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: Headed to Dubai tomorrow! We'll be back just in time for Dalton's 2nd birthday. Don't say we never bought you anything, boy!

[Comments] (2) The Truth Comes Out: We walked into church yesterday morning...
Maggie: Mommy! They don't have the TV!
Me: That's next week, sweetie
Maggie: But there's no TV!
Me: It's there. It's in the closet. They'll set it up next week. If you want, we can watch a video of the Prophet on the computer when we get home.
Maggie: So... I have to go to Primary today?

I don't know what Maggie has against Primary other than "I'm scared" and "People are mean" (which they're not). I told her I won't be going to Primary with her when we go home, and she's like, great! But in the meantime, she clings to me, won't sit down, sing, or say her scripture that she has perfectly memorized. Even though they give the kids chocolate bars for practicing the program. I think there might be a correlation between "Ethan and Maddie" leaving and her change in attitude. She brought up Ethan and Maddie after I told her she'd have her friends Ethan and James in her new class in Utah. Maybe she'll be ok once it's white people (who don't pinch).

: Hmm. The hotel only offers free internet in the lobby. So, I don't have to pay for the glass vase Dalton is carrying around if he breaks it, right? Not my fault?

Dubai: There isn't as much to tell about Dubai as you might think. It's hot. The main thing there is shopping, which we weren't impressed with. And we spent a lot of time covered in sunscreen and water.

We spent two days relaxing on the beach alongside the Persian Gulf in the morning and playing in the snow at Ski Dubai/hanging out in the mall in the evenings. The beach was awesome. The sand was soft, the water was unbelievably warm, and it was so easy to float. We rented an umbrella and beach lounges. It was very nice and relaxing.

We took turns in the snow park since Dalton was too small to play. They had innertube slides, bobsled, and sledding. Maggie loved it.

In between beach and snow days, we went to the Aquadventure water park at Atlantis on The Palm. It was fabulous! They had a long "lazy river" type ride, with rapids and wave sections. The innertubes had the kids' holes sealed off so they could sit without falling through. John and I took turns doing down the big slide that went through the fish tank, but mostly we just floated around on the rapids.

Finally, we went to the Burg Khalifa, the world's tallest building (and attached to the world's largest mall). It wasn't as impressive as we'd hoped. Dubai is a new city. There are a lot of buildings in-process and a lot of... nothing. Desert. The view wasn't much to speak of. Also, Maggie was afraid. After we came down, we watched the water fountain show (on the world's largest fountain, of course).

We went to Rainforest Cafe for lunch to celebrate Dalton's birthday. Naturally, he was afraid at first, but when we left, he was waving goodbye to the snake and the giant crocodile.

The best thing about Dubai was that it wasn't India. It was hard to come back. John freaked himself out when he realized we had 4 Sundays left in India and thought that meant four weeks. But we leave on a Monday - three weeks from tomorrow. And we are counting down.

Dalton Boy: I guess I am too good about blogging Dalton updates, because I don't have much to say for his birthday. I tried repeatedly to get him to say "I'm 2!" but each time he shouted "Three! Three!"

He is a brilliant boy and knows hundreds of words as well as the ABCs, colors, a few shapes and numbers, and how to be completely adorable. He still uses signs, too, mostly "please" and animal signs. Unlike Maggie at age 2, he likes to feed himself, he sleeps through the night, he tries to get himself undressed, and he is friendly.

When Dalton is frightened, he prances over and hides behind my legs. He is afraid of animatronic dinosaurs, animals outside the zoo (ie. monkeys on the balcony) and strange noises.

He loves to "watch". TV. Anywhere. He likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Blue's Clues and Dora, but he will watch anything. The toy store in Dubai had TVs playing commercials - one playing a Barbie ad in the Barbie room, etc. Dalton wanted to watch them all. I am looking forward to having the TV all the way downstairs once we get home, so he won't always be turning it on.

[Comments] (2) How the World Works:
Maggie: We are going back to Utah, then in 21 days we're coming back to India!
Me: We're not coming back to India.
Maggie: But I like India!
Me: ...

[Comments] (1) The New Red Doggie: It wasn't until I scrapbooked with Dalton over my shoulder that I realized how many pictures we have with his alligator in them. That thing has had his tail chewed on all over the world. Thanks, Auntie Rachel!

[Comments] (1) Evolution Schmevolution: Maggie is tearfully trying to convince me to ask Heavenly Father to fix the dinosaurs. She has such eloquent arguments as "If we just bring back the herbivores, they won't eat us" and "The plants will grow back."

