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Just Being

September 2, 2010

A miracle happened today – I didn’t get mad at anyone or anything.     

Could this be because I have no energy as the last 7 days of Ramadan wind down?  Or could it be that I am finally turning over a new and more patient leaf?  Who knows?  What I do know is that both Ali and Maya seem a bit out of sorts with my newfound mellowness.   

It all started this morning when Maya kicked things off bright and early by building a tent in the living room.      


This Dora blanket has seen more action than any other gift Maya has ever received.

On any other occasion I would have freaked out that pillows were everywhere, that Dora’s rather unattractive face was somehow going to dirty my white sofa, and that Maya probably scratched the table when she pushed all of the coffee table items into a jumble in the corner.  (She did.)     

Today I just stared longingly at the disarray of remotes wishing I had the energy to stack them in an orderly manner.  I didn’t.  And when Maya asked if she could leave the tent up all day I surprised myself by saying, “Sure, why not?”        

Needless to say, it was a free for all after that.  

Maya: “Can I have sushi and raspberries from Whole Foods for dinner, Mama?”       

Me: “Okay, sure.”      


"Can I have the dipping sauce on the side?" "No problem."

Maya – “Is it alright if I play my flute with my nose?”       

Me – “If that’s what you need to do, then by all means.”      

Maya – “Will you take a picture of me doing it?”      

Me – “You got it.”      


Jingle Bells featuring Maya's nose. Maya is one talented kid.

Maya: “Can we make Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and can I lick the bowl?”      

Me: “I guess.  But don’t come to me if your stomach hurts from eating raw, possibly tainted eggs.”      


These are the best cookies we have ever made. We keep making batches and giving them to our friends/family.

After much discussion on the word “tainted” and after several minutes of deliberation Maya licked the bowl clean.  It’s been a few hours and she appears to be fine so I guess our eggs were fine too.    

Ali, on the other hand, was at odds with my new calmness.       

Ali: “I know you are fasting but can you make me a turkey sandwich for lunch today?”      

Me: “Why not?”      

Ali: “I won’t be home for dinner tomorrow night.  Is that going to be a problem?”      

Me: “Not at all.”      

Ali: “I’m hiring several girls to walk around in skimpy outfits to promote an event in San Francisco.  What do you think?”   

Me: “That sounds like a fantastic idea to me.”      

After looking at me oddly and not without fear, Ali and Maya retreated to her room and shut the door.  I think they are waiting for the other shoe to drop.       

I am too because we all know it’s only a matter of time.

74 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 2:59 am

    That is too funny, I love the picture of Maya playing the flute with her nose! I remember having so much fun making tents in the living room as a kid — I’m sure this is a day Maya and Ali won’t soon forget! 🙂

  2. September 2, 2010 3:13 am

    Maybe it’s because you have no energy. Or maybe it’s because all of this introspection that comes with Ramadan has turned you into one a pod person.

    But I think you’re right. It is only a matter of time. And I can’t wait to see what happens what that TIME runs out.

  3. September 2, 2010 3:14 am

    I love how Maya found an opening and just went for it.

    You have one smart kid.

    Have a great day! Maybe it’ll be another one that’s completely stress free… 🙂

  4. September 2, 2010 3:21 am

    turning over a new and more patient leaf is a better option I suppose.
    Nice and inviting pics of the goodies.

  5. September 2, 2010 3:29 am

    Hahahah! You totally reminded me of my my mom when she was too tired to say no. I loved this.

    I would be the happiest mom EVER if my child asked me for sushi and raspberries… i’m just saying.

  6. September 2, 2010 3:29 am

    Can Maya teach Marin how to play the flute with her nose? 😉

  7. September 2, 2010 3:32 am

    my first thought when i read your first sentence was “why can’t such a miracle happen to me?!” hahahah

    such a cute picture of maya playing her flute (? recorder?) with her nose. was she successful?

