Monday Happy Hour

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 7

Hey everyone, welcome to this week’s edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour! We took last week off because we were on vacation to Oman, so here’s what we’ve been up to . . . . .

Oh Man, Oman was Awesome!

Our trip to Oman last weekend was awesome, it is such a beautiful country!  We enjoyed seeing our friend Mike and his boys and had a nice visit. We spent some time at the beach, ripped around on his jet skis in the ocean, and went for a hike in the mountains.  It was a relaxing trip and the perfect getaway for the weekend.  We’ll try to get some more pics posted soon.

Basketball Team

A few weeks ago, I started coaching the U14 Girls Basketball team at our school.  We’ve only had two games so far, and I’m happy to report that we are 2-0!  The team is composed of 6th, 7th, & 8th graders, and it has been a ton of fun!  We spent a lot of time on the basic fundamentals for the first couple of weeks, but now we are slowly starting to incorporate some offensive plays and defensive strategies.  We’ve continued to improve each week, which has been fun to see.

Baseball Tournament

Baseball Photo

This last weekend the local baseball organization here in Kuwait hosted teams from all over the Middle East for their annual tournament.  A total of 20 teams participated and came from Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. I umpired 8 games in two days, so it was a busy weekend!  Rachel kicked butt being wife/mom of the year keeping our family running smoothly, while I was off enjoying my favorite hobby! So a special thanks to her!

Here’s a pretty cool photo that the Tournament Photographer captured of me in action during one of the games:

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McDonalds Serving Beer in Korea

Last week Rachel’s aunt emailed me an article that she found on CNBC.com entitled: McDonald’s to Offer a Beer with Burgers in South Korea.  When I read it, I chuckled when the author referred to South Korea as the Ireland of Asia, because of it’s huge drinking culture.  According to the article, South Koreans consumed a staggering 27.5 liters of alcohol per capita in 2010.  For comparison, Irish drinkers only consumed 14.7 liters of alcohol per capita in the same year (half as much!).  It’s kind of funny that we are moving from a dry country without any booze, to one of the most alcohol friendly countries in the world!  If you are interested in reading the article, you can visit it here.

We’re Having a Visitor . . . . 

We are so excited to welcome my sister to Kuwait tomorrow!  She is coming for about a week, and we can’t wait for her to meet Hayden.  We’re going to show her around and give her some insight into our lives’ here in the Middle East.  I’m also hoping to have her do some blogging while she is here!!!!!  I’ve been looking for a Guest Contributor lately, and I think she is going to be an excellent candidate.  She doesn’t know that I’m going to ask her yet though, so hopefully she says yes.

Until next week ya’all . . . . .

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Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – February 22

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour! Here’s what I’d have to share if we were meeting for Happy Hour this week . . . . .

  • First of all, I apologize for skipping last week’s Happy Hour!  In fact, this week’s edition almost didn’t happen either . . . . It’s currently 10:30pm and I’m laying on the couch exhausted, but I thought I would throw something together quick for you.

We Have a Roller

roll over

  • It was a big week for Hayden, he rolled over for the first time from his back to his stomach!  Of course we didn’t get the first roll on video, and in fact, we still haven’t got one of them recorded!  In a world where it seems like people are constantly glued to their phones/cameras, every time he rolls we shout, “where’s my phone, where’s my phone?!?!?!?!”  We never find it in time!

We found Hayden’s Kryptonite

boogy

Photo courtesy of: http://www.nosesucker.com

  • Hayden received his 4 month vaccinations this week.  Here in Kuwait, the government requires children to get certain vaccinations.  Since they are required, you have to go to one of the Government Clinics, which is unlike any hospital/clinic I’ve ever been too.  It’s crowded, the waits are long, nothing seems organized, and they are only open certain hours each day.  It sure makes us feel grateful that we have health insurance so that we can attend the private clinics/hospitals for medical care.  The nurses we had were fantastic and Hayden was a totally stud!  Once the needle poked him in the leg, he gave us a weird look and just crinkled his eyebrow.  He let out one small wimper, which I translated to, “ouch!”  No tears, no crying, just a total tough guy!  However later in the night we noticed a booger in his nose, so we grabbed his lil’ boogy sucker thingy (I think this is the official name).  As soon as he saw that thing near his nose, he let out a bloodcurdling screammmmm!  He’s our little macho man, but he hates this thing, so apparently the boogy sucker thingy is his kryptonite.

