Friday 13 April 2012

Food: A Complicated Relationship

Just wanted to say jazakh’Allah-khairun to all of the kind sisters who have left comments wishing me well with my announcement. Your dua’s are very precious to me as are your kind words (one sister asked why I had not just carried out a pregnancy test instead of waiting – I did, but the last time I had three positive pregnancy tests and it still turned out to be a molar pregnancy without a baby in sight, so didn’t take that as the definitive answer). Oh – and especially thank you to the sister who suggested ice pops for nausea – they work!! I’m trying to control my intake as it has turned cold here again.

I went for a scan yesterday. This usually leaves me in tears, but this time I was in stitches. The first thing I noticed was the baby’s nose – It’s certainly going to have a strong nose! It also has Little Man’s full lips. I can’t believe how much you can see. I left feeling positive and happy alhamdulillah.

I have had a very rough few days with not being able to keep anything down and terrified of vomiting as it feels like my throat is being ripped out. But yesterday was better and today seems like a good day too (especially as I am off work – that really seems to help).

I have a funny relationship with food at the moment. I can’t stand cooking and I have turned mostly vegetarian. I can’t taste chips or food made with potatoes, I have gone completely off sweet food (even chocolate!), which is pretty amazing to me, and can’t eat spicy food. So that leaves me with lots of fruit and veg, 7up (which I always disliked) and light, soft foods like sandwiches.

I have also been craving Thai Green curry like crazy (My friend P kindly ordered this in to work for me one day, thereby making my week).

My last shop at the supermarket looked ever so healthy, all I wanted as fruit and veg, although this pic doesn’t show the boxes of ice lollies I loaded on top.

I couldn’t get my hands on more of the Thai curry so tried my own (with shop-bought sauce), no-where in the same league as the one I like, ended up eating the veg though.

The other thing I am loving right now is tart mango and strawberries. Shutterbug Sister is kindly picking me up some most days from the supermarket on her way home from work. Rather an expensive craving though at this time of year. (It's crazy the amount of free magazines and junk/stuff you get when you are pregnant).

I feel a little guilty being so indulgent with food, not many people in this world have the means to want something andthen just get it. On the other hand, when I start getting really sicck, I feel so desperate, that I will do anything to feel normal for a while.

As one sister commented on the post here: "Insha'Allah enjoy every second as there are many fellow sisters who are unable to experience the joys of motherhood, alhamdulillah." I know many sisters who have been in this position or are in this position and many older sisters who se lives have played out in the shadow of this situation, often painfully. So yes, her words hld a lot of meaning for me and a reminder to be very grateful.

Aaila Magazine - March-April 2012 Issue

The latest edition of Aaila, the Muslim Family Magazine is out now. There are some great articles this month including on the themes of autism, single motherhood in the Muslim community, infertility, bedtime routines, breastfeeding, writing birth plans and tons of excellent reviews. Please do head over and take a look and leave a comment.

Visiting the Big Book Bubble

The Big Book Bubble recently brought their Book Top to town and I decided to take the kids along.

I loved how the entrance was a wardrobe full of furry coats reminiscent of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. There was an elderly lady in front of me who asked the organiser why there were coats hanging the door, when she was told it was from a children's book, she huffed "well that was 70 years ago, how would I know" - and marched back out. I couldn't stop laughing and the organiser was smiling too.

Inside the top was magic - we found ourselves amongst snowy fir trees and a gas streetlamp - Narnia!

How many more books can you spot?

A scene from "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen, Gorgeous' favourite book.

Eric Carle's wonderful The Hungry Caterpillar.

There were costumes for the kids to dress up in.

Little Lady went for the Tudor lady costume - same as the one she had at home.

There was even a sandpit to play in.

The kids had a great time, but the best bit was when we left and hidden on the way out found an exhibition by a South Tyneside knitting group called Customs House. Their work was nothing short of amazing and had taken a whle year to create.

This is an embroidered scene from the hobbit.

This house made from knitted sweets was amazing.

