How to find yourself in your busy day

When you become a mother, you gain another part of your soul, but you can also lose a part of yourself as an individual.

Because I have unconditional love for my daughter, I often put her before myself, sometimes even before my basic needs. Does this sound familiar to any of you? I often get so busy with the daily routine of getting my 2 years old breakfast and ready for the day, I realize I haven’t eaten anything until it’s already time for lunch.

Over the course of these 2 years since Mira was born, I have found ways to get my “me time” in and I’m sure when we have more children I will have to be more creative.

Here are my tips to take time for yourself in your busy day. Some of them may be silly, but they really work!

  1. Wake up before or stay up later than your children. I think alone time is crucial, even if it’s just twenty minutes. You need time to yourself and if your children don’t go to school yet, this may be the only time you have alone. And since I’m not a morning person, I just enjoy staying up a little after everyone is asleep.
  2. Take longer in the bathroom. Now this might sound silly for some of you, but whether you are taking a shower or “going potty”, take extra time reading a magazine or putting on lotion.
  3. Exercise. I am really bad about exercising, but I know that it can put you in a better mood and is vital for your health. Try doing spurts of exercise throughout the day to boost your mood.
  4. Get a Hobby. If you don’t already have one, find something that makes you happy and is fun for you. I recently started couponing and it has almost become like a fun game to see what kind of deals I can get. Besides saving some money of course.
  5. Buy something for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t stepped foot in a mall to go shopping for myself in years. For some reason my mood is boosted even when I buy something for myself even as simple as a candle. (Maybe that’s why they call it retail therapy).

What are your tips and tricks for taking time for yourself in your busy day? How do you stay sane?

Filled Under: Personal, Thoughts

Brainless Alert

BRAINLESS ALERT:

A friend of mine had to have the garage door repaired. The repairman told them that one of their problems was that they did not have a “large” enough motor on the opener. she thought for a minute, and said that they had the largest one made at that time–a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, “Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.” she responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, “NO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.” they haven’t used that repair service since.

BRAINLESS ALERT:

I once went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. I asked the person behind the counter for “minimal lettuce.” He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg. He was a Chef? Yep.

BRAINLESS ALERT:

I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, “Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge.” To which I replied, “If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?” He smiled knowingly and nodded, “That’s why we ask.”

 

BRAINLESS ALERT:

Back in the days at a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear co-worker. She was leaving the company due to “downsizing.” Our manager commented cheerfully, “This is fun, we should do this more often.” Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.

 

BRAINLESS ALERT:

I used to work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her own life, couldn’t understand why her system would not turn on.

 

Note:  I’m pretty sure these folks have all been fired from their above-listed jobs and now work for Social Services or Family Court…

Filled Under: Fun, General, Thoughts

I Am Happiest When…

1. I’m happiest when I get full run of the kitchen to create masterpieces. I thoroughly enjoy making complete meals from scratch. A lot of the time our fridge looks as if it has been robbed, as we’ve got practically nothing in it, but no worries! What may look like nothing to everyone else is an exciting challenge for me!

No bread? No problem! I’ve got enough yeast to last a lifetime. I’ll just make my own bread. I have perfected honey mustard sauce, and now must have it on hand at all times as everyone likes to dip everything in it. I make my own salad dressings and vinaigrettes. I make my own bbq sauce, tomato sauces, sweet and sour sauces and more. I come up with sauces that who knows what to name them, but they are good.

I can cook just about any meat (except lamb) to perfection. I go by my sniffer, which has yet to let anyone down, with the exception of about 3 occasions. I cannot stress enough how much I LOVE to cook!

2. I am happiest being around my daughter. See it’s a catch, I’m a parent, so obviously, I have moments of frustration, but she means the world to me. She is quirky just like my husbandy and I and say the funniest things ever! Mira is 2 years old, so she is at the stage where she is all over the place, she waits till I leave the room and starts attacking things that she is not allowed to touch, and by the time I come back she sets on the couch as if she had done nothing. She says the funniest things I’ve ever heard, how can her innocence and silliness not brighten even the gloomiest of days? My girl just cracks me up and makes me smile from ear to ear each and every single day!

