Thursday, April 30, 2009

There is no better feeling in the world than being pregnant.

This was my belly around four months pregnant. Sadly, this is one of only a few pictures that were taken of my growing belly. I don't know why exactly. I remember wanting to document my pregnancy well and time just flew by it seemed. I remember feeling the "flutter" for the first time while I was driving in the car. At first I thought, that felt weird! What was that?! Then it hit me, everyone says the first feeling of the baby feels like a little butterfly is in you, and that is exactly what I felt. I called my hubby I was so excited! Then the "fun" flutters turned to discomfort soon enough. I was due August, the absolute worst time of year to be pregnant in Arizona. I was miserable and just wanted to be done with being pregnant.

After I had Jalyn via c-section as he was breech, they determined that I was in heart failure (as most of you know). Almost immediately a high risk OB entered the room and told us that we would never be able to have children naturally again. To do so would place my life in extreme jeopardy.

If I had only known this would be my one and only time to feel those flutters, embrace the ugly maternity clothes, document my growing belly, enjoy the sometimes painful kicks, well, I would've savored this moment in time just a bit more.

You never know what life has in store for you. Will this pregnancy be your first, last and only? Or will you be incredibly blessed to have children naturally and easy as many times and you choose to do so?

Each and every one of us has our own path in life and I've made peace with the road God has chosen for us. If the tragedies in our life hadn't happened, then I wouldn't have the most adorable little Kyrgyz baby sleeping in the room down the hall. So are tragedies really tragedies or are they something to rejoice upon?

Either way, if you are blessed enough to have the chance to experience pregnancy, enjoy it. Embrace it. Document it.


***Dedicated to my sissy, Jese. I love you and I'm over the moon thrilled for you and Jay. May God bless you and keep mom and baby safe***

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Little Sing-Along


Jalyn has been singing this song ALL DAY LONG! The first time I heard this tune of his, my mommy-knee-jerk reaction was to say something along the lines of......"Now is that a nice song we should sing?" Or "Do you think that's a good choice of words to use?"

Although when I think about it, what is really bad about that song? The word enemy? I'm so use to correcting his choice of words these days that pretty much every time he speaks I follow up with a "mommy" correction. Hmmmmmm, just found something I should work on correcting myself.

Anyway, when I was taking a shower just now (too much info?...sorry:) I got to thinking about this song, and you know what, I would say I have to agree!

All girls, young and old are supposed to look just like Barbie. The skinny yet slightly curvaceous in just the right areas, long flowing perfect hair, make-up 24/7, fits in all the cute clothes kind of girl. The one we are all not. Why don't they make a Barbie that just had a baby and has a little extra curves in sometimes the not-so-right places? (As this would be reality...right?) Or perhaps a Barbie that is a mommy and spends her whole day cleaning, doing laundry, wiping up spills, changing diapers, grocery shopping, dropping off/picking up dry cleaning, picking up dog poop and then makes dinner? (OK maybe not in that exact order.) I mean this is reality......right?!?! It may not be glamorous and all but it's what most of us women do when we marry and have families. Our daughters grow up thinking Barbie is the "thing to be" but I refuse to let Leila buy into this rubbish.

I'm jumping on the bandwagon..........

A-B-C-D-E-F-G...Barbie is MY enemy!!!
Care to join???

P.S.....I have some exciting news to share with you all but this tired girl is hittin the hay. Tomorrow I will spill the beans!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Another Reason To Fall More In Love With My Husband...
Since Tariq was a young boy he's wanted a motorcycle. upon reaching the legal age to drive, he began begging his parents to allow him to purchase one. The answer was always a firm N-O. Thank God as Tariq on a motorcycle at 17 years of age? Yeah, don't think he would be with us today if they had given in to that request.

Then he married me and requested my support in his quest to buy a motorcycle. I said N-O. We had a young child at the time and I just don't trust other drivers. He hung his head and walked away. Over the next several years he never failed to send hints here and there about how much he would love to have a motorcycle.
Not long ago Tariq began studying for his boards to become certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He worked during the day and studied much of the night for over a year. All to provide a better life for his family.

I knew he deserved something B-I-G as a thank you from us for giving up so much of his time for his family. This had been a stressful time for us. He wanted to be with the kids and the kids wanted him. Jalyn didn't understand why daddy couldn't play and go places with us.

