Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy 7th to Lella Minor

Last Wednesday Lella Sgheera turned 7, her birthday coinciding with the start of the new school year. She was more excited than usual, looking forward to taking little treats on the first day, and of course being in the spotlight doesn't hurt. She is growing bigger and brighter, but she is still full of that quality we call innocence. I think innocence is another word for pure objectivity, and everything follows from that. Tala still thinks on her own wavelength, but she is extremely precise, and it is so much fun when we pay attention. "C'mon guys, finish your breakfast, it is 8 o'clock!" Tala's response: "You mean it is 7:51?" This is also the one who asked me once, "Dad, are we giants to ants?" And of course, my favorite is her definition of a nap as "lower-case sleep."

Tala is constantly coming up with fresh ideas. On Tuesday they had the "walk through" school, where kids go to check out their new classrooms, take their supplies and meet the teachers. The kids went with Nicole, and according to her Tala was in top form that day. At one time, as her classroom was crowding with other kids and adult companions, Tala got up and starting waving her hand and shouting,"Excuse me! I have an announcement. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I am going to bring brownies, so make sure you don't miss school tomorrow." Then she still told everyone who walked into the room afterward. When they got home, Tala told Nicole that the following day when she brings them home, she should let Moody say "The last one in the house is a rotten egg," then race in, hide with him inside, then yell "SUPRISE!" when Tala gets in. Nicole asked, "But how can it be a surprise if you're planning the whole thing?" Tala's reply was, "But I can forget by tomorrow!" I love that girl.

There she is with 'Brudder', who got all the donkey teeth he asked Shamsa for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stunningly Beautiful!

I heard this piece on Cheb Khaled on All things Considered on my way home from work today. Gotta buy that CD! I just love him.

Khaled: Out Of Exile, Finding 'Liberte'

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shakshooka, anyone?

Shakshooka is usually our Saturday brunch. It's Sol's specialty. Tala loves it. She had been asking me to make it all week, and my excuse is that I don't know how to make it. Yesterday, Tala declared, "I will schedule a shakshooka cooking lesson for you on Saturday." And she did with her Dad's help, but I sneaked upstairs while they were cooking it. Don't wonder, it's the first day of Ramadan and I'm not fasting for medical reasons. Sol was kind enough to take care of us girls.

Yesterday, Tala had a slumber party at her best BFF Taylor's, along with five other girls. They watched Hannah Montana the movie, did nail polish, tattoos, and games. She had loads of fun, but said it was way past bedtime and the girls kept talking, hmmm.

On Thursday, I and the kids had a good time visiting with my friends, Ahlam, Shebra, Suhir, and their kids. Rayanne came back home with us and played some more with Tala.

The kids start school next Wednesday. We did school shopping today, but couldn't find everything wee needed. I also need to sign the kids up at Generations since they are not doing any sports this Fall. We decided to skip sports so we get a break and won't be running around like crazy.

It's one hour to iftar...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Early Presents

This month marks Tala's 7th birthday! August 26 is also the first day of school. She turns 7 that same day and becomes a second grader! It's the first time her birthday falls within the school year; she's excited.

On August 1st, she found this note from Moody when she woke up. That was very sweet of him. It reads:
"You have early B-day presents from me. I decided to think ahead. Oh I forgot the presents are on your placemate. I hope you like them -Moody
To: Tala
From: Moody"

On August 7, Moody participated in the Lego competition at the Westerville Public Library. He won first place for his age group and got a certificate and a $10 gift card from Lego Land which opened recently in Easton. On the same week he joined the Cub Scouts Day Camp, Walking With The Dinosaurs. He had enormous fun!

His buddy Toby is coming for a playdate today. Moody can't contain himself.

On the Tala front, she went on a trip to the Zoo today with the girl scouts. She is now a Brownie. We planned on going, all of us. But I wasn't feeling good, so Sol ended up taking her. She had a blast, my sweetie!

Last weekend, I went shopping. I had nothing that fits me well anymore, not even shoes; all my clothes were loose and baggy. I was surprised to find that I now fit in size 6, for the first time in my life. The smallest I have been was size 8. It's been a week and now those clothes are getting a little looser. It scares me sometimes and I keep wondering when is my weight loss going to stop. Definitely not with the nausea around. I had a tough time this week with the nausea that I wasn't able to sleep well the last 2 nights. I have an appointment with the oncology surgeon on Monday. I hope he can find something to cure and help me get rid of the nausea.

Work is going very well, and I'm liking it a lot. My department didn't exist before, so everyone except for me is new to the company. The nice thing is that they are all highly qualified and seasoned professionals, which makes it fun and enjoyable to work with them. There are more changes happening at the workplace to integrate us more with the corporate in the UK. Change is always good!

My sweet Tala and Taylor, her "Best BFF", at a sleepover in our house polishing each others nails.