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.
 
Shukran
Amani
 
 
 

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Torticollis

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tajuddeen with Torticollis

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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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update

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MashAllah

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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Tajuddeen!




Tajuddeen!

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

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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Whew…back to blogging

Hi All,

Congrats on finding my new blog. This will be my new home. I tried to give up the whole blogging thing, but I must have an outlet for all of my rantings, ravings, and meanderings. Oh, and I’m sick of hubby nodding his head and not listening. At least from you, I get an occasional comment. So, this is just a welcome note. Hopefully, I will drop in again soon.

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what I owe my daughter

I’m now almost 20 weeks pregnant. I’m at the halfway point. Alhumdollilah. Lately I have been thinking a lot about what I owe my child(ren).  What principles are truly important when it comes to raising well-rounded children, that grow into responsible adults? Anyway, I have made a list of the things I think are important. These are the things I owe my daughter and future children.

1. A Sound Education

The most important aspect of a sound education to my family, is knowledge of Islam. All praise to God, one of the first sounds my daughter heard upon being born was her father reciting the call to prayer into her ear. Before I teach my daughter anything else, I think it’s important to teach her about her religion. Right now, she is almost 2, so she mostly learns by example. She imitates my movements in prayer, and can say “Allah” and “Ameen.” I know that she doesn’t have an idea what those words mean, but it’s my job to teach her what those words mean and about the 5 pillars of her religion, slowly as she gets older.

Another aspect of a sound education is a strong knowledge of secular matters. I have a B.A, and Hubby has a B.S. Neither of us feels like we are “done” educating ourselves. We hope to inculcate the same love of learning in our children. I already read to Z, and we recite abc’s together and she can count t0 4. Not to brag of course 😉 I feel like just going to the grocery store can be a great learning experience for a child her age. She can learn the names of the fruits and vegetables, and to identify them by color. When we go to the Farmer’s Market, she loves to look at the live fish swimming in the tanks. This is learning. When she is of school age, I hope to maintain her love of learning, whether we decide to homeschool or enroll her in an Islamic School.

2. Sound Nutrition

Sound nutrition is so important these days. There is so much junk out there. I feel that, if children don’t eat well, they will not have the mental capacity and physical energy to fully ineract with the world around them. That may sound harsh, but I know there are many studies out there that prove that point.

To me, a sound nutrition starts with breastmilk, if mother is capable of nursing. I nursed Z, until I was six weeks pg with this pregnancy. She was about 20 mos.

As the child grows, incorporating fruits and vegetables (organic when possible) into the diet is a must. We also feed DD eggs, cheese, and yogurt. We do eat some meat, but not that often. Mostly chicken and fish.

Sound nutrition goes hand-in-hand with physical activity. This is something I have been lacking at lately. The pregnancy tiredness has really been getting to me. Anyway, when DD turns 2 we plan to enroll her in a dance class. For right now, we mostly go for walks, or go to the park.

3. Unconditional Love and Conditional Praise.

I will always love my daughter, but I will not always love what she does. I want to instill in a her sense that I will always love her, but I will not always praise her. When she misbehaves, it’s husband’s and my job to correct her.  This also means, that I have to be in tune with what she is actually capable of. For example, I know that Z is capable of putting her blocks away after she plays with them. So now, it’s her responsibility to put them away. I will not praise her until she has put at least half of the blocks away, and we’ll slowly build up until she has put all of them away on her own.

Praise does not always mean a gift or a treat. It can mean, “MashAllah, you’ve done such a great job putting your blocks away!” Followed by a hug.

As she gets older, the standard for praise will be raised. When she’s ten, I will not still praise her for simply putting the blocks away. By then she should be helping me clean the whole room, if you know what I mean. But this is where we’re at now.

Even when she does misbehave, I want her to know that that doesn’t mean she is a bad person, just that she did a bad thing.

So these are the principles I hope to raise my children by. You veteran mom’s, do you have anything to add??

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Wassup with Halal meat stores??

