Overheard on Mothers Day

I hear little feel patterning and soft little squeaky voices whispering. My bedroom door opens and then closes. I glance at the clock, it’s 6:30 AM. Yaaaaaaawn. not getting up.

Same happens at 6:45, 7:15, 7:30.

I hear little feet going down the stairs. Lots of clangy noises from the kitchen. I hear feet coming up the stairs.

Little 7aki while going up the stairs: Buddhaaaaaa, you’re spilling the juuuuuuice!

Little Buddha: But you filled the cup too muuuuuuuuuch.

Little 7aki: Buddhaaaaaa, stop spilling the juice!

Little Buddha: But, but, you’re walking too faaaaast. Slow dowwwwwwwwwn.

I hear my door opening. I see Little 7aki carrying a tray and little Buddha carrying a cup of juice.

Little 7aki and little Buddha: Happy motheeeers daaaaay.

7aki: Awwwwww, you girls made me breakfast in Bed??? You girls are soooo sweet!

Little 7aki: Yes, we made you a turkey sandwich with cheese and butter, Buddha helped me! We put lots of butter because it tastes good.

Little Buddha beaming: And I carried the juice for you!

7aki: I love you girls sooooooo much.

I turn to whisper to Baba 7aki: Do I have to eat a turkey sandwich this early???? Hehehe.

As I take two sips from my juice little Buddha says: Can I have a taste of your juice? (gulp gulp gulp… she drank it all)

As I take a bite out of my sandwich, little 7aki and Buddha say: Can we have a taste of your sandwich? (NOM NOM NOM… they ate it all)

I ended up with no sandwich… no juice … and breadcrumbs all over my bed. HAHAHAHAHA , soooo funny!

But I did end up with the fullest heart! It was the most thoughtful thing an eight and three year old can ever do.

I love my girls.

 

 

What Your Child Should Be Reading: Part 3

It’s been a while since I posted one of these so I think it’s a good time to do that.

My first recommendation today which is good for 3 – 8 year olds is:

1) The Little Miss and The Mr. Men pocket books

These book are a delight, they are enjoyed by both little 7aki who is 7 and little Buddha who is 2.5.

It all started when little 7aki received two of these books as a present;  Little Miss Sunshine who can’t stop being happy and Little Miss Whoops who goes to visit her brother Mr. Bump and the rest was history. Now whenever I get a chance I get 2 or 3 of them at the used book store.

They are cute short reads and they talk about how people are different. You can for sure find one that best describes your kids.

Mine are:

Little Miss Stuborn would be my beoved buddha. Seriuosly stubborn.

… and Little Miss Brave/Naughty would be little 7aki. There is no Little Miss Brave! Not cool.

My second recommendation that is good for 3 – 7 year olds is:

2) The Pout-Pout Fish.

This book is really adorable; it’s about this pout-pout fish that would not smile even when all his friends ask him to until … well you have to read it to find out what turns his frown upside down.

He goes around spreading his dreary-wearies all over the place. Little 7aki loves to read this part.

And he goes blubing all over imaginable surfaces. This is little buddhas favorite; she traces the bluuuuub with her finger while she says it.

Good book, very clever rhyming, my kids love it.

And that’s it for today. Hopefully I won’t take this long for my next kids review.

_______________________________________________________________

For more of my kids reviews:

Part 1

Part 2

And for more other books go here

 

Little 7aki: A Philosophical Question

There are under water statues in cancoon! Google it, so amazing.

I took the girls swimming this weekend. Little 7aki was drying herself after we got out of the water.

Little 7aki: Mama?

7aki: Yes.

Little 7aki: Are we wet when we are underwater?

7aki: haaaaa?

Little 7aki: I mean, when we come out of the water we are wet; but are we wet under water? I don’t think we are wet underwater.

7aki: Hmmmmm.

Little 7aki: Yeah, we are not wet because we are (while motioning all around her body with her hands)  surrounded by water but are not wet. But when you get out of the water you get wet!

7aki: Ah.. um … hmmmmm, that’s really interesting!

________________________________________

If a tree falls and no one hears it; did the tree really fall?

I am amazed that little 7aki was even thinking of this question and I had no clue what the answer was! So I went to my best friend google and  googled  it  and  you  would not believe how many ADULT people are asking this question.

The funniest answers I read:

holy shizzzcake i never thought of it that way.
dudeee!!
your like a genius O_o

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That one really made me laugh out loud!

Yes you are wet…*bangs head on wall*…what drugs are you on? Can I have some?

Can I have some too?

