Friday, December 30, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

2012 Resolutions

I never believed in setting goals for the new year. After becoming a mama however, I realised how easy it is to put marriage, life and kids first. Mamas are programmed by nature to think of everyone else but themselves. I figure, the only way I will pay any attention to "me" is through setting goals for myself. So, 2012, I vow to:

- Make a kind gesture to at least two people every day.

- Learn and become good at one sport: I'm thinking tennis, kick boxing or fencing.

- Become a more positive person: I tend to over-worry and I am turning into a party-pooper.

- Get in touch with my distant relatives. I come from a huge family and they are all very kind and caring, I would love to be around them more often.

- Work with a personal trainer on becoming extremely fit and healthy (no more chips, junk food, energy drinks, and a lot more water and exercise).

- Make a difference in one underprivileged person's life: whether he is ill, poor, uneducated, an orphan or simply an unlucky person.

May God be with me :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Car Crash

My sister, her husband, and three kids got into a car crash. While we are very lucky that the crash did not result in serious injuries, I am dedicating this post to plead to all drivers to think before they act.

On Friday, when my sister and her husband decided to take their children out for a ride, their worlds got flipped upside down, LITERALLY speaking.

A speeding driver, crashed the front of his car into the side of my sister's SUV causing it to flip and roll over twice. The car then landed on its side and dragged itself in the middle of the highway until it finally stopped.

The driver who caused the accident ran away.

As for my sister and her family, they were stuck inside the car because the doors were jammed shut from the collision. My niece's car seat got unhooked from the force and landed on my nephew causing a huge bruise on his leg. He in turn landed on his other sister who hurt her back as a result. My 1 year-old niece lost her voice the next day from crying so hard!

My sister injured her neck and back from the airbag and from being stuck behind the seat-belt for so long. Her husband broke a rib.

Eventually, they were pulled out of the sun-roof.

Reckless driving and accidents are as serious as they sound. Texting while driving, speeding, or being occupied with the cell phone are all unbelievably dangerous. Yes, you can get into a car crash in a second. Yes, you can hurt yourself. And yes, you can seriously ruin another person's entire life because of a decision you recklessly made in less that a second.

My sister and her family made it out of the car that day thanking god that they had a safe car, that their father was not speeding himself and that they didn't lose anyone in that terrible car crash.

Driving is a privilege, behave responsibly.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

While Yousef has just turned 1-year-old in November, friends are telling me that I am already running late in enrolling him in a school. Apparently, there are long waiting lists for grades as young as KG.

When I started thinking of what kind of school I want my child to be in, I found myself in way over my head. I have no idea what to look for. I know that I want my son to be with normal, middle-class, non-snobbish children. To know how to speak Arabic, read and write it fluently as well. I want my son to be knowledgable about his religion. Finally, I want my child to grow up to be a descent and down-to-earth human being. Does this mean I have to compromise on the quality of education?

The teenagers I am meeting these days all seem to have attitude problems, act much older than they are and none speak Arabic! While you might think that I am being a hypocrite since I write this blog in English, in my defence, this is my job. In my house, I speak only Arabic and have an only Arabic policy with my step daughter and son. Yousef only watches Arabic cartoons and his first words are being spoken in Arabic.

I am sure there is no such thing as a perfect school and in the end, my home plays a major role in how my children turn out to be. Yet, my concern is this: all the memories I have and cherish are those from school, the friends I still love so dearly are my high school friends, and some of the people who influenced me most, were my teachers from school.

I hope I make the right decision.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Personal Trainer Wanted

I am looking for a personal trainer who can give me private work out sessions in my house. I have an issue with my knee and need someone who really knows what she is doing!

The trainers at the gym are ridiculously priced, add that to the gym membership and I have to work two jobs just to be able to afford a descent work out!

Any recommendations?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Getting a Dog

My husband and step daughter have been wishing for a dog for the past 2 years.

Since my husband is a very smart man and is bluntly stating that he will claim no responsibility for the pet, he is leaving matters totally up to me.

I have been going back and forth with the idea for a very long time now; I have always had a soft spot in my heart for dogs. But after becoming a mama, I decided to shed the number of "things" I was responsible for. I have a one year-old baby who is a handful on his own.

However, every time I see someone walking his dog, I get all mushy and give in to the idea.

We have a spacious outdoor area where I can set up the dog house as I do not want it inside the house.

I did my research and decided on a Labrador Retriever, an amazing family dog. I also read people's comments about raising dogs, and this is what is scaring me. I'm worried that I'm underestimating the magnitutde of the responsibility.

Any dog owners who can shed some light on what it really takes to raise a dog? Is it possible to have a dog but never let him into the house?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Good Mexican Food in Amman?

I am so craving tacos and burritos and I don’t know of a single mexican restaurant here.

Does anyone know of a good mexican restaurant in Amman or at least a place that serves tacos and burritos that actually taste like Mexican food?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

No More Television?

Almost all my nieces and nephews are addicted to television, same goes for my step daughter. Again, so I was when I was their age.

Among them, the eldest is 16 and the youngest is 7 years old. Most of them seem to love the same thing, sitcoms and comedies about teenagers. When I sit and watch what they are watching, I have to admit, the shows are funny and entertaining.

The problem is that they are in a culture that is so different from ours, in my family’s case at least!

