Saturday 31 May 2014

Bead Therapy

I have been meaning to sort through my collection of beads for months, recently I mentioned to Little Lady we could do a clear out and just keep what we would use.  She was keen on the idea and kept pestering me to do it.  I think she might have regretted that.

We found some quiet time when Darling was asleep and gathered up all of the various boxes, trays and pots of beads that had been stashed around the house, including a tray of beads that had mixed and which was living under my bed collecting a layer of thick dust.

It took us over two hours to pick out the beads we didn't need, sort the ones we wanted back into their boxes and tidy up all of the threads and clasps etc.  We were both exhausted, she from helping me sort the mess and me from sitting on the floor so long.  I get very stiff and sore very quickly and I am not very flexible at the moment either, so can't get up, reach over or move around easily.  This means that there was a lot of asking Little Lady to get up and put things in other places around the house (it's funny what can accumulate in a box of beads - earrings, hairpins, lots of buttons).  She complained it wasn't as much fun as she thought it would be.  She did get some nice beads and charms to add to her own little box of beads though.

In the end we were left with this:

There are still quite a few boxes but thy all have stuff I can imagine making something out of.

This tray is still full of the things I had left by the time Darling woke up and decided we needed help to throw beads into boxes.  

This box is full of lovely treats for me to play with - lots of crystals, charms and square beads.

The beads to sort also include this which includes all of my favourite colours - greens, blues, teals, opaque beads which I like and also square beads - another like.

These are the beads which we cleared out, mostly lots of seed beads and acrylic beads.  I would like to do a give away, but the postage is going to work out too heavy.  So if anyone lives locally (East London) and wants to come and pick these up, please e-mail me (umm_salihah @  Alternatively if you want a smaller part of these (i.e. just seed beads, or pearls or certain colours, let me know at the same e-mail and I might be able to post them if the postage is reasonable.

Friday 30 May 2014

Good Intentions and Kindness to Yourself

Some people are good at taking advice, using their common sense and being sensible and realistic. Others seem to learn the hard way. Sometimes I fall into the first category, but when it comes to being pregnant, I always seem to fall into the second category.

I refuse to accept that I will be slower or be able to do less.
I don’t want to accept the idea that I will be big.
I don’t want to rest more.

When I get tired or breathless I just tell myself I need to get fit and eat more carefully. I keep walking and doing the housework in a bid to get strong and I ignore when there are signs of potential trouble like swollen fingers a little too early or an inability to get up a flight of stairs without wheezing loudly.

Then I start wondering if this is right and instead of going to the Dr because I can’t get an appointment for weeks or the midwife because I don’t think she will take me seriously, I go to Dr Google and start trying to work out if there is something wrong with me.

Then when I start feeling like I am going to keel over, I can’t understand why.

After I had Darling, I was breastfeeding for about 14 months and trying really hard to lose weight, eat less, walk more throughout the same time. Eventually I saw the Doctor and explained I was extremely tired and had very sore legs despite my best efforts to get fit.  He diagnosed me as deficient in Vitamin D and Iron. I had just assumed I was lazy and unfit and needed to keep pushing myself harder.

This time I am going to try really, really hard to do things differently. I am going to take a gentle stroll in my lunchtime at work. I am going to lie down for a bit after work and even elevate my feet to manage the swelling. I am going to do less housework, make everyone else do more and cook in bulk every second or third day. I’m going to stop being such a martyr and start sending hubby out to do the grocery shopping because by the time I have the shopping in I’m too tired to cook and have to really push myself – so it will have to do one or the other, but not both.

I’m also going to ask for things – something that I struggle with. At the moment that will be lots of fruit, vegetables, juice and some chocolate – the soul needs it food too. All things I usually get, but that hubby might get landed with having to find. I’m craving a particular type of carrot right now, they are organic and come in bunches with the long green tops tied together and me and Gorgeous love them, and honey melons, and Fiorelle pears which are here from South Africa right now, and those long green grapes that are sweet and slightly dry and the small crisp, bright red, sweet apples I am seeing now. Pakistani mango season is about to start too in about another month, so they will be everywhere in our neighbourhood soon. Poor hubby, his idea of getting fruit is usually picking up a couple of bowls from the £1-a-bowl stall of whatever looks ripe.

