Saturday, 10 August 2013

Each and every night for the last two weeks of Ramadan I intended to post pics for the Ramadan Journal and I failed miserably at it. Instead, I've been packing then re-packing, then unpacking and packing again. I honestly don't think it will stop till the shippers come and we finally get on the plane.

We've had three different shipping companies in and had three very different estimates on how much stuff we have. It's been quite an experience. I now have to send the quotes I have to the HR department and they get back to me with the company I should go with.

Besides all the packing, we celebrated Eid at my Aunt's house as we do every year for both Eids. I have always wanted to make a big celebration out of it so it's something my children will look forward to but it just wasn't possible this Eid. Maybe once we're in Abu Dhabi it'll be easier. Eid,for me as a child, was always so very boring.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary marking six years of being married to a wonderful though often infuriating man! It's like having three kids instead of two sometimes. I also celebrate my birthday and move to Abu Dhabi. It's a big month ahead...

- Posted using BlogPress from m

Location:Total flop with the Ramadan Journal

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The calm before the storm


It's that rare (I cannot stress how rare) moment before the kiddies wake up and I have a tiny bit of time to myself - the calm before the storm. It's also the first days of the holidays and he, I'm up at 6:37am. Well, earlier, but that's the time now. So many many things need to get done in the days ahead. I need to find a few more shipping companies; pack what we want to ship and what we're going to take with us on the plane; arrange an MOT; sort out other household affairs and make a baby blanket.

For now though, I'm going to enjoy this moment of calm before the baby - who is stirring- fully awakes.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Ramadan Journal Days 11 Iftar/Evening; Day 12 Prayer/ Mercy; Day 13 In my Kitchen; Day 14 Now Playing and Day 15 Me


I've missed out a lot of days! My hubby came back from Pakistan on Monday after being away for 22 days and it was the last week of term and my last week at school. It's been a crazy, emotional week and it's not even Friday.

I haven't taken a "In my kitchen" picture yet. It's full of boxes and things we want to take to Au Dhabi with us.












Friday, 19 July 2013

Ramadan Journal: This happened today and Grateful for

I usually end up falling asleep when putting the kids to bed and that's why I end up posting two Ramadan journals together. The kids actually fell asleep before i did tonight.

As it happened, something did happen yesterday. Actually two things. First tickets to Abu Dhabi were emailed to me and the second was a phone call from my mum asking me to rescue her from my daughter who was crying her eyes out whilst my mum took her around M&S. My daughter has developed a clingy-ness to everyone. It doesn't matter if there is already someone with her but if someone makes a move to leave the room she will start crying her little eyes out. And I mean at-the-top-of-her-lungs-till-she's-red-in-the-face crying. This makes doing anything difficult. I didn't even need to call my mum to find out where in M&S she was. I could actually hear her crying from the second floor when she was on the ground floor. No joke!

As for what I'm grateful for: my son - who is such a good older brother. He's so loving towards his little sister and when she was crying her eyes out in the car today and I was at the end of my tether, he started playing peekaboo with her. He's a darling.









Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ramadan Journal Day 6 and 7: Workspace and White


I forgot to take a picture of my workspace and was supposed to do it today and I forgot again! I have the memory of a goldfish. So instead I'm posting a picture of my son's workspace.



As for the white, lilies are my favourite flower. Especially white ones.



Sunday, 14 July 2013

Amber teething necklace update

Birdie has been wearing her amber teething necklace since Friday afternoon and believe it or not, it seems to be helping her! She back to sleeping properly and is MUCH less fussy. Result!

Ramadan Journal Day 4 and 5: What I'm reading and what I'm crafting

Since my daughter's teething was getting so that she couldn't sleep properly, I haven't had the evenings to myself much. Hence I haven't had much to read or craft. When I do read, I usually have two or three books going at once unless I am particularly engrossed in one and I concentrate on the one. I was averse to eReaders until about two years ago following a conversation with a friend's friend regarding Kindles. Now I have far too many books on it to count which is just as well as I had also once earned the name "girl with books to the ceiling" at one point. Anyhoo, here are the books I'm currently reading both in paperback and electronic versions.

As for my crafting, I'm trying to make a baby blanket for a friends impending arrival. One panel of it is complete. I have 10 more to go! The crochet bow is a brooch I have made for my son's teacher. I hope she likes it!








