Its been more than a year!

I had intended to blog for my lil missy’s first but then the time sorta just ran away with me… we had a birthday party for her and whilst I totally understood that she would not know what the heck was going on; we did it anyway… Hubby and I agreed to not go overboard and instead just do family. All in all it was wonderful and went off without a hitch. By 3pm missy was knackered… I think there actually was one person there FAR more tired than her – ME!

But aside from the birthday… I cannot believe that she is one! ONE people! HOW has the last year just flown by?

FLOWN!

The whole week prior and after her birthday I have had some serious “moments” – I’ve been looking at Amira and been totally amazed. She is growing up before my very eyes – I see her now and I can see her personality shine through, I see her understand things around her so much more, I see her ‘thinking’, putting things together, I see her thoughtfulness… It seems like only yesterday I was judt learning how to nurse her. I used to plonk her on the bed all swaddled up and she wouldn’t move an inch and now she’s crawling at serious speed, pulling herself up, ‘walking’ while holding onto stuff… baby balling and a few other words like mama, dada, daddy, bubba, book and pointing when she wants something… my little girl is growing up and I cannot believe it!

 

I look at her and STILL cannot believe she is ours – she is beyond the bestest thing in our life…

Muslim-world Problems…

I have JUST had the funniest conversation that can ONLY be had in the Muslim/Arab world!

Got a call from a mobile number that I did not know – I answered thinking:

???

“Assalamu alaikum Farah, this is Isa; I got your phone number from my sister.  I am friends with your brother and need to contact him but don’t have his number with me on this phone. Could you please either give me his mobile or pass on a message to him for me?”

Me: “alaikum salaam – um; I think you have the wrong Farah – I don’t have a brother….”

Isa: “oh – sorry… which Farah is this?”

Me: “that’s ok… which Isa is this?”

Isa: “its Isa XXXXX” (that’s obviously not his surname)

At this point I had worked out which Isa it is and we start to have a good chat (and a chuckle) as to who we are and ask each other’s respective family’s and how old our little babies are etc…

I got off the phone and could not help but smile and think: definitely Muslim-wold Problem!

How are YOU?

Do you know can be incredibly frustrating about my relationship with my mother? Is that is completely almost totally one-sided! I mean do NOT for a second think that I am ungrateful for everything she has done, sacrificed and achieved in raising me. Don’t for one millisecond think that I don’t sit here in awe of the fact that from the age of eight she raised me as a single parent without any emotional or monetary help from my dad at all.

BUT it seems that the moment I started earning an income I suddenly started morphing into something else. Sure, I was always the one mum spoke to about her problems, finances and don’t even get me started on the abundance of ‘emotional scarring’ my father left on my mother where I all too vividly remember mum crying in her bedroom then scooping me up so I could sleep with her in her bed. But even then if I (as a child) wanted to cry about my own sadness my mum always told me that seeing me cry hurt her too much – me crying would make her cry so that then i’d have to make her feel ok and happy, so in most cases I’d “sort myself” out by just crying by myself in the dead of night in my room.

When I graduated university and got that full-time job I changed yet again; I became the provider, the husband, the listener, the maintainer, the fixer, the translator, the plumber, the driver… BUT I still had a curfew and I STILL had to listen and obey her every instruction. But I did it; I sucked it up and did it – because she raised me, because she did it on her own, because I think she managed to do a bloody good job of it, because I DO love her, because she is my mother.

And now I’m married and have a baby – and whilst I am now not entirely playing the role of “financier” ( though that is NOT for lack of her trying) I am still the translator, the driver and the person to has to calm her down when things seem too much (which is often, as she is a highly anxious person). What frustrates me MOST of all is she never, ever asks how I am.

Never.

Even when she calls me and its obvious I am sick; she’ll say in an accusing tone “you sound sick – why aren’t you taking medicine?” HOW do you answer this? With a deep breath and “yeah, I have a cold, I am taking some medicine – thanks”. I mean really – what else can I say?

But don’t get me wrong – she LOVES our little girl; she looks after lil missy every Monday and I can tell she loves it. And when she calls me she DOES sometimes ask about Amira towards the middle/end of the conversation… she’ll even ask about hubby as well (I know right, how the times have changed!) and how she feels she hasn’t seen him in ages.

