Sunday, December 30, 2007
I’m still feeling a bit weak and wobbly, but MIL is here bolstering me up with chicken soup and telling me off for touching anything resembling a dirty plate in the sink.
Bedtime routines completely out the window, and has got a bit ridiculous as they don’t want to sleep till after midnight. I do get a chance for a lie in but it’s then all waking hours with kids around, which I feel maybe too high a price to pay. I’m secretly looking forward to the school term starting, so we can get a reasonable routine back. Check this space in a week and a half, I’ll probably be moaning about the 6.30 am starts!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
But although today too much time was again spent on the Xbox, they did spend quite a lot of time reenacting the game with their Lego, enough to complete 36 levels in the living room and hall, apparently. Let's hope some team building/ co-operative skills (if I shout loudest we'll call the Lego man 'Anakin' OK?) were learnt as well as imagination (The Ikea sofa back pillows have been used to make a great canyon).
Must go out tomorrow, if I catch a glimpse of the sun that'll be a plus, but it's like it doesn't exist right now. Anyhow there should be enough light from all the electric powered stars in the curtainless windows, and noise from the fireworks that will probably start tomorrow (Christmas Eve, which I only just realised is the big deal here rather than the 25 th- 5 years here and I just realised, that's why shops are shut or are open only half a day or so), leading up to big climax on New Year where you'd be forgiven for thinking a minor war had broken out (people round here have money to burn it appears).
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The day as usual on Eid, started early, for the kids at least. I had left one of their presents out so they could be occupied while I could get some sleep. In fact the presents for the most part were going to be a surprise for me rather than them as I had sent DH out to the toy shop with the kids for them to pick out what they wanted. I had got a few things in advance that were to be a surprise, but the kids, unlike me, know what they like! In the end everybody seems happy and the surprise presents and gifts from friends turn out to be enjoyed if not always by the child intended. We didn’t go to the Eid prayers as I felt it would be too much for me plus S and M seem a little too old to go in the sister’s section and too young to go in the bro’s alone.
We then had our lunch, or should I say, the kids had crisps and sweets etc. Unfortunately it’s only Biryani who actually likes the vitamin tablets I have (she thinks they’re like sweets so have to make sure they’re well out of reach) as I would have felt a lot better if one of those could have gone down the hatch. But the feasting continued as we had surprisingly had 2 invitations, as actually a few other sisters’ hubs were away on Eid too. The latter gathering involved a bit too much musical chairs and coke for S, and I ended up having to wipe off sick from my friends Persian rug. Alhamdulillah she has 4 kids too so understands…
I didn’t eat much myself and felt generally too tired for so much socialising, but I forced myself out for the kids’ sake and I did want to see the other sisters of course.
Still my duvet is much to comforting nowadays and I didn’t even get up until 9.30 a.m. today, astounding.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Watching the live coverage of Hajj perks me up when I get a chance. Those million supplicating on the plains of Arafat today, begging for forgiveness is what I’m regularly thinking about.
We’ve been bunking school for a few days (ssh!) but to be honest, I’m too wacked to take them so early in the morning, when all they’ll be doing is Christmas-linked activities. (I’ve grown tired with debating with the teachers about the legitimacy of my children participating in this stuff, and to be told that it’s just tradition, nothing religious.) But I’m not happy with it and it’s all around us so they know what’s going on without having to make a Christmas cracker. S’s teacher rang me yesterday to persuade me to bring him as they were going to meet some pen-pals they’d been writing to. (First I’d heard of this). S wasn’t keen and with my ailing voice, I said it wasn’t likely he could come. Biryani has a bad cold, S’s asthma is back (mildly)H had false croup again, and M has a mouth ulcer, alhamdulillah.
So where was I, oh things that have happened in the relatively recent post, DH is in Singapore but alhamdulillah MIL should be arriving this weekend, some welcome adult company., and support. We had visitors yesterday, which gave a slight morale boost, although I felt inadequate as a host. Hang on didn’t I say something about positivity.
S ‘what’s’ impat-eee-ent’ (reads from book, impatient). You tell me!
‘How did they choose the first king?’
H ‘Why do you say everything is beautiful?’ Do I really, well it’s a better word than ‘good’ or ‘nice’. Must think of more adjectives to describe your artwork.
He has also worked out that if you have a ‘forehead’ then also one must have a ‘backhead’
H was trying to do some ‘homework’ the other day. I wrote out some sums which he did with some help. Then he did the alphabet stencil, which also contained a comma. That was tricky explaining what a comma is to a 4 year old.
M: ‘Maybe I might’ I can’t remember what he was talking about exactly, maybe having been asked ‘Are you going to pray now?’
The response anyhow may as well have been ‘No’
He also requested a ‘Staplizer’ to staple one of his numerous home-made books together.
Biryani is turning out a little Tom-boyish (unsurprisingly), bangs duplo men together and making fighting ‘Oooh, ooh’ noises. Her word for Star Wars at the moment is ‘Die’ I’m not sure if it’s a way-off pronunciation, or she just hears the boys saying ‘I’m going to die you’ as they race round the house with their improvised light sabres. (‘kill’ is the practically the same word as ‘die’ in Swedish so I assume that’s why they say this, it doesn’t sound so bad anyway somehow!’ )
She also enjoys picture matching the Curious George bingo pictures we have which I was surprised she could do.
