Monday, May 25, 2009

More of Hamo's Computer Artwork!

This is Hamo's comic design....X vs. The Morph-Snake & his Morph-Minions.
Then of course we have his version of SpongeDork SquareAss....errrrrrrrrr, my
bad.......Spongebob Squarepants. (If you can't tell, I truly HATE Spongebob...
but my son is an artistic genius and drew him almost exactly as seen on tv using
only the paint program on the computer. Please ooh and aah all you like in the
comments section and I'll see that he receives your praise.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happiness is Regularity

There are a lot of people in the world who measure happiness
by their financial successes. That may mean money or a powerful
and good-paying job or how many cars they have or how big their
houses are, etc. There are some not-so-materialistic folk who
measure happiness by the size of their families and how much love
they share. Personally, I'm with a third group of people who thinks
both of the first two groups are nuts. Happiness is found in regularity.

I pray regularly. I eat regularly. And when I poop regularly, you can
actually SEE the little cartoon birds chirping around my head as I
smile and sing through the daily "regularity" of my life. Pooping is
nature's way of helping you start anew each day. People who have
regular BMP (bowel movement patterns) are less likely to abuse
children and old people, less likely to suffer from road rage, and are
capable of more than a mere 35 minutes of shopping in the toy section
at Target on Black Friday before having an electonic-talking-doll-
shortage-induced-brawl with a housewife from Saginaw, TX who
drove all the way in to shop in Dallas-proper because she'd heard that
Dallas girls were wussies!

You NEVER see regular women plotting the deaths of their teenage
daughter's stiffest competition for cheerleading captain or bludgeoning
someone to death with the receiver of a pay phone for wearing white
shoes after Labor Day (like Kathleen Turner's role in Serial Mom...
I LOVED that movie!)

When I poop regularly, my family is happy. I get constipated and life
with me is miserable. So here are some suggestions to keep life with
Mother pleasant:
1. Do NOT knock on the bathroom door and ask the whereabouts of
your shoes, socks, backpack, cellphone or ask how much longer I'll
be. Considering my schedule and your inability to find anything not
attached to your shoulders without a compass and a roadmap, I'll
probably be out momentarily and if you knock again you may be
beaten senseless with a toilet brush.

2. When Mom says, "I need to use the bathroom," Do NOT race in
ahead of her, lock the door, and yell, "I won't be long!" This could be
detrimental, not only to her probably already impacted bowels, but
to your ability to chew solid foods without the aid of a blender and
a straw.

3. If Mom asks for a cup of coffee in the morning, GET IT FOR HER.
And make it per her specifications. Moms don't usually ask for stuff
unless they need help. So, if she's asking, she's needing. And if it's
coffee she's asking for- then get it double time. She's probably in need
of a good kick-start. It may be that her head is still cloudy and unfocused
even after a good solid 3.76 hours of much needed beauty sleep that she
got after a full day of housework, homework, chauffering kids 1-5 to
whatever the hell extra-curricular was scheduled at the same time as
ballet the day before. Then again, it MAY be that she was too busy to
poop yesterday and if she doesn't get the caffeine boost for the daily
cleanse, someone's head is going to roll....LITERALLY.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Cook Is ON STRIKE!

About four days ago, Ismail asked me to make MAH-SHEE (stuffed vegetables)
for dinner. I told him I would but wasn't promising anything for that day. The more
I thought about it though, the more my mouth would water. So yesterday I went to
the farmer's market and bought tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, garlic,
and grape leaves. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

So because this is a somewhat convoluted & time-consuming recipe, I don't make it
very often. The problem is that I always seem to forget WHY I don't make it very
often. My late mother-in-law used to tell me to prepare the vegetables and stuff
them at night and put them in the fridge and then all I have to do in the morning is
make the tomato sauce and put them on the stove to cook. In theory, this is a great
time-saver. In practice, ehhhhhhh, not so much.

I got the wise idea to scrub two area rugs last night that were full of dirt, dust and
who knows what else the kids dropped or ground into them. Of course, one of
my (not so) current favorite TV shows (The Wire) was on last night, so I had to
catch it first. That went off at 1am but at least the kids were asleep and Mohamed
was out and said he'd be late. Why not? It'll only take an hour or so, right? Then
I can stuff the vegetables and be in bed by 3am.