We Love Vacations

oman

Photo courtesy of: http://www.buzzfeed.com

  • On Wednesday of this week, we are heading to Oman for a 4-day weekend to visit our friend Mike and his family.  Mike was the person who encouraged us to consider a life overseas, and specifically in the Middle East.  Since he moved to Oman over 5 years ago, we kept telling him that we were going to come visit, and the time has finally come.  We’re excited to explore Oman, check out some of their amazing beaches, and just enjoy a cold beer with a great friend.

Short Week

  • This weekend, Kuwait is celebrating it’s two largest holidays of the year, and they are on back-to-back days!  On February 25th Kuwait is celebrating National Day, which marks the creation of Kuwait as a country in 1961.  On the next day, February 26th, Kuwait celebrates Liberation Day, which marks the end of the Gulf War in 1991 when Kuwait liberated from the Iraqi invasion.  As a result of the holiday weekend, we only have a 4-day week this week!  Get this though . . . when our week was half over here in Kuwait (2pm on Monday) the work week in Minnesota hadn’t even started yet! (it was 5am on Monday)  Woohoo, only 2 more days until vacation!

See you next week ya’all!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – February 8

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour!  Here’s what I would share if we were meeting for Happy Hour this week:

Hayden is 4 Months Old!

family selfie
  • It’s hard for us to believe, but lil’ Hayden turned 4 months old this week!  It blows our minds how fast the time has gone by, but it also kind of feels like he’s been around for a lot longer than that too.  The lil’ dude tugs at our heart strings on a daily basis and has brought so much joy and love to our family, that words can’t even begin to describe it.  It’s probably a bit hard to tell from this family selfie we took, but at his last doctor’s appointment, his head size was in the 75th percentile, his weight was in the 97th percentile, and his length was off the charts!  This lil’ HUGE guy is getting so big, and our Pediatrician calls him Hercules.  Hopefully he’ll make his parents a lot of money in the NFL someday!

 

Mosque in a Roundabout

mosque roundabout
  • The other day I was driving in an unfamiliar part of downtown Kuwait City, when I came across something very interesting . . . . a mosque in a roundabout!  It was dark out (sorry for the crappy picture) and I was just following along with the Google Map on my iPhone, and knew that I had to turn at the next roundabout.  However when I looked up, there was a beautiful mosque that looked like it was in the middle of the road!  There are so many elegant mosques here with mesmerizing architecture, but this one really caught my attention since it was in the middle of a roundabout.  During our tour of Kuwait’s Grand Mosque, I remember our guide telling us that once a mosque is built, it can’t ever be torn down.  They can remodel and upgrade it, but it can never be destroyed or removed.  Which made me think . . . . . . was this particular mosque built before the roads, and so the engineers had to divert the traffic around it . . . . . hmmmmmmmm, not sure!

I did a bit more research on it (like 5 seconds on Google) and found out that it is called the Murgab Mosque at Al-Shamlan Roundabout.  Here is better photo of it thanks to http://www.dreamstime.com:

dreamstime mosque

Photo courtesy of http://www.dreamstime.com

Someone Found a Land Mine in Kuwait

Land mine article
  • I love reading the local newspaper, the Kuwait Times, because you never know what you’re going to find.  Speaking of finding something, apparently people are still finding land mines from the Iraqi invasion 25 years ago in the desert outside of Kuwait City!

 

Whoaa Truck

abraaj truck
  • I was driving the other day and got stuck behind this guy.  It might be hard to tell from the photo, but the truck was leaning BIG time to the left.  At the next intersection, he took a sharp right turn, and I just stopped in traffic, waiting for the entire rig to flip over on it’s side!  Luckily it didn’t, but I swear his tires were off the ground.

Make Yourself Proud

motivation

By: Unknown

  • I stumbled across this quote online a few months ago, and for some reason it just hit home with me.  So much so that I took a screen shot of it and saved it on my iPhone.  I kind of forgot about it until I was looking at old photos the other day, and it brought a smile to my face again!  I was asking myself the same questions two years ago, when we were debating on if we should move overseas to the Middle East.  (for the record though, I never dieted, cried, or hated myself, I just questioned and wondered if we would regret it)  I finally got to a point though where I just said, “we only have one shot at life, let’s live it up!”  So I leave you today to ponder the question, Are you making yourself proud?  If not, remember . . . . you only have one life, spend it well, go out and live!  Make yourself proud!!

