Wednesday, December 18, 2013

18 things about a 17 month old

Sarah baby,

I'm sorry I've missed so many months and itty-bitty milestones over here. I don't want to get into excuses because you might wake up any time now... so here goes:

1. you're now toddling away, it was very penguin-like just a few days ago but it's getting better
2. You're picking up new words everyday. some of the words you mispronounce are just so  cute: bibbit (rabbit), beeps (grapes), mee mee (dinosaur (!!!)), phips (chips), laice (rice), pheesh (fish), phoos (phone), daddis (daddy)
3. You love to say 'anda' and nowadays your way of asking for breakfast has become: "Mamma!" "Anda?" "Sheesh? (cheese)", all done very quickly accompanied by vigorous nodding of the head. You also use these words to try to get out of naps, so I'll take you to the kitchen and you can start playing (See? I'm on to you!)
4. Like any other kid from your generation, you love screens and I'm trying to keep you away from them. But you still point to the ipad and go 'Bow bow? Bow bow?" over and over again. 
5. You can recognize most shapes and put the shape blocks in their correct places (yes, very nerdy achievement)
6. You recognize numbers too but not individually. Every number is called 'choo' (two)
7. You love reading books and recognize so many things. You LOVE the yellow rubber ducky and you even held the picture of one such ducky to your cheek and hugged it!
8. We took you to the zoo but couldn't spend enough time there :( Hopefully another time. Waiting to go to the bird park, think you'll go crazy with excitement 
9. You like to brush your teeth or rather chew on it. And you call it "chooshush"
10. You recognize the doctor and the salon lady
11. You love donuts and chips just like your mom. I wish I loved vegetables more :|
12. You love playing with older kids and will spontaneously hug them. Is there some way I could get you an older sibling? Maybe ask Blister to send Ammaarah over :D
13. Your favourite rhyme is 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', and your favourite books are  'Tim's Birthday' and 'Miss Polly Had A Dolly'
14. You MUST chat with your nanu and baba everyday. And you get very excited when you see them and seem to want to go through the screen and into their arms. Makes me sad-happy
15. You love sitting in your high chair and reading. I think it gives you a good view of what your parents are up to and makes you feel more included
16. You love seeing cats and dogs when we go downstairs and are pretty good with saying hi to people too
17. You sleep between 11 and 12 at night and wake up around 10. If I get into bed with you at 10, you sleep longer. But then your naps get cut short. You're waking up about two times per night but  I"m more or less used to it now
18. Your first words in the morning are still either "Yeh kya hai?" pointing to things around the room or jabbing your finger in my eyes or yours and saying "Aaiss"

Okay, I've miraculously managed to type more than half of this post with you in my lap, alhamdulillah! And alhamdulilllah for you and your cuteness, my admiration for the human capacity to learn and the natural wonders around us has grown so much because of you. Glory be to Him who created us and everything around us.

I love you my little monster (you pull my hair and threaten to bite me :( )
Mamma

Monday, October 7, 2013

First impressions

- it's like being in Manhattan, only greener.
- I thought the weather would be horrible, it's not. There are shady lanes and a decent breeze blowing 
- Coffee shops are occupied by 10th class type kids drinking coffees while studying! Of course some of them are more busy on their gigantic cellphones
- Everything is so organized. RB said yesterday that he thought even the fish were traveling in straight lines 
- Everyone is so stylish and SO slim. I feel like a fat hag
- The Indian area was disgustingly crowded. Kept veering away from people keeping in mind earlier experiences back home. Thankfully, it was all safe.
- I wish everything wasn't so expensive though. 
- I wish I wasn't a foreigner here, but a local. Why can't India be so nice that you feel proud to be a local :(
- A lady at the supermarket seemed very disappointed that I was Indian and not Saudi as she had thought earlier
- The Indian-looking attendant at the hotel lobby only today realized that I was Indian when I asked him about a nearby Muslim restaurant. And he kept saying, 'You're Indian Muslim? You want to go to Indian Muslim restaurant?' 
- I want to explore this place a lot more, but there's Sarah and there's fasting. 
- We should be checking out some apartments today.
- Nothing like a new place to get the blogging juices flowing again :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Updates

It's been a bit of a whirlwind over here. We hardly settled down and now we're packing up the house, home for the last 3 years, 4 for M. Loved this house, it was my first own house (meaning free to run it however I liked), it had great storage, my first ever modular kitchen, it gave us our "relaxed weekends", and most importantly to me, over the past year, the parks were right next door and was what looked forward to the most, even in the sultry Chennai weather.

