Abez sez Assalamualaikum!

Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Cue Motivational Music… now.

So HF made me write a list of affirmations.  Cheesy, I know- but surprisingly effective.  Everyone needs an anchor sometimes, and right now, mine is affirmation number one: I am an overachiever.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the affirmations, but that’s the one I’m leaning on right now because gosh darnit I am having a bit of a challenging week. Our staff have been on stand-by for a move to our exciting new office, and due to bureaucracy and an unsigned MOU, the move has been postponed until AllahuAalim.

My kids are home from school on winter break, and while they’re in the process of rediscovering things like creativity, imagination, and the ability to entertain themselves without maternal intervention every five minutes- I’m not getting much work done.

On top of that, someone, somewhere must have sneezed in my general direction, because now I am incubating an exciting new infection.  I’m hoping it decides to stay in my throat instead of bunkering down into my lungs where- historically speaking- it declares the Free Lungs of Bronchitistan to be independent from the oppressive forces of The Body, and a civil war ensues.

(I cough. My lungs try escape. I try to keep them in.  It’s very ladylike.)

So yes. I am an overachiever.  And you know what I’m going to do with that? I’m going to take my work setback, and the inevitable disappointment to the staff, and the pair of lungs that are trying to fight their way to freedom and I am GOING TO HAVE A GOOD DAY.  Or else.

Or else?

Or else I’ll have another cappuccino and another cup of chicken and mushroom soup.  And that’s a threat.  I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now, trying to derive warmth and can-do attitude from one small, sad cappuccino with steam and sugar.  I’m hoping to combine its forces with the cup of soup I just had from Chili’s, because the problem with being sick and a mom is that you’re supposed to make your own soup.  And if you don’t feel well enough to make yourself soup, then you don’t get soup.

(Unless you sneak out for soup when no one’s looking, in which case you might end up in the mall, feeling kind of sick and alone but at least well caffeinated with a belly full of warm soup.)

I am not a dementor.  I am not a negative, pessimistic person with a mopey sulk on my face that drains positivity and energy from other people.  And that’s one of my affirmations too. So even if I am feeling down or negative, I refuse to pull other people down with it.  Yes, I may feed my negativity soup, but I will not turn around and feed my negativity to other people.  So where was I?

You know how when you’re sitting in a coffee shop alone, and people walk right up to you (because your table is blocking the cream and sugar) and you’re half afraid it’s someone you know, but half hoping that someone will sit down and cheer you up?  Yeah- that’s pathetic.

I’m that pathetic right now, but not for long.  Within the last year alone, three people have independently referred to me as Mary Poppins, and I’ve been hearing this throughout my adult life.  You know what it means to be Mary Poppins? It means you have freakishly unsinkable cheerfulness- not all of the time- but at least for enough time so that people think unsinkable cheerfulness is your default.  I am a friggin Mary Poppins.  So I’m going to take my pre-bronchitis sulk back home to where there’s wifi- because this coffee shop’s wifi won’t connect- and I’m going to open a can of directorial whoopa$$ on my inbox.

And then, I’m going to bake a chicken.

And then, I’m making soup.

Because I’m an overachiever.  Alhamdulillah.

By Abez, The End.

(PS- HF, I love you.)

Iman’s first blog


iman ice cream LOVE IMAN

Note from Momma: Iman typed this blog by herself, and I had no intention of making any changes, but when autocorrect underlined her spelling of “bigist,” she had to ask why the computer was putting red lines under her words. So we had an impromptu spelling lesson for superlatives (big, bigger, biggest) and one other correction was made for the spelling of “crem.”

The inspiration for this blog is that today is the big day- after ten days of nightly antihistamines (‘skusting!) Iman will be going back to the ENT to figure out of the pressure in her ears has normalized.  If it hasn’t, she’ll have the world’s biggest three-scoop sundae and perhaps an ear surgery- though not in the same day.  If the pressure has normalized, then she’ll just have the world’s biggest three-scoop ice cream.  One way or another, it’s going to be a good day, InshaAllah.  

