Monday, August 11, 2008

Egypt, Cyclops, Pokemon and Kindergarten

We are finally back in Egypt after R&R. We arrived back on Friday after a pretty smooth flight, one stop-over, from DC. Smooth except that the kids were not able to sleep for the majority of the flight - not good. Not saying that they were not good, nope. They were very well behaved. We received several positive comments from fellow passengers about their good behavior. It was "not good" because they - and we - were exhausted by the time we got here.

We left our hotel in DC Thursday morning at 9:30am, stopped at our favorite UPS store in Columbia to mail a box (which arrived TODAY - 4 days later!), had lunch at Ruby Tuesday, and got to Dulles in plenty of time for our 5pm flight.

The flight was about 6hrs to Frankfurt. You'd think that by (DC time) 11pm the kids would have been a little tired. No. Brian slept less than an hour. Honor not at all. We had a couple hours in the Frankfurt airport followed by a 4 hour flight to Cairo. Brian did sleep - crashed - during this flight, but not the whole of it. Honor only slept for a very short time... right before we landed!! It was as if she'd stayed up until 5am DC time! It was very hard to wake her to get off of the plane! I had to promise to carry her once we were in the airport to get her moving without risking a melt-down. Poor little bit. She was very tired! To give her credit, she did try to sleep. She couldn't until she got so tired she finally went out. This is how I am on flights too, or cars for that matter - if it's moving, I'm not sleeping, no matter how I try. She liked the idea of being carried, so she woke up enough to get off the plane. Yes, I carried her.

Once we got in the airport, we got through customs, got our bags, and caught our ride home. It was 30+ minutes across town and I kept Honor singing and playing until we got there. Brian was keeping himself occupied by looking out the window. I didn't think I could carry Honor anymore if she slept again! She's getting big. We arrived home around 3:30-4pm on Friday (Cairo time) and being home was enough excitement to keep us awake for a couple more hours. Hit the bed at 630pm and we were out.

Well, out, but only in 2 hours chunks - o wait, that was just me. I woke at 8pm and had to get up and walk around a few minutes before I could sleep again. The cats woke me up at 10pm and I had to get up for awhile again. Midnight, Honor climbed in with me for some snuggles. She stayed about 15 minutes, but my neck hurt and I couldn't sleep cramped up, so I walked her back to her room and sat with her a bit until she went to sleep again. At 2am, Brian came and tapped me on the shoulder. (Why is it that the kids can't find their dad's side of the bed in the middle of the night??!!) Brian was coughing and wheezy and wanted his inhaler. I got up and had to search the house and luggage.

Brian wanted to get up at 2am, but I explained that whether he was tired or not, he had to try to lay in bed, eyes closed, and rest. Jetlag is best tackled head-on. I asked him if he wanted one miserable night of not sleeping, or several. He only wanted one and said he would try to sleep. I lay back down again... for a short while. At 3am he was back and bored out of his mind. I told him he could turn on the small lamp by his bed and read in bed. I asked him to try and stay in bed in the soft light until at least 630am. He did. He read for 3 and a half hours! I managed to stay in bed until 4am, as did Brad, but my back wouldn't take anymore than that. We got up. I stayed up until 7am, but had to go nap again for a couple more hours. I woke Honor up at 9am! 14 hours of sleep.. by a child who despises sleep... yea, she was tired.

Saturday night was better, although Honor took a turn at getting up way too early. I think that I actually had 4 whole uninterrupted hours, in a row! We're getting there. At least she was kind about waking me and just came in and snuggled until my alarm went off, then she wandered back to her room to play with her Barbie laptop. It was nice to be serenaded with her keyboard accompanied version of "Do, Re, Mi" when I got out of the shower.

Today was Honor's first day to meet her new teacher. There was a 1-hour meet and greet for kindergartners. Very exciting. We went with friends although it ended up that they did not get the same class. They'll have plenty of playground time and other time together during joint class activities. Too bad though. They'll make more friends. Brian had to tag along and he was pleased to see that Honor's class is the one that his 2nd grade class had been 'reading buddies' with last year. He hasn't found out who his 3rd grade teacher will be yet. His first day is tomorrow. I'll try to remember the camera tomorrow.

The kids spent the rest of the day playing Pokemon, goofing off, pushing my buttons by pushing each other's buttons, and alternatively being very UN-helpful (making messes and not listening) and being VERY helpful (putting away laundry, toys, cleaning & setting the table, etc.). Too much energy and lack of purpose - school is starting just in the nick of time!

Brian has mastered his favorite PC game and expansion pack (Age of Mythology with the Titans campaign expansion), single player, over the summer and is now begging us to play multi-player. We haven't had time, so he is trying to teach Honor how to play. This is a teen level game and requires reading, but he was working very patiently today trying to explain the strategy of building city centers, and deploying forces. "Take your Cyclops, yes, that's him, very good. Now have him attack the wall over here... "... I wish I'd had the video camera handy!! He's teaching her Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythological characters and creatures before she is comfortable reading whole 'Level 1' books! He is a good big brother - even if his ultimate goal is a partner for a multi-player game. He has been teaching her how to play the Pokemon trading card game too. She's reading well enough now to understand some of what is on the cards.

As for me, I spent the rest of the day cleaning, recovery from R&R, catching up on regular stuff, unpacking boxes that have arrived, getting ready for school, and banging my head against the wall around the internet trying to order car parts. We're back to slow and continually stuttering DSL :-p We were spoiled by the speedy cable back in the US... sigh... I never did get through to any of the on-line shops I tried. I probably should try more now, but I am too tired. I'm thinking it's bedtime. It's currently 8 hours until time to get up - my goal tonight is FIVE hours in a row sleep! Bonus points for anything over that.


Simple Answer said...

Jet lag is the worst! We had the same night when we got here with musical beds and misery in the AM.

I'm ready for school to start too!

Christine said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound! I hope they get back on their regular sleep schedule soon. Our kids go back this Thursday!

Cairo Mama said...

International travel with kids over 9 months is rough. Ian is wanting to be carried more lately. Annoying! He is heavy and I am pregnant. I want him to walk.

Today we took the metro and it was hot, humid with lots of steps and no elevator. Two women in heels helped me on two sets of stairs, but other than that I had to take Ian out, move him, then move the stroller. Heavy. Heavy. Heavy. Not to mention the hike up the hill after we got off the train to come home.

Glad everyone is recovering a your house and you had a safe trip!

srsr said...

Glad your're home safe and sound. We've been missing you all so much.
Wm. gives us daily reports on his webkinz earnings for Brian. All the cousins had such great fun together and Brian and Honor interacted great with all the different ages from Tommy on up to Adam.
Andrew has a new favorite shirt thanks to you. He's been wearing the red dragon one at least 90% of the time. I've promised to have it laundered and ready when he goes home for his first day of school.
Kisses to you all!