Saturday, March 28, 2009

In like a lion...

Yup, we're celebrating spring over here with a prediction of six to eight inches of snow tomorrow! Well to be fair the prediction is for Madison. Chicago should be getting some snow showers, that's it. But since I'm going to be spending the coming 4 days up in Madison. I'll be definitely getting part of the action, or I guess all the action. Believe me I'm not very happy about this! March isn't really living up to his expectations! So what happened to the " In like a lion, out like a lamb" thingy? March we need to talk!

Swallowing the whole ordeal and moving on...

Inspired by this lovely lady, I'm giving my girls blog names. I came up with one name, the other one I'm still working on.

She drools, she bites(AWEE!), she flips to one side, but most of all she grabs anything that comes in sight.. Introducing my 5 months old. Ladies and gentlemen give it up for little miss "Graby" . Yup that's her name from now on.

Any ideas for her big sister's blog name?


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two long hours

I can't remember how long it's been since I went out by myself (when I say by myself, I mean completely alone. No babies, no husband, no friends! Just good ol'moi)

Well, yesterday was one of those lucky days. I had two whole hours! I didn't think I would know what to do with myself. To my surprise there were plenty of things I could do.

I could ride the train with out running up two flights of stairs while carrying a toddler, a diaper bag and another bag full of library books so we don't miss our ride!( we often times do!)

I could sit on the station's floor, choose the sunniest area that happens to be near the tracks, get out my book and read in the sunlight without worrying about a toddler jumping in.

I could jump out at any stop I choose, explore the neighborhood then hop back on the train and explore another neighborhood.

I could go to a second hand store and browse through rows and rows of goodies without worrying about my toddler bringing the down house( literally).

I also could get lucky enough, and discover a favorite antique store, buy a bunch of old time-y photo cards, some wooden pins and dream about my next alone time and next visit to these hidden treasures ( which happens to be the antique stores name).

Can someone do all this stuff in only two hours? well I just did and I wasn't even rushing!

I also had time to stop by a coffee shop drink some tea and read more of my book. I guess I forgot how things go faster without a two year old by your side and an almost 5 months old strapped to your chest, taking wee steps at a time.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the antique store photos even though my phone camera doesn't do them justice! ( in case you're wondering I did take permission)


This part is added:

The wedding photo:: An observation
In old time-y Egyptian photos the groom would be the one sitting on a chair with a tall fez hat and a walking cane held upright by both his hands and the bride standing behind him maybe resting one hand on his shoulder. I thought it was a nice contrast.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A year of mornings

A couple of weeks back I signed up on flickr. On the same exact day I dropped my (our) digital camera and broke it irreversibly. Ha! (typical)
I didn't get discouraged though, I figured a phone camera is as good as any. Plus I don't want to be a professional, I just like to try out shots, angles and just play around.

I found this neat group called " A year of mornings" inspired by a book with the same title and joined. I don't know if I'll commit to a whole year, but for now I am enjoying it. Documenting a specific detail from my morning every day in this form has already made me more mindful, and observant of small details and simple everyday blessings. I wonder how I'll feel when I look back at this project. For now it's carzy fun! I might be popping every now and then and sharing one of my mornings with you.

Here's todays photo ( buds of spring) day 11/365

if you click on it, you'll go to my flickr account.

Peace and happy happy spring:)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mama made::

These cute re-purposed t-shirt pants from this awesome book, with my super old 1908 Singer sewing machine. It looks pretty cool but seriously I need a machine that can do more than the one stitch( it doesn't even stitch backward) and does not weigh a thousand pounds. My coming birthday is this July. (hint hint hubby!)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Banner and blogging

Man, I'm so bad with computer stuff, I've been trying to re-size my display photo but can't figure it out ( any tips?). Please, bear with the enormous banner for now, sorry about that!

Here's The Banner Story
About a year ago or a little bit longer, I started this blog, under the suggestion of one of my friends. I wanted to blog about sustainable living and Islam, but as you've probably noticed have been slowly moving away from the topic. Not that the topic is not important to me anymore, on the contrary. I am continuously trying to tread lightly, be aware and incorporate whatever I learn in my life and in the way I raise my children. I do firmly believe it's my religious duty to do so. But blogging about it at times felt too preachy and honestly wasn't my passion.
I guess that's not the banner story though. Sorry, I got side tracked!

