Wednesday, July 11, 2012

8 July: In search of a camp

8 July Our routine during my morning exercise workout is changing a tittle.  Emi now plays with the nice wooden fruits/knife/cutting board set AND the toy car/derby lent to us by my new friend Amy.  Yumi is experimenting with the new ABC and coloring apps we acquired for her.  For now, they are occupied.  I had hoped Yumi would learn to recognize all the letters (lower too) and say their sounds by the end of the summer.  I am pretty sure she can but I can see she has not yet reached an understanding of phonics and how to sound out words using the sounds of the letters. This was an embassy pool morning.  Most of the embassy friends we've made are leaving this week for new posts so this was their farewell pool day.  We enjoyed the sun, water, playground, and an embassy club lunch.  Well, "enjoy"...hard for me to really enjoy unhealthy expensive food served in styrofoam but I just don't have the enough food on hand in the hotel to make a healthy and filling picnic lunch.  Well, that and the ability to haul said lunch around.  I have to pack light in order to make travel with three small children feasible.  So I had to suck it up and order something I knew would be eaten (chicken nuggets) and insist they eat some vegetables first.  By the way, those of you familiar with my battle over the carrot with Emi will be happy to learn that we have found an acceptable compromise here in the Jordan: cucumbers.  Emi likes cucumbers!  Pretty sure they do not have nearly as many vitamins as carrots but listen--cucumbers are GREEN.  If she can live with that then I definitely can. I was unable to spend much time helping Yumi practice "swimming" because I was too busy trying to keep Aya from walking into the pool.  Yes, walking...she is walking!  Yay Chub!  Emi insisted on wearing floaties but barely got into the pool, preferring to following six year-old Grace (Natalie's daughter) around.  Yumi also played with Grace but spent lots of time in the shallows asking me to swim with her.  Sigh...I don't know how feasible or enjoyable a pool visit is with these girls!  Emi gets too cold and wants to get out and be wrapped in a towel, Yumi wants me to pull her around the pool, and Aya is content/safe when held.  When we visit the embassy pool, at least we are there with friends with whom I can leave a girl for a bit while attending to others.  If we start going to the Sports City pool more often now that most of our embassy friends are gone, well, I am not sure how much value we will get/fun we will have.  At sports city we will be on our own.  Emi will likely want to linger pool side, complaining, Yumi will be in the pool, complaining, and Aya will need to be held.  I bought her a little floatie for infants but it is too narrow and wobbly.  Totally unsafe.  I will have to always hold her. After naps I intend to take the girls over to the youth club (sports city) to get this week's summer camp schedule.  I believe I will take Yumi there tomorrow.  I have some lingering concerns, primarily about safety.  From what I could see, there are a tons of kids participating and they do not have camp shirts or wrist bands or anything.  How do the camp leaders keep track of them all?  I hate to paranoid but I find that I am. We all exchanged hugs when Natalie and Grace saw us through the exit to sign us out.  Interesting to note how Yumi understood that Grace is leaving for America (home leave before Thailand) and asked/told me later that we would "never" see her again.  Knowing our world, they will probably end up roommates at BYU, but she had a point.  I worried that knowledge of Grace's travel plans would prompt Yumi to start in on begging to go back to Herndon but thankfully no.  In fact, she has been awesome all day, even during the long trip back to the hotel after swimming.  During nap: Still working on King Abdullah's book.  Interesting.  I wonder if I can find it on audio?   This afternoon: we had a semi-pleasant post nap period with stories and ABC flash cards.  Once everyone was up we headed over to the youth club ostensibly to speak to the kids camp director about this week's schedule.  He was not there.  Someone gave me his phone number and I decided to call him then and there.  I had to cut my phone call short, however, when I noticed Yumi and Emi engaged in an out-in-out brawl just down the hallway.  Honestly!  I was a very annoyed mother for the next 15 minutes and just steamed while I made them sit in timeout in a stairwell.  I chewed them out (in Arabic) which must have been pretty amusing for any Jordanians within earshot--and there were plenty.  Seriously, though.  Grrrrr, still mad.  But after they had their consequence we moved on to the promised playground visit.  I had brought with me all the food we had on hand at the hotel since there are no restaurants on the way to the club from which I could pick up any take-out (excepting the fancy club restaurant of course): pita, jam, veggies, cheese.  Of course I had forgotten a knife with which to spread the jam.  Add to the facts that Aya was not interested in the food I'd brought, Yumi/Emi were more interested in playing, and flies attacked what existed of the the meager meal...well, I finally threw in the towel.  We headed back, arrived at the hotel at 7:15pm, and started "dinner" all over again with a healthy bowl of cornflakes.  In the land of amazing Levantine cuisine and we were eating cornflakes!  Well, if you had to take my girls out to dinner every night you might end up having cornflakes too once in a while. Girls to bed by 8:15pm.  One upset by Yumi at about 10:30pm when she rolled off the couch onto the hard tile floor.  Watched an episode of "Foyles War" with Nate.  Still no guest interest service.  We convinced the staff to give us the code to their office server but my iPad does not recognize it.  Alas!  Our laptop does so I will have to begin using it to check emails and compose my journal/post entries.  Hoping to be more patient tomorrow afternoon when I've been with the girls all day and I am no longer feeling nice.  Maybe I can avoid yelling at Emi if she happens to have a toilet accident (which I/she did today)?  I sure hope so.  I believe I will try Yumi out for a couple of hours at least at this youth club summer camp while Aya/Emi and I hang out in the area.  Maybe we can explore and meet some people?  I am not terribly interested in visiting the club pool again for the reasons mentioned above.  And we just went today.  Although the pool DOES have grass upon which maybe we can just sit and play?  We shall see.

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