Swimming, Medals, School trip and Birthdays!

Well we have been busy bunnies since my last post! A has been busy winning medals and trophies, M has had his 5th birthday, and I’ve been busy with work and shopping!!!!

Firstly swimming is finally over (well at lest for A) for the season. So we can have a bit of normality back. A took part in the ‘B’ Regionals a couple of weeks ago which resulted in 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal, 2 PB’s, 1 DQ, 1 A Regional qualifying time (RQT) and a 3rd place over all trophy! So overall it was a very good day, but meant we had to drag ourselves to training for another week, to prepare for the A’s the following weekend! So A had more medals to add to the football one she received the previous evening.

So we needed an early start (6.15) to drive to Ras Tanura (about an hour away) for A to swim in 2 races (well 3 including the relay). She was never going to get any medals or trophies from the A’s, but she did get 2 PB’s so it was reasonably, worthwhile! And as her coach told her “Apart from the nationals, it’s the biggest meet you can take part in Saudi Arabia”, so that bucked her up a bit! As it was late when we got back we just ordered from the restaurant.

On the Friday we took the kids to Burger Fuel – Max’s favourite place to eat – he was banging on the door wanting to get in, but as usual here, it didn’t open at 12.30 as stated, more like gone 1 o’clock. Absolute rubbish especially when prayer time is finishing just after 12 at the moment! Once they eventually opened, we had a little tantrum as they did not open the upstairs and that is where the TV and Xbox are located, as well as all the colouring pencils and pictures, so we had 2 very sulky children on our hands! After that we headed for our usual Friday afternoon lounge by the pool and home for dinner and a movie.

Saturday saw me attempting to make Max’s birthday cake and cookies to take to school, as well as present wrapping and printing off birthday cards (you don’t get birthday cards here, – well ToysRus had very few! - also the card my parents sent 3 months ago never turned up – I did warn them!) The first batch of Cornish Fairings I made, I left in the oven just a little too long, so they were rather well done! So I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies instead and found an easyish eggless recipe online, which turned out alright (thank goodness!) The actual cake turned out not too bad too (well for me anyway!) It was the marshmallow fondant icing that was the problem! My god, I am never making that again! I followed the recipe to the letter, but no matter how much I kneaded that bloody stuff it was still too flipping sticky! I tried all sorts to try make it soft and smooth.

I used loads of butter on my hands and the counter top. Didn’t work!

I put it in the fridge. Didn’t work!

I used loads and loads and loads of icing sugar! It worked a little bit, but there was icing sugar everywhere, on the cooker, on the floor in the draws, I was totally covered in it! By the time the kids came home, I was read to throw the cake out the window!!! The kids quietly got on with their home work, while I shouted all manner of things at the flipping icing. I finally managed to get the icing on the cake and put it together in a sort of ‘Red Samurai Power Ranger’ style and went for a shower to wash away all the icing sugar!

Once the home work was finished the kids decided it was safe to enter the kitchen, and viewed the finished cake!

And M’s reaction – “Where’s the mouth?”

I replied “There was no mouth on the pictures I used.”

To which, he went to his bedroom got his Red Samurai Power Ranger and said “Well this ones got a mouth!” Great!

So I gave him the option of the following

  1. have a red power ranger cake with a mouth and risk the whole thing go out the window and no birthday cake; or
  2. keep the cake as it is and definitely have a birthday cake.

Luckily he chose the latter!

Friday was M’s 5th Birthday, after a month (could possibly be more!) of waking up and asking “Is it my birthday today?” Followed by a mini tantrum with stamping feet when he was told “No”. The day was finally here. Off he ran to the sitting room, only for us to hear “Oh, there’s nothing there!” To which G replied “It’s not Christmas! You can have you presents once you have eaten your breakfast, brushed your teeth and have got dressed.” All which were done in record time!

So M opened his presents and was very happy with his Ben 10 toys, it was only only later he asked where the Lizard man from Spider-man was, which was the one thing we couldn’t get!

He happily went to the bus with some of his new Ben 10 figures for him and the other younger ones to play with, and the older kids sang Happy Birthday to him, which was very sweet, but he was totally embarressed.

So I then had the rest of the day to sort stuff out and go to yoga, bliss! While I was at yoga I thought I would check at reception one last time to see if M’s birthday card had turned up. No birthday card but I had received a letter from HMRC asking me to fill in a Tax Return, god they will find you anywhere won’t they!

Once the children were home, it was homework again, we skyped with grandparents so they could wish M a happy birthday. G came home early so we headed to the pool where M had to have his swimming lesson first – not happy about that one – then he could try out his new pool toys (blow up jet ski, shark water gun and sinky toys). After the pool it was time for a quick change and then headed off to the restaurant for a birthday dinner.

Monday was a great day. Body Pump, a quick shower, reflexology appointment (giving not receiving :-( ) to which I was given tea and cheesecake before we started (a Mothers Day present, as it was Austrailian, American and South African Mothers Day the day before, the British one passed without note in our house!!!). We then ordered the buffet lunch from the restaurant to be delivered and got enough food for dinner as well (for SR25 (£4) you get one portion of soup and bread rolls, large salad, grilled fish with a mountain of rice and some veg (either courgette or okra, not quite sure, could have been both!), cake and fruit salad), I shall be ordering that more often! Then we just sat and gabbed until the school bus arrived, it was so nice not to have to drag the kids off the bus and into the house, get changed, grab swim bag and jump in the taxi to go to swimming! So we leisurely did home work, got tea sorted and watched a film. It was lovely! Apart from A coming home with her new shoes in bits! That’ll teach her to go shopping with her father on her own!!!