She does use some of the baby-signs I taught her earlier on alongside speech, and she showed this by thinking I’d said ‘fish’ instead of ‘finish’. She also uses the sign for ‘pig’ ‘duck’ quite regularly.
Oh and one from DH ‘When did I say I was ignoring you?’. Yeah, I had to think about that one too.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Anyway back to the kids, Biryani’s making leaps and bounds with her speech, finishing the ends of words a bit better now, using verbs such as ‘look’ ‘run’ and ‘move’!. She also managed to use the potty properly for the first time yesterday, all credit to her. Every time I change her nappy she runs off to the bathroom saying ‘potty potty’. I don’t want to start potty training until the floors are relatively clear of toys etc so that accidents don’t cause a real mess, but this will require me to have some consistent energy to keep on top of the mess (which is often caused by dear Biryani herself as she searches for the ultimate toy in the toy cupboards.) Weaning still proving difficult, though we’re down to max 2 feeds a day.
H home with a cough and now diarrhoea. S has a swimming test today at school. He has to do it if he can move to the next class apparently. My writing energy is all used up I think although there’s lots more I’m sure.
Monday, November 26, 2007
H continues his interest in numbers, now almost mastering counting to 100, which took a bit of patience on my part to have to listen to repetition of this task on numerous occasions. He is today starting to learn it in Swedish, hopefully I haven't taught him too wrong pronunciation. He also finds big numbers such as thousands and millions interesting. He starting himself up on minus, but tends to ask backwards so 'whats 2 take away 9?' really means 7. He's talking a lot now in Swedish to most people including kids outside nursery. He also initiated a conversation with a little girl at nursery today which surprised me. His greeting to his friend in the morning is the equivalent of 'poo sausage' but hey at least he's communicating!
That's all I can write just now, looking forward to Spring for various reasons. Had first snow today although didn't settle.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Back to education, well S's Swedish homework for the rest of the term is to watch a Swedish kids programme once a week(!) and write a synopsis and note a new piece of vocabulary. Normally S does not want to watch any Swedish programmes, which I was never too concerned about but in fact it was quite an interesting programme, science and technology, just up his street. Shame about the garish music. M got some more craft sets for Eid, but what does one do with a felting needle?. It looks quite lethal and I have put it safely away for the time being.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
We are now down to last toilet roll and out of kitchen roll, and DH has decided to stay one more day away. Now I have been contemplating having to get everyone ready to go to the corner shop including myself, but feel faint thinking about it, so have managed to find a muslin square (I do not mean a niqab;)) as a hanky and some 'tvättlappar' which are unknown in the UK I think, but are special paper that don't disintegrate when made wet and are used for all manner of things from cleaning kids faces to bums. So can use them as kitchen roll and for the other bathroom. We are down to the basics here and I am sometimes living from hour to hour, oh there's a coup in Pakistan, this should be much more concerning right now...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
We did make it out to the forest last weekend when felt a little bit OK and saw the beautiful colours of the beech leaves, gotta find the cable first to upload the photos. We're back on the old computer due to last weeks mishap and its amazing how many bits and bobs are required to get the computer fully functioning.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Life still involving countless rolls of tissue paper, the odd paracetemol and nasal sprays. H now talking swedish at nursery, major success. Biryani's sleep is worse and worse. Laptop was also rendered deceased by afore-mentioned, thus my internet access is now limited. Hope InshaAllah your week is better than mine.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
DH took them to all out to tennis lesson and TOYs r US to spend pocket money. I should have been resting but took the opportunity to start transferring files to my new filing cabinet,(yawn, but has to be done without little hands meddling).
Biryani is now adept at opening doors, drawers what have u so I'm going to have to rearrange things a bit until she understands( and obeys!) the word 'no'
Felt tip pens emptied out of pencil case- 3 times,
Scrabble emptied 2 times,
Meccano 3 times.
You'd have thought I'd have learned by now, being on child no 4.
Oh I thought I'd already written this in another post , but the playgroup I've been taking H and Biryani to has now come to an end, as a Muslim sister has started being a 'dagmama', childminder, so the other children are going there, and many of the other children who used to come hadn't for ages (Mums too busy?). I was considering changing H to this sister but he's just started talking at nursery and I talked to him twice about it and he adamantly wants to stay where he is. Biryani is too young I think although she'd probably like it for a few hours a week. V tempting as its right near the boys' school, but I don't like not being able to explain to her that I'll be coming back etc, so don't think I'd consider it until she's got a certain comprehension level. The stage she's at with mess creation I have had to make sure my selfish needs are not the priority.
Anyhow resulting from the ending of the group we shared out the equipment, so I now have a proper toy shelf (finally) and lots of poster paints, craft stuff and some wooden toys, all for free, alhamdulillah
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Then I get the news that we’d have to pay interest to the government on any profit we make selling our property(even if its our home) unless we pay the tax straight away (used to be able to defer this if you bought somewhere else within a year).
