Saturday, July 23, 2016

When plans change....

.... we make it fun!

Bilal was looking forward to having a pre-birthday sleepover with his cousins. For certain unavoidable reasons, it didn't materialize. He was obviously very disappointed; he'd been waiting for them all day and was so excited! So what did we do? Mama and baby decided to have a sleepover instead. And Baba was generous enough to give up his space in our bed and sleep in Bilal's room instead.

We started off with an intense game of Phase 10, between Safa, Bilal, and myself.

We didn't get through the entire game; ten phases take far too look when it's already a couple of hours past bedtime, but as has been happening quite often recently, I was decimated by the two genius players.

After the game, Bilal and I settled down for some snuggles, (and selfies), before calling it a night.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, I awoke to Bilal sleeping with his head firmly planted on my belly. Not very comfortable, but sort of cute, until I finally had to roll away to find a more comfortable position.

This morning though, this view really warmed my heart:

My little guy lying next to me, snuggled up with blankie and his favorite elephant, Fuzzy. Hard to believe that he will be turning 10 in just one more day!

We had a fun night, and made some great memories in the process!

Friday, July 8, 2016

There is still hope

I love my daughter's style of writing. Although she doesn't often publicly share what she writes, some of her pieces will really strike a chord. This is one such piece, about growing up Muslim in America. It's simple and brief, but heartfelt, and certainly worth a read.

There is too much hate in the world, there is too much prejudice and discrimination, based on religion, gender and sexual orientation, and skin color. We all know someone personally, who has experienced profiling, and often times it is us who are the ones being profiled.

It is, however the younger generation that gives us much hope. I hope and pray that their voices are never silenced. Because honestly, without hope for the future, what do we have?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Eid al Fitr 2016

We celebrated the end of Ramadan with a large gathering at the Civic Center, where Eid prayers were performed. Ramadan was a good month, full of prayers and blessings. Safa and Hamza have been completing their fasts with us for years, but this year, Bilal was also able to complete 2 full fasts, along with several half fasts, where he'd get up early morning with us for breakfast, but eat a few hours before sunset, instead of fasting until sunset. He started doing that sporadically last year, in preparation for when he is required to fast. He was 9 this year, so fasting is still not obligatory for him.

After prayers, we came home, and the boys spent a few hours assembling the Lego models, which were part of Bilal's Eid gifts.

It looks like Hamza was doing most of the building!

In the evening we met with a group of friends for dinner, at a local Indian restaurant. For the last few years, Ramadan and Eid have been falling over the kids' summer break, which is based on the lunar calendar. Makes for long days of fasting, but little more of any other activities required. Next year, they will fall 10 days earlier, and so on, since the average lunar year is 354 days, instead of 365.

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