help me win a scholarship


Assalam Alaikum,
As you may know, I am a mother of two, and I’m currently pursuing my MA in English. My husband and I, have to pay for my tuition out of pocket, as we refuse to accept loans based on Riba.
I recently entered a scholarship contest. The theme was “What Makes U Special.”  You can help me win a scholarship just by watching this video. The entry that secures the most views will win a $5,000 scholarship. All you have to do is view the video, available at this link
 If you want to help even more, you can forward this video to everyone you know. Every view helps. If you have a blog, facebook, myspace page or website, I would certainly appreciate a link.


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tajuddeen with Torticollis

Look how much better he looks, alhumdollilah

Chances are you have never heard of tortocollis. As the link will explain, torticollis, or wryneck, is a condition that some babies are born with. It causes the baby’s neck to be turned towards a certain angle, and it’s difficult for them to have full range of motion. I considered myself pretty savvy when it came to baby issues, but I had never heard of the condition, and what’s worse, I didn’t even know that Taj had it.

I took Taj to a ladies Suq one weekend, and a sister I know, who is a chiropractor held Taj for me for a second, when I went to get him back she said, “Do you know that he has torticollis?” SubhanAllah I had no clue, and his pediatrician at the time had never mentioned it either. She explained the condition, and suddenly I realized that his head WAS often turned to one direction. I also looked back at old pics, and realized that he always had his head at a tilt. I felt ashamed for never realizing that it was a problem. I was also angry that his pedi had never noticed.
I have sinced changed pediatricians and his condition is improving beautifully, alhumdullilah.


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Here is my little man. It’s so hard to capture a smile from him, but he does smile readily, just not on camera. He will be 4 months soon, and is growing sooo fast mashAllah. Evidently, it’s hard to raise a newborn and a toddler. That’s the reason I’ve been MIA recently. Alhumdullilah for both of my sweeties, though.

He can roll over from front to back, and he weighs 19, yes nineteen pounds. All breastmilk, though. His pedi isn’t worried at all, since all he’s getting is mommy’s milk. He is grabbing at things, including my earrings and his sister’s hair. Today I caught him trying to scoot towards a toy, but he only succeeded in turning himself clockwise. I just love him. Everyone thinks he looks just like my husband, but we’ll have to wait and see if that sticks.
I am currently back in school, working on my MA in English online, another reason for my absentee status. Make du’ah for us, and I’ll be back soon, inshAllah.


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Originally uploaded by oldschoolmuslima

Sorry, I have been missing in action. I was busy having a baby. Tajuddeen was born on April, 9th. He weighed 7lbs and 12.6 oz. A full pound more than Zakiyyah! He was born in the water, and showed his calm and easy disposition from day one. MashAllah.

I will post more later, inshAllah. But let me say that Allah has blessed me with two beautiful children, and a loving and devoted husband, and sometimes I wonder if I’m worthy.

Food for thought, that someone posted on a message board today:

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Does it not please you (O Women!) that when you conceive from your husbands while he is pleased with you then that woman will receive such reward equal to that of a fasting person in the path of Allah and spending the night in ibaadat. When her labour pains commence the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers and breast feeds her child then she will be granted a reward for every gulp of milk, and if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of her child, she will receive the reward of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah. O Salaamat! Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, delicately natured but yet are obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them.”


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new baby knitting

new baby knitting

Originally uploaded by oldschoolmuslima

So, I have been knitting. Some things are for new baby. The sage/cotton pants and hats are for the new baby. Since I don’t know the gender, I kept them neutral. The pink sunhat amd the purple beanie are for a friend’s baby. She seemed to like them.

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another ncb, God Willing

I’m planning another unmedicated (natural) childbirth. (NCB for short) I was able to have my sweet Zuzu, without any pain medication. It was great, special, fulfilling, just as any birth should be. I was on a message board, and a woman stated that having NCB made the birth of her child more special for her. Well, some women who were planning to medicate just couldn’t understand her statement and went off. One woman asked, “How can going through hours of pain make childbirth more special??” Another stated a tired mantra, which I’ve heard before, “You wouldn’t get a tooth pulled without drugs. Why have a baby without them?” I tried to address the question, but my words fell on deaf ears. Here’s how I see it:

Firstly, on the special-ness aspect, I feel that having an un-medicated childbirth is just ONE aspect of her birth that made it special FOR ME. Other things that made it special were: having my mother present, having my husband there to love and support me through it all, hearing her first cries etc. It does NOT mean that these things made my child more special to me (I think I would be hard pressed to find anything that would make my Zuzu more special. She’s pretty much at special-ness overload). These are things that made her birth more special. So, why is it acceptable to say that my husband rubbing my back through contractions made my daughter’s birth special, but once you throw in a word about not using drugs, many women perceive that as a value statement. As though I am stating, “My birth is better than yours!!” That obviously isn’t what I’m stating at all.

