Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twelve Years Ago Today

It was snowing and we slipped out of the house at around 6 in the morning and got in the van and drove to Silver Spring, Maryland.....and managed to STILL hit traffic on our way making us late for my 7 o'clock appointment. It didn't matter. And then they got me ready and wheeled me into the operating room. My husband dressed in scrubs came in with me and held my hand and talked me through my claustrophobic attack because the oxygen mask was too big and seemed to cover the bottom part of my eyes. And then I felt this intense yank at my abdomen and I let out a big yell that sounded like, "AHHHHHHHHH!" And my doctor freaked because she thought that my anesthesia was not strong enough in the epidural and I assured her that I was not feeling pain but relief. That kid had been crushing my diaphragm for nearly 3 months and I could at last breathe freely. She looked at the baby in her hands and agreed, "Oh, yes. He's a big one."

He weighed in at 10 pounds 5 ounces and he was beautiful. Aiman Gabreel. My baby boy. And today he is 12 years old and handsome as ever, funny like there is no tomorrow and sassy. But you know, smart ass is a genetic trait in my family. We embrace our crazy proudly.

I love you, Aiman!
Happy birthday.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm Number Two! I'm Number Two!

While stroking myself (my ego! Get your mind out of the gutter!) today, I was reviewing my blog stats and found that MY blog is the number two to pop up on Google when you search on the following string:

          "stress induced gas"

This will not come as a surprise to my siblings, parents, husband or children. (Probably, it won't surprise my neighbor as my computer is situated next to the paper-thin front door of our apartment where I tend to be late at night when the world is quieter and the day's dose of teenage angst tends to fly out of me at a rather loud and, dare I say, noxious way.

But still...."Yay. I'm famous!" (sort of.)

And again, Becca, thank you for sticking that phrase into my head back when I was having my heart work ups last year. I was convinced that I was having angina attacks. You opined it was gas. You won. (My neighbor lost.) 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Differences in Parenting Kids Under 10 and Teenagers (aka MOTY 2013 Nomination Application)

Chat conversation between me and my sister last night:

Me:  Hey.  Howzit going? It's not even 10 pm and I'm ready to hit the sack.

     Sister:  I'm whipped, too and it isn't even 2pm.  How does that happen? ahahahahaha

Me:  I am fantasizing about empty nest syndrome.

     Sister:  You'd miss them like crazy.

Me:  Randa is tattling on the two youngest who are fighting in the girls' room. Is it wrong that I am totally able to tune out body slams?

     Sister:  Don't ask me. I can tune out damn near anything.

Me:  I just heard Samiya tell Aiman to get the eff off her stomach. *facepalm*

     Sister:  God help me when I have teens.

Me:  They've been at it for 20 minutes now. I'm at that "I just don't care anymore since they don't listen anyway" point.

     Sister:  Have you considered chores?  Maybe that cool "get along" t-shirt like they did the piece on in the HuffPo?

Me:  That would be like a cage match the likes of WWE "Hell in a Cell."  I'm beginning to understand why Mom let you and Lloyd kick the dog snot out of each other in the back seat on that road trip to Mobile when Dad stopped to buy gas and she was fed up with trying to keep the peace after 14 hours in the car.

     Sister:  I tend to separate the combatants when it gets physical. I find with mine when I separate them and don't let them interact, they immediately start finding ways to band together and gang up on me.  Sucks for me, but then they are getting along. Then again, they're 9 and 7 and have their own rooms so it's easy to separate them.

Me:  Not enough space here for that.

     Sister:  Bummer.

Me:  And only 10 more days for mid-term break to be over and I can send them back to school.

******Break in conversation for me to yell and scream and play referee**************************

Me:  I've lost my frickin' mind.

     Sister:  Huh?

Me:  THIS just transpired-  Sam:  He hit me and bruised me! Aiman: She called me a jerk! Sam: I'm going to KILL you! Me: You have FIVE minutes. No weapons. Close the damn door so I don't have to hear it and no one is allowed to cry, tattle or complain when I call time. GO!

