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Fear Allah and treat your fellow sisters of Islam as you would want your mother, sisters, or wife to be treated.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Only A Few Days From A Year Old!

Subhannallah, I can not believe almost a year has passed since giving birth to my little Ahmad! My heart swells when I think of all the changes and development he has had since birth. He was so tiny when he was born, the size of my index finger was the size of his wrists, and now he seems to be half my size! He is walking 100%, he doesn't need anything to hold onto to get up to walk, he has the most charming personality for a baby, and he is growing up too fast! Here are some pictures of this month:

Playing with other Iraqi's.

He was walking but tripped when I took the photo! LOL

Watching soccer with baba.

The Jabir family

This boy needs a hair cut!


L O V E ! !

Flying high!

"Hiding" under the bed.

Sleeping. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A New Home-Made Abaya!

Here is one of the many pieces of clothing I have sewed. Insha'allah you will enjoy! :)

I found the buttons so interesting! They had the Islamic star in the middle!

Fabric was giving to me as a gift from my Mennonite friends, including the buttons.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ahmad's 11th month Update!

One more month to go and Ahmad will be 1 year of age! Alhamdulilah he has grown and developed into such a strong baby! I can hardly believe how quickly this year has gone, it seems as if it was just yesterday I wrote the Memories of 2011 post. The morning after writing it, I had Ahmad! 

I am sure you all know we took a trip to Missouri to visit my family. There Ahmad contracted an ear infection, snotty nose, cough/congestion, and a fever. When we went to visit our Mennonite friends for a week, he was able to ride a tractor and 4-wheeler when Paul (Lito) would check the cattle and  move them to another panel. Ahmad is just about eating everything, he is also very good with self feeding (with his hands). We had an early brithday for him at my families house, it wasn't a real party, just some family came over and we ate cake and ice cream. Nothing big and no gifts were given.

Ahmad did very well with traveling to and from Missouri, but I will admit the trip back to Florida was much better then the trip to Missouri. The flights were shorter and the layover was longer. The second flight Ahmad slept the whole entire time which made it very nice for me. :)

Ahmad is now walking, not 100%, but walks 6-7 feet at a time. He now has 3 official teeth and 3 more have cut through. He has learned how to say "Jedda" which is Grandma in Arabic, but when saying Jedda it comes out as "Dedda". I don't know if he is intending to say these things or not but sometimes it sounds like he says "okay", "wow", and "done".  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Childhood Friend!

Today I was given the privilege to visit my childhood, teenager, and adulthood friend! 

Visiting her came along with a flood of memories I had not thought of for several years. We have traveled together to Minnesota to plant trees (Anna's family have a tree planting company), went to garden shows together at Bakersville, and worked at her family farm in the heat of the summer and the coldest days of winter. Here are some pictures we were able to capture today.


My friends drive way, yes there is a house down there eventually.

Having fun in the pine needles!

Admiring the scenery.

Ahmad warmed up to Anna so quickly!

Exploring the cave where the spring is (where Anna's family gets their water).

Where the spring is.

Playing on soft carpet of moss. 

Tree lovers!

Friends forever! (Yes Ahmad finally slept after all the exciting events of the day).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Things I have Forgotten about a Simple Life

My son and I are here in the Mid-West visiting my family. I forget the little things that count here. People are so friendly and will start a conversation with you right there on the street. The towns are small, the cities are far and few between. The country is filled with large pastures, the pastures in return are filled with cattle, horses, goats, small domestic farms, and large family owned farms. The air is fresh and sweet, the roads small and crowded. So nice to return to my home and family to have a break from the big city!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ahmad and my Family!

Here are a few pictures I have taken over the last 1 1/2 weeks of visiting Missouri.

Grandma's love!

Walking with Grandma!

Listening to the leaves talk.

Playing on the airplane.

Tasting leaves.

Feeling a little better after the fever broke.

A walk with Uncle Caleb!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Experience with my Mennonite Friends as a Muslim

Sunday night I came to stay with my Mennonite friends. Of course, right when entering their threshold, you are embraced with hospitality and kindness. They are like a second family to me, I have known them for 6 years, worked for them for 2 years and lived with them for well over 6 months. They truly show love towards Ahmad and treats him as if he is their own grandchild. 

With my first few days here my friends were mostly curious as to why I converted (reverted) to Islam and such. I explained to them as much as I could without trying to make it look as if I was trying to convert them to Islam. I suppose they have become accustomed to me again, as they basically called me a kufr and I supposedly dress worldly (despite me wearing abayas the majority of the time, I suppose anyone who doesn't dress as they do are considered worldly. These are their words as I asked them to clarify how I dressed "worldly"). When I was asked by my friends how some stricter ladies dress (niqab, and covering of the hands and feet) they replied with, "Well, we for sure do not serve the same God.", I just replied with an "Actually we do and we have much more in common then you may realize". Other than these few and far between awkward moments, our time here has been very pleasant. 

Yesterday, Ahmad went on his first tractor ride and we helped our host move his cattle to another plot. Ahmad loved the cows and any time they stopped "mooing" he would holler to make them moo again. I haven't taken Ahmad into the chicken barn where I use to work since there is so much dust (the chickens are nearly grown, when they are chicks there isn't as much dust) and I didn't want the dust to worsen his congestion/cough.

This family has quite a few children, one of their sons who live near by has a daughter only a few months younger than Ahmad. Any time she would screech, Ahmad would get scared and begin to cry. It was disturbing at first, but now we find it quite entertaining. 

