Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Meme

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Nothing I can really think of... Feels like I just did a lot of things I had done before but some of them I did differently and better.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't really make any.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my cousin (who I consider one of my best friends) did. And this isn't someone close to me, but I did too!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Ooh, we drove to the USA on Tuesday! I had not been to the US since a trip to NYC in high school!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I had a really good year so nothing pops to mind easily. I suppose I would like to make a new friend, one with kids. I love my friends to death but I have very few close friends and only my cousin who has children.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 1st. My son was born.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth to my baby boy and making significant improvements on being patient as a parent. Came at a good time!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Nothing catastrophic, but I had more "failure" days as a wife than I'd ideally want. It's a role I find challenging.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My favourite thing I bought myself is my la-z-boy. OMG I love that chair. It's MINE! I actually feel possessive about this chair. Don't want others sitting on it. Yeah, I know it's crazy.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Celebration is a strong word. My husband really made amazing progress with the way he deals with me this year and he deserves a lil something for that.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Egyptian military.

14. Where did most of your money go?
We are taxed and taxed and taxed so a huge chunk went straight to the government. Other than that probably food...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting pregnant! And since he has been born, I can become excited over anything. Not just things like smiles and laughs, but burps and poops! I'm IN LOVE!

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
Probably none will ever stick out as 2011 because I never remember years... I don't even know what year I graduated. But this year was the year of Pitbull collaborations, Bruno Mars arriving on the scene and Adele becoming a superstar.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?

ii. Thinner or fatter?
fatter... I got pregnant at the beginning of the year and he's only 2 months old so it's not all lost yet

iii. richer or poorer?
richer than the beginning of 2010, poorer than the end of it since I have to pretend my husband's salary doesn't exist (he started a business and is using his salary for that)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, spending time with husband, exercising

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watching TV

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Quebec we would normally celebrate on the 24th, but my parents were both working on the 25th so it would not have been good to stay up late... And we can't just skip the event altogether so we had a family supper with them on the 25th after they finished working. We will be having another celebration on New Years with them and my aunt and uncle and there will be gifts so it will be our "realer" Christmas.

21. How many one-night stands?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I discovered Dexter this year and watched all the seasons.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. There's one person I hated this time last year that I only strongly dislike now.

24. What was the best book you read?
Hardly read anything this year so I couldn't say.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Can't think of anything. Music is not a big part of my life anymore.

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted a baby and I got one!

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't watch that many movies and this is the type of thing that goes in one day and is gone the next - I have horrible memory for these things... But I remember loving Blue Valentine.
And Tangled was my favourite kids movie. I remember it because we watched it 4 times.

28. What did you do on your birthday?
Can't remember.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Maternity. Spent most of the year pregnant.

30. What kept you sane?
Family. Always keeps me sane.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Probably Ryan Gosling in the actors

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Egyptian revolution. I have never been so insanely hooked on the news.

33. Who did you miss?
My daughter when she was in Egypt for 4 weeks. My husband too!

34. Who was the best new person you met?
Adam (my son)

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
I learned more life lessons at the end of 2010... This year was so stable and nice that I hardly learned anything! But I guess this could be valuable: Even a person with a relatively open mind can stand to be more open.


I started talking to my daughter about God. It's a topic that makes me uncomfortable because I see religion and ones relationship with God as such a personal thing... It's not at allpart of the Islamic tradition to keep religion something personal since Islam (traditional interpretation) is a religion that dictates every aspect of life...

This probably comes a tiny bit from the Christian part of my upbringing, but even more from my culture's dislike for religion overall. It's a bit of an embarrassment to admit to believing or following a religion.

I got an Islamic kid's book from a good friend in Australia for Eid last year that I found again after putting it away for a while and after reading it to my daughter a couple times, I decided the poor child should at least be given some sort of description of God. I honestly didn't know what to say though. I told her that God made everything. He made her, me, her brother, the flowers, the snow, the rain, etc. She then started saying that he made our house, he made the bath tub, he made the carpet, etc... I didn't want to confuse her, so I said that yes He did because we as humans made it with his help. Everything that is made is with the help of God. She started asking what God looked like and what colour he was (she's 4 years old) and I told her that we could not see God but that he was everywhere and always helping us.

What can I add to this small intro to God for a 4 year old? How did you go about it?

Working at the Store

I was getting used to doing my little thing with Adam every day and I didn't even mind that my husband wasn't around much after a couple weeks. It was great and I honestly loved it! I felt a sense of accomplishment from keeping up chores around the house and also managed to take it easy with my little man and just enjoy him plenty. But now... Now I have to start working at the store. My little routine of taking care of the kids and the home is all messed up!

It has just started, but so far I just spend my time dreading the 4 hours I will have to spend at the store every 2 days. It's in the middle of the day too so it just uses up 4 hours of daylight time that I spend trying to get chores done (and it's also my lunch time!). I HATE doing chores when it's dark at and that's at 4pm now. I bring Nora to daycare by 9, come back, leave home at 10:30 for the store. That's what is left of my routine 1 day out of 2 because after those 4 hours, I can do errands for 1h before getting Nora again.

This sucks... It's really not busy which makes it easier to be there, but also means the business is not going very well at all and that I'll be doing this for a long time (and that it might end up a failure with us owing a bunch of money and having wasted a whole lot of energy and effort and time). If it takes off it will be more work for me, but it will mean my husband might be able to quit his job to take care of the store which would take me off the hook. And having a store is his dream. He's willing to both work hard and have me work hard to achieve it, hahaha

Anyway, enough complaining... I need to create a new routine for us and deal with it probably until I go back to my job in September.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Party

I'm going to my job's Christmas party tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing my co-workers. Been used to seeing them every day for over 3 years and now I've seen them once in the past 2 months! It'll be nice.

I have literally no negative feelings about attending a Christmas party as a Muslim. I'll always attend Christmas parties if I get invited and have any desire to attend. It's a tradition that I enjoy and even if it doesn't mean the same thing to me as others I don't care. I take from it what is important to me personally. Actually, here in Quebec, it has a religious meaning to very few people. We are simply not a religious bunch... It's good because it makes it much easier for me to celebrate things in ways that are not religious and not confuse myself or the kids or give me any feelings of guilt. And it's bad because people often don't respect religious people or people who simply believe in God. Yeah, in my age group most people I know would probably consider themselves atheists or agnostics who don't care and don't believe we should think about God. This makes it difficult for me to even want to admit that I believe in God and even more than I'm Muslim but I think the good outweighs the bad for me since I see religion as a very personal thing and don't have a problem keeping it to myself for the most part.

Any other Muslims doing something for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

None of my business but...

This is completely non of my business and that's why I haven't said anything to her... And I hate that I might sound like I'm judging because that's not my intent... But I am disappointed in my cousin for weaning her 11 week old from the breast. :(

The selfish aspect is that I liked to have someone going through the same thing as me at the same time as me. We went out and we'd both be breastfeeding in public - that kind of thing.
But it also just makes no sense to me! Of course I am very pro-breastfeeding and I love it but there are many other reasons that just make sense! She's there with painful boobs giving her baby the bottle when she would feel better if he took the breast, her baby would prefer the breast and the breast is the healthiest thing for her baby! And knowing that a big part of why she is weaning is so that she can have a beer once in a while and in particular so that she can get drunk in a few weeks for her birthday/new year's party is really disappointing. It's one thing that she also likes that her boyfriend will be able to help her more and give her a break when he already takes care of the other two (one of which is not his) more than her, but to wean for alcohol instead of waiting it out an extra couple months for her baby to have gotten that much more benefit is something I don't understand.

I'm very close with my cousin and I love her to death, but she really doesn't shy away from thinking about herself sometimes. Her kids are well dressed and she always puts those things before her own needs and wants wardrobe-wise and she is a dedicated mother in other ways so this post wasn't to say that she didn't take care of her kids because she really does... But this one aspect today made me feel kind of weird.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Single Mom

With the amount of time my husband spends with us and the amount of help I get around the house, it feels close to being a single mom... It's necessary for him to be at the store a lot of course if we want it to succeed so this post is not "anti-husband" in any way... It's a bit of a vent maybe!

The publicity he put out really gave him a big start work-wise so he has been staying later than the 10 hours the store is open. He has also been going to Montreal (1.5h away) to get stock at least once a week. We don't have the capital necessary to stock it up like crazy so it's kind of an "as things get sold" basis for now. My husband also sleeps at the store most of the time so yeah... I stop by every day and try to bring him one or two meals per day but it's not quality time! Sometimes he doesn't see Nora for 2 whole days. Often he sees Adam quick-quick but doesn't hold him for 2 whole days.

And I SUCK at keeping on top of everything around the house! I'm pretty proud of what I have managed when I think of how much I suck, but I have a long ways to go before I'm able to keep a really clean house, feed my family really yummy meals, have laundry done on time and put away on top of taking good care of the children.

