Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can you believe it?

Mobeen is two years old! And we came back to Mobile to join in the birthday festivities. The party was at an inflatable ride place called Kangarooz. So much fun!

These are just a few pics of the birthday boy. It's getting late tonight. More to follow soon!








Thursday, October 28, 2010

The kids stay at home!

Zakir and I have started going to Publix for grocery shopping on Wednesday nights. On occasion we'll take one child with us, otherwise all three will stay at home. We choose Wednesdays because we can take advantage of the Publix 'mystery item' deals. The store is usually less crowded, and we have plenty of time to sift through coupons and browse for good deals; and it still takes less time to complete our trip. With the kids at home and fed (we always go after dinner) we can take our time, and even read labels when we need to. Having our stomachs full also leads to less temptation. Trust me, it works! We usually end up saving a ton of money using their 'buy one, get one free' deals, using coupons that double in value and choosing supermarket brands when reasonable.

Yesterday by the time I brought the kids home it was almost 5pm. Safa and I immediately went upstairs to sort through the junk she had tossed out of her room while we were painting and rearranging furniture. That took quite a while. Zakir surprised us by coming home a little earlier than usual. Supper didn't get made. So we decided to go out and grab a bite. That has become quite rare for us, eating out is usually something we do on weekends. After dinner we headed straight to Publix to pick up groceries, with the kids in tow. Big mistake! The boys didn't want to be there. They ran up and down the aisles, pointing imaginary guns and yelling PSHOW! PSHOW! and sticking their fingers into each other. I finally managed to separate them and outlawed the pretend fighting, which kept the peace for a while. But then the requests started, (granted it was only Bilal, not Hamza this time). "Can we get popsicles?" "No hon, we've got plenty of ice cream at home". "Can we get yellow drinks?" (Those are yogurt smoothies). "No, Bilal, there are still some in the fridge". "Can we get this candy?" This is while he carried a huge bag of candy and threw it in the shopping cart. "No dear, we already bought enough for Halloween". This went on for a while until I finally sent the boys to the car under the supervision of big sister, and we managed to finish going through the remaining aisle in peace.

Now I remember why we stopped taking the kids to the grocery store! Next time I am not taking them with me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's finalized!

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We are going to Disney, woohoo! Our room has been booked, all we have to do get our park tickets and we'll be ready to enjoy a few days with Mickey. It has been years since we visited Disney in Orlando, and we felt that this year would be a good time to go. Bilal should be old enough to enjoy the park; he's virtually given up his naps and Safa and Hamza, of course, would love it! We still have a grueling November before we can enjoy some time in Orlando; I am on call a lot in November, including on Thanksgiving, blech! But at least there is something exciting to look forward to.

If anyone of my friends plan to be in Orlando between December 18th and 23rd, let me know. Maybe we can meet up!

Friday, October 22, 2010

How big is Atlas?

He's high-jantic! (That, by the way, is my absolute favorite Bilal word).


When we first got our Great Pyrenees puppy he was six months old, and a mere 72 pounds. He still looked huge when compared to our three year old. Six months later he is weighing in at a whopping 102 pounds, and I'm sure he's still got some more growing to do. Now he weighs about the same as our fourteen year old! We watched him go through the long, skinny stage, where he lost his winter coat and started stretching out. Now, with much more length on that body he has started filling out, as his coat also thickens So Atlas has become a super-sized heap of white fur.

Yesterday Hamza was playing with the puppy in the back yard. Atlas came running and knocked him down. Hamza's glasses flew off his head and landed in the grass. I'm not sure what happened next, but the end results was this:


All I could think was having to pay another $130 or so to get a new pair of glasses for Hamza. This puppy has really cost us a lot already. Safa, on the other hand, couldn't contain her laughter. She was rolling on the floor trying to contain it! So we ran over to Walmart (where we initially bought the glasses) to see what could be done. Luckily they have a replacement warranty for kids, and the same style of frame was in stock. So the tech replaced the lenses in a new frame and we were headed home in about 15 minutes, with no cost to us. Phew! That was a close save! But you know, it wouldn't be normal for our family if something crazy like this didn't happen at least once a week. Life just wouldn't be the same in the Khan household!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Honestly.....

