Saturday, February 28, 2009

Al Mawlid

After my first born woke up form her nap this afternoon. I took my 4 months old upstairs and we hung out for a while in her attic room. Her room is nice and cozy, with nice, thick, old, wooden rafters on the ceiling.

I set my four months old on a blanket on the floor. She was being entertained by her older sister, and followed her with her gaze everywhere she went until she disappeared behind some still unpacked boxes from our last move!
Eventually she re-appeared with a forgotten poem book that I used to sing from (back when I was in Egypt), with all my girl friends on our weekly gatherings.
She brought the book and sat next to me, and started humming and moving her eyes on the book pretending to read it.
I smiled and took the book from her and started singing, remembering and smiling some more.
I was blessed with this nice afternoon, reminded by this random event that this month is actually the month of our beloved Prophet Mohammadʻs( peace and blessings be unto him) birth.

All the poems in the book are poems in praise of our prophet((peace and blessings be unto him).

So the title of this post "Al Mawlid" is the Arabic word for "The Birth". The date of the birth celebration is going to be on March 9th. So all you Muslims reading this post,including myself(I like how I think Lots of people read my blog!) Its recommended to fast this day, mark your

Iʻd also like to share with you a special childhood Mawlid memory:)

I remember my father buying a different "ʻaroosat al Mawlid"(a big sculpted candy doll) for each of us girls (Mind you there were FOUR of us! thank you baba!). For my lone bother he bought him"ʻarees al Mawlid" (a big sculpted knight, holding a sword, and riding a horse made of candy), yea I know, Egyptians are crazy cool! I think itʻs an Egyptian Mawlid tradition, that is found no where else in the world.
For my mom my dad used to get her a Mawlid candy box, which of course we all ate. (How did we not loose all our teeth by the next Mawlid? Itʻs a mystery)

I miss walking in Egyptʻs narrow streets in old Cairo, musing at all the hand crafted doll and knight candy sculptures displays, waiting to be picked up by one very lucky tiny Egyptian hand.
I miss singing the praise poems with my friends, and I miss visiting family with Mawlid candy gift boxes. I guess I just miss home.

So hereʻs a little gift for you, some Mawlid Chantings, Videos and more videos just for you!

Btw, the top Photo is the only photo I could find that slightly resembles the candy dolls. They had the same big dresses but the actual doll was made from candy the clothes were made with construction paper. Maybe they donʻt make them out of candy anymore!

Happy Mawlid everyone:)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cloth Diapers

It took me longer than I expected to get back to cloth diapering. I thought as soon as I moved to a place with my own wahser and dryer I would start right back. boy was I mistaken!
I really have no excuse, but I will blame it on my pregnant belly, just to feel less guilty.

Even after my pregnant belly disappeared and was replaced with my precious baby girl. I still waited a good three and a half months before I dove back in. Why? Well frankly I was afraid. I didnʻt want the extra work with all my sleep deprived nights. Even though MILLIONS of moms do it every day with less fortunate circumstances than mine, I was still afraid.

But finally I took a deep breath, and here I am back on the cloth diapering wagon.
I had already my first bornʻs old diapers, so I didnʻt buy a new set. Even though I wouldʻve loved to do it a again and buy a Bum Genius all in one set. The old school diapers arenʻt as hard as most people imagine though.
I mean sure itʻs so easy to just pop on a disposable diaper and not worry about washing, drying, and changing ever so often. But in reality the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.

Hereʻs how I do it:

First I switched to a dry diaper pail, what was I thinking using a wet diaper pail?
( much simpler, and it doesnʻt smell at all, i just keep it tightly covered)
I wash the diapers every other day, I soak them in cold water with a couple of drops of tea tree oil, half a cup of baking soda and sometimes backout.
Then I rinse and drain then wash a second time in a hot cycle with a little bit of enzyme free washing detergent. rinse, then dry them in the dryer and I have a fresh clean stack of diapers for my baby to soil:)
Every month or so I wash with no detergent to take care of the build up, and I sun them also monthly. In summers I can line dry hopefully.

For night time I put my baby in a treated wool diaper cover, and she stays in it for ( I swear) 6 to 8 hours straight without any sleep interruption.
I do love wool covers, they breath and are self cleansing once treated with lanolin, which I wash the wool soakers in either weekly or bi-weekly) depending on when they start to smell.

I change the diapers, every 2 to 3 hours, unless theyʻre soiled.

Itʻs not a piece of cake, but itʻs not rock science either.

I am not worried about all this weird stuff added in manufacturing a disposable, I am not contributing to landfills ( well I have my share of contributing to landfills, but we try) and my baby looks cute and bulky in her cool cloth diapers.

