Monday, May 30, 2011

Love on my Bebo

Tis the season of babies and Doula duties call. I was out most of the day. I came home to my toddler who smothered me with kisses and hugs. "Mama Mama Mama!" he excitedly jumped on me. I was a little busy talking to Baba when my little guy grabbed my face, slobbered all over my face, kissed me tons and insisted on smooshing his cheek into my lips until he got a kiss out of me.

It took me back to the days when he was much younger. I would grab his face, even if he was busy cooing to his Baba. Slober all over him, kiss him tons and insist on smooshing my cheek onto his lips- until I got a kiss out of him.

I guess I had it coming.

How do your little ones greet you after you have been away for awhile?

Special Feature: Wave Challenge Winner!

Alif2Yaa and Nadoona got a chance to chat with Super Mama and winner of our Wave Challenge, Maria Battla.

This was Maria's humble response when she found out she won:  

"Thanks, jazakallah!! I am glad if it helped anyone in any way. Thanks to all of you who started it and made us all do it :):) May we all get the reward for all the good deeds we try to do" 

Ameen to your duas Maria

Mom to three girls and one boy, my fingers were itching to ask Maria tons of questions about Motherhood. For now, I settled for one. How do you plan healthy meals for your family, especially with the challenge of different favorite dishes with each of your kids?

Maria: I try to cook one veggie, one chicken or goat dish and lentil dish at a time. One very important thing is that alhumdulilah they eat almost all kinds of our Pakistani food. My son Ali is not that much of veggie lover. Here's a secret I will share with you- last Ramadan I made chicken rolls and I added chopped cabbage (one of my friends trick) in it and it was very finely chopped. He couldn't tell it was in there. He thought it was only chicken, its the same with the chicken curry or goat curry for him as long as he can't see whats in there he will eat it. If I tell him that it's all ginger garlic onion & tomatoes in it- but if it's all hiding in there he is okay with it and he will love it :):)

They all love curry chicken or goat and then sometimes I will surprise them with any pasta dish or burgers or tacos etc etc..As they are growing up alhumdulilah the quantity of food has gone up :):) I kind of feel like I am cooking all the time and I do love to cook for them, but sometimes I get tired of cooking. I am not into fried foods, more like simple Pakistani  foods. Alhumdulilah for now all going good. You know I use to get tired of cooking but now I do try this thing, one of my friends told me that whatever you do as a mom or wife or friend like cooking, cleaning, picking up the kids, laundry etc etc we should always think that we are doing all this for the sake of Allah and for the pleasure of Allah. When I think like that or I should say try to think like that my work gets easier and easier.

Jazakallah khair and thank you to Maria for participating in the challenge. Your experience as a Super Mama, wisdom and expertise is so greatly appreciated here. I totally agree with you about linking the intention to a greater purpose, the results are so much more fulfilling! Inshallah everyone will benefit from your advice.

Stay tuned for our next challenge! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Boys. Cant live with them- cant live without em!

This morning my little guy barged into the washroom while I was using it. He INSISTED on helping me with the toilet paper.

A few minutes later I got a text from my husband. I had told him a grocery list on his way out:

Husband: Ketchup, diapers and ?
Me: Honey
Husband: So sweet of you to call me that. I was asking what else should I buy
Me: Lame

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Challenges with almost 2!

Look Mama, I can do it myself!

I have to say everyone warned me. I knew it was coming. There is no denying the fact that we are getting closer to the "terrible twos". Just 4 months shy of the big day. The days when infancy and toddler hood will be part of the past and the future will be full of kiddie ruled behavior. I have been preparing for this even before my baby was born. Praying dearly for a calm baby, reciting to my unborn baby and tapping into my inner "calmness". How could I expect to have a calm child, If I was off the walls?!

I focused on calming and soothing techniques with my newborn in my arms. As a family we focused on the 5S' theory- there is even an entire book on the technique. It worked so well for us, even know my little guy finds extreme comfort in the shhhssing sound (similar to the white noise in the Mothers womb). As he grew, I focused on the challenges that came with each age. Every phase of his development brought new changes. I nursed as much as possible, it was like an immediate bandage and always served as a calming rescue. We introduced baby sign to help our baby communicate his needs as an early age. He was able to tell me without crying for his needs. For example, he would sign for milk when he was hungry instead of crying.

As he got older, I turned to reason. How can you reason with a child? You use 'toddleresque'. Toddleresque, is basically using the child's own set of words and language to communicate. Alhumdulillah, this worked great for us. When bath time became I want to stay in the tub forever time- I would tell him bye bye water. It was the simple. He voluntarily came out of the tub waving bye to the water. Not once but every time.