  8. September 2, 2010 3:33 am

    Its funny cause your apartment looks very glamorous and rich…and I would think that would be a nightmare with kids!
    Why are you fasting , but Ali is not? I don’t how/why you do it, but I know its a personal thing on your part, so I guess where I can’t clue into it.
    Fasting doesn’t fit into my vocabulary 🙂

    • September 2, 2010 8:30 am

      It really is a mystery to me why Ali decided not to fast this year, after doing it for the last decade. I guess he just has a lot going on with work, etc.?

  9. September 2, 2010 3:45 am

    i still can’t get over no food or WATER all day…I’m not strong enough…Oh BTW get maya into ne hao kai lahn (spelling??), the asian Dora… then you can “prep” her if she ever meets auntie Diana. hahaha.

  10. September 2, 2010 3:50 am

    I used to love building tents like that…much to my mother’s chagrin 🙂

  11. September 2, 2010 3:59 am

    Maya has more sophisticated taste buds than I. Sushi! Do you eat eggs – are you vegan or vegetarian? Baking is a difficulty due to inevitable batter eating. If it’s supposed to be 3 dozen cookies, it’ll be half that.

    I admire your resiliency during Ramaden. And I would love to curl up under that Dora tent all day. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I cried a little.

    • September 2, 2010 5:56 am

      I am a 99% vegan…I don’t eat meat or chicken but do have the occasional egg, piece of fish, or milk in my tea. And I have a weakness for butter! But Maya eats everything for the most part.

  12. September 2, 2010 4:02 am

    Ha – “Is it alright if I play my flute with my nose?”
    Can’t make that stuff up! I confess that my overly generous/patient days are usually followed by bitchy ones… Hopefully you don’t follow in my path!

  13. September 2, 2010 4:53 am

    “Is it alright if I play my flute with my nose?” HA HA HA. That’s hilarious!

  14. September 2, 2010 5:04 am

    Ah ha! The days of fasting are teaching your the parents’ most valuable lesson; pick your battles and let the others go. Instead of begging you to go out and buy a Dora tend, Maya was happy making one. That’s wonderful! Much cheaper than putting pillows back where they belong or covering a scratch with a table decoration.

    Playing the flute with her nose….my daughter told us that boogers taste salty (gag). Even though I’ve defined them to her as nose poop, she thinks they’re a culinary experience. Be happy with an external nose recorder concert instead of a play-by-play on the texture and taste of what comes out of her nostrils (and it’s not music).

    • September 2, 2010 5:50 am

      I feel a tiny bit naseous after reading this. You’d think that being covered in my kid’s vomit would be worse than reading about “nose poop” but no….

  15. Jessica permalink
    September 2, 2010 5:07 am

    I remember my parents always warning me before I licked the bowl. I was a bit of a rebellious child. Luckily, I haven’t gotten sick to this day.
    I think I am the opposite of you. I’m a people pleaser so it’s hard for me to say “no”. I hardly struggle saying “yes” to anyone about anything. Saying no is a whole other story.

  16. September 2, 2010 5:25 am

    haha I like the tag “I am scarily calm.” I feel like that sometimes… it’s almost like the calmness is BUZZING inside of me.
    I miss making tents like I did when I was younger! I was feeling nostalgic a few months ago and made one in my bedroom. It wasn’t as fun and it didn’t feel the same. i have a hard time letting go sometimes.
    Also- the pillows are really cute! I have some decorative pillow cases from India that I have never used. I don’t know how to stuff them, do you?!

    • September 2, 2010 5:48 am

      Hi Sonia – you can buy ready made pillow inserts at Michaels, Target, etc. or do what my cousin did and stuff a bunch of old clothes inside to fill up the pillowcases. Much cheaper and you can’t tell from the outside!