Friday, 12 July 2013

Ramadan Journal Day 3: On my table

My table is a mess. It has all sorts of stuff my son keeps putting on it. Every now and then it all bugs me and I go through a phase where I have to tidy everything and so I cheated and put some of my things on my husband's bed side table because he's away and his is much neater. Then I thought I might as well take a picture of the mess anyway. So here's both.









Thursday, 11 July 2013

Ramadan Journal Day 2: Prayer

I came across the idea of the Ramadan Journal through The Harlequin Tea Set blog and thought I'd jump onto the band wagon too as I've been wanting to do something similar for ages. It started last year by the blogger Nielouphar Abdurahiman of Creating Memories but I have only come across it this year.

I missed Day 1 and am trying to document Day 2 on my phone without waking up Birdie (I'm also not quite sure how to insert a photo from my phone). I only really came into praying after a particularly bad time in my life. It wasn't something we were brought up with though my mum made sure we went to Quran classes to learn how to read it. I didn't actually learn how to pray till I was about 12. From then until the age of about 30 I prayed sporadically and more because I had to rather than because I wanted to. Now it's more of a case of wanting to. I don't always get to say all five in a day what with work but I try. This month I aim to try harder and get more out it

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Teething Round 2

I've already been down the teething route so I thought I had it all down to pat. I was wrong. Chunky monkey, also known as Birdie because she likes to open her mouth like a little bird whenever we eat something, is so very different from my little man. She's had high temperatures, sleepless nights, grumpiness - the lot. And still no teeth.

As I was complaining about it in the staff room a colleague suggested I try amber teething necklaces. I had heard of them before but thought them too much of a safety hazard. However, I'm at that stage where I'll try anything as she's really suffering and I need my sleep now I'm back at work and hubby is away. Plus, if they do work as all the sites I've researched say they do, they're safe as long as they are used as they're supposed to. Amber is a resin, not a stone. Something I learnt yesterday and works as a natural analgesic when warmed by the skin. I'm still not entirely convinced but I've ordered one from eBay so let's see.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Too much on my plate





Image above from http://barbaracolebythesea.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/plate.jpg

Wow! It's been a busy few weeks. I'm back at school full time and in between supporting a Year 4 class, covering for PPA in other classes and then running around to find somewhere to pump breast milk during the break, I've also been sending documents to my new school and trying to pack!

There are certain things I still need to find out such as what happens to my Teachers Pension if I work abroad, do I still continue to be part of a union here etc etc and once I find out I'll post it in case anyone else is interested to know.

Of my various projects I wanted to start, I began on my daughter's scrapbook, finished one panel of 11 for my friend's baby blanket and printed out the quotes for my other friend's secret project. I haven't even looked at my web designing course or the TEFL. I'm only blogging because the little guy is playing his much loved Lego Batman game and the little one is having an unexpected nap!

It's raining as I type and though I know everyone else is wondering where the supposed heat wave has gone, I'm enjoying it. I sat down and had a green tea with a cranberry and orange cookie (that apple cider vinegar drink has begun to curb my appetite and I feel much fuller for longer - I've also lost a bit of weight!) so I thought I'd treat myself to a cookie and not feel guilty about it.


Image from here:http://notquitecookiecutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/A.png



Sunday, 9 June 2013

Paperwork Update...

Even though the GTC certificates are not listed on the FCO website, they do legalise them. I sent mine on the off chance they'd do it and I got them back all legalised.

Wibble Wobble

Jelly on a plate
Jelly on a plate
Wibble Wobble 
Wibble Wobble
Jelly on a plate

Jelly on my spoon
Jelly on my spoon
Wibble Wobble
Wibble Wobble
Jelly on my spoon

Jelly in my tummy
Jelly in my tummy
Wibble Wobble
Wibble Wobble
Jelly in my tummy

This is a rhyme I learnt at Tiny Talk when I used to take my little chunky monkey for baby signing. It's what my belly is like at the moment and should go My belly is like jelly, My belly is like jelly, Wibble Wobble Wibble Wobble, My belly is like jelly.

Of course, I have no time (or inclination if I'm being brutally honest) to exercise and I love my food too much. So, I've decided to just pay attention like mentioned in French Kids Don't Throw Food. I've also been drinking raw apple cider vinegar and lemon juice mixed in water before every meal. Let's see if that works.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

And so the paperwork begins...

