~Attention~

This blog is intended for women or sisters of Islam only! Any comments, emails, or messages from men will be disregarded, deleted, or blocked.

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Update on My 2nd Pregnancy~ 31 Weeks

Salam alaikum!

I feel so terrible that I haven't made the time to record much about this pregnancy. Though, I will admit, I have taken more "belly bump" pictures with my little Hamida then I did with Ahmad. Perhaps that is because I started showing quicker with my little girl then I did with Ahmad?

Anyhoo, I just thought it would be nice to kind of update on this pregnancy, since I haven't wrote anything about it as of yet. 

The first three months I was nauseated but never threw up, with Ahmad I was throwing up until I reached the 2nd trimester and even then, sometimes in the evening I would throw up with him. So alhamdulilah, no major sickness with this baby. 

Other then the sickness I had no issues with Ahmad, but with my little girl I have had this terrible back pain. It is just one muscle in my lower back that hurts like you wouldn't believe. It hurts when I bend over, walk, sit, try to get up, no matter what it is there. 

I also started getting the braxton hicks really early on this pregnancy, I think around 20 weeks? At 22 weeks I got so frightened we actually  made a trip to the hospital (for my new readers, I have had a preemie and miscarriage so if anything is out of the ordinary I am advised to go to the hospital). 

For a long while the doctors weren't sure why I had Ahmad early at 35 weeks, but thus far my cervix has stayed nice and long, so we have taken an incompetent cervix out of the equation. For this pregnancy, at 24 weeks, I started getting progesterone injections. When an expectant woman is in lack of progesterone, it can cause miscarriage or premature delivery. We will see if this keeps little Hamida in until 37 weeks, insha'allah.

With Ahmad I had the hardest time gaining weight, but alhamdulilah in this pregnancy I have been doing good. Well, at first I lost a lot of weight, I went down to 110lbs. Normal pre-pregnancy weight was 115lbs. Today, I just got weighed at the doctors and I am a hefty 137lbs! Alhamdulilah! When I gave birth to Ahmad I was only 132lbs.

Insha'allah all of my lovely readers are doing well, and please keep me in you duas and prayers that I reach full term!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Homemade Rag Rug

Salam alaikum.

Remember the rag rug I talked about a few posts back? Well I finished it a couple a weeks ago and almost forgot to update you all on it! 


Unfortunately I didn't have enough material from my old blanket to crochet it as big as I had intended. All in all I am happy with it. It for sure brings in a pop of color to my neutral furniture, though I do have colorful blankets and such to brighten things up, I just felt like we could really us a break in the brown carpet.



Homemade Cloth Diapers

Salam alaikum.

So I wanted to share my progress on the cloth diapers. So far I have sewed up enough for Ahmad and just need to start some for Hamida, well, actually I need to buy material before I start sewing anything. LOL

I sewed 10 cloth diapers, 10 covers, and about 12 inserts, (which is plenty for a toddler) all under 40$. How may you ask? Coupons, sales, and using some old fleece blankets I already had on hand. I did do the figures and to have plenty of diapers for Hamida it will cost us around 150$. The figures are not including when I will have to sew the next size up for the soakers.


Here are the cloth diapers I made, they are one size, and can fit from a newborn to toddler. Of course with a newborn you have to fold it down to size, but I am not going to complain. :) It is also a pocket diaper, so I just have 2 layers of flannel and I stick a fleece insert in between the two layers. I don't have a snap maker thingy, so I am just using a pin, which is covered by the soaker, so no worries about Ahmad getting it undone.

You can find the free pdf pattern here:


Here is a fleece cover I sewed. These are absolutely amazing! Ahmad had made a big stinky plus pee and it wasn't even damp. I think if he had been in a disposable it would have leaked everywhere!

You can find the free pdf pattern here:


Here is Ahmad, modeling his new cloth diapers. :)

Of course, you could sew these in great prints and colors, but I prefer to keep things white and simple. Besides, then I can reuse them for other babies despite the gender. 

Some of my readers have asked me if I was on pinterest, so here is the link to my board:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Current Projects

Salam alaikum sisters!

Today I wanted to show you some projects I have been working on.



Here is a sneak peek of a quilt I am working on for the new addition to the family. I haven't started sewing it all together as I am gathering up more scraps of material to include in it. I am super excited to get this done, inshallah!

The main focus of it is already sewed together. It is a block that is called "the exploding pineapple". Very easy to make.


Before the new baby comes I really want to get a new rug in the living room. Right now we are financially very tight, so I am making a rag rug. I think it will really go with what I have in my living room already as it is decorated kind of "country shabby chic".

A friend of mine was helping me move my husband and I's bedroom around to make room for the new baby, and while doing so, she ripped our comforter. It was just a loosely woven cotton comforter, here in Florida there is no need for heavy blankets. It was beyond repair because it was so loosely woven, so I cut it up to make a rug out of it! I am just crocheting around the strips of material and alternating the color of yarn.

