Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life As I Know It

A typical day starts out for me between 7 and 7:30am, whenever my little rugrat decides to wake me up with his babbles. Looking over at the monitor, I’ll see he has moved about 90 degrees from where he fell asleep. His legs are either sticking out of the bars on his crib, or are straight up in the air as he wiggles his toes to the camera. "Di-dah! Da-da! Mmmmmmaaaah! Titttthhhhh!", he babbles. I roll over. He’s not crying, so I’ll give myself an extra five minutes of sleep.


Alright, alright I get it. I’m up.

I shuffle into his room and as soon he sees me a wide smile appears on his little face and his arms and legs jerk all around in a horizontal happy dance.No amount of grogginess can prevent me from reciprocating that infectious smile of his.

He then nurses for half a second and then its time for what I like to call Diaper Change Wrestling. Seriously, it should be made into an Olympic sport because of its difficulty and the amount of strength and energy that must be put forth into changing his diaper. Omar’s always been a wiggly worm, and the more mobile he gets, the harder it is to get him to lay still long enough to change his diaper. He’s rolling around in both directions, sometimes ending up on his belly in a crawling position, trying to grab at anything that’s near him (toys, changing mat, tissue, my hair…) all while I’m trying to wipe his poopy bottom down and trying to prevent him from kicking his feet into his own poop (I’m not always successful). In theory, it should take two people to do this successfully and prevent any accidents. However, since I’m usually alone, I’ve somehow got to manage it with two arms and two elbows (yes, elbows need come in play at times). Sometimes I wish I could sprout hands like one of those Hindu gods. Oh the things I could do while holding the baby! Sigh…

After my morning workout via Diaper Change Wrestling, its playtime in his swing while Mama chugs coffee and checks emails (and Facebook and Twitter of course). I really do need to chug my coffee because if I take my time sipping on it, chances are its going to go cold before I get a chance to finish it. Omar tends to have the attention span of a goldfish (especially if he’s tied down in his swing) and will start to complain for a change of scenery after about oh, three minutes. I move him down to the rug where his toys are still scattered about from last night. He picks up where he left off and I go to make his rice cereal. If we manage to go through the meal without him getting cereal in his hair or eyebrows, it’s a successful breakfast.

A little more playing time and then Omar starts rubbing his eyes. Ah, its time for his morning nap. Now, most people have this image of babies falling asleep: being cradled by mommy, eyes slowing closing, laying peacefully still while being rocked to Hush Little Baby.

Not my child.

I do cradle and rock him before putting him in his crib, and Hush Little Baby is playing in the background, but the peacefully falling asleep thing is only an image in a long lost dream of mine. No, my child prefers to pinch my neck, face, stick his fingers in my mouth, pull my hair, do a can-can dance with his legs, turn over in my arms, all while his eyes are closing and he’s drifting off into sleep. Once he’s so close to being asleep, I put him in his crib. And sometimes he does drift off into deep sleep on his own. But most of the time, some mysterious electric charge hits him as soon as he hits the mattress and he’s kicking and flailing his arms about, eyes wide open as if sleep wasn’t even near him two seconds ago. He’s not crying, just awake. I give him a hug and kiss and leave the room. Watching on the baby monitor, he’s rolling around back and forth, kicking his legs up, trying to suck his big toe, all while babbling. Since he’s been crawling, he likes to practice in his crib when he’s supposed to be sleeping. He’ll roll over onto all fours and lunge his body forward while forgetting to move his arms and legs. Upon realizing that he hasn’t gone anywhere, he bursts into tears. He’s perfectly capable of rolling back onto his back himself, but just remains there, on all fours, crying for “MMMMAAAAAHHHH” to come rescue him from this predicament. I’m quite convinced now that he does this on purpose just to get me back into the room. It’s so pathetic it actually works. After going back in his room about 4 or 5 times rolling him back over, he finally falls asleep.

In the 30 minutes that I have while he’s sleeping, I eat breakfast and try to get some laundry done. I feel like I never finish laundry, so it is really part of my everyday life.  Some days we go to the mall in the morning, in which case I’m eating breakfast while getting dressed so that we can make it on time before the driver leaves.

