Thursday, June 23, 2011

Virtual Vacation

I will not be checking my email, cell phone and blog for the next week. I highly doubt I can go that long without checking any of of the above. However, it is worth a try.

I love to help all the Mama's out there- its what I do and may Allah continue to put barakah in my time and efforts... this week however is all mine. Muhahaha!

What will I do with all this free time? Read a book of course! When trying to pick up some reading materials, I was eyeing all my Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting books. I have nothing against those books- they are actually my favorite books to read. Its just that after tons of research and study its pretty much my default when it comes to reading. I have proudly decided to turn my brain off and read something without a purpose- a gossip magazine, which I will purchase at the nearest drug mart. I really hope I don't end up leaving with Fit Pregnancy, Todays Parent or Green Living.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kiddie of the Month: Cheesy Cheeky Nusaybah

"A mo'neeeeeeeen (aka Good morning)!" Possibly the cutest words to come out of Nusaybah's mouth yet. At nearly 18 months, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly she is picking up words, masha Allah. Or how quickly she's learning reactions just by watching others. The other day, I dropped something and said "Oh man", the next day when Nusaybah dropped her fork from her high chair, she yelled out an "Oh maaaaane!" I couldn't believe it!

Nusaybah is a constant form of entertainment for the family. I swear she must have inherited some kinda funny gene from my sister, Madiha, who was quite an 'interesting' child herself. If she's not falling asleep standing up or smelling her own feet while shouting "Ew!", then you can probably find her humming Barney's 'I love you song' to herself or hiding a crayon behind her back while giving me an innocent bright blue-teethed smile. No matter how bad of a day I'm having or frustrated I get, Nusaybah always manages to bring a smile back to my face! May Allah keep Nusaybah under his protection always - Ameen!

Mashallah Nusaybah by far has the cutest smile I have ever seen! All you have to do is say CHEESE and she will smile on demand. Her personality is hilarious, laugh is contagious and she is a source of happiness for everyone around her! May Allah make Nusaybah amongst the righteous and keep her as a source of comfort and coolness for those around her. Ameen.

If you have a photo and some encouraging words to submit of your child, please email

Monday, June 20, 2011

To the Lion Safari we go

This is a true super model. Runway challenge anyone?

Super chic

Meet Mr. Lorenzo Lamas ;)

Quit monkeyin' around!

We all need our beauty rest.

Notice how my child is glued to the choo choo. We were the only people on the entire train!

Theme parks are always great for precious family time. Lets not forget all the free perks. What you don't know what I am talking about? The free perks include:
-Excessive exposure to toddler tantrums
-Excessive exposure to tube tops and booty shorts
-Excessive exposure to sweat and body odour
-Excessive exposure to pet peeves, for example; socks with sandals
-Excessive exposure to bored work staff
-Excessive exposure to bored animals (at least at the zoo/safari)
-Excessive exposure to the over anxious parent/child couple. The one who wants to volunteer at every show, sit in the front of every ride and somehow you constantly end up in the same line up
-Excessive dirty looks from other people of the same culture (i.e brown people)
-Excessive exposure to your significant other

Yep. This is why theme parks are great. People think the tickets are expensive but fail to see all the free exposure you get in return.

All jokes aside. We had a great day at African Lion Safari. Mashallah my little guy could not contain his excitement. He was pointing in every direction, waving to all the animals.