For someone used to having his mom have everything done around the house and making food that he loves every day, my husband seems pretty happy with my efforts and accomplishments. He's not asking more of me than what I do and really seems to think that I'm doing a pretty good job at least for me who he knows sucks at it! He doesn't really see me as a housewife/stay at home mom so I guess he finds I'm fitting in OK with this new lifestyle. He sure wouldn't be able to do it. He can work 15 hours a day but he can't take care of kids and a home!

Update on the baby: He's AMAZING. He's the opposite of my daughter and thank God for that! He's a really content, mellow baby. If I had my daughter (a bit of a difficult naughty child) and a high needs baby like she was, I'd be in big trouble!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dream I've Been Having

In the past week or two I've been having dreams of me missing my husband and wanting to be with him and never really being able to which makes sense because of his business and the baby. We are both very busy each in our roles and have spent very little time together. Friday last week he officially opened the business and his pamphlet went out so he has been very busy with clients and trying to finish the store set up.

Those dreams made a lot of sense in a literal (no interpretation needed) way. I miss him because we haven't been seeing each other.

For the past two days I've been having dreams that leave me feeling sad and betrayed. First was me finding my husband kissing my cousin (she was saying "we shouldn't" in the dream) and last night the dream had me finding out that my husband had a brief marriage to a woman while married to me and that he slept with her twice during this brief marriage of their's.

I honestly don't fear that he cheated on me so it's not such an obvious dream... But it has been bothering me and I keep thinking about how I felt...

We joked a little about how he was giving birth to a store while I was giving birth to a baby but after these dreams, it seems like it has given me more a feeling of him getting another wife rather than having another baby! Like he's cheating on me with the store!

What do you think?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Husband, the Baby, the Business

I've had moments where I felt angry towards my husband for starting a business at the same time as us having a new baby. He is on paternity leave for 5 weeks... 5 weeks that are given for a dad to have time with his new baby and time to help the mom. I felt robbed of that. And I was getting frustrated about being "robbed" of luxury during this time too because of having to live off my reduced salary with no help from my husband's (since it's going into the business).

Things are better now. I am seeing the positive lately and actually feel very thankful for my husband today. First, it's easier to see the positive when the income from mat leave starts to roll in and I can actually manage with it! It's not luxury but it' enough! Second, with the business opening officially Friday, I realized how many hours my husband is putting in and how much he is trying to do for me too. He is taking the responsibility of bringing Nora to daycare and whenever I called him or told him Nora was being difficult during the weekend he just told me to bring her over to the store and he'd take care of her. :)

He is not demanding that I make meals for him and has not mentioned any of the times that I didn't get him anything. He has been thankful of the little meals I managed to bring him this weekend and thankful of the few hours I spent helping or even just at the store doing nothing. I am able to see how much he loves me and wants to do more and give more. And how much he wants to spend time with me... But can't with all the work that is to be done.

Basically... I'm so happy with him. I enter phases where I'm frustrated with the situation but today everything seemed so clear. He really is doing all this for us, even if I was not 100% on board. And he's doing his best within this situation.

This perspective came in large part from a conversation I had with a friend the other day. She got me to see how much my husband is doing compared to the average Arab husband/dad already. And when I factored in the hard work with the new store and the way he looked at me when I went in to the store for 1 minute earlier today, it became clear.

Oh, I'll get pissed off again, probably in the near future even! But the truth is still clear that my husband loves me, loves the kids and is working hard for us all to have better in the future.

Birth Story

Wrote it the other day. Sorry for the length! No time to write a short version for the blog :p

Birth Story

I was 2 days overdue when I went to the doctor’s office on Halloween for my regular appointment. We decided to strip my membranes to see if it would get things going. I was at that point 1.5 cm and 50% effaced which was the same as 2 weeks earlier when we last checked.

I didn’t really want to give birth on Halloween. Not only because I wanted to go out trick or treating with Nora, but also because I feel he would always be overshadowed by this day. Every child is busy on Halloween!

I had a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions that afternoon but there was no pain at all so I knew this meant nothing – I could still stay pregnant for days more. But by late afternoon/evening when I went out trick or treating with Nora, I was getting either strong BH contractions or early labour contractions. They didn’t hurt so much as they made me feel pressure whenever I was standing or walking. I took advantage of Halloween to continue walking even if it was uncomfortable. Every time I sat down, they stopped. It was obviously not real labour… But *something* was happening.

We got home and they continued every time I stood so I decided to go to bed early in case I had to get up in the middle of the night to have my baby. I don’t deal well with fatigue. I went to bed… But right away I started to get contractions – and they were real ones this time. Not very painful, but very regular coming every 4 minutes or so. After 1.5h of those, I called the hospital to see what they suggest. I wasn’t ready to go there yet because they were not very strong and I was dealing with them just fine, but I wanted to see what they’ say anyway. They told me to take a bath and see if that helped stop them or if they continued. Well, they continued and got stronger. By midnight which was 3h after they started, they were starting to be even closer together and were starting to be more painful so we decided to go in. Actually, my husband hadn’t been with me much because I felt better able to deal with it all alone and when he came in, he threw me off my coping routine a little and I wound up panicked and vomiting. I realized then that they were actually pretty strong. I had just been dealing with them well.

After arriving at the birthing floor, they put me on the monitor for 20 minutes to see how steady the contractions were and they checked me. I was 5cm! They admitted me and put me in my birthing room. Things continued to go well. My husband left to get a few things at home that we forgot – we live 5 minutes away so it was no big deal – and I continued to deal with the contractions like I had been at home. I got information on the epidural since I knew the fatigue was kicking in (it was maybe 1am at this point) and that it meant I’d be having more trouble dealing with pain and I’d be having more pain to deal with… They called my doctor and she approved since I was far enough along in the labour. I didn’t want it at that exact time though and the nurse was kind of trying to convince me not to because I was not at the point of being in so much intolerable pain yet…

I didn’t really want to get there so I decided to ask for it about an hour later when things were harder to deal with but still going well. I’m so glad I did. I can honestly say that I went through the whole labouring process without ever getting to the point where I was having intolerable pain. With Nora, I was fighting every contraction, having so much trouble dealing with the pain, and I was completely stalled in my progress. I was probably fighting the contractions as hard as they were working. The combination of using good coping strategies and getting the epidural made me have the easiest most pain free birth I could have imagined!

I really respect women who are able to go through the whole process without pain medication, A LOT, and that was what I wanted for my children’s births originally, but I have to say that at this point, I have no regrets whatsoever and I would want to have another epidural if I had another child.

With the epidural, I managed to take a nap and relax. When a nurse checked me a bit later, she got the impression that the baby was facing backwards, so I also spent some time on my knees rocking my hips to try to get him in a better position. I don’t know who the women are who can’t move at all when they have the epidural because I was not allowed to get out of bed or anything, but I could lie down in any position and as I wrote also spent time on my hands and knees.

I found it interesting that there was a nurse with me at all times after I had the epidural. She checked the contractions, checked blood pressure, told me when I needed to change positions if the heart rate was changing. They are very careful in making sure everything goes well. She also got me water and juice :P My husband was sleeping on the chair in the corner of the room that whole time until I was ready to push.

After the epidural, they checked me and I was already at 8cm. It had probably been 2-3h since the epidural. They called in my doctor and she broke my waters since the head was kinda floating up there, not right on the cervix. I have a posterior cervix. The doctor said she didn’t believe the baby was facing the wrong direction from what she felt (the nurse was probably wrong). But I still went back on my hands and knees to try and get the baby to move down. It worked well and I was 10cm an hour later. And no, I didn’t spend 1h on my hands and knees. Maybe 15 minutes!

My doctor is great. When I told her I didn’t feel the urge to push she gave me the choice to either push anyway since I was 10cm, or delay pushing until I felt the need. I decided to wait. I knew the pushes would be more effective if I waited until I felt it. When she came back to see how it was going, I was definitely feeling the pressure a lot and getting the need to push. She checked me and the head was actually “right there”. Three contractions later, he was out!

He had the cord wrapped around his neck because we’d made him turn in there with the whole hands and knees thing when he was actually probably in the right position all along, but there was no damage. He cried with a strong voice right after birth. A beautiful healthy baby boy! :D

My husband really seemed happy and proud to now be the father of two children. He wasn’t there for Nora’s birth so it was his first time too and I think it built a bond between them from birth that he wasn’t able to have with Nora. It was beautiful to see – it was like love at first sight. He finally can understand exactly what I went through with Nora and why she became my whole world so fast. We are a happy little family.


