Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New York continued

We were up bright and early again this morning and headed out to Rockefeller Center. We had Dunkin Doughnuts and hot chocolate with a view of the skating rink. Nothing like a major sugar rush first thing in the morning. We took the ride to the Top of the Rock for some outstanding views of the city.....and did I mention it was really cold this morning and even colder 69 stories up.

We tried hanging out at the Today show, but it was pretty boring for the kiddos and honestly, I didn't want my kids hearing all the terrible news they were sharing. Bill and the boys got in a short line for Nintendo World. Earlier there were about 100 people lined up waiting for a chance to buy a Wii. They get Wii's in everyday and everyday there is a line to get one. Abbey and I headed out to the American Girl store (again!). As we walked past the Today show, Mr. Al Roker was out doing the weather and with him was none other than Jordin Sparks, the reigning American Idol. Although, she didn't sing, it was still very exciting to see her and hear her promote her new album. I felt like a crazy paparazzi snapping photos of Jordin. I think I was more excited than Abbey.

After our brush with fame, Abbey and I continued on to the AG store and got her doll's hair done at the Doll Beauty Shop. Marisol, her doll, got the style of the month, the Triple Flip. Some of the dolls waiting to get their hair done looked pretty rough, they really needed the makeover.

We took a taxi to Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Guy (recommended by my friend Patti). It was a pretty impressive place. It is a chocolate emporium. We had lunch and for desert ordered chocolate fondue which came with your own little "campfire" to roast your marshmallows. Abbey ordered a kids desert which involved a crepe, gummy bears, vanilla ice cream and a flask of chocolate syrup.

The rest of the day was uneventful....we came back to the hotel for a nap, trying to get our body clocks working correctly. Bill ended up going around the corner and picking up McDonalds for dinner. We ate in our room and watched "Nancy Drew" on pay per view.

Tomorrow is our last day here and we have to work in the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island and the American Museum of Natural History. Abbey and I have another date with AG place for dinner and a show. Hopefully, we can stay awake all day and squeeze in everything.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We love NY!

We made it to NYC and we love it! It is absolutely the sparkliest city I have ever seen. We arrived about 6 pm in Newark and surprised our kids with a limo. I think it was the best idea ever. They were truly so shocked and we all felt like rock stars! After the obligatory photos, we all stretched out on the seats and fell asleep for the ride to the hotel.

The hotel is wonderful. You just never know when you book over the Internet, but the room is big, the beds and pillows are oh so comfy. We have a balcony and a little kitchen. We are staying at the Affinia 50.

We had breakfast the next morning at the Morning Star diner where we throughly enjoyed our eggs and BACON! Then, we went to Cirque Du Solei and saw the show, Wintuk. It tells the story of a little boy's quest for snow. Along the way, he meets all these unusual people that do acrobatics, juggling, balancing feats, etc. At the end of the show there is a blizzard of paper snowflakes covering the entire audience. It was magical.

We had lunch at a deli in Times Square and shopped a bit. We went to the giant Toys R Us, the Hershey's store and the M&M store. We walked back to the hotel and passed out around 6pm. Jet lag! We were up very early...Cole, Abbey and I walked around the corner to a bagel shop for breakfast. Then after dropping off breakfast for Bill and Will (they spent the morning hanging out in the hotel room), we walked to Rockefeller Center in the slushy, snowing, drizzly wet weather. It snowed a little during the night and the kids had fun throwing snowballs and getting wet. We are loving all the Christmas trees and decorations and music everywhere.

We were going to ride to the Top of the Rock to see the views, but the visibility was zero. We thought about taking the NBC tour, but it didn't open until 9:30, so we joined a small group of people lined up outside of The American Girl Place. Abbey was is heaven! She was so excited. She did some shopping around and bought Julie, the new historical doll from that time so long ago, the 1970's. It was fun and Cole was a real trooper. He did say it gave him the creeps, though. We topped off the morning with hot chocolate from Starbucks.

At 1pm, we had tickets for The Lion King. It was great. The opening scene with all the animals, Circle of Life, was stunning. Abbey got so sleepy during the show....jet lag strikes again. After the show, we passed a beggar on the street. I still remember the first beggar I ever saw. It made me cry. Will wanted me to give him some money. He was in a wheelchair and had both legs amputated. I gave him a dollar, while Will hid behind a huge planter. When I walked back over, Will said he wanted to give him $10. So while Will hid again, I gave the man another $10. Call me crazy, but I know what my little guy was feeling and thinking.

We took a cab to a nice Italian restaurant and all three kids were so sleepy, they fell asleep on the drive back to the hotel. We were in bed by 6pm again. Unfortunately, when you fall asleep so early, you wake up really early and it is hard to go back to sleep. I am sitting here awake at 4:00 am. Everybody else is sleeping, I think...I hope.