This is from a Quentin Blake illustration I think for ne of Roald Dahl's boks, but I can't remember which.


Little Red Riding Hood of course.

Alice in Wonderland.

You can find more pictures of this amazing exhibition here.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Some News...

After weeks of sickness and exhaustion and two trips to emergency, my scan finally came round this week. After much trepidation, nearly throwing up in the waiting room and expecting the worst, the scan showed a perfectly healthy 11-week old baby bouncing around like a little mad man (or woman). The consultant said it was the most movement she had ever seen in a scan. So it seems I am expecting after all, and a very bouncy baby at that!

I would not normally let people know so early (I don’t normally show until 6 or 7 months), but it has been so obvious that something is wrong by my strange eating habits, pasty colour and my habit of putting my head on my desk every now and again and just sighing, that I have told close friends and family and my managers earlier than I otherwise would have.

In a way I don’t mind. I fully expect this to be my last pregnancy as there is no way I am going through this miserable sickness again (although I know these are just words because I fully accept that only Allah SWT decides when any life begins or ends). Insh’Allah, I am going to indulge in all of the things I like (currently tart strawberries, mango and orange Calypo ice lollies), I am going to do all of the things I didn’t know to do before with my children (lots of Quran recitation in the house I think).

I am going to stop trying to be so bloody-minded and give myself a break – lots of rest, lots of lying down and staying out of the kitchen when cooking smells make me sick. I am going to let the house get a little messy and I have promised myself I will call in sick when I feel too sick to work rather than forcing myself to go in as I used to. I am telling myself that I am not just being kind to myself, but to the little acrobat too.

Thank you to all of the sisters who posted ideas to help with nausea. The ice-pop/lollies work like a dream, as does grazing and lying very still.

I am so grateful for the long Easter weekend off work. Today has been a good day and I am catching up with the four loads of laundry, dishes and piles of books and toys everywhere. Insh’Allah, hopefully there will be some time to play (blog, write, journal, cards and beads – 0kay maybe getting a little carried away there). As always, please remember me in your dua’s.

London Pride Festival - Local Art

I really enjoyed the London Pride Festival that was organised to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee visit to our borough, but despite the amazing artwork on display from British artists, the part that I really loved was the work on display (and for sale) by local artists.

My favourite was the work of artist Yvette Rawson, who had designed some beautiful framed images and jewellery.

What really caught my imagination though, was some experimental work she was doing with wire. The wire pieces in the tin below is called "The Farmer is Looking for a Wife"

Really liked this one too. There were loads more, but I didn't manage to get many good pictures. These really inspired me and wanted to make me have a go at playing with wire and beads.

This mixture of objects, framed items, photography and framed needlework were by Julian Walker. I liked the etched glass, something else I would love to try.

These amazing ceramic pieces were by Sarah Partridge and an absolute delight, apart from telling the kids a hundred times not to touch (you do just want to feel them though).

There was colourful glass and pottery on display by Amanda Seljubac.

London Pride Festival - Beasts and Artwork

We recently took the kids to the London Pride event which was organised to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee visit to our borough. The event consisted of showcasing local artists, but also some of Britain’s most famous artists including Damien Hirst, Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon. Also at the event were exhibits from graduates of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

The path to the exhibition was lined with pennants, I recognised the British Union Jack, the three lions for England (the Royal Arms of England) and the red dragon for Wales ( Y Ddraig Goch). The only one I hadn't seen before was the yellow flag with the red dragon which I guessed represented Scotland (I found it's the the Royal Standard of Scotland).

The exhibition oepened with this dramatic display called the Queens Beasts by Tom Hiscock.

This is the Lion of England and I think the Yale of Beaufort behind.

I think this is the The White Horse of Hanover below. These pictures don't do justice to how sparkly the beasts were in the sun.

More artwork inside - but look at the items in the display case behind.

The display case was full of origami animals and really caught everyone's eye.

Damien Hirsts spotty car:

Glass art.

A wardrobe designed by a design student. Looks like a giant Jenga game.