Proud Mom!

I am back, as promised, to write about how great and wonderful my other two kids are ūüôā¬† I am so proud of both kids!

My Little Lady

  • Was 1 of 5 kids chosen, in her class of 25, to participate in the Science Fair¬†at school!¬† She recited her line to the judges and a handful of cameras perfectly with little hesitation!¬† Their team recieved 3rd place.
  • Has been chosen to represent her preschool class in the Spelling Bee at the end of the month (1 of 3 out of the class of 25).¬† She will compete with other kids representing their preschool classes¬†in¬†other area schools!¬† She has learned to spell 30 words in English for the big event!¬† Pretty good for a 4 year old ūüôā
  • Has memorized 11 verses from the Quran, and continues to memorize more each week!¬† Mashallah (May God Bless her)!
  • Has learned to read and write the entire English alphabet and Arabic Alphabet, and she is starting to put letters together to form words in both languages.
  • Her Arabic has picked up and she is speaking Arabic well with her friends and family.
  • Loves to do her homework.
  • Is a wonderful helper around the home and sets a good example for the younger kids.
  • Loves her baby brother soooooo much, a true blessing to watch them interact!
  • Loves her middle brother, and plays with him well.

My Little Man

  • Anything he wants to learn, he learns quickly, and does exceptionally well.¬† Mashallah (May God Bless him).
  • Continues to be very athletic.¬† He is currently working on his golf swing…watch out Tiger!
  • Has a sense for numbers.¬† The other day he told me that there are 3 people in the room (Mom, O, and A) but there were 5 people in the room (and he named all 5), he continued to explain¬†that 2 of them left so now there are 3 people….this is just one example of how he thinks (this Mom is impressed).
  • Has a sense of space.¬† His new favorite activity is putting together puzzles, especially ‘tricky puzzles’ which are 25 peice puzzles without borders.¬† He does so with little need for help and doesn’t get frustrated.
  • Has learned how to write his name, in English.
  • Has learned to be a good listener and how to respect those around him.
  • Has a great sense of humor!¬† How quickly he can come up with jokes or understand a joke always impresses me.
  • Helps Mom and Dad around the house, and it so proud when he picks up his trucks and cleans his room!
  • Loves his baby brother and takes good care of him.
  • Loves his sister and plays well with her.

Alhumdillah, God has blessed our family with 3 wonderful children.  As a parent, it is so much fun to watch them grow and develop their own strengths and to help them work on their lesser strengths.  I cannot be happier with my decision to stay home to watch them grow, and help them transition from wonderful babies, into little people, and eventually into wonderful adults Рinshallah (God Willing)!


How My Little Boy Has Grown!

My baby, if I can still call him that ;-), has grown so much in the last month РMashallah!  Currently at 5 months and 3 weeks,  I am simply taking this time to blog for my family, who unfortunately live a great distance away, and for me as a reminder to myself of how my little boy has grown!

In the past 3 weeks, Abdallah has learned the following:

  • How to roll over from tummy to back (better late than never!)
  • That rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, pearsauce, avocado, sweet potatoes, yogurt, and cheesecake are a¬†great compliment to Momma’s milk!
  • How to laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and giggle, and laugh.
  • That his sister and brother are the best people on earth, and they are here simply to make him laugh.
  • That his eyes widen, arms and legs reach out, fingers and toes extend, and his hands¬†shake uncontrollably while watching others intensely.
  • His feet are the coolest new things to be found and they don’t taste too bad either.
  • He can squeal REALLY loud and it gets him lots of attention, especially from his brother and sister¬†ūüôā
  • Who needs the swing, or rocker, or pack-n-play, or even Momma’s arms…when you have an excersaucer¬†and a johnny jumper!
  • His pacifier is really the best thing on earth and he needs it more than Momma’s milk in the middle of the night (Momma currently thinks the pacifier is the best thing on earth too!)
  • Toys, especially ones that sing songs and have lights or ones that¬†he can chew on endlessly, are definitely the next best things after his pacifier!
  • That snow is not as cool when you are a baby as it will be when you are 3 or 4 years old.
  • Grabbing the face of Momma, pulling her in, and smooshing his wet mouth¬†onto Momma’s cheek gets him lots of positive attention from Momma!
  • Popping two teeth out is very painful, but incredibly adorable when all said and done.
  • Saying BABABABABABABABABABA is getting him lots of positive attention from Baba (Dad).
  • That he is the cutest, sweetest, most lovable, and most patient baby that has ever been born (the family says “Yes!” to¬†no more colicky evenings!)