I am also working on knitting a sweater, leggings, and sewing dresses for the baby, but I will show all of those when I finish them, inshallah. 



Maternity and Nursing Abaya

Salam alaikum. 

I have had this design in my head for a while now, but no fabric. Alhamdulilah, a sister I sewed an abaya for was so thankful that she in return purchased some fabric for me. I have another abaya to sew yet, but I thought I would go ahead and show this one. 

This abaya is designed in a way that it allows a growing pregnant belly, looks flattering when you are not pregnant, and allows breastfeeding (and room for fluctuating sizes, as you breastfeeding mothers know what I am talking about). I think it would look lovely in a solid print, but the solid print material was incredibly more expensive then this calico print. So I bought prints rather then solids, but I prefer solids in all honesty.



See how I have the pleats that allow room for growth?


Plenty of chest coverage (there are 5 buttons in total, so that is how high the neck line is).


Full view of the abaya and my 26 week baby bump. :)

I am not quite happy with the sleeves. I haven't figured out exactly how I want them, so I just cut them out large for the time being. Once I figure out how I want them, then I will adjust them. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iraqi Fish Soup

Salam alaikum, so I posted a picture of this soup on my instagram and was asked for the recipe. Due to its length I told the sister I would post the recipe here. 


In all honesty, I am very picky when it comes to fish recipes, which is why I was so surprised how delicious this recipe is. I originally got it from Emiratican Kitchen but have changed to suit my husbands Iraqi taste buds. I have had fish soup made by some Iraqi ladies and didn't care for it, as it was very fishy tasting, but I suppose all the yumminess in the soup cancels out that fishy taste.

UPDATE 01/20/2014: I wanted to update you all on this soup. I had quite a bit of leftovers from it one evening and thought, why not put the orange lentils with it to give it more substance? It was delicious! And my husband said he liked it even more with the lentils in it. So, give it a go. :)

Marinade for the Fish:
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS 7 spice
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
2 thick fish fillets with the skin on cut into fairly large chunks not small or it will fall apart while being cooked!! (In the original recipe you cut up two whole fish, but I didn't have any whole fish on hand, so I used what I had)
Rub the marinade on the fish and let set for 20 minutes. 

Ingredients for the Soup:
2 TBS oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 large tomato skinned, seeded, and chopped
1 green chilie
2 turnips cubed
1 large carrot peeled and cut into medium sized "sticks" (refer to the picture to see how I cut my carrots)
1 tsp 7 spice
1 maggi stock cube
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 TBS of pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups of water
2 dried black lemons (loomi aswad) pierced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup of oil for frying

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a skillet and slightly fry the marinaded fish. Enough to where there is a little bit of brown on it, but not fully cooked as you will be fully cooking it in the soup. 
While frying the fish, heat oil in a large soup pan and cook onions until slightly translucent. Add the chilies, ginger, garlic, turnips, carrots, and tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes have softened. Add all the seasonings, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, and water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, let cook until vegetables are almost tender (about 20-30 minutes). Add the fried fish and chopped cilantro. Cooked for another 10 minutes.
I serve this with plain white rice and salad.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Catching Up

A long over due SALAM ALAIKUM to all my lovely sisters who follow and read my blog! Subhanallah how time flies. I didn't intentionally neglect blogging, things happened and a little toddler destroyed my keyboard! Just typing these few sentences have been a hassle (I think I am developing a blister on my pinky where the "a" button is missing). But Alhamdulilah, at least I have my laptop back. My husband had it at the store for the longest time, and now I can finally update. 

In July we found I was expecting again! Alhamdulilah! I am now 24 weeks pregnant and we have found we are having a girl! Mashallah. :) Inshallah she should be born March 4th, unless she is going to be an early bird like her brother. On a serious note sisters, keep me in your duas that I carry her to full term. Having a preemie is heartbreaking and difficult. I need all of your duas!

Ahmad is growing and is soon to be 2! Where does time go? He is such a little man now, and is talking up a storm, wanting to help mama and baba as much as he can. Mashallah, he does a good job helping too. 

These months have been filled with projects, baking, cooking, cleaning, and sewing. Basically, homemaking. I have sewed a few abayas for friends, I am knitting some things for the new baby, working on a rag rug big enough for our living room (excited about it!!!!), and inshallah I need to start many more things. I HAVE to sew some clothe diapers and dresses before the baby comes. So much to do, so little time. Seems my day is filled just doing housework and tending to Ahmad, before I know it, it is too late to sew or knit. Hehe, more like I am tired by then. 

Inshallah all of you are well!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Rant on Abaya Companies and Other Choices Muslim Women may have.

Salam alaikum sisters. 

I was wondering if any of you think or wonder about what I am about to address?