3. I am happiest when I am bargain shopping. There is no greater feeling than the art of saving money! Whether it be grocery shopping or shopping for gifts, I get so excited to see the bottom of my receipt say how much money I have saved,. A penny saved is a penny earned.

4. Last but definitely not least, I am the absolute happiest person in the world when I am showed love, affection, caring and respect. I treasure hugs and kisses, thank yous, and any form of appreciation for all of my hard work that I do to keep my family happy.

My favorite quote is, “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you do with yourself is your gift to God.”(by Leo Buscaglia). Life is too short to sit back and reflect on all of the negativity around you. It is a natural human response to get angry at situations and fall into a rut at times, but given the right support from friends and family, eventually you will be able to get back to focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Give me love and hugs, and my positivity will flourish!

#B4JO – Sands of home

I don’t really know where to start; I have so many unorganized thoughts in my head…

The meaning of home changed so many times during the time I’ve been living here in the U.S, when I first came here 7 years ago, Jordan was the only place I want to be! I hated it here! I just hated it, although my mom, dad, and brothers were all here at the time, I just wanted to go back to Jordan, where my friends and cousins are.

Later things felt a little better, and I started to get used to life style here, but there wasn’t a day I wouldn’t think of Jordan and my friends in Jordan, and how amazing it would be if I just can go back “home”!

Years later, I met Samer, and he was as homesick as I was, and I felt like I just found my little piece of Jordan that I was looking for.

After we got married and specially after I got pregnant with Mira, I wasn’t feeling as homesick any more, in fact and to be honest, I wasn’t feeling homesick at all, I didn’t even feel the need to go to Jordan anymore,  all the people I love are in one place, what else do I need?  That’s what I thought up to last year.

“Home is where your family is”…. Add to that, “dead or alive”

Before my dad passed away, he asked all of us to bury him in Jordan, the process wasn’t easy at all, but we respected his wish and my mom and brothers flew back to Amman with baba’s body.

The moment his body left the U.S I felt homesick again, I wish I was there to visit his grave, to read “Al-Fateha” for him right there, I think about that every day, it’s the first thing I’m going to do when I visit Amman.

Jordan for me is not the sand, the buildings, the streets, it’s not the mountains and rocks, it’s the emotional part of it, it’s the family I miss, it’s my father’s grave, and that will never change!

I miss you Jordan, I miss you baba, Allah yerhamak…

Filled Under: General, Thoughts

It has been so long!

So long indeed, I don’t even think that anybody still reads this blog.

Why was I away all that time? Well, let’s just say I have my reasons!

As I was watching Al-Jazeera this morning and for the first time, the screen was split into 6 smaller screens showing Tunisia on the first one, Egypt on the 2nd, Libya on the 3rd, Bahrain on the 4th, Iraq on the 5th, and Algeria on the 6th, I guess it didn’t have enough space to show Yemen, and Jordan! All I can say that I felt sad, images for dead people on each screen, blood all over the place, craziness everywhere. Mohammed BoAzizi burned himself and the Arab world caught fire.

What’s happening all over the Middle East tells us one thing; all the Arab leaders think the same way, “we either rule you or kill you”!

I hope all this madness ends soon, I’m so tired of watching people die, and I just can’t watch it anymore.

Praying for a better future for all of the people in the Arab world, and a better tomorrow for my kids, I really wish they will grow up in a better world than we live in!

Amen.

Filled Under: General, Thoughts

On being a mother and spring in Seattle!

I don’t feel like cleaning the house, folding the laundry, or even cooking today. It’s been a long time since I actually wrote something in this place, yesterday as I was publishing the article I read; I looked at the previous posts and felt bad for not posting anything in months! I really should go back to blogging, 10 minutes a day should not be a big deal right? Reading blogs is much harder now as I barley have time to shower! My little angel doesn’t sleep much during the day.

Mentioning that, being a mother is amazing, I love Marmarti more anything in this world, I still look ar her sometimes wondering; is she really mine?? She is too cute, I never imagined myself as mother before, I play dress up on her, play with her, get up to 6 times a night to feed her sometimes, and when she doesn’t wake up as much I wake up to check on her, I forget how tired I am when she smiles at me.

