Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2011

What we've been up to?


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lady and the Tramp

Mila is watching it for the first time. It's Saturday 9:30 am here, just after breakfast. Nothing can be sweeter. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Much Needed Break

We had a break for Eid this week. So so so nice to be home and not "have" to do anything. We had many plans but ended up not doing much. Went to the zoo and Mila LOVED it. I think it's the first time she gets it. We've been to Al Ain Zoo, well, I don't know... like 5 times in 2 years. Cute.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Time Flies!

Where has October gone?

Friday, September 30, 2011


Sept. 24, 2011

We've been home for a little over 3 weeks now. The first week was a loooong blur and groundhog day. We were so exhausted after everything we went through for 2 days just to get here. Poor Mila had a horrible time adjusting.
We were happy to get home. Wow everything looks so big when you're away for a while and come back. Our hallway looked 3 miles long.

While in Miami, Luis saw an ad in Niala News for an English teacher position at a nursery. Naturally, he wrote up my resume (in his own way) and sent it in. Well, the minute we arrived at Abu Dhabi Airport and turned the phone on, there was a message from the school manager asking to call her. Luis replied on my behalf saying that I'd call her in a few minutes after picking up our luggage. Uuuhhh, no luggage came of course. They were in Paris. Of course. Anyway, umm, I'm not in the mood to call this lady after the trip we've had. All I wanted was to get home and shower. And so I texted her letting her know that it would not be possible to call her until the next morning.
(to be continued...)

Sept. 16, 2011
Adventures in Miami Pt. 2

Lots happened in Miami. I will list them in no particular order:

*We were able to get most of the docs needed for the adoption.

*My brother Claudio and my sister-in-love Staby are expecting!!!:) YES I will be an auntie - finally.

*We went to dinner with Be and Jess at a yummy restaurant - yesss!!

*We went for margaritas next door at El Rancho Grande first.

*Mila's Summer Splash party was a success. We saw many friends and family. We loved it.

*Pablo got to Miami 3 days before the party. He spent a day with us. Nice to have him around.

*He surprised his fiance Eva at the party.

*Mila had a blast.

*I was in a zone. Don't even recall some moments. Why does that happen to me? Overwhelmed much?

*My mom decorated Mila's swimsuit that she wore for the party. Super cute.

*Mila got many gifts. That was so sweet of everyone.

*Some people thought it was a birthday party.

*Susana and Javier had us over for lunch - my mom was invited as she came to visit as we were leaving and actually came along. Yay! Alhamdulillah.

*Susana and Javier threw us a farewell party. :)

*Mami and Papi threw us a farewell party.  It was going to be at Felix's house but then it was decided to be held at Lela's house.

*All the dogs in the family attended - lol - including a bunny.

*Claudio and Staby came also.

*We never went to Disney.

*Part of the reason was because Luis crashed his dad's car.

*That completely threw us off financially and emotionally. Thank God it wasn't anything major and no one was hurt.

*We couldn't do the yard sale. Just couldn't.

*We hung out with Ziomy and Maddie at their house. Maria was there. We had yummy cafe con leche made with evaporated milk. YUM!

*Afterward, we went to my mom's house. She's already in Brazil at this point. Jenny, my dad, Grandpa, Marlina and Bina were waiting for us. It was nice to see them.

*Z and I hung out a couple of days before just the two of us. We met at the Grove. Went to Cheesecake Factory. Caipirinhas and appetizers. Love love love it.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Let's Catch-up