So many sisters are adamant about all of us wearing abaya's or something similar. Yet, almost every abaya company you come across is very expensive. Those that are not expensive are of terrible quality and only last a few washes and wears. 

I do sew, and I do know the prices on things. I also know if you buy material in bulk it is even cheaper. I understand you must also count in the labor, delivery, etc. I just find it so disheartening, that sisters who are not as blessed financially are unable to invest in nice quality abaya's because of the high prices. 

If it isn't the prices, then the abaya's are not practical for mothers, expectant mothers, or nursing mothers. Yes I know there are *some* options, though none that are really to my liking. So I thought I would show/explain how I dress, in a practical and affordable way.

First off, I always try to go to the second hand store. Many times there are nice clothes tucked away, perfect for us Muslim women. I always go straight to the dress section, especially where all the black clothes are (personal preference as you can pair black with anything). I look through them and often times I will find button down black jumpers. These are perfect, if there is a slit or if it is a bit short, you can pair it with either a black skirt, a colorful skirt, or even a pair of pants if you are intending to play with the little ones at the park.


Even if the jumper is short sleeved or sleeveless, you can put a shirt under it as I did in the picture above. (Yes Ahmad's blanket has to be in every picture).

I am sure the most "go to" item Muslimah's purchase to resemble the abaya are maxi dresses. I find them really pretty, but when I buy something I want it to last and be wearable for a long time. That includes any upcoming pregnancies or when I would need to breastfeed. Before I buy anything, I consider these 2 things:

Will it work while I am pregnant?

Will be functional while I am breastfeeding?

Would it still fit and feel comfortable while I am neither of those?

Below is a picture of me and Ahmad on my 20th birthday. Here I just had a plain black skirt, black turtle neck and a cardigan on top for modesty, this is when I was still breastfeeding Ahmad.


I will admit, I am not much into fashion, but more into practicality and simplicity. 

 "Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. They seem to be the purpose of God for his whole creation."

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
 Leonardo Da Vinci quotes 
"The Prophet (pbuh) said: The believer is simple and generous, but the profligate is deceitful and ignoble." Dawud :: Book 41 : Hadith 4772
Narrated AbuSalamah ; AbuHurayrah


Anyhoo, these are just some thoughts (and a rant, sorry about that). Insha'allah, those who can't afford the expensive abaya's will benefit from this post. 



Sunday, June 23, 2013

A New Abaya Idea

Obviously, as of right now, I will not be able to sew this, but I am really anxious for when I can! Insha'allah, once everything settles down with the business I can get my needle and thread back out. :) Tell me what you think. :)



An Idea



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Family Members of Converts to Islam Say The Things They Do

Salam alaikum sisters.

A few months ago I found an Aunt of mine on Facebook and added her as a friend. Two days ago I realized she still hadn't added me, so I messaged her and asked why she hadn't. She replied that she didn't want to be "associated" with someone like me. 

Needless to say, I was shocked by her frankness (which I shouldn't be, as she is my father's sister). I honestly thought that after nearly 2 1/2 years of my conversion everyone would have gotten use to the idea and there wouldn't be so much drama about it. But I thought wrong.  

So I thought I would compile a post of things that are said to us reverts (converts) by our family members. Insha'allah, I will be able to explain why it is said to us and proof that what our family may say to us is wrong and spoken out of ignorance.

YOU HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED!
I am sure every convert has heard this at one time or another. In my opinion I believe our family says this as it is much easier to believe that your child, or family member was forced or convinced to join a strange and foreign religion, rather than to believe that you actually chose this religion for yourself. This accusation is completely shut down when I tell them that I was in a Christian only Medical Missionary College when I decided I wanted to be Muslim.

OH, YOU CONVERTED FOR YOUR HUSBAND?
I never got this when I was single and a new Muslim, obviously, but after I married, suddenly that was the obvious reason I converted (said in sarcasm). Many are 100% sure you must have known him before you converted one way or another, but they are just as shocked when I tell them I didn't even know he existed until 5 days before we married. I always remind them, rather they are a family member or a stranger, that in Islam there is no compulsion in religion.

Allah says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]

YOU ARE IN A CULT!
Now, I will admit, no one had ever accused me of being with a cult until my Aunt replied to me. So I wanted to look up what cult meant (definition wise).


  • formal religious veneration : worship
  • a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
  • a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
  • a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
  • great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
  •  the object of such devotion, usually a small group of people characterized by such devotion

As you have probably already noticed, none of this describes the religion of Islam. I suppose some of those definitions describe religion in general, especially when it says "a system of religious beliefs and rituals". 

Is Islam "unorthodox"? No. 

Is Islam "greatly devoted to a person, idea, object, movement, or work"? No, we are only devoted to Allah (the Arabic word for God, even Christian Arabs refer to God as Allah), God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Yes we love Prophet Muhammad, but we also equally love Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Adam and all the other prophets.  


