Saturday, April 6, 2013

Waiting for Kimnuyho

Written:  Feb. 17, 2013

My dear sweet children,

    In two weeks, give or take a few days, we will, God-willingly, welcome the newest member of our family.  Loving refered to as IKEA, Gordon, Salama, and finally Kimnyoho (Kim-nyoo-ho), everyone is filled with a nervous excitement.

The idea of going back to baby stage is both daunting and appealing.  You two are gaining independence by the second.  If we were done having babies, our life would continue to take on a distinctive look of being diaper and sippy cup free, along with people actually being able to follow demands such as "Get in the car!", and "Put your shoes on!". At the same time, the idea of a new life, a baby in the home, overwhelms me with excitement.

I pray that I have the strength, organization, and fortitude to meet each one of your needs.  I know. even with the best of intentions, that there are times when I will fail.  I ask you in advance for your forgiveness, as I hold fast to my belief that God is Merciful.

I look forward to seeing you both grow and expand with the added responsibilities of a new sibling.  I know that you both will love him or her as much as you love one another.  That alone makes it all worthwhile.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Looking Back

The funny thing about motherhood is that you truly believe that you will remember every little monumental event that occurs in your child's life... until you don't. I still cannot believe that over a year has passed since I updated this blog, and I pray that whatever I did not captures in words, I sufficiently captured in pictures.

A year ago I was a breastfeeding, diaper changing, sleep deprived mother. Our days mainly consisted of at home floor play, trips to the library, Watkins Park, and taking Zayd two and from his twice weekly preschool. I recall it being the most beautiful fall that I'd ever remembered. It was as if the leaves bore witness to the sheer glory of God through the colors in their leaves. We relished fall, and spent much time outdoors in anticipation of winter.

We celebrated Eid in our home with Grammy 7 G-Dad as our guest. We all agreed that the most exciting part of their visit was the cool luxury van that they rented for their stay. We enjoyed all riding together in style to all of our destinations. We had a Chinese food themed Eid dinner, cooked by yours truly, which was somewhat a flop-- though everyone was super polite.

We road tripped to New York for Thanksgiving, a trip that I dreaded and contemplated backing out of several times, which ended up being quite some fun. Well, as much fun as it could be with a non-sleeping toddler, but we managed and made some wonderful memories.

As per tradition, we spent a little over a month in Cali with your gracious grandparents, shortly before the new year. Unlike most years, this time we were accompanied by your father, happy to use his new work from home status, to check out the Bay Area. We eat a little bit of everything, road-tripped to LA to see your aunt, and discovered/rediscovered many Bay Area jewels. It was on this trip that you father and I made a firm resolve to move back to the Bay Area as soon as possible. We found ourselves much more connected, extremely happier, and much more at peace in the area. We felt the Muslim community, the diverse culture, and the scenic beauty made for a good place to call home. It was a scary decision, however it seemed pretty inevitable. The DC Metro never felt like home to either one of us, and it was becoming increasingly hard for me to "find my happy place" in the area.

Watching the friendship develop between you two has had to be one of the most prized experience of my life. Hearing you all joke and laugh in your bedroom, past your bedtime, watching the never ending excitement as you two visited the animals at Watkin's Park, oatmeal every single morning while listening to nasheeds. I am eternally grateful to have spent that time with you... even though you all literally drove me crazy about 75% of the time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Plane, Trains & Automobiles -- Summer 2010

This is our first day home after a month of being on the road. Thirty days, two states, two sets of grandparents, and more memories than I can ever count. Allah SWT is truly merciful. Our trip was amazing. I'm supposed to be unpacking, so I'm going to just log a few of my favorite memories in bullet form. Insha'Allah, I'll go into more detail at a later date.

- Your grandmother's cooking (all time favorite for all of us)
- Riding the steam train with Uncle Ismael
- Jummah at Lighthouse
- Going to the beach with Grammy Jeddah after Jummah
- Riding the cable cars & spending the day in San Francisco with the whole family
- Zuri's 1st birthday at Fairyland
- Playing in the backyard
- The weather
- Catching up with The Bay Area community
- Watching you two play with your grandparents
- Walking the lake and farmer's markets
- Watching you two play with my brothers
- Spending time with The Thomas Family

- Spending time with your grandparents
- Going out with your father while your grandparents watched you two
- The circus
- Backyard water play
-Swank date nights with your father

I know I am forgetting so many things that made the trip special. These are just a few of the things that really stuck out to me. Overall, I just thank Allah SWT for his mercy by bestowing such loving parents on your father and I. I truly pray for many more summers like this.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

365 Days of Zuri

365 days can be converted to one of these units:

* 31,536,000 seconds
* 525,600 minutes
* 8760 hours
* 52 weeks (rounded down)

