Friday, November 30, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora


Someone stole my phone from my purse while I was at the mall. As if it is not annoying enough to lose a NEW phone that was given to you as a GIFT from your husband, it was a dual SIM phone that contained my work phone and my saudi SIM card (I visit Saudi often). All my business contacts, messages, emails etc. were on it! And my Saudi SIM was registered in so many places as the contact detail, it will take me forever to reconnect it. The most annoying thing is that it had some of the best pictures of my baby on it and I never got the chance to sync it with my computer.

I am so angry at how cruel and petty some people are! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

I recently started recycling. I cannot believe the amount of waste that comes out of my house on a daily basis that can still be reused.

Just put a box for paper, another for plastic and one for steel and divide your waste for a week; you will be shocked of how much stacks up! Just think, all of it will be reused. Why is it taking us so long to become more considerate of our environment?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Reality Check

Today, I thought I was superwoman! My husband opened a private business and assigned me as a marketing manager. Excited about doing something I love, I woke up at 6:30am, dressed formally,  took out my old notebook and multi coloured pens, and was as prepared as prepared could be. I  met with photographers, suppliers and all sorts of professionals. By 12:30 pm I was finished for the day, ready to get Yousef from preschool and head home to cook. I was superwoman and I was feeling great.

Then came the call from the most important supplier yet, he needed to meet and he needed to meet now. Sudden professional commitments and caring for toddlers don't work together, I knew that. But my superwoman mentality told me it would be a piece of cake: "I'll just take Yousef, he'll sleep on our way there anyways". Mind you, this is something I always objected to; I hate mamas who mix between kids and work.

Wrapping up my meeting without a single difficulty, it all seemed too good to be true; it was. Yousef woke up, extremely fussy from his unusual nap and threw a tantrum for wanting to take a dish out of the restaurant. I swear, I felt that his cries were louder than sirens, people stared at me and I just wished I could disappear. Why was a child there? How could I think that bringing him was even ok? How unprofessional did I seem? A million questions ran through my head while I was shushing him, trying to carry my purse, laptop bag, baby bag, and Yousef. I couldn't wait to get out of there! Reality check, trying to work around mama-hood when your kids are still very young simply doesn't work!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Too Many Calendars

I have a personal calendar, a family calendar, a school/preschool calendar and a work calendar. I am trying to integrate them, it's not working! I feel like I'm all over the place and I am not able to do one thing 100%. My workout time takes away from my time with my five-month-old baby. My family commitments take away from my ability to work and my work takes time away from me being able to relax. Something always has to give.

When I try to set priorities, I get more lost. I badly want to get back in shape and become healthy but I also badly want to spend time with my baby while Yousef is at preschool. I want to work during Yousef's nap but I also want to rest a bit since Yousef and Mona drove me crazy all night. I need a life coach!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

When you are engaged to your soon to be husband, you think that you will always give the same attention to your marriage as you did so early on in your life together. You tell yourself, "we will not be like other couples, we will pay more attention to our marriage, we will take care of ourselves, we will always feel this ecstatic." Then child number one, then two and in my case three comes in the course of three years, throwing you completely off balance.

If you are blessed with having kids right away, you start to worry about making more money right away. You and your husband work full force on securing the best lifestyle you can for your children. Add that to your desire to succeed in your career and having some time for yourself (for us mamas it is an uninterrupted shower, watching TV without a baby nagging or just reading a book) all the stuff we take for granted before we cross over to mama-land.

One day, you wake up and realise that your marriage has taken a back seat and if you don't do something soon, you and your husband will feel like strangers (despite how much you love each other). My question is, how do you balance life? What do you do with your children who are too young to be independent or to give you space? And what do you do with your career that keeps pulling you in its direction? What is the "right balance" people keep talking about? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Language Workshop

I attended a workshop organised by Yousef's nursery covering the importance of language in a child's development and literacy, specifically Arabic. For the first time in a really long time, I found someone who feels as strongly about the topic as I do! I am constantly surprised by the amount of people who disregard this issue and choose to only speak English with their children. And what's even more annoying is that in many cases it is broken English!

My job is to write in English, however, Yousef (2 years-old) only started speaking it a few months ago after we got a helper who speaks only it. Other than that, I make it a point to speak, read and in many cases watch Arabic shows. To me, it is our mother tongue and identity.

Many people use the difference between the spoken Arabic "a'amiya" and proper Arabic "fus-ha" as an excuse to why their children are weak in Arabic or do not like it. But, what I learned today is that all of us are making excuses for our own disregard of the matter. As the presenter explained today, in the first few years of a child's life, he is capable of learning SEVEN languages. Consider spoken Arabic "a'amiya" and proper Arabic "fus-ha" two languages and put EXTRA effort into teaching him/her to speak it; just do something about our disappearing language!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Anything I write about now is going to seem  completely shallow and insignificant in comparison to what is going on in the world.

Will the world ever be safe and peaceful, even for a little while?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Running Against Time

I have lately realised that I seem to be running a race against time, and I cannot find the finish line. My life has become so hectic and different that I barely recognise it. I am running to be an excellent stepmom, mom, wife, house maker, daughter, and sister, but yet feel so off balance. In this new life, I lost sight of what is really important, peace of mind and body. I forgot what it is like to just slow down.

Life can put up quite a fight when you are trying to figure it out, which is what I have been trying to do for the past three years since I got married. I am trying to make sense of motherhood and the changes it has thrust upon me. I am trying to understand relationships that are new and fragile, and I am trying to accept shifting priorities.

When it's just you, its pretty basic; when there are a husband and kids, it gets messy. I feel messy now! I don't know what is going on or why, I just feel like I am making mistakes with the pace of life I have chosen, I need to slow down and enjoy my life. But, I don't know how and what to let go of. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

"I Scared"

Yousef is afraid of just about anything. Cats, flies, ants, masks, people dressed in costumes, children with face painting and even balloons, blown or not. Almost anything he sees makes him say, "I scared!"

Whatever triggered it did a really good job in making him feel really miserable in such situations. At preschool he is just the same, we had to miss out on costume day to avoid a meltdown. His teachers gave me a few tips to try to make things better. So, when Yousef sees his father's face covered with shaving cream (usually a terrifying experience for him), it should be treated as a normal situation where we act casually and continue whatever we are doing; not pushing him to accept it is key.

I hope he gets over it soon, it's saddening to see a child his age missing out on so many activities.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Sleepless Mama

I can't remember the last time I had deep, uninterrupted sleep. The kind of sleep you get when you are a teenager and your biggest concern is getting through high school! Your parents keep coming to wake you up and you just refuse to get out of bed.

I think it's safe to say that the level of my intelligence has significantly decreased with my recent two pregnancies and the continuous sleep deprivation. I thought preschool would help Yousef (2 years) sleep better but he is still waking up in the middle of the night crying for no reason. Mona (5 months) wakes up and starts yelling, not crying, but actually yelling at me, until I give her the bottle which she literally takes two sips of and then refuses to continue. By the time they are both asleep and I start to dose off, it's time for preschool and I am just about ready to shout.

I really can't wait until my kids grow up!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Play Date 1: Successful

Yousef had his first play date yesterday and it was adorable. With a friend from preschool we went to a kids' play area and it was the first time I see him in a social setting with people other than family or friends he has known since he was born.

He was amazing, said thank you when he should have, shared toys, took turns playing, obeyed every instruction and left happily when I said it was time to go. I couldn't believe it! I felt so bad that I don't take him to such places often but I was always either pregnant and exhausted or with a new born baby. After yesterday, that will definitely change.  And believe it or not, at the end of the day, he gave me a hug and said "I miss you".

What a day :)