Friday, March 30, 2007

Laban?

Laban and 7aleeb

There are so many words that mean one thing in one country and something else in another. I have so many stories since I have friends from all over the Arab world in Canada.

When we first met our Egyptian neighbours so many years ago it was my turn to make tea for guests; my sister and I used to take turns haha..

So I was asking how much sugar they like in their tea and the hajja said three sugars and some Laban.

I go back to the kitchen, and I’m thinking what? Laban, araf, araf, araf! Who the heck puts Laban in their tea?? So I go back to the living room, to make sure:

Me: hajja, inti olti 3ayza laban beshai beta3ek? (Me talking with my Egyptian accent)
Hajja: aywa, shwaia , mosh keteer wmatenseesh thalatha sokar, ana a7eb elshai 7elw.
Me: laban? ya3ni laban? inti 3ayza laban belshai??
Hajja thinking eh dah, elbente deh hablah wala eh?
Me thinking araf araf araf

Then finally my mom, and the hajja’s daughter in law realize my dilemma. And they tell me that the hajja wants milk in her tea, not yogurt!!

Well dah, I’ll never make that mistake again.


And then again once after hubby and I got married, his nephew stayed with us after the wedding for few week. One day after I finished cooking dinner, hubby was sitting on the balcony smoking.

Me: T, momken troo7 t3ayet la Rami 3shan yegi yakol?
T: eesh? A3yetlo 3shan yegi yakol?
Me: aah, 3ayetlo , howi 3ala elbaranda a3ed bedakhen.
T: taib leesh badi a3yetlo?
Me: 3shan yegi yakol (ya latkha)
T: tayeb mashi (he is thinking eesh hadi mart khali, sho habla, , leesh badi a3ayetlo?)

So T goes to hubby, telling him that he is supposed 3ayetlo to come eat, and of course hubby knows my Palestinian/Lebanese talk by then, so he laughs and laughs.

So I was basically saying:
Go call him to come eat

And he was hearing
Go cry to him to come eat
So now I know not to use the word 3ayet in Jordan, and say Nadi !

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ugrading your degree?




I was talking to my friend last night, she told me that this weekend they were over visiting her in-laws and they were talking about my husband. Her father in law mentioned how poor Rami he cannot get a good job in Canada because he does not have a degree from Canada, blah blah blah…seriously this man has been saying the same thing over and over and over for the past nine years. Every time he sees my husband he has to mention this, and how he can get a better job if he only would go to university in Canada. It just gets old!! Some time people’s heads are so thick; it is hard for anything to go inside their brains!!! Seriously give it up man!

When my husband first came to Canada, everyone became an expert on finding jobs in Canada. Everyone was very discouraging and telling him that there is no way he will be working as an engineer in Canada unless he went back to school and upgraded his degree. What the heck does that mean, how do you upgrade a degree?? I know how to upgrade software, but how the heck do you upgrade a degree? This killed Rami; he had just graduated after seven years of hard work to what is equivalent to his masters from Germany and was not very fond of the idea of going back to university. Seriously if you do not know what you are talking about then just do not give advice. A relative told my husband that he couldn’t work in Canada unless he is a professional engineer, how the heck does she know that? Even Canadian graduates need a four-year experience to be licensed. My parents knew a couple of civil engineers who came from Lebanon; they used them as an example for my poor husband. Look at them, they have been in Canada for so many years and they still cannot find a job, they are working in a variety store, turns out those guys never bothered looking for jobs! That was not a fun year for us, my husband looking for an engineering job, and having to listen to people who all of the sudden because experts and would not stop giving unsolicited advice.

So now eight years later this is not an issue anymore, no one even talks about it, except for my sister’s father in law! Rami has worked for four of the biggest engineering companies in Canada; he is a professional engineer in three Canadian provinces yet this guy still feels sorry for him and has to mention poor Rami every time he comes up in a conversation. I do not get it! He says that if Rami would only get a bachelor’s degree from a Canadian university he will be able to get a better job! It will be funny next time we see him, I am sure this will come up again and again. I can not stop shaking my head at this guy, MAN!

Ok so that was my vent from today, annoying people with skulls so hard that think they know everything! I have more stuff to vent about today, namely my laziness, and my big appetite, my wasting time and not doing things I am supposed to be doing, but I’ll blog about them later, because if you do not already know it, I love to talk! About everything and anything!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My first successful fatayer

I have been forced to cook for the past 8.5 years. I am not too fond of cooking; I actually hate it! But I have to feed my family somehow, and I am the stay at home spouse, so of course cooking is my job. Back in the good old days when I was working, I cooked one day while my husband tidied up the apartment, and the next time my hubby cooked while I tidied up after we came home from work. But yeh like I said that pre kids when I was working outside the home. I miss those days, but would not trade my kids for anything.

Ok so back to my post, my husband has been guilting me into making fatayer for a while, he would say to the kids, if your mom made fatayer we would have sometime to munch on right now, naturally I just ignored him because my previous attempts have ended up being disastrous and in the garbage can!

Thanks to Nido, I have gotten some motivation to make some fatayer and make my husband happy. He has been working a lot these days, and I have been on my I do not feel like cooking so lets get some chicken from Sobey or order something streak for the past few weeks. So yesterday I bought a ready made dough, and made some fatayer za’taar for breakfast this morning. I finally figured out what is wrong with my dough, now that I got to see how a good dough feels like, I decided to make my own dough! Using white flour, which I hate since we all prefer whole-wheat, but whole-wheat is hard to make decent fatayer with. So I decided that I would try to make the dough myself for the dinner fatayer. I got my nifty alph ba’a eltabekh cookbook out and for once I followed the directions to the T. and the dough turned out great, nice and moist but not too watery. And my fatayer turned out perfecto! I did not even burn one! And my filling was actually yummy! I made some with spinach, meat, and za’taar.

