Saturday, April 22, 2006

I hate moving!

We will be moving in a few days (not out of Orlando) therefore I will disappear for about a week or two from this blog due to lack of internet access. Any emails or blog comments will be answered after I get back.

Anyone want to pack and unpack for me? Please?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Summer Reading Programs

For those mothers who don’t homeschool year round, it is essential for us to encourage our children to keep reading even when we are on breaks because they can fall behind. During the summer there are many different programs you can join at your local libraries and bookstores that encourage children to read during the summer. Most of them are just so the children keep reading and keep track of how much and what they are reading. Some libraries will also have book clubs set up. Then there are some organizations that give away prizes to encourage the kids. Here are two that might be of interest:

Target’s Summer Reading Challenge: For kids aged 5 to 15 during the months of May through August. Children must track their reading hours online so they can get the opportunity to win a Target GiftCard.

Pizza Hut’s Bookit Program for Homeschoolers: For children in grades K-6. This program is not a summer reading program; it runs from October 2006 through March 2007. However in order to participate you must enroll by June 9, 2006. This program is great because it rewards the child with a coupon at the end of the month for a one topping personal pan pizza. My four year old is currently enrolled in Bookit Beginners (for ages 3-5) and is loving it! I will be enrolling her in this one now. (They are currently having problems with their website because they have just moved to a new location so it might not work right now but try again later. I spoke to someone at bookit and she said they should work out all the glitches by the end of the week).

Happy Reading! :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a disorder in which your legs feel very uncomfortable if they have been dormant for a while. I’ve had this pretty much all my life and it got significantly worse during pregnancy. I cannot go on a long car ride without my legs starting to automatically kick after a while. It’s a weird tingling/twitching that I just have no control over. It affects me at other times of the day as well; luckily it doesn’t really keep me up at night.

I’ve come to the realization that my two year old has also inherited this from me. However for her, it does wake her up at night. Sometimes she does go to sleep in her own bed after we have story time and prayers and lullabies she gets all tucked in like her big sister and says goodnight and falls asleep. However a few hours later she wakes up kicking like crazy and I carry her back to my bed and massage her legs until she falls asleep all cuddled up to me. This continues for the rest of the night with her waking up after every hour or so and me massaging her back to sleep. This has been happening for about 6 months now. I never used to massage her legs before and her sister never gets massaged either, but once when she was kicking with her eyes closed I started to do that to stop her and she fell right to sleep in a minute.

I finally went and did some research on it which helped me understand it a bit better so I thought I would write about it in case some of you have it and are unaware of it.

Here are some very informative websites:
Restlesslegs.com – A resource for people with Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation – List of support groups
Wemove.org – Worldwide education and awareness for movement disorders

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ya Nabi

Today was the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Imam Jaffar as-Sadiq (as). There were so many things to do along with a ladies program at the center. I read “Ya Nabi” and my four year old decided she wanted to read with me so she sat beside me and when I started reading she read along clearly and with lots of confidence. Whenever I got to the “Ya Nabi” part, she decided she wanted to say that REALLY LOUDLY. It was cute and everyone enjoyed it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Halal listening

If you go to this website “Teaching quran for children” you will find an excellent quran recitation for your children to follow and learn from. You can download the mp3s and burn it on a cd or upload on your mp3 player and let your kids listen all the time. It has really helped my four year old in memorizing many surahs and inshallah it will assist in her pronunciation now that she is getting older. My two year old also follows along when the children repeat because she loves to repeat everything. I cannot stress how great these recitations are and I hope you guys find them as useful as I do.

Another thing that my four year old loves to listen to is “Madinah tun-Nabi” by Dawud Wharnsby Ali. She actually loves to read along with him with the lyrics and she does pretty well. Every time he gets to the “Madinah tun-Nabi" part she gets really loud and sounds like she’s really enjoying herself. Of course my two year old does her best to follow along as well.

My four year old also loves to listen to the famous urdu naat “Ya Nabi” read by Qari Waheed Zafar but she loves the Arabic version better “Nabiyun Nabi” read by Umme Habiba because she said she really likes the sound of the lady’s voice. Both of my girls run around reading “Ya nabi” quite often though, I’ve caught them many times.

Of course during the month of Muharram we listened to many nohay and they had many favorites so I won’t list them here. But here are some good websites for great nasheed, naat and nohay.