Apart from the shopping and the packing and then being back at school after maternity leave ended last week, I have been busy getting papers attested and filling in forms. The UAE like to have degree certificates attested so first I had to get them notarised by a notary public, they've been sent off to the FCO in Milton Keynes for legalisation and then they need to be attested by the UAE embassy here. To add to all of that, since I got married in Pakistan, my marriage certificate needs to be attested by the Foreign Ministry there and the UAE embassy in Pakistan! Oh, and I just realised my son's passport expires February of next year so need to renew that too.

On a more cheerier note: 35 working days left till the summer holidays!

Off to bed I go. I have school tomorrow!


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Another scrapbook

Ok, so I still haven't actually started the baby scrapbook but my mind is always full of ideas on what to make next, sometimes before I have even begun one of my projects in waiting. I haven't started on the baby book and my mind is already on making a scrapbook for a dear friend of mine before I leave. She loves sending me images of those someecards via Whatsapp. We both love sarcasm and the ecards make us laugh. It particularly makes her happy as she's been going through a pretty rough patch both in her personal and professional life. My idea was to put them all together in a book and then give it to her before I leave. The idea has been on the back burner for a while because now I've decided to add our love of lists to the book. I bought her a copy of Listography for her birthday (or maybe it was an Eid gift). On her trips to Cyprus, we would agree to work on a list and message each other what we had written. Recently I came across a blog by Moorea Seal who is undertaking a 52 lists project whereby she writes a list once a week on a different topic she comes up with. I want to do something similar for my friend's scrapbook. There are some other ideas I have for the book but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag completely.

Now of course, all I have to do is stop writing about it and actually start making it!

Image below from here.



Thursday, 23 May 2013

Baby book scrapbooks

Back when my little man was a newborn I made good use of the time he slept and made him a baby book. I've been wanting to do the same for my chunky monkey but just haven't gotten around to it. There are so many projects I want to do I don't know where to start. And my maternity leave is coming to end very soon.

I decided to spend more time on it tonight for a few reasons:

1. Maternity leave ends on 2nd June
2. The printer is in my brother's room and he's out so I can print without disturbing him
3. I didn't feel like crocheting tonight

Anyway...in my search for all things cute, I came across some gorgeous free fonts. I have no idea how to make those free font picture thingummy things that all these other craft blogs put up so I just pinned them to my TypoLetteringraphy board on Pinterest. On my travels through cyberspace, I also came across two absolutely gorgeous blogs: mysunnysideuplife and Smart School House. They are definitely worth checking out.

Now, instead of writing a post, trawling the net more more cute, free fonts and just generally doing everything but, I need to get started on that scrapbook. I have everything I need put together. I suppose it's the getting started.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Washi Tape Notebook

I went into Paperchase a while ago ( I can never go in without coming out with something) and then went a little crazy with the washi tape.



Saturday, 18 May 2013

Success!

I have a job in Abu Dhabi!! With a private school. And everything seems to be happening all at once. We need to be packed up and ready for the move by the end of August. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of time between now and then, especially since I have to go back to work after the half term holiday. So much to do and so very little time. It's exciting though! 

I've started looking at properties to rent, shipping companies to transport our things and make sure all my paperwork is in order. For a while I was really beginning to lose hope that anything would happen this year and really thought I would have to try again next year. I had started looking at jobs in November and things only really took off this last month. The benefits I have been offered are really good: shipping expenses, flights out to AD and annual flights home for the entire family, education for my children, an accommodation allowance, furniture allowance, sponsorship and medical insurance for the family. Everything seems to be falling into place. 

It's still a little hard to believe it really is happening...

Friday, 17 May 2013

French Children Don't Throw Food

Much as I love reading books, I don't like writing book reviews. I enjoy reading them, I just don't write them. And so, this is not a book review as such. I saw this book by Pamela Druckerman in Tesco a while back and was taken in by the title.


It then sat on my shelf amongst a pile of other books waiting to be read. I finally picked it up about two weeks ago and somehow, despite having two kids and a million other things I have to do, managed to finish it in under a week (which is pretty fast for me now). I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wish it had been written four years ago - there are some parenting tip gems in there, from the Pause to get your little one to teach themselves to sleep; great eating tips (3 times a day plus a gouter with no snacking in between) to paying attention to what you eat. Oh, and not feeling guilty about having me time.

Of course, there are some things in there that I don't always agree with but that goes with every book written about parenting. You just take the good and discard all the rest.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Two more places...

