Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mischief again

Zakir and I were cooking dinner this evening when Bilal shot past us and ran into the bedroom, then tried to hide under the bed. This is what I saw:

We were convinced he was hiding contraband, so I tried to coax it out of him. He put both hands in front of his mouth and mumbled. I finally manged to decipher that he was saying "Dum" (gum). He knows how we keep gum away from him, in fact I have forbidden Safa and Hamza from bringing any into the house; Bilal always gets into it and I'm afraid he'll choke. Apparently he found a gumball in the pantry, probably out of somebody's goody bag. I finally manged to convince him to spit it into the trash (the last time I tried to take some out of his mouth he bit me). How does he manage to find all this stuff???

The boys had a cuddly moment when I took Bilal up for bedtime. Out came the handy dandy camera.

And the cuddly moment was over, when Bilal started poking Hamza in the face. It never lasts long.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A new baby!

This morning we went to visit Mehreen in the hospital. Her precious baby girl was born yesterday morning. Mom and baby are both fine, the biggest dilemma right now is that they're still undecided on her name. Names stay with you your entire life, and we believe that your name can have a significant impact on your life, so it is reasonable to take a little extra time and get it right. Here are some pics of Mehreen and Atif's new bundle of joy:

And here's one of my boys.

Don't you think Bilal is starting resemble Zakir even more?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Safa!

Safa is thirteen today. I compiled a montage of some pics taken over the past one year, and wanted to share it with everyone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birthday Month

January is a big birthday month in our family, Zakir's sister Farah's was on the 19th, his brother Zamir's was yesterday and today is Zakir's. I won't divulge his age, but just to say, he's hit a milestone. You wouldn't believe his age if you'd seen him dancing around like a kid this morning after we gave him his birthday present, a new iPod touch. It's not like he was very subtle in letting us know he really wanted one, but I think he was quite surprised we actually got him one. Considering I've been chiding him that with his Blackberry, (relatively) new laptop, XM satellite radio in both cars, and his bluetooth ready sound system he doesn't really need another gadget. He can listen to music on every form of media possible. But, he still wanted an iPod. So that's what he got. I drove around town like crazy on my day off, it was sold out in 3 stores, and I finally found one in, of all places, Sam's Club. Shoulda checked there first!

Safa enters the teen years tomorrow, big milestone for her too. Someone asked me yesterday how old she's going to be, and my reply was, 13 going on 25. She owns more gadgets than I did when I was 30, and she can't understand why I won't let her wear makeup, when all her friends wear it, or got some for Christmas. I keep telling her that her skin is too pretty to hide under makeup, but she's not buying it. Well, it's the truth! Girls would kill to have her skin and complexion. Some day maybe she'll appreciate it more.

It's been a nice and sunny, but windy day today, so we hung out in the back yard after several days of being mostly indoors. The boys played their new favorite game, 'Superheroes', it's really just an excuse to run around like maniacs and shout "pow! pow! pow!"

Not what the swing set was designed for

Definitely not what the swing set was designed for

Bilal's new karate moves


I also feel like moving my arm around a bit more, since I have been taking Motrin on schedule today. Yesterday I felt good and decided to skip an afternoon dose, I was regretting it by the evening. I guess I'm not ready to go 'drug-free' yet. Tomorrow I start physical therapy. I'll probably need some after that too.

Safa is at Samford University today, it's the third or fourth debate meet of the year. She isn't enjoying it as much this year, the team has a new coach, and she isn't as involved as the previous one was, so the team is suffering as a consequence.

This evening Bilal wanted to watch a DVD in my room, after dumping out all his toys on to the floor in the sitting room. I told him he needed to clean up first, and he reluctantly starting putting cars away in his car box. After a couple of toys he tried to run off. His excuse? "I'm too small to clean up." I have no idea where he learned that from. I made him help clean up everything anyhow, I don't care how small he thinks he is! Now he is enjoying his DVD. They've got to learn somehow!

Well, happy birthday to my hubby. I promise I won't tell anyone how old you are, it will be our little secret!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


We were back home from the surgery center yesterday by about 1:30pm. That's not too bad. The anesthesiologist put a block in the side of my neck to reduce post-op pain, but as an inevitable side effect my left arm was completely paralysed and numb for about 10 hours. After that I started getting the pins and needles sensation and finally had full movement and feeling back in my arm some time after 1am. It's a freaky feeling, not being able to even move or feel your fingers no matter how much you try. I don't think I'll ever take my left arm for granted after that! This morning I felt pretty good until I started moving around, and Tylox has been my friend since then. Honestly, if I don't move my arm I am completely pain free even without pills, but of course I have to start some time. I'll be doing some PT early next week too.

