Saturday 31 March 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Is anyone else participating in Earth Hour this evening? This is the annual event started by the World Wildlife Fund where lights go off across the world to remind us for the need to take action to combat climate change.

As a Muslim I believe that taking care of the world and avoiding being wasteful are important parts of Islam, my kids are passionate about taking care of the environment , so this is something we want to take part in as a reminder and to get them thinking and talking about this issue also (I will never forget Little Man's reprimand a few years ago - "You just left the light on mum, you don't care! You don't care about the polar bears!").

Earth Hour will be tonight Saturday 31st March 2012 at 8.30pm in London - will you be doing anything in your town or home?

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Missing in Action

I am rather conscious I have been missing from action in blogland for a while. I just checked my dashboard and couldn’t believe how many comments there were to publish. I am struggling a little at the moment with severe nausea and exhaustion, interspersed with some rather nasty stomach pains. Everyone who hears this jumps to the same conclusion, but because I have had a false alarm before (with a hydatidiform mole) I am not assuming that I am expecting until I have a scan next week.

This means that the last month has been about getting through the day an hour at a time. I feel so blessed that I have a husband who has really taken care of the kids and picked up the baton where I have totally dropped it by looking after the children organising meals and daily pack lunches (he actually sends the kids to school with chapatti’s and curry!), ferrying me around between hospitals, clinics and work and generally keeping our little world revolving

My manager at work has been so understanding allowing me to come in late and leave early if needs be and work from home. His manager reassured me that I need not come in if I cannot cope. My colleagues have all been looking out for me and some have taken on work for me alhamdlillah. The funniest thing is when my manager complained he got told off by someone because people thought I looked tired because he was giving me too much work.

My sisters have been around regularly keeping me company, bringing whatever food I can stomach and checking up on me. Subhan’Allah its times like this that my faith brings such a positive perspective into my life:

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, "Strange is the affair of the Mu'min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu'mmin." (Muslim)

So although I have been feeling revolting, getting rather dehydrated and have not been able to do much or be much use to anyone, I feel like Allah SWT is merciful and that I am the luckiest woman alive subhan’Allah (I just hope I don’t eat my words when I am next going bright red and puking up all over the place!).

But Subhan’Allah, in the meantime, sooooo much has been happening (even if I haven’t been contributing much).

Fahsionista’s wedding planning is going full steam ahead with a wedding dress ordered in a completely different colour than we were planning and the cutest valima dress found. So far venue and guest list are sorted, food and decor is being worked on and there remains lots more to finalise.

My mum and dad have gone travelling with a week in Saudi for Umrah (pilgrimage) and then onto Pakistan for wedding shopping – that hasn’t gone great, will post on that later. Whilst they are away, the girls have taken the opportunity to work with my hubby to re-do the house and replace wallpaper and carpets with skimmed walls and wooden flooring. My parents don’t know so hopefully will get a great surprise when they get back (I soo wish I had taken “before” shots)

I went on a tour of the Olympic Park and I have to say it is pretty amazing, I will post pictures at some point. Little Lady went to the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park to watch FINA’s Diving World Cup and will be going to meet the Queen with her class tomorrow as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee National Tour (she is visiting a local historical building). Little Man will be going to the Olympic Park in May to watch the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament in the Riverbank Arena.

Work is manic as ever. Alongside my regular work, I am still working with the Olympic team but my work has garnered attention, so senior managers have asked me to work with our Communications Team to draw up a plan of how they will deliver their service before and during the Games. I’ve also been asked to work on a project to bring some project planning principles to the organisations events strategy for the coming year – involves lots of meetings, maps and madness at this stage. This stuff is really stretching me to the limits, but I am enjoying and it the level of concentration it requires distracts me a little from the nausea, although it doesn’t help the exhaustion.

So at the moment, I am trying to be kind to myself, spending lots of time lying down, eating what I can when I can (have not had curry, which we eat daily, in weeks) praying the bare minimum but with lots and lots of dua (supplication), being honest when I feel terrible and taking all or nay help on offer.

I will probably carry on counting the days to my scan and then decide how to move forward with the outcome. Either way Allah (SWT) has given me too much to be grateful for to give into the misery (although this doesn’t mean there won’t be some tears each day). I would be grateful for your precious dua’s insh’Allah and also for your forgiveness for those of you to whom I have not responded to your e-mails recently or not been fulfilling my obligations on time. (Also if you know any nausea cures and don’t mind sharing, would be great to hear from you – have tried ginger biscuits, baking soda in water, green tea and only 7up helps so far).