WTF? are you stupid or something?

But IS the poster stupid?

Philosophically I would say , depends, the answer could be a yes or a no I quote one of the answers:

Wetness is only felt when there is an outer state of dryness to distinguish the presence of liquid on oneself.

You can’t distinguish dryness from wetness underwater not because the state of wetness does not exist but because the state of dryness does not exist. Take an analogy of the state of dreaming, when you are in a deep dream you sometimes can’t distinguish it from reality. That does not mean you are not dreaming. Similarly just because when you are underwater and the sensation is not the same when you get out of the water does not mean you were not wet underwater.

But scientifically I have no clue!

What do YOU think?

 

Holy Cow 10 years

Tomorrow marks baba 7akis and my 10 year wedding anniversary.

Holy Cow man … 10 years!!!! I can’t believe it.

He’s so cute. About 2 weeks ago he comes in our room and asks me, out of the blue : where is that promise bracelet I bought you when we first started dating?

7aki: It’s in the Jewelry box.

Baba 7aki: Can I see it?

Now I am starting to feel suspicious, because I have had it for 12 years and he never asked me to see it.

7aki (I dig it out of the jewelry box): alright, here it is.

Baba 7aki: Cool, what else do you have in there (he starts rummaging through my jewelry box)

Ok at that point I thought, the jig is up. He is going to buy me diamonds or something for our 10th year wedding anniversary.

Baba 7aki is soooooooo funny, he can never surprise me because he is soooo obvious, HAHAHAHA. Like seriously?! show me the promise bracelet, like DUH. LOL.

So after 10 minutes I send little 7aki down to ask him , so what are you going to buy mama for your 10th wedding anniversary?And I told her, don’t tell your dad I sent you. After she asks him he asked her if I sent her and she said yes! WTH man!!! I just told her not to tell him, hehehehe. I should not send a 6 year old to lie for me cos SHE SUCKS AT LYING. So he sent her back to tell me to mind my own business.

So I told baba 7aki: I do not want a thousand or more dollar gift that is diamonds, I just want an IPad, maybe a watch.

Baba 7aki: But an IPad is not romantic! It’s like a birthday gift, not a 10 year anniversary gift!

7aki: But what am I going to do with jewelery? Tab get me an expensive watch instead of diamonds.

Baba 7aki: NO. I want to show off OK.

7aki: LOL. AHAAAA, GOT IT. It’s not about me, it’s about you showing off. TOO FUNNY.

Baba 7aki: Mind your own buinsess.

7aki: tab what should I get you? You are impossible to buy for.

Baba 7aki: I want nothing

7aki: I have a great idea! You Can buy me the diamonds and I will buy you an IPad!!!!!!

Baba 7aki: HAHAHAHAHA. You are such a loser.

So I have been nagging him for the past 2 weeks to get me the IPad and to put a diamond screen saver on it. heh

How messed up is that? I think this would be the first time in the history of history that a wife tells her husband I do not want the diamonds and he insists on getting them. Crazy stuff man.

So tune in tomorrow to find out what I will get.

 

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

The non fiction book “What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell is a fun book to read.

The book contains 19 essays that Malcolm wrote in the New Yorker spanning over 8 years I think which makes it an easy read for people with a short attention span or people who don’t have hte time to read, you read an essay, put the book aside until you are ready to read another essay.

The book is split into three parts titled:

- Minor Geniuses:
This part talks about people who are not revered in the media for their achievements but non the less are amazing at what they do. One of the examples of these people is Ron Popiel, a household name here in North America, for those who don’t know the name does the phrase ” Set it and forget it” ring a bell?

Another essay that I found VERY interesting talks about the birth of the birth control pill, honestly this essay was sooooo interesting that getting your hands on the book just to read that is worth it.

- Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses:
This part is so fascinating. One of the essays talked about the fall of Enron, I think people will still talk about Enron 100 years from now, and what caused them to fail.

Another essay talked about true geniuses with an IQ higher than 150. their was a study done on these geniuses to track them through life expecting them to be the cream of the crop once they are older just to be shocked at the end that no, being a genius does not mean you will be successful. Pretty cool!

Another essay in this part I liked is the one discussing the failure of the challenger mission. It basically concludes that it’s not one big huge problem that causes things to fail it’s actually a chain of very ordinary small problems that create a huge failure, very interesting!

- Personality, Character, and Intelligence:
One of the essays talks about late bloomers, mostly artists and writers, and how some write/paint brilliant work and then fizz out as opposed to those who reach their 40s painting and writing full-time all through their lives with no tangible success and then BOOM become an overnight household name.

