Thursday, May 31, 2007

Six favorite toddler books

I was sort of tagged by Adventures of Motherhood for this meme. My six favorite toddler books. Rules are at the end.

It's a hard list to make but I'm going to go with the ones that are read and reread repeatedly because either the reader or the read to enjoy them.

1. The Red Lemon by Bob Staake- i love the pictures and get lost in them and he likes to point to all the things he knows. Plus I love lemons and so does he.

2. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers - I'm a big fan of Jeffers after this one and the next one. His stories are touching and drawings amazing.

3. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

anything 4. Sandra Boynton - this was more when he was a baby but we still like them ...

5. Goodnight Gorilla - This is a very clever book. There's all kinds of hidden things in there and Little Dude is the one that brought it to our attention, not the other way around. For instance, on each page that shows the outdoors, there is a balloon in the sky either big or small but it's there, even if it's out the window. I still can't believe he noticed it first. Amazing. This is a must read every single night and it never gets boring.

6. Now is the toughie, trying to decide between:

6a. Peanut Butter And Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book

6b. Peace Book

6c. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (the long version, not the boardbook version)
oh oh oh, or 6d. Eric Carle ones... many books....sigh. No wonder we have to read him 10 books a day. My love of reading is wearing off on him.

You should be the regular reader-of-bedtime-stories to a small child. Or children.

You are invited to choose the six stories that give you as much pleasure as the lucky recipient of your readings.

You are further invited to list them and give some indication as to why. With or without italics.

Tag a bunch more people and (if you have time) let know your list please! I’m always looking for something new to read to him. Well, to us.

Tagging… all my readers with small kids! :) Let me know if you do it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Perfect day...low stress.

Woke up, quickly ate and cleaned house so people could come see it at 9:30. Took the LD to a library different from the one we normally go to. Did a geocache there and then went to the playground next door. Then we had an hour to kill before a music concert started in a historical square here so we did another geocache. Headed back to the square, got coffee for me and a smoothie for him, went and got a perfect spot under a tree to watch the concert.

LD ran around with all the crazy kids there and found the only group of Muslim kids. How cute is that. Him and hijabi's dancing around to hand drums. Too cute. Abdul, a little boy there, was very kind to him even though he was so much older.

After that, we headed home. LD slept and then I gave him a snack and we headed out again right after. Drove to midtown, "our" (he was in my belly) old stomping grounds. Went to the library and everyone was talking to us. It was that kind of day. Where you feel good so other people feel good which leads to more people feeling good. Good energy day. Bought 6 used books for $3, read him a few books and let him play with the girls he was following around. Got stuck in traffic but then my mil calls and does the "aw choo choo bet" song with him and we arrive at the haircutting place and i see my little hippie boy go from wild man to little gentleman, again. It'll last a couple weeks.

Then as a reward for not crying (he always cries because his first haircut was tramatic) I took him to the big park here after being stuck in traffic again but we had hand rhymes to keep us busy. We played on the playground and then he met a cool older kid that he wanted to copy. I told him "You'll be big one day like him too, but you're only 1 right now, he's probably 7" and then the little boy liked that i knew his age and started playing with LD. He was climbing up the slide from the long end and LD was just dying to do it too so i held his hands and let him. The sense of pride on his face priceless. We leave, waving bye to every dog and person on the way out. We drive home, get fast food (a treat) on the way.

Get home, and before even getting inside, he pulls the Tonka truck out and we play for a while with that. Then it's bath time (another treat...shamefully, we don't bathe him every night like most people seem to) and books (he likes to read 6 each night and morning). He grabs his lovey and rolls off to sleep. The boy had a good day and I did too. It's exhausting to do so much in a day when we normally don't do much at all but it was really nice and he was such a good boy all day. I think I need to do it more often.

Jesus Camp

This movie disturbed me. I watched it last night and immediately prayed for everyone in the movie. I'm not gonna get into any other discussion about besides that. I've developed a fear of Christians living in the South so don't feel comfortable even talking about it anymore. Isn't that weird? They are just different here. Up North, i already feel the difference. In the South, people feel the need to talk about religion and it is assumed that everyone is (or should be) Christian. They make me uncomfortable. In the North it feels more like the Midwest where religion isn't something talked and debated about so openly and aggressively. It's more of personal choice or family choice and people don't go around offending you quite so often. Anyway, this movie disturbed me more than some of my current neighbors. Watch it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

101 things to do in 1001 days

I've been working on my list for the 101 things to do in 1001 days project.

