Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 2::


Tuckered the kids out by taking them to the park for-- oh about 5 hours *split in two intervals*.

Mei watched the jungle book in Arabic twice. * she now says "mazboot" which translates to "precisely". Neat!

One of the twins fell off the steps in the park. He's a trooper! * shhh, don't tell his mother!*

Grabby also fell on her cheek from a sitting position. She now has a cute purple bruise on her right cheek. What bruises can be cute!

The twins went down at 7:30 pm followed by Mei at 8:15 pm followed by Grabby at 8:45pm.

Lets all pray nobody wakes up during the night, except for Grabby to nurse every two hours of-course!

Wisdom of the day::

When feeling overshadowed yell POOOOOOOP!!!

*wisdom of today courtesy of Mei.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 1::

Apparently, other people's kids are easier than mine. The twins are a breeze.

Today, went well all praise to God. I did get help from the babysitter and her daughter. They take shifts. The daughter comes around 9:00 am then leaves by 3:00 pm. Her Mother takes over from 3:00pm to 7:30pm/8:00pm. Two women, four kids. Totally doable.

Wisdom of the day:

When in doubt, change diaper!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One word ( sorta)

Tomorrow, my sister and her significant other leave for Vegas and L.A. She's leaving her twins with me for four days. Which means, I'll experience life with four kids under three, first hand.

One word:

I'm scared!

(those are three, aren't they?--I did say sorta!)


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicago, Chicago!

My presence on this space is going to be unpredictable these days. We are out all day, every day. Soaking in the sun, in the unexpected wonderful Chicago weather. Along with some serious Magnificent Mile shopping ( Also outlet malls... hooray for summer sales and traveling budgets!) Taking advantage of every second of it. Visiting parks, gardens, neighborhoods, museums, and the list goes on. Chicago is really a great city to visit ( hint, hint, Kate). I can officially declare that this is by far my best summer yet in this country. ( I know three summers don't count as a lot of summers to compare with, but there... I said it anyways.)

My twin sister's twins (confusing , huh?) said both my daughters names and they don't even speak yet! They're 14 months old. And adoooooooorrraaaaaaaable!!!

Grabby, had her first crawl ( so to speak) today... she's been rolling around all over the house for over two months now. She can get anywhere she wants by this technique, and I'm assuming that's why she hasn't been persuaded to crawl yet. She's been doing the mounting on all fours and wiggling back and forth for sometime now, but she usually ends up on her stomach and occasionally she'll fall splat on her face, and share a couple of tears mixed with trickles of blood and a fat lip. ( that's how they learn, right?)

Anyhoo, I think this is all you're getting from me today... Along with a photo of Grabby's sticky up-y hair!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Mr Zucchini

( Brace yourselves this i s a long one)

I believe everyone has a certain share in life. So say your share in money is ten million dollars. you won't get a penny more. So to muse me, lets think of this scenario:

There are two friends. Who both get the same share of money in this lifetime:

Let's call the first friend Mr.Zucchini and the second Mr. Potato (And, no-- I'm not hungry I just think vegetables make good names)

So Mr. Zucchini gets his ten million share of money in the first twenty years of his life. ( He's young, he's green, he's long and slender and inexperienced. So he makes unwise choices and looses all his money by his twenty first birthday) He's now a very poor, very bitter old man who lives on charity.

Simultaneously his friend Mr. Potato gets all his ten million dollars throughout his life, with an especially big lump sum by the end of his years. Mr. Potato is Short round and the hard life has hardened him on the outside but from the inside (give him a little oil) he's a softie. (You get my metaphors. Right?) So now he's all bald but with a solid exterior to support him in his old age. ( He also has some nubs! get it?)

