Category Archives: motherhood

i’m still alive.

May 23, 2016

Okay, so I’m sure it seems somewhat like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Not only has the blog been silent for over a month, but my social media accounts have been pretty quiet, too. Sorry. I’m still here. But as I briefly alluded to in my last post, this has been a rough pregnancy. I’ve been in basic survival mode this past month and a half or so. I know I said that in my last post, too, and I was telling the truth at the time. I was exhausted and nauseated and had some back pain going on. But now, I’m just like, “Oh, you silly, silly little person.”

I’ll write in more detail about all of this eventually (actually, I’ve started working on that post, but it’s maybe halfway done and is already well over 3,000 words, so get ready for that, if you dare), but right now, I just wanted to compose a quick update to say that yes, I’m okay, we’re okay, everything’s okay. It’s just a little rough (okay, really rough) for this momma right now.

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the ouchie.

January 3, 2016

My mom is here in Riyadh for a visit, and I am thrilled. Obviously. I always miss my mom, but I was especially in need of a mom hug after the week we had before she arrived.

Shortly before Christmas, after my plans with a friend got cancelled, we decided to make an impromptu trip to Bahrain for a few days of relaxation and holiday cheer. We were enjoying our time, soaking up the Christmas music and decorations. And then disaster struck. (A pretty mild disaster, in the grand scheme of things, but it was still somewhat traumatic for all of us.)

Since we arrived in our hotel room, Lavender had been fascinated by the bidet. She loved to run into the bathroom and play with the bidet and call, “Wash hands! Wash hands, Mama!” See, the bidet was exactly Lavender’s height, so she just thought it was a cool sink that happened to be exactly her size. Needless to say, we weren’t super thrilled about the idea of her playing a hotel room bidet, you know? It didn’t seem super sanitary. Not to mention that she seemed to be fascinated by everything in general in the bathroom, and she kept trying to stand on the bidet and boost herself up onto the bathroom sink/countertop. And that didn’t seem super safe at all.

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what i’m thankful for.

November 26, 2015

Today, on this Thanksgiving morning in Riyadh, I’m very thankful for Miss Lavender.

We’ve had a rough few nights, she and I. Despite a few promising attempts to remedy the situation (last week she actually went to bed at 10 o’clock at night—nothing short of a miracle), her inner clock is persistently telling her that one or two o’clock in the morning is an appropriate bedtime. She sleeps until eleven in the morning or so, wants to go down for a nap around four in the afternoon, and then stays up until the middle of the night.

I’m exhausted. In the morning, I usually wake up a little bit after Mr. Mostafa does, or right before he leaves for work, and of course, I stay up with her at night, because Baba needs his sleep on a normal schedule; he has to go to work in the morning. But I haven’t been able to really sleep in or nap with her, mostly because I’ve got work to do and even if I didn’t, I’m too keyed up to rest because I feel like if I can’t get her to sleep on a normal schedule, I should at least be taking advantage of the time she’s asleep in order to work uninterrupted.

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how to (not) wean a toddler, part two.

October 1, 2015

Since I wrote about attempting to wean Lavender from the breast, I’ve received a few emails and messages asking how it’s going (or how it went). So…here’s an update. Because I know everyone is just dying to know what’s going on in my bra (that was sarcasm, just to be clear).

Some may find this oversharing (heck, as long as we’re there, I guess some might find the entire blog oversharing. Oh, well. My response is the same); it’s okay. I don’t mind. As much as I respect women who feel empowered by posting breastfeeding selfies, I’m certainly not going to be among them any time soon (although you can be sure I have taken lots of them for purposes of private memory-keeping…my favorite was taken back when Lavender was maybe eighteen months old or so. With a Hello Kitty calculator in her hand, she crawled into my lap, settled in, latched onto the breast, and promptly fell asleep there…with the Hello Kitty calculator placed right on top of my boob, just above her head, as though it were sitting on a desk. As a piece of art, that photo would probably be called something like, “Future Accountant in Repose”…which, naturally, made Mr. Mostafa very proud), so you can consider this detailed but illustration-free discussion of how my boobs are currently being utilized as my small, ironic contribution to the ongoing struggle for nipple freedom.

So, as I already disclosed, day weaning went swimmingly. Lavender never nurses during the day anymore, and she never even asks to, either. I’m baffled by all these moms on the Internet who say that night weaning was easy-peasy, and that it was day weaning that was tough. This is so not how it has all worked out for me. Who are these women?! How do they get their children to sleep without the boob? I mean, I’m really confused and amazed. We’ve tried everything. We’ve read books. We’ve watched videos on the iPod. We’ve sat up with her and watched TV. We’ve stuffed her full of food (that’s supposed to make her tired, I guess? Eating like that sure makes us tired, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about parenting, it’s that children can be such illogical little creatures) and then did all of the above. We. Have. Tried. Everything.

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hills and valleys and such.

September 2, 2015

This is probably going to be a really basic, boring post. I’ve really been shooting for the goal of publishing a post per week, but lately I’ve been feeling like there isn’t that much to write about. My days aren’t amazing, nor are they terrible. They’re just…routine. The same. I hug and kiss my kid. I hug and kiss my husband. I write. I read. I cook dinner. I crave random things that I can’t find in Riyadh, like wild berry Pop Tarts (no, I’m not pregnant). I miss my mom and dad (am I allowed to say that again? I know I talk about it a lot. But the truth is, I do miss them. Very much. Especially since we had a bit of a health scare in this past month. Thank God, everything is absolutely fine now, but that sort of thing can sure shake a girl up). I have conversations with my toddler while she sits on the potty, patiently waiting for something to happen. I get super excited when it does. And then she gets to flush the toilet, which she considers one of the greatest honors in the history of the world. BUILT-IN POTTY INCENTIVE. And to think there are kids who require a candy reward for doing their business in the toilet. How did I get so lucky?

I’ve got a few blog-related projects and plans in the pipe (down the pipe? In the pipeline? Down the pipeline? Why can’t I get this saying right?), but for the present, it can be a struggle to cobble together a post full of things to say, even on a weekly basis. You know what they say about how life is full of uphills and downhills and valleys (that doesn’t sound quite right, but you know what I mean…seriously, I’m really having trouble with idioms right now)? Blogs are the same, I think. Right now I’m in a valley (or maybe, I’m slowly trudging uphill? Idioms and analogies are really not my strong point today. But to be fair, English is really weird about these things. Like the way “it’s all downhill from here” means that it gets easier, while “it all went downhill from there” means it got worse and worse. Ugh, my brain hurts. No, literally–I have a headache as I type this). Sometimes I’m just firing on all cylinders and other times I can’t even get the engine to turn over. So not only am I in a valley (or going uphill, whatever makes more sense), I’m parked there.

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