On another note, the weather has been amazing in Seattle for the last few days, one of the things I like about this state is spring, it’s so green, and you can see all kinds of flowers, maybe I’ll take Marmar for a walk later.

I wanted to write about my visit to L.A and spending time with mama, I guess later, my little angel woke up and looking for mama.

Miss you all!

Filled Under: Thoughts

أيها المغتربون إستمتعوا حيث أنتم

I coudn’t agree more… , i just felt like sharing this article with all of you

د. فيصل القاسم

مهما طالت سنين الغربة بالمغتربين، فإنهم يظلون يعتقدون أن غربتهم عن أوطانهم مؤقتة، ولا بد من العودة إلى مرابع الصبا والشباب يوماً ما للاستمتاع بالحياة، وكأنما أعوام الغربة جملة اعتراضية لا محل لها من الإعراب.

لاشك أنه شعور وطني جميل، لكنه أقرب إلى الكذب على النفس وتعليلها بالآمال الزائفة منه إلى الحقيقة.

فكم من المغتربين قضوا نحبهم في بلاد الغربة وهم يرنون للعودة إلى قراهم وبلداتهم القديمة !

وكم منهم ظل يؤجل العودة إلى مسقط الرأس حتى غزا الشيب رأسه دون أن يعود في النهاية، ودون أن يستمتع بحياة الاغتراب !

وكم منهم قاسى وعانى الأمرّين، وحرم نفسه من ملذات الحياة خارج الوطن كي يوفر الدريهمات التي جمعها كي يتمتع بها بعد العودة إلى دياره، ثم طالت به الغربة وانقضت السنون، وهو مستمر في تقتيره ومعاناته وانتظاره، على أمل التمتع مستقبلاً في ربوع الوطن، كما لو أنه قادر على تعويض الزمان !

وكم من المغتربين عادوا فعلاً بعد طول غياب، لكن لا ليستمتعوا بما جنوه من أرزاق في ديار الغربة، بل لينتقلوا إلى رحمة ربهم بعد عودتهم إلى بلادهم بقليل، وكأن الموت كان ذلك المستقبل الذي كانوا يرنون إليه !

لقد رهنوا القسم الأكبر من حياتهم لمستقبل ربما يأتي، وربما لا يأتي أبداً، وهو الاحتمال الأرجح !

لقد عرفت أناساً كثيرين تركوا بلدانهم وشدوا الرحال إلى بلاد الغربة لتحسين أحوالهم المعيشية.

وكم كنت أتعجب من أولئك الذين كانوا يعيشون عيشة البؤساء لسنوات وسنوات بعيداً عن أوطانهم، رغم يسر الحال نسبياً، وذلك بحجة أن الأموال التي جمعوها في بلدان الاغتراب يجب أن لا تمسها الأيدي لأنها مرصودة للعيش والاستمتاع في الوطن.

لقد شاهدت أشخاصاً يعيشون في بيوت معدمة، ولو سألتهم لماذا لا يغيرون أثاث المنزل المهترئ فأجابوك بأننا مغتربون، وهذا البلد ليس بلدنا، فلماذا نضيّع فيه فلوسنا، وكأنهم سيعيشون أكثر من عمر وأكثر من حياة !

ولا يقتصر الأمر على المغتربين البسطاء، بل يطال أيضاً الأغنياء منهم.

فكم أضحكني أحد الأثرياء قبل فترة عندما قال إنه لا يستمتع كثيراً بفيلته الفخمة وحديقته الغنــّاء في بلاد الغربة، رغم أنها قطعة من الجنة، والسبب هو أنه يوفر بهجته واستمتاعه للفيلا والحديقة اللتين سيبنيهما في بلده بعد العودة، على مبدأ أن المــُلك الذي ليس في بلدك لا هو لك ولا لولدك !!

وقد عرفت مغترباً أمضى زهرة شبابه في أمريكا اللاتينية، ولما عاد إلى الوطن بنا قصراً منيفاً، لكنه فارق الحياة قبل أن ينتهي تأثيث القصر بيوم !!

