Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I have two toddlers and I cannot lie...

...you other mothers can't deny
when a girl walks in with a food-covered face
and yells "Chase me! Chase! Chase!"
you get stung!

Ha. You like my "Big Butts" throwback there, mom-style? That's how I roll. Mega-cornball.

Goofiness aside, I just thought I'd post a little bit about Eden and Winnie.

I no longer think to myself, "I have a baby and a toddler."

I think, "I have two toddlers." I use to think a baby and toddler sounded like a lot of work.

I was wrong. Two toddlers is worse (and better).

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Winnie is just such a handful. The child has NO FEAR (except when Eden pretends to be a monster and chases her around the house). She climbs on EVERYTHING. She has already climbed out of her crib all by herself. Joy. She is the messiest child in the world. Boys can't be any worse. She can turn anything into a mess. Five goldfish crackers = I'll be vacuuming for hours.

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But she is such a blast. Smiles for everyone. Hugs and cuddles like you wouldn't believe. Loves dolls, eating sand (still), sitting on my lap, reading, being held, giving kisses, squeezing Sparty, snack time, her blankey, and coloring on my calendar.

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Eden is growing up. Still a toddler, but edging into girl-hood. She's very choosy about clothes and shoes and hairstyles. She changes her clothes at least 4 times a day (it drives. me. batty.), and far be it from me to tell her what to wear. I stopped trying to fight that battle a long time ago. She eats oatmeal like it's her job (and not much else). She is addicted to TV (shame on me). She says "Why, sure-tainly! I would love to do that for you," when I ask her to do something. She is all girl: loves pink, painted nails, hair bows, twirly skirts and dresses, make-up, and princesses and fairies.

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She's not great at sharing. Or going to bed. Or sleeping on her own. Or eating anything green. Or sharing. Or going to bed. (Did I mention her aversion to sharing and going to bed?)

And the tantrums. Oh my goodness. They are epic. And way more frequent than I would like.

But she is a passionate, sensitive, strong-willed little thing. I love her.

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They're both my girls. Sometimes I want to throw them in the trash (and I will readily and freely and openly tell them this). But mostly I can't stop squeezing them till they screech in delight and squirm away.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Visit to Saudi Arabia

So I promised you 500 photos of camels, but I reigned myself in and ruthlessly pared down my 500 photos to 65. Not too bad, I say. I wouldn't want to be responsible for anyone OD-ing on camel-viewing.

Let's jump into this dromedary adventure, shall we?

(Like how I just threw that crazy "dromedary" word right atcha? That's a one-hump camel, for you non-zoologically-inclined individuals.)

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Bam! How ya like them apples? That enough camel for ya? No?

Me neither.

So anywho, my trip to Saudi Arabia was awesome. Amazing. Enlightening. Eye-opening. Fascinating. It's my new favorite place. I would go back in a heartbeat. (Maybe I will...more on that later.)

It was unlike any place I've ever been. It's not at all the terrorist-filled sandbox that Fox News led me to believe. Yes, there is sand. And camels. And women in abayas (pronounced uh-BUY-uh). But there are also really cool architecture, beautiful dune-scapes, HUGE malls (these are massive), cuisine from everywhere, a surprising number of ex-patriots from the U.S. and other countries, and yes, camels.

I had a blast.

I started my visit in Bahrain, a little island country to the northeast of Saudi. It's like Saudi without the same laws.

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Here is Vanna Kevin, pointing to where we were currently standing.

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We toured a mosque and got a personal tour and lesson about being Muslim from a very nice Muslim guy.

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Inside a mosque, people must remove their shoes and women must wear an abaya and cover their heads.

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It was quite fascinating to learn what Muslims believe and how it relates to Christianity. Very eye-opening.

The Arabian Gulf (also known to Americans as the Persian Gulf) is beautiful. Water that looks like the Caribbean.

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We went to the desert and saw all the oil lines piping oil to the refineries.

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Then we went to a camel farm, a.k.a. Cameron's favorite part of the trip.

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You guys, this place was giant. 600 camels. 50 baby camels. The King of Bahrain owned them all. Crazy.

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Then we left Bahrain after my visa was ready and headed across a very long bridge to Saudi Arabia.

We went "camping" (I use that term loosely - basically it was hotel accommodations without actual hotel walls) at a Saudi guy's farm/land/property.

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I was accosted by a very friendly camel who decided my hair would make an excellent snack.

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We slept inside these HUGE carpet-covered tents. It was cold at night, but very cozy inside.

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The next day we took a dune buggy out and tooled around the desert and happened upon some camels.

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Then we came upon some more camels.

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And some more.

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(That's a Bedouin herder in charge of herding the camels.)

Then we went four-wheeling out on the dunes.

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It was a bit scarier than I thought it would be. The dunes are deceptively big (and Kevin informed me that the ones we went to weren't even very big compared to other ones he's seen).

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The sand plays tricks on your eyes and it's very difficult to gauge how big dips and cliffs are. I learned by accident that having a helmet is a must (thankfully my helmet was on when I learned this lesson).

The rest of my visit comprised of Kevin and me visiting with the friends he has made there and eating out and just driving around and looking at stuff.

Overall it was one of the best vacations I've ever had. I missed our girls terribly, but it was so nice to spend that much time with Kevin. Luckily he'll be home in 2 months and hopefully we will know some time soon where we will be moving to. Maybe it'll be Saudi Arabia...

Friday, March 07, 2014

It's coming...

...500 photos of camels.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Christmas 2013 - but you don't get to see it

Well, I'd like to share with you the extremely cute photos of my girls making ginger bread houses with Kevin, and Winnie shoving frosting in her mouth as fast as she can go, and Kevin and the girls with Santa while the girls are cringing and leaning as far away from him as possible, and them playing in their homemade teepee on Christmas morning and trying on the new hats they received and hanging out with the sister missionaries and enjoying Christmas morning together, and Christmas celebrations with grandparents, including my stepdad trying on a Saudi Arabian head scarf thingy, and our trip to the aquarium in Myrtle Beach.

But I can't.

Stupid flickr won't give me the HTML code to upload the photos to my blog despite my photos being public. ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGH!! (That's my Tyrannasaurus Rex roar of anger and frustration.)

I am officially deeming flickr as being the highest level of suck-age and have thrown my loyalty to Photobucket. Unfortunately flickr has 9.905 of my photos in their hard drives some place in Internet Land. Maybe one day flickr will decide to stop messing up their original program and go back to pre-beta style.

Apparently I'm not the only one to feel this way. There are MANY forums on flickr devoted to the dislike people have of flickr's new format. Doesn't make the world right, but at least I'm not alone.

So, alas, until I can figure out how to retrieve my photos from flickr and upload them to my blog, Christmas will be hidden from all those people whom I know have been waiting with bated breath to see the excitement our family brings to this holiday.

*tear drips down cheek*


Onward and upward! That just means I will have to take some more photos of our life happenings and upload those to PHOTOBUCKET (*evil glare at flickr*) and share those with you instead.