Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

So, Yousef's "phase of acting out" just got worse! Today, in the middle of a "time-out" he yelled at me and said:" you go to time-out and I will tell you how long you have to stay!"My reaction was to stay cool, carry him without saying a single word, and putting him back in the spot, completely ignoring his kicking and screaming.

I have to admit though, in that moment and for a while after, my heart sank and I felt so sad. I had been loving his age of adorable funny phrases that he puts together, the innocent questions that come with everything we do, the voluntary hugs and kisses a million times a day, and the look on his face that said I never, ever want to make you mad. Now, he wants to punish me for punishing him!

He is only TWO. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Getting Rid of Midnight Feedings

So many mamas told me that they were the ones who had to get their children off midnight feedings by giving them water in the bottle instead of milk. By doing so, they eventually stopped getting hungry and thus stopped waking up.

With Yousef, he did it all on his own. One day when he was 7-months-old, he simply didn't wake up. And that was that.

Mona however, now 7-months and a half wakes up every night at 5am like she has an alarm clock in her head. I am wondering if I should stop her or wait for her to outgrow it. She is still refusing solids and might still be hungry at night rather than it being just a habit. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Yousef is driving me crazy! The answer to everything is "no".

Let's take a shower, no. You need to get out of the shower, no. We have to go to the market, no. We have to go back home from the market, no. And this "no" is usually accompanied with tears and yelling. He does this thing where he puts his hands and legs in a position so I am unable to buckle his car seat that just makes me so mad!

Even when I tell him not to touch something, he keeps his finger on it and looks at me like: "what are you going to do about it?"

I have heard of the "terrible 2's" but had no idea that they are this terrible and I have to admit, I do not know how to react. A few months ago, he was so easy-going, obedient and innocent, now he is just a little bundle of defiance!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

The Worry of Vaccinations

My son Yousef had a very complicated delivery which I believe was the cause of him being a very weak and colicky baby. And since he barely eats anything even as a toddler, his immunity and overall health are a bit shaky.

If there is even the slightest side-effect for a medication or vaccination, I know that Yousef will get it. When the label says "in rare cases so and so were reported," Yousef reacts in a so and so manner.

My worry however has really risen over the past three vaccinations. After each one, he seemed to develop some sort of reaction even though his doctor assured me that there won't be any! It is some coincidence though that a few days after these vaccinations he gets really sick. Fever, vomiting, fatigue, rash, loss of appetite, and general fussiness and they last for a good 3-4 days. This is the third vaccination in a row that caused these symptoms and I am starting to wonder if it is in his best interest to be vaccinated so often.

Even with no medical proof that the vaccinations are causing it (in fact, his doctor completely disagrees with me) I noticed the difference before and after he takes the shots. I am so confused and scared of making a mistake. Vaccinations or not? Are they worth it? Can he really develop some sort of disease if he isn't vaccinated? What if the vaccinations are hurting him and no one knows the side-effects yet?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

My nieces and nephews came back from school with report cards. Anticipated, their faces were filled with a million emotions, some had pride, others had wonder if the marks are good enough, and some had looks of carelessness.

In the same family, one got a marvellous report card, the other mediocre and one couldn't care less if the  grades were good or bad, high or low or if his parents would be happy or mad. It's so strange.

What is even more amusing is how anxious my sisters were. As if the grades are for them and not their kids! I can understand it, judging from the amount of work and time I put into homework with my step-daughter, the final grades really do get to parents.

When you have different abilities in the same family, how do you not compare? From now, I can tell that Mona (7 months) is a lot smarter than Yousef (2). I wonder how I will react when their report cards are due.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

First time to travel with both kids, Yousef (2) and Mona (7months) has been quite an experience.

The nights have been hard but the help of family during the day has been amazing! For the first time on a family trip, Yousef has really enjoyed a vacation. He played with the cousins, enjoyed playing outside, going to the mall and just hanging out. The day has come when Yousef comfortably left the room to go play somewhere I was not. I could not believe it!

It's so strange watching him interact with his older cousins and try to hold his place in the group, not as a baby, but as an equal. With the typical tantrum here and there of course.

I never grew up with cousins around but it seems to be like so much fun! I am looking forward to the years of video games and movie nights, hopefully by then the tantrums would be gone!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Distractions, distractions

Writing is one of those jobs where you can have ZERO distractions. And since the only free time I have to do my interviews and write is the 3 hours Yousef is at preschool, I need all the focus I can get.

This was a long weekend, which meant I had to attempt to work with the kids at home. I got my coffee, sat down and put on my serious face, NO DISTRACTIONS ARE ALLOWED. Ten minutes later, "I'm starving," Layla (8).
"What do you want"
"I don't know"
"Call me when you do".

