Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Months in Islam

Lately my girls have been crazy over this one nasheed that they’ve heard by Rasheed Bhikha (Zain Bhikha’s son) called Months in islam. So much so that my five year old demanded that I teach her all the months in islam right away. So we’ve been working on it, she knows them all, almost. She loves to sing the song along with me so I just had to record her doing it. Of course when my three year old saw what we were doing she wanted to join in on the fun and sang with us too. You’ll hear her the second time around, she’s the one who is REALLY EXCITED that she is singing along with mama and her big sister.



This is a great way to teach your kids the months in islam. You can buy the cd here if you are interested!
http://www.astrolabe.com/product/882/Our_World.html

I am Thankful Book

I mailed my five year old’s portfolio to her teacher yesterday. I didn’t get to snap some pictures of her I am thankful book that she created for a portfolio assignment before I sent it or I would post them. Basically we were supposed to create a book with pictures and a few sentences of things that she is thankful for. So I used some manilla drawing paper and binded that into a book. I told my five year old on each page she was supposed to draw a picture of something she was thankful for and then I can write a sentence or two that she would dictate to me about what it is and why. She then told me that she wanted to write the sentences herself and she only wanted my help with spelling, if she needed it. So I said alright, I figured if it was really not legible I can always rewrite in brackets beside hers. Anyhow, this is her list of things she is thankful for in the order that she made them in the book.

1. I am thankful for my family because they love me.
2. I am thankful for books because I like to read.
3. I am thankful for tv so I can watch my favorite show, magic school bus.
4. I am thankful for the computer so I can play games.
5. I am thankful for the sun because it is bright and makes me warm.

Her handwriting was very neat and totally legible. Also, she only asked me to spell because, favorite, and computer. She did spell “makes” wrong though, she wrote “maks.” And her pictures were so bright and colorful, I was totally impressed!

Now she says she wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Breastfeeding

Since so many pregnant mothers are coming here recently searching for duas I thought this would be a great opportunity to write a pro-breastfeeding post.

I used to be an avid nursing mother. I nursed both my girls till they were 21 months old and I felt no shame, pressure or anything else of the sort. Please sisters, do not let other people pressure you into weaning too early or, God forbid, not nursing at all. Unless you have some sort of medical problem, your baby deserves that milk that God has provided for them.

Do not let your family and friends make you feel as if you are doing something wrong if you choose to breastfeed. Do not let the formula companies’ freebie diaper bags and truck loads of free formula entice you into supplementing your breast milk with formula. They want you to do that because they know that it will decrease your milk supply.

If you are having problems with nursing and need some help, please contact a lactation consultant or lookup your local La Leche League Group for more information. http://www.lalecheleague.org

Here are some great breastfeeding sites with oodles of information: (WARNING! The following websites have many pictures of breastfeeding mothers and their adorable little ones, so if you are offended by that, don’t visit!)
http://www.007b.com/
http://nurseherenow.com/
http://www.breastfeeding.com/
http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/
http://www.breastfeedingbasics.org/
http://www.promom.org/
http://www.whenmothersnurse.org/
http://www.breastfeedingmatters.com/


If you want to know why breastfeeding is also so important in Islam, read Surat-al-Baqara

“And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years” (2:233)


Now here are some great Islamic websites with breastfeeding information:

Muslim Mom’s Breastfeeding FAQ
The Quran and Breastfeeding
Different rules regarding nursing - according to the Fatawa of Ayatullah al Uzama Syed Ali al-Husaini Seestani


I hope all of you sisters choose to breastfeed, if you are able, and I pray that you all have a fast and easy delivery with healthy and happy babies, Inshallah!

What a difference in headlines!

