Monday, December 31, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

The entire world is waiting for the clock to strike twelve, some praying for better fortune, some praying for peace and stability, and others praying for things to stay exactly the same.

Whoever you are: mama, daughter, son, sister, brother, wife or husband, and whatever you are praying for, I hope the new year, that is less than 15 minutes away, brings you nothing but good fortune and happiness for you and your families. 

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

For 2013, I am looking forward to my daughter turning 1 year-old and all the cute things that come with that age! The past year has been amazing but hectic to say the least. However, being a mama of two, I came to see yourself through their eyes. I are their sense of security, their trusted source for anything and everything, and their world.

While exhaustion has been my partner throughout 2012, tonight I am thinking of times that will never come again: the first sentences my son said, his first day at preschool, the first day I held my daughter, the first day she rolled over, her first meal and so many more and cannot help but feel overwhelmingly grateful.

I wish that to all, and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

I look at my nieces and nephews who are 17, 15, and 13 years-old and I think to myself, I cannot wait until my kids are all grown up. On the other hand, as one of them will be soon leaving to university, their mother is saying how much she misses when they were young and how fast time has passed by.

When I think of the amount of time I spend everyday with Yousef who is still just 2, I wonder how strange it must be for my parents to see me a few times a week after being used to caring for me 24/7 for 18 years straight. It must have been so hard for them when I insisted on leaving home to study abroad. Now, I get it. Now, I get why my father parked underneath my dorm and cried the first night I was not at home. Now, I get why my parents keep remembering stories of my childhood.

Nothing in the world can prepare you for what it is really like to have children, and I am sure nothing can prepare you for how it will feel when it is time for them to leave the nest.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

As the new year approaches, I can't help but reflect on last year.

Me and two of my friends had babies while another sadly lost her husband; another graduated with distinction from her MBA programme. Yousef went to preschool, my husband ventured into a new business, my nephew went to university and I started taking life coaching sessions.

So many random and unrelated events made up our world for 2012. It was up, then down then up again. I set resolutions last year which I am worried to go over now; I'm pretty sure I only scored one or two.

I love to plan, I live by my little book of colour coded events, post-it notes, deadlines and appointments taken months in advance. Yet, it is so easy to plan the meetings, doctor visits, trainer sessions, diet plans and so forth. But when it comes to the things that count, the stuff that really make a difference, life is so unpredictable, it is scary. One minute you are home safe, the next you are not. One minute you are laughing, the next you are in shock.

Whatever this year brings, I just pray for peace of mind for all. There is nothing like peace of mind! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Ever since I had Yousef two years ago, I have been reflecting on my life and the choices I've made. While there is nothing more precious to me than having a healthy marriage, and healthy, happy children, I have lately realised that I completely lost track of who I was/am.

I've become over occupied with being "the perfect wife, step mama, and mama" and convinced myself that if I can just achieve that, I will be "perfectly happy". This turned out to be a major lie to myself; because when I focused just on that, I became only that. Even the thing I thought I was doing for myself, which is getting back into shape, I stuck the word mama in there. I want to be a fit and healthy mama; I want to be a mama that has gone back to her pre-baby weight; I don't want to look like a chubby mama that accepted what pregnancy has done to her body.

Yes, I am a mama, but is that it? After my kids are older and occupied with their own lives, would I be as emotionally dependent on them as they are on me now because that is all I have come to know? The perfectionist in me has done this, and I don't how to undo it. But I do know this, I am sure to regret it one day. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

I Miss Preschool !

Yousef (2) is on a two week vacation from preschool. While it has only been two days without school, I have to admit I am bored already! I got so used to having three hours of freedom every morning to go to the gym, finish my meetings, get the grocery, and run all errands without a child nagging that he wants or does not want something.

I took the kids out with me to visit their grandparents. In the car, Mona (6 months) was testing her lungs' ability to cry for thirty minutes straight because she hates the car seat. In the background of this screaming, Layla (8) was telling me a story that required my full attention, and when I didn't respond in time, she kept on calling me until I did. For the cherry on top, Yousef (2) was crying because the music that was playing was not the one he likes, even though it is the song he requested.

Needless to say, by the time I got home, I swore never to take the three of them out together again until they are adults! God bless and protect my kids but sometimes, it takes every bit of self control to keep me from pulling me hair out!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Sometimes, I just need a break from the responsibility. I wish I can go out, not AFTER the kids are asleep at 10:30pm but to leave the house at 7pm and know that my kids would be taken care of as if I were there.