Then I open the post( I tend to leave bill-looking letters a few days at least) to find a new tax on car insurance needs paying.
Then I open the next letter to find we still have to pay charges to the monopoly owner of the electricity grid, as well as the actual electric costs to the company who bills us plus VAT (25%) plus energy tax.
New government gave a glimmer of hope saying if you stay at home with child under 3 rather than send them to day care you’d get some sort of extra parental benefit. They forgot to highlight it depends which area you live in as ultimately its up to the kommun (local councils) budget. Oh look our kommun is not even considering it.
I am really feeling stupidly resentful this morning and hoping scribbling this down removes some tension, alhamdullilah we have food in the cupboards a roof over head, but hate feeling ripped off. Was considering moving back to UK for 2008 as would actually be equivalent of a reasonable annual wage in the tax we’d save if we sell our flat there and are not Sweden residents.(Plus could home educate)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
'Taqabal Allaho minna wa minkom'
and a warm Eid mubarak!
Have just seen the funniest thing for a long time on Islam channel, there was a nasheed on and at the end they cut to the show's presenter, unaware of being on camera for a few seconds, miming the song v enthusiastically, and then suddenly stopping when realising he was on air (that's live tv for u). Funnier than that was S's comment, 'A dancing beard' lolwm (nearly)
Here's a link to an article in Swedish metro of a sister I met in the Eid payer and who invited me over that day. I hadn't met her for 3 years or so and we'd each gained 2 more kids (one boy, one girl. alhamdulillah). She was almost crying with happiness that we'd managed to find each other, which was v touching. Then today we met again by chance in another Eid gathering!! It was also reminding me of my early experiences of Ramadhan when my Indonesian friend at University used to have 'Open House' on Eid. From nothing being planned (I was thinking Eid would be on Saturday) to being quite busy, Eid has been v nice this year, Alhamdulillah.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
So to be brief, I am having to deal with some premature 'terrible twos', type stuff, not wanting to eat so much, tantrums/ sulks to a certain extent , oh and that's just me :)
Biryani wants to go out at any given opportunity and will let you know her dismay as you hastily make your way out the flats to the car without her.On a more positive note , female tidiness is being sorted out, putting¨shoes on the rack and even imitating me emptying the sand into the bin a few hours after she'd seen me do it . The usual scattering of mouldy socks, wellies and carelessly discarded jumpers of the male variety are what normally adorn my floors.
S wants me to wake him so he can catch lailitul qadr, we'll see if he'll be rousable at 2 am??!
Usual rush now, thinking of zakat ul fitr as should be paid before Eid, and Eid preps, although regards the latter I feel that this time should be more spiritual than ever. H's teacher asked me if I was crossing off the days, I replied 'No' but my kids are.....
Saturday, September 29, 2007
This follows on from the last post about being confused of the ruling re vomiting and fasting. Now today I was confused about whether I'd eaten past Fajr or not. I knew I was allowed to eat what was left in my hand but was not sure if it went over the time of the athan as we did not have it on. Worry worry, have I spoilt another fast?
So here's something I cut and paste from Islam q and a
Ignorance of the ruling, such as if a person vomits deliberately but he is not aware that vomiting breaks the fast. In this case he does not have to make up the fast because he is ignorant. The evidence that the one who is ignorant of the ruling does not break his fast is the report that is proven in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth of ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that he put two ropes – one black and one white – beneath his pillow. These were ropes of the type used to hobble camels. He started looking at them, and when he could distinguish between the white rope and the black one, he stopped eating and drinking. The next day he went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him about that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him: “Your pillow must be very wide, if the white thread and the black thread are beneath your pillow. Rather that is the blackness of the night and the whiteness of the day” But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not tell him to make that day up, because he had been unaware of the meaning of the verse. (This is where I have to enhance my memory, as this was on UmmRashid's blog)
Ignorance of the time. For example, if a person thinks that dawn has not yet broken, then he finds out that it had broken. He does not have to make up that day. Similarly if a person breaks the fast at the end of the day thinking that the sun has set, then he finds out that it had not set, he does not have to make up that day either. The evidence for that is the report narrated by al-Bukhaari from Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: We broke our fast on a cloudy day at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then the sun came out. The point here is that if the fast was invalidated, it would have been obligatory to make it up, and if it had been obligatory to make it up, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have commanded them to do that. If he had ordered them to make it up, this would have reached us because it is part of preserving sharee’ah. As there is no report that says that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to do that, and as he did not tell them to do that, it is known that the fast was not invalidated, so it does not have to be made up in this case. But as soon as a person realizes what the situation is, he must stop eating and drinking, so that even if there is a morsel in his mouth, he has to spit it out. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (19/116).
,and from Bilal Philips website:
When the athaan of Fajr is sounded, this signals the beginning of the fast and one should not
begin to eat anything at this point. If one has in his hand food or drink when the athaan is called, he should finish eating what he wants from it before putting it down. Aboo Hurayrah reported that Allaahs Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ;If one of you hears the athaan and a vessel remains in his hand, he should not put it down until he has had what he desires from it.”[11
It sounds like rule rules rules, for Ramadhan, but I spose in wanting to obey our Creator and worrying of disobedience this is part of the more'spiritual' side of Ramadhan, gaining taqwa? Doing everything for His Sake and not worrying what others may think (I was asked at work years ago why I don't just sneak a Snickers bar?!)
