Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav is coming, and Ramadan

I'm glad to know that Farah and Adeel have made the decision to leave Mobile and join us for a few days. I was feeling rather nervous at the though of them staying down there with potentially high storm surges due to Hurricane Gustav. They don't live in the zone of mandatory evacuation, but why take any risks? We are expecting them to make it to Birmingham any time now. The kids are of course very excited about it, I finally persuaded Hamza to go to bed at almost 10:30pm; he wanted to stay up to meet them.

Tomorrow we start fasting for the month of Ramadan, so that means breakfast at about 4:30am, and nothing to eat or drink until sunset, which is about 7:20pm these days. Safa fasted with us for the entire month last year, and plans to do the same this year. Hamza also wants to try, so he'll be getting up early with us too. Let's see how it goes for him. Bilal, of course, will be eating and drinking all day as usual!

I'm on call this weekend, so have been going to the hospital every day to make rounds. Tomorrow will be no exception. We have another doctor joining our call group by mid-September, so that means our on-call schedule will change to average every fifth weekend for each of us, instead of every fourth. That will take some of the load off all of us.

My brother Tahir is still on schedule to come visit us from Australia in mid-October. This is sooooo exciting, I haven't seen my niece Layla since she was about 18 months old; she's about to turn 5. And I have yet to see her baby sister Aaliyah who is exactly one year and one day older than Bilal. They don't plan to be here for long, but it will be right after Zakir takes his Internal medicine recertification Boards, so we should be able to have some real quality time with them.

I haven't had the camera out as much recently, I really need to take some more photos of the kids, so I can add updated ones to the blog. The updates look so dull without pictures!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Instant stress reliever

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hurry, hurry!

Today was the third time since the start of the school year that Hamza woke up, got dressed, brushed his teeth, had breakfast and was at the bus stop in 10 minutes flat! He forgot to set the alarm on his iHome today again, and I dozed off after Zakir left for work very early this morning. It wasn't until 6:48 that I realized Hamza was still asleep. The bus comes to the stop sign down the road right at 7:00am. Luckily I have been pressing him to pack his bag the night before, so he didn't have homework and textbooks strewn all over the kitchen. OK, I should probably be the one to wake the kids up, but I am so used to them being on auto-pilot in the mornings for the past couple of years that I rarely even go upstairs in the morning, except to pick up Bilal when he wakes up.

I spent a couple of hours at Hamza's school this morning, volunteering for the fundraiser that is going on right now. It never ceases to amaze me how many parents, both moms and dads are willing to volunteer their time at our school, in response to one single email from the PTA volunteer coordinator. I am so glad that our kids are in a school system where parents are so involved and pro-active. Until this year I've not really been able to give much time to the school, since I was previously employed 40+ hours a week, then I wouldn't leave Bilal except for work when he was younger. Now if the school needs help I can just block my schedule and take a day off work. That's definitely one of the benefits of being self-employed, although paying for your own health insurance has to be the worst thing.

I caught Zakir taking a little midday siesta today, and I thought this was cute:

Zakir, with Bilal's blankie wrapped around his neck...... like son, like father

And these pictures are from a couple of days ago:

Hamza was sitting on my bed and Bilal was on the floor, next to the bed. Both my boys said they were "checking my email". I know that Hamza sends and receives emails from his grandparents, but I wonder who Bilal has been getting emails from? He has to mimic everything Hamza does.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something fun

I used a fun little application called Wordle to create this image for my blog. You'll have to click on the image to see a better picture. This is an idea Safa brought home for school; several of her teachers are using this on their private sites. You can print these images out and use them on T-shirts or other personalized gifts, either by typing the words you want to appear in the word cloud, or entering the address of a feed. I entered our blog url. How cool is this?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crazy Busy

Tuesday is my day off to be with Bilal but today was one of those days that made me feel that going to work would be a vacation. Here is what I accomplished today:

- Dropped Safa off at school (we carpool, and this is my week to take three middle-schoolers in the morning)

