Friday, November 7, 2008

Excuses, excuses...

Our internet was down yesterday, I promise! I unplugged the modem when I went on a visit (MS was home, and we try not to leave the internet on when kids are here by themselves), and it never recovered. Thank goodness a guy who works for the phone/internet company owes ML a favor and gave us a replacement one he had. Otherwise, it could have been a week before we would have gotten the problem solved (it's a company-issued ADSL modem).

So, my plan for yesterday was to post a day-in-the-life-of rundown of what happened. I guess I'll just have to do that today (for yesterday, because it was slightly more interesting/typical than today, although today was interesting, too, so maybe I'll just do both to make up for the lost day).

6:15 Wake up: I want this to be earlier (see next item), but when I was setting it earlier, I was going back to sleep and not getting the kids up on time. Hopefully, I can progressively move it backwards.

Go to the bathroom (read two Psalms; hey, if I didn't multi-task, I'd never get anything done)

6:30 Get kids up: Yep, that's when we get our kids up. Why? Because we're sadistic, slave-driving, up-with-the-sun kind of people. Um, actually, because we discovered that, for some reason, this was the magic hour at which they have to be up in order to fall asleep before 11 PM consistently. And, trust me, it is *not* good for children to be awake until the hour that their parents need to go to sleep, because, either the parents (especially the mother) get no time to themselves or they stay up past when they should to get that time. So, we get the kids up at 6:30.

Journal and worship while supervising the kids with their devotionals and Bible reading. Worship music playing on my computer at the table nearby (having closed the e-mail program earlier so that it wouldn't tempt me).

7:30 Serve kids breakfast: Pumpkin muffins with peanut butter (ZL had a plain muffin and a banana, since he's allergic to peanuts). I'm pretty sure this was the morning I had bananas and homemade peanut butter and milk. Yum!

8:00(ish) Start School: This day, we had "kitchen school." I had a pile-up of dishes to do, because we'd been without water earlier in the week, and I still hadn't gotten back on top of them, so the boys (and MA occasionally) brought their school books bins into the kitchen and worked on the floor/stepstool. ZL watched Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers on the computer in our room (he got these on DVD, but wasn't really watching them, so I pulled them off into iTunes, and we're getting much more use out of them), as he has been doing recently while we get school started.

10:30 Break to Get Ready: I get myself dressed, and direct MA & JW as to what they need to change into.

11:00 Ready to Go: I have a visit with a new neighbor that's recently moved into the building. All of the women in the building are going to visit her. Change ZL and put him down for a nap.

11:30 Go: My downstairs neighbor and landlady is finally ready to go, so we head upstairs. I leave MS at home working through his schoolwork list (JW brings the rest of his non-computer work with us) and looking out for ZL, who will sleep for 2-3 hours.

The visit consists of Saudi coffee, tea, cake, more Saudi coffee, pudding, and Turkish coffee. And lots of chattering. The women in the building love this opportunity to catch up on what is going on with whom as most of them don't see each other outside of these large group visits (they all have 4-5 children and are very busy). Occasionally, someone actually asks the new neighbor a get-to-know-you question, although she is actually in the room for very little time, because she is busy serving all of the above.

JW works nearby until he is finished, and then goes to join MA, who is watching cartoons. I call MS a couple of times to check on him. He's fine. ZL's still asleep.

Once the Turkish coffee is served, we are free to go but stay to visit a few more minutes. I hear from ML that Z is awake downstairs, because he has been out running errands and dropped by to leave me some items I'd asked for. Z is watching Blue's Clues, so is not likely to wander and get in trouble, but I know I need to leave soon. We stand to go but then need to tour the new house, so that takes a few minutes. There is much postulation as to whether the rooms are larger or smaller than the ones in our own apartments, especially the kitchen, although the landlady assures everyone that they are all built to the same specifications (which makes sense, since the building's sides and stairwell go straight up :-).

1:45 Arrive Home: a little wired from all of the sugar and caffeine. Direct JW and MA to do their computer school work (memorization songs and Rosetta Stone Arabic). MS has worked diligently while I was gone (Thank You, Lord!!!), so he is almost done with his schoolwork.

2:30 Lunch: Apple butter, butter sandwiches for the kids; a little cottage cheese and salsa for me, but I'm not really that hungry after the visit, even though I didn't eat all of the cake I was served.

3:00 See MA Off: a friend called and asked MA to go to the park with her, so she goes downstairs to wait once her mother calls to say she's on the way. This was the first time the girls handled the entire process themselves on the phone (although we got on at the end to confirm the details). It was very cute.

Miscellaneous: supervise schoolwork and switch out some more summer and winter clothes of mine (the kids' are done; yay!)

3:30 Back in the Kitchen: finishing dishes and making Applesauce Muffins to have for breakfasts and for the visit that ML is having at our house tonight.

Kids are straightening living areas (MA put away dishes before she left and straightened the visitor's area, I think).

4:30 MS is Done: He has worked diligently today, and we already did science read-alouds earlier in the morning (oops, forgot to put that in there), and we're done with history for the week, so I postpone literature read-alouds to the weekend and let him have some free time (although I have to call him back several times for math corrections and/or a job that I see is not complete).

5:30 Transition: MS gets into his Taekwondo uniform. I finish up in the kitchen and do some straightening. He leaves about 5:40 on the bus.

