Friday, April 22, 2011

{this moment}

Wishing the world a brighter future. To our brothers and sisters in the middle east, Japan, and all over the world, stay strong. This too shall pass...

And wishing you a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a week in photos

:: Bringing home from school (yes!) real size cut-outs of a certain someone with all the important organs glued in place. Which has lead to new curiosities that entail reading fifth grade science books at bedtime, about the human body (HELP!)

:: Spring time teasing weather, with sleeveless dresses and sandboxes. Snow, freezing rain, and hail today. Welcome to the Midwest!

:: Dodging road work. Another important spring landmark in our neck of the woods.. I liked seeing horizontal fire hydrants. Makes you appreciate the vertical ones even more.

:: Breakfast, a la Amelie style.

:: Bat festival attendance, check!

:: Our first Mexican birthday party. Complete with pinata and ceiling covered balloons. Mei, was especially excited. I see pinata birthdays in our future.

:: Almost forgot the last photo. Moroccan Fish Tajine. Fantabulous! 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Laps

We are six in our new-just-moved-into apartment, it's never quite. Our downstairs neighbors complain that their chandelier is going to fall on them. My mom gets us a membership at a sports club...

My sister is carrying the big umbrella and I am making marks in the sand with the umbrella's anchor stick. My brother carries the plastic rug because he's the youngest and it's the lightest object. We approach the Mediterranean and spend the rest of the day there. I go home with a sunburn.

The door bell is ringing non-stop (must be one of us, we all think), several footsteps rush towards the front door, meanwhile Ismail Yassin's famous laugh ricochet across the flat. In the kitchen the food on the stove sizzles. Our youngest yells at the top of his lungs "MOM I'M HUNGRY!"

My stare falls on a cigarette butt still glowing, I step on it as I pull myself up. My friends lips move and her hand gestures to the school's front gate, I turn down my Walkman and try to listen through Kurt Cobain's angry yells whose car we're going to ride in.

The three of us continue to cycle along the riviera "Are you sure we are going the right way, Neveen? we've been cycling for the past hour and our hotel is nowhere in sight!"... "just trust me!". 

... I dig my wet face in my brother's embrace,  he whispers in my ears "that's fine, just don't take it off!"...

I haven't cried yet, but I can feel the tears coming, oh boy here they come... why couldn't they wait until I was in the plane? My mom hugs me tight and we both wail as if someone just died. I make out a grimace on my husband's face through a wall of tears. "I love you mom".

She's one ounce shy of seven pounds! Announces the midwife. I smile at her cone headed skull. She's beautiful.

"I don't want to birth her now" I look intently at the midwife, "she's coming too fast, too fast. I want some time before she comes (but she's already crowning I think to myself)". Mary brings her calm smiling face closer to mine, holds my hands, and instructs me "I want to release the pressure, when you get a contraction let it go by breathing through your mouth. Listen: open, open, open-- like a flower... release, release, release" the baby's head slides back in the birthing canal.... "Now, I'm ready now!"Mary smiles and puts her hands under the water--ready, to catch the baby.

My mother and Mei stretch their bodies on a blanket on the airport floor. I look at my husband and declare, smiling "Now, we are officially homeless!"

We follow the scattered flow of people towards the igloo on the frozen lake, only it's been warm enough that the first layer of snow over the thick ice crust has melted enough, to make dodging slushy puddles impossible with tiny feet trotting along. We decide to turn around. My first experience of walking on water. Trickier than one would think.

"Look mom, spring is here!"


Friday, April 15, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual...


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breakfast for a year anyone?

Apologies for the redundancy if you're on my FB list.

I am doing this one year thing just to make sure I am taking at least a photo a day. Since I almost always have breakfast, and also since it's by far my favorite meal of the day... your humble slave decided to document her breakfast for a year. Don't roll your eyes yet, I will only share some breakfasts here every once in a while. Are we still friends?Good *smile*

11/365 (admitted I'm gross, what to do? *smile*)

...annnnnnd peace!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Right now!

What temperatures do to our lives is truly amazing.

Today, we got a taste of summer, complete with bugs, dirt, watermelon! sweat, and all that jazz... I am grateful. (Above eighty degrees no kidding!)

Two days ago, we were all rocking heavy winter coats-- that make strapping little ones in car seats an accomplishment that suffices 'a good pat on the back' job well done. I kept hearing myself say "release your shoulders Nermine, take a deep breath" and If I forgot, I have a four year old who will make a goldfish remember, whatever it is that a goldfish may need to remember! "Take a deep breath mommy, that's it, that's it..."

So right now, I am grateful for::

Driving with the windows rolled down, and watching my little one catch the wind with her tiny palms.

Little windows in time that allow a mama to sit and play with LR3-- you'll see the fruits of such windows in a moment! 

Nature walks that involve bird calling, woodpecker spotting, and two little red faces, oh yes!

Libraries, Playgrounds, Crocuses, and Piggy (in our case Ellie) Banks (they make chores a breeze!)


Friday, April 8, 2011

Tahrir Square Today!

Their demands? To put Mubarak and Senior Regime on trial. I think it's a reasonable demand, don't you think?

In other news... Ah France, when will you stop?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ten things I am loving about Madison/WI right now!

If you haven't noticed, I am currently in a love-y-dove-y mood towards America, I thought I'd dedicate one more for the place that embraced me and my family after evacuating my own country. Here's to Madison (and most importantly my in-laws. thank you!)

1. The people. Friendly, brave, generous, peaceful, and just wonderful. A big holler at all you Madisonians and Wisconsinites out here!

2. The (new and improved) Children's Museum in Madison.

3. The Sundance Theater (the only one in the country!) Just watched Jane Eyre there and loved it!

4. The capitol square and building. Has become a symbol of so many things for me and for everyone here.

5. The amazing hiking, camping and nature preserves and paths here. Just wonderful.

6. State street-- a wonderful place for window shopping. (or real shopping for that matter)

7. The bike friendly streets all over the city.

8. Henry Villa's Zoo. Small yet well designed.

9. The Campus Mosque. Very small with a very warm, non-imposing, laid back congregation.

10. All the wonderful parks and playgrounds for the kids. A true family friendly city. Also the safety plays a BIG factor.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

from the archives :: ten things revisted

Ten things I love about America-- revisited:

1. Libraries (oh how I love thee)

2. Sidewalks-- always a plus. And traffic rules

3. Root beer floats, rhubarb, farmers markets, and CSA's. Yum!

4. Summer festivals, blankets on grass, and lightning bugs.

5. Camping, hiking, nature. Maps and signs for all three.

6. Whole foods, npr, netflix, hulu, and the postal system.

7. Diversity.

8. My in-laws! A big holler at you guys (all {meaning ALL, yes including spouses and cousins and brothers...etc} of you. I love you guys)

9. Thrift shops, garage sales, urban outfitters.

10. The art institute of Chicago.


oh I forgot to mention a very important one...11. freedom of speech.