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*My Midwifery School
*Great BFing info Site!
*My Menu Planner Group
*Cool Islamic Clothing Site

Blogs I like to read!
Islamic Parenting
Marayam's Blog
Al Muhajabah
Muslim Women's Blog (HU)
Leila M.
Surviving Motherhood
Mama Mona

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The Egyptian's Wife
Thursday, 12 May 2005
ch ch ch ch changes....
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Ramblings
Moving the blog!!!! I want to do more with my blog, sooo I am moving to blogger, probably not all my old posts but from now on. Please see my new blog, and if you are sweet enough to link to me... Please update the link:)

The NEW Egyptian's Wife:)

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 1:40 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 10 May 2005
Home schooling in Laramie
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Home Schooling
OK, so I have been talking about the ongoing debate in our house about the validity of HSing. Now I am more unsure than ever about the reality of what is going to happen with the whole thing at our house. I am feeling more committed than ever to the idea of HSing our DD... And I don't want to have a war on my hands with my DH.

I just feel like if I do well with her this summer I want to keep going with it. But, I am not sure DH will agree to it. He knows she is doing well working with me, but he feels like that doesn't mean we should HS. I guess I am afraid I am setting myself up for disappointment. I am working hard to rove that HSing works for our family, and maybe my DH isn't even open to the idea at all.

My concern is that I have no idea what is going on in her mind after spending the day with the other kids at school, and I know some of it is not good. I see a difference in her behavior daily. When she first gets home from school she is more irritable, more aggressive. I can't wait for summer.


I hate being on the fence about it. I am getting ready to dig my feet in here very soon... And then wish me luck, because my DH is as stubborn as I am.

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 2:00 PM MDT
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Saturday, 7 May 2005
Marriage is hard
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Ramblings
OK, obviously there are reasons that I am writing this, but I am going to talk about the subject in a general sense.

Unless you married someone who is exactly like you in most ways, which I think would be hard if not impossible to find, marriage is the end of having things your way all the time for both partners. That's the reality of sharing your life with other people. Unless you are living on a deserted island you will have to learn to live with that fact. And yet the is the sticking point for most couples... How do they maintain individuality and work as a team?

I have no hard answers, only my thoughts... My first thought is that it seems like there is usually one partner doing the bending most of the time, and that is hard for them. If you are that partner you know what I am saying. I think the best thing for that partner would be to have a break from that role occasionally. Which means that the other partner will have to know who they are in the relationship and make an effort to back off every so often. And I don't mean about what's for dinner. I mean about something big. I think this could help to equalize things. And of course when this balance is not found, arguments arise... Which leads me to the next thought.

The other thing I think is important is no matter how angry you are NO INSULTS!!!!! And I can't stress that enough. One bad word can stick in the mind of your spouse indefinitely. And in the religion there is a principle that it is best to control your anger when you can. Here is a brief article about anger and its effect on health. It is reported that the Mohammad (saws) asked a question of his companion, "Who among you do you consider a strong man?" They said, the one who can defeat so-and-so wrestler in a fight, and he said,"That is not so. The one who is strong is the one who can control himself at the time of anger."

Another advice that I have heard and i think it goes to the idea that a diversion from the argument can help you to control yourself is the following hadith:
A couple went to Prophet Mohammed and said, We have been fighting each other for many years. Each time she says something to hurt my feelings, I become angry, and then I fight back and this fight comes to such a degree that I am afraid that this verbal fight may,become physical, or we may end up divorced. So please advise how we can control our anger. He told the husband that when your wife provokes you and makes you angry, take a sip of your water in your mouth and do not swallow it or spit it out, but keep it there until she has calmed down. Well, he practiced that and a few months later, he reported back that it did work.
Now I don't know about the authenticity of this hadith at this time, but the idea is what is important in my mind. We will fight as married people, and the challenge is to control ourselves and guard against it escalating.

The other thing I think can really strengthen a relationship is remembrance of Allah (swt) and setting the home to be a place where the family can worship together, and strengthen one another's iman. This takes the focus off of less important things, and sets the standard that the disagreements will be settled by the rules of the religion. I have seen the relationship between the spouses and their level of iman many times. It seems like they can lift each other up or drag each other down depending on the dynamic. And the minute the foundation of the family (Islam) falls down the whole relationship tends to sour. It would benefit us all in so many ways if we could pray with our families and instead of parking in front of the TV in the evening we could sit together and talk about the religion, or study Quran.

Obviously I am coming from a place of self examination at this time... And I have a long way to go in all these areas. But I hope that we can all look at these things as goals. No one should feel disconnected from their spouse, no one should feel like they are constantly doing the will of the other person and thus losing their individuality. And no one should have to bear the brunt of their spouse's anger.

As Muslims we should remember our adhab, and remember that even though we are close to our spouses and we share many things they still deserve to be treated with the same courtesy you would show a stranger you meet during the course of the day.

Just my thoughts......