Tuesday was yoga again, and the thing Mrs Cory had me doing!!! Including rolling on to my side in the bow pose! After yoga I had two Indian Head Massages, with two new lovely ladies, who like our compound so much they wanted to move here!

As we now had to go new school shoes shopping that evening, the kids had an early tea so we could leave as soon as G got home. All in all it took an hour to drive there (M fell asleep!) walk to the Clarks shop (carrying M!), choose shoes (not that hard as they only had on shoe in a size 2! While I made sure the shoes fitted properly, (they weren’t quite up to Pogo’s standards, but not too bad, just not tight enough at the front, at least Jo has taught me well on how they should fit properly!) G and M went to the look in the shop opposite which ses fantastic bedroom furniture. M was very intersted in the racing car bed and chest of drawers that looked like a petrol pump!) , walk back to the car (with a screaming child, that said he was hungry!) and drive home. Collapse!

Wednesday was a shopping day, armed with my list, I headed to the mall to get 2 birthday presents, for 2 of the birthday parties that weekend, and party food, plates, cups etc for M’s party on the Friday. Some how managed it all, as well as getting it on the bus, and back home! While shopping I received a text from a friend who was in urgent need of an Indian Head Massage (her son was having a big sleepover that evening and she had little movement in her neck and shoulders!), so headed there after lunch.

That afternoon/evening saw the first party of the weekend, where by every child in the compound was invited! The kids enjoyed themselves, but G was his usual anti socials self and went home! He did come back later and had some food, but the took M home as was fed up of the party, after half an hour in the pool he’d had enough and wanted to get changed and just play with the ball he’d been given (as every child had been given a ball at the beginning of the party). I finally dragged A out of the pool at 7.20 to go home!

Thursday, I spent the morning making sausage rolls for M’s party, as well getting other stuff ready, after lunch it was time to take A to her friends party at Al Rashid Mall (I wasn’t looking forward to it as I got lost last time I went!). M also now needed some new trainers for P.E. as he was complaining the others were getting a little tight, and was looking forward to going to the funfair there. After walking into the party venue M was immediately dragging me out saying “I want to go get my trainers!” So I gave my apologies to the parents for just dumping A on them and left in search of sports shops. We came across Footlocker first, so had a look in there, not much of a range for a 5 year old and also pretty expensive £30+, so we left as M was picking up Polo shoes, saying “My Friends got these!” We eventually found Sketchers and found ones he liked that were not too expensive – £25, as I was paying I noticed some slip-on trainers, just what I’d been looking for some for years since my Merrell ones had finally given up the ghost several years before (well I did buy them pre children!) So much to M’s disgust as he wanted to go to the funfair, I started to try on some trainers myself, I settled on a pair of silver/grey ones. I then tired to talk M into going to get a drink before heading to the funfair but he was having none of it!

On arrival at the funfair (next to the party venue, and yes we did get lost, but think I’ve sussed it now!) luckily, we bumped into a friend of M’s from school (and younger brother of A’s best friend at school). So then that was it, they went on every ride going (which surprised me as M is a bit of a wimp when it comes to rides! He loves them once he’s on but, just refuses to take the first step and get on!) His face was a classic on the rollercoaster, he would have never gone on there on his own or with his sister, but when it went round a rather fast curly bit for the first time I thought he was going to burst into tears, but by the fouth time round he had a big smile on his face! We finally managed to drag them off the rides with the promise of icecream, and managed to sit down.

After icecream the rides had shut for prayer so the boys entertained themselves by racing each other up and down a sort of long corridor, fighting, wrestling, boxing, my goodness they were being rough, but apparently they do it all the time at school!

Once the party had finished, we collected the girls and took them to a shop called Justice, where the sell very 80′s type clothes. So they could choose their outfits for ‘Dhahran’s Got Talent’ a school talent contest. They are singing ‘I knew you were trouble’ by Taylor Swift. I am sick of hearing it already and we have about 5 weeks to go! I don’t think they could have picked a harder song!

Then it was time to go home. I was hoping to have a good look round the mall seen as I have quite a few appointments the last 2 weeks. I was half way to a Marc Jacobs bag until I had to buy new school shoes, new school trainers, 2 birthday presents, party food, taxi rides, funfair rides and a talent show outfit. At least I managed to get a pair of trainers out of it! Oh well!

Friday hailed the day of M’s party. G and A went off to get the last few things we needed, while I got the last few bit of food ready for the party.

The party went well, although all M was interested in was presents! He was happy enough playing in the pool until friends started turning up with presents, then he just got changed and looked at his presents! All in all the parents had a good gab and the kids exhaused themselves in the pool, well except M, he just wanted to go home to play with his new toys after the food, so G took him home. Once I manage to extricate A from the pool she dissapeared off to a friends house to play, and I got home to find M playing with his new toys while watching Return of the Jedi. Good lad!

Well thar’s it for now, here’s hoping I earn enough soon for a Marc Jacobs bag!!!

One thought on “Swimming, Medals, School trip and Birthdays!

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