"when all your desires are distilled; you will cast just two votes: to love more, and be happy" -hafiz

Monthly Archives: April 2014

it’s raining! boo. day 2 of rain. yesterday i refused to let it slow me down, though. i had a bunch of errands to do, including delivering coffee in the city, so hafiz and i drove in, parked where i could find an unmetered space way south and then walked many, many blocks to visit molly at the philadelphia daily news office. it was spitting rain on us the whole time. i had feezy in the sakura bloom and threw the extra fabric over his head like he was a muslim woman. even though it was freezing and we were wet (no umbrella) he sucked his thumb and fell asleep. gah, he’s the best. 

i also took clothes to buffalo exchange, stupidly. i should’ve just gone straight to goodwill to donate. they took 1 of my things, and i had a whole bag, but the joke is on them because the zara tank top they bought from me had shrunk in the dryer and was not looking the way it was supposed to AT ALL (i think they just go by labels – zara is a nice brand and all but that shirt was worthless). i was grouchy for like 2 seconds but then donated the rest of the bag to goodwill. 

so hafiz and i hung out at the news office for an hour or so, visiting molly and all my mom’s old co-workers, many of whom have known me since i was a baby. hafiz charmed them all, smiling perpetually as he was passed around or rolling on the floor with his giraffe. then when i stepped out to walk back to the car (easily a 2 mile walk) it was POURING. so molly gave me a token and hafiz and i hopped on a septa bus. hafiz’s eyes were HUGE, taking in all the people, sounds, bus lights going on and off, etc. the bus took us right to where our car was parked. hafiz passed out in the car and when we got home i just transferred him into his bed and he kept sleeping for a good hour. 

that night, we placed a second offer on the house we wanted (the first offer was met with a counter offer, so we came back meeting her halfway) and it was ACCEPTED. meaning – if all goes well with inspection and the rest of the paperwork – we are the new owners of an amazing house!!!!! 🙂 hus was kind of in shock since he’s been very removed from this process, distracted by coffee stuff this week, so i actually did most of the paperwork and negotiating, but we were both elated and relieved since the house is perfect. we of course spent last night on pinterest trying to envision how we’ll paint, decorate, etc. our goal is to buy as little furniture as possible because we really own enough to nearly fill the house. and i’m feeling the minimalist look as of late. minimalism = good when you have a baby. less for them to hurt themselves with or possibly destroy, right? 

so, yeah! it’s raining even worse today. i decided against going to the new mom’s group since it’s so yucky out and the past two days have been go-go-go for hafiz. monday night we had my mom’s montessori graduation which kept him out way past his bedtime and yesterday was our adventure in the city, so today i figured he needed a nice calm day at home. going out in the rain with a baby sucks. i know beautiful weather is on the horizon. 

yeah, he definitely needed to catch up on some rest. he slept 11.5 hrs straight last night (8pm-7:30am) and then took a 1.5 hr nap this morning… and an hour later went down easily for another nap, which is happening right now. between those two naps i was reading him “the wheels on the bus” and he reached out to grab the book and got a horrible paper cut. little blood splatters all over the quilt my grandma made 😦 poor baby. he actually didn’t cry as much as i thought he would based on the damage. the cut is on the thumb he always sucks but that might be a good thing because that might make it feel better? poor feezy. 

last night’s bedtime was my favorite little hafiz moment to date. i nursed him as usual and he was sleepily nursing. when he was clearly falling asleep entirely, body going limp, i woke him to gently hold him upright and pat his back a few times and then laid him down on his floor bed. he opened his eyes big and looked right at me. i said “good night hafiz, go to sleep, i love you” doing the sign for i love you and he smiled SO BIG. i kissed him on his cheek and he smiled again, kicked his legs up, put his thumb in his mouth, turned on his side and went to sleep. i turned off the lamp and left. i listened at the door. a few happy little sounds, then nothing. and then asleep for 11.5 hours. WHAT!? bedtime has actually been this easy for a long time now. ever since we got back from california, i think. no tears whatsoever. still waking up once in the night to eat a few times a week, but i don’t know, it’s weird. since i made the decision to go back to work in july i actually like waking up in the night to nurse him. i probably wouldn’t say that if it were more than once, haha, but i genuinely love that time together. 