Here is what helped make our day super smooth:
  • Start with the park and not the safari drive. It is a long drive to get there and my little one was already restless. We needed to get out and stretch so we did the park first.
  • Do not force your kid a pony ride, they give refunds!
  • Go in the spashpad with your kid. Its pretty huge and intimidating to go alone.
  • Pick a cloudy day. We had just enough sunshine and no rain. Perfect weather- to be outdoor all day.
  • If you have children who are not in school yet or who are home schooled, consider going now while the Public schools are not out for summer vacations. This will mean much less crowds and rush.
  • Pack healthy and nutritious snacks. Avoid sugar, you will need the energy.
  • Public washrooms are gross. You may want to bring your own seat covers or travel potty. We have one of these, it conveniently folds into my backpack for storage and I can rest assured that my little guy does not have to put his butt on the disgusting toilet seat.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Special Delivery

I had been having contractions off and on for a week, and started on January 4th, 2011 at 5:45 AM to have them again. It was the day after my EDD. I had them fairly steady, but far apart until 9 AM, then they were sporadic at best until 4 PM. At that point I was having them at 6-25 minute intervals, not intensifying or steady. At 9 PM we went to bed, thinking it would be a long night and maybe it would pick up. They were still sporadic and I dozed here and there, and breathed through the contractions and focused on staying relaxed.

I was using the breathing I had trained with relaxation CD's, prenatal yoga, and the books I had read.  I was also using visualization and working on keeping my face and shoulders completely relaxed.  I kept waiting for it to get regular and intense, like you hear about and like my first labor was. I had one bad one around midnight and decided to get in the bathtub to relax, so DH Stefan filled it and I got in. Then after about a half hour the bath wasn't helping much and it was starting to hurt, so I decided to call Sofia, the doula we had hired to help us for the birth, at 12:48 AM. Right after that I decided it was time to go in to the hospital soon, so Stefan called them to warn them that we would be on our way.

Stefan tried to help me out of the bath, and dry me off, but suddenly I was having intense contractions and we didn't get much done between each one. He told my parents that we would be leaving and tried to dress me. Sofia came and at the same time she walked in, I started feeling pressure and nausea. I told them to call an ambulance because I didn't think we were going to make it, but Stefan said that it would be faster if we went ourselves. Everyone made a mad rush to get us out the door. Sofia supported me, Stefan packed the stuff in the car, my dad shoveled and started the car, and then they got me dressed somehow and out the door. I managed to walk to the car between contractions and ended up in the passenger seat, facing backwards with my head in the backseat.

We took off as fast at Stefan could drive during a bad snowstorm, with Sofia in the backseat. I was pushing and yelling during each contraction, whether I wanted to or not. I still had pauses between contractions and breathed through them with some reminding from Sofia and Stefan. He drove all the way to Visby in 4th gear since my leg was in the way of 5th. I was crowning as we got to Visby, and the head was out on the way down the hill to the hospital. The water broke at the same time. Stefan parked right outside the labor and delivery entrance, mostly on the sidewalk, and Sofia rang the bell. Stefan said they came with a wheelchair but he told them it was too late for that.

I told them to take my pants off because the baby was out, so he pulled them down, and Sofia caught the baby during the next contraction. She was born at about 1:40 AM. Stefan rushed to get a blanket from the trunk and the nurses came with some towels. The midwife cut the cord there in the car, and they brought the baby in. Then I got out and onto a gurney and they wheeled me in too, into the same room where we had Haylie.

The staff all expected us to be shocked, but I was just totally relieved that everything had gone so fast and so easily. I never thought I would be glad to give birth in the front seat of a Saab. I felt great right away after, had no tearing or stitches, and Alice started nursing almost right away (after she warmed up a little). A totally different experience than when Haylie was born. We went home again at 6 PM the same day.
The whole thing was amazing and wonderful, a complete contrast to my first labor and birth, which I perceived as horrible and agonizing without support. I have felt great afterwards!

Shared by Mamma_A on Babies Born in Weird Places

I always remind my clients and expectant parents that giving birth is NOT a medical problem. Women have been giving birth for centuries, long before there was induction drugs and epidurals. There are so many stories like these that we just do not hear about.

A great help to this couple in particular was their Doula. The Doula was able to give Mom support and undivided attention while Dad could focus on getting to the hospital safely.  Could you imagine the drive to the hospital- had it only been the husband and wife?

