Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Oh... Baby!

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Nadia's baby, Akrem, is here. He landed on November 28 around noon. It's so nice to hold a baby that's not yours; he's a bundle of joy nonetheless, but without the mess... diapers, feeding, crying...
Oh, what fun! He sprayed me actually while I was changing his diaper, but luckily the receiving blanket was close by, lol!

Mabrook, Nadia, and welcome to parenthood... We're all so happy for the three of you! Moody and Tala can't wait to meet Akrem in person.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Good Times Pass Fast!

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A nice long weekend we've had! Back to the routine tomorrow... oh well, no escape! The good thing is, two more weeks and it's winter break. Hurray!

We went to see the Wild Lights at the Zoo yesterday; lots of fun! Moody was so exited to go ice skating; he didn't want us to take any pictures or stop anywhere so we won't "waste time," he kept saying! I was the one to skate with him being the more experienced (ha!) I think the last time I ice skated was in Switzerland, late 80s.

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Moody's first!
We got into the rink and he had a hard time staying on his feet. I kept telling him that we can get out, he doesn't have to do it, but he insisted on staying. Once he managed to stand straight, we kept moving slowly, with him holding on to the edge with both hands. He fell many times! He actually enjoyed falling down and kept doing it on purpose. He also liked lying flat on the ice... ha ha ha. By the mid of the first round, he was holding my hand and moving in small steps. Toward the third round, he was going by himself with no support for short distances. He kept refusing to leave and wanted to keep skating. I was impressed; another test that he passed and astonished us. I think we sometimes undermine his abilities just because of the hardship he has on other areas. Ice skating: another activity for us to explore!

Moody gets the yellow

Moody and Maser Circle
That's Moody with Master Circle after the belt ceremony. He was so thrilled he asked if we could celebrate by eating out, which we did.

He really did work for this! Just the test day alone was hard enough. The low ranks go first, and he did fine, answering questions and doing the moves. That wasn't the hard part, if you ask me, it was sitting still on the floor for almost two hours to go through the higher ranks. I was impressed because I had never seen Moody sit still that long before unless he was strapped to a car seat. That's part of passing the test on another level.

Age of Conspiracy

I can understand why Tala is always getting set up by Ahmed because I had not one but two older brothers. I'll never forget that filling one's mouth with sand does not really qualify as eating until you chew and chew and... but they just spat theirs out so they could bust out in laughter. Tala is also trying to fit in, and Moody is now able and willing to take advantage of that.

The other day, Moody was scheming to get back his light saber, which was taken away from him and put out of reach on top of the fridge. He tried climbing up the front of the fridge but didn't succeed. Then I went away for a few minutes and by the time I got back, they had already gone down to the basement and dragged up a drum set stool, a little plastic chair of theirs and a bucket for leggo blocks. The good news is I got there before they had thought of stacking those things! I told them sternly to retun all of their props, of course, doing my best to hide my pleasure with their sense of collaboration and problem solving. As they went down the stairs, I overheard this exchange:

"It almost worked, right, Tala?"

"Right, Mood."

I smiled freely-- ear to ear!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thankful For...

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Moody:
Lightsaber; bed-time kisses; Fall (autumn); Mom and Dad

Hana: My freedom; my mistakes

Tala: Mom, Dad, and Mood make me happy (I was surprised Cinderella didn't make it to the list!)

Suliman: My family; my health

Moody came downstairs while Sol was getting him and Tala ready for bed. He hugged me and said, "Thank you for making the dinner, you make the best food in the whole wide world! You will always be with us, Mom." That was so sweet; nothing I could be more thankful for than such a sweet, sensible, appreciative, polite son! After some more hugs, he added, "Maybe Kathy should try some of the pecan pie. Can we take some for her and Conor and Kevin to try?"