6:30 Exercise: While monitoring the muffins, which are still baking and grilling eggplant for dinner. Not easy. Especially when over 1/2 the time I'm wearing wrist weights. :-P

7:15 MS and ML Home: ML brings MS home when he comes home from work, because the TKD center is in the same building (plus, the bus home tends to be more rowdy than the bus there).

7:30 Eat Dinner: grilled eggplant sandwiches (with grilled onions for the adults and mozzarella for everyone except MA & ZL, who get goat cheese). The kids eat in our room, since the living area of the house is already clean for the visit. They watch TV show episodes while they eat. I read one of MS's school books, since there is no internet (normally, I would do some blog/post reading, since it's not a big sit-down family meal).

8:00 Get Visit Things Ready: I made up some Crystal Light, since ML's friend is diabetic, arranged the mini muffins on a plate, took glasses from the china cabinet to the kitchen so they could be ready to serve in. ML got the coffee maker ready, since we decided it was okay to serve American coffee, because he's been to our house before and had Turkish coffee here. I ended up being able to just set the things on the dining table for ML to serve himself, since they got themselves tea from our tea/coffee set-up when they arrived (RH, one of ML's co-workers came, too; the visit was with a student friend whom they've come to enjoy for his deep thinking and literary knowledge; they read Arabic folk tales together last night). Often, I will come out and make and serve the tea, baked goods, and coffee. Tonight, I just stayed back in the other end of the house (I love how this house is set up to make that possible).

8:30 Visit Starts: The guys hang out in the visitors area while I continue reading and the kids watch episodes and eat, if they're still at it.

9:00 Put the Kids in Bed: Usually we do this at 8:30, but I got a little bit of a late start.

9:30 Continue Reading: I venture out for some chocolate at some point in here. :-) Although I cover my head when out on the street, I do not in my own home, so I just make sure I have on a long-sleeved shirt and am not dressed slouchily when ML has guests.

10:30 Visit Wraps Up: ML & RH are nodding off (fortunately, this is a good friend, so he understands), so they call it an evening.

10:45 Watch Monk: For some strange idea, ML and I decided that it would be a good idea to watch one of the Monk episodes that RH & SEH loaned us before we go to bed, even though we've both already been nodding off. It was a decent episode, but I think we would have been much better served by going to bed.

11:45ish: Go to Bed.

So, there you have it. A day in the life of CBK. And now it is time for me to go to bed again.


Grateful for Grace said...


See, I learned sooo much about your life from this post and the shopping one:
liking coffee seems to be a requirement
there is some kind of tradition that you have to serve Turkish coffee to guests... last AND they must have it in your home the first time they visit
women don't 'visit' with men, even in the homes
you get much more school done than I/we do
you are organized
your kids have more chores than mine
I need to mail you some yellow cake mix
your family eats healthy and creativily (I like to make up words)
you can fit a lot of people in your van (dh and I want to know if we can get that kind here??)
your firstborn is very responsible
our kids like a lot of the same movies
you appreciate a well done T.V. show (we totally LOVE Monk!!)

Very great posts, friend.

Hey, thank you for celebrating with us on our new job. You very successfully did NOT mention a place. I was pretty impressed.

How's this for a long comment?

mideastmom said...

So glad I could impart a little cultural knowledge there (about my adopted culture, at least; my own, I'm not so up on).

I just gotta clear up a few things, though.

First and foremost: I picked this day for a reason. It actually went well. Some day, maybe, I'll blog one of the disasters. Maybe.

Included in that was the fact that my organization overcame my laziness (I love to be organized, just not always enough to actually do it) and that my firstborn was very responsible (note the parenthetical, exclamatory statement after the fact that he worked diligently while I was gone, and it will become obvious that this is *not* a given). And the "chores" part and the "more school" don't usually happen on the same day. One usually cancels the other out. Today, the chores part was not optional, though, because we had company, and I get easily overwhelmed, especially at having a guest so far in the week from when my househelp's been here. :-/ So, I delegate. I try to reward, too. I hope it balances out enough that the counseling bill won't be too high in the future.

mideastmom said...

As for the cultural stuff (I decided to divide out the comments; makes my blog look more popular; if you don't look too closely), yes, you don't leave a visit without being served Turkish coffee, unless you're *really* good friends. Then, you can decline it. But even then, you really have to insist. It may be sweet, unsweet or in between. It's served in little, handled cups on saucers, which look like demitasse cups. You don't drink all the way to the bottom, though, because there are grounds there. I'll make you guys some when we visit.

The Saudi coffee is for holidays and special occasions. In this case, it was celebrating the new home. It's without sugar, but has several spices in it, and is served from a carafe where it's kept warm and ready for whoever drops by. You drink it out of little rounded cups without handles, kind of like Chinese tea cups.

With some couples, we visit as a mixed gender group. More conservative ones, the women sit in one living area, the men in another. That's if a couple visits a couple. If your husband has a guest, you just make yourself scarce.

Hm, I should have just put this as a separate post. Maybe I will.

mideastmom said...

As for the other miscellaneous stuff, yes, we have great taste in TV shows. :-P

And the van we have is a Kia Carnival, which is sold as a Kia Sedona in the US. However, I'm not sure it has the seat in the middle front in the US version. Ours has a "jump seat" between two captains chairs in both the front (driver's) row and in the middle row. It can be folded down to make a walkway, or the back can be folded down to make it a console of sorts (it has cupholders on the back), or it can be up as a seat. We love it and are *so* blessed to have it.