Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Sleep Deprived

I don't know how much of this sleep deprivation I can handle. For the past two weeks, the minimum number of "wake up" calls I got from my two kids is 2-3 times a night. Yousef got ill and so kept me up for about two hours the other day and an hour later, I had to wake up with Mona.

I am so tired and frustrated all the time, it's ridiculous. To top it all off, Mona wants to be carried ALL DAY. She is a blessing when she is held and the moment I put her down, she is a tiny monster.

I need a night of uninterrupted sleep!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Nael, my husband, jokes that I like things done the hard way. I make Yousef sleep in his own bed even though it makes him whine a bit every night. I want Mona to fall asleep on her own rather than getting used to being rocked to sleep, and I want a certain level of discipline for my kids even though it might annoy them at the beginning. 

Nael, is easy going, has extreme patience and gives a million warnings before taking action. I would be annoyed and rushing the kids into the car, while he would be whistling and singing to them. I don't mind sleep-training my baby for 3 weeks if it means he will learn to sleep on his own, while he would rather spend 45 minutes every night trying to put him to sleep beside him.

While none of us plays these roles on purpose, Nael is always pushing for my approach (as long as he isn't the one doing it) because he likes the outcome of having well-behaved, disciplined kids who follow a routine.

While our parents say that the good cop bad cop is a good balance, nowadays a united front in more important. Which is it?

How much should a parent stick to the rules and how many times should a parent give in? I hate it when children negotiate every single thing and I think that when a child sees you not sticking to the rules, he will negotiate every single time. And then comes the "but last time you said yes" whine. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

I visited my uncle for Eid yesterday. This uncle is especially special to me because he is the symbol of a good-hearted person who dedicated his life for his children.

During the first 12 years of his marriage to my aunt, doctors told them that they could not have kids. And with some miracle, they had 2 boys 12 years later. He was a teacher, so was my aunt, he worked overtime, while she raised their boys. And after 49 years of work, they finally retired and moved back to Jordan. However, they had to leave my cousins, who are now married and have their own lives.

Yesterday, my uncle was saying that this is their first Eid in 34 years away from their children. I sat there, looking at this man, who to me was a symbol of strength and perseverance, and was shocked by the tears in his eyes.

You would think that after working so hard for so long, he needed a break; but what he really needed was his kids. Then my aunt said something that hit me: "Noora, one day you will look back and say, I wish they were still my babies. I wish I could go back to the days when I KNOW my son is in bed right now sleeping in the room next to me."

I guess once you cross the road into parent-hood, nothing will mean as much as being next to your child!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Happy Eid

Growing up, I never used to like Eid. Family lunches and then being dragged from house to house isn't exactly what a kid considers fun.

But now when I am a mama, I love it. Buying Eid clothes for my kids, seeing their excitement over how they look and watching them trying to choose the perfect gift, is all way too cute. It makes me laugh when they do not know what to expect from the person they are greeting, "will he be giving me something or not?" The look on their faces is priceless.

May you and your families have a blessed Eid and may Allah keep us fortunate enough to have such amazing experiences with our children :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Please Stop

You think you are doing a good job raising your kids and then one incident in the supermarket makes you wish you would disappear.

Yousef, almost two, is generally a good boy. Mischievous and naughty every now and then, but I usually get very good compliments about him from school or in social settings. Our general rule at the supermarket is: you only get one thing and it always worked. However, the other day after leaving the supermarket, he decided to change his mind. He ran back in and grabbed another chocolate and when I said "no", he embarrassed me like never before. Screaming, jumping up and down and crying, he glued himself to the floor and threw his first ever tantrum.

People started looking, and I could see the look on one woman's face (who was still obviously single), thinking to herself: "what a spoiled brat." She then looked at me like I was the worse mama ever.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, stopped to see what was happening. Calmly, I lifted him and got a few hits on my arms in the process, and left as soon as I could. The moment we were out, he acted like nothing had happened! I gave him the longest lecture of his life.

Before having kids, I used to tell myself that I will raise my child so well that he will never do such a thing. I guess no matter how hard you try, you still cannot control them 100%. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

From Mama to Mama

Our helper has obviously been crying for the past few days, every time I ask her, she says she is ok. After three days of being down, she finally opened up to me:"I miss my son".