Here's The Real (hopefully!) Super Short Banner story
I started this blog and wanted a cool banner. I asked my brother's very talented fiance' to draw something fitting for my blog and that was it.
Yesterday( a year later) I received the current banner photo in my e-mail along with this line:

"Hello, I suddenly remembered that you asked me once to draw a display picture for your blog. After reading your recent posts I was inspired to draw this. I hope you like it enough to post it :)"
I guess I like it enough ( A LOT!) to post it:)

The little side track story that I wrote explains to me why the picture got sent just now.
I'm glad it arrived when it arrived.

A picture about my family drawn by family.
Thank you future sister in law (inshaAllah!)


Saturday, March 21, 2009


I received this in my e-mail today!( click on it for a bigger image)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You put a smile on my face on canvas and in real life.
(Btw, this might be the new banner for my blog, more details later)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our president ROCKS!

See how I sneaked in and made him my president too! ( well for now he is).

Anywho, remember this?
Well, now check out this:)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Mouse Ah The Mouse..

Is finally dead! We went with the glue trap after the other kind didn't work.
I really wish now that we would've taken "el stumpo's" and Anna's advice (check the comments), but due to impatience and lack of supplies, we just got the glue trap from out neighbor (the landlord).
The poor thing got glued by 1:10 am and kept struggling for his freedom till 6:00 am. to finally meet his inevitable fate. I really felt bad for his struggles, and I didn't get a wink of sleep last night.( how could I?)
Well I'm not going to dwell on it(even though I just did), now I know better for next time. ( hopefully there wont be one).

And I can obsesses about something else...The laundry oh the laundry!
I only have two kids so that makes four of us, but seriously. I won't post a photo (just to save my face) but piles, and piles, AND piles of clothes waiting to be washed, folded, sorted and waiting to be put away, every day! Yes every single day! Plus cloth diapers. ( do you hear me complaining? well I am!)

So today as I was folding the laundry you see in the photo, I remembered my mom. Mind you there was 7 of us including mom and dad( goodness!)

I remembered how part of my childhood/growing up memory was the continuous buzzing sound of our washing machine. How it shook, rumbled and danced away from the bathroom wall, only to be caught by it's attached cord. Eventually after years and years, my mom brought someone to place a little contraption around the machine to prison it in place.( Who would've thought!)

I also remember giant laundry baskets carried to the balcony to be lined and secured by wooden cloth pins for air drying. And when the rare occasion of showers struck.I remember the frantic running of a mother and her 5 little children, trying to save the ever so precious lines of clean laundry.

Oh I remember the mountains of clean laundry on the living room couch, with me, my brother and sister diving into them, the smell , the laughter, the yells( from my mother of course for ruining her neat folding).
Even the "Makwagy" (a little kiosk run by a single man and maybe a boy helper that irons everybody's clothes in the neighborhood" has a place in that dusty little brain of mine.

Folding laundry this after noon was not a chore, it was a journey through time:)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yay for Tori!

If you're a Tori Amos fan you'll like this.
Just thought to share:)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Potty training

We are on day four of potty training and hooray she's getting it! Slowly but surely( mind you this is about my fifth attempt to potty train, the first three times we were either traveling or moving, the forth time she was starting to hate the baby sitter for potty training her, so this time I am doing it all by my self and I'm being very persistent).

Here are a couple of tricks I learned through my many, many..many trials and errors ( mostly errors):

Absolutely no carpets.

Absolutely no pull ups.

Absolutely no days off(you have to be hardcore when you potty train).

Lots of toys/books/blocks/videos to keep her put on the potty.
A couple or more of vinyl underwear( they save the floor from "accidents" and she still feels when something happens).

I Put her on the potty every 20 minutes.

I designate a towel for washing the bum, another for drying the potty after washing it and another for drying her off.

I have a cleaning spray near by.

I keep a drying rack to dry out the vinyl underwear I wash.

And the most important one of all make lots of du'a( ya rab!)

I don't keep a log but it's recommended in most potty training books so you know your child's pattern. I just follow my motherly instinct. (to my surprise I actually have one!)