Everything continued to go well post-birth. The way it works at my hospital is that the first 2 hours of life are spent on the mother, skin-to-skin unless there’s a real reason not to. Both mom and baby are cared for by a nurse (each) while the doctor finishes up “down there” (placenta, stitches, whatever else). It really just felt like I was having one-on-one time with my baby – I didn’t notice the nurses doing whatever they were doing.

I really like that they put importance on the baby-mother bond before anything else. It’s only after those couple hours that they take the baby to check his reflexes, to weigh him, to dress him before giving him back. The babies spend all their time in the room with the mom. Nurses will only take the baby if he or she has problems or possibly (and they did with me) if the mom needs to sleep badly and no one else is there. They took him in the middle of the night and from what they told me they spent about 1h getting him to sleep and after that he spent the next 3h sleeping while I was able to rest knowing they’d roll him back over when he needed me.

They are strongly pro-breastfeeding. I don’t think any mothers give their baby formula at the hospital. Ones who plan on not breastfeeding will mostly wait until they get home. It’s not banned or anything, but they just really encourage it for all of its health benefits and I really respect that. They are not judgemental either so I think if a mom said she didn’t want to breastfeed, that would be that. When I asked about the epidural, I was kind of uncomfortable asking. I asked and then added “I don’t deal very well with fatigue and I’m really afraid I won’t be able to go through with it without the epidural” and from two different nurses, I got the same response “You have no excuses to make. If you want it, you will get it.”

I stayed at the hospital for 36h after the birth even if they normally only let moms and babies go after 48h. Since I kinda knew what I was doing and both mom and baby were in good shape, they allowed us to leave in the evening instead of making us stay another night. I was glad to be in my own apartment!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adam 5 Days

Here is my boy:

Had my baby

Just wanted to update that my son Adam was born November 1st. Labour and delivery went very well and everyone is healthy and happy!

Adam was 8 pounds 7 ounces with a full head of black hair! He has the same hairy little shoulders his sister had at birth and also has those blue spots on his bum (also like she had)!

He is a beauty and a very satisfied baby with a pretty calm temperament! Nora loves her brother and tries to help in any way she can. No real sign of jealousy yet and I'm doing my best for her not to develop any. I told her last night that for a short while Adam had to stay with me all the time and would be in my arms but that soon me and her would be able to spend more time together going out and doing things and her comment was that Adam would also come with us! :) How sweet is she, right?

Anyway, just a short update for now... I will try to type up the birth story sometime and will probably post it on here!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Baby Yet

My due date was yesterday and still no sign of our baby. It's nice to know I should have him in my arms very very soon :) I can't wait!

Things are pretty much prepared and Nora is looking forward to it too. She knows she'll be at her grand-parents for a couple days and thinks it's cool. I've been trying to prepare her as well we I can by breaking down her erroneous ideas (like that she'll be able to play with him) and I think she understands at least a little. I wanted to see my cousin and her newborn with Nora so she could see that a newborn does nothing but lie there, breastfeed and cry but my cousin is really not a reliable person and I didn't manage to see her enough for that. She was supposed to come to my house about 1.5 hours before trick or treating downtown yesterday afternoon but she arrived in a huge rush to get the kids dressed and go right away.

My husband is really not acknowledging that anything is happening. He didn't help prepare anything at all. My parents are the ones who came to help me move around the room to make space for the crib, a friend helped me put the stroller together and with the help of a couple gifts I have been making sure our baby has clothes, towels, diapers, soap, etc. etc. He has not been interested in seeing the clothes or knowing where I'm putting them.

He's looking forward to the birth so he can have his 5 or 6 weeks off work to work on his business. It's making me a little upset to know he's not into it at all... It sucks to have to deal with his "could care less" attitude. He refuses to read up on how to be a good birthing companion. He told me women have been giving birth for ever and the man doesn't need to know how it works or what to do to help. He figures I'll be in great shape to let him know exactly what I need. RIGHT! Let's do it all by trial and error WHILE I'm giving birth - why not?! It'll only be the most pain I'll ever have been in in my life!

At least at home he is fetching me whatever I want if I don't feel like getting up. I'm trying to see the positive but sometimes I get upset that he is not thoughtful enough to anticipate any of my needs. Sometimes I wonder why I even need to ask for everything.

My dad (and my mom too) is one of those who will anticipate my needs and just take care of me like a princess :) And I spend a lot of time with my parents so of course when I compare how much my dad does and how little my husband does, it's upsetting. And embarrassing when people find out that he's starting a business at this time. My husband always comes off as lazy and unable to take care of things to my family. Mostly because he is in a lot of ways. It's not like they're imagining things...

They aren't judgey people though so they keep a good relationship with him and see his positive sides but I can tell that my mom in particular is upset that I'm not getting what she feels I deserve. I'm really blessed to have family that really loves me and cares for me and thinks I deserve everything that is best in this world.

Well that's about it for now. Hopefully next time I post I have a baby to post about :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My "long lost" Uncle

I saw my uncle at the grocery store yesterday.

This is an uncle who, almost 10 years ago pretty much ditched our family. He got in a fight with my dad over something related to my grand-mother and possibly related to his closeted homosexuality and from then on didn't talk to my dad of course, but didn't visit his own mother, his other brother and me and my brother (who is his God-son).

We were close before this. He literally came to my parents' (where me and my brother lived, we were pre-teen/teen) multiple times a week!! How can you go from seeing people more than once a week to NEVER?

Except my dad, we've all made efforts to contact him and he has not really been interested it seems. When I see him like I did yesterday (once every couple years) it's always pleasant and it's weird how much he is the SAME person as he was before. The same type of weird joking attitude he had when we were close. He ALWAYS tells me the story of when I was a "baby" and we were in the park and a tree fell or was cut down and I would have pointed and said "miraculous"! You can see that to this day this is a memory that is important to him.

A part of me wants to try and make contact again. A part of me thinks he would do it himself if he was interested. He knows I am on Facebook and has my email.

What I know though is that it would be useless to think I can unite the family back together - that will simply not happen. There's still anger between them. All I might be able to do is make an attempt at rebuilding a relationship with this man myself and maybe if he wants to do that with me, he will want to build the bridge between the others too.

Should I? Am I almost betraying my dad and brother who are the most hurt in this by doing that? Is it even worth it?

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday!

This week I'm thankful that my mom came to help me do some cleaning to further prepare the apartment for the baby's arrival. I had been unable (or unwilling to try) to clean the bathtub for a long time because it's a deep one so I haven't been able to bend over the edge with my belly and going right into the bath to clean it with toxic products was just not something I was willing to do. She did the whole bathroom actually so it feels great to have that space cleaned!

I'm also thankful my husband has been making efforts with me. He has been very busy trying to start up the business and has not been able to spend a lot of time with me, but when he gets upset with me I notice the effort he makes in apologizing right away and if I ask for something like to bring me water or anything like that he always does it without complaining and I know those things are probably difficult for him.

My New Stroller

This is my new travel system! I'm excited about it, it's a Graco Quattro Tour in Maddox colour/print. It's so much better than the crap I had for Nora. Woohoo!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


There's a lot of progress really. The place is painted and shelves and stuff are about 3/4 ready. There isn't much stock but that will be with a bit more time. At about 55$ per new game, it adds up to thousands (that we don't have) to fill up a place. A catalogue will be useful for a while for games.

My husband explained all the things he will be offering and I'm actually impressed by it. I also think his strategy is pretty good to get the customers to the store and have them continue to come (build loyalty). He is working on finishing touches and the publicity that will go out - all of this in the next week or maybe 2 maximum and after that it will be up and running!

I'm due in 10 days so we will be giving birth around the same time. hahahahahahaha
I laugh but it worries me a little to have so much going on.

At least things are planned so that we don't risk so much that it could become something terrible like bankruptcy or years and years or debt repayment. We are risking a lot for sure, but mostly my husband is risking a lot of time and energy and the family is sacrificing a more luxurious lifestyle for this project by living off my salary only while his goes into paying company costs. We may have debts that take a year to pay off if the business is not successful but it should not be more than that. And hopefully, God willing, it will not be a complete failure and will even be a good success for making enough money eventually to replace his job's income.

I was watching Dragon's Den the other day which I enjoy once in a while. Someone was pitching a money-making idea of a new casino game that is like black jack but in more of a rip-off type of way. I just felt disgusted by it. This is a business that is based on clients being irresponsible and weak and basically proceeding to taking their money. They don't offer any interesting game or service for the amount of money they take from these poor idiot people. It's a complete and total rip-off! And this game is like that, but even more money-stealing than regular old black jack odds! The guy actually got offers from most of the "dragons" (not his asking offer, but still...). They see money and it doesn't matter how they get it - they just want it.