Is Islam a "small group of people characterized by such devotion"? No, there are over a billion adherents to our wonderful religion of Islam. 

So, to say that Islam is a "cult" is completely absurd. 


 WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS NOT GOD'S WAY!
I will begin with a little bit of what Islam's way of life is and compare it with Christianity. In Islam, it is an obligation to pray 5 times a day.

    Matthew 26:41 
    "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (NLT)
[29:45] "Observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) for it prohibits evil and vice."

As you can see, both Islam and Christianity encourage prayer. It is also an obligation to pay zakat (charity).

Blessed is he that considers the poor: Yahweh will deliver him in time of trouble. Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and you will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. – Psalms 41:1-2
The alms (Zakat in this specific verses case) are meant only for the poor and the needy and those who are in charge thereof, those whose hearts are to be reconciled; and to free those in bondage, and to help those burdened with debt, and for expenditure in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer. This is an obligation from Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (9:60)

As you can see in these verses here, both Islam and Christianity, once again, encourage charity or also known by, zakat. Islam believes in one God.

 'You shall have no other gods before Me...You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.' Exodus 20:2,3
 "Your God is but one God. There is no god other than Him, Compassionate and Merciful. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of night and day, in the ships that ply the seas to the benefit of man, in the water sent down from the heavens to revive the earth after its death, in the different species of animals scattered across the earth, in the rotation of the winds, in the clouds that are subordinate to God's command between heaven and earth, in all of this, there are signs for men who use their intellects." (2:163-164) "
Christianity and Islam both support the ideology that there is only one God. I could go on and on providing evidences from the Bible and the Quran, but today I wanted to show only a few just for the sake of proving, Islam is God's way.

"PROPHET MUHAMMAD WAS A BLOOD THIRSTY, WEALTH SEEKING MURDEROUS MAN"
Astafirugallah, insha'allah, Allah will forgive my father for saying this out of pure ignorance. I can not think of anything better to provide then this awesome, well said video:



I am sure there are many, many things said to us as converts that I can not cover right now. This post is getting long as I am sure you have noticed. So I just want to bring you reassurance, that, insha'allah, one day our family members will come to accept us and our decisions. Until then, just remember, most of what they say is out of confusion, hurt, ignorance, and not wanting to accept the fact that you went against the "norm".

Insha'allah all of you are having a lovely day!

Salam alaikum.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Worldly Modesty?

Salam alaikum sisters, it has been a while since I have written anything close to Islamic thoughts or questions, so I thought why not write about something I have been pondering for some time? 

Today as I was opening the store, Ahmad was in his play area and the lady that works with us hadn't arrived yet. So I had a lot of quiet time to think while putting things in the showcases. While doing so, I was reminiscing my last trip to Missouri which was in November 2012, seeing my family and visiting my Mennonite friends. 

When I went to visit my Mennonite friends there was one conversation- more like a short discussion- that I have never been able to get out of my head. I have pondered over it a lot and thought to share my thoughts on what we spoke about. 

As I am sure most of you know, Mennonites are well known of their modesty, humility, and kindness (that is until the ridiculous show "Breaking Amish" came out). Anyhoo, while I spent my 1 week visit there, we discussed many things, but one thing we spoke about was what they thought of how Muslim women dressed. Do bear in mind, my Mennonite friends are very blunt and basically will tell you exactly what you asked without sugar coating it- which is exactly how I like to be answered. :) The lady answered, 

"If you ask me, I think you all dress worldly". 

I was quite taken aback by her answer as normally I wear the Abaya (or clothes that resemble the Abaya), and just happened to wear sweaters over it as it was very cold in Missouri while I was there. So I asked her to clarify what she meant when she said worldly, and she said my sweaters I wore would be considered worldly. I found that kind of contradictory as every Mennonite lady I have met in their sect of Mennonites, would wear store bought sweaters, jackets, high heels, etc. Even the print of their dresses can be very bright and bold. But what I am writing isn't to dissect what she said to me, but rather, put out questions and thoughts on it. 

Would it be too bold to say that following "fashion" would be considered worldly? Or even to ask what exactly is considered "worldly" in Islam? In all honesty, I have never heard my fellow Muslim sisters use "worldly", instead, I hear "haram", "immodest", etc. In the eyes of my humble Mennonite friends, and ex-church members in the SDA church, jewelry or any other flashiness or vanity is considered "worldly". For Mennonites, it is an OBLIGATION to wear modest clothing that resembles their fellow church members, as it is also an OBLIGATION for the men to wear a beard and not being allowed to wear shirts with animations on them (excluding stripes or plaid). They do not whatsoever follow a "culture" or "society" but rather, they have stayed pretty much intact as their ancestors (other than using electricity, running water and cars). 

Would wearing jeans and tight fitting clothes be considered worldly? Would conforming to society's standards by following their "fashion fads" be considered worldly?

