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Monday, May 18, 2009


Layla wanted to help me when I was sweeping the floor today. She kept trying to grab the broom and dustpan, so I let her have some fun doing floor duty after I was done. She called it "meanup."


Here is my own take on the Spanish-hijab (aka tie-hijab with no neck coverage) style.

The steps are basically as follows.

1. Place an oblong shayla scarf basically centered on your head.

2. Tie at the back in a single knot.

3. Take one of the sides and cross it back over your head.

4. Tie that end to the other longer one that is at your opposite shoulder.

For this style it is all tied and not pinned anywhere. I wore it downtown for a couple hours and it did get loose after awhile so I had to untie the second knot and tighten the first. You could probably avoid that by using a pin to secure the first knot.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memories of Mothers' Day Past

Today is my second Mothers' Day. So far it has been much better than the first one. The picture here is not from Mothers' day, but it was taken less than a month before that when we were visting friends in San Diego. See how fat (and bald) Layla was then!

So anyway, the hubby thought it would be nice to take me out for Ethiopian food. Great idea. We didn't have anyone around that we trusted to watch Layla, but we figured she would be good if she nursed and got a nap first. Let's just say that we were very wrong.

We went to the Blue Nile on Franklin in Minneapolis. I think that Fasika is better, but we felt like trying a new place that day. The food came fairly quickly, with Layla acting pretty normal to that point. However, as soon as I tried to start eating, she erupted with bloodcurdling screams.
We had to take turns standing and bouncing her while the other one of us ate. Romantic it was not. I think we were in and out in less than a half hour. It was agonizing.

Since then, I've had lots of other horrible scream fests in restaurants with my darling. For some reason she just hates eating out most of the time. She's just now getting to the age where she doesn't just scream the whole time for no reason.

Today has been great and relaxing so far. I've gotten lots of happy mothers' day texts from friends, my dad cooked breakfast for my mom and I, and I got to talk to my hubby on the phone. He's going to be back with us in about 2 weeks! I'm so excited.

So here's to many more Mothers' Days and good Ethiopian food.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

She slept throught the night!

I woke up this morning around 6:30 and started to freak out a little. Why? Layla hadn't needed to get out of her crib yet and it was light out already. I had to check and make sure she was still breathing.
Her normal night routine looks like this:
9:00 She goes to sleep in her crib with little or no problem.
11:30-12:30 She wakes up during this time frame not wanting to go back in the crib. I nurse her cuddle her, and usually just keep her in bed with me because its easier.
4:00 Sometimes she wakes up again around this time and wants to nurse some more and if I'm lucky she will go back in her crib afterward.
6:30 She wakes up again wanting back in bed with me. She's sometimes crabby and wakes up on and off until about 9 from this point on.
8:30 Most mornings she wakes up for good around this time. Other days she sleeps a little later depending on how restless her morning was.

For some reason Layla is a restless sleeper and has a hard time getting back to sleep once she has woken herself up. She is still addicted to both the pacifier and nursing and I don't think I would have ever gotten any sleep if it were not for both of them.

Last night she did wake herself up, but just whimpered a little and got herself back to sleep instead of screaming for me. It was amazing! However, I also doubt that it will happen again for a very long time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Age differences in marriage

So I have a friend who recently moved back to Djibouti after living in the U.S. for about 12 years. He got divorced in 2004 after his wife cheated on him. After less than a week of being home, he sent me an email saying that he had already made maher for a girl in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. I was mostly surprised that he found someone to marry so soon, then I was also surprised by how much younger she is than him.

My friend is close to 40, divorced, with 3 kids ranging in age from 13 to 7. The girl on the other hand is less than 20 and is presumably a virgin, having never been married. He had told me before leaving that he wanted to get settled first and then get to know some women from about the age of 25 and up because he didn't want to marry a younger woman who wasn't educated, and then this happened!

I am close friends with their entire family and found out that I also know this girl's much older half brother (he's around 50). I can understand him wanting to marry within the tribe and family because that is so important to Somali culture, but it just blows my mind to imagine being barely out of high school and marrying a guy who is nearly 20 years older than me.

How can I understand this from the girl's perspective? His mom kept telling me that this is normal over there, but I don't see how this type of marriage is good for either the guy or the girl. I think he would have been happier with a girl who has a comparable level of life experience to him, and that this also makes it harder for younger guys to find suitable wives.

I want to believe that she will give him a chance and eventually learn to love him. He is a kind, thoughtful, and compassionate person and I know that he will treat her like a jewel. He can also teach her a lot from all his life experience.
What does everyone think of the tradition of marrying young girls off to much older men?