I’m not very good at taking it easy or letting go, but this time, I am really going to try and be sensible and put myself and this baby first.

I might have to start by ignoring the pile of laundry and the toothpaste Gorgeous has left smeared over half the bathroom.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

The Wonderful Words of Maya Angelou

I was saddened to hear about the death of the wonderful American writer and poet Maya Angelou today.  I first picked up her poetry as teenager and was captivated by her direct words, their rhythm and certainly their message.

My favourite was Phenomenal Woman from the book And Still I Rise, the first verses of which celebrate being amazing even if you are not beautiful, a message that I welcomes as a young woman:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

The full poem is here.

I also loved the poem Our Grandmothers from the Anthology "I Shall Not Be Moved":

She lay, skin down in the moist dirt,
the canebrake rustling
with the whispers of leaves, and
loud longing of hounds and
the ransack of hunters crackling the near

She muttered, lifting her head a nod toward
I shall not, I shall not be moved.

She gathered her babies,
their tears slick as oil on black faces,
their young eyes canvassing mornings of madness.
Momma, is Master going to sell you
from us tomorrow?

Unless you keep walking more
and talking less.
Unless the keeper of our lives
releases me from all commandments.
And your lives,
never mine to live,
will be executed upon the killing floor of
Unless you match my heart and words,
saying with me,

I shall not be moved.

The full poem is here.

My favourite Maya Angelou quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Pakistan, Islam, Culture, Media and the Treatment of Women

I don’t have a TV and I don’t tend to keep up with the news, but every now and again my husband watches the Pakistani news on the internet with his mum and I listen in with half an ear. Between that, an occasional peek at the BBC news website and links sent to me by various people to articles in the Daily Mail (my least, least, least favourite newspaper) I get an general view to what’s happening in the world.

One of the things that I have notice in recent years is some of the horrendous news coming out of Pakistan. Every time I am at my mum’s house and she is watching Geo TV or ARY News there is something else to make me feel upset. Hubby watches Geo TV or occasionally the Express News channel, which seems to be even more keen to throw up some of these stories. Over the last year or two I have seen news stories on, honour killings, child abuse, religious people (called Pirs in Pakistan) caught abusing women devotees, even cannibalism of all things?!?! A few weeks ago there was a story about a poor women whose husband got angry and chopped her legs off. The English news reported it vaguely and the news article had comments from readers making fun of the lady. Perhaps they should have got to see the Pakistani version on the TV news I saw at my mum’s house which showed the woman on her hospital bed writhing around with her eyes not quite focussed. I couldn't sleep that night and I couldn't get the image out of my head for days. I kept praying for her and for my children and family that God forbid they should ever have to bear or see anything like that.

Then yesterday I saw a story about a pregnant woman beaten to death outside the Lahore courthouse by her own family. Seriously what is happening over there? Has Pakistan suddenly become extremely brutal or have there always been these people around, but the media are much more able or keen to expose them? My parents and grandparents were from rural north Punjab and the Pakistan they spoke about was never like this. The Pakistan I visited as a child could occasionally be scary with it’s noise and chaos and with us being told not to step out the door alone in the cities in case someone took us (usually the “gypsies” or the hijra’s). But it never seemed to be like this.

I wonder of it is the media’s increasing thirst for a salacious story. I have noticed a disturbing trend in the news recently for the news reporters and the camera’s to intrude into hospital beds and the homes of people who have just lost someone. They will show people writhing in pain, comatose, people wailing as they hear of a death and relatives breaking down as a body leaves the home for burial, including wives and mothers screaming and being consoled by family members. I suspect that these people are not in any state to give the news people permission to come in.

I think in the past there was only one channel, which was the state-run PTV which was quite conservative and controlled in its output. Over the years independent channels have proliferated and have taken a much more “tabloid” approach to news, always on the look out for the story that is horrifying enough, salacious enough, shocking enough to give them the edge over their scores of competitors.

Part of me is pretty disgusted about the intrusion into the lives of traumatised and incapacitated people. This has included children. I remember one story where a young boy walked into his tuition class with a gun and shot a girl. Who knows why or if he meant it or understood what he was doing, but the police had the child sitting on a stool at the police station surrounded by camera’s and reporters shouting questions at him. Seriously? Standards anyone?

