Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quiz I saw on Sister Scorpian's blog

The Prioress

You scored 10% Cardinal, 58% Monk, 55% Lady, and 37% Knight!

You are a moral person and are also highly intellectual. You like your solitude but are also kind and helpful to those around you. Guided by a belief in the goodness of mankind you will likely be christened a saint after your life is over.

The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test written by KnightlyKnave on Ok Cupid

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The mystery of my husband

Can someone please tell me why some men think that barraging you with insults and proofs of your mistakes they will inspire you to work harder at the things they want you to do? Truly a misguided attempt at communication gentlemen. Try discussing, try explaining, try anything but this. Even if you are right in all the things you say the TONE will defeat you. There, I feel better now.

"Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet" Confucius

Friday, May 27, 2005

Cool story sent out by my midwifery course director


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car." "How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive.  I'm used to this." After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going?  This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden."

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped.  Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.  Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.  The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This
unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.

It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Author Unknown

10 things Every pregnant woman should do...

OK, I have been thinking to do this for quite some time… I just wanted to share my list of the 10 things I think pregnant women need to do, as a midwifery student and as a three time mom.

10 things EVERY pregnant woman should do

1. Thank Allah (swt) even if you weren’t planning this baby. Remember all the women out there trying to conceive.
2. Start thinking about what you eat, the medications you take. Get a nutrition book if you need to! Eating Expectantly is good.
3. Read Henci Goer’s book, The Thinking Woman’s Guide To A Better Birth.
4. Read Ina May Gaskins’s Guide To Childbirth or Rahima Baldwin’s Special Delivery.
5. Don’t listen to horror stories about birth. Think positive and try to face your fears about childbirth with your friend/midwife/doula.
6. Watch a good video of a natural birth (not Maternity Ward or Special Delivery on TLC or Discovery Health channel!!!!).Birth Day is a good choice.
7. REALLY consider your birth attendant choice and how it will impact your delivery.
8. Read The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding and attend a La Leche League Meeting.
9. Stay active, and if you plan to use different positions during your birth practice them so they are comfortable. I recommend squatting daily for short stretches. We don’t squat much, but since it is an ideal birth position you may want to get used to it.
10. Enjoy your pregnancy! Take photos, do a belly cast, keep a journal… Make a way to remember it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Finally got to see the specialist

So, I mentioned before that my middle child (3 1/2) has hearing loss in his right ear... Basically the ear bones conduct no sound so he is only hearing through the skull on that ear. Sounds crazy, but he hears only loud things and they probably sound a little different than in his normal ear. Sooo, after about 100 calls and complaints to the office that was supposed to refer him to this surgeon in Denver I finally took him yesterday.

All I have to say is you MUST follow you instincts with your children's health. The first person we saw in Cheyenne (after I talked to the family doc and got the first hearing test) felt that I was clearly overreacting and they wouldn't need to correct it until he was 8-10 and none of the problems with his balance or attention span were in any way related. But, upon my insisting she ordered a cat scan. They saw a soft tissue mass in the middle ear and so she did as promised and referred me to a specialist. Or so I thought. I waited and called, and waited then called and waited then called and got downright nasty with the nurse (which I felt bad about because I am sure she had nothing to do with it) and she finally gave me the number for the doc in Denver. I found out that the referral had never been made and the records never transferred after all my calls to the Cheyenne office.

So, yesterday, about SIX MONTHS after the initial consult with the ENT in Cheyenne, we saw the specialist in Denver, who scheduled us for surgery ASAP. The reason being that the two docs who saw him yesterday actually listened to me and tested his balance… Which is not good. So, now they want to be sure his inner ear is not leaking fluid or forming a fistula because that could actually further the hearing loss by causing damage to the auditory nerve. And, they agreed that they should correct it now while he is young and if they can’t fix it they want to consider a hearing aide.