i can’t believe how independent hafiz is already and am really excited for our new house and being able to create a nursery that continues to foster this. i really love the way montessori-style nurseries have everything at the child’s level, accessible to them. you keep only a few toys and books on their low shelves and the others put away (in basement or attic) so that they only have a few options to focus on and absorb at one time. then toys don’t lose their novelty as quickly either. i don’t even think we’ll have a changing table in his nursery, actually. we’ll probably just change him on a mat on the floor (kari this is what you do right?) and keep the clean and dirty diapers in the closed closet in his room that we’ll put a little latch lock on the top of so he can’t open it. my mom is going to hook us up with some great montessori materials, too. 

OH i forgot the most exciting thing ever!! husein and i have a date tonight to see the only celebrity (and she’s barely a celebrity) i care about do stand-up!! CHELSEA PERETTI! she’s close to my heart because i listened to her podcast all throughout pregnancy and even when i was in a labor. she made me laugh so hard. i can’t wait. my mom is going to put hafiz to sleep and we’re going to get dinner in the city and then see the show. we haven’t been out to dinner alone since before hafiz was born! can’t decide if i want sushi or this italian place called barbuzzo where we actually have a gift certificate. hmmmm. 

wow the rain is still coming down. so happy i didn’t go to mom’s group. i still do need to drive something over to our tax lady though, which is kinda far away. hate going outside on days like today. 

gonna busy myself in the house to capitalize on feezy’s nap. as much as i adore hafiz, i’d have to say that naps are my favorite part of parenthood. is that bad? 

so much love. i’ll probably talk more about the house next post because i have some ideas i need to sort out. 





my lack of posting might suggest to you that i’ve been doing an awesome job with my new technology limits. the truth is, while i have definitely been doing better overall, there’s still huge room for improvement. 

first what i’ve done well: no cell phone around hafiz, unless i go get it to take pictures of him, but then i take it out of the room and put it away and wait to look through them and post pics until he’s asleep. no computer around him either. i also have been better about using the computer or my cell phone while eating (except this morning, i couldn’t find the newspaper and had nothing to read during breakfast so i used my computer. oops.) 

room to grow: hafiz has been napping like a champion, but since i only let myself use technology when he’s not around i actually seem to overdosing during those times. i was hoping i wouldn’t need to get crazy enough to put a timer on myself but apparently i can’t self-regulate and might have to. 3x a day phone and 2x a day computer can actually be a lot of use if it’s like 1-2 hours each time!! 

why it’s confusing though: i have actually HAD to use the computer and phone for so many things this week, and i’m really good at multi-tasking necessary-and-unnecessary things simultaneously. like right now i’m filling out a survey for my job, sending emails to our real estate agent, writing this blog post and i keep clicking back to fb when there’s a notification. probably should just focus on one thing at a time, but i find that near impossible on the computer. can anyone else relate?! 

and in other news… found a different house that we love even more than the original one, which we are attempting to put an offer in for. it’s significantly cheaper, so that’s awesome news. it also has a backyard! both hus and i can really see ourselves in this place for a long time so i hope it works out. 

oh and hafiz is confusing me. his new thing is excessive naps in the morning. like he’ll only stay awake for one hour and then go back to sleep. but then in later afternoon/evening he will stay up for like 4 hrs straight, refusing to nap. his night sleep has been decent, sometimes waking up once to eat, sometimes not. except last night sucking on a corn cob seemed to have hurt his belly because he kept crying and i could hear his stomach gurgling, making sounds i’ve never heard before. after a few hundred rounds of baby beluga he fell asleep. 

i’ve created a baby beluga addict. 

i’m doing a run/walk for cystic fibrosis tomorrow! i think it’s like, 5k, so no big deal. i’ll have hafiz so i should probably walk because i’ve never actually run with him before and he might freak out. he’s not a big stroller fan in general yet, to be honest, which could be a problem. i hope it doesn’t rain. then i shouldn’t bring hafiz. 

oh! he’s awake! tech time over. sorry no pictures but my instagram has an abundance right now. 




you know what quitting sugar taught me? 

everything is easier in action than in anticipation.

