Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot Tuesday

Today was an attempt to make the most of my time with the kids. Didn't go too bad, but if it just weren't so darned hot! It peaked at almost 95 degrees. I took Safa for her guitar lesson at 8am this morning. Yeah, sounds kind of early, but I think her guitar teacher never sleeps. This was to make up for last week, and another lesson later this week. Bilal did fairly well; he spent most of the time playing with the dogs. Lela is so gentle, she can take any kind of abuse, but Bilal was actually pretty good with her.

Hamza was still asleep by the time we got back home. I'm inclined to let the kids sleep in these days, less time for them to complain about being bored, or just stare at the TV.

I took the kids to Barnes and Noble later in the morning, and we spent some time reading and browsing in the Children's dept. It is always nice to see the kids so involved in books. In fact, Bilal passed up on the train and toy table in favor of reading books.

Safa reading to Bilal, while he is too busy looking at a different book

Hamza focused on a Pokemon graphic novel

Later we met our friend Eima at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. The portion sizes are HUGE at that restaurant! Between the four of us we probably had enough food for eight, and I didn't even order a meal for Bilal! As a result we are stocked up with more containers in the fridge. Of course you can't go to the Cheesecake Factory and not order cheesecake, so we each bought a slice to go too. My choice? White chocolate caramel macadamia nut cheesecake. Quite a mouthful to say, and to eat!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New bed

Checking out Bilal's new bed yesterday evening:

Quite comfy

Good to jump on

Cool to climb off

As Baba told him, it's a 'working man's bed'. The rails on the side act as a ladder, so he didn't even want a stool to climb on and off it.

Great to lie on and just chill

It is really perfect to sit and read books on too

We were going to go out and buy new bedding, but I found Hamza's old comforter from when he used to have this bed. The transportation theme goes perfectly with the wallpaper border I put up when Bilal moved into his own room upstairs (almost as if they were purchased together!). He's happy with it for now, so we're going to stick with it.

He had a great night yesterday; the transition from the crib couldn't have been smoother. I, personally, was rather teary-eyed. I don't think I'm really ready for so many changes yet! It didn't go so well at nap time today, though. He just didn't want to lie in bed for any period of time. So no nap today either! As a result he was rather irritable and labile as we got into the afternoon and evening. Also exceptionally naughty. Since he stayed on the edge of a meltdown I gave him an early bath, which initially he resisted, but he settled down some after that. So I tucked him in just after 7pm this evening, almost a hour earlier than usual. I know he's going to give up naps eventually, but he still seems to need them, so we'll keep trying.

I've got just under 2 weeks until my boards, and there's only so much I can study with little needy Bilal up and running around, so it's back to the books for me!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The end of an era

Bilal climbed out of crib at nap time today. The only one of my three kids who has ever done it. Obviously he's too proud of himself to even think about a nap now, he's running around the house playing with his toys. I think it's time to take out the twin bed out of the attic and dust it off, probably today, after Zakir comes home. I have a feeling that naps are going to be much less frequent now. He doesn't cry when he goes into the crib at nap time, but on some days I think he goes to sleep with a certain degree of resignation, since he's stuck in the crib anyway. That's not going to happen any more. He can just climb out. Well, he made to to nearly three years (actually 35.1 months) so that's not bad. Maybe today we'll take him shopping and help him pick out some bedding for his new bed. Sigh, it's just another sign that the baby is growing up. Why are they always in so much of a hurry??!!

Well, there is still one family member that loves to take loooooong naps, sometimes up to 5-6 hours, barely moving a muscle.

Ahhh, the life of a cat!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So long, Bubbles!

We lost Bubbles today. Bubbles was Safa's betta fish that she owned for one year. He had been acting poorly off and on for a couple of weeks, then came back to his normal self for several days, eating well and swimming around. But he got sick last night again, and now he's dead. Safa's such a sensitive, loving person, losing her fish has been really hard on her. Betta fish can often live over two years, but you wonder how long the fish are at the pet store before they get bought, so he might have been older. Safa will probably get another fish to replace Bubbles, but she needs a little time to mourn him before she gets another one. There have been some tears today, and I have a feeling there will be more before the end of the day. At times like this I wish I could do more to comfort her; it breaks my heart to see her sad, but I know she just needs a little more time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


How do families do it???!!! I admire anyone who is willing to have a squirmy two year old lie in bed with them, every night.