Exactly how wrong CAN I be? Lemme tell ya. My husband got home around 2 and
I still had another 8 inches of rug left to scrub on the FIRST one while the SECOND
one sat soaking in the tub. (Let me go off on a quick tangent about that. In an effort
to save a little on the water bill, I decided to just recycle if you will. Randa had taken
a bath around midnight (she's a nightowl) and didn't pull the plug out. So I just folded
up the rug that was second in line for scrubbing and shoved it under the remnants
of her bubblebath. Yay....Now back to our regularly scheduled whine-fest.) Hubby
comes in and starts telling me all about his meeting with some guy he had to give
bad news to and I'm trying real hard to look interested and interject the "yeahs" and
"uh-huhs" in the appropriate places without allowing the donut glaze to form over my
eyeballs due to the complete and total disinterest in the guy, the meeting, or the
story which I'd already heard from beginning to end BEFORE he met with the guy.
I have this big squeegee thing on a broomstick to pull water off the floor and push
into the open drain in the bathroom floor and I use it to pull the soapy water off the
rugs I'm washing/rinsing. Well, I was using this thing and my husband decides mid-
sentence to go to the bathroom....WHILE I'm pulling this ton of water I've just dumped
all over this soapy rug in an effort to rinse it.........and he closes the door. But...the drain...
it's in the bathroom.....and now! I banged on the door
before he could proceed with any ...ahem! quickly shoved all the
water in with him and reclosed the door. There.....YOU fight the tidal wave, baby.
I've got furniture and major appliances out here. Anyway, he finished in there and
offered to help me. Instead of grabbing a scrub brush he grabbed the steel wool pot
scrubber off the back of the kitchen sink and began to scrub the grout in the tiles on
the floor around the toilet. (Cool. Thanks. NOT the help I was expecting but okay....)
It wasn't until I was done cleaning rugs and mopping up the floor and finishing up the
last of the supper dishes around 4am (so much for the 1 hour of scrubbing and 1 hour
of veggie stuffing I'd planned on) that I realized, "HEY! You used my steel wool POT
scrubber to scrub the floor around the toilet!!!!!"
hubby: "Well, I needed to get the cement off the tiles from when the plumber was here
last week."
me: "But I keep a steel wool scrubber in the bathroom closet FOR use in the bath-
room...and in fact, there are TWO of them because of the LAST time you decided
to help me in the bathroom and stole the KITCHEN scrubber and cleaned under
the sink."
hubby: "How about "Thank you, Dear?"
me: "Thank you, Dear....but can I have it back now that you're done with the toilet so
I can clean your favorite coffee mug?????"
hubby: "Why do I bother to help you?"
me: "Beats me."

Oh, and what's the point of all this??? Well, since I didn't get in bed until 5 this morning,
I didn't have time to stuff the veggies last night and I ended up doing it all this afternoon.
My legs and feet are swollen from standing for 4 hours but it DAMN sure turned out good.
They'd better remember the taste, too, Baby! Because I'm not making it again for at
least another year!

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Did I Lose Control?

I've always been sort of a drill sergeant with my kids. I make them line
up in front of the front door before we leave the house to make sure
all shoes are tied, shirts tucked in, noses wiped, hair combed, etc. (I
don't check for socks to match clothes...I couldn't care less. I figure
I'm lucky if the socks match each other.) My neighbors think I'm far
too strict with my kids. When Ismail threw scrambled eggs off the
balcony onto our neighbor's hair downstairs, it was HE who went down
to apologize with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and an offer to
clean her balcony. When Hamo shouted, "IN YOUR EYE!" at the man
across the hall, it was HE who went to apologize for being rude, not I.
And when Aiman got yelled at in school for wearing a Scream mask in
class and had it taken away from him, it was HE who apologized to the
teacher for being disrespectful in class and not I. I try my best to make
them own their mistakes and be responsible for their actions. All their
teachers are most appreciative and actually think I'm full of crap when
I ever say anything about the orneriness I have to endure at home.
Apparently my kids are angelcakes outside of my supervision. At home...
let's just say that if hell hasn't broken loose yet, it's only a matter of time.

I woke to hammering and shouting this morning. At first I thought
Mohamed was up and fixing one of the perpetually broken chairs. Then
he snored next to me and rolled over in an attempt to drown out the
pounding going on in the boys' room. So I got up and found my glasses
and stumbled in the direction of the SMACK SMACK SMACK sound and
shouts of "You're so STUPID!" and "STOP STANDING ON MY BED!" and
"Shut up or I'll hit YOU with this hammer!" When I opened the door I found
Aiman's and Ismail's mattresses strewn across the floor and their pillows
and blankets thrown up on the study table. I thought at first glance that
Hamo's bed had been equally trashed but upon further scrutiny, I realized
that his bed ALWAYS looks trashed.

Ismail was on the top bunk hammering the slats that hold his mattress onto
the bedframe. Well, that's ONE way to stop the little ones from pushing the
mattress up with their feet while lying down on the bottom bunk. Why Aiman's
bed was trashed was not as easily explained. I started to ask why...and then
thought of much more important things like my toothbrush and a BIG FAT cup
of coffee. So I shuffled into the kitchen leaving them to their banging and
insult-fest. After about half a cup of coffee, I pried the hammer out of Ismail's
hand, forced all three of the boys into their flip-flops and sent them all down to
the mosque for noon prayers. Then I forced Samiya to help me get the boys'
room back to normal. After much whining, she pulled her weight.

