Saturday, March 2, 2013

~ My Children, My Paradise ~

Dear Diary,

How long it's been - I know, I keep saying that - but really, how long it's been! My posts would cover Mehreen's cute little developments and now with the Grace of God, I am blessed with another child; my baby boy Imaad. :) It's been a blissful time of 3 months and I feel in love, in total awe with this cute little bundle of joy!

The moment Imaad was born, Mehreen grew up as a big sister. (She is 2 years old now) She seemed suddenly bigger and it's funny how that naturally occurs - how the process of an additional sibling added to the household, can make the first child instantaneously look way more mature than they actually are. Mehreen is our Princess; she looks like a doll with her curly hair and her love for life. Her naughtiness and that little twinkle in her eye, gives away the next 'masti-bhari sharaarat' (transl: deviant naughtiness). She is a super fast runner and sometimes I wonder whether she will join the Olympics one day with the speed that she's been gifted with. I am not kidding; the kid can run!

Here's a pic of Mehreen standing in the NICU of the hospital where Imaad was admitted for a couple of days. Look at that smile...and believe me, she wasn't being 'picture-ready' for me when I ordered her to stand in front of the mini fireplace. However, her attitude changed immediately, the moment this friendly nurse   offered to take Mehreen's pic. Mehreen started posing! OMG...

I am always sharing my feelings and pictures on Facebook & Twitter, but everything seems so scattered in this digital world, so it's about time I share my feelings and happenings at home, on this platform. I read some of my earlier posts and I'm reminded of the time I wrote them, what was going on in life then and how life is NOW. It's such a blessing to be able to comprehend, acknowledge and cherish your blessings; to point your finger at the very thought or desire you HAD and it's a dream come true for you to HAVE now. I see it as that. I know getting married and having kids may be the natural course of life, but I find it truly extraordinary. I am privileged to stay at home and care for my lovely kids whom I love so very much. They make my every day worthwhile, even with all the exhaustion and the repetitiveness of the days. I always say, this is my best career. And when I am thinking along those lines, thanking Allah for all the amazing things He has blessed us with, I start traveling in my past where I did have a job, the time before marriage where I would be stuck in traffic, running to work to make it on time...those times. They were nice, but not being stuck in traffic and not to worry about financial burdens that we all so easily accumulate - you know, the worldliness of it all - makes me happy to have retired from that life for now. I like the four walls of my abode where I can be clumsy, mommy-ish...where my everyday of waking up consists of organized thoughts of what to do next. Of which kid to take care of next; who is ready? who needs to eat? how about my next feeding for Imaad? A lot of thinking and a lot to do of course, but this 'job' gives me the kind of fulfillment and joy that can never be derived from the worldly accomplishments.

There is so much to GIVE, so much of yourself that sometimes this devotion to your own creation that cries, poops, smiles at you and is 100% reliable on your existence, I believe, that alone can be pretty demanding. You start thinking and comparing the way you were before kids and what on earth you were doing then, haha! And then you look at yourself, the body you've changed into and the very woman you've become; the girlishness of ME of Naila is still there but the woman-ness of ME, the warmth, the care, the nurturing is far more visible. And it's okay. It really is. I love the ME now as I loved her before, but I look at this exterior and I'm amazed how far we've become in my 30 years of living. How incredible the body has been to my existence of producing 'life' on earth. I am truly amazed to see the biology of it, how the science of it takes place in an organ called the uterus, and how the tiniest speck grows into a beautiful baby that is created by our God. He alone puts us on earth and truly to Him we belong.

My children, my Paradise - mashAllah:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Ramadan Journal: “Oh, Mother!”

Ramadan, like every year, comes with the expectation and the mindset to sacrifice and let go of our inner desires that we seek out each and every day. This materialistic world and our temporary abode must be of some purpose as we strive to become better, faster, healthier than the past 24 hours while we opt for skim milk in our lattes, park a little farther to walk the distance towards material goods and download another iPhone app to the emoticons of our high-maintained, demanding lifestyle. Life is such. Day in, day out. Over and over again.

