Birthday activities galore!

As mentioned in my previous blog, my husband really did spoil me rotten this birthday weekend! From staying in the beautiful Roda Hotel, to being haunted by clowns…I literally did it all this weekend!

So where do I begin?

Initially, hubby had mentioned doing an ‘escape room’ activity and I approved based on my previous experience. For my hen do, I participated in a WW2 themed escape room experience in London, which was a lot of fun. Naturally, the thought of doing another one was very appealing. Hubby did mention that this one was scary but never did I imagine to what extent!

We took the 15 minute drive from our hotel, to another part of Dubai and was greeted by literally a horror themed escape room! Even from just standing outside, fear overtook my body! It really took some serious guts for me to even go in there and it only got WORSE! The sinister voice over the tannoy system and pitch black atmosphere was enough to make me pee my pants (and no not due to my pelvic floor). Deep Dark Dubai, hats off to you; I honestly believed that I was in a horror film and was ready to go home! It took the guilty look of my husband, encouraging words from the owner and very strict instructions from myself to tone down the scary, for me to succumb to the idea. But I did eventually go in and I wasn’t disappointed! The concept was really good, the puzzles were not too hard and the extra scary bits and bobs had me both screaming and jumping down flights of stairs! Safe to say I was so VERY GLAD when we escaped! Hubby wants to go back to “Beat the Clown” I’m not too sure about that one TBH! Maybe I will one day…A bonus is they currently have an offer on GroupOn too (thank me later)!

I survived it to tell the tale…Now onto our second day of adventure and we went flying!

I had recently put out a poll on my Instagram and the majority voted for me to do indoor skydiving and that’s what we did (well kinda)! A slightly less horrifying experience but equally a massive adrenaline rush! The staff were extremely patient and friendly despite us rebooking our slot about 10 times (life with kids!).

The centre was massive! We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived, to find that we were the only guests there. After sitting through a safety video and being geared up, we embarked on our journey to the wind chamber! Now I really didn’t know what to expect and as always offered for the husband to go first (safety test). We both had two minutes each in the chamber; it sounds short but felt like a lifetime, when we were actually in it! I also have to shout out our instructor Arthur, he was really lovely and helpful during the experience.

The chamber…well what a thing! My initial reaction on my first go was to start hyperventilating, as I couldn’t quite figure out how to breathe with wind that strong blowing in my face! I cant really say in figures how strong the wind was but I think the pictures will reveal all…

It really was so much fun and although we weren’t aware that you had to bring a USB stick to capture the raw files, we were very thankful for the DVD of the experience with additional images added complimentary! I think we will definitely be returning for another fly experience at InFlight Dubai! AGAIN, they have an offer on GroupOn (thank me later)!

Tag me in your posts and pictures if you decide to visit any of these places and I would love to hear what you thought too!

Kym x

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It’s my birthday!

Apologies that this is a tad bit late but I really was way too busy enjoying myself! I don’t know about you but I really am a ‘birthday’ person and pull out all the stops for others!

This year I had the stops pulled out for me!! Recently, I’ve been moaning and groaning to my husband that I don’t feel appreciated and “you just don’t understand how much I do!”

Man did he make me eat my words! Lol.

It wasn’t just the amazing gifts I received this year but the level of effort and organisation he put into the activities I did over the weekend! I mean…I even got a CARD!

Now being a mother of two, I’ve realised more than ever how important it is for both husband and wife to feel valued and appreciated! You can so easily get wrapped up in being “mummy” and “daddy” and forget to be “husband” and “wife” which are two different things!!

If money is tight (trust me I’ve been there), why not try a cost free AOA (Act of appreciation) like send an unexpected message of endearment, cook a meal, dedicate an evening to watch some films and perhaps indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two… Foot and whole body massage; my personal favourites!

Remember whether you’re married or not you are in a partnership and it’s so important that you take care of each other.

I also want to acknowledge my beautiful and amazing sister friends, who made it extra special. When you make the decision to be an expat, you leave everything behind! Having a network of amazing friends is so very important!

Check out my next few blogs for reviews of each of the activities I completed this weekend!