Adios for now everyone!  Come back again on Wednesday though to see what decision we chose from our previous post.  Are we going to stay in Kuwait, go back to the United States, or move to another country?  See ya then!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – February 1

What’s up everyone!  Welcome back to our (*hopefully) weekly Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour post where we can catch up on what’s going on in our lives, and any unique things I encounter in Kuwait that I think you might find interesting.  So here goes, February 1st . . . . .

My Sister is Coming to Kuwait!

  • We are so excited to welcome my sister to Kuwait next month!  She’s coming for 10 days and we can’t wait to show her around and give her some insight to our lives from the last 2 years!  We plan on hitting up some of the places that we’ve talked about here on the blog, and also hopefully taking a quick trip to Dubai.  She’s never been to the Middle East before, so we are looking forward to showing her all the cool things that it offers, and how safe it is!!!  We still have openings here at Hotel de Johnson if anyone is interested in a vacation to Kuwait this year!

My First Kuwaiti Beer

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  • I bought my first Kuwaiti beer the other day!  No, it’s not what you think . . . . . . they did not legalize alcohol here, it’s a non-alcoholic one!  Rachel was preparing dinner the other day in the crockpot and realized the recipe called for a beer.  So I ran to the little bakala (corner grocery store) to grab one.  I took a small taste and it wasn’t good!  I guess I’ll be waiting until our next vacation out of Kuwait for my next beer.

I Nailed Dinner Last Weekend

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  • I’ll admit it, I do not do a lot of the cooking around here!  Partly because I’m terrible at it and it stresses me out, but also because Rachel is awesome at it!  She researches new recipes, does the meal planning, grocery shopping and viola, a delicious meal is on the table!  However, I took over dinner the other night, and totally nailed it!  I saw one of those dumb 30 second movie clips on Facebook where they magically whip together a meal, and decided to give one a try.  I made salmon, asparagus, and potatoes and it was fantastic!  *When I told Rachel I was going to put this on the Happy Hour post, her reply, “what, you make dinner one time and you’re going to talk about it on the blog!?!?  YES, I am.

Brrrrrrrrrr, It’s Freezing Here!

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  • Most of you probably saw my post about the Snow in Kuwait from last week, but all winter has been super chilly compared to last year.  This weekend at around 4am, the temperatures officially got down to the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius)!  They even cancelled baseball games over the weekend due to the “extreme cold weather” (windchill of 32 degrees Fahrenheit)

Funny Photo of the Week

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  • I pulled up to a red light the other day, and noticed the guy in front of me hand wrote the brand “Daihatsu” on his tailgate.  I’m not sure if the truck was actually a Daihatsu or if he just wished it was, but regardless . . . . . he found a black marker somewhere and tried his best to make it look legit.  Kudos to you my friend for the valiant effort!

That’s all for this week folks, I look forward to seeing you again next Monday!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – October 19

After a brief break from our weekly Happy Hour posts, I am back!  It was tough to come up with a list of topics for this week, because basically all we have done is cuddled our new son Hayden.  Today he is officially two weeks old, and still perfect (in our eyes)!

Hayden is 2 Weeks Old Today!

collage

Some of my favorite pictures of Hayden thus far.

  • We’ve been adjusting to life as parents, and couldn’t possibly love it more!  We feel so blessed to have such a happy & healthy little boy, who brings so much joy to our lives.  Sure, sometimes changing poopy diapers at 3am isn’t much fun, but when he snuggles in and falls asleep in your arms, it makes it all worth it!  He eats, he sleeps, and he poops, so he is a perfect newborn baby!

Our New Sleep Schedule

sleep

All snuggled in!