Apart from that, the Photoshop work is entirely Iman’s, as is the image choice. And this is Iman’s first blog. By Momma, the end. 🙂

Got caught

I woke up this morning, and I noticed that Musfira was already awake and singing in her crib.  I wanted to use the bathroom before picking her up and activating Mommy Mode for the day, so I stood up quickly when she was looking the other way, starting tiptoeing and then-

“Momma! git back in yo bed. iss not morning time. I haff work to do!”

I turned around and saw Musfira giving me the no-nonsense stare of a toddler that means business, though I’m not pretending to know what business she wanted me to stay in bed for so she could finish.  But then, she cracked a smile, and I was off the hook.


Sometimes, I love autism :)

Last week or so- HF decided that we were going to stay up super late (or some of us, nap super late) and then go out and watch the Geminid meteor shower with the Dubai Astronomy Club.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  The grand reveal to the children went something like this:

HF: Guys, Baba has something really special planned for you- tonight, we’re going to go to bed on time, and at ten thirty we’re going to wake up, drive out to the desert, and we’re going to see some meteors!

Iman: Yay!

Khalid: -silence-his eyes suddenly widen in fear-

Me: Oh no Khalid! Not like that! Not like the dinosaurs!

Khalid: -slow, uncertain blink- So, it will miss the earth?

Me: Yes, the meteors will miss the earth.

He must not have been completely convinced, because later when we woke and loaded our drowsy but excited children into the car, Khalid just needed to reconfirm.

Khalid: It’ll miss the earth momma?”

Me: Yes dear, it’ll miss the earth.

SubhanAllah. 🙂


An Najm

AnNajm Poem


 Surah An-Najm, The Holy Qur’an 

The Mother of All Mommaisms

So I went into the bathroom yesterday.  I picked up a kids toothbrush and I squirted some pink, raspberry flavored, fluoride-free toothpaste on it.  Then, I opened my own mouth, popped it in, and got halfway through brushing and humming the toothbrush song before I realized I was on autopilot.

I laughed so hard my face hurt.

It’s been an awesome and funny week.  Awesome, and amazing, and exciting because the AutismUAE GoFundMe campaign has made the 10K we needed for license renewal, and people still keep tipping coins into the hat.  Funny because my children have been more amusing than usual.

Khalid declared that Musfira could play with his trains only after she learned how to speak English.

I taught the children how to play I-Spy in the car.

Khalid: I spy, with my little eye, something that is that orange car.

-blink blink-

Iman: I spy, with my little eye, something that is yellow!

Musfira: SUN!

(it’s 8 pm)

Iman in patronizing big sister voice: No Musifra, it’s not the sun. Can you see the sun? It’s not in the sky right now.

Khalid: Its light is reflecting off the moon. The sun is in the sky.

Iman: Wha?

Khalid: It’s day time in the Western pole.

Khalid is recently into directions, and so last week when we heard a neighbor’s dog barking, Iman said, “Oh, I hear a dog!” And Khalid said, “Yes, it’s north-west.”


And Musfira, upon opening her eyes after nap-time and seeing Aunt Owlie for the first time after her two weeks in the US said,

Aunty, your cat food is spicy.

It’s also been a bit of a rough week, with all three kids sick with something or the other- Musfira’s nose threw up. Khalid’s had a three-day stomach ache.  I took Iman and her ears to see an ENT and he very politely informed us that both of her ears were full of fluid and that they both had negative pressure.  I don’t know enough about ears to know what negative pressure is, but by golly, I will google it.

So Iman has to take “‘skusting medicine” for the next ten days to see if the fluid can be cleared up.  If not, then we X-ray to see what kind of mechanical problem there could be.  I’ve told Iman not to worry, because it’s a win-win.  If Iman takes all of her medicine for all ten days, she is going to get the BIGGEST ICE CREAM SUNDAE IN THE WORLD.

Three whole scoops to be precise.

Then, if she has taken all of her medicine but the fluid hasn’t cleared, then she and I will have a special sleepover in the hospital and she will get to pick out a much-coveted, often longed-for, overpriced mylar balloon from the hospital gift shop.  Either way, we both get ice-cream, and one of us gets a balloon. Alhamdulillah.

