Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wedding Time

This weekend was jam packed, my husband's good friend got married. It was our first time going to a wedding with Zakariya walking. I had guessed ahead of time that he would get bored of sitting in our laps. Didn't anyone tell you? These are the prime years, the age to discover... to touch all the decor, climb the stage and push other children when no one is looking.

Here is how we got through the weekend, it was pretty successful for the most part Alhumdulillah:

1) Make sure your kids are wearing cute but comfortable clothing. Sure, you want them to look cute, but you are sure going to regret it once they start itching and scratching all night because the work on their shalwar kameez (Bollywood inspired outfit) starts giving them an itchy rash.

2) Pack extra snacks; if it is a Indian or Pakistani wedding expect the food to be served late. Chances are the kiddo will get hungry. We fed Zakariya before leaving home- but he got hungry again once we got to the hall, Alhumdulillah my sister in law packed some extra snacks for the kiddos to keep content until dinner was served.

3) Take turns alternating between the guys table and the girls table. What I mean by this is- if you like us generally sit at segregated tables (one table for the husbands, one tables for the wives) it helps to alternate, this keeps the kids entertained with different people to meet and greet as well as not having to sit at the same spot for too long. If you happen to sit at the same table, try and alternate so that you each get in your own time to socialize; weddings are no fun if you are on cranky baby duty all night.

4) Try to find seating in the back, this way kids have some room to run around and there is extra room to park your stroller.

5) Make sure to pack some never seen before- or special occasion toys and books. It's like opening a new toy all over again and this keeps the kids busy for a decent amount of time!

6) Feel free to let other people hold your kids; they are trying to give you a break!

7) Move all the silverware as soon as you sit down, otherwise there will be a lot noise during the speeches... and yes people will turn around and give you bad looks.

8) Expect your kids to make some new friends for the night; don't worry too much about them picking up bad behavior for life... chances are the friendships will not be lasting and they will forget each other until the next wedding.

9) Be fair, allow your kids some time to be free and run around (in the lobby or hallway) they are kids... you cannot expect them to sit in one spot for the entire night!

10) Most importantly... do not forget the traditional bride and groom picture with baby in middle picture, no bride or groom looks complete without a baby that is not theirs on the lap!




Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Toxic Foam Mats



Belgium is to ban the sale of all foam puzzle mats for babies and toddlers, citing tests showing they contain a cancer-causing chemical.

Formamides are used to soften the foam in the mats but are corrosive and can be deadly. Toxicologist Alfred Bernard explained:

“They are solvents, residues from the manufacturing process that stay in the product afterwards. They can be absorbed through breathing or through the skin. As a rule, children should not be exposed to these products.”

Belgium becomes the first European country to ban the mats and will impose a 20,000 euro fine for anyone found selling them. Jean-Philippe Ducart, a spokesman for a consumer watchdog said:

“They will be illegal in 2011 but in the meantime we ask that they be withdrawn from the market in the interest of public health and the health of children exposed to them.”

An EU-wide ban on the mats is expected within the next few years.

In November, the EU prohibited the sale of plastic baby bottles containing Bisphenol A, a compound that tests suggest have adverse health effects on babies.

Copyright © 2010 euronews

This news comes as BIG surprise to me because I have seen those foam mats practically everywhere! Schools, libraries, day care centers, homes- I mean literally they are everywhere. All the moms and pregnant women who have these mats- you have every right to be upset about this...

However, lets look at the bright side and be thankful that we have the science and technology to expose these toxins; otherwise we might have never known. Please be sure to dump the mats ASAP and do not take this news lightly or ignore it... a couple of inexpensive foam mats are not worth the risk.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eating on the GO

I have wanted to take Zakariya to the pet store for a few days now. He is crazy about all the dog’s he has been seeing around the building. He gets super excited and starts pointing and screaming “bobo!” that’s what he calls dogs. I never really noticed this before, but a lot of dog owners kind of resemble their dogs! I mean that in the nicest way possible. For example, there was an elderly woman sharing the elevator with us and she for sure was rocking the same hairstyle as her dog, same color and all. My husband was the one who pointed it out. Alhumdulillah, I do not have to worry about his gaze being lowered if those are the kind of things he is noticing (just kidding hubby!)

I like going to Sherway Gardens mall. It consists of elderly shoppers and hip Mama’s like myself! There is actually room to walk and get this- even room to push around your stroller without bumping into other strollers! However, that being said it is Christmas time- and difficult to avoid the holiday rush regardless… and there is no escaping the annoying Christmas carols blasting on the highest volume in every store.

Mall food courts do not have very many healthy options available… But I will give Sherway Gardens some credit- their food court is better than most. I was thinking about what I could get for Zakariya- I completely grew up eating French fries anytime we went out. Mainly because we never had halal options and also because I hated vegetables… fries were affordable and I ate them in large amounts- this made my parents happy in hopes that I would become the fat chubby child of their dreams. I ate fries up until my teenage years, even in twenties- but still never became the chubby child that they dreamt of… of course until I got pregnant… but I will blog about that another day!

I scouted around looking for what I could offer my little guy- I wanted to give him some variety other than fries… but I also did not need to buy an entire plate or dinner… just enough to feed him really. I ended up at Villa Medina. I bought a skewer of chicken breast and side order of rice- and then kindly told the man at the cashier that it was for a small child… to which I think he may have lowered the price, because somehow it only came out to $5.00. Alhumdulillah, my intention was pure and for the sake of Allah (to preserve my little guys health and body) Allah subhana ta alla always makes it easy for us!