  • As all new parents know, living with a newborn baby leads to many sleepless nights.  The first couple of nights we would just stare at him while he slept, periodically checking his pulse to make sure he was still alive.  The night before my birthday he gave me the best present ever, he slept for 7 hours straight!  We didn’t sleep for 7 hours straight that night though, we were still up every half an hour checking his pulse.  Since then he’s been a little rock star when it comes to sleeping!  He loves his crib and must have inherited his love for sleep from his mother.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

  • We are pretty fortunate that our lives in Kuwait provide us with time off to spend at home with Hayden.  By Kuwaiti law, Rachel is able to  take 70 days off of work, with full pay!  Her maternity leave will run until December, when we get another 3 weeks off of work, so technically she is off until after our holiday break in January!  Kuwait doesn’t have a law granting fathers any paternity time, however my position is very flexible and my employer has been supportive of my desire to stay home and help care for Rachel and Hayden.

Now That We Have A Baby, Is It Time For A Minivan?

IMG_1725

Durango looking all tough with the jack on the back . . . .

  • When guys find out their wives are pregnant, one of the first things that goes through their mind is, “oh crap, we better not be buying a minivan, because I refuse to drive one!”  Well, we aren’t buying a minivan (yet) but our Durango did lose a bit of its masculinity today and is one step closer to looking like a minivan.  Today I decided to take the big ass jack off the back!  The jack is so heavy on the backdoor, that someone has to hold it open to load the stroller in.  When you are trying to load a baby, bags, a stroller, a wife, and everything else, there was just too much going on to have two adults load a stroller. So, I swallowed my man pride and took it off.
Durango no jack

No more jack . . . .

Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanks to our friends at www.thepearlcurriculum.blogspot.ae for organizing the potluck, and for this great photo.

  • Last Monday was Thanksgiving in Canada.  We have a lot of awesome friends here from Canada, so we were invited to celebrate with them at a potluck dinner!  There was about 30 people there, and it was so nice getting everyone together and giving thanks for such great friends.  On Thursday, November 26th, we’ll celebrate the “real” thanksgiving with our American friends! 🙂

Hilton Resort Walking Paths

path

2 weeks old, and has already been to the ocean multiple times.

  • One of the reasons we got a membership at the Hilton Resort this year, was because of their awesome paved walking paths throughout the property.  We were excited that we could spend all winter outside going for family walks and getting Hayden outdoors.  We’ve been a couple of times already since he’s been born, and we just love it!  One loop is about 3-4 kilometers, so its the perfect distance for a short walk, or you can do the loop multiple times for a decent one.

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – September 28

Hey folks, welcome to another week of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour!  After 10 days off for the Eid Holiday, today was our first day back to work.  It was a bit difficult to wake up to an alarm clock, but we made it!  It was great to be back to school and hear all of the stories from our friends who traveled around the world, as well as see all of the kiddos!

Here’s what’s up this week:

  • Rachel and I love reality TV!  As much as I hate to admit it publicly, one of our favorite shows is Survivor.  Most of you are probably thinking, “What?!? They still make that show?!?”  Yes, yes they do.  Survivor first aired in 2000, and is currently on season #31.  We are “closet fans” meaning that we don’t openly admit it to people we first meet, for fear of embarrassment.  However when we moved here last year, we met another couple that were just as big of fans as us!  We were so excited to receive a piece of tree mail from them last week, inviting us to a Survivor Premiere Party!

    Upon our arrival, we were greeted by other fanatics, and no longer felt like we had to hide our enthusiasm for the show.  One of the party goers even admitted to writing a huge essay in college, regarding the gender roles on the show!  We all demanded a reading next week prior to the new episode.  The party was excellent, we each had our own torches, we wore buffs, and of course there were themed snacks!  At the end of the episode, we held a little “draft” to pick who we think is going to win this season.  It will be fun to meet up weekly with our group to watch each new episode, and to see who’s going to win!

Survivor

The 2015 Survivor Crew

  • Baby J is scheduled to join our family at any moment now.  Lately I’ve been busy trying to read as many parenting/baby books as possible, almost as if I were studying for the most important exam in my life!  Some are helpful, some are gruesome, some crazy, but I finally found one that is absolutely hilarious!  My favorite one so far is called, My Boys Can Swim by Ian Davis!  I would literally “laugh out loud” while reading it.  It’s only about 90 pages long, but the author does an excellent job of presenting important information through humor.  I highly recommend it for any soon-to-be dads out there!
My Boys Can Swim

Thanks Amazon.com for the picture

  • I was reading the online edition of the local newspaper, The Kuwait Times, and stumbled across an article that made me chuckle a bit.
Kuwait Times

I haven’t had to dig any holes yet since we’ve lived here, and after reading this story, I don’t think I will be anytime soon!