كم يذكــّرني بعض المغتربين الذين يؤجلون سعادتم إلى المستقبل، كم يذكــّرونني بسذاجتي أيام الصغر، فذات مرة كنت استمع إلى أغنية كنا نحبها كثيرا أنا وأخوتي في ذلك الوقت، فلما سمعتها في الراديو ذات يوم، قمت على الفور بإطفاء الراديو حتى يأتي أشقائي ويستمعون معي إليها، ظناً مني أن الأغنية ستبقى تنتظرنا داخل الراديو حتى نفتحه ثانية.

ولما عاد أخي أسرعت إلى المذياع كي نسمع الأغنية سوية، فإذا بنشرة أخبار.

إن حال الكثير من المغتربين أشبه بحال ذلك المخلوق الذي وضعوا له على عرنين أنفه شيئاً من دسم الزبدة، فتصور أن رائحة الزبدة تأتي إليه من بعيد أمامه، فأخذ يسعى إلى مصدرها، وهو غير مدرك أنها تفوح من رأس أنفه، فيتوه في تجواله وتفتيشه، لأنه يتقصى عن شيء لا وجود له في العالم الخارجي، بل هو قريب منه.

وهكذا حال المغتربين الذين يهرولون باتجاه المستقبل الذي ينتظرهم في أرض الوطن، فيتصورون أن السعادة هي أمامهم وليس حولهم.

كم كان المفكر والمؤرخ البريطاني الشهير توماس كارلايل مصيباً عندما قال : ” لا يصح أبداً أن ننشغل بما يقع بعيداً عن نظرنا وعن متناول أيدينا، بل يجب أن نهتم فقط بما هو موجود بين أيدينا بالفعل”.

لقد كان السير ويليام أوسلير ينصح طلابه بأن يضغطوا في رؤوسهم على زر يقوم بإغلاق باب المستقبل بإحكام، على اعتبار أن الأيام الآتية لم تولد بعد، فلماذا تشغل نفسك بها وبهمومها.

إن المستقبل، حسب رأيه، هو اليوم، فليس هناك غد، وخلاص الإنسان هو الآن، الحاضر، لهذا كان ينصح طلابه بأن يدعوا الله كي يرزقهم خبز يومهم هذا. فخبز اليوم هو الخبز الوحيد الذي بوسعك تناوله.

أما الشاعر الروماني هوراس فكان يقول قبل ثلاثين عاماً قبل الميلاد: “سعيد وحده ذلك الإنسان الذي يحيا يومه ويمكنه القول بثقة: أيها الغد فلتفعل ما يحلو لك، فقد عشت يومي”.

إن من أكثر الأشياء مدعاة للرثاء في الطبيعة الإنسانية أننا جميعاً نميل أحياناً للتوقف عن الحياة، ونحلم بامتلاك حديقة ورود سحرية في المستقبل – بدلاً من الاستمتاع بالزهور المتفتحة وراء نوافذنا اليوم. لماذا نكون حمقى هكذا، يتساءل ديل كارنيغي؟ أوليس الحياة في نسيج كل يوم وكل ساعة ؟

إن حال بعض المغتربين لأشبه بحال ذلك المتقاعد الذي كان يؤجل الكثير من مشاريعه حتى التقاعد. وعندما يحين التقاعد ينظر إلى حياته، فإذا بها وقد افتقدها تماماً وولت وانتهت.

إن معظم الناس يندمون على ما فاتهم ويقلقون على ما يخبئه لهم المستقبل، وذلك بدلاً من الاهتمام بالحاضر والعيش فيه.

ويقول دانتي في هذا السياق :”فكــّر في أن هذا اليوم الذي تحياه لن يأتي مرة أخرى. إن الحياة تنقضي وتمر بسرعة مذهلة. إننا في سباق مع الزمن. إن اليوم ملكنا وهو ملكية غالية جداً. إنها الملكية الوحيدة الأكيدة بالنسبة لنا”.

لقد نظم الأديب الهندي الشهير كاليداسا قصيدة يجب على كل المغتربين وضعها على حيطان منازلهم.