One thing I have loved about being here with my dear Mennonite "family", they have helped me settle back down to the "simple ways". So many of us Muslim women are so wrapped up into fashion, different styles of hijab and abayas, new clothes, etc. so many times we loose sight of reality and never realize our true purpose in life. Imagine all the time we spend in front of the mirror to perfect our new hijab style, watching youtube videos, etc. that could be used for charity, helping our neighbors and our friends, and becoming a stronger ummah and community. I admire my "family's" unity they have with their fellow believers and insha'allah, we as Muslim will someday set aside our differences and be united.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Trip and First Day in Missouri!

Yesterday, November 11th, 2012, we traveled to my home state, Missouri. I woke up at 5am to prepare myself and finish packing those last minute items. Then I woke up Ahmad got him dressed, gave him his already made bottle, and then woke up Jasim so he could load our luggage in the car. We arrived at the airport, said our good-byes, and checked ourselves in. 

Alhamdulilah, our first flight was first class! I have to say, it was comfortable and very relaxing! We landed in Washington, D.C. and had to wait 1 hour before our next flight, which gave us enough time to change diapers and buy a souvenir for Ahmad (one of those sock monkeys with a shirt saying "Washington, D.C."). Our second flight was in economy class, the guy sitting beside us was big and bulky, so we felt very crowded. Ahmad was quite the trooper and only began to show resentment towards the last 30 minutes of the flight. I can't blame him, I felt like whining as well. Alhamdulilah, Ahmad never cried fully, he just let me know he was NOT comfortable. 

We finally landed with the pilot announcing "frozen rain" as the weather. My mom, grandma, and grandpa were all there waiting for us. We got our baggage and left. My grandpa took his diesel truck and left home early, while us ladies went out to eat and out shopping. 

We ate out at a store/restaurant called Shaharazaad (I can't remember if that is how it was spelled or not). It was halal so I could eat whatever I wanted and so could my family. :) I then bought a fair share of halal meats and other foods I have grown accustomed to that you can not find locally where my family lives. Because it is so cold here in Missouri we had to find warmer coats for our stay (I tried finding some while I was still in Florida, but I could only find light jackets). I found a cute coat for Ahmad at Khol's and one for myself at Wal-mart. We then headed home to settle in. 

It is so lovely to see my family again. Alhamdulilah that I have been given the opportunity to visit before Ahmad is 1 year of age. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ahmad's 10 Month Update!

I know that I am 5 days late, but I have been busy preparing to leave to my home state and visit my family!

Subhanallah, it is so hard to imagine that Ahmad is only 2 months from being a 1 year old!

Ahmad has now gotten the courage to attempt walking again and takes 5-6 steps several times a day. Insha'allah, when we return home to Florida (December 2nd) Ahmad will be walking very well!

He also has popped out another tooth, the top right one. It isn't noticeable yet, but once it is he will either look like a pirate or a jack-o-lantern.

Ahmad is doing well on formula, he has fattened up more and seems very happy and content, Alhamdulilah. We went to the doctor when he was sick, and he was almost 18 pounds. This was a few weeks ago, so I am sure from all the formula he has been guzzling down he has put on even more weight! Tomorrow is our doctors appointment before we leave this Sunday, so I will know his weight and measurements, insha'allah!

He hasn't learned any new words yet. Insha'allah while we are with my family and friends, he will have more interaction with people and learn more. 

For you sisters out there with babies and children, what did you do when you pray? Ahmad has been finding it funny to try to pull my hijab off while I am in sujood and mess up my prayer rug!

*Update* Yesterday we went to Ahmad's doctor's appointment and he now weighs 18lbs and is 29inches long! The doctor said that if he didn't know better he would think Ahmad was born at 7lbs because of the size he is now.

Eid Al-Adha

Enjoying mama's pancakes!


Hugs and love!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Breastfeeding Journey: The Beginning to The End

January 2nd 2012, 8:15am, from the moment you were born the nurses took you to observe you (in my room). You had decided to arrive 6 weeks early and everyone was worried you would have issues breathing and such. When they finished checking you (about 5-10 minutes) I finally was able to hold you. Right away I tried to get you to latch and nurse, but you were so tiny and so very sleepy and weak from the unexpected delivery. I cherish this moment we had together, but the nurses took you away as they had found a slight heart murmur and you could not hold your body temperature on your own. 

The lactation consultant came and helped me with the pump and explained everything to me. I diligently pumped every 2 hours the whole time I was in the hospital. After 24 hours, I had an abundance of colostrum. I was happy I could at least give you the nourishment you needed, even though I wasn't the one changing your diapers and tending to your every need like I should have been. 

Those 3 weeks of being far from me were the most difficult weeks of my life. Your father and I pushed on, I continued pumping for you and bringing fresh milk everyday. Allah (swt) blessed us and gave me an ample supply of milk. I was able to pump for you 16 ozs every 2 hours! The nurses who cared for you used to joke with me saying I could feed every baby in the NICU.

Finally you were able to come home. Even though we had breastfed several times in the hospital, it was always so difficult for you and wore you out. After 2 weeks of struggles and pains, we finally mastered breastfeeding and continued on strongly until you reached the age of 9 months and 3 weeks. Now our journey of breastfeeding has ended, even though I wasn't ready for it to end I am thankful to Allah (swt) to have given me the privilege to nourish you and have a hand in your development and growth.

Ahmad's Second Birthday!

Our Anniversary!