Easter Bunny Ears

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I was woken this morning by the youngest muppet, I heard him walking through the hallway because he sings the “Imperial March” from Star Wars where ever he goes. “Wake up mummy” he said softly “It is Easter Bunny day and there is a basket of treats and lots of chocolate for you”

He led me down the stairs and he and his brothers started hunting for easter eggs. The youngest muppet was interested in the eggs for about 10 seconds and then asked me if he could eat his chocolate bunny. Dave diverted his attention back to the egg hunt. I could see that all he really wanted was that bunny in his belly!! The poor kid really didn’t stand a chance where chocolate is concerned, both his father and I are chocoholics!

After breakfast each muppet had a few chocolate eggs, I told them the bunnies were for later in the day. At 7:50am both the middle muppet and youngest were standing beside my chair with sad little I need more chocolate faces on. “We just want to eat the bunny mum, then we won’t eat anymore” begged the middle muppet who has the sweetest tooth in all the land and a reputation of eating so many sweets that he gets sick. I told them to talk to their dad, I was done trying to regulate the chocolate consumption for the day.

The muppets were told that they could eat the ears off their bunnies and then save the rest for another day. They happily agreed to these terms and I opened the boxes one by one for each of them. The oldest and the middle muppet let me break off the ears for them but our littlest independent muppet had to do it himself. I hadn’t even gotten the other to bunnies back in to their boxes yet when the middle muppet yelled out “He’s eating the whole thing Mum!! He has eaten not just the ears but the head too!!” The youngest muppet guiltily handed me the half eaten bunny with a chocolate grin on his face.

The Easter candy is now in a high security facility and I am sure the youngest muppet is planning his strategy to break in and steal the rest of his Chocolate Bunny!

Happy Easter to you all!!

Exploring Art

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The oldest muppet is a boy of few words he doesn’t share much about his school activity and we usually have to pry information out of him. He came home last month really excited because at the end of March his class was going to be taking a trip to the Museum of Islamic Art. He wanted me to come and volunteer with his class, the two of us had made a trip there before and he was thrilled to be able to do it again.

We arrived at the school at our normal time, I said goodbye to him and assured him that I would be at his class a little later. I dropped the middle muppet off at his class room and said our usual goodbye of a thousand hugs and kisses and made my way back to the Grade One hall way. The oldest muppets class piled nosily on to a small bus and we traveled down the streets of Doha towards the Museum. The oldest muppet got off the bus and beamed at me, “This is going to be a great day isn’t it Mum!”

The class entered the museum which is a beautifully designed place with amazing architecture and is place right on the water. I was in charge of the biggest muppet and his friend and we walked around the exhibits looking for different shapes and patterns in the art work. It was wonderful watching all of the children become so involved in their work, instead of looking at pieces of art in text books they were able to experience it right in front of them.

The next assignment was a bit more involved the students were each given an ipod and they were told to take pictures of pieces that they found interesting. Then they had to draw a picture of it and answer some questions about the piece that they chose. We discovered old candle stick holders, vases, carpets and water jugs, the oldest muppet was amazed that some of these objects were over 800 years old. He was curious about where they came from and what people used them for.

After we finished at the museum we enjoyed a picnic at the park and the children ran off all their energy at the playground. As we walked back to the bus the oldest muppet took my hand and he chattered the whole way about playing with his friends and the artwork we had seen. “This was such a good day, it was totally epic Mum!”

I know that one day he will not ask me to join in on his field trips and that a morning with mum will not be “epic” so I will take this day and put it away in my memory. I will save it and remember his smile and the sparkle in his eyes as we explored and enjoyed the day together.

Another Goodbye

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Our household has spent 3 wonderful weeks in the company of my amazing mother. She was able to join in on our daily life and activities and see how we live here in Doha. Her last trip was only six days a few months after we moved, it was a whirlwind trip that included 3 days of rain and a lot of getting lost in a city I didn’t know that well. This time we were able to enjoy the mornings just her and I after the muppets were dropped off at school. We probably haven’t spent this much time together as mother and daughter since I was a baby!