As Muslim women, we often pride ourselves saying,

"I wear the hijab to avoid conforming to the society's standards".

But wouldn't following fashion fads be the same as conforming to society's standards, instead, just throwing a scarf on top of it?

I find that the Mennonites do not question what they believe, because they believe it is true. If we as Muslims find Islam is 100% true, why do we question or falter in what Islam teaches? I can understand there are moments in life when we must question and weigh what we believe, but once you come to the conclusion that what you believe is 100% true, why must we question, neglect, or excuse the smaller things in our faith?

When I first reverted (converted) to Islam, I was with a sister. Before Islam, I never paid attention to fashion, but after Islam, this sister, who I looked up to, stressed that we have to look somewhat "fashionable" as already we are ridiculed for the hijab. Why be ridiculed for not fitting in fashion wise? I do agree we as Muslimahs are practically "ambassadors" of Islam. We truly represent our religion when we walk out of homes with our hijab on, but we will only show what Islam truly is, if we follow the Islamic standards and not society's standards. If you go out of your home with Abaya (or clothes that resemble the abaya), and you are clean and do not smell foul, why is anything else necessary? 

This post isn't pointing at anyone and saying they are wrong, rather it is a collaboration of all thoughts I have been pondering lately. Let me know your opinions and thoughts on this subject. Also, there are no Islamic thoughts as a basis of this post, but just what I have been thinking of lately. Do your research and follow what you believe 100%! Again these are just my thoughts and I am putting this out for a discussion. :) 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ahmad is 17 Months Old!

Salam alaikum my sisters. Insha'allah all of you are well!

Subhanallah, masha'allah, I can not fathom the thought that my little baby is 17 months old! Time truly goes by much too fast!

I feel truly blessed by Allah to be allowed to see my son grow and mature day by day. Sadly though, Ahmad hasn't really picked up any new words, and seems to be stuck on "dada", "Did you know that?", and "huh?". I try to get him to say "Mama", "Baba", "Salam alaikum", etc. but instead he replies with, "Dada" or "Daaaadoooo". When are customers come he will always say to them, "Did you know that?" But it is so cute how he says it cause he stutters, 

"Did ju did ju did ju did ju know dat?".  

When they reply with "Oh, yes I did", he says, 

"Oh", and walks away.

A few other cute things he has done this last month was, he found a bottle of water after he finished what he had in his sippy cup and brought both his sippy cup and water bottle to me. While he was eating, he spilled some water on his chair, he took his napkin and wiped up the water! He also loves to go outside, but due to use being in the store 12 hours a day, and our store being located right next to a very busy street, he is unable to go out.

When Ahmad does something naughty and we reprimand him, he turns his back on us and has the cutest poochy lip that we can't help but laugh. He also is very sensitive when he hurts someone. He accidently head banged me on the eyebrow which hurt very badly and actually made me tear up, and he turned my face towards him and patted my checks, I suppose that was his way to say he was sorry.

There are so many other things that he does that just melts my heart, every time he smiles or laughs, every time he does something new and surprises me. Alhamdulilah. 



Thursday, May 30, 2013

What have I been up to?

Salam alaikum sisters, insha'allah all of you are well. 

While I am at the store working and Ahmad is napping, there are times when there are not any customers and I have nothing to do. So instead of spending seemingless moments on the computer, I have picked up crocheting again. Down here in FLorida, I haven't really the need for crocheted things as it is very hot, but I have a friend who is expecting a little girl, and what isn't more fun than to make things for little girls?


For the sweater I still have to add buttons, but it is pretty much finished.


There is another row of blocks on this blanket, but is on the other side of the chair I draped it on. I really enjoyed putting this blanket together, it was really fun and my first time ever trying a lacey granny square.

There are several other things I would like to make for my friend, perhaps a little hat and a sewed dress that will match the sweater. Insha'allah, we shall see what comes with all of my spare time between customers. :) 



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Update on the Jabir Family

Salam alaikum my lovely and very missed sisters!

Jazakalkhair for all of you who sent me emails to see how I was doing. Many of you thought something bad happened, but I assure you, I have just been very busy. 

My husband and I finally opened the store, alhamdulilah. He is still working at his job so we can make the rent for the place, as I am sure you all know, you don't have a flash of business and customers straight when you open, you have to work hard to build that. So I am working just about 12 hours a day at the store, and toting Ahmad along with me, we also have our partners wife working with me. She cuts/cleans the fish when the customers purchase them, and I do everything else (getting the customers orders and ringing them up).

Alhamdulilah, at first it was very difficult with Ahmad. The first few days there was non-stop crying, I felt like I was at my wits end when all of a sudden, he finally adjusted to our new routine. He is so cute, he tries to help me in any way he can. While I am pulling something, he will go on the other end and push it. All is well now, and we are all very much into routine and well adjusted. 