I was pretty satisfied and so was my bebo! Here are pics of him enjoying his nutritious meal and later his dessert- a date (kajoor) and there he is checking out some fish at the pet store.

How do you keep your little ones eating healthy on the go? Any tips?




Friday, December 17, 2010

Jummah Mubarak



Asalaamu Aalaikum,


Jummah Mubarak from our family to yours. Don't forget to recite Surah Khaf today.


Rasulullah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Friday is the best of days. It was on this day that Hadrat Adam alayhis salaam was created, it was on this day that he was granted entry into jannah, it was on this day that he was removed from jannah (which became the cause for man's existence in this universe, and which is a great blessing), and the day of resurrection will also take place on this day." (Sahih Muslim)


Please remember us in your duas.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations...
Marium!!!
You are the winner of an IGym Yoga mat!
Now... do I seriously have to mail this thing all the way to CALIFORNIA... Can't you just come to Toronto and get it?!
Here's what Marium had to say about it: "It's so exciting, I have never won anything before!"
*For those of you who are wondering, the contest was NOT rigged! It was the Qadr of Allah and she just happened to leave the 3rd comment which was also the number selected by random.org

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hush Little Baby

This Nasheed is so sweet, I want to memorize the words and sing it to both my babies; Zakariya and his Baba.

It gives me strange butterflies in my tummy and makes me feel like making dua for another one ;) Inshallah Allah knows best. What about you- feel something in your stomach?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Freedom of Screech



"My daughter Olivia, 6, was at our house with a friend when our cat walked up to them. Her friend asked, "Has your cat ever had baby cats?" Olivia responded, "He's not even married!"
Jennifer Rayola
Channahon, Illionois

"When my 5 year old son had his annual checkup, the dentist asked, "So, is there anything bothering you?" Wesley thought for a moment, and then responded, "Yes, my baby brother, Warren!"
Tina Kim; Diamond Bar, California

"I was running errands with my recently toilet trained daughter, Ella, 2. When I told her we were going to Pottery Barn, she became really quiet. Then from the back seat she muttered, "Mommy, I don't want to go potty in a barn."
Paige Miller; Memphis, Tennessee

"After playing a game online for a few minutes, my 4 year old daughter. Kate, said "Mom, the computer's cold. It isn't working." When I asked if she meant it was frozen, she replied, "It's Daddy's fault! He left the window open."
Tara Trainor: Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Source: Parents Dec 2010 Issue

Toddlers-Kids say the funniest things. Now that Zakariya is getting older, it is amazing to see his personality develop. Mashallah he is becoming his own person and we are really enjoying seeing our little guy mature into a little man! One thing in particular that has been especially fun is his toddler talk. He has especially good comic timing. I think he takes after me (haha)

This reminds me of the time when I told my first love (yes even before you husband) my nephew Abdur Rahman (almost 4 years old) that Zakariya knows how to walk now, to which he quickly said "Mashallah I can walk too"... Or when Abdur Rahman asked why I did not wear my hijab in front of Yasser Phupha (my husband)... Kids notice even the finest of details...

What are some of the cutest/funniest things your kids have said?

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Story of Umm Ayman

Written by Abdul Wahid Hamid
Source: http://blog.iloveallaah.com/2010/08/the-story-of-umm-ayman/

We do not know precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale in Makkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave marketof the city to be sold.

A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them with the utmost harshness. A few in that inhuman environment were rather more fortunate. They were taken into the homes of more gentle and caring people. Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more fortunate ones. She was saved by the generous and kind Abdullah, the son of Abd al-Muttalib. She became the only servant in his household and when he was married, to the lady Aminah, she looked after her affairs as well.Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah, Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a trading caravan that was leaving for Syria. Aminah was deeply distressed and cried: "How strange! How strange! How can my husband go on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of henna are still on my hands." Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In her anguish, Aminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah said: "When I saw Aminah unconscious, I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!'

Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah."

"Aminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither did she look at anyone who visited her except Abd al-Muttalib, that noble and gentle old man. "Two months after the departure of Abdullah, Aminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy, she said to me: "O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream." "Something good, my lady," I said. "I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah." "Do you feel pregnant, my lady?" "Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel." "You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness," I said. So long as Abdullah was away, Aminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah stayed at her side trying to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating stories. Aminah however became even more distressed when Abd al-Muttalib came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was too grief-striken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Ka'bah because it was protected by the Lord. Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Ka'bah would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.

Day and night, Barakah stayed beside Aminah. She said: "I slept at the foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her and give her courage."

The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah went secretly to the house of Abd al-Muttalib to find out about Abdullah, but found no news of him. She went back to Aminah but did not tell her what she had seen or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually returned but not with Abdullah.

Later, Barakah was at Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from Yathrib that Abdullah had died. She said: "I screamed when I heard the news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return, lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for Abdullah, the pride of the Quraysh. When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with the light of God." When Muhammad was born, Barakah was the first to hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Ka'bah and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah stayed with Aminah while Muhammad was sent to the baadiyah (desert) with the lady Halimah who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aminah received him with tenderness and love and Barakah welcomed him "with joy, longing and admiration".

