Sorry for the delay in posting….  It’s actually NOT b/c we’re on vacation.  :)   Actually, we’ve moved our site!  The new location is:


I’m still working out some kinks, but I wanted to announce it.  (For those subscribed to the old site, your subscription will be carried over).  Let me know what you think!

Vacations are a time when we go somewhere else, but, for some reason, we still try to replicate our ‘regular’ life as much as possible (for our kids).  We wear the same clothes, use the same things, we try to do things around the same time😉, and we always keep the same rules/expectations.

One of the things I’ve always taught my kids is to say “Hello” “Goodbye” “Have a nice day” “Good morning” “Thank you”, etc etc… You get the idea.  We say these things to everyone.  And I really mean everyone.

It started before they were even one.  I was leaving the grocery store with my two kids in tow when “Mac”, out of nowhere, said “Bye” to the check out woman.  She snapped out of her daze and got the biggest smile on her face.  On the walk out I said, “Mac, say bye bye.”  And he did.  To every single check out clerk.  It was like a parade of frowns turned upside down.  And a light bulb went off…

I can smile at strangers all I want.  I can make small talk and ask them how they’re doing.  And I can wish them well and tell them to have a nice day.  I do all these things.  I started wearing hijab when I was 13.  That’s (in case you’re counting) 17 years of practicing these niceties.  I have to.  When I wear a scarf, I know what I’m representing.

But this was different.  It’s like, people looked at me in a way they never had before.  It’s one thing to be ‘nice’.  Yes, Muslims can be nice.  But when people see things in my children, it’s another level.  I’m not just nice.  I value it.  I teach it to my children.  We prioritize it.  And not just niceness.  Goodness.  Call it manners, call it being polite, its all essentially one thing:  I’m teaching them about goodness… graciousness.

So the question is, should my two years have to bear this burden?

Why am I talking about this all of a sudden?  Yesterday we were walking into the lobby of our hotel.  As we stepped into the elevator a bell hop followed us inside.  True to form Mac said “Hello man!” with a big smile on his face.  They both proceeded to dance impromptu as we started to lift up.  The bell hop turned to me and said, “You know, we usually never see kids like this here.”  I said, “What do you mean?”  “Well, we usually don’t see kids happy.”  Confused, I said, “Oh, are they usually unhappy when they come here?!”  (Seeing as how we were in Niagra Falls in the middle of all these theme parks and kid oriented attractions I found that hard to believe).  “No,” he said, “But you just don’t normally see kids so openly happy.  You can see it on their face, they are so friendly.”

Of course, for about an hour I was on cloud nine.  I have to confess that I gave myself a big old pat on the back!  But then I started thinking about it… My kids weren’t like everyone else’s and part of that was b/c I felt like they couldn’t be.  When we’re out, I always prompt my kids to saying goodbye, or to say thank you.  I always force them to interact… in elevators, leaving stores, even walking to our table in a restaurant… I know why I’m doing this.  It’s because of what I am representing.. and what they are too…

…but should my kids have to bear this burden?  I dunno…  Just some ramblings in my head…

After much delay, I’ve finally figured out the next topic to post –  there’s nothing like a nice vacation to make you think about how much more your husband could be doing for you!😉  So the following is the ‘wife’ version of the previous post “60+ Ways to Keep Your Spouses Love“.  (Original lists can be found on muslimmatters.org)

It’s so interesting to me to hear the discrepancy when men and women talk about keeping the wife/woman happy.  Men seem to have this notion that women are so complicated.. too complicated.  Nothing pleases us.  On the flip side, I can’t count how many times I’ve been on the phone with a friend and the conclusion is, “If guys would just realize how little it would take to make us happy.”  (Is that my husband I hear laughing in the back somewhere…anywho…)

For kicks, I’m going to send my husband this post and first have him try to figure out what my top 5 picks would be.  Then I’ll go through and tell him which ones I really value the most.  Should be interesting! (I might even tell him which ones he already does well, since men are kind of like children, and need that whole ‘praise and encouragement’ shpeel.)