- Dropped off Zakir's shirts to be laundered

- Went to the courthouse to pay the car tags (we managed to get through the long line with Bilal's and my sanity intact, thanks to a carton of colorful Goldfish crackers and ahem, a lollipop. I only take those out at critical moments)

- Went grocery shopping, mostly for cat food. Our cats with their gourmet tastes thoroughly disliked the generic cat food we bought this weekend in an attempt to save some money, so we have had to revert to the pricier stuff. You should have seen Sammy's reaction when I replaced the cheap stuff with the food he's used to. It's like he'd been starving for a week!)

- After putting Bilal down for a nap I had two long and way overdue conversations with my cousins living in different parts of the world.

- Caught up on some office work I've been procrastinating on for too long

- After nap we picked up Safa from school and dropped a CD-R off at Hamza's school. Today were drama auditions and he forgot to take the CD this morning.

- Went back to Hamza's school an hour later to pick him up (normally he rides the bus, I think I like that better)

- After feeding the kids and dropping them off for karate I made my second trip to Safa's school for parent teacher chat night. That meeting lasted almost an hour and a half

- Walked in to the house and promptly scooped up Bilal for his bath. This was one of those days when he wanted to play in the tub for ever, so I had to deal with a tantrum when I carried him out, then another tantrum because he wanted to brush his teeth by himself, then another tantrum because the label on the bottle of Pediasure looked different from the one he's used too, and he wanted the "other sippy tup!!!", then another tantrum because he wanted to stay and play in Safa's room at bedtime, then another.......... well, you get the picture. Thankfully he's asleep now, although lately he's been waking up often in the middle of the night, demanding that Mama come up to his room. Ah, the terrible twos, what a delight!

- After spending a good deal of time cleaning up the mess in the kitchen I finally sat down with a cup of decaf tea, phew! As soon I am done venting I have to get back to my charts, I'm still behind in my clinic work. Coming to think of it, I'm never caught up!

On top of it all we haven't seen the sun in over three days. In fact, the rain finally eased up this evening; but the sky is still overcast. The remnants of tropical storm Fay have caused a steady downpour since early on this past weekend. Somehow the dull skies and lack of sun are so depressing, you don't need any other reason to feel tired and dumpy. Maybe tomorrow will be a brighter, sunnier day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Here's an example of Bilal's relationship with Tiny. He can sit on her, throw things at her, and even harass her while she's eating, and she will take it all in stride. That is, ever since we moved him to his own room upstairs. Her personal space (our bedroom) is no longer threatened, so she will take any form of abuse from Bilal.

Bilal decided that blankie and bear should take a ride on Tiny's back....... while she was eating

Tiny's attitude, "Yeah, whatever"

Friday, August 22, 2008

In a million words or less......

....... describe your child.

This was my homework for the week. The kids start school and the parents get homework, aaargh! This is the teacher's way of getting some insight into their students' personalities.

Anyway, it's a bit disjointed because it was typed out in a hurry, but here is my response to her teacher:

Safa Khan is the oldest of my three kids, and the most mature by any standards. She has fairly diverse interests; she is taking guitar lessons (both acoustic and electric), has a black belt in Heiwado karate, and is an avid reader of all genres of fiction, but mostly fantasy. She can read books at an amazing pace if they interest her, but we can't persuade her to read non-fiction for pleasure, unless it's her favorite magazine, National Geographic Kids. As far as her other strengths, I think her strongest point may be her compassion and sensitivity towards others. She is very motherly towards her toddler brother, who is actually more than ten years her junior, and will tolerate all types of abuse from him without retaliating. She puts a lot of effort into projects, sometimes too much time to perfect something, which often leads to time management issues. Sometimes it's hard to explain to her that you can only get 100 on a project if that's the maximum score given out, even if you work on it twice as long as everyone else! On the other hand, she has been known to throw her hands up in the air and announce something is too hard, just because it's new and she doesn't want to try and learn a new concept. If you can coax her to try harder she does fine. She works very well in a team, but often ends up doing the brunt of the team's work because she is willing to take on so much. I think many of her peers also expect her to take on the role of leader.

