Friday, October 31, 2008



We had a great Halloween! We went to the US Embassy for their Halloween Celebration. I really thought we wouldn't be able to do Halloween this year so I hadn't bought costumes for the kids. They pretty much were the same thing as last year! Calvin was a baseball player, or more specifically Ryan Braun of the Brewer's, and Alayna was a princess again, Aurora (sleeping beauty) this year. We really had a great time. There were games to play and kid friendly food to eat like chicken nuggets and little tiny pizzas. It was a well planned and organized event that just let the kids be kids and run around and have a great time. Then at about 6:30pm the trick-or-treating began. We went door to door to the homes on the embassy compound and they made quiet a haul in a short little distance. It really was fun and Ryan and I got to meet a few people as well. As always click on the picture above to see MANY more!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Playing in the Courtyard

Playing in the Courtyard

Here are some pics of what the outside of our house looks like. The other day we were all out there as a family playing and going through the sprinkler. The nice thing about our "yard" is that we are completely enclosed by a concrete wall and everything but our little patch of grass is tile. The kids love riding their bikes and scooters around the house, and I know that they are safe and no one can get in or out. There is also a picture of our front door and the rental car I am driving till my Honda gets here. It is a Toyota Prado and is probably the most popular car in Kuwait right now. Make sure you click on the picture above to see all the rest!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our First trip to the Gulf

First trip to the Gulf

On Saturday we had some free time so we decided to take a drive on "Gulf Road" which runs all along the coast of Kuwait. It is so funny to see Pizza Hut and McDonalds right on the water with outdoor playlands. We stopped at the McDonalds and let the kids play at the play land and we went down to the water. They had a lot of fun and we will do it again I am sure. Calvin and Alayna sure are the world travelers! They have had their toes in the Persian Gulf!! Isn't that Crazy! Ryan and I have been in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf! I just can't believe how blessed we are to have had the opportunity to travel as much as we have. What an amazing life the Air Force has offered us! (click on the picture above to see more)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting Settled

Well we are starting to get settled in more each day. We are entirely unpacked and starting to get organized now. I feel like I really know my way around the area and can find just about anything I need to. Calvin completed his first full week of school and loved every minute! Everyday I would pick him up and he would be so excited to tell me what he did that day. Each day is a little different, one day they go to the school library and get to pick out a book to bring home, one day they go to the Computer Suite and work on the computer, and on Thursdays they have swimming lessons! He is really going to thrive at this school. He is even excited to work on his home work!

Alayna is a different story! She is still having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule with late afternoon naps and has to be woken up almost every morning to get ready to take Calvin to school. She is also not very happy about going to school yet. She crys when I drop her off and they say she does settle in later, but has a hard time whenever they transition to something different. On Wednesday she had a particularly rough day and was so tired she fell asleep at school while they were eating lunch! Poor thing! Hopefully in time she will adjust to everything.

We did accomplish a lot this week. I finally got a couple grocery shopping things accomplished. It is just not a one stop shop around here. I am probably going to need to hit 3 places just to get everything I need. Everything here is so unbelievably expensive! I actually placed a big order online for a bunch of grocery items that I use alot and had it shipped here. And even with paying shipping it came out cheaper! So we will shop online, get meat and dairy at the PX, and produce and incidentals at a local grocery store. Everything you do here is difficult and includes a lot of traffic to boot!

We also got to the US Embassy this week to get our badges. That was a great thing to accomplish. There is alot of activities to do there and there is a pool and playground for the kids as well as a medical clinic. The best part is that it is only about 10 minutes away and very easy to get to. They are having a Halloween party on the 31st with games and trick or treating for the kids. We are definitely going to attend that. Unfortunately we didn't plan on doing costumes this year so the kids are going to be stuck being the same thing as they were last year: A baseball player and a princess! Alayna is fine with that, but Calvin has asked to be Yoda! I told him he can be Yoda next year. The Embassy also hosts "Happy Hour" twice a week where you can go and have some food and a couple drinks. A lot of families attend this and I think we will be able to meet some other Americans that way as well.

Also this week Ryan was able to figure out his Off Days situation. He was only going to have off on Sundays, and that was a problem since Calvin has school that day and we wouldn't be able to do any family things. He was able to get it worked out that his Deputy (who is a civilian) Now has off on Thursday and Friday so Ryan can have off on Saturday and Sunday!!! We are very excited about this! It will give us one Family day and one day to actually get some things accomplished while only having one kid in tow.

Overall it was a good week. We are doing really well for only having been here 3 weeks. Please keep the emails and calls coming from home. We miss everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Never Ending Food

Here is some of the food that our Kuwaiti Neighboors have brought over for us. I am not kidding when I say the food never stops! I think they have brought over food no less than 5 times in the 2 weeks we have been here! They have been very kind and even offered to have us "use their help". I may be taking them up on some of that!