I love this baby!  I also love Aisha and Omar, maybe I will tell you more about them next time!  Alhumdillah!

A 4.9 year old, a 3 year old, and a 5 month old – Oh My!

It’s been a LONG time since I wrote last and that’s because I have been tending to the endless needs and demands of motherhood!¬† After having my 3rd child 5 months ago, I decided to stay home from work for a while and focus on raising my kids.¬† “Raising my kids” – I had to chuckle to myself as I wrote that.¬† Sometimes I wonder if I am really doing anything of benefit for them by staying home.¬† I mean am I really ‘raising my kids’ or am I just¬†running in circles?¬† I am constantly searching for a better way, in order to slow down so I can raise my kids and to stop the cycle of running.

Who knew that a 4.9 year old, a 3-year-old, and a 5 month old could do what they do to a person.  I feel that most days I just tasking the demands and trying to meet the needs of my kids. I often fall short of meeting all their needs and fall miserably short with the endless housework.

I think to my Mom and how she raised three little ones.  We were the same distance in age from Baby #1 to Baby #3.  I wonder, how did she do it?  I try so hard to remember:  How did she get everything done?  Did she ever get everything done?  How much time did she spend playing with us?  How did she keep her cool when things got out of control?  How would she have disciplined us in this situation I am being faced with?  How often did she bath us?  Did she have a strict daily routine for our days?  How often did she clean her home?  How did she manage to cook a healthy meal every night?  Did she really have a home cooked meal every night?

It’s actually amazing to think back.¬† I think hard to these questions trying to remember¬†and then realizing that I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.¬† I don’t remember because I was too busy being a kid to pay attention or to remember these things!¬† And then it hits me!¬† It is the best, most honest,¬†advice I can give myself or any other mother.¬† My kids won’t remember all the things I am running around and stressing about.¬† However, they will remember the way that I talked to them.¬† They will remember the times I stopped and read books to them. The crafts I made with them.¬† The times I spent teaching them something special.¬† The special times we spent together.

You may read this and say, “Duh, you can find quotes about this all over the internet.”¬† I know you can.¬† I have read them and loved them just the same as you.¬† However, there comes a time when you feel that you are sinking and then you have that the lightbulb moment of reality…well I just had mine.¬† I just hope I can remember that moment and how it felt tomorrow when I am chasing after the three little monsters ūüôā

Alhumdillah for my kids, my life, and my family.  I would not change anything about it.

Spend More Time With Your Kids – 10 Day Challenge!

I was busy cleaning the house the other day and I hear in the other room, “Mom! Come play with me.”¬† It was my little lady, asking me to play with her once again.¬† She asks all day for me to play with her.¬† Literally, she asks ALL DAY for me to play with her.¬† I have had many conversations that start with, “Honey, I would LOVE to play with you, but right now I have to….”¬† It is heartbreaking to tell her that, yet it is the reality.¬† Mommies can’t just play all day.

Then the other day, I got to thinking.  What would it hurt for me to just drop the dish towel for 10-20 minutes and chase her around the house, make her/make them laugh as I tickle her and her brother for a few minutes.  A few minutes.  Really, I had to think about it?!  Heartbreaking.

Next, I went on Facebook and asked my trusted girlfriends how much time they spend playing¬†with their kids during the day.¬† Honestly, I figured the amount of time I spent with my kids was normal, about an hour each day, but I wanted to hear from them.¬† Sure enough, about an hour is the norm in my circle of friends.¬† It didn’t matter if they worked full-time¬†or stayed home with the kids, the amount we spent playing with the kids was around an hour on an average day.¬† (Time spent with the kids such as bathing them, cooking for them, cleaning up after them, meeting their daily needs, and tasking all their never-ending requests was not included in the time spent playing, because playing means playing and that was the question).¬† This reality got me thinking further.¬† Drop that damn dish towel and play more with my kids!¬† After all I stay home with them to do just that…to be their Mommy and to play with them!