I remember clearly, this time last year, being angry, hot, past due, and feeling mild contractions. Since we all figured you'd come around late June, early July at the latest, I was past tired and annoyed with the waiting game. The thought of going through labor again scared the living dayligts out of me. I was told, as most people are, that the second time around would be quicker and more intense. The idea of pain more intense than what I felt with Zayd down right terrified me. I think, well at least in part, you stayed inside a little longer to help me mentally prepare for the task at hand. I remember going to jummah the day before your birth and finally feeling ready to face the unknown. i tearfully pleaded with Allah to "get this baby out of me" so that I could begin the journey of geting to know you.
My labor intensified by the morning. I remember cleaning the bathroom at around 11am and talking to your auntie. I told her that I was in labor, but that I wasn't going to "tell anyone", because again, I was past due and onry as they come. After scrubbing the bathrom to my satisfaction one last time, your father, your grandmother, your brother and I proceeded to the park to take a slow and contraction filed walk aroud the lake. I will say, for July 11, it was mercifully cool that day. I remember stopping ever so often to do my nice pregnant rock and sway on your father's shoulders. We actualy had a wonderful heart to heart in between contractions on a bench by the lake, while your grandmother played with your brother at the park.
Next, we headed to Panera, because a girls got to eat and all. By this time my contractions were super intense, and I was once again annoyed that everyone else was laughing and enjoying themselves at the table, while I felt like my insides were splitting open. I managed to eat my food anyway, even though my stomach felt like a tight ball.
Next, upon my insistance, we headed to Walmart for something random like paper towels, that I felt I just had to have before I had my baby. Being the prepared people that your father and I are, we also picked up a birthing ball and a few things for my hospital stay. What I remember most about Walmart is your father and I obsessing over finding a video long enough to keep Zayd's attention while we were gone. As much as I knew you were coming, my brain was still very fixated on insuring that your brother was comfortable while I was gone. I didn't want to leave him. I remember that vividly.
My contractions were pretty intense in Walmart-- gosh this sounds so dang on suburban-- a lot of nice onlookers stopped to offer their support. I had another big one or two in the parking lot, which dang near scared this poor man to death. Mom suggested that we head straight to the hospital once we dropped she and Zayd off, but Khalid and I both felt it was too soon.
At home I some how found a way to wobble my huge butt up three flights of steps to get into my bathtub. To say that sitting in that warm water felt good would be the understatement of the year. Somewhere around this time, the thought that had been firmly rooted in the back of my mind began to fel like the best decision. I wanted to go to the hospital about as much as one wants to get a limb cut off. My doctor was on vacation, we never actually did the hospital tour, I didn't want to leave my mom and Zayd, and I felt so very comfortable and safe in my home.
Your father was dashing around like a mad man packing his hospital bag. The fact that he was doing this while I was in active labor kinda pissed me off a lot, and is something that I still hold over his head. Mom kept bringing my iced tea and other good things to eat and drink. She tried very hard to get me dresed to go to the hospital. At this point I remember sobbing and telling her that I didn't want to go. She tried to have this talk about how I had to and it would be okay, but I found her much more comforting thatn last-minute-hospital-bag-packer, and the thought of leaving her was just not an option.
Mom managed to wrangle me into some maternity clothes and Khalid went to load the car. By this point I was down right sobbing about how I didn't want to go. I made it down one flight of steps, my water broke,and the pain became unbearable. I remember letting out a loud howl, hearing a huge splash on the floor, and being brought down to my knees with the intensity of the pain. Mom was still desperately trying to usher me down the steps so that I could get into the car to go to the hospital. I knew, clear as day, that me getting into a car at this point was not an option. Mom kept insisting, so I did what any reasonable person would do on all fours climping down their staircase-- I began to push. You mother is a champion pusher, masha'Allah, I've been doing Kegels since way back, and pushing to me is the one satisfying and redeeming thing about labor. I love to push, and as I crawled down the steps on my hands and knees, that's just what I did. I will never forget your grandmother telling me to stop pushing. Always the willful child, that just made me go at it with more intensity.
By the bottom of the stairwell, I substantially certain that everyone was on board with the fact that I was going to have you sooner than I'd be able to get to any hospital. Your father matter-o-factly said, "Yeah, she's crowning". At ths point my discomfort level was about 900%, so I begged for a pillow to put under my back so that I could push you out on the floor with some dignity and all.
So I lay there on the floor, with your grandmother acting as midwife, and your father acting as birth coach, while passing instructions to yor grandmother via 911. Poor Zayd was so frightened by all the screaming that he holed himself up in the guestroom and looked at us al like we were insane. I remember him calling out for me, and me trying to reassure him that I was okay. A few screams and three good pushes later, you came into this world riding a sea of amniotic fluid. Zayd ran over and exclaimed, "Ohh, a baby!". You waved your left arm in the air as to catch your bearings and let out the sweetest little baby cry. My heart melted and I felt that new baby love that is primal and intense.
The super nice EMT guys came and took us to the hospital. I spent most of the night just holding you and looking at you; too high on adrenaline to even sleep. You had the fatest little red cheeks and these little eyes that just seemed wise beyond their years.
Always the rebel, we fought like crazy to get released early, and you were home, in my arms by that next evening.
That's your story Baby Girl. I pray that your life is as unique and as exciting as your entry into this world.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Zuri at 11 Months

I can already see you at 16 chastising me for not writing more post about your early development. Admittedly, going from one to two in less than two years was a bit of a doozy... the understatement of the year, but we made it. Alhamdullilah.