Today, I am not sure what we are doing. If everyone is up early, we may go hang outside the NBC studio for the Today show filming. So look for us, if you are watching this morning.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This time tomorrow we will be on a plane headed toward the USA....whoopee! I have quite a few things to get done before hand, as you can imagine.

There is no Internet at my Mom's, so this will probably be my last blog for a while.

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas filled with peace as we celebrate our Savior's birthday.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Santa Came to Doha

Santa came to Doha this weekend!

The kids were so excited to wake up Saturday morning to find that Santa came early to Doha. We are leaving this coming Friday to come home to Texas, so we are on the expedited Christmas plan. The kids were thrilled with their gifts. Abbey got an Ipod (so very cool, I want one!), Cole got a laptop, and Will got a new Game Cube. The older they get, the smaller and more expensive the gifts! Cole and Will got legos and new games and Abbey got clothes. She changed clothes at least 4 times yesterday. The girl loves clothes and accessories and shoes. The boys played together all day with their new stuff. I think that was the best gift for me, to see them playing and having fun together. Abbey proclaimed it was "the best Christmas ever!", so I guess Santa did a good job this year.

We did have one Doha disaster. Last night, in my eagerness to get Will's new Game Cube hooked up, I forgot that it needed a transformer (wrong voltage) and when I plugged it in, it made a big boom. I think I killed it!! I was so sad and mad at myself. I am going to let Bill work on it when he gets home from work today.

Whatever happens, don't worry, I'm sure Santa can swing by while we are in Texas and drop off a new one. It is just one of those things that happens to most people at least once when they live here. We blew so many fuses with our Christmas tree lights, it was comical. We learned when the transformer started to smell like smoke we had better turn off the tree lights.

Last night we attended the Doha Players production of "Almost Dick Wittington" which is a British Pantomime traditionally done at Christmas. It was funny and the kids enjoyed it. What may you ask is a "pantomime"? Well, I didn't know either until last night. Here is what wikipedia says about it.......

The leading male juvenile character (the "principal boy") - traditionally played by a young woman.
An older woman (the pantomime dame - often the hero's mother) is usually played by a man in drag.
Risqué double entendre, often wringing innuendo out of perfectly innocent phrases. This is, in theory, over the heads of the children in the audience.
Audience participation, including calls of "look behind you!" (or "he's behind you!"), and "Oh, yes it is!" or "Oh, no it isn't!" The audience is always encouraged to "Boo" the villain, and "Awwwww" the poor victims, such as the rejected dame, who usually fancies the prince.
A song combining a well-known tune with re-written lyrics. The audience is encouraged to sing the song; often one half of the audience is challenged to sing "their" chorus louder than the other half.
The members of the cast throw out sweets to the children in the audience.
Sometimes the story villain will squirt members of the audience with water guns or pretend to throw a bucket of "water" at the audience that is actually full of streamers
A slapstick comedy routine may be performed, often a decorating or baking scene, with humour based around throwing messy substances.

So, you learned something new today...

That was our weekend.....if you throw in a dinner party at OUR house, another dinner out with Bill's boss and some coworkers, soccer registration and tryouts and 2 baseball games. Whew!

Will woke up this morning all cranky with hurting legs (common ailment in our family) and I let him stay home from school. I told him he had to go back upstairs and get in bed. The little guy is still sound asleep and it is 9:00 am. I guess we wore him completely out!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Look out Posh Spice!

I got my hair cut on Friday. I wanted to take a picture in of the haircut I wanted, but I forgot. But, the cute Philipino girl that washed my hair had the cut I was wanting. She told me her cut was inspired by Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice. So here is my new haircut, inspired by Grace, the hair wash girl, who was inspired by Victoria Beckham.

Party Time in Doha

We had a fun weekend! Friday night was the Blackjack and Black tie Gala for the American School. It was fun getting dressed up and going out. There just aren't a lot of opportunities for this sort of thing around here, so people really seemed to take advantage of the night and enjoy it. There was a silent auction and a mini casino set up and dinner and dancing.

We bought a "Spiderman" birthday party for Will at the silent auction. It was so cute. I wish I had a picture. It came with all the decorations, goodie bags and goodies (including spiderman beach towels for all the kids), cake plates (2), spiderman mugs for all the kids, invitations, inflatable spideys (2) and more. The clincher for me was plates shaped like Spiderman's face (ceramic plates). They were just too cute! Will's b-day is in January and it is always tough for me to pull together a party, so this should make it easy.

Today, was the Pegasus club Christmas party for the kids. It was fun, fun , fun. Santa rode in on a camel and delivered gifts. Their were games, face painting, hot dogs, cookie decorating, popcorn and cotton candy. And inflatable bouncy things.

Look at Cole's expression after Santa asked if he had been a good boy.

Extreme bouncy slidin'

Just in case Gayla is reading this....here is a picture of your friends the Carnahans.

These two were just so stinkin' cute, I couldn't resist getting a photo of them.