Although she can be a bit shy when she meets new people she quickly becomes the 'leader'. She loves to be in the limelight and strives to get attention from everyone. Thankfully she seeks positive attention though.

Safa is working hard this year on her organizational skills. Last year she often lost points in school because she would complete an assignment, but lose it before she turned it in. Hopefully that won't be the case this year.

Another thing we have been hoping she focuses on more is her guitar playing. The theory of it comes to her so easily, and she can play most songs she is taught, but she is not yet a good guitar player because she won't take the time to practice. We have come close to giving up on it several times, but then out of the blue she'll perform a song really well and surprise us, and we'll decide to keep going, we've already invested in more than 2 years worth of lessons. I keep hoping that some day she'll wake up and decide that this is something she could really be good at, and start practicing more consistently. She does enjoy it when she plays.

Academically she has high aspirations, she is already talking about college and medical school as an option. With both of her parents doctors we encourage her, but try not to force our wishes on her. We explain to her that she can do whatever she chooses as long as she sets her heart to it, and I believe that to be true. Hopefully so does she! I hope that this will be a good year for her, she's very excited about her teachers and school in general, being on the yearbook committee, and possibly doing debate again this year if it is an option.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Changes at work

We have recently hired a new full time person in the office. That means a bit of an adjustment to create space in our relatively small office suite. I have been moved from my comfy 'nook', where everything was at arm's length, and am now sharing an office with Zakir. Let's see how that goes. I say that I work with my husband, but until now I didn't actually work with my husband, well now I guess I do! I am still trying to organize my new desk, and getting used to not having access to the desktop computer or a phone any more. I have to squint my eyes at my laptop computer screen all day now, ugh! Yesterday I actually went to work one hour earlier so that I could finish off some old work using the desktop before the staff came in and had to use it. I'm sure over time things will improve, but I guess deep down I'm a bit of a fuddy duddy.

My old office space stripped of my personal belongings

My new desk, in the corner of Zakir's office

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back in the swing of things

This is Safa and Hamza's first full week of being back to school, so far so good. They actually started last Thursday, just 2 days before the weekend, but I don't think much gets accomplished during those two days. Hamza's teacher has a reputation of being strict, but as far as I can tell he likes her, and Safa loves the team she's on. She's excited about making the yearbook committee; only 20 got selected out of over 200 applications, and she's got her first assignment already. Not too much homework yet, but Hamza has his first test this Thursday. Bilal is also back to his old routine, getting used to it being quieter in the house. He has been sleeping in a bit, actually didn't get up until nearly 9am this morning!

It's been a nice day so far, after breakfast I took Bilal to Walmart for some grocery shopping and he wanted to go through all the toy aisles of course! We dropped by a baby group for a while, a group I used to visit often when I was still nursing him. After that we checked out a cool teaching supply store in Trussville, and picked up a bucket of magnetic letters and numbers. Vicki and Bilal have already started working on the letter 'B', so now we can have some real interactive teaching fun in the house. He is so observant and has a great memory, so I think he'll pick up these skills fast.

This evening is parent teacher chat night at Hamza's school, so I'll get to meet his teacher, and hopefully come up with a plan to keep him busy this year. The busier, the less mischief!

This past Sunday I took the kids bowling, which gave them an opportunity to see their friends they haven't seen during most of the summer. Bilal had fun running around the little arcade. Here's a tiny video of him dancing.

And here he goes again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The idiot test

OK, so this one kept me entertained for waaayyy too long! Follow the instructions in this update for a bit of fun.

So far this weekend

Last night we went to another of Jeff's guitar gigs, this time we took Bilal too. He had a blast, but we didn't stay for long, since Zakir has gotten into study mode for his boards coming up in October.