But not me – and not about what I’m doing or got planned for the day, or if her call is disturbing me from work etc. No, instead my mum jumps strainght into her conversation and wat is frustrating her at this VERY MILLISECOND and that I, as her daughter, her one and only child – the one she raised all by herself MUST stop whatever I am doing and listen, help and fix her issue… even if it is the EXACT same situation she has already told me of 4 times before in the last other 4 converstations (of which I may have provided a solution but that it does not meet her requirements.

Take for example my converstion with her but minutes ago – as soon as I picked up and said salam she was straight into it “remember how I went to the chemist yesterday? Well they didn’t have the medication for my prescription – so I went to another one today and they said only the chemist in Applecross has this – WHAT will I do? I MUST have this medication NOW! Plus I have the problem with the neighbour still! There are 5 cars parked in front of their and my house – it makes it very difficult for me to reverse out – I have a new car, I could have an ACCIDENT! WHAT should I DO? Maybe I call police and they talk to them? They don’t understand – you can’t JUST park in FRONT someone house like that!” do you notice how there are no full stops? Because my mum doesn’t use them – I feel the need to tell you that at this exact moment; whilst I’m on the phone to my mum that my lil missy is screaming her lungs out as I was trying to get her down for her afternoon nap and that I KNOW my mum would’ve been able to hear – but she doesn’t even ask what’s going on… why? Because SHE has an issue and I MUST listen and fix it…

And I’m totally stuck – I completely caught up in her “you have to help me because I am your mother and I do everything for you” only its not that she does everything for me – it’s that once upon a time I was a child and THEN she DID do everything for me. And tr as I may to desperately make her understand that in fact, for the last DECADE or so I HAVE been the one to do everything and that the moment I worked out my mum held over my head the fact she’d done it ‘all for me’ as a single parent (so that I “owed” her) I quickly smartened up and thought that I would rather go without than ask for help as I did not want my ‘list’ of ‘debt’ to get any greater.

What frustrates me and upsets me most of all is that there is no possible resolution in this situation because try as I have to explain things it either falls on deaf ears or she changes the subject or will throw the trump card: “I gave birth to you.” I can’t argue with that… so I stay silent and realise its easier to just go along with her.

But it hurts me.

Then she asks why she looks after missy once a week and my mother in law has her for 2 days (it’s really 1.5 days) – where do I go with that? That I don’t get a bigger a debt with you? That I hate asking you for anything as it is now? That it’s easier with my in laws because they have a stroller/car seat/toys and cot at their house that they’ve set up whereas at my mum she expects/asks/insist that I MUST purchase and leave all these things at her place because she has ‘no money’.

Don’t for one second underestimate my mum – she may seem like she ‘has no money’ and by no means is she ‘rolling in it’ but she is VERY smart with her money! We go out, she’ll suggest we go for lunch and ask me to pick a place that I know she’ll like (see; the way she makes it seem like I’m picking out the place?). Once we get to said place she’ll see what she wants and tell me what I should order for her then sits down… we go to her doctor’s appointment and she wants us to park close to hospital =but she never offers to pay for anything=, she wants to go away and visit family overseas and she’ll tell me how much the ticket is and then say “I’ll get the travel agent to call you and tell you ‘details’” (details = price); even on my birthday when she gets me a ‘gift’ it’s something I KNOW she’s already had at home. But she’ll say she has no money… and then proceeds to buy herself a band NEW car… only AFTER telling me that her friends daughter =allegedly= bought their mother a new car and asked her (the friend) that my mother should ask her daughter (me) to buy her a car. And even with this new car she doesn’t come to visit me on grounds of “it’s too far” because to my mum ANY place that is MORE than a 7 – 10 minutes’ drive away is WAY too far away (FYI: my house 15minutes drive from her place; the same distance it is from my in laws place!)

Don’t get me wrong, I am not resentful about the money; money comes and goes and she IS my mum and she HAS raised me all on her own. More than anything I am upset by the “cumulative-ness” of it all. Of all the expectation without warmth, with the total one-way street with no hesitation, with the fact that I seem to be a call centre officer to her so that all I am is the ‘fixer up-er”.

I am just so very emotionally tired and hurt by it all… but have to silently, stoically keep going and pretend that I am ok with ‘this’…

But she still doesn’t ask: “How are you?”

WHERE did my fitness go?