For a full list of the essays click here

This book opened my mind a bit and I felt I learned something from it and applied it to my day-to-day life.

Go to your public library today :) .

For more reviews click here

Respect for Women

The first time I tasted total and complete independence I found it liberating.

This happened during my University years, in one of the summer terms to be specific. I had gotten a job that required me to stay away from home for a month. It was the first time I have ever lived , worked and was on my own and it was the most liberating experience I have ever had.

I was away from home, working, making my own decisions albeit it was temporary but it gave me the drive to succeed in my studies, get a job and become my own boss (in terms of money) You make your own money and you spend it however you see fit.

I was lucky to have had a supporting family , and I so do hate using the word lucky because such things are a right not a privilege, but I do say lucky because I do realize how so many other women in Jordan in particular and in the Middle East in general do not have the opportunity to experience independence.

I am not saying only teenage girls but fully grown women even in their 30’s or 40’s who still have some difficulties being the decider in their lives. It’s funny, in a sad way, that even women who were old enough to get married and raise a family and after losing their husbands either ot death or divorce are not allowed to live on their own, yes you can raise kids and shape their lives but you can’t live on you own and decide what to do with your life.

And I sit there and contemplate ways to change the status quo and with all my heart I think our hope for change lies in the future.

Lets raise kids who will grow up to respect women.

It’s a chain and it starts with us women, raise your girls and boys with that goal in mind, raise your boys to respect women and raise your girls to value themselves and their strength who in turn will carry these values on to their kids.

Respect that will lead to many other positive changes.

I know I am a bit late posting for international womens day but I couldn’t let it pass without mention.

Not a Happy Ending in Sight: A Fine Balance

I have never in my life read a book so full of despair, every time you think there is hope and your spirits lift you turn the page and you get  crushed by the reality of life.

And yet I could not stop reading “A Fine Balance “ or stop turning the pages so fast.

The book tells the story of four different people who struggle through life in India during the 1947  Emergency called by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Dina Dalal, Ishvar Darji, his nephew Omprakash and Maneck .

Dina comes from a well to do family, her struggle is for independence so she does not have to rely on her brother to live

Ishvar and Omprakash struggle , and I have to say the most, to overcome their Chamar Caste and the status of being untouchables . Their story is heart breaking and haunting and just plain WRONG, makes me angry to think some people have to go through what they went through.

And Maneck who never had to go through a hard day in his life struggles with his  identity, his relationship with his father and the feeling that he can’t measure  up to his father’s expectations.

Each of these characters have a different struggle and I often wanted to smack some sense in Dina , Maneck and Ishvar because I felt some of the struggles they went through could have been avoided and  are unnecessary but none the less felt for them and wanted them to succeed .

Not a lot of books leave me thinking beyond a week after reading and this book did. The characters came to life and I felt their pain beyond the pages and I felt they were real people and I wanted them to be happy . It’s been 3 weeks since I read it and the story still haunts me.

This book is cruel and depressing and AMAZING,  a life-changing read, and one that I would be truly sorry to see anyone miss out on.

You have to, HAVE TO, read this book, all 624 pages of it.

Currently reading: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Read more of my reviews here.

My Favorite Blogs of 2009

I was supposed to do my 2009 favorites in 2009 but what can I say, I can never conform to any deadlines or rules, rules and deadlines are for sissy’s.

So  I am going to do it starting today. And by starting today there could be more on the way, or not.

Today I will tell you about my favorite blogs of 2009:

1) Driven by Curiosity by Madas.  (http://madas.jordanplanet.org/)

Love her subjects. Love her style. Love her writing.

And to top things off she has multi-talents.

Here are some of my picks:

An experience of a girl on the streets of Amman

Inheritance uncles and daughters

Why knowledge of HIV prevention is not about to spread any time soon

Why don’t men break the umbilical cords that attach them to their mothers?

2) Southern Muslimah. (http://southernmuslimah.blogspot.com/)

Once I got hooked on her blog in 2009 she decided to “Exit the stage“. Bummer but I wish her all the best.

I find her style very relate-able and calming, I enjoyed reading her posts.

My picks:

My mind as five star five subject (My answer is yes you can and please do :) )

A poem on Saturday

Gone to the dogs

Pass the fox you angry raisin (Still makes me laugh, hahahaha)

3) Waiter Rant (http://waiterrant.net/)

Waiter turned blogger turned published author. He has amazing talent when it comes to writing.