Another part of me is glad the media has grown a nerve and some teeth in Pakistan. The case of people like Mukhtaran Mai would never have gotten anywhere of it had not been for the media throwing a spotlight on the case and the story travelling around the world. Those that raped and beat her would never have been arrested (although they never ended up convicted) and she would have been one more woman forced to live with what happened to her with no hope of justice and the possibility of having to leave her home to escape further abuse (my review of her book is here). There are often like hers in Pakistan where the media catch wind of the story and run with it and something happens or there is public pressure for the police to do something.

What made me think of this today, was that when I got to work this morning, a colleague asked me about the recent Lahore court house murder. He could not understand how someone could set aside their love for their own child and beat them to death for something like honour. He blamed religion and politics for most of the worlds problems, saying he could not understand how someone could take the Quran so literally they would do something like this in this day and age. He felt as if the Quran and the words of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were from the middle ages and had nothing to do with today.

Needless to say we had a long conversation.

I explained that Islam gave everyone the right to choose who to marry and that no-one could force or stop you. I explained that this was a cultural phenomenon in South Asia where there were very strong ideas about how women should behave and about controlling women, including choosing who they marry. I gave the example of something Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef said during a Red Pill seminar of his I attended. He felt that South Asian parents often overstepped the mark when it came to their children’s marriages, thinking they had a final say in who their kids married rather than advising them on their choice.

I tried to explain how Pakistan was a patriarchal culture which traditionally had certain ideas about how women should behave. For example in the way my dad wanted me to marry a certain person I could not stand or my brothers-in-law were a little uncomfortable with my big laugh. Not that I married who my dad wanted, or stopped laughing. But those ideas are always there – well-raised women don’t speak or laugh too loudly (yes but all Punjabi’s speak loudly), red lipstick is bad (but my favourite, the darker the better), good girls do what their parents say and marry who their parents choose (oh dear, I am failing all of these), good girls do what their in-laws say, they don’t answer back, they are obedient, well-trained and domesticated (sounds like a dog). Their behaviour reflects on their family in a way its doesn't for men – hence the occurrence of honour killings for perceived slights of honour.

Often these things are a way to control not just women but the families property and money. You don’t give the women her share of the parents family's inheritance after she is married off, a wife is side-lined, chased away or even burnt alive at one time in India once she is widowed so she doesn't get anything from her families estate.

Islam gives women a voice, it gives them rights and a level of independence through the right to inherit and have their own money, the right to work and run a business. The right to choose who they marry and if they choose not to stay with that person, the right to divorce. Islam is very different and separate from the South Asian culture that beats a pregnant woman to death in broad daylight in a public place.

Saying that Pakistan is not the only country that has to deal with violence against women. The domestic violence charity Refuge cites statistics on their website saying that in the UK 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime and on average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.

There seems to be something that runs through human nature that allows some of us to prey on the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us, regardless of religion or culture.

Pakistan also seems to have an issue with maintaining law and order. I was brought up with horror stories from my parents about the police beating you up and my family has always had an aversion to going near any police even in this country. In my grandfathers village problems were resolved through a council made up of the local villages (the panchayat) which he sat on along with his brothers and friends. The panchayat was public and people went to it because it was trusted. There were alliances within the panchayat, which indicated that the whole thing was not completely always impartial, but people still preferred it to going to the police who no one trusted. Tellingly, one of my grandfathers “pancharay” or friend and ally on the panchayat was a local policeman who lived in one of the nearby villages. Also interesting, is that I have never heard of there being women on this panchayat.

Some things have changed, the old men of the panchayat are mostly now dead and the younger ones have not taken up the mantle. I am not aware that any panchayat meets now and even if it did, the young are educated, have moved to the city and would probably not take a blind bit of notice of anything that the panchayat advised. So what would be the point? Some things haven’t changed though, people still don’t like to involve the police if it can be avoided. This means people do bad things knowing there is a good chance they can get away with it.