These ahadith are also showing the flexibility of the rules, and compassion Allahahs for us. (Could Swedish bureacracy take heed of the former ?). I must not forget we have to have the combination of Love fear and hope for Allah(swt), that He will inshaAllah pass over our mistakes, as we all will make them at some point.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Don’t read this if you’re having a meal, but otherwise, I had a practical experience that meant I needed to get clarification on the ruling as pertains to vomiting and fasting.
I was walking along with the kids, with Biryani wedged against my tummy in my in my improvised handbag sling and I felt some vomit come up in my throat. So I quickly swallowed it, not wanting to appear uncouth in my leafy suburb by throwing up on the pavement. Then I thought, oops! Doesn’t vomiting break the fast?
So now I’ve checked, and it does break if you vomit deliberately , or if not deliberate vomiting but you deliberately swallow it.
So now I’m not sure, as I did deliberately swallow it, but was not fully aware of the ruling. So I’m still fasting this day but will try to make it up later, and hope if it wasn’t necessary, I’ll get rewarded anyway InshaAllah.
As for Wudhu, vomiting doesn’t invalidate this.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Picture courtesy of my mobile, I have done some technology thingy, blog on the go, wow that's an achievement for me. (Not sure how much it cost me though!!)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Sheikh has a great website for Dawah (islamtomorrow.com) and one for Ramadan just now has some useful stuff on it here
Monday, September 17, 2007
Biryani, really taking after her bro' s:
Plate as inspired by UmmRashid, done by M, new moon cut out my moi. Pic is of the sun and planets, by M but copied from S , who was trying to show his theory as to why the moon has its phases.
The tomato experiment, inshaAllah to be described later (involves Marmite)
Tomato beginning to ripen (B4 Denmark trip)
And while the cat's away..
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So she’s had a swollen eye for a week or so but now doesn’t look so much like a rugby player.
The difference between this time and H’s injury, was my own relative sense of calm, it wasn’t like it was the first time (M had an accident with a hurled drinks can and his eyes rolled wildly with the shock and that really worried me seeing that for the fist time) and I knew that this was Qadr, and Biryani’s health was in Allah’s hands.
And so, as I once nearly had a truck crash into me on my way to an Islamic camp, and somehow Allah saved me from disaster, the previous emergency did not manage to get in our way of our little adventure to Denmark.
We missed the ferry by 10 minutes to the island we were staying at, so had to find somewhere else to stay, which turned out to be another near island, also requiring a small ferry ride. We had supper in the only restaurant on the island, where the friendly (slightly tipsy) Danish owner cooked for us as if we were her guests. S was in fact v uncomfortable being around people drinking mashaAllah, even if they were the other side of the restaurant, but it was that or buying chocolate from the campsite’s tuck shop I think. The following morning, we mad e it on the ferry by the skin of our teeth to get back to the docks to catch the original ferry. S asked how ferries could float, and Alhamdulillah my DH could give an answer involving Archimedes principle (?!)
At the port, we met our travelling companions (both for this journey and the journey of Islam). Were we like buses?, no headscarf-bearing Muslims to be seen, and then two come at once!
Nervous? A little, but that soon passed as the commonalities of our lives were reality. How is it best to do Islam? How can we nurture our children best? The island was very beautiful and the company a treat, the time passed so quickly.
During the trip I felt reassured about my skills as a mother, reminded of Allah’s creation (the stars seen from a non- light polluted sky were jaw-dropping).
I realised my GCSE in German was of little use in trying to communicate with neighbours. The certificates we can accumulate almost worthless. Swedish, I have no papers for but can get by because sometimes I need to.
We spent a pleasant morning fishing for , well whatever they could catch with their nets in the sea. This turned out to be mostly stones and shells, although S said he'd caught a crab but somebody knocked him and he lost it. I suspect it was a shrimp by the description.
To finish off the adventure we realised that I’d left the portable DVD player on the ferry on the way over. I wasn’t so keen on getting them in the first place and wondered if this was a sign, but when DH enquired it turned out they’d saved them at the island’s docks so would bring them back on the last ferry. So we had a couple of hours to kill, and managed to find a v nice fish restaurant and had my first proper smorgasbord since I’ve been in Scandinavia (we don’t go out for meals with the kids unless it’s to the Muslim restaurants (they understand the accompanying raucous more). It was the first time in a long time I ate my fill, normally I don’t have much of an appetite. I was trying to remember the hadith of leaving a third for water, a third for air, and hope there was some space leftover. The Danes around did seem less uptight about noisy kids than in Sweden and the addition of there being a huge fish tank for them to peer into helped. Outside, waiting for various members of the family to use the bathroom, S decided to ask me about nuclear bombs, and how they work, and whether one could destroy the whole of our city? I tried to calmly answer his queries, and silently hoping his enthusiasm for the subject would die down, as nearby Danish citizens could overhear us!