     Sister: Are you serious?

Me:  Our mom was truly an inspiration to mothers of teens everywhere.

     Sister: Sounds like they need an outing....or an early bedtime. Hahahaha! And how do you do this without drinking?!  Wine is the best parenting tool I have.

Me:  Well, their 5 minutes are up and Sam has a black eye and her brother has a palm print across his face but I won't let them talk about it at all to me and they aren't allowed to fist-fight again for another 6 months. Ismail is in bed giggling his butt off. Time for me to go and DREAM about wine.

     Sister:  YIKES! Dream away.

Me:  Maybe I'll dream about Xanax cupcakes. G'night.

Not a Real Post.....Just Thinking Out Loud

Well, I don't have any idea what we're going to have for dinner today but I have been instructed that coleslaw is definitely going to be a side dish since my son  bought a small cabbage and sent it home to me today. *sigh*

So I'm guessing that 'fend for yourselves' day has been pushed back on my calendar. I don't mind cooking. In fact, I downright enjoy it most days. The trouble is with that dreaded question each morning, "WHAT am I going to make today?" If I ask my husband, the answer is always the same, "Anything." And I always complain, "But we had 'anything' yesterday. Can't you just TELL me what you want to eat????" Nope. Never can.

If I ask the kids it's usually something elaborate and time-consuming that I just don't have the energy to make (stuffed cabbage leaves...Pffffft! Uh, NO) or they'll ask for the exact same thing they had the day before....usually involving a lot of  pasta which leaves me sluggish and ready for a good night's sleep around 5:30pm.

So I am usually left to peruse the Pinterest boards (yay!) and drool over all the delicious looking meals on there that call for ingredients I don't have or cannot acquire here in Egypt (boo!) and then I look at the clock and realize "Damn! That 5  hours sure went by fast.....looks like salad, cheese and felafel sandwiches again."
But today we're going to have coleslaw...because Ismail decided. And because I actually have mayonnaise in the house today.  (I'd make my own but have no eggs.)  I'd leave that as the sole item on the menu but it's such a tiny head of cabbage that I'd be forced to send one of the kids down to the felafel stand again.

I'm grateful that we are a big time vegetable eating family. I don't have the usual problems getting veggies into my kids as a lot of mothers do. (Randa being the exception.) I think we have a kilo of green beans in the fridge so we'll have to clean those and make them next to the coleslaw. But I am pretty sure we'll have to have something in the form of meat next to that. They won't buy into an entirely vegetarian meal today. (We had vegetarian  pizza yesterday.)

Okay. THIS is by far THE most boring  post ever. I've nothing left to say so I'll end it here and perhaps post something REAL a bit later as the creativity bug bites.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mid-terms, Classics, and Falling Concrete

Where do I begin?

I have been intermittent at best with posting since the new year began.  I've been incredibly busy.  My two youngest are in the middle of mid-year exams at school and it's been a nightmare for me running one up in the morning to school and hanging out for an hour and a half for him to get out and then running him home, grabbing the girl and running her up to the same school (it's a junior high for girls in the afternoons and an elementary for both sexes in the mornings.) At any rate, our house is a half hour walk from the school and who the hell wants to walk all the way home and have to turn around and walk all the way back just a few minutes later.

So, yeah, waiting really blows. It's exhausting. Probably more exhausting than housecleaning, rug-scrubbing, or jogging (HA! Like I even remember how to do that thanks to the embarrassment that is post-pregnancies incontinence.) I'm making the best of it by sitting in the outdoor cafe catching up on my reading though. I'm nearly done with Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  I started reading it a couple of chapters before bed last week and in the last two days I've devoured more than twenty chapters waiting for the kids. I truly love to read the classics.