When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave of her husband, Abdullah, in Yathrib. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib tried to dissuade her. Aminah however was determined. So one morning they set off- Aminah, Muhammad and Barakah huddled together in a small hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry, Aminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of his father. The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah tried to console Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept with his arms around Barakah's neck. The caravan took ten days to reach Yathrib. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu Najjar while Aminah went to visit the grave of Abdullah. Each day for a few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief. On the way back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between Yathrib and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aminah's health deteriorated rapidly.One pitch dark night, she was running a high temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to Barakah in a choking voice. Barakah related: "She whispered in my ear: 'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen. Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.' "My heart was shattered and I began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent." Barakah wept. She wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand and buried Aminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in her heart. Barakah returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look after him. When Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the child to the house of his uncle Abu Talib and continued to look after his needs until he was grown up and married the lady Khadijah. Barakah then stayed with Muhammad and Khadijah in a house belonging to Khadijah. "I never left him and he never left me," she said. One day Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called out to her and said: "Ya Ummah!" (He always called her "Mother".) "Now I am a married man, and you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now and ask to marry you?" Barakah looked at Muhammad and said: "I shall never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?" Muhammad smiled and kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family."

Barakah looked at the lady Khadijah who said to her: "Barakah, you have sacrificed your youth for the sake of Muhammad. Now he wants to pay back some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be married before old age overtakes you." "Whom shall I marry, my lady?" asked Barakah. "There is here now Ubayd ibn Zayd from the Khazraj tribe of Yathrib. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my sake, don't refuse." Barakah agreed. She married Ubayd ibn Zayd and went with him to Yathrib. There she gave birth to a son whom she called Ayman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Ayman" the mother of Ayman. Her marriage however did not last very long. Her husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son" Muhammad in the house of the lady Khadijah. Living in the same household at the time were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter by her first husband), and Zayd ibn Harithah.

Zayd was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zayd became attached to Muhammad and devoted himself to his service. Their relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zayd's father came to Makkah in search of him, Zayd was given the choice by Muhammad of either going with his father or staying with him. Zayd's reply to his father was: "I shall never leave this man. He has treated me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day have I felt that I am a slave. He has looked after me well. He is kind and loving towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him and go with you?...I shall never leave him." Later, in public Muhammad proclaimed the freedom of Zayd. However, Zayd continued to live with him as part of his household and devoted himself to his service. When Muhammad was blessed with prophethood, Barakah and Zayd were among the first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early Muslims the persecution which the Quraysh meted out to them. Barakah and Zayd performed invaluable services to the mission of the Prophet. They acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the persecution and punishment of the Quraysh and risking their lives to gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikeen (polytheists).

One night the mushrikoon blocked off the roads leading to the House of al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah had some urgent information from Khadijah which had to be conveyed to the Prophet. She risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:

"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When Umm Ayman left,the Prophet looked at his companions and asked:

"Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman." Ali the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn al-Harithah however came forward and said:
"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."

Zayd and Umm Ayman were married and were blessed with a son whom they named Usamah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved Usamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usamah distinguished himself in the service of lslam, and was later given weighty responsibilities by the Prophet. When the Prophet migrated to Yathrib, henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Ayman behind in Makkah to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she migrated to Madinah on her own. She made the long and difficult journey through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing and sandstorms obscured the way but she persisted, borne along by her deep love and attachment for Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her face was covered with sand and dust.

"Ya Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!" exclaimed the Prophet when he saw her. He wiped her face and eyes, massaged her feet and rubbed her shoulders with his kind and gentle hands. At Madinah, Umm Ayman played her full part in the affairs of the Muslims. At Uhud she distributed water to the thirsty and tended the wounded. She accompanied the Prophet on some expeditions, to Khaybar and Hunayn for example. Her son Ayman, a devoted companion of the Prophet was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah. Barakah's husband, Zayd, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria after a lifetime of distinguished service to the Prophet and Islam. Barakah at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her time at home. The Prophet, accompanied by Abu Bakr and Umar often visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply: "I am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islam is."

After the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had died, Barakah would often be found with tears in her eyes. She was once asked, "Why are you crying?" and she replied: "By Allah, I knew that the Messenger of Allah would die but I cry now because the revelation from on high has come to an end for us." Barakah was unique in that she was the only one who was so close to the Prophet throughout his life from birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in the Prophet's household. She remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble, gentle and caring Prophet. Above all, her devotion to the religion of Islam was strong and unshakable. She died during the caliphate of Uthman. Her roots were unknown but her place in Paradise is assured.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Give AWAY!



IGym Yoga and Exercise mat! Finally an excuse for all of us to get off our butts!

To enter contest leave any comment
Contest closes Sunday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy Kids & Lollipops



Moms and dads, here are the top five vitamins you want to include in your child’s diet to increase their memory, energy and immune system.

1) Omega 3 Fish Oil: Excellent for memory and boosting your child’s immune system.

2) Multivitamin: Giving your child a healthy balance of all vitamins and minerals to help balance the body’s basic functions.

3) Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D: Great for healthy bones, a strong immune system and a balanced nervous system.

4) Rice Protein Powder: Start the morning off with a scoop of rice protein to increase your child’s energy.

5) Probiotic: They help with maintaining a healthy digestive system, and increasing immune function.

(Courtesy: Dr. Elias Markou ND)

I just want to add, if we encourage our children to adapt these habits- taste at a young age it will be easier for them to develop them into a lifestyle. Sure, they will reject the idea the first few times, maybe even 50 times- but as the parent; we have to be creative and hide the vitamins in the brownies! Jerry Seinfield's wife has an ENTIRE book on this... so it IS possible!