Toward the end of dinner, Sol said, "Everybody say this: I love you Moody; I love you Hanu; I love you Tala." So we all did. I think I saw a hint of tears in his eyes... Like son, like father; more reason for me to be Thankful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A White Thanksgiving

Tala's Turkey

Turkey birds are different.
From sea to shining sea,
And you'll never see another bird
Like this one to you from me.

Can you see what makes him different?
Do you need some helpful hints?
I made him from my very own
Thumbs and fingerprints!!!
Love,
Tala

Thanksgiving--our favorite holiday! It's the holiday the whole country celebrates with us. And... it's snowing, and we're enjoying it! The kids can't contain themselves; they so much want to play outside. I told them we would if the weather gets better later; it's a bit windy and freezing now. Today's low is 30°F, high is 35°; it's now 21° with the wind chill... brrrr! Tomorrow's expected to be 30° to 15° with more snow.

Moody's yellow belt ceremony is today. And the turkey is arriving today.

White Thanksgiving!
Dregias Thanksgiving menu:

- Turkey
- Gravy
- Peach and mango chutney
- Rice with almonds, and pine nuts
- Green beans casserole
- Yams (maybe. Nobody likes them here!)
- Pecan pie


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mice, Midnight, and Bad Things... oh my!

Maddy babysat the kids last night while we went to the concert. Of course, Tala was dressed in her Cinderella dress. That's all she's been wearing the whole week--on top of her clothes since it's been cold. We had our first flurries on Thursday! She told Maddy that "my mice made the dress for me," and that "my fairy godmother made the pumpkin." She's really acting out the role and living it! During the day, she "blasted off" upstairs shouting, "it's midnight, it's midnight." I was wondering what came onto her, and then it hit me that she's dressed up as Cinderella!

Maddy said Moody came out of his room a while after she put them to bed, and said, "I can't go to sleep, the bad things are going to get me." She talked him into going back to bed. Then he came out again and said "but I can't go to sleep without my parents here!" ha ha ha, Sneaky! He has been going to sleep without his parents since he was months old.

Elton John hit the top of my list, along with Phil Collins and Michael Jackson. Yep, that Michael Jackson. I saw him in concert in Ireland, in 1988. It was something I'll never forget; can't deny it. Phil Collins was September of last year; he's my favorite artist! We took Moody with us since he's a big fan too; darn it, we paid full price for his ticket, but it was worth it. We wrote Phil beforehand telling him that his youngest fan is going to be there, and he sent Moody an autographed photo... very sweet. We have also been to Eric Clapton's early this year. I wasn't impressed, not at all; actually more disappointed. So anyway, Elton John was worth it; he's weird alright, but show me a creative, talented person that's not weird! When Elton introduced his band members, every one of them was cheered, except when he introdueced the guitarist and said he is from Detroit. The guy was booed! ha ha ha! It is OSU-Michigan game today--the renowned rivals.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sleepy Heads!

I left home at 8:30 and the kids were still sleeping! We were at the Sherry's yesterday for dinner and the kids stayed up till past 11; I think it is the first they've ever been up this late. Dinner was great and the atmosphere was so easy and relaxed. I believe all 8 adults had such a wonderful time, so did the kids, and Kimi and Madi... I love Madi; she's the sweetest dog ever! But not the cat... no no no, nasty cat! lol I don't even know his name. OK, back to humans. Kathy and Kieran's company is so nice; I can't say enough about Kathy--such a wonderful person and a wonderful friend!

Moody is testing for his yellow belt today; yay! We're all excited. We promised him to go celebrate if he passes the test, and he chose to go to Lone Star--some taste, huh! He has to know the names of his master and grand masters. The master's name is easy, but the grand masters... I had trouble figuring out how to pronounce them myself! lol Lee Jee Hwoon and Jung Tae Ik. I wanted to be there for the test, but I have the case-group meeting...

So here I am at the library waiting for the group and typing away instead of getting ready for the discussion! Oh, I have to say, our previous case about the Aluminum industry went so well... we got an impressively high score on that!