We made a second trip to Pondicherry this time, and because we stayed at a resort with its own private beach, we really loved ithe visit. Sarah, however, was too scared by the crashing waves and kept crying the whole time. She did love the pool though and we had to drag her out.

Nothing much has happened except for being in a state of limbo wondering where and when we were headed next. Well, the packers will arrive in a couple of hours and tomorrow evening we make our way to Hyderabad so both sets of grandparents can say goodbye to Sarah for the time being in sha Allah.

Of course, Sarah is definitely happening, alhamdulillah has put on the weight she'd lost when she fell sick and looks rounder again. We got her ears pierced too but her bangs still need to grow out to look like a girl. A couple of neighbours thought she was a boy :< .

She took her first steps a few days ago (finally) and yesterday walked from her dad towards me (about 4 steps) while we were busy talking to each other, ma sha Allah Just like Baba said, she feels extremely elated and proud of her accomplishments, it's so cute to watch.

She understands a lot of what we say and her vocabulary's growing pretty fast too. Most recently, she was attempting shoes and cheese on her own, both without being prompted and both sounding like: chshhh and shhh. Like her dad said, I think making sounds using the tongue and teeth is much more difficult, so when she says her name too, it's Sasa, and that's like a lispy s.

She points out things in her books too. Also loves looking at dogs, cows, etc. And everything is bhow-bhow (always accompanied by eyes wide open), including a crow!

She has a couple of toys that play the ABC and she turns her head to the sides rather laboriously showing her enjoyment. It's so strange!

She's easily scared by other kids and will begin bawling if they scream at her. She probably needs to be exposed to their company much more often to become a toughie.

She loves: cheese, dahi no meal is complete without dahi, playing with bunches of things like the coloured plastic stones we have or emptying pens, etc. From a pen holder (all items are handed to mamma without which there is no fun), pushing the pushtoy we got her from Hamley's, pulling stuff and throwing it on the floor wherever and whenever possible, playing inside open suitcases, climbing into cupboards and narrow spaces, splashing water around amd playing with the teddy bear during "bushy-bushy time", asking "yeh ta(kya) hai" a million times a day, making dramatic shocked faces upon seeing things on the floor even if she was the one who threw them there, sliding down the slide (did that make me happy or what! I always loved the pisal bandas and was so looking forward to Sarah enjoying them, wasn't a bit disappointed alhamdulillah :) ), holding on to and pulling my hair (the most annoying thing anyone has done to me EVER) when she's sleepy, and of course still thumb-sucking away... That's about all I can remember.

Time to wake her up now...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Too lazy to edit the previous post..

Was just reading through the comments on the burka article. Most of them are on the lines of wanting to return to a white, Christian nation and that "those people should never have been allowed into our country anyway"... I know immigrants have caused problems but such racism!

Was unexpectedly reminded of my Tamilian manager being disgusted that there were too many Marwaris in his locality or a friend who would say 'Bihari' only with contempt.

I wish we could see each other as humans, and behave like humans too. And Muslims should be the first to behave, what a mockery we have made of our religion.

Baffled

This article is amongst the top articles on the Telegraph website:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10318018/Burkas-cast-a-veil-over-us-all-so-ban-them.html

Burkas and face veils must be banned because they're offensive. Um, what? How?!

And then there's this one:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10302408/The-ugly-unfair-truth-about-looking-beautiful.html

"Why, after decades of feminism, do we seem to demand that women in the public eye be extraordinarily beautiful but their male counterparts can get away with being ordinary?"
..."The message, to me as a man, is: it's what you do that's important, not how you look. But how do women feel? I can only imagine."