To all you hesitant moms that happen to drop by and read this post. You can do it to. Or should I get cheesy and say the overly used quote" Yes we can!" (donʻt hate me)

For extra information about cloth diaper care. Check out this link.

Warning: Bum Genius users, donʻt follow these care instructions, theyʻll ruin your diapers. Just follow the manufacturerʻs care instructions.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

The curious case of bad movies getting nominated for Academy awards

Friday night me and the hubby had one of those rare chances of going out on a date night.
We were supposed to go for a dinner and a movie, but we ended up doing a movie and a quick stop at a coffee shop for some bed time mint teas.
The night was great. The movie, hmm...How can I describe it?

I can only say this: A movie with a plot of a baby born old and growing younger, doesnʻt really sound like something I would watch. But since it was nominated for a best picture, I figured, the Academy must know what theyʻre talking about. (NOT!!)

The movie was a, turn around look at what the person next to you is doing BORING. It was one of those movies, where I could actually notice our "land lord" entering the movie theater and finding his seat in the dark BORING. Even more, I could see what the person in front of me was munching on, and the person in front of that person picking his nose BORING.
Yes I guess I said it too many times, but really it was "BORING" I donʻt have any other adjectives to describe it! Thatʻs why I guess I am not a movie critique. Which by the way even with my limited vocabulary and my not so good writing style. I think I could do a way better job at it than the so called movie critiques ( Hmm, I wonder If Iʻll get some hate mail by writing this!) Oh well, I guess it will be well written hate mail! All worth it.

(Warning: The coming part is a movie spoiler, so if you want to see it, donʻt read the coming paragraph, if you donʻt care, then jump in)

Ok, just to be fair, I was slightly interested in how they were going to pull off making a 100 year looking baby, grow younger and eventually turn into Brad Pitt.
I also enjoyed all the old timer clothes, furniture, Lace, cars, and the awesome southern Louisiana accent. Also the guy that got struck by lighting 7 times. Other than that it was pretty much your clicheʻd love story.
I did cry about 5 times though. Why? I donʻt know. I just cry in movies, Itʻs what I do. Fun, fun, fun. Donʻt go to the movies with me, not fun!

So bored yet with me whining about the movie? Me too.

Moving on.

I made this awesome stew, that I LOVED. So sharing the love.

Also, why did I not go to Coraline?
Yea OK Iʻll stop!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Handmade Nation

For all you craftsy, artsy, cool people out there. Or like my case wannabeʻs I heard that "handmade nation the documentary" is out.
Check it out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Spoon Mystery Solved!

I was not one of those people that included a signature at the end of emails, but since I was not a lot of things that I recently became(like blogging). I decided to become one of those people that left a signature at the end of emails.

So my infamous signature is my most favorite quote ever: " there is no spoon!"
Only I recently realized that I forgot to put it between quotes so Iʻve been getting responses to my emails with lines like so:

Spoon? ( From a family member)

I did not offer a spoon to give.(from a free-cycler)

What spoon?(A friend)

You need a spoon?( Another friend)

I loved your email but I did not get the last part about the spoon.(Another family member)

Itʻs only my stupid signature. A quote, with forgotten quotation marks from the first Matrix movie! Mystery solved! I apologize for all the confusion everyone, sometimes (often times) Iʻm not so smart.

Just out of curiosity whats your favorite quote?

Also I want to salute and steal a very cool family member on his awesome signature " sent from my tOaster". Kudos, you know who you are!

Btw, Iʻm directing your attention to my new list bar, awsome finds, check it out.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nothing Fancy Dish

By the beginning of the week, I tend to have a fridge full of a variety of ingredients (Ah, the possibilities!) and ( not counting all those "interrupted sleep" nights) relative energy. So we tend to eat a long thought after dinner. By the middle of the week Iʻm about done, so we have left overs or I scavenger what we have left in the fridge and make a simple middle of the week dish, that then becomes a leftover re-invented dish.

So Like promised here is my simple vegetable recipe for one of those days, when you have enough energy to cook but not enough energy for something that would sweep you off the floor good.

One lonely yellow squash (or half) found in the bottom of your vegetable fridge drawer
Another lonely Zucchini found in the same state.
2 garlic cloves one crushed and the other minced.
One tomato, or a left over half a tomato will do!
Lots of parsley
Olive oil
Salt, pepper, cardamon(my signature spice) and sweet paprika to taste.

Dice your lonely squash and zucchini to medium sized rings, chop the tomatoes, and parsley.
In a medium sauce pan stir fry the garlic until lightly golden and aromatic. Add the zucchini and squash, stir fry until they soften( I like to have a bit of a bite to my vegetables but you can cook it however you prefer) add your spices. Then turn off stove, add parsley and tomatoes then cover for a couple of minutes. Voila! you now have a very simple dish to eat with some left over rice or pita bread. Add an egg or two while cooking for protein or add some left over beans, whatever you like the sky is the limit.