The middle muppet enjoyed having his Nana at his finger tips, he insisted that she  walk him to his class room every morning. Then it was 3 hugs, four kisses and a high five to say good bye. As he walked out to the school yard he waved and blew kisses calling “goodbye nana, bye nana, love you nana” He told her daily that she was going to stay in Doha forever and that Papa should just come and join us and bring all of their things and live here.

The smallest muppet got to spend the most time with Nana, he was done school at 12:30pm and joined us for lunches or shopping excursions most afternoons. His favourite part about having his Nana here was the fact that she would sit for hours reading stories, playing spaceships, airplane and light sabres with him. From the moment that Nana woke up in the morning the youngest muppet would be waiting for her on the couch with a book on his lap.

The oldest muppet was happy that Nana got to see him in his triathlon and watch him at gymnastics. Everyday after school he presented her with a certificate that showed that he was a star role model in his class that day and also received a “Dragon Award” for being respectful while she was here. The oldest muppet was excited to show Nana the cultural village and loved sharing pool time in the afternoons.

The day arrived that Nana was due to head back to Canada, the middle muppet was still in denial when we picked them up from school to take them for lunch. He was convinced that Nana was going to stay with us forever. Bed time stories were read, and goodbye hugs and kisses were given, the muppets promised to read stories to her on Skype then it was done. We walked from the room commenting that tomorrow could be a rough day for the three of them and for the two of us as well. We watched the newest episode of Greys Anatomy together and made our way to the airport. As we walked in the the departures terminal we looked around for the KLM desk and quickly realized that it was not there. We were told that she missed the flight, we were a day late.

We both stood dumbfounded deciding what to do next, and drove home laughing about our mistake. The next morning the muppets were excited to find that Nana had stayed! They had all got their wish she was here for one more day. It was not a great day as we tried to rearrange flights and figure out times and money that needed to be spent.

We sat on the muppets bed again reading bedtime stories, I told them that Nana would be leaving tonight so to give her goodbye hugs and kisses. “But what if she doesn’t go again like last night?” the oldest muppet asked. I explained that we booked her ticket today and that she would really be going. All three muppets cried out how sad they were to see her go, they said another goodbye and another good night, and I am sure that they were wishing she would miss her flight again.

The two of us stood at the airport tickets in hand, luggage checked and security before us, we both remarked on the wonderful time that we had and that it would only be a few months before we were together again. I came home emotionally and physically exhausted, it had been a stressful day. Dave said that at the end of it all when you are sitting on your death bed no body says they wished they would of had more money, a bigger house or a faster car. Everyone wishes for one more day, just a bit more time, one last goodbye and another I love you.

We were given just that.

Tell me more… tell me more

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Eleven days ago the count down was over, the three muppets and I made a mad dash to the airport in Doha traffic to pick up our long awaited guest… Nana was finally here. The past eleven days have been a whirlwind or exploring, reading stories, showing classrooms, cubbies and playgrounds, introducing friends and teachers and sitting in traffic. It has been all about Nana which is wonderful, the muppets have been able to spend some quality time sharing their lives here in Qatar with her.

The two of us got to spend a laughter filled shopping weekend in Dubai, muppet free! It was wonderful mother daughter time that was much needed and Dave and the three boys had a few days to bond. I am not often away from the children and after about 24 hours I start to miss the madness that usually surrounds me. We arrived back home tonight earlier then expected, the muppets were sat on the couch watching a documentary about a crater in Ethiopia. As soon as we walked through the door all three muppets sprang off the couch! The smallest muppet jumped in to my arms and gave me the biggest hug, he then put his little hands on both of my cheeks and said “I missed you Mama! LOTS!!”

I was bombarded with a dozen questions at once, the oldest wanted to know if we saw the Burj Khalifa (The tallest building in the world) he then proceeded to tell me that the Chinese were trying to build something taller. They told us about the fun weekend they had spent with all of their friends and Dad, there wasn’t a pause between, stories or questions! Dave looked at me and asked if I had enough yet? I was soaking it all up again, enjoying the muppets excitement to see me and loving all the stories they had to share with me.  It is always nice to go away, have some time to myself and reenergize but coming home is usually my favourite part of the trip!