Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fed up of seeing the toilet

We’ve had ’maginfluenza’, gastric flu, which severely debilitated me for a few days. I think I’ve lost a couple of kilos with it. Won’t go into the details as it might put you off your supper…
We had a happy Eid which started in the early hours of the morning as the kids were so excited about their pressies. They even made their own breakfast as I’d insisted they have that before any gift-opening. We didn’t attempt to make it for Eid prayer as DH is in Rome and I think S is too old to go in the ladies’ section really. So the morning turned our flat into a rival for legoland and afternoon we visited friends and the kids had a bit wild play session while us Mums tried to catch up with each other.

Hafsah’s still not crawling but moves her self around 360 degrees where she is sitting so any pillow I put behind her to save her bumping her head if she falls is now rendered useless. She' started waking around 5 am but I feed her then because if I let her cry it out it'll be time to get up by the time she settles so seems pointless.
House has, as usual, descended into chaos due to my illness. Normally its organised chaos but I think this time it is the real mccoy. I tried to have a quick look at houses with more space we could move to. I feel like it’d be simpler to move house than try to arrange everything to somehow fit in the limited space we have.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Something that made me chuckle...

'Which Advice Is Right?Read: 17 Pairs of Contradictory Proverbs

1. Look before you leap!Or is it . . He who hesitates is lost!
2. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!Or is it . . Don't beat your head against a brick wall!
3. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!Out of sight, out of mind!
4. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today!Or is it . . Don't cross the bridge until you come to it!
5. Two heads are better than one!Or is it . . Paddle your own canoe!
6. Haste makes waste!Or is it . . Time waits for no man!
7. You're never too old to learn!Or is it . . You can't teach an old dog new tricks!
8. A word to the wise is sufficient!Or is it . . Talk is cheap!
9. It's better to be safe than sorry!Or is it . . Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
10. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!Or is it . . Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!
11. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!Or is it . . Nice guys finish last!
12. Hitch your wagon to a star!Or is it . . Don't bite off more than you can chew!
13. Many hands make light work!Or is it . . Too many cooks spoil the broth!
14. Never judge a book by its cover!Or is it . . Clothes make the man!
15. The squeaking wheel gets first grease!Or is it . . Silence is golden!
16. Birds of a feather flock together!Or is it . . Opposites attract!
17. The pen is mightier than the sword!Or is it . . Actions speak louder than words!
- J.Ba. & N.R.
For us as Muslims, the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him, never offer advise in contradiction to themselves. The above lesson should teach us the value of our deen, Al Islam '

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I can hardly believe it!

Hafsah slept 12 hours or so last night and the night before it was around 11 hours.
I’ve worked out now if she has a nap after 3 hours awake for max 1.5 hours, then we seem to have the ideal routine. This means 2 naps a day and bed from around 7.30 pm. It’s weird, I feel I’m not seeing as much of her as before, which is probably true, but feel better knowing I can give her more quality time (yeah I normally hate that phrase, but I mean I’m in a better mood which she must sense). Let’s hope inshAllah the bubble doesn’t burst. I’m thinking ahead and trying to remember when they move down to one nap a day (that’s really why I’m writing all this stuff, for future reference).
Kids had a fun day off yesterday as it was ‘Lucia’ day. Hence we had Andy’s indoor play centre all to ourselves with another sister and her kids. So no queuing for the trampolines or lost children amongst the usual hectic atmosphere.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A complete U-turn!