The rest of the day is usually spent in some variation of all the above: playing, eating, sleeping. Sometimes he’ll treat me to an hour or hour and a half nap where I can do a number of things, maybe even take a nap! But that doesn’t happen often. People that tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps must be blessed with a good sleeping baby.  Its rare that Omar is sleeping long enough for me to get some shut-eye, and even so, there are about 546 things I need to be doing that are hard to do while he’s awake. Such as eating, or studying, or simply taking a few minutes to restore my sanity by staring blankly at the TV. If my husband’s in town, when he comes home from work he does take Omar off my hands, but that time for me means I’m in the kitchen making dinner. Between all of that and trying to have somewhat of a social life and taking Omar to Gymboree classes and trying to keep the house a live-able place, I feel like I just don’t stop until I faceplant on the bed at night (which is sometimes as early as 9:30pm).

I’ve been leaving Omar with some oh-so-kind neighbors every once in a while for an hour or so just so I can get some “me” time, or sleep. Since most of my attention is focused so much on my son, and whatever is left goes to my poor husband (who also deserves more!), I have been completely neglecting myself. I noticed this when I got on the scale a few weeks ago and realized that I weighed less than I did when I got pregnant. SCARY. I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight and more, and if you know me, you know that’s not a good thing. I looked sick, had zero self-confidence and energy, and more baggage than Heathrow airport under my eyes.  I became depressed. That’s when I decided to start leaving Omar with my neighbors so I could use that time to take care of myself. I’ve been working out which has tremendously helped my energy, confidence, and overall mood. And my body of course. I’ve been more conscious of my eating, and making sure I’m eating enough to make up for all the energy I lose taking care of and nursing Omar.

Bottom line, my life is crazy. Some people think being a stay-at-home mom and wife is all play and no work. SO not the case. Or it isn’t with me at least. Of course, I love it and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. I applaud you mommies out there who are working full time and taking care of your babies and husbands. ‘Motherhood is not easy’ is the understatement of the century, no matter how you go about it. But the blessings make it worth it, and one day I know I’ll look back at that day that I got puked on right after I had changed from getting peed on, and laugh. I'm always exhausted, but I’m getting better at it every day. I’ve learned to somehow function on 4 hours of sleep. I’ve learned to accept that my child fights sleep like the plague and he may never go through an entire night without waking up…or ever get teeth. I may very well have to deal with his teething and sleep-hatred for the rest of my life. But then I look at Omar smiling and squealing while we’re dancing to Party Rock Anthem and realize these good moments will pass with the bad ones, so I count my many blessings and enjoy it. 


This smile is what keeps me going! Allah ye7mi :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Letter to My 16-Year Old Self

I saw this on Good Morning America today...people writing letters to their 16-year old selves. I thought this would be fun considering I'm an entirely different person now than I was back then. Here goes:

Dear 16-year old Noura,

First of all, congratulations on failing your driver's test. Idiot. Yeah, it was nervewracking and the DMV bitch shouldn't have had you in such a crowded part of town...but backing up into a van full of kids because you got the gas and brake pedals mixed up is just retarded. And the fantastic part is, that poor Chevy Tracker of yours will be put through so much of your torturous driving this first year. You will get to know the bottom of many a ditch, and even have people at school convinced that you died because of the odd angle you somehow managed to stick your car into in a ditch right outside of school (and its going to need a second tow truck to get you out so just go ahead and call for two right off the bat). No worries though, you'll get better at driving (although you'll still be as daring) and you'll actually drive a super-fast, super-hot sports car for a few years (*tear, miss you Gigi...).

Second, although you'll break out of your shell once you get to college, you really should try to break out of it earlier. There's this whole other you deep down in there...a you that doesn't care so much about what other people think (and boy is that liberating!), and who is free to be the goofy, sarcastic and outspoken person she really is. People will love that about you, and you'll meet so many more people this way. No need to be so shy and soft-spoken and afraid, you're going to get walked all over that way and trust me, that's no fun. So go ahead, give it a shot...stand up for yourself, be confident! It's ok to be different.

