Monday, May 5, 2014

The Blog Tour

My dear friend Idil invited me to join the blog tour. She writes a hilarious and smart blog called So Many Tangents  about her life as a teacher. She is absolutely wonderful. You will love this blog and will likely be inspired to become a teacher.

So, anyway, I thought, this is it. This is where I become famous. Then I started getting really nervous because she included me whilst I was in transit from Australia to Canada and I knew settling in was going to take a long time and millions of bloggers are probably on the edge of their seat in anticipation but if I took too long, surely it would all fade. I like to go into la la land to procrastinate.

OK, so here is how the blog tour works. You answer a couple of questions about "the writing process" and tag 1-3 bloggers who you like to read and then they would have to do the same.

At last, here we go!

What am I working on?

My next blog is going to be about travelling with infants on long flights. I am in Canada with Hasouni at the moment visiting my family. It took me 23 hours to arrive and weeks of preparation.
I am excited about this new post but to be honest, I am not sure when I will be able to write it as I did not bring my computer with me and it feels so strange to use my parent's. It feels like I am too old to be invading their personal things. Honestly, within two minutes of arriving to Canada, I ditched my new aussie clothes, immediately wore my old bulky sweaters, settled into my old purple bedroom, and texted my friends. Exactly like how I was when I use to live there except there is a tiny lil person in his play pen beside me.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I definitely compromise my image with this blog. Instead of using this blog to make myself seem like a super mom, who found answers to this difficult task, I show my struggle and I don't care. I find it more helpful to not sugar coat.

Why do I write what I do?

It was my sister Nadia and my friends (esp Hoda) that encouraged me to write. I would be on the phone with them and tell them about the funny scenarios that happen to me and they always tell me that I need to write these down and start a blog. Every blog entry has made me a nervous wreck but every response has been so positive that I just can't stop now. It makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy too!

What am I reading now?

Nothing... is that bad?

How does my writing process work?

Whenever I write a blog, I get really excited so I write really fast and put all my thoughts down even though they do not make any sense. I then save, shut the computer off, go to sleep and resume back the next day. I end up deleting half of what I wrote because it was just rubbish. I edit and re edit, then eventually I get frustrated, abruptly end my post and publish. Sometimes, that is just how it has to be. Especially if you are someone who procrastinate. You need to just bite the bullet.

Oh, thank God. The questions are now over. That wasn't too bad!! ;)

Now, I will be tagging Batoul Hussain's blog, abcreatives. Batoul picked up her bags and went off to tour the middle east with her husband, Ali. This dynamic and sweet duo kept us all in touch with breathtaking photographs and witty posts that I am sure you will love.

Okay Batoul, pressure is officially off. Now it's your turn!

You know you love me,
Xoxo. Oum Hasan.

Past participants

Idil Abdulkadir

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What NOT to do when organising your baby's first birthday

Hasouni, your next birthdays will be either at gymberoos or at the movies. Thanks.

sh** that was a lot of work. You don't realize how much crap you have to buy for your sweetheart. There are so many little pieces like for example, you can't just buy balloons. You have to buy strings as well and sticky tape if you don't have. Which you never find around your house and when you go and buy and tell yourself that you will put them in a safe drawer, it turns out to be the same safe drawer that you put all the other sticky tapes that you said you will save and remember.

I told myself that I am just going to make a simple outdoor party for my friends with cute party decor, sandwiches, drinks and party favors. I visioned twinkle lights all around the courtyard and was proud of  myself for actually taking the time and buying some and then realizing as I was going home that it will be a daytime event and no one will be able to actually see the lights. Got a bit flustered but that's alright, I moved on...

I even got my friend Amina who was a popular contestant in Masterchef to make the food. But when you are asking one of Australia's best chefs to make a meal, you don't ask them to make a fruit salad. That's what I did. Trust Mariam to ask a chef to make something that will show absolutely none of their talent in cooking. I realised my big mistake soon enough, called her in a panic and asked her if I can change the menu. She simply responded with a yes and reminded me that  we had lots of time and I felt pretty ridiculous for my over exaggeration. I had to keep reminding myself that I am not actually planning a wedding.

Everyone has been going crazy with these candy buffets so I decided that since my friends are in their mid 20s that instead of having a candy buffet, that I would have cute little blue and white dotted party favours with candy inside. As soon as I gave the guests with infants the candy, I realised that I was handing them out potentially choking hazard chocolates but whatever,  I just brushed that off. I'm sure it will be fine.  And instead of writing a simple message on each candy I thought of putting different quotes. Trust me to put in the longest quotes ever and forget that I would have to hand write like a million of them.  Some of them I wrote the quote by Oscar Wilde, "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention" and it went on to another sentence about the candy and thanking them. I donnno, it just went on. Next year, "Thanks for coming! Love, Hasan" and I'll just attach a poetry book or just print off a poem. Or just nothing.