Another person was a single mom with a decent business idea (spray tanning appointments at your home) that she explained was her full job, supporting her family and Kevin O'Leary basically told her how much it sucked because it wasn't money-making enough. Well at least her business was offering a good service at a decent price AND was a healthier alternative to actual tanning which she mentioned and seemed to care about. I agree with them that there was nothing to invest in, but Kevin O'Leary's comment just showed how hungry for MONEY he is! What an... I donno, but he's a loser.

What I wish for my husband and our family is to be able to run a successful and HONEST business.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I wrote this yesterday on my Facebook. No time to write a whole new post for the blog:

It's Thankful Thursday and I definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Thank you to everyone who took the time to wish me happy birthday - it put a smile on my face. And I am blessed to make it to a quarter century and blessed to have so much great stuff happening in life :)

Feeling of the day: "Thankfulness"!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Picture Day!

I had a nice morning. It's picture day at both Nora's school AND daycare today!

School is a 3h pre-school program twice a week at her future school that I found important for her to attend. Since she doesn't speak English much and will be going to English school full time starting next year, I felt strongly that she should attend this program as preparation. Even if it's not too convenient to have to bring her there and get her 3h later to bring her to daycare. It splits up her day a bit weird and interrupts her daycare group a little since they are often in the middle of an activity by the time she arrives... but it has to be done!

Today with it being picture day at both places, I stayed at school until pictures were done to bring her right to daycare so she wouldn't miss those pictures. We chose 2 different outfits (one my choice, one her choice) and I did her hair. I SUCK AT HAIR! Especially curly hair since mine is very straight...

I tied her hair in a bun on the side top of her head, had one loose strand of hair that I did with the curling iron to make it bouncy and added a big butterfly hair accessory. She was adorable! It was starting to be a bit messy by the time she got to daycare but oh well!

I'm still glad to be off on maternity leave. I'm alone at home now and about to go take a nap! YAY :P

I'll try to do as much as I can around the house afterwards but with eating lunch and a doctor's appointment this afternoon, I might not do much more than dishes, cleaning the guinea pig cage and vacuuming.

See you soon!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Not that there's anything wrong with that"

I don't know if anyone watched Seinfeld? We are going through the seasons lately and in this episode, Jerry and George pretend to be gay because someone is eavesdropping and it ends up being the person who Jerry was waiting for to be interviewed. So the episode is him trying to convince her that he's not gay, "not that there's anything wrong with that". This line is repeated many times.

My husband does think there is something wrong with that and found the episode kind of annoying overall I think. I can't help but feel that my husband or anyone else who has something against gays needs to just SHUT IT and this really made me realize how much it bugs me when someone really does have something wrong with gays. I can't change that he's uncomfortable with homosexuality and that he is against gay rights like marriage, adoption, and would even support any law that makes it illegal or criminal or anything, I think. But I really think people with these closed-minded views need to just keep quiet.

Where is the line though between what can and should be said (even if it's a "hot topic") and what shouldn't be said? Am I being unreasonable in believing that people against gay rights should keep to themselves about it?

Where do you draw the line?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Ooooh, this week, I am thankful to have started my maternity leave! My last day I was 37 weeks along which I think is pretty good. Most people I know finished much earlier but they were on preventative leave (in fields like shops, labs, hospitals, daycare centres, restaurants, etc.)

It's nice to be off work and I am getting things done but it's not that much that I manage to get done when I really think about it! I'm taking a nap each day, a bath maybe, a bit of surfing online, coffee with a friend or my parents. Today I went to my aunts house for a simple computer problem and stayed there for 3 hours! So it's 4pm and all I did was bring Nora to school, nap, bring her to daycare, go to my aunts' and make part of the supper! No cleaning or anything! Tomorrow I will hopefully get on it a bit more. My goal is to be 100% ready for baby to arrive by Monday. Right now, I'd be in a bit of a mess if he showed up... 4 days should be enough to chose and buy a stroller and carseat and clean and set up the room for baby's arrival as well as clean the rest of the apartment for it to not be too much of a mess.

Not if I worked though so conclusion: I am very very thankful to be off work!!! :D

Idea for TT taken from Becky!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This makes me seem pretty irresponsable

...but I will share anyway because I am so HAPPY!

I finally got my income tax completed for 2009 and 2010!!! I'm always a couple months late in doing them and that doesn't stress me out, but I am 1.5 years late for 2009 and that WAS stressing me out. Especially with a baby coming and my child benefits being cut quite some time ago for not doing my income taxes... It will be a welcome little help financially to get those back especially with my husband's revenu going towards the business and mine being lower since I will be on maternity leave.

Best of all, peace of mind! I'd been stressing pretty badly since this summer when it kicked in how late I was and when I realized I had lost a paper worth about 2000$. I didn't want to do my income tax without this paper! I looked everywhere and found it by accident last week. YAY!

Giving a bad name to Muslims again!

A Muslim man called to open up a file for a loan here and was refusing to be served by a woman! In the end, he went through with it with our female agent but she says he was being condescending the whole time.

I'm so pissed at this man I don't know! He better not get me next time he calls.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Birthing Plan

Here is my birthing plan. Just a general idea of what I want from my birthing experience for things to go as smoothly as possible. I didn't add an after birth/ baby caring section because I know their procedures and they put the baby right on the mom when it's born, they strongly support breastfeeding and would never give him any water or bottle. Also, the baby always stays with the mom in her room even right after a c-section. All things that I want.

To my husband and birthing companion:

I want you to have a plan about religious traditions that you want or need to do, and communicate that with the hospital team and make sure they get done.

I wish to stay at home for as long as possible after contractions start. You will need to write (or use an app) to time the length of contractions and how far apart they are. Please wait until I suggest we go and do not pressure me into going to the hospital too fast. I wish to be in a calm environment to help me relax. Helping me relax will be your main goal.

This will continue once at the hospital of course. I will need you to speak calmly always. You will need to remind me to focus on my breathing. You will need to remind me to relax my muscles during a contraction and focus on recuperating in between contractions. I want you to learn acupressure to be able to try that for my pain relief.

I want you to remind me to try different positions during contraction. Please do not mention asking for pain relief as that will put into question my ability to deal with the pain. Let me decide when to ask. Remind me of our baby often. Make me focus on the birth to come.

To the team at the hospital:

I wish to avoid pitocin to induce at any cost. Unless the baby is in danger without it or if I end up getting an epidural and the doctor judges the drug useful or necessary for stronger contractions at pushing stage that is it. I also wish to not have my water broken artificially. I will consent to stripping the membranes though.

I wish to be offered the milder pain relief medications (air and gas, morphine) but not an epidural, although I am open to the idea of taking one if I get to that point. I will ask myself if I want it at any point during labour.

Unless there is need because of danger for my baby (or if I get an epidural), I do not want to be strapped down by monitors. An occasional check with a hand held device will be welcome. I will also consent to very occaisional internal exams to see how things are progressing, but if I am dealing well with contractions, I'd rather not be bothered often.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Husband is Sweet

I saw a post the other day about someone advising another person to divorce a wife with Alzheimer's to remarry. It felt pretty cruel a thing to do. Doesn't the commitment made between husband and wife go beyond health? I believe it does.

I realize it would be a difficult situation for a man to deal with though... So it made me think about polygamy. I am pro-choice on the topic but against it for myself. I would not accept being married to someone who is married to someone else than me. BUT, in a situation like the one above... If I had an illness making me not able to fully realize what was going on... I could accept it. Only because I wouldn't have to live with it in any real way of course.

I was trying to tell my husband and he cut me off before I even said the polygamy part. He told me he wouldn't even marry anyone else after me if I died and that he sees our relationship as a relationship that is for ever and cannot be replaced. He might have used the word soul mate but maybe I'm remembering wrong, but that's the feeling I got from what he was telling me.

It made me feel good... and very loved. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trying to plant seeds of doubt and worry

A co-worker of mine kind of bugged me with a couple things she said this morning.

First about the computer store my husband is starting... She wasn't even in the conversation I was having but she managed to insert comments about how there's a store here, and one there... And she knows people who fix computers... Just kind of a downer comment with no other goal than to make me feel like my husband will fail. Or at least that's the way I feel about her comment.

Then in that conversation the other co-worker I was talking with asks me if the woman who came with my husband during lunch yesterday is my cousin. I tell her no, it's my husband's co-worker/friend who was helping him paint the store. So the bugging co-worker starts to ask if I really feel OK about him being with a woman all day, about how she wouldn't if she was me, about how my husband wouldn't accept me hanging out alone with a man all day so shouldn't I set the same limits for him? Was that a way to make me feel uncomfortable about the friendship? If I don't feel uncomfortable about it, then why should it bother her?!

The way it works for me is that if my husband is uncomfortable with me hanging out with men alone, out of respect and love, I can abstain from that. And if I feel uncomfortable, he will do the same. I simply didn't feel uncomfortable about this particular situation. She was there helping him out and they aren't close friends hanging out together outside of work.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I want an owl mei tai!