So shouldnt a woman's attire that covers her beauty, one that she herself has chosen to wear, be respected, because she refuses to conform to a society that treats women as eye candy?

I am in no way saying that women who don't cover themselves up should not be respected. I'm saying that a woman who wears hijab by choice should not be considered oppressed, but rather she should be considered liberated from the demands of an anti-feminist society that puts so much value on superficial beauty.  Read the article, it's an eye-opener.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Notes to myself

17:23
Sahih International
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.
17:24
Sahih International
And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small."
17:25
Sahih International
Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous [in intention] - then indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

One, alhamdulillah




Sarah, here we are, a week after your first birthday. Yes, I've missed your 11 month milestone and am late for this one, but here I am, finally!

I don't have as much time to do this as I'd have liked, so this might be crazy, bear with me.

A lot happened over the last two months, and it was not just about you. There's some bad news and Insha'Allah, I'm praying that it'll blow over. Please, ya Allah, let Z mama recover soon and completely.

Sarah, I got an email from babycenter today that said, 'Your toddler this week' and I wanted to cry, 'Noooo, bring back my 'Your baby this week' mails again!' Of course, what I should  be saying is Alhamdulillah and masha'allah.. how you've grown, my baby! Just today your dad and I were recollecting looking at your face at your 12 week scan and it was so clear that you resembled him. Subhanallah, just a squishy little thing, barely two inches long and your face was already so distinct, subhanallah. What a miracle a human being is, I just don't see how people don't recognize the Designer...

~Reliving that day~

Sarah choochoo, a little more than a year ago, on the 11th of July, I prayed Tahajjud after years and prayed that you would be delivered early and safely and that your dad would be there in time for your birth. Just like someone said, Tahajjud IS overnight delivery of your dua, and that's exactly how it happened. The same evening, I'm talking to your Pitti aunty and I find that I'm suddenly experiencing periodic twinges, about twenty minutes apart. She chided me later for not telling her... well, I didn't want to jinx them! You were born the next morning and your daddy had flown in early that morning. Alhamdulillah, Allah ta'ala made the labour easy for me. When I called up your aunt N to tell her you were born, and she had no idea that I was in the hospital, she said, 'What?! You're saying it like you just baked a cake!' At that point, I was just so happy that I was successfully at the end of that long wait, and so naïve about what was to come!

~A little about me~

Sarah, I find that I'm drawn to your (and mine) Creator more and more. When I look at my friends and colleagues who're still working, sometimes, I feel a pang of loss or sometimes, I feel like I *should* feel some kind of loss, because sitting-on-so-many-degrees, worked so hard, no income to call my own, etc. etc. and here I am... 'sitting at home'. I often felt this way in the beginning of my maternity leave and yet, Sarah, I find that as clichéd as this statement is, 'I wouldn't have it any other way'. Really. The time I have spent with you is so precious. I found time to work on something I am (have become) really passionate about, the Qur'an and other related academic pursuits. Subhanallah, I know now that this world is like snatching at clouds, the real world is what we have to work for. We weren't created for nothing, Sarah. The past few months have been like climbing up on Maslow's scale, yes, really, Alhamdulillah. It was like Allah ta'ala knew what I was looking for and offered it all to me... Tajweed courses, my life-changing Al Huda Qur'an course, the Like A Garment course that was such an eye opener, the Tahajjud training, Alhamdulillah, I can't thank Allah ta'ala enough for these months. Your dad was away and I was with you at your grandparents' and it was the best use of my time, Alhamdulillah. In fact, I was inspired by a fellow blogger to get on to the Al Huda train, as she called it, and when you grow up, you'll know that your mom, when she decides on something, she has to have it NOW. So I went about trying to find the online courses, and there was one beginning two days later! I told you, Allah ta'ala knew what I was looking for and put it right in front of me because I was looking for it! I just hope that I won't ever forget these blessings and keep learning, Insha'Allah.