It requires patience, time and effort from our end... Mother's- I think it we should expect little-no help from our husbands in this department... In fact, you can expect resistance from parents, in laws and husbands, family members and friends (who all have children eating junk and cannot stand the fact that you are even going to try for a sugar free, junk free kiddie diet-- so just be prepared and warned in advance for all hssing and pssing you will face.

People can say whatever they want to me... but one thing I have stood ground at is my super mama attitude with my baby-toddler diet... I know my hard work has paid off thus far and Alhumdulillah it shows in the cusine choices my little guy makes....

I just wanted to take this chance to tell everyone who resisted my Super Mama attitude... and everyone who told me my kid would love juice, coke and lolipops... and even tried to guilt me by saying things like "you did everything, now you will not let your kid do it".... I tried to give Zakariya a lolipop the other day and after a few licks, he threw it away.

How is that for SUPER MAMA!

This post qualifies- for official bragging super Mama Bragging RIGHTS!

What are some of your Super Mama moments?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Foogo Straw Sippy Cup



We all know how expensive having children can be… and to be honest, one of the things I have had struggled with the most was justifying some of those purchase- especially if they did not come from gift money.

I have learned with everything that if I got my money’s worth- then it was probably worth whatever I spent on it. This brings me to the topic of conversation- or blog today… why I finally bought the $20 sippy cup:


1) It is BPA free and stainless steel. We like to use glass bottles, it only made sense to continue in avoiding plastic

2) This cup does not leak at all, flip it over backwards, sideways, upside down- you name it… it will not leak… all the other cups leak like crazy- which just means you have to keep your kids in bibs and constantly need to change their clothes… why not just buy a leak proof sippy cup?

3) Keeps beverages cool

4) Easy straw suction- the last sippy cup we got for Zaki was impossible to suck out of, we were shocked because we tried it and almost hurt our brains trying to drink out of that thing

5) Has a cute lid/snap on cap- to keep the straw germ free!

6) You can order replacement straws once wear and tear happens to your old one

7) Light weight, baby and toddler can handle holding them… baby can probably use the spout cup to start off with

8) Come in blue or pink- gender colors if you care to match your baby to their cup!

9) Easy to wash and easy to clean- you may need to purchase a small bottle brush and use the small bottle brush side to clean the inside of the straw

10) Yes they are pricey… but buy 1 or 2 and it will save you money in the long run… don’t even bother buying other brands

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finger Paints







I have been doing weekly crafts with Zakariya... and let me tell you, crafting with a 14 month old aint so easy! First of all, he is really messy about the whole thing. He actually tried to paint on me at one point. He also refused to use any color other than the blue paint, which is kind of a cute in a blue-boyish way. He ruined my mom's table cloth.

Still... I think it is worth it and a creative outlet and for some reason I am a beaming proud Mama who wants to frame all his artwork and gift it to other people- so they can hang it in their homes ;) I think next year Eid gifting will be so much cheaper thanks to Zakariya (muhahaha- evil laugh)

So, Mama's what are some easy, crafty, creative outlets for babies-toddlers? Share share!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Toddler Sleep



Tips and strategies from Todays Parent

-If you think your toddler is getting enough sleep and might be going to bed too early, try shifting her bedtime to a later time. Gushnowski recommends moving it 15 minutes at a time for a couple of days, so that she's not overtired by the time she goes to sleep.

-Adjust nap times. Perhaps it's time to move from two naps a day to just one. Or you might want to gradually shorten nap times.

-Make sure your toddler's room is sleep friendly. Install blinds to keep the room dark, or add a white-noise machine to mask the sounds of pre down garbage trucks and particularly enthusiastic birds.

-Does your toddler wake up with a soaking diaper every morning? Try using overnight diapers or "diaper doublers"-- cloth or disposable pads that are inserted in the diaper to increase absorbency. You may also want to cut down the amount of liquid she has before bedtime. Putting a barrier of cream on her bottom may help reduce the discomfort so that she doesn't wake up.

-If he seems hungry when he wake up, a high-protein snack, such as hummus, yogurt, or nut butter on toast, before bedtime may help to stave off hunger longer.

-If he's awake and not willing to go back to bed, Gushnowski suggests trying to get him involved in quiet play until you're ready to get up. You may be able to leave some toys in his crib or room the night before, or you might feel safer having him in your room playing on the floor while you get a little more rest.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Give Give Give me AWAAAAY!



Drum roll please…

As promised, here is our very first give away! It is an IGym Yoga and Exercise mat! Finally an excuse for all of us to get off our butts!

The contest is open to all single ladies, newly married brides, married aunties, mama’s to be and full time mamas!

To enter send an email to alif2yaa@gmail.com and tell me in a few words- why you like reading my blog, and why you keep coming back for more! Simply take a few minutes and put together a list of things you love about or love seeing/hearing/watching kids and babies do!

The contest will end Thursday Nov 25th, 2010. I do not like the idea of a lottery style, luck of the draw, game of chance- style of picking a winner. So I will be reading the all the entries and picking a winner myself.

If you feel like being extra creative, feel free to attach a picture of your cute self, kiddos or any image of your choice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pajama Mama!