I try to eat Halal. I don’t eat much meat/poultry, but when I do, I get it from Halal butchers. I just have a question, Wassup with Halal meat stores? When I go into an average supermarket, here we have Publix or Kroger’s, I can expect a well-lit store, wide open space, clean floors, nice smelling air, &  plenty of choices in fresh fruits and vegetables. When I go into the average supermarket, I can usually find someone to help me, or answer my questions, there usually aren’t any expired products in the freezer, and the cashiers are usually friendly, and take the time to chat or say hello to Z.

Ok, so again, wassup with halal butchers?? When I go into most Halal stores,  sometimes it’s sadly the opposite. I know of some halal stores where the floors are sometimes dirty, the air smells strange, it isn’t unusual to find meat sitting out for only Allah knows how long, and sometimes the owners are just plain rude. Oh, and lets not forget the time I didn’t check a label and came home with expired mango juice, not a pretty taste, let me say. And at some halal store sells produce, you can expect brown lettuce, and spotted tomatoes.

Some “halal” store, even have the nerve to sell haram products. One meat store in my city sells loose cigarettes behind the counter to the non-Muslim clientelle.

At times, the waits are long. Some butchers can’t tell a t-bone from a filet, and they look at you crazy for asking for “exotic” stuff. You know, like lean ground beef and ground turkey.

The problem is, our standards have just about plunged as low as they can go. Unfortunately, many Halal butchers know that a lot of these stores are the same, so they will continue to sell us year old spices, and chicken that is nearly spoiled (yes, this has happened to me).

 And I know that, alhumdullilah, these store owners do a great service to the community, and even with all of their faults, I would rather buy my meat from them, than go to Publix, but still….WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER.

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Eid-Al-Fitr 1428/2007



Eid-Al-Fitr 1428/2007

Originally uploaded by yearningforjennah.

Just a mosiac from Eid…

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Do or do not, there is no try…

I know I have been MIA for several months now. I have been going through some stuff. Realizing some things about life. Like, I’ve realized that life isn’t always about what you make it. Sometimes stuff happens that is not of OUR making. Even still we have to deal with the problems, difficulties, blessings-in-disguise. And, God willing, we will come out of it all stronger, better people.

Okay, this is a bit of a time-line of what’s been going on with myself and family.

End of August: I start school again, in the hopes of persuing a Post-Bac degree in Middle Eastern studies. I’m registered for two courses and feeling good.

Beginning of September: Start not feeling so good. Realize that I’m pregnant. I also begin having extreme nuasea and fatigue. I’m still trying to stick it out in school, though.

Ramadan begins: I realize that I will not be able to fast, as I am STILL nursing Zakiyyah in addition to being pregnant. I begin missing classes b/c of my extreme fatigue and nausea.

Ramadan: My husband’s father, my father-in-law passes away, sort of unexpectedly from a heart attack. He had a stroke at the beginning of this year, but we all thought he was recovering. Hubby and I leave Zakiyyah here with family and head to New Orleans.

Let me just say, that this is my first time ever having to deal with the death of a family member. This was my husband’s first time washing a body. Death is the supreme reminder of the transience of life.

Ramadan: We return to Atlanta. I come to weighty realization that this is not the time to return to school. My daycare has fallen through, my nausea is still terrible, and I have missed several classes.  I feel like a failure, I must admit.

Ramadan: This pregnancy is here, and I start trying to deal with it. We have no health insurance. So, I start trying to get approved for medicaid. The health care system is a sad state of affairs in this country. I’ll leave that for another post.

Slightly before Eid: Yay…find a midwife who will take medicaid. Hear this baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Starts to feel real.

Eid was nice, alhumdollilah (thank God). Will post pics soon.

Now: dealing with a UTI still throwing up 2-3 mornings out of the week.

The good news is that Zakiyyah has been weaned. The bad news is, she has been developing some other habits that I’m trying to break her of. She has been extremely clingy towards me. Sometimes she won’t even let her father take her. She has also been hitting me, and throwing tantrums. I’m about 15 weeks pregnant, and due in April. Starting to “show”.