Kym x

I’m a control freak!

Since giving birth to Jaxson, I’ve realised how automatic it is for me to take over and just ‘get on with it.’ A lot of it stems from being a single parent with Arianna and the coping mechanism that I adopted. Despite having an amazing family network, the day to day raising of Arianna fell solely on me. Sounds weird but I never had ‘to share’ Arianna, I had her ALL to myself!

Now married and a second side of the family to consider, I initially found it really difficult. My husband and I, have been so blessed to have my mother in law come and stay with us for four weeks and help look after J. It has been so lovely and also a learning curve for me. Even though J is in the safe hands of family, I still felt weird about handing him over at first. What would happen with his routine that I’d set up? Would she understand his cries? Will she know how to feed and burp him especially with the GERD?

YES OF COURSE SHE WILL KYM!


NO, IT WON’T BE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU DO IT AND THAT’S OK!


I have to say that I am much better now at allowing others to help me, including my husband. I’m now fine with the fact that he changes J’s nappy different to me and also takes much longer to wash him! Lol. My husband is understanding and accepts that this is something I’ll need to work through in my own time and my own way.

Any other single parents found the transition to married life difficult?

Kym x

Is your baby good?

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their beautiful baby boy, Archie! It seems to be a baby boom of boys this year!

Yesterday, I watched the BBC News interview with the new adoring parents and the journalist posed the question “Is he sleeping well? A good baby?” Now at two days old, I am not entirely sure how you’d be able to tell!?

However, this is something that I can share familiarity with, with the birth of my son. Aside from the mandatory “Congratulations” I almost always get asked “Is he a good baby, how is he at night? Sleeping through yet?” My answers roll off my tongue like empty rhetoric from the amount of times I have said them!

What exactly is a good baby? Why does society feel the need to already make judgements / standardise a child that is not even a year old! I too was getting caught up in the trap of standardising my son; daily I found myself on the week by week baby developments, obsessing over whether or not he had hit the suggested milestones. Truth be told, I soon snapped myself out of that habit and no longer check. Instead, I indulge in the surprise of my son doing something new every day and as long as he is happy and in good health that’s all that matters!

And so he doesn’t sleep through the night yet but who cares! He will in his own time, complete his own milestones and I am content with that!

There really is no such thing as a ‘good baby’ and we must all be particularly careful that we are not causing unnecessary pressure and guilt to parents, from our lack of sensitivity!

Sleep deprivation is a serious thing and if you feel like you need the support, then please reach out to me and I can point you in the right direction!

Kym x

Family Fridays!

If someone was to ask me what is the key to a happy and content life, my answer would have to be balance.

It is imperative that whatever roles you play in life, that you have a balance. Fridays are dedicated family days, in which I spend dedicated time solely with my family; my social engagement will reduce and each week we will vary the activities.

I will be sharing some of our adventures in the ‘Parent’s Corner‘ so stayed tuned!

Kym x

I feel like S***!!!

Did you know that maternal anxiety is nearly as prevalent as maternal depression?

Here I am at the age of 20, two months after giving birth to my daughter. Behind the smile, I was lonely, sad, anxious, frustrated and feeling low. BUT I never realised until now that these were all signs of maternal depression and anxiety.

I was determined as a young single mum to cope at all costs and never show weakness, as society’s stigma was already evident for me! This was at a big cost, as I masked my feelings and suffered in silence. There were nights I would regret ever having my daughter, times I considered myself unfit and would cry at the thought of not being able to take care of her sufficiently. If only, I had the reminder that it’s ok not to be ok, my experience of motherhood would have been so very different!

This time round, I am in a totally different place in my life…thriving in raising my almost 9 year old daughter, married to my best friend and living up life in the UAE. Yet, why did I still feel anxious about being a mum the second time round? I realise that ALOT of my anxiety was developed from my innate desire to succeed in all things. I wanted to be a BOSS at being a mum of two and wife and initially felt more like a college student on an Internship!

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week and I can’t express how important it is to speak out! I have been able to manage and cope with my anxiety better this time round by acknowledging my anxiety, recognising that it is normal and speaking about my feelings (something I REALLY struggled with in my younger years). There are so many amazing campaigns and organisations out there so no-one should feel isolated in their feelings. Please feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, if you just want a listening ear!