Bilal has perceived that Mama isn't functioning at 100%, so he has decided to be especially needy today, the little stinker. Zakir finally took him shopping to give me some relief. Right now I am pecking away at the keyboard with my right hand, and starting to feel a bit fuzzy. I think the meds are kicking in, so I'll stop right here........

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I haven't been posting as often, it's been quite busy, but I'll try and get back on it. This particular post has taken me about two days to complete, and I don't even have any photos! Meanwhile, the good news...... I put a load of whites in the dryer, and they came out..... white. Great that the dryer is back in action, but a bit of a bummer, I no longer have an excuse to buy another washer and dryer (I have wanted new appliances for quite a while, but they're just not priority right now.

We had bought some land in the same city where we work right now, and since last week it is being cleared to make way for a new clinic we're constructing. We got the plans drawn up by the architect, and have had all the bank paperwork taken care of. We hope to have a medical office building up before the end of the year, so more space for us, and maybe I'll actually get my own office, cool!

I'm going in for surgery on my shoulder tomorrow. I got a call to be at the surgery center at 8:30am. That's good, it gives me plenty of time to get the kids ready for school and on the bus. Hopefully it will be a quiet weekend after that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Crayon meets dryer

This morning I take the laundry out of the dryer and find this:

As if this:

The kitchen wall (I'll get it clean some day, I promise!)

And this........

My favorite sofa, (the one I said I'd never give up)

.........weren't enough.

If anyone ever thought "you're not a mom until you've scrubbed the dryer to remove melted crayons", then it's official. After nearly thirteen years of thinking I was a mom, I've finally been initiated into motherhood. Ow, my aching back and shoulders! I don't know how many hours I spent today kneeled in front of the dryer, scrubbing it with my head stuck in there. I have got this far:

But I'm not sure if it's still safe enough to dry a load of whites, so I have wet laundry thrown all over the furniture. Right now I have an expendable white towel drying in the clothes dryer, let's see if it comes out white or a pretty blotchy shade of blue. This morning most of the clothes in the dryer were inside out, and it was a dark(ish) load so most of them could be salvaged, but we still lost three of Hamza's polo shirts, one pair of Safa's pants, two pair of Bilal's pants and a couple of odd white socks that accidentally ended up in the load. I googled 'melted crayon on clothes' and have found a couple of suggestions, so I'll try them out before the clothes actually go in the trash can. It's good to know that I'm not the only idiot out there who's done this. I have found pokemon cards, coins, dollar bills, DS games and little toys in the kids' pockets, but I never expected my 2 year old to have a stash of crayons in his! Gee, thanks, Bilal. Next time I'll be turning ALL the pockets inside out before they go in the dryer! Meanwhile I'm headed for some Tylenol!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Baby Shower

We had a great time yesterday at Mehreen's shower. Adeela hosted it at her house and had the place decorated with lots of balloons and flowers. We had to leave early for another commitment, but it was fun while it lasted. Here are a few pics of the expectant mom and her friends:

Saema and Mehreen


Mehreen and Hira

And Mehreen sampling the appetizers (you get to eat as much as you want when you're pregnant!)

Granted we were all a bit overdressed for a baby shower, but that was half the fun!

Today the kids went to 'Pump it Up' for Tressie and Reagan's birthday party. We opted to keep Bilal at home and let him nap. He doesn't play on the inflatables anyway, it's even difficult to get him to take off his shoes there. (And he can't miss what he doesn't know about).

Hamza intent on defeating a five year old at air hockey

Safa with Tressie

Grown-ups can have fun too, especially on their daughters' birthday

The birthday girls, ready to open their presents

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My surgery

I'm scheduled Friday the 23rd for surgery on my left shoulder. The purpose is to stop me from recurrently getting tendonitis, and reducing my risk of having a full rotator cuff tear in the future, which is not inevitable, but quite probable. After surgery I will have a few sessions of physical therapy, and then if everything goes according to plan I should hopefully get back range of motion and strength. The surgery itself is going to be done arthroscopically, which generally takes a lot less time to heal than an open procedure. I'm not thrilled about having to have surgery, but am looking forward to have some relief with my nuisance shoulder. I'd appreciate some positive vibes!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Mama, I'm not sweepy!"