Ahmad Shehab – 60 Ways to Keep Your Wife’s Love – Guaranteed

(thanks to Muslim Apple for transcribing)
1. Make her feel secure and sakinah – don’t threaten her with divorce
2. Give sincere salaams
3. Treat her gently – like a fragile vessel
4. Advise in private, at the best time, in the best way and atmosphere
5. Be generous with her
6. Warm the seat for her, you will warm her heart
7. Avoid anger, keep wudu at all times
8. Look good and smell great for your wife
9. Don’t be rigid or harsh-hearted or you will be broken
10. Be a good listener
11. Yes for flattery, No for arguing
12. Call your wife with the best names, cute nicknames, names she loves to hear
13. A pleasant surprise
14. Preserve and guard the tongue
15. Expect, accept, and overlook her shortcomings
16. Give sincere compliments
17. Encourage her to keep good relations with her family
18. Speak of the topic of her interest
19. Express to her relatives, how wonderful she is
20. Give each other gifts
21. Get rid of routine, surprise her
22. Have a good opinion of each other
23. Have good manners, overlook small things, don’t nitpick
24. Add a drop of patience, increase during pregnancy, menses
25. Expect and respect her jealously
26. Be humble
27. Sacrifice your happiness for hers
28. Help at home, with housework
29. Help her love your relatives, but don’t try to force her
30. Let her know that she is the ideal wife for you
31. Remember your wife in dua
32. Leave the past for Allah subhanahu wa ta ala, don’t dwell on, dig into, or bring it up.
33. Don’t act as if you are doing her a favor by working or providing, Allah is the Provider, the husband is the carrier of the sustenance to the family
34. Take shaytaan as your enemy, not your wife
35. Put food in your wife’s mouth
36. Treat your wife like she is the most precious pearl that you want to protect
37. Show her your smile
38. Don’t ignore the small things, deal with them before they become big
39. Avoid being harsh-hearted
40. Respect and show that you appreciate her thinking
41. Help her to find and build her inner strengths and skills
42. Respect that she might not be in mood for intimacy, stay within halal boundaries
43. Help her take care of the children
44. Give her gifts with your tongue, be an artist with your compliments
45. Sit down and eat meals together
46. Let her know that you will be traveling or returning from travel, give her sufficient notice
47. Don’t leave home in anger
48. Maintain the secrecy and privacy of the home
49. Encourage each other in ibaadat
50. Respect and Fulfill her rights upon you
51. Live with her in kindness, goodness, fairness in good and bad times
52. Kiss your wife, foreplay, “Don’t jump on her like a bull”
53. Keep disputes between the two of you, don’t take it outside
54. Show care for her health and well-being
55. Remember you are not always right or perfect yourself
56. Share your happiness and sadness with her
57. Have mercy for her weaknesses
58. Be a firm support for her to lean on
59. Accept her as is, she is a package deal
60. Have a good intention for her

Readers added (special mention Khawla Hurayrah):