~What you're up to~

So yes, back to you. You're such a talker, my dear. Your current vocabulary is: Mamma (yes, that's me, and you keep trying out Mamma in so many inflections! Sometimes I'm in another room, and you'll keep calling out from there and I keep calling back to you. I love you!), Kya hai (when you see something new), MamMam (food/water), Daddy (just picked this up yesterday!), girgaya (you throw something on the floor and say girgaya!), aagayi (as in light aa gayi), baba and nana (still have to figure out if you mean baba and nanu). There are instances where I'm so sure you repeated exactly what I just said but I can't get you to repeat it.

You understand when we're talking about you. I was telling your daddy, how you start making blowing noises when you think something's hot and you started doing it just because you heard us. We decided your 'antenna ghoomra' just like Baba used to say about Ammaarah.

You play on your own for decent periods of time now, with strange things like rubberbands and disposable plates. You don't really care for toyish toys yet.

You stand on your own for a few minutes now, but you still think it's some kind of a game and then fall backwards. I read today that babies who're slow to roll over and crawl will generally walk later too. Seems true for you too.

You can drink from your sipper on your own now, but you prefer spilling the water all over your clothes.

And how can I forget, Sarah, your new sleeping skills are masha'allah! Just the day you turned one, you slept for 8-9 hours at a stretch! Yes! You didn't even wake up once! And the next day, you slept about 10 hours! The only problem is that you're sleeping late, but that's my fault and I'm trying to correct it. Your dad reminded me about those nights where you would wake up every 15 minutes, and I had actually forgotten all about it! Oh, those sleep-obsessed months! Alhamdulillah. Something spectacular came out of that too, the fact that I can survive on lesser sleep than I thought. Your arrival also did away with another problem I had... which I decided to one-line this way: I used to have insomnia, then I became a mom. :) Sleepless nights are a rarity now, Alhamdulillah.

You were a little hesitant when you met your daddy after a few months but now you're good friends, Alhamdulillah. It's nice to be together as a family masha'allah, but I do wish we lived closer to both sets of grandparents. No substitute for grandparents!

Other than that, well, there's the fact that you're on your first international visit and I had to bring you here all alone on the flight! That was something. There were 3 babies and you were the loudest one. You climbed up the seat and shouted at other people, I was thinking, 'Wow! Am I really here? I'm the MOTHER of a baby, and an embarrassingly loud one at that!' It took some time to digest that, really. There was an elderly uncle who had to sit between me and another auntie, and he sweetly didn't want any of that, so moved to an empty seat nearby. That was a real blessing since I could set you down on the seat beside me. Then you promptly went ahead and started teasing the calm lady beside you. When she was having her breakfast, you tried to grab things off of her tray, tried to grab her fork and spoon, and I kept trying to pull you away. Then you grabbed the fruits from my tray and offered your neighbor a piece of watermelon, that was so cute! What wasn't cute was finding out later that you sat on some fruits too and got some stains on your (oh-so-cute Nanima-got gray and red) dress.

~Your first birthday~

I didn't want to make a big deal out of your first birthday. Maybe it was being turned off by all the over-planning that I saw people on my birth board do, maybe it was the no-such-sunnah, I just wanted a simple way to celebrate and the easy way out was being here, just you, me and your daddy. Your daddy decided we had to have a cake, so we got a cute little cake from a famous bakery here. The same day we met a neighbor whose daughter is a few months older than you. I invited them to the birthday on an impulse the next day and so we had at least a few guests apart from us. You were wary as usual when you met them, but were soon entranced by the lit up candles, the balloons and all the food. (You're not a picky eater, Alhamdulillah).

We're horrible parents who're still to get you a birthday present :| I wanted to get your ears pierced but your daddy won't have it :( Oh well, Toys R Us is just a few minutes away :)

I love you, choo choo, my little cuddle-bug. I love the way you love me. Alhamdulillah.

Your mamma.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Disgusted

I read one article about a rape on Times of India and their site kept recommending all the other rape-related news articles. Girl raped  by classmate, 5 year old raped, 12 year old gang-raped, rod inserted into blind girl after rape, woman helps neighbour rape minor girl, and finally, a story from New Zealand, 11 year old fathers child with 36 year old woman. 