People in Iraq - lining up to get hard-to-get bread at a bakery, being taken out by random gunfire, roadside bombs and mortar attacks.
http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10083045.html

People in the U.S. - lining up overnight in front of Best Buy to get the hard-to-get PlayStation 3, being shot at with BBs.
http://www.wkyt.com/news/headlines/4661551.html

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Teacher phone conference

Every two weeks I have a phone conversation with my five year old’s teacher from Connections Academy to see how we are progressing and if there are any questions from either side. Well we had ours earlier today and she wanted to know how we were doing. So I told her that we’ll be pretty much done all the courses by the end of December except for 3, Reading and writing, Math and Spanish (which we started last week, and now she can successfully count to ten in Spanish!) She said she’s been watching how she’s been progressing, and she looked over some of her work online and she’s happy with the way her reading is going and she wants her to try and write a story. She said to let her write a narrative, about any topic that she likes and get her to draw pictures for it as well. She said she’ll send me more self-addressed stamped envelopes so I can send them to her so she can grade them as well as give feedback. I told my five year old about it and she says she wants to write about our girls day out.

The teacher also would like us to start two more electives in January; something called webquest and then also another called homelife. Webquest is another computer course and homelife is different projects that you will do with your child and then work on something for it like a collage and send it in to be graded. So if we decided to bake something together we could take pictures and then have my 5 year old write out the recipe or a letter and then send it all in. Or if we go on a field trip together we can do a project on that. I don’t have all the details but it sounds pretty interesting.

She also told me today that there are two students in her class who are doing really well and my five year old is one of them. She said that the mother of the other child is also very involved like me and we are also the only ones that have chosen to do electives, which I was really surprised about. She was also very happy to hear that both of us chose a foreign language as an elective and the other child and their mother have also chosen to do the homelife elective. She told me they are having a lot of fun with it and that’s why she is suggesting it to me because she knows we will probably enjoy it too. Once we start it up in January I’ll let you all know how it goes and maybe post some information about the projects if I can.

Orlando Science Center

We went to the Orlando Science Center on Tuesday. I have to say, I wasn’t really that impressed, however we did not go to the human body exhibit or watch any movies. I knew my three year old would not really sit patiently through a movie and I did not want to disturb others that were there to learn. We also didn’t go to the human body exhibit, (although I was interested in going) because we heard (and were also told by the OSC staff) that it would be a bit too much for my girls to handle, especially since they used authentic human bodies and organs that have been preserved. The rest of it was pretty boring. My girls enjoyed it for the most part because they had baby alligators and fish and other animals. They also liked the Kidstown and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood area a little bit, but we were out of there in 1.5 hours. I am so glad we did not purchase the yearly pass. This was my first time going to the Orlando Science center so I really didn’t know what to expect. I think I will definitely take the girls to the Ontario Science Center next July.

Girls Day Out!

Mondays are usually library days but once we got there this Monday my five year old announced that she did not want to go to story time today because today the story teller was Mr. Bill and she did not like Mr. Bill. So I asked her why not and she matter-of-factly told me “Because he is too loud and not fun at all. He tries to be fun, but he is boring.” I almost burst out laughing in her face because I too felt EXACTLY the same way about Mr. Bill. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he was great at first (except for the loud booming voice that used to freak me out sometimes) but I thought he was very energetic. However after watching the same 30 minute routine 100 times with no changes whatsoever except for whatever book he chose to read to us that day, I quickly realized it was getting old and boring. I just didn’t think my 5 year old realized that as well.

Anyhow, so we just returned our books and checked out some new ones and left without going in to the story time area. However I didn’t feel like going home yet so I took the girls to a nearby park. They swung and slided and pretended to be pirates (there was a pretend boat there) for about an hour. I was starting to get hungry and they had no intention of leaving the park yet, so I asked them if they would like to have a girls day out with me. We would do lots of fun stuff like go to the library (which we already did) then to the park (which we were at) and then eat lunch out and maybe if we were good have some dessert out too. They got really excited and ran to the car.

So when we got to the restaurant, ordered our food and sat down to eat my 3 year old decided to very loudly tell everyone around us that is was girls day out and there are no Baba’s (her father) and boys allowed. My five year old and I started giggling, and so did the people sitting behind us so she decides to say it again really loudly. No boys allowed because boys are stinky! I was like “WOAH THERE!” I told her boys aren’t stinky, they are just not allowed today because it is girls day out. So she agreed very loudly again, “THAT’S RIGHT, NO BOYS ALLOWED AT THIS TABLE!!! Luckily nobody kicked us out of the restaurant. LOL!