Your close group of friends right now will pretty much stay the same for the rest of your life. So keep these gals close, they're the real deal, and don't let a certain someone try to walk all over you and come between you all. You all will survive this person's tactics to break you up, so just keep that in mind while you're apologizing for something you didn't do.

Oh, and that perm you decided to get last year, I could've killed you for that! You fried your could you?? No one in their right mind would think that perm + short hair + bangs = good looking. You can thank that stupid mistake for the frizzy hair you'll have in your senior pictures. Bah! But the good news is, you wont be the shortest girl around anymore in a few years, you'll actually be considered average or even tall compared to other women your age. You'll always be skinny so just embrace it...and don't be afraid to work the rear ;) you may not realize this now, but its definitely an ASSet!

Ah yes, and I'm sure you want to know....boys will notice you, eventually. At least once you discover makeup and this magical device called a hair straightener (if you wouldn't have gotten that perm things would have looked up for you muuuch sooner). Also helps when you start being more outgoing and break out of your shell in college. But try not to be so emotionless...even though you'll build up a wall for the right reasons, its going to be pretty hard to tear it down once that right man comes along and it will save you many arguments if you knew how to show your feelings in the first place. 

Which brings me to marriage. Yes, contrary to what your mother says, you will get married (and learn how to cook). Yes, he will be an Arab guy, and yes, he will be the most wonderful person you'll ever meet, and you'll know right off the bat that he's the one. Fate will bring you two together in the most unsuspecting place and time, so brace yourself...its going to hit you faster than you can say "my big fat Arab wedding". Oh yeah, and you'll have a baby by age 26 and quit your career to move back to Syria with your husband and eventually become a stay-at-home mom. Hello? You still there? Just wanted to make sure you didn't have a heart-attack. I know...its so different than what you've always thought for yourself but trust me, its the best thing that could ever happen to you and you wouldn't be able to picture it any other way once it happens. :)

A few other notes: 
  • 9/11 was traumatizing on other Muslims as well...and no, they're not going to put all Muslims in concentration camps now like you think. But you will have to endure annoying extra airport security when you travel. Try not to pack too much in your carry-on.
  • Your love for travel will help you as your life changes and you move to new places. Always keep an open mind and an open heart.
  • Wear sunscreen. Even if its foggy on the beach.
  • Don't try to google the benefits of breastfeeding at work. They will think you're a perv and block you from the Victoria's Secret website when all you want to do is look at swimsuits.
Lastly, live your life to its fullest, make good choices, don't worry about what everyone else thinks or does, blah blah blah. You get it. Or, well, you will anyway. Life is good, and you are very blessed...always be thankful. Oh yeah, and that party you're going to have while you're housesitting for your neighbor the summer of high school graduation....yeah that is NOT a good idea. But damn, it's going to be fun ;)


Future Noura

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"I'm a Mom" and Other Startling Revelations of a First-Time Mom...

Mommyhood has brought up new lessons for me everyday...whether it be about myself, my son, or life in general. Some things I've learned have been more surprising than are some that have really stuck out for me.

