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 COULD KILL

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

Gaming

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!

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