Unlike real jeans, it uses Dormisoft fabric (a proprietary blend of cotton and spandex) that’s both stretchy and cushy, yet gives off a very jersey-like feel. Inside, it’s completely brushed, making it as smooth as fleece. Basically, it’s really just a pair of casual pants that should be so soft and comfortable, you wouldn’t mind wearing them to bed. Like a more stylish pair of mom jeans, probably.
source: http://www.neatorama.com/2010/02/09/pajama-jeans/

Are you serious? These are weirder then the SNUGGLY! I am not sure how to react to this...

CALLING ALL mothers to be & postpartum mama's!

Apparently, there is a pajama turned jean- that is Mama friendly. Can you imagine being comfortable and still looking cute? This would be my husband's dream come true. It would be like the newly married days, when I would actually wear my skinny jeans... or when I could actually fit into my skinny jeans.

Here is what I am thinking, if I get these:

1) I will look HIP at all times
2) I can trick my in laws into thinking I am dressed up, even under my abaya
3) It looks like they can handle a little baby spit up
4) They look stretchy and remind me of maternity pants.... HOW COMFY!
5) I can wear them to sleep

Yeah... I probably will not be buying them. For some reason, they still creep me out. Is anyone into these?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Eid Dua List!



Eid is just around the corner and I do not know about you, but I am trying to plan in advance activities to keep my bebo comfortable during Eid Salaat. As cute as I want him to look- I have to make sure he is in warm and comfortable clothing. We normally pray Eid salaat at the Hershey Center but last Eid we opted to go to Al Huda. It was warm, cozy, less crowded and completely indoors. Also, they have super hero volunteer aunties who JET (AND I mean faster than a plane) and pick up crying babies! It is pretty cool actually, the last two years my bebo has spent the entire khutbah and salaat with random aunties- who cooed, smiled, played and loved on him. It was such a treat for me! Alhumdulillah. I know a lot of Mama’s are just not cool with other people touching their kids- and hey that’s fine too, whatever floats your boat… a lot of them claim that it is their child and not them, that’s cool too.

Zakariya is Mashallah a very sociable toddler. He has no problems with large crowds and new places. Usually a new environment is enough distraction in itself to keep him busy. My concern is that ever since he has started walking, it’s difficult to get him to sit in one place. He is for sure a toddler on the go and there is no stopping him!

I am hoping to have a few Mommy tricks up my sleeve to keep him sitting in front of me for as long as possible.

Here is my list of wishful thinking: or should I say my DUA list:

1) For those of you who have been to the Hershey Center before, they have a pretend soccer field- with some sort of plastic grass. I am hoping he will be too scared to walk on the grass and will be glued to my lap.

2) I am also hoping my mother in law or mom will find him either too cute or too irresistible to put him down and offer to watch him the whole time.

3) Maybe his dad can take him on the men’s side, yeah not likely. He will probably distract the Khatib and knock over the microphone system.

4) A super cute hijabi baby will catch his attention and he will stare at her the entire time. When they grow up they can get married. It would be so halal and weirdly romantic at the same time!

5) He will sit on his baby janamaaz and do sajdah the entire time.

6) His winter jacket makes him so cozy that he sleeps through the whole thing.

7) My relatives show up and refuse to return him to me, for the duration of the salaat.

8) He voluntarily chills on my lap. No fussing involved.

9) The stranger sitting next to me, signals to him “come here” and he actually goes and does not want to come back until AFTER the salaat is over.

10) Best case scenario: one of my younger cousins is not praying but had to come because her older brother does not know about PMS yet, she can watch zakariya while hanging out in the non-praying section.

Alhumdulillah, my bebo is not really a difficult child…. BUT you never know. Kids always have good days and bad days. At least they are better than adults! Anywho, it does not hurt to make DUA in advance =p

How are you planning to get through Eid Salaat?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bumbo Baby



Here is an old picture of my little Bebo in his Bumbo baby. Obviously looking at the picture his stomach muscles were just not developed enough to handle the strength needed to sit upright in that thing- however, in due time he did grow into it.

I decided to spice things up a bit and do a product review for a change. This is to save all you expectant mama’s some money in advance- you can thank me later. This is also to give all the experienced mama’s out there a little credit for all the “I told you so’s” and pre-warnings they tried to give all the expectant mama’s.

Here is what I liked about the Bumbo:

-it has a cute 70’s retro look to it
-it is totally safe and baby proof, no sharp edges
-it did help baby get the hang of sitting up right
-baby hung out in bumbo from time to time
-came with a cool attachable tray- can be used to put toys on
- I got it as a gift
-comes in a cute box; great for storage

Here is what I did not like:

-the price, at $64.99 is it OVER PRICED; oh and you have to buy the tray separately
-it was used for a short time before our baby got bored out grew it because he was happier in his baby gym
-I tried to use it for meal time, not the best eating position and this caused for a lot of spit up
-for babies who spit up a lot or babies who suffer for GER (gastro reflux) this product has a short lived life span

So, Mom’s to be- do yourself a favor… buy a used bumboo or consider using one as a hand me down. Chances are the person you are getting it from did not use it much to begin with!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dhul Hijjah!

Official Decision and Announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia...

The official decision and announcement of the High Judiciary Council (HJC) of Saudi Arabia regarding the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah.

1 Dhul-Hijjah will be today, Sunday 7 November 2010, and the Muslims performing Hajj will be in 'Arafah on Monday 15 November 2010 (9 Dhul-Hijjah 1431), and the Muslim Ummah shall be celebrating 'Eed al-Adh.haa on Tuesday 16 November 2010, (10 Dhul-Hijjah 1431), inshaa.-Allaah.

