Browsed by
Month: August 2013

We’re Having a…

We’re Having a…

This past week I went to the doctor for my routine monthly checkup. I was 13 1/2 weeks on the day of the visit and fully expected a quick chat with the doc and then I’d be on my way. Turns out prenatal care is a bit different here.

The doc told me I would receive an ultrasound at every visit until the baby is born. Seriously? How awesome is that? After all, do you ever get tired of seeing these fuzzy little black and white sonar pics??? Not me!

Baby Taylor #5

After a few minutes of measuring all of the important stuff the doc asked if I was ready to find out the gender. I was a bit caught off guard because I was only 13 1/2 weeks, but at the same time I was thrilled about the possibility of finding out if we were adding more blue to the house or if tutus and tiaras were in the near future.

It seems that the overwhelming majority think we’re gonna have a little girl on our hands and rightfully so. I mean, you get a 50/50 shot at it 5 times in a row, surely one of those times will be a girl. Not to mention, we already have a girl named picked out, but a boy name seems to be a struggle. Hubby likes one boy name and I’m not a fan; I like another and he’s not a fan.  Did I mention we have 4 boys? C’mon. Certainly Doc is going to tell me we have a little girl coming. Certainly.

And based on the fact that four different people have sent me this picture, I think it’s safe to say that many are rooting for a little girl.

photo-15

But, I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I think the picture is just perfect for that family. It’s absolutely adorable.

But, as much as I love the above picture I think we’re going to go with something a bit different.

Based on everything the doctor said I think we’re going to go with something more like this…

628x471

It’s a Boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are we thrilled? Absolutely. Are we surprised? No. Are we honored to raise up 5, count them, 5 boys to the glory of God? You bet.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127, ESV)

Making Muffins Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Making Muffins Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Our four year old is sporting a new hairdo these days…let me explain.

 The boys love to help me in the kitchen and do so on a regular basis. Last week we had company coming over for breakfast so I was up early preparing our meal. As the boys began to roll out of bed one by one they filed into the kitchen and pulled up their stools. I was mixing up a batch of banana muffins when the two middle guys asked if they could help. Running the hand held mixer is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen so of course I was happy to let them help.

Before I turned over the reigns I decided a refresher course may be helpful. I turned the mixer on and began to remind the boys how to move it slowly around the bowl and not pull the beaters up out of the batter. Things were going great and the batter was looking perfect and that is when things went downhill.

Before we proceed, I should mention two critical pieces of information.

#1 Brooks (my third son) has gorgeous blonde “surfer dude” hair.

IMG_9245

#2 Brooks has out of control bed head in the morning. Out. Of. Control.

Beezle

Now, back to the muffin making disaster.

Brooks had just gotten out of bed and his blonde locks were a bit unruly and sticking out all over his head. I guess he leaned in a little bit too close and his unruly blond locks met the whirling beaters. You guessed it….catastrophe.

Those beaters were zooming around at top speed and snatched a handful of his hair out so fast I didn’t even realize what had happened.

IMG_6078

He started crying while I did my best to survey the damage. Oh, and of course, like any good mom would do, I grabbed my phone and took a few pictures while he wasn’t looking. After all, I wouldn’t want to crush his self confidence by making him think I was snapping photos of him during his moment of tragedy.

IMG_6077

Yep, thats a huge bald spot on the back of his head. I put him in the shower and washed all of the muffin batter out of his hair and attempted to create a massive comb over that may cover some of the damage. But the bad news is that there is no comb over that is going to cover that up.

IMG_6089

So, if you see our sweet Brooks out and about please don’t mention his pre-mature balding. It’s a bit of a sensitive subject. I guess it is time for a buzz cut!

In an effort to make myself feel better about our most recent kitchen catastrophe I’m telling myself that this kind of thing is normal and it happens to other moms all the time. So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Be careful out there my friends, who knew kitchen appliances could be so dangerous. Oops!

The Propane Race

The Propane Race

Have you ever chased down a propane truck?  Well, for that matter, have you ever seen a propane tank truck?

Prior to our little move a few months ago my answer to both of those questions would have been a resounding, “No.”

Not so anymore, folks. Not. So. Anymore.

This week I added a much needed skill to my “mommy arsenal”… tracking down a propane truck. I’m sure you have always wanted to possess that skill, so sit back, read through the post and try not to laugh.

But, before we get to the part of the story where I’m frantically running down my street barefooted in the Middle East with my 8 yr old trying to keep up, all while waving down a truck containing enough flammable liquid to take out an entire city block….

…you need to know that the stove in our apartment is a propane stove. Yes, that’s our stove. And no, it’s not a new stainless steel Frigidaire…. but it gets the job done.