  • Yep. I'm a mom. My son is now 4 months old and I still look at myself in the mirror and say "I'm a mom" in disbelief. Not in a bad way, I love being a mother...its the most fulfilling experience in life for a woman. But I still see myself as this goofy, useless knowledge-knowing, random movie quoting, lover of football more than the average girl...with a horrible short-term memory and a love of sarcasm. I am in fact all those things, but you don't normally think of a mother necessarily being that way. In a way I am more grounded, responsible, and domesticated. But I feel like I should be more...grown up. Older. Whatever. I still look like I'm 12, so I feel like sometimes people look at me as the babysitter instead of the mother. But in the end, I guess I'm glad I haven't aged like 30 years after becoming a mother. I hope I keep my energy (even though some days my low fuel light turns on before noon), sarcasm, and overall goofiness instead of becoming some serious overly paranoid parent. And I'm pretty sure that my son will start quoting Mrs. Doubtfire very soon after he utters his first words ;)
  • I threw out the book a long time ago. I'm the type that likes to do my research when it comes to new things, and motherhood was no exception. I spent the majority of my pregnancy reading about baby development and sleeping patterns and nursing and blah blah blah. So you'd think I'd be a strict by the book parent after doing all that research. Well, I was for a couple of months at least. Then realized that trying to do everything 'by the book' was damn near impossible because there is no ONE book. You have 500 different people (and doctors) telling you what is best for your child and what to do in certain situations, etc. And most of their advice is conflicting against someone else's. Especially when you have family in the US and Syria...things get a little crazy. Well, no one knows MY child better than ME. And just because it worked for someone else's child doesn't mean its going to work for mine. I try to listen to everyone's advice to get ideas, but in the end I'm not going to let one person influence me all the time, even if it is my child's pediatrician. Cause my pediatrician in Saudi tells me different things than the pediatrician we had in the US (of course there are the key important things that are universally accepted that I do follow). So I'm winging it...and I'm totally ok with that. Its less of a headache, and hamdillah I have a happy and healthy baby, so I must be doing something right!
  • I don't get grossed out by the gross stuff. I always used to gag when I saw moms letting their kids puke in their hands or having to endure other bodily fluids being sprayed all over them. Well, I'm now one of those moms. I mean honestly, you get to a certain point where you're just used to it. Maybe the first time I got peed on, I got a little grossed out. But then I got pooped and puked on afterwards, and it was just pointless to even care. You clean it up, change clothes (although sometimes if it's just some spit-up I just wipe it off with some baby wipes and not bother changing clothes...don't judge me.) and carry on with the day. Cause chances are, its going to happen again that day and time is too precious to be spending it gagging over some wayward poopie. (By the way, surprisingly my hubby is way more grossed out by all this than I am...I can literally hear him gagging when changing a poopy diaper!)
  • There's dust on my hair straightener. Its true. I used to straighten my hair at least once a day to make sure it was perfect and no hair was out of my hair straightener is in a basket collecting dust because I just don't have time to sit there and try to fix my hair every time I shower or leave the house. Speaking of showers...
  • It's scientifically proven that babies puke more on their freshly-showered mommies. I quit being upset about this a long time ago. A washcloth and hand soap are my new best friends.
  • My son looks at me funny when I have make up on. Probably because its on rare occasions that I have time to put on a full face of in the off chance that I do, I feel like it takes him a while to realize its still me under there (and I hope he thinks I'm pretty since most days I look like a ball of crapola). 
  • Having a housekeeper saved my life. My son's a cat-napper, ergo I don't have any time to clean. I can't even imagine what my house would look like if I didn't have a housekeeper coming to clean twice a week. *shudders*
  • I may never fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again. I knew I wanted to keep a few of my prego pounds cause I like having a curvier figure. But it never occurred to me that that would entail me giving up on all my pre-prego jeans. I should have known that the little extra weight would be in a particular..err..southern area of my body and that means bye bye size 2 jeans.
  • One smile cures everything. I could have gotten 2 non-consecutive hours of sleep the night before and be too tired to function and be in the worst mood, and all of it goes away when my baby boy smiles at me. It's infectious, and reminds me that it's all worth it. :)
My baby Omar is the best thing that's ever happened to me, and I am so thankful for having him and my husband in my life. I may not do things the conventional way, but I'm doing it the best way for me, my baby and my son is teaching me more than I'm teaching him everyday, and that's the beauty of mommyhood.

The smile I live for!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On this season of Real Housewives of Saudi Arabia...

The compound is coming to life again as a new season of Real Housewives of Saudi Arabia begins. Everyone has made their way back to our beloved compound as summer has ended (notwithstanding the 110 degree weather that's still present) and schools have opened. But of course, as Schlumberger life dictates, many families have been transferred out of Saudi, and replaced with new families. One of these families are my next door neighbor and best friend here, May and her husband Walid. I've always known that they were due for a transfer soon, but like all transfer notices, it came unexpectedly quick. It was heartbreaking to see their house all packed up and empty, and saying goodbye didn't seem real. We've only known them for a year, but Walid was really close with Al since they worked in the same group, and May and I formed a great friendship and the four of us had a blast together. They got transferred to Calgary in Canada (anyone else get cold at just the mention of that city??) and I'm still in denial that they're not right next door to me.