May Allah subhana ta' ala accept their Hajj and our Ibadaat and put barakaat in our time and all that we do!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Buckle Up!

Sooo I have some EXCITING news!

1) My apologies for allowing the blog to go a bit 'dry' (I have some personal reasons for this, but I am feeling re-energized and ready for a fresh start) So starting now, I will be posting more often.

2) I will be adding a new feature called Kiddie of the month, SO excited to meet some of your cutie pie kids. I will post details later. You can email me at alif2yaa@gmail.com and enter your children to be apart of the fun!

3) Give aways! I was a little unsure about this one... but then I thought what the heck- I should reward all you devoted MAMA'S for all the hard work you do every single day.

4) If you are excited say alhumdulillah!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Stomach is the size of a Pumpkin!



Well now that Halloween has passed, I thought it would be a good idea to blog a sort of emotional vomit type of post. I did not want to do it before hand because I would rather our house not get egged!

Maybe some of you can help me with this one… Especially because I know I will be stepping on some toes. But in my defense- I am far too ‘religious’ and ‘old school’ for some of your liking anyway…

Why is it that we confuse the heck out of our kids?! What is with the crazy elaborate celebrating of ummmm EVERYTHING?!

Why is it that parent’s do that again?

We send our children to Islamic school and then we encourage them to celebrate Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s day- all the holidays that we all know are not celebrated in Islam.

Parents should try to give their children an opportunity to decide. Explain it to them- and I think you would be surprised to see them understand and accept proudly why muslims celebrate Eid and look forward to Fridays, Umrah and Hajj rather than celebrate non muslim holidays.

Honestly, have some of you even tried reasoning with your kids?

Anyway, my parents totally let us go trick or treating but in their defense, they simply did not know the fiqh of it.

I am living proof of the fact that despite how cute the costume may look at the time, 20 something years down the road… no matter how many times you look at the pictures or which angle you try looking at them—they will never be cute. It is actually pretty embarrassing. In fact, I cannot even explain what my costume was, neither can my parents. Who knows how many cavities and pork gelatin I had that night.

Growing up, I remember hearing all sort of crazy stories about Halloween candy being tampered with. Finding steel nails in a cherry flavored tootsie roll pop! I am out of the loop on this one, but are parents doing a safety check to see what their kids are eating?

Dear Parents, do your children a favor. Have a vision now for the things your children will love and not love for the sake of Allah subhana ta alla. Plan NOW, create the network NOW, think of the alternatives NOW!

AND in the event that you already have children… buy your own candy, throw your own party- preferably on a day that is not celebrated by people of strange pagan fetishes but rather on a random day of the year (any day) and party your bums off- just not to someone else’s drum, try dancing to the beat of your own duff. Life is much sweeter that way.

Halloween you suck- you leave me with memories of strange fairy whiskered clown girl who is devoted to shopping at Highland Farms, even on the spookiest of nights.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do The Potty Dance?

Zakariya has approached the 1 year old mark Alhumdulillah and I have already started to potty train him. Did you know that everywhere else in the world, babies can be pottytrained by the age of 18 months! North America is just SO behind in comparison to the rest of the world. Remember we are still the only people who think birthing babies on our backs is normal! (tsk tsk, but lets not get into that!)

Has anyone tried training their babies or atleast trying to get them comfortable with the idea?

Here are some tips that have been working for us:

1) Make sure you have a UBER cool potty dance and song
2) Be prepared to make ppssssshing and grunting noises
3) Get a book about the potty- and let your little one read it while trying to go
4) Reward stickers and a reward chart
5) Be consistant- consider purchasing a travel potty; to use at grandmas or in the car!
6) Make anything poo-poo, potty, or bathroom related really fun and exciting
7) And if all else FAILS.... you could always listen to this for a good laugh:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kiddie Talk!

What is the funniest thing your kid has said?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDI6GuAyo94

Saturday, October 2, 2010

STILL pregnancy was worth it



5 things that made pregnancy hard

1) Morning sickness… or should I say all day and all night sickness.
2) Occasional swelling… or should I say swollen nose, swollen fingers, especially swollen ankles.
3) Growing show size… or should I say grown shoe WIDTH size.
4) Mood swings… or should I say lack of PMS.
5) Contractions… or should I say Labour.


What made your pregnancy difficult but worth it?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pregnancy I miss you!


No thank you in advance to those of you who think I need to get pregnant again! This is just a trip down memory lane for me =)


1) Eating endlessly

2) The funky food cravings. I loved eating white rice at all hours of the day and night. That would explain the whopping 50 pounds I gained

3) Looking cute and glowy during the second trimester

4) Random strangers being extremely polite and nice to me

5) People holding the door open for me

6) Unbelievably shiny and healthy hair

7) Expectant mothers parking- right up front next to the wheelchair parking

8) Giant loose underwear

9) Prenatal Massage

10) Prenatal yoga; when I used to work out!

11) Swimming; I swam up until 7 months and it was the best work out because I could not tell how fat I was under water

12) Napping during the day

13) Hours shopping for cute baby stuff

14) Having the time to take a bath

15) No pressure or expectations- from my parents,friends and family

What do you miss most about pregnancy?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Adjusting to Motherhood


Motherhood for me has been really rewarding. There are times that I feel so overwhelmed or tired but then when I see my son at his happiest and most serene moments- I see the fruits of my labor.