House (Before)

Kuwait House

Ok, so these are the "before" pictures of the house. This just gives you a general idea of what things look like. I am pretty much done unpacking, and in the "decorating" phase now. Once things are looking pretty I will post some more pictures of the house. At least now you have some idea of what it looks like. Note the KFC we are eating! In Kuwait, isn't that crazy! Again remember that you need to click on the picture above to see all of the rest.

Calvin's First Day of School

Calvin's First Day of School

Calvin did really great on his first day of School! He is attending "The English School" and his first day was Sunday October 19th. (the weekends in Kuwait are Friday and Saturday) He goes to school 5 days a week from 7:30 - 1:30, so this is the real deal, homework and all! I told Ryan it felt like Sunday was the first day of the rest of our lives.......Getting everyone up early, rushing out the door to school, and ending the day with homework and packing lunches. Kinda Crazy! To all my mommy friends who have another year to go, SAVOR it!! I already feel like poor little Calvin is done with having hours to just play. Our day is now school, nap, snack, a little play time and then it is homework, dinner, bath time and off to bed he goes. My little boy is growing up! He really seems to LOVE school though, and I really think he is going to thrive there. Make sure and click on the picture to see lots more of the school!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Household Goods Arrive!

Hello All! On Tuesday our Household goods were delivered. So we have Boxes, Boxes Everywhere right now. We are making good progress, but the house is a complete disaster in the meantime. Hopefully I will be all unpacked soon and then I will have time to upload some pics and get them out here for all of you to see. Calvin starts school on Sunday so that is when our "routine" will get kicked in to high gear. Not much else to report for now. I will try to upload pics by Monday so check back then. Miss you all!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alayna's First Day of School

Ok, so Alayna's first day of school was today. She did really well! There were some tears when she first realized I was leaving, but big brother Calvin came to the rescue and found her a cool toy to play with and she started playing and we were able to slip out the door! I stuck around to fill out some paperwork and by the time I was ready to leave I had the administrator peek in on her before I left and she was doing fine. When I came back to get her they said she had a "wobbly" start, but had "settled in quite nicely". Don't you just love how the British can phrase things! For those of you who don't know, she is attending "Happy Chappies" Nursery school 2 days a week. It is run by the British and is a Montessori school. My only concern is that more than half of her class has Arabic as their first language. The teachers are British and teach entirely in English, but I am concerned a little about how she will play with the others and if they will play with her. On the bright side maybe she will pick up a second language! I guess time will tell if this will work or not. Calvin will be starting school on Sunday. (Kuwaiti weekends are Friday and Saturday).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Question

Today a woman that Ryan works with took me and the kids out and went to a mall that has a really cool kids area. There were LOTS of women there that fully cover (only the eyes showing)and the question I have been waiting for finally came........"Mommy why are those ladies all in Black dressed like a ghost?" Calvin said it as we were walking out of the mall and a bunch of women were walking in. I told him that is just how some people dress in Kuwait, and he replyed that I was wrong and he knew why they were dressed like that, "It's October Mommy, that's why they are dressed like ghosts." Only my Calvin would have come up with that one!


Ok - So I have gotten a lot of the same questions, so here are the answers to some of the popular ones!

Our house is nice and bigger than expected. Now, it is not huge, but it is bigger than what I thought we would have. I am kinda waiting to get our computer and our things so I can post pics of the house. For right now the vitals are that it is 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, Living Room, Dining Room, and Family Room as well as the Kitchen. It was freshly painted and has brand new wall to wall carpeting as well. It is not a "new" home, but feels fresh with the new paint and carpet.

The time difference is +8 hours from central time.

Jet Lag. The kids are doing great! It took us all about 4 nights till we slept straight through, but now they are napping and sleeping right on schedule. They nap here from 2 - 4pm so if you ever want to call that is a good time! The first couple nights were rough with the kids, they didn't want to stay in bed, but it got better every night and now we are all on schedule.

The Kids are adjusting really well. They don't seem too fazed by anything yet. Occasionally I get the question "When are we going home?", but I can usually redirect them pretty easily. They only have the toys that they brought on the plane in their little backpacks and they have been doing really well with them. Yesterday they were showing definite signs of getting bored though. Luckly our household goods are arriving on Tuesday!

I think that covers all the big questions. Let me know if you have any more!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Week One

Ok, so we get in the house about 6:30 at night. It is dark outside already here at 5:30 so we didn't get to see much driving in. The house was a pleasant surprise, but I will say more about that later. The guy Ryan is replacing picked us up and brought us here and went over a bunch of stuff with us right away. The kids were just happy to be able to run free for the first time in about 24 hours. I concentrated on getting beds made and finding bath stuff for the kids. Then at about 7:30pm we here this buzzer sound and we don't even know what it is. It turns out that it is like our doorbell and someone is outside our gate ringing. We have no idea how to open the gate or anything so we just open the garage door and there stands Stewart who we have been emailing with in preparation to come here. Him and his wife and daughter have lived here about 4 years. Anyways, he has 2 baskets full of stuff for us! Food and plastic plates and cups and utensils all the things we need to make it a couple days even some cheese and muffins! Even a cell phone with some minutes on it and their numbers programed in so if we needed anything we could reach them. WOW! What a welcome on our first hour here! The kids got a cold bath that night, cause I couldn't figure out how to get the hot water on! Turns out there is a light switch thing outside of every bathroom that has to be turned on to have hot water! Poor Babies!