I thought it would be really cute to make Hasouni his invitation cards. I started a couple of months ago and things were going well. I was enjoying buying all these ribbons and card stocks. Just to make it harder on myself, I decided to make each invitation card different from one another.
What is the REASON for that?
Did anyone see the different types? No?
Was it cost efficient? No. Not at all.
Did I enjoy it. Sure?

But, I did take a photo!

Here are some photos of Hasouni's party. What do you think?

Next time, order helium tanks. I almost fainted blowing up over 50 balloons. And yes, they are still hanging on the wall. I noticed that after a kid's birthday party, the decorations on the wall look like as if you went to a really bad rave party. There are just so many colours. It's seriously makes me dizzy so I've been spending a lot of time in my room

the best part was my friend surprised me with Hasan's birthday cake. look at how gorgeous it was!  the poor girl had to make it vegan and nut free for hasoun and it didn't help when I kept asking her "so. ..have you made cakes before? ? can you make it green like a forest? no wait can you make it blue? so how many have you made. there any sesame inside?  is there cream in the icing (she's vegan)"

I would show you more pics but I can't find the cord to upload my dslr photos. I'm sure I'll get around to it before he turns two!

My advice is do what ever you like. It is a special time and it is worth all that trouble.  Once. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, February 3, 2014

Don't compare your child

Don't do it!

We have all read the books and got the advice from professionals that children develop at their own rate and that the milestone guides are simply just that. Guides. But of course, you should trust your instinct if you feel that your child development is significantly slower and go for a check up with the doctor.

But you seriously need to just chill out. It doesn't matter if your neighbour's baby started eating solids before yours, or their hair is longer. You are going to have so many issues in your life, PICK your worries carefully! For instance, my friend and I meet every week for a catch up while our children who are one month apart sit together and play. As I am trying to teach Hasouni how to crawl, her baby is literally trying to climb over my head. She already conquered my living room, and now wants to climb me as the next mount everest -and this baby is younger than Hasoun. I was starting to get worried and was disregarding the fact that my child was walking along the couch to get to his toys. After I put my mind to check, I have come to the conclusion that if my child is trying to learn how to walk, than I think he is okay ;). Apparently, my sister and I never crawled when we were kids. So, there we go. 

If you start comparing the frequency of your child doing a peepee or a poo poo,  then I think it is time to take a little nice coffee break. Alone.

I don't know why we do this. We stress ourselves even when our children are looking at us and they are smiling and happy. I think the thousands of books exploding in our library shelves on parenting and the millions of guides on the Internet are causing more of a paranoia than helping.

I went out with a group of friends and their kids to a nice breakfast a few weeks ago and I noticed that one mom was feeding her child food with a silver spoon and giving him tap water. I started comparing how I feed hasouni, which is always with a plastic spoon and cooled boiled water so I asked her how come she is doing that. She said to me, and I swear, it was the exact shake up I needed to just relax with all the guides we read, "oh, this is my second child." She followed by the book with her first child, and after that experience, she learned that children don't immediately fall into pieces when you don't do things perfectly 24/7. 

The Your Baby Looks Nothing Like You Comment

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Damn, that is good advice.

It gets quite difficult to raise a baby that any little time saving tips become God sent. Here are some of mine that helped me-and that will help me once I start taking it.

1) Spread nappy baskets around the house so that you do not need to walk up and down the stairs to get to your change table. This will especially be convenient if you have grandparents or friends babysitting. I have yet to do this in my house. I have a slight fear of using this tip because I will than never go up and down the stairs and just stay by the couch forever. But seriously, do this. It'll help.

Oh and include bibs and baby face towels in these baskets as well. Once your baby is teething or starting solids, you will need these at all times,

What would be really good is to make some of these baskets and keep at your relatives homes as well. Just not your friends because that's just an invasion. Even though my friend recently got keys to her new apartment and I'm already considering a special corner for Hasouni's toys and diapers ;) (A)
Click here to learn how to make this cute bag

2) Keep a toy or two in the baby car seat. It gets really frustrating when you are sweating your -ss off strapping your bub to his seat, putting everything in the car and getting ready to go off and then you realize you forgot his stupid toy and start considering to just keep going. Then you start feeling like crap for leaving him sitting  there without anything. So save your guilty conscious and keep a toy in the car. It doesn't even have to be the nicest toy, just anything. Its likely that they won't even give two sh-ts about the toy but your conscious will be saved.