تقول القصيدة : “تحية للفجر، انظر لهذا اليوم ! إنه الحياة، إنه روح الحياة في زمنه القصير. كل الحقائق الخاصة بوجود الإنسان: سعادة التقدم في العمر، مجد الموقف، روعة الجمال. إن الأمس هو مجرد حلم انقضى، والغد هو مجرد رؤيا، لكن إذا عشنا يومنا بصورة جيدة، فسوف نجعل من الأمس رؤيا للسعادة، وكل غد رؤيا مليئة بالأمل. فلتول اليوم اهتمامك إذن، فهكذا تؤدي تحية الفجر”.

لمَ لا يسأل المغتربون عن أوطانهم السؤال التالي ويجيبون عليه، لعلهم يغيرون نظرتهم إلى الحياة في الغربة:

هل أقوم بتأجيل الحياة في بلاد الاغتراب من أجل الاستمتاع بمستقبل هـُلامي في بلادي، أو من أجل التشوق إلى حديقة زهور سحرية في الأفق البعيد؟

كم أجد نفسي مجبراً على أن أردد مع عمر الخيام في رائعته (رباعيات):

لا تشغل البال بماضي الزمان ولا بآتي العيش قبل الأوان،

واغنم من الحاضر لذاته فليس في طبع الليالي الأمان

Filled Under: Thoughts

Blank title for this post…

It’s been ages since I wrote in this blog, I had so much to share but I just didn’t want to write anything after my last post, I just open it and stare at my post about praying for my father (Allah yer7amo) and kinda live the dream of him being alive for few moments, it still feels like a bad dream, everything just happened so fast.

My father (Allah yer7amo) left us on New Year’s morning, exactly 1 year after he was diagnosed with cancer, he lost the battle so fast, his body got weaker and weaker until he eventually gave up.

People keep on telling me stories about how other people (some time younger ones) died because of cancer, my father (Allah yer7amo) was only 55 when he left us, and my answer always is (kol wa7ad waja3o boja3o) I’m sure the families of those people are not singing and dancing either.

Other people keep on telling me that it will get better as time goes by, truth is it hurts more and more as time goes by, I miss him more and more every day, I’ve been in denial for the past 2 months, but after spending some time with my mom in our house, I miss him soooooo much, I miss him coming back from work, I miss him going out in the backyard for a smoke, I miss him laying on that couch in front of the TV, I miss his place in the dining table, I miss his voice, his look, I miss listening to him pray and read Quran , I miss him smelling his perfume and after shave, every morning when I wake up.

No words can describe what I’m going through, no one will understand what I feel, unless you lost a parent, you won’t really know how heart breaking and painful this is.

My one and only wish was to see him even for 1 day before he left, I wanted to show him my daughter, I wanted him to say (Athan)) in her ear, I wanted him to hold her even for one minute and tell him that you are a seedo now, this is your first granddaughter,  he left us when Mira was only 6 days old, he didn’t get the chance to see her or hold her, it really breaks my heart.

Baba, I miss you so much, I just hope and pray for god that you are much much happier where you are now, may god rest your soul in peace and open all heaven doors for you. I ask almighty god to let you rest in peace.

Filled Under: Thoughts

After 2 serious surgeries, my dad is in a lot of pain, they stopped his treatment for cancer at this point, and all what he taking are extremely strong pain killers to help him with the pain. This morning, he was put on breathing assistance devices.

I’m stuck here and can’t travel at this point of pregnancy, it’s killing me to be away, I want to see him, I want to hug my mom, I want to set next to his head and just look at him.

Pray for him, pray for all of us!