  • Back in the United States, we always here the name: John Doe.  He’s a mysterious guy that nobody has ever met, yet we all feel like we know him!  It’s the name that the police use when they have an unidentified suspect, the name people use when they don’t want to reveal their true identity, and it’s the name that credit card companies use for promotional cards.  Last weekend I found out that the John Doe of Kuwait is named Abdullah Ahmed.
John Doe
  • While I was driving the other day, I noticed a goofy piece of equipment.  I took a closer look and realized that it was a “cab less” loader.  I’ve logged plenty of hours operating a loader that you think I should be able to easily identify one, but I thought this one looked so goofy without a cab or even a roll cage!
Front End Loader
  • Rachel and Baby J are doing great!  Rachel is officially 38 weeks pregnant, and I feel like he could come any day now.  He’s an active lil’ guy and is still gaining weight each week.  The doctor said he seems happy and content inside Rachel’s tummy, and that he isn’t showing signs of leaving anytime soon.  Rachel is doing a phenomenal job of keeping him cozy, as we patiently await his arrival!!!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – September 21

Greetings Everyone!

Welcome back to another edition of “Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour!”  If we were together and meeting for happy hour this week, here’s what I’d have to share:

  • This week I bit the bullet and purchased NFL Game Pass, so that I could keep up with my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings.  I splurged and purchased the “Season Plus” package for $199.99 (USD).  It includes all of the 2015 pre-season, regular season, playoff games, and Super Bowl 50!  It also includes archived games dating back to 2009, NFL Redzone Channel, Coaches Film, and the NFL Network channel until August 1, 2016.  Overseas, you have the option to watch games live or replayed in either full version or the condensed version.  It is incredible!!!  I spent a majority of the weekend sucking up as much NFL coverage as my brain could handle.  I can watch the games on any mobile device, but best of all . . .  I can watch it through our Apple TV too.  It is going to be so awesome to keep up with the NFL this year!
NFL Game Pass

One of the coolest things about NFL Game Pass is that I can watch 2 different games at the same time: 1 on my laptop and 1 on my Apple TV!

  • Today we were at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment.  We were sitting in the waiting room when I noticed today’s copy of the local newspaper.  There was an Arabic edition and an English edition.  I chuckled to myself when I turned to the Sports section noticed the heading below.  We’re nearly 10,000 miles away from America, in a country where few people know the game of baseball, yet the St. Louis Cardinals clinching a playoff berth is big news in Kuwait!
Arab Times

Sports section of today’s Arab Times.

  • So far, we are having a great Eid Vacation!  We are in day 4 of 10 and it has been everything we’ve hoped for.  We’ve wrapped up a few loose ends for Baby J, so I think we are officially 100% ready!  We’ve spent a lot of time at the Hilton, did some work around our apartment, a little bit of shopping, and just chilling out and relaxing.  It’s been an incredible few days, and I look forward to the next week off too!
  • Last week, my parents officially booked their flights from America to Thailand for our Christmas Holiday.  My parents will be meeting up with us for about two weeks.  We are so excited to be spending the holidays with them and for them to meet their first grandchild!  Now that their flights are booked, Rachel and I have been busy trying to finalize our plans and accommodations for the trip.  We are going to be spending lots of time at the beaches in southern Thailand, but it is so hard to pick which one to go to!  We’ve been doing a lot of reading and research and I think we have narrowed down.  One of my favorite parts about vacationing is the planning stages.  You learn so much about countries, and it’s fun to try and line up all of the logistics.
  • Baby J is doing great!  We had another doctor’s appointment today to check up on the little fella, and the doctor said he is looking perfect (must take after his parents!).  Rachel is at 37 weeks and they are estimating that he weighs about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg).  The good news is that the size of his body has caught up to the size of his head, so hopefully we won’t have to worry about having a bobble head baby (inshallah).  Today the doctor also said that he looks like me, and has my lips . . . . WHAT!!!  I don’t know how she can tell these things, but again . . . . . I’m assuming it was a compliment?!?

That’s all for this week folks.  Wherever you are reading this I hope you are well, safe, and happy!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – September 14

Cheers!

