next three hours trying to get some decent studying in? Or should I commute home and get in an undisturbed 2 hours of cleaning before commuting back to their school? Decisions, decisions!

Full because we are over committed to many different things. I study Arabic, partially homeschool the girls (though I hate that term for preschool,) lead a women's Bible study, host a small group/house church, teach Sunday School for 4-5 year olds,  and maintain some sanity to our household on my own (a rare thing over here, where most people have hired help with cleaning or childcare.) All on top of other expectations and responsibilities. It's very full but also very fulfilling. We are constantly having to sort out the good things from the best things.

Tiring because I am in the homestretch of this pregnancy! I struggle with insomnia with my pregnancies and I am ready for this phase to be over. Though I am totally aware that I will just be rolling right into the newborn, no sleep phase, from my pregnancy, insomnia no sleep phase. Ironic as my relief and hope might be, I cling to that change that might mean I will at least get to cuddle a precious baby during those long night hours instead of sit silently in bed and hope that sleep will come.

Despite it all, this is looking to be a really great year for us. It will be the first year in almost FOUR years where we haven't had a major move or transition, except for the arrival of Luke next month. We don't have much planned into the year and plan on being here, mentally and physically, as much as possible, instead of always looking forward to a big, upcoming event.

That's life lately for us. It might not paint a very detailed picture but it's at least an overview of life. Busy, full, tiring, and HOPEFUL!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Christmas Concert

The girls' preschool put on an end of the semester concert in December.

Sophia's class was first. They had a more relaxed "concert," than we expected. Basically the class came out and had all of the parents sit on the floor with the kids in front of the stage and then we sang songs together.

It was cute, but with kids sitting in your lap, you couldn't even see your own child! Sophia walked out shy and then just sat on my lap and cuddled with Grace the entire time. It was a big let down but Sophia loved it, after the fact!

Grace's class' concert was several hours later and I wasn't expecting much better than Grace's last concert, in the Spring, where she just sat there and looked around for 30 minutes. I will admit, I bribed Grace with ice cream if she would actually SING during her concert.

Grace ran out with her class, very excited, and started singing well because she was sitting next to one of her closest friends.

Then she got distracted and stopped singing but kept doing the hand motions for awhile. Finally, on the last song or two she started singing again!

The teachers made it "snow," on the students and then the kids had fun picking up Styrofoam pieces for awhile and throwing it on each other. 

We love the girls' school and their teachers are just the sweetest. They are learning so much in a comfortable, caring environment!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Interviews

2015 began in an extraordinary way...Ian and I going to sleep by 10 pm. Fun times. It was totally worth it though. Pregnancy insomnia and reaching that largely uncomfortable stage means that sleep is elusive and highly valued.

I had intentions of getting away to a coffee shop and setting some goals for the year but after some (quick) thinking I realized my only goals were:

1.) Have a baby and enjoy the newborn stage
2.) Love on my husband and children
3.) Survive another Abu Dhabi summer

Sure, I would love it if I blogged more, completed more yearly photo albums, and checked off some bucket list items, but, if I am being realistic, then goals 1, 2, and 3, will be enough to fill my plate.

Grace and I did her New Year's Interview, following in the footsteps of last year's. This time was alot more last minute and unscripted but I love it anyways!

Grace's New Year's Interview 2015 from IGalloway on Vimeo.

And Sophia wanted in on the action after she saw Grace get to sit in the rocking chair (which is a bad place to sit a moving preschooler if you are trying to capture a picture or a video, just FYI.)

Sophia's New Year's Interview- 2015 from IGalloway on Vimeo.

And then Grace got upset that I had forgotten to ask her about school, so we did a round two for her!

Grace's New Year 2015 Take Two from IGalloway on Vimeo.

I love these videos. They so capture my girls' personalities, except Grace is usually much louder and easier to understand.

So, here's to 2015. Another year of change and growth for our little family!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Haircuts

I had been meaning to take the girls to get their hair cut for months but I had a little issue. You see, Grace had her first haircut at Disney. DISNEY.

And Sophia? Well, she hadn't had a haircut and the only thing that I could come up with was to take her to a kiosk in the mall here and have a man trim her hair. Sure, she wouldn't know the difference but it seemed way less amazing as Grace's Disney experience.

You know, the one with pixie dust, making a wish, and a Cinderella bun.

Instead, Sophia would just have a foreign man who would pinch her cheeks and spray on a horrid cologne afterwards.

Kind of lame, if you ask me.

So, when my parents were here I asked my mom to cut the girls' hair. My mom cut my hair most of my childhood and I knew it would be more special than the mall. And also, Sophia is prone to being afraid of just about everything. So at least she wouldn't be terrified of my mom. Just the scissors, right?

Grace went first and had her long blonde locks trimmed up. It took approximately 3 minutes and she was done.



Sophia was next and it was possibly even easier. She did lean forward in the seat a bit and had a very uncomfortable look on her face, but then it was over. Ha.