I really liked this post about home schooling curriculum.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V Day!

We lost all our snow in three warm sunny days, but woke up today to powdered grounds contrasting all the red hand made hearts inside!

Heart Garland, you can get the template from Martha Stewartʻs website.

Heart shaped cream cookies, also from Martha Stewart's Website.

Get it, Iʻm beet!!

A beautiful note pad with a "Beet" Illustration, paired with wooden handcrafted notepad holder. Also a pair of hand knit mismatched socks. They were all beautifully wrapped in a golden butterfly wrapping paper. Thank you Hubby!!

My gift was given 5 days early, my first hand knit scarf.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Bestest In The Barn!

Hereʻs our favorite song at the moment


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazing Black Bean Brownie Revisited

So hereʻs the black bean brownie photo, I had it when the girls were napping today( you can spot a wee glimpse of the little oneʻs blue rocking seat in the background, she was in it snoozing).
Btw, this is an excellent desert for gluten free, lactose intolerant, diabetic and dieting people! Well maybe not dieting, it does have two sticks of butter.. VEGAN..NO.. now youʻre really pushing your luck, It has to have something! Plus I already said it has butter, also 4 eggs..So there! Sorry vegans better luck next time!

And here is what we had tonight for dinner. (Sorry I only took prep. and cooking photos! oh well..)

A zucchini, yellow squash black bean improvised dish, with brown rice.
this dish I usually make without black beans, but I had some left over beans from the brownie recipe, so I figured, save the beans and add some proteins to the meal. A win, win really.

If anyone is interested in the vegetable dish recipe leave a comment. If not, then enjoy the photos!(even though theyʻre awful quality..took them by my phone)


Monday, February 9, 2009


I made this (crazy ingredients..I know!), today we continued eating it, and tomorrow I might post a photo of the lonely left over piece that I am dreaming of having for breakfast.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

I found it !

In case you haven't received my email, I got back my lost item. I am very happy Alhamdulilah, thanks for all your good energy and du'a.

On a different note, if you're currently living in Chicago, try to go out today the weather is surprisingly beautiful. A sunny, warm February day.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Today I am sad

I lost something today. It's just a material thing Alhamdulilah! I won't say what it is though, because it doesn't really matter, that's not the point(and please if you know what it is or guessed what it is from the post don't say). The point is it was my best thing I owned and now it's gone. It was a gift from two special people, it meant a lot to me because it came from them, and because it was a very thoughtful gift that made life pleasant in a material sort of way. I really loved it, and I was really afraid I would loose it, and I was being super careful and still I lost it. Which makes me feel like a complete idiot!

I don't want another one, I just want my old one. it was mine, it was personal, it even had my little girls photos in it, which also makes me really mad knowing some random stranger has my little babies photos. Why can't people do the right thing? why is it so difficult? I Know if that person took it then he probably is not in a very pleasant situation, and maybe he really needs to sell it and use the money for something far more important than what that thing meant to me. I really hope so.
But I can't help but feel upset and stupid for not being more careful.

Alhamdulilah, I have a beautiful home, family, health and a lot more to be thankful for.

But Today I am sad, even though I just received my permanent visa by mail, even though my wonderful husband came home early from school today just to cheer me up, even though he got us pizza and " My neighbor Totoro" to watch. I am sad because I feel incompetent, and not to be trusted with nice things, so please don't get me anything nice anymore I don't deserve it.

Tomorrow I'll be better again inshaAllah. Again I am so blessed, it's just a material thing.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Disclaimer: Turn down your Volume for this post!

So I was going to write a long nice post for you. Right after my first born went to sleep,but since there is no background sound that I can display (which is something I think Google should work on in the future) Here's a little script so you can share my back ground sound effects.


Baby: WAAA..



Me: Ok!

Baby: Waaa..wa..mmmmm...

Me: Shhhhh.. (whispering while holding the baby)It's okay baby go to sleep

Half an hour later after lots of walking, rocking, singing and repeat background sound: Silence!


Baby: cough..cough..

Me: Please wait a

Baby: Louder coughing!

Me: Three more lines if I can remember. What was I typing?!!


Me: ok baby..see you tomorrow blog..maybe!

The one sound you're missing, which I had trouble adding to my mini script is, the background sound of the baby monitor.

Which goes something like this:

inhale..exhale..repeat..then every 10 minutes or so this sound..shhhhhhhhhhhhh(the sound of the heater in the first born room turning on).

Hope you're all surrounded by vibrant sounds of life and sounds of people you love!

In case you're wondering: Baby slept eventually and mommy went back straight to the (wink..wink!)