Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eating, tweeting, and not enough blogging ...

Why can't I manage to regularly post blogs? I want to and it nags at me like unfinished homework assignments. I have friends who post beautiful, articulated blogs multiple times a week! (you know who you are and yes, I am jealous!) I have unfinished blogs about my reflections during Ramadan and our Eid celebrations, but now that Ramadan and Eid are over, the mood is gone as well.

So you're just going to get what I decide to ramble on now, OK? In no particular chronological order ...

First of all, I'm twittering. Or is it "tweeting"? My brother made me do it and that's the story I'm sticking to. Anyway, I'll add the Twitter widget to my blog page so you can follow me if you wish.

Next, we've moved to a different villa! Just a couple streets down and still in the town of Mirdif, but those two streets make a world of difference in the flight path leading into the Dubai International Airport. Previously, jets were flying directly overhead. Jennah absolutely LOVED the noise! It was ground shaking and I'm sure the decibels were doing permanent damage to our ears. It wasn't our only reason for moving, but it's been one of the most noticeable. So long pink villa. Hello caramel villa! I will get pictures soon ... I hope. Or as we say, "Inshallah", which means "God-willing". The acronym "ISA" is often used especially for emails, texting, etc. Oops, a bit of a diversion there, was it? Anyway, this new brown villa is so much bigger and the rent is a lot cheaper. Prices dropped due to the shoddy economy soon after we moved into the pink villa. One word: Wardrobes ... w00t!! aka "closets". Imagine not have any closets in the house, which was the case at the pink villa. It was ridiculous! Now we have storage galore and I will never go without closets again, ISA. I'm telling you now ... appreciate your closets. Love them and never let them go ...

So Ramadan has indeed ended and was marked immediately by Eid Al-Fitr. It's a time to eat and wear new clothes and allow your digestive systems to function normally again. It was a three day celebration ... the second and third days undoubtedly used to recover from the first day's celebration! We had a great time, but it was exhausting no less. We have celebrated Eid in Seattle before, but that is nothing in comparison to the atmosphere here, of course! We began with Issam leaving at 6:30 AM for the Eid morning prayer, followed by a breakfast gathering at 8:30 AM (crazy getting the kids primped and out by 7:45 AM!), a late lunch at 3 PM, and a late tea in the late evening.

The kids had a blast and received a couple hundred dirhams as it is customary to gift the children with money. Jennah had enough and let us know around 9 PM ... poor thing.

Eid led us into Bassil and Jennah's illness. Undoubtedly, Bassil contracted the virus and shared it with his baby sister, but he barely showed symptoms with a mild cough and a decent amount of congestion. He was barely even fatigued! Jennah, on the other hand, had a terrible time. With her lack of mobility, the mucous buildup was hideous. She can barely control what excretions she has when she is well, let alone when she is ill. It was a mess, and later became a bloody mess, as she coughed and gagged on her own phlegm and was spitting up most of the food I put into her g-tube. However, the g-tube was a blessing in keeping her hydrated! A blessing until it became infected. Ugh. Her tube looks terrible right now. It looks like part of her skin has been flipped inside out, which as you can imagine, has become quite painful. We've finally started on antibiotics and hope to see an improvement in a couple of days. Don't ask me why it took nearly a week to get her started on the meds because I'm just a bit hostile about it. Let's just say that I miss the nurses line at Pediatric Associates. :(

So yes, I guess we've been a bit busy with the holidays, the move, and now Jennah's infection. Autumn quarter at U of Wash has also just commenced, so I am back in class. This quarter I am required to attend "live" at the lovely hour of 5:30 AM. Not terribly bad, I guess ... I could have been 2 or 3 AM! At least I get to have a nice cup of coffee and the rest of the house is still asleep so it's nice and quiet. I actually kind of look forward to it ... but don't tell anyone. ;)

Aside from the illnesses, the kids are all doing quite well! Aziza and Bassil have started "normal" school hours, attending from 8:00 to 2:30 each day. Aziza is also taking ballet and piano lessons at the school ... oh the convenience is just luxury! They will both be starting after school swim soon as well.

Jennah is progressing very well! She remains seizure-free Thank God! and has made great strides. She is improving on her neck control everyday and her hands are now kept open. Some of you may remember that she kept a fist, which was very infantile, until just recently. Now she is swatting and trying to use her hands with intention, which is very exciting! Therapy will commence again in the next week and once her infection clears up, we'll be visiting the orthopaedic surgeon, ISA, to check up on her hips.
Here is Jennah holding a piece of fresh-baked pita ... yummm

Time to make dinner ...