Saturday, December 26, 2009

Enjoying the weekend with family

Is this little guy a cutie or what?

Farah, Adeel and Mobeen have been here with us since Wednesday night. We have spent most of the time at home, but it's been a blast. Today we went down to Oak Mountain State Park and visited the petting zoo there, since the sun had finally come out and it was almost fifty degrees after several days of low temperatures.

This is the duck that followed us around everywhere we went

And this is the goat that didn't want us to pet anyone else except her. She kept nibbling at my scarf!

After Oak Mountain we went to Yogurt Mountain for some cool treats. It's a very new franchise in Alabama, although the concept itself isn't quite so new. Pick and serve yourself your own choice/s of frozen yogurt, add as many topping as you want. Once you've created your own masterpiece you pay by the ounce. Not too bad, but I can see how some people could really get carried away; add a bit of this flavor, a bit of that, and a bit of another, and before you know it you've got a heaping bowl of frozen yogurt. But why should I spoil the fun by worrying about the nutritional content?

The sad news is that my camera died today. I dropped it at the park, and then Bilal did the same (the second time the camera was on). We have some kind of fatal lens/aperture error, I think, because it can't regulate how much light comes in. The result is that the pics are getting whited out. Sigh, I suppose I'll be shopping around for a new 'point and shoot' camera now, another one small enough to fit in my pocket.

I have been making rounds this week too, but I have only been going in for a couple of hours in the morning, so it's not been too bad. Thankfully Monday morning I'll be able to hand over the patients to their respective doctors, and I'll be free to do my usual outpatient stuff again. I really do appreciate my hubby who picks up almost all of my weekday inpatient load, so I only have to do hospital work on the weekends I'm on call. Not my favorite part of my job.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Afternoon siesta

My sleeping beauties

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another boo-boo

Wow, I haven't posted in for ever! Or so it seems. Work has been busy busy. And for those of you who are self employed you know that has to be a good thing. But it sure does wear you out sometimes. And nothing much seems worthy of posting about since we found an uninvited critter in our master bedroom. That was a bit too much drama!

Butaccording to the fact that there's never a really dull moment in our home, I spent almost two hours at out local urgent care clinic with Hamza yesterday, for a lacerated finger. I was hoping a squirt of Dermabond, (or worst case scenario a couple of stitches) would take care of the problem. Since I neither had the equipment nor the will to use it, I took him to American Family Care. Of course, after bleeding off and on for almost two hours, it stopped bleeding after we were finally taken to an exam room. So since there was no Dermabond available (and they call themselves an urgent care clinic, huh?), and with the absence of active bleeding, the doctor decided that a couple of steri-strips and a snug Band Aid would do the trick. And thankfully it did. His finger didn't look pretty this morning, but at least it didn't bleed again after removing the Band Aid (and the steri-strips that happened to be stuck to it!)

Now how did this incident come about? Hamza was hoping to get paid $15 to trim our hedge (Baba was evidently in a very generous mood when he agreed to that price!), so he clipped as much as he could by hand, then took out the hedge trimmer. But he turned it on too close to his fingers. So he sliced a lac into his left index finger. He put a Band Aid on it and was probably not going to tell me about it, if it weren't for the fact that the injury made him sick and he threw up in the foyer. It took several minutes of sitting with his head between his knees to get some color into my little guy's face. So we washed his finger and it really didn't look like it was going to close on its own. Hence the urgent care visit.

Later that afternoon Hamza put on a pair of gardening gloves and finished trimming the hedge. You really do learn from your mistakes, don't you? Despite the fact we are out the co-pay for the clinic visit, I think Hamza really deserves his $15. And it is such a blessing that there was no serious harm done to his finger.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An intruder

For those of you who didn't already see the pic on my facebook page, here's what we came home to last night. It was sitting on our headboard in the master bedroom. Evidently we startled it, because it hid behind the nightstand, from where we were able to lure it into one of the cat carriers without too much trouble. But not before I took a photo of the opossum.