It did take me three whole hours to do them. My poor aching back and feet! Three hours I could have used doing something more fun, I could have watched one of the movies on my to watch list, exercise, read one of the books sitting on my desk! My son had a school trip today so he went to KG in the afternoon; right after Zozo left for school Bolbol took a nap! I had three hours to myself and I spent them cooking and cleaning up! O well, at least the fatayer ended up good and my husband loved them. He was very appreciative; throwing comment left and right, so I guess it was worth it! But you know what means? I will have to make stuff like this more often! Maybe next time I’ll make shoshbarak, warak 3enab or malfoof, the possibilities are endless. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Do not rain on my parade

Don’t u hate those people?? You know the ones that have to say something about everything. They cannot stand to see anyone happy. If you tell them I just bought a house, they tell you not to be too happy because it will cost too much a lot more than rent blah blah blah…and those who tell you do not be too happy you are thin now, when you get married you will end up like the rest, fat and ugly! (Thank you khalo). And those who see your baby sleeping through the night and being a great baby, and telling you easy babies become hard to deal with children.

Yesterday my husband and I were talking and for some reason we remembered my encounter with the worst of those people. We were married for one year at that time, very happy, crazy about each other and not afraid to show it (we still are btw). We went to visit my husband’s friend and they had guest over, an Egyptian man and his Canadian wife. The men were talking about work and the three of us women got sick of hearing it and decided to go out the balcony. BIG MISTAKE! For two hours the two of them talked about how horrible marriage is, what an unromantic jackass my husband is going to become in few more years. I told them my husband is different than theirs, but they kept on going on and an on about how horrible my life will be in few year and how much I will hate being married. You just wait and see they said. Well alhamdoullah nice years later we are still happily married and would not trade my husband for the world.

Ok so some of the stuff they said kind of did come true after we had our first son. But it is not because my husband is a jerk. Kids do take a lot of energy out of you, especially during those first few years when you have to do everything for them. But still, it is not as bad as they made it out to be. And there are those days that I want to kick my husband because he is being very unreasonable and brick headed, but we have never gone to bed mad at each other. And I do love it when my husband travels for work, because I get to catch up on my reading and watch all the chick flicks I want and not for the reasons they were suggesting.

But seriously why would anyone see someone happy and start telling them how this happiness will not last? Why make a person see a dark future instead of a light one. Just because one marriage ends up bad does not mean that all marriages will end up bad. I guess misery loves company, and when you are miserable you want everyone else to be as well!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bright and early

It has been a while since I left my house before 10am. Today my husband has a site visit, so he had to leave early. I had two choices, I could get up early, get dressed get the two boys dressed and ready to go by 8:45 and drive my son to school, or leave him home for the day and sleep in. If it was winter I would have chosen to keep my son home, because when it is –30 to -40 degree, it takes us 30min at the door getting dressed for going out, snow suits, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, reput the mittens and hats on my 2.5yo, and so on. It makes going out such a hassle.

But since today is a nice spring day, we only had to throw our jackets on, and leave. I forgot about the car thought, all the windows were icy, so I had to clean those and ended up being five minutes late for school.

It was nice to be out early. Since I have not been working for the past 2.5years, it has been a while since I have been out of the house this early. I do not miss the days when I have to be in the office by 8am of course, or 7:30am if I wanted to get more EDO with a 30min commute, god I do not miss those days! Of course all this will change next year when I have my car and we are back in our house, I will have to drive my sons to school and preschool everyday. But we will be in Ontario (inshallah, please please please!) and Ontario winter is nothing compared to Saskatchewan winter. I swear I am never going to complain about winter, snow and cold when I am back home! You never know how good you have it until you move to what seems like the North Pole sometimes!

So anyways, back to the point of my post. I am feeling very refreshed, I love spring! And I love summer even more.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring is finally here! (I think)

Few days late, but spring has finally found us, in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan:)

Of course since we were super lucky and got 40% more snow than average, water is everywhere. The front parking lot is a swimming pool right now. I always thought we should have a parking spot on this side, since it is closest to our apartment. Today I am thankful that our parking spot is at the back of the building since it is not flooded:)

According to the weather forecast we will get few cold days in the next week or so, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are wrong.

Every time I explain how snow is in Saskatchewan to my southern Ontario friends, I get this puzzlement. One of my friend keeps on asking me so how many centimetres of snow do you have left? Well wait let me get my ruler out! In Ontario it snows one day, the snow is on the ground but cleared off the streets for a couple of weeks, then the weather warms up and all the snow melts, few weeks later another heavy snow fall come and snow is on the ground again, weather warms up, snow melts and again and again it happens few times a winter. Well in Saskatchewan it is different, we got a blizzard in early November, and about 20cm of snow on the ground. Then we got another snowfall, and another and another. It never warms up enough for the snow to melt here. So the snow that is still melting is the snow that fell in November. Why, why is this hard to understand? I have been explaining this to my friend for months now, and she still asks so how many cm do you have left now? So annoying!

On a happy note, I am off to the gym for the first time in two weeks. I have become one of those people that gyms love; I pay for my membership, but hardly use the facilities. O well not anymore, my it is too cold and I cannot drive on the snow excuse has diminished, and all I can say is good riddance to the cold and snow! Hope I don’t see you again for a long time, about nine months?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

you know you are reading too many blogs

When you start dreaming about bloggers...in the past month I have dreams about 2 bloggers. It is so weird when you have dreams about people you do not even know. I always post on baby center, and have been posting on my son's birth board since he was born almost 5.5 years ago, and I have only had dreams about my babycenter cyber friends about 2 or 3 times.

Ok on a serious note, since I have been reading the Jordanian blogs since last August, thanks to mamabeans I have stopped feeling so intimidated about our eventual move to Jordan, whenever that will happen inshallah (god willing). I am not sure why, everyone’s stories and experiences make it not sound like the place I have imagined it to be. The Middle East is not like I left it twenty years ago I guess. Ok sure I will have to become a crazy driver; the side walks sucks so there goes my daily leisure walk, and there is no Tim Horton’s coffee, how am I going to get my daily caffeine fix?