I have fallen in love with this print, and with the idea of a mei tai carrier this time around.

With Nora, I tried the wrap and just found it too difficult and time consuming to make it worth putting on. I prefered to just carry her in my arms a lot or push her in the stroller for longer walks (she loved the stroller - looking up at trees and anything we passed by, was very curious). I also tried a ring sling which was uncomfortable for me and a pouch sling that I couldn't seem to get her to fit in right. I'm convinced a two-shoulder carrier is the way to go for my comfort, and that the mei tai style could be a winner (considering my past experiences).

With our budget (because of the store), I am waiting until I need the mei tai before buying. I don't think I would be using it the first weeks anyway. Has anyone used a mei tai? What did you think? Would you recommend it?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Noonie says

My 4 year old daughter Nora tells me this morning that she wants to marry "her baby" (the baby I'm carrying) and that she'll carry him when she marries him as a princess and that it's not "pretend". hehehehe

Thankful Monday

I missed the last 2 Thankful Thursdays so here is one this afternoon.

Last week on Thursday, I should have posted TT instead of bitching and ranting but whatchyagonnado! Still, I am thankful and here are some things I am thankful for:

- Getting my new la-z-boy this week! I chose it this weekend- it's amazingly comfy! I tried dozens of different rocking, reclining chairs in all price ranges and the one I picked was THE ONE by a long shot. I gave it a week to try others and return to "the chair" and it was still "the one". :D It's my gift to me! :D

- I only have 2 weeks left of work before mat leave! Can't wait to finish... Work is actually a lot calmer than usual so that's another thing to be thankful for - the calm arrives at a good time (when I'm exhausted)

- That throughout the entire pregnancy, I've had only ONE person only touch my belly without permission. Of course, that was today at the grocery store during my lunch... It was weird and uncomfortable for me. But it happened only once in all!

Idea for TT taken from Becky

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am SO MAD right now!

Nora started going to school 2x 3h per week to prepare for KG starting next year. My husband was supposed to get her today at 10:50 and at 11:05 I get a call from the school asking when someone's going to come get Nora! WTF! I was at work but I had to leave in a rush to get her. I brought her to my work which is like 2 minutes away, figuring my husband would *wake up* and call me and come get her very soon to bring her to daycare. BUT NO! She stayed about a half hour at my work while I called him non-stop before I decided to take an early lunch hour to bring her - not that I'm supposed to have that much flexibility in my hours!

30 minutes after he was late, I was getting worried... It seemed impossible to not have thought of Nora by then... Especially with the crazy emphasis I put on being ON TIME. I said it many times the night before, the morning before work, and I talked to him at 9:15! I also tried to call at 10:30 to remind him but wasn't reaching him... I was getting really worried when he was one full hour late without news because I was thinking maybe he got the time mixed up (11:50 instead of 10:50)... By the time I was able to get to our house, I thought I'd find him dead in the garden or something, it was 12:15.

I entered and he was on the computer. I ask him what he's doing and he didn't even catch the "WTF" tone I was using - he really still had no idea why I was here! Many seconds later, he clicked. How can someone so fully get lost in time and forget his own child?! By that time, he was 1h30 late! I'm beyond infuriated at him! He can never remember his responsabilities around the house, but to forget HIS CHILD?!!!

What is worse is that I always have to deal with situations because of this... We get 25$ taken off our rent because he is supposed to take care of the lawn, snow and garbage (for the neighbour). He mowed the lawn maybe 2x all summer, always forgets to do the snow in winter and last winter for 1.5 months, the neighbour couldn't access her garbage because the path was hip deep in snow! I'm the one who gets talked to by the owner like I was the one to get talked to by the teacher at school. When Nora doesn't go to daycare, we have to inform them by 9am and sometimes he just decides to just keep her and doesn't inform me and I have to deal with them reminding me to inform them in advance time and time again.

I'm fed up! I'm pissed off! I'm just so so so SO angry I'm having trouble concentrating at work. Had to get it out.

I am SO not made for business!

The investment for inventory and setting the place up will be about 10 000$ plus the approx 1000$ recurring monthly costs for rent, electricity and insurance... We don't actually have that amount ahead of time so we've had to take out a loan. Half the amount is on interest-free for 18 months or 24 equal payments interest-free which is good and Islamic (as long as it's paid back within that time)- phew. But the other half is not which bums me out a bit.

My husband will continue to work though and his salary will have to cover the monthly costs plus reimbursement of the loans... Hopefully there will be income from the store but if it's a total flop, I guess I can be comforted knowing that we should be able to pay that money back anyway. With major budget tightening and over a period of time. It's stressful to imagine that much money going to waste especially when it's not my dream. My immediate dream was to go back to university to become a teacher with a long term dream of being a homeowner with a stable life. My husband has the same long term dream as me though but a big part of that for him is running a succesful business. I just hate risk! I don't want to hoard money but I don't want it to go to waste either.

My salary (which will be money from mat leave for the next year) will need to cover the home living costs which I think I will be able to manage. I'm still feeling nervous about that and about having to work at the store with the baby while I'm on leave... I'll be working part-time kind of hours, but with my husband working ALL THE TIME, I will also have more work at home with the baby and Nora. And we all know that being a mom is already a full time job!

Anyway, please keep us in your duas/thoughts if you can!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My cousin had her baby!

My closest cousin and I got pregnant around the same time (were both due in October) and both learned we were having our first boy. She had her baby last week! At almost 37 weeks pregnant, an 8 lbs 3 oz beautiful baby boy! :D Masha'Allah, I'm very happy for her.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gaming Business Advice Needed! Any little idea

Yes, after my gaming hate post, here I am asking for your advice on having a potentially successful gaming business.

My husband works as a lab technician but that's not his real domain. He's a computer guy (networks, hardware, programming, whatever) with a passion for gaming. And he made the decision to start a business. He signed a lease for two small, linked stores. One will be a computer store for selling and fixing computers mostly and the other part will be a gaming cafe type place. The plan for the gaming cafe is not clear yet but I'm trying to help him figure out what could possibly work. He has the gamer's point of view, but I have the "regular person" point of view as a non-gamer who can enjoy a game once in a while and as someone who comes from here and knows about the population (not exactly the same type of people as in Egypt).

The place is not big - it's small and that limits the possibilities A LOT. It's one sort of long room where we figure there will be enough space for 3 "gaming stations". They will each have their 3-place couch with 46 inch TV. One will have extra space to play PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect and the others will have just an Xbox or PlayStation with their games. There's not enough room for tables and extra chairs for snacks or for extra spaces for computers for an internet cafe so it's really going to be all about PlayStation and Xbox. We plan on having small snacks like a drink and chips available to buy while they play.

With the costs of buying everything over 1 year plus the monthly costs, we would cover the costs with about 10 people per day average coming to play for an hour each so hopefully that's possible. The location is not bad for our city of about 60 000 people and there are no other places doing this. There is one arcade though but it's not really the same type of thing and not in the same area.

I'm thinking the main clientele would be kids and teens. We are close to 2 elementary schools and not too far from the high schools. It's in a lower class family area of town so I think most kids in this area are not set up at home with their own game consoles which should work to bringing in a few people! I'm hoping it would be welcoming enough to attract families wanting to get an hour of family time in with their young kids (who might be too young to come alone).

The other part would be actual gamers who are the ones who would be more likely to want to come and stay for a few hours at a time. But these are the people who are likely to have a gaming set up at their home. What can this place offer that they can't get at home?

Help with any ideas! ANY AT ALL!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Comment problems anyone?

Is anyone having trouble commenting on my blog? If so, could you email me?
I've been having a TON of trouble on most blogspot/blogger blogs and so I haven't been commenting on those blogs. It sucks because I'm appreciating a lot of blogs but not able to show it and not able to contribute to the discussions...

Is this happening on my blog too?

Advocate one space for all

The Noisy People Upstairs! article by Hijabman

Interesting article. I think he has a point. I don't think women should be disrespectful if they make the decision to go to the mosque, but in a way, what he says makes sense. If women are put apart from the congregation, isn't it normal that they would act like they are not part of the congregation?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The: "What Can I Do?" post

People who are addicted to games use the games to achieve and get a sense of worth...

So I realize that I need to ask myself the question... What can I do? Obviously my husband has some issues with his real life or he wouldn't need to turn to games. Me and Nora ARE his real life. What can I do to make him feel like being dedicated to his family is an achievement? What can I do to make him WANT to accomplish this for us?

I'm not the easiest person to live with - especially not for an Arab. I ask A LOT more of him than his mother ever asked of her husband, or of my husband. And probably the worst thing is that I have a tendancy to yell and insult. And the insults can hurt I'm sure, especially since they're based in truth. I might say those things mostly because I'm angry and in part hoping he will wake up and realize that it's (at least partly) true and he needs to change, but it probably has the opposite effect of making him feel even crappier about his home life and better about his online life.