61. During Ramadhan, 6 days of Shawwal, Mondays & Thursdays etc. wake up well before fajr and prepare a special wholesome suhoor for her
62. Feed her the suhoor you made for her:)
63. Designate a nice, clean, spacious area in your home for the 2 of you to pray at night whenever you can. Keep it smelling nice and fresh with incense etc.
64. Women love flowers. Make her something special, a decorative jewelry case or even a poem. Then get a bunch of rose petals and make a trail of them on the floor – leading to the gift you made for her.
65. Make a short song about how she looks as radiant as the moon and mention what a beautiful and special creature she is. Sing it to her acapella. The more horrible your voice is, the better:)
66. Teach the wife the famous long hadith of A’ishah RH about Umm Zarr.
67. Give her a nice massage when she least expects it.
68. Send your wife a text message out of the blue with a message of love
69. Send your wife an email without a reason
70. Go out on a date (yes dates WITH YOUR WIFE are HALAL after marriage!) monthly or set up some schedule and follow it religiously, WITHOUT the kids.
71. Plan a get-away for a weekend in a nice location, preferably without kids (may be stuck with infants).
72. Do something for your wife’s family, whether it is a gift, or a chat with her teen brother who needs mentoring, or whatever. It will get you LOTS of brownie points.
73. If the husband needs to give her advice of something delicate, tell her with wisdom, good timing and when she is in good health without the woes of menses.
74. Do not keep reminding and demanding your rights all the time. Ibn Abbas reported to having said: “I fear Allah from demanding my rights from my wife for I worry that I will not be able to fulfill mine of hers”
75. Open the door for her and help carry her humongous ‘Coach’ or Target bags.
76. Shop groceries for her and call her from the store and ask her what she needs for the home, for herself or for her to give to people as gifts.
77. Ask her if she would like to invite her sister-friends over for ladies get together dinner and cook for them too!!!
78. Continue with her practice of giving gifts to her parents and siblings. Ask her what she thinks they might be in need of. Only if one can afford it.
79. Help her parents pay off debt or if they are ill. Send her poor relatives some money every year in Ramadhan and also for them to sacrifice for Udhiah during Eid ul Adha. Or even offer to send them to make Hajj if one can afford it.
80. Write love notes or poems and place them in the book she’s been reading for her to find. Also place them in her jacket pocket or drawer.
81. If the wife tell the husband something that she had just learned from the Qur’an or hadith book, do not dismiss her or ridicule her effort, instead listen to her and take her word.
82. Hey, why not take her for Hajj or Umrah if this have not been performed yet, better than Coach bags.
83. Plant her, a rose garden!!! Or better plant her, a kitchen garden with all kind of herbs she needs for cooking.
84. Adopt a kitten for her if she likes animal (only if one knows how to care for cats)
85. Get her a new car to replace her old problematic banger; or take her car for maintenance and wash it too.
86. Upgrade her pc or lap-top to a new version with bigger memory; or upgrade her cell phone to the one with itunes and download her favorite Surah recitors.
87. Learn to do special massage technique and surprise her with your new expertise. (This one was mentioned during the TDC lecture for sisters only program)
88. Teach your children some relevant Islamic etiquettes pertaining to respecting and honoring their mother.
89. Be humorous with her when she made a mistake in the kitchen, like putting too much salt or burnt her baking. And never ever threaten her that you’ll take a second wife.

Okaaay, maybe I’ll tell him the top 10!🙂

It’s only been a month since I started blogging but, Alhamdullillah, to date we have over 200 people subscribed (either directly through the site or from our facebook group), and anywhere from 200-400 visitors every day… Yaaaay!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who takes the time each day to stop by and ‘catch up’.  And I especially wanted to say thanks to everyone who forwarded a post along, or invited their friends/family to join our group.  I don’t want to sound to ‘loser-ish’ but I still find myself checking the facebook group list and being amazed at how many people who don’t even know me are finding something in this blog worthwhile..

It’s really a profound thing to find your voice.  To figure out what you want to say, and then to actually say those words, out loud.  But even more amazing is having people hear you.  And voice their own thoughts, opinion, concerns…  This forum has really allowed me to reflect upon my life… to slow it down and think about it.

It’s kind of crazy to expose myself in this way.. it’s like reading my diary out loud sometimes.. So thanks to all the women (and some of the men;)) out there who have really made me feel safe speaking up.. I appreciate all the e-mails and comments and I hope you feel safe sharing your voice here too…🙂

For those who feel that sometimes I go on and on about nothing, you might want to check out of this hotel now.  But for those Seinfeld enthusiasts who are captivated by much ado about nothing, read on…

Alright, on to the topic at hand.. packing.  (Didn’t quite expect that from the title, did you?)  My sweet little family is planning a quick getaway to Canada.  Actually, Daddy Mac’s company has graciously decided to pay for our vacation abroad with the pretense of “work”.  (Daddy Mac, no one from your work reads this right?)  Since I am the resident house elf (yes, that’s right, that’s a nod to Harry Potter) the task of packing has been bestowed upon me.

Traveling with twins can be annoying, IF I don’t exercise the power to edit.  I’ve always been the kind of girl with the really big purse.  Whenever anyone used to say, “Does anyone have a ___?” I was their girl.  But if I let my thoughts of “What if…” take over, I would literally travel with my kids entire closet.   “What if they spill something on every single ‘going out’ outfit they have when we’re out?”  “What if we go to a waterpark?”  (Even thought it’s HIGHLY unlikely mama would even plan for that, but what if I change my mind?)  “What if they suddenly have to go to the bathroom twice as much as they do at home?”  “What if they eat nothing when we go out and only want their ‘home’ snacks?”