3) Buy a few really nice toys and place them in different parts of the room. So if you need to clean your bedroom, you can just pop your bub down and he'll play with the toy in that room. And since its one of better toys, like an activity mat, wooden bead mazes, or jumperoos, you'll know he will be more than willing to play in it. And these toys take a huge amount of space anyway so it will be good to have them in different parts of the room. 

4) Speaking of jumperoos (the toy that the kid sits in and plays with the activities surrounding him); make sure you have this beside the door before you go grocery shopping. That way, as soon as you get home, you can open the door and quickly put bub in it and run back to the shopping bags that you have likely dropped at your front door. Hasan always gives me a dirty look when I do this. He knows I'm not really trying to entertain him. 

5) Purchase a hook like the brica handy hook which you can find at Toy's R Us. This thing can hold very heavy groceries and just hangs on the side of the stroller. Keep the bags on the hook and just carry that into the house. Once you get into your home, you can drop the hook down and not get all your hands tangled by bags that twisted around your fingers.

6) Leave a nappy and a small wipes package in one of the zippers in your stroller so that if you for some reason forgot your bag, you are saved. For example, if at the spur of the moment, you decided to take a stroll around the neighbourhood. You don't want to realize that you forgot to bring diapers with you and instead of having a relaxing walk, you just keep thinking to yourself, what if you needed to change his diaper, and you just stress yourself out and the night just gets ruined. It never happened to me but its just a matter of time.

7) Purchase the same coloured socks and mittens. Yes, there are a lot of cute designs but babies tend to pull their socks off and leave them God knows where and instead of taking forever trying to find the matching pair, just save yourself heaps of time and buy white or black socks.

And that's how its done.

Hope these tips helped. Please share any of yours as well! We all need a helping hand once in a while.


Om Hasan.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Well I'm calling it as well. I'm calling bullshit.

Do you remember that scene in the movie, "What to Expect When You're Expecting?"when Elizabeth Banks breaks down and confesses how hard pregnancy really is and called pregnancy glow as bullshit.

That is very true.

There may have been those days when I presumably had a "glow" but that's because you saw me on my best hour where I took the entire day to get ready, put shimmer on my cheeks, and got out of my plus sized pjs. But trust me, I was NOT glowing.

I threw up everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

On the train, check.
On the floor of the bus, check.
On the side of the street where I worked, check.
In all three of my toilets at home, check.
On all the toilets at my work, check.
At my brother's house, check (sorry).

I threw up for 4 months straight plus more on my last trimester. I lost 8 kilos in the first 4 months.

But ohhhh did I gain those back plus more.

When I got hungry, the last thing I wanted to hear was the infamous advice that pregnant women do not necessarily need to gain that much weight and we should be careful (this advice is always said by women who have never been pregnant. The ones that have been know better). Honestly, we have been to the doctor's office. We have been given the professional advice on how to treat out body. WE KNOW. 

After I had Hasouni, I immediately lost 10 kilos which immediately followed the comment,  "oh, he's only 3 kg so how come you lost 10kg?

Well you know what...

First of all, it's not like I gulped Hasouni and he went straight into my stomach and I gained 3 kg. I'm thinking that if it takes 9 months for a baby to be developed in the body, I think, I THINK there is more to it.

When you're pregnant, you don't get those feelings "yeah, not really hungry but I could eat." When you're pregnant and you're hungry, you want to gauge someone's eyes out but you try to keep it cool...

It was as if you were on the brink of starvation. 

The heavier the meal was, the better I felt. It was a crappy feeling, but that's it. That's what happens when you get pregnant. For the love of God, you are creating a HUMAN inside you. Its tough business. You don't have control over your emotion, you don't have control over what you eat. You obvious do not want to eat bad food because you only want the best for your child but when you are spewing after every attempted meal, you just hope to God that you can eat something.

One night before I knew I was pregnant, Amar and I were in the kitchen and I was telling him that I was starving. I told him to go to his parents house and get the dish of food that I knew his parents made that day. I was really craving it. I was dead serious. Amar was  shocked. He said,  "you want me to go home, wake my parents up, and get you a plate of their food." I didn't understand what the problem was. All I heard from that was that I was hungry and I wanted a plate of the delicious meal they made. To me, it was basically a compliment to them. I was craving it so much that I thought for a split second, am I pregnant and why is he still here!??? But that thought went away and I kept trying to convince him. He didn't end up going. 