What should I do?

NOTE: My husband has a lot of qualities and doesn't always play games to the point of making me feel like I do lately. Some women married to men with gaming addictions refer to themselves as widows, but I'm really not there yet! Just going through a tough little spell and I guess he is too...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I will try to control myself and not get into it too much, but I am SO FRUSTRATED with online gaming. My husband's online gaming habits which one might call his gaming addiction, has a real (negative) impact on our family life.

The number of hours that can be spent on the game and the distraction it causes can be pretty incredible sometimes making him forget (or chose not to do) many basic responsabilities/chores. Our of all the problems a marriage can have, THIS is THE problem for me. If he plays less for even just a week, I am calm, caring, motivated, loving, happy, etc. And if he plays more, I become irritable, angry, upset, impatient, etc. Of course, he probably has some stuff to say about me. When I go nuts, I REALLY go nuts.

But anyway, it's so frustrating that my husband is one of those people who doesn't need a lot of sleep. So even when he works his 12h shift he still finds many hours of free time. I only work 8.5 hours but with the things I have to do when I get home, I have about 30 minutes to myself. And I work 5 days a week (10 days every 2 weeks) while he works 7 days every 2 weeks because of his longer shift. So not only does he have a lot of free time when he works for long hours, he has A LOT of ALONE free time when he is home alone and I'm working and Nora is at daycare 5 days every 2 weeks. We only have 1 week end out of 2 together and half the time I can't even sleep in one of those two days because he stayed up too late playing his game to be able to wake up with Nora. I get to sleep in 1 day out of 4 weeks average (and he mostly plugs Nora on the TV while he plays games).

And I'm tired. Just really really tired.

34 weeks pregnant and trying to deal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Single sex classes

How do you feel about single-sex/single-gender classes? Anyone have children in boys only or girls only classes or schools? Did anyone attend such a class?

I feel it's the best option, especially for kids over 12 or so. For us, high school is grades 7-11 so making the switch to co-ed elementary school to single-sex classes in high school would be a great time to transition.

I think it should be an option in all public schools where parents and their kids could decide to go for either co-ed or single-sex education in the same school. Most subjects, as far as I'm concerned would be better taught in single-sex classrooms like sciences, math, languages and physical education. A bunch of subjects would be better co-ed, in particular art, drama and music and I think religious studies or moral education, as well as career orientation too.

I know that when the time approaches for Nora to enter high school, I will do my best to start a petition for parents with children entering the same high school as Nora from all the different schools (with cooperation from the principals of these schools that I hope will be possible to get) to show the school board the interest this program would have. Of course, the interest might be close to nothing... Who knows? But if there is interest at least it would be that much closer to happening. This school board has been the first to do a few things in schools so they might be open to something like this. This is in like 6-7 years so things can change though! I'm a bit early on my plans.

School Uniforms

I'm all for school uniforms. I think they create a sense of unity between the students and pride in their school. I also find that in the same way that hijab take the focus off clothing and puts focus on the actual person underneath, uniforms can do that too. There's convenience too which is nice. Generally I think it brings cost of clothes down but it can easily not be the case if the uniform is fancy, not flexible and simply expensive.

Nora's school (she starts next year - it's for KG - grade 7) has a uniform which teachers say is liked and which they feel helps with school pride. It's not expensive because they only need the maroon polo matched with any navy blue bottoms (pants, dark jeans, shorts, skirt) and navy blue sweater (if it's colder). As far as I know they can wear any shoes and any coat and hat with it and will not be considered as not adhering to the uniform if they wear clothes in navy blue and maroon even if the shirt it's the actual school shirt.

It'd be naive to think that uniforms fix all problems like bullying, discrimination, forming of cliques, etc, but it can't hurt I think! As Muslims, we probably know that hijab doesn't solve all problems of sexual harassment and disrespect, it helps at least a little overall and I see the uniforms a bit the same way.

What is your take on uniforms? Do your kids wear uniforms, do you want them to? Did you wear a uniform while in school? How did you feel about it at the time?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week went well. I had a long weekend which I really needed even if I had missed a day of work Monday 2 weeks ago (making this my second long weekend out of three). I'm going to continue working until the first week of October- 37 weeks pregnant, but I kind of want to ask for 4-day weeks for the final 3 weeks of work. But really, since I'm finishing I might as well suffer the last 3 since I'll be able to rest a lot after that and I'll have a full pay for the end of my time here... I'm just too tired to prepare for the baby even during the weekend because with taking care of Nora, it's exhausting... And even if I feel pretty confident that I will go to 40 weeks, anything could happen and for me to give birth at 37 weeks or earlier with a lot of things not done would be very stressful! I think that instead of missing those days at work, I will take part of the money I will make on those days to pay someone to clean the apartment and part of the money to splurge on something that I would normally not get or would hesitate about getting.

To get to the point of the post, this week, I am thankful for:

- OPTIONS. I'm not in a bind or stuck in a difficult situation. I have a bunch of options available to me like I just went over about my mat leave and days off.

- the month of Ramadan. I know it's well over, but it's this week that I realized how important the month was for me this year in this spiritual journey of mine.

- my parents, who are always there for me and willing to help out with whatever I might need. I truly think their love is unconditional and I realize that even if that's exactly how I see my love for Nora, it's not everyone who has parents who would support them through whatever might happen.

- having the chance to go to the fair this past weekend. But honestly, it was a bust. Rained the whole time (literally not a minute outside without the hood of our ponchos on) and the main event of horse pulling was cancelled. Still, I was able to see my friend and Nora went on some rides and we saw the animals. We made the best of it and just being able to take this perspective instead of being bummed is something to be thankful for too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Reply to a Blog Post

A person wrote a post that was a personal rant of sorts, shaming women she sees who don't dress in a way she deems appropriate for the mosque. The main idea was "Do what you want, but don't enter the mosque like that!" and the words "Shame on you" were actually used. I had written a response to that post a while ago because I felt pretty upset that people like this woman (and most people who replied) feel this way. As far as I could tell from the post itself, she doesn't act on these thoughts (meaning, they don't actually drive these women out of the mosque) but isn't it an indication of the sad state of the community when you're looking down on fellow Muslimahs based on their dress choice? What else do you know about them? NOTHING.

This relates a lot to my previous post. Actually, the quote in the previous post made me think a about this situation. Here was my reply to the post:

Giving kind advice to a person who asks for it is great and I think it was what you were doing with that new Muslim, but the rest of this post makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I don't wear hijab outside of the mosque. I personally like to come to the mosque dressed with a long skirt and longish top and make sure I have a scarf covering my chest. Other women at my mosque wear shorter scarves but slightly more modest tops than me. Others arrive with a t-shirt and no hijab and borrow an abaya and scarf from the mosque to pray in and others wear overgarments.

Not everyone wears the hijab you describe as appropriate but some do. And still I think everyone feels welcome and comfortable overall at the mosque. As they should! There is no division between the women who don't wear hijab and those who do. A big priority of mine in my Islam is to support unity despite differences. Whether a person is wearing hijab "improperly" or not at all, or is wearing niqab or whatever she is wearing, and for whatever reason (not ready, doesn't believe it's obligatory, etc.), I can only hope they can feel just as welcome and just as "Muslim" as anyone else in the community. I extend this idea of unity towards Sunnis, Shias, progressives or any other “type” (branch, denomination, sect) and the things you say and the way you talk about the women at your mosque who you don't approve of gives NO feeling of wanting to be united with them as Muslimahs and it saddens and upsets me.

I also wanted to give a bit of positive here... I think it's likely that most people you see at your mosque are actually dressed at least a degree more modest than they would in their outside clothes and that is a really good thing in and of itself, even if you don’t believe they meet requirements. It’s also likely that they have no bad intentions in dressing like that and that they don’t mean disrespect to you or the mosque or to their God and that should count for something. Only Allah knows though.

Here is a link to an article called "Being Religious without Being a Jerk" again from the Suhaib Webb website. This article was not something I had any intention to link to in my response to this blogger (and I am not trying to call her a jerk - I didn't decide the title of the articel!) but it fits with the theme so I think it's a good moment for me to post it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A good lesson

I just read a very nice article, by the same person who wrote the "How Does One Soften Their Heart" article I posted about right before Ramadan ended. I'm really enjoying the Suhaib Webb website which has all sorts of articles by different people that I've found inspiring. This article is called "Two Words" about someone whose faith was ignited by hearing a hadith of the prophet Muhammad.