Bright thoughts: Four more weeks of school... can't wait! Elton John next Friday! Thanksgiving in two weeks... awesome!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Role Switching

I wonder when kids notice that their parents have become dependent on them. Tonight, after dinner, I was filling out a form and needed to copy an address from a card. All went well till I got to the zip code. I just couldn't see the difference between an 8, a 9 and a 0. Ahmed was nearby, so I called him over and he kindly read off the numbers and went back to his important work. I'm sure he thought nothing of the whole 5-second affair, but it caused me to pause and take note. There I was ,truly dependent on Ahmed to read something to me! It was a bitter-sweet experience, you might say, facing your disability and being rescued by your own 5-year old son. Funny things happen when you're 45 and 5.

Eid... Now it's here; now it's gone!

Dregia Eid Flag
The sign of Eid at Windemere!
Our Eid started Friday; no use to pretend it's Eid during the week if it does not feel like Eid. This Eid was good in some ways, but not as good as other Eids in other ways. The good thing is that it was limited to just the four of us--sometimes I love that! With Sol and I being extremely busy, we didn't have time to see, call or visit anybody.

Nationwide Blvd., Downtown Columbus
Downtown Columbus
We saw Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the theater for Friday Movie Night. It was lots of fun and entertaining. On Saturday, we went to the Spanish Riding School of Vienna show. The horses were beautiful, really! The kids had a blast there at the arena with many things in display, and of course the nacho. At one point I asked Moody if he's there to eat or watch the show, and he replied, "to eat! Maybe I'll watch later." Innocence... what a gift!

Moody kept asking why nobody is coming for Eid. We usually have a gathering with food, and magrood, and goodies for the kids... oh, magrood! I miss making it this Eid; I will have to make some during the holiday. I promised Moody that we'll have a Eid party for next Eid in January. Sol and I were up till 1 last night stuffing Eid goodie bags for school. I usually give the teachers my homemade magrood, ghrayba, and whatever else I bake for Eid. This year, it's a variety of baklawa and Middle Eastern pastries from the store. Not bad, but not as good as mine--of course!

Blue Jackets tiny house, Nationwide Arena
Blue Jackets tiny house
On Wednesday, Moody asked to take Ramadan and the Eid books to school so the teacher could read them for class during circle time. He told me when he got back that he showed the pictures to his classmates and told them about Eid himself. He said he told them "when the new moon comes, it's Eid." I asked him, "did you tell them what we do at Eid?" He said, "I told them we eat when it's Eid." I wonder if the kids thought that we only eat at Eid, lol! He also told them that we get new clothes, new shoes (very important for him and Tala; don't know why), and gifts. I was glad that he remembered all this and that he asked for the books. Sol and I, with our chaotic schedule, completely forgot. Tala took the books the next day. It makes me happy to see how they relate to Eid and find joy in sharing it with friends. I hope they keep the memories and remind us when we forget about such things.

Happy Eid, and many happy returns!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Daddy's Girl!


Father and Daughter!
Tala woke up this morning very exited, saying "Dad is back, dad is back." I told her he's not, and won't be back till tomorrow night. She chose to ignore that! When she got downstairs, she ran to the office, looked out the window, and went into a crying frenzy saying, "Dad is not here. No more Daddy. No more Daddy's car! Dad is gone!" I tried to calm her, but didn't work.

I called before class to check on how things were going here. Bree told me that Tala wasn't OK; very unusual, whining and crying. She said Tala was crying and saying "my flu shot hurt!" lol! Tala hasn't taken the flu shot yet; it's scheduled for tomorrow!

Bree also wrote on the log book that Tala didn't eat pizza because she "was sad," and kept talking about Daddy coming home.

Mary and her daughter Brie (another Brie) took over from Bree at 7:30. Mary said that Tala kept telling them that "Dad is coming at 12:30." Why 12:30? It beats me!