     August 9, 2011
     Adventures in Miami

    Busy, busy, busy...
    Jet-lag took for. ever. and. a . day!!! We've been busy and chilling at the same time. We've gone to the beach and pool and just hung out with family.  Mila loves the beach so much. I feel like she's deprived in the desert. Although, the beaches in Dub@i and Abu Dh@bi are just about 90 minutes away. Still... nothing like just WALKING to the beach. Lovely!! Miss thing loves her Vovo' and Leli & Abu.  She plays a lot with her second cousin, Karen. She loves walking across the hall to Alela's house. She asks for Rosie (Karen's old doll) and pulls out the pink chair and plays and plays.
    Everyone is showering her with love and gifts. She's gonna get spoiled. Vovo' bought her a bunch of toys. She also got her some clothes while we were out shopping at 0ld n@vy and tj m@x. We went to visit my cousin Jenny. Tia Teddy and Jeff and Natie were there too. They had invited us for lunch/dinner. We had yummy lasagna. Well, she got a M!ckey M0use little laptop thingy from the aunt.  Her Tia Jenny got her two beautiful pairs of Cr0cs (one of which - the pink with red ladybugs- don't leave her feet) and the cutest Hell0 K!tty stuffed toy. She also took us to a yogurt place that has a HK theme. Cannot get over how super cute and cheap! We will definitely be doing that again.
    We also passed by D@cra on our way to Jenny's (since we were leaving the island finally) and visited my Mary. Of course, I wanted to see everyone else also. We saw Tiff, Maria, Rickitin, Mayda, Niki, Anna, Carrie, Jon, Steven, and Craig. Mila said "Hi doctor!" when she saw Craig. lol. Don't know why. I wonder if he reminds her of her doctors in Al Ain. Maybe because he has such a calm demeanor. Funny girl. It was great finally spending a little bit of time with my Mary, getting  all her scoops. We still need a lot more time though.  I missed Vanessa by a little bit. She had just left. Next time for sure.
    The day after we got here, was Tio David and Maryluz's anniversary. They had a little gathering at Alela's house. We got to see them and also Junior and Yaya. Felix (tio Moncho) and Stephanie also came.  Sweet family time. Even though I was cross-eyed. I felt like I was in a haze. Ah jet-lag!
    The second night that we went to meeting (Saturday), we invited Jesse & Betty to come over. We bought some Cuban bread and Mami made cafe con leche.  They gave us the sweetest gifts. So thoughtful and so generous.
    We're so grateful for wonderful friends and family.
    I've gotten together with 2 of my girls Gina and Pri. They're amazing women as usual. Gina and Mike hosted a Sunday (Aug. 7th) lunch for us. Her girls are so sweet and shared all of their toys with Mila. They even shared their mommy and daddy's bed so they can attempt to watch the movie "Rio".  Well for some reason, Mila's attention span was not too high for it. It's kind of a good thing because we've been DYING to watch it together on a big screen.  We had fun watching the girls do their dance moves and also watching Tia Pri attempting the moves.  They got a new doggie. Naya is like a min Akita. So stinking cute.  Luis was trying to train her with loads of treats. All in one day. I think we all had too many treats for one day.
    Well, we've been planning Mila's summer party. It will be this Saturday. It was really supposed to be this past Saturday, but storm Emily was a threat and there was a 70% chance of rain. It ended up not raining until night time, but it was gloomy the whole day. We didn't want to take any chances.    ***Anyway*** We're having it this Saturday, rain or shine. We have to! We're running out of weekends :( 


    My cousin Jenny is so cute and supportive about anything and everything I do. That girl is loyal! I love her so much!
    Ok, one more thing and khallas... till next post cuz this is getting crazy. We're thinking about going to Disney. Mila literally discovered Mickey on this trip and now she loves the Club House. We were already planning on going anyway even before getting to MIA.  But if we have to, I don't mind waiting another year.

    Ok... gotta go. It's pouring here! Yay! I looooove the rain.