Today I took the kids to Ayla's 5th birthday party. It was at Jump Zone, and how can you not love giant inflatable toys? Well, it took a long time to coax Bilal to take off his sandals, and an even longer time to get a pair of socks on his feet, but he finally warmed up to the fun. Of course, he spent most of the time in a small Little Tikes playset. Lunch was pizza and birthday cake, and we started out with all three kids sitting together at the kiddie table. Well that didn't last long! Bilal kept trying to shove Safa off the end of the bench and biting Hamza to get more space, so I removed him to the adult table. He sat there perfectly well behaved, eating pizza, drinking juice and sharing with anyone who was close enough to him. Thankfully that gave his siblings some peace!

Trying to get at Safa's stuff at the kiddie table

Sitting so well behaved next to the grown-ups!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The results are in

Well, my poll has closed and here are the results: 45% in favor of a cat, 15% for a dog and 40% for no more pets. But I learned that the poll has been compromised!! Safa emailed her friends, only her cat-loving friends, asking them to vote for a cat. Since those friends are not regular readers of the blog I have no choice but to veto. Although the kids still beg me almost everyday, we have decided on no more animals. Maybe we'll re-visit the issue in a couple more years, but for now we will remain the proud owners (or servants!) of two adult cats, Sammy and Tiny. Sorry, kiddos!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Talk about growth!!

This photo was taken by Hamza. Yup, Bilal really is wearing a ponytail. Sometimes he's the little sister Safa never had!

I took Bilal to see the pediatrician this morning for his 2 year check-up. I was totally blown away when I saw his growth chart. He has made 75th percentile for height and nearly 75th for weight too! Wow, I had no doubt that he was growing very well, but this percentile jump has been phenomenal. He was 50th for height and 10th for weight 6 months ago. Even Hamza never went above the 25th percentile. Interestingly, the more relaxed I have become about his eating, the more he is self driven. Less breakfast means he'll make it up at lunch, and so on. Bilal also got his second Hep A vaccine today, so no more vaccines until right before kindergarten.

With his doctor visits behind us it is time to start focusing on other necessary things. The next task to tackle is potty training. I really have to start getting consistent with him. Since he is my last one I have not started pushing it yet, but he does show some signs that he's ready, while at other times he'll run away from me and deny that he even needs a diaper change! There is too much going on in his busy little life to stop for a dirty diaper.

I think Hamza has an interesting perspective when it comes to taking photos

My adorable babies, in a rare moment of truce!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A delicious brunch, and other news

Sunday morning we walked down to a little cafe called Gatherings for brunch. It's a place we have thought of checking out several times, but didn't have a chance to until now. The buffet spread included various appetizing cooked vegetables and salads as well as the usual breakfast meats, hash brown casserole and belgian waffles. The menu consisted of more than your typical southern fare, but we loved it. I think we might be going back some time soon. Of course it was even nicer that Farah and Adeel were with us, and it was sad to see them leave for Mobile a little later, but of course we all had to be at work today. Plus you can't leave a kitty in your house for too long without someone else there. Farah's cat Janice was at home, and probably anxiously awaiting their return.

This morning I took Bilal to Children's for his post-op appointment with Dr. Saito. He behaved wonderfully, so that was nice. It was a relatively quick visit, mostly to check out his incision site, which looks great. We don't have to go back unless we have any concerns. So now we can put that issue to rest! Tomorrow is Bilal's 2 year check-up with his pediatrician, and he'll finally get weighed unclothed, so we'll see how much he's really gained. Today at the surgeon's office he was 28 pounds, compared to 29 at the PC's office about a month ago, so one of those has to be off! Either way, at least we are no longer consumed by his inability to gain weight, he looks great, and is a lot taller as we can tell from how his 2 year clothes are getting small on him.

