So, LauraN suggested that rather than leave nothing but the bitter taste I had last year for Dubai, I might leave an update.
The move to Abu Dhabi was a huge improvement for our family. We have not just friends, but lovely friends. It's been a great winter for all of us.
Here is an update on my personal blog about the things that we've been doing since we came back last fall. We've done nearly everything differently from how we did things in Dubai: kids are not in school, and we are in an apartment instead of a villa. Those two big choices have had a cascade of positive outcomes all over our lives. Hoping to post soon, too, on dh's evolving attitudes toward educating the kids at home.
Anyway, just wanted to say that I am pleased to report there is a happy family in Abu Dhabi, and I have a couple of the moms here, and a couple others IRL, to thank for helping us feel so loved.