Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eid al-Fitr Mubarak!

Today is the first day of the Celebration of Eid al-Fitr. It is a 3-day feast following
the end of Ramadan, our month of fasting.

I've not written anything in a few days but I'm hoping to change that as soon as
things settle back down to merely chaotic around here. Should be soon. School is
scheduled to start on 17 September and I've managed to get......NOTHING.....
ready yet. I'm going to get on that in a couple of days.

But for now, I'm going to just focus on my kids and take them to the beach and
shopping and visiting relatives they've not seen all month. Maybe there's a trip to
an amusement park in our near future. We'll see if I can find Egyptian Xanax at
the local  pharmacy. Amusement parks freak me out.

And may Allah accept our good deeds and prayers and bless us all with His
Mercy, and He is Most Merciful.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chest Pains

ekg Pictures, Images and Photos

Last year I started having some difficulty breathing deeply. I felt a
tightness across my back and I blew it off. I had been moving the
furniture around by myself while mopping the house so I just
assumed I'd overdone it and tried to take it easy for a couple of
days. But it didn't get better. In fact, it got worse. The dull and
achy pain in my back started moving up to my shoulder and down
my left arm and then down into my chest. Breathing got more
difficult. I decided to go to the doctor the next day. My body

About 4 in the morning, I woke up from shooting pains in my
back and chest and inability to breathe at all. I thought I was in
cardiac arrest. I took an aspirin. Then I dialed my husband's
cousins who came over immediately and took me straight to the
hospital. They did an EKG and said my heart was fine. Then we
reviewed all the foods I'd had in the last two or three days. A
little spicy but nothing like I usually eat. They asked about stress.
Oh boy. There's something I can avoid. Not.

So when the doctor prescribed me Zantac and a couple of other
anti-gas items, he also said that I was not allowed to eat anything
fried or spicy or pickled and NO TOMATO SAUCE! Augh.
His next words made me crack up laughing. He said that I should
not get angry or stressed and to relax as much as possible. "Dude.
I have FIVE kids and THREE are teenagers."

I followed his directions as much as possible. I ate the boring
boiled foods and didn't spice too much and laid off the peppers
and the tomato sauce that I love and pickled eggplants and chiles.
And things got better. I made it through exams week and a real
trying friendship and a year without my husband. And I soon fell
back into old habits. My husband started traveling again, the
spicy foods started being made more frequently and my boys
decided to beat the hell out of one another nightly from about 3
a.m. until 6:30a.m. for 23 days straight.

And now all the same symptoms are back only on the right side
of my body vice the left. Starting tomorrow I'll be back on my
boring boiled diet and I sent one of the boys out for Zantac a
couple of hours ago. At least I recognize the signs and I'm not
letting it get to the point I did last year before I did anything
about it. And if it gets ANY worse or doesn't subside in the
next 24 hours, I will go back to the hospital. But I know what'll
happen. I'll be in there and pass gas and embarrass the hell out
of myself and then pay for treatment that I could have done at
home by farting on the couch while watching "America's Got

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thank God

I saw tonight on the news that the Rebel Forces in Libya
have taken most of Tripoli and cut Qaddafi's troops supply
lines and access to the coast and into Tunisia today. I was
so happy. The may be the beginning of the end of Qaddafi's
40+ years of tyranny and this 6-month war to oust him.

While Egypt's revolution was fairly well-organized (more
than a year in the making) and came off fairly well in a some
what short amount of time, Libya is not as united. Libyan
tribal battles have been an ongoing problem during this entire
ordeal and could pose a threat to a stable government any
time soon. Praying for our Libyan brothers and sisters to
victory and success in the upcoming days. Allah akbar!

A New Day

Amazing what a pep-chat on the internet with an old friend
and a good night's sleep can do for my outlook on life in a
house full of testosterone. I don't want to become the super
hero sci-fi killing machine that I wanted to become yesterday.

I just want to take an enormous handful of anti-anxiety
medication and smile and nod like a Stepford wife until
they all get married and move out of the house.

Problem solved.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sci-Fi Super Hero Powers Wanted FAST

I want eyeballs equipped with laser beams. I want to be
able to cup my hands forward and have big, fat fire-balls
shoot out of my palms that blow stuff up. I want to just
squint in the direction of something or someone that's
just pissed me off to the nth degree and have their itty,
bitty, heads pop off and spin toward the sun. Or the moon,
if it's dark out.

