Thursday, July 13, 2017

Oh, my Zahra

My sweet, intriguing, inspiring little Zahra kindly asked to see one of my work notebooks, then wrote all over it.

So, now it is hers. That's perfectly fine with me.

While planning our next vacation, I used a page to jot down some day trip ideas out in west Texas.

She responded as such.

I asked her what it meant and she informed me that she was writing "Mom, why did you write in my book?"

Ah. It's like that!?

I put the book down and went on my way.

Two days later, I wanted to flesh out some more of our vacation and returned to this mischievous little book.

The first page I opened said, "mi mom loves me ZRM too the Moon (and) back". It's nearly all backward and adorably confusing for my little lady who makes very few mistakes. She prides herself on how hard she works and I'm both amazed that she wrote this and in awe of what a baby she still is.

Be still my heart.

I had to write a note back.

I cannot wait to spend my whole life with this amazing little woman. I look at her and see the future that reflects a past I had with my grandma and the present I'm enjoying with my mother. What lucky women we all have/will come to be.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Eid Mubarak

We started the first night of Eid by joining our cousins at their masjid for İsha prayer and an Eid bazaar. Uncle Amaar gave the kids candy for a 10pm snack, Nana bought each kid a neon light up toy and even our super-loved Nini joined us! It was fun to get mendhi all together and tour her around the mosque. (I mean letting her see their mosque but I'm sure the mosque was noticing her blonde hair right back.)

After staying up way too late, we woke the kids to open gifts and prepare for morning prayers. For the first time ever, I think Zahra really liked her gifts! A big girl frozen backpack, a frozen castle, and a paint it yourself cupcake piggy bank. Zayd is easy to please with Batman legos, pokemon cards, and magna tiles.

Eid prayers were great and the khutbah (sermon) was affirmative. Being a Muslim over the last year can sometimes feel lonely out in the regular world. The word isolation comes to mind. Eid, the mosque, and family countered that by enriching my feeling of connectedness to the good energy abundant in this life.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Independence: Ziyan feeds himself...

... or call it what you will.

He truly loves holding the spoon.

I can see his thirst for independence in all sorts of ways. He wants to hold the spoon. He wants to use a straw to get water from a cup but is completely incapable. He wants to walk. He wants to feed me. And, all of a sudden, he prefers to sleep in his own bed all night. He still wakes twice, but wants to return to his bed. I loved the first night and even the second. But last night was the third night and I felt a little blue.

Luckily (?) the two other Zs were in my bed somewhere between 5 and 530 this morning, when this littlest Z and I woke up. So, I know they always come back. I will say Zahra almost never comes to snuggle, so when she does its a special treat. Zayd appears in the super early morning about once every week or two. It's perfect. I love these three amazing people. I'm so glad to have each and every one of them beside me...night or day.

They may look like Mammens but they dessert like Saleems

When my kids smile it warms my heart. Thus, I shower them with handcrafted local dairy ice cream, fancy slices of cake, French macarons, Mexican paletas and raspas, you name it. Frankly, I'm doing a terrible job in the limiting dessert parenting category. BUT I do work really hard to pick delicious, well-crafted and preferably super high fat desserts. My grandma swore ice cream was a health food and my dad eats it nearly every night. So, it's a family tradition, of sorts.

You might also remember that I ate a significant amount of Lick ice cream while pregnant with Ziyan. Now, he's old enough to start enjoying it himself. It tickles me pink how much he loves it.

After marching these exhausted overheated lentils through the Pearl Farmers market on this 104 degree day, I did promise them Lick. (Though I held firm, despite significant pleading, that we would not be picking up macarons from Bakery Lorraine  to top our Lick ice cream.)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ziyan is One!

My third little baby has turned one year. What a crazy, joyful year of growth for each of us Mammens. Zayd has taken on real responsibilities that make our family life run smoother and has learned how to voice his needs (because with three kids you can't wait for mom to figure it out.)

Zahra has learned how to be s nurturer and her heart has grown twofold. I love watching her seamlessly slip from being the smartest whip in the room to playing with Ziyan on his level and being silly in a way that makes him squeal with delight. Ziyan makes her seem both so big and so little, depending on the moment.