That's what I heard over the baby monitor when I put Bilal down for his nap yesterday. I gave him 45 minutes to see if he decided to become 'sweepy', but ended up picking him up. Phew! Makes for a tiring day. But he ended up sleeping 12 hours overnight so that's good. I've noticed his naps are getting shorter, and a couple of times a week he'll skip it altogether. Nooooooo! I need that nap, even if Bilal doesn't! Today he decided to take one, so I have a little quiet time while the sun is still up.

My cutie playing in the yard

Monday night was the first Mended Little Hearts of Birmingham meeting, and we needed 2 more heart families to sign the petition to be able to charter the group. Hopefully that will soon be accomplished without any difficulty. It will be nice to be able to 'officially' provide support to families with members who have CHD. Some of the cardiologists from Pediatric Cardiology at UAB will be involved with us too.

Tuesday night was the second community math night I attended with Hamza, my math freak. The speaker, Ruth Parker is an awesome math teacher and educator, with some very progressive ideas about how math should be taught in school, quite different from the conventional method of teaching. Her session was very insightful. Who thought numbers could be so much fun? Sadly, it will be a long time before much changes with the current math curriculum in schools.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Kids back in the kitchen, and a CHD group

We had a delicious supper today, and I didn't have to cook (yay!). Of course I had to clean up a lot, because my little chefs have not yet mastered cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen. Anyway, Hamza made his famous (in the Khan household only) fried rice, with his favorite ingredients: corn, cabbage, bell peppers and of course, hot dogs. An instant hit. Safa made a strawberry sorbet from a recipe she found in National Geographic Kids, her favorite magazine. Absolutely delicious, in fact I'm thinking of getting her a subscription to Gourmet, or another food magazine, maybe my days preparing meals for the family will be over!

Tomorrow is the first meeting for Mended Little Hearts of Birmingham, a local CHD support group a couple of heart moms are working on getting together. The goal is to have at least ten families sign up with the group, in order to make everything 'official'. I met with one of the moms on Friday and we brainstormed a bit, it's exciting to have something like this in the making; I remember how alone we were in the beginning, dealing with Bilal's diagnosis and not knowing anyone to turn to for support, or who had been through the same with their own children. Now I know several families locally, and hopefully that circle is about to get bigger. I'll update more after tomorrow evening's meeting.

I meet with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow again, I've got my MRI images on CD, and we are going to discuss my options for dealing with my left shoulder. If there aren't any good conservative options available I might consider surgery soon.

And finally, here are a few pics of a little doll I got to babysit on Friday. Isn't she just precious?

I told her mom she needs to get her a set of tools. She was totally fascinated with Bilal's Black and Decker tool set.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

A short school week has come to an end. Since the kids haven't started getting homework yet, and the weather has been relatively mild in the afternoons they have been spending time rounding up other children in the neighborhood and playing kickball in the 'field', which is really our generous neighbor's huge backyard. I didn't take pictures; I didn't know who would or wouldn't appreciate their pictures on the web. There have been about 10 kids together for the past 2 days. Makes you wonder why they didn't play outside with their friends over the winter break?

Bilal's new favorite toy is Zakir's measuring tape. He sneaked it out of his toolbox in the garage when we weren't watching, and has carried it everywhere today, even into his crib at bedtime (he wanted to measure his pillow). I coaxed it out of his hand at bath time (he wanted to measure the toilet), but he had it back as soon as he was in his PJs. He had a small meltdown at bed time when I didn't let him take it back into his crib, but it's a retractable metal tape, I'm really afraid he'll hurt himself. I'm hoping that by tomorrow he'll have forgotten about it (yeah, right!) He is so excited it's like the one the 'working man' has.

Bilal just laying around, playing with Safa's Nintendo DS. Doesn't it make him look like a teenager?

Zakir got his car back, and the dealership waived the cost of the parts as a 'good will' gesture, so we were hit with a bill just under $700. It still stinks, they did not accept the fact that the repair should have been done properly when Zakir complained about it before the warranty expired, but we are counting our blessings we were not charged nearly $2,000 as the initial estimate was.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It rained and rained.......

My last day off with the kids before the go back to school, and we had so much rain that the roads started flooding. Needless to say, we spent most of the day indoors. What a washout! Tomorrow I go back to work and Thursday Safa and Hamza start school again (I still haven't figured out why they start school on a Thursday instead of a Monday). Safa will be going to the new Middle School, which is the former High School, so she'll be riding the bus. No more carpooling in the morning, and forgetting the neighbors' kids, (Guilty! I did it one time, just one time in a whole year).