Please do check out The Blue Dot Project and the amazing work that they are doing in addressing maternal mental health!

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Kym x

I don’t feel guilty…

Sometimes as parents you can get into a rigid routine, which often doesn’t allow the capacity for some ‘self care’ time. For some, ‘self care’ could be reading a book, watching a film, getting a massage or meeting up with friends.

For me personally, I just love to dance! Give me good music and some space and I’ll do my thing! But it saddens me to see that other mums/dads often feel guilty for letting their hair down.

Why?

I was engaged in a conversation last night about the myth

Once you have kids you life is over!

Forgive me but that’s a load of rubbish! Who says that as a mum of two, I can’t get dressed up, have a drink and enjoy myself!

After all a happy Mum and Dad = a happy child and healthy/positive relationships!

So I’m not sure what your plans are for the weekend but don’t feel guilty to slot in some ‘self-care’ time!

Kym x

A new lease of life!

It’s been a while since I lasted posted on here and my goodness is there SO much to update you all on! In truth, if any of you follow my social media you’ll already be aware that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this February! As expected, it’s taken me a little while to adjust to having two children, being a wife and also ‘finding’ myself again! I’m finally at a stage where I feel like I’ve got it together a bit, hence this recent post! Baby J is almost 3 months and being a mother of a newborn and an eight (going on 18 year old) has had me tired, stretched in a directions, moody, exhilarated, happy but also given me a new ounce of energy. Now I don’t mean physical energy more vibrations, positive ones! I feel empowered to go out of my comfort zone, set and achieve new goals and really just try and live my BEST BEST life!

So here goes it…

Hopefully you will stick around on this journey with me??

Also don’t forget to follow me on instagram, my new handle is themummarose.

Kym x

Unconventional and LOVING it!

It is now 2018 and firstly I would like to say a Happy and Prospeous New Year to all those who are reading this!

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Now there are several purposes to this blog post, the first being (like many of my others) to inspire family, friends, strangers and foes. Oh, I also need to apologise as I haven’t been as consistent with the blog writing, as I would have hoped!

My second purpose of this post is to demonstrate how stepping out of comfort zones and the norm can be so fulfilling and quite frankly fun!

Thirdly, this post will hopefully answer some of the unasked questions that we know both family and friends may have…

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So where do I begin: well for those who don’t know Daniel and I have known each other for almost 7 years now, of which during this time, a lot of our relationship was on and off like a light switch! Lol. In August 2017, myself and my daughter moved to the UAE, where I started a new job; subsequently, despite Dan and I not talking at the start of 2017, it ended up being our best ever year together! So advice point 1, not everything is instantaneous some things require a journey of maturity and development and I can certainly say, that was the case for our relationship. We spent a total of 12 weeks apart, which for some experienced long distance relationshipers may seem trivial but for us, it was major! Especially, as we had both realised that we were inseparable and despite the low points previously, did not want to do life without each other.

Advice point 2: communication. When I initially found out about the job, I shared everything with Dan and we spoke about the future and my decision to go etc. Dan understood that this was a lifelong dream for me but also it was about laying foundations for our family; I struggled with my decision as I didn’t want to mess up what we had but also didn’t want to turn the job down and live a life of regret and resentment. It was at this point that Dan started actively considering and making plans to leave the UK and move to the UAE with us! Now readers, if you know my husband you will understand that the love is real. My husband and his large family are very close and he isn’t as adventurous as me, so for him to say and action that he’s coming- sealed the deal!

Moving the story along, we had always discussed marriage and I would share with him my wish to be married before having any more children, as marriage and its meaning means a lot to me. *Disclosure* I am NOT pregnant yet! Lol. Initially, Dan didn’t share the same enthusiasm for marriage and didn’t see it as a priority like I did. It was in November, that in the midst of one of our regular skype video calls, we again stumbled upon the topic of marriage…it was different this time though, as Dan was more enthusiastic and open to the idea. We began to discuss when we’d get married, where we’d get married, amongst other things. Jointly, by the end of the Skype call, a decision was made that we would get married in London during my Christmas visit (18 days); we then later concluded that we wouldn’t have enough time or money to have the wedding we’d both want in December so decided that we’d have a ceremony, with our close family in a local registry office and then the full wedding in Summer 2018. Neither of us, felt that we wanted to wait to have everything in the summer: for legal reasons, moral reasons but more importantly, we just wanted to be husband and wife immediately. We were both truly and deeply ready to take the final step of commitment to one another.