Speaking of getting taller, Safa is just about my height now. Granted, that''s only 5'2", but I'm sure she has at least a bit more growing to do, whereas I'm done! Her shoe size is just a tiny bit less than mine; she is wearing 7 and 1/2 compared to my 7 and 3/4. Incidentally, have you ever tried to buy a pair of 7 and 3/4 shoes? They're impossible to find, so I have to compromise with size 8, which don't always fit me great. I wonder why they don't make shoes in 1/4 size increments? It would be so much more convenient!

Thursday is the kids' first day of school after the summer holidays. I think we are all ready to start back and get into a routine. The summer has been long and hot! We might try and make one more trip down to Mobile and hopefully the beach before the weather cools down, although we don't have any long weekends coming up for a while. Right now we have to get into 'back to school' mode.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

View from the floor

I took a couple of picture of Bilal yesterday while he was bouncing around on my stomach. Every time he'd see the red light of the camera he'd make a funny face.

What a clown! Look's like it's time for another haircut too, that hair's going wild!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Our weekend

We just got back from the mall a couple of hours ago. We're having a great weekend with Farah and Adeel here. We shopped for cribs today, no, not for us, for Farah! Hopefully only 2 more months until Baby Rabbani arrives, and we're all getting excited. I love babies, and shopping for babies!

On another note, for my friends who keep in touch with carepages, please pop in and leave a little message for Elijah's family. Elijah has recently had his Fontan, and is making a slow recovery with several setbacks on the way. Mom and Dad will appreciate a little encouragement, they are going through a difficult time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cute brothers, a funny video

OK, here's a video of the boys that you have to watch. You might have to turn up the volume to get the gist of it, because it's all in the conversation. I was almost rolling off the sofa when Safa showed it to me. She has been trying out her new camera that just came in the mail today, and I think we have a budding photojournalist on our hands!

This video made me realize how much Bilal actually learns from his big brother. He looks up to him and mimics everything he does! And this one I'll be sharing in my 'Just for laughs' section in the left sidebar.

And please remember to cast your vote in the poll in the left sidebar. Read the previous post for details.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another cat story

Today I came home, only to be greeted by two eager kids armed with a powerpoint presentation about, of all things, a cat! Apparently while I was at work this morning Vicki took them to the pet store to look at the animals, or one particular animal: Charm, the female cat that they fell in love with last week. Well they returned with a photo they took, and made a powerpoint presentation to explain why we need to have another cat in this family. They even included a table that shows how they are going to contribute to the care of present and future pets! A very compelling argument, I have to admit, but somehow I don't see either Safa or Hamza outside in their PJs after midnight, looking for a missing cat. That would be either me or Zakir, more likely me.

Also, Zakir really wants a dog, a BIG dog, that will live in the yard. My argument against that one has been poop in the yard. Who will scoop??? Well, yesterday he walked into the house with a local magazine with an ad in it that he wanted me to see. Basically it is a poop scooping service; people come out to you house and clear the yard of dog poop for $15 per visit. Nu-uh, that won't cut it. They're all a bunch of kids, including my husband!!!!!!! How can I keep fighting off these pleas? I feel like I'm an evil person depriving these poor souls of what they really want, but it's just too much responsibility! I can picture myself giving in to the kids about getting a cat, only to have Zakir whine and say, "But it's not fair, I want a pet too!"

In honor of my wonderful kids and hubby wanting to add to our family size with creatures of the furry variety, I'm creating my first poll. Should I give in to Safa and Hamza and get the cat, let Zakir get a dog, or put my foot down firmly and say "no", only to hear whines from the three of them for many days to come? Make your choice on the poll in the right sidebar of the blog. Maybe a little 'community' input will help put the issue to rest.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The project is finally complete

Well, nearly. Tomorrow has to be the very very last day. All we have left is the inspection, scheduled for 8 in the morning, and some clean-up, from the outside. The room is now officially ours. We have to re-claim the garage, which is now packed with half-full cans of paint and stain, and some left-over flooring. The sofas have been delivered, but now there is a bit of a dilemma, how will we actually place them in the room? It's not going to easy to organize furniture in a room that has 3 doors that open to the outside, a whole wall of windows, and three entry-ways into adjoining rooms. But that's a minor issue, we've got as much time as we want to figure that one out. Once the cleanup is complete I'll take some pictures of the exterior and post them.