After a long hiatus called child bearing+birthing+rearing I have bitten the bullet and re-joined the gym. It has been something that I have been SERIOUSLLY ‘umm-ing’ and mulling over for the last 6 months! Yep – I know that sounds like a LONG time to make a decision but really I could not justify the payments. I mean, I AM earning less these days (as I am not at work fulltime at the moment) and after we pay for all the necessities + baby needs and a few little bits and pieces for myself (nowhere near as many “bits & pieces” I used to get myself) I just DON’T have the heart to ask hubby to pay for gym membership too. So alas my fitness came a close second to new clothes and I elected to not join… until now.

After MUCH thought I decided that I really, really AM not liking my body the way it is since I had lil missy. Don’t get me wrong – I know that I am really fortunate and am grateful that whilst my body has changed, I haven’t put on that much weight but I literally HATE my midsection – I DISPISE how ‘thick’ I feel I am in the tummy region. I know that I am my own worst critic – hubby is often telling me to not be so hard on myself; that I look great (bless him) and that I need to realise that I am going to look different as I have had a baby but I can’t help it. I think its worse because I was little pre-pregnancy so that now when I see how things have changed I seriously beat myself up about it.

But anyway – here we are; baby almost a year old and I have finally joined a gym near my place. Don’t get me wrong; I really liked Fernwood (my old gym) fitness, but I needed to go to a gym that was:
A) Closer to home
B) Cheaper
C) Cheaper
So I joined Bailey’s Fitness; So far they seem ok – I needed something that had classes as whilst I don’t mind jumping on a treadmill/bike/other equipment, I really do enjoy going to classes….

Usually…

I went to my first ‘not-really-my-first’ Zumba class on Saturday morning. I left hubby with a sleeping baby and instructions for when she wakes up.
Oh
MY
GOODNESS!

WHERE, WHERE did my fitness go? WHERE?

I’d been doing quite a few (read: A LOT!) pelvic floor exercises post baby and had been pretty happy with the results until I realised by the end of the warm up ‘jumpathon’ that I was about ready to wet myself! Thankfully all went ok in that area by the end of the class, however after the hour I was beginning to think an angina was imminent. Let’s not even get me started on how unco-ordinated I was through the whole class! It’s as though lil missy took all my rhythm – VERY sad! Especially when I think about how much rhythm and co-ordination I usually have! i used to be able to dance the night away; do a Zumba class AND then head over and do 45 minutes worth of cardio. Really, if i wasn’t at the back of the class wheezing in agony i would have cried! I am hoping that this ‘issue’ is short term and that once I get through a couple classes I’ll get my groove back and not look so tragic!

One can only hope…

In the meantime I woke up Sunday with sore hamstrings and very tender arms! AND I have a personal training session tomorrow (Wednesday) morning – EEEKK! If I thought I was nervous for Zumba I am even more nervous for this PT session as there will seriously be no place to hide!

Wish me luck people….

Quick Update: 5 days of ‘No Poo’

It is now day 5 post wash using the no poo method and I must say I am happy with results!

My hair isn’t greasy at ALL! I am wondering though if my lack of transition period is either a fluke – so that when I do wash imminently I will be inundated by a MASSIVE transition period and be in grease-city OR if in fact, my lack of transition period is because I had already stopped using sulphate shampoo and conditioner before stopping shampoo altogether? Either way I CANNOT believe that my hair is not, only NOT greasy BUT it is still soft and manageable as though I had only washed it yesterday!

I have also noticed that I am not needing to use as much air product AND that my hair is VERY soft after I’ve popped in the hair product and doesn’t have any ‘crunchy’ feel. I’m also finding that it is still holding my curl really well + giving me even more body/volume than I usually would have (without a volumising spray at the roots) which i am liking a lot. There was quite a bit of ‘breeze’ over the weekend and I loved the movement/having the wind in my hair and then seeing that my curls still looked really nice (usually they’d be looking all over the place)! I am also noticing that (as I’m using a lesser amount of product in my hair) my hair itself seems lighter in colour.

Day 5 and still happy with the results…

The ‘No Poo’ Wash…

So it’s been the 2nd “no poo wash” (NPW)  for me – I feel that when I did it the first time that it didn’t really count as I did still use conditioner between ‘steps’ as I needed some help to detangle my curly mess. This time around I stuck to the theory but added a little more apple cider vinegar to my ‘conditioning’. This means that it is 1 tablespoon bi carb soda to 1 cup (tap) water (which popped into a bottle) AND in another spray bottle 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (ACV) to 1 cup water.

