Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Flavour of The Day With Noora

A Happy Marriage

Many people I know are getting divorced. Couples who had been dating for years before they got married, men and women who I personally know are very kind, understanding and decedent people, are deciding that divorce is a better option.

Before you get married, you assume that love is the most important thing; love and only love can make things work. However, you soon find out that life, really can get in the way of love.

From my personal experience, I find that kids are the number one thing that can distract a couple from each other. When my son was first born, it took my husband and me months to get our relationship back on track.

Of course, I am not saying that loving or caring for your children is not important, on the contrary, I am obsessed with caring for my son. However, I am just saying that spending a few hours away from your children to work on your marriage is as important.

There is no recipe for a happy marriage and what works for one couple might never work for another. Yet, there are a few things that can get you on the right track. Be understanding, give your partner space to make mistakes, and let your partner be himself just like you want him to let you be yourself.

I read a book on this topic called “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff In Love” by Richard Carlson. I found everything in it to be so true. I reread it over and over again every time I become anxious or get caught up in a swirl of my own negative thoughts.

For me, there is nothing more important than a happy marriage because in it is where I raise myself and more importantly, my children. Invest in making sure that you and your partner are on the right track and you will be teaching your children one of the most important lessons they will ever learn: how to truly love and care for their own families.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Informed Teenagers

Do you ever talk to your teens about the news? Especially nowadays when there are violent scenes of people attacking each other or victims left on the streets, I wonder if the news should be playing when they are around.

I remember when I was in middle school, something bad was happening in the world and my friend was shocked that I heard nothing about it. Thinking about it, I remember seeing my parents watch the news but I never actually sat and watched it with them.

I regret to say that I turned out to be a totally clueless person. In so many cases, people would be talking about something that had just been all over the news and I would have no idea what to say, it was embarrassing!

However, all that changed when I started working for the magazine, it was part of my job to stay informed and look for stories, and I finally understood the world around me.

With so much unfairness and tragedy going around, should you make your teens watch the news to become informed members of their societies or should you protect them from a sometime cruel reality?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Renovation Madness

If you ever needed to get any work done on your house, I am sure you will totally relate to what I am about to write about.

About 2 years, ago my husband and I moved into our home, we loved it and were so thrilled about every inch in it.

I was so excited to start the decoration phase. The only image I had in my mind was that of the movies' when a couple first moves into their new house, the furniture gets delivered on time by happy workers, the woman joyfully points to where everything goes and finally, the couple sits on the couch hand in hand, admiring their ever so perfect house.

Boy was I wrong! I decided to start with the paint; all I needed to get done was paint the guest room, living room and the stairway. It has been a painful 5 months!

So far, the painter has needed to go to the hospital twice to get shots because of his nasty flu (which seems to magically disappear in a day), kept me waiting for several days without answering his phone, painted uneven lines (part of the design) and tried to convince me it’s just the lighting, and ruined his own paint job when he moved the ladder.

To top it all off, we discovered a mold problem that ruined an entire side of the room and its fresh paint job, something the workers found very funny!

Picture-perfect image shattered...

Here I am, writing this post, waiting for this to be finally over.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

I Want This, And This, And This...

Is it just me or is everything getting really expensive these days?

I went with my niece to buy a school bag and some stationary, I was shocked at the total price!

When I think of it, we really did not buy anything she doesn’t need: a bag, a lunch box, a water bottle, and some basic stationary, how did it end up costing that much!

Granted, we bought good quality items however, if this is how much her school supplies cost now, how will things be in a few years when it’s time for high-school and the peer pressure really kicks in.

On the other hand, she is enrolled in a gym and takes swimming classes. Let’s not forget the never-ending birthday parties she gets invited to and how each birthday is a “really important party”.

I used to think that boys are easier to please, until I met my friend's kids with their video games, their sneakers, their after school activities and finally their gadgets.

If your kid is in a school surrounded by others who have all these materialistic luxuries, would it be fair to keep him in that kind of environment and have him be less than his peers? On the other hand, when do you draw the line? When is buying this item ok and the other not?

My friend came to me for advice and I am clueless as to what is fair and what is not (I’m a first-time mama), any ideas?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

More often than not, mamas tend to act like super-women; the husband, the house, the kids, and the social commitments.

I found that it is so easy to get carried away with this role: to convince myself that all will collapse if I am not there, that an emergency is sure to happen because I let someone else watch my son, and that life, as my family knows it, will surely stop once I leave the house.

As I was watching a family comedy show, the husband points out to his wife that although she complains a lot about not having any time for herself, staying that way is the only thing that makes her happy. The husband (who needed to be nice to get away with a golfing trip) offers to watch the kids and run the house, so that his wife can go to the movies. Of course, she declined, thinking that her husband wouldn’t know how to manage things.

It was so funny to watch because this is exactly what I do! When my sister offers to baby-sit on weekends, I worry and say no. If my friends offer to come over and watch my baby so I can go to the gym, I always reply with “you wouldn’t know how to handle him.” Without doing it on purpose, I always manage to have one excuse or another for why I cannot do something for myself. Then, I cry (literally cry, with tears and the whole deal) about not being able to do things for me.

If this happens with you, I am here to tell you that becoming aware of it is a huge step forward.

Try to notice if you are the same way and take this piece of advice: stop it before it is too late! It is truly an unattractive quality and eventually people will stop offering to help.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

There is about 8-12 years difference between me and my older sisters. When they were getting married (they got married really young), I was still in grade school.

We welcomed our first grandchild into the family when I was just 11-years-old. As she was growing up, it felt like she was more of a baby sister rather than my niece. At some point, we were even really close friends. She always admired me, loved my clothes, and begged me to take her shopping.

Then, I got married and had my baby, which apparently, made me seem really old to her. I was not just Noora any more, I was her aunt who just had a baby.

For the first time in my life, someone used the “in your age” phrase with me. In her words: “in your age, it’s normal that you feel tired and don’t like to go out as much.” I wanted to scream! Keep in mind that this was in the middle of winter, when my baby was just a few weeks old, and when I learned that his unexplainable constant crying had a name: colic.

I never understood some people’s obsession with age. However, I have to admit that getting the “in your age” sympathy talk from a teenager really pushed me in the other direction. More and more, I am being referred to as Aunty or Madam, my nieces and nephews are becoming more formal with me, and pretty soon, I will hear the words mama.

While this may sound shallow, I miss being cool in her eyes. Why won't she borrow any of my clothes any more?!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

My entire family (from my husband’s side) is planning our family vacation next summer. A total of about 15 people! Our vacations are known to be somewhat hectic, with so many people and so many different plans. The trip is scheduled to last for a week, visiting different locations.

In the beginning, it sounded perfect and I couldn’t wait! However, as my husband and I were discussing it, the inevitable question arose, will we take our then to be one-and-a-half year-old baby?

While this may sound silly to many, I am really having a difficult time making this decision. I have never been away from my baby for more than 4 hours, and the thought of leaving him for a week seems so scary. My heart races just thinking about it!

Of course, he will be under the care of my mother so the worry is not who I will leave him with but, how will I leave him?

The idea of travelling alone came from the crazy schedule, early departures and late night outings.”It will be better for him not to get dragged into all that,” my friends say. While I would really appreciate some “me” time, this seems like too much. I am really clueless as to what I should do and I need to decide as soon as possible.

Have you ever travelled without your baby? How was it?