...to add to my growing list of places I have breast-fed:

1. Busaba disabled toilet
2. Staff room at work

Guilt-free "Me" time

I went out with a friend to my local Westfield today to buy a birthday present for another friend. We were only there for two hours but it felt to go out sans baby and 4 year old. I so needed the break. When I had my little man, I used to feel guilty whenever I went out. I'm not sure where that guilt comes from or why...but I could never enjoy myself properly.

Other than keeping an eye on the time for car parking charges purposes as well as feeding baby purposes, I didn't once feel guilty. Result!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Interviews and short breaks

Well, I went for that second interview for ADEC which was held in a hotel along the South Bank. There were about 20 other people who were there for it too - mainly, from what I gathered, secondary school teachers. They seemed to like me because they say I have been accepted and now just have to wait for all the paperwork detailing my contract etc.

The interview was on Sunday morning at 8am where they did a little briefing on what to expect from them beforehand. Some people came from Dubai, Austria, Glasgow and Folkestone for it! that is called dedication. And here I was grumbling at having to get up at the crack of dawn to get ready for an interview.

The following Monday, we all packed ourselves into two cars and headed off to Centre Parcs for a short break. Apart from a handful of places, I have not really been anywhere outside of London. I wanted to have a little break before I head back to work on 3rd June. I've been put off by prices at Centre Parcs, especially during half term breaks so we almost didn't go. I'm glad we did though. It was lovely.

Their website isn't the best for finding information - try finding prices for the activities you can book online. Unless you make a booking for a lodge (or google prices for the activities) it is near impossible to find a link for prices. I also somehow missed the link the first time visitors which tells you that you can drive your car to your lodge to unload your luggage and then drive it back to main car park. So yes, we lugged all our stuff from the car park to the lodge with a moany 4 year old in tow.

You also need a either take your own cycles or hire theirs to get around. You could walk but again with little kids, not always the best idea. And if the website says all the cycles are sold out, go to the Cycle Centre to find out if they have any. I did this the day after checking the website and so missed out on a days worth of cycling around thinking they had no cycles left. Oh, and they have trikes for grown-ups! My mum doesn't know how to ride a bike - bless her - and was like a little kid when she found out they had trikes for hire and took hers out for a spin.

We took enough food to last us a month so we didn't spend on any except for some milk when we ran out. The activities weren't too badly priced either. My little man got to do Little Outlaws archery on Tuesday, football training on Wednesday and balance bike training on Thursday. We also played ten pin bowling, hired a pedalo and tried not to crash onto the lake shore and just generally chilled out and enjoyed ourselves.

It was bliss having en-suite bathrooms in every bedroom and I'm kicking myself for not trying the sauna or the hydrobath in our lodge. Ducks would waddle up to the patio door in the morning and tap their beaks on the glass asking for food and the odd deer would make an appearance too. It was an all in all wonderful break away and my little guy declared he didn't want to go home. If you knew my little man you'd know that is a big compliment coming from him because he's such a home boy.

Monday, 22 April 2013

On second thought...

I have been thinking long and hard about going down the ADEC route to teaching in Abu Dhabi and have decided to go on with my application. I have an interview booked on Wednesday with someone in Canada, I think. I'm really hoping I'm successful. My son won't much like the change. He didn't like it when we changed the gate (he demanded we put the old one back) but I'm hoping this isn't just a good change for me but for my entire family.

Let's see what happens on Wednesday...



Sunday, 14 April 2013

Bubble Tea and Macarons

Bubble tea and macarons are my new obsessions. Bubble tea isn't completely new to me. The Filipinos have a similar drink called gulaman which is made with sea-weed based jelly pieces and tapioca pearls. The popping boba is not something I've come across before though. My son calls them popping bubbles and absolutely loves them. Luckily for me, I have a Bubbleology and L'Orchidee at my local Westfield. Not good for my waistline at all!

This was my coconut bubble tea with tapioca pearls and passion-fruit jelly. Yum!


Gulaman image from here

Library Visits

In order to keep my son from going stir-crazy on the weekends, I try to take him to the library every other Saturday to borrow some books (it's also to make him understand the concept of borrowing).

I thought this sign on the library table was just so funny.



I wonder how many people have had to fall asleep at that table for the librarians to put up that sign.

On the subject of books, my very generous brother bought me some books from my wish list. You can view my wish list here.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

My favourite baby products

Here are some of my favourite baby buys:


1. Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter: It's amazing stuff. It keeps my baby's bottom nice and rash free, it smells gorgeous AND it became a hit with other mummies as an inexpensive face-cream.