1) Hussainiat.com has great Naat and Nohay
2) Naat-e-Rasool
3) Nawhas.com latest nohas with lyrics!
4) Ziaraat.com has a great search feature for Naat, Qasiday and Nohay
5) Nasheed "islamic songs"
6) More Nasheed
7) Nasheeds in English Zain Bhikha is also great and my four year old loves to listen to "A is for Allah"

Monday, April 10, 2006

My Toddler

My 2 year old, she’ll be 3 in July, is so different from my older child, it’s amazing. The easier my older child was, it seems the harder my younger one is. She is so incredibly attached to me and demands my attention all the time. Till this day she has only slept in her own bed a few nights completely without getting up and coming back to me. I don’t force her into it either. Most nights she eagerly gets into her bed after story time when she and her sister snuggle in and then there are prayers and lullabies and goodnight kisses. She’ll even fall asleep but then a few hours later she comes waddling back or crying or calling me. Right now it’s around midnight and she was in her bed a while back all tucked in but somehow has ended up back into my lap while I type this. She’s watching the screen as we speak, good thing she doesn’t know how to read yet!

We recently went for her first haircut at the hairdressers last week. She’s so temperamental and unpredictable I really did not know what she would do. That’s why I’ve been hacking away at her hair for the past almost three years just so I don’t have to embarrass myself at what she might end up doing. She’s been pretty crazy since she was a baby. She gets into these bouts of screaming-crying for no apparent reason and she doesn’t want to stop. She’s also the most unfriendliest (is that a word?) child I’ve ever met. She refuses to play with anyone else except for her sister and does not even speak to many other children. She’s finally started to warm up to a few that are her sister’s best friends. Surprisingly the hairdressers’ went well because when we entered she saw a big bowl of lollipops on the counter and was of course promised one if she was good while the nice lady cut her hair. Needless to say she sat very quietly and moved her head exactly as she was told and didn’t fuss at all. Then when she was finished the only thing she said was “I want a pink one!”

One thing I’ve noticed about her is she really cares for the people in her family, no matter how tough she acts. Anytime I say ouch or her sister gets hurt she comes running and asks if we are okay. Then she wants to get us a Band-Aid or help us in any way. She’s starting to listen a lot and she’s very good about cleaning up after herself. She’s also very eager to learn and loves books just as much as her sister does. She’ll sit for hours opening one book after another just pretending to read, and very loudly. And when I read to them, she’ll sit through whole chapter books listening intently. She has a great attention span. Her favorite book is I Love You Stinky Face I must have read that to her atleast 100 times now. When her sister homeschools, she sits at the little table with us and colors along or tries to do the arts and crafts with us. It can be a bit more time consuming having her there, but I know she also picks up a lot so I don’t mind. The other day I actually walked into their room because I noticed they were rather quiet and my 4 year old was sitting next to my 2 year old teaching her how to read using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons that she got off my shelf. My 2 year old was following along as my 4 year old was reading and following all the instructions and teaching her the sounds of each letter. They were on the 5th lesson I think. It was really such a hilarious but a very amazing moment for me. I was so proud of both of them.

These days they’ve been playing with their doctor kit a lot and checking each other’s blood pressures and heartbeats and giving each other needles (that’s their favorite part). They also love playing legos together. They make huge lego robots with their uncle or big buildings with their father and castles with their grandfather. I’ve taught my four year old how to make hearts and strawberries so recently I’ve seen her trying to teach my 2 year old how to make them as well. I’ve also recently caught my four year old trying to teach her salawat. She’s told me a few times that when she grows up she wants to be a teacher so she likes to practice teaching her little sister. But of course she’s also told me she wants to be a doctor, a superhero, a ballerina, a realtor, and of course the funniest one: a homeschooling mama!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown

We took the girls to this movie on opening day in a huge theatre. It was their first movie in the theatre and they did have a good time, however the movie was quite scary for them. I know it was more the movie then the actual dark theatre itself because we purposely arrived early so they would have time to get comfortable and they were having fun reading the ads and then watching the previews. Even when the movie started at first it was fine but with the strange sea dinosaur/creatures trying to eat everyone and then parts of the movie were very loud and nerve-wracking it just got to be too much for them at times, especially for my four year old. But she does worry very easily. My two year old did get scared too and would just hold on to me really tight while my four year old did the same with her father. When we asked them if they had a good time they both said it was fun but verrrrry scary.

They really enjoyed the first Ice Age but I guess this one was just a little too much for them. However, it was fun to see the excitement and awe on their faces when we entered the theatre!