I want to be able to make one of those tractor-beam
things like from Star Trek and suck my kids backwards
when they take off storming into another room because
they don't want to hear me. I also want to be able to
make one of those force fields like the chick from Fantas-
tic 4 only I want mine to be soundproof so I can block
all the damn whining, yelling, screaming, and tattling that
my kids do. Oh, and I want it so that I don't get a nose
bleed every time I use it....because, frankly, I'll get a
lot of mileage out of that one.
Fantastic 4 Pictures, Images and Photos
I'd like to have the ability to plant thoughts and ideas
into my kids heads, like Matt Parkman, the cop from
that show Heroes. That would be cool. I could do all
of my parenting without yelling and losing my voice.
That would be so awesome.

But you know what would be better? I wouldn't need
all these crazy sci-fi  powers if they would just stop
and see that I'm not asking the world from them when
I ask them to respect each other. I wouldn't have to
shout, "FAG is not a respectful word for your brother!"
I wouldn't have to remind for the 32nd time "Reading
your sister's diary is not only rude and invasive and
wrong. It is hurtful and it always going to be....no
matter HOW MANY times she writes that you're a
butthead in it!"

I'm trying my best to keep it together, but it's getting
mighty difficult. I hate my job sometimes. If I could
find something less stressful I'd be so out of here...
if I could just find where I could submit my resignation.
I hear nuclear disarmament is interesting and could
potentially lower my blood pressure. I imagine it's like
knitting, only without having the stress of "casting on."

But if anyone hears about a spot opening up in Super
Hero School for a middle-aged, slightly overweight
but still hot red-head who is beyond sick of kids,
drop me a line. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Should I or Should I Not?

I'm considering a major change in my life. It's a big decision.
I'm not really sure I'm ready for it. But I'm weighing all the
odds and I'm leaning toward just jumping off into the unknown.
Yes. It's a serious and HUGE change for me. I have seen it
coming for a few years and some of my friends have been
pushing me to do it. I just wasn't sure I was strong enough
before. I think I am now. I can do this. And I can do it on my
own. (taking a deep breath.) I am seriously considering....

becoming a vegetarian. There. I said it in my outloud voice.
(What you thought I was going to get a divorce? Become a
Republican? Shaaaa. As if.)

I think that the health benefits would be huge. I'm about 50
pounds overweight and there is a history of heart disease,
several types of cancer, and diabetes in my family on both
sides. I think it would help me with my energy levels, sleep
issues and arthritis as well as other health reasons. (No. I'm
not about the animals, crap. I LOVE ME SOME ANIMAL
FLESH.) I think it's time I bring my weight, cholesterol, and
acid levels down.

I'm probably not going to start until after Ramadan is over.
I'm barely keeping up with getting food prepared in time
as it is without adding an additional entree for myself.
Please forward me any whole foods type veggie recipes as
I will be open to any suggestions. Here's to health.

Squeaky Wheels

I've commented on here before....well, maybe not on HERE
but definitely on my OLDER blog site (HERE) about how
my approach to non-emergency medical issues with the kids
is "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." I honestly try to get all of
the eye doctor, dental check ups, etc off the "to do" lists but
sometimes those are OBE (Overtaken By Events.)

Aiman told me about 3 months ago that his tooth had a tiny
spot on it and I promised I'd get him to the dentist to get it
filled. It was the beginning of a cavity. But then the events
started. My husband came home after being gone for a year.
My overly-needy neighbor kept calling with some sort of dire
emergency that needed my attention. My kids were in the
middle of final exams and then we started packing up to move
into this apartment. My husband left last month for a 2-month
job in Greece. And then Ramadan started. So his tiny little
cavity was OBE....and his wheel stopped squeaking. I forgot
about it.

Two nights ago, I made string pastry with cheese. Kind of
a Middle Eastern cheese cake thing. Aiman took one bite and
took off running through the house, screaming and clutching the
right side of his face. He said the sugar was hurting his tooth.
I told him to rinse out his mouth. He opted to rinse with ice
water instead of tap water.....and the screaming and running
started up again for another 3 or 4 minutes. I checked his
tooth and that teeny tiny spot of a beginning of a cavity was
now a big brown hole with a crack running straight up to his

We went to the local clinic where I heard the doctors are crap
but the dentist rules. We paid 15 Egyptian Pounds for the exam
and waited about 10 minutes. He brought us in and took a
look at his mouth. He then turned to me and said, "It's a baby
tooth. He's 10? We'll pull it. The adult tooth will probably be
in there in less than a year anyway." I quickly did the Mommy-
fakeout thing while the dentist was getting his big honking
anesthesia needle with the 9-inch point ready.

I pulled a clean tissue out of my purse and walked up to the
chair and told Aiman, "Hey. I think this dentist's light is too
bright in your eyes. Let's put this tissue on them so that your
eyes don't burn. Okay? Now lay very still while the dentist
looks in your mouth again." The dentist saw what I was doing
and I think was grateful since this was Aiman's first trip to the
dentist in 4 years and he never saw it coming. Thank God.