  17. September 2, 2010 5:32 am

    Ameena, your description sounds exactly like my own Mom. She is the most simultaneously calm and productive person I have ever met. She can meet any challenge and never sweats the small stuff. She somehow learned this clarity sans fasting, but maybe (until the haze clears up and you re-discover whatever enchanting neuroticism you seem to think normally governs you) it will be interesting to see what opportunism inspires your co-habitants. You are doing amazing. Your writing is – if anything – even better this month and you have shows as much grace and kindness as ever. I need to find my own fasting equivalent…

  18. September 2, 2010 5:39 am

    I love it. Though it seems to have just happened I have ‘yes’ days with my girls where I try to just let them have control of the day. As long as there is no blood or match lighting it generally goes well.

    • September 3, 2010 9:07 am

      You put it so well Christine – as long as nobody dies or lights something on fire I consider the day a success!

  19. September 2, 2010 5:43 am

    Heh, it is clear Maya is taking full advantage of this calm before the storm. At least she had some raspberries before the chocolate cookies. Oh, and your coffee table is so nice!

  20. September 2, 2010 6:09 am

    This post made me laugh so hard. Maya playing the flute with her nose brought me back to when I was a kid. I used to do that all the time! I had a green one and I used to play it for my parents all the time 🙂

  21. whydeprive permalink
    September 2, 2010 6:20 am

    Haha sometimes I have totally mellow days too. I wish I knew what caused them so it could happen more often.

    I’m impressed by Maya’s musical skills. Playing with your nose is not as easy as some may think.

  22. September 2, 2010 6:22 am

    This was a hilarious post! And I love how that Dora blanket keeps popping up everywhere!
    You’re funny…more more more!

  23. September 2, 2010 6:37 am

    haha 🙂 Glad you had a nice calm day! and i love your pillows.

  24. September 2, 2010 6:54 am

    Yeah for calmness. That is funny they are thrown off by it, maybe you can reap some rewards like asking Maya to clean up her tent.

  25. September 2, 2010 6:57 am

    I wish I was as talented as Maya is! i think it is the last 7 days of Ramadan, I am so zen-like it’s creeping me out!!!

  26. September 2, 2010 7:16 am

    I have told this to you several times and I am saying this again, I cannot fail to notice a resemblance between Maya and my younger. Their antics are exactly the same.

    yay for your calmness. I love it when I annoy/surprise my husband with my sudden calmness, since I am a naturally sensitive & irritable person by nature!

  27. September 2, 2010 7:28 am

    What is the fascination with kids and tents? I had it too! Just being sure makes for a less stressful life that’s for sure! Sometimes I think it would be nice to not be bothered by anything. I’ve loosened up some but…. : )

  28. September 2, 2010 7:35 am

    lol my sister’s ALWAYS building some “fort” around the house and pretending to use an umbrella as a gun. Such a violent girl she’s becoming…3 guesses as to who taught her that 😉

  29. September 2, 2010 7:39 am

    that. was. awesome. i seriously haven’t stopped smiling since i got to your site (ala scary mommy, btw!). may your day continue to be peaceful, albeit a tad scary! lol 🙂

  30. September 2, 2010 8:01 am

    I love your posts, this one made me smile….. Uhuh.., she’s brewing & as you say….., its just a matter of time. Calm before the storm?

  31. actorsdiet permalink
    September 2, 2010 8:27 am

    you’re getting closer to Allah with your fasting!!!

  32. sana permalink
    September 2, 2010 9:10 am

    hahaha ameena. love your controlled wit… and can completely empathize with the calm before the storm. 🙂

  33. September 2, 2010 9:18 am

    Haha I love it!

    Totally zen Ameena. Keep riding that wave. You are a wonderful person!

  34. September 2, 2010 9:19 am

    My son would love it if I just said “yep, okay” to everything. Hubby would ask what I did wrong and/or what I want.