now, that seems antithetical to the statement “easier said than done” but i find it to be absolutely true. the longer we anticipate doing something difficult, the more we build things up in our minds and let fear, anxiety and insecurity attach themselves to it. the actual DOING is so much easier when you remove all that unnecessary emotion. 

my friend ashley actually wrote an awesome post about this very topic: to versions of me.

i’ve been sugar free for two weeks! and that means almost no processed food (though i eat little of that, anyway) because when you start to look at labels you realize that most processed foods have added sugar. i also haven’t eaten much fruit, besides a banana here or there. after the first two days, it became easy. i just replaced my old habits with new ones. 

so i was inspired to overhaul the other habits in my life that i feel have been holding me back. and instead of anticipating the change and fretting, i just did it. i started today off with new boundaries on my technology use. 

let me explain where this is coming from. last year, husein and i shared one  iphone that had no internet access on it. we only got internet in wifi zones and that didn’t include our home. so we only used internet at our school or in an internet cafe. we had no tv in our house either. so when we were home, we sometimes borrowed DVDs from friends to watch on our computer and we could send text messages on the phone, but that was the extent of our technology use. 

it was awesome. 

we did everything we needed to on the internet at school, before or after the work day. or we walked to an internet cafe together and sat on our lap tops, drank tea or coffee, and worked. there were naturally imposed boundaries to our tech use. 

this year, we each have our own iPhones that have internet all.the.time. there is wifi in the house. without even realizing it, i have become a slave to the smart phone. 

whenever i’m with hafiz, the phone is nearby. i often will read or text when he’s nursing. as soon as it makes a sound, i’m checking it. i realized yesterday when he wouldn’t stop looking at the phone that i was modeling that the phone was a priority in my life. at times, even more of a priority than hafiz, because i’d be playing with him and interrupt that time because of a beep or a vibration on the phone. 

i don’t want him to ever prioritize a screen over a person, so why am i doing it to him? how hypocrtical is that? and of course he will grow up transfixed by iPhones and the like if that’s what i do!

so last night i wrote my plan in a notebook (not even my iPhone notepad, ha) and decided i can look at my iPhone 3x a day. if i use it at other times (like to listen to a podcast that i downloaded earlier or take a pic of hafiz) it has to be on airplane mode so i can’t do any social media or texting. i will only use my phone for texts-instagram-social media-news checking when hafiz is asleep or with husein. the iPhone will NOT be the first thing i see in the morning or the last thing i see before bed. so here’s how i think it will go: 

look at phone during hafiz’s first nap

once in the late afternoon/before dinner

once after hafiz goes to bed

then, there is the computer, which i am on right now. i actually never use the computer in front of hafiz because i always use it in the kitchen where i rarely bring him. but i also don’t want to spend every nap of his on the computer. now, there is a lot of work to do on the computer, which won’t count (for instance today i did a lot of reservation-making for an upcoming friends wedding, mortgage loan stuff, craigslist post responding, etc). on the computer, i can only do non-work things twice a day when hafiz isn’t around. it can be whatever time of day works. i already went on fb today on the computer so that’s once. 

i actually have a feeling i’ll end up doing less overall tech stuff than my plan of 3x phone and 2x computer because the fact that i have a max # i can’t surpass means i’ll keep putting off the usage to “save it for later” and then won’t use it at all. for instance, i haven’t even looked at my iPhone yet today (it’s 12:30pm). 

now, the key to making this work is replacing and old habit with a new one. that’s what i did with sugar. i went to trader joe’s and bought new sugar-free snacks and just started eating those instead, which made the transition super easy. so i need to fill my tech time with other habits. for example, this morning i read New Yorker magazine and wrote in Hafiz’s baby journal. Later I will do a yoga class. I am going to put two books on my kindle that a friend just suggested: Americanah and The Goldfinch. 

it’s only day 1. so far so good. i think this will prove more difficult than sugar for sure because this habit definitely took up more hours in the day. but i’m excited about it. when i think of things i want to do on fb/blog/etc i will jot them down in my notebook so that i don’t forget when i get on technology later. 

actually having hafiz makes implementing things like this easier because he creates a rhythm to the day. he is about to wake up which puts an automatic time limit on my tech use, which is good, because otherwise 3x or 2x a day could just be stretched out to all day, ya know? haha. that’d be tricky of me. anyway! that’s why there’s no picture in this post – gotta go save the crying baby.