This time around I ‘poured’ the bi crab concoction around my hairline and then through parts of my hair (keeping as close to the scalp as possible). I rubbed it in a fair bit and found that I managed to get that ‘slippery’ feeling and was able to run it down the rest of my hair. I left it in for a couple of minutes (so I could apply body wash + shave legs) and then found that this helped me to be able to comb my hair (with my trusty afro comb – every curly haired gal’s best friend I think!). After washing that out I liberally sprayed the ACV creation at the roots of my hair and a few bursts through the mid-lengths and ends. Again, I left that in (I usually cleanse my skin at this point so that lets my hair ‘condition’) for a couple minutes and then washed it out. Just before getting out of the shower, I turn off the hot water and turn up the cold and pop my hair under the (shower) head – I’ve been doing this for yyyeeearrrs and find that the quick burst of cold water adds extra shine to hair and (as I air dry) makes it less ‘boofy’ once it dries!

Once I towel dried my hair I applied my usual styling product but slightly less than usual  – only because I am getting to the bottom of the bottle and haven’t got my back up bottle yet). This morning (yes, I wash my hair at night a few hours before going to bed – after I’ve put missy moo to bed!) I was surprised to see how lovely my hair looked! I was totally expecting it to be all limp/oily/not quite right. Instead I find my curl is MORE defined!!

So far so good people!

I’m trying something new (no poo for me!)…

So I am on the cusp of trying something new… actually I have commenced the trying but in typical ‘me’ fashion I am dipping my toe in rather than jumping straight into the deep end!

I’m not a fan of the name of what I’m doing, but I’ll call a spade a spade… I am going NO POO!

i mean – look how happy she looks!

What this means is I am basically cutting out shampoo from my hair care regime… I am told (from research) that I will be happy with the results and my locks will be oh-so-wonderful…. ONCE I get over the “transition phase”. Don’t get me wrong, like most things one researches there was both pros and cons for trying this method but at the end of the day I have decided that really, what have I got to lose?

So WHAT am I using? I am using a Bicarb soda (1 tablespoon) + water (1 cup) concoction that I keep in a spray bottle in the shower and use instead of shampoo. To condition I am using apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons) + water (1 cup). Of everything that I read regarding this method, I was told that I may have to ‘tweak’ it to suit my own hair needs. As my hair is curly and gets SUPER tangled (because I only ever comb it when its wet) I have already ‘tweaked’ it and BEFORE I do the apple cider vinegar + water creation I am actually cheating applying a smmmalll amount of conditioner to my ends and mid-lengths so I can comb my hair after I wash it.

WHY am I doing this? I sort of stumbled across it… I had quite some time ago jumped onto the Moroccan Oil (MO) shampoo and conditioner bandwagon and LOVED it. Then to sulphate free stuff with MO (called Seven Wonders) which, I found was even better for my hair! Anyway – the whole time I was pregnant I had such blissfully full, lustrous hair… then 3 months postpartum; BAM – HAIR FALL CITY! I am NOT talking the usual ‘hair clogging drain’ situation here. It looked more like there was a drown cat in my drain! Each and every wash made me anxious which in turn made the fall out worse – I KNOW that its “normal” to have hairfall postpartum because of the hormone changes but this was DEPRESSING to see! At one point, hubby popped his head into the bathroom as I was washing my hair and exclaimed “oh my GOD – Is everything ok? You should go see a doctor! That is a LOT of hair!!”

Thankfully since then all things have returned to normal – I switched my conditioner to one by Klorane which is especially for weak hair (which I TRULY think helped my ‘hair situation’ get back to normal quicker) but as I had read about this ‘no poo’ thing I started getting curious and wanted to know more… hence the research began…

Anyway – what with me now back at work but only 3 days week and all the stuff that we needed to buy for baby + bills etc I started looking at areas I could cut costs (whilst still maintaining other stuff)… the no poo thing seemed a far, FAR cheaper option! So I mulled it over, and mulled it over some more. Then did some research, watched some you tube video’s, did more research, mulled even more and watched even MORE You Tube video.

Enter a week ago and I am sitting at home and out of nowhere I finally decide that I am giving it a go!

So its been ONE wash… so far so good. BUT I think that that’s more because my hair hasn’t quite worked out what’s happened yet… I am HOPEFUL that my transition period won’t be too bad as I had read that if I you’re already using sulphate free shampoo and conditioner that your transition shouldn’t be too ‘crazy’

Anyway – I’ll keep you up to date on the progress and if it’s worth the go!