  35. Michelle permalink
    September 2, 2010 9:21 am

    Hey its all about being positive, right? Well, and a bit passive at times, but everyone can use a break 😉

  36. September 2, 2010 9:49 am

    Still feeling giving? 😀

    I know I have random days like that too. They don’t come often, that’s for sure.

  37. September 2, 2010 10:12 am

    Eveytime I read your blog, it reminds me that there ARE other moms out there who are going through the same thing. I think we get tested and pushed to our limits everyday, that one day out of the month we just finally let loose and just not care or not want to care about anything. Which I actually think is also very healthy. But you have it much harder than me with the fasting. You’re handling everything extremely well! No food for me = angry, mean LeQuan. How do you do it Ameena!?

    • September 2, 2010 9:05 pm

      The only way I get through the day is to keep super busy. And if I can I take a nice afternoon nap to break up the day. Just 7 days left!!

  38. September 2, 2010 12:27 pm

    That little tent Maya built reminds me of the tent I used to build with the cushions of the couch when I was a youngster. 🙂

    I’m just trying to imagine a mellow you right now. lol. btw…you can survive these last few days of Ramadan. You can do it!

    • September 2, 2010 9:18 pm

      Thank you Jenn – I really appreciate your confidence in me! I just keep repeating, 7 more days…7 more days…

  39. September 2, 2010 12:35 pm

    Haha, ohhh, too funny! 🙂 And can I just say how COOL it is that Maya is requesting SUSHI and raspberries?!! What a hip little girl!! 🙂 I hope our little boy has such cute little requests!! 🙂

  40. September 2, 2010 2:28 pm

    Omg, with each post Maya just gets more adorable! I love how for a five year old it seems perfectly logical to play your flute with your nose. haha

  41. highonhealthy permalink
    September 2, 2010 2:44 pm

    Maya is definitely talented, I can’t even play the flute with my mouth nevermind my nose.

    I use to build little tent fortresses all the time. In fact, my sister and I shared a room and we usually had blankets everywhere. You think Maya’s tent is bad? You would have had a heart attack if you saw our room.. haha.

    I did a water fast once and it totally mellowed me out too! It actually made me feel pretty fabulous.. then I went back to my normal lifestyle and turned into a moody bitch again. 🙂

  42. September 2, 2010 3:13 pm

    Maya is hilarious. That picture of her? Just classic. And you are great too. As always. Fasting can do crazy things to your mind, and it seems like it can do some positive things too! Today was probably a mixture of both!

  43. September 2, 2010 3:28 pm

    Brilliant. Aren’t you glad those kinds of days just happen once in awhile? I always surprise myself when I wake up mellow (I’ve told my partner that his quest to find a hippie, zen chick hit a wall when he met me). Almost makes up for the rest of the (slightly edgier) time….
    Great photo. Nose-flute playing actually makes some sense – I’m curious as to what tones result 🙂

  44. September 2, 2010 4:12 pm

    Love this post! I do sometimes have those kind of days where I just don’t really care and let things slide. anyway, your place looks great and neat. I don’t think I can do that. Btw is Ali also fasting?

  45. September 2, 2010 10:20 pm

    oooohhh! Honestly, I can’t wait to see what happens when the other shoe drops!!

    Anyway, I’m cheering for you, Ameena. Hang in there… atleast you got both of them to retreat into their rooms silently, right? Score!! 😛

    Maya looks adorable playing the flute with her nose…that was too funny!! Haha!

  46. September 3, 2010 12:57 am

    lol…did Maya ask you about the flute thing on purpose, to see your reaction?

    Loved your attitude today. Very blase, very cool. 😉

  47. September 3, 2010 3:44 am

    I believe that you have become more patient 🙂

    These cookies look wonderful.

  48. September 3, 2010 5:03 am

    Hey Ameena! Sounds like you’re chillin’ cuz your’e willin’ to chill (smile). We sing that around here-a bit dorky it is, but it reminds me to be calm and ‘chill’.
    p.s. I came by b/c I noticed your question about gluten free pasta. I used Tinkyada brown rice pasta in that photo. I only buy it when it’s on sale (expensive). I like to go to the Asian markets too-they have the best deals on gluten free pastas!