I let this idea about a motorcycle re-enter my brain. I never wanted Tariq to resent me for not letting him pursue a dream of his. I reached for the phone and hung it up......(did this about 10 times) before I actually got up the courage to ask questions. And just like that, I had done it. I signed my husband up for a two day motorcycle safety class. I figured if he's going to be riding against MY better judgement, than he must go through the safety class. He was over the moon excited.

The class day came and he was a different person when he returned home. I have never...ever...seen him so happy. He felt so free, like he had finally found a piece of himself that had been denied for so long. The sparkle in his eye that night, well I'll never forget it. From that point on I knew I had made the right decision. This meant so much to him and for this dream to have gone denied for so long just broke my heart.

We have wanted to purchase a camper for sometime and had finally saved enough to start looking. However, I made a decision to give Tariq the choice. I said to him "This is your choice and I will support either choice 100%. You can buy either a motorcycle OR a trailer. You have done so much for our family and given your time so unselfishly to everyone else that YOU deserve something for YOU!" The next day he went to local motorcycle shops and sat on a gazillion. He looked so happy when he came home. I told him to take as much time as he needed in making his decision.

A few nights ago he came to me and said "babe I've made my decision. While sitting on the motorcycle a lot went through my mind. I have the rest of my life to ride a bike after the kids are grown, and believe me I will. However, our kids are only this age once and we have only a short window to make memories with them before it will be not cool to hang with mom and dad. I choose the trailer."
I was thrilled, you've got to know I was hoping for the trailer (but would not have been disappointed either way!) So we packed the truck up today with coolers and snacks, everything you need to take two kids out looking for trailers all day. It was fun. Leila did pretty well but it was difficult as Tariq had to do most of the talking to the sales men and I cannot lift her. This created some issues and made it difficult to really listen to the salesman. Every trailer we went into Jalyn had to check if there were enough beds to fit his cousins and then before departing EACH and EVERY trailer he said "are we buying this one?" Seriously, this was equally annoying as "are we there yet?"

A full day later and nothing to show for it. The kids were D-O-N-E and the decisions are overwhelming.

~Travel Trailer VS Toy Hauler?

~Expensive but great quality?

~Not AS expensive with good/average quality?

~New vs used?

We want something that will grow with us. The last thing we want to do is buy something smaller to save money and realize that we are totally uncomfortable. Then you find yourself not using it as much because it's not so much fun being cramped.

The only decision we have made is that we WILL have something in time for the unbearable summer heat. We want to escape at least two weekends a month.

Have you gone through similar decisions regarding trailers? Have any ideas, advice or something helpful to share??? Please, send me comments! Would love input.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flu Flu Go Away Never Come Back Another Day!
Back to the ER we went with Leila. She spiked a fever of over 104 degree's. Thank God for Nana who came along and helped me lift and comfort our baby girl.
We first went to urgent care.....totally useless. They checked her ears, throat which were negative. The only other thing they thought it could be was a UTI. But wait! I guess Urgent Care's are not equipped to catheterize! What the?! That's so basic. So they sent us to a local hospital. We sat there for an hour before they even checked her at triage.
We received a call from our good friend that is a pediatrician. He said just go down to Phoenix Children's. So off we went. We are already three hours into this ordeal.
We get to PCH and she has a fever of almost 105. They don't give her anything and send us to another waiting room with kids that all looked like they had the flu. We sat there for SIX HOURS!!! My poor baby girl. They tortured her to pieces. Apparently she is like Jalyn and just gets super high fevers with viruses as well. GREAT!
So at 2am we left the hospital and came home. Leila slept in until 1:30 the next day. She has since spiked fevers off and on. Has good and bad moments and vomited once.
Fun Fun!
P.S. Leila is now walking!!!! Hallelujah! 18 months exactly. That girl knows how to make a mommy worry. God had it all under control!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Dear Son

Jalyn is always one for a good laugh.
I went to pick him up from school yesterday and noticed a big net with things in it. I took a step closer and realized they were learning about the life cycle of a butterfly.