2. Waitrose Baby Solid Coconut Massage Oil : I started using this when my son was a baby after he had his bath. He's four now and I still use it on him. It's got a subtle smell of vanilla and coconuts and really moisturises his skin. Some coconut scents can be very overpowering. 

3. Halos and Horns bath products: Not only do these smell divine, they are also SLS and paraben free and do not irritate sensitive skin. 

4. Huggies Pure wipes: I don't like scented wipes. Apart from the fact that I like baby products to be as "organic" as possible, scented wipes give me a headache! These work a treat! I usually use cotton balls and warm water at home when changing baby. The wipes are for when we're out and about. Plus, they are good at cleaning up just about everything from spilt drinks to dirty faces. 

5. Vital Baby Breast Pads: I have used many different types of breast pads and these are by far my favourites. They don't leak, they stay in place even when I don't use the sticky adhesive backs and they are big but slim - i.e have more coverage. I've only just discovered these.

6. Naty Disposable Nappy bags: Unscented, compostable nappy bags. Need i say more?

7. Kiddylicious Apple Crisps: Ok, so these are not baby products per se but these snacks are to oh so yummy. I have to stop myself from nicking my son's apple crisps. I think I just have to buy myself some next time. 

8. And while we're on the subject of food, this book has been indispensable.

Hmm, my tummy's rumbling and it's almost midnight. Midnight snack is in order...

Fingers in too many pies

I've not been very good with keeping up with my blog. I have so many things I want to do that when the kids are finally asleep and I have some time on my hands, I have no idea what to do first. I want to do everything! Methinks I need to set up some sort of timetable to organise myself. I have about three or four unfinished crochet projects; a web design course I bought on Groupon; an online TEFL course I bought from KGB deals; scrapbooks to put together and a pile of books to read  - and not enough time!

On top of that, my organising urge has come on. Every once in a while, I have this compulsive need to sort out and organise something (my bookshelves, storage boxes, wardrobe, my drawers etc etc). Right now it's my bookshelves and yarn stash that literally calling out to me.

While all this goes on, I compile a mental list of potential blog posts in my head which I promptly forget once I actually get the ole laptop out. Argh! I have my fingers in too many pies!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Crafty overload

Crafting has come back into fashion in a big way. I discovered crocheting a few years ago and have loved doing it. I also made a scrapbook for my son instead of buying a baby record book. With the launch of Mollie Makes, I subscribed immediately. They have now released some sister magazines, Simply Crochet and Made in Paper. I am hooked.

I. MUST.STOP.BUYING.CRAFT.MAGAZINES.

Baby stuff

With my first child, I ended up buying a lot of things I thought I needed but then found no use for at all.  I used to go to those baby and toddler shows and get sucked in by things like leather bibs and expensive cots by Stokke (always wanted one but didn't buy one). Some people have realised what a huge market there is in marketing baby equipment you feel you must get for your little one. And what parent doesn't want the best for their child?

With my second, I have been much wiser. Other than the breastfeeding butterfly, I have not succumbed to buying anything though the temptation is always there. I even have my little girl wearing her brother's baby grows and onesies. The doctor even said, "Let's check your manhood" because she was wearing a blue onesie to her 8 week check up!!!

Changing bags are so expensive! They can range from £40 for a reasonably nice one to about £100! Much as I wanted a nice one, I made do with the free one you get when you join the Boots parenting club. Used it for my son and am using it for my daughter now. I also never got a changing unit. I didn't see the point. Once baby can start rolling over it becomes a dangerous place to put the baby. The moses basket, sofa, bed have all worked out just as well with a changing mat underneath baby. Those nappy bins, in my opinion, also a waste of money. I just put the nappies into a nappy sack and throw it out straight away (I also have a little bin in my bedroom for night time changes just for nappies).

Things I did buy which I found useful are:

* a moses basket (you can take it from room to room)
* a play gym from Asda during their baby even so it only cost £16 (those things can cost upto £60)
* a baby monitor
* an extra car seat (again from Asda for £25) so I didn't have to keep taking it out of one car to put in the other
* the Annabel Karmel book on for recipes for baby food
* a Lansinoh breast pump

Lots to think about

As I've mentioned before, I've been looking for a job abroad - mainly in the UAE and in Qatar. That job search has now been focussed on the UAE as there is a big drive by the Abu Dhabi Education Council to recruit teachers into state schools there. Aside from the very generous benefits package, it does come with a few things to think about. First off, it doesn't tell you what school and in what area you'll end up in if you are successful - not until you get there. With a young family like my own, that can be a bit daunting especially when they tell you life in the Abu Dhabi outback can be hard. They also don't give a school allowance for your children and international schools there aren't cheap. It seems though, that I'd be able to sponsor my family which is a big plus. I am so ready for a change but this all bears so much thinking. I have no idea what to do....