    July 23, 2011
    We're in Miami

    I think I am just resurfacing out of the depth of my jet-lag! Sigh. It's been a long blur of 6 days mashed together. We left Al Ain on Sunday night headed for Abu Dh@bi Airport. Monday, July 18th, 2011 was THEEEE longest day of my life - literally! We flew to L0nd0n via Brit!sh A!r.  The flight and service was great. Mila slept well thanks to the brilliant idea of taking her car-seat. She was in something familiar which made her more comfortable. Oh my! She was so excited to be IN an airplane. She kept flapping her arms and legs saying "airplane, airplane - we go airplane..." So cute!
    We had a long layover in Lond0n (purposely) and got to see the city. Lond0n is so lovely! Oh my! The people are so polite and proper and elegant. We loved riding the trains and watching everyone on their way to work on a Monday morning and their daily routine. We were total tourists with Mila's huge Jeep stroller - the jogging kind. We got to see where Prince Harry and Kate Middleton got married. We took pictures in front of the B!g Ben. It was cold! Lovely cold. I missed the cold so much. Living in the desert in 117 degrees weather makes you miss simple things.We had a delicious ham and cheese sandwich and lattes at a cafe. We walked and walked (my knees hate me).  It was truly a lovely time.
    Then, we headed back to the airport. That's when madness began. We took the train to the terminal in which our flight was leaving, only to remember that we had left our carry-on and car-seat at the other terminal in a luggage locker.  After checking in, Luis rushed to get the train to go to such terminal. He took what seemed like forever.  I prayed and prayed that he was ok. No way to communicate, no cell phones. I was starting to panic a bit.  It was a music to my ears when I heard his familiar clacking sound that he makes to let us know he's around. But his face was not so sweet. Someone told him he needed to rush because the plane was about to leave. WE RAN! (Oh please, not Rome all over again!)  Of course, security was crazy. Luis told me to just get the baby and the stroller and RUN and ask them to wait for me.  Guess what? Little tired miss thing was refusing to sit in the stroller. Oh my word. I had to force her to do so. She was not a happy camper. Poor thing. But I put her in that jogging stroller and ran! I was so out of breath. I asked an airport worker how far away was the gate. He said a 10 minute walk. What? I RAN some more. It was not 10 minutes away. But, fine. I finally got there and told the person who was boarding what was going on. She said not to worry we had time. Oooof! Then my poor, sweet, stressed out husband shows up.  He was so overwhelmed. At security, they took their sweet time, they made him drink Mila's nasty milk and cereal out of her bottle. And they made a mess of our stuff. Ugghh! He was so frustrated when to top it all off, the vending machine ate his money. THREE POUNDS! That's a whole lot of money for water. Sigh... I changed Mila and then we noticed that people were kind of just sitting around. I saw a family going in through the gate. Then finally, Luis asked what was going on and if it was time to board. Then they realized it and rushed us in. Had a flight attendant not felt sick and had the EMT there, we would have stayed behind!
    Our flight to NY was not as good as our first leg of the trip. Mila slept well though. We finally made it to the States. Culture shock is an understatement. So weird how you can feel a culture shock in your own country.  But it's all good.I ran to the bathroom and washed Mila's bottles. I thought we had a little bit of time to spare and rest. But Luis rushed me reminding me of the time. I bought some water, changed Mila and rushed around some more. Mila was so not having it. Honestly, she's a trooper. Any other 2 year old would absolutely melt down worse than she did. She's a good traveler.
    Loooong lines again through security. Until we showed the girl at the entrance of the line our tickets and boarding time. She quickly changed us to another line and it was all smooth from there. Aww, we ended up at the gate where we always end up when at that airport. Our first flight to Abu Dh@bi had a layover in NY and we have pictures of us there. Mila was 4 months old. Sweet cakes.  Anyway, we got settled in and were off to My Ami! It's always the shortest leg that reminds you how tired you are. We were passing out.
    We finally made it. No one at the gate. It was close to midnight. We went to baggage claim and there we were greeted by our sweet family. We missed them so much. My mom had beautiful roses for us. Mila thoroughly enjoyed those. Sabrina was there with her boyfriend, Felix. Claudio and Staby; Mami and Papi; Dexter and Lissette; and my Baba'.  So nice to see those we love.
    So, we made it home and were greeted by tio David who helped take the stuff in.  Our room was all set up for us with our old furniture (which we love and has the yummiest mattress.)  Mila had a huge surprise - her own brand new D0ra toddler bed that Abu and Leli got for her. So cute!
    We made the best of it considering the time, took showers and went to sleep.
    Sooooo tired... but overwhelmingly happy to be home :)

    July 9, 2011  

    Ok, so it's been a bit hectic lately. For me! On the 'outside' I've been hibernating due to the extreme heat in the desert and the fact that many people have left already for the summer.  On the 'inside' I have been struggling with a list of things such as: 

    *needing to pack for over a month  

    *needing to pack for a 27 month old toddler girl (i.e. bows, matching everything)  

    *needing to pack for myself (light - just mainly for hall and a couple of new things I didn't wear LAST summer.)  

    *needing to pack for a long layover in London where we will get to tour around the city. (totally different climate from the desert of the UAE and a whole different ballgame from Sunny South Florida - Miami Beach BABY!  

    *having to leave my house somewhat presentable for when we come back and for our house cleaner Saipul - when he comes a few days before we arrive.  

    *will my apartment be whole by the time we get back?
      Oh well... for the most part I am ECSTATIC to be going back home to visit our loved ones. We cannot wait!!!!
      *** Mila is being quite demanding lately. Terrible two's full force. This is an account of how the sleeping arrangements went down.
      Miss Thing will have NOTHING to do with her crib.  Recently, she's been demanding to nap on the couch.  I let her. She sleeps so peacefully.  Then, she started wanting to sleep in the guest-room at night. Again, out like a light. As soon as we tuck her in she was OUT.  So, we decided to indulge her and put the guest bed (futon) in her room... Oh My!!! Was she excited!!!!!  For a few nights we tried to get her used to it.  She loved it, but the bed-time routines were getting longer and longer.... And TRUST ME, a parent needs their own time once the kiddos go to bed. To me, that's MY time, my alone time. It's the time I can do anything without being interrupted (even mentally). So, when the bed-time routine gets prolonged, ohhh lemme tell you!!! It's anxiety-inducing.  Finally, daddy and I agreed that no-can-do. Little Miss Thing, my little Flower has to go back to the dreaded crib.  But you know what, after two minutes of fussing, she was OUT.  We were so glad to know that she's ok in her crib.  In the big bed, she had no boundaries. She'd just get up and start playing with her toys - well beyond 10 p.m.  No, no, no... That's one of the readiness of big-kid bed: knowing the invisible boundaries to contain them in their beds. She's not there yet.
      She is, however, talking up a storm.  We hear her say these things lately: 

