Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A sad realization...

During our morning rituals of getting ready for school, Iman comes up to us with her stuffed toy spider and declares "my spider is sad"

Being overly concerned parents, Omair and I dropped what we were doing and asked her, "why is your spider sad?"

And she tells us... "he's sad because his mama and baba are going to the office and he will be alone."

*sniff sniff*

Now I'm sad.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Selling the packaging, not the goods.

Although life ventured me into teaching, I was a business student in marketing. And through my 4 years of college, I had learned that there is a fractional difference between household products. For example, the milk that you buy at the store, no matter what box it comes in, is still milk. bleach... generic or not, has the same chemical compounds. And even though customers want to buy the more familiar household names, there isn't that much difference between the products.

But you see... that was yester-year. Before I was a mom, and before labels mattered so much.

During my last visit to the grocery store, I had to choose between 2 cheeses. Both packets, absolutely identical. Both products offering the same number of slices. Both products virtually interchangeable. BUT... there was one HUGE difference.

On the front of one package was a cartoon of a glass of milk with bulging arm muscles and a big white smile. The tag line below said... "Each slice contains the goodness of one whole glass of milk, for stronger muscles and bones". The front of the other package said... "100% processed cheese slices".

Decision made... my daughter doesn't need "processed" cheese... she needs the goodness of one whole glass of milk.

Another customer buys the packaging, not the product.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trying not to lose hope

There can’t be any greater loss in the world than losing your own child.

Earlier this year in March I had a miscarriage. This was a baby that both my husband and I really wanted. What made it even more painful, was the fact that we already had Iman, so we knew what parenthood and children were all about. I was about 11 weeks pregnant, and it took tremendous strength to overcome my own personal grief. My friends and family were extremely supportive, and thanks to all of them, it became easier to understand and accept the loss.

Since then, I have had a deeper sense of understanding the value of our offspring, and since then, I have learned stories of couples who have suffered a pain far worse than ours.

A girl I know was 5 months pregnant with her second baby. She went for a normal ultrasound and discovered the baby had no heartbeat. She was devastated, because she could feel the baby move around inside her. When they removed the fetus, it was in actual form.

My cousin had to be induced in order to give birth to her first son, who had passed away in the womb due to unknown causes.

My parent’s neighbor was pregnant with twins, and one died at 8 months, so they did an emergency c-section to save the other one. They had a beautiful baby girl, who was with them for one week, and then she too passed away due to unknown causes.

There are countless stories of parents who have children that fall ill in their first few years, and then pass away.

The administrator at my school just lost her 18 year old son due to a hit and run accident. 18 years of raising him, 18 years of endless love and memories, 18 years of uncountable moments of pride. 18 years, that ended without her even being able to tell him that she loved him.

The world is full of grief like this. Parents who have to come to terms with losing their own children, without being able to understand why it all happened.

I spoke to my mom after my miscarriage and she told me that yes, there is nothing more painful than losing your own child. But more so, it’s important for us to understand that we don’t give life to our children, we can only give them love.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's in the air

Mommy's and daddy's out there... it's that time of year again. The weather is shifting to cold, and the kids are coming down with everything imaginable!

Sniffles, loss of appetite, vicious coughs, fever and consequently… VERY grouchy children. Iman had been doing really well this year, in fact, we got through a really long stretch without illness (thank God). But no one can escape this weather.

You should go back and read my post last year about how people with children see this weather change in comparison to people without.

And now… we’re also victim to the weather woes. Iman has had a horrible cough lately, and we’ve been trying this excellent honey remedy. Usually it works like a charm on her, and she’s better in a couple of days. But this new cough has stuck around for the past 5 days, and there’s no sign of letting up. Today is our turn at the doctor’s office. But no matter how many self diagnosis you do at home, it’s always scary to walk into that office.

I’m particularly bumming today because when I dropped Iman off at day care she had those big puppy eyes again. She kept saying she wanted to stay with mommy. Then when she knew she wasn’t going to win this battle, she asked “One more huggy?” I gave her the hug, but she wouldn’t let go, and then I asked her “what are you doing?” she replied… “I’m feeling better.”

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The price we pay...

A couple of months ago Omair got the chance to switch jobs. Great opportunity... higher postion... more money... The only catch was that he would have longer hours.

We had thought about it for a long time and then finally decided that he needed to step out of the old "rut" job and really focus on advancing his career. He's really happy at this new place. The atmospere is great. He's boss to several people. The company really looks out for their own. Besides the new added responsibility, he's doing well (thank God).

But there's a price. Maybe a really steep price. Something that we didn't factor into the budget...

Because of Iman's early bed time and Omair's late work time, they hardly see each other in the week. Some days Omair comes home AFTER she's gone to bed, and they don't see each other at all.

Since we're a family that's really used to spending time together every day, this is really strange for Iman. She really misses Omair, and asks about him all the time.

She saves parts of her snack, telling me that she'll "... eat it with Baba".
She'll ask me to take her to the office, or "why isn't Baba coming home?"
If the doorbell rings... she'll jump and squeel that "Baba's home!"

I particularly hate the days when he's not going to see her at all... and while I'm doing her bedtime routine, she's so unsettled. Falling asleep is hard too, because she's too restless without him. I even get the feeling that she's developing insecurities.

In the morning of course, Omair is always home. We leave for school before he does, so she knows he'll be around. Today she woke up and Omair was in the kitchen, and the first words out of her mouth were... "where's my Baba? I want to see him".

Omair and Iman still have a great relationship. She is OVER delighted when he walks in the door. They have their hugs and kisses, and then she has so much to tell him and show him that she doesn't know where to start. It's so cute, watching her run around the house trying to say and do everything at the same time. They're still really goofy together... she laughs and giggles with him in a way she never does with me.

What they have is really special, and I am really happy to see that. BUT...

She also pushes him away. After the initial excitement of having him home, she doesn't want him to do anything for her. She won't let him feed her, take her to the bathroom, bathe her, or in general do things for her.

At times she's even said.. "I only love Mama, not Baba" or "I don't want my Baba" Even though I know that his lack of presence is something she'll get used to (because Omair definately makes up for it when they are together), it still upsets me to hear things like that.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Magical Cures for the Innocent Heart

In the more recent days, Iman has become increasingly vocal. So now we are treated to detailed stories and accounts of EVERYTHING that happens during the day. Another added advantage of this new “descriptive” attitude is her willingness to share her personal feelings.

I find it really amusing when she says things like…
“I’m sad”
“I want to cry”
“I’m very very angry”
“I don’t like that”
“I’m excited”
“I’m sooooo happy”

It’s funny to hear such a small thing have so many big feelings. But it’s even more amusing to hear that she has a cure for all her ailments. Whenever she’s sad, it’s easy to fix it with a “magic hug”. When she’s angry… Mama can “magically” make the anger go away (I hold her by her shoulders, give her a little shake, and end it with a tickle).

Now the best one is… when she’s actually hurting.

“Mama, my tummy’s hurting”
“Mama, my leg is hurting”
“Mama, I cut my finger”

And magically… the cure for all of them is the same. A sprinkle of plain water. For some reason, she’s decided, that by putting water on something that hurts, will automatically fix it! Fortunate for me… in her case it always seems to work.

Simple cures… made for little hearts :)