I think that in some instances, drugs during childbirth are truly a gift from God. I recently read a book on the history of birth, and let’s not sugarcoat things, our foremothers had it rough. Reading through some of the descriptions of un-medicated cesarean sections made me queasy just thinking about it. However, I feel that drugs (not just epidurals, but also pitocin and others) are overused in America’s hospitals.  I just don’t want to inject myself and my baby with narcotics unless I feel it is absolutely necessary. I have tons of info to support my decision, but I don’t want to go into it now.

As far as the “tooth getting pulled” analogy. Usually people get their teeth pulled because the tooth is decayed, rotting, or causing some problem for the patient. My baby isn’t an obstruction to be removed s/he is a human who will be birthed the way women have been doing it for ages. Oh, and last I checked, a dentist will not pull a tooth on a pregnant women, but OBs use similar drugs on pregnant women all the time. Makes you go hmm…  


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Nesting: ‘nest-i[ng] (verb): a phenomenon in which women drive themselves and spouses insane in an attempt to prepare for an event which is impossible to prepare for: the birth of a child. I’m now 37 weeks pregnant, and I guess I’m in “nesting” mode. I’ve been trying to prepare for the new baby. I’m getting things done, but it feels like there is always more to do. At the beginning of Feb, we moved into a bigger place, alhumdullilah. We now have plenty of space for the kiddies and ourselves to spread out, but having a bigger home means more to clean, organize, arrange, and childproof. The kids’ room still isn’t up to par. Zakiyyah has been sleeping in her big girl bed most nights, but it’s in our room. When the new baby comes, s/he will sleep in our room in a basinet, because there is no way I’m going to get out of bed and go into another room to nurse a newborn. So, add getting Zakiyyah out of our room to my list of nesting chores. Here’s what else is on my list (in no particular order) 

  1. Get a pack and play for baby to sleep in. We plan to use the basinet portion for baby to sleep in until s/he outgrows it. (done).

      We got this one: 

  1. Prepare two weeks worth of freezer meals that can be easily reheated during those hectic days after baby arrives (done).

       I made lasagna, shrimp and okra, and manicotti among other things. 

  1. Wash and de-stain all of Zakiyyah’s newborn and 0-3 mos clothing. (done) I didn’t realize that breastmilk can leave some wicked stains on clothing. I was able to get most of them out with Oxyclean and hot water.


  1. Clean and sterilize all bottles and breastpump parts (done). Actually hubby did this for me.


  1. Obtain a stroller. (done) Zakiyyah has been using an umbrella stroller, which isn’t safe for a newborn. The stroller we used when she was a newborn is missing a wheel. I found this one on closeout, and it just arrived last week. Hubby put it together and I’m really happy with it.


  1. Get a sling/baby carrier. (done) I am dead-set on wearing this baby. This is something I missed out on with zakiyyah. I thought she didn’t like to be worn, but turns out I was using a completely crap carrier. This time I found a Maya Wrap ring sling. They retail for $50, but I found one half-price at a consignment sale. Yay, for me! I should add that zakiyyah and hubby have been “test driving” it for me, and Zakiyyah actually likes being held by her baba using the hip hold. I don’t know how she’ll feel when she sees the new Little One using it. We may have to get a toddler friendly carrier just for Zakiyyah to use.


  1. Wash infant carrier, and cover. (done). Just did this today, and glad I did. Hubby had to hunt down and wash the base aswell.


  1. Knit a few items for the new Little One. (done) I was able to make some knitted pants and a matching hat, in sage green and white. I need to post a pic because they’re so adorable.


  1. Write out thank you notes for my baby “sprinkle”. My mom threw me a small baby “sprinkle” mid-march, and I still haven’t gotten around to writing out the notes. Hopefully, I can finish that this week.

 10. Clean house. I can’t say this will ever be “done,” because there always seems like there is more to clean…oh well… 


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