Thursday, October 22, 2009

Feeling all Homeschooly!

Well. . . alhamdulillah (praise to Allah) we have finally filed with the state of California, and we are now OFFICIAL HOMESCHOOLERS! Yikes!
So, what does that mean, practically for our family?
Absolutely NOTHING! Yeah, you read it. . . nothing! We are not only officially homeschoolers now, we are officially Unschoolers (well, in my mind at least it's official)!
I have always leaned towards unschooling, and the more and more I read, the more I think that maybe, just maybe, and by the will of Allah the Most High, this unschooling thing can actually work!
The kids are learning and doing "schooly" stuff all the time. They have been interested in outer space, space exploration, and the moon for some time now. So we found this great book about the moon (Moon, by Steve Tomecek), and the kids absolutely devoured it! And there was a little science experiment at the end - I totally skipped over it assuming the kids wouldn't be interested. Well, turns out that's the key! (uschooling at work here) They found the experiment while perusing the book by themselves and begged me to do it with them!
The experiment itself involved dropping pebbles into a plate of flour to see how craters are made. They did that for a while, and then turned it into an experiment about what water does to flour in different quantities. . . ultimately a huge mess, but a lot of good educational fun!
And then, last night, while waiting for Sayf to get ready for story time and bedtime, Omar and I were sitting on the bed and he starts counting. He's never been as fast as his brother with numbers, and I'm okay with that; I'm not pushing him. So when he started counting, I thought maybe he'd get to 30 and then get distracted. Nope. . . on and on he went until he reached 100! And then (this is the best part) he turns and looks at me with his big doe-eyes and says, "Mama, now I can count to one-hundwed!" He was so proud of himself, and I couldn't have been prouder. Not really for counting, but for his taking the innitiative and doing it all on his own! Allahu Akbar!
These are the moments I couldn't miss for the world! As a friend of mine who recently started homeschooling 4 of her 5 babies put it so beautifully: "No job, no money, no outside time to myself while my children sit at a desk all day and are herded from room to room can compare with watching their 'lightbulb' moments".
I am such a lucky mommy to get to share this experience with my kids.
Alhamdulillah!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Selling my Pocket Diapers

Anyone interested??
I gotta get these out of here in the next 2 weeks so I can move!

Monday, May 4, 2009

FREE ABAYAT!!

Masha'Allah! This is a project authored by a dear sister I have known for some time. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala reward her abundantly! Below is a letter from her explaining the project. Contact me if you would like more information, insha'Allah!




Surah: Al-Fatiha

بسم الله الرّحمن الرّحيم

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the
Merciful

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لأَزْوَاجِكَ وَبَنَاتِكَ وَنِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذَلِكَ أَدْنَى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا
يُؤْذَيْنَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَحِيماً

O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful [Quran, Surat al-Ahzaab 33:59]

A wonderful group of sisters from the Middle East have decided to give every Muslimah they possibly can a new abaya for free. May Allah grant them Jennatul Firdous, Ameen! I personally know the sister who organized it, and she told me to mention to all the sisters that your financial position doesn't matter. Rich or poor, you can still benefit from this opportunity, especially our new convert/revert sisters and sisters who live in places where Abayat are hard to find.

All abayat are brand new, black, and simple/plain (no designs at ALL). Don't let your size discourage you from ordering. We have up to XXXL sizes and if you're petite, we can send you the smallest size available & you can go to a seamstress to sew it to your size.

Al7amdulillah - the sisters have collected money to help cover the shipping/handling costs in order to ship the abayat to sisters. However, these funds are quite limited. Therefore, we humbly request that anyone who can afford to cover the cost of shipping kindly do so. This will enable other sisters, who can't financially afford it, to receive a free abaya as well.

If you're interested in receiving a free abaya, please comment here or contact me. (I'll also give you her private email through PM to be able to contact her directly):

-Name

-Address

-Desired Abaya Size (measure your bust/hip/height) -- the best thing would be to send your exact measurements, rather than small, medium, or large

-Also, indicate if you'll pay for the shipping costs

-OPTIONAL: Let us know about yourself! How you heard about us? Languages you know? Wear hijab? Niqab? Khimar? Marital situation? Mommy? New to Islam? This will enable us to send you extra items if they're available (books about Islam, marriage in Islam, hijabs, niqabs, etc.) This info is optional! You do NOT have to include it to get a free abaya.

--Please supply your email address so I can directly contact you Inshallah (this makes it a lot easier on everyone!)


All we ask is two things. First, that you make dua for us. Second, if you benefit from this please email us so we can keep going. Your words & encouragement let us know to continue this project. If we don't get any replies or benefits, then we'll try to find something else to do for the sake of Allah that will help our sisters.

