My little Love

It’s true what they say, “they grow soo quick”. Aaliyah is days away from 19months old and in the last few weeks we have noticed a huge improvement in her speech, mobility, memory and independence.
Her vocabulary and speech have improved immaculately and she loves to sing songs. She is however shy around new people who pay her attention and finds new environments a bit too overwhelming. She has 4new teeth sprouting out at the same time which is probably the reason for her waking up every single night for the last two months? It’s exhausting and frustrating and although we love to have her sleep with us, I don’t like having to wakeup every night. It probably doesn’t help that she now sleeps in a proper bed so she wakes up and comes into our room to sleep. Secretly loving it!

I try not to dwell on the unpleasant thoughts of the oncoming ‘terrible 2s’. She has her off days which means I have my off days too. It’s hard to not get upset when she doesn’t listen to me or refuses to do as I ask. She has even learnt to hit, scratch and scream. Yes, I guess it’s normal and it’s just a phase that our babies will go through and its up to us to educate them and show them whats right and wrong. If they don’t listen, keep trying the next day and the next until they do. We can only do soo much to teach them, and it may even take ages to see any improvements, but they will eventually get there.

Looking back at how far Aaliyah has come, I am soo proud of how much she has learnt and I look forward to how much she will learn and hopefully use it to make this world a better place. She always makes me a proud mum…. even though she can be a very cheeky monkey at times :) Meh, we have our good days and our bad days. Such is life!

What I love about this girl right now is her smile, her warm tight hugs and how she is learning to communicate much better.

I can’t believe she is almost 2years old!!

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$30 a bargain

Here’s an updated photo of our shabby chick bookshelf. Repainted and put into Aaliyah’s nursery to store and display her little things. I think her room feels almost complete (it only took over a year to get it this way). It’s more homey and warm and pleasant to be in now…. Finally. Thank you gumtree. It’s only the 2nd thing I’ve bought off you but those things have made a big difference to our lives.

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Here’s a list of a few things I thought needed to go up on the shelf: ofcourse a picture of her when she was only a couple days old, her first music box, a soft owl from a friend at work, her light-up teddy lamp, soft toy animals she use to love as a baby, her shoes so she can learn to put them on herself, her books, a box of nappies and wipes, a box of necessities – powder, creams, medicines, brush – her first baby’s prayer book!

I’m pretty happy with the outcome although I didn’t do well with the painting.
Can’t wait til my next bargain!

My little helper

A letter to my ’6days of working’ husband, who misses out on the good days that I spend with our 1 and a half year old daughter.

Dearest dearest dear :)
We both know the story of what happened yesterday afternoon. And as you could tell, I was somewhat overwhelmed with what we shall refer to as a-mothers-pride-and-joy (ampaj – for short). Let’s remember what happened for the sake of it, coz I don’t ever want to forget it:

Yesterday afternoon as I started to vacuum, Aaliyah came running with such excitement to help. Ofcourse I was a bit annoyed because I wanted to get my chores done for the day as quick as possible, but how could I stay annoyed as she finds that pushing and pulling the vacuum is soo hilarious. I’d really like to know where the fun is in that. So we s-l-o-w-l-y vacuum the living room before moving in to her room, and as we are vacuuming (by we, I mean ME as your daughter is laughing at only God knows what), she suddenly stops and realises that her shoe was in the way of the vacuum. To my surprise, and I did not expect this from her at all (unless I asked her to), she says “oh no” (does her lip pout) and goes to pick up her shoe and puts it back onto her shoe shelf and comes right back to continue vacuuming. What just happened?! I didn’t want to show her too much of ampaj but acknowledged her good actions and continued to vacuum (with a massive smile and maybe I had to hold back a tear or two). I thought, that was probably a fluke and it won’t happen again for a while. As we vacuum another section, there were teddies and books and shoes in the way, I thought, there’s no way she’d go and move them. But then, she realises they are in the way, so she stops and rushes to them, picks each one up and puts them back nicely into each of their designated compartments; picked up each teddy and gently sat them on her shelf (she made sure they were sitting up right), picked up her books and lay them gently on her bookshelf, picked up her shoes and stacked them with the rest of her shoes, and came back to vacuum. I gave her the biggest hug and kiss. Shortly after we vacuumed I was too happy to continue with my chores, I gave her some colouring pencils and paper which made her soo happy. She turns to me in the middle of colouring to give me a tiny smile before she continued to colour. It was then I HAD to send you a text of what just happened, what just made me soo happy that day, regardless of the rough morning I had with her. I didn’t tell you so you’d think her actions were soo cute, but more importantly, when you have to leave for work everyday, I wanted you to know that i am teaching her well. Well enough that one day, she won’t be a lazy mother or a lazy wife. She will be beautiful on the inside and out. Be helpful and happy and sweet. But will also be firm in her beliefs and principles and will always stand her ground. I want you to know that everything you have done in your life (whether bad or good) lead up to this moment. This is what your life is about, this is your greatest achievement, your happy family.
Now get back to work ;)