Needless to say, due to the long hours, and then returning home to do my duties at home, I am very exhausted. Alhamdulilah, I have a good husband who helps me out, sometimes he washes the dishes while I rest or gives Ahmad a bath while I cook supper, etc. 

Anyhoo, I just thought I should give an update, a very needed one at that. :) Insha'allah all of you are doing well! <3

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ahmad 15 Months Old

Time is passing much too quickly, within a few weeks Ahmad will be 16 months old! Subhanallah.

Alhamdulilah, Ahmad is doing well. He was sick last week, but is just about over it other than the tiny bit of a runny nose that he has. His two top molars also came during this last month. So now, altogether, he has 10 teeth.

Ahmad is pretty much a cheerful little guy, but like all children, he has his moments. He is very ornery these days, constantly wanting to play with my laptop or dash over to the TV and switch it on and off. I have gotten to the point where I have unplugged just about everything during the day. LOL

We have given him my husbands old arabic phone from Iraq, and he will run around the house saying "Allo? Alllllooooo????". Hehe, he is quite the character. He did manage to pop out the word apple a few times, but recently I haven't been able to get him to say it again. Also, when I tell him something, he will say "Huh?", like he didn't quite understand what I said.

He has also figured out where I keep the tea biscuits at in the pantry (his favourite snack). Anytime he needs to munch on something, he will look at me and get my attention, then run to the pantry and wait for me until I come. When I am in sight, he starts pointing at the tea biscuits.

He is also not giving me quite the fuss he use to give when I would brush his teeth. The secret? I keep his hands occupied with our tube of toothpaste and his tube of baby toothpaste. I have also been teaching him how to "wash" his hands and face on his own.

There are so many things he does in one day, that I couldn't possibly bring them all to mind, or even have the time to write them down. All I can do to sum it up is to say he is growing much too fast, and I wish there was a way I could slow time down a bit.


Eating his favourite snack, tea biscuits!


My chubby little boy.


Mama, could you please quit taking photos of me!?


My silly boy, my joy, my sunshine! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Why I've Been Gone

Salam alaikum my sisters in Islam. 

I suppose I should give an explanation for my absence. It isn't exactly the easiest thing to talk/write about. 

As some of you may know, I was expecting a little one, due in October. March 19th I had a 12 week appointment. We went in without a care in the world, so excited to see the baby on the sonogram screen. Our high spirits fell when we saw that the baby wasn't moving nor did it have a heartbeat. The Mid-wife brought in the Dr to confirm her findings. Straight away my OBGYN said that most likely the baby died around week 9, from the size it was measuring. 

It was all a complete shock. The pregnancy had been going so well, there weren't any signs that there was a miscarriage. No bleeding or cramping. I cried a lot the first few days, but came to terms with it all. Allah knows best (Allah kareem). From conception Allah knew that this child would only make it to 9 weeks. We do not know the reason why, but perhaps it is to reminds us how life can be taken so easily. How short life really is. 

My OBGYN gave me just about a week for my body to naturally expel the baby on its own. I saw this as a fair amount of time as I had already been carrying the baby for 3 weeks, one more week would make a total of 4 weeks of carrying my now deceased baby. The following week after our dismal news, we had another ultrasound to confirm that the baby was dead. (My OBGYN is Muslim and likes to know 100% that the baby is deceased before performing any procedures). 

We arranged the D&C to be done on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013. I was very scared about it all. I had never been under anesthesia before, never had to have surgery done. Before I was put to sleep I shed a few tears, just the thought that when I would wake up I would no longer be carrying my unborn child. When I was waking up from unconsciousness, I was literally sobbing and weeping. During my sleep I had dreamed I had carried my baby to full term and just delivered it, but harsh reality came when I woke up and the nurse was saying I was in the recovery room.

It has been only a few days, 2 to be exact. I feel pretty well off and much like myself. Once again, I have accepted all of this. My OBGYN said that this isn't anything out of the ordinary, for some babies, their genetics and chromosomes do not form correctly when conceived and the baby is destined to die from the time it is conceived. He reassured me that there was nothing that I could of done to change what happened.    

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ahmad at 14 Months Old!

Here is a video of Ahmad from a few weeks ago. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Good-Bye for Now

Salam alaikum sisters,

Due to personal issues, I will not be posting for a few weeks. 

Please keep my family and I in your dua's, insha'allah.

Jazakalkhair,
Umm Ahmad

Sunday, March 10, 2013

10 Weeks Pregnant~ Baby #2

Salam aliakum sisters!

So sorry that I haven't posted for just about a month! I am sure as some of you know, I have been making youtube videos for a few months now. Often times the whole process of recording, editing, and uploading takes a lot of my time. 