لا إله الا الله الحليم الكريم .. لا اله الا الله العلي العظيم
لا إله الا الله رب السماوات السبع و رب العرش العظيم
لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له
له الملك .. و له الحمد و هو على كل شيء قدير
الحمد لله الذي لا إله إلا هو .. و هو للحمد أهل .. و هو على كل شيء قدير
و سبحان الله .. و لا إله إلا الله .. و الله أكبر .. و لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله
إلهي
أذهب البأس رب الناس ، اشف و أنت الشافي ، لا شفاء إلا شفاؤك ، شفاءً لا يغادر سقماً
إلهي
أذهب البأس رب الناس ، بيدك الشفاء ، لا كاشف له إلا أنت .. يارب العالمين آمين
إلهي
إني أسألك من عظيم لطفك وكرمك و سترك الجميل أن تشفيه و تمده بالصحة و العافية
إلهي
لا ملجأ و لا منجا منك إلا إليك .. إنك على كل شيء قدير
اللهم اشفه شفاء ليس بعده سقما ابدا..اللهم خذ بيده اللهم احرسه بعينيك التى لا تنام
و اكفه بركنك الذى لا يرام و احفظه بعزك الذى لا يُضام .و اكلأه فى الليل و فى النهار
و ارحمه بقدرتك عليه ّ.أنت ثقته و رجائه يا كاشف الهم . يا مُفرج الكرب يا مُجيب دعوة
المُضطرين .اللهم البسه ثوب الصحة والعافية عاجلا غير اجلا ياأرحم الراحمين
اللهم اشفه اللهم اشفه اللهم اشفه..اللهم امين

Filled Under: Thoughts

The Myth of the Evil Stepmother

A friend of mine who just started reading my blog wanted to share her story on my blog, she shared on her facebook and emailed me asking if I can post it on my blog for her, I loved it and wanted to share it with the rest of you as I know that our blogsphere is not used to these kind of posts, she lives a special situation a lot of us might not understand, she is a friend to our family and I met her a year back when she first came to Seattle, a newlywed mom as we call her here, a nice lady from Jordan trying to start a family here in the states….

Her story in her own words:

“” wkqstAs a little girl I watched with starry eyes the stories of princesses. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow white, and I loved these stories and were dreaming about the day I will meet my prince the same way they did, to become this princess or queen in the end of the story. As a little girl, that is what I pictured.

Fast-forward ten years and here I am, not the princess or even the queen, I’m the *gasp* STEPMOTHER.

No little girl every aspires to be a stepmother. Not many of us enter the dating world thinking, “I’m going to find me a divorced man with kids.” But sometimes God has other plans for us.

There are bad people everywhere. There are bad parents of all sorts. But man, do stepmothers get the bad rap. And the truth is, a lot of us were not the other woman, are very much in love with our husbands and would go to the ends of the earth for our stepchildren. We often work harder to raise our stepchildren than our own children because it is so much harder to be a stepparent. AND we fight harder to keep our marriages together because we know the statistics on second-marriages and we have far many more forces working against us than the typical couple.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but sometimes I am embarrassed to admit I am a stepmom. Not because I don’t love my step son, but because there are some days when I simply lack the energy to deal with the “Oh’s” and inevitable “So how do you get along with the boy?” line of questioning. These exchanges always leave me clammering to prove that I’m really the good one, because let’s face it, whenever someone finds out you’re a stepmom, they immediately look at you sideways and dig for information so you can explain yourself. tremaine

Here’s my beef: I never tried to replace my stepsons’ mom. I didn’t insert myself into her place and push her out—I filled in where she chose to leave. I have spent more time with her child over the past 2 years than she has. I took my stepson pants to school when he wet himself in Kindergarten. I wiped his tears on his first day of school last year when he was extremely scared to go. I helped him learn how to read. I stayed up so many night when he got his tonsils removed while he was crying from pain. Despite all of this, I am a second class citizen. People look at me sideways simply because I am the stepmom. They assume she loves them more. They assume I don’t love him at all. They treat me like I threaten his very parenthood.

 

I know it is all going to be okay in the end. I know that people have no clue what kind of bond I have with my stepson. I know what they think doesn’t really matter. I’m just feeling down in the dumps about it all today…..

I’m waiting for Disney to step up to the plate and make that loveable animated feature where the stepmom is the good guy. What do you think the chances are that they will ever depict a divorced family where the BM is psycho? I realize it isn’t very Hollywood, but it is very real for a lot of us. I would love to hear new script ideas……””

Filled Under: Thoughts