Once our wishes are fulfilled and we are content with the academic degrees in our hands, the moneys in the bank & our tummies filled with delicious cuisines, we crash onto the sofa, grab the remote control and space out into the world of entertainment that broadcasts the citizens of this nation looking like utter fools in ‘Jersey Shore’ or makes us feel inferior about our bodies, status and societal appearance in the REAL HOUSEWIVES of Fake Town. We’ve arrived at an Era of ‘self-promoted-hoochie-mamma-ness’ where the face of a Kardashian is beautifully enhanced on Vogue’s front cover and the perception of freedom and sexual independence is celebrated through explicit behavior and Lady Gaga-ish expressions.

As a new mom of a nine month old daughter, I’m often frightened to see the girl-next-door change her face with the slippery temptations of today. This sweet, innocent girl we always so familiarize with, isn’t perhaps living next door anymore; she has moved on to the ‘City of Sex and Sin’ where flirtation is an everyday norm and the show of skin is Carrie Bradshaw’s only wardrobe.
Am I freaking out for no reason? Have I become old-fashioned? I don’t consider myself ignorant as I am flexible to adjust to different cultures and embrace people from all walks of life. However, the alarm that is going off in my head, gives me a warning of what I foresee in future; a bratty, spoiled and narcissistic generation of America’s 21st century’s grandchildren. Aha, Facebook/Twitter and Apple deliverers! You’ve netted your worth on pure, unborn souls.

To this, I’d like to stop and pause. Give me a moment to take a deep breathe. No, I did not use an iPhone app to measure the depth and sincerity of my breath. Leave the breathing up to me as it’s still humanly possible, I suppose. On second thought, my breath I don’t own. This world, I don’t possess. And the future? I’m uncertain of! Oh mother! Where are you mother? Why can’t I just rest my head onto your lap, listen to the sweet sounds of your lullabies like children of yesteryear's and fall into blissful sleep? Where can I find my peace and the soothing answers to my ramblings? 

Time for Isha prayers.

“Allahu Akbar” -- God is Great.

I offer my rakaats for Taraveeh Prayers, seated on the carpet floor whilst my daughter is climbing the ‘Great Wall of Mommy’s back’ and pulling onto my silky veil. Her tiny fingers are sturdy enough to help her succeed in the mission she is so eager on accomplishing. I feel her feet softly kicking my ribcage and I smile. I remember the feeling of her movements when expecting last Ramadan. I was ecstatic to carry her and I had flaunted ‘her’ with much elegance. I prayed furiously for a safe pregnancy and delivery sharing a seat next to the elderly in the Mosque whom I’d approach for Salaam and request for prayers. I prayed for my baby’s health, kismet and her every Dua to be heard by Almighty Allah. I knew He knew of my efforts then, but little did I know the gift He was about to shower me with. Today, I sit on the floor trying to control my child from falling and bumping her head once again. I look at her warmly and she babbles away. The feeling of motherly love overcomes me and I realize the difference a year has made for us. And here we are, yet again, a year later...

“Dear God, 
Your world is a beautiful one. Forgive me for doubting, for fearing, for questioning. You are the Creator, the Greatest, the Merciful and to You I shall always return for answers.”

Ramadan-ul-Kareem Mubarak!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sunday Report

Today was one of those Sundays where things needed to be done. Such as piled up laundry, throwing away of empty boxes, the unpacking from my latest trip to California and a bunch of things that I need daily for Mehreen. The day started with Mehreen Jaanu* waking us up at 7 AM [omg!]. I then had to take her to the living room which is her permanent play area as it seems like [with all her toys spread all over the living space, one can tell it's only Mehreen's territory]. She then took her morning bottle while crawling all over the place and me in the center of it all, half asleep, trying to be as awake as she was...and I just possibly couldn't be. Why are babies, once they wake up, REALLY awake? Babies don't take the time to rub their eyes, yawn or be really fussy before taking on the day - NO. Babies, such as my own, are way different than the larger human beings of our size. They're alert and they always know what they want. I don't know what happens once they grow up and become us and neither can I go into a detailed explanation of it as I am unaware of it myself. Babies who eventually become us, become us; indecisive, moody, annoying and lazy. So enjoy them as much as you can before they transform into you, ha ha!