I was reading him before he published his first book he was an anonymous blogger who basically ranted about being ,well , a waiter. Pretty interesting and funny stuff. But once he got published and was on Oprah his writing transformed and became much much more. I really enjoy his writing.

My picks:

The Eyes Have It

Balance

The Last Face

Chivalry

4) Violence Unsilenced (http://violenceunsilenced.com/).

This blog is heavy duty. About twice a week a woman shares her story of abuse whether physical, sexual or verbal.

These are the stories of the survivors. I really hope women in similar situations read it and get inspired to do something.

5) 7iber.  (http://www.7iber.com/)

I love me some citizenship media.

This year 7iber really took off and blossomed. The variety of the subjects , the quality of  stories are pretty remarkable.

My picks:
Abused, Discriminated Against and Labeled as the Enemy

A Legal Framework Against Sexual Violence

Discriminating Law; Legalizing Injustice

مقالة مصورة: داخل مركز إصلاح وتأهيل الموقر

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Updated: Here are some honorable mentions:

. The Mom Slant. (http://www.themomslant.com/). Very well thought out articles (posts) I really enjoy her analysis.

. Girl Gone Child. (http://www.girlsgonechild.net/) Such poetic writing. She makes motherhood magical.

. Momversations . (http://www.momversation.com/) . Here you have a bunch of moms who bring up a subject and talk about it  on camera.  I really enjoy the different points of view and subjects.

What were your favorite blogs of 2009?

Fabrications

What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves – our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies. Now that I’ve been one myself, I know.

Margarete Atwood

The Blind Assassin

I don’t know why but as soon as I read this in “The Blind Assassin” it struck such a cord.

It is true. When a woman becomes a mother she stops being just a woman, a human, an individual, she becomes a mother, a super hero , the whole family and everything is directly connected to her, affected by her and dependent on her. The success of the husband, the kids the marriage attributed to her along with the blame for any of their failures.

All hung on her like ornaments hung on a Christmas tree. Like a Christmas tree it starts out beautiful and green and will eventually dry and become brittle.  It will still hold the ornaments but it will become tired and old.  Weighed down by those sparkly ornaments.

It made me think of my mother and all the things that happened to us and her in our life, all the things that went right or wrong. The resentment and the gratefulness I feel towards her all at the same time. Made me realize how selfish we can be and how much we hang on our mothers. Sometimes the weight is too heavy but we never hear them complain.

I love you mom.

Go tell your mom that you love her and maybe unload some of that weight she carries for you.

To vaccinate or not To Vaccinate That is the Question – The Swine Flu Edition

h1n1-virus-picture

The H1N1 vaccine is finally ready in Canada and it’s getting shipped out to all clinics and I have to make the decision whether to give it to my Girls or not. So I am beyond confused and here is what I got:

- Our family Doctor said, don’t do it, too risky since it was not tested enough
– Every Doctor on TV says, do it , it’s safe, the benefit outweighs the risks by a million
– Most importantly, Dr Hareega says to do it.
– My coworkers sisters brother in law – who is a doctor – says don’t do it.

My question is, are the doctors basing their recommendations on pure science or are they using their personal judgment? Because it seems every doctor is saying something different. Usually doctors agree but it seems they are split right in the middle.

I decided that I am certainly getting it for myself since I get the regular flu shot every year and this shot is no different. Maybe give it to my 5 year old since last year she took the regular flu shot for the first time. But should I give it to the baby? My Husband says he does not want to take it, so if he gets sick he will get the baby sick.

Everybody I know who got the H1N1 Flu  got really sick, thankfully did not have to be hospitalized but still suffered a lot.

What should I do?

Murder in the Name of Honour

I always admired Rana Husseini’s work but after I read her book “Murder in the Name of Honor” I now admire her even more for her courage, drive and continuous fight for the victims of the – so called – honour crimes. She challenges the status quo even if it threatens her life.

Where the media fails to talk about honour crimes around the world in detail Rana Husseini succeeds.

Rana starts us on her journey of becoming the first and only voice in Jordan, at the time, of the victims of the – so called – honour crimes. She read a short article in the newspaper about a woman killed in the name of honour and decided to go , all by herself, to the girls neighbourhood to learn from her family; Why was she murdered? Who killed her? What happened? I daresay a task most courageous men might be afraid to perform.

She details some of the cases, she talks about her supporters but most importantly does not shy from naming the people, mostly big figures in Jordan,  standing in the way of achieving justice for the victims.

What I found very interesting are her interviews with some of the men who have murdered their daughters, sisters or wives. I was interested in seeing the other side of the story, how did these men decide to commit the crime? How were they pushed to doing it and by whom? After committing the crime, how are these men handling it? How do they live with the fact that they killed a loved one?