Then managed to zoom back to port, collect afore-mentioned DVD players and head off into the thick of the Danish traffic. Tired, but very happy and hoping for another time like this, but one that doesn’t pass so quickly inshaAllah.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Skip this 1st one if you're not engineeringly-inclined ;)...
Looks familiar, oh but it costs about ten times as much to cross as Dartford bridge, Scandinavian prices I s'pose
S took this in a restaurant on the first island we stayed at. He likes candles, fires etc (Which boy doesn't)
The cabins on the camp-site, and our German neighbours.(Plus dog for Biryani amusement)
Windswept trees, framing the fjord's waves.
Shells collected by all 3 boys, arranged by M.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Supermarket today *groan* :Baby food next to cat and dog food. More variety in the pet’s meals?
There is also a 'Dog playground' found near the beach.
Saw three baby bike-trailers within the space of a minute, one named ‘chariot’ I noticed. Then later saw a bike with a big box basically on the front, obviously for easy child transportation (to day care I assume). We hired a tandem and trailer several years ago in the Peak District. It was great fun and seeing these trailers made me want to be 3 years old to have a ride.
Again have been asked when Biryani’s to start day care/ nursery. I’m not really sure but not going to think about it till she’s 3 ish I think. She does seem to have a personality a bit like M, who used to ask to go to nursery at the weekend too. Again it’s the issue of learning Swedish, although obviously an early start for H didn’t help as expected. Anyhow, you just never know what’ll be the situation in a couple of year’s time….
Friday, August 31, 2007
. Or on the other hand, I am living in a nomadic tribe, where my main concern is finding somewhere good to set up camp and some food, and children are helping out and they are kept busy and learning in many practical ways. There’s no internet, no TV, no mobile no sms and life is simple. WAKE UP I should not be thinking all the time of that greener grass. Part of the deen is to be satisfied with whatever predicament we find ourselves in, whether good or bad. I remember a friend of mine related that her husband used to say when asked of his health 'alhamdulillah’ all praise is to Allah, whatever his condition good or bad.’ And I then found it strange. Islam, though, helps us to be at peace with whatever situation we are in. We get rewarded for our sabr (patience and perseverance whatever the situation) in difficult times or maybe sins forgiven.. Arabic terms such as ‘sabr’ which have no direct English translation, but have such a significant meaning in my life, reinforce my belief that this religion is not man-made, but from the One who knows us best.
It is not the actual practical problems I face that I think get me down, it’s the feelings of ungratefulness, resentfulness, dissatisfaction that try to pop in my head. If I didn’t have islam, I don’t know what I’d do. Allah (swt) has only made us to worship him, and that doesn’t just mean the 5 pillars, it’s through our reaction to the daily trials in accordance with the way most pleasing to Him. May Allah make us steadfast in our deen and ibadah, and take away any feelings of despair amin,
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The bed on the right hand side is what the puffing and groaning was about, thanks to the furniture of monopoly of Sweden, oh I mean IKEA. So now S has his own desk, hasn't seen as much use as I'd have liked, but maybe its cos I have to fold down the chair or remove it so Biryani doesn't climb up on the desk. She has scaled the top bunk a few times, which even I feel like I have mild vertigo on, it's quite worrying. And oh look, some floor space in the middle there.... S's side of the shelf and desk...
M's side, neatly arranged, no involvement on my part!
M's bed which looked so inviting in the sunlight, it is where I often take a cat nap, if I go in my room where Biryani sleeps she normally wakes up, v light sleeper.
A go at weighing things by M and H. They wanted to get it to go off the scales, so printer paper is a good start. I said it won't always be the big things that are heavy (They had tried a plastic tennis racket)
H's Duplo guns,they don't have a Duplo weapons set in the catalogue, just farms and train sets. The labels are price tags with 'numbers' written on there. They had devised this game at a friend's house and continued to open their own shop when they came home. I'd better watch my back from the politically correct early years providers!
Friday, August 24, 2007
How are cucumbers pickled? (They have them for sale in a big tub in the fruit and veg section of the supermarket.)
What is ‘astromycin’?
How do they make butter, oil?
Why poisonous berries can be eaten by birds (I always wondered this as a child, but never thought to find out, it was pre internet though!)
What can eat ‘flotsvamp’ (the red toadstool)
What’s a rain shadow?
How do they make the special effects in films? e.g. cutting off hands, falling down a deep hole in Star Wars.
Can you live without saliva?
Which is the heaviest rock? Ayres?
Which is the highest voltage power plant in the world, actually now I remember we did check that one but I can’t exactly remember was it in Japan or Russia. Hope M15 doesn’t seize my computer anyway….
What’s the best conductor?
How is marmite made? Yes we did find out it is a bi product of the brewing process, assuming its still halal though.
He wants to learn more about Isa (as)
Have also been having lots of queries on dangerous insects – am thinking of starting ‘lap books’, I think M will especially like this. Any advice on websites, books willingly received. I think there was an article in the IHSAN newsletter I’ll have to look up inshaAllah.
Hmm I think we have a years worth of work here, who needs a government-concocted curriculum?
M said recently re his little sister: 'She doesn’t talk, I think she knows what we mean’ Very observant, as she is understanding a lot of words now mashAllah, esp. those that come up on a daily basis e.g. tissue, yoggi, TV (hmm)
H’s has been asking:
What’s zero not more than?