According to my husband I am not Arab enough, meaning that when guests come over I am not fast enough to serve them blah blah blah , and then when they finish their coffee or whatever I do not run to the table to clear it fast enough, blah blah blah, and I do not like cooking like most Arabic women, blah blah blah. But then reading the blogs I see there are girls in Jordan who are the same as me not everyone knows how to cook, they do not know how to do the laundry and probably do not run over the kitchen to get the juice ready when guest arrive. So I guess I am as much of an Arab as lots of people living in Jordan and Lebanon, so a big :p to my dear husband. As sweet as he is, sometime he is clueless. Of course he left the middle east twenty-two years ago, so what does he know? He wants me to be like his mom was back then.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Procrastination




I have got to find a cure for procrastination. I have a million things to do today. I need to get ready and take the kids out for a walk, exercise, practice writing with zozo, start my assignment, start on our taxes, tidy up my apt for the third time today, start making dinner (chicken stuffed with rice and meat…my MIL will be happy today, why does she only call on days I make Mujadara)
Instead of doing all that I am supposed to do I’m just sitting on the computer checking babycenter, blogs, reading new here and there, and looking for cartoon DVDs.
Now after I post this I am going to shut my computer off and do all the stuff listed above…wallah!
If anyone knows a cure for procrastination , help!

a weight loss vent-enter at own risk!




It sucks when you have every mean to help you lose weight and get to your goal but you just do not use them. Instead you eat and you keep on saying I will start being good on Monday. Then Monday and you find a million excuses why you did not stick to it. Tuesday you (me) eat something bad, and for some reason do get to go to the gym. Wednesday comes by, and what is the point the point, you throw the week in the towel and eat as bad as you want, because you plan on starting on Monday so you (I) want to eat all the foods you are not planning on not eating for a while.

It is a vicious circle. I have had a membership at the gym; I have an elliptical trainer at home, lots of Arabic music if I want to belly dance, Pilates DVDs, an exercise ball, dumbbells, and a jumping rope, so really I do not have excuse for not working out.

For food, I have a great many resources on line on what I should be eating. I can go plan my foods to make sure that I stay within my calorie range on fitday.com or sprakpeople. I have access to very accurate calorie calculator for my body. I know exactly what to eat to lose weight, be satisfied and meet my nutritional requirement.

Everyday I start out great. I have a bowl of bran cereal with a pinch of cinnamon and a cup of milk with a bit of coffee for taste. Then at 11 am I have a pria bar, which is super yummy. Then as the day goes on, I get bored and eat, and eat…what else am I supposed to do?? I am house bound most of the time. It is too cold, or my husband is too busy to bring us the car, when I have my own car again I am going to kiss it everyday! Although the car we have now is my car dammit! We bought for me, my husband had the Acura and he chose to sell it when we moved here instead of shipping it, he should leave us the car and walk to work! See this is why summer is so much nicer, because my husband can walk to work in the summer, or he can ride the bike.. So my no car excuse will be gone. I will not be stuck at home, and I will lose those darned 10lb!

Ok I feel better now. This week I will not start being good on Monday. I will start tomorrow. No more eating too much, and I will go to the gym at least 3x next week! And workout at home on days my husband is way too busy to bring us the car. There is no way I am going to let myself enter the 130’s again!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy mothers' day, and happy first day of spring day

Happy mothers day to everyone in the Middle East. Happy mother’s day to my teeta, my aunts, my cousins, my sisters in law, and my mother in law.

And happy first day of spring to everyone who has spring on his or her doorsteps. Apparently spring has missed us and instead it snowed last night, I guess it is a goodbye winter snowfall? Maybe not yet, according to the weather forecast for Saskatoon we still have few more snowfalls to come L WILL THIS WINTER NEVER END? It looks like our trip to Vancouver through the Rockies will be delayed by few weeks now, dang it, I was so looking forward to our first mini vacation of the year sooner than later! I guess we have to wait until May.

Kids and Arabic

My husband is driving me crazy with this. Every few weeks he will explode about this. My son does not speak Arabic…ya weelli…no more English TV, no more English books, no more English games. I want everything in Arabic.

I bought lots of Arabic books from Jordan, but you can read them so many times before we both get sick of them. The library does not carry Arabic kids books. I have bought sindibad, ifta7 ya simsim, bakar dvds, but you can watch them so many time. Sindibad is too violent and they talk in fosha(classic Arabic) Arabic, ifta7 ya simsim only hold their attention for few minutes and again it is in fosha , and Bakar is in Egyptian, the hard to understand accent. Even if we did have a satellite dish, there are hardly any kids shows on, and not a lot of things I would want a 5yo and a 2.5yo to watch.

And Arabic games on the computer?? Hahaha… there are none. I only found one thing that teaches kids Arabic, it cost $70, and my son was into it for a couple of weeks before he learned all the animal names, and the fruits and now he does not want it anymore. A lot of American and Canadian TV channels websites have kids games, like PBS kids, tree house, etc. But none of the Arabic channels websites have anything for kids. I wonder why! So it is not like I have all those Arabic resources and I’m keeping my kids away from them. But even if they did, it is all in fosha Arabic. I bought them few Arabic sounding toys, and they are all by the voice of a very sleepy old man. Not very catchy!

When I first came to Canada, all the kids my age would not speak to me in Arabic. We do not know how to speak Arabic they said. Well now so many years later all of them speak perfect Arabic. Their parents talked to them in Arabic most of the time, and eventually they got comfortable enough to speak it, as they got older. They always understood Arabic and could speak it if they tried even back then.

So now I have to watch every word that comes out of my mouth, no English, only Arabic. It is very hard, since it is easier to express myself in English. I cannot teach my 2.5yo the ABC because it is English. I do not know the alph ba’a ta’a and I could careless if my kids know it now. And when you have a son who has a speech delay due to the two-language thing, you want him to talk anything, English, Arabic I could careless!

