All about our Princess

Hatta Pools August 2012 - Riane's First Offroad Drive

August 22, 2012

Over the Eid holiday, we took the road to Hatta Pools via the mountainous Munay path from Sharjah-Kalba/ Maleha Road. It was a sweltering summer and because we have a three month old in tow (yes, we brought Riane along at 44 deg celsius! And it's her first long drive with offroading), stepping out of the car was minimized, and we did the route between 11:30am to 9pm, including lunch and dinner breaks:
Dubai - Maleha Road - Hatta Pools - Maleha Road - Kalba - Fujairah City Center- New Fujairah Road - Maleha Road - Dubai
This Little Princess is on a heat endurance training at 3.5 months old.
It's her first trip to Oman's mountains at 44 deg Celsius. 
If I recall it well, this is our 4th time untrodding Hatta Pools, but this time, we had friends in a separate car along. The family is now not as excited it seems, that by the time we led the way to Dubai's Hatta Dam, all four of us just stayed in the car waiting while our friends take photos outside.
At Hatta Dam. My brother behind the camera and our friends in front.
The offroad part after the UAE - Oman border towards the pools is now undergoing widening and improvement. My driver-Husband though is not happy of the development, hoping that the little roughness of the drive be left as it is as this keeps more of the excitement. There were also two really tall and huge water tanks on the other side of the water gorges, and it's quite a distracting backdrop for the scenic nature view.

I used to believe that the mountains are 'cooler' than the plains, hence I agreed on a drive to Hatta considering that we have a Little Princess along. But I have to let go of that impression now because back in Hatta Pools, it was burning hot. We felt guilty of bringing our Riane along but we were thankful she coped, so maybe she deserves the title Little Miss Adventurous Riane instead, starting her early training of braving the sandpit heat :)

Here was our mini road trip itinerary:
1) Left Deira (Dubai) heading to Emirates Road by 11:30am.
2) Took right to Maleha Road before the National Paints flyover/ roundabout.
3) Drove straight along Maleha Road (also Sharjah/ Kalba Road) until we reached the road signposted to Munay.
4) Drove right to Munay road, driving up along mountain sides until the Hatta - Oman Road. 
5) At the exit to Hatta - Oman Road, we took a quick right until we reached the Hatta Fort roundabout (to the right is Hatta Fort Hotel and towards the left is Emirates Cooperative.
6) It's about past 2 pm by now, and we parked outside the Emirates Cooperative building and had a late lunch of chicken at Popeye's.
7) We drove towards Hatta Pools passing by Oman - UAE border.
8) From Hatta Pools, we dropped by Hatta Dam. We forego of passing by the heritage village and of going to Hatta Fort Hotel as day visitor because of time constraint. One of our mates did not bring his passport along (just his National ID used at the Hatta Pools border) in case we needed to drive past Hatta - Oman Road border so we wanted to leave before dusk through Munay where there are no lamp posts ( we were too used to the UAE lights lined roads :-) ) .
9) We exited Munay Road to Sharjah-Kalba Road towards Kalba
10) Drove towards Fujairah, and dropped by Fujairah City Center for a quick dinner.
11) Headed back to Dubai via the new Fujairah - Maleha road.
Hatta Pools August 2012

Hatta Pools August 2012

All about our Princess

Little Princess @ Two Months

August 20, 2012

While we are obligated to feed and care for our babies which could be tiring at times, the happiness (I know it's a cliche but it's not understood until felt) that comes along their every smile, cry and coos makes up for it a thousandfold. 

Here's the Little Princess at month 2, some of the photos I cant get enough of scrolling in my phone if I'm away from home:

A two months, here are princess-y some notes from my diary:

- After month 1 (2012.05.29), I love how Riane coos and blurt out syllables like an adult to clear her throat when she can not continue to cough out.
- She regurgitates her milk when her tummy gets pressed.
- Rashes showed on her face, seemingly from her tears 

- (2012.06.26) So nice and heartwarming cooing with Riane, responding with smiles and coos. Turns her body 90 degrees since early June.. Have long sleep days followed by long play days.
- (2012.07.04) Riane lifted her head and shoulders on her palms when placed on her tummy.

- (2012.07.06) Riane at two months and two weeks uttered "mmmma-ma!" protestingly as I cleaned her nose. It was rather a reflex, but I am happy still.
- (2012.07.15) Two weeks before turning three months, Riane blurted "mmma mmma mmma!" when her cries were ignored for some few minutes.  
- (2012.07.17) This week Riane turned her head on the opposite side when left to play on his play gym on her back.