I wanted to share a paragraph that I feel adresses a big problem. This is not the main lesson of the article, so I suggest you read it, but it's a nice reminder:

"Let’s stop judging people; let’s stop driving people out of mosques because “we” deem their dress, their swagger, their accessories, or language as something “unsuitable” to the House of God. Let’s stop assuming they’ll never be guided to “our righteous path” (since we’re so righteous, we guided our own selves, right?) and thus resolve to harsh words or disapproving stares. Perhaps those who “we” think are far from Allah (swt) will pass in a more honorable, beloved state to the One Who guides. "

Monday, September 5, 2011

Looking into vegetarianism

I am not against eating meat in and of itself. I think it's part of the natural order of things that animals be eaten by us, but the treatment of animals can be just disgusting and unethical, and this is the main reason that would push me towards becoming a vegetarian or vegan. I'm open to eating animals that have been treated with respect and dignity (although I do think people eat too much meat and it needs to be cut down).

I think that requirements for "halal" food need to be re-evaluated and made stricter. There is the issue of the animal being cut at the vein in one stroke and the name of Allah being said, but also part of Islam requires compassion and respect towards other beings and this includes treatment of animals. I truly don't feel that a chicken has been raised in a factory with thousands of other chickens where they each have less than half a food square to live on and are bred to get huge fast, leaving some of them with broken legs and heart attacks and are fed foods that are not natural for them to eat so that they get fat fast, but harming them in the process, is halal. Even if you take that animal and then slaughter it in one stroke of the vein saying the name of God.

I have to honestly say I value organic meats (let's go with the definition of that as meat that comes from an animal having been fed exclusively organic food that they are meant to eat, and that has lived in conditions that allow it to be a healthy and fulfilled animal of its race) more than I value the "halal" label (which normally means that it was slaughtered in one stroke of the vein with the name of God pronounced over it and which hopefully also includes it not seeing the knife coming and not being slaughtered in front of other animals).

I really would like to get rid of loving food. To still enjoy it, sure, but have it be fuel for my body as the main thing. As it is now, I'm not a huge lover of food and not hugely addicted to food, but I still realize that I am. I eat a LOT of things that I know don't do anything good for my body and this is something I want to change. To maybe eat only VERY FEW things that I know are not doing anything good for my body. As much as food and drinks (I mostly mean my main craving of super-sugary iced coffee from this) are a pleasure, I'd love to give it up to put more focus on other things that can also be a pleasure in my life.

Any thoughts on being a vegetarian or vegan Muslim? Any personal experiences? Do you guys have easy access to organic halal meat? Anyone trying to eat more ethically but finding the husband to be a major obstacle? Tips?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Am I Imagining things in Being Offended

So the post was about our feelings towards polygamy. I basically wrote that I had no positive feelings towards it and would not be able to deal with that in my marriage and that I'd divorce my husband if he married another. But that we had an agreement from before getting married to never have a second one and that he doesn't want one anyway so phew, we're fine.

Someone responds below with this after writing earlier how favorable she is to polygamy and how much sense it made to her from the very beginning (I will paraphrase):
I'm shocked to actually believe polygamy to be a good thing but when I accepted Islam, I accepted EVERYTHING about Islam.

Does this not sound like she's indirectly mocking me or at the very least suggesting I am picking and choosing what I want in Islam? Even though it's right there for me to see, I feel like she was talking behind my back in a way by not mentioning me directly. At this point in the conversation, I was the only one to have written that I wouldn't accept to be part of a polygamous marriage.

To continue with me being left feeling offended, this person later writes that she believes that if a woman couldn't accept the possibility of her husband marrying a second (third, forth) wife, she should stay celibate! This part might not have been directed at me at all because it was a while later, but it was not really related to the conversation they were having at the time and again, I was the only one to have flat-out said I'd divorce.

I know pregnant over-reacting me might be to blame for this, but I really felt like she was telling me that as far as she was concerned, I should never have married. She probably didn't mean anything as personal as that since we don't really know each other - we have just seen each other's posts on this group. She might not know I am married, with one child and another on the way, and that saying that "these women" SHOULDN'T get married (with me declaring myself as one of "these women") was a direct statement that she didn't think I should be married at all.

Her statements were all very general, not directed towards anyone, but it felt even worse than to have her say it flat-out. If she told me directly, I'd at least be able to tell her off for having very poor manners (telling a pregnant woman she should never have gotten married), but it was all subtle.

The more I write, the more I feel like I made a big deal out of it... But it was definitely not a misunderstanding because when I called her on it, I gave her the chance to rephrase "shouldn't get married" and she wrote multiple times that this is exactly what she meant.

Anyone have any thoughts for me?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday

OK, I'm writing this Friday but I will deceptively date it for yesterday. :P

This week, I'm thankful:

- that I'm able to realize how materialist the society is and able to recognize how much it affects me (to better be able to keep it under control and keep my priorities straight)

- that if a thief came to my home and stole my stuff, they would still not have taken any of the most important things to me.

- that a long weekend is coming and that the agricultural fair is this weekend! Yay! Hundreds of cows, bunch of chickens and turkeys and rabbits, home-made pie and other pastry competitions, horse pulling, interesting kiosks, rides, running into people I haven't seen in a long time! Woohoo :)

Idea for T-T taken from Becky!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gah, I Feel Bad

I'll consider what I write here as kinda confidential since no one knows where I work and I'm going to be pretty vague...

I should really have shut my freakin' trap! Following the negative articles written about our company last week, we have received 2 complaint letters this week and they passed by my desk since I take care of a portion of the mail.

I managed to chit-chat around the office and tell two extra people who would never have known if I didn't open my mouth about it. It's after the fact that I realize that bored silence would have been better than revealing things to employees that were just not meant to be known by them until the bosses were ready.

I hate my big mouth sometimes. This job and the way the bosses deal with the company always brings speculation for all sorts of different reasons. These days it's the security of our own jobs with what happened, but seriously, I need to be stronger than this and resist temptation to engage (and I admit, sometimes start) this gossipping and idle talk. I did nothing but fuel that by revealing the letters to these co-workers. Of course, beyond that, it was simply none of their business and the bosses should be left to deal with the situation as they wish.

I really did wrong and I really have something to work on because this stupid office talk-tak-talk is being really bad for me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Eid to all

May you all have a blessed Eid marking the beginning of a new month, and may we insha'Allah be able to keep fresh what we learned during this Ramadan!

Here is a link to an article that really inspired me. It's about the last 10 days of Ramadan but is easily applied to any time of the year.

How Does One Soften Their Heart?

I will share an excerpt:

Sit and think of every blessing He has given you- the Qur’an, eyesight, clean water, literacy- the blessings are uncountable, as Allah (swt) tells us in Surah Ibrahim (14:34). Let us show gratitude, for when we are grateful, Allah (swt) increases us, “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ (Qur’an, 14:7).

Let us sit, contemplate blessing after blessing, and continually move our lips in gratitude to Allah (swt), saying, “AlhamdulilLah (praise be to God),” asking Him to write us amongst those who are grateful to Him, asking Him to soften our hearts and allow us to be moved by gratitude for His Favors.

Before I sleep, as I lie in bed, I've started a habit of making dua and I decided to incorporate this into my little routine. I thought of one thing I was thankful for, said "al7amdulilah", thought of another, "al7amdulilah" and another, "al7amdulilah" and I was unable to stop - truly the blessings are uncountable.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week, I feel thankful for an uneventful week! Nothing special, but no stress or hardship. A week that can kind of be seen as a break from excitement which is welcome in my pregnant and tired state.

Still though, I'm thankful for what should be a nice weekend with a special day Saturday with fireworks and games and entertainment. Should be fun. :)

Idea for Thankful Thursday taken from Becky!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Job security affected

My company disgusts me by what it does. It is not only unislamic in dealing with interest, but it's completely unethical in the amount of fees and interest charged. Usury to the max.

I feel bad about what the company does but the thing is, I enjoy my time at the office (I like my co-workers, boss is nice enough, tasks I have to accomplish are not bad, office space is really nice) and I like the pay, which is more, and maybe even *much* more than I could get elsewhere. Benefits are good too...

To continue, a few articles were published this morning in our local newspapers about our company that were definitely not positive reviews! Actually, it prompted clients to file complaints so that the consumer protection office could open a case to investigate the legality of the business. I'm pretty sure it's not legal so it could come to be the end of this company if people make the complaints needed for it to be looked into.

I'm not upset in any sort of way. It will be a way to force me out of this company and the industry that I hate (money money money) even if it will put the family through some financial hardship. I wish I had enough determination to get out of it myself, but I know that with my husband wanting to start a business very soon and all sorts of plans that my own plans for going back to univsersity to become a teacher are not for a few years - I mean as long as I have this income coming in.