Oh well, but to carry on with this report [what was I sayin'?]...oh yes, so when I was camping out in the living room, I then had hubby dear take care of her as I quickly prepared breakfast. I am lately very much into greek yogurt. I love Oikos Greek Yogurt that comes in strawberry flavor but it gets very annoying when I go grocery shopping and they don't carry my favorite strawberry flavor on their aisle. I really really really don't like that. Oikos is some good stuff and you better not mess with me when it comes to Oikos Strawberry -- it's MIGHTY good. 
I love to mix the strawberry mixture, which is at the bottom as it is supposed to be mixed before taking a spoonful. I then get my honey oats granola bar - let me type this as slowly as possible so I can fully enjoy describing it - I open the green package and then scrape the granola off of the bar into my bowl of yogurt. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. This process alone makes me wanna wake up in the morning to my dear sweet Oikos. 

You must think that I've gone senile, but I am a self declared foodie. I love food that is healthy and tasty and when I find the right product, I become the most loyalist consumer that product can ever have...ever.
Our much needed trip to the grocery store and Walmart was a team effort in which hubby and I seemed to work harmoniously together. He wanted to visit the Garden Center for his over obsessive gardening hobby and I wanted to get my hands on Oikos as well as Mehreen's essentials. [notice how I put Oikos before Mehreen's stuff. Uh oh]. When our list had come to zero items, we found ourselves ready to be taken care of at the register. Yes, I did get my strawberry yogurt. By now, you must be feeling concerned for my impossible craving or maybe I'm just assuming while you are smartly  ignoring my crazy behavior. I'd say: IGNORE.

Life as we know it, is surely a blessing with the grace of God. I just wish the heat of Houston wasn't suffocating. It becomes hard to even step outside and enjoy the outdoors. Oh well, it's all okay. 




* Jaanu (in Urdu) = Darling

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The princess of my heart...

My Dearest Mehreen~

It's been a while I haven't written about you. And for that, I will blame you. :) You are keeping me very busy with your constant crawling and nudging your cute little head into all crooks and nooks of the house. Oh yes, you are only six months old and you already crawl like a pro! You seem to very much ignore the playmat and the playground area I've set up for you in the living room and instead you focus on furniture items or that one shiny vase you've set your eyes upon! You love the company of people. Yesterday, I took you to the mosque for Jumma prayers and you were behaving like a little angel. Not once did you cry or whine. I was so proud of you.

That however changed as soon as we sat in the car. My dear, you hate sitting in your car seat; if it were up to you, you'd be free like a bird flying high. 
As a six monther, you are now allowed to eat. Yesterday, daddy had (finally!) ensembled your highchair and we had our very first meal on your majestic high chair. I fed you squash and you hated it. You do very much like the combo of apple and banana, but it depends on your moods. Sometimes, you get so distracted, that it is hard for mommy to spoon feed you. My baby, you are one handful! :)

But I love you, adore you, love you again and again. In your eyes I see my entire world. We are nearing the month of May, Inshallah. Time goes by fast now. At first, I thought the time was on standstill when you were a tiny baby still in my arms acting like a baby, ha ha! But now, I am chasing you around! When did that happen all of a sudden?

Meri jaan, I love you and I always pray for your health, your future. May Allah protect you and make you righteous. May all your dreams, your ambitions come true and may you one day marry your Prince who will love you more than I do. 

My everything's for you my little Princess. Only for you.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Hallmark Moment

I confess:  I'm a card collector. I love all things stationary; notepads, ink pens, diaries, stickers etc,. You'll have to drag me out of the Hallmark store as I have a serious lingering problem in the colorful card isles that I slowly pace through, reading every written thought on beautifully designed paper made to entice you. I love the feel of a card that can say so much when you hold it in your hands, knowing that the sender has chosen it with caring thoughts to be delivered straight to the recipient's heart.

I love everything beautiful. Back in elementary school in Holland, my friend and classmate used to call me an 'ekster', which is Dutch for 'magpie' - the bird that likes to collect shiny things. My fascination for pretty things that were designed artistically would only grow stronger over the years. Call it romantic or artistic, but the feeling that comes with words on paper, takes my imagination back to an era where feathered ink pens and old, ruffled paper were the primary form of communication for relaying thoughts in a very 'Jane Austen-ish' way. 

My trip to Hallmark today resulted in a basket full of gift wrap and cards for different occasions to stock up on my collection or perhaps my appetite...? As I walked pass the various categories, listening to joyful Christmas music in the background, my eyes fixated on the perfect card. Why perfect you ask? Well, it fulfilled my current craving; the feeling of togetherness and bliss.