Today we were running around the kitchen island and she left the game and ran close enough to the potty, only to miss it by inches. She was in her vinyl underwear so it caught everything( thank goodness).
The above photos are potty creations made by "the wee potty trainer"she mastered scooting around with her potty fetching blocks and stacking them. I call the last one "The potty train". farm animals ride on it too.

About the mouse. He lives! will update the whole dillema once he's exterminated.

Peace. ( Mouse, you should know better!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Updates and advice?

Annnnd...he's still alive!

Any advice/experiences you care to share? I'm all ears.

Peace. ( Mouse still excluded)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Mouse MUST DIE!

I am typing this and there are two mouse traps on the stove right now. A loud scary" SNAP" is the sound I want to hear when I am sleeping tonight!
My hubby set two traps last night. While one went "undiscovered", the other one had it's peanut butter licked clean as the trap stayed in tact. I kept thinking or dreaming that I heard a snap. But Instead I was greeted with the sad news of the mouse's survival first thing in the morning by my trap setting hero.

You're probably wondering about the mint experiment by now. Well I am sorry to say, the mint experiment only works when you live in an apartment building with five or six other families slacking and leaving lots of food out for a hungry mouse to eat. Only in that case a mouse will not bother going through the hole that has nasty mint smells(according to the mouse) and a super clean kitchen with not one scrap of food to eat.

In my case, the mouse won't bother that I spent all morning, afternoon, and night breaking my back cleaning and picking up every crumb of food( believe me with a toddler helping out mommy bake by throwing the flour all over the kitchen floor, is not easy) Plus did I mention that just to make life more exciting for me, I decided to potty train( I'm on day 2, and it's a disaster!) The Mouse doesn't care about all the stuff I mentioned above. The Mouse is hungry, my house stands alone so no other families to check on. And The Mouse is evil. Yes, he's evil I tell you. don't let his cute little face and tiny frail little body deceive you. He is evil evil evil! Plus he leaves me his "evidence" to clean after. Don't I have enough "evidence" to clean already!

Enough said, we'll see who wins this treacherous war.


Can I end this post with my usual peace?( oh well!)

Peace!(Mouse excluded)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

mice, spiders and soot gremlins, oh my!

I was suspecting, but yup, we do have a mouse in the house!
I saw itʻs evidence on the stove two mornings in a row. A big fat ewwwww. So back to the mint leaves experiment.

I also saw a spider on my keyboard today and yelled "SPIDER", and the little one came running looking for this fascinating creature!

My daughter ( the one that talks apparently) loooooves both, mice and spiders. So when she heard us discussing the mouse situation to the landlord, she got super excited and started looking for the mouse herself. She started searching the house for some mice, spiders and while she was at it, some soot gremlins too (ʻcause, why not?).
hereʻs what she said as she ran around the house looking for all three.

"huh, where did it go?" In a very concerned manner.

"what does the mouse say mama?" waiting for me to reply.

"the itsy bitsy spider.." moving her fingers in a crawling spider motion.

and finally " COME OUT, COME OUT, WHERE EVER YOU ARE!" in a full blown volume.

Well how about a compromise, I can do soot gremlins.
So hereʻs what Iʻll be yelling for the coming I donʻt know how many days "STAY AWAY, STAY AWAY, WHEREVER YOU ARE!"


Monday, March 9, 2009


I wasnʻt going to blog today. Instead I was trying out a feature on flickr that ended me up here with an empty post!
I tried to delete the whole post but failed drastically, so to try and remedy and/or avoid the awkwardness of leaving you with an empty post. I am sharing some photos from our massive puddle play in our yard, it was pouring insanely yesterday. Ah spring at last!


Friday, March 6, 2009


My new cute little desk, bought second hand from a thickly french accented (according to my hubby) Frenchman or possibly a Canadian ( thanks for picking it up hubby).

The weather! Could it be more beautiful?(insert Chandler sarcastic tone)

My awesome new recycled/reconstructed sweater. It was on super sale, and I think the seller is by far my favorite etsian yet. Some etsians send thank you notes with their products. She not only sent a very cool thank you note,but also a dark chocolate bar ( need I say more?) and a pen drawing of a shiny sun on the package. Iʻm in love!
You guys need to seriously check her shop out.

