Friday, November 30, 2012

Screening for congenital heart defects

In some cases a simple, inexpensive, painless and non-invasive test called a pulse oximetry can detect a potentially fatal congenital heart defect in a newborn. Head over to the Baby Heart Screening website to learn more.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fall fun

Our yard, with it's thick trees, is coated with leaves these days, with more to still fall. Not sure if it's even worth raking them yet. But it sure is fun to be out there!

Hamza thought it was great fun to flip Atlas over into the leaves, and Atlas put up with it, as long as he could.

He doesn't look as patient in this pic:

And Bilal was thrilled with the feather he found.

The pup does love a good ear rub!

Snuggles. He's the warmest, squishiest pillow!


Atlas really doesn't like that, he never puts up with it for more than a few seconds.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Whose feet?

And whose hand?

Just a few chairs and an old quilt can keep this little guy entertained for quite a while.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The nephews

After what seemed to me like a very long week in Orlando, the babies are back!

So excited to see our nephews back in town again!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Salon treatment

Atlas got a thorough blow out this morning. Didn't seem to mind it at all!

There was dust and fur flying everywhere!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hello, my name is....

.... Disoriented and Befuddled.

I don't know how to otherwise describe myself otherwise. Granted there is a lot going on, and sometimes that makes it hard to keep track of things, but come on, Mina! This morning I went to Walmart (yep, the dreaded Walmart) for some last minute groceries before Thanksgiving. I texted Zakir to ask him if he needed something while I was there, and then promptly forgot to buy what he asked for. Left my re-usable bags in the car too! Then I went to the bank to deposit a couple of checks through the drive-through ATM. That's when I realized that I didn't have my debit/ATM card. What????? So I parked and walked in to deposit the checks with the teller in person. I don't mind walking into the bank; the people are very friendly and efficient, but I love the fact that you can make deposits without a deposit slip in the ATM. Speaking of deposit slips, the teller handed me a couple to fill out, and I totally botched them, so that the machine wouldn't read them and she had to enter everything manually. She also suggested that I talk to the banker and they could issue me a new ATM card right away, and cancel my old one in the process. Good idea, if you don't know where your card is! So while I am standing there I start rummaging through my bag (seen Hermione's bag in Harry Potter? It's just like it. I can pull anything out of it. The difference is, what I get out never seems to be what I need at that point in time!). And lo and behold, from the absolutely least likely zippered compartment (I never store cards in it), I pull out my ATM card! So I give an embarrassed laugh, say, "Oh, never mind, here it is", and walk away as soon as the transaction is complete. The poor teller was so patient with me!

Two trips to the vet's today, to pick and drop Tiny and Atlas. Tiny finally is well enough to get her shots, and Atlas was developing another infection on his skin. When a lunch date with a friend fell through I called the hairdresser to see if they could work me in for a haircut. Turns out she's had some cardiac procedure and won't be back next week. Of course, she's packed next week, so it will be the following week before I can have that done.

And I had every intention of going in for my annual physical this morning, until I realized it's not until next Tuesday, a week from today! Thank goodness I bothered to look in my little diary before I decided to battle the traffic on Hwy 280!

And with the four trips out of the house I have made since 7am this morning, I have forgotten to return books at the library, every single time! So I'm just going to have to make a special trip for that. Videos and a few books are due today and I have no intention of running up fines..... again!

Monday, November 19, 2012

How is First Grade going?

Great! This year, again, Bilal has an excellent teacher who is motivating him to learn. His reading has taken off; he is comfortably reading second grade level books, and we actually checked out some third grade level books from the library to read together.

In September Bilal was 'Favorite Fish' and had an opportunity to share all sorts of things with the class.

And this past week he was nominated 'Good Citizen' of the week. It's nice, these are little honors that rotate around the class, so every child has an opportunity, but it still feels so special. He came home with a certificate, a ribbon, and brought home another class pet, Ruffles the husky pup. Ruffles went back today after spending the weekend with us.

Last week Bilal's trimester report card also came home. He is meeting all the benchmarks required of him, one third of the way into the school year. And the teacher's personal comment at the bottom of the report card said,

'Bilal is progressing very nicely in first grade. He loves to learn and is a leader in our classroom. Continue all the great reading at home. I am very proud of him.'

And we are very proud of him too!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All County Choir

I took Safa this evening to Boutwell Auditorium for the Jefferson County All County choir performance. The boys stayed at home (actually, at the hotel), which was good, since by the time we got back it was nearly 10pm. From where I was seated in the huge auditorium it was impossible to take photos of the choir, but I did take one of the girls after their performance.

Yes, they both were actually carrying around their anatomy books, to study while waiting for the concert to start!

And as soon as we got back to the hotel, I came down into the lobby to browse the web a bit; didn't want to disturb the sleeping boys. And Safa came down for the start of her all-nighter. Math homework, and studying for her anatomy test. That child really knows how to procrastinate!