Well, I think of myself as Mr. Zucchini. Not in my money share though. The share I'm talking about is housework. Yes, it's true even that part you get a share in too. Anything really ( or at least that's what I believe in)

When I was little my mom asked me to get her a glass of water or something ( I can't really remember) so I made a face ( what a nice girl I was!) when my mom asked what was the matter, I told her that don't want to get the water. So she told me that if i didn't want to do something I shouldn't do it ( I swear she told me that, I'm not making it up!) So ever since you can imagine if I was asked to do anything I would naturally respond that I. did. not . want. to. ( hey, I'm not stupid, i can see an opportunity when it comes knocking)
*In my mother's defense, she majored in psychology, and I believe back then there was a school of thought that promoted not forcing anything on your kids and that they'll naturally come to the conclusion that it is of benefit for them, and do things on their own without being forced. ( that sure took me a WHILE!) see how ignorant I am in psychology( psychology majors please don't laugh at me, or actually you're allowed. You did work very hard to earn laughing at people like me. So go ahead give your self a long hard laugh. Good. Now lets proceed)

Fast forward I dunno, say twenty years (assuming I was five then) I got married to an American who sees pride in doing things on your own without seeking help ( meaning no maids, no cooks, no nothing.)
So on my first attempt at cooking a meal( And in my brain I didn't know of any short cuts 'cause of the way I was raised, we don't know what microwavable food means) I produced my first home made lunch at ten o'clock-- two hours before midnight!

The first time my mom came to visit me-- I made lunch for her ( this time only three hours late) and when I she spilled her juice and I went on my knees to clean it, my mom cried with actual tears, and yelled at me to get up, 'cause the maids can get that! -- what maids mom?

What I'm saying is -- I was spoiled rotten when I was a kid. I literally did not lift a finger. and today I made breakfast three times for three different groups of people( pancakes and eggs if you're wondering, with homemade bread. And butter and cheese) and lunches, and cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes-- oh about three or four times. While entertaining a parade of kids( they pretty much overdosed on Dora The Explorer, still counts in my dictionary!) and the babysitter did not show up today.

If I get a redo, I'd choose Mr. Potato anytime any day.

All that said-- It is one of the joys of my life to feed and serve people with a glowing highlight on family. Our house was booming with two sets of gorgeous twins and my darling girls. Along with their parents. We ate, we laughed, and they are all still recovering from jet lag.

I like to make people sympathize with me, when I am actually having a fantastic time. No worries. I am a very happy woman!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sniffles, Bread, and bread bags ( photoless)

Both my girls have the sniffles with a mild temperature. I got thrown up on yesterday by Mei. After she was done, she looked at my clothes and said: "Oh I spilled on mama!"

It's OK love, you can spill on mama all you want ( not really!), but please get better soon. Mommy is very tired and needs to sleep. Both you and Grabby were up all night coughing and crying and breaking my heart. And mommy will need her energy 'cause (Yay!) two of my sisters are coming tomorrow with their twins ( yes, both my sisters have twins, It runs in our family, I guess very strongly!) and significant others.

On a different note: I tried today making the peasant loaf with a mix of whole wheat and rye flour, and used the previous starter. The result was a super tasty peasant sour dough bread. Next time I'll remember to add caraway seeds. Seriously I know I said it so many times before, but this book is a MUST in any household library! There's another one coming out soon.

I also started making bread bags, to store all that bread in. I am in the middle of making the longish one for sandwich bread, my next project will be to make a round one and a sandwich bag like the one Kate made. ( well, I'll skip the skulls though. Maybe bugs or soot gremlins. On a second thought, maybe Kate's choice is better. Hmm*looking at the ceiling while resting my chin on my fist*)

My computer's appointment was supposed to be today. My husband had a clashing dentist appointment. The Dentist won. So you'll have to wait a little longer to see what I've been making.


Sunday, July 12, 2009


I am a night grinder.
I should wear my night guard.

My computer appointment is this Wednesday.
I need to be more mindful about computer time.
I need to go to bed right now.

I love the "Artisan bread in five minutes a day" book.
I love baking.
I make fresh bread everyday.
We eat a lot more bread since I started making my own.

I enjoy praying five times a day even if I'm rushed.
I should read more Quraan.

I don't know why I'm telling you all this, but I'm doing it anyway.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sewing related...

Remember this skirt I made for Mei a while back?

