Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Student Driver

Here he is, in the passenger seat, before his road test.

And now, a fully licensed driver.

After 1 year of owning a permit and taking lessons from his parents, he is free to drive independently. That's two Khan kids on the road now, and twice as much worry for Mama, of course. I'm rather glad that it will be quite a few years until Khan kiddo number three is ready to get his license. I don't think I could take the stress again so soon!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Quite an eventful day.

The day started off with a trip to visit Bilal's cardiologist. The last time he had a follow up was almost 2 and a half years ago, so this one was due for sure, but not overdue.

First came the EKG, and then pulse oximetry.

And then it was time to meet Dr. C for the exam and echo. Trust me, even though he looks very serious in the photo, he loves Dr. C and enjoys his visits a lot.

Basically everything is the same as it was at the last visit. Cardiac function is great, echo shows no right ventricular enlargement and the valve continues to have mild to moderate leakage. The fact that the right ventricle has not enlarged, means that his heart is tolerating the leaky valve with no problems right now. So essentially, everything is stable and very good. If a valve replacement is needed in the future, his cardiologist is predicting that it might be as far as 3 decades out, and he believes that by then, he may be able to have it replaced by catheterization instead of requiring open heart surgery. All is good! We are cleared for another 2-3 years, yay! Thank Allah, we feel so blessed!

And in other news, Bilal tested tonight at the Dojo, and was awarded his first degree back belt! Just one photo to share now, and more on the test later.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Things that fly

So far this summer has been pretty good for Hamza. He hasn't had as much opportunity to sleep the days away, although he still has had his fair share of sleeping!

This week he participated in a four day camp at UAB, working with a group of high school and college students, building a drone. He loves to build things and is constantly taking apart and rebuilding his computer, so this was right up his alley.

And after the drone was built, the students had the opportunity to fly it outdoors.

Pretty impressive, huh? And among the teams that competed after the construction was complete, Hamza's team was awarded this prize:

First prize, as fastest drone!

He plans to maintain contact with his mentor who facilitated this opportunity, in the hopes that it will help him plan out his senior research project, a requirement for him to graduate from ASFA. Yep, he's headed into his senior year. Sometimes it seems hard to believe!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


.... to the newest member of the Khan family zoo:

This is Safa's chinchilla, Lola Cherry Cola, Lola for short. She joined the household as a mere 9 week old fledgling, and has developed quite a presence in our home. The cats are curious, but keep their distance. That's good, since she is a rodent. She would make a rather expensive cat treat! Atlas has been introduced to her too, but his response was more 'meh', I don't think he believes she is worthy of any attention. But Safa and her dad are smitten by this little ball of fur. To be honest, I have been the least eager to add another animal to what already feels like a zoo. But it's hard not to like her, she's so soft and cute (though not the most cuddly critter). When she comes out of her home, you'll see her riding their shoulders around the house, I guess it's the best vantage point, where she can see everything going on.

When Safa returns to college full time in the fall, Lola will go with her. But for now her home is a large cage, occupying Safa's desk in her bedroom.

You can tell that she's really loved!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

We tried

We seriously tried. Today was supposed to be the day that Hamza finally got his driver's license. He has had his permit for a little over a year, and I have become comfortable riding in the car as a passenger while he drives. Those were the conditions of him taking his road test. There haven't been any sharp exhalations on my part over the past several times he has driven. He. Is. Ready. We headed to Blount County bright and early, so that we would be in line to sign up for the test. We got to the courthouse at least fifteen minutes early, bustled into the dungeons which are the Department of Public Safety, with several other eager people, and stood in line to sign the clipboard. The one that determines your place in line. But by the time it was Hamza's turn to sign up, all the morning appointments had been taken. Since I already had commitments for the afternoon, we had to leave.

The efforts didn't end there. Next stop, Ashville, at the St. Clair County Department of Public Safety. The fact that it took us multiple efforts to find the DMV (after driving past it 3 times) was bad enough. We struggled to find parking, and entered the building, only to find that the only officer on duty was administering a road test, so not actually in the office. But, we waited, along with several other people. When she returned, she also offered us a clipboard to sign our names, with the disclaimer that the remaining slots were for after lunch. So we had to leave from there too, and went back home, heads hung low. Hamza was very disappointed, but it just wasn't meant to happen today.

On the positive side, we did discover that there is one location in our area, where you can actually make an appointment for a road test ahead of time. So we logged on to the website, and reserved the first available appointment. It's two weeks out, but at least he is on the books. Hopefully, if he actually passes the road test, June 16th will be the day that Hamza becomes an independent driver. And my stress level will go waaaayy up!

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