I finally heard back from the ortho's office, actually I called to give them a nudge, and they want to see me back again with the MRI films before any decisions are made. So I have an appointment on Monday, and we'll see what to do from there about my shoulder.

Zakir's Audi is in the shop with a transmission problem, a repair that will cost about $2,000. The bummer is that he had the problem off and on several times in the past while the car was on warranty, and every time he took the car in they kept insisting the problem had been fixed. Well, now the car is no longer under warranty and the problem has become constant, he cannot accelerate to higher speeds on the Interstate, the car will keep decelerating instead. Well, he took the car in and they stated that they won't take care of it (even though it's the same problem he's complained about in the past), because we don't have documentation of one oil change between 5K and 15K miles. We have proof of every auto service before and since then, but our records are missing one receipt. So, it is our fault that we didn't get the car serviced, so they won't take care of this problem. After several phone calls the manager said that as a 'good will' service they will take care of 1/2 the cost and we will be responsible for the other $1,000. Zakir agreed to that but I still don't think that's right. I am trying to convince him to call Audi directly and see what they have to say before agreeing to paying for the repair. I know Zakir's in a hurry to get his beloved car back. He loves his A3 like I love my MINI, but it is also a matter of principle. Any suggestions or opinions?

On a lighter note, here are my cuties this evening in the kitchen:

I promise, I would have posted one of Hamza too, but he was in the "I'm not getting my picture taken today" mood. You can see his arm trying to sabotage Safa's pic, though.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Home Repairs

Here are some pics of Zakir rather awkwardly replacing several light bulbs in our 2 story foyer. It takes forever to secure the ladder in a (kinda) safe position, so he doesn't risk this for just one fused light bulb. This time he had to replace 4 or 5. Next time maybe we'll just change the entire light fixture!

Looks rather unsafe, doesn't it? At least while he was up there the blinds that NEVER get dusted were thoroughly cleaned.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday at Saadia's

We just got back from Saadia and Adeel's house, after a delicious lunch prepared by Saadia, a.k.a. Superwoman. We ate so much that everyone (even Safa and Hamza) has decided to skip supper tonight. We left earlier than the others because Bilal was so tired, he kept on alternating between Zakir and me, lying his head in our laps and asking to go "Nee-nee", or sleep. It would have been nice to stay longer, but Bilal skipped his customary long nap. So we figured he'd fall asleep in the car and we drove home. Well, all the way home he sang at the top of his voice, pointed out construction vehicles and chatted non-stop. Ugh, it was all a ploy! Anyway, we're taking it easy at home this evening, and I think I'll just get Bilal down for bedtime a little earlier than usual.

Here is an adorable picture Adeel took of Bilal when we were in Stone Mountain. I think it makes him look so sweet and innocent, one of those rare contemplative moments when he's not running around like a maniac.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lunch and the Mall

Yesterday I took Safa down to Hoover for a birthday party, then met a couple of my girlfriends for lunch at Johnny Carino's. Yummy Italian food! Then we spent the better part of 3 hours roaming around the Galleria, not really buying much, but mostly browsing, and hanging out. We really don't get to do it enough, and considering Mehreen and Saadia are both expecting babies very soon, I don't know if we'll be able to keep it up. The biggest bummer is that both Saadia and Mehreen are moving away this summer. Man, you make great friends, then they leave!

Anyway, it was fun to see the gals yesterday, both looking adorably cute of course, with their very pregnant bellies. I can't wait to see the babies. More newborns, what fun!

I had to work this morning, but had quite a relaxing afternoon for a change; while Bilal had a nice long nap I made a cup of tea and put my feet up. These moments are quite rare, at least during daylight hours. by the evening I'm usually worn out, and end up sitting down like a lump.

When I went to pick up Bilal from his crib after his nap he was sitting there with his head covered by his blankie. He is so goofy, he still thinks that if he can't see you, you can't see him. Sometimes he'll cover his eyes with his hands and pretend to hide. Or he'll run behind the sofa, and when you call him he'll shout out "I'm hiding!" I don't think he'll do very well at Hide and Seek. Yet.

Tonight after I tucked Bilal in for the night, Safa, Hamza and I sat down for a stimulating game of Pictionary. A lot of fun, but Hamza was pouting by the time we finished, since he lost. Not the best at accepting defeat graciously. I almost wanted to cheat to make him win! Well, I finally shooed the kids upstairs, and am curled up, doing my own thing. I just bought tickets online for the Ringling Brothers circus at the end of January. Since Safa isn't having a birthday party this year we agreed to go to the circus. I think Bilal should enjoy it too this year.

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