People often ask "so what does being a mom feel like" and I struggle to find the words to really describe it. There are the days when I cannot wait for Zakariya to take a nap, but as soon as he does nap, as soon as I do have quiet adult time... I miss seeing him roll around our living room floor. When it is late at night, after I have caught up on some much needed relax time, I find myself peeking thru the bedroom door- hoping to catch my little guy smiling in his sleep.

Why o why does motherhood taste so sweet?

It really is the most rewarding experience... because not a single day goes by where I feel as if nothing was accomplished. We managed to nap, eat, drink, sleep, shower, play, smile and cry-- and to be honest, even if my house is a little messy or I am behind on the laundry; I still accomplished much more then the average person does in a day... and my days are measured by the quality of moments I have with my son, not the quantity of things I get done.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan



Lately, I have found myself struggling with how I will be able to fit in all the ibadaat I want do during the last ten nights.

Not to dishearten or target the supportive mehrams, single sisters or married friends without children in my life… but some get to spend a lot of time at the Masjid. This includes going to the Masjid for Fajr- staying up after sahoor. Joining congregation during for Zuhr , Asr and Maghrib. While they are going to go for Tarawee, they might as well go early and catch Isha. If your keeping count-that’s a whole lot of reward.

Yes, I know women are not required to pray in the masjid BUT you have to admit, if you’re a mother it’s a treat to even have a little Kushuu during your prayers.

Ever catch yourself dreaming about someone offering to watch the kids- during each prayer and even extra time for you to read Quran?! How about memorizing? Can you recall the last time you had enough brain cells to memorize- anything other than a nursery rhyme?

I am all about conditioning my kid. Really. I think that with time and consistency some parents can help their children adapt to these habits… but they are still children and squirmy by nature!

OKAY, I will say it out loud. As a first time Mom this year, I really miss Ramadan.

Ramadan before motherhood was so different. I actually had an attention span! I could accomplish so much and even make time to wrap cute eid presents. Cellophane wrap and all!

Don’t get me wrong… I love love love motherhood... but it’s different.

With Ramadan nearing to an end, I am DETERMINED to get in some serious ibadaat time. Yes you heard correct- I am walking away from cellophane this year! I much rather use my time towards doing deeds that make me closer to Allah Subhana ta Ala.

What are all my other Muslimah Mama’s planning on doing to make the last 10 nights SUPER beneficial?

Will you Qiyam it at the masjid with your kids?

Will you attempt to Tarawee it, even if your kid steals other children’s sippy cups?

Will you ask Hubby to take the night shift- while you muster up some energy and stay up at night?

How will you get your Husband involved?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 Tips to "Tarawee" it with your Kids!



1) Bring a sippy cup or bottle dedicated to Tarawee. This way your child will not try to drink from other cups when you are not looking.

2) Bring snacks; even if it means breaking routine. Some suggestions are: raisins, brown rice crackers or Mum Mum biscuits. Something for your little one to munch on whiles he/she observes.

3) Pack never seen before toys and books; strictly reserved for Tarawee. Make sure not to use these at any other time.

4) Take an empty water bottle. Why? Your child will want one after seeing the rest of the children with these (my guess is that there are several left over after iftaar) If you take your own, you can prevent baby/toddler from swapping spit whilst sharing these with ALL the children- on another note, I was surprised how long this keeps children entertained!

5) Make sure baby or toddler are wearing comfortable clothing; it can get pretty warm with all the people around.

6) Breastfeed or bottle-feed before you get there; chances are your child will be over stimulated once your there and later on this may result in a fussy hungry baby.

7) Bring a friend (for yourself). If the kids get out of hand, you can take turns praying. Both of you can benefit and your children will be comfortable with a familiar adult.

8) Take the car seat; you can switch between this and holding baby during salaat and if baby falls asleep you will have somewhere familiar for them to sleep.

9) Try and pray at the same Masjid. Your children will be comfortable with the environment and will most likely see the same children while they are there and Tarawee will Inshallah eventually become familiar to them. There are a couple of Kid friendly Masjids, Isna has a separate mothers room and Al Huda offers a separate section for Mothers.

10) Do not over exert your child or yourself. Be practical and pay attention to your child's needs. Stay for a few rakaat and keep in mind that you may not be able to stay for the entire time. All involved may need a rest before the next Tarawee adventure.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How do you nurse in public?

In Islam, it is the child's right to be nursed until the age of 2. As an observant muslim woman who wears the hijab, I prefer to nurse my son modestly. When he was younger, I used a nursing cape and it worked wonders. As he got older, he would get very distracted and stimulated by environment, he seemed to like playing peek-a-boo with the cape! I had to drop the cape and would just use my scarf to cover up. My son is really in love with his blankey- which also works as a great cover up.

I find that you can be completely covered and still get bad looks. I don't think its the actual amount of skin that bothers people... I think its the idea of mothering at the breast. I think sometimes, other mothers may feel guilty because they never experienced breastfeeding... they feel like breastfeeding mothers are a reminder that the formula they fed their babies was not good enough in comparison to breastmilk.

I am also a Labour and Birth Doula and I have witnessed babies self latching within the first hour after birth. It is the most amaaaaaazing thing because it is just a reminder that our body was made to birth and our breasts were made to nurse!

I would encourage all of you to nurse on and cherish the bond that comes with mothering at the breast!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My breastfed baby (almost) turned toddler

Ever heard the expression that time Flies? Whoever said that was not kidding- time really DOES fly. My little man Zakariya, is growing by the minute. With each passing week, he is adopting new traits to add to his personality.