We're living in a world full of animals, or perhaps that's too nice a word for these vile human beings.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Three new posts on the 'Like A Garment' series

Since my last post on the LAG series, I've added three more posts:


Some people on Muslim Matters seem to have indirectly criticised for presenting everything from a very masculine point of view. So far, I don't think I have any issues with what he's said. In any case, here's the female perspective: 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ten!


Sarah, you've reached double digits in months, alhamdulillah! Your (month) birthday was particularly poignant because one dear little boy from the July 2012 birth club on BabyCenter passed away from a rare genetic disease called SMA, a few days after he turned 10 months old. With all the religious knowledge I have, I don't think I would have been half as strong as his mom who not only shared his story with us but reminded us through their suffering to hold our babies and loved ones a little more tighter everyday. Alhamdulillah, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.

This month was anything but uneventful, Sarah. When we went to get your measles vaccination, we were told that your immunity would be low for a month... as it turned out, just a couple of weeks after your vaccination, you came down with a high fever and  suddenly one morning, I found you jerking your head in a strange way that made me cry out for Baba in fear. My first instinct was right, you were having a mild seizure. We rushed to the hospital where you had another short one and the doctor told us that it was a 'febrile seizure' (fever-related). We've been told that the next time you have a fever, we have to be very careful to give you paracetamol and another anti-seizure medicine on time. We'll have to be watching out for this until you're six. I pray that you'll never have one again, it was just too terrifying to watch even if it is supposedly harmless.

You're doing so many funny things, Sarah, and there's been some great progress on the sleep front. Here is all that I can remember right now:
- There have been a few nights where you woke up only once or twice. Somebody pinch me.
- After some coercing by both of your grandmoms, I started you on a bottle of whole milk. Predictably, you're not in love with nursing anymore. Even though I knew you needed it, it still feels like rejection. However, things have been looking up slightly since yesterday, so I'm hoping hard that we can reach the 1 year mark. 
- You laugh when you sneeze! It's so cute :)
- You have an awesome time playing with Ammaarah. If both of you are playing and she gets busy with something, you'll go and nudge her in your own way and then there's chaos again. It's so beautiful, masha'allah. I was just thinking today that this is probably the longest time that you guys will spend together, I'm sure Ammaarah will remember everything you did and tell you when you grow up. I wish you could remember too. 
- You love grabbing and eating our hair :| Poor Ammaarah faces the brunt of this because her hair is more reachable. Of course she enjoys any interaction with you, so most of the time she's offering her head to you, or we're playing 'Sarah, didi ke sir pe tak tak karo!'
- You're showing the first signs of naughtiness. You'll start scurrying away if you see me coming after you for picking up someone's chappals. You turn back and check to see if I'm really coming. If I'm not, you promptly settle down to chew them again (EWW!) If you see me coming after you, you become miss smartypants and drop the one you had and move on to the farther one!
- You're just beginning to grasp '____ kahan hai?' Not quite there yet, no.
- If someone's reciting the Qur'an or even aa chuchchu, you'll go on blabbering as if you're joining in
- You LOVE all kinds of kebabs and gosht, chicken, mutton... doesn't matter if the masala is driving you crazy, you want MORE!
- You stood independently for a few seconds for the first time a few days ago. And only because you were so busy trying to stuff a piece of Hide & Seek in your mouth that you let go of both your hands! Your legs wobbled for a few seconds and then you finally plopped down!
- We spent a few days at your paternal grandparents', oh, how you love the tricycle they got you!
- You spend most of your time messing up the house. You pull out everything that's within your reach and throw it down. As if your Nanu wasn't pulling out her hair about the mess already! You understand when I say girgaya and I *think* you sort of say it too
- When I have to cook, I put you in your high chair and give you some of your didi's cereal that you nimbly put in your mouth. What progress, masha'allah!
- Just like your didi, you're CRAZY about mangoes. You justcannotwait till Nanu finishes cutting them up, no, you'll repeatedly grab the peel and try stuffing it in your mouth nonstop. 
- I'm finding potty training very intimidating. Why can't you figure it out on your own? :s
- You start crying when you see Nanu put on her scarf and smile when you see me put on mine because you know you're going out too :)
- You're beginning to show some interest in TV now. When you see people's faces in the newspaper, you try to pick at them as if they're stickers!
- You smiled at your daddy on Skype and even did the head-dipping-taa
- You take two long naps and sometimes a third shorter one. Alhamdulillah
- You now take a bath while sitting in your didi's plastic chair! Alhamdulillah
- We play lots of games and there's lots of giggling :) I run around with you, or hang you upside down onto a cushion, or tickle you.... I think it's the most beautiful sound in the world :)

I love you, SarahBB. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmwah!