From week 7-9 I was feeling very fatigued. Now that I am at week 10, I am feeling much better. So far nausea hasn't been a problem since I stopped taking the swallowable prenatal vitamins and my OBGYN prescribed me the chew-able kind. Alhamdulilah so much better and isn't causing me the nausea that the swallowable ones were doing.

Insha'allah, we are having a second ultrasound March 19th. Can't wait!

I don't feel as if I am "showing" yet, but I am thicker in my waist than normally. In a matter of time, I will be showing. Alhamdulilah, I love to be pregnant! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

6 Weeks Pregnant~ Baby #2

Yesterday marked my 6th week of pregnancy. Alhamdulilah. 

Yesterday I did feel funny, it felt has if I had a piece of lead in my stomach, very sluggish and just didn't feel like myself. Other than that, I pretty much feel the same, though I do feel a bit more worn out. 

Also in the evenings my stomach makes terrible noises, I believe it is indigestion. I noticed it happens only after I eat after 6 in the evening. Perhaps my husband will have to eat by himself in the evenings for a while. 

My first doctors appointment is February 19th. They are going to do an ultrasound and see if I have what you call an incompetent cervix. Where they will have to stitch it up so I will not go into premature labor again. 

Here is a little peek of my 6 weeks tummy. :)


Ahmad's 13 Month Update

Yes, I know I am a few days late for this, but I have had so many exciting things happening, I had just forgotten to write a blog post on Ahmad 13 month update.

Ahmad is walking very well now. Hardly ever falls or trips. He is for sure trying to talk, sometimes I think I kind of get what he is trying to say, but other times it is a just a jumble of sounds. He very clearly says "Done" and a few other words, that I am not sure are of coincidence or, if he actually knows what he is saying. 

He now loves looking at books. Sometimes I will find him just sitting in the living room floor flipping through his baby books. Absolutely heart warming. 

These past few days he has been very clingy. Wanting me to hold him the majority of the time, must be a phase he going through. 

It seems he pretty much understands what I say to him. So I think it is a good time to start teaching him the proper way to act.

Oh, and the few times he has went on the potty, I let him close the bathroom door. Maybe it makes him feel big, but he just loves to do it. 

He is quite the helper as well. Whenever I do laundry, I will give him some wet clothes to put in the dryer. Or when I am sweeping he holds the dust pan until I need it. He is also starting to learn to put his toys away. Ahhh, why did my baby have to grow so fast?

I am not 100% sure, but I think he maybe lactose intolerant. Since I have had him on cows milk, his bowels have been very loose and 5-6 times a day. I will have to ask his Pediatrician about this on his next DRs appointment.

Ahmad is also becoming choosy with his foods. He just doesn't eat everything now. He doesn't care for broccoli, eggs, and the laughing cow cheese. I have noticed that he loves the more "carb" things, such as bread, bread, and more bread. LOL

Anyhoo, I think that is about it, if I remember anything else, I will add to this post. :)




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Announcement!

Salam aliakum everyone, well, I have an announcement for all of you! We will be adding a new addition to the family. Insha'allah my due date is October 5th, 2013. 

I am about 5 weeks and 5 days along, alhamdulilah.

I was pretty sure I was pregnant these past few weeks, but my HCG levels weren't high enough for them to detected in a test. Finally, last night I got a positive, ALHAMDULILAH!

So Ahmad is going to be a big brother soon, insha'allah!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

What You Find When You Aren't Looking...

Subhanallah, I was going through some of my notebooks and tearing out pages I didn't need anymore when I came across some of my notes on my daily reading of the Quran, I had done this during the majority of my pregnancy and somehow stopped once I had Ahmad because I was so busy. I will share one entry I made on September 30th 2011:

Beautiful points in today's reading:

Chapter 2 Verses 255-257

  • There is no god but Allah- the living, self-subsisting (self supporting) Eternal.
  • No slumber/sleeping comes over Allah.
  • Everything in the heavens and the earth belong to Him.
  • He knows everything that happens in each of our lives.
  • Allah's throne extends over the heavens and the earth. He is never weary of guarding and preserving us. For He is the Most High and Supreme in Glory.
  • There should never be an impulse/compulsion/ urge in religion.
  • Truth will always stand out from error. 
  • Those who reject error/evil and believes in Allah has grasped the MOST TRUSTWORTHY hand-hold that NEVER breaks.
  • Allah hears and knows ALL things.
  • Allah protects those who have faith in Him. The ones who live in error/evil He will lead to the truth *IF* if is His will.
Chapter 2 Verse 261
  • Allah gives riches to those He chooses. He cares for everyone and knows ALL things.
Chapter 2 Verse 268
  • Shaytan threatens us with poverty and encourages us to do evil acts. While Allah promises us forgiveness and bounties- for He cares and knows all things.
Insha'allah, I hope I can get back into this good habit again. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ahmad's 12 Month Doctor's Visit

On Tuesday I took Ahmad to the Dr for his 12 month visit. 