I donʻt know if you noticed in the list bar, but Lisa Hanningan is currenly one of my favorite musisians. hereʻs another song by her, sheʻs wonderful.

Oatmeal for mama and toddler, for breakfast. I add maple syrup, almond butter, apple sauce and some soy milk...heaven.

Girl scout cookies, (two boxes licked clean in only two days!).

This book ( book club girls, we can decide on a different book I suppose, I couldnʻt wait).

Yusuf Islamʻs new album for kids "I look I see 2".

My neighbor Totoro ( mentioned in an earlier post) and all the drawing and paper cutting inspired by itʻs characters.

Have a great weekend:)

Feel free to play along.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

a warm day

Itʻs 60 degrees out today:)

Me and the girls enjoyed a nice sunny morning at the park.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


A typical morning for our family, in elapsed time form:

5:30 am, baba wakes up and prays, then struggles to wake mama up.

6:00 am, mama wakes up and prays then goes back to sleep

6:30 am, baba takes baby and toddler( giving mama an extra half an hour or so of sleep)

blank (I have no idea what baba does during this time, I have assumptions but only he can fill the blanks).

7:30 am, baba wakes mama up in a rush( heʻs late for school!)

7:45 am, mama reluctantly wakes up and takes over the girls.

8:00 am, babaʻs gone, mama is listening to NPR, preparing breakfast, nursing a baby, washing some dishes from last night( sometimes) all at once.

9:15 am, baby fed and napping, mama and toddler drawing and cutting some paper shapes(we draw and cut Totoro, soot gremlins, and/or anything from "My neighbor Totoro". Currently a family favorite.

10:00 am, babysitter arrives, mama runs to try to clean, cook, shower, do laundry, the fastest two hours in the world.

12:00 pm, Baby sitter leaves, toddler naps, baby is up, mama is exhausted and realizes itʻs only 12 noon.

How are your mornings?


Monday, March 2, 2009

not mine

Every house hold has this one, or maybe two fruits that their house canʻt live without. In our case, itʻs apples and bananas.
( whatʻs your house holdʻs fruit?)

The apples serve as an after lunch/ before dinner snack topped with some sliced cheddar cheese, while the bananas are usually just peeled and eaten monkey style. But every once and a while I get lucky, and a couple of bananas go unnoticed, and they get dark and gross enough to go into my signature treat (banana bread).

So about a couple of days back I was ever so lucky to find those two gross bananas and I rolled my sleeves, tied baby in sling. Got out some play dough for the toddler and went straight to business. It actually took me longer than expected cause my brown sugar had turned into one giant clump, and I was hammering it with the heaviest object I could find in the kitchen, "the knife sharpener"( If you know me well enough, youʻll know I never sharpen my knives. I actually had no idea what a knife sharpener was, I figured I have to use it for something, so it became the tool that I extracted my boiled chicken by from the pot, I poked it out from its cavity! yay I found another use for it.wait a minute should I be happy that my sugar clumps, I really have to finish this thought, itʻs getting out of control, did I tell you about the one time I sharpened my knife and cut my finger? too long.. STOP!)

Back to my banana bread(phew)
The banana bread you see in the above photo, that actually finished baking by 5pm( I started at 11 am!), and was a dream of the day after breakfast with some jelly spread on top with my fake coffee drink, wasnʻt mine. It was baked by me, to be sliced and wrapped by me, to be sent off with some tea, to two worried parents who ended up spending the night in the hospital waiting for their little girl to get better. My husband came home, we heard the news and sent the banana bread for itʻs real destination. ( please make duʻa and send lots of good energy for the little girl, she passed the critical stage but is still recovering from croup).

It amazes me how sometimes god makes us tools for other people in the most mysterious of ways. Heʻll make someone like me fancy something sweet, then have everyone in the house oversee those bananas, and they get gross enough so I would bake them. Then have the sugar clump, so the one and a half hour ordeal, takes 6 hours. resulting in the banana bread coming out late enough so no one would eat it, but the real recipients of it. In this case two sleepless parents waiting on their precious girl in the ER.

get well soon sweet little M!

Btw If interested in the recipe leave a comment.