Saturday, August 6, 2011

Remembering Home

We had a wonderful trip home and have now been back 'home' for 1 week. Before we left, we collected all pictures to make one comprehensive memory of our trip. Each family member took time to write their favorite memories on card stock and placed them thoughout the photo album. It's a great memory of our trip. Here are the memories of our famil to share with my family back home...

Omar says "Momma, remember when..."

  • "Mr. Puffer Bill goes to Pumkin Ridge and then back again. His ears get so cold." (a bedtime story Grandma read to him every night about trains).

  • "The BIG MAN! He's HUGE!!" (Paul Bunyan Land)

  • "Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Laura, Auntie Sarah, Uncle Jason, Baby Grace. I love them all!"

  • "Fireworks! Fireworks! Fireworks! They same BOOOOM, BOOOOM!"

  • "My green truck. I go so fast...hahaha!"

  • "Yeah, Sadie is with Grandma, Maggie is with Laura, Riley is with Sarah and Shiloh is with Jason" (the family dogs).

  • "Swimming, swimming, swimming. I go swimming again?!"

  • "Baby Grace, she is soooooo liiiiiitttttle! You have to be gentle."

  • "Grandpa's boat, Jason's red boat, and the green boat!"

Aisha says her favorties are...

  • "We were laughing soooooo really hard!" (When Mommy, Daddy and Omar went shopping and she stayed with Auntie Sarah, Baby Grace and Uncle Jason).

  • "Baby Grace is so cute!"

  • "Oooo La La Spa with Fancy Nancy" (Grandma Nancy's spa designed after Fancy Nancy books).

  • "Fishing....I caught a fish Momma!"

  • Riding on the boat, "Grandpa drives really fast! It's fun...hahaha!"

  • "Jimmy Johns" (her new found favorite food that we don't have in Jordan and keeps asking for).

  • "Going somewhere fun every day!"

  • "Grandma is soooo fun!"

  • "My Princess car. It's so pretty and I can drive it really good!"

For sure this is a short list and the kids continue to remember their times in Minnesota and tell me their "Remember when...."!

We had a wonderful time on vacation. Visiting family and friends is always great, but when you live so far away...the time is precious! Thank you to my parents, sisters, brother-in-law, family and friends for everything while we were home! Watching the kids play and grow with each of you was so much fun for Yanal and I as parents! We love you all!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things To Appreciate...

Things To Appreciate in the USA...

Sound of trees blowing in the wind
Sounds of loons, birds, frogs, and everything else from nature
Public bathrooms...Clean public bathrooms
Litter free parks
Parks filled with trees, lakes/rives, and paved trails
Sales and Clearance areas in every store
Driving inside the lanes
Clean eggs
Clean, endless supply of water

Things to Appreciate in Jordan...
Dry heat
Lack of Mosquitos

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Home part 1: Funny Things to Notice

Funny Things to Notice. Well, we are home. Back in the Good Old USA. Back in Minnesota. We arrived a few days ago and plan to stay for 5 weeks! We are so excited to spend time with family and friend, go to the cabin, do some shopping, hang out in the backyard, BBQ, ride the boat, etc, etc, etc! To put it simple, it feels great to be home!

After living in Amman for 2 years and being away from home for a year, there are a few things that I notice as 'funny' because they are things that would normally go un-noticed.

1. No dust. None on the furniture. None on the floors. None on the dashboard of the car. No dust to be found anywhere. Love it...and honestly...jealous.

2. Water in the toilet. Why is there so much of it?!

3. Green is everywhere I turn. Green trees. Green bushes. Green grass.

4. Space. So many wide open fields and yards to let the kids run freely.

5. Smiles. Smiles on family. Smiles on friends. Smiles from the cashiers at Cub Foods, Starbucks, the gas station, smiles from the people waiting in line. Smiles everywhere. Smiles give one such a warm, welcoming feel.

6. Carpet. What's that...soft squishy carpet under my bare feet?

7. Rain. Rain is falling every morning. The first rain was a shock..."It's raining in summer?!"...then I remembered..."Of course it is, it's Minnesota!"

8. English. Really, English is music to my ears. One gets so use to hearing the little understood language of Arabic, that one forgets how nice it is to understand everything you hear.

9. Lakes. Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and here we live in the "Brainerd Lakes Area". Need I say more?

10. Organization. Everything is structures and organized...just how I like it. Even flying over Minnesota, you can see the structure of farm land to be in organized squares of color, the streets are parallel with an occasional street cutting over in a 45 degree angle, and the homes follow the same.

11. Flat terrain. Driving in Jordan is sometimes like riding a roller coaster, because there are so many hills and mountains to drive up, down, and in between. Here, everything is flat.