So, we had a pretty freaky scary incident today. About ten minutes after Samiya and I had passed by the front of our building and come inside, we heard a thunderous boom and I asked, "What the hell was that?"
We heard people on the street making a commotion and ran out to the balcony where we saw that the
vertical wall that edges the roof of our building had crashed down to the street below where we had just been and where our doorman's granddaughters and our neighbor's daughter had been playing. It came fairly close and the neighbor's daughter, age 8, came tearing into the doorman's apartment with her hair covered in dust.  The doorman's sons raced upstairs to the fourth floor to warn the man in that apartment to stay off of his balconies as the  wall hit his balcony ledge on its way down and may have weakened the cement. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

The doorman sent his sons back up to the roof with sledgehammers to knock the rest of the damaged wall down before it fell on its own while the youngest of them stayed downstairs to prevent cars and foot traffic from entering our street.

We only have a few more days of exams left and then Thursday night, God willing, we will attend an engagement party for my husband's niece. Maybe I'll remember to buy batteries for my camera and I can post some photos.  More when I can stop to catch my breath.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 Days of WET

It's been raining for 10 days straight, with scattered spots of damp and overcast.  My daughter is a lot like her father, in that she tends to get the winter blues.  Lately, she has been asking me, "Where's the sun?  It's gotta be somewhere!"  My  "takes-2-days-to-dry-on-the-clothesline" laundry and I have been asking the same question.

I love the rain.  I just REALLY hate laundry.

And feeling like I have no energy.  I have been sleeping like nobody's business lately...not at night.  All day.  I'll go to bed around midnight and lie there trying to solve the world's problems for hours and then finally drift off around two.  And not wake up until my bladder is going to explode and I keep dreaming about all things pee, or around 1 pm.  This leads to feeling like a ginormous loser.

I have always been a relatively early riser.  I like to get my house in order in the mornings before doing the usual trips to the market, slaving over the hot stove and piles of dishes that meals produce and then the copious amounts of homework assistance that the evenings regularly require.  Well, if I'm not getting up until 1 in the afternoon, I'm losing about five hours of daylight that have left my house in a shambles.  My bar has been lowered to the  degree that I feel like I deserve a Medal of Valor just for getting the kids fed and remembering to change their sheets once every two weeks.  Yeah, don't judge me.

Anyway, my cousin reminded me that our grandmother had hypothyroidism, as does she and another cousin.  We all live around the sea (I on the Med and they on the Gulf Coast) and I added 2 and 2 and got 4.  So I went to the doctor.  He seemed unimpressed because he couldn't feel my thyroid protruding.  (Well, why would he?  It, too, is properly insulated under all this excess fat along with my hot, muscular body.)  But because I am concerned about it he went ahead and ordered the blood work to rule it out.  I'll be doing that blood work next week sometime (for a whole other set of anxiety-attack-causing reasons.)

In the mean time, I'm working on calming myself down before bed by cutting back on "screen time."  I do not catch up on Facebook or Pinterest or other computer related tasks.  I also do not watch television before bed.   I've been taking an herbal capsule for anxiety and insomnia before bed (but it smells funny.)  I try to read.  I just completed A Tale of Two Cities   by Charles Dickens.  (Now on my top ten favorites EVER in the Great Literature category.)  Of course, now I need to make a trip back to the open-air used book market because the only book left in the house that I have not read is my copy of Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri and it's just ridiculously stupid.  I know, I know. "But it's a classic!"  I'm sure that his poetry was genius back in his day but to me it's just sacrilegious and well, "fire-and-brimstone-y" and I have trouble with it.  Not because it's "too deep" for me.  It's just SO FAR from where I am religiously (and I do mean that in the "steps backwards" way) that I don't care if I ever read it.

So, where does that leave me today?  I am currently out of the running for MOTY award for 2013 and only ten days into the new year because I'm sleeping my mornings away, not cleaning my house, barely feeding my kids or helping them with homework, wet from all the rain and a book snob who looks down upon great Italian poets like Dante.  I'm okay with that.  Who knows?  Maybe if I am proven right that this weight gain and dry skin and brittle hair and fatigue are all due to hypothyroid, then I can respectfully rub my doctor's nose in it, get my prescriptions and get my life back on track and be RE-nominated for the MOTY Award and come out on top finally.  We'll see.