They think that all of this happened when my daughter stuck a toothbrush in his ear (the narrow metal part on an electric toothbrush) when he was a little over a year old. The bones of your ear are so close to the eardrum that if you puncture the eardrum in the right place you end up moving the bones. Now, in our case there are a few possibilities one of which is that the bon closest to the inner ear got pushed into it thus causing a leak of the fluid, which can be corrected and the inner ear patched. The other possibility is that they are misaligned now, which can be corrected. The final possibility is that a genetic defect has caused the final bone to fuse to the surface of the inner ear (but it should have been detected by the newborn hearing screen if he has had this loss since birth), which they would not correct because of the risk of damaging the inner ear..

Can a Muslim mom give a halleluiah???? Well, maybe an ALHAMDULILAH!!!!

Now I hate the idea of him going into surgery, but I love the idea that modern medicine can actually address this issue and possibly return his hearing to normal. And for the kiddos out there, the lesson to this story is NEVER out anything in your ear larger than your elbow (and don’t put anything in your brother’s ear either!).

I will post more when I get to the surgery part… Please keep our son in your duas.

And for all of you homeshoolers out there, or anyone who wants to know more for that matter... Here's a cool site about the ear and how it works. What my son has is called Moderate Unilateral Conductive Hearing Loss.

Denver Zoo!

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Went to the Denver Zoo with the kids yesterday... Here they are playing on a hippo sculpture there:)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Kid Training????

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I couldn't make this stuff up.

Yes, for those of you who couldn't really read it it does say:
"Finally, a system that trains your kids to do their chores while you relax in your recliner!" Sit Jr sit, good kid.
"Child earns tokens redeemable for fun family interaction." And if they don't earn their tokens no interaction?
"Children using this system... Acquire valuable tools they can use the rest of their lives." Yeah, like how to train their kids to do the housework so they can sit in their recliners! Not to mention how the blatant manipulation skills will give them an edge in the business world.

Beauty in Wyoming

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OK, I know I'm always hating on Wyoming... But there are some beautiful things here. This is Vedavoo. Of course like all things it has another side... The entrance to this park is where Matthew Shepard was left to die in 1998.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Midwifery course, summer and migraines

Soooo, I have jumped through all of the proverbial hoops to get to the core curriculum for my midwifery course… I am excited and yet apprehensive. I know I want to do it, and the course so far seems to fit my learning style. I guess what I am unsure of is my husband’s support once I get to the real work. He was never that helpful while I was in nursing school… And he still thinks me quitting is “failure”. He doesn’t understand why I wanted to change directions in my study.

Insha’Allah, he will be able to help with the kids and house as much as I need him to. My fear is that he will want to just pay someone else to do it. Which means I will be less likely to take study days and such since I hate leaving the kids with anyone but my husband. But if we can get the house to a manageable state I will look into having a cleaning lady one day a week.

On the up side it looks like we will be going to the 2005 La Leche League International Conference. Which is something I really want to do. Also, my husband and I have decided to wait until October to go to Egypt. Which means I can prepare for al the upcoming things at a more normal pace. Of course knowing me I will wait until the last minute on everything anyway!

Summer is coming, and we are into looking for things to do already. Swim lessons, pottery making, and children’s Museum art classes are on the agenda. Thinking of adding yoga to the day for me… But yoga and hijab don’t really work together unless I can find a women only class, not to mention that i want an instructor who is viewing it as exercise not a path to enlightenment. We will have to see what I can dig up.

I have been having so many migraines lately that I have decided something has to change. Of course I REFUSE to take a med daily as a preventative (let's see, avoid a headache or save my liver and my kidneys????). Yoga has helped in the past. Also chiropractic care has helped. I am thinking to do both. I am also trying (emphasis on trying) to modify my diet. It’s hard…. But I am working on it. The big one for me is diet soda. I can drink like 6 a day, but I am limiting myself to one right now. I hope I can post that I found the magic cure… But I am not counting on it!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Layla's Hair

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So, my daughter Layla LOVES to color her hair... Well, ok since she's 5 she loves for me to color her hair. Here is our latest experiment, "cherry red". Of course they are all wash out colors!!!

Just another manic Monday...