So introducing what I like to call "the beetle juice outfit":

And here's Mei trying to open a Mei sized house:

More sewing related: I bought these fabrics that I am dreading to touch. I can't bring myself or my scissors to even come close.( How do you sewers out there do it. Isn't it insanely scary? What if i ruin it? I guess that's part of the adrenaline rush in crafting, right? Please God, let it be perfect. I really don't want to ruin it!)

So I am currently dreaming about a shirt and pants outfit for Mei. And a kerchief for Mama and baby from the leftovers. There should be leftovers right, I mean I bought a whole yard of each. It should definitely be enough. Don't you agree?

A girl can dream...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Organizing and photo of the day

Some of you might have noticed the new categories side bar I have recently added. This sidebar should help new readers track down older posts according to the category they're interested in. It should also help me track down my own older long forgotten entries. This might be a pain for some of you who are currently subscribed to my blog feed. Since the only way I know how to do this is by adding a label for older posts and re-publishing. So in case you're wondering why you keep getting new old entries from me, this is why... Phew!

( it's taking me a while to label my old posts, since I tend to take my time. so you'll be getting this for say the coming week)

In the spirit of keeping up with my categories, here's an old forgotten photo of the day that was meant to be shared with you back in May:

Ah, too bad you missed it. Sorry!


Monday, July 6, 2009

CSA :: Week two

Since I currently have nothing to write about and I mean nothing...
I thought why not have a thing where I tell all of you what I have been getting in my CSA box every other week. You're curious beings. Aren't you?

Even if you don't care less, here it is anyway ::

Collards ( two bunches)

Some strange kind of lettuce (a little bit on the bitter side)

Green onions ( yes this time they were really onions)

Some strange kind of spirally greens that taste like garlic.
( I really should look in the news letter.) Wait...

A couple of seconds later...
The garlicky thing is called Garlic Scapes. Did that help at all? Yes, I didn't think so!

Green Cabbage

Bunched turnips

Two big zucchini

Snow peas

Parsley ( one bunch), and that's it.

So far we've used up the onions, collards, zucchini, lettuce, and the cabbage.

This is all I have for you today. I know, it's sad when this is the exciting thing that I'm blogging about. What can I say, I love my CSA!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Happy fourth everyone! I hope you're enjoying good company, lots of sunshine, BBQs, and fireworks. It's a rainy day here in our quarters, with a promise to clear later.


On a different note...

There's this blog I've been following for about a month or so. She's collecting donations for a sister in need. I know this might be uncomfortable for some of you, especially since you don't know her. So you should do whatever makes you comfortable. As for my part, I think it's harmless to direct you to her link.


Friday, July 3, 2009

My Alexandria

I truly wished that I was a better writer, so you'd enjoy what I'm about to write as much as I did... I am not, and that's a fact. But that's also okay; because the truth is, I am writing it so I can remember it, re-live it- if you will. through these clicks of the keyboard, where I stop and remember, or where the memories come gushing back all at once, crowding my thoughts and impairing my choice. I want to write everything, all the details, the familiar scents of a place locked up for more than half of the year, the dust that accumulated. The sound of the sea, of children at play. And much much more. Instead, I am left with my limited ability, this limited space, and your stolen time from loved ones, from busy lives and your patience. So bear with me, I am really trying here. Thank you!

We owned ( and still own) a nice villa by the Mediterranean sea in Alexandria, Egypt.
I can clearly remember when the brick stones were still dusty and bare. Glaring from the sun in their earthy tone, against the light blue skies, and the white clouds. The garage path was still not paved and the lot in-front of the villa was just dirt topped with piles of sand and cement, instead of green grass. I would ride my big red car (I couldn't reach the pedals yet, my feet were too short.) all around the property.

Every once in a while my sister, my brother and me, would jump in the sand piles joined by the worker's kids, or the security guard's kids ( I can't remember which.) Later in the day my mom would spray stuff in our hair and brush it with a tight comb to get rid of the lice that traveled from the workers kids hair to ours. It was all worth it!

The house got finished over a couple of summers, and we spent our entire four month school vacation there every year. Starting with sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the one finished bedroom, then upgrading to our own rooms ( sorta, both my elder sisters shared a room, me and my twin sister shared the other. As for my brother, he slept in my parents master bedroom.)

