Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eid prep...

So I am currently up watching Dexter (I'm halfway through season 3) on my dad's on demand cable and preparing gifts for Eid. Last Eid was a mess since we were in the middle of moving, so I have plans to make this one nicer. I am planning on making a pinata... And I got some nice outfits to go to the prayer in, all cute and matched. Also, I am going to hang some lights, insha'Allah. I am going to do cookie trays for the kid's teachers.

I like the whole gift giving thing so much. The one weird thing I am struggling with is a gift for DH. It feels strange to buy him something because I know he has such specific ideas for himself and it's his money I'm spending!LOL

The upshot is that I got the kid's desks today, and I really like them. I still have to get them some supplies, and some lighting.

So all of you out there getting the house ready for Eid, I wish you luck! I for one am getting excited;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back in the saddle again...

As you may know if you follow my blog I should have a bumper sticker that says I'd rather be home-schooling, but DH and I have differing views on the matter. I have to admit that after the first year of having the kids in school I stopped working with them after-school due to frustration levels (theirs and mine). However, recently it has come to my attention that DD #1 has stopped making reading skills progress since then. And DS #1 needs some serious help with his handwriting and geography.

So, during the time that the kids were in school this week I redid their rooms. Now we are going to make a special trip tomorrow afternoon for desks and a list of various study center pieces I have deemed essential. We are going to do some serious work at home again. And now that the kids are older they need to have a study zone. So we are making one.

I am breaking out the zayner-bolser handwriting books and have decided to go back to some phonetics stuff with Layla. I know she is going to hate it, but I think the problem she is having is an inability to sound things out. So, back to the basics. I am thinking Dr. Seuss and Shell Silverstein might be a good way to get some non-sense words into her reading and force her to sound things out. We'll see.

I am also going to start more Islamic education for them again. Truly, I have been a mess with that. I have no weekend school within reach, so it's all me and I have to get back to doing it on a regular basis. I do have one question though. How do you no-Arabi speakers like me handle the memorizing Quran? And what about resources for kids that aren't all just "memorize this, memorize that?" Hmmmm, if you have thoughts let me know. Actually the whole memorizing focus of Islamic education is a subject I would like to tackle, but it deserves its own post.

I have a digital camera again, and I will post pictures of their "study centers" when we get them finished, insha'Allah. If you mommies out there thoughts on good things to have in the home classroom just let me know;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

All I wanted was the simple things...

What is the simple life? There is a song that I love by no doubt that says "All I ever wanted was the simple things, a simple kind of life. And now those simple things are simply too complicated for my life." I feel like I am living that song.

I know there is a stage where everyone wants to be a rock-star or an astronaut... You very rarely hear a young woman saying she wants to be a wife and a mother, but once you are past that I think many of us come to a place where that is all we want.

I had visions of my life when I was getting married that involved an Odyssey and 6 kids in a nice home in Denver, CO. Maybe even someplace bigger and warmer like California. I never saw us as rich, but I did think we would be comfortable with a house and a nice life. My DH was getting a PHD in Engineering after all. I saw this whole mom's night out, friends over for dinner social life I would have. I figured I would have a sewing room and I would make things for my kids. I saw myself having beautiful home-births and a husband who supported my interest in home-birthing. I thought I would home-school and have my children play sports and be involved in the local Muslim community. I thought I might even be a public speaker of some sort for Muslim women. I saw myself filling a freezer with fabulous home cooked meals so we would have wonderful family dinners even when I was busy. I thought we would take family vacations and camping trips. I envisioned a garden and canning things from it. I'm going to be honest, so don't think I'm mean or heartless here because I wouldn't trade my family for anything... If I had known what my life would be like now, I would've hitched up my jilbab and run full speed in the opposite direction.

So I am starting to wonder if I am in mourning for the loss of something that was just never mine to begin with? Am I punishing the people around me for failing to become my dream family? Is my sense of detachment coming from the feeling that this is not my life?

And the real question.... Considering that my dream life will NEVER happen now, what are my goals?

There is a sense of getting shortchanged that is hanging over my head like a black cloud. Even as I write this I am getting choked up. I'm not saying that no one would be happy with my life. Actually I'm sure there is a woman out there somewhere living my ideal life that hates it and would take mine and excel. She would not only enjoy my situation, she would thrive in it. And isn't that ironic and strange???

I'm all for the bloom where you are planted thing. But it is proving to be harder for me than it sounds. On some level, and maybe I am spoiled to some extent, I have decided that these things I want are deeper than that. They are in fact things I need. And maybe there is some truth to that. Can meeting the conditions for survival end up in fulfillment?

Imagine that I put you in a place you hate, lets say you are a summer person and I throw you in Alaska. Then I give you food and shelter, but it is also the exact opposite of what you would choose for yourself. You are a vegetarian and I give you a meat based diet. You like a small warm house I give you a spacious drafty one. You like to sew, and I give you a garage with a wood-shop. Do you think you could live your life and not just survive but be happy in it? Because I guess that is the situation I feel like I am in.


Seriously, I can take my lemons and make lemonade... But what if I don't like lemonade?

Friday, November 14, 2008

My new BFF

If you don't see a picture on the post I'm probably blogging from my new BFF... A pink blackberry curve. Allah help you if you are on my IM list 'cause I am IMing from it as much as possible too. Oh, and of course texting at the speed of light. Very cool I must say. Thank you Verizon Wireless upgrade program!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Courtship vs Marriage

I was just thinking while I was at the store shopping for a special dish for DH about the various reactions to my cooking over the years... When I was a girlfriend (I wasn't always Muslim you know) I heard, "Anything that you blew your breath on is wonderful." Then as a new wife I heard, "You cook food better than a restaurant!!!" Now as a wife of over a decade I hear, "Why are we wasting money at restaurants when you can cook?"

You figure that out! **wink**

Monday, November 03, 2008

Reality Bites

Where were you when you realised that reality really does bite? I think I was in a horrible little apartment doing my bills with the check from my dream job (you know the one you get that magical degree for???). I saw that there was no way I was ever going to get ahead on the money I was making. Or, maybe it was when I was in labor with my first child and my husband was too tired to stay with me at the hospital and I had no one else to be there with me since I was in this weird little town. Anyway, I think I was in my mid-twenties when I saw all too clearly that my life was not going to be something from a magazine.

When I was up late a few nights ago I happened to catch the movie Reality Bites... I could see how it is kind of a mirror of our generations apathy and cynicism. I have to say it's on my list of movies that somehow strike a chord with me. Another one being Lost in Translation... And for some reason Fight Club (I guess I have some anger issues!LOL). So I am wondering dear readers... What are the movies that speak to you????