The next day was Friday and we spent most of the day on base getting all our passes that we need. We also hit the PX for some more food, there is NO commissary here so we have very limited choices for food.

Saturday we were hanging out at home and it was almost lunch time when we here our little buzzer go again. This time, thankfully, we know how to open the gate! And when we open it we have 4 of the neighboors hired help (all in uniforms) holding an entire hot meal! Complete with Salad, Roasted chicken, casserole, and Chocolate Cake for dessert! Also a little note welcoming us as new neighboors and the names of the family that lives there. Again, we are just feeling so welcomed here already!

Monday we take the cleaned dishes back over to the neighboor with a thank you note and a little box of chocolates. On Tuesday they are at our gate again with about 2 dozen Cupcakes and some nut and chocolate covered marshmallows! Crazy!!! So bottom line is we have some very nice neighboors!

Also on Monday night we went to dinner at Stewart and Anita's house. The kids had a blast and spent the entire time up on their 3rd level playroom with the "nanny". I am not kidding, the nanny even took the kids dinner up to them and we got to sit down to an adult dinner in the dinning room! And they only have one child, a 5 yr old girl, so let me tell you that Alayna was in Heaven in that playroom! Nothing but girl stuff and princesses everywhere!

And by the end of the week we had 2 working cell phones, a rental car for me till the Honda arrives, the internet and our household goods delivery set up. YEAH! Our stuff gets here on Tuesday!!!

Ok, you are not going to believe this.......The neighboors just brought over more food! Another entire meal for tonight! I don't think we will be going hungry anytime soon!

The Epic Journey

Well, it started off VERY badly, but overall the journey to our new home in Kuwait went better than expected. We were suppose to fly out of Milwaukee on US Airways to Charlotte then to Dulles, then switch over to Untied and fly directly to Kuwait City. We got to the MKE airport and got through security without any problems and Ryan even was able to talk to the United agent and get us upgraded to Economy Plus on the long flight over. We think "Wow, things are going so smoothly, maybe this won't be so bad." HAHAHA! Our very first flight ends up being delayed so long that we are now not going to be able to make our connection. And US Air can't even find a way to get us to Dulles! The best they can do is get us on a Midwest Airlines flight into Reagan, and we decide to take that flight. Now here is the bad news..........When they decide to do this it is 12:40pm and the Midwest flight leaves at 1:20!! AND we have to go back to the US Air ticket counter to pick up our bags then run to the Midwest counter and check in our bags and get boarding passes! Then we have to go back through security with 2 kids, 6 bags and 2 carseats! Oh if there could have been a video of this! Calvin ran his little legs off! So we get our bags, get our boarding passes, and now we are in line for security. Then one more thing.........We get hit with extra security measures that not even our military IDs will get us out of! Can you believe it! They pat each of us down and have to go through every bag! At this point I am practically in tears and think there is NO way we are making this flight. We are all done being patted down, but we are waiting on our bags, so I grab my diaper bag (the only one done) and RUN like HELL to the gate leaving Ryan behind putting on the kids shoes. I have the boarding passes and as I start running I hear them calling our name over the loud speaker that our flight is now departing! As I approach the gate the agent sees me coming and says she can take our boarding passes and my bag and I can go back and help Ryan with the kids. At this point people actually start feeling bad for us and helping us out. We finally get all of us and all our bags to the plane only to find out they sat us in an exit row, where the kids clearly can NOT sit. So now as we are standing by the cockpit with the entire plane of people staring at us and getting pissed that we are delaying their flight they have to start moving passengers around to find us seats. They were able to clear out the back row for us, but we still had to strap in 2 carseats and get the kids strapped in to them before we can even pull away from the gate! People were LOVING us! Now thankfully this is where the terrible part of our trip ends and the rest is smooth sailing. We all fell asleep on that flight shortly after take off and slept about 80% of the way. We were very nervous that our bags may not have made it, but as soon as we got to the baggage claim one of our bags was right there in front of us. We caught a shuttle over to Dulles and had no problem checking in to our international flight. The kids did great in the airport and also did amazing on the flight over. They slept very well and when they woke up they played quietly with the books and toys we brought for them. We didn't have any major meltdowns the entire trip! When we landed in Kuwait we were all feeling pretty darn fresh and calm considering the long flight. Ryan and I both commented that it was one of the best international flights we have ever been on! I will try and write more about our first week later today or tomorrow.