Girls day out turned out to be fun, and when we got home my five year old said, “Mama, I really liked girls day out; lets do it all the time!”

I was thinking, don't we do that all the time? Yes me and the girls do go out together often, but it's funny if you just give your time together a name, it becomes so special to them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

National Children's Book Week

November 13th through the 19th is National Children's Book Week. The NEA (National Education Association) website gives you a list of 100 books that kids love reading. It also gives you a list of teachers' top 100 books. This is a great way to find a book that may interest your child and get him/her motivated to read.

Also, the Children's Book Council has started a nationwide book donation program. For more information, visit the following link:
http://www.cbcbooks.org/cbw/giveaway.html

Friday, November 10, 2006

What’s the magic word?

So this is how hilarious my three year old can be. Last week her uncle was over and she demanded something that was in his hand in a not-very-polite way. When her uncle asked her, “What’s the magic word?” All my hard work of teaching her to say please and thank you goes down the drain and she says to him, “ABRACADABRA!

She also calls chicken cacciatore, "kitchen chakatory."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

BrainPOP and the Election

Online educational content provider BrainPOP has partnered up with NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons to encourage kids to take their parents to vote. Both appear in animated form in a short segment that not only explains the importance of voting, but also talks kids through the process in a lively, engaging way.

Here's a link to the full segment on the BrainPOP site featuring Joel Klein's introduction and Russell Simmons:
http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/ushistory/voting/

Here's the shorter Youtube segment featuring Russell Simmons:



Don't forget to vote today!

Muslim baby names

I've noticed a lot of people are coming to my site after searching for duas to read during pregnancy or labor. I did add some things that I knew about on an earlier post but I also thought that perhaps some of you guys might be thinking about what to name your upcoming bundle of joy. Well I know about a few great muslim baby name websites but this one is one of my favorites because it actually has my name in it, which rarely happens:

Muslim Baby Names

May Allah (swt) grant you all a fast and easy delivery and a happy and healthy baby!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Molly, An American Girl

Okay there is a little bit of excitement in this house since I told my five year old the Molly Movie will be coming on tv soon. I’ve known about it for a while and we’ve been going through the Molly short stories from the library again to refresh her memory. We did the same thing right before the Felicity movie came on tv last year and she really enjoyed it then. Now that we’ve read them all I’m thinking about starting one of the novels, like the first one, “Meet Molly” but I’m not sure if she really wants to start that yet, I’ll have to ask her on the next library trip.

Anyhow, for all those American Girl fans out there, the Molly movie will be on Sunday November 26th, 2006 at 8pm EST on the Disney Channel. And don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes!

And for those of you who missed the first two American Girl movies which we really enjoyed (except for the Samantha movie which made her sad a little bit in the middle, but then she liked it at the end) they are going to be on tv again as well. She really enjoyed the Felicity movie last year, it will be on again Saturday December 2nd on the Hallmark Channel along with the Samantha movie. Both of these movies are also available on DVD and we usually borrow them from the library any time we want to see them again.

Happy viewing!

Chore Charts

I’ve wanted to post about this for a while now. A little over a month ago my five year old and I worked out a chore chart for her, so she knows what to do during the day and what her responsibilities are. I mainly started this because my five year old is just like me, a morning person and an early riser. I remember I always used to be the first one up in my house. While my mom and my sister slept I was usually able to watch a whole bollywood movie before they woke up (and that tells a lot because those things are like 3 HOURS LONG!!!)

Anyhow, my five year old is exactly the same way, (except she's never seen a bollywood film, shocking I know! LOL!). Now that daylight savings time has kicked in, morning prayers are around 5:30am and I’ve noticed sometimes she’s up even before then (even if she went to bed at 10pm the night before). Well we tell her to stay in bed and try and sleep some more, which she is able to do for another hour or so and I also usually try and go back to sleep for atleast an hour after that. So we made up some ground rules for her. First, if she wakes up she needs to try and stay in bed until 7am. At 7am she can get up and start going through her chore chart. Before we made up the chore chart she would wander aimlessly through the house not knowing what to do or she would come wake me up because she was bored. I didn’t mind but I preferred it if she had her own schedule to follow and she knew what her day would consist of and what she can look forward to accomplishing.