So, what can I tell you about your newly 11 month old self. First off, let me tell you, once again, that you were the best little surprise baby I could ever not ask for. I wanted another child so close to Zayd as I wanted a hole in my head, but truly Allah is the best of planners. You came with your sweet little angelic face and captured the heart of the entire family. Strangely I vaguely remember you not being here, because your arrival seemed like a rewind of parenting Zayd.

Here are some fun little antidotes about you:

- You cut your two bottom teeth this week.

- You are extremely verbal. Your favorite noise is "Dinosaur Scream", as we've lovingly/ not-so-lovingly named it, a shrill high-pitched battle cry . Dinosaur Scream manifest itself when someone takes an object from you, when someone won't pick you up fast enough, when someone takes a foreign object out your mouth, when Zayd pisses you off, when stranger get to close,when you are foprced to get into the carseat, and occasionally during undesired diaper changes. Dinosaur Scream is special...

- Your next favorite thing to say is "Yeah Yeah". This is used as an answer to any question that sounds remotely inter sting to you, and also is sometimes just pronounced thoughtfully while playing with toys. You also do a nice "Buhh Buhh" and a " Dahh Dahh". Did I mention your "Eii Eii".

- You have no interest in any developmentally appropriate toys if Zayd is anywhere around. You are perfectly content snatching his toys and coveting on all things power cord.

- Your most recent trick is to demand to walk alone. You'll pull your hand away from us and walk as quickly as you can in the direction of your choosing. Lucky for us you're not that fast yet, but I know that is coming sooner than later.

- You like to eat rice, beans, peas, spinach, broccoli, a little meat from time to time, and any soft fruit. You seem to still love pears.

- You love music, and I am so happy to FINALLY have a dance partner. You love to dance round the house with me, bouncing and shaking your little self on my hip.

- You wear a size 3 diapers and can techinally still wear 9 month clothes, but I put you in 12 months because you are little but kind of long.

- You are still as bald as the day is long. Everyone tells me to be patient and enjoy your wash and wear style, but I do secretly pray by two that you can have a ponytail or something -- I mean just something.

- Your eylashes are ridiculously long. The curl up and touch your eyelids.

- I can always distract you by saying , " Oh, where is Zayd"...

- You get extra excited about books with babies faces in them. I feel kind of bad about that discovery, because you've mostly just been a tag-a-long reader to anything your brother picks put. Now I'll be sure to check you out a few more books from the library.

- You are still a boob monster, bottle boycotter.

- You stink right now and you are crying to be held. So yeah. That's you in a nutshell. Now back to you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Long Time

Long time no we.

Zuri's love for all things metal finally short-circuited my computer cord. I cant help but laugh at the rust brought on by baby drool. Zuri is running around making folks nervous on the playgrounds. She climbed two flights of steps last week and began walking around on the top floor like she'd won the Olympics. Zuri is my baby girl, my heart.

Zayd is so full of energy. I was recalling how much he used to bounce around inside me when I was pregnant with him. I remember he kicked soo hard on May 27, when we caught our flight to Paris. Zayd is my little hype man.

I pray Allah(SWT) today and always that I cherish my role as mother, and continue to strive towards being better at it. My main goal for the remainder of the spring & summer is learning and preparing for Zayd and Zuri's fall education. I have a LOT to learn, but alhamdullilah, I have some amazing role models and an amazing support network, masha'Allah. So that's about it in a nutshell.

Mother's Day 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Zayd close to Three

You love to look at me and tell me that you're "going to school," and I "can't come". Admittedly I was slightly offended the first three or four times you told me, but now I support and encourage your decision. Assert you independence little peanut headed boy. I'll step back a notch or two, but you're not getting rid of me and Baby that easy.

Baby seems to be a mixture between a pet and a playmate to you. It's hard to really play with someone who just wants to eat your stuff and wreck all of your Lego buildings. At the same time, Baby is always around and pretty much down for whatever. As such, you often times just make due. You are quick to put Baby on time out for the slightest of infractions. She seems not to mind your passion for discipline -- thus far at least. She thinks your are the bee's knees. I pray that she always foster a high opinion of her big brother.

You all laugh at each other while eating breakfast. If I put the music on and time it just right, I can actually take a shower while you two laugh, eat, and listen to music -- joy. I'm so happy that you have each other. I am so thankful that Baby has you as a big brother. You are very serious about your Do-not-touch-my-baby-sister threat... I really think if you focused on the knee cap, you might actually be somewhat effective. Man, you are such a lover, not a fighter.

On love. Zayd, you fall in love about three times a week. It always starts with you noticing that special someone between the age of 3 and 50; you making funny facial expressions and babbling; you going in front of said love interest and speaking inchoherently while twisting your body back and forth; blank stare from you heart's desire; me telling you to put your tongue back in you mouth... You remind me so much of myself that it both pains me and cracks me up. I told your father that single sex education will likely be a must in your case. You like pretty shiny things my love. Remember that your mother called it first.

Today you fell in love with a young Ethiopian, and a blond girl in a stroller sucking on a pacifier. I think the stroller chick was kind of feeling you too, but I'm not encouraging such behavior. My beautiful first born, all growed up..