February 24, 2007

Spring Cleaning...


I have GOT to get started. Spring has started here, and I feel the need to clean, InshaAllah. Getting started is the hardest part. After that, seems there's no stopping me, but actually getting started is the key.

Motivation is very important. One good way is to invite someone over. I'm good under pressure. Problem is, guests don't go into my bedroom so that always ends up as the catch-all for everything that I want to keep away from little hands. Another good motivator is looking at Real Simple magazine. Nothing makes you feel more organizationally inferior like the clean lines in there.

I have every intention of getting this place sparkling, really I do. I do! It's just kinda daunting, you know? There's so much to do. The kitchen walls need a good scrubbing. I have to move the washer and clean whatever lurks under there. I've mentioned my room. Even the balcony needs to be washed. Apparently some birds think it's their own personal loo. I think it's impossible to do it all in one day. That means getting motivated to clean on more than one occasion.

Don't get me wrong. We are not slobs and things get cleaned up here on a daily basis, but the big jobs are a bit more arduous.

February 10, 2007

!@#$%* bus driver!!

Ouff! First day back to school today and the bus driver successfully put me in a grumpy mood. Dawood and Zayneb go downstairs to wait for the bus at 6:05, (yikes, I know.) Usually the bus comes within 5 minutes. I wait and watch from the balcony. 6:20...nothing. I call the bus driver's mobile, it's off. 6:35, the bus drives by in the other direction, I figure he'll turn around an come back cause there's a a division in the middle. Nope. Meanwhile, I keep trying his mobile. No luck. I call the school...they dismiss my concern and tell me he's on his way. 6:45 NO BUS! I told the kids to come upstairs. Finally he answers his phone...He said he came by twice, honked and they weren't there. Bull! I was standing there watching him drive by! I said, well, when are you coming? He said at Salwa's pick up time, 7:30. But D& Z can't ride with the KG bus, it's not allowed. What?! YOU are the one who did not pick up my kids, idiot! The reason we pay for the bus is that my husband works late and can't wake up early everyday to drive them to school. In the end E took the three of them to school but on their way to the car, the bus driver was waiting and honking away.

I am so sick of this bus crap. He doesn't have a set time that he comes at everyday, if he comes early he'll honk then leave without giving enough time for the kid to get downstairs. I hope next year we can work some kind of carpool or I get an Egyptian driver's license or something because this is unnerving. The bus is 1000LE per kid for this?

February 9, 2007

Trip canceled & CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

So, the trip is canceled, and that's just fine.

I spent most of today trying to...lets say "encourage" the kids to clean up their room. This is an everyday thing, pretty much. They clean it up, a few hours later it looks like a tropical storm hit.
The only one who really values keeping her things neat is Zayneb but the others ruin it for her and she gets sucked in to the laziness sometimes.

To be fair, the little one, Safiyah does spill the box of blocks and walks away, and always sneaks and pulls things down from the others' shelf/headboard. If you catch her in the act she quickly throws whatever she has in her hands behind the shelf/headboard. We have to pull the bed away from the wall a few times a week to get stuff. There are at least 4 lip balms and caps collecting dust behind my bed. It's too heavy for me to move.

Anyway, how do I get them to keep their rooms neat? I already took out most of the toys they don't use into the balcony. They're all dust covered and sun-bleached now. There always seems to be bits of paper everywhere for Dawood has discovered the fine art of paper snowflakes. Not to mention the stuffed animal parade all over the floor. The lack of fitted sheets here makes bed making pretty tough, so I can't expect them to have that stay put all the time. I'm thinking of sewing elastic on the sheets myself. Did I just say that?

What do I do? They always seem proud and happy when it's all picked up, but it never lasts long. Advice?

February 6, 2007

International visits, search refrences

Today's a pretty good day so far. I actually got up earlier than I have been lately. 9 am. School starts up again Saturday so it'll be back to the 5:30 am alarm again, oh joy! Dawood's having a friend over today so I'll probably make fried chicken and fries later.