I opened the card and smiled. Oh, Hallmark, why must you say the words straight out of my heart? 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Festive Moods

It feels warm and cozy this time of the year when everyone gathers together with their loved ones and shares stories of the passing year. In Houston, the weather is not as winter wonderland-ish as you'd hope, but the atmosphere is certainly there. I see houses lit up for the holiday spirit and it brings a smile to my face. How beautiful the streets look and how magical the trees are dressed, draped in twinkling lights as if they've come alive. I drive through the old street of a neighborhood, the kind of which carries this old-vintage feeling of aristocratic brick houses and double door entrances. Snowfall is missing and it may be missing for the entire winter season. Last year I remember, we had just a little bit snowfall and the excitement of seeing snow was shown in everyone's faces. People went outside to throw snowballs at each other, co-workers took a break in the snow whilst gathered laughing and reminiscing, moms & dads dug up slays and rides from the garage for their kids to slide on, lovers walked the paths of temporary 'wonderland' and homeowners like us, grieved the death of our plants and vegetables. ( O Thee tomatoes! )

The 'wonderment' around us may be fictional but it has become a necessity for survival in the current situation we have found ourselves in. The recession has left us in deep troubles - whether it is the unemployment rate or the failures of Health Care, we cannot fool ourselves anymore. The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, New York City will lit up like every year and so will the faces of many who are 'able' to enjoy, but those struggling, who can not afford or possibly be happy are the ones to face reality everyday. A Christmas tree or the jam packed discounted stores will not pay their bills. And if you are planning on purchasing items on your credit card and adding to your endless debt, please think again. Do yourself a favor; Do Not Buy!

If the holidays are ripping you off, because of the pressured feeling of "buying" then you must rethink and re-evaluate the true spirits of any festivity. I am sure hundreds and hundreds of  years ago, people who'd celebrate, did not rush off to the Malls to eventually elbow each other for that cashmere sweater or aggressively snag that one parking spot. 

Live people. Live to see and enjoy. Do not fall for materialism. It all comes and goes...
We take, we digest and we waste; the never-ending cycle.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Since my last post, I have given birth to our precious little baby girl Mehreen on Friday, October 22nd at 2:43 PM in the afternoon. Not only was the (delivery) experience absolutely surreal, but I was also lucky to have had the positive and loving support around me from the hospital staff, the doctor and especially my husband. My angel was born and put onto my lap almost immediately. Our eyes met for the first time; we looked at each other and I cried out of joy. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. There she was. Our beautiful little girl...

Now, 6 weeks into Motherhood, I have snapped out of my 'surreality' and stepped into my 'reality' the moment I started nursing my baby. At the hospital, they really emphasize on breastfeeding which was absolutely fine with me as I was planning on doing so. But little did I know, that nursing would be so tiresome, especially since I'd just given birth! My baby was fed every two hours, 24/7. I would force myself to sit up right on the hospital bed and feed her. Of course most of it happened out of maternal instincts and the overwhelming desire to care for my baby - but the nurses at the hospital did push me a lot - perhaps in a good way. (?)

Luckily, my mom and sister arrived the same day she was born and after spending two nights at the hospital (which felt like a lifetime) I was finally going home with my sweet bundle of joy. Oh, how happy I was to arrive home - my home! My mom and sister immediately took over and I felt a sense of relief. At the hospital, my husband was amazing in taking care of everything. He would never flinch from his spousal & fatherly duties and would act right away. When I needed something, he'd be there like Superman and now that I think of it, I could've never done it without him. I realize how important it is to have a strong bond with your (life) partner since it all boils down to teamwork in life. Having a baby DOES change everything, but it changes for the better when you have the right, loving support by your side. My career in Motherhood is by far the most exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding and the most beautiful full-time job I've ever had. Being a stylist at a department store or earning the big bucks in Real Estate or trying to generate clients as a Marketing Exec. at a Financial Planning Firm, does not compare to this God given, priceless gift of 'offspring'.

In two weeks, Mehreen will be 2 months old. Time flies they say and it surely does! I feel in cloud nine, even though I am always sleep deprived; feeling like a zombie, going about my 'mommy chores' when daddy goes to work - but overall, we are incredibly blessed ("Mashallah/Knock on wood") and every day I look at her, kiss her tiny little toes and fingers, sing to her like an on-stage 'Glee' performance...and you know...she looks back at me, coos at me and probably thinks to herself; "MAMMA has gone CRAZY!"

Oh yes my dear, crazy for you...