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 1:43 PM MDT
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Saturday, 30 April 2005
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Ramblings
Attackers strike twice near Cairo tourist sites Women open fire on tour bus after blast near museum; 10 injured
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:23 p.m. ET April 30, 2005
CAIRO, Egypt - Within two hours of a bomb blast that wounded seven people near a downtown museum, Egyptian officials and witnesses said two veiled women in a car opened fire at a tour bus -- part of a recent surge in violence involving attacks on foreigners.
At least three people were killed -- both the female shooters and apparently the man carrying the bomb who police said jumped off the bridge -- and at least nine people were injured.

Wow! Another bombing in Cairo. I am starting to wonder what is bringing back this problem. It happened in the early 90’s… The scary thing is if we live there that is where we will be. I know that conditions are bad all over right now, but Egypt was the exception.

I am not rethinking my wanting to move there though. Actually we were just talking about it last night and I am more ready than ever to get out of here and go. My DH is tired of having his family scattered too. He is thinking that the best thing would be to get his sister here to move back there and for all of us to be in Cairo.

There is some truth to that, but I am a little concerned that living near my SIL would be hard. However, I think that she is what is keeping my DH here… So if she has to move for him to move, so be it. I am worried that she and I will never get along, but I am more worried that my kids have been here in a non-Muslim environment for to long.

The up side is that my DH has decided that he understands what I am saying about the male influence now, and he can’t see having us in two different countries for any length of time beyond a few months. Alhamdulilah, that means when we go we all go. Which is much better for the family in my opinion. I can’t imagine going for any long period of time without my DH.

Now the down side is that means it will be longer before we go. My DH is the kind of guy who has to have money, and a back up plan, and a back up for the back up plan. Of course that means it will be a long time before he is ready to make the move. I wish I knew how to make it go faster… But I can’t meet my DH’s standards for planning. He is like obsessive about details, and double-checking and triple checking and having everything guaranteed in writing. The funny thing is he gets surprised every time anyway… But instead of seeing it like I do (leave it up to Allah, he has a plan for the whole thing anyway) he sees it like, “See, I wasn’t obsessive ENOUGH.” How do you compete with that?

You know, I keep dreaming of moving and just starting over in a new place. But I do worry about what I would do with my midwifery course. Insha’Allah, I can finish before going abroad.

I am still on the fence about the store. I think what is keeping me from doing anything is the idea of all the work I have to do to get it ready to sell. But there is no way around it I’m afraid. Don’t you just wish you could stop time for a month and catch up on everything?

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 1:47 PM MDT
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Wednesday, 27 April 2005
Reading Progress!!! Yeah!
Mood:  bright
Topic: Home Schooling
So, I think I mentioned that this summer was the big HSing summer. And my DH has agreed that if I can do this summer and accomplish my goals he will have to think that I am right about the HSing thing.

So far I have been doing about an hour a day. I am using my own mix and match style... But am having some great luck. DD could not read ANYTHING at the beginning (2 weeks ago) and drum roll please today she can read several three letter words and identify the sounds made by several letters. Masha'Allah! I have been using for the record I think it is pretty good.

Alhamdulilah, I am encouraged by our start. With any luck I will see her really learning and enjoying herself this summer. Which will make me feel so much better about the whole school thing. It is all about learning for me, and I am happy to see some learning taking place. I know if she can read to herself by the end of the summer she will be overjoyed!LOL

I hate to admit it, but the whole challenge aspect of things has got me going. I feel like I have to have some measurable results... Which is not something I was worried about last summer doing this. I have also accepted that I am going to have to work at the store sometimes, and that has helped.

*sigh* I am really making dua that my DH will be on board with keeping her home next year.Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 5:23 PM MDT
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Friday, 22 April 2005
Sorting through my thoughts
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Ramblings
I am sorting through my thoughts today, wondering where it is that my family (my DH and kids) is headed. We are really in a weird place right now. I don't know if it is because I am not pregnant and having a child every two years has been driving the changes in our life or what.

My DH is unhappy with his work. All the papers that he has contracted with are just going down in numbers. He is working harder than ever and still making the same money that he was before. Alhamdulilah, it is enough... But I know he wants to get ahead so he can move on. His goal is a working business that can replace the paper contracting that he is doing so he can go back to engineering, move, go back to school...

But that is a lofty goal. Having a working business is hard enough. Having one that will generate $ on auto-pilot is even harder.

On the me front, I am thinking to sell the store... But I have mixed feelings about it. Maybe the best thing is to keep it. Who knows. I just want to be home every day for awhile. The thing is I know we would open another business with the money and I would have to work, maybe even harder than I am working now. The good part about the store is that I can work on my midwifery stuff while I am here. If our next business is a daycare (which is what we are thinking) it will be much more labor intensive than the shop.

I just wish I could get away from it all to be honest. I would love to be at home with the kids all the time, never worrying about any of this. But, one of the things I signed on for when I married my DH I guess. I never thought he would want me to work, but he does, and that's not changing anytime soon. At least with our businesses I have the kids with me, and I have freedom to choose what I want to do to a certain extent.