Now we are facing what people call the "terrible twos". I am not going to sugar coat it for anyone, it is challenging. If I look back on my journey there has been challenges with every age. The difference now is that, my child has opinions, demands and knows his rights. He is strong, a believer and a fighter. He will put a fight- even if its with his Mama... and I cant say I wasn't the same. He is a little stubborn a times, like the men in his family. He whines a bit, like the women in his family. He is a combination of everyone- but discovering himself in the process.

I do not see any benefit in putting an ugly label on what I see as potential growth towards a strong personality. Its a bit humiliating to be called terrible. Ever. So to the ugly label of "Terrible twos" please close the door on your way out.

What advice do other Mama's have to share? What do you think of labeling your child? How did you deal with age appropriate challenges that came your way? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kiddie Craft: Stamp Art

We picked up these inexpensive foam letters from Michael's. How inexpensive you ask? Just $5 on clearance. All Mama's love clearance and while in my opinion Michael's is generally over priced, they have AMAZING clearance deals! My little guy enjoyed combining stamping as well as finger painting for this project. The only down side about these letters were that I had to cut them apart individually and did not think of doing it ahead of time. Plan in advance to avoid your little ones getting impatient while you cut apart the letters.

The foam was super easy to clean up and the letters are available in different fonts. I prefer these to wood stamps because you can combine techniques like finger painting or other types of paints (glitter paint, yogurt paint, coloring and so on) very toddler appropriate!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Facebook and babies?

Something has been brewing on my mind for the last while. My newsfeed is often full of cutsie photos of little ones. I wanted to ask what all the Mama's and Mama's to be thought about this particular topic.

What do you think about parents who upload pictures of their children on facebook, flickr and other networks? Some parents have even created facebook accounts for their little ones, which has sparked facebook paraphernalia like the tshirt below.

Sure facebook has privacy controls and options where you can restrict photo viewing with only your family and friends- but what if your kids (when they are older) decide they don’t want to be on facebook?

Whilst this topic might cause some serious debate, I want to remind everyone of the Sisterhood on the site. Lets keep all debates healthy Inshallah.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tot Seat Review

With summer around the corner, its the perfect time to introduce you to the Tot Seat. I find the summer time is especially packed with social events. I think when it comes to events like weddings a lot of Mama's are hesitant to go because of their littler ones. However, there are measures you can take to make the evening pleasant for you and your little one. One of them is by taking a portable high chair!

One of my pet peeves is dirty high chairs in restaurants. Does anyone ever clean those things?! Seriously, if Palmolive wants to do a commercial for caked on grease they should do an experiment on high chairs. Its absolutely gross. There has even been times where despite a good wipe down the seat is still crusty. If you consult an employee they will simply come around with a stinky discolored jay cloth and it will only make matters worse! At that point I opt to use my lap or my stroller. In any case, this nifty product will save you from the world of unsanitary high chairs. The good things is it can easily strap on to any chair.

I ran into a Mama at a wedding recently who actually brought her fold able high chair with her. It was a great idea because her son was comfortable and enjoying himself. I told her about the Tot Seat and how it was even more convenient, light weight and easy to use.

We actually use this instead of our high chair. I love eating together at the table as a family, Alhumdulillah. My little guy also enjoys using his very own adult chair- just like Mama and Baba. Its also very convenient for traveling and trips to the grandparents house.
I had been eyeing the Tot Seat for some time here in Canada, my sister in law picked me up one from Saudi. It is readily available in most countries, click here for more details.


Rear View

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Love

So where have I been? It has been a busy weekend filled with Doula duties. I was also able to help Doula the delivery of a healthy baby boy. Please remember him and his parents in your prayers.

I have spent the last few days just getting back into routine… but of course I simply could not get blogging off my mind. I didn’t want to post just to post something. No point in losing the quality of the content, ya know? Thanks for being patient with me.

Anywho, the weather has been playing tricks on us but we managed to get out to the park last week. Here are some pictures of my bebo with my soon to be Daughter in law. What you didn’t know? Muslims are famous for their ‘old school’ customs. (JOKING. He is not engaged! LOL)

Here are some pictures of the gorgeous day in the Lakeshore area. Enjoy!

In other news, a reader emailed me about a project she did. I thought it was adorable and had to share it to inspire the Mama’s and Mama’s to be out there!

Here is a bit of her message:

“After you showed me some of your craft projects you really inspired me...and because of that, I would like to share some thing I did. I bought some plain paper flowers and small plain wood flowers. I bought some acrylic paint and coated the bigger flowers with light pink and the small wooden ones with dark pink. Then I took sticky tac and put them up on the wall by her crib. I coated each flower so many times so it could look nice.Thank you very much for the inspiration. May Allah reward you and inspire you to do more great works ameen”

Jazakallah khair (thanks) for the absolutely cute pictures. You did such a great job Mashallah and this was such a creative way to change up those bare walls.