Been getting a wide variety of visitors, country-wise. Let's see...
US, Egypt, UAE, Saudi, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Italy, Switzerland Korea, Jordan, and Norway. I love it!

Some recent searches that led people here...

"Sawaris"
"laryngitis whisper"
"mombar big"
"blog + Living in Hurghada"
"oh yea"
"Lucy's Love shack"
"Little Mosque"
"Mona+Eid"
"Origami Stars"
"Clinton obama"
"mamamona at yahoo.com"
"lucky star"
"sometimes sobia"
"how to make lucky stars"
"link:http://www.islamicclothing.org/"

My fave is "oh yea". OH YEA!

February 5, 2007

The single most dumbfounding retail experience in my life

Yesterday I did some shopping for the kids. First store was ok, kinda crowded and I was shoved twice by a couple of rude ladies, but there were a few good bargains. Got some sweats sets and undies for the kids.

Second store was an experience. I didn't know stores like this still existed. It's a kinda department store, called "Shirkat al bee3 wal masnoo3at" ( Company for sale and products?) Kinda like Omar Effendi for those who know it.

Anyway, I went upstairs to the clothes section and looked at some kids' clothes and pj's, underware and such.
Everything is behind a counter.
You have to wait for the lady to get you what you want.
I waited my turn.
I ask for girls pj's for a 7 yr old.
She brings out a pair with pants too long for me.
She said I could roll them up.

Ok, next I found an outfit for Safiyah, held on to that and got PJs for me, kids undershirts, and a couple other things.

For each department the lady has to write out a receipt.
Kids, underthings, Pjs, each their own little paper written out on a little pad with carbon paper. I said "A3mel behom eh dol?" (what do I do with these?)
She said. "Awel mara tege hina?" (first time here?) with an about to crack up look on her face.
I said yea, and she told me I had to take them down stairs to pay and pick up.
The saleslady then complained of a headache.
I was getting there too.
When I was finally done upstairs I have to take the little papers down to where you pay and pick up your stuff.
I saw a cute little rug for the girls' room so I picked that up too.
Got a little paper for that one too.
So I go to the little desk for paying.
I wait for her to acknowledge me.
I place my stack of papers on her desk to get her attention.
Nothing.
She was looking at her big book of graph paper.
I said "Law Samaht" (excuse me) into the little hole in the glass.
She finally notices me and took my papers.
She added them up, not once , not twice but FIVE times on the calculator.
She copies it all down in her big book.
She makes some scribble on the back of each paper with her pen.
She complained of a headache too.
She then stamped each one with a big stamp on the back.
She added them up a couple more times and gave me my total, and my stack of papers.
I paid her and smiled that I was almost done!
Then, I go to the pick up place where some poor bloke had to keep bringing stuff from upstairs down there.
The guy there inspects my little papers.
My stuff was the only stuff on the shelf, he looked at each paper and gave them to me, department by department and put each paper in its own little box.
Finally I was done!

After all that, I didn't even get a "receipt". Good GOD, what a hassle. No wonder everyone has a headache! Cash registers would be a great investment here folks.

February 1, 2007

Pretend I wrote a title for this post.

Hey people. What's up? I'm ok. I got bored today so I re-arranged the furniture in a sorta awkward way, but hey, It's a change.

Dawood draws me these great pictures all the time, at least one a day. They all have "I love you Mom" somewhere on them. He's great that way! Today I got a great picture of a rainbow over the ocean with a blue sky and a dolphin and clownfish jumping underneath it! It said "I love you Mom" in the clouds. Plus he made a fringe border with his scissors. Alhamdullilah!

There's a new Egyptian channel on the dish. Otv just started yesterday and I like it already. There are Egyptian talk shows, & cooking, American shows & movies and they even have the news in "3amy", Egyptian, not Fus-7ha Arabic. There site is still under construction, but I found this sort of critical article about it.

The thing that caught my attention was, at the press conference the owner Naguib Sawiris, talked about Egypt's faults, right off the bat, and said that the media influences changes in society and he mentioned the crazy traffic and trash in the street etc. I was like TAKBIR!!!