We love you always

Your wifey

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Feeling the cold

I love Wednesdays because It’s my husbands only day off work every week.
So I look forward to the morning sleep-ins on Wednesdays, “said not I ever!” I still have to get up and make breakfast for Aaliyah and start my day. But at least we get to spend it as a complete family.

Yesterday we planned to go for a walk up to the supa centa. So assuming it was cold outside, we dressed up in beanies and scarfs and started our walk, but within minutes, we took it all off as it was such a beautiful sunny (warm) day hahaha. Didn’t we feel silly.

On our way there however my throat felt a bit sore and by the time we came home, I was feeling a bit shivery and cold and my throat was more sore. As the night progressed it became worse and I found myself blowing my nose throughout the night. I swear I was getting tonsillitis (maybe), but apparently it seems like a cold. which ofcourse sucks especially with a baby to care for.
Nellie and Danny paid us a short visit with some homemade muesli, hazelnut and blueberry muffins. They tasted healthy and delicious. That’s me right now!!

Early this morning, Aaliyah woke up at 3am and I thought lying with her for a bit would put her back to sleep, but an hour and half later, she was still moving around half awake. So feeling extremely tired and sore with a cold, I just took her into our bed and snoozed. It was hard for me to wake as I had a headache and my body was just not ready to work. Nav helps me out of bed and into the living room where I find Aaliyah stuffing her face with half of Nellies muffins and a Nutella and peanut butter bread. I don’t have time to be sick, I thought to myself. When Nav goes to work, I’ll be here alone and will still have to continue with my day. So I got up, fed myself quickly before Aaliyah finished and life goes on ;)

Don’t think I’ll be doing much today, I may try and finish off painting Aaliyah’s new bookshelf I bought off gumtree for $30!!!! But I also have lots of sewing to do for Babycoo, so it might be a slow busy day for me :)

Enjoy your day!

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Food for thought

A perspective on the roles of parents

Last nights conversation with friends struck a chord deep within us all. It all started when, after having a beautiful meal prepared by Wasfieh (Moroccan vegetarian dinner – couscous with pumpkin and kale stew), the ladies stayed inside to make delicious herbal tea (by  CreaTea) and bake some dark chocolate fondants drizzled with vanilla bean cream. During the course of this, while the boys happily sat outside by the heater enjoying their argileh and “manly” conversations, Nellie, with a light cheeky smirk on her face, mentions that it would be nice if one night the men can cook us dinner while we sit and relax for a change. “We should tell them” she says smilingly.

So, way after we had dug into our fondants – which deliciously melted in our mouths and vanished off our plates (I’m annoyed I didn’t get a picture of it, maybe it’s my chance to get Wasfieh to make a few more? Hehe) the girls decide to bring up the idea. I don’t know how, but I can understand why then, the conversation turned into this debatable argument about the roles of a stay-at-home mother vs a working father.
We live in an era where both parents aren’t always available to the child and growing up with one parent is a common experience, when one stays home the other is forced to work, hence, the bond between the mother and child vs the father and child is an important consideration. Although a child is affected differently between the bond with a mother to that of the father, they both have unique benefits. The more secure the bond between a mother and child, the more safe and confident the child will feel, it will allow them to cope more easily with change, to have better social skills with people and demonstrate a better understanding of other children’s emotions. Children who are securely bonded to their mothers are also most likely to be self-starters and require less help from their teachers. Fathers on the other hand, feel the responsibility to nurture with financial support (even though there are some mothers in the world who contribute financially), child care and limit-setting (rules/boundaries). This financial support, is crucial to prevent poverty and provide [community] resources for the child to become academically and socially successful, to grow their talents and expand their opportunities. The way fathers provide care and communicate feelings helps kids feel more satisfaction in life, and proper limit-settings contributes to academic achievements, less problems with delinquency and more social competence. 