My husband is always saying we have to go back to Jordan. It is the weekly whine. The kids will have to speak Arabic when we go there. So chill out my dear husband. Although everyone in Amman talked to our kids in English when we were there this past summer. Everyone wants to show off their English, so they all speak to kids in English. Which drove my husband off the wall. Even my mother in law; she only knows about five English words was talking to the boys in English sometimes. It was hard for them to comprehend the fact that although zozo would answer them in English, he understands everything in Arabic.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

a funny

Last night while I was tossing and turning in bed I remembered an incident I had in college o so many years ago. I was taking summer classes. A very good friend of mine, Ra’ed was taking the same classes, so we had breaks together. We had just finished our business law class and had a couple hours before our next class started. We went to the cafeteria for some coffee. We decided to sit in the solarium part of the cafeteria. I chose a table and sat on the chair, before I realized that the cushions were soaking wet. Apparently someone over watered the hanging plant over the chair and now my jeans were soaking wet.

What the heck was I supposed to do? Those were my no car days so I was taking the bus from and to college. I would have had to take two busses home. There is no way I was going anywhere with my wet bottom. It was soooo embarrassing. My friend did not have his car, and I could not ask him to take the bus to my house to get me a new pair of pant.

Thankfully it was a very nice June day. It was very sunny, warm and not humid. So we took our coffees and went outside to sit on the benches. We Sat there for about three hours, well he sat, and I walked back and forth, back and forth to help my jeans dry. It was the funniest three hours I ever had. Ra’ed teased my like crazy, but it was ok. This guy was so funny; he could make the most baykha (bad) joke sound hilarious. And he was so sweet to keep my company while my jeans dried for those three hours or so hours. Of course we missed our next class, which was statistics I think. Of course neither of us was crazy about that class, so we did not mind it. I miss college days. Those were the best years ever.

Friday, March 16, 2007

My Lazik Experience

I had my Lazik surgery Last night, thankfully my eyes are healthy and my cornea is nice and thick so I had Lazik and not PRK. I am not sure what that is, but with PRK you have to wear a lens after surgery, with Lazik you don’t.

Anyways, I went in at 3:00pm, signed my consent, paid my $2990 by a bank draft and got a tiny teeny pill to put under my tongue to help me relax. I met a nice lady from Prince Albert who was to go in for surgery right after I’m done, we chitchatted and it made me feel better. Of course by then I was all whooooooooooooooooooooooooo, from the pill.

At about 3:46pm I went in to the Lazik suite, and I sat on a chair. I told them to excuse my chickeness, the nurse told me that everyone was a chicken today. Hahaha.
She said that she will tell me everything the doctor is doing.

They put a patch over my right eye, and put clips on my left eye to hold it open. They put a lot of numbing drops in my eye, and got to work. The nurse kept on telling me what is going on. He is washing your eye, so I feel cool water. Now he is drying your eye. Now he is taking the flap out what the hell is the flap?? I still do not know and I really do not want to know. So now that the flap is gone everything goes dark until he put it back in. then he has to do something with the flap, to make it even. Then I go under the lazer, for 32 seconds, the nurse counts by 5’s, and it is over. I can smell something burning. Just like when I had a mole removed by laser. But thankfully I am too relaxed to worry about it, the doctor knows what he is doing, he had done this thousand of times. He does the same thing to my right eye, except I feel the clips are too tight and my eye is not comfortable. The doctor said I was pulling against, and my eye should relax, but I was not pulling I was relaxed. I was done by 4:00; I know that because although my vision was all blurry, I could actually see the clock on the wall few feet away from me.

After sitting in a room for a while with eyes closed the nurse came in, she gave me a bag with drops that I am to put in my eyes every waking hour, sunglasses and information on how to care for my eyes. I left the building at 4:30 wearing my cool sunglasses that I was to keep on all the times for that day. Even while sleeping!

My husband was a sweet heart; he drove me home and took the kids out. I guess they went to the airport and then to play at McDonald’s. I went straight to bed, wearing my funky sunglasses in my dark bedroom. I had to keep my eyes closed and not use them at all, like I had a choice they burned a bit, and were a lot more comfortable closed. It was uncomfortable having the glasses on while laying down bed, but I managed to sleep a bit, wakeup, sleep again until 9:30pm when my husband and the kids came home. My husband would let me do anything, he put the kids in bed. I had a small sandwich because I was shaky since my last meal was at 1:30. I went back to bed at 10:00 and had to sleep with patches on my eyes. I looked like an alien. They cover your eyes, and have small holes in them so you can see. This is to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes, which is a big no no for the first week after surgery. My son woke up at 3:00am; I know that because I could see my bedside clock now! He wanted to come to bed with me, I was afraid he was going to get scared from my alien looking eyes, but he was not J

This morning at 8:30 am I had to go back to the doctor to check my eyes. No one was happy about that, my kids are not morning people. My cornea has fully healed, but my eyes are inflamed so I have to put antibiotic drops six times a day instead of four times. I made a schedule and hung it up the wall so I do not miss any drops.

The only bad thing is I have those red dots in my right eye. They freaked me out last night but the doctor said it is normal and they should disappear in one week. I hope he is right. It is a hickie from the suction. Hahaha…gross I know.

Now my vision is still not too great. I can see everything but it is not perfect. It will take a while for my vision to stabilize. I cannot drive for 2 more days at least, no water or soap on my eyes for a week, no makeup for one week.

So far I am enjoying being able to see with no glasses and no contacts. I will like and enjoy is a lot better once my eyes have healed 100%.

So there , that is my Lazik experience. I know lots of people who have it done. But no one would share details with me. O yeh is a simple procedure and it is the best thing I have ever done. But no one would share the details; so for anyone who wants to know about it. I have written everything I have gone through from 3:46pm last night until this morning at 11:12am J

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It is snowing cats and dogs..

