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)!

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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?!