Last night Bilal woke up at 1:45am, wailing, "I want Mama! I want Mama!" I went upstairs and picked him up, rocked with him for a little while and he settled down. But then he said "I want to sweep downstairs with you." I figured, he's never asked before, so I took him down with me. (I've been short on cuddles lately anyway). He lay in our bed for 3-4 minutes and said "I needa go pee!" So I got up and took him to the bathroom (it doesn't matter anymore that he wears a diaper at night, he doesn't wet it). I sent him to lie down, and by the time I got out of the bathroom he had taken over the entire side of my bed. I nudged him over a little bit towards Zakir, and he started complaining "Baba's pinching me!" Right. Anyway, we finally got him situated, and I thought he was falling asleep when he spoke up, "I need a dwink!" So, up I got again, and took his sippy cup out of the fridge. All he took was one teeny weeny sip, and he was done. Ugh! Then he lay down again, sprawled between Zakir and me, and was quiet for another few minutes. Then he said, "Can you scoot over a bit?" My two year old actually said that sentence! Uh no, baby, I'm about to fall off the bed already!

This is the point when I asked him if he was OK going back to his crib, and he nodded. So, up the stairs we went and I lay him in his crib.

"After I have my nap, can we pway?" he whispered. "Yes love, that sounds great."

And as I was walking away, another whisper, "Can we go to the toy store amowow (tomorrow)?" "Hon, we'll talk about it."

So by the time I got back to bed it was past 2:30am, and I was wide awake. That was my night.

Bilal is back to fighting nap time again. But this is what happens if he doesn't take a nap in his crib:
Monday he wouldn't settle down in his crib, so I gave up and let him stay up and play. Around 4pm we were planning a trip to the library, but Bilal got bored while I was helping Safa with some math. So he went into my room, put the DVD player on, and fell asleep. It's a wonder he didn't fall off the bed!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A few of my favorite pics

These are a few of my picks from our portrait session in May. The location (Samford University) was a great choice, and the sun was at just the right angle for some lovely shots. What do you think?

The last one basically shows you how hard it is to get Bilal to cooperate with the camera. I think that it did turn out quite cute, though. It's just, you wouldn't want scrunched up eyes in every photo, would you!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I am so blessed to personally know some of the best fathers in the world.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meeting Friends

We've had a fun filled two days, with our friends Iram and Adnan visiting with their kids from Little Rock. I've even been too busy to update the blog! They left this morning to drive the six hours back home, but not before a delicious (if I might say so myself) breakfast of homemade buttermilk pancakes and hash browns. Their trip seemed too short though, and we are already making plans to meet again soon. Hopefully this time the plans will stick! We have known Iram and Adnan since medical school; we all graduated together, and their older two kids Basit and Emaan are fairly close in age to Safa and Hamza, so the kids got along well too. And we met them after about 2 and 1/2 years, so it was great to catch up on things.

The kids outside our (under construction) clinic in Oneonta

At the playground. They had fun, even though it was 95 degrees!

Shifa on the slide

The last few pics are from dinner last night. We went out to Konomi for Hibachi.

After they left this morning I drove to the hospital to make rounds, while Safa stayed at home to plot algebraic expressions on graphs. Zakir took the boys to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham. We have lived here since 1999, but this is only the second time they have visited (the first time was last year on a school field trip). Safa and I haven't even been there once!

I still have to share the pics from our trip to McWane Center last week, but they'll have to wait for another post.

Bilal's sleep was a bit erratic while our friends were here; too much going on. But today he is catching up on missed sleep with a long nap. He has been asleep in his crib for over 2 hours. It's given me time to catch up on some studying and blogging.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Start 'em young!

Bilal just loves to grab hold of our little 'point and shoot' camera and start snapping photos. The results of today's session were something like this:

I think he chose a very creative angle to take a picture of his own pudgy little feet (if that's what he really meant to do). Can you extrapolate where the rest of his body was in relation to his feet? (Hint: that's part of the ceiling!)

I smiled for this next photo, I promise! (and as usual, please excuse my chronically cluttered bedroom):

So maybe he's got his work cut out if he really wants to have a career in photography. Well gotta start somewhere! Maybe next time he'll actually get my face in the shot (although I do recall him saying something about taking a picture of my pillow, so maybe I wasn't really the intended subject for this one).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Princess Party

What a novel idea! A princess themed birthday party for little Aaliya. We went to her 3rd birthday party at Storyville Station today. There were little knight and princess dress-up costumes for the kids, and the party was full of different games and dances for the children. Haven't done the chicken dance in a long time, that was a lot of fun.

The delicious birthday cake

Mm, cupcake! Hamza would have worn a knight outfit, except they were too small for him

The princess and her royal subjects. Note the distinct absence of Prince Bilal. He of course, didn't want to join in the festivities

Ah, there he is, hiding in the corner. Unlike the others, he opted not to cover up his pumpkin T-shirt

The chicken dance

Safa helped out with Maarya, and later put her to sleep while they were dancing!

Baby Jibran. Isn't he so cute?

Princess Aaliyah and baby sister Maarya

Bilal's favorite way to eat a cupcake

Cutting the cake

The royal parents

The young knights enjoying their pizza

And this little clip, of course, speaks for itself. Notice that Princess Aaliya sat on her throne acting indifferent until her royal subject brought her the cake to blow out the candles. She fits into the role perfectly! So precious!

The moms

The dads (and Jibran)

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