It was also good for me to see my mom cut the girls' hair because now I feel like I can give it a try- and hopefully save a bundle over their childhoods!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Gammie and PaPaw's Visit

My parents were able to come out in November for ten wonderful days. This was their second trip to the Middle East to visit us but their first time staying in Abu Dhabi!




I have a surprisingly sparse collection of pictures from their visit. I think that's because most of the time it seemed like what we were doing was normal every day things. It was so special to just share our lives with them! And also because I took so many photos on my parents camera for them! So I should get those from them and add them here later.

We showed them the girls' school, went out to eat, got haircuts, went to the beach, read alot of books, toured the fort, and went to Build-a-Bear.

We also did alot of Christmas related things! We planned on doing a Christmas/Thanksgiving combo before they left so we squeezed in some last minute Christmas shopping, wrapped presents, decorated the tree and house, made Christmas cookies, and had Christmas morning with a Thanksgiving meal that afternoon


 

We had such a good time with them and are so grateful that they were able to travel all that way to hang out with us for the week! I am looking forward to seeing my mom again when she comes to help for Luke's arrival! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

28 Weeks with Baby Luke

Well, the second trimester has come and gone and we are now in trimester number three! Only twelve more weeks (give or take a week or two,) until we get to meet our newest addition, baby Luke, or "Loot," as Sophia calls him. 

I'm honestly feeling really good this time around. Up until 26 weeks I had put on less weight and at a more controlled pace than I had with the girls, so I am hopeful that the end gain will be slightly less. I am having very little heartburn this time, where as with Sophia I was on a prescription by the time I was 16 weeks. Sleep is okay but occasional insomnia around 2 am happens. Back and hip pain is relatively low as well. 

Luke is checking in just fine at the doctors office. I've had to have the 20 week anatomy ultrasound three times because of how he is positioned. They are unable to get a clear view on his heart because he is laying spine out (which also makes me look HUGE!). I've had him flip a few times which totally changes the shape and size of the belly and I relish a few hours of feeling smaller. 

The doctor still says I am due March 1st but I always suspected that day was off by 3-5 days. Adding to the fact that I went into labor with both girls at 38 weeks and 5 days and had them on 39 weeks exactly, I would not be shocked if Luke joined us between February 15th and 20th. 

The girls are very excited about Luke and Grace especially asks about him every single day. She talks about how she is going to help him and how cute he is going to be. What a sweet, big sister!

I haven't done a thing to prepare for him! Not picked a nursery theme or bought any boy bedding or decor! It feels a little weird because his nursery is Sophia's room and we want her to stay in there in the crib until he is born. And then (hopefully,) my Mom will be here to help for a couple of weeks and the nursery is also the guest room!  

After my mom leaves we will move the guest bed into the girls' new shared room, and transition the guest room/Sophia's nursery to Luke's nursery. But none of that can happen until after he is born! Still I should prepare ahead of time and have the things ready to go because heaven knows I won't be shopping and designing after I have three three and under in the house!

Two other things I need to plan ahead for is planning Grace's birthday party all the way out (including getting invites all done and having party favors prepped!) and having 20 or so freezer meals prepped for the weeks surrounding his birth. I also like the idea of having meal kits ready- all the ingredients you need for a meal in the freezer or in a marked bag in the pantry. 

I am so excited to meet Luke and get another chance at cherishing infancy. I've spent the last week at my sisters house snuggling her newborn and, though I know it will look different because I have a 2 and a 3 year old at home as well, I can't wait to snuggle my son! 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Year With No Birthday Parties

I've been stuck, once again, for words. Two months have passed since my baby turned two (TWO!) and Ian celebrated the big 28 (we are so close to 30!!) I feel like to properly document our family's life I need to record what we did for birthdays this year, but 2014 will officially go in the books as "The Year with No Birthday Parties."

To be fair, in February, we were still living in a hotel when I turned 27.

In April, we had moved into our house less than 3 weeks earlier and were getting our feet under us, socially, when Grace turned 3. And let the record show that I did host a play date and had cupcakes with a few of Grace's little friends but it still wasn't really a party.

I had every intention of throwing Sophia a birthday party to celebrate her turning 2 on September 29th, but then our dearest friends were out of town for almost two weeks and it was a national holiday so all of our other friends were busy doing holiday things. Ian's birthday fell in there too, on October 1st. It was just a mess.

So I am pictureless, for the most part, of our birthday celebrations but loving the little family memories we made this fall to celebrate Sophia and Ian.

  • Ian won a two night's stay at a five star resort and our friends watched the girls for us so we had a little weekend away right before their birthdays.

  • We did family celebrations at home with cake or pie and ate out for Ian's birthday.

  • I ordered in a huge Mexican feast and had our friends over several weeks later to celebrate 4 people in our two families birthdays. 

We really did celebrate alot, just not in the traditional birthday party sense. Oh well. Here's to hoping next year goes better. Though I seriously doubt it, as Luke is due just two weeks after my birthday and one month before Grace's, ha! Maybe if I plan and get organized now I can still throw Gracie one at one month postpartum. Crazier things have happened!

And now, hopefully, I can move past this brain block and get back to regularly posting.... we'll see!