 PS: Please take a moment to make du’ah for my FIL. His name is Raquib E. Pray that Allah will make the grave an easy resting place for him, and grant him Jennah (ameen).

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My first sweater

009

Originally uploaded by yearningforjennah.

Here are some pics of my first attempt at a sweater. The pattern is from  Fitted Knits, by Stephanie Japel. It can also be found for free here. I plan to add a funky silver accented yarn at the hem and arms as a cute detail. I’m debating whether or not to keep the leaves at the ends of the ties, we’ll see. God willing, I will post more pics when completed.

I used  saucy by reynold’s yarn.   Although it is an inexpensive yarn, it’s cheap and it’s 100% cotton . It’s knitting up nicely…

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Accesorize my hobbies–swap

 Sketched Soul is doing it again. She is holding another swap. InshAllah to be completed just in time for Eid al-fitr. These are the answers to my questions for the swap.

 Four of my favourite hobbies/interests: Knitting, Cooking/Baking, Reading Islamic Fiction, & crafting.

The best part of my hobby is: Being able to take a break from all of my responsilities and just relax. With cooking and baking, my favorite part is just making people happy with my creations.

My favourite colour is: Lavender

A new hobby/interest I’ve just taken up: Knitting is my newest hobby. I’ve only been at it since the beginning of this year. I have to say, I rather enjoy it.

The hobby/interest I hope my swap partner will choose: I’d have to say knitting. I just loving the magically way the garments come together, through shaping.

A hobby I’ve tried but hate: I tried scrapbooking, but it didn’t work out. I can’t actually say that I hate it. I guess it’s just too time consuming for me right now. I would love to try it out again in the future, when I have more free time.

Creativity to me, means: Creating beauty from raw products with one’s hands.

What I think of my purse not matching my shoes: Who cares?

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my grandmother

I visited my Grandparents in FL this past weekend. My G’Mother is about 78, my G’father is 82…old by any stretch of the imagination. My gm has broken her leg, badly. She has a huge metal rod running through it now. Her nurse calls her “Bionic Woman.” My gm has been in a wheelchair for at least 10 years. Do you know how she broke her leg? She tried to walk. A woman who was a practicing nurse her entire adult life tried to walk, after not being able to walk without assistance for nearly a decade. I suppose you have to admire her hunger. She is like a character from a Jane Austen novel, fighting against the unjust patriarchal system. Only, the system happens to be her own body fighting against her.

It sucks to get old. The thing I think I would hate most is the indignity of the whole thing. My grandmother cannot take a shower alone, cannot use the bathroom alone. All of those things that you want privacy to do are done in front of others. Then there’s the vulnerability. Who wants to be as helpless as a baby? As women, we spend our whole lives helping our husbands, our children, our families, and in the end, all we can do is sit back and pray that someone returns the favor. I suppose Allah allows people to get old in order to give them a chance to humble themselves one last time. I also believe that the elderly are a test for the young, just as the poor are a test to the rich. How you treat your older relatives shows your true inner-self.

 

Visiting my Grandmother this time, I was faced with her mortality. I remember when she was a vibrant woman. She loved gardening and cooking. I remember her teaching me how to properly scale fish with the back of a butter knife. I remember the scales flying through the kitchen like snowflakes. I must have been 8 at the time. She is a quiet, yet dignified woman. I have never seen her hold a telephone conversation longer than 10 minutes. My grandmother was and is a snazzy dresser. She is the type of woman whose shoes always match the handbag and belt. She is older now, frailer. I look at her, and see lines and wrinkles I never noticed before. It’s all I can do to keep from crying.

 

My Grandmother isn’t Muslim. In her bedroom are idyllic depictions of Jesus (peace be upon him) and Mary. On Sunday mornings she watches church on TV. Not the Holy Ghost catching, “Amen, Brotha” yelling, gospel choir having type of church. I am talking about a Caucasian pontiff reading verses in Latin, followed by eunuch looking boys singing sad-sounding hymns. I suppose I’ll never understand praying to a Human Being for salvation. I pray to Allah often these days that my grandparents will accept Islam.  Even if it is with their last breath.  

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