Another one of Al's friends thats about to get married is now holding May and Walid's house hostage so he and his wife can live next door to us. He's worried about how his wife will adjust to life here so he wanted to make sure she was next door to me so I could help her. So I get to take a young newbie under my wing :)

A few of my other friends have also gotten transferred to Paris and Qatar, and I miss them too. But as old friends have left, new ones have come in. Thanks to my Mexican friend Esmeralda, I've been hanging out with some of the Latino ladies here (secretly wishing I was Latino) so that's been great! One of the new Latino women had a bunch of us over at her house for breakfast yesterday, so we could get to meet some new people. I met women from all over...the US, Australia, Saudi, Colombia, Venezuela...I didn't realize that there were so many new families here so that was exciting. Everyone was super nice, so I'm looking forward to fun times with new friends here now, even though I miss my old ones.

A non-Schlumberger family that has moved to Khobar are a couple that were Al's friends back in college. His friend just got a new job here and moved his wife and 2 kids here a few weeks ago. I've gotten to hang out with his wife Yara a few times and she's its nice to have some new non-Schlumberger friends as well :)

Some events on the SSA agenda this year include a couple of coffee mornings and a Bollywood-themed ladies night, so I'm currently in the market for a Sari...haha. I hope Al will be in town then so I can actually go (still think its too early to leave Omar with a babysitter).

So this is shaping up to be a pretty interesting season of RHSA (even though this blog post about it is rather boring)...stay tuned!

Friday, August 19, 2011

No Really...Donde Esta Me??

I'm here I'm here!! Wow, after a 6-month hiatus, Donde Esta Noura is back! Apparently having a baby puts a dent in my blogging time. I apologize but without further adieu, here are some highlights of the past few months, with some thoughts along the way...

Being back in Nashville was great. I felt home again, and it was so good to see everyone there. Being pregnant was great up until the last month. I blew up like the Hindenburg, and was about as much fun as a hernia. Pretty sure my family wanted to beat the baby out of me at some point. Anyways, I was worried that Al wouldn't make it in time to be there when I went into labor (he came to Nashville 5 days before my due date), but turns out I wouldn't go into labor at all...well, not on my own anyway. I had to be induced 4 days past my due date because I hadn't had anything even remotely close to a real contraction (and I had tried everything to get it going!). In the back of my mind, I always knew I'd end up having a C-Section, but I really really wanted to have the baby naturally (well, as natural as it can be with an epidural). Even so, I was disappointed to hear that after being in labor for 13 hours, my baby's head was not seeing the light and that I needed to have a C-Section. The whole operation was painful...even with the drugs I could still feel a lot of pressure and pulling. But apparently I turn into a comedian whenever I'm under some form of anesthesia, because I was cracking jokes the whole time. I remember the nurses and doctors (and Al) laughing at me, but don't remember what I was talking about. Although I do distinctly remember mentioning something about a philly cheesesteak...

Holding Omar in my arms for the first time was emotional, and something I unfortunately vaguely remember because I was still a bit drugged up. But looking at the video Al took of that moment, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I was crying and sniffling and kept asking over and over again how much he weighed...I was like a broken record. Overall, while I was disappointed that I had to have a C-Section (and will need one for any other children I may have), I was just glad that Al and my family were there with me. I was overjoyed and so thankful with how beautiful and perfect Omar was...until I looked down. Hold up. I thought that once you had the baby and weren't pregnant anymore, you would actually LOOK like you weren't pregnant anymore. I still had a 7-month prego belly. No no no no...I did NOT sign up for this! I wanted back in my skinny jeans, not my stupid maternity pants. I actually went to the mall with Al and Omar one day about 2 weeks after I had the baby, and this lady at a store practically ran up to me and said "AAWWW when are you due?!?!?". I looked her dead in the eye and said "I've already had my baby. He's over there." She shrank to about the size of a gopher and apologized before she ran off faster than the road runner.
Although breastfeeding helped a TON and my belly looked like it was decreasing in size with every feeding, I still today have a little bit of a pooch that I'm trying to get rid of. I guess its just going to take more time and lots of crunches, so that's what I've been trying to fit into my day lately.