Just when we thought it was over, and spring was coming. Snow comes upon us again. It has been snowing all day long, and it is not light snow, the flakes are the size of a palm! More snow is expected for next week as well. There I go, back to hibernation mode. There are few movies I have been wanting to watch, so I guess I will order them on PPV this week before spring comes and I'm out of the house a lot more.

I hate snow! I have never seen this much snow. FYI Saskatchewan is a cold very snowy province. No wonder not too many people live here. According to stats Canada the population has decreased here, while it increased everywhere else in Canada. And for arabs it is a good place to live. There are only few arabs, and not even one Arabic food store. My mom had to send me zaatar from Toronto. I do not understand why Arabs would live here, it is cold and the community is so small, it is very , very, veeeeeerrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy boring. Even my 5 year old hates it, and can not wait to move back to the GTA. I miss having people over to visit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Women and weight loss.

I wish we lived a long time ago when having a little bit of fat on your body was considered the norm.
I have yet to meet a woman between the age of 16-60 who does not have an issue with her body image, all stemming from how much she weights. No matter how skinny I think and the rest of the world think they are; they see themselves as fat. No thanks to media, and to those skin and bone disgusting looking models. I am very guilty of that, but I will never want to be skin and bone, and those models do not motivate me at all. All I can think when I watch fashion TV is gross, eww, what the hell is sexy about skin an bone?

Every time I meet one of my friends, at least 1hr of our time is spent talking about dieting, exercise, and those nasty 10lb that everyone wants to lose. What is so magical about those 10lb?? For me it means that my mommy tummy is almost flat, and everything is few inches smaller. But what about my friends, who do not have a mommy tummy and are pretty thin all over? I have a distant cousin who lives in Edmonton. She is 20yrs old. Last year when we sort of lived in Edmonton my mom asked me how she looks like, because she thought maybe the girl will be good for my younger brother, yeh like he will ever marry the Arabic way…anyways, I described her as very skinny, almost stick thin. Later as I spent more time with the girl, I was talking with her about how I still need to lose 10 post baby lb, blah blah blah, and I was shocked to hear that she is trying to lose 10lb as well. What the hell? I think if she lost that much she would disappear. Then later I was talking to her mom, and she told me that her daughter skips most meals because she wants to lose weight. Who the hell made this girl think she is fat? I mean she is tall and stick thin! At least 10 women I know are the same.

My sister in law in Amman hardly eats a thing to stay thin, she is not too skinny, but not fat, but she does not look healthy at all. If she ate healthy foods and worked out she would be thin and healthy looking. But lots of people do not know any better; everyone thinks no eating means losing weight. When it is the opposite. There has to be a balance, eating healthy food, exercise and eating the yummy sugary high fat foods in moderation. When I went to Syria and Jordan after having my first son, everyone I talked to gave me this piece of advice, skip dinner and you will lose the weight. When all the experts say do not skip meals, not giving your body foods every 4hours makes your metabolism slow down. My mom does not drink water, because too much water makes you gain weight, what? The only thing in the world that has 0 calories, and does wonders for your body. Now I hate water, unless I’m super thirsty or working out water makes me gag. So it is very hard to get my 8 cups of water on days I do not go to the gym. I started adding few drops of lemon into my 945ml bottle, and it is so much easier for me to chug down 2 bottles everyday. Now my skin is happy, and I’m sure my liver and kidney are thanking meJ

My weight loss issue started at 14, when I was way too thin. Barely 80lb and my much older friend looked at me and said you are too skinny. So I was very self-conscious and prayed to gain weight. Finally at 16 I was up to 110lb and not too skinny, not fat, just perfect for my 5’1 petite frame. My fiancĂ© (yes I was engaged at 16, what the hell were my parents thinking, thankfully I grew up and decided no way I will be tied down to this person from now so I broke up with him at 17), he looked at me and said that I have gained weight, and he does not want a fat wife! So stupid me became self-conscious and made it a mission to lose weight, but I didn’t know how to go about it, and did the eating very little thing, ended up screwing up my metabolism and gaining weight. That SOB, he was the fat one! Why, why did I let it get to me, I mean he really did need to lose weight, at least 30-50lb! I should have told him that I do not want a fat husband, but I was 16yo, too shy and timid. I hope he weights a million lb now!

I promise once I lose those 10lb (5Kg) I will not talk about wanting to lose more weight. I will eat healthy, and keep on going to the gym 3x a week, because I want to be healthy for me and for my family. And I will be praying that people’s mentality will change because if I ever have a daughter, I want her to be healthy but not obsessed about looking like someone on TV.

Don’t poke my eyes!

Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment. Prep for my lasik. The girl took pictures of my cornea, then more pictures. The she had to measure my cornea, ok great no problem right? She put in numbing eye drops. She told me to look straight at the wall and she held a little tool that looks like pen. She had to measure my cornea by poking around it with the tip of that pen looking thing. Ok so chicken little me freaked out, it didn’t hurt at all since my eye lids were numb and she was touching the watery part of my eyes, just like contacts. But the thought of someone poking my eyes, almost made me pass out.
The she said we offer sedation for you during the surgery, if you want. Yeh of course I want that.

It is just like when I went to the hospital to have my babies. I went in for an induction both times. So I was not in pain when I checked in the hospital, but I asked for the epidural 100x during my talk to the doctor. You are not even in labour yet, relax he said. Of course I have 0 pain tolerance and a wild imagination about how much it will hurt. So I could not relax, until few hours later when I got the epidural. God bless whoever invented it.

Ok so back to my eyes, in 2 days my poor little eyes will go under the knife, err, laser. And I will bid my glasses farewell; ah it is so bitter sweet. NOT!! No more being called four eyes, although I have not been called that since grade school, those mean kids. I hope they are all wearing glasses now, and do not qualify for lasik!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mujadara (koshari) (lentils with rice

Ok what is wrong with Mujadara??? It is a very healthy meal. Lentils are very nutritious, packed with dietary fiber and proteins. Besides it is very yummy, with some yogurt and cucumber sauce, or with a salad. I like it, my husband does not mind it and will eat a huge plate, and one of my kids will eat it. So what is so bad about it?? O yeh it does not have any meat, so it is not a meal a good wife would cook for her husband eh?