Mona would be given her bottle and in her crib by 9pm while Yousef would have his daily bedtime routine and would be sleeping in his own bed. I wish I can go out with the comfort of knowing that nothing will be skipped because it's easier to skip it, just like I don't skip anything.

I miss having my shower during the regular hours of the day rather than the really late ones when I can barely keep my eyes open. I miss falling asleep in my bed rather than dozing off on the floor or on Layla's bed while I'm waiting for Yousef to sleep. It's these tiny stuff that when accumulated over time, result in fatigue and suffocating repetitiveness.

Since my husband has been over occupied with work for the past 4 months, this window of escape has disappeared and I am finding myself overwhelmed by the responsibility of daily life.

During the day, when your child does something cute, you just want to hug and cuddle him as long as you can, but come night time, you just need a break!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Switch To Healthy

I have recently decided to make the switch to what I now know are healthy products. I attended a few seminars and did my research and realised that so many of the products we are used to purchasing are extremely bad for us.

Loaded with my new-found knowledge and the determination to change, I went to the supermarket's Organic section. I was shocked by the prices! I then moved on to items that I buy on a regular basis such as salt and flour. Apparently buying sea salt rather than regular salt and non-bleached flour rather than white flour are great/easy health tips. Again, shocked.

Why are these "healthy" products more expensive while the "normal products" we have been using since forever cheaper? Are the components that bad that they don't cost much to produce? Is it because they sell more and so they can afford to be cheaper?

On another note, do these tiny changes I am making really make a difference in my family's health (which is what this whole thing is about)? Obesity, Cancer, Autism,  and so many other "illnesses" have been on the rise. Is it the chemicals we are entering into our bodies? If so, where do we start?! As a mama, it is so worrying to feel that almost anything that is being sold these days is harmful. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Lately, I have been getting into a complete life change revolved around becoming more responsible. Among these changes is recycling. I have written about it before however I would like to stress again how much of a difference it is making. Bags filled with paper, others with plastic, and others with tin cans, all going to be reused instead of being dumped god knows where and causing god knows what kind of damage.

Filled with excitement that I am making a difference, I drove around looking for a place that sells specific recycling trash cans; the ones with different compartments for each. Not a single place had them. Finally to burst my bubble, the salesman who looked at me as if I was speaking a whole new language said: "we are not a nation that recycles, we are a one that is proud to pollute and dump garbage in the streets."

What is even more annoying is that I called a recycling company and asked for the cans directly from them. Each is JD 40 which means I will need a total for JD 120-160 just to have my trash look organised. Back to carton boxes in the stairway!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Sometimes, I wonder if I am doing anything right. Mona ( 6 months) has a terrible cold; runny nose, sneezing, fever, coughing, the whole deal. Since the morning, I could barely give her the attention she needed. 
I took her brother to nursery, rushed through a non-rescheduable meeting, picked up her older sister (who is also home sick), picked Yousef from preschool, came home, ordered lunch, fed kids, put Yousef to sleep, did homework with Layla for two hours and then finally held Mona. It tore my heart that I wasn't her sole caregiver when she needed me most!

In the evening, all she wanted was to sleep in my arms, which of course drove Yousef crazy with jealousy. He woke her up every time she fell asleep. Determined to care for her, I ignored his tantrum, and focused just on her. 

I wonder if I should have cancelled the meeting regardless of consequences, delayed the homework for the next day even if it meant it will pile up, if I should have held Yousef instead of her, if I was doing anything right!

Is the lack of time for the youngest a given when there are two older kids who need you just as much? Will it ever get better or will she always be in the sidelines?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

About 3 months ago, I decided to change my life. I realised I was slowly but surely  destroying myself; I had energy drinks and chips for breakfast, skipped lunch because I was "too busy" to eat and binged on fast food at 11pm after the kids were fast asleep convincing myself I deserved a break. 
That had been my life day in and day out. Then, I was looking at the mirror and realised that I looked exhausted, pale, out of shape and miserable. Part due to the lack of sleep that comes with having two babies under two-years-old but mostly because I was not eating a single good meal. Although I was moving all day, going up and down, cleaning, bathing the kids, and constantly having a baby on my arm; it still wasn't productive movement. At the pace I was going, I was bound to be diagnosed with some major problem soon.

I'm trying to buy Organic products, make everything from scratch and consume as much vitamins as possible. I hope my efforts to introducing "healthy" into my family's life work out.