I am back from my holiday abroad and it is definitely a refreshed start here! Just before going on my vacation in September, Words ‘n’ Needles rebranded to Jeddah Mom. I wrote about my decision to change the name in this post here.
I have just returned from America and Canada where I had gone for my vacation. It was my first trip to the West and a very different but exciting experience. I didn’t write about the trip before going because I was unsure if we would really go! Believe it or not: we flew the day we got our passports in our hands?! 😀
Anyway, we had an amazing time seeing almost one half of America and the Ontario region in Canada. I’ll write in details about what we saw in each country in another post but for today, here are the highlights from the trip:
What is it about America?
I always wondered why Asians move so far away to America and Canada. I wondered what the West had to offer that was not already available closer home? Almost everyone these days, have someone from their family- close or related, living or migrating to the US or Canada. What ever their reasons for moving, I wanted to know what kind of life they were living, what their challenges were and how different Saudi Arabia is from the West. (Oh come on! We have no taxes!!)
I was lucky to meet quite a few friends and they offered all the information I craved. It was fun reuniting with old friends from school and college too. My kids were amazed to meet them.
Meet your family, kids!
I have cousins who I hadn’t seen in ages. My husband has siblings, who my kids have never known. Since we always head East for our vacation, this time when we headed West, my children got a chance to know their extended family.
We tried to include all kinds of educational experiences for my 9 year old son and 4 year old daughter because we were already missing one whole month of school! Our youngest, Cuppycake (age 34months), enjoyed meeting new people and discovering new places. She is my little ‘social butterfly’. I am glad that her aunts and uncles were able to enjoy her little chatter. My kids definitely brought back beautiful memories of their newly discovered family members. I hope it will be easier to stay connected with them now.
Traveling with Kids
I have had lots of experience flying with babies and toddlers in the past 9 years but this year was the best! We now have experience traveling by road in foreign lands too! 😀 And you know… Flying with the kids in the US (on domestic flights) is not the same as flying with kids on international flights. (Ditto for land travel!) With my 3 children- one hyperactive big kid, one sensory preschooler and one dogs crazy toddler, it was quite an adventure!
Chasing Fall in North America:
When we planned our trip, we knew that Fall would be a great time to take the kids but really, I don’t think we could have imagined that it would be this perfect!
We went to both US and Canada. In the US, we arrived in New York. Then it was long road trips along the East coast stopping and visiting the cities in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, all the way to Washington DC. We then drove back and took a flight to Dallas, Texas. It was road tripping in Texas too. We saw as much of it as we could before flying north to Chicago and then off to Canada.
In Canada, we were amazed to see the trees changing color for the Fall season! This was our first experience and those colors totally blew us away. We were in Toronto mostly, but saw some of the neighboring towns too. Of course, we had to see Niagara Falls! It was fun that we could see it from both the US as well as the Canadian side. We also tried to look at the real beauty of Canada by heading in to the forests. The fun was the cool weather though! Brought up in Saudi Arabia, we had never experienced what being cold was like! From living in 30ºF-42ºF all year around, experiencing 9 degrees was FUN!!
Right now, It is good to be back home. We had a week of jetlag but this week, Thankfully, we are better. This was also our first experience with jetlag and I think I have learnt some great lessons. ‘Try to stick to your old routine’, for example. 🙂
With November just about to start, I must tell you about my goals and why I am really excited to be back in Jeddah! =)
A refreshed Start to November
- Easing back into the routine. It took us one week to recover from jetlag. The kids were back in school even then but, their routine has been disturbed. I am slowly getting them back to working and resting at the right time. I think this whole month will be focussed on getting the children to eat, sleep and play on time.
- Get the house in order. From the day I returned, I have been doing nothing but sorting the house. There was so much laundry to do and then so much to put away. I feel like my luggage exploded as soon as I got back to the comfort of my home! I am busy decluttering again. I’ll be targeting toys and clothes this month.
- Simplify life in the kitchen. With so much to do around the house, I need to work at reducing the time I spend in the kitchen. My youngest had gotten used to being around her siblings all these months. Suddenly with everyone away at work or school, she is lonely and confused. I let her help me in the kitchen as she is at the age where she can carry out simple instructions but I have found that I have to be alert all the time. Add to that that I am also tot schooling her most mornings; preparing things before hand is definitely making things easy for me. I am also working harder at planning meals ahead of time now. This weekend, I cut up all my veggies and prepared some dump meals as soon as I got home. Simple things like this save so much time through the month.
- Learn the new crafty toys. I got the Cricut Explorer Air! I have been wanting this little craft machine forever! But… I couldn’t find it here. So when I got a chance… and this fantastic offer(!!), I bought it! More about it in a post of it’s own because Oh-I-have-a-story-to-tell! So far, I’ve only unboxed it last night and tested this little card. So excited to try more projects.
- Sewing Projects. I also got a sewing machine. I still haven’t unboxed it but hopefully, I will soon. Before I married, sewing was my favourite hobby. This is my first sewing machine that I have bought. I am very excited but at the same time super scared that I may mess it! More about it in a post of it’s own.
- Birthday time. My eldest will be celebrating his 9th birthday later this week. I am busy planning and I guess this week, all my crafty time will be spent working on it.
I think that is about all for now. I am really excited to be back to blogging! I’ve definitely missed you guys.
New here? Don’t know about Monthly Goals?
Every month, I get together with my friends and we share our plans for the coming month. This helps us keep motivated in our busy-mommy lives. Writing about our month, helps us have ideas to be creative and fun. We share a bit of our personal life too so that you, our readers, can get a glimpse behind the scenes. I hope you enjoyed reading about my life today. You can click below to visit my friends and get inspirations for your home and school.