All about our Superman

The Special Child

August 19, 2012

The newspaper reported a few weeks back of a Dubai school that had to expel a four-year-old pupil after two days in class apparently because he was hyperactive. (Article here)

I feel bad for the kid and his parents, but I still take the side of the school if only to save the other 20 more or less other kids. You see, my son had a “special child” for a classmate for two years who would physically hurt him, tear his books, throw his notebooks, cut his pencils, then laughs while my son cries. Special Classmate takes gladness at my son's cries. I’d say it’s not bullying because Special Classmate doesn’t seem to understand his acts. Apart from my son, he does the same to the other kids. At a point when of the disgruntled kids slammed his head to the wall. On the second year, the impact was taking a toll on our son. In response to bullying, he started changing from a rather sweet, quiet child in school to a noisy and defensive one. He shouts back at bullies with “I’ll Manny Pacquaio you!”.

We complained to the teacher but only to be told that it’s not within her control to deny the dear special classmate. That the child’s mother pleaded with tears to the school’s administrators to accept their son as the other mainstream schools already declined him. Out of compassion he was accepted.

Let’s just look at it this way: children has the right to education and we parents have the responsibility to make sure our kids can jibe socially. We don’t want our kids to put other kids at risk or be disadvantaged much as we pull our kids away from misbehaving kids. But for the really special children, I just wish more affordable facilities become available for them.

All about our Princess

Little Princess' First Moviehouse Trip: Brave

August 17, 2012

I was wrong when I thought it would take me awhile to again step in the movie house until our Little Princess at least grows bigger. Today, while we needed to wait four hours for our car's tinting, we trooped Mirdiff City Center's Vox Cinema to use time, after all it's not sale season and there's my I-do-not-care-when-shops-are-at-full-prices attitude.

Batman's The Dark Knight Rises is currently showing but Kuya Superman opted for Brave. It is the story of Princess Merida, who was determined to make her own path in life and defies a custom that brought chaos to her kingdom. She was granted a wish which turned out to be a curse. She used her bravery to undo this beastly curse. I found cute listening at the Scottish accents of the characters. Having Scots for colleagues made me so accustomed to their speech, and if there's a European accent I could readily identify is it's theirs.

Princess Merida and her triplet brothers

Our Little Princess at two weeks before turning four months old, behaved well and watched along with us, cooing once in  a while. She started getting cranky (just wiggly) towards the end of the movie, so their Dad ascended with her upstairs near the exit to put her to sleep.
Little Princess already sleeping as we left the cinema, oh well, it's 10:30pm by now.

Selling Used Cars in Dubai

August 11, 2012

Our first car - Forky the Fortuner will be five years old in a few days, but we sold her last month (2012.07.25) to Basheer who was so eager to have her.

Selling a car in the Dubai could be easy. One got to be sure of the intention before he can regret on  letting go of the dear steering wheel so quickly. Here's how we went about:

First, we estimated a fair value for our car, a price we'd not go lower to. For a car bought five years ago at AED 84k, clocked 103k kms, Toyota maintained with service contract until 125k kms, and tires changed at 75k kms, we thought selling it for AED 40k is fair. Then, we posted an ad on Dubizzle, tagged a price of AED 57k. The high price was based on prices of similar specs sold online, and to give a haggling space, that feeling when buyers would be happy if they get a good cut.

For a more technical pricing, we visited Al Futtaim Auto Mall. Selling it back to them is effort efficient in terms of ownership transfers but they quote the lowest value you could have for your car. They checked the car, including paints and brakes, and reviewed the service center history. Forky was offered an initial rate of AED 42k. We told them we had an interested buyer for AED 48k, so the staff said they could arrange a higher price if we are decided on selling it to them. The next day, they phoned and requested us to bring the car to the showroom but by then, we had another willing buyer through our Dubizzle ad for AED 50k.

Dubizzle is so effective, we had to remove our advertisement as calls kept coming in. Basheer was the highest price willing buyer, and the deal was sealed on the parking lot. On his side, he requested a car pass certificate (that RTA check as a requirement for registration) which we obliged. Basheer as the buyer next secured a car insurance, already in his name. Ownership transfer now ready, Basheer paid in cash, then both buyer and seller went to RTA at Jaffliya Emarat Petrol Station to register the car in Basheer's name. My husband, the seller, removed the Salik tag from the car, and Basheer puts a new one on. Salik tags are on personal accounts, hence the need for the buyer to get a new one. The period for the annual car insurance we paid had not yet lapsed, allowing us a refund on the un-used portion after we provided the insurance company of the new registration for the car.

Selling your car in Dubai, in our opinion is something of being an honest seller and finding a trusted buyer. Otherwise, it's just like selling cupcakes.

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