Aside

Its FINALLY happened!

I’ll keep it short and sweet people hehe, much like myself…. BUT we here have FINALLY gotten off our asses and gotten a notebook and WiFi at our place!

I know that it was long, long overdue but better late than never…

 

woo-hoo! 

More blog posts to come in a swifter manner now!

 

This time last year…

I CANNOT believe it is ALREADY October! October people… Where did the last year go? At the end of the month my lil cherub will be a year old… 1 YEAR OLD! It is maddeningly clichéd & scary how quickly time flies. It was this time last year I was having my last day at work and was nervous/hesitant/excited for the arrival of our little girl.

I remember the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy; I wasn’t that woman exclaiming “I’ve had ENOUGH, get this baby outta me!” but rather I think in the last 6 weeks I discovered that I LOVED being pregnant and having this human inside of me moving, playing, responding to my touch. I had so many melancholy moments where I wished I could keep her attached to me for ever… it was only really in the last week where I really felt huge, where going from a sitting position to standing required effort and I had to ‘hold’ the bottom of my belly if I stood up for too long.

I look at Amira now and I am amazed how fast she’s growing and am so hopeful for her and our lives together as a family. At the back of my mind there are so many fears that I have – will she realise how much I love her? Please let her be God-fearing, kind and good to her parents… will she realise the importance of education and constantly strive to better herself?

She’s 11 months now and I can already see little bits of personality shine through; how (for the most part) she is a pretty ‘cruisey’ child – she’s not fazed by much and is quite relaxed about most things; she’s not easily agitated and has always been placid. She’s an observer; when we get together for mothers group I notice how the other little girls are far more ‘rough and tumble’ – they attack toys and jump straight into ‘giving things a go’. Amira will watch them, observe then then decide from there. She’ll hold a toy and REALLY look at it; pass it from one hand to the other and then play with it. She seems to be a quiet, persistent achiever – I’ve noticed this on more than one occasion but it was never more evident than when she learned how to stand herself up against the sofa. She’s a happy baby but doesn’t laugh at everything – she makes you work for her laughter which I find so enduring.

Even as I type all that I can see her so clearly in my mind’s eye; as though I am in my living room and am watching her play with her toy Dora kitchen (and not sitting in my TV room while she’s sleeping for the night), I get all teary just thinking about how much I love her (I know, SO LAME!).

 

How time flies!

I CANNOT believe it is ALREADY October! October people… Where did the last year go? At the end of the month my lil cherub will be a year old… 1 YEAR OLD! It is maddeningly clichéd & scary how quickly time flies. It was exactly this time last year I was having my last day at work and was nervous/hesitant/excited for the arrival of our little girl.

I remember the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy; I wasn’t that woman exclaiming “I’ve had ENOUGH, get this baby outta me!” but rather I think in the last 6 weeks I discovered that I LOVED being pregnant and having this human inside of me moving, playing, responding to my touch. I had so many melancholy moments where I wished I could keep her attached to me for ever… it was only really in the last week where I really felt huge, where going from a sitting position to standing required effort and I had to ‘hold’ the bottom of my belly if I stood up for too long.

I look at Amira now and I am amazed how fast she’s growing and am so hopeful for her and our lives together as a family. At the back of my mind there are so many fears that I have – will she realise how much I love her? Please let her be God-fearing, kind and good to her parents… will she realise the importance of education and constantly strive to better herself?

She’s 11 months now and I can already see little bits of personality shine through; how (for the most part) she is a pretty ‘cruisey’ child – she’s not fazed by much and is quite relaxed about most things; she’s not easily agitated and has always been placid. She’s an observer; when we get together for mothers group I notice how the other little girls are far more ‘rough and tumble’ – they attack toys and jump straight into ‘giving things a go’. Amira will watch them, observe then then decide from there. She’ll hold a toy and REALLY look at it; pass it from one hand to the other and then play with it. She seems to be a quiet, persistent achiever – I’ve noticed this on more than one occasion but it was never more evident than when she learned how to stand herself up against the sofa. She’s a happy baby but doesn’t laugh at everything – she makes you work for her laughter which I find so enduring.

Even as I type all that I can see her so clearly in my mind’s eye; as though I am in my living room and am watching her play with her toy kitchen (& not sitting here in my lounge, while she’s asleep in her cot), I get all teary just thinking about how much I love her (I know, SO LAME!).

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