Monday, 18 March 2013

My flower banner

Yay! I finally figured out how to make my own banner. Ok, I didn't really make it. I just found a website that did it for me using an illustration I drew on an app called Paper; choose a font etc etc. but it's my very own banner. I did it using this site and the app I used to draw the flowers can be found in the Apple app store.

I love the Paper app. This what what the full image looked like:

I don't get to play around on it as much as I'd like but what I do like about it is that it makes my art look so much better than it really is. That's always a good thing!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Not enough hours in the day...

...and my maternity leave is fast coming to an end. What's even more depressing is that two colleagues who went on maternity leave before me are coming back after I do. *sigh*

Even with all the help I get from my mum, I still don't manage to find time to do everything that I want to do. I'm definitely not a yummy mummy, nor can I juggle looking after two kids and do all my crocheting/scrapbooking/reading books/housework (notice how I put "me-time" first) and be all done up everyday. Most days I only just make it out of my PJs and into my jeans and that's only because I have to go pick up the Boogster, now known as EKhan, from nursery.

Anyhow, I did manage to make my little marshmallow a crochet headband. Pictures to follow. And was complimented on it at Baby Sensory class last week. She did look very cute with it on. She also did the mother of all poos whilst there - the kind that goes up the back of the nappy and requires a change of clothes! Now to finish the three other projects I've got going.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Milk on demand

I have breast-fed just about everywhere: in the car; in a Size? changing room; disabled toilets; on a sofa in the middle of M&S; at a party held in a hotel hall (had to find a little nook and turn to face the wall as there was nowhere else that was discreet enough); Costco...the list goes on. And I've seen all manner of breast-feeding paraphernalia from butterflies to almost curtain rod like contraptions. I have to admit I got drawn in by the breast feeding butterfly and bought one from EBay for a tenner. It was the fact that it covered your back and sides while you fed that hooked me in. I had managed by always making sure I wore a camisole underneath my t-shirts to maintain some modicum of modesty.  I had my chance to try it when I was at my cousin's place and my little marshmallow wanted a feed.

Much as I loved the concept I found it difficult to use. It restricted me in such a way that I could not adjust the baby on the side where it was stitched to cover my side. I could adjust her on the open side but couldn't get my arm in to move her around on the other. I suppose I could have adjusted her from outside of the butterfly but I felt like I was smothering her. At home all I use when my brother is around is a scarf. That's when it came to me...a scarf snood would do the trick. I was going to make myself one by just sewing two ends of a fairly large scarf  together when I found some in my local Primark. Good old Primark. It only cost £4. I now keep it my handbag for when my little daughter decides she needs a feed in public and it gives me the peace of mind knowing I don't always have to ask shops if I can use their changing rooms (especially in places like Covent Garden). I have to say though, if you ever find yourself in Westfield in Shepherds Bush, the parents rooms are amazing - the ones in the Stratford one aren't too shabby either.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Wheels in motion

Two weeks after having my baby, I began to apply for teaching jobs in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha. I must have applied to about ten with no success. That was until about last week when I finally head back from a school in Doha. I was over the moon - and terrified. I had an interview and I had only ever had experience of one interview in the last six years. Luckily, I was given a time frame in which to choose the day of my interview. That gave me time to do all the research I needed to do on the types of interview questions I might be asked as well as doing some background work on the school and living in Qatar.

