Sunday, November 17, 2013

...of three years old

We celebrated Abram's third birthday today. It is November 17th here, but technically he won't have been on the outside world for three years until 1 am on November 18th because of birth time and time zones. So I can still say he's on the verge of three.

Today was an epic adventure of a day for our three year old and his sister. We started out at Build-a-Bear. His grandma and grandpa (GiGi and Boppa) have just arrived for a visit and they have been talking about doing Build-a-Bear with Abram since he skyped with his cousin who had done one a few months ago. Abram eventually chose a lamb and dressed him in a Superman costume and Selah chose a bear and we put a sparkly pink tutu and sequin bow on her for our girl with a new found love for dancing attire. 
They both love their animals (who Abram named Leon and Mya) and I have glitter all over me from Mya's tutu. So overall, a success.

Then we had lunch at Ikea and bought a few necessary items for our guest room. Abram loves Ikea hot dogs and ice cream, although I have to be very honest and say they are sub-par (and I am a big Ikea fan). But today was about the AbraMan, so we went with it.

Next, we headed to the doctor for a Simon check up. Nothing like making a kid share his birthday with an unborn sibling! We had Simon's 20 week ultra sound and everything looked great. And just look at that little nose!
Abram and Selah watched most of the sonogram and then Abram had some outside hang out time with GiGi and Boppa while I had my doctor's appointment and Quinn drove Selah around for a 30 minute nap (for Daddy and baby). Fun on all fronts.

Finally, we went over to the Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa for some touristy stuff and a birthday dinner. We checked out the ice rink and the aquarium and the Gold souk area. 
I thought Abram would like the Rainforest Cate for dinner. You can see the aquarium from inside and he watched a little bit of "Jungle Book" the other day and he seemed to like it. I asked the hostess if any little kids were ever scared of it and the big show they do every 15 minutes and she said no. Well, we walked in and were seated right under some growling statue that was absurdly loud and a laughing monkey that was extremely shrill and Abram's eyes got super wide, his fingers went in his ears, and Quinn decided we were leaving. Mommy fail, Daddy win. Poor kid. Not a good choice for three years and under. After some walking and searching and promising of cake, we ended up at TGIFridays. Not because we love Fridays, but because Quinn discovered that they had a balcony overlooking the fountain and the Burj Khalifa on the third floor. 

Another Daddy win. It was a beautiful day and night here (despite a small wind/sand storm in the afternoon) and it was awesome. Abram got to see three fountain shows and Selah got to give our server lots of high fives. Then we got a piece of (very sugary) berry cake and a bunch of the employees came out with a tambourine to sing a very loud birthday song to Abram. Sweet boy was a bit embarrassed with all the attention of everyone on the patio, but I think he liked it. And, of course, he liked the cake :)


We left a little later than I had planned, but God teaches me so much about giving up my idol of control in situations like these, and tonight was no different. Abe crashed in the car within minutes (at 7:30!!) Selah was all talk through our incredible Dubai traffic experience until we finally got on the open road at 9:15. Usually, a trip would take about an hour and a half. Tonight, it took us about 2 hours and 45 minutes. My five month pregnant self was squished in the very back seat with Selah's car seat and my back was killing me. But we are home and everyone is sleeping or about to sleep.

So happy birthday Abram Quinn. I can't believe you are three. You astound me every day with how much you are learning and growing. I love hearing what you have picked up from your storybook Bible, or me or your dad, or whatever TV show or movie you may have seen recently (and I'm sorry that's more often than I would like). I love that you love to do school with me every few days and you get so excited about the idea of college (school for grown ups - as I explained it to you). Hope you keep that excitement to learn! You are so sweet to your sister and friends and I am so proud of you for that. Thanks for brightening my day with your quotes and questions and for making me glad to hear "Mah-ahm!?" About 147 times a day (including at exactly 7:45 in the morning when you are allowed to get out of bed and come into our room while I am still sleeping.) Thank you for being so good about staying in your big boy bed so well this last week except for one difficult nap the first day. Please continue with that, my buddy. Thanks for your squinty eyed smile and your love of singing and dancing and Jesus and all that you are and will become.I couldn't have asked God for a better first born child and I'm so blessed to be your Mom. Love you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

...of midnight musings of God's goodness

It's 1:30am and I can't stop thinking about how God is so good. So I thought I'd write about it and then go to sleep.

God is SO good. Even through bed bugs. And having to throw away furniture. And hand foot and mouth. And lack of sleep for the whole family and just overall busyness. I am overwhelmed by the blessings in my life right now. I can't begin to doubt that He even uses the hard things to show us His faithfulness.

These are a few of the things I am thankful for right now (think of it as a big chunk of "30 days of thankfulness" a little late):

- Mr. Unexpected Simon is getting so strong and feisty in there at 19 weeks. Loving him and getting more and more excited to meet and hold him every single day.

- Quinn's parents coming for a visit in 8 days. Love those people and excited to see them after over a year.

- Friends from our church in Austin coming to visit and going on an adventure to the Dubai Creek and spice souk. Then for a ride on the metro, a long walk into the Dubai Mall, a yummy dinner and ice cream at Shake Shack. All with lots of encouraging conversation, blessings, support, care, love, and hugs throughout. We couldn't ask for a better church family in the States.

- Another sweet friend who sent some essential things we needed (and some just fun stuff, like Trader Joes Vanilla Cranberry Cereal, which I will NOT be sharing). So fun and amazing to get gifts like that.

- Kids who did so well with little to no naps today and staying up two and three hours past bed time. Then they got new diapers and went right to bed after the hour long car ride home.

- An artistic husband who did such a good job picking out bedding for our guest room with gold sponge painted walls when the one I had planned on wasn't available. I like his choice so much better and now I just want to hang out in the clean, pretty guest room all day long.

- A new dryer that has made the 7 loads of laundry I've done in the last two days so easy. It's also so nice to be assured that we are killing any creatures that may be left in our stuff with unbearable heat. And making the 5 or 6 loads I have left to do not as daunting.

- The Holy Spirit that gives me help and peace and assurance that all of this AND the hard things are for His glory and I can rest and trust in His goodness and faithfulness and press on toward a beautiful eternity in His presence.

That's just a short list :)
And here are some pictures from our adventure today, the last few days, and the guest room.

And with that I will say good night.