Anyhow, we worked out a chore chart similar to this:

1. Go to the potty and wash up.
2. Get dressed (She has a little drawer that she can choose her days clothes from that has her “home clothes” in it which consists of comfortable dresses or shalwar kameez that she only wears around the house, not if we go out somewhere) (She also combs her hair and puts on a matching hair band and a little chap stick, it’s so adorable!)
3. Make your bed (thank goodness I do not have to do that anymore! :) )
4. Read, play with your toys or work on your computer until parents wake up (or until I have her breakfast ready if I am already awake)
5. Eat breakfast
6. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
7. Wash your hands, face, brush teeth and clean up.
8. Homeschooling time, or do Madressa homework, or bike riding or activity time. (This is a time period of a few hours that we usually do all of our work and/or go bike riding to the park or if we planned some sort of outing or activity then we do that.
9. Eat lunch
10. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
11. Wash your hands, face, brush teeth and clean up.
12. Naptime or reading time
13. Playtime or do as you please time (Which usually consists of any outings or activities we have planned or Mama cooking and her playing with her sister, or Baba, or grandpa or grandma. We also do homeschooling at this time if we didn’t get it done in the morning.)
14. Dinnertime
15. Put your dishes in the dishwasher
16. Get ready for bedtime (washing, brushing teeth, putting her day clothes in the laundry basket (home clothes and outside clothes that she may have worn that day) and putting on her pajamas
17. If there’s still some time before bed (they are usually in bed between 9pm and 9:30pm, unless they missed their nap that day then they are in bed by 8pm) they can play a little bit with the family (especially their uncle who comes over at least once a week for dinner)
18. Quick clean-up (picking up toys in their room, living room, parents room, kitchen or any other room they have been playing in)
19. Bedtime

Then at the bottom of her chore chart I have another small section that says:

Other things to remember during the day:
a) be kind to others (especially to her little sister)
b) be helpful (help mom with preparing food, setting table, cleaning up, sorting laundry, emptying dishwasher, etc...)
c) remember your manners (table manners, social skills, and her please and thank you’s)
d) say your prayers (pray with us as often as she can and also read her duas throughout the day, especially before going to sleep)

Now of course not every day is like this and not every thing is accomplished or completed in this order. We just made this up to use as an example so we have some sort of schedule and she knows what to do and expect. For example, Mondays are library days and we usually go there in the mornings, therefore we don’t do as much homeschooling that day because her uncle usually comes for dinner Monday evenings so we prepare a nice dinner that evening and don’t do that much homeschooling, if any. Saturday is totally different because we usually have other commitments and activities going on. Madressa is on Sunday and most of our day is spent there. And then other days we may have field trips or I just feel like going to the mall some days and having lunch out. :)

Anyhow, having a chore chart has really made my life easier and has made her feel more confident and responsible. There are a lot of different ways you can set yours up; I just did mine in a table format using Microsoft Word. You can do yours in excel or download one that’s already done for you and print it out. You can also have rewards for different chores accomplished. There are a lot of great sites you can get ideas from, here are a few I’ve found that gave me some ideas for her chart:

ChartJungle - Full of all kinds of charts
MyRewardBoard - Good place to start if you want to set up a reward system
ChoreBuster - Set chores up for everyone here! :)
DLTK's Custom Chore Chart - You can have different themes!
And of course About.com’s scheduling, calendaring, and charting section for lots more info.

Muslim scouts

Okay so I am really jealous! Why can't there be something like this in Orlando? Is there something like this in Florida anywhere? How does one go about starting your own group like this, because I am SO willing to do this!!!



There is a local girl scouts council here but I looked into it and some of their activities will not really work well with us.

Is anyone a part of something like this that is similar? Any information would be helpful. I'm going to contact the people at GirlScouts.org and see what I can find out.