One of the goals i have listed on there is to read all the books on my shelf that I haven't read. Anyway, the library (both here and in NJ) have e-audiobooks now. You can download audiobooks and 10 at one time too. For mother's day, dh got me an mp3 player which you can download the books to. How awesome is that! That's going to make it so much easier to get this list down. About a quarter of the books i need to read are downloadable. In total i don't have as many as some people i know. Probably 50 or so plus 10-15 religious ones and some miscellaneous poetry ones. I wouldn't even have that many but i just traded a bunch of books in that i'll never read again so a lot of these are recently gotten by trade and also They are still included in that goal though. I figure if i haven't read it in 1001 days, i'm probably never going to read it. Religious books and reference books are excluded from the goal...well i'm to read the ones i haven't but i won't get rid of them regardless because they take longer to process and i don't like to rush religious reading. It's the journey right?

I'll post my list once i have it completed. Funny that a few things have already been accomplished. Amazing what you get down by writing things down!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Okay, now that i've tried it, i can attest that it's a great program. I've gotten rid of books i could care less about and got some that i've really been wanting. I love it. I only wish that i wouldn't have dropped off a bag of books at a used book store that sucks - they let you only use half your credit so you pay half and use half credit which means my $100 worth of credit will never be used before moving. I kicked myself after that day too because i would have rather given them to the library if i wasn't going to use the credit. Problem is they usually only take a few but this day they took the whole bag leaving me nothing to donate. ANyyyyyway, is great. It's going to come in real handy living in a place that used book stores are nonexistent.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shazia's weightloss contest

Since weaning the little dude, i put on 10 pounds in one month. I was already wanting to lose 10. I'm tall so i'm not really overweight but it's all hanging out in one spot - the weak abs from carrying a big baby. I had gained 60 pounds with him if you can believe it and lost most of it in the first few months. Here's my plan how to lose the weight:

Treadmill 3x week
Yoga and pilates 2-3 times a week
Walk the park 3x a week (i already go for the playground but don't usually walk while there - this one might be tricky though pulling the little dude away from the playground)
Geocache ( more
get hospitalized for a day leaving me unable to eat for 2-3 days lol - i lost 5 pounds right there. Wooo hoooo, i'm on a roll. :-)

Notice I didn't put anything about food reduction or changes. I really feel we eat pretty good around here...balanced. We've been eating out a lot lately though since we've been out of town so much but still, we tend to share meals and a dessert in order to not overeat or waste food.

Friday, May 18, 2007

trips to NJ

1st: We are stuck on a plane for 12 hours with a restless 1 yr old. A flight that should have taken 1.5 hours took 12 and 9 of the hours was spent circling the area...we had to land twice to refuel but took right back off so we could circle some more. That was back in the fall.

2nd: A couple weeks ago. Little Dude ended up in the emergency room twice. Once for high fever, once for a body rash. He had roseola. He was very sick and there was lots of flooding in NJ that week. Me and LD spent our time looking at houses or being trapped in a hotel room. We didn't like it. Didn't find a house either.

3rd: I end up in the hospital this last trip. Severe pain. But we got our house insh'Allah. I just wonder what is going to happen the next trip.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

home sweet home

1 house + 1 indian couple + their arab real estate agent + nj = terrible house buying experience.

We are semi under contract but don't trust it for a minute. The mean above mentioned real estate agent is slimy and renigged our offer after the owners accepted it and made us up our price for a supposed new offer. Slimy business here...nothing like Georgia. We just may have a house though because they at least cancelled the open house for today. After looking at 100 or so houses here there's only two we took seriously. I sure hope it goes through but we don't trust this lady at all. They sucked us dry.

To put a positive note to this experience. I feel like i'm living in Gilmore Girl land...that's what the towns are like here and i really like the cozy and homey feel of new jersey. It feels small town but the people aren't small town types. Quaint area sure. They have plays in the park that you can audition for and i just might. I loved doing plays when i was younger. There's all kinds of activities for families and it's very pretty here. The visit two weeks ago was so ugly because it was all brown and the trees were bare, this time it is so pretty with everything in bloom.

Did i mention that we are going to be living in a bubble? That's what our neighborhood is like, total bubble but a nice bubble and the house is very cool and cheerful. We just have to clean it really well to get the curry smell out cause i've never smelled such a currified house. Icky. Got to cleanse the place with prayer also to get rid of the idol worshipping that went on in there. No offense to any hindus but it is what it is.

Happy mothers day to all the mommies - may this day be filled with joy, peace and no dishes! :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Househunting in New Jersey sucks.