Her son, who is 8-years-old is really smart at school, and so, she decided to leave him and come work to provide him with a better education. In an effort to make her feel better, I told her to request his pictures by email. First she was quiet and when I insisted, she refused: "I miss him too much and I don't want to see his picture, it is too hard!"

I can't stop thinking about what she said. I am a mama and I cannot imagine not seeing my son, holding him, hearing his voice and putting him to bed every single night. And for her to be around us all the time, seeing me hold my son, must make things even harder.

Thank god I don't have to leave my family and thank god I have my kids around me all the time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Girl Vs Boy!

I never realised how late Yousef was in achieving his development milestones until I had Mona.

Yousef had a rough first 5 months. First, he was extremely colic. Then, he had to take an antibiotic for three months (for a medical condition he had). Then came a mystery, Yousef cried and cried whenever I put the bottle in his mouth, carried him, put him on his tummy or even carried him. He was in so much pain and none of the doctors here believed me.

Finally, I found a specialist who told me it was Reflux, a condition when the milk goes back up and the baby throws up. However, Yousef wasn't throwing up, it went back down again and eventually caused a burning sensation all the time. It took 5 months, this doctor (who finally gave him anti-acid), and stopping the anti biotic to finally push Yousef out of this phase.

Because of all that, he was late doing everything. The lack of tummy time made his upper muscles weak and so he didn't roll over until he was 7 months, sit until he was 8 months and crawl until he was about 10 months. He walked when he was 14 months. I even had to take him to a few sessions of physical therapy.

Thank god, it all passed and now he is a monkey on the loose and very pleasant to be around.

Mona on the other hand, already rolled over yesterday at 4 months! Every one says that girls develop faster than boys, but at this pace, Yousef is looking very silly compared to her :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

My Husband Is My Boss

My husband recently started a project with some partners. It's a snooker lounge where you can go enjoy a game of snooker, pool, darts and nibble on some snacks.

Since I used to work in marketing, he assigned me to follow up on the day to day marketing tasks for his lounge; he is my boss! Nael and I have completely different tastes. For example, if I see a logo I really like, he hates it. If I think something is delicious, it usually means he doesn't. The only thing we have in common is the way we operate; we are both perfectionists.

When we were getting our house ready we argued a lot. Looking back at it now, it really was funny. In the end, the only thing we could do to save our minds was that we divided the house into sections. I got to decorate my sections whichever way I wanted without him interfering and he got to do the same. Until now, there is unspoken competition to see who gets better comments when we have friends visiting!

I heard that working together professionally usually affects a couple's relationship. I wonder what will be the case with us...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Why So Complicated?

What has happened to our interpretation of the word stay-at-home-mama? When did we women start considering it as an insult?

Today, my 8-year-old step daughter asked me of I was a house wife. While I am sure she had no idea what she was talking about, I found myself getting internally defensive and telling myself that I am not! I started explaining that I freelance jobs here and there and that I still have a career. Then, I saw a look of confusion on her face; she is only 8 and had no idea why I was getting so worked up. After pausing for a few moments, I realised how ridiculous I may have sounded.

Instead, my answer should have been: yes, I love you and your siblings so much that I put my life on hold for a while to take better care of you. However, modern society and what I like to refer to as "confused standards" have led me and so many other mamas to believe that staying at home for our kids is a total waste of our ambition. Like being a mama is so easy and a total waste of time.

Don't get me wrong, I miss my job so much. I miss working late hours, and I miss having professional conversations. I think of going back to work every day. But, I do not want to set an example to my daughters saying that if they decide to put their families first, they are less of achievers. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Ya Right!

My dietician keeps on telling me that I am not on a diet, "you are changing your lifestyle". I have to be honest, I have NO idea what she is talking about. How is eating controlled portions for life not a diet?!

With three kids and all the stuff that comes with it, one of the few "pleasures" I like to indulge in is eating anything I want whenever I want. Which in my case, is mostly chips. I am 162cm and weigh 58 kilos; my ideal weight is 53 (to be reached in 2 months). The main problem is that these 5 kilos are pure FAT and need to go away ASAP. For some reason, exercising 4-5 times a week and watching what I eat have only merely contributed to my goal. I think I am building muscle, or that's what I keep telling myself.

I'm so jealous of women who are naturally thin! You make our lives so hard...