Usually, on such a trip, the kids would get a big bag, hubby and I would share a smaller one…and then there’s the double stroller…and the two car seats..  But that’s just the check in.  Our carry on would consist of mama’s oversized tote, baba’s laptop bag, another duffle bag that I never planned for that Daddy Mac insists on bringing and throws things in last minute, and two of my boo boos’ backpacks which start out inside my monster tote but end up with each individual child on the plane (since, unfortunately, mamaholic and daddy mac are not allowed to sit in the same row for lack of air masks).  Are you following me here, or do you need to stop and take a breath?  In case you missed that, that’s ten things.

In case I’m mistaken, between the two of us, we only have 4 hands.  So what to do what to do…  And to complicate life even more, we have the issue of a rental car, which means lugging all these bags back and forth to the rental car area….and possibly, duhn duhn duuuuhn…. a SHUTTLE!

So tonight will be the night where I have to fit something the size of a watermelon into something the size of a lemon …. but we ladies are pretty good at that…

Alright, well I’m kind of sick of writing all these bad cliches so over and out…


Today is another busy busy day.  I’ve had my ‘to-do’ list since the morning (both a hard and soft copy)… But the day is almost over and it feels like I haven’t done anything.  The wierd thing, though, is that I actually have done a lot.  I have a lot of items scratched out and/or deleted.🙂

So why do I still feel unproductive?

I know the answer actually.  It’s because I multi-tasked all my chores.  Essentially, I spent the day with my brain split in 5 different directions, never really paying too much attention to one particular task.

When I was a working woman, I mean, when I had a real job.. I mean…wait, am I offending myself?  Let’s try this again.. When I used to work outside the house, I actually liked multitasking.  I was good at it and I really FELT more productive… I FELT like I was accomplishing much more in the day..

But now it just seems like instead of getting 5 things done, I get nothing done really well.  And I just don’t remember anything b/c of it.  It’s like, I’m not really present for half the day..

For the rest of the day maybe I’ll try something new… Perhaps I’ll just take things one at a time.

After an insanely busy Memorial Day weekend, the family and I had dinner tonight with some old friends.  As a nod to our former “bachelor” days, we all decided to go for sushi.  Just like old times, right?  Except that now the reservation isn’t just for four, it’s for four adults and four kids (or as the hostess kindly informed me on the phone, “You mean eight, right?”)

Let me give you a little background about why I thought this would be such a cool idea.  I love sushi.  No, listen carefully.  I LOVE sushi.  Sushi isn’t just a type of food I like to eat, it’s a lifestyle.  It’s an obsession.  It’s a part of my past…the ‘old’ me.  And since I’ve had kids, it’s been a part of my past that I’ve had to push down on my ‘to-do’ list, like the weekly at home facials I used to give myself, and the hours spent at Macy’s looking for the exact purse I needed to fill the hole in my collection.

Maybe it was seeing our old friends, or maybe it was realizing how different the sushi experience is with the addition of four kids… All I know is that tonight really had me thinking about where I was then, and where I am now… And how life has completely changed.  Gone are the self-indulgent days when I could spend ample amounts of time on myself and my own joy and happiness.  Now is the time to swallow our food without chewing, in hopes of getting something down before the next big crisis.

The thing is, though, this doesn’t make me sad.  Somehow, it kind of feels like ‘enough’ just to be able to remember those ‘glory days’, even though the glory has clearly faded.  I feel content just bathing in my nostalgia as the monitor next to me hums with two little bayboos snoring like jet planes..

I could go on and on about all the things that are different in my life… But there would be no end to that post.   Instead I’ll just leave you with what the kids ate, because I’m sure at some point you were wondering what the heck a couple of two year olds could eat at a sushi restaurant:

  • Vegetable and shrimp tempura
  • Shumai
  • The cucumber garnish on my seaweed salad🙂