Thursday, June 16, 2011


A friend of mine had a baby girl recently. How adorable is her baby birth announcement? I for one think it is by far one of the most creative birth announcements I have ever seen!

Here is what baby Amaanah's gushing Mama had to say about her:

"I look at her and ALL my heart recites is SubhanAllah and Alhamdolillah! I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am for such a beautiful gift of Allah. The only thing my heart desires is to somehow just build a bubble around her or build a cage that could contain shaitaan and protect our young ones from the fitnah of this world and the whispers of shaitaan! Every time I glance over at her, my heart makes a small silent prayer, for her future, for her Aakhirah and I realize what true love really is! May Allah make easy for our future generations to follow Islam, and be the exemplary leaders of tomorrow with true guidance. Ameen"

Ameen to your duas Sis. What do you guys think of the birth announcement, totally cute huh?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family fun fair

We went to a family fun fair at my cousins school. Zakariya had a blast! There was a fire truck and my little guy did not want to leave. I practically had to peel him out of the drivers seat.

Alhumdulillah for the summer time. What are your plans to keep the kids busy?

Monday, June 13, 2011

3 Steps To Being A Happy Parent

Many of you must have heard of Zohra Sarwari already. If not, allow me to reintroduce her. She is an International speaker, author and life coach. Mother to 3 children, all whom have graduated high school by the age of 15, written their own books and memorized the Quran Mashallah.

I stumbled upon this article on her blog and asked her permission to share it with all of you.

3 Steps To Being A Happy Parent

Bismillahe Rahmanee Raheem,

Asalamalakium Wa Rahmatullehe Wa Barakatuhu,

MashAllaah many parents are happy, but there are times of tension, and difficulty even as a parent. So how can a parent be happy in times such as those?

In times where you just want to get away from the child…lol…

I have come up with 3 easy steps inshAllaah.

1. First step is look at the situation that has made you upset and turn it around. Ask yourself as soon as it happens, if this was you, and you made this mistake at the same age, how would you want your parent to react to you?

This is a powerful question, for we all know that if the tables were turned we would want mercy…we would want care, compassion, and understanding.

So if this is how we would want to be treated, then please treat your child the same way, inshAllaah. Just remember that your children are also a test, and that Allaah (SWT) is watching how you are dealing with them.

“Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds, that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope.”

(The Quraan, Surrah Al- Kahf- Verse 46)

2. Look at every difficulty as an opportunity to teach a lesson.

InshAllaah only Allaah knows how many times this one lesson can benefit this child and others. Instead of reacting with anger, annoyance, or ignorance, use this opportunity to inshAllaah teach a valuable lesson in a calm and relax voice, inshAllaah.

3. Think about how many people have it worse than you. Always remember your blessings, and how it could always be worse, and that many parents have it worse that you. Prostrate to Allaah, and ask for patience, perseverance, and be grateful. Remember Allaah so that He may remember you.

“Do not look to those above you. Look to those below you, as it will more likely remind you of Allah’s favors bestowed on you.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

To Your Success- inshAllaah!

Your sister Zohra

Mashallah I think Zohra mentioned some very important points. This was an immediate refresher for myself. For sure a reminder I will keep around for rainy days. Often times our children will surprise us with a new word or new expression. Similarly, as they get older they will surprise us with the life lessons they have learned. However, we may look back and wish, we as parents had reacted differently. Now is the time to change our parenting habits. For the sake of our children. Only then will we appreciate the hardships that brought us closer to the ease.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Old is Gold

I figured I would let all of you in on a big secret. Its my birth month.

I have been feeling like I am getting pretty darn old.  I think these photos may have something to do with it. Can anyone else relate?!

Ages of the Rugrats

Our children will have no idea what "rewinding" is

Ages of the spice girls

Ages of the Backstreet Boys

JFK would be 92 Years old Today

Elijah Woods is 30 years old. He was 18 when he was cast in Lord of the Rings

Bart Simpson would be 31 by now

The Macarena is 16 years old

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who stole the twix?