[Comments] (2) Travelling Buddies: Our kids are great travelers. You may already know this. You may have assumed this. You may have assumed the opposite. But it's true. Whether we wake them up for a flight early in the morning, or just hours after they went to bed; whether Dalton misses a nap (or 5 in a row); whether we feed them Indian airplane food or granola bars; they are well-behaved, excited, cheerful and adorable. The last time I remember either of them being really obnoxious was on our way home from Hong Kong, when I made Dalton "cry it out" in the airport so we wouldn't have to do it on the plane. I don't think the kids have slept on an airplane since then, though.

The only trip for which we purchased a seat for Dalton was the one here - and that's because we thought we'd probably return after he turned 2. Did you notice we came home from Dubai the day before his birthday? He sits on one of our laps and plays with the TV remote, or colors. He can share a seat with Maggie to look out the window.

Both of the kids think airplanes are exciting. They never seem to get ear pain. We can only hope that they've gotten all their traveling out and they won't wonder why we're sitting around at home not going on fun trips.

[Comments] (3) I Don't Like Candy Corn: This afternoon John called to say there was a carnival of sorts set up in the courtyard of his office complex. Dalton wasn't napping, so we headed over. The kids had the run of the place. There was a bouncy house, a manual McKay Mouse merry go round (stick your kid on and give it a push) and a train that went in a 10 ft diameter circle. Dalton rode the train 5 times. Maggie jumped.

Afterwards, we went upstairs to celebrate John's departure. He got a nice gift, and a nicer card, and the kids had 8 pieces of cake between them. Eight! I can't do anything to stop Indians from feeding my children excessive sweets. Maggie was actually quite friendly, maybe because we'd just been a week ago and the environment was familiar.

When we got home, our package from Jamie had arrived! 32 days? Sheesh. Any bets on whether we can eat 3 pounds of candy corn in 10 days?

[Comments] (1) Goodbye Stuff: My friend Teresa came over tonight and they left with bags and bags of stuff - toys clothes, sheets, food, kitchen stuff etc. The house already looks better. On Friday I am taking everything else that we don't want to Kannagi's house. I love decluttering.

Happy Diwali!: As far as I can tell, this is the biggest Indian (Hindu) holiday in this part of India. Yesterday our neighbors decorated their doorways with flower garlands, candles, lamps, and displays made from chalk and kum kum powder. It doesn't seem like fire crackers are at all regulated here, so anyone can light fire crackers of any size... anywhere. Including under trees. It was a noisy evening, a noisy night, and a noisy morning, but not as bad as I expected. We just don't understand the fire crackers that crack, but don't even light up.

Yesterday I did some last minute shopping. A lot of the handicrafts shop assistants are young men from Kashmir. That seems kind of random, but we all know there are certain jobs in the US that seem to attract specific nationalities. Anyway, I went to my favorite shop and bought four small, brass idols that I've thought about buying for a long time. They look just like monopoly pieces, expect they're solid brass. The shop assistant and I were trying to identify some of the gods and were able to make most of them out. I think he was quite surprised when he pointed one out as the snake god and I knew the name was Nagalakshmi and we laughed at the absurdity of a Christian and a Muslim sorting through Hindu idols.

[Comments] (2) More on Diwali: We insisted Sandeep take two days off, since he has a five hour drive to his village, and we didn't really need him. We took a few autos out and about on Wednesday. Then we spent Thursday lying in bed being sick.

Wednesday night must be the big night, because that was definitely when we heard the most fire crackers. They were going off from 6 until after we went to bed at 11 - constantly. That is a LOT of fire cracking. I also noticed some of the shops and autos had banana leaves or tree stalks tied on either side. Must be auspicious.

I was supposed to go with Kannagi to take some things to her house today. We gave her lots of kitchen stuff, clothes, baby stuff, food, etc. Unfortunately, I was definitely not feeling up to it and Maggie refused to go without me. So, she ended up just taking Dalton, and the camera. Dalton got to meet his namesake*. He was fast asleep on Kannagi's shoulder when they returned, so I didn't have to worry about him refusing to nap without his crib (now passed on to the younger Dalton).

*I can't remember if I've blogged about this already, so I'll mention it again. Kannagi mentioned the name Dalton to her daughter, and she liked it. So, not only did Kannagi's grandson end up being named Dalton, they gave the baby his dad's middle name - Roy. Really!

[Comments] (4) Homeward Bound:
This is Halloween
Home for the Holidays
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Leavin' On a Jet Plane
So Long, Farewell
Ticket to Ride
To the New York Island
Gone to Look for America
The Land of the Free
Taking the Long Way Around
From Sea to Shining Sea
The Long and Winding Road
Take Me Home

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© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.