...... I had every intention of updating the blog today, pictures and all! But my laptop is on the blink, and I'm not sure if this time it will actually recover. Right now I am typing from my laptop, sitting on my bed, with an external monitor perched on top of the bed in front of me. Evidently the monitor on my laptop is fried. Plus, the mouse keeps jumping around, so if I don't keep a close eye on what I'm typing it stops making any sense. My work laptop is well, at work. Not much help there! On top of the funky 'come and go' (more going than coming) monitor issues I keep getting error messages on the computer too. The DVD/CD drive quit working about 6 or 8 months ago, and I've made do without it. Most things can be downloaded from the web anyway, so that wasn't a big deal. Thinking of reformatting the hard drive and donating it for a good cause, maybe someone can make some use of it.

Zakir's suggesting I buy an iPad. He bought one a few weeks ago, and is hooked. But he uses his for work more than anything else. I prefer the larger screen and real keyboard of my laptop, rather than fiddling with a virtual keyboard while I chart on my patients' encounters. Hamza will need a personal computer soon too. I was hoping to give him the one I'm using right now, but it seems like it's not going to be around for long. So we'll have to decide if we are going to get him a brand new computer, or let him inherit Zakir's Mac, and then Zakir, of course, will need another one. Because the iPad, fun as it may be, does not service all his needs. Such is the circle of life! I am the only PC user in this house; all other computers are Macs. I know Zakir is going to want Hamza to have a Mac too, they are much less susceptible to viruses and other crazy stuff. So there's not much debate there.

So I am going to mull over the whole iPad concept for a while, as my primary home computer continues to die a very slow, very painful death. I'm not thrilled about having to dish out another $500 or so for another device. I was perfectly fine with my poor Acer, but it's obviously not fine with me. Ugh!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A great day at Gulf Shores

It was a perfect day for the beach! We drove from Mobile to Gulf Shores, AL, and hung out at the State Park, next to the pier. The beaches weren't very crowded, probably still the effects of the oil spill on tourism. But we had a great time. Eighty degrees with clear blue skies!


Safa enjoyed herself, but she was rather disappointed that we missed the free Bon Jovi concert at the beach. That was actually yesterday. It's nice to see that artists are coming to the Alabama Gulf coast to help boost tourism and the economy. Pity we missed the concert, though!


The boys played rather well together.

It was great that Adeel managed to switch his call around so that we all got to go together. Mobeen and Mohsin are both serious water babies. And they love the sand too!



Look at that cute chubby face:


But this one has to be my absolute favorite of the day! How can you not love this adorable little guy?


This is Zakir's way to enjoy the beach:


It was great to see that Bilal was much more adventurous than usual.






This last photo of Bilal makes me think we need to try and get more meat on those bones. I can almost count his ribs!

When we were headed back to the care we got to see this little guy scuttling around:



THE END

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just look at that face!


Evidently Bilal's been busy 'helping' Mama make cake for Hamza's birthday dessert, because that happens to be cake batter on that cute little face!

And here's a cleaner, but just as cute looking Bilal. There's that cheeky grin again!


So what's going on this weekend? We are going down to Mobile for a short visit with the nephews, yay! We are also going to try and squeeze one day in at the beach, since we didn't really get a chance to go this year. If we wait any longer it will get too cool to enjoy. We are already experiencing chilly mornings although it does warm up to near 80 degrees most afternoons. We plan to head out today as soon as Hamza comes home from school. Gotta get packing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A grueling weekend for Safa.....

...... but a productive one. Safa left to go to school on Friday morning at 7:00am as usual, but didn't come home until late at night. After school on Friday afternoon she carpooled with another parent to Samford University for day #1 of the High School debate tournament. She's quite familiar with Samford, this is the place where her middle school debates were hosted when she was in 6th and 7th grade. She competed in 3 rounds, and you can imagine there was a lot of waiting around between rounds. Anyhow, by the time she made it through our front door it was 11:30pm. Zakir grumbled the whole evening she was gone, muttering under his breath about how there should be a law against teenagers staying out this late even if it's for a school or extra curricular activity. I guess I guess the proverbial 'cutting the cord' isn't just for moms!

On Saturday morning she was out the door again by 7:00am for day #2 at Samford. Another day of competition, and a lot of waiting around again. I brought her home at 5pm when she found out she hadn't qualified for the semi final round. She spent the rest of the weekend trying to catch up on school work and squeezing a little bit of rest in between everything else.

Yesterday was her first debate meeting since the tournament and she came home wearing this:

It turns out that my baby girl placed fourth in the L-D novice tournament based on speaker points! So even though she only won 2 out of the six rounds she competed in, she is still a champ!



I'm so proud of her!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hamza is twelve!

What a cool date for Hamza's twelfth birthday, 10/10/10! Doesn't he look more like a young man than a kid?