Although most of these men were celebrated in their neighbourhoods after they committed the crime, they were mostly ruined men after. No one marries their girls to these men in fear that they will do the same to their wife or children. No one in the society that pushed them to perform this crime stood by them after the fact or cared what happened to them. They were simply shunned.

So called honour crimes do not just simply kill the victim but they also ruin families. The crime leaves the family completely ruined and in shambles.

I can’t do the book justice by this review, I urge you to read it. This book is a great resource and full of useful information about honour crimes in the region.

Click here for more of my book reviews

Blog Action Day – Climate Change

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The Guilt of Bieng a Working Mom

I was watching Queen Rania during her discussion at Yale university and a question she was asked really bothered me.

Females are always asked this question especially women in big leadership roles and who happen to also be mothers. They are always asked:” How do you balance your work and family and how do you do it as a mother?”

Why is this question never asked of men?

It’s really frustrating for women to always be asked this question because it kind of makes them feel that although they are very successful , they have most probably neglected their kids to reach their goals, so how do they balance?

Men are never thought of as neglecting their kids, they are patted on the back and told, wow what a great provider you are , what a great man.

One of the reasons that this bothers me is that most women have no choice. In this expensive day and age most women are working involuntarily, they work to put food on the table. The days of one income households is coming to an end sooner and sooner , it is so expensive and difficult to only live on the mans income alone so most women have no choice BUT to work.

And no choice but to feel guilty for not being good moms.
So I say enough with the guilt. Women feel so much guilt about this issue from everywhere, media , articles, studies, even friends and family and most frustratingly from other women too.

They are made to feel, hey you are a successful leader but you know what, how do you do it, maybe you are not as good of a mother as you are a good leader.
I hope that one day there will be a tipping point, the tipping point that will make people see that it’s not only the woman who has to balance work and family, it’s also the mans duty. I am waiting for the day when kings are also asked, how do you balance work and family.

It’s about time men feel the guilt for a change.

عرمرم Aramram

Aramram is the first Interent TV channel that is brodacst , or hosted, from Amman, Jordan.

I love it.

The clips are great. It’s Done by young people for young people and it covers so many topics that are not covered by the main stream media in general.

Sometimes it’ funny, sometimes it’s inspiring and it’s always creative.

What I love the most about it is that it’s in Arabic which makes it for our Arab youth, makes the message reach everyone not just a certain segment in Jordan and the Arab world.

What a great site and a great job. I hope it continues and does not fade with time.

Keep up the good work guys!

Here’s the link. GO WATCH IT. It’s an order.

(http://www.aramram.com/)

The Difference Between Men and Women in the Middle Eastern (Arab) Blogsphere

It’s very interesting to observe the dynamics of the Middle Eastern blogsphere mainly the differences between the blogging styles of Arab men and women.

Lets talk about women first.

For Arab women to be able to completely express and protect themselves it feels like  they have to blog anonymously since an Arab woman’s morals are judged by every single word that is uttered on her blog.

If a woman talks about going out with the girls (or guys) partying , dating, or even if a woman is married and talks about her marriage openly or what have you is harshly judged and criticized, called slut or immoral. Some people go as far as  jumping on her blog like vultures jump on a dead carcass making it VERY rare that you see a blog written by an Arab female that tackles any of these subjects un-anonymously.

Now if a woman chooses to reveal her identity she sensors herself in fear of the socity and it’s pressures. And you will rarely see arab women sharing their pictures openly.

What contributes to Arab women bloggers censoring themselves is the “community feeling”  in the Arab blogsheper due to the small number of bloggers in the Middle East which becomes even smaller when divided by country . The small number of bloggers makes the intrenet replicate our society.

It is really hard being an Arab woman on-line.

On the other hand Arab men are free to talk about their sexcapades and having a hangover and being so drunk and what happened at this club or that club and suddenly instead of it being a shame it is actually considered funny and they are applauded for their sense of humor and honesty.

One thing though in common between Arab men and women bloggers is political and religious self censorship; fear of the authorities in the first case and the wrath of the religious people in the second case.

So if you are trying to escape your society by blogging and writing you will find it duplicated on the Internet. If you express thoughts that are different or that are not acceptable then you will be shamed, criticized and shunned.

Honestly, thinking about the whole thing  just depresses me.

What are your thoughts on the subject? How do we overcome this problem? When will we truly be able to express ourselves without being bullied or harassed?

Talk to me.

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