Few weeks go when my mother in law (who I love, and is the sweetest person in the world, but she does have her moments) asked me what I am making for dinner. I innocently answered we are probably having Mujadara. That was at about 11am and I do not start cooking until 5pm, so it was subject to change. She laughed and so did her sister sitting beside her. Ok no problems, I know how Arabs are, if it does not have meat it is not a good meal. I should have just said I was making a lamb leg or a roaster chicken. So today she calls, and all sweet, and loving. Then right before she hangs up she tells me to cook my husband good meals, meaning that the Mujadara I made few weeks ago is not good enough for her son! Ok so we have Mujadara few times a year, I also cook a killer Kabsah, yummy musakhan, and lots and lots of dishes that have chicken, beef and lamb in the recipe. And honestly my husband likes it much better when I make hummus, fool, eggs and ground meat, eggs and potatoes, or just eggs with some onions and curry. He is not much into tabeekh. Sheesh! I know what he likes better than anyone, I have been living with him for 9 years now..dah!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Min Sijin Akka

I have been looking for this song online for a while now, and I finally found it..so yippy!

If my dandy link does not work , since I am so new to blogging it is min sijin Akka..

Sorry to any non arabic speaking visitors, you will have no idea what I am talking about.

Can anyone listen to this song and not tear up?? It is my all time favourite song, I think over the years I have heard thousands of times. The first time I heard it I was about 6 or 7. We were driving in Lebanon, to go for a picnic and the song was playing. When he got to the part about dying like lions, I laughed so hard. What did I know I was so young, and did not understand. My much older cousin who was visiting us from Saida (Saidon) at the time was in the car with us, and she explained to me what the song is about, and ever since that song has a special place in my heart.

To anyone who does not know what the song is about, the song is called (from the Akka (Acre) prison, a funeral has emerged)In brief, during the British mandate of Palestine and their assistance to the zionist activities, our people started to resist and were faced by the British occupation who sought to crush them without mercy. Tuesday was known as the day of execution (by hanging - believe it or not!). The three heros: Mohammad Jamjoum, Fu'ad Hijazi and Ata Az-Ziir were scheduled for "mass execution" and after handing their will to their relatives and saying farewell to their moms, dads and sisters, they competed to the hanging ropes in a display of heroism that lived and will continue to live in our memory. The song is very emotional and if you understand Arabic, it is hard to control your tears. (from http://www.palestine-net.com/media/)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

blah blah

I hate it, hate it when my husband comes home and all he talks about is a dilemma he is having at work. Right now it is about a man lift. I have been hearing about this man lift for a whole week now. When will it end? My head hurts from nodding, and my throat is getting scratchy from saying I know what you mean.

This is how it is to be married to an engineer. I always said I would not marry a doctor, because I do not want to hear about his work stories, and because doctors work long hours. Now I wish I married a doctor, I am sure their work problems are more interesting that hearing about this man lift, or how he wants to put a brace here and a beam there.

Every time we pass go over a big building or a bridge he has to stand there and tell me what a great job the engineer has done, or how he chose a weak column or beam, blah blah blah.. Of course three of my friend’s husband are structural engineers as well, and every time we go out together the three husbands have to analyse every structures, and the wives just leave them and go shopping or for coffee…because we are all so sick of hearing them. One of my friends is married to a chemical engineer, and she tells me it is even worse; he has to approve every household cleaner.

There I’m done venting, as I’m typing my husband is sitting beside me. He is reading the man lift code and trying to prove that they are going against the code. And I’m nodding to every thing he say; he has no idea I am writing about him..hahaha.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Leapster



I love this little gadget.

It keeps my 5 year old son busy for hours and hours. He is a very active kids, so I am glad that he has something that makes him sit down. It is a video game, but it is very educational. He learns about patterns, number, letter, and it improves his hand eye coordination. I only wish we discovered it sooner, it would have made our flights even better, and O how I wish he had it while we were in Jordan.
heck I even love playing it, my 2.5yo loves playing with it as well, but it is made for 4+, so he does not know how to play it, but he does try and try..

I love leapfrog! what will they come up with next?

Tax time...

I hate this time of year. I hate it more when I was working, since I am an accountant, that is one busy time of year. Now I only have to do my husband's business taxes and mine, which are a pain in the butt since I am a big procrastinator and only start organizing the boxes of invoices and receipts in April!

I wonder if we will be getting a tax due date extension due to problems with revenue canada computers. I am in no rush to file our taxes, I usually file our returns on april 28th, since we have to pay taxes at the end of the year. I miss those good old days when we used to get a refund. O well..but I feel bad for those who file early and wait for those refund checks with lots of plans on how to use the money. Poor revenue canada employees, they are going to be 100x more swamped than in other years due to this backup.

http://news.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/Computer+shutdown+stalls+tax+refunds+for+paper+filers+too/Business/ContentPosting.aspx?isfa=1&newsitemid=tax-computer&feedname=CBC-BUSINESS-V2&show=False&number=0&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc

Palestine

Sometimes I feel that I do not deserve to say I am Palestinian. I have not done anything for the cause; I am not suffering like Palestinians are in Palestine. I live here in Canada in peace, and worry about shallow things like losing weight and buying shoes.

But damn it, I am Palestinian. My kids are Palestinians whether they like it or not. But what ‘s not to like? Palestinians are awesome people (most of them). My five-year-old son wondered few months ago why did we go to Jordan when we visited the mid east and not falastine if that is where we come from. What do you answer to that? I will instil in him the love of Palestine that I have, my husband has dug up hundreds of pages about the history or Palestine, so we can better learn and teach it to our kids.