------------------------------------------------

The Fine Print:

*We ask that you do NOT order these abayat for a profit! Fear Allah! If you are going to sell these abayas, please do NOT order because we do NOT approve this. Of course we can't track who does this
but Allah is Al-Baseer (The One who sees everything) & His punishment is worse than anything we can do so please fear Allah and do NOT abuse these sister's kindness!

*If you decide to pay shipping, this will be done by reimbursing us with a cashier's check, money order, or cash for the amount of $12 (twelve dollars) AFTER you have received the abaya.

* Right now we are only able to ship to North America but if you are anywhere else in
the world, reply back & we'll see what we can do.

*We accept no returns! If the abaya doesnt fit you, pass it along to a sister whom it does.

***Last note*** This started as a small project with 5 extra Abayat to be donated. Alhamdulillah, 30 new abayat have been made and delivered around the US so far. Inshallah with more of a demand, the project will grow and many more Abayat will be given for free! So please send your requests, and we will do our best to meet the demand!

Let's help our fellow sisters in Islam dress appropriately! Spread this message!

Jazaki Allah Kheir everyone!
Peace :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

25 random thoughts

1. I am so happy to be a Muslim, Alhamdulillah(Thank God)
2. Althought I am overwhelmed at the awesome responsibility at times, I love my 3 boys.
3. My husband is the best partner for me in this world - I could never have imagined how much I could love him.
4. Facebook is so good for keeping in touch with old and new friends.
5. Facebook is also a great time waster!
6. I should be doing something else right now, in fact.
7. My baby sister has grown into an amazing woman, whom I admire and respect more and more all the time.
8. I love to sew, and feel like it makes me closer to my dear mother, who passed so many years ago.
9. I can never find enough time to keep up with my hobbies and reading.
10. I love public libraries -whether its quiet time for myself in there rummaging through random books (a rarity these days) or storytime with the kiddos!
11. My husband is from Morocco, and I can't wait to live there some day.
12. Why do I have such huge children? . . . hmmmm.
13. I wish more Muslim women would breastfeed through 2 years. Hope I can help some of them to meet that goal.
14. I am a hippie under my hijab!
15. I am so blessed to be a full-time mother and CEO of my family. :)
16. Allah has sent me such wonderful friends! Alhamdulillah.
17. I want to create a perfect cloth diaper . . .working on the pattern in my head day and night these days.
18. I hope to instill healthy eating habits in my kids for life.
19. Homeschooling is a hard and overwhelming task - and my kid's only in Kindegarden! HAHA!
20. May Allah help me to be a good mother, and make my children of His righteous servants. AMEEN!!!
21. May He help all of the Muslims all over the world - AMEEN!!!
22. So tired of cleaning up potty accidents. . . ugh!
23. Isn't there anything I can do to make there be more hours in the day?
24. I love the 2 hours I have to myself and with hubby after the kids go to bed! I wouldn't trade it for sleeping in in the morning - ever!
25. I love the tiny house we are living in - especially my garden in the back - and will have trouble leaving it when we move this summer. :(

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate. . .

What to do, what to do?

I have really been up and down the vaccination debate, and I just can't make a decision about what to do for dear baby boy #3.

With my first baby, I vaccinated, but delayed everything by about 6 months. I also opted to forgo the chicken pox vaccine (it just seems ridiculous - more later), but my baby was given it without my consent by a "well intending" doctor.

With #2, I did the same thing, but this time he really didn't get the Chicken Pox vaccine, and now these two are finished with their vaccinations until boosters in a couple of years, insha'Allah.
But, now we come to the question of baby A and what to do this time around. See, my research has evolved about vaccines. I always was on the fence about them and have never been really 100% convinced of their usefulness. There are all kinds of reports about the declining incidence of diseases regardless of vaccination rates of the populations; many times it is simply advances in general hygiene that have lead to the declining rates of disease. Polio is a great example, as is whooping cough, the latter of which declined similarly in the UK as in the US in the same years, when the UK was not yet vaccinating! So. . . at least there is some doubt in my mind.

However, do I go all the way to the other extreme and believe that all vaccines are harmful and that it is a huge corporate conspiracy to dumb us down and make money at the same time??? Not really. I guess I stand somewhere in the middle. . .
scratching my head wondering what in the world to do about it!
Ya Allah...

Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that my husband is in the medical field (and, therefore, thoroughly convinced of the usefulness and necessity of childhood vaccination) AND the fact that we do travel to third-world countries where the incidence of SCARY childhood diseases is much higher than in the US and the sanitation poorer (more on this later), I probably wouldn't vaccinate for anything at all!