any habits you want to replace? 


quick update since I’m eager to get to sleep and fully expecting a little guy to wake me once in the night since I out him down 1.5 hrs early tonight. yeaaah. this can’t end well. totally out fault! we met with a real estate agent and i had no idea he would show us 5 houses. i thought we were just hashing out the buying process. we ended up dragging hafiz around for 4 hours and he napped maybe 15 min the whole time. we got home and he was exhausted, of course, so I had no choice but to put him down at 6pm.

so, yeah. we are looking at both apartments and houses but the apartment options are awful and the houses we saw were amazing. fell in love with this one little house. Ah it’s so awesome. trying not to get my hopes up!

OHH so the title of this post. let me explain. hafiz. during the day, he rolls on his belly and then is joyful for 5 min and then cries until we flip him. once in awhile he accidentally flips belly to back, but it’s rare. weeks ago he was doing it but now not so much.

at night he seemed to be doing it every so often because he would roll out of bed, as l have mentioned. I put a thick carpet and thick blanket next to his bed since then to cushion the inevitable fall.

So last night I put him down in what I thought was an ingenious direction because if he rolled right (the way he usually does) he would be cushioned by the bolster at the head of his bed. his feet faced the wall because sometimes he can scoot in that direction — only at night in bed when we aren’t looking, of course.

he fell asleep easily around 8. around 8:45 I heard him making happy little noises. I figured he was changing positions, so I just listened. Then I heard “clunk” and crying.

figuring that he had just then rolled off, I went in and…

HAFIZ WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS ROOM. About 12 feet away from where I had put him down. he cried only when he made his way off the carpet and onto the hard wood, not even when he fell off the bed.

I still can’t understand this. He must be rolling back-to-belly proficiently in the dark to cover this kind of distance. I so badly wish we had a video monitor!

It also freaked me out because now his nursery legit needs to be 100% safe and baby proofed now. And it isn’t. Is it possible that he moves in his sleep?! Future sleep walker?!?

Hafiz houdini, I tell you.

His high chair is so awesome!!

I love having him at the table. Almost ready for solids! He wanted to eat our pizza so badly tonight, poor kid. I think his tooth is really bothering him because he needed to be gnawing on something all day. Once it was my hand and it HURT bad. Uh I think his first food could be a steak and he’d be cool.

Breaking bad has been SO intense!!!!

Spent all of yesterday away from hafiz to see kari, Willa and jude! Good practice for July. Hus gave him lots of bottles. I’m worried about my supply right now, though. Which in turn makes me worry about my supply when I go to work because pumping definitely extracts less milk. Hmm.

Ok.. this was way longer than expected! So tired…. zzzzzzzzzzzz.


Hafiz! How are you 5 months old already? Time is going way too fast, but I’m okay with it because I just love you more and more each day. Here’s what’s up with you at 5 months old:

-TOOOOOOOOOOOTH!!! After months of saying “he must be teething” you have a straight up tooth poking through. It’s just a white speck now, that feels hard to the touch, but the whole area is swollen and it is going to bust through entirely soon. You feel it too and are constantly running your tongue over it (so cute) and smacking your lips because it must feel so strange. Considering how uncomfortable you must be, you’ve been a trooper. Slightly more fussy for sure and need something to chew on constantly (your hand is usually enough though) but still full of smiles and sleeping well. I froze water inside one of your pacis and you loooove chewing on this. As soon as the ice cube has melted you pull it out of your mouth and toss it aside.

-15 lbs! I weighed you by getting on the scale myself with and without you, and you are 15 lbs exactly. I thought this was big until I met a baby who is younger than you by 2 weeks at new moms group and weighs almost 19 lbs. WHAT?! Pretty sure you are still 50%ile for weight though.

-Still haven’t introduced solid foods, since we don’t have the baby set for our high chair yet (getting it on Monday though!) and you can’t sit up unassisted. Will probably wait until 6 months for solids and do baby led weaning. You are nursing anywhere from 2.5-4 hrs apart, depending on your naps. At night you go 10-12 hours without nursing.

