I had to quit my job teaching English and sell my little side business when Jose and I decided that we were moving to KAUST. I welcomed the time off though because I’d worked for almost 9 years non-stop and I was pretty burned out. Based on all that I read online, I knew that KAUST was a great place to raise kids so we planned to have a baby here.
When you move to a new place you have to start all over again. It took me some time to meet other young moms and find out what activities were available for mommies and babies but now we have a regular weekly schedule we stick to.
On Sundays there’s story time for 0-3 year olds at the Harbor Library. Anna is the volunteer storyteller. She prepares the story books and activities for the kiddies. Whenever she’s on vacation or just not able to come other moms can take her place. This past Sunday she was unavailable so I volunteered to read the stories and the other moms helped me with some songs I wasn’t familiar with.
On Wednesdays we go to Kindermusik. Leona teaches that one and she’s a very sweet teacher. The first time we went to the class Jasmine was so tired she napped for 4 hours straight afterwards. That’s when I knew that we HAD to keep going back. It’s 250 SAR for 4 classes and you can choose one Kindermusik instrument. So far I’ve gotten the train whistle and some bell bracelets.
On Thursdays we have playgroup in people’s homes. We take turns hosting and last week was my turn. I wish I could say that it’s no big deal and I was really chill about it. But the truth is that I had housekeeping come in to clean the floors (I didn’t want the kids playing on dirty floors), I called the gardening service to trim the grass and pull out a bunch of weeds in the backyard (it was beginning to look like a jungle out there), I washed Casper (he always stinks), and I spent the night baking brownies and muffins and cutting fruit and vegetable sticks. The morning of the playgroup I looked at my dining room table saw that even though I slaved away the entire night, it still looked bare! I then decided that I needed to prepare something salty so I quickly cooked a tortilla de patatas. I didn’t really have a lot of toys for the older kids but it was okay because the older kids wanted to play with Casper outside. Some of them were fascinated and wanted to keep touching him. My friend even remarked that she needed to borrow our dog for when it’s her time to host.
On the days when we don’t have an activity, I usually take Jasmine to the supermarket, to campus or swimming. We stay at home sometimes but I really feel that Jasmine gets bored at home (crying and complaining for no apparent reason) so I force myself to go out. Yesterday I planned to take her to the Museum of Science and Technology in Islam on campus but couldn’t find it so ended up visiting a friend at work instead. There’s baby yoga (which we haven’t tried) and bouncy castle at the Harbor Sports Center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (we don’t go because Jasmine’s too young for that).
If we’re busy in the morning then Jasmine ends up taking a 2-3 hour nap at noon (yay) so I get to eat lunch, catch up on housework and even start preparing dinner. At 5:30 I take the baby and dog out for our daily walk. Sometimes I meet a friend and we walk together. Jose comes home for dinner, we give the baby a bath then bedtime, then we work or surf the net or watch a movie then it’s bedtime.
And just like that, another day passes.