So now it’s time for bed, my day started at six am and involved a two hour meeting, two good friends, and both HF’s and my parents unexpectedly showing up for dinner at the same time, without prior planning.  Alhamdulillah, its finally time for bed. Alhamdulillah. 🙂



Woulda Coulda Shoulda

I shoulda seen it coming.  I felt Musfira make a tiny little gagging sound as I held her over my shoulder.  After all, I have three children.  I know how ominous one tiny *herp?* from a child’s mouth can be.  Sometimes that’s the only warning you get before herp turns into full-out hurl.

I could’ve acted faster.

Instead, I waited half a second and, just as I was turning Musfira around to check if she was ok, she threw up- and the motion of being turned created a beautiful, semi-circular arc of vomit that spread outwards from her mouth to the far reaches of the bathroom.

I nodded to myself in acknowledgement of my folly, sour milk dripping from my clothes.  She threw up again, and then tearfully turned to me and asked, “momma, my nose throw up?”

Yes dear, it did.

Everything was hosed down.  This morning, it was hosed down again.  And as I took stock of the dried (and curdled) milk on my shoes, I remembered something funny.  A friend of mine once posted a list, “You know you’re a mother when…” and one of those entries went something along the lines of:

You know you’re a mother when catching vomit in your hands is a cause for celebration, not disgust.

Musfira was recently sick, and HF and I were sitting with her in bed trying to soothe her.  Suddenly, she herped, and because HF and I were both on guard for these things, he quickly picked her up and turned her face away from the bed, and I leaned forward and held my hands out.  Then, she threw up in them.

This is me catching vomit.

This is my vomit catching face.

It was beautiful-  the timing, the execution, the flawless teamwork  in orchestrating such an advanced parenting maneuver.  No vomit on the bed, the floor, or HF.  We would have high-fived if my hands weren’t otherwise occupied.

There’s a little something catching in Dubai right now- when the seasons change and the blistering summer winds turn to the toasty winter winds, germs get all excited about being able to use the sidewalks for once, and they come out to play.  So Khalid and Iman both have low-grade fevers, and Iman is complaining of an ear that “goes boom boom” when she swallows or drinks.  Musfira’s stomach is upset and her nose threw up.  And HF isn’t feeling too well either.

Hey, for a change, I feel fine!  True, I did follow my breakfast with a 9am nap that last until 11:30, and maybe that’s why I’m feeling all peppy and energetic- even about being vomited on!

Really though, I’m just so excited by what’s happening with the GoFundMe campaign- one amazing person- just one- added 2,000 dollars.  Another one person added 450.  I feel almost giddy with excitement and relief.  AllahuAkbar.  Alhamdulillah.

May Allah bless everyone last person and every last cent donated, anonymously and not- and give me the chance to thank each of them personally in Jannah. Ameen.

Gofundme, please?

Well, we now officially have a GoFundMe page.  JazakAllahuKheiran to Mariam for setting it up. 🙂

I feel nervous and excited.  But nervous.  But hey, what have I got to lose?

Apart from the not for profit autism intervention service that I’ve invested the last three years of my life on but Hey!

Let the spamming of everyone you know with this link, BEGIN!


A lovely update :)

AssalamuAlaikum all of you really awesome peoples.  🙂

smiley-happy-face-yellow Through the grace and mercy of Allah, which facilitates the kindness and generosity of people like you, things are looking better for AutismUAE.  Not only have the comments in my last post reached almost a third of what we need (JazakAllahuKheiran, really) but Muslim Matters has also offered to run a post for AutismUAE too.  I don’t know exactly when that will be, but I’ve had a chat with the licensing department and they’ve given us a date for the 20th of December to bring the funds in.

So now, I have a little room to breathe, and a lotta reasons to smile. 🙂

Truly, after hardship comes ease.  Alhamdulillah 🙂

Everyone who left a comment offering to help should have received an email from myself by now, as well as HF, who’s my pro-bono Director of Finance.  He’s the man with the plan (as well as the bank account information!) so if you haven’t heard from him yet, or haven’t received an email from me, please check your spam and try again.