This is when Jalyn's teacher approached me with a grin on her face.......I know this grin and I know it well. She is about to tell me something Jalyn has said or done in class that gave her a great laugh. They all fully expect to see Jalyn on Saturday Night Live one day, seriously.

She says to me: "Each child was allowed to pick an egg and name it, they then follow their egg throughout the life cycle. One at a time the children were called up to name their chosen egg.. It was Jalyn's turn. He proudly walked up, pointed to the one he choose and proclaimed his egg's name."

Jalyn says "My egg's name is Barack Obama".
His teacher said that she and the aid were rolling on the ground they were laughing so hard!

But the real kicker here is: Tariq and I are proudly Republican!!!

Mr. President, you spread those wings and fix our country! Our five-year-old believes in you, please don't let him down:)

Another One Bite's The Dust

Ok Flu, Seriously, Can You Leave Us NOW?

Jalyn is the recent target of the flu. High fever, severe headaches and muscle aches, vommiting, blah blah blah. It's April and this week will reach 100 degrees!

Kids are so resilient, he's feeling much better today and even went with Nana to get out of the house today.

We hired cleaners to help us around the house as I am limited with my back, and Tariq with his time. It is best that Jalyn is not around when cleaners are here with his asthma.

My writing has not been as creative lately and I must apologize. Normally when I lay my head down to sleep the creativity in me comes out and I start to think about my next post. Since my surgery and the whole family getting sick, it's all I can do just to update on our life.......not too exciting I know......I mean how many of you are going through the same things right now anyway?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On Parenting and Surprise Revealed

No one is ever prepared for parenting.

Last night Jalyn woke with a 103 degree fever. This morning he was screaming when he moved his head. We played a little game with him and asked to see if he could touch his nose to his chest and he yelled OUCH!!! When I asked where it hurt he pointed to the back of his neck. Having gone through this myself before, and the fact that I'm a nurse, I feared the worst. These were classic signs of meningitis. Even though I had the FEELING to take him in, I called his doctor anyway and he said what I was expecting......take him in now.

They took him back immediately. They gave him an IV and I watched my little guy watch everything they were doing to him. He listened to their instructions very carefully and was such a rock star. He never cried, not once. The staff was so impressed with him. Thank the Lord above, it is a virus. We are to watch him closely tonight just to be sure, but his doctors were amazing and I have faith that they would not have sent us home if there were any doubt.

Anyway, the point of this post is that while I was laying with him on the hospital bed I was thinking about being a mom. I'm 28 and I still cannot believe God has entrusted me with two of his children. All of the decisions you have to make on their behalf, the sleepless nights, the times where you feel so helpless when you just don't know what to do, this is what parenting is all about.

There are no instructions, you just do the best you can.

It is the most difficult job in the world.

However, you will never have another job in your whole life as rewarding as parenting.

We (Tariq and I) have so much to learn about parenting and I'm sure that no matter how many times you parent a child, there is always something you would go back and do differently.


I believe I promised you folks a grand surprise. I'm sorry you've had to wait, but my fingers were forbidden from typing until I was given the green light.
My brother and sister-n-law have been trying for a baby for some time. Finally the news came that she is expecting!!!!
They will be going for an ultrasound soon and hopefully I can provide more information soon. As hard as I've tried to sway them, I believe they are not going to find out the sex.......darn them! How is an Aunt to shop???
I am beyond the moon excited to become another Aunt, and I cannot wait to watch my bro father a child.........whoa baby!
There have been a few scares here and there so if I may ask, would you be so kind to say a prayer for the baby Jese is carrying. Pray that this child is healthy and comes into this world giving my brother a run for his money, just like he did to my parents not to mention ME, his little sis!!!!

Congratulations Guys!!!
We love you so much!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two Hotties And A Side Note


Everyone in life needs an Amty and Uncle (Tariq's sister and brother-n-law, my sister and other brother, the kids Aunt and Uncle). Oh do I love them dearly. Our nanny was not feeling well nor her little one so Amty came to the rescue. She drove over 45 minutes in traffic, with a BAD headache by the way, swooped in and took Leila for the night and all day tomorrow. If there are angels walking this earth in human form, than my friends, I know a couple. They have done soooo much for me that I don't know if I will EVER be able to repay them. Amty lives her life so unselfishly, I learn so much just observing her. Amty is an amazing writer, maybe one day she will grace us with a book titled something like this: "How to go through life being there for everyone at a drop of a hat, keep a happy marriage, raise two boys that are BOYS (if you know what I mean), keep a clean home, make dinner mostly every night for her family and keep your humor". OK so the title would need to be condensed, but believe me, the title could go on and on. She is amazing and I'm blessed to know her.