The next couple of weeks were spent in Nashville with my parents, with Al and I getting accustomed to the idea of being parents. He took to it better than I did I think...recovering from a C-section really hindered my comfort with the baby. Not that I didn't love him more than anything, but being in pain and all the hormones and crap going on while I was stressed about going to Syria soon and packing (read previous blog post about my thoughts on packing) really made me a hot mess. Breastfeeding has been the biggest challenge of my life, and there were times where I just wanted to quit (amazing what sleep deprivation will do to your sanity). But I'm still going strong and it has gotten much easier now that Omar is almost 3 months old. 

We then spent 10 days in Syria with Al's parents (scratch that, I spent 10 days, Al spent only 2 because he got called back to Saudi for work). Omar did wonderfully on the overseas trip...better than Al and I actually. He slept most of the time on all the flights while we struggled with all our carry on stuff (which was mostly Omar's) and battled cramped seats and sleep deprivation and the overall incoherence of airport personnel. 

I then came back to our home in Saudi, and it felt good to be back here until Al had to go on a job 2 days later. Suddenly I found myself very much alone. Most of my friends here had gone back to their respective homelands for the summer, so I didn't have much help to turn to. In Nashville and Syria, I was surrounded by family who were helping me out with Omar...such as taking him to play while I slept in a little after that ass-crack of dawn feeding. I didn't have anyone here, and I was terrified. With all the different adjustments Omar had to make between the US, Syria and Saudi as a one-month old, it took him about a week to finally get adjusted to everything here. And during that week, I about gave up on life. He was barely sleeping (which meant I was barely sleeping), and he wanted to feed all the time while I barely had time to feed myself. While this greatly helped in me losing my pregnancy weight so quickly, it left me mentally and physically exhausted. I prayed for strength and patience, and somehow managed to pick myself up and power through this tough time I was having. And dammit, I did it. I didn't have a choice but to do it. I knew I had to get used to being alone because of the nature of my husband's job. And while my friends would all be coming back in September which offered some relief to me, I knew I couldn't rely on everyone else all the time. I was spoiled that first month, and it wouldn't be that way again so I had to learn how to get by on my own. I'm still learning day by day and had a few breakdowns along the way, but I'm making it and doing better now. It sucks when Al is gone so much and its just me and the baby...I know how much he misses Omar and how much Omar misses him. But this is the way its going to be for a while, and we have no choice but to make it work. I cherish every minute I spend with my baby, and even when I've had the worst day and am so tired I can barely function, it all goes away with one smile from him. Looks like the Tin Woman really does have a heart ;)