I came up with a personal challenge and posted it on my Facebook wall asking my friends to join me.¬† A 10 Day Challenge to Spend More Time With Your Kids!¬† I promised to update my FB status daily with my success or¬†non-success¬†story for the day.¬† Currently, I have completed Day 2 of my Challenge and both days have been successful!¬† It is interesting for me to see how easy it is for me to find the extra time, yet how driven I am to say “Just a minute, I just have to…”¬† During these first two days, I have not said, just a minute, unless I have one kid on the toilet and while the other hanging off my breast as I feed him (not an uncommon sight in my home)!¬† These two days I have spent an average of 3 hours playing with the kids, which is up from the usual 1 hour of playing a day!¬† I am having so much fun with them and they with me.¬† They are only young once.¬† I need to do this for them.¬† For me.

We have spent the hours coloring together; painting pictures; cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner together; baking cookies; squeezing fresh orange juice; talking about school; chasing and tickling the kids; teaching the 2 month old how to smile, laugh and play with his rattle; acting silly and playing the silly games that kids love.  It is the same things we always did, just more of it.  We are happier together.  Less fighting.  More smiles!

I was concerned (still am a bit curious to see how the rest of the days will go) about how I will keep the home clean.¬† With three little ones (ages 4.5 years, nearly 3 years, and 2 months) who are home all day, who all day make their needs known only to me; who need at minimum 3 meals a day, which requires at minimum 3 complete wash downs of the kitchen a day; who make trails of messes¬†everywhere they go; who are always losing toys and think I know where they last put them; two of whom are arguing half the day and require me to be the referee;¬†on average I do¬†1-2 loads of laundry¬†every day; two kids who need help to go to the toilet, wash their hands, and blow their noses; and a¬†2 month old who is feeding every 2 hours and demands to take his naps in my arm most days – how will I ever keep the home clean if I stop to play?!¬† Well, well, well, Miss Worry, I am so glad to announce that so far the house hasn’t fallen apart – in fact it is just as clean as it was before I started the challenge, the kids are happier, I am happier, and we are all going to bed a little earlier!¬† Who knew?!

Who knew that doing what you do all day, everyday, doing things the same way each day the same way, and doing so because you think that what you are doing is best, can actually be worse.  One day I heard my daughters usual request to play with her, reflected on it, questioned about it, and decided to try a new routine and found out that my four and a half year old has a lot to teach me about what is important not only to her, but to us! Alhumdillah!

Here’s to my Spend More Time With Your Kids – 10 Day Challenge!¬†……Are you in?!

Kids as Babies…

Aisha 5 months.   Omar 3 months.   Abdallah 2 months.

Dear Aisha, Omar and Abdallah

As parents, we are busy with day-to-day activities and jumping between tasks; it is easy to forget what we want to instill in our children.  I want to take a few moments to reflect and share values that are important for me to instill in my children.


Dear Aisha, Omar and Abdallah:

Be Curious.¬† Ask Questions.¬† Always Speak the Truth.¬† Don’t be Bashful, but Be Polite.¬† Be Friendly.¬† Don’t Be Naive.¬† Trust in Allah.¬† Fear Allah.¬† Remember that we are but a speck of creation, living here for a short time, like dust in a sand storm.¬† Be Patient.¬† Be Assertive.¬† Always Do Your Best.¬† Enjoy Life.¬†¬†Laugh Lots.¬† Eat Healthy.¬†¬†Be Active.¬† Listen to the Birds Sing.¬† Smell the¬†Rain.¬† Love.¬† Listen to¬†Others.¬† Learn as Much as You Can.¬† Read.¬† Study.¬† Dig Deep and Don’t¬†Believe the Superficial.¬† Don’t Be Superficial.¬† Be¬†You – Don’t be¬†what¬†you think others want you to be.¬† Love Yourself.¬† Respect¬†Everyone.¬†¬†Thank God for Everything.¬† Recognise your Blessings.¬† Don’t ever be jealous, but be happy for them.¬† Remember God is testing us when things seem difficult in life, overcome his tests and you will grow stronger in faith.¬† Everything Happens for a Reason.¬† Be Strong.¬† Be Confident.¬† When You Don’t Know, ‘Google it!’¬† Stay Organized.¬† Maintain Balance in Your Life.¬† Love Your Family.¬† Take Vacations.¬† Listen to Silence.¬† Breathe.¬† Relax.¬† Pray. If you are going to do something, do it right.¬† Money Isn’t Everything.¬† Choose To Be Happy.¬† If you are unhappy and can change it, then change it.¬† If you are unhappy and cannot change it, then change your attitude.¬† Be Outdoors.¬† Go Camping.¬† Hike.¬† Play.¬† Work Hard.¬† Motivate Yourself.¬† Remember Allah in All That You Do.