I love you my dear.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Easter!!! (a little belated, sorry:)

AWH!!!! Can I eat them? Pretty please with a cherry on top? I now understand why mothers sometimes eat their young:)

Now if you can spot the egg, you deserve a prize! How is a five-year-old supposed to find this one? Pretty cruel Bunny! Finding this egg took about 100 hints!

The cutest bunny in our house Easter morning. She picked out her outfit down to the bow and bunny ears on her head, seriously. When you give her choices, she very clearly makes a choice. I hear this is "a girl thing" and then the next advice I receive is "just wait". It's cute for now, but my guess is that one day this won't be cute at all.

It's a tradition in our family that when the little girls have their ears pierced, a family member purchases them their first pair of diamond earring's. These were a gift to Leila from Grandma Rowland (Mama) who came all the way from Michigan to help me out during surgery. She celebrated Easter with the children while she was here even though it was a tad bit early, the kids LOVED IT! Jalyn received Lego's, what else? So since Easter was her first big occasion since having the earring's, she wore them on Sunday, proudly I might add. I'd have to say that Leila's favorite accessory besides her hair bows are bracelets, so how about a diamond bracelet next year Mama??? (just kidding:).........sortove:)

Leila's big gift from the Easter bunny was a talking/singing/dancing/annoying Elmo. She loves it and we'll just leave it at that.

And Jalyn's big gift from the bunny was.........Lego's. Does anyone know how to receive discounts on these darn things? Seriously Lego people, why in the heck do these things cost so darn much? You see that big box? I won't even tell you the price tag, but lets just say the ship is not even half the size of that box once built. RIP OFF! The smile on his face was completely worth it.
What we do for our kids............

Hope you all had a very happy Easter!

A small update on me: I'm doing great. Continuing to take medications as I'm told, tapering slowly, napping during the day, not lifting blah blah blah. I miss holding and carrying Leila around so much it kills me! She even has stopped wanting to eat from me lately. It is so frustrating, but it is temporary right? I remind myself that things could always be worse. Right now I need the help, and I'm so lucky that my children love our nanny and that they feel safe with her. The flip side of the coin makes me sick. So if Leila feels the need to be with our nanny more right now than I'm just going to take that as a good sign. I have the rest of my life with that precious angel.

Our Boys on a Lazy Easter Morning

This would be Jafar, my oldest, my very first, the sweetest dog on the planet. When people ask what is his breed we reply "Polar Bear and Human". Seriously.
This would be Amir (name means Prince in Arabic). He is our dignified, growly, loner, only kisses special people and things (how he determines "special" I have no idea) dog. He is 130lbs and thinks he is a lap dog.

And where are the humans supposed to sit? Oh I forgot, you think YOU ARE HUMANS!

This would be our youngest, the baby. He plays every bit of the role. He is so incredibly sweet. He follows me around the house EVERYWHERE! In him, I have a constant companion.

There you have it, our boys. They received rawhide's from the Easter Bunny.

Preparing for Easter

Leila received this beautiful hair bow holder as an early Easter present. I ordered it off of ETSY
What I loved about this gal is that I explained Leila's bedroom color scheme and she ran with it.........I love it! We hung it on her door, and now finding hair bows is no longer an issue:) Yes, I have an obsession.
If you would like to order one of these bow holders for your daughter or as a gift you simply need to mention my name and you will receive FREE SHIPPING!
(Kelli Al-Mutawa) if you didn't already know:)

It's a dress and the bodess is personalized with her name.

Well here you have it, this was my grand entrance back into the place in my home which I love the kitchen. I only prepared the batter, then supervised the rest of the way.

Having both parents that love to cook, how could he have NOT gotten this gene???

He was so proud wearing his Easter apron and making them all by himself. What a guy. Boy do I love him. Is it wrong to eat your children?! They look so delicious!