-Sleep. Ever since the 4 month sleep regression passed you’ve been doing great. Naps are usually very easy. We just sing, read, put you down and leave. You usually cry a little but it’s short-lived and clearly just to settle yourself. Bedtime has actually been easy, too, for the past few weeks (KNOCK ON WOOD!) except for the fact that you keep rolling out of bed!! Last night was the worst. We were sitting downstairs and heard the biggest “thud” on the wood above our heads. Then we heard it AGAIN. We ran up and you were banging your head on the wood floor and crying. There was a blanket down but you had moved it aside shifting around. I actually don’t understand how you ended up where you did. Poor baby. You went right back to sleep when I put you back down, though. Aside from this hiccup, when it’s time to sleep at bedtime you just roll to your belly, stick your thumb in your mouth, make some noises, and sleep. It’s the cutest.

-Sign language. We’ve started this with you but I can’t quite be sure that you’re even really watching when we do it. It’s still early. I think we are doing it more for ourselves (so we learn and get in the habit of the signs) than you at this point, but that’s okay. I don’t really expect you to sign back for a looooong time.

-New sounds! You blow raspberries and drool EVERYWHERE, make this talking-while-breathing-in sound, gasp for breath while laughing, grunt, and screech both with joy and in protest. Your happy talking sounds are the best. When you are really uncomfortable and angry you blow raspberries, scrunch up your face, turn red and puff out your chest.

-Everything goes into your mouth. When I read you a story before naptime, the book is shoved into your mouth. Every stuffed animal. My hand. My shirt. Your shirt. Burp cloths. You are discovering the world through your mouth. It’s a wonder that you haven’t gotten sick yet (KNOCK ON WOOD).

-Your hair! You still have a slight bald patch rubbed off on the back, but it’s starting to grow in. I actually love this little patch and it’s clear that as your hair grows it in will grow mullet-like since it is longest at the nape of your neck. Your father and I have already decided we’re not cutting it for a long time so we can see how it naturally grows in. I bet it will be funky.

-I doubt you’re anywhere near crawling. It kind of freaked me out when a girl in my moms group said her son crawled the day before his 6 month birthday! WHAT! You haven’t figured out what to do with your legs to crawl, but you are pushing up on your arms into upward dog or plank pose all the time. I’m okay with you NOT crawling for awhile 🙂 At least until we are moved into our new place and I can baby proof things more.

-I also don’t see sitting up on your own happening that soon, though it typically does happen in the next month or so. Maybe because I don’t give you much practice with this? You tip over pretty much immediately. Sometimes you will lean forward and tripod sit, which is cool. That’s step one I think.

-Sophie (or Lizzie as your dad always says) the giraffe is far and away your favorite thing ever. I’m happy the paint on it is apparently food-based because you are going to eat this thing whole, I’m sure of it.

-Wake time. I’m trying to figure out when you’ll be ready for longer periods of being awake. When we are home you seem to only handle 60-90 minutes still, but if we’re out and about you’ll go far longer without getting too fussy and then just nap when we get home. After all the exhausting reading I did regarding infant sleep, you are actually far more adaptable than what a lot of my reading led me to expect. Staying up for a super long stretch doesn’t seem to mess you up that night or anything. FOR NOW. I know sleep stuff is forever evolving, so trying not to get too attached to you being one way.

-YOUR FACE! Is the best. I could have never imagined a face as cute as yours, Feezy. I love your old man toothless smile (can’t believe it will have teeth SOON though), chubby cheeks, enormous dark almond eyes, curly eyelashes, cupid lips, arched eyebrows…   your are so expressive and painfully adorable at all times.

-You love: when your dad holds you up airplane style, people in glasses, your giraffe, “baby beluga” (almost always if i sing this song, you stop what you’re doing — even if it’s crying — and smile), naked time, mei tai > stroller (need to get you liking the stroller more!!!), new people.

As for me, at 5 months postpartum, I am finally totally forgetting my pregnant self. Linea nigra is almost entirely gone. My body feels like my own. It won’t really be entirely until I wean, but I will probably be pregnant again by that time if all goes as planned, so that won’t really be the time to have my body back anyway. Besides, I love nursing and want to do it as long as possible. Honestly, not eating sugar has helped me recalibrate my wonky breastfeeding hunger. I feel like I’m eating a more balanced diet now. The past few weeks have been really busy and I haven’t exercised as much as I’d like, but that’s okay. Some yoga here, a walk there, that’s about it. I hope to find a routine at some point soon, which will of course change with moving, new job, a bunch of travel for weddings coming up, etc. So whatever! Just going with the flow.