Finally, my colleague made an interesting point about religion being from and suitable for the Middle Ages. He didn't think that anyone followed the Bible literally any more, or the Quran or what the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said any more.  How could what was said then apply to this day and age. I explained that for Muslims what was said then did apply now and we did still take it literally and follow it. Most of the guidance and rules applied to situations which were consistent through time: we still have children and we still need to raise them properly, we still marry and need to learn to live together, we still have to manage money and need to know how to do this fairly for ourselves and others.

It seems to me that Islam is very much valid and necessary for the problems of modern life – family breakdown, domestic abuse, environmental problems, rampant consumerism, the sexualisation of children, the objectification of women and many other things that we are faced with today.

I like the early morning conversations we occasionally have at work, certainly makes me think and keeps me on my toes.

I pray for Pakistan and the poor people involved in the crazy stories coming out of that country at the moment. I pray that the country find some peace and stability, that justice is established and that the poor and the vulnerable are cared for and not brutalised and oppressed. I pray that something of the innocence and goodness my grandparents used to speak of when describing the people of Pakistan is restored one day insh’Allah.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Product Review: Hotel Chocolat Old Fossil

Hotel Chocolat is one of my favourite brands (I love chocolate).  I did a review for them in December last year, so when they asked me if I would like to do another, I agreed.

I was offered a few options they are offering for Fathers day, some of these had alcohol, so of those that didn't the Old Fossil chocolate appealed the most.  We like fossils in our home, we have always had this old ammonite fossil in our children's nature basket.

The chocolate came in lovely packaging

I always like the compliment slips that come with the chocolates.  I give them to Little Lady to use for her craft projects (someone was very interested in the contents of the bag, I distracted her with the pretty brown box).

The chocolate comes in the shape of an ammonite fossil in a pretty colourful box.  The chocolate is 40% milk chocolate and suitable for vegetarians and alcohol free, both things I have to watch out for in chocolate.

I like my chocolate fairly dark - 45% cocoa and upwards (Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate batons are my favourite).  This chocolate was fairly smooth and my kids really liked it.  The boys both thought it tasted slightly dark, but they all scoffed their share down.  

Last time I reviewed the Hotel Chocolat Cookies and Chocolate Wreath which was much darker, the kids were not as keen and found it too dark, whereas I found it moreish and ate it a bit at a time over the course of a few days.  This time we split it up between us (including the kids gran) and ate it in one sitting.  Funnily enough, with it being for Fathers Day, hubby was the only one that didn't get any.

Friday 23 May 2014


It seems that despite my efforts to be discreet, some mentions of my health have crept into my writing over the last few months. I write about my life and my experiences and it can be hard to separate how I am feeling physically from that, especially at times like this when it impacts so much on everything I do.

So, just when I thought I had my life all (kind of) planned out and set on a course, Allah (SWT) reminded me that we plan, but he is the best of planners and what he plans is nothing short of amazing. Around the time I released my 2014 Muslimah Inspiration Journal and started filling it’s pages at the start of the year, I found myself pregnant. It was an enormous kick in the backside reminder that Allah (SWT) sets out a course for us that we can’t foresee, but that there is always khair (goodness) in what He decides for us.

I have to say I freaked a little and didn't sleep for about two nights – terrified of the long days and nights of sickness and discomfort I suffer during pregnancy, terrified of the pain of delivering a baby again, terrified of what people would say – “five kids?!!”

But I knew better than to let this take hold too deeply. After all, I know that Allah (SWT) loves us and blesses us with what we can handle. Also, I believe that a gift and blessing should not be taken lightly, but recognised and appreciated for what it is. In the case of a child; a source of deep joy, an opportunity to create our legacy, the awe of watching a human being come into their amazing potential as unique individuals and Muslims and a chance to raise our standing in the next world insh’Allah.

I am just over six months pregnant now (26 weeks, so a few days short of the start of my third trimester). I'm not sure where the first two trimesters went. Most of the time has been spent being utterly sick and lying down quite a bit. The last two months have been without sickness and I have been trying to catch up with getting some routine back in my life and acting as if I can carry on as normal – including walking a lot and trying to eat sensibly so I don’t get too big . The last two weeks have seen me come to a realisation that I am pregnant and that means I have to slow down, be gentle on myself, ask for help and sometimes just say to my family that I just can’t do anything right now and will have to lie down and that they will have to make do with whatever is lurking in the recesses of the fridge for dinner.