For the longest time my dream was to go to the Al-quds, I would still love to go there, but I am not very hopeful. I remember my grandfather used to always say do not bury me here (Lebanon) I want to be buried in Suhmata (the village no longer exists I believe). Needless to say, he was buried in Lebanon, and never did make it back to his village. When he left it in 1948 he never thought he would never see his home again! I wish I can remember the stories he told about it, but it was so long ago..

Maybe one day we will get to see the land we dream about, I have promised my son that I will take him there, I hope I will be able to keep the promise one day. The closest I have gotten to palestine is going to the dead sea in Jordan, the water that I touched did touch the shores of Palestine.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

what a beautiful sight!

Spring is almost here! The snow is melting! I have dreamt about this, if the weather stays this nice, all the snow will be gone in few weeks. I love spring! The smell of flowers, birds chirping. I cannot wait.

Once the snow is all gone, and the weather is nicer, we plan on driving from Saskatoon to Vancouver. We have wanted to drive to Vancouver for so long now. When we got married every year we say we want to drive from Toronto to Vancouver, but it is a long drive. And we end up spending our vacation in the Middle East or the Caribbean.

The drive does not really get nice until you are almost out of Alberta, sure northern Ontario is very nice, but the prairies are just too boring! So this is even better. Since we have been living out west, we have made it to the Rockies three times, driving from Edmonton to Jasper, to lake Louis, to Banff, Calgary and back to Edmonton. The mountains are amazing! I have been to the mountains in Colorado and Montana, but I have to say they are a lot nicer in Alberta and British Columbia. I am looking forward to our trip. The mountains are awesome, the air is so fresh, and the scenery along the way is amazing! I just hope we do not run into any grumpy old bears along the way. When we went in the summer the year before we ran into a cute baby black bear. Everyone stopped on the road to watch him, the poor little thing; we probably scared the hell out of him, I’m glad his mom was nowhere in sight:)





I wish my sister and her husband will be able to join us. We will be meeting friends in Calgary, and together we will drive to Vancouver through the mountains. I wish I had pictures to share, but I lost the entire picture file on my computer few months ago, and all of my hard copies are at my house in Ontario now. Besides I still do not know how to post a picture, how pathetic eh?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Men's rules

I just got this joke from my sister, I love it...my husband would have thought about all those one time or another during our marriage, but he is smart enough to not voice them out, most of the time. I love the too many shoes one, my husband does not say, he just has this look everytime I come home with a new pair of shoes.

We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the Rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note ... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us bitching about you leaving it down.

1. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again!

1. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

1.Sunday = SPORTS. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Don't cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by then you're stuck with her.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.

1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that last for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Check your oil! Please.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument .... In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us. We refuse to answer.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. Let us ogle. We are going to look anyway; it's genetic.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.

1. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your girlfriends.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. Foreign films are best left to foreigners. (Unless it's Bruce Lee or some war flick where it doesn't really matter what they're saying anyway.)

1. It is neither in your best interest or ours to take the quiz together. No, it doesn't matter which quiz.

1. BEER is as exciting for us as handbags are for you.

1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don't mind that, it's like camping.

1. I'm in shape. ROUND is a shape.

isnt this sad?

I just opened my MSN messenger and I saw my cousin on there. Seeing him made me realize that I have so many cousins that I have not seen in a long time. I could run into most of them on the street and not recognize them. This includes my cousins living in Canada. This past December I finally to go visit my uncle, and of course I saw his oldest son. I would have never recognized him, last time I saw him he was a little boy! now he is a man, he has a beard for god's sake!The rest of my cousin are in Lebanon, some in other countries, it is all the same. Last time I saw them there were in their mid teens, early years, and some not even born yet. We were very close with our cousins, we played together, we fought, we have great memories at our grandma's house. I miss them so much. I have got to go back to Lebanon soon and see my family. Last time I was in Lebanon it was 1993. So long ago! Hamoudi, if you read this, I miss you too

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

speak bird, speak again.

The Palestinian ministry of education has banned this book from schools. Why now? it has been in print for a long time, I want to say 1986, but I am not sure.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/shared-gen/ap/Middle_East/Palestinians_Book_Ban.html

It sounds interesting. I love stories about Palestine. This is why I love Ghassan Kanafani books. I just ordered it from Amazon; I cannot wait to read it now:)

Ok so reading the article in English I see what all the fuss is about, in Arabic they only said that the book yekhdosh el7ya'a, I was not sure what that meant. But still, some people just go overboard.

I'll tell you all about it when I get my copy in few weeks, damn customs

is it spring yet??

Everyday I look at the weather forcast and they say in two days the temperature will go up to the minus single digits, so far we have not seen any single digits. Today it is -15cel but feels like -22. Winter starts way too early here, the first -20 was at the end of october. Now I'm wishing that i went for a trip to cuba, instead of having my lasik done. naaaaaah..i'd rather go next year and be able to swim without worrying about contacts and glasses...ok never mind that idea.
Bears have the right idea, hibernate in winter, that is kinda what I've been doing. I barley go out, exept to go shopping or the gym. It is supposed to be 0 degrees on wednesday, please please let them be right this time. It takes us an extra 15-20min to get ready before going out, putting coats, hats, gloves and all the fun stuff on me and the two kids. I dread going out to play with the snow because putting on snow suits takes forever! Then we go for 30min and start losing gloves, get cold and come back in. It will be so much easier when we are living in our house with a yard.
Wake me up when spring gets here!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

banned from playing in tournament due to hijab

now this makes me mad. and big kudu's to the coach. What the hell does wearing a headscarf have to do with playing soccer, how does it make it a safety issue? sheesh!