I have been thinking about selling my store for some time, I have mentioned it before… Now I am wondering whether or not I should. I am so used to doing the whole store thing and I wonder if I would miss it. I think I will take all the new products online if I do sell, something I have been wanting to do anyway.

On other fronts we are looking for a house. We are both TIRED of the mobile home thing. But buying a house and moving is a lot of work. And I am scared about the whole idea. I would be much cooler if we could just rent our place that we are in now, but we have to sell it. That park doesn’t allow rentals. So now timing becomes an issue… We have to find a house and sell the trailer in a good timeframe or we will end up renting which means a second move.

And speaking of rentals, the last tenants in our rental are saying they are going to take me to small claims court since I am refusing to return their entire security deposit. Yala, take me to court!LOL They stole the lawnmower and had a dog in the place (which we state in our contract is a no-no)! So I just want to replace the mower and clean the carpets. They will have to get over it. But if they are going to take me to court I wish they would get on with it so I can stop worrying about it.

Otherwise things here are good. I am waiting to hear about whether or not we can go to Egypt this summer. There are a lot of variables, and I might stay here while my husband takes the older kids with him. But, this plan has its flaws… My husband is afraid to take the kids by himself since I am the primary caregiver. I keep telling him they will be fine, and they will just be excited to see his family; but he is worried that they will miss me, he won’t know what to do with them, etc. I am not saying it would be easy, but it is possible if that’s what we decide, insha’Allah. And it makes more sense then trying to rush things here with buying a house, selling the trailer and the store. Of course me having to do all those things alone is another scary thing… But insha’Allah it will be fine.

So, I am off now to balance the ledger for the store, mail some things for my midwifery course and some other random adventures on my to-do list.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Little Things

Focusing on the little things in the religion is something that my husband and I talk about all the time. We disagree about it all the time to be more accurate. I think that there is a time for the little things, and I believe the little things piece together to become the bigger things.

Now follow my logic here. If we say forget the little things where will the structure we need to practice Islam be? It may seem like focusing on how the prayer is performed is getting into micromanaging people’s faith, but I think that it gives us the freedom to focus on worship. You want to pray? Here is how and you just focus on the remembering Allah(swt).

And the same thing applies when you are thinking about all of the things Islam specifies about our daily affairs. Death, divorce, birth, marriage… It is all there in the religion. This (in my opinion) is a mercy from Allah(swt).

Unfortunately, I think that what my husband sees (and I see it too) is that this has led us to a bizarre dependence on the scholars of Islam. We want a fatwa about everything. And some people are hesitant to act unless they have every little issue clarified by a scholar. We are so busy with the little things, and reading what scholars have to say about them that we are stuck only doing that. I don’t think we were meant to use the religion this way. I would argue that we are responsible for learning enough to act on our own knowledge most of the time.

Why have we stopped doing this? Why have we stopped learning the religion for ourselves? Have we let the structure that could be giving us freedom to think of other things become our focus?

I think the danger of this is that we are susceptible to the interpretation of other people, and we will never know the difference. I feel it in my own life all the time. I will be engaged in a discussion about something and I will want to tell them a relevant hadith, but I don’t know it exactly, and I can’t say for sure the chain of narration and its strength so I am weak in my argument.

I am setting a goal for myself of memorizing one hadith a week, complete with its narration. I think if we could all do that it would be impossible for someone to give us a twisted answer to something because we would know better. Even better yet we would have the answers without going to scholars for every little thing.

Wyoming Spring

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This is why spring in Wyoming doesn't always involve playing outside, planting gardens and such.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This is the new blog!!!

OK, so I am having some issues with my computer here at the store, and this is where I do most of my writting. For some reason it has a problem with blogger! The windows close without warning, wierd stuff. But I am ready to change to blogger anyway. I really want to expand my blog, and that is the only way I see to really do some work on it. I am on the fence about how many posts I will move, but I will do at least the past ten or so, ones that I think are worth moving.

Here is a link to the old blog, and I hope this one can be my new home online soon.