So now we have figured out what the noise was coming from our attic for the past several days. We kept sending the cats into the attic, but they would sniff around and come out, and we didn't see any definite evidence of an animal; no droppings, no odd smells, etc. But yesterday the door to the walk-in attic must have got left open and it ventured its way down to our bedroom. Yuck!

Zakir carried the opossum in the cat carrier down the road and let it loose near some woods. We still haven't figured out how it ended up in our attic, but I sure hope it's not coming back!

Friday, December 18, 2009

"I don't like my bed!"

A conversation overheard by the entire household at 2am last night................

Grumpy toddler (standing at the top of the stairs, wailing and sobbing): I don't like my bed!

Sleepy Mama: Why don't you like your bed?

Grumpy toddler (crying even louder): I don't like my bed because I bumped my nose on the door when I came out!

Now wide awake Mama: That's not a reason to not like your bed, that means you're supposed to stay in your bed when it's dark so you don't bump into things! Now you're up, let's go potty.

Toddler: I don't like my bed!

Mama: Why?

Toddler: I don't like my bed because I don't like my bed!

Mama: That's not a good reason.

Back from the bathroom.......

Toddler: I don't want to sleep in my bed. I want to sleep in YOUR bed!

Mama: You can't sleep in my bed because then nobody gets any sleep.

Toddler: I don't like my bed!

Here we go again..........

Mama: Why don't you like your bed?

Toddler: Because there are too many bears in it!

Mama: OK, then let's take some bears out.

Toddler: No, I don't like my bed because it's too comfy!

You've gotta be kidding me now!

Mama: Well, we'll put some rocks in your bed tomorrow to make it less comfy.

Toddler: No! Rocks will hurt me! I don't like my bed!

So we sit for a while in the chair, and rock, back and forth, back and forth..........

In a little while, the toddler settles down, and goes to back to bed without any more fuss. And sleeps until 6:45am. On the other hand, Mama falls back asleep, only to be awoken an hour later to the sounds of a snoring husband. Ugh!

And with those debating skills my boy outta be a politician!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not too cold!

Evidently it's never too cold for Bilal to play out in the back yard. Actually temperature wise it wasn't too bad today, but the gray skies and lack of sun always seem to make it feel chillier. Nevertheless, we did have some quality time outdoors until Mama decided it was time to come in.

And when the woolly hat comes off, out comes 'hat head'!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just random

I've got a few cute 'firefighter' pics in the camera, but am feeling too lazy right now to get up and upload them. So I am going to share a couple of previous pics; I don't think I've posted these before. But if I have, you get to see them again :)

You might be able to tell in the first one, Tiny is sitting there with a reusable shopping bag tangled around her neck. She actually got caught up in it and dragged it all across the sunroom in an attempt to take it off. She finally gave up and sat down. I took the second pic just after we had rescued her from her noose.

Hm, I think we need to get Hamza anti-glare glasses next time!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Back yard

Friday morning Bilal and I passed up on a Handy Manny marathon on the Disney Channel in favor of playing outdoors in freezing temperatures. Although I couldn't find his mittens anywhere, 32 degrees Fahrenheit didn't phase him, even when he was digging in the mud. His new woolly hat did help keep his little ears warm, though.

First I put him to work (not really, but we had fun pretending).


And more raking,

But it is all worth in the end, when your hard work pays off and you can have some serious fun:

I know that this post might have a wee too many photos, but I couldn't pick my favorites, so I had to share them all!

Gotta love the crunch of freshly raked leaves, before the rain. The rest of this weekend we have had a steady drizzle, so no more crunchy leaves. I'm so glad that Bilal and I got to have some fun while it lasted! And it made the mug of hot chocolate and brownie all the better once we finally came in to the warmth of our kitchen.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Driver's Ed

Start 'em young!

First we buckle up securely

We're ready to go!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The buddy system

Headed to the concert

We're just back from an amazing Christmas concert at the High School. It amazes me how talented all these kids are. The bands performing today included the High School symphonic and concert, the Middle School symphonic and concert, and Beginning Band (the one Hamza is in). The directors do an awesome job with the kids; this year there are 124 kids in beginning band alone. So Mr. Peters teaches 60+ students per period, and the kids still manage to learn so much. Wow!
All 124 members of Beginning Band on stage

After Hamza's band performed Zakir ran home to drop off Safa and Bilal, and drove back to join me and Hamza at the school for the rest of the concert. Bilal had started getting antsy during the first performance, we couldn't imagine him sitting patiently in the theater for another hour or two. So we came home after the concert and Safa had bathed Bilal and changed him into his PJs, made him a cup of hot chocolate to drink and was baking brownies for her party at school tomorrow. I got greeted with a "Wow Mama, bathing Bilal, making hot chocolate, baking brownies, how do you do it all?" At first I thought she was being sarcastic because she managed to do everything so well while we were gone for an hour. Then I realized that she honestly had developed a new found appreciation of everything Mama does. Somehow I think she's not ready to run an entire household herself yet. I wanted to be kind to her, so I didn't mention the fact that I would have probably also run the dishwasher, put a load of clothes in the washer, hung up the laundry and cleared the kitchen within the same period of time. When you think of it, it's so true, we moms are constantly multitasking. However else would we even get a minute to sit down and blog????!!!!

These days Bilal continues to talk non-stop, and his imagination is constantly running wild. On the way home from Birmingham today he told me and Safa about a volcano, and how the fire came out and reached the clouds. I couldn't figure how on earth he knew about volcanoes, and then I remembered a book we had checked out for him from the library several months ago, about fire and volcanoes. I think that child has a mind like a steel trap! It seems like he can soak up all this information and share it whenever he desires. Are three year olds really supposed to know about the workings of a volcano?

Safa and Bilal had the funniest conversation today, prompted by the fact that Vicki took Bilal to the fire station for a field trip today. Evidently the trip had quite an impression on him, because he spent most of the afternoon talking about Fireman Al, and all the things he got to see and do. When I asked him if he had a chance to slide down a pole he answered, "no, they just walk out the door!" Then he talked about oxygen tanks and water and Safa, being the Math/Science student she is, started talking about the fact that water is also called H20. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Safa: Oxygen is in water too. For every oxygen there are two hydrogen.
Bilal: Yeah, it's called the buddy system.

I wonder if that's something he heard at the fire station too? Kids say some crazy things!

Bilal's innocent "Who, me?" expression

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let's go Green!

I am so psyched about my latest project. I am officially going to start composting! Zakir is in the process of making an outdoor compost bin out of a $10 garbage can, with a help of a drill and a few other bits and bobs, and indoors I am doing it in style! This is what I have invested in, I can't wait until it comes in the mail:

I think it will look pretty elegant on our kitchen countertop. It is ceramic, with a charcoal filter built into the top. So every few days we transfer the kitchen scraps into the outdoor bin, add some paper to the ratio of 4:1, roll the bin periodically and Voila! Compost! Perfect for our veggie patch. Lasagna gardening is soooooo last year!

This is an interesting little video from the Huffington Post if anyone is interested in learning.

OK, I'm not brave enough to experiment with vermicomposting, but you never know, some day...........

For a while now we have been trying to make our household a little bit greener. We recycle every last piece of #1 and #2 plastic, thanks to our city's recycling program. They also accept aluminum and food cans. Every scrap of paper either newsprint, boxes or junk mail, goes into our recycling bin. Before recycling paper I cut out the Box Tops and Campbell's soup labels to send to the school. Every little bit counts in this economy, when funds are being cut in all sorts of programs. Our garbage bin is almost always less than half full each week, when the truck comes to pick it up since we recycle so avidly. We have quit buying bottled water, and for years have used a water pitcher with a filter, and add flavoring as needed. Each family member has their own color coded reusable water bottle that we take with us on road trips. It's really not too much hassle to rinse and refill. The biggest issue I was having with the ever accumulating #5 plastic containers that you just can't seem to do without. Considering this includes many varieties of food storage containers (including ziploc containers, all sorts of yogurt containers, fruit cups, etc.) they pile up fast. Now (as if they read my mind!) Whole Foods has started collaborating with the Preserve Gimme 5 program so they offer #5 recycling in their stores, including the one a mere 15 miles from our house! Yay! I finally managed to recycle several bags of #5 products that were cluttering our tiny laundry room.

We have also started using reusable shopping bags. Has anyone ever ever realized how much you can stuff into one of those????!!! They are awesome, and also useful for transporting snacks and other items on road trips.

I am also a member of our local Birmingham Freecycle group, a great way to give and receive things you, or someone else, might need. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Some day maybe we'll have an eco friendly home, with excellent insulation, solar panels and other nifty features, but for now we'll continue to do the little we can. And reap the fruits (from our veggie patch) in the summer!

Oh, and there are several useful web sites from those of you interested in learning about how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Here's a couple I have used in the past:

Learn how to and where to recycle at Earth 911; Recycle my cell phone to get rid of old phones that we all accumulate around the house; our unwanted, but still usable clothes and other household items go to the Exchange Club for the Prevention of Child Abuse. There are many other sites on the web, wich offer info about local recycling, as well as other ways to help the environment and go green.

And even though this isn't directly related to recycling, I feel in a giving mood today. Have you heard about Good Search and Goodshop? Every search generates at least 1 cent for your favorite charity or non-profit organization. And shopping online through this site generates revenue for your chosen organization between 1-37.5% of your purchase. What could be easier? I goodsearch for Hewitt Trusville Middle School and ASFA, and generate funds for the schools doing something I do every day anyway, browse the web and shop online.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The boys outdoors

Temperatures have started falling, it seems like winter is finally in the air. We had a dusting of snow yesterday; of course that didn't last more than a couple of hours before it melted. Today the temps stayed in the mid forties, but it was otherwise a nice day, so I hung outside with the boys for a while. They love being on their 'wheels'!

We were thinking of making a trip into Atlanta today to pick up a few things from Ikea, but then decided against it, figuring we might have to brave post SEC traffic. So we just had a low key day at home. In fact, I am guilty of staying in my PJs until noon, when Zakir insisted we get out of the house and do some groceries.

Blogger is acting up, so the video of my speedy kids will have to wait.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Another busy week is coming to an end. On Tuesday Hamza's team went to Oxford for the Scholar's Bowl playoffs. Their team didn't win, but got a plaque for second place. Apparently they were up against a pretty tough team. I don't think anyone was really disappointed about not winning first place, and everyone had fun, so that made it all worth it.

Yesterday I took the day off just to have some personal time. I try to do it once every month or two, but it doesn't end up being a real day off, with so many things scheduled. But this time I spent some time in the library, got my hair cut, and met some friends for lunch at Panera. So it was a real day off. Vicki obliged me by staying with Bilal until later in the afternoon, so that meant I didn't spend nearly as much time on the road as I would have, since I didn't have to run up to Trussville and then back down to Birmingham again.

Today was a busy clinic day, but I've been pretty much taking it easy since about 4pm; and as I sit here typing I can smell the aroma of delicious spices. Zakir is cooking beef curry for dinner tonight. You can't go wrong with his beef curry, I can't wait until dinner time!

Tomorrow I am volunteering for a couple of hours for the ASFA kids at Barnes and Noble. We'll probably all drive down so that the kids can hang out at the bookstore and maybe go to the mall. There isn't much else on the schedule for the rest of the weekend; there is an Eid party at the mosque on Sunday, but that's about it. So for what we're used to, it will be pretty low key.The scholar's bowl team with Mr. Stovall. Zakir took this one, and somehow I don't think they were looking at the right camera!

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