After trying to convince myself that just going with the flow re Hafsah’s sleep patterns is OK, the combination of quite a few nights of being woken, every 2-3 hours, and giving in to a blatant marketing technique by a sleep expert, I decided to do something about the situation. I’d been getting marketing e-mails from an expert from Canada (Dana Obelman) giving ‘guaranteed success’ of your baby sleeping through the night. I could not believe it, and despite the ‘money-back guarantee’ had decided to leave it, as felt it was just going to be the usual let them cry type method. Anyway, after looking around the net about this lady’s credentials, and could find nothing untoward, decided to go for it, and so far I am glad I did. Hafsah has slept 8- 9 hours straight the last few nights, maybe a brief awakening. But also got the added bonus of her sleeping early (around 7.30 pm.). The amount of crying has been minimal and I now feel less helpless and slightly in control! The main points of the sleep plan seem to be: 1 Early bedtime after a set bedtime routine. 2. Repeat same phrase when time to sleep e.g. ‘sleep time’ 3.Make sure they have a comfort object e.g blankie, cuddly toy. 4.Leave to cry 10 mins if wake in night (or however long you decide, but stick to this time) and do not pick up if still crying after this time, but go and comfort by repeating phrase, stroke. (I never had to get to this point,) I was so shocked that there was an immediate effect. Maybe she has been so overtired she couldn’t sleep soundly. Also not letting her sleep after feeding so she is not using me as human dummy (I had to slip up on this today at scouts as she couldn’t settle with all the noise around.) Yes the downside to this program is that it assumes you are a first time parent with no other noisy kids around, or places to go when she should be having her scheduled nap!
Anyway after all this success so far, I still feel pretty wrecked as I still find it hard to sleep (I’m also over tired) and wake up wondering if she’s going to cry and if she’s OK, InshAllah this phase will soon be over.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A break from the routine

Today was filled with a bit of rushing about, but I wanted to take the kids to the station and on a train ride which would be special as it was XXXth anniversary of the XXX to XX line. So this would give a short trip on a different type of train. Unfortunately the much desired ‘double-decker’ train was sold out. S especially was disappointed, but reluctantly agreed to take another vintage train instead. I was trying to console him and we went to first take a look and some pics (I hope inshAllah I can figure out how to upload photos, I’ve been putting this off for ages) at the super duper double decker. Still S was a bit regretful, why hadn’t we come earlier etc. I am so glad in Islam we cannot say ‘if only..’ we have to be optimistic as well. So I tried to instil this in S. I tried to explain that his grandchildren inshAllah find this train ‘old-fashioned (as he was thinking the replacement train was). We waved the train off, with its passengers apparently thinking we were barmy as no one waved back! S commented later that no one looked happy to be on that train, the injustice of it! No dear, we’re living in Sweden. So then we got on what I thought was our train, which the kids were totally unimpressed with from the outside, but when we got inside via the v scary steps into the carriage, they were quite chuffed with the interior, with seats like armchairs. S said something along the lines of ‘You know you talked about ‘ or something, well I think this train is it’ No one seemed to know if this train would depart soon, until one train spotter said it was going nowhere! Hufff, I had to quickly get all of us out, back over the scary steep, big-gap steps of this well-over 60 year old train’s exit, so we could find our correct train. MashAllah, no complaints or moans from little ones, and we found our train on another platform, which was even more disappointing to them, but it had an easy step for the buggy to ascend, so I loved it.
Well this was one from the 50’s so tried to insert a little sense of history again into all of this, by saying their granddad would’ve been about their age when he could have travelled on this when it was brand spanking new, and it would’ve seemed great to him (?!) There was a speedometer in the section we sat, and we made it to 80 km/hr. I asked the conductor what some strange orange tools S had enquired about were (he said something about making it safe to deal with the electricity if it broke down, had taken a guess at jump-leads, so I was nearly right)
Then the highlight of the trip was the conductor’s James Bond impression as he calmly opened a door in the back of the carriage and walked across to the next carriage via the open air! I thought that was reserved for the beggars on the tube. S could hardly believe his eyes I think, and he had a good look out the back to see where the conductor had had to walk.
We got to our destination, safe and sound Alhamdulillah, and then saw a Swedish Thomas tank type train. Then tried to sort out a ticket back home, but had to find a toilet for H. Then found I didn’t have a 5 kronor coin, but a lady just came out so we managed to get in for free. It was either that or someone would’ve had to mop the floor with bleach. There ought to be free little people sized loos, like do I have time to go and change a note when I have a full-bladdered 3 year old demanding to go?
Got tickets and while we waited, saw Thomas depart with a whistle and lots of smoke. It was a multi-sensory experience I’ll say that. Then we took the standard train back that also goes to to a different country ‘no we can’t go there S, we haven’t got our passports’. That was very smooth and fast and we actually beat Thomas by a few minutes. The final modern train was voted the best (after the double-decker, though H wanted to go on the modern but slow local train, which I think stops at every station). So next time folks, book in advance or you may as well just take them on a normal train whenever you have time and save a few pennies too! Alhamdulillah, though, it was great to do something different, even though I was totally worn out from it all!