A quick update on our little friend Janelle. She was extubated yesterday evening, and was able to take her bottle within 24 hours of surgery, wow! There is talk of her being moved out of the CVICU and to the post-op cardiac floor tomorrow, she's doing terrific right now. It is amazing when these heart kiddos bounce back so fast, from something that would take an adult several days or even weeks to recover from.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The cat comes back, and heart surgery

First the great news: Tiny's back. She was sitting at the back door at 6am this morning, when we let Sammy out to go hunt for her. Evidently she was just out for a night of fun. Did I mention that she's bulimic too? In anticipation of her being out all night and not having eaten, Zakir hid one of the cat food bowls. Usually if she hasn't eaten in a while she'll binge eat, and then throw up all over the place. That cat does not know how to pace herself. Anyway, tonight I'll make sure she is in the house super early, we don't want an encore of last night's events.

We have a precious little friend who just had heart surgery this morning. Janelle has single ventricle with transposition, and just had her second OHS, her Glenn this morning. It was scheduled a couple of months earlier than previously expected; she was showing evidence that she was outgrowing her shunt, with low oxygen sats. As of the last email I received she was out of surgery sooner than expected, and the procedure went well. Bilal and Janelle share the same awesome CHD surgeon, Dr. Knott-Craig. Her carepage is Janelle2008. Please drop them a message if you get a chance. Hopefully her recovery will be a good one, she has already proven herself to be a fighter, just like all our heart kiddos are.

Now I am struggling to get over the 'crud'. The worst yuckies are over; the body aches, chills and sweats are gone, but I still can't breathe nasally, and my voice is unusually croaky and hoarse. Maybe if I just hushed for a while, my voice would come back, but those who know me are aware that I love to talk. I sense the makings of another sinus infection, ugh, not another round of antibiotics! I'm going to give myself a few more days before self prescribing something. And of course now Bilal is pouring out buckets of snot (pardon the graphic details), despite all my precautions, and the gobs of hand sanitizer and soap I've been using. But he is not sick sick, just more thirsty than usual.

Time for another toddler story. This morning Bilal ran downstairs with a palette of face paint and a brush. I'm guessing he got it from one of the drawers in Hamza's bathroom, we've had it since last Halloween. He said, "painting". When I asked him if he had painted anywhere, he said, "Mine bedroom, up there", pointing upstairs. He was actually very proud of himself. Well I had to leave to go to work, but Vicki later discovered a large patch of paint on Bilal's carpet, which we still have to try and clean up. Hopefully face paint will come clean with soap and water, well that's how you take it off your face, right? By the time Bilal leaves for college the house will be an unlivable wreck.


It's nearly 4am and I'm still awake. Among the many other thoughts that are spinning through my head tonight is the one that Tiny has not been sleeping next to me as usual. Our smoky blue tabby is a night-time fixture on our bed, so much so that I can't sleep unless I'm been bullied by her to give her more space. I am used to that convoluted position where I have to curl my legs towards Zakir's side of the bed, tightly sandwiched between my husband and the cat that seeks affection only at night. Well, she's not on the bed. She's not in the kids' rooms, or their closets. Believe me, I was upstairs after midnight, checking them all, trying not to wake the kids in the process. Hmm, that reminds me, Safa's door is really creaky, I need to remember to oil the hinges in the morning. Tiny wasn't at the outside door the countless times I've checked, and that's unusual. She comes in at night, and never really roams far. This evening she was examining the new stairs that have been built outside, with what seemed like a certain degree of approval. I caught both the cats having a social moment sitting at the bottom of the steps. That was just a few hours before bedtime. Right now, unless she's still stuck in some deep crevice of a closet (that's happened before), she's unaccounted for. If this were Sammy, well, I wouldn't be so anxious. He's mostly indoors at night, but he likes to roam outside, particularly if it's a mild night after a very hot day. Plus he's got street smarts. Tiny doesn't. She's really not the brightest star in the sky, to put it delicately. She doesn't have typical cat instincts to run if she senses danger. She'll just prickle her fur and sit there, believing she's strong enough to take on any challenge.