While I know that many medical advances are nothing short of a great blessing from our Lord, I believe that medicine has gone too far in many areas - Obstetrics has taken over Midwifery, for example, when it should have remained reserved for those few special cases where it was the only way to save a mother and baby. And, in the area of vaccination, I do believe we have gone too far as well. Chicken Pox is a great example of my belief - why in the world are we now vaccinating for this disease? I remember when everyone understood that the best immunity to this disease, and the only immunity to last a lifetime, came from catching it and suffering through. Complications from Chicken Pox are rare; it is not something we are hoping to eradicate; and so instead of the fast burning (and possibly immune strengthening) disease of chicken pox, we are getting all of the risks associated with vaccines, PLUS, we are now ending up with adolescents (who are less likely to be up on their booster shots) getting more serious cases of the disease when their immunity wears off, and, worse yet, getting cases of shingles, a much more serious disease.

And so it is with other diseases that we commonly vaccinate for - like MMR. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, are all diseases that rarely develop serious complications, yet the risks from the vaccinations are great. Not to mention the doubt of the efficacy of the vaccine itself.

So . . . what to do?
Foremost and ultimately, I depend on Allah, the most high. I know that whatever befalls my children, be it diseases I haven't vaccinated for, or complications from the vaccines themselves, has been decreed by Allah. May He protect us and all of the world's children - Ameen.
But, for now, a decision has to be made.
I could probably forgo most vaccinations - possibly even convince my hubby as well - but which ones do I deem necessary? We are planning to travel this summer, and I don't want to expose baby A to something that he wouldn't normally be exposed to here, or in a place with better sanitation. But, I also want to avoid as many vaccines as possible.

Please comment, sisters. Let me know what you all have done with your own children. . . what have you discovered amid all of the conflicting information out there?

Changing our Beliefs

"The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with an idea that it is literally a "pet" notion and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different": John Dewey

How true!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Baby, Guilty Mommy


Okay, so I finally have a baby who sleeps well in his swing, sleeps long stretches at night, loooooves to have his diaper changed (instead of screaming through it each time), and is generally happy and not very needy, and guess what?


I'm stressing out about it!

I know, you'd think I'd lost my mind (almost anyways), but really, I keep thinking:

Is A getting enough love?

Am I as attached to him as I was with my other two boys who demanded I carry them almost constantly and hated their swings and bouncy chairs?

Shouldn't I be carrying him more?

I know, I'm nuts! I should just be grateful (and I am - Thank God!), but I can't help but worry a bit.


You have to know, of course, that attachement parenting in general, and specifically baby wearing have been two of my passions as a mother. I believe to the core of my being that responding to our infants needs is not only good for baby, but best for Mom, too. Not to mention the entire family, and thus the communtiy which is built up of families! Attachment parenting is basically the philosophy that by being attached to their mothers and/or caregivers as much as possible at a young age, infants will thrive and develop their own sense of autonomy later in life - and ultimately be more independent children and adults. (for more information about attachement parenting see http://www.askdrsears.com/, one among many great sites on the subject)


Much of what has been written about "attachment parenting" has been written by non-muslims from a very secular (and thus, by definition, anti-Islamic) perspective. I have read the bulk of the most popular books out there on the subject, and that, combined with my humble knowledge of our beutiful and perfect religion of Islam, has lead me to believe that not only is this the best way to raise my children, but that it is the most Islamic way as well. Our beloved Prophet, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, was himself nothing but kind and gentle to children. I always have in my mind that famous hadeeth wherein he allowed his beloved grandsons Hassan and Housain to play on his back while he was in prostration. In sujud!! In the most intimate position and place a person can be in - when he is closest to his lord - our Prophet, peace be upon him, allowed these two boys to play on his back.

There are many other examples of such an attitude toward children, especially in their earliest years, that lead me to conclude that responding to our children with love is from the most natural ways of being and parenting.


But back to my point . . .

So I look over and see my sweet 2-month-old baby peacefully looking at the world around him from the seat of his swing, and I think . . . oh, no, he's alone. I'm not attached!

Of course, I know I am attached. . .

I love him; I know him well; I feel as though he is a part of me and I respond to his every need just as I did with my two older boys. I even wear him the majority of the time (he is on my back fast asleep as I type this).

But somehow, I feel guilty that he is so happy without me. . .

Am I crazy?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fabulous. . . getting started.

Assalaamu Ala man it Taba'il Huda
Peace be upon those who follow true guidance.
Well, here goes. . .I would just love to get this blog going with something wonderfully inspiring. . . but waiting for inspiration is too hard, so we'll just start with some pics of the boys.
This one is A's first close-up. . . gotta love the chubb!














Next is S (my 5 1/2 year old) holding the baby in the sling. . .they learn from Mommy! :)




This one is O (my 3-year-old) loving the baby!

It's all baby these days! Masha'Allah.