Unfortunately, pregnancy is hard for some and for others it may not be. AlhamdouAllah, I found raising a baby to be easier and even though pregnancy was hard, I would do it all over again for him.

On a good note, HASAN SAID MAMA!!!


Next post will be less dramatic. I promise.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baby Product Review

WOWWWWW babies need a lot of stuff. A lot of crap. The amount of toys that accumulated in my living room is ridiculous and what's really annoying is that Hasouni would like a toy for maybe a second and then spend the rest of the day playing with a string or a cup.

So, I thought I should do a product review of baby products and pass on some of my 8 month motherly wisdom.

1. Nappies. No hugs for huggies. A lot of love and comfort for Babylove.

I was so excited to buy nappies (aka diapers) that I immediately bought Huggies. I thought they would be an obvious choice since it's a huge brand and I love Winnie the Poo. I hated these stupid nappies. They were beyond useless. They kept leaking that I swear I thought I went demented and didn't know how to put nappies on my kid. I didn't know that nappies didn't necessarily fit all. You actually have to try and find ones that are best for your child. I swear, life gets so complex.
My favourite brand is Babylove. I was secretly disappointed with their cartoon choices for the nappies but I guess since they get the job done then I can-should overlook it. Really wanted Winnie the Poo though.

2. Prams. Steelcraft Strider Compact

I LOVEEEEEE my pram. If there is one thing I would suggest it would be to take your time and invest in a good pram. Everytime I use this pram, the Notorious B.I.G song plays in my head and I sing " I love it when you call me big mama." I don't know why. I feel so gangster with this pram. It's so EASY to use and it's so light. I bought a cellphone and coffee cup holder so I always have my sh-t together. All my groceries fit in the bottom. When you go to the pram store and ask for advice from staff, always say that you take a lot of walks even if you do not. The staff members will assess which type of pram you will need. When you say that you are a huge walker, they will advice you to prams that are easy to gear. This is the most important aspect. Remember how frustrating it is when you go to the grocery store and the stupid carts move slanted so you look like a retard pushing it sideways instead of straight. The last thing you want is after you put your crying baby in his seat, the diaper bag, the soft blanket, the heavy blanket, the bottles, all the toys and even your crap is to deal with a pram that is heavy to push and steer. Yes, the bulkier prams are much less expensive but you need to save your sanity.

What's cool with this pram is that you can turn the seat so that your baby faces you. Sometimes I feel bad because I know Hasan should be looking around and exploring the world instead of me but he's just sooo cute. 

3. Sophie the Giraffe

I am sure even if you do not have a kid that you know about Sophie the Giraffe. Every baby will love this toy. It's a teething toy. They say it is 100 percent natural which is great but I don't really know what that means. So, I looked that up and they explained
  • Made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree
In one ear and out the other. Sounds good to me though. 
It's very soft and gentle for the baby. When they start teething, they really need something that they can bite on aggressively without getting hurt. You know this costs around $30. I know. I almost had a heart attack as well.

4. Melobaby Nappy Bag

This is the coolest thing I bought. It's a small purse that folds out to a change mat (that is machine washable!) and it holds nappies,  toys, clothes, baby wipes and even your cellphone. I was showing this to some friends and Amar told me I was being inappropriate because we were in the middle of tea and cakes and I just folded out a change mat to a bunch of people that don't have kids but CMON it's so cool. I was explaining to him that instead of taking that big bulker diaper bag, I can just take this one. The thing is I end up being really paranoid and take both this tiny bag and diaper bag and it just becomes this big mess but I am working on it. 

5. QV kids balm. Cradle cap saviour 

I love all QV products but I especially loved QV kids balm. It's great for when you need to remove cradle cap. Wait till you find out what cradle cap is. It's pretty gross but completely harmless to a baby. 

6. Dermeze. A must have for babies with eczema

Nothing was more heartbreaking then seeing Hasan flare up from his eczema. I used every possible moisterizer because I really wanted to avoid using hydrocortizone creams on him. Nothing worked until I found dermeze. Dermeze really helped in controlling his eczema but it did not eliminate it. I had to stop eating dairy and egg but, dermeze has been a significant help. If you do not have dermeze in your country, look for an ointment that has "Liquid paraffin 50%, white soft paraffin 50%,  no colours, no preservatives." Thats dermeze full ingredient. I am sure your pharmacy has this but in a different name brand. 

Hope this was useful! Love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment.


Oum Hasan