      *Daddy, wait!!  

      *Where're you going?  


      *Where'eehn shoe Mila?  

      *What color is dis?  

      *Pasta com flango?  


      *all the colors 

      *numbers in English, Portuguese, Spanish  

      *Jimi Mall  

      *Al Ain Mall  

      *Wadi Mall (Bawadi Mall)  

      *Wanna go beach?  

      *Wheels (pasta)  

      *Stop, stop, stop... (when trying to comb her hair)  

      *Cabelo, cabelo  

      *Stop Coee  

      *It's ok, Coee  

      *Ay que iiico!  

      *Ovoooo (egg)  

      *Cars (the movie and the characters on her potty seat)  

      *Wan go jeep?
        Among may others and of course "Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaae, Mamaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeee"

        Monday, July 4, 2011

        Sleep patterns

        We've had to rearrange the bed set-up. I think the bed was too big for lil Miss Thing and she had way too much space to roll around.  She's been settling down better lately. She still has a hard time containing herself but is much better.  For some reason she woke up around 3 times last night. She wanted for me to stay with her. Not easy. Needless to say, I'm exhausted today.  

        We're getting closer to going home for the summer. We're excited but there's much to do still.  On top of that, we're thinking about moving. We found a great house (villa) and are waiting for a few answers before we fully decide on it.  I look forward to doing normal things during the summer. Things like going to the beach in a my normal attire without feeling out of place, going to the movies, going on a dinner date with my hubby.  We can do those things here too. Our amazing friend and next door neighbor, Lynne is great and will watch Mila any time. And I trust her so much.  But I think we just get so tired with our day to day that we don't really feel like doing things out of the norm.  I think that's a goal we need to have for next year and for the rest of the time we're here.  Besides, our new house will make all that easier. We'll also be able to have parties and bbq's.  Woo-hoo! We're so looking forward to it. To be able to walk outside in a tank-top and shorts. Ah the little things we take for granted :)  

        Ok, I'll write more once something comes up. 


        Sunday, June 26, 2011

        Big Girl?

        The little one has been very adamantly refusing to sleep or nap in her crib. We, on the other hand, have been milking crib sleep as much as possible. We know that we're going to get a little hallway wanderer otherwise.  Well, we haven't bought her a "big girl bed" just yet as we're planning on going away for the summer (and again, hesitating extra nightly wake-ups by a wandering little nugget).  So during her crib refusals, we've been just letting her fall asleep in the guest bed then we move her to her crib in her room. Today we had decided to change it up a bit. We moved the bed into her room. OH.MY.GOODNESS!!! She was completely in awe of the whole experience. Poor kid. She was so excited, she was doing flips. She couldn't stay still much less fall asleep. It took such a long while for her to finally unwind and finally let herself go into a nice sleep. Of course, this was after many visits from Mamae and Daddy and after Mamae finally gave in and stayed with her until she dozed off.

        I know, we used just about every pillow we found.

        Today we also heard her say "Daddy, wait!" for the first time. Her daddy was going to the car for a minute to get something. I suggested he take her so she can go outside a bit. He was opening the door and she heard him. In her desperation, she yelled out in her sweet, tiny voice "Daddy, wait!" We just looked at each other adoringly and laughed a little. Needless to say, I went along for the little walk with them and just smooched her a bunch of times.  She's at such a funny stage. Everyday she uses a new expression. I have to make it a point to write it all down.  

        Well, that's it for mow. Hopefully the night will be uneventful and we'll get much needed rest. 
        Good night. 

        Friday, June 24, 2011

        Our New Blog

        So, we decided to start an open blog to keep family and friends informed on our "goings on".  We will maintain our private family blog in which we document important private matters so we can look back on it as the years pass.

        We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures on here. Please leave comments often.  We'll enjoy reading them.