Instead of a birthday cake he asked me to make him this for his birthday:

It's my version of 'death by chocolate'. Basically layers of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, cool whip and white chocolate pudding. Yum! And for lunch I made one of his favorite meals, oven baked chicken wings. With sauteed asparagus on the side. OK, I admit, he isn't really keen on asparagus, but then it's hard to do veggies that he actually enjoys! He's more of a meat and starch kind of guy. I have to give him credit for at least eating a few bites of asparagus. Bilal, Zakir and I wolfed don most of the rest.

In the evening he wanted to go out for a sit-down meal, but we felt pretty full after all that chicken and dessert so just ended up taking the kids to Sonic instead. He doesn't look too disappointed, does he?


Happy Birthday, Hamza!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bilal's quilt block

A couple of years ago I submitted a request to have a quilt block made for Bilal, as part of the Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Quilt Project. I didn't hear from them in a while, and actually just pushed it out of my mind. Then today I received an email with this image:

These were all Bilal's favorite things when I requested the block be made, and they pretty much still are! He loves his bears, still enjoys construction trucks and of course, ice cream has to be his favorite food. A perfect block for him. Now I can't wait to see it in the completed quilt.

This is such a great personalized way to raise awareness of congenital heart defects; there are about one and a half thousand heart warriors and angel heart babies represented already. Check out the website to get an idea of the scope of this project.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Emotions

I don't post about my feelings very much, that's not been the purpose of this blog. Rather it has been a place to share what's going on in the crazy Khan household with my friends and family. I guess when it comes to feelings I'm a bit more private than that.

Over the past few weeks I've been in a bit of a slump, searching for my 'happy place' but not really being able to find it. Not sleeping well, and stressing over the little nuisances in my life, that cumulatively have been taking on a lot more significance. I actually started typing a blog post about it, and thought that I'd post it whenever I finally got the courage to share my inner feelings. I don't really want a pity party, but I thought a few encouraging comments from friends may make me feel better about myself. Let's say my self-esteem's been pretty badly bruised lately.

Then this week tragedy after tragedy hit the close knit heart community. All of a sudden my troubles have become much less significant. I have heard of so many children passing, directly or indirectly due to their congenital heart defects. It just doesn't seem fair. In the facebook heart community I am a part of I have heard of at least nine children who lost their battle, although I did not know much about these children or their families until recently. One of the most recent is precious Joshua. He was born with HLHS and fought a strong battle for about two months. Sadly his little life was hit by medical challenge after medical challenge, and he died in his mother's arms this morning. I have already written about Ewan in my previous post. And there are many more whom I have learned about from the facebook community. These children may be just names to you or me, but to a grieving parent, and grieving family, they were the world. It just doesn't seem fair to lose so many, so young. But it is not up to me to question God's will.

This afternoon I smiled while I watched my four year old heart baby slide down a pole, climb up a ladder, and slide down that pole again, many, many times. I felt blessed to see the energy he has, combined with that element of fearlessness that only children of that age can have. He is so innocent and naive; he could never image the pain we experienced when we handed him over to his surgeon, who repaired the broken heart he was born with. He was too young to have memories of that day. All he has to show for it is the scar etched on his chest.

Then I came indoors and cried until I felt there were no more tears I could shed. My heart aches tonight.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gone too soon

Another child lost to this cruel world of congenital heart defects. It just doesn't seem fair. I only recently heard about and started following the story of Baby Ewan.

ewan :: sept 22 :: sooc

He had a more severe form of the same defect Bilal has, tetralogy of fallot, but also with pulmonary atresia. He developed a bacterial infection, and his fragile heart and body couldn't handle the stress. Last night he left this earth to be in heaven.

It's so sad, my heart aches for this baby I never even new, and for his parents who will no longer be able to hold Ewan in their arms.

And there are some many more precious children fighting a tough and heroic battle against CHD as we speak, and others who recently fought long and hard till they couldn't fight any longer. It's so sad, my heart aches with each story I hear. Hug your babies extra tight tonight, and don't take anything for granted.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Girls' Night

Monday night I met a few friends at a Thai restaurant, Surin, for dinner. We don't do this very often, so it was nice to be out with just a few friends, leaving the hubbies behind to look after the kids.



This is the only photograph of all of us together. It would have been nicer if Buddha's hand didn't happen to be sticking out of my head. Hmm.




The food was great, and we had a good time catching up. We parted with the promise that we will do this again another time soon. But honestly, who knows when we'll get together like this again? Weeks? Months? Maybe more??!!

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