I have to admit telling people was challenging, but not always as I expected. I waited till almost six months to tell my mum because she has always been adamant two children are enough (she told me to stop after two, then after three, then for definite after four). I was fully expecting a slap, but got a disappointed “but you had such a nice family”. I told her it was just about to get nicer and she harrumphed. Kooks was watching and piped up with “I was the fifth and look I'm the best one” which was met with “you came uninvited”. Good job we both have a thick skin. It might sound horrible on my mum’s part, but I know how much she found it very hard to raise the five of us on limited resources with no help and in isolated circumstances. I know she wants the best for us and thinks that would include an easier life. I also know that she will love this baby in the way she loves all of her grandchildren (mostly by stuffing them full of sweets when I am not looking).

I told my manager at work fairly on, but didn't start to tell people until after five months when I had my second scan confirming things were okay. Prior to that I had been feeling no movement from the baby and started to get scared. People’s reaction has varied from congratulations and encouragement to "OMG five kids!!".  Thankfully more of the former and less of the latter.

Little Lady clocked something was going no fairly early and asked me why I wasn't missing nay prayers and if it was because I was pregnant. I told her to stop being nosy and it was different when you were older and have had kids, you don’t always miss prayers. When I finally owned up, she wasn't very impressed with my dissembling. She is very happy though and has been great at trying to help me. The boys don’t seem to have quite caught on, Gorgeous just thinks I am getting fat and isn't very happy about it. He keeps telling me pointedly that he would never want to get fat. I did ask him what he would do if we went and got another baby, he was adamant that we’d never be allowed more than four. I asked him how he would like another little sister, this set him off ranting about it not being fair if there were more girls than boys. He still hasn't quite recovered from Darling encroaching on his limelight, so who knows what another baby might do to him. One of my sisters suggested I take a picture of his face when he finds out – will definitely be doing so.

Other than this I am trying to get my head around managing a very full home alhamdulillah and a big workload. Three at school, including one who will be starting high school and two children under two. Although to be honest, I would count Gorgeous as more than one child – he’s loud enough and creates enough chaos and work for it.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband who helps me so much, has listened to my moaning and been patient through the incapacitating months of sickness. I am grateful for my lovely sisters and sister-in-law who have been nothing but supportive. In particular Shutterbug Sister who on my telling her I was pregnant, without a pause reminded me that it was a blessing from Allah and could not be without purpose. Just the words I needed at that time and they have sustained me in the days that followed massively.

I am grateful for my health and energy, for the fact that I have stopped being sick and for the prayers sent my way. It’s a time of transition in our family, of things changing and moving forward. We are at a point of uncertainty before the big things start happening: the arrival of this baby, Little Lady’s school, Kook’s wedding and who knows what else. It will be hard work, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I'm not scared of that because I am constantly reminded of Allah’s (SWT) promise that he does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. My plans for the coming years will have to be reassessed in light of having less time and the need to focus on caring for the people around me. I am breathless, can’t manage stairs, cannot pray without getting painful heartburn and have swollen ankles and porky fingers (I am trying very hard to find the funny side of that). Plus I am still terrified of the pain that is coming my way in about three months…

Yet I am so excited. I have watched each of my children grow and their own nature, character and strengths emerge, gifts from Allah (SWT) to be used in this world to fulfil their purpose. I am watching Darling come into her own – introverted, affectionate, strong-willed, bossy and bright as a button. Now insh’Allah I have the chance to watch this unfolding and realising of those gifts once more. I feel very, very privileged.

Garden Makeover: Version 2014!

Over the years I have daydreamed about having a wonderful garden which would serve as a beautiful little retreat for me, somewhere for my children to play and a place to grow fruit and vegetables for our kitchen.

Over the years I have tried lots of times to bring order to the chaos that erupts in our garden.  Crazy weeds that overgrow everything and my husband using the garden as a tip/storage space for random things means that I have always struggled.  This is coupled with strange quirks in the garden that have been there since such as raised beds which are full of bricks below about two inches of soil so you could not dig down.  There were six inch gaps between the back of the raised bed and the fence so that the space becomes useless.   The garden was on various levels, so that the kids could not ride a bike or scooter around it and the fence has been broken for years.  Every time we fixed it, our kids and the neighbours kids would break it again so that they could play together.