If anyone else has DIY pictures they would like to share, please email me at

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Birthrights: The risk of choice

Al Jazeera remains one of the most trusted news networks today. They have started an amazing series called "Birthrights" which follows birth trends around the world.

The story in the video of the couple who could not find a OB willing to deliver their baby naturally is disturbing. The woman had no reason to even consider a Cesarean this time around. Can you imagine having no voice and no choice during your birth- completely based on medical convenience? Your Dr will go on to treat several other patients but you will always remember the day you give birth.

Unfortunately, the trend here in North America is to have a medically induced birth with several interventions and if all else fails a Cesarean birth. The Cesarean and induction rates are alarming! 30% of women here in North America are getting Cesareans! However, the natural birth movement is making its way back and people are starting to realize that giving birth is NOT a medical problem and should not be treated like one.

Sure there is a small percentage of women who qualify for a Cesarean birth. The majority of women are not high risk and have a very good chance of a vaginal delivery.

If you have had a Cesarean in the past, you can still opt to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I would encourage all of you to make informed decisions and research these topics in great detail.

If your Gynecologist suggest a Cesarean- ask questions, ask for alternatives and most importantly ask for a second opinion!

"Not convinced by their reasons? Say no . Many mothers do not realize that they have the right to refuse ANY intervention , including tests, induction, heparin locks (IV’s), fetal monitoring, epidurals, pain medication and cesareans. It is your choice to deliver your baby in a hospital. It is your choice to consent to each and every step along the way. You have the right to informed consent for vaginal birth. Ask what, if any, forms you need to sign in advance to indicate that you understand the risks involved and that you intend to deliver your child vaginally." (Advice from: theunnecesarean)

I absolutely agree with the point above. As a Doula I see way too much pressure towards induced births- especially when are not necessary! One intervention leads to domino effect and becomes a cascade of interventions. You give one a little room and the other is sure to follow. Want an example? You say yes to induction and epidural shortly follows.

What do you guys think? Are Cesareans over rated? Anyone have a successful VBAC?

For more information check out: theunnecesarean

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Micro'waved Out

Several of you joined us and UNPLUGGED your microwaves for the Wave Challenge. Here is what some of the participants had to say:

"Just recently I bought an electric kettle for my tea before I use to make it in microwave. Now me my mom & her we are all trying to cut it down but thanx to u. Ohh & one more thing I have stopped using any plastic containers & ziplocks in the microwave & instead of using a plastic microwave cover to cover the food I am was using an old dish glass lid. I am giving kids lunch in glass containers instead of those plastic ones, it's little heavy for them but not that bad & steal water bottles...letting u know so then maybe some other moms can get some ideas :D  "
- Maria Battla

"To tell you the truth 4 days ago I used to do the easy way, t.v dinners for me and the kids. Now I make home cooked meals. I know it does take time but after all the info that you have gave us really the most important thing to me is my childrens heath above all"
-Amira Zureiq

I'm trying now though.. still didn't write a note lol... but I am inshallah going to buy a toaster oven this week inshallah to reduce the micowave usage inshallah! jazakillah khair for your efforts!"
-Aasiya Qasim

 Pulling out my pots to heat up lunch on the stove! 
Carrots, blueberries, celery, kale. 
I decided to incorporate some raw cuisine into our day so we did not need to depend on our microwave. You could blend this up and make a smoothie or you could juice it. 

To be totally honest- my day without the microwave was not much different. It was only around lunch when I found myself a bit lazy to warm up leftovers. I blame the laziness on my default habits. Change does not come easy but its almost always the best thing a person can do for themselves. It took me about a minute and thirty seconds longer than usual to warm up my food but it stayed warm for awhile. Have you ever noticed with microwave cooking you are constantly reheating your foods? 

At the end of the day there were some extra pots in my already piled dishes to wash.... so for the benefits- a couple of extra minutes spent at the sink is a decent trade off for me. 

The one thing I did have issues was with my chamomile tea. It took my three tries before I got it just right! I think a lot of moms can agree with me on this one, every time I would start making my tea something would come up. On any other day I would have warmed my tea up in the microwave... but this time I reheated the kettle so it took an entire minute longer. The way I look at it is, I rather give up a minute of my life to save a minute of my life down the road- ya know what I'm saying?