As I am up, worrying about her among numerous other small issues that have kept me awake, chances are she'll walk in the door in the morning, only to be given a paternalistic swat on the head by Sammy. He doesn't approve her of being out at night either, and has been known to chide her if she does stay out. He actually got up off his perch on the sheepskin rug at the foot of our bed a few moments before I did, I know he's wondering where she is. Plus, he can sense my anxiety.

Why did I get talked into getting a cat seven years ago when our neighbor's cat had kittens? That's when Sammy became part of the family. Why did I ever let the kids convince me that Sammy needed a companion? Enter Tiny, 4 years later, the brainless cat, the one that keeps me up at night. Pets are supposed to comfort you, keep your blood pressure down, but here I am, an insomniac, at 4 o'clock in the morning, still waiting for that elusive sleep to come, longing for the comfort of my cat shoving and pushing me farther into the center of the bed, taking up my space to make more for herself.

This is just one more reason to say a firm "no" to the kids, who have been begging me to adopt an adult cat we saw the other day that has been in a shelter for months. I too, I admit, felt the pull of a cat that begged us to rescue her. But hopefully Charm will find another home, I can't handle another cat, if it means more sleepless nights.

I hope Tiny's at the door when daylight comes; we'll be having the "you're grounded for life, young lady!" conversation one more time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Money well spent

So Hamza earned a big chunk of change for scanning big binders full of papers for Zakir, and Safa, our frugal one already had some money saved up for herself. Add that to the gift she got for finishing the Quran, she had a good bit saved up. How did they spend it? They both bought very nice cameras, actually upgraded versions of our little Canon. And Safa had enough to buy the cell phone that she had been looking at. Have to admit, that's a lot better than buying toys and games. All I hope is that Hamza doesn't get the urge to open up his camera to see what it looks like inside. Things like that have happened in our house before, and it's no fun when you can't put them back together again. I hope they enjoy their new gadgets; since they earned them, and weren't 'given' them, maybe they will appreciate them more, and take better care.

Yesterday was the intramural karate tournament, and both kids won medals in the events they participated in. I missed it all, of course because it's my weekend to work again, woo hoo! Anyway, it's not been too busy in the hospital; it could have been a lot worse.

Next weekend is the last one we have free before the kids start school. We are hoping to lure Farah and Adeel up here, or we might end up going down to Mobile. The sunroom did not get completely finished Friday as we had hoped, but Monday should be THE DAY. All we have left is an hour or two of flooring, a bit of the steps outside and one ceiling light to install. After that the painters will do a bit of touch up work and we should have our house back to ourselves, yay! The city will come to inspect the work on Monday or Tuesday. Right now there is still dust from the floors all over the house. But I can't wait, I have to share some photos now. The room looks huge compared to the tiny sunroom we had before. I look forward to having our friends over again; we've had to put it off for quite a while.

A view from inside the room. The doorway you can see used to be a window opening on to the deck. Now there are two entryways into the kitchen. Ideally we wanted the entire wall to be knocked down, but that would have involved re-routing all the water pipes that go to the upstairs bathrooms, a project way bigger than we were willing to commit to. The paint color is called 'interactive cream', it's a subtle creamy beige.

Detail of the beadboard ceiling that we had stained. There is one skylight on either side of the vaulted ceiling. Definitely enough light!

Furniture is on schedule to be delivered Tuesday afternoon. We didn't go with outdoor furniture as we were initially planning, but I think it will look good in the room. Can you tell I'm excited??!!

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