So praise Allah for my future with this company being uncertain! :P Either way though, I'm off soon on maternity leave until September 2012.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Discussion with my Husband

Some of you who are in the same Facebook group as I am will know why I even brought up this topic with my husband. I don't randomly bring things up like this but a topic came up in that group and it made me a bit upset. Took a bunch of self-control to stay out of the discussion (for the most part) but I had to share with my husband - I talk to him about anything even things I should shut up about.

Someone in that group usually visited a certain Sunni mosque until they started charging 5$ to park! She and her husband decided not to attend there (what the heck is with forcing worshipers to pay to go to the mosque?!) and had been going to a Shia mosque nearby a few times. She was asking if it was ok.

The discussion quickly turned ugly but I won't go into detail about the group.

I was a bit upset about how the discussion went on the board so I decided to discuss it with my husband. Sort of to vent a little my frustrations, I guess. Not always a good idea because my husband is "traditional" in his beliefs... And he's not good at expressing himself either.

So, the discussion with my husband ALSO quickly turned ugly in a very similar way. He threw in a bunch of stereotypes about Shias that I found offensive even if I'm not Shia (I don't consider myself Sunni either though btw) and basically, based on all sorts of ignorance and exaggerated because of his difficulties in expressing himself clearly, he said he wouldn't pray with them and it was close to coming down to them barely being Muslim ("but still better than non-Muslims"). I was kind of appalled.

After calming down and clarifying things, we figured out that he actually would not mind praying with Shia in a Sunni mosque if they were to come - he'd feel perfectly comfortable welcoming them. So it wasn't a problem of not feeling like it was OK to pray with Shias in and of itself. Simply, my husband would not feel comfortable going to a Shia mosque because he knows there are differences between what he follows and the Shia and he doesn't know what the differences are exactly and wouldn't want to be confused or led towards something that contradicts the belief system he has accepted.

He went on to clarify that he doesn't have anything against going into a Shia mosque with a group of Sunnis and so he accepts their mosque as a place of worship. And he said that he didn't know how they prayed but that if it was the same as Sunnis, for just a prayer (without the khutbah, which he'd rather not stay for because of the possible differences) it would be OK to pray with them.

In the end, it was a bit of an "afraid of the unknown" type of situation.

I don't know much about Shias myself, but I think I helped clarify things (like not most of them thing that Ali "stole" the prophecy from Muhammad, a stereotype that left a really negative impression). And hopefully I made him a little bit more aware that what he started off saying was really close to judging and putting himself in the place of Allah, something I know he doesn't want to do in any sort of way.

What I learned from that was that I need to calm down sometimes! We were in Walmart when we started to talk about this and within a few minutes, I was storming off away from him in the store, ready to just grab the stuff I needed and get the heck home! He's taking Ramadan and the spirit of the month seriously and it allowed both of us to learn a little something. :) Alhamdulilah.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

I don't know if I am. I took this test and got 16. Above 14, you are considered a highly sensitive person, although of course it's not a 100% reliable tool. I wrote a comment on Safiyah's Musings and it won't publish so I will post it here. I'm in the mood for that comment to get published! lol

I don't consider myself highly sensitive but my test result was that I am. I think it's partly the pregnancy hormones though because it's true that I am a lot more emotionally sensitive while pregnant than my normal.

Parts of the normal non-hormonal me that are sensitive though are that I am very aware of the needs of others or their feelings. BUT I can pretty easily decide to not let it affect me which is something that makes me not very sensitive. I'm also very jumpy at sounds or people who surprise me, even though I'm a person who is aware of her surroundings. So it's not that I didn't know the person was around the corner... It's just my system that jumps anyway even if I expected it. Happens all the time while I sleep and my husband enters the bedroom too and he gets mad at me - but I can't help it!

I suppose I'm maybe a highly sensitive person who is generally able to deal with it well. Won't get myself down because of what someone else is going through, can deal with with being very stimulted (noise, people, etc.) even if I don't like it. I deal well with violent movies or scenes if I see them but I don't like it. I can tune out my feelings when my daughter is hurting and focus on cleaning up the wound for example instead of feeling bad that she has pain...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful:

- that me and my husband are strong in our relationship because without his support, I would have probably had a lot of trouble with my temper this week. I feel thankful that he is able to help me with this aspect of myself in this blessed month especially.

- that one of our cars dying doesn't put us in such major crap. I was able to find a way to get Nora to the babysitter's and get myself to work, and we were able to pretty easily find some money to pay for repairs.

- for my health. I am feeling quite well for being 30 weeks pregnant and everything is going smoothly.

Idea for Thankful Thursday taken from Becky!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is Love

“If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses and he spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.”

Most Muslims have probably heard of this hadith... I don't want to make a big deal about how I feel about this hadith because that's just not the point of my post...

My husband accepts this as truth. So he believes that if a husband wants his wife sexually and she refuses and he is angry, angels will curse his wife all night. I'm not really an "obey your husband" type of wife as some might already figure and I don't accept these cursing angels as truth so I didn't really care if I said no to my husband. I'm thinking back on when things were difficult between us... Not much respect between the pair of us, lots of fighting, not too many lovey moments. I seriously didn't care if I said no; if I didn't want to, it was a big fat no.

I fell on this hadith yesterday and it reminded me of something my husband told me back in "those days". That he didn't allow himself to go to sleep angry at me even if I had just rejected him because he loved me too much and didn't want the angels to curse me.

Isn't that sweet?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The "Strict" Opinion

I pretty much never find myself following the strictest opinion on topics in Islam. Overall, my feeling is that they might be doing things very strictly to avoid ever falling into haram. But isn't making the halal haram something that is haram?

Personally, I would fear making the halal haram or requiring more from Muslims in their faith than Allah Himself does way too much to make the types of fatwas I see in some places (in particular, islam-qa). It's one thing to recommend doing something or avoiding something - where no "haram" or "fard" labels are used, but to require things from a Muslim based on a source considered "authentic", I'll give them that (often one single lonely hadith), with no real support from the Qur'an... I can't find it in me to believe these rulings as truth.

Explaining Ramadan

How do you explain Ramadan to someone who has a negative impression of it to begin with (as well as a negative impression of Islam and Muslims overall)?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bringing out the best in each other

I came home Friday night after going to watch quarterfinals of the Roger's Cup (tennis) in Montreal with my dad. We had a really nice time and stopped for McDonald's take away since we hadn't had a chance to have a real supper. It was like 11:30pm which is really late for me, especially after a really exhausting week (with full time work Monday to Friday and trying to make the meals and clean up and taking care of Nora - not saying I manage it all but I try)

When I got home, I had a box of crackers, the box with the sandwich and the coke I took for my husband, along with two bags... At the door, I DROPPED the drink and lost all but two sips of it. RAAAAAWWWWRRR! I started throwing the f-bomb and yelling, blaming my husband for not opening the door for me, then I saw he hadn't done the dishes like he was supposed to - RAAWR! Everything was making me mad. Kinda funny thinking about it now.

Just a year ago or less, in situations like these, my husband would have gotten mad at me and we would just have fueled each other's anger but this time, he just calmed me right down. Said sorry for not doing things around the house he was supposed to. Said he felt a bit weak and tired (which is understandable after a 12h shift and fasting - I hadn't expected or demanded he do anything but he'd offered that morning so after that I was expecting it). And he told me he was just fine without the coke and offered to get me something because the idiots at McDonald's had forgotten my fries.

I was really proud of him for not getting all angry like he normally would. Actually, he has been very good about this for a while now and it is improving our lives at home a lot. I think I am able to do the same for him when he is feeling down or in a bad mood.

It's like we are finally in an adult relationship. Yay! I'm almost congratulating me and my husband for managing that. lol

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So messed up!!!!

A co-worker of mine started having a weird feeling about her boyfriend a few months ago. He was always talking to his female cousin and seemed to be hiding messages and closing the window when she entered. She wasn't even convinced it was really his cousin.

She's the type who feels obligated to be very open... Like... You do what you wanna do, I do what I wanna do. As long as you pay your half of the bills and still sleep with me, I won't ask any questions. They had looked into someone to have a threesome with a couple years ago too... You know, not a typical couple.

But in the end, she is a typical woman and she got that feeling that you can't get rid of. Even if he was paying half the bills and coming home to her. It took her a full week to confront him on not coming home one night (and a few months after her feelings started) and now that she did, they're over.

He admitted to her that he hasn't loved her in 1 year and that he had been going out with his cousin to "swing" (sleep with others). The disgusting fucking pig!

I admit to being a bit of an "innocent" type. I haven't had to deal with a lot of bad people and I've never had bad things done to me really so it's always shocking to me when things like this happen so close to me. Even if this is not that close - just a co-worker... and one I am not even close enough to to call a friend. Anyway, I am seriously shocked and disgusted - just can't believe it. Makes me appreciate my husband that much more!

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