Currently, he has taken on the role of an explorer. Just like Dora the well known explorer. He has been crawling through a maze of branches (our dining room table legs and chairs) rugged terrain (or cushy beige carpets) and mountains tall and wide (otherwise known as the staircase). When his limits are reached and he is ready to break… I chime in, breast in hand. Mom to the rescue! After quenching his thirst, re-planning his route and taking off yet again for another adventure… I stare at him silently, adjust my nursing bra and think to myself- a little breast can go along way in that world of his.

My baby turned (almost) toddler will face the world which is his oyster to explore and even when our journey of mothering at the breast comes to an end- the benefits of it will forever remain.

How have you chimed in and "rescued" your little one through the breast?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Storks VS. Doctors!


Looks like Storks are getting more credit then Doctors!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dggt7PuoG00

How did you explain the arrival of your newest addition to your elder children? For example: A Little Girl says to her Mom: Mommy, do all women have babies in their tummy? Does Grandma have a baby in her tummy too?!

What is the best way to answer this question without having to explain Grandma's menopause?!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sibling Rivalry?

Alhumdulillah, a lot of our friends have been having babies- this time for the second time around. I often hear my fellow Mom's talking about their older children (typically their first) having to adjust to the newest addition of the family.

I have even witnessed a first hand encounter where the elder sibling looked very carefully for the perfect opportunity to pinch his younger sister- as soon as Mom returns she finds her baby red in the face and crying as if... as if she just goooot beat-- and its because she just did!

For the sake of being fair to the little pincher in all of us- its not exactly fair to have to share everything thats been yours... well for your whole life. Right?

Babies on the other hand, are so purely innocent. They do not even know how to communicate, someone has to stand up for them.... Right?

What are some ways to sooth and comfort our children when it comes to sibling rivalry? How can parents make this transition easier for their children?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What are your total earnings to Labour?

If I were paid to Labour based on what the Canadian government considers minimum wage ($10.25), I would be $164.00 richer. That does not even include deduction of taxes and does not seem like nearly enough for the work put in! My adorable bundle of joy is too cute and dear to me to put a price on!

However, this did get me thinking... Recently, I was able to attend a birth that progressed extremely fast. According to the experts, the average active stage of labour can last up to 20 hours, for first time Moms. Does that sound about right?

What about second time Moms- was your first longer or shorter than the first, second, third of fourth?

What are your total earnings to LABOUR?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Separation Anxiety?

Recently Zakariya has been dealing with some separation anxiety. Although, it is not the typical kind. He has been doing fine without me, even if it is for prolonged periods, if he is with his grandparents or his father he is perfectly happy. It mainly happens when we are home- if I need to go upstairs to get something, if I need to step away for even a moment- he gets so upset!

Lately it seems like a lot of Mothers have been complaining about their children having separation anxiety. Some are even finding it hard to go to the washroom without their little one's getting upset.

Apart from sitting your kid in front of the washroom door- while you smile, sing and entertain them from the toilet (Oh COME ON, you know you have done it!)

What are some tips for helping your child deal with the anxiety of being away from you?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why cant we just BE?


Is there a such thing as over stimulating an infant? Ever find yourself constantly trying to keep your little one busy?

I attend a weekly breastfeeding group and a few weeks ago the topic of discussion was- why cant we just let our kids BE?!

Recently I have really noticed a trend with mothers swamping their kids with activities, toys, stuffed animals, car seat attachments, stroller attachments, pacifier attachments -- okay okay you get the point!


I often ask myself if my kid is chilled out and relaxed- is it logical for me to shove toys in his face? If he is perfectly okay with staring out of the car window- do I have to have toys attached to his carseat?

I realized the truth is that the majority of time, I am just trying to give him something to do... mainly because I have something I need to do. I figure it will keep him occuppied if anything. It is kind of like having our own offices- he is busy in his cubicle with his toys and I am busy in mine... right? WRONG... The truth is... that most of the time it just is not necessary. It may even be more for myself then it is for him. I mean what Mother does not have a car seat attachment, how could I be the only one who does not need one?!

This is where the confusion stems... he is just a baby, does he really need to be entertained ALL the time- or is it possible that he could just BE?

What does it even mean to just BE? BEing can be described as taking a stress-free, hippie attitude, the kind where you notice and appreciate all the little things because you actually took the time to notice.

Not sure what I am talking about? Remember when you were a kid... when cell phones were big and clunky, when the now pocked sized Nintendo consisted of a big orange gun shooting at ducks! Of course you remember... how could you forget!? Those were the days when life was simple.... or should I say simpler then it is now. I remember playing with cardbord boxes for hours, pretending to use them as desk while we played school. I would even make my parents watch as I sat behind the cardbord box and pretending to deliver the evening news.

On rainy days, I would sit next to the window. Stare outside for hours, watch people as they passed by in their cars, bikes, some even cool enough to own roller skates. I watched the clouds take shape; imagined that they felt like fluffy white marshmallows. I would stare at the different lengths of grass- and found myself laughing at the thought of getting a haircut with a lawn mower! I appreciated the beauty that surrounded me, I could almost smell the rain and flowers through the window...

What did I learn most? I learned how to take notice of the little things, to step back and pay attention to detail..

And all I had to do... was just BE

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Asalaamu Aalaikum,

Blog is finally here.... Alhumdulillah ;)
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