PS: You not only have a friend coming soon, but another cousin too, insha'allah!


Monday, April 22, 2013

When will we Muslims wake up?

A few weeks ago, I glanced at the newspaper and saw the headline 'Communal violence in Burma' and I prayed, please, please don't let Muslims be one of the parties. I squinted at the article and found my fears to be true. 

With a heavy heart, I looked at Baba and said, 'How can Muslims be involved in so much violence? Why are so many killings happening in Muslim countries? How are so many Muslims killing and being killed?' And Baba said, 'Because we've forgotten our values, the basic tenets of our religion so Allah ta'ala is trying to teach us a lesson'...

I'm currently studying these verses (below) and the teacher, Dr. Farhat Hashmi, emphasised that it's taking care of the people around us that is mentioned first and then the prayer. Allah's commmandments to the Muslms of those times (the Jews) hold true for us too. What are we doing? 

Surah Baqarah, verse 83:
And (remember) when We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, (saying): Worship none save Allah (only), and be good to parents and to kindred and to orphans and the needy, and speak kindly to mankind; and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse.

When it says 'be good to parents' and 'speak kindly to mankind', the word used is 'ihsan' whose true import isn't reflected in this translation. Ihsan means to be better in goodness than the other, to behave better than the other, to always be a degree higher in the goodness of your manners, your behaviour... and also to always remember that God is watching us and that we're accountable for everything we say and do, so to say the best and do the best.

Ya Allah, make us of the Muhsineen. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First post on LAG up!

I've been taking the Like A Garment course on Halal (lawful) Intimacy by Yasir Qadhi. Here are some notes on the second session, the 5 Languages of Love. It's based on Gary Chapman's book but with an Islamic twist.

Amazing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun

"Surely we belong to God and to Him we will return"

I'm in shock after reading the coverage of the Boston Marathon blasts. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Only yesterday we were watching the news on Al Jazeera where they reported more than 30 people dead across Iraq in bomb blasts. Bomb blasts in Pakistan, Syria and Iraq hardly make the front page anymore, do they? How many people are dying preventable deaths everyday?!

All these killings are really, terribly sad and scary. Who are these people? How can they be stopped? Here, I'm tired of seeing reports of bestial crimes, especially against women and children. What kind of world is this?! What drives people to do such barbaric, inhuman acts?! What is this lust for power and greed that blinds people and turns them into monsters?!

Ya Allah, surely you will bring us all to account for all our deeds, especially these vile perpetrators who've killed innocents and ruined the lives of so many. Ya Allah, please  let these people be guided, please let them come to their senses... Ya Allah please protect us and help us to take action to prevent such horrendous crimes from happening in the future.

Updated to add: A video of Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda on muslimmatters.org with his response to the Boston Marathon tragedy. We need prayers for humanity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AqO21v68m_Q

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Almost 9

2 (no, 4)  weeks ago:

Sarah, as you lie in my lap, or half-lie, your current favourite way to fall asleep, let me state the one thing that has struck me over the past month: I love the way you love me. I know a mother's love is unconditional and it is, but it is so fulfilling to see and feel your love, alhamdulillah. I've always been one for touchy-feely love and I can't put into words the way I feel when you come crawling towards me and put your head in my lap, or when we're just hugging cheek-to-cheek, or when you close your eyes and laugh when I tickle you... I love you so much and am so grateful for the blessing you are alhamdulillah.