That is all i have to say.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why not vent a little now. :-)

I used to think staying at home was for lazy people. Years later, i got married and decided to stay at home prior to kids because i wanted to focus on my writing and get out of the finance industry. Or maybe it was because i really am lazy lol. Anyway, once i had LD, when someone says to me "Oh how nice, you get to stay at home" or "oh you just stay at home" or any other random comment that shows just how little this person knows about the difficulty of staying home, i get a little irked. It's especially bothersome to hear it come from mothers who work, because i respect their job and i know it's hard - it's gotta be hard to leave your kid every day and miss those special moments and then there's the whole job of it. And some mothers have to work even if they want to stay home for financial reasons. But it usually comes from mothers who really don't seem to even like being mothers, God only knows why they have children in the first place. Anywaaaaay, i don't want to start a mommy war but recently i was telling my husband how i wish i had it in me to leave my little guy in a program but i feel it my duty to raise him as a good Muslim and a good person and to give him every opportunity to thrive - for me to do this, i must be there for him. This is the only reason i stay at home.

This is why staying at home really IS a job and deserves respect. Comparing jobs to those who don't think staying at home is a job:

Physically: When was the last time a colleague of yours got upset at something you said/did/didn't do where they threw a large wooden object at your head, pulled your hair, yelled at you, bit you, fell on the floor screaming? Or when you had to go to a meeting your colleague refused to put their seatbelt on and screamed bloody murder, writhed their body and cried until their eyes were swollen? Have you ever had a colleague try to climb up your leg, pull or push you, or yell at you until you gave them what they wanted? Or when someone just said something you didn't like they threw a temper tantrum.

Mentally: I can't even expand here my brain is so dead. Nuff said.

Emotionally: This is the biggy. And this is the hardest part of the job too i think and why it's so exhausting. It is estimated that mild to moderate conflicts between mother and child occur once every three minutes (did you read that? 1 in every 3 minutes - in a 8 hour day - that's not a full day for a mom btw - but in an 8 hour day that is 160 - 1-6-0! mild to moderate disagreements) and major conflicts occur three times an hour (that's 24 major disagreements per day).

This does not happen in the workplace. Dealing with grown ups can be really annoying especially if there's a colleague you don't mesh well with but what if that person was allowed to hit, bite and scream at you and you had to act like a grownup and not do those things back and this occured 20 times an hour you'd probably go crazy or demand more pay. It's tough. I love staying home because i love watching LD become who he is and i wouldn't have it any other way, but like i always tell my husband, i also love clocking out at 7 o'clock. Around 6:30, i begin to watch the clock, excited for that ten minutes to myself while my husband hangs out with him and i begin dinner. Those ten minutes of silence is like two hours in momtime. It's divine.

This is the stuff that isn't calculated into that figure though. You just can't put a price on motherhood. It truly is priceless.

Survey: Moms' work would bring in $138,095 a year

I've been wanting to post/vent about SAHM and will do soon...but until then, this new survey just increased our salary. Last year it was $131K. We just got a raise baby!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Emotional Life of the Toddler

I picked this book up recently at a thrift store and am so glad i did. My little dude is different than most kids. He does some scary things like dart away from us wherever we go. If we put his feet on the ground, he's off and running and in the opposite direction of us. I read that a child will tend to go 50 feet from his mother and then return or stop because that is the end of his comfort zone. My guy is not this way. He'll completely leave us and not bother to even look back. It really worries us because he hates being confined by grocery carts, strollers, and our arms. My baby who isn't a baby anymore doesn't like to be held unless he's getting milk or reading a book and of course when he's hurt. He also has intense emotions and will scratch his own face when he doesn't get his way. All of this breaks my heart. I have felt like I've done something wrong that he doesn't want to be around us and then I read this:

"In the balance between the exploration and attachment behaviors that define secure base behavior, very active, fearless toddlers show a clear preference for exploration. Parents learn to cherish the brief moments when the child is so tired that she needs to cuddle up for a while. This does not mean that these tiny adventurers have no feelings of love or wish for closeness. It is simply that at least for the time being, action and novelty exercise an irresistible pull. For them, secure relationships consist of the willingness to take risks away from the parent. It is as if the parents' love for the child fuels the child's love for the world..
This is not fanciful thinking: toddlers raised in sterile institutions show little energy or interest in taking off because they have no loving base to take off from. Secure, actively exploring toddlers can risk leaving the parent's side because they rely on her ongoing availability. Rather than needing to stay close for protection, they take off fully expecting that the parent will be there should the need arise." - "The Emotional Life of the Toddler"

...and i feel much better. :-)