I Love You All,


Delivery in Amman

Preparing for delivering a baby can be nerve-wracking.  There is so much an expecting mother tries to prepare for, yet there is so much uncertainty.  Now, preparing to deliver a baby in a foreign country can be even more unpredictable РYou are not familiar with the norms and the norms you are expecting may be completely foreign to where you are. 

Thankfully, I belong to a wonderful list-serve for expat women who live in Jordan.¬† In the list-serve we bounce questions and ideas back and forth between the women,¬† Here we learn from¬†the knowledge and experiences of each other.¬† When I made the decision to deliver my third baby in Jordan, I asked the ladies about their¬†experiences in delivering¬†their babies in Jordan.¬†¬†The responses were overwhelming!¬† As you can imagine, any time you ask a group of women about their birthing experience, they will share their experience…when you ask a group of women about their experience delivering in a foreign country, their sharing is exponential!¬† Here is my previous blog detailing the different experiences of other women who delivered in Jordan:

I made notes of all the responses¬†and made special notes¬†about the¬†different norms and expectations.¬† I¬†thought a lot about these difference and put them in categories: What I Don’t Mind, What I Mind, What I Cannot Live With.¬† I brought the list of “What I Cannot Live With” to my OB-GYN¬†to discuss them with her.¬† I knew I had chosen a progressive¬†physician, who would honor my preferences.¬† Alhumdillah, she did honor each of my requests.¬† She wrote notes on the front of my chart and on my pre-admission notes of my preference to ensure that I received¬†the care that I requested.¬† Once I arrived to the hospital, all the staff were aware of my requests (as they were now Orders from my OB-GYN) and mostly they abided by them.¬† As expected, there were differences that were experienced.¬† Here¬†are the¬†experience of differences during my delivery in Amman:

  • There are First Class, Second Class, and Third Class Rooms.¬† First class is a private room, where as the others can have 2-4 other women sharing your pre and post delivery room (delivery always happens in the Operating Room/Theater.
  • I was not required to sign a Consent for Surgery for my C-Section.
  • Upon having a C-Section you have the choice of General Anesthesia and Spinal Anesthesia.
  • The Operating Room/Theater was a room on its own; however, there was an open door between my OR Theater and two other OR Theaters!¬† I could see movement and hear conversations of the C-Section going on next door.¬† Not only strange, but an infection issue wouldn’t you think?!
  • My insurance only covered 2 nights after my c-section (which is common stay after c-section).
  • Babies are kept in the Nursery rather than in Mother’s room.¬† I requested baby to ‘room in’ with me, and this was not only strange for the nursing staff, but one night the nurses¬†refused to return my baby to me because as I was told, “All babies go to the nursery after 1000 pm”.
  • No Education is provided to the patient and/or the family.¬† I had to¬†be¬†proactive to ask questions, and most clinicians find it strange when you ask questions because it is not common practice.
  • Registered Nurses have very poor clinical skills.
  • You must pay the entire hospital bill prior to being discharged from the hospital.

Overall, my experience, although somewhat different, was good.¬† The OB-GYN¬†I had chosen was wonderful and the hospital staff were, although less clinically proficient, were¬†extremely friendly.¬† I am grateful¬†that I did my research prior to deliverying in Amman –¬†because most of that which was different, was as I learned and therefore expected.¬† And, Alhumdillah, at the end of the day, I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby!!