The ride from our place in Cairo, to the Alexandria villa, took exactly three hours and a half (including a rest area stop). They felt like forever( as does anything for kids my age at the time.)

My mom made sure to bring lots of entertainment, though. With two grown ups and five kids. Tea and snacks were a necessity not to be taken lightly. And frankly the trip would not have been the same without our big blue Coleman cooler that my mom stuffed with: three different kinds of cheese, jam, hard boiled eggs, cold cuts, pita bread and milk. She also brought cups, napkins, and a thermos full of hot black tea. We ate, drank, sang, slept, sang, clapped and ate some more. We stopped in mid-way for restrooms and stretches then continued till our destination.

Alexandria, to me was that villa. I could've sworn, the second that white two story building came in sight. I almost gasped or fainted from utter joy. One time my eldest sister wrote her name on one of the walls to tease me. I cried so hard that day, my eyes almost fell out. How could she, she knows... Every body knew. "Eskenderia di beta'ti ana!" that "this was MY ALEXANDRIA!" in that tiny little head of mine Alexandria was that villa and it was all MINE not to be shared!
Luckily the walls were still bare, so a couple of paint coats, took care of the dispute.

Our days were spent in trips from that white two story building to the beach. Which was conveniently a walking distance. We grabbed our beach chairs, towels, a plastic woven rug, and a big umbrella( you know the kind you dig in the sand for shade). No bags or nothing. Each one of us dragged an item, then dragged it back. We used to rotate turns of who carries that giant umbrella. It was practically as heavy as I was then. If not heavier, really! It left a long snaky trail from our house to the spot were we dug it in the sand.

We ate pretty much (with a few exceptions) ate two different kinds of dishes through out the summer: pasta for lunches and freshly caught fish by my dad for dinners. For desert we had "feteer bel sokar" sweet pastries with butter and lots of sugar. We rode horse carts and the Ferris wheel, we went to Egyptian comedy plays and shows and invited relatives over for barbecues and ice cream. Those four months to all of us, were the pure manifestation of heaven on earth.

And that's why, come time to leave. My parents would have to sneak in the middle of the night after loading all five of unconscious us in my father's big silver Mercedes. Then make that drive back. Eventually, I would be woken up in front of our Cairo building. Feeling betrayed, I start kicking, screaming and throwing a massive fit you would think someone dear to me just died. I wouldn't stop until I exhausted myself to sleep. Frankly, I don't blame me!

The villa is abandoned now, with huge cracks in its skeleton. Aging not so gracefully and waiting to crumble and fall. I went there once in my teens and one more time when I was a newly wed, to get some antique furniture ( my dad used to love saving beautiful pieces from auctions) and appliances for my new place. I haven't been there since. Why the villa came to this state is another story that I am not likely to share. All I can say is I really miss my Alexandria.

(Another sentimental post, what's wrong with me?)


Thursday, July 2, 2009

I am...

missing taking photos of everyday simplicity.

picking up an old passion of drawing/painting.

waiting for Tuesday so I can ( God willing) hold that license in my hands.

loving the way Grabby's hair slowly sticks back up after bath-time.

grateful for a couple of alone hours during the girls nap-time.

wondering how long it will take me to get my computer fixed.

seeing life through the eyes of a two year old. ( everything is new and exciting)

counting the days for my twin sister's arrival date for her visit (July 16th, is her scheduled arrival)



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our smelly neighbor

Did I ever tell you that we have a neighbor skunk? For real!
I saw his fat cute little self wobbling about in our back alley, last fall. It was my first time to see one in real life. I shrieked with excitement!

Now I don't know if I could say the same anymore. He makes himself recognized every once and a while. How can such a cute little creature create such an awful stench. He needs to go back to the woods where he belongs. Seriously!

Also how come none of you have alter egos? I have like at least five!

I know it's kinda embarrassing to share your alter ego with the world... (Hello anonymous comments.)

It's always a treat for me to get comments. Even though I try not to care. But seriously the last entry I was quite curios. Alter egos are cool!