It's great to be home, the kids are loving it, and we will be savoring every minute of it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Having a Baby in Jordan

Well, I am half-way through my 3rd pregnancy!! Today is 20 weeks and counting! We found out last week, Inshallah, in October, we will be having a baby boy!! What has my thoughts pre-occupied these days is deliverying a baby so far from the US healthcare system I am so familiar with.

As a Registered Nurse in the US, I had always heard of and sometimes witnessed the fear of immigrants recieving healthcare in the US. In nursing school, we learned a great deal about how American minorities were sceptical of equal care and immigrants were scared of different ideations on cultural norms presented in the delivery of care. As a lady married to an immigrant, whose non-English speaking Mother-on-law would come stay with us for months at a time, and someone who simply believes in all people...I always did my best to provide the best care to the non-English speaking patients, the immigrants, and the minorities.

Now, the table has turned. I am the immigrant. I am the minority. I am the non-Arabic speaking patient. I am seeking care for the delivery of my 3rd baby, here, in Jordan, a forgein country, a place I currently call home.

Fear you ask? I always feel fear of the unknowns of delivery. Fear of the cultural norms that are un-normal for me...fear, may not be the right word...yet I am nervous.

Intreged you ask? Definately. I am interested on a learning level of what the cultural norms actually are.

Surprised you ask? On many levels, yes. Yet, honestly, I feel farily certain they are similar norms to the US when lets say, my Mother labored her 3 children....30 years ago.

What have you learned so far, you ask? Here is a short list of the differences of labor and delivery in Jordan (generally speaking)...

1-Husbands are not allowed in the room during active labor.

2-You begin in a pre-delivery room where many women are in the same room, you then shift to privately deliver your baby, then to return to a post-delivery area for recovery in a room shared by many women.

3-Delivery by C-Section is done under General Anesthesia, not Spinal Anesthesia.

4-Just as baby is born, Mom is given an injection to 'put her to sleep' until after the placenta is delivered.

5-You do not meet your baby for a few hours...Mom is recovering, baby is bathing and being examined.

6-Baby does not 'room in' with Mom...Baby stays in a nursery and Mom relaxes.

7-You must pay the entire hospital bill before you are discharged...the day of discharge, the hospital keeps baby until you show proof of payment, then you recieve your baby.

8-Cost of deliverying a baby is anywhere from $150-$4500...depending on hospital, normal birth vs c-section, epidural, private room, days spent in the hospital.


What makes me nervous, you ask....
+Being in a room full of other women
+Not having my husband with me
+Other cultural norms that come up that I am not aware of prior.

What will I request to be different from the norms, you ask...
+Not holding/meeting baby immediately after delivery.

+Being put to sleep after delivery (WHAT is that all about?!)
+General anesthesia for Section (WHAT?!...Spinal is safer!)

What am I okay with as long as I know about ahead of time, you ask....
+Paying prior to leaving (this is required of all clinic, lab, hospital visit in Jordan)
+Baby does not 'room-in' with Mom (as long as I have to option to keep baby with me most of the time)

What are the positives, you ask?
+All Physicians and most Registered Nurses speak English well.
+Jordan has the best healthcare in the Middle East
+I really, really like my OB/GYN!!

I will start touring hospitals next week! I will let you know what I find out!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2+1+1+1 = 5 !!

It's official! Inshallah (God Willing) - We are expecting baby number three the middle of October, 2011!

Monday, March 28, 2011



My two sisters and I have a total of 4 years between my opinion, this is perfect! I always knew I wanted my kids to be close to each other in age. This way they can play together at an early age, go through school together, share friends, share interests, and go through lifes changes and challenges together. Inshallah (God Willing) they will attend high school graduation within a couple years of each other, followed by college, college graduation, weddings, marriage, pregnancy, and raising their own babies!

I became pregnant with Omar the same month Aisha turned 1 years old; therefore, Aisha was 21 months old when Omar was born. I will admit to anyone that the first year was not easy. Having two, essentially, babies is a challenge. Two in diapers, two waking up in the middle of the night, two needing bottles/frequent feedings, spoon feeding two hungry little mouths, bathing two slippery bodies at the same time, ensuring independant quality time with one while the other is sleeping...juggling two babies was challenging.

Then...babies grow. The grow into toddlers who are able to feed themselves, tell me their needs, walk independantly, help me around the house. They become friends who run and play with each other. Who talk to each other. Who fight with each other ("I want Barney!" "But, I want Dora!"). Who make deals with each other ("I'm first and your next. Okay?" "Okay.") Who love each other ("I love you, Boo-Boo" "No.....I love YOOOOOOOU!")

No doubt, we decided to have our kids close in age, so that at this age they can have a play-mate, a friend, a sibling to go through life with!

Here are some recent pictures we wanted to share with everyone of our wonderful kids playing together! Alhumdillah (Thank God) for such wonderful, healthy children!