The Old Egyptian's Wife:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Home schooling in Laramie

OK, so I have been talking about the ongoing debate in our house about the validity of HSing. Now I am more unsure than ever about the reality of what is going to happen with the whole thing at our house. I am feeling more committed than ever to the idea of HSing our DD... And I don't want to have a war on my hands with my DH.

I just feel like if I do well with her this summer I want to keep going with it. But, I am not sure DH will agree to it. He knows she is doing well working with me, but he feels like that doesn't mean we should HS. I guess I am afraid I am setting myself up for disappointment. I am working hard to rove that HSing works for our family, and maybe my DH isn't even open to the idea at all.

My concern is that I have no idea what is going on in her mind after spending the day with the other kids at school, and I know some of it is not good. I see a difference in her behavior daily. When she first gets home from school she is more irritable, more aggressive. I can't wait for summer.


I hate being on the fence about it. I am getting ready to dig my feet in here very soon... And then wish me luck, because my DH is as stubborn as I am.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Marriage is hard

Saturday, 7 May 2005

OK, obviously there are reasons that I am writing this, but I am going to talk about the subject in a general sense.

Unless you married someone who is exactly like you in most ways, which I think would be hard if not impossible to find, marriage is the end of having things your way all the time for both partners. That's the reality of sharing your life with other people. Unless you are living on a deserted island you will have to learn to live with that fact. And yet the is the sticking point for most couples... How do they maintain individuality and work as a team?

I have no hard answers, only my thoughts... My first thought is that it seems like there is usually one partner doing the bending most of the time, and that is hard for them. If you are that partner you know what I am saying. I think the best thing for that partner would be to have a break from that role occasionally. Which means that the other partner will have to know who they are in the relationship and make an effort to back off every so often. And I don't mean about what's for dinner. I mean about something big. I think this could help to equalize things. And of course when this balance is not found, arguments arise... Which leads me to the next thought.

The other thing I think is important is no matter how angry you are NO INSULTS!!!!! And I can't stress that enough. One bad word can stick in the mind of your spouse indefinitely. And in the religion there is a principle that it is best to control your anger when you can. Here is a brief article about anger and its effect on health. It is reported that the Mohammad (saws) asked a question of his companion, "Who among you do you consider a strong man?" They said, the one who can defeat so-and-so wrestler in a fight, and he said,"That is not so. The one who is strong is the one who can control himself at the time of anger."

Another advice that I have heard and i think it goes to the idea that a diversion from the argument can help you to control yourself is the following hadith:
A couple went to Prophet Mohammed and said, We have been fighting each other for many years. Each time she says something to hurt my feelings, I become angry, and then I fight back and this fight comes to such a degree that I am afraid that this verbal fight may,become physical, or we may end up divorced. So please advise how we can control our anger. He told the husband that when your wife provokes you and makes you angry, take a sip of your water in your mouth and do not swallow it or spit it out, but keep it there until she has calmed down. Well, he practiced that and a few months later, he reported back that it did work.
Now I don't know about the authenticity of this hadith at this time, but the idea is what is important in my mind. We will fight as married people, and the challenge is to control ourselves and guard against it escalating.

The other thing I think can really strengthen a relationship is remembrance of Allah (swt) and setting the home to be a place where the family can worship together, and strengthen one another's iman. This takes the focus off of less important things, and sets the standard that the disagreements will be settled by the rules of the religion. I have seen the relationship between the spouses and their level of iman many times. It seems like they can lift each other up or drag each other down depending on the dynamic. And the minute the foundation of the family (Islam) falls down the whole relationship tends to sour. It would benefit us all in so many ways if we could pray with our families and instead of parking in front of the TV in the evening we could sit together and talk about the religion, or study Quran.

Obviously I am coming from a place of self examination at this time... And I have a long way to go in all these areas. But I hope that we can all look at these things as goals. No one should feel disconnected from their spouse, no one should feel like they are constantly doing the will of the other person and thus losing their individuality. And no one should have to bear the brunt of their spouse's anger.

As Muslims we should remember our adhab, and remember that even though we are close to our spouses and we share many things they still deserve to be treated with the same courtesy you would show a stranger you meet during the course of the day.

Just my thoughts......