For now I have left the Out of Order sign on our microwave and will decrease the use as much as possible. I can see myself totally eliminating it over time Inshallah. I will post updates about this Inshallah ;)

A big thanks to everyone who participated! Especially those of you who took the time to post about your experiences. Feel free to post your thoughts/advice/tips for others if you took part in the challenge. If this is a lifestyle change that you already adapted, you can still enter to win. Simply post a comment and tell us a little about your life without the microwave and how you have managed.

Nadoona and I will be announcing a winner as soon as everyone has posted their comments. Please post about your experience and enter to win the grand prize! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

And it begins...

This is how my microwave currently looks! Cannot wait to see pictures of yours ;)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Jummah Mubarak!

With the Wave Challenge around the corner, Alif2yaa and Nadoona would just like to remind our participants of what to expect:
  • Look out for a reminder email from us
  • Please take pictures of your non-microwaved food- we will need to see some proof of your hard work
  • Email us to guest post about your experience
  • There will be a PRIZE for the best/creative effort! 
I will put an Out of Order or RIP sign on my microwave. Which one should I use?!

I know there is a big hype around Mothers day- but lets remind ourselves that as Muslims our Mothers should be honored every day in Islam.

Husband if your reading this, please do not shower me with flowers or a hallmark card on Mothers day (Zakariya is not old enough to figure it out) but instead teach him from now to love/care for me on a daily basis Inshallah


Thursday, May 5, 2011

10 Reasons to TOSS your Microwave

Ten Reasons not to Use Your Microwave Oven

Based on Swiss, Russian and German clinical studies

1.Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term, permanent, brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain [de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue].

2.The human body cannot metabolize [break down] the unknown by-products created in micro-waved food.

3.Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating micro-waved foods.

4.The effects of micro-waved food by-products are residual [long term, permanent] within the human body.

5.Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all micro-waved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.

6.The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in a microwave oven.

7.Micro-waved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This has been a primary contributor to the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in the United States.

8.The prolonged eating of micro-waved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.

9.Continual ingestion of micro-waved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.

10.Eating micro-waved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.

Prepared By: William P. Kopp
R. E. C. Research Operations

All this research is really getting me motivated to decrease the amount of microwave usage around the house. I am hoping to eventually get rid of our microwave completely but there are little voices in my head telling me to keep it around. The main concern being when it comes to having people come over. How will warm up large quantity of food quickly without the microwave?

I think I may consider getting a second toaster oven because having my stainless steel cube staring me in the face- will tempt me to push its start button! I realize this sounds drastic for some of you but I have been wanting to make this change for our family for a long time and I am ready to go cold turkey! As Queen of my kitchen I have to ensure that my family gets the best and if using a microwave even slightly compromises that then I would not be much of a Queen.

The fact that really got to me was #5.Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all micro-waved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down. I feel like I put a lot of effort into our meals and it would literally be a waste if I stuck that food in the microwave.

Convenience has its cost.

What are your thoughts? Will it be easier said than done? Is it worth the effort?

If your ready to commit to change- join the Wave Challenge, it starts with 24 hours! Click here to face the challenge!

This is a team effort with our friends at Nadoona

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Microwaved Water Study

"Below is a science fair project that my granddaughter did for 2006. In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts. The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave. Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. She was thinking that the structure or energy of the water may be compromised by microwave. As it turned out, even she was amazed at the difference."

This information does not belong to me. I received this in an email and was not able to correctly source the author for their great contribution.

I have to say- the results are pretty disturbing. I might consider printing this out and posting it on my refrigerator as a reminder and some motivation... especially at times when the microwave seems convenient!
Can you imagine what all the microwaved food we eat is doing to our insides?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our Week in Pictures

So the past month has been FULL of wedding festivities. My cousin has married her bearded prince- May Allah bless their marriage and make them a comfort and coolness for each others eyes and hearts, Ameen.

The interesting part about this wedding was that the Wedding and Reception were on separate weekends. This added to the "never ending-ness" of the wedding but to make matters more interesting Reception was out of town.

We packed up our backs and road trip'd across Ontario for a fun filled family weekend. Alhumdulillah!

Here is a blurb of what the past few weeks have looked like:
1. Family shot at the wedding... Of course if you could see our faces the picture would not qualify for the blog. Its so hard getting family shots- we were all looking in different directions
2. Stopping over in Detroit to do some shopping with family... Zakariya is still wearing his hats everywhere- Mashallah
3. Zaki & Nusi- being in love and all (as usual) with their matching shirts. There marriage was arranged at birth.... joking ;)
4.  My little guy loving his first ever metal belt buckle
5. After party in PJs at our house
6. Mama & Baba summer drinks- lemonade and water
7. The cake!
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