He now weighs about 20lbs and is 30 inches long!

Dr. Safi says he is doing great. He received two shots and was fussy for about 2 days, but alhamdulilah he is fine now. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Basic Cherry Cheesecake

Monday night I made this and took it to our friends house on Tuesday while they watched Iraq play against Bahrain (soccer game). Mabrook to Iraq for winning! Everyone loved it so I thought I would share the recipe. :) It originally came from the recipe book my grandmother gave me, "Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 10th Edition", but as usual, I didn't follow the recipe exactly, so I will share the recipe I came up with, insha'allah. I don't own a spring form pan that most use for cheesecakes, so I used a regular circular cake pan instead, and it worked just as well. Therefore, I had to halve the filling of the cheesecake. I also do not have an electric mixer, so I just mixed everything by hand. 

Ingredients:

CRUST:
2 cups of finely crushed graham crackers (I didn't have graham crackers so I used these tea cookies we had on hand)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine (melted)

FILLING:
1 1/2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 TBS milk

Directions:

For crust, combine crushed crackers (or cookies) and cinnamon. Stir in margarine. Press crust into pan, 2 inches up the sides of an 8-9 inch spring form pan.

In a bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy (this is possible to achieve by hand as well, just takes a lot of work LOL)

Add eggs all at once, beating on low speed just till everything is combined. 

Stir in milk. Pour into crust lined pan. (For a spring form pan, place on a shallow pan, for my cake pan I didn't do this). 

Bake at 375* for 30 minutes or until done (when the center appears nearly set when shaken). 

Cool for 15 minutes, and let set in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. 

For spring form pan:
For an 8 inch pan bake for 45-50 minutes.
9 inch pan 35-40 minutes.

When center appears nearly set, cool for 15 minutes, loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 more minutes; remove sides of pan, cool completely. Chill at least for 4 hours. 

You can make your own cherry filling, but we do not have fresh cherries available, so I just bought the canned cherry filling.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Kabsa


This recipe is originally from a youtube cook, her name just left my mind. I found this wasn't salty enough and the rice was a little mushy I decreased the broth to 3 3/4 cups, when her recipe was 4 cups. 

Ingredients:

Pre-cooked Chicken and broth:
2 pieces of chicken (or more if you want)
6 cups of water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 TBS salt + 1 TBS powdered Chicken boullion

Combine chicken water, onions, and spices. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until fully cooked. Strain the chicken but reserve the broth and use for the rice. Shred the chicken.

Rice:
2 cups basmati rice (soaked)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 large onion
1/2 cup white raisins soaked in water
1 TBS salt
1 TBS ground cardamon
10 cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Arabic 7 spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 3/4-4 cups chicken broth
4 TBS butter
2 TBS oil

Drain rice and mix all the seasonings with the rice. 

In another pan add 2 Tbs oil, 1 TBS butter, onion, and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes and onions are soft (about 10 minutes). Add rice and raisins, mix, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add 3 3/4-4 cups of chicken stock from the precooked chicken. Stir and place on top the 3 TBS of butter. Let rice come to boil, cover, and turn to low heat. Cook for about 30 minutes or until done. 

Place rice on platter and evenly distribute chicken on top. 


Malfouf (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

I know before, I was including picture examples of what you do, step by step for every recipe. Now, I hardly have the time to take photos, so I will just post the recipe and if you have any questions on how to do anything, leave a comment. :)


This recipe is adapted from one I got from the internet. The one from the internet did have enough salt, nor enough flavor. 

Ingredients:

1 cabbage head 
3/4 lb of ground beef
1/4 cup of rice (soaked)
3 HEADS of garlic (minced, 15 cloves need to be separated, as they will be put in the water)
1 tomato (diced)
1 1/2 TBS salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp Arabic 7 spice
2 tsp dried parsley (if you have fresh use that instead!)
1/2 tsp dried dill
4 lemons squeezed
3 TBS olive oil

Directions:
Peel off outer leaves and use them for the bottom of the pan. Pit out the large stem on the bottom of the cabbage. Simmer the whole cabbage in a large pan until the leaves begin to separate.

As leaves begin to loosen, peel them off and place in strainer. If leaves are not soft and flexible, boil until they are, but do NOT make them mushy.

Mix meat, rice, spices (including the salt), extra mince garlic, and tomatoes.

Take leaf, cut in half (removing the hard stem at the same time). Take 1-2 TBS of meat stuffing along an edge of the leaf and roll. Line up in a pot. Put the greenest leaves at the bottom. Roll all leaves and put in pot.

Saute the 15 separate minced garlic in oil until golden brown. Pour into pot, squeeze 4 lemons and add 4 cups of water. Put heavy plate on top. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours (sometimes less). 

Enjoy!

Ahmad's Second Birthday!

Our Anniversary!