The interview went really well, only there is a slight problem. Were I to be given the job, I would not be able to sponsor my husband. Imagine my frustration at that piece of information. I finally had an interview, it went really well and then unless my husband found a job there himself and sponsored me, I would not be able to sponsor him. The interviewers were really good though. They told me to send my hubby's CV and they would see if they could offer him non-teaching job. So lets see what happens. I really hope it works out because I so need the change.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Time flying by

Where does the time go? I keep meaning to blog more often but get so caught up in everyday life it's hard finding time for it. And yet, when I think about what I have been doing all day, it seems like I've not been doing anything at all! How can that be?
My little daughter is already 14 weeks old and I'm beginning to think about when a good time to back to work is. I'll probably have to go back in June which is much sooner than I hoped but with the way things are panning out it'll have to be that soon. With two kids, working full time isn't viable. Ideally, I would just be a housewife but we need to save for our own place so part time teaching will become necessary. According to the Borough I work for, I have to work for 13 consecutive weeks at my current contracted hours in order to keep my Occupational maternity pay if I then decide to leave. Luckily for me, the summer holidays count.
I've been enjoying my time off. More now than the first time round. I think it's easier the second time round because you know what to expect. You take things in your stride. Before I used to be so scared to just the little one out. What if he needed breast-feeding? Where do I change his nappy if there aren't any proper places to change him? (The car, for both questions, as that's my usual mode of transport). I've taken up Baby Sensory classes and Baby Signing. It's nice to meet other parents and just get out of the house for a bit. I didn't think I needed it the last time round but have become much more open to baby activities. It's good for those times when you think you're the only person going through the joys and trials of motherhood and then find there are so many others in the same boat.
I'd like to slow time down for a few months, please.

Monday, 18 February 2013

For the neat-freak in me...

I found this handbag organiser in my local Primark for a mere £3. Not bad at all and I now have an organised handbag. No more digging around and looking for things. And when I want I change bags I just have to lift it out and put it into the new one. How have I managed without one before?






Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Street artists

I'm not creative. I truly wish I were. I merely appreciate creativity and sometimes follow patterns to crochet items or make things. I don't create from scratch. Here are two artists I've recently discovered who are inspirational.

The first is El Seed. He's currently doing a project for the Qatar Museum Authority. He was brought to my attention by my brother who is working QMA. The project he's working on is called El Seed in Doha. The street calligraphy is really worth checking out. My brother can also be seen in the background in the video - guy in jeans on his phone!



The second is Karim Jabbari who uses a torch and his camera on long exposure to create some pretty cool calligraphy.

For some reason, I can't post pictures at the moment but do check them out.


ResoluWhat?

I used to make New Year's resolutions each year until I realised that it was the same each and every single year: lose weight and save money being the top two for years! Then one New Years I just stopped. It was very liberating. This year I haven't made any either. I just have three projects I'm working on.


  1. Getting a job in the UAE or Qatar. I want a change of scene, I think it'll be good for the kids to grow up in a Muslim country and the earnings are tax free.
  2. Changing the way I dress. I'm a boring jeans and t-shirt girl or jeans a long dress, most of which hail from good old M&S.
  3. Eventually buying a house. Till that happens I've been on Pinterest looking at all,the things I could furnish said house with. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bun number 2

Bun number 2 arrived 2 months ago and has been keeping me very busy. It's hard to believe that this little girl was the cause of my hyperemesis and unbelievable exhaustion not so many months ago. She's now the cause of occasional grumpiness because of lack of sleep but she has been so totally worth it. It takes everything in my will power not to bite her chubby thighs. Life as mum of two definitely has its challenges but living with my family has been such a blessing. Most of all though, seeing my four year old son being the most loving and protective big brother ever makes my heart burst with pride.

I had an elective c-section with Chubby Chops (as my friend so aptly nicknamed her). With my son I went though the entire labour before being told I needed an emergency c- section. As I was already a bit of a wuss the first time round (to the extent that I woke up having panic attacks about giving birth) I decided to go with what I already knew. In retrospect I do wish I'd given a natural birth more of a chance. Recovery from a section is no joke. It was much harder than the first time round and taken longer. The irony of it all was that my waters broke the morning of my scheduled c-section and I even started getting labour pains whilst waiting to be taken to the operating theatre.

Whilst under the epidural, its effects ran out half way after Chubby Chops being born. The anaesthesiologist didn't realise at first and so I could feel the pulling and tugging for a while. As soon as she realised I was in pain I was given something so strong I felt myself slipping into sleep almost straight away. That was a bit scary. I couldn't open my eyes but I could hear everything. Everything after that was fine except for the after effects of that anaesthesia. I kept drifting off to sleep and when I was awake, kept throwing up. It lasted for half a day but then I was fine. Unlike with my son where I was kept for three days supervision, I was sent home the next day.

Chubby is due her first set of immunisations day after tomorrow, something that I've not ever been able to get used to. I wish I could take them for her. Despite the sleep deprivation, grumpiness and tiredness, I wouldn't change this experience for the world.