IMG_6130

All of the above details mean that in the cabinet next to the stove we have two large propane tanks. If you want to cook a meal or boil water for that matter, these big bulky guys are essential. No propane in your propane tanks… no flame on the stove and no cooked food. It’s that simple. IMG_6162

If you stop and think about it, the set up is pretty simple…until you run out of propane, which is exactly what happened this past Wednesday. To top it off, that was the evening before we had company coming to visit for a few days all the way from the States. And that my friend is a BIG problem.

So, how does one go about replacing a propane tank? Well, that is where the fun begins. There are propane trucks that ride around town all day with the bed of their truck stocked full of propane tanks. These trucks drive up and down the street going about 8 mph all while playing an extremely loud tune over a loudspeaker. Think the Ice Cream Man… minus the snow cones and transporting flammable material.

When you run out of propane and you hear the propane truck you have to run outside and flag him down. Even going 8mph, it’s not always easy, especially living on the 4th floor of your apartment building. You must have lightning quick reflexes and the speed of a cheetah, both which seem to have left me since this pregnancy begun.

IMG_6067

IMG_6068

That particular Wednesday I made sure to only put in one ear bud so I could listen for the propane truck while I was cleaning the apartment . Sure enough, right as I was wringing out the mop I heard the propane song.

With my cat-like reflexes I jerked out my ear buds, which happened to get tangled in my hair clip costing me a much needed thirty seconds to untangle the mess. I grabbed a cardigan to cover my naked arms (wouldn’t want the outside world to see my sexy elbows) and dashed out the front door of our apartment with money in hand determined to catch the propane man.

Did I mention that I didn’t have on any shoes…and we live on the side of a steep, rocky hill?  But, none of that mattered because this Mama needed to cook for her family and friends.

I rushed out the door and quickly realized the elevator was going to take too long so I needed to run from the fourth floor down to the main level of our apartment building. I could still hear the faint sound of the propane song so I was confident I could catch him. I sprinted out the front door with my cardigan half hanging off my arms (scandalous), my hair a big hot mess from the earbud dilemma and my feet dirty from running down four flights of stairs. I rounded the corner to our apartment entrance in just enough time… to see the propane man take a left and head the opposite direction of our home.

At this point I wanted to scream like a two year old and throw dirt in the general direction of the propane man. But I was determined not to allow Mr. Propane Tank to get the best of me.

I started sprinting down the hill. Unfortunately, the propane man did not see me and he was driving faster than this pregnant girl could run.  So I gave up. I accepted defeat and I started the long walk of shame back up the hill. I am sure my neighbors thought “poor American, she doesn’t have a clue.”

By this time our oldest son had joined my efforts to chase down the propane man and he told me that if I would just keep running I could catch him. I turned around again and realized the propane man had stopped at the bottom of our hill. He had juked me by putting the truck in park, which mutes the loud lovely music. I had no clue he was still at the end of our road until my son pointed to the bright blue bumper sticking out down the street.

Once again, I found the motivation to run a bit further down the hill just in time to catch him before he hopped back in his truck. In my very broken Arabic I managed to tell the man that I need him to come to my house.

It must have worked because before I knew what had really happened he was standing in my kitchen changing out my tanks.

IMG_6066We were able to get two full tanks all for the low price of $30. Im just hopping that a YouTube video doesn’t pop up one day of me frantically running down the hill. Trust me, it was not one of my finer moments. But in the end, we had propane and more importantly we had food to eat with our friends.

Our 4th of July

Our 4th of July

The holidays we are used to celebrating in the states tend to come and go here in the Middle East without a thought unless you are intentional to make them happen.

In an effort to make the 4th of July feel a little more like what we are used to we attempted to have our first “cookout.” Since we don’t have a back porch on our fourth floor apartment, we chose a nice meadow right down the street. Ok, so maybe meadow is a strong word but it was an open field with lots of rocks to scale, plenty of trees to climb and open space to run.

IMG_5781We all know you can’t truly celebrate the 4th of July without a cookout. I channelled my inner Pioneer Woman and managed to whip up some pretty yummy hotdogs via a non conventional cooking method. No need to worry folks, those hot dogs are 100% halal. No pork on our block.

IMG_5780

In lieu of fireworks and swimming pools we had a rope thrown over a tree limb or a “Middle Eastern Swing” as we like to call it.

IMG_5782The boys had a blast and have asked almost weekly if we could go back to the “meadow” to play. You see, it’s all about perspective people. And in the eyes of my little guys, it was the best 4th of July celebration a boy could have asked for.

IMG_5783

And I must admit, we didn’t think it was half bad either. IMG_5778