In saying all this, I think that both parents play a crucial role in the upbringing of their children. That whatever great amount, or lack of nurturing, will determine the outcome of the child. In terms of who does more work of the two however, depends on the individuals and how they live really. You can’t say that a mother who barely does anything at home for the child while the partner slaves away at work for hours is the same as a mother who does everything for the child at home while the husband sits at an office from 9am-5pm with an hour and a half break. However, a mothers job requires them to do all or most of the following every single day, lets not forget the father, some of these only apply when they’re present with the child and not at work ie: before and after work, on weekends or public holidays: feeding about 5 times a day (including snacks), check nappies, change nappies, bathe baby, play games with baby, nap times, make bottles/breast feed, down time, hugs and kisses, reading books, house maintenance, prepare dinner, grocery shopping, struggles to have a shower at times and get out of pjs, continuously cleaning after babys mess, quietly clean and do some laundry while baby naps, planning ahead with meals, organising playdates with friends, packing a meal and change for leaving the house then coming back and unpacking like you’ve just come back from an overseas trip. All of this starts at the crack of dawn and does NOT end until you’ve closed your eyes and finally slipped off into a deep sleep. In terms of who’s job is most important, I believe both roles are important, but life starts with the mother who is the prime educator of the child and it begins at her very core, before a child breathes its first air, before it bonds with any soul or being, it begins closer to a mothers heart than anyone else can ever reach – it starts in the womb.

 

DO NOT MISINTERPRET MY MANY POINTS BASED ON THE AMOUNT OF WORDS I USED IN SUPPORT OF THE ROLE OF A STAY AT HOME MOTHER – I AM ONE AFTER ALL. I APPRECIATE AND VALUE THE ROLE OF HARD WORKING FATHERS WHO SACRIFICE BEING AWAY FROM THEIR LOVED ONES TO SUPPORT THEM FINANCIALLY.

 

:)

 

- Happy Mothers Day

 

 

 

 

Links:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/motherchild-bonding-vs-fatherchild-bonding-16813.html

http://www.facebook.com/creaTea

 

Scones day

Scones day

Lastnight I craved something sweet, but we had just shared mini magnums with Nellie and Danny who popped by for a short visit, so I guess it was enough to survive the rest of the night. So this morning I decided to bake Donna Hays basic scones – but I also added a dash of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Took me about 10min to whip up, then baked them for about 15min in the oven at 150′C (it says 180′C but my oven gets pretty hot fast). Took them out and let them cool on a rack before serving with some jam and cream, then dusted lightly with icing sugar.

I had about 4 or 5… I couldn’t help it. They were soft and fluffy and tasteful!
These would be a nice treat for Mothers day coming up!

link to Donna Hay scones: https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/basic-scones
link to creaTea diffuser and more: https://www.facebook.com/creaTea

Food can be fun

Food can be fun

For the last week, I’ve surprised myself (and Nav) with an effort toward food. I’m not the type to dress food and display them nicely. Not saying that I splat food on the plate before serving, its just, food is going to get all squashed up and rolled around anyway so why bother? Well, apparently it helps to put some effort toward how you make food right up to how you display and serve them. I’m no expert at decorating… anything really, and I wouldn’t say that I have a good sense of food fashion. So for me, my little effort made me proud hahaha. Here’s to more food updates in the near future… hopefully I’ll improve. If I don’t (shrugs) ah well, it was fun.

Happy Birthday Jada

 

Happy Birthday Jada


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Let me start with this, theres a few little ones who hold a place in my heart, and Jada definitely holds a place. I’ve known her parents before her existence, seen her grow in her mummys tummy, felt her lay ever soo still while in the womb and sent her prayers when I received a text saying;

“Her name is Jada”.