And my sweet Z3, he's given me those baby moments that I wasn't sage enough to savor the first time around. I snuggle him endlessly and he gives the best hugs. He's completely unapologetically attached to me in the most uncompromising way and that's just what a third baby should be. He smiles the biggest toothiest grins and has the plumpest alligator tears. He is happiest while kicking a ball around the house, reading about animals, or singing with mom. We can already see how he loves playing with his big Zs. He's been a trooper these past twelve months and he's proved that as long as he's got his momma, he's down for any adventure. He's friendly (my first friendly kid), curious, daring, and snuggly. So, so snuggly. He doesn't sleep through the night yet and still transitions to my bed late each night or early each morning. I haven't yet attempted to push him towards independence because with my oldest finishing up kindergarten I know now that everything comes. I don't need to move time along any faster than its coming at me. I have a lot I'm responsible for and on the list of things that make my family happy and healthy, abandoning nighttime snuggles just doesn't make the To Do list. Those were long-needed lessons that my last little babe has brought into my life. Frankly, they're still-needed lessons that I know I'll continue to grow into with the help of my warm, sweet Ziyan. When I look at the life we've built, I feel impossibly lucky. I don't long for anything else, and our "unlikely" #3 is everything I knew he'd be. There won't be a fourth and there doesn't need to be. He brought into our lives exactly what I felt was missing. How lucky the five of us are to have each other!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Shiner, Texas

My mom and I seem to have really committed ourselves to visiting these tiny Texas towns. First Gonzalez, then Georgetown, and this weekend we ventured to Shined. It was a quick day trip but my kids always love being with their nani and nana.

My Earth Activist

First, I owe posts about disney, Ziyan turning one, the end of kinder, basically all of our recent major life events. But I haven't made that happen yet, so let's talk about today.

Zahra has been asking to do an earth clean up day since Earth Day and I finally made it happen this afternoon. Somehow the only photo I got was of this failed first attempt at cleaning up a soda can. Good for her for trying and we did eventually get that can off the sidewalk. We filled a trash bag about half way and the kids enjoyed wearing rubber gloves and handling trash for about an eighth of that bag.

Sam used to always make jokes that we'd need a get out of jail fund for Zahra for whenever she chains herself to some tree trying to save it from destruction. Well, Sam gets one point in the prediction lotto. I am raising a bleeding heart liberal in all the right ways.

At central market we took care of mommy's cruiser mailings (post office) and bought carrot cake for the kids and roasted bell peppers for me. Nearly every person there commented on our massive triple stroller. The best was a couple with an approximate four month old lovingly pushing her enormous car seat contraption around and the man says, "that could be you some day!" She looks... outraged, "ugh, never, there are three kids in that thing." Ha ha. Yes! And they can all hear you!

When we emerged, somehow there was a monsoon crazy lightning storm. Luckily Sam picked up three kids and I was the extra lucky lady who got to run the too-monstrous-for-any-vehicle EMPTY triple stroller home one mile in the rain. If you saw a lady on Broadway that looked like she'd lost her mind... that was me.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mammen to Mickey...or bust

My mom says I should blog my trip.

Imagine: it's 12::33am and I'm rhythmically squeezing my eldest's big toes whilst they're wrapped in previously-cold motel washcloths to keep him from shrieking about how much they itch. He asks me if I've ever done this before. Um, not quite. Holding a previously warm washcloth (not a motels, or my own, but my mother's) to his infected ear canal THE NIGHT BEFORE didn't exactly prepare me for this adventure.

The itchy feet. Do ear infections cause itchy feet? Insanity? Did our attempts at entertaining ourselves in the ER waiting room this morning by slathering our ENTIRE bodies with hand sanitizer somehow go terribly awry? Should you not take a very ill child on a road trip across southern America AND do a Cajun Swamp Tour lest they catch swamp feet? These are all things I'd like to Google. But I can't. I am tepid wet washcloth foot massaging, otherwise known as mommy's special treatment for itchy feet, and my hands are dually occupied.

Despite Zayd's ear infections, (and now toe situation), Zahra's cough and mysterious "broken ankles", and Ziyan being once again struck with a cold and wheezing, we made it from Houston to Pensacola today and had a rather good time. The Urgent Care clinic ate up two hours so we missed one playground and a bead-giving crawfish restaurant but did make our swamp tour. It's worth mentioning that the other 30 people there swamp touring were all little people (terminology acquired from TLC-hope it's appropriate). Zahra immediately turned to me. "Mommy I didn't know there were people with bodies that size but then still round around." Eyes wide. Adults and kids come in all  shapes and sizes. "These are adults!?" Let's go potty Zahra.

I have tons of swamp photos on my real camera that I'll add later.

Here are sleeping car picture, exhausted swamp pros, Ziyan distrusting me in the third row, urgent care. Just your typical road trip fare.

Also, you should know that around 1am I decided what these toes need was Aveeno Positively Radiant face cream. (Jennifer Aniston uses it!) Upon returning from my toiletry bag, Zayd was asleep on top of the baby (more or less... but more). Whatever. Day one is logged for mommy once the whole crew is bedded down.

First thing up tomorrow, inhalers for everyone, almost-cold amoxicillin, shooting saline up baby's nose, using a 30 minute anti-wax concoction in Zayd's ear and Pensacola Beach. 🌴

Thursday, April 20, 2017