5 minutes later, Layla again, "I'm starving"
"Ok so tell me what you want"
"I don't know"
"I'm making you eggs"
"Ok, you too Yousef (2)"

I make the eggs, hand them their plates, feed Yousef and then sit to write.
3 minutes later: Yousef is screaming over some toy Layla is playing with. 5 minutes later: he is still yelling. I go up stairs, grab a trunk of toys and come down.
I sit to write.
10 minutes later, Yousef is crying because the toy is not fitting in the car. I solve the problem.
10 minutes later, the dry clean company comes to pick up a load. Then, I remember I need to take 3 doctor's appointments for the kids for that same day. I do that and then sit to write.
Yousef and Layla fight over who gets to watch TV. I take Yousef upstairs, turn on his show, get my laptop and sit to write.

The first time I sat down, it was 9:30am. Now, it's 11:30am and I am getting no where! The deal was, my husband takes the kids to the mall in the morning, while I work. But, since he came back from a late project around 4:30am, I don't have the heart to wake him up.

I can't wait until my kids are teens, going through the phase where they just want to be left alone and maybe then, I can finally focus on having a job!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

It is amazing how the human body can get used to doing exercise and how frustrated a person can get if  he doesn't have time to go as often.

I had 7 kilos of fat I needed to lose. So far, 5 kilos have been shed. For the remaining 2, my trainer told me we have to push up the bar on the degree of difficulty and increase the number of sessions. Unfortunately, this coincided with me going back to work as a writer for the magazine. Needless to say, my job is all about deadlines, lots of them. And since Yousef (2) is always stuck to me, the only time I have available for writing, exercising, or anything else I need to do, is those three hours he is away at preschool.

However, I have noticed that when I do not exercise, my body aches and my mood shifts from normal to annoyed. I've become hooked to being the good kind of active. I say this to differentiate between the good active of the gym vs. the bad active of running after 3 kids, running errands, picking up toys and dirty laundry off the floor, carrying two babies, bathing two babies and all the labour that comes with mama-hood. God bless the gym and the trainer that has become my lifeline!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flavour of the Day With Noora

If just one thing changes in Yousef's routine, it messes up our entire day. The delayed lunch that caused  the delayed nap is the reason why my 2-year-old is still awake at 11:30pm!

I'm so exhausted, way behind my deadlines for work, dreading the long night I have ahead of me with my baby girl and just want to snuggle with a hot water bottle and fall asleep in front of the TV.

I got Yousef so used to a specific routine and explained it to him over and over again that now, he has to have it exactly the same way everyday or else he gets very fussy. Yesterday I had an urgent matter to attend to while he was with me in the car and it happened to be his nap time. The one thing he kept on requesting was a nap in his bed, not in the car, with his pillow and blanket. I always thought that a routine is crucial for kids but it seems that in Yousef's case, we took it a bit too far. I think I need to introduce a bit of chaos to our lives.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Bully in the Market

I hate violence. I hate toys, programs and games that promote violence. I do not buy Yousef toy guns, plastic soldiers or let him watch aggressive television. And when my husband is watching wrestling or some other kind of "violent sport", kids are not allowed to be in the room.

One of the sentences I hated was "if someone hits you, hit him." And for so long, I resisted teaching Yousef to respond in that manner. Yet, when we were at the supermarket and some random child who was initially playing with Yousef punched him in the chest with all his strength for no reason what so ever, I wished that my son had some pay-back violence in him.  Instead, he just politely smiled and stared at the child, trying to fight back his tears.

My heart shattered and tore and the mama instinct in me wanted revenge from this child who was barely reprimanded by his mother! When I think of this happening in a few more years when Yousef is ten and passively attacked by a bully, I get furious and pray to god that he will know how to fight back.  

However, what is right here? We cannot rid the world of bullies even as young as two-years-old but if I teach Yousef to fight back and hit, how can I make sure he will not use hitting as a technique to get what he wants?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flavour Of The Day With Noora

Going Back To Work

In addition to this blog, I also work as a writer for Family Flavours Magazine. However, it has been at least nine months since I have worked due to the demands of having a new baby.

I have been hoping for the possibility of going back to work for a month; so when I got the call yesterday for an opening, I got an adrenaline rush like no other. Within seconds, my brain scanned all the arrangements that needed to be made. Mona (7 months) settled at home and out of the terrible weather, Yousef (2 years-old) dropped off at my mom's and sister's (his favourite sitters) arrangements for the diesel supplier who was scheduled to come that afternoon, delegating the URGENT purchase of a new fridge to my husband, researching the topic of the workshop I was to attend, wearing the right clothes, driving around in the car to make sure Yousef was asleep by the time we reached my mom's so he doesn't get cranky, and finally getting there thirty minutes early.

During the struggle of getting Yousef into his clothes, packing his toys and colouring books, finding the right outfit, and explaining the plans to everyone involved, I could hear a voice say "please let this work, please let this work, I need this".

I hadn't realised how much I missed it; but when I was there, I felt like I belonged among people I had never met until that moment. I need to find a solution,  I want to go back to work.