    • September 3, 2010 6:53 pm

      Thank you Stella…I am definitely going to check out Tinkyada. I’ve never heard of it before!

  49. September 3, 2010 7:02 am

    I love how one of the tags here is “I am Scarily Calm!” Hilarious. Sometimes I have days like that. In the end, I feel like they work out better. A living room tent never hurt anybody, right? 🙂

    Sometimes I wish I had your neatness/cleaning abilities though. I suck at that.

  50. September 3, 2010 7:37 am

    hmm it definitely was a chocolate chip cookie day for a lot of people.. ironic cuz i just posted some too, yay! but even biggder yays for not managing to flip at anyone which is a goal i have myself. im starting to realize that maybe it isnt cuz everyone else around me is crazy and im the only normal one.. but perhaps it could be a bit of the other way around lol.

    oh the recorder..i still have mine. wont dare play it because my family thinks its the MOST ANNOYING instrument lol.


  51. September 3, 2010 8:08 am

    My two cents: LOVE THE PILLOWS~

  52. September 3, 2010 8:38 am

    I love Maya’s tent, nose recorder playing and cookie batter eating. Too cute!

  53. September 3, 2010 10:05 am

    Your daughter is adorable! I teach 2nd grade and one of my students played her recorder through her nose for her show and tell!

  54. September 3, 2010 11:14 am

    Too funny! You will have to let us know how it’s going now. 🙂

  55. eatmovewrite permalink
    September 3, 2010 2:30 pm

    lol. That’s hilarious. I hope I can be that kind of mother. Although if it requires fasting, it isn’t going to happen.

  56. September 3, 2010 3:59 pm

    oh man, this post totally brought me back. i used to LOVE building tents when i was a kid! tents, forts, if only we had a proper tree i would’ve KILLED for a tree house!!

  57. September 3, 2010 5:10 pm

    Wow, sounds like a good day 🙂

    I think your family must be suspicious of you, maybe wondering what aliens came down and abducted you at some point. I am totally kidding!

    I am still thinking about straightening my hair. Thanks for your thoughts on the subject.

  58. September 3, 2010 5:26 pm

    I remember having so much fun making furniture forts when we were kids. They would get so elaborate and large! And that picture of Maya playing the flute it too cute for words. Kids do the darnedest things.

    So, has the shoe dropped yet?

  59. September 3, 2010 5:53 pm

    i think Maya and Olivia would get along famously!!! she is too funny..
    Liv used to build tents like that too in the living room with big sheets.. so fun!

  60. September 3, 2010 6:36 pm

    fasting really can do that do you. I just read a whole bunch of info on fasting and it talks a little about that.

    the cookies look great though!

  61. September 3, 2010 7:51 pm

    Good for you! Sometimes its good to let go. You can’t fight every battle (I’ve learned that being married LOL).
    Got to admit, I’m finding the last few days of Ramadan quite difficult. NOt from hunger, but I am feeling sooooo lethargic this year.
    *kisses* HH

  62. September 4, 2010 3:01 am

    ha, sitting under that tent with some cookies sounds like a pretty great way to spend the day 🙂

  63. September 5, 2010 7:44 pm

    Good for you fasting. Perhaps letting go of that physical craving has allowed you to let go of other things as well.

    I’m a little in awe that you would buy a white sofa. Even though I’m pretty neat and clean, I’m certain disasters would befall such a pristine piece of furniture.

  64. September 7, 2010 12:29 pm

    Sushi and Raspberries, flute in the nose and a dora fort sound like fun to meee. Well, more like FUNNY especially the way you write about them. Nice job just going with the flow….

  65. September 8, 2010 1:30 pm

    I’m catching up on your posts. You are funny, I love your stories.

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