It was not long ago we celebrated Aaliyahs 1st birthday, and now, I can not believe that it has come to this. We’re going to celebrate Jada’s 1st birthday? Where has time gone? Wasn’t she just born last week? Now I know what they meant when they said “They grow soo fast”.
I don’t think we can ever stop saying that actually haha.

The night before the birthday, we get a text saying that due to the wet weather, the venue would be moved to a nearby sheltered area. Now, no one likes the rain when they want to celebrate, especially for a little babys birthday, but I was soo glad that they had decided to continue with it (even though, Aaliyah and I would still have gone to see the birthday girl).

The weather was chilli, the rain splattered down, the wind swooped in and even the birds flew in uninvited. I remember Faizi (Jada’s grandpa) getting excited to see a dad pushing a pram towards the venue and almost welcoming him in – he wasn’t a guest and kept walking past, luckily not paying attention to all the staring and smiling. New and old faces huddled together, the food tasted just as good as they were beautifully displayed, the little children got lots of attention and lots of snacks for lunch – given in cute named snack bags – there were lots of laughter, warm snuggles and great catching up with friends. But ofcourse, nothing beats watching the birthday girl wanting to be close to her mum and dad. Personally, I think it’s the best feeling a parent could ever feel… to be wanted soooo much simply because of unconditional l.o.v.e. Her cute mustard tights with a matching love-heart top and white high-top sneakers spelt ‘adorable‘ all over. Then those cheeks (I just had to) are to die for and her presence and smile warmed all our hearts.

She is now 1, no longer a newborn, capable of feeding herself, stands on her own two feet, knows what she wants, loves to clap and dance, but regardless of how much she accomplishes and how she ages, she always will and always be someone’s little baby.

It was a fun rainy day, Aaliyah and I enjoyed it soo much that she fell asleep on me while making our way home. A good way to start and end the day!

- Good times, good times!

Winterautumn – a new season perhaps

Winterautumn - a new season perhaps

Look, why don’t they just put the seasons of Autumn + Winter together? That way, people wouldn’t confuse Autumn with Winter? I don’t like winter at all, theres the cold and flu going around, electricity and gas bills go up, we bury ourselves in layers of clothes (well I do) before we go out, oh, and we BARELY go out of the house. Oh and I’m complaining about winter when we’re only in AUTUMN. On a different note, I think it should snow in Winter here in Sydney. I’ve never seen snow…… and that’s the story of my life.

- I don’t like winter but I want snow

Being creative


Being creative

Ok, I haven’t really had time to give my blog a good update since my last blog in Easter. And you’ll soon see why.

REASON 1: As the title speaks, I’ve tried to finally give myself some time to be creative AND productive. Last week Thursday Aaliyah and I visited our friend Wasfieh and baby Laith at there new humble abode in Mosman (btw beautiful home I should talk about separately another time) . During our visit, I saw that she was drying out mint leaves, this immediately took me back to my childhood days. Growing up, back in the islands, although money wasn’t that scarce, we made-do with what we grew. Thanks to our ever-loving grandparents, they taught us to plant and grow our own veggies, fruits and herbs. We pretty much lived off it, providing us with food and also selling them to make money, which was great, and it has always been the way of life for most people back in the islands.

I realised then that I had been wasting a lot of the herbs at home, after a while it’ll go off in the fridge and we’d end up throwing it out. So instead I used these 5 EASY STEPS:

1. Wash the herbs
2. Pull leaves off the stems and discard the stems
3. Lay the leaves separately on some paper towel and pat dry
4. Let them dry until crisp to the touch (usually takes about 3 to 4days depending)
5. Store in a container or ziplock bag ready to be used (I’ve used empty pasta sauce jars which I’ve saved for a while!! Finally found a good reason to use them, and Nav was happy!)

My second task was to put Aaliyahs’ empty milk cans to some good use (what a shame I had thrown out a lot of it before I thought of this). I’ve been wanting something to store some of our kitchen utensils in, so this came to mind. With just 4 EASY STEPS, I finally did just that!

- My grandma would be soo proud of me I reckon… she has taught me well!