Whew. Ok. That's the digested reader's digest version of the past 6 months of my life. It's looking like my blog will more closely resemble 'the adventures of mommyhood' from now on since that's basically my life now, so Noura most likely esta at the casa. However, we do have a few trips planning in the next couple of months (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Syria again hopefully) so we're still going to jet-set! Omar's a seasoned traveler now and we plan on passing along our love for traveling and seeing different parts of the world to him by getting him started early. So who knows where we'll end up! And I promise not to take a 6-month hiatus again, so hopefully yall will still be along for the ride :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Over the past year and half or so, I've found myself in several stressful, long-term packing situations. Namely:
  • June 2009: packed up my life from the US and moved it to Syria (in 2 suitcases)
  • August 2009: packed up my newly-moved life and moved it from my aunt's house to Al and I's house after our wedding
  • September 2009: packed up half of my life and moved it from Damascus to Derezor, Syria (about 5 hours away, where Al was working at the time)
    • two weeks later...packed it up again and moved back to Damascus after realizing I couldn't live on Mars (aka me it was like a barren, different planet)
  •  August 2010: packed up my whole life AGAIN and moved to Saudi Arabia
Now this also doesn't include the countless times I moved back and forth between my in-laws' house and my house in Damascus whenever Al would come in town from Derezor. Bascially, my stuff is currently spread out across 4 different houses in 3 countries. After all that, I have developed the non-curable psychological disorder of P.M.S.-- Packing Melancholy Syndrome. Symptoms include:
  • feeling anxious, nervous, even depressed at the very thought of packing
  • bursting into tears whenever you see a suitcase
  • hiding your suitcases in places you're unlikely to find in the future
  • the word "Customs" automatically gives you an ulcer
  • the words "weight limit" cause you to hyperventilate
  • dreading packing so much that you put it off until the last minute (where it becomes an impossible feat and can cause your PMS symptoms to resemble more of the other kind of PMS symptoms)
  • crying and hugging, and saying a personal goodbye to every piece of clothing, accessory, or shoe that you must leave behind
  • considering canceling your trip altogether just so you don't have to pack for it
So this brings me to my current packing dilemma that's causing my PMS symptoms to upcoming trip to the US (9 days, people!!) Here's the problem with this one: I have to pack for a 6-month long trip involving visiting 2 countries, spanning across 3 seasons, 2 different body sizes, and an infant on the return trip. Oh yeah, and that's all gotta fit in 2 suitcases weighing 50 pounds each. Better get that Xanax now (dammit...I'm preggo. I have to handle this drug-free).  You'd think after my recent packing-sprees, I'd be a seasoned veteran by now. But alas! This is so not the case. In fact, I think I'm actually regressing to being a worse packer now than I was before all my moves. It just gets more and more stressful each time around, and whenever you've finally gotten over all your PMS symptoms, another trip comes up and the vicious cycle starts all over again.

I have NO idea how I'm going to accomplish this latest feat in packing. My plan so far: pack as least as possible so I have a spare suitcase to bring back all the stuff I'll have with me on the return trip. Easier said than done. I've never been a minimalist packer. I love my clothes and if I could, I'd take every piece with me. But stupid weight and piece restrictions on airlines prevent me from doing so (argh!). So in the next 9 days, I have to figure out how to fit winter, spring, and summer clothes in both maternity and regular sizes (whatever my size ends up being post-baby) AND leave enough extra space to bring back whatever I buy in the States PLUS all the baby's stuff. !@##!^$%#$@!&*&#@!!!

I know I should probably start going through my closet as early as um, yesterday to try to accomplish this, but my PMS symptoms are preventing me from doing so. Instead, I'm sitting here blogging about how stressful its going to be and getting more stressed in the process. Maybe adjusting my habits will help me relieve the stress and prevent future PMS attacks from happening....but if my travel history is any indication, that's not likely to happen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


My goings-on over the past few weeks in bulletpoints:
  • finished winter mini-term classes, then got a whole 2 day break before starting two more classes for Spring semester...this MBA is starting to get on my nerves.
  • speaking of Spring semester, my finals end on May 3 (once again, on my birthday). I know that's still a few weeks away from my due date, but I still have to pray that baby Omar holds off his grand entrance until after finals...
  • Al and I bought all our baby nursery stuff from IKEA (of course) and my project now is getting everything in its place and organized before I leave for Nashville. We've also gotten new coffee tables and are in the process of getting our couches re-upholstered in the living room, as well as trying to fully decorate and  'fill up' the house. I feel like we're going through a scaled down version of 'Extreme Home Makeover' sans Ty Pennington...
  • got a couple of "Real Housewives"-style events coming up with the Schlumberger Spouses Association:
    • Jan. 26: Ladies Night (Open buffet? Yep, I'll be there)
    • Feb. 3:  International Day (representing the homeland, should be interesting!)
    • Feb. 13: Valentine's Day party (which I probably won't attend if Al goes out of town)
  • Al's got a job coming up possibly on the 12th of February, which means he's not likely to be in town to take me to the airport on the 18th :( its at times like these I wish he had a normal 9-5 job...
  • went to the doctor last week and got my labwork back...thankfully, everything is normal :) We also got to see Omar in 3D again which was even more amazing this time. He has grown so much and you can see his facial features pretty clearly now...he looks just like his daddy! Doc said I shouldn't have any trouble with the overseas flight next month so that was a relief.
  • 27 days until I'm back in the US!! I can almost smell the Mexican food...
Baby Omar at 21 weeks!