Welcome back to our first edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour of the new school year!  It’s a way for me to share news, stories, or just fun tidbits of what we have going on in our lives.  The kinds of things we would discuss if we were meeting with our friends and family back home for a happy hour to enjoy a cold beer or glass wine.  So let’s get started . . . . . . .

  • It has definitely been hard getting re-acclimated to the weather these last couple of weeks.  It has been super humid since we’ve been back, which has made the weather almost unbearable somedays.  The highs have been around 112-118 degrees Fahrenheit.  However the other day, with the humidity, the heat index was 133 degrees Fahrenheit!  Needless to say, we spend a lot of time in the A/C when it gets that hot.  Earlier this week I stopped over at our mechanic’s house and had him top off the freon in our car after school.  Now it is pumping out some nice freezing cold air!
Freon Recharge

The Durango getting topped off with some freon.

  • Last weekend, a couple of friends and I went boating in the Persian Gulf.  We went out for a night cruise and had a ton of fun!  It was the first time it’s been out since last May, but it fired up right away.  Unfortunately, the lights stopped working during our voyage, so we had to rely on the moonlight for navigation. Also, the swells were a little bigger then we expected and the bilge pump wasn’t working, so we took on a bit of water.  The good news though, we had 2 life jackets for the five of us guys and we all survived!
Boat

Heading to the Persian Gulf to do some boating.

  • When it comes to finding “western products” at the grocery stores here, you never know what you’re going to find.  It’s kind of like Costco back in America,  they’ll have a certain product, but when they sell out, they won’t have it again for another 6 months.  I was pleasantly surprised this week when our favorite grocery store had a huge collection of Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot, and Siracha.  I’m not a big fan of spicy food, but we definitely stocked up!
Siracha

The hot sauce aisle was full of goodies last week!

  • I’m organizing a Fantasy Football League again this year for a bunch of the teachers we work with.  A few nights ago, we hosted the draft at our place.  Of course I feel like I drafted the best team in the league, but we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out as the season progresses.  I had to take a picture of one of my friend’s notes and share it with everyone.  She was so organized and kicked ass at making a game plan.  As always, it should be a fun season of smack talking with friends!
Football Draft

My friend’s notes that she took during our fantasy football draft.

  • One of the coolest things about living abroad are the sights you see on a daily basis.  After awhile you get used to them as you slowly become acclimated to the culture.  This year, I want to try my best to capture some of the interesting things we see on a daily basis and share them with you here on our blog.  Here are a few for this week:
  1.  I saw this tiny little truck in a parking lot the other day with 3 huge round bales of hay.  I was shocked that such a little truck could handle that amount of weight, but also wondered where the heck they found such lush and green hay in the middle of the desert!  Don’t worry, the bales weren’t tied down either!
Hay in Truck

That’s a lot of weight in that little truck!

2)  I captured this picture while driving the other day, and it always amazes me that people can carry things on top of their heads!  The bags always look so heavy and I can’t figure out how they can keep them balanced.

Lady

It amazes me that people can carry things on their head like this.

3)  I still can’t get used to the idea that most people here don’t use car seats.  While at a red light yesterday, I was starring at 3 kids in the back of their Pajero without carseats or even seat belts!  The driving here is very aggressive, and all I could think of was the tragedy it would be if someone rear ended this car.  Scary!

No Carseat

It is rare to find young children in carseats or even seat belts here.

Well that’s all for this week folks, we’ll see you guys next Monday for another edition of Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – May 25

Happy Monday Tuesday Everyone!

For the second week in a row, we are meeting for our Monday Happy Hour on a Tuesday . . . . . my apologies!  I’m sure all of you are anxiously waiting to see what kind of blah blah blah Mitch is going to come up with this week (*end of sarcasm)