Here is a reminder for parents who have more than one child.  Moral of the story- things are not always what they seem.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Walton Sextuplets

Move over John & Kate-- meet the Walton's! They are the World's first surviving all female sextuplets. Now twenty seven years old.

The sisters were filmed until they were 18, but this is the first time they have been photographed since.  

No such thing as Double strollers back then ;) 

Read more about the Walton's here

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning Roots

A couple of weeks ago we picked up this Giant Journey Puzzle. Alhumdulillah we had such a blast learning about all the Islamic history and Prophets. Zakariya especially loves the Kabaa so he was excited to see it in the puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle narrates the story of a different prophet. 

We also picked up these great reminder cards. Why? Because even Mama and Baba need to refresh their duas! Alhumdulillah, these have been a great refresher for the whole family- even for our guest who come over!

Look our for more great products from Learning Roots readily available at Habibs bookstore.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yumm SO Fresh

When out in Toronto I always take the opportunity to grab some yummy vegan food. My husband was busy attending an Al Mahgrib course. Off I went with my little guy and stroller to explore the streets- hoping to find a good vegan eatery.

First up, 17 Baldwin street. We popped into Vegetarian Haven for some midday snacks. On my radar was a slice of dairy free cake for myself and some sugar free, fresh baked goods for my little guy. Cha-ching! I definitely hit the jackpot.

Now, let me be honest here. I am not a big fan of carrot cake but I figured I would give it a chance. It was by far the best carrot cake I have had in my life. Don't even get me started on the sugar free oatmeal cookies, Zakariya loved them!

We went back to the UofT campus to meet up with "the Baba" (Zakariya's new name for his dad- will post more about this later!) It was about time for dinner. From there to our next stop Fresh and was it ever so fresh indeed!

Apart from the amazing food, the staff was super friendly. The decor was very refreshing and we had such a good time, Alhumdulillah.

Do yourself  your body a favor and grab some of this deliciously nutritious food!

Take a look at our delicious menu for the evening:

Hubbys Food of choice.

My BBQ burger. Complete with Mayo (all vegan!) I opted not to eat the gigantic deep fried onion rings, hubby ate them instead.
Zakariya's food. Brown rice paired with steamed broccoli.
Mama's dessert, a dairy free, egg free- completely vegan, vanilla cupcake! YUMMMY!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday blessings

Today may be the day that we meet a special little person- making their way down mama's birth canal.

We have been listening to a beautiful nasheed. It's helping keep all of us calm. It is reminding us to praise Allah (god) and be thankful for the beautiful blessing of birth. It took me back to the delivery room- when I was in labor. Chanting, Subhanallahi wah bihamdhi.

Think back to the day your children were born. What got you thru to the next contraction until you met your baby?

Please remember mama and baby in your prayers. Remember to read surah kahf today. Remember my family and I in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kiddie of the Month: Sweet & Sassy Sumayya

Sumayya is a bubbly 1 year old who loves to explore, take things apart and get her little hands into all sorts of messes! Anyone who know Sumayya knows that she also lovesss to eat (Alhamdulillah, may Allah swt allow meal times to always be this easy). She loves to try new foods, and eats almost anything and everything. Subhanallah it's amazing watching her grow, learn and develop. 

These days she has just started walking which is a lot of fun for us to watch. She really enjoys "helping" mama with various things including unloading the dishwasher and picking up the messes she's made during clean-up time. When she's not eating, "helping" or making messes she can be found attempting to dress herself, enjoying the outdoors and spending time with her grandparents.

How adorable is this Sumayya?! Mashallah. I absolutely love the fact that she is matching her room decor. What a fashionista! Jazakallah khair, for sharing. I was so inspired to hear about her love for cuisine and vibrant personality!
May Allah preserve her beauty and keep her under his protection and care, Ameen.

If you have a photo and some words of positive encouragement, please email

Dad's at Births

I can't stop laughing!
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