Hmmm, I sound really whiny huh? I don't mean to, I guess I am tired and ready for a break from the working 6 days a week thing!

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 4:24 PM MDT
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Saturday, 16 April 2005
Homeschool next year????
Mood:  not sure
I just wanted to do an entry about all the things that are on my mind these days.

Last year we started home-schooling, and at the last minute my DH panicked and enrolled our daughter in a small private school, that all things considered is pretty good. Now though we are getting to the time when I am going to have to decide what we want to do next year.

My DH has the school is needed mentality... I have the school actually makes you dumb mentality. As you might guess this makes discussion a little hard. To be honest, I think that fear is the big motivation for me to keep them at home. I am afraid they will fall hopelessly behind by going to public school, and that it will kill any love they have of learning (and our 5 year old LOVES learning, masha'Allah). I am also afraid that the negative influence of other kids will do irreparable harm.

Now, on the other side of the fence is my DH. His idea is that we can do what every family with money in Egypt did when he was young and hire a tutor to fill in any educational gaps. Also, he thinks that all the bad things that happen to you when you are a kid build your character and are an essential part of development. Basically, he thinks that you should have the kids that tease you and the teacher that hates you because that is life.

Now there is truth to both sides, but I am definitely in favor of my own ideas. I think that what I am going to do, insha'Allah is show my DH a plan for different activities that the kids can be involved in to get that much desired (on his part) socialization. Also, I want to find a tutor to come to the house a couple times a week so he doesn't feel like he is leaving it all in my hands (which is scary for my DH since he thinks I am a little flaky).

I hope by doing that I can cover the bases and get him to be comfortable with not enrolling her in school next year. I am afraid that he will end up sending her last minute again... Last time he came to the realization that he wanted her in school while I was out of town and had me calling all the schools in our area from Denver.

Of course I think the big thing will be him seeing results. He will want to have some measure of her progress. So insha'Allah I will administer the tests that I gave my kindergarten class at the beginning of the year when I was teaching, and follow up by doing all the evaluations I did over the year. I might switch to the first grade evaluations depending on how she does.

OHHHHH please make Dua for me! This is weighing heavily on me right now and I just don't think I will feel good sending her to school here in Laramie.

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 3:15 PM MDT
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Friday, 15 April 2005
My Cafe Press Site
Mood:  caffeinated
I have been wanting to get some designs on cafe press forever! Well, I finally did it. Please go check it out!My CafePress site

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 2:37 PM MDT
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Tuesday, 12 April 2005
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Frustration!
Soooo, I have always known that in theory you can get a mastitis(breast infection) when you are not nursing a baby.... But did I really need to experience it personally?

Well, I guess so because I definitely have a mastitis:( OK, maybe a little more than all of you out there want to know, and certainly a departure from the serious nature of my last post...

But I just thought I would share, this can (and apparently does) happen! So I am starting a regimen of garlic and lecithin supplements and hoping that the fever and the angry red marks will go away soon!!!!

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 4:21 PM MDT
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Monday, 11 April 2005
Where do we go from here?
Topic: Islam
With the words “Ash hadu La Illah la ilallah” my life changed. I gave up having a community. I now have more friends on-line than in the real world. I am no longer American, but I wouldn’t say that I fit in with the Muslim community in my area either. My husband may have to cross the ocean to feel at home, but I will never be at home anywhere.

All that would be fine, if I felt like the religion united me in some way with other people solely on the basis of being Muslim. But the reality of Muslim communities that I have encountered in the US is that they are fragmented by arguments, nationality, and interpretation of the religion… Divided by EVERYTHING.

I am not saying this simply to shame the members of the Muslim community of divide them further. I am saying this to point out something I think we are lacking. Something that is it doesn’t change will impact the number of people practicing the religion in the US: a sense of community.

In Christianity there is a strong sense of community. People attend the religious functions with great anticipation. They know they will be welcomed, they will be helped, and they will gain a second family by participating in the church activities. I simply can’t say the same for the Masjids in the US.

I cringe at the thought of attending or participating in the functions at the mosque. I know I will be subjected to things I would rather not deal with. I know people will irritate me and I will fall into the familiar trap of coming home annoyed and backbiting the members of the community out of pure frustration. This is not what I want for my children. I want them to love the mosque. But before that can happen I think there are some serious issues that we as an Ummah need to address.

I can’t convince you of the reality of what I am saying if you don’t see it. Maybe you are part of one of the cliques at the mosque and you never notice what I am saying.

I propose that we look at other religious communities and seeing what they are doing to help build community. There will be things that we don’t like, things that we would never do. But there will also be things that we can utilize in our own.

I want to feel like I am coming home when I enter the masjid. Quite frankly, I want to feel like I did when I was a Christian… Like the community is there for me.

Posted by zine2/ummlayla at 2:05 PM MDT
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