Unlike Hamza, who is actually a lot more prompt finishing his homework. He had some Math due this evening, an assignment that had to be completed online. He wasn't sure how good the web access would be at the hotel, so he finished it off yesterday (an hour or two of work for two days), and turned it in today while he was at school. Tomorrow morning he will be in school for just about an hour. Then he'll be boarding a chartered bus and headed to Tallahassee, FL for a math tournament. We won't be seeing him back until Saturday night. And last Friday night he was at school for a lock-in, followed by a whole day of sleeping at home. So two weekends in a row of not seeing him. Not something I like.

And earlier today, I took Bilal for his regular dental cleaning.

No cavities!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My pretty lady

Tomorrow evening is Safa's All County choir performance in Birmingham. She spent much of the school day in rehearsal, so has plenty of regular school work to make up. She's been working on it all evening. She tried on her dress this evening, to see if we need to take it up some. It is definitely long on my petite 5'2.5" daughter, but tall platform heels took care of (most of) the problem.

Ready to perform!

And tomorrow night we are also back in the hotel for another night. The floor guys didn't do such a great job last week, and they are having to come back and re-buff the floors, then apply another coat of varnish. Hopefully the results will be better this time. Bit of a bummer, after all the mess one time already!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

French Convention

I took the day off last Monday to drive down to Tuscaloosa for the French Convention. Several local schools participate and express their talent and knowledge of the language with skits, songs, poster presentations, monologs and a variety of other things. Safa has been one of the students responsible for organizing the students for Choral. Although she still insists she was not the most qualified person for the job. Maybe she was chosen because her teacher is aware of how bossy she can be!

Here are some of the students practicing their song (and dance) the morning before the performance.

And after they were dressed up (yes, they even dressed up to perform!)

And then during their very energetic performance. Sadly I couldn't figure out how to get the camera to take video, so I couldn't tape it. But trust me, they were extremely energetic!

JCIB swept the competition, with many 'very good', 'excellent', and 'superior' awards. Their dance performance also got an award for 'most original'. And the kids had a blast performing. It made the very tiring day well worth it. Proud of them!

And now for a rare pic of me and Safa:

Looks like I was having a bad hair day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


But thankfully for just one day. We are having the hardwood floor in our dining room and foyer re-finished so we are not supposed to enter the house until twenty four hours after the final coat has been laid down. Unfortunately we only we informed of that after the repair had started. Quite inconvenient for the contractor not to tell us before the job was started, otherwise we would have planned it around a vacation!

Anyway, we booked a couple of rooms at a local hotel and will spend the night here. We will be allowed to re-enter the home by about 11 tomorrow morning. Since the kids are going to be at school anyway, it shouldn't be too bad. Sammy will have to spend the night in the garage, and Tiny will remain at our vet's, where I dropped her off yesterday morning. She still has that nasty upper respiratory infection. Yesterday she got a steroid shot and some different oral antibiotics, and today I was informed that she is eating like a champ. Thank goodness, since she hadn't eaten anything since Friday. It will be good to have her home tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A first!

As I have shared on this blog, after living in the United States for seventeen years I finally became a citizen less than three months ago. And one of the first things I did after being granted citizenship, was to register to vote.

And today, for the first time, I exercised my civic right, and duty, to vote in a presidential election.

Zakir went to our local polling station in the morning (it's a first for him too!) and ended up spending almost an hour there. So I dreaded going in the afternoon, anticipating long lines. But if you don't vote you can't complain, right? I went around 4pm to the polling station that is barely three blocks from our house. And surprise, surprise, I was in and out in less than twenty minutes! And back at home with plenty of time to cook supper. So my first experience definitely was a good one. Now we are all glued to the TV, waiting to see what the results will bring us for tomorrow.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Poor Kitty!

Tiny has been sneezing and coughing for the past several days. Chalking it down to a little cold, we didn't worry too much, especially since she has been eating and drinking fine, until yesterday. Yesterday she spent the entire day either curled up on a sweater in Zakir's closet, or on a pillow in our room. She didn't get up to eat, drink, or even go outside. And she has been sneezing up a terrible storm, almost sounding as loud as a human. She is scheduled to see her regular vet this coming Friday for shots, but we didn't think we should wait until Friday before having her checked out. And with a busy week coming up, taking her to the vet earlier in the week would have been very hard. So we decided to take her to the emergency animal clinic today.

I drove Tiny down in her little cat carrier, that hardly ever gets used. She wasn't thrilled to go into the carrier, it took more than a little bit of coaxing. And after we got taken to a room at the clinic, she kept trying to crawl back into it, not wanting to have anything to do with the vet tech or doctor.

After a long wait she finally got to see the vet. And the diagnosis he made was an upper respiratory infection. So basically, she has a nasty cold. I think that her poor little nose is so congested that she just can't smell to eat her food. She got an antibiotic shot and some subcutaneous fluids. Then I brought her home, with two cans of stinky, high calorie wet cat food that the vet recommended we give her. And stinky is an understatement. But she actually did take a couple of licks of it, which is more than she's done in two days. I'm hoping that the antibiotic kicks in, and that she perks up soon. It is terrible to see your pet sick and not be able to do anything about it. At least you can blow (or suction) a child's nose when it is so stuffy!

Poor Tiny!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What happens...

.... when you eat too much Halloween candy?

You get green teeth!

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