Why is zero nothing?
He’s managed somehow to pick up basic addition and likes to repeatedly ask ‘What’s 18 +1?' despite being told the answer many times!
He made up his own pen control game as he made a racing track and we had to race round drawing with our pens on the paper. Could have gone on for ages, if I’d had time, luckily big bro S joined in.
H also said ‘panpake’, then went to think in his room and came out and said ‘ pan-cake’
Yesterday it was French toast on the menu except it took me a while to workout this request as he called it ‘fresh bread’
Another touching expression ‘I’m just taking the water off me’ (as he was drying his tears)
And finally today he was asking ‘Why everything grows except crocs(those shoes) and toys?’ ok it’s a start on animate vs. inanimate objects!
He’s being showing me how to cover his mouth when you cough, and he asked why they do it with the hand in England. The Swedish way is to put arm up to mouth, assumedly because so often have to shake hands with people here. (Once I took it a bit too far and offered my hand to the nurse in the doctor’s and she had actually wanted to take my ‘nummerlapp’ queue position number instead. A bit of Swedish etiquette learnt there, no queue barging and wait for them to offer hand first!)
Biryani's walking getting quite confident now, yesterday we went to an indoor play centre *groan* where there was a lot of floor space and she picked up a bit of speed there. She also loves holding on to H’s shirt behind him while they walk very fast around the house, giggling away.
She tries to pray, missing the rukuh and salam, but does a sujood with knees still off the ground. We tried it and it’s not easy! She moves her index finger a bit for tashahud and did hold her hands up for dua and fold the prayer mat after, mashaAllah.
Recently she kept pointing at H’s milk in his anywayup cup (still using I’m afraid) She normally shows no interest in milk of the bovine form preferring mine but she really meant she wanted to give it to her brother, and so she promptly walked to the other room to deliver it mashaAllah.
Now I know my cooking’s not so great but felt my heart sink as she enthusiastically pointed towards the shelf with the baby food jars which I serve out when I haven’t made the meal in time for her schedule or if what we’re eating’s not suitable. She ate almost a whole big fat 15 month HIPP jar of vegi lasagne which is a lot for her.
Well it's school on Monday, a week later than I'd expected and I need to do some clothes shopping for the boys, if inshaAllah I can escape to the shops without kids..
Monday, August 20, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Here we have a demonstration of Biryani's determined independence. She loves to feed herself, and I have to try to remember to strip her off before meals as it reduces washing machine load. Also the arabic book reminds me she loves to look at animal pictures, books, on the TV. She makes cute 'ooh ooh' noises' So I sat down and watched 'Monkey Life' on Channel 5 with her the other day. ( After me telling dh 1 year olds shouldn't watch tv!) Must take her to the farm soon..
No she's not in her high chair, but sitting in the middle of the kitchen table much more fitting (she thinks?).
Had a pleasant Bar b q last night, probably the last of the year by the looks of the weather.
Well, trying to come up with some ideas to get S (and M) to do some literacy work, so I did a quick review of some of the pics S painted recently to see if they would want to write their own comments? Eventually S would agree to read what I read but only after I’d typed it out, as he said he couldn’t read my handwriting! I said'Well you’ll have to learn to read worse than this if you want to be a doctor!’, but I dutifully typed it out and so thought may aswell paste it here.
ART REVIEW BY MIMI
Stripy, makes me think of a prison, but they’ve tried to make it beautiful.
I feel there is a storm going on, over the calm sea. The lightening is hot and strong. The clouds are gradually sucking up more water from the sea to make more rain.
There are people, who are maybe blind except the leader, who are trying to find their way in some desolate countryside, surrounded by rough bushes and wire fences.
WHAT DO THESE PICTURES MAKE YOU THINK OF?
Could be a few metaphors read into what I wrote, but S was only trying to paint ‘patterns’. M said the top right one reminded him of , yes, Darth maul (Star wars mad they are) But they didn’t want to put pen to paper, let alone think about the pictures, so we’ll leave art appreciation down to ‘nice patterns’ for the moment!
Anyhow as autonomous seems to work better with S, he , on discovery of his binoculars, decided to keep a look out through his bedroom window on all the misdemeanors of this quiet neighbourhood, and HE NOTED THEM DOWN, with only minimal spelling mistakes!
Girl throwing sand.
Car going over the speed limit – type thing. Neighbourhood watch, look out.
Oh yes, Biryani can walk quite well now, and S can now ride a bike proficiently, have we ticked all the boxes on the 15 month/ 9 year old record of achievement? They’re happy (most of the time) so that’s the main thing.
Friday, August 10, 2007
A few weeks ago a sister had a miscarriage from an ectopic pregnancy and the doctors were all amazed how she’d survived having lost so much blood. In fact I had to stop her hoovering when I went to see her!