Your current favourite person is your Ammaarah didi and you squeal and laugh when you see her. She loves you so much too in her crazy, almost violent ways and it's beautiful to hear both of you laughing together. Baba and Nanu also are the happy recipients of your excited, hand-clapping love as is Munawwar bi!

You've become very naughty and eating at the dastar-khwan has become almost impossible because you HAVE to get into everything. If by a miracle you're not interested in the food spread out, you're crawling at high speed towards the door or the nearest pair of slippers. I usually never manage to eat with everyone else or Baba who's always done early takes you away to the jhula or the tv room so the rest of us can eat in peace.

Your current obsession is learning to stand and now you will lean on the gaw takya and then stand up leaning against the wall. You love crawling under the table and chairs and start crying when stuck. You make clicking noises with your tongue when you're in your exploratory mode. You can say 'dadada' and 'tatata', when you're sleepy you say 'abbvwuu' and you rant using a combination of the sounds above when you're really frustrated.

You're not a fussy eater alhamdulillah. You eat rice cereal, khichdi, bananas, boiled potatoes, zatar, boiled dal (favourite!) and will bug your grandparents for tea whenever you see them having some.

Updated today: Sarah, you stood for a few seconds without any support today!
You do this really cute sideways   bending thing, then laugh when we copy you. You laugh when nanu starts aa chuchchu and are trying to learn how to say aao by extending your palm in front of you. You love grabbing peoples lips or noses -- Ouch!


You also got your first bruise when you fell two days ago.

As you ce closer to completing 9 months, I just want to say that despite all the sleepless nights (you're meeting all your other milestones so well, why not this one?! :'( ) and having to hover around you constantly, I love you so so much and am so grateful for you.

Lots of love,
Your mommy

Update

[Published more than a week after this post was written! :| ]

Hello, hello, assalamualaikum!

This is a reminder that this blog is not dead, and to add some content that will prevent this blog from falling completely into the mommy blog category. I have only 3 minutes before the current goes off so I just wanted to list what I've been doing these past few months:

  • Babysitting Sarah, chores, Babysitting Sarah, chores, etc.
  • Joined the Quran Certificate course from Al Huda! Alhamdulillah, yes, it definitely is one of the best decisions I have taken in my life so far, just like they said in the welcome email.
  • Cooking! Cooked more times than I have in the previous year (Not saying much at all since we had a cook :| )
  • Spending time with the fambly, though thanks to Sarah it's not always 100% 
  • Reading. One of the best books I've read in a LONG time: The Butterfly Mosque
  • I'm going to add some more parenting books to the list soon, insha'allah. Yes, people around me make fun of me for making parenting such an academic exercise, well, my kid, my rules!
  • That'll have to do for now. 8 month post coming up soon. Yes, very close to the 9 month mark. Thank you, Sarahbb or let's call you by your new name that Md chacha gave you: Doodhpeda!

Friday, February 22, 2013

7.5

Sarah, the last few weeks have been crazy... So your 7th month post is almost two weeks late. It's amazing and humbling to see how fast you're growing, how your internal programming makes you pick up new things on your own, how you persevere on and on and on until you can master that skill that is on your mind every minute of the day. The skill you're currently working on is sitting to crawl, crawling and crawling to sitting. You've nearly mastered the last one and oh aren't you proud when after multiple iterations of folding your legs under you from different angles you can finally sit upright without being afraid that you'll fall. Which reminds me, you fell off the bed twice in a week a few days ago and made me feel so guilty. But you see, if you let me sleep better, I wouldn't have nodded off while you were burning off that excess energy instead of sleeping. Alhamdulilah nothing happened except for making you a little fearful of falling.