He pulled the tooth (roots and all....I checked) and we
blew that popsicle stand in all of 15 minutes. Now Randa's
wheel is squeaky about teeth. So I guess it's back to the
clinic we go. I wonder if they have a pay for 4 get the 5th
free deal. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Who's More Hormonal? Me or Him?

The deeper we get into the teenage years, the more I
tend to vent on here. Man. I hope they don't ever run 
across my blogs. If I'm suffering through the "poor me
my life sucks so bad" pity parties NOW..then I'll be 
catering "Pity-Palooza Suck Fest 2011" if they do read

I don't want to be one of those moms who gripes and
whines constantly about her kids. I remember how my
mom seemed always against me when I was a teen. I
went out for cross-country and track just to extend my
school day so I wouldn't have to fight with her all the 
time. But living in Egypt, we don't have the same sport
opportunities as we did in Germany or the U.S. I know
my oldest son would love to get a place of his own. He
keeps bugging me to find a 4-bedroom place so he 
won't have to share a room with his brothers. I told him
that he'll have to get a job to pay the difference in rent.

I don't want him to hate me. I do love him with all my 
heart. He is creative and artistic and sweet. But since
he turned 16, he's combined the teenage angst, tween
"put upon thing" and the 2 yr old tantrums that he skipped
and they're all coming out on my head full swing. I know
he hates me. He's 16. That's a given. But he is so loud
and mean about it sometimes. And he has his brothers
spending the night on the couch in the living room to stay
away from him.

It's just a phase. I keep telling myself this. I don't know
that I'm listening to me, though. I cried myself to sleep 
last night. And all four of the younger kids came into my
room to hug me and ask me not to cry. But not the one
that I was crying over. He'll outgrow it,God willing. And
maybe we'll be friends again. And maybe I'll go back to 
crying over championship sporting events and sappy 
Kleenex commercials again. And I won't feel like such
a failure as a mother again.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Growing up an Army brat, I attended 15 schools in 12 years.
Filling out a security questionnaire for me was challenging and
probably a nightmare for the guy who had to do the back-
ground investigation on me. I wonder if he got overtime. He
damn sure deserved it.

We moved in the summer. We moved in the winter. We moved
all the time. By the time we finally picked of the little blue stickers
the movers had stuck on our furniture, it was time for another
moving company to come and put on some fresh ones. There
were a few times that they just stuck new ones on top of the
old ones.

I think the longest we ever lived in one place was the last place
we were stationed in Germany. It was a little town in Bavaria
called Schwaebisch Gmuend. Still we managed to move from
a very temporary inn just outside of town, to temporary 8 bed
room apartment on the 4th floor for one year, to a 3 bedroom
3rd floor apartment after one of my best friends, Anneliece, and
her family rotated back to the States. We stayed in that apart-
ment for a little over two years.

I made friends all over the world. We had summer vacations in
Italy where we camped and ate corned beef hash cooked on
a Coleman stove and then toured churches and cathedrals and
museums all day. We got to drive through the Swiss Alps and
my sister ordered goat's milk at a restaurant in Switzerland just
like Heidi used to drink in the book. We went to Austria, the
Netherlands, England, Belgium, and France. We swam in the
Mediterranean and North Seas. But we didn't know probably
half of our cousins and never understood what the word "home
town" actually meant.

Now that the world has become so much smaller, thanks to the
internet and social networks such as Facebook, I've reconnected
with friends I haven't seen for nearly thirty years. And most of
the other military brats I was friends with still remember me and
the fun we used to have at various posts around the globe. Today
there was a post about paper grocery bags from the commissary
and all of the 1001 uses for them that had all of us in stitches.
It didn't matter where we were stationed, Germany, England,
Spain, Italy, Ft. Knox, Kentucky....we ALL used those bags in
the same ways.

Reconnecting with other military brats has helped me in the last
few weeks. It helped me to remember how complete I am as a
person; how my "weirdness" is not unique to me but to all of us
military brats...thus giving me a sense of normalcy. Whatever
THAT is.

I'm proud that I'm a military brat. I'm proud that my dad served
for more than 20 years in the US Army. I'm proud that his
service allowed me to reap the benefits of world culture, a larger
sense of appreciation for others cultures, a respect for humans
as a whole, and a sincere and deep lack of understanding of the
word "prejudice." Thanks, Dad. (And thanks, Facebook.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fred Flinstone Ain't Got Nothin' on Us

Yes. This pretty much sums it up. My little boy, Ismail, is twelve. Okay.
He'll be 13 in September. And he wears a size 12 men's shoe. His
older brother wears an 11.5 but he's 16 years old, so one wouldn't
exactly cringe at that size since he's closer to adulthood. But Ismail is
only 12! And they are wide, God bless him. Like "toss-the-shoes-and-
keep-the-box" wide.