Here is the appropriate dua when visiting the sick(transliteration):
Allahomma Ath-hibil-bas Rabban-nas. Ishfi Wa’antash-shafi La-Shifa’a-illa-Shifa’ok. Shifa’al-layoghadiro-Saqama (While patting the sick person)
O Allah! Remove the hardship, O Lord of mankind. Grant cure for You are the Healer. There is no cure but from You, cure which leaves no illness behind. (Al Bukhari)
And now Alhamdulillah my ear ache has passed but after 2 or so weeks at least of having my right ear feel like I was in an aeroplane unable to swallow away the pressure I thought I would cave in and see the doctor. After a maximum of 10 minutes consultation and my wallet about£12 lighter, it was assumed I had a cold which made my Eustachian tube swell up and that there wasn’t much I could do except hold my nose and swallow (as on an aeroplane!). My mum had advised me that morning maybe to try some decongestant tablets and also I used my allergy nasal spray for good measure, and then the cure came! Lesson; take mother's advice THEN consult professional!
So now I am not saying ‘What? What?’ so often, and I can now rely on paracetemol (and cocodamol which I sneak in from the UK as you need a prescription here) to help the lingering headache, that is post-kids exhaustion/stress.
And this is the du’a I want to learn inshaAllah:
Allahoma 3afini fi-badani. Allahomma 3afini fi-sam3i. Allahoma 3afini fi-basari.
O Allah! Grant health to my body, to my hearing and to my sight (3 times) (Abu Dawood)
And now the big topic SHIRK! This is so important as it is the opposite of Tauheed and of the 1st half of the pillar ‘La ilaha illallah’ (Nothing has the right to be worshipped except Allah)
There are different types and the one I want to write about is called AshShirk al-Khafi’ inconspicuous shirk. That is being dissatisfied with what has happened and regretting that if I had done such and such then this wouldn’t have happened, or the phrase ‘If only….’ Then I’d be in a better position now.
'If you didn’t leave your most treasured toy out on the floor then your sister wouldn’t have been able to destroy it!’ type of thing. I think this makes sense in a positive-mental-attitude (did I get this from Dr Phil (US TV psychologist)) type way.
'Next time put anything you don’t want broken up so she can’t reach it!’ would be better.
The words 'tie up your camels' are coming to mind but I need to find a reference..
We should be careful of being unhappy withthe inevitable condition (Qadr) instead have ‘rida bi’l – qada’ (total acceptance of what Allah has decreed). We hear so often the phrase / du’a Mash’Allah which is followed by la quwwata ill bi’iilah (What Allah wills (comes to pass). There is no power or force other than Allah) in al-Kahf 18:39.
So the du’a I really must learn is:
Allahomma Inna Na3ootho Bika Min An Nushrika Bika Shay’ an Na3Lamoh. Wanastagh-firoka Lima La Na3Lamoh.
Oh Allah! We seek refuge from knowingly associating others with You and we seek Your forgiveness from associating others with You unknowingly. (3 times) (Ahmad, At-Tabarani)
May Allah forgive my mistakes and please consult the original Arabic if possible for du’as as transliteration cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Du’as from ‘Selected Prayers Dr Jamal A. Badawi and other info from ‘Dying and living for Allah, Khurram Murad and appendix of ‘The Noble Quran, (Darussalam Publishers)
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Just had a go at Biryani as she started to pull various papers off my desk, and then she started putting them back on the desk, girls, they’re so different!
I don’t know why, maybe because I’ve not been at my best with ear ache, but forgot to mention M read his first proper book to me (‘Up and Down’ Oxford Learning Tree), without me asking him to! That’s what I like about autonomous learning, it happens without the ‘I don’t want to… later… do I have to?…. I’m not doing it *humph*. I feel so sorry for him that about 60% of English does not follow the phonic rules, so words like ‘he’ are sounded out perfectly ‘h’ ‘e’ heh, and I have to tell him it’s actually ‘hee’, but his personality is such that he doesn’t get too disheartened and we went onto the Ugly Duckling (Ladybird)with great gusto.
Now for those learning in the UK, me getting excited about my boy starting to read when he’s practically 7 must seem a bit mad, but from experience with son no.1, Islam's age-guides for learning, as well as the Swedish school system not staring til 7, I did not really push the literacy stuff around the usual age 5. (Phew that was a drawn-out sentence..)
H is actually picking up on the phonics work M is doing, and he’s starting to segment and blend words. He liked the word ‘cucumber’ beginning with ‘c’
Some questions that have been asked recently by S that need research (may have noted before but still haven’t looked up anything about them):
How they discovered bread?
Inflation (the money kind)?
How do they make windows and glass? (could do a ‘field’ trip, there are some special glass factories in Swede I think.
Japanese buildings (as regards withstanding earthquakes)
What’s a rifle (as opposed to a standard ‘gun’) ? hmmn?
Is chocolate (cocoa powder) denser than icing sugar (mm I enjoyed that cake that sparked this question, and maybe should do more research in this area!).
Also he’s interested in doing things with Balsa wood (aeroplanes maybe?)
Here’s some closer-up photos of the tomatoes, inspired by Zainab's blog:
And here’s the end-result of some rare time I had alone to tackle the kids room whilst the boys were out at Jummah prayer and Biryani was asleep. I maybe could have done a ‘before’ picture to show the contrast.but forgot, but probably will be back to it’s usual state in a a few days. Just had to document that there is a floor under there. I got motivated to do it as S had been sneezing a lot and I’m worried my lack of cleaning may be causing this.