“Surely with every difficulty there is relief. Surely with every difficulty there is relief.” (Al- Quran 94:5-6)

“When Allah has previously decreed for a servant a rank which he has not attained by his action, he afflicts him in his body, or his property or his children.” (Abu Dawud)

”There is nothing (in the form of trouble) that comes to a believer even if it is the pricking of a thorn that there is decreed for him by Allah (something) good or his sins are obliterated.” (Sahih Muslim)

Incorrigible Child

Every now and then this beautiful, sunshiney, youngest child of mine does something absolutely ridiculous to remind me he is a boy. Yesterday I got a shout for help from my mother-in-laws bedroom, I rushed over, phone in hand knowing he was stuck somewhere again, to find him hanging out of his grandmothers wardrobe. She is currently in Pakistan, although due back soon insh'Allah, and I have packed her things inside her cupboard to keep them safe from sticky little fingers.

I and the other two kids were in hysterics. I am probably a terrible mother for doing it, but I had to take a picture before I let him down.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Long Necklace: Opalesence and Glitter

A work colleague had asked me to do some repairs for her and once I had my beads out of the box, the creative spirit, or maybe just greed for some new jewellery, awakened.

This long necklace was inspired by my leopard print scarf

The necklace alternates between sandtone chips, moonstone chips and black glass crystals. I love how the gold sandstone chips glitter in the dark and the opalescence of the moonstone chips.

I originally planned to wear this with a black abaya and leopard print scarf, but it doesn't seem to quite go with these. Any ideas for how to wear this?

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Enjoying Motherhood

I called a friend a few days ago to catch up on a few things and found her super busy with her three little ones, all under the age of five. It kind of stopped me in my tracks. I remember when I had three under five and it seems like such a long time ago. A few of my friends have small children and a few have two or three very small children. It can be hard work – long sleepless nights, endless nappies, dragging that big baby bag everywhere, trying to navigate public transport and shops with a big buggy, having to plan ahead just to try and get a moment to go to the loo. But now that I look back, it seems it was over so quickly.

I reassured my friend. I remember when I had my youngest I had a good dose of the baby blues and did not want to get up or do anything, let alone be a mum. I remember yearning for a whole night of sleep and finding all of the things I was supposed to do – reading with the kids, playing with them, taking them to the park, so tedious. I would never have admitted it then for fear of being judged, but actually, looking after small kids can be tedious. The beautiful, unforgettable moments with your little ones – the first words, the funny little things they do, those moments when you r heart brims over from love, these things make being a mum pleasurable and help temper the tedium, but the boring moments are still there.

Thing is, it’s all over so quickly. My youngest is five, all three are at school full time, they can eat themselves, dress themselves (although Gorgeous still tries to abdicate responsibility for these two – always the baby). They can go off unsupervised for some time to play outside or in their room. But that’s not what made the biggest difference to me. Kid just get so much more interesting as they get older. They have a life – at school, with friends, at madrassah, in their bedrooms, even in their heads. They have thoughts and opinions. They can tell you about their day (with much prompting) and are interested in yours (mostly to say how unfair it is you don’t have to go to school).

I realised recently, how much I enjoyed parenting, which was not always the case before. I realised how I am falling in love with my kids in all sorts of new ways. I love that their own personalities and strengths are coming through – Little Lady’s bossiness, creativity and dodgy jokes , Little Man’s kindness and studiousness and Gorgeous’ charm, playfulness and sportiness. I never would have guessed parenting would be so much more fun.

So to my sisters who are just getting through the day, one day at a time, I have to say, these days when your children are so small will be over so quickly. Spend them to hold your babies, hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them till they have no doubts. Let the house get messy, leave your hair wild, soon they will be leaving you every morning and you will have all the time in the world to straighten cushions and look perfect. Also this – that parenting gets even better, lots easier and so much more fun. I never expected this at all, but I am so enjoying this time with my kids. Perhaps I am speaking too soon, maybe they will hit the teen years and turn into indecipherable, irrational monsters, in which case I had better make the most of this time insh’Allah.

Gratitide Journal 06.03.12 - Sweet Cravings

I've been craving strawberries recently, so its rather happy for me that the local £1-bowl stalls have started selling these enormous ones.

They were just right - sweet and a bit tart. I think I might be craving these for quite some time...