Advice point 3: have faith. Both excited with the plans and decisions that we’d made, we started to enquire about the possibility of a registry office marriage during December in London. We hit a brick wall. With all the legalities, time frames and notice periods, a marriage in London was impossible; we even consulted the British Embassy in the UAE, who were unable to help us. It was at this point that I started to get really down but as usual, Dan kept reassuring me that it would all work out. I would like to thank my three RAK ladies (you know who you are) who implanted the seed of ‘Gretna Green.’ I was quite apprehensive about what my parents would think about a Gretna Green marriage but I put my fears to the side and we started the process (in the end they loved the idea). By the beginning of December, it was confirmed that we would be married on the 30th December 2017 at Gretna Green Registry office in Scotland.

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Now what was meant to be a basic intimate ceremony, turned out to be an intimate but unconventional wedding road trip! We travelled 7 hours by coach to Scotland on the 29th December, stayed in a beautiful castle overnight and on the 30th said our vows and were pronounced husband and wife! I missed a bit from the story, so will go back to the engagement…now in November we both obviously knew that we would be married by December, however because we were apart Dan couldn’t do a physical proposal (which was his desire). So yes, although I knew a proposal would happen in December, I didn’t know exactly when nor had I seen my stunningly beautiful engagement ring! I had however, purchased our wedding rings from Dubai at the beginning of December so we actually had those before the engagement ring.

So time frame: engaged on 24th December 2017 and married on the 30th December 2017. Although, I think for us both, we had been engaged in our souls through love and God’s grace for a while.

The actual wedding (part two) will take place this summer and planning a UK wedding from a different country is definitely something worthy of its own blog post (to follow). Our love story isn’t the norm but we have never tried to be that! What we can say, is our story is real and we have overcome a lot of hurdles, which has made our love for each other stronger every day.

We have been married now for one week and again will be doing long distance for another 2-3 weeks until Dan officially moves over. Believe me when I say true love approved and ordained by God really does win!

Love Mrs Kym Rose x

I think I’m healthy…

Today was definitely one of those “this is so strange yet interesting” experiences, one of many I’m sure to experience in a new culture.  In order to become a fully fledge resident of the United Arab Emirates, all expat adults have to undergo a thorough medical check.  Whilst in the process of arranging my new classroom, I was quickly whisked away into a school bus that took 15 of us to a location not far from school.  When we arrived at the medical centre, the ladies were shown to a “Ladies only waiting room” (something you soon become accustomed too).  We were directed by our ever so friendly bus driver, who I have to commend for his logistical rigour…

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The first room was for the biometrics and I really hadn’t realised how many different prints existed on my hand!  We were asked to take a photograph, of which I was told not to smile, after my first take.  Our driver then showed us to another smaller room, where each of us were interviewed for about 2 minutes; I was asked if I’m married (hopefully soon and very soon).  The herd of expatriate sheep were then herded to the bloods room for a blood test. Hats off to the ladies there who get through people very quickly and with minimal pain!  Having had a pint of blood taken (hyperbole at its finest) we were then taken to an x-ray room for our chest scan.  Again, the ladies only waiting area was about the size of a shoe box and we were directed to remove our blouses and bras and to fashion an appealing x-ray gown.

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“Deep breath in and hold madam”

Back to the shoe box to change and then out into the sweltering corridors to join the rest of my group.  All in all, I have never seen a medical screening happen so efficiently and in such detail. Like I said it was a strange yet interesting experience but I am excited to know that my Emirates ID should shortly be on its way!

P.s. Good news is the children don’t have to do a medical, as they would need an army to get Ri’s bloods!!

Kym & Arianna