Luckily the poor exposure of the photo masks how I have used the top bunk as a place to cast the toys. (Need shelves, now take it one step at a time, we do now have blind no. 2 installed)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
So here are the tomato plants, mainly for my mum's benefit so she can feel happy her British tomatoes are way ahead..There are some on there, honest. Bought some organic food for them, smelt like Marmite, so may be cheaper just to use that? Then search on internet brought out conflicting views on healthiness of Yeast Extract. Apparently it's just like MSG?? And then that led to finding out about Sodium Laurel Sulphate (something like that?) in soaps, bubble baths. Oh ignorance can be bliss?
Biryani, mashAllah, managing to water the plants. This is the 3rd attempt, the 1st went the wrong side of the pot, the second she overcompensated and the water went all over her clothes!
One of the kids took this of the ice hockey match, S always wants to be Finland!
Imaginary conversation between my son and Fox news reporter:
'Are you Muslim or are you Swedish?'
' Muslim and I might consider Suomi as long as they keep their nice shirt colours'
Planes kindly folded by DH, we used them to learn the 'n' sound with jolly phonics in the English lesson, then they decided they wanted me to be the target, lets move on to 'c' shall we?
Oh and we had a drama as whilst I was writing the homework in their books, they set off the microwave in the hall/kitchen of the room we borrow. The one of them came in shouting 'Eld eld' (Fire fire) I thought for a moment it was a joke as it was the same boys who enjoy a good imaginary (and real) police chase and now it was the fire brigades turn. But then I quickly thought to take them seriously and the microwave was on fire! I managed to put it out with a damp towel (remembering to remove the plug first, brain still functioning slightly). The following lesson the tap was turned on rapidly and a big knife found on the draining board, have to keep all 4 eyes on them, oh boys!!
S is sleeping over at his best friend's tonight, his first time away without me. I was shocked he wanted to as he'd said recently he wouldn't ever want to. DH thinks he's spurred on by M who stayed over at a friends last night. It was very peaceful and felt strange, in fact I missed him a lot and kept thinking how awful it would be if this was permanent, keep thinking what my child would be doing if he was here. Madeline McCann story influence I think. Where is she???
Friday, July 27, 2007
Oh yes, did I mention rain, Alhamdulillah it’s continued here too but not as bad as in the UK. So wondering if tomato plants are getting enough warmth to increase and ripen the fruits? DH wonders at my fascination with my plants, but these are the first proper success I’ve had with gardening, be it on a balcony. Most plants I have had tend to shrivel and die (as I forget to water them) except of course the cacti. If you look back at March archives (as if u have time) you’ll see there has been a lot of growth, despite various acts of sabotage when they were used as a punch-bag during strops. Maybe because actually it was S who planted them and it was my neighbours who had cared for them while I was away when the first flowers appeared, that they’re a success, no, of course all life comes from Allah swt and all praise is due to Him. DH thinks these will be very expensive tomatoes, if and when they finally reach the plate. So far we’re looking at about £1.50 each but it’s early days yet (cost of compost and big pot, rest of pots recycled from plastic section of recycling room, water, not metered so already paid for) and if I repeat this in years to come of course the costs go down. Anyway, it’s not to save money, it’s the satisfaction, the good feeling of tending something small to something bearing fruit (hey this is a metaphor I’ve heard before). Oh and so I have an excuse to escape the war disaster zone otherwise known as my flat. Haven’t got an allotment (yet) but could be good….
I have ‘taught’ 3 English lessons so far, and have come across the usual playing-up-cos -my mums-the-teacher-situation. Any suggestions? Problem is M is a bit ahead of the others and wants to say all the answers etc. Anyhow it’s getting me a bit focussed on the reading and cursive writing..
They’ve been playing with the ice hockey table, going to the park on the one sunny day to find they were cleaning out the man-made moat they can normally swim in. Did I forget to mention saying ‘I’m bored’ on numerous occasions?
Me and a sister came to the conclusion that to be realistic, any form of serious cleaning, tidying up can only be achieved after the holidays are over, but what if I was home-educating, how is sanity preserved? By a trip of lil’uns to Pakistan I expect but still this has yet to be organised.
DH is now officially off on ‘Parental leave’ at 80-odd% pay (can’t quite remember but it’s enough to get by on). One black-out blind has been installed in boy’s room so they don’t wake up with the birds (well actually S should be for Fajr but that’s another story), Biryani’s awaits, owing to the cloudy weather the light going through the normal blinds is not so much as usual so I’m not nagging (yet). One new bicycle has been purchased today awaiting construction as DH decided S must learn to ride a bike, a rite of passage I spose. Have put it off as it’s been hard for me to teach them myself with the other kids around, DH away. One time when S was about 5, I did take him out, I was heavily pregnant and he just cycled off into the distanced and I literally could not run after him.
Now they’ve rung me up to say they’re sitting in a long queue for a free car-wash promotion, now let’s see if a bike is cycled today (I do hope so). Oh a clap of thunder, maybe they don’t need a car wash after all!