Quickly recounting all that happened since my last post:
- you began to rock on your fours
- your khala came down for a very eventful week
- I left you at home with your nana and nani and went to the exhibition. I was away from you for FOUR+ hours. You enjoyed yourself, I spent half the time racked with anxiety. But "we had lots of fun". Especially the question game that your khala made us play.
- your didi had to be hospitalized for what turned out to be a severe asthmatic attack. Just a few days after she got back, she's now in hospital again with a severe throat infection. May Allah return her to complete good health soon, insha'allah.
- you squeal, make pich noises, occasionally growl and you laugh. What a beautiful laugh mashallah!
- you love me! Yayy, I can see it now, alhamdulillah! You love leaning your head against me and I know what comfort that provides because that's what I feel like doing when I miss mummy or someone close.
- oh how could I forget this: you outgrew your love for the bouncer! Without ANY sleep training whatsoever. Now you will only sleep on the bed, big girl :)
- we shaved your head, now you have itch bitsy sharp-feeling hair
- you can grip most things very well, including heavy things like your water bottle
- you've started flinging your arms up and down to show you're happy
- you sometimes respond to your name
- you often want to be held all the time and are clingy
- you love all kinds of food and watching us eat makes you hungry. You always want what we're eating.
- as of today you're up to three meals a day masha'allah
- you want to crawl so badly I have to wrestle you to sleep
- you wake up crying and howling in the middle of the night, most probably because you're teething. You sprouted your first tooth on the 16th!
- you apparently háve my eyes - yayy!
- you're beginning to tease me, you laugh when I tease you or playfuly hit you with a "hut"!
- you have a friend coming soon :D

Love you stara, more than words can ever say. What a beautiful blessing you are, alhamdulillah!

Xoxo,
Mummy

Monday, January 21, 2013

6 months!

And a day, alhamdulillah. Sarah, we were anticipating this day for so long and it turned out to be so different from what we planned! We wanted to make a big thing of your first eating solids moment and your being half a year old but when yesterday came, we were too busy to even acknowledge the day.

I packed and packed and you lolled about either squealing or sucking your thumb, depending on your mood. Yes, you finally learned how to roll from back to tummy in the middle of the night, a few Fridays ago, almost as if some switch went on in your head. Now you scoot but with your forehead to the floor, then you finally give up and roll onto your back. You just love doing those down dogs. Your progress is slow also because you just can't let go of putting your thumb in your mouth. Yeah, you've found a great way to replace that pacifier habit. Now I'm anticipating a lot of "advice"about this new love of yours...

Baby, you've become such a personality! The other day you began crying when you thought I wasn't going to take you outside (for your daily swinging in the park) only because I turned away from the main door to get my phone!

(resuming post 1 week later)
Your latest favourite noise is to puff air from your mouth with an "abff" sound. You still make low, singsong sounds when you're falling asleep. Your sleep is getting better (except for the last two days where you were up a million times) and you're okay with sleeping in the crib as long as you're not wide awake when I put you in it. Your cousin Nunu apparently goes to sleep as soon as her mommy puts her in the crib and is out with three pats on the back. When your abd heard about that, he patted you three times and said 'Sogaye?' and we laughed and laughed and laughed a little more. It's not that funny when I've fed you and rocked you and you still won't go to sleep. Luckily, doesn't happen all that much.

People are saying that there is now the tiniest bit of resemblance with me and that does make me happy because usually whenever I hold you up to the mirror in my arms, I feel like I'm holding up someone else's baby.

The past week was more fun than I've had in a long time. On Sunday, we gave you rice cereal for the first time, bought your grandparents an ipad, did some toy shopping, had awesome chaat at Madhapur and you finally met M of Mimmu and Osh and Daba papa. You still don't mind being held by new people and will happily move laps without a fuss. The next day after much coaxing by your dad, I left you alone with your dada-dadi and we went out to get an ipad case. I finally bought a portable wireless speaker, something I had been coveting for a long time. It was a fun trip. It was really sad to send off your daddy, I hope we can join him soon insha'allah.

It's a relief to have help with you and even though you're not sleeping well, I'm handling things much better. It's also partly because I'm now trying to accept these things and not go crazy obsessing over them.

Here Baba takes you out for random walks, Ammaarah plays nonsensical games with you and your Nanu babysits when I've had a terrible night. I'm also so grateful for mommy-cooked food, alhamdulillah!

Today, you alternately grabbed the rice cereal spoon and sucked your thumb in between mouthfuls... It was so funny.

I love you Shayu, bum chicca (Ammaarah), pitoli mumma (Baba), choochoo (almost everybody)

Love,
Mommy