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  • The weather is definitely warming up here in Kuwait!  The highs each day have been 110+ degrees with the lows overnight in the upper 80s.  Next week they are forecasting a high of 118 degrees!!!  It is kind of crazy though how quickly you can adapt to it.  When we arrived in Kuwait last August we instantly experienced a 40 degree change in temperature overnight, from when we left Minnesota to arriving here.  It was miserable!  At least now, we can ease into the heat from spring into summer.  The other day I realized that I have officially become acclimated to the weather here in Kuwait.  I was standing outside waiting for a ride about 5pm, and was thinking to myself, “wow, it’s really nice out right now.”  I was standing outside for about 10 minutes or so, just playing on my phone, when I stumbled across the weather and realized that it was 104 degrees out!!  We keep joking with friends that we are going to have to buy a winter parka when we get back to Minnesota for the summer, because the weather is going to be around 70-80 degrees.
  • A buddy and I have officially started a new Saturday morning tradition . . . . watching the Minnesota Twins game!  We wake up early, get the game fired up online, and enjoy our morning coffee while watching some baseball.  He is from Minnesota too, so he’s just as big of a fan as I am.  I love watching sporting events here online.  Even though a majority of the games we watch aren’t live, it’s easy to avoid the scores to see who wins.  Then you can just watch it online whenever you want!
  • Last week Rachel and I crossed a BIG item off our ‘To Do List’ . . . . . we ordered a car seat and stroller for Baby J!  We have been researching the different brands a lot over the last couple of months and finally decided on which ones we wanted.  Unfortunately though, they don’t sell either of the brands we wanted here!  We got super lucky though, and were able to get them shipped here to Kuwait!  We ordered a total of 4 pieces (stroller, car seat, adapter, and an accessory) but had to order each item from a different website.  Certain websites wouldn’t ship certain items overseas to us.  So we had to kind of manipulate the internet a bit to get all of the stuff shipped.  Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it all arrives!
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  • Last weekend I crossed another item of my ‘To Do List’ by backing up all over our photos onto an external hard drive.  A lot of the photos were candid shots that we had taken on our iPhones from the last year or so.  I stumbled across the pic from above and my mouth started watering!  It was a photo I took last summer, the night before we left for Kuwait, for a little “going away party” we had with some friends and family.  Only a couple more weeks, until I can enjoy an ice cold beer on the lakes of Minnesota!

The Countdown:

  • 9 more days of school with the kids
  • 16 days until we arrive in Portugal
  • 22 days until we arrive in Minnesota

Cheers everyone!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – May 18

Happy Monday Tuesday Everyone!

If we were meeting for Happy Hour this week, here’s what we’d have to share:

  • This weekend we enjoyed an extra day off on Sunday for the Muslim holiday Isra and Mi’raj.  Isra and Mi’raj marks the Prophet Mohammed’s journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and his ascent into heaven.  The holiday was on Saturday, May 16th, but about a week ago, the Kuwaiti government announced that it would be observed on Sunday.  As a result, all schools were closed and we enjoyed a nice 3-day weekend.  The majority of our weekend was spent relaxing, hanging out with friends, and reenergizing our minds as we begin the home stretch towards summer break.
  • A lot of the teachers who are leaving Kuwait at the end of the school year have started to sell a lot of their household items.  We have purchased a few odds and ends over the last few days, but I’m most excited about my new coffee maker!  Now you might be thinking to yourself, “you’re excited about a used coffee maker?”  Well . . . . they are actually pretty expensive here and rather difficult to find.  It’s been so nice to have the last couple of days and is so much more convenient to use rather than my old french press.  There are a few more “garage sales” around our apartment building this weekend, so we’ll see if I score a few more treasures.
  • The last couple of weeks I have been able to get back on the basketball court to ref a few games.  I’ve been doing both the boys and girls 5th grade teams from our school.  It has been a ton of fun to officiate again, but even more enjoyable to cheer on the students from our school as many of them explore a new sport.  Obviously soccer is #1 here, but it is great to see them stepping out of their norm.
  • Since our doctor’s appointment was canceled last weekend because the doctor was sick, we were able to reschedule it for this weekend. I get so excited for each of these appointments, and wish we could go everyday!  It is so incredible to see our little Baby J on the ultrasound, and the growth between each appointment.  I find myself starring at the monitor and just watching and observing, in complete amazement.  This weekend we got to see a nice profile view of the face, with the little nose and lips.  We even got to see a big ‘ol yawn . . . . . it was soooo cool!  We also got to see the arms, legs, vertebrae, and genitalia!!!  We still have some family and friends we want to share the news with, but stay tuned to the blog this week to find out if we are having a boy or girl!

One month from today, we arrive back in Minnesota for the summer!

Hope everyone is well and we will see you next week for Happy Hour!