Soccer's ruling body has upheld the position of Quebec tournament officials who banned a competitor from playing in a tournament near Montreal because she wore a head scarf.
CTV.ca News Staff
Asmahan Mansour, 11, was ejected from the game for not removing her hijab on the field.
The International Football Association Board -- FIFA -- held its annual meeting Saturday in Manchester, England.
The board was asked to make a ruling on the plight of Asmahan Mansour, the 11-year-old who was told last weekend that she couldn't play in the under-12 tournament in Laval unless she removed her religious head-covering known as a hijab.
Brian Barwick, who spoke on behalf of the board, said it is important to be respectful to "people's thoughts and philosophies,'' but added that the rules of the game must be followed.
"We believe our football to be inclusive. It's part of what we believe our football to be," Barwick said during a news conference.
"But of course if you play football there are basic laws. And law four outlines what the basic laws are concerning gear. I think it's absolutely right to be sensitive to people's thoughts and philosophies but equally football has a set of rules it has to adhere to."
Law four lists the items a player is entitled to wear and head scarves are not mentioned.
Goalkeepers are allowed to wear caps and protective headgear.
The Quebec Soccer Association said the headscarf violated a no-headgear rule set down by FIFA for safety reasons.
The soccer referee who ordered Mansour to remove her headscarf was also a Muslim.
When she was ejected from the game for refusing to remove the covering, Mansour's coach withdrew the team from the tournament in protest.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hair

As I was blow-drying my hair this morning, I am finally happy with hair after two disastrous hair cuts in Amman this past summer. This summer we went to Amman to attend my husband’s nephew’s wedding. I went to the hairdresser to get my hair done, a simple blow dry and to make my very thin hair look a bit thicker. I can do it nicely at home, but everyone is going to get theirs done at the salon, so I’ll just go along. I got my hair cut few days before I left Toronto, and I loved my hair. It was stylish and long enough to do whatever I wanted with it. So on the day of the wedding I went in to get my hair done, not cut! But finally I agreed on a trim. But the guy had his own ideas and who cares what I wanted. He is the expert right? He cut my hair; short, not too short. But it was short at that back and longer at the front. I hate how I looked. And he was going to make it so puffy and blah, I had to tell him to stop, and just blow dry my hair straight.
I was planning on waiting until I got back to Canada and get my hair cut, so the back is not so much longer than the front. But I could not wait 2 more weeks, so I went to another hair dresser, all I wanted was for him to cut few cm off the back so it flows with the front and side, so my hair is not like a triangle shape. Of course he did not listen to a word I said, he just cut away, I told him, no I don’t want it too short, but his ears were closed. O I was so mad. I am usually nice and would pretend I loved the cut and cry about it when I got home, but I could not stand it. I yelled at him, and he though what a crazy person. I could not afford to not look good and be comfortable in my own skin at the time, my husband was being a jerk and my self-esteem was down the drain. I did not need a bad haircut to make those last two week longer than they were. I will one day have to blog about how that.

It was a cute cut, but did not suit me at all, and I am a mother of two, sometimes I need to be ready in 10min including hair, makeup, dressed, and the fastest way to get ready in such a short time is to put my hair up. My hair is very thin and oily, so unless I wash and blow-dry it everyday it does not look good no matter how short or long it is. And I do not have that luxury everyday, so the easiest way is to just brush my hair pull it back and put the clip in..and traaaa all done.
I though the guy was a 7mar(idiot) who cut my hair, but I was reading a Jordanian blog, I cant remember whose now, but she said that she just went in and the hairdresser did what ever he wanted with her hair. In Canada I go in, I tell the hairdresser what I want exactly and she asks for my approval few times during the hair cut and styling. Seriously why didn’t anyone tell me that this is how it works in Jordan, my husband has 4 nieces, and two sisters plus a few handful of cousins and aunts, no one told me how it works, they just let me call the guy a 7mar and hope he breaks his arm. I do not remember how cutting hair was in Lebanon since I left when I was 10 year old, and since then I have never got my hair cut anywhere but in Canada, and now I know I will not be entering a salon in Amman. What am going to do if we move there, I cannot come back to Canada every 6-8wks for a haircut!:( I guess that is one cultural shock I was not counting on eh?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Gas shortage

oh NO! poor ontarions! Two week of gas shortage, I am sure many people will not be able to go get to work. I do not know how people are not supposed to panic. 3 out of every 5 people I know in the GTA area drive at least 40-80km to get to work. Yikes!
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/28/america/NA-GEN-Canada-Ontario-Gas-Shortage.php

hopeless!:(

This is hopeless! I am four days into my weight loss challenge, and I have already cheated 3 days of the four. Of course is only 10am of day four! The good news is that the cookies my husband bought last Thursday are all gone. But I do have a pack of Eid cookies my husband so thoughtfully bought over a week ago while in Vancouver. HUSBANDS! O and forget about going to the gym. Again it is partly my husband’s fault. He is way too busy at work that he cannot spare five minutes to bring us the car. The good thing is that I know will never ever hear my husband complain about why we need two cars. Since moving to Saskatoon 1.5yrs ago we sold my husband’s car, and shipped my car out here. We do not need two cars; my husband’s work is less than a five-minute drive from home. So anytime we need to go our, I call him, he brings the car, we drive him back to work and pick him up once we are don. It is even better in the summer it is ever better because he takes the bike to work. But there is no way we can live with one car in Ontario. His work will be a good 30min drive from home. So at least now he knows that even though we are in the best situation to have one car, it is still an inconvenience sometimes. I am sure he will never talk about selling our “extra” car again. Now I am looking forward to car shopping. Rami wants us to buy a van! I want another small car, or an SUV. I’m too tiny to drive a van!

Ok back to my weight loss, I forgot to make an exercise schedule, and I forgot to plan my menu for the day the night before. This is why I have failed miserably those 4 days! My eating had no structure, so I was hungry all the time. And I forgot which day I should be doing upper body weight training and which day I was to do lower body, so I just didn’t do any.
I did lose miraculously lose ½ lb in those 4 days. I am at 128.5lb as of this morning. The exact same weight I was at a year ago.