The End

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Why am I the one?

For over a year, FUN's Some Nights album was the soundtrack to my life. It lived in my car, I sang along with all my heart to every single song. When I was a teenager there was Alanis' Jagged Little Pill. Some Nights became my (slightly-more-than-) quarter-life-crisis album of choice. Every single song spoke to me in one way or another. It was as though the songs were written about me and my journey.

One song stood out.

Or go on, go on, go on, if you were thinking that the worst is yet to come
Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?
For once, for once, for once I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong.
Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?

I'd sing along and tears would fall. I never thought there'd be a day when I could sing along to that line: For once, for once, for once I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong - and truly mean it ever again.

When we lived in England, I loved it. It wasn't even a whole decade, but it is what I consider home, not in the sense that my family is there, but in the sense that my soul belongs there.

However, I always felt slightly like a fraud saying that. It was hard to fit in and truly make it into what it would be if I did grow up there. And there was always the fact that I sounded different that was a constant reminder that while I feel like I belong there, I don't quite.

Then we moved to Malta, the place I spent 23 years of my life. It should have been easy and yet I felt more like the outsider than ever. It's hard to explain. Small island mentality was something I had eagerly left behind. I couldn't bring myself to switch back. People no longer got me. I was very often the weird one with strange "foreign" ideas, and a very different sense of humour.

(If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone... 
Carry on.)

And then there was Dubai. And already, a month in, it feels like I might be singing along to that line in complete agreement for some time to come.

For once, I get the feeling that I'm right where I belong.

Dear Adam, You're One!

Dearest Adam

So much to say. So many moments I'd like to freeze frame. So many looks, smiles, giggles, the feel of your soft, golden curls. You are the happiest baby I've ever met. Your smile is contagious, you bring joy everywhere you go. You love giving hugs, you curl in and snuggle against my chest, head laid gently on my shoulder. You throw kisses, when you fancy it. You give us high fives, and then laugh with pride at this major accomplishment. Your twirling feet are never quiet, your hands always clapping, waving, pointing.

Your favourite things are wheels, shoes, climbing stairs, turning on the tv (but not watching it), the washing machine (which you call "ra ra" because it goes round and round), eating bananas, and drinking as much water as an elephant probably does. Mickey Mouse, birds, cats and fish make you go several levels of crazy, you just adore them too.

We can barely remember a day without you, little boy. I know your sister certainly can't. You have completed our little family and made us all so much happier. I hope your giggle never fades and that you're always as ready to cuddle as you are now.

This year will bring big things. You'll soon walk, you'll talk, you'll discover a new home (again), you'll make new friends, see new places. You'll get taller, no doubt. Do it all, but don't do it too fast. Your first year has gone by way too quickly and I want to absorb as much of your second year as is humanly possible.

I love you, monkey boy. More than you could ever imagine.

Mummy xxx

The Other Side

We've been in Dubai for a week now. It feels like we've been here forever.

The very beginning was not great. I kept thinking things had better get better. Malta International Airport offered up it's most unprofessional personnel, the plane we were on (for eight hours) was an old one so it lacked all the fancy stuff we'd promised Emily and stuff we'd banked on for entertainment, Adam screamed for three hours straight because he was annoyed that he wasn't in his cot, Emily gagged on a piece of pasta and vomited all over herself and her blankie, the meet and greet service we booked (to make things easier because we were landing at 1am and wanted as smooth a transition as possible) were waiting to meet and greet us at a different gate to the one we got dropped off at, and to top it all off, when we got to our (non-smoking but still stinks of smoke) apartment at around 3am, the cot we'd booked for Adam wasn't there.

I was in no mood for much else by that point. It was 3am, I was exhausted and really stressed out, and I regretted it all. Emily was in a similar situation, saying already that she wanted to go home. I hated that I couldn't muster up the positive energy to so much as try to convince her otherwise. All I could do was hug her.

The cot arrived and eventually, we went to sleep.

When we woke up, things were different. Somehow, we got the kids on to UAE time within the day, and they were in bed by 7pm. This was something I had been worried about as I didn't want to spend a week wasting mornings because they were fast asleep until 10:30am every day.

They did wake up late that first morning, but it was all about catching up on sleep. They were obviously so disorientated from the broken night the night before on the flight over, they had no idea whether they were coming or going so fell into the routine I offered them right away. I am hugely proud of them for this.

Everything got better. David and I were the walking dead that first day, but we had smiles on our faces. We ran some errands, and by the time David started work after the weekend (Sunday!), I was eager to and confident about getting out on my own.

The kids have adjusted well, Adam especially, but that's no surprise. Emily loves Dubai but has struggled with missing her friends. It's broken my heart (and the hearts of the mothers of the friends who also miss her) to think that they understand friendship so deeply at such a young age. We are eager to meet up with everyone in Malta in the Summer.

All in all, I regretted the move at 3am on the night we arrived, but there hasn't been a moment of remorse since then. I find myself wishing we moved here years ago. I feel at home, at last. I feel like I fit in. I am deeply happy and content and so very glad I gave in and said yes to the move.

I have lots to blog about. We celebrated Adam's birthday early the weekend before we left Malta, to be able to celebrate with family and friends there. We hope to move out of temporary accommodation and into the house next week. Emily is fully in big girl pants and Adam is trying to walk!

Here's a quick look at what we've been up to this week: