Friday, April 30, 2010

Parties and Beach plans

We have another seriously busy weekend coming up. I am working on the bathroom today (yes, I know, it's only been like three months since I started the project), and hope to have the walls finished and ready to prime. Really determined this time! Still can't decide on the color, although I have a couple of choices in mind. So as soon as Zakir gets back from work I'm sending the boys to Lowe's to pick up a few supplies for me. Hamza has Spring Fling at school today, which means an entire day of carnival rides and inflatables.

Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to, which of course is always fun for the kids. Then on Sunday they have their Sunday School final exams. These exams are serious, like real school! If they don't pass they don't get promoted to the next grade. Then they will be off for the rest of the summer. So in between all the festivities of tomorrow they will have to get some studying done. Safa also has to study for her finals, coming up in the next 3 weeks. Particularly Math, for very good reason.

We already have some plans for next week too, although I'm hoping there will be some down time. Zakir is also on call, so we definitely will stay grounded in Birmingham. In fact, between the two of us we are on call three weekends in the month of May, including Memorial Day weekend. Busy, busy!

Has anyone been following the news about the huge, expanding oil slick on the Gulf Coast? Apparently it may take up to 90 days to stop the oil leak, since the best solution appears to be drilling another well to intersect the current one. It is threatening a very fragile ecosystem in the delta. Potentially a terrible disaster. I hope and pray they manage to do something in the interim to stop the leak of about 200,000 gallons of oil daily. When I listened to the report about how much devastation it could cause to both the ecosystem and the economy it almost made me physically sick. And we have a townhouse booked in Gulf Shores for a week in July, seriously thinking about canceling that reservation. Don't know what the beaches will be like when the oil reaches the coast. A terrible blow to tourism too!

I'll end this post with a photo from last year's trip to Gulf Shores:

Would love to be back there!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Mangoes are one of Bilal's favorite fruit. He definitely has Pakistani blood in him! Pakistan is famous for its numerous varieties of mango. They are a summer fruit, mostly available between May and September. We have only taken the kids to Pakistan in the winter, so they have yet to experience the fruit in its prime. The ones available in the United States are imported from Mexico. They're not bad, but certainly no Pakistani mango!

Lip smacking good!

And at the end there's nothing left but the peel!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Photos from the playground

I am behind in blogging again; these photos are from our trip to the playground last Tuesday. And I still haven't posted pics from our zoo trip Saturday a week ago. But I'll get there, eventually.

This weekend has been an eventful one. Zakir and I went to the dealership on Friday to put a deposit on my new car, and the same afternoon I posted my current MINI on Craigs List. Two inquiries and and a day and a half later my car was sold. I never expected it to go so fast! And considering I am still 6-8 weeks away from getting my new car I am presently MINI-less. Unless if you count the MINIvan which I am now driving everywhere I go. I was really sad to see the car go. Even though I know I have a cute little replacement on the way. I had some great rides in that car.

Today I cleaned out the minivan of weeks of trash. I figured if I am going to be driving it more I might as well make it look presentable. It's amazing how many wrappers and old bottles I found in the crevices.

By the way, am I the only one who's having a hard time with the new post editor on blogger? I wish there were a way to get the old one back. I see how they have tried to introduce some more features particularly for posting photos. But I find it so hard to format now. I really am going to have to learn some HTML!

*UPDATE* Yay! I figured how to get the old post editor back, woohoo!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Buying a new car

Yesterday Zakir and I celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Not a lot of celebrating, but he did manage to get back from work early, and we all went out to eat together. I took the day off work yesterday morning to get some errands run without having to drag Bilal along with me, but didn't get a lot accomplished. Ended up spending almost four hours at the car dealership. But a big decision has been made. I am actually buying a new car. After 7.5 years and 104K miles together my MINI and I are going to part ways. It wasn't an easy decision, and after all the good times I've had in my car I almost feel I am betraying it by even considering to buy a new car. But I have been reassured by many people that the Baby's feelings will not be hurt. How can you get so attached to an inanimate object, so much that you actually start to feel that it might really have feelings?! But maybe it will be reassured by the fact that it is being replaced by its baby cousin:

The car I placed a deposit on will look a lot like this one. It is a 2010 Laser Blue MINI Cooper S. And it's finally time for that convertible I've always wanted.

Unfortunately since there is not a single car in the United States at any new MINI dealership that fulfills my requisites I am actually having to custom order the car (picky, picky). So we are looking at a 6-8 week wait. No problem, I can handle that! I am hoping that it will actually give me time to sell my current car on the open market, and hopefully get a good deal. I posted it on Craig's List this afternoon and have already had one inquiry; let's see if it pans out. Anyone out there in cyber world interested in a 2003 MINI Cooper in excellent condition? Automatic transmission, with premium package and sports package too!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Say Hi to....................

One of Bilal's sweetest little heart buddies, Little Miss J

And apparently Janelle has quite the sweet tooth too! Gotta love that 'cupcake face' :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New look

Safa's been complaining of late afternoon headaches a lot recently, and she was nearly a year out from her last eye exam, so I figured we should get it done just a few weeks early. She's been noticing a difference in her vision so we figured that's probably the culprit. After her eye exam yesterday we found that her vision is a little bit worse, but she's also more astigmatic. So we got a new prescription for glasses (although she really, really, really wants contacts) and she picked out a pair. I told her she needs to show me she will actually wear her glasses all the time before she can get contact lenses. Here are some of the frames she modeled:

Harriet Potter


Pretty tame




We ended up with a different pair from a different store. And I think Safa's quite happy with her choice.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


A perfect way to spend a warm afternoon in the back yard, yum! And this is one of Bilal's new goofy expressions. This is what I get most of the time when I ask him to look at the camera:

On Tuesday our little heart friend Janelle and her mommy came over to spend some time with us.We had a fun time. I'd love to share her 'cupcake face' but it will have to wait until I upload my pics tomorrow. Right now I have a lazy kitty sleeping on my feet with no desire to move, so I am going to stay put too :) 'Night, y'all!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sites relevant to congenital heart defects

Now that blogger is behaving itself I am able to add content to the sidebars of my blog without the layout flipping out and going crazy. I have been working on making a list of resources and informational websites that may be of use for anyone searching for information on congenital heart defects. By no means is this list complete, but I am hoping to make it as comprehensive as possible. I would appreciate some input on this list, which you can find in the lower right sidebar of this blog, and if anyone can suggest any more relevant sites or blogs that I haven't added, please e-mail me or leave a comment on this post. Also if any heart friends would like to link their personal blogs to my blog, please let me know.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow we've really had a full weekend! Friday night we were invited out to dinner and didn't get home until 11pm. Then on Saturday Safa had a math tournament, so Zakir dropped her off at school at 7:30am (surprisingly I didn't hear her complain this time!) and I picked her up at 4. ASFA placed second in their division and several of the 8th graders placed individually also, so all in all it was a very successful tournament. While Safa was gone we did plenty around the house and in the yard. Zakir was feeling miserable with the starts of a sinus infection, so he spent more than his usual time in bed , but thankfully he was already feeling much better by Sunday

Saturday evening Safa and I drove to Pell City for a party, actually a Mehndi for Erum, who was getting married on Sunday. For those of you who don't know, Mehndi literally translates to 'Henna' which is traditionally painted on the hands of the bride to be. The Mehndi celebration is usually a day before the wedding, and involves a lot of singing dancing and of course, food! It used to strictly be a girls only event, but in recent years has come to involve guys too, and sometimes from both sides of the wedding party. This one was more traditional, with just the girls, but heaps of fun.

So colorful!

This is the bride, on the day of her Mehndi:

We got home even later than Friday night; it was almost midnight when we walked in the door.

So the kids played hookey from Sunday School, I really needed a break from all this driving. I've already shared pics from the park, where we spent part of the morning. Then in the evening we drove back to Pell City for the wedding. I didn't take any photos, but I made sure to get a few of the kids when we got home. Well, at least try to get some of the kids. Hamza had fallen asleep in the car, so I'll be fair to him and not show his puffy, sleepy face. Bilal was wide awake but in not much of a mood to cooperate. Safa, of course, was looking pretty, and more grown up than I remember ever seeing her before. When did this happen????

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Perfect day for the park

The boys were fighting and getting on each other's nerves this morning, so I decided to take them to the park while Zakir ran some errands. It started off as a cool morning, but it was sunny and warm when we went. Perfect place for them to burn off some energy before lunch.

There were trees for the kids to climb,

And of course, the swings and slides.

Safa and Hamza threw a ball to each other while Bilal was 'monkey in the middle'. He wasn't thrilled about that.

And neither was he very happy when we had to come home.

But I'm sure we'll be back another day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pictures at the Gardens

Since I haven't had my own camera out as much lately I thought I'd share more of my favorites from our recent portrait session at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. We have had three sessions there over the past couple of years, and each at a different location in the Gardens. So it makes each session seem unique. I am especially happy with how the group photos turned out this time; I love how Samantha always manages to get everyone in the right mood, despite how cold or dreary it might be. This particular photo shoot was not long before dusk on a very cloudy day, but you wouldn't be able to tell. Luckily the rain held out until our drive home.

We were all freezing, but off came the jackets as soon as the camera came out.

I love this one of my mother in law, there's something almost regal about this shot.

Love my babes!

I don't often like photos of myself, but this one is an exception:

And Bilal was actually looking into the camera, and smiling, instead of covering his face or making a goofy expression. So much cooperation is rare!

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