After one winter when I ventured out again:

Last years attempt at organising and tidying up a little:

Over the years, I have made various attempts to make the space productive and attractive including using lots of containers and pots:

During the summer it would bloom and we would be bale to grow something - strawberries, tomatoes, aubergine, peppers, mint, coriander, beans, potatoes.

It was  a great learning opportunity for my children who all had their own patches and loved to help out. 

I always felt though that the space could have been used better and that everything I did was superficial and not quite enough.

Last summer my mum- and dad-in-law came to stay.  Both are very handy and very tenacious.  They decided to make a project of the garden and spent the summer taking everything apart.  They took up the floor tiles and made the garden all one level.  dad-in-law raised the gutters at the same time to make sure the technical aspects were taken care of as well as the aesthetic ones.

He hunted around for new tiles and managed to find the ones in the picture below for free.  He also made new fences to replace the broken ones.  He found giant fridge transportation pallets (wooden boxes), took them apart and nailed them together one by one to create the fences.

I was a little disappointed when they covered over some of the beds and left me with the one long one at the back that I insisted on.  It just means that I have to put more thought into what goes into the limited space and use the containers to add growing space.

The garden feels so much bigger and neater alhamdulillah.  I am so very grateful for the work they have put in.

It means that this spring when I ventured outside there was much less work for me in terms of clearing junk  and trying to make the space look tidy.  I could focus on making it pretty with flowers and fairy lights:

The mint tends to take over the flower beds, so we have put it in this big pot and it is plenty for us to make mint sauce with.

We come and sit outside and chat and enjoy the sun whenever we get a moment and I out the little gazebo up for the children.

Darling loves playing in here whilst her grandmother catches some sun and it means that we don't have to rush out to bring in the cushions on the bench every time it rains.

Alhamdulillah the flowers are blooming.  I am trying to train some trailing flowers up the fence and the kids have planted beans.  I have added tomatoes and will try and et some other vegetables growing between the flowers.

With hubby's help we put up some colourful solar fairy lights.  I am looking forward to growing things, summer barbecues and sitting in the garden during the warm summer evenings insh'Allah.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Mint Green Baby Shower

Me and my sisters were recently invited to a baby shower for someone very special to us who is expecting their first baby.  The party decor was in a very pleasing mint green and we all helped out with the decor.  I did the banner and all three of the girls found green sweets, Fashionista made cakes and cookies and Kooks made the little windmills on the dessert table.

I thouht the dessert table just rocked.  Everything looked so pretty

Shutterbug sister found these favour bags, I thought they were very cool.

The mama-to-be was doted on and received lots of gifts.

My sister-in-law made this nappy cake, I loved all of the frogs and the turtle tucked in and I thought it was such a useful gift.

The green boxes were from me, Little Lady saw one of the stuffed beanie baby's in one of the boxes (another green turtle coincidentally) and has been after me to get her one ever since.

I can't help myself sometimes.  I dressed both the boys in green shirts too.  Someone suggested I stand them at both ends of the dessert table to compliment the decor.  I had visions of them clearing the table of sweets. 

Darling managed to find something with green in too.

One of my favourite things at the baby shower was the photo game.  We were all asked to send in baby photo's of ourselves and people who to guess who was who.  This was Kooks baby photo:

Here's Fashionista, Darling looks so much like her now and even sucks her thumb like she used to:

This is Little Lady with her baby picture.  That made me nostalgic, it seems such a short time ago she was a baby and now she is a bossy 11 year old (actually she was a bossy baby too).

This is my precious and very beloved niece with pics of her parents, my brother and sister-in-law.  My bro looks like such a softie here, he certainly wasn't!

Of course one of the best things was the food - chicken chow mein, ginormous 20" tandoori chicken pizza's, vegetable and lamb samosa's, chips, roast chicken and chickpea salad (channa chaat).  

Alhamdulillah, it was a really, really lovely baby shower and I make dua the mama-to-be has an easy labour and a healthy, beautiful, bright, pious baby insh'Allah.