That’s it for now. Going to some open houses to see what’s out there…





i put that as my status on the good old FB the other day while i was in the midst of big decision making with husein.

i found out i was offered my ideal teaching position (3rd grade special ed lead teacher) and – while it couldn’t be part-time – my principal said they could be flexible with the schedule to make it work for me by putting my prep period at the end of the day and leaving a bit early. the hours are still brutal but it’s an improvement. and it would still be the full time salary, benefits, retirement… things that are oh-so-necessary right now.

meanwhile, hus had been offered two separate opportunities to move his roasting into cafes, to take on responsibility there while giving his coffees more exposure.

well. i decided to accept the job offer and hus turned down his and will keep the business home-based so he can be a stay-at-home coffee roasting dad when I start work in july.

I’m trying to see the positive in this as opposed to the one glaring negative which is that I’m going to miss hafiz!!! also, I hate pumping and will be doing a lot of that. Ugh.

BUT let me spell out the positives for myself:
-financial security and independence
-doing work I love (helping struggling students from low-income communities learn)
-hus will do the things i hate like cook, clean, grocery shop, etc
-when I get home at 3:30 or so (most days I hope) it will be cherished time with hafiz while hus goes and works
-school year has great vacations (except not much summer bec I start in July right after completing yoga teacher training! Oh well)
-we might be able to buy a house!! which would hopefully mean living in the neighborhood I adore which happens to be super close to my school (5 min drive I think!)
-money to travel. already have Mexico for New Years planned 🙂

that’s it I think. not too bad, right? I am most worried about a few things:
-getting enough sleep
-having time to exercise. might be waking up at 5am to work out, yuck. but it can’t happen after school because that’s my hafiz time. hmm. maybe yoga after he goes to bed could work. I can’t do intense anything at night though or I don’t sleep!
-pumping. logistics of it confuse me and also doing it is so boring. though maybe it will be a nice break away from students 🙂
-MISSING HAFIZ. probably good practice for that whole “letting go” thing that parents have to do when their kids go off to school, sleepovers, trips, college, etc. i keep reminding myself that my mom went back to work when I was 2 months old and I am EXTREMELY attached to her. I spent far more of my childhood with my babysitter Karen or my dad since he is a schoolteacher and had the same hours off as me and yet I’m still closest to my mom.

me and my boy

okay… my little love WHO IS 5 MONTHS THIS WEEKEND!!! just went to bed meaning it’s clearly breaking bad time.

almost day 5, bitches.

are the days passing mightily slow? why, yes. yes they are. however, i genuinely believe it will only get easier from here. i remember from my last stint with no sugar — back when i was being semi-psychotic with my diet pre-wedding — after awhile sugar started to taste sickeningly sweet and nauseating. i can tell that my sensitivity to it is already up because we had indian food tonight and something had sweet tamarind sauce in it and it was too much for me. progress.

however, ice cream and chocolate chip cookies always sound amazing. or a warm brownie. omg.

my strategy is to make yummy savory meals and eat A LOT at each meal because if i feel totally satiated i am less tempted by sugar. if i am still dying for sugar i eat a spoonful of raw almond butter (which now tastes sweet to me!) and it’s so fatty and filling that i am immediately satisfied.

I GOT THIS. yo. i can’t stop talking like jessie from breaking bad.


yesterday we met jude! he was so tiny that i couldn’t get over it. it’s not like he was even premature, he weighed about 7 lbs, but just looked and felt soooo small. i hate that i can’t remember holding hafiz when he was that size (well he was born slightly bigger but whatever) and got a little freaked out by that realization of how fast babies grow. my weekly pics aren’t doing the growth justice!!



back to jude! he is absolutely perfect. i love how he does the classic newborn move of curling into fetal position when placed on his belly (which neither willa nor feez did!) and his little grunts and snores are also the best.



this is a hilarious picture that I’m sure hafiz and jude will appreciate for years to come.

Ok. hus is roasting coffee late into the night but i need to get to sleep. Love!