Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Zahra can read and I am ruining her life

Honestly, this is how she thinks.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bath time

The tone and tenor of this country and our president is almost more than I can bear. Here's some cute pictures of my kids.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I started this post two weeks ago:

These days existing means resisting, but that can be exhausting. As my dear friend said recently, "You are a Muslim woman in America. Everything you do is a protest." I see that. Everything I do combats the idea of islamophobia just by my existing and persisting in this country as it actively turns against Muslims.

The President fulfilled a campaign promise last week to ban (some) Muslims from entering the country. There are details that seem to matter to some but not to me. (This country versus that, majority versus minority religion, safety!) I guarantee you when our grandkids learn about this time in American history, it will just be called the Muslim ban.

My kids and I watched the protests at US airports last week. Legal US residents, green card holders, refugees, children, and visa-holding travelers were either deported or detained at airports across the country. I taught my children about what was happening. I taught them that the world can be unfair but it is the responsibility of every person who can see the problems to stand up and try to get the problems fixed. I roughly explained what was happening. Zayd asked me of this would be a problem for Nana. I said no. I turned it over in my head and thought about all of the ways that we are still among the lucky ones. But I just said no.


I didn't post that then.

This week, I told my kids that we were going to a #nobannowall rally. I explained the wall and it's intent. I talked about my values, namely diversity and generosity, and how they resonate to me with regard to the wall. We talked again about the ban. I explained to them that I believe America is great because it is made up of so many different people with different perspectives.

They asked me if something would happen to Joe. I said no. I thought about how he was randomly stopped and  asked to provide proof of legal status by ICE last week while immigration officers were sweeping through central Texas conducting raids. But I just said no.

They were excited to make signs for the rally and I was really proud of their engagement. We were late and didn't rally for very long but I think my kiddos are doing quite enough for their young selves.

We're working on knowing the balance. They should know that America is built on ambitious ideals but that we often fall short. They should know that the color of your skin or your religion shouldn't affect your freedom or opportunity but that it often does. They should know how far this great county has come and that not one bit of that growth came easy or without cost.

This weekend we did our part. As I brace for the next Muslim ban, I pray that I keep up the courage and immense strength it takes to calmly explain to my kids that though this is not OK, mommy is working in all the ways I know how to make it better. Calling those in power. Peacefully demonstrating. Advocating everywhere my voice can carry. And I will tell them that they are safe. There are things I will think about and worry over. But I will just say that they are safe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ziyan is eight months

My last little man is 8 months old these days!

He was sick for almost the entire 7th month so that combined with the politics of the day and America's raging islamophobia has meant that I don't feel the need to post anything. His growth is obviously very important to me, but his future probably depends on everyone paying more attention to what the president's doing (and resisting) and a lot less attention to how many teeth he has (2). All of that said, let's see what he's up to.

Ziyan can stand for up to 20 seconds but it often involves some teetering. He's cruising along all of the furniture in the house and can even move between two pieces. He's an excellent pivoter.

Ziyan loves to talk us. Occasionally, I think he's saying mama...or mamamamaamm. He thinks it's so funny when I say it and I'm convinced that he knows what I mean. We can have "conversations" now where I talk to him and see if he agrees with me based on if he's super excited or not. Do you want go outside? Milk? Puffs? Night night?  He is more and more a grown person everyday. And the best news of all is that he is still a ridiculously happy little man.

He didn't eat very much this month but he had RSV for three weeks so I think we are still getting on track from that. Even his milk intake has gone down so I'm a little worried a skinnier Mammen-like baby might emerge in the next four months.

He's my love and my light and my best snuggle buddy. We've both needed a lot of snuggles this month. Let's hope for better days ahead.