I used to worry about shoes because all 5 of them had such wide feet
and outgrew shoes all at the same time and Stride Rite was the only
place that could accommodate the Donald Duck-width thing. (Damn
them for being so pricey!) But NOW, we're at the point of starting a
letter writing campaign to all the shoe factories in Egypt to see which
ones will be willing to custom make shoes for these kids. Samiya and
Aiman both wear my size now and they are 11 and 10. Randa has
been in a size 9.5 women's for a couple of years now. I'm thinking I
should get some sponsors for advertising on this blog. Maybe even
writing a book....soon. I'll need any money I make to pay for shoes.
Or a class with the local cobbler so we can not only homeschool and
make our own ketchup, but have D-I-Y-foot fashion "to boot."

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Don't Understand What It's Like to Be Me

"You don't understand what it's like to be me!" shouted my
nearly 12 year old daughter when I told her she could not
sleep on the couch and instead had to sleep in her bed. Of
course I don't. Just like I don't understand what it's like to 
be her nearly 13 year old brother or her 15 year old sister
or her 16 year old brother....or the 64 year old doorman to
our building. 

I understand that she's beginning her journey through "Put-
upon-ville" and she won't arrive to "Finally-got-a-clue City"
until she's already visited "Whaddya-mean-I-can't-wear-
make-up Falls" and "But-all-my-friends-are-doing-it-burg."
There's like a whole road map of teen angst that she's yet
to travel. Yeah, and I'm so looking forward to it. That and
a root canal sans anesthesia. 

I can't blame her for my boredom with her particular road
trip through Hell. It was MY choice to have 3 teenagers 
before her and another one after her. I guess THIS would
be the reason for that whole "spacing" concept when it comes
to having children. Yeah. The light bulb finally came on and 
I get it now...a day late and a dollar short.

But that's fine. I'm in it now. And I'll be grateful when it 
passes and they've all....errrrrrrrrr.....WE'VE all made it 
through the teen years and the whole family has become 
human again. And then I'll start planning my revenge. 

I'll take lots of vitamins and herbs, like echinacea and garlic
and St. John's Wort. I'll eat right and exercise and live to 
be 147 years old and get Alzheimer's and wear adult diapers
and dribble on my chin when I eat. And they'll all be argu-
ing about whose turn it is to take Mom this month. HA!
And in my head I'll be laughing the last laugh and I'll tell 
each one in turn, "You don't understand what it's like to be

Friday, August 5, 2011

Be Careful What You Click On

When one doesn't have health insurance or has a large deductible
or large family or lives in a foreign country, one must turn to on-line
research for health issues. So, when faced with yet another yeast
infection, I decided to hell with the gynecologist, the creams, the
pills, etc and I went to all the homeopathic and holistic sites that
Google could provide me with. I read a lot of ads and scams. I
signed up for one site that promised a free e-book on how to beat
yeast infections for good. It also came with a free LOSER sign to
stamp across my forehead.

My free e-book consisted of shit that WE ALL KNOW.
Wear cotton underwear. Don't douche. Don't use the creams and
stuff that Massengill tries to tell you will take care of that "not so
fresh feeling" and don't use scented tampons or pads. Duh, duh,
duh and duh. I haven't had a period since 2001 so I have no need
for tampons or pads anyway. I watch the Doctors on t.v. so I
know all about how the "vagina is a self-cleaning oven" and how
douching just kills all the good bacteria and leaves you susceptible
to the bad. The good doctor does NOT tell you how the creams
will do the same. Then the e-book continued to suggest changes
to my diet and how all of this free information will cause a change
and stop my yeast infections dead in their tracks in as soon as
12 hours.

I'm such a sucker. Now every time I open my email inbox, I have
an email from someone I've never heard of with a subject line in
ginormous letters saying, "WATCH OUT! OVER THE COUNTER
FROM YEAST INFECTIONS." Trouble is each time I get one
of these messages it's from a different sender. Oh well. Point, click,

Now I just have to be sure and keep the kids out of the room when
I check my email. No reason to educate them on this matter at such
a young age. I'm still searching for the truth in the fight against yeast
infections. And if I ever come across it I can guarantee you that I'm
not going to be one of those opportunistic bitches who will share
that information with the rest of her sister sufferers...for a nominal
fee. I'm going to blog, broadcast and advertise that relief for FREE.
Because that's what REAL sisters do!