Thursday, September 27, 2012

The tooth fairy travels...

The tooth fairy has been kept on her toes by Belle. Every tooth she has lost has been in a different place: New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, DC, Vermont, Virginia, Prince Edward Island (Canada), and Pennsylvania. Today, she broke the trend and lost two teeth in Al Ain (UAE). It is bittersweet, because now she is losing the last vestiges of her babyhood as her primaries make room for the secondaries she will have for the rest of her life. She was so excited to call me an announce that now the tooth fairy needed to come to Asia. I also think about how this is probably the last time the tooth fairy will visit for many years because she's growing out of the age of "magic."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blessings from near and far... (aka getting ready for baby)

It is hard going back to work when you are approaching your final month of pregnancy and even harder being across the world from the people you want to share the experience with.  My new school has been wonderful in trying to make sure I'll have a smooth transition from working for the first 6 or so weeks of the school year, and returning mid-year, and I'm sharing office space and planning with a lovely team.

My dear friend, Ashaunda, who I worked with all last year and kept me sane, threw me a lovely baby shower a couple weeks ago. It was an amazing testament to the power of social networking, as most of the people there were friends I first encountered on Facebook. They have all become a huge part of my life in the UAE, and it was so nice to be surrounded by their love and excitement for our soon to arrive little girl.  Many of these ladies also recognized the other guest of honor, who after 9 years of being an only child, is about to assume the new role of big sister and role model.

Then this week, we received a couple large boxes from our church at home. Rob and I joined our church before we were married, and our church family has helped us raise and celebrate in each of Belle's developments from her very beginning. Even from across the world, they managed to share the love and goodness that is so much a part of that community with the little being still inhabiting my belly. We are all looking forward to seeing everyone in December. It will have been a long year and a half being out of our country and away from our family & loved ones.

Homeschooling continues to progress. I've still got a few more weeks of work before the big day, and then we'll be running around completing all the official paperwork that comes from giving birth abroad, so we can fly home to visit. 

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School and Routines

Last week, we started Belle's homeschooling program so that we'd be able to take a few days off when the baby comes and also so she'd have some routine established when I returned to work this past Sunday. So far, homeschooling has been a challenge - as we try and navigate being the teacher and the parent. But we all believe this is the appropriate thing to do to keep Belle on track academically.  We also signed Belle up for Girl Scouts in Al Ain - and because of the way they do things here, she will be a brownie for one extra year.

On Sunday, I started school at my new school. The building itself opened in January and the staff and student body are made up of the merger of three schools, to make one very large Cycle 3 (grades 10-12) school. This week has been a staff only week, and filled with meetings and more meetings, as well as getting to know my new English Medium Teacher colleagues. It is quite different going from one C3 partner to working with 14 other EMTs.   We have grade level teams, which is quite lovely and I've been assigned 11th grade science girls for right now. Generally the science girls tend to be a little more academic-minded and also have a higher degree of English fluency. These are nice changes.  The best part of my school is that it is only 15 minutes from my home and about 15 minutes from the hospital (important as I've only got about a month left before our new family member arrives).  I've been pretty tired after work each day, and I'm a bit nervous how this bodes since next week, I begin actively teaching when the students arrive on Sunday.

The pool at my new school
Every time one of my new Arabic colleagues sees me, she asks me why I am not walking (if I am in a meeting) and if I am walking, tells me, good job and to keep walking. She is very concerned that I have a good labor. 

Rob has been very busy doing airport runs, and this weekend he is going to be doing border runs for a bunch of new teachers. Our calendar is quite colorful with all the appointments this month.

The best part of this month so far is catching up with all our friends who have returned from their summer holidays.