I for one, do not want my daughter to think of boyfriends and relationships as something that is normal. Call me old-fashioned but girls these days seem to have lost all innocence and shyness, something I find very terrible.
Yes, she will eventually be exposed to it in school, especially since she is in a coed school. However, there is a difference between her hearing about it from her friends and knowing that it is not acceptable in our family and between growing up while watching shows that make her believe it is normal.

Also, my concerns are not just restricted to such topics. I am also worried about the way kids in such shows dress and behave with their parents and friends, it is different from us.

As a parent, I am being confronted with yet another dilemma, let the kids watch such shows and explain what we see as right and wrong or remove such channels from the house altogether?

Which in your opinion is the moderate and correct decision?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Fast Food and Chips are my Best Friends!

I have always been an extremest when it comes to food. I either eat non-stop, shoving all sorts of junk down my mouth or, in many cases, eat nothing at all.

I was, for a very long time, anorexic. For those of you who do not know what that is, anorexia is an eating disorder that makes a person constantly feel like he/she is fat (even if they are as skinny as a twig). Anyone who has experienced an eating disorder knows that it is a very, very deep, black hole. One that is extremely hard to get out of. I was lucky to enough to get past that phase which lasted about 3 years when I was a teenager.

Now however, I am binge eating like crazy; I am addicted to fast food and chips. I crave them all the time and never feel full. I can go on eating and eating and don't feel that I have had enough. This only happens with junk food. With normal healthy meals, I am get full right away. I have also developed really bad eating habits. I am obsessed with carbs, and then, I add butter.

So, it is butter sandwiches, baked potato loaded with butter, sweet corn with better, and anything else that fits in the category. Needless to say, I have gained weight, lots of it.

During my pregnancy with Yousef, I gained a whopping 22 kilos! After the delivery, I tried to adopt a healthy life style. I dieted, walked every day for 40 minutes and cut down the fast food to once a week. I managed to lose 95% the weight but then I stopped.

I hate diets and dieticians because they remind me of the time I deprived myself of food. Lately however, I have been consciously trying to make the decision to quit the junk and begin, for the first time in my life, a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain and hopefully teach my kids.

Does anyone know of a nutritionist, not a dietician, that can help me make guided decisions?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Will my baby learn how to walk on his own?

Yousef is my 13-month-old son who has been crawling since he was 9-months-old.

Since Yousef was a colic baby and had a number of digestive problems until he was about 4-5 months old, it took him a bit of time to catch up with babies his age. For example, he only learned how to support himself in a seated position when he was 7-months-old (some consider that very late).

On the other hand, he has always been a very active baby: kicking, playing and lately, crawling everywhere. In fact, the only time he is in his place is while he is sleeping.

While he does grab on and bring himself to a standing position, as well as moves from one end of the couch to the other by stepping sideways, he still does’t attempt to go from one object to another no matter how close they are. He also doesn't know how to stand unsupported.

I got some advice which I am not very sure of. Someone told me that I should put a table in the middle of the room as an incentive for him to move from the couch to the table. On the other hand, I moved the table in the first place because I was worried that he would hurt himself.

Do you believe that there is anything I can do or will he walk when he is ready?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Our Advancement as a Nation,
The Cup of Coffee Crisis

You will not believe what I am about to write. I'm telling you, ever since I started writing this blog, the strangest things started happening to me. I guess it's fate's way of giving me exciting content!

So, I was at a coffee shop ordering a frappuccino to-go, when a man came and stood behind me in line. After he heard my order, he asked the saleswoman if she can serve him first since his coffee shot "is ready to serve" while my order "needs preparation". He then turned to me and gave me the same reasoning.

Even though I was in a hurry and left my husband and baby in the car, I said "of course". The saleswoman however, declined his request explaining that it is on a first-come first-serve basis and that he should "kindly wait a few minutes."

Impressed, I grinned and looked away. Suddenly, the man started yelling at her saying: "this is exactly why we will never intellectually advance as a nation and that he will surely escalate it to the manager if she doesn't comply!"

Can you believe this guy, our intellectual advancement as a nation is being held back by a saleswoman who chose to respect the rules and serve me first. It is not however being held back by people who have no respect for the concept of queuing; and over what, a cup of coffee!

The man kept on ranting and started to get louder. Finally, another salesperson came to the rescue and prepared his drink.

But, what happened next was even worse. This "intellectually advanced person" took his drink, sat on a table, opened his book and started reading. He was not in a hurry, he just wanted to be first!

Can you believe this guy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Work or Children?

What would you do if your dream job meant that you had to stay away from your house and child for at least 10 hours a day?

My son Yousef, just turned one. Before I had him, I worked in Advertising. It only took me about 5 minutes in the agency to figure out that working in Advertising is my dream job. I had always wanted to do it and when I did, it turned out to be even more amazing than I imagined. It is a mixture of creativity and psychology. It is understanding what will be the next big thing and being the one to tell people that it is "what they need". Simply put, it is a lot of fun.

Reality check however, working for an advertising agency is by far one of the most demanding fields there is! Long hours, crazy deadlines, high stakes, and very demanding clients are the day to day realities of the job.

Now, when I think of working again, I realize that it is either advertising or being a mama. Both at the same time are impossible, something will have to give. The problem is that by the time Yousef is old enough to be left under the supervision of someone else for long hours, I would be too outdated for the game.

People tell me to decide which is more important, but honestly, they both really are. I know stay-at-home-mamas who have unbearable kids even though they are at home with them all the time. But, I also know working mamas who have teens that are troublesome because their parents are barely at home.

In the end, how much do children really suffer when their mamas have to go to work everyday?