I don't understand what has happened. Did I get lazy? old? tired? When did they
become so sassy? Where did I put my drill sergeant's whistle? Did all of this
happen since Hamo became a teenager? *sigh* I think I need a vacation...or a
creative teenage punishment course. The usual "SIT ON YOUR HANDS!" for
TO HER FOR THE NEXT 5 MINUTES!" for talking nasty aren't working anymore.

I've tried the write 10 things you love about (fill in the name of other party involved
in fight) and force each to read the others' list. Ultimately it's ME who gets punished.
"Mom, how do you spell 'less retarded'???"
me: "You can't say that being 'less retarded' is something you love about your
kid: "What about something about him not being so stinky when he has gas? Can
I write that??"
me: "I suppose so...if that's something you LOVE about him."
kid: "I'd love him more if he were someone else's brother."
me: "You DEFINITELY cannot write that."
kid: "Awwwww, Mommy! You're making it too hard."
me: "And you're making dinner later and later by the minute. Now WRITE!"
kid: "I can't think of more than 4 things I love about him if I can't say he's less
me: (giving up) "Screw it! Go scrub the bathroom!"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fuscia Hair, Sinus Infections and Final Exams

My hair is still fuscia...but it's growing out a little at the roots. I'm going to dye it
again probably next week. Fuscia...I'm starting to actually like it. And why the
hell not? Men have their mid-life crises at 40 and no one really questions it. I'm
entitled to mine. And since I am married I can't exactly run right out and find some
19 yr old idiot to hang off my arm ("Shut up, Darling. I'm not with you for your intel-
ligent conversation!") and it's more of a male trait to run out and buy a sports car,
I'll just settle for dyeing my hair some spectacularly bizarre color. So there!

Sinus infection.......actually, PRE-sinus infection.......both suck. But luckily I got to
the doctor before the full-blown infection and got wonderful drugs and now I'm
able to breathe and blink with the lights on in the room without blinding pain. Yay.
The week is beginning to improve. Well, it would were it not for final exams coming
up in the next 2 weeks. DAMN the teachers here in Egypt. I have to complete teach-
ing Samiya the last two entire UNITS in her math book. Do not even ask me why they
didn't finish the book before giving the kids the last month "off for final exams study"???
Who the hell sends an elementary student home to "study on his own?" Hello? Smoke
crack much? They don't study during the school year when you assign homework and
smack their hands for not writing it. WHY would they do it on their own? Whatever.
So, I have to force all 4 of them to study and that includes Hamo's French lessons.
I speak FIVE languages...and of course, FRENCH isn't one of them. Fortunately for me,
I'm good at faking it, speak Spanish and have a savant-like ability to memorize word
origins. So, my non-Frog-studying boy is in luck and I won't allow him to fail.
Ismail may be s.o.l. as to Egyptian social studies, though. There's just too much in there
I know nothing about. *sigh* God be with them all this year on their tests.

And just as long as I'm on a rambling tangent here, I must say that even with all of the above
crap going on this week, it's been fine. We only broke 3 dishes this week, lost one plant due
to overwatering by helpful children, got the damn sink in the kitchen fixed and stopped all
knock-down-drag out fights before any serious injuries could be caused...with the exception of
a nasty scratch on Samiya's chin. And I'm going to make fish for dinner tomorrow.
Yeah, okay, this is boring. No more blogs after 4am.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why My Life is soooooo Expensive....THIS Week

There is a direct correlation between my husband's business trips out
of the country and the general maintenance and upkeep of our flat! What
No, really. I mean it. He left for Greece 10 days ago and 9 days ago, Randa
pulled the slide bolt lock off the front door...which I still haven't put back on.
I have to unscrew the entire mount off the door in order to get the slide bolt
back on it. So, of course, I've procrastinated.

The week before he left, I pointed out to Mohamed that the kitchen sink was
draining a little bit slowly. He told me to just run some hot water down the
drain and whatever was stuck would free itself up. So, I went ahead with my
life as usual and figured it'll just be a little slow, no big deal. Then Samiya and
Aiman got this bright idea to help me. They figured that something was stuck
in the drain and took one of the 20-inch skewers from my grill and jammed
it into the drain of the sink, attempting to knock whatever food particle down
and saving the plumbing day! Well, they were not aware that we removed the
metal pipes that we'd originally installed and replaced them with these little
plastic accordion type pipes. So when they jammed the skewer down, they
punctured 4 or 5 holes into it which did fix the water clogged in the sink....but
it all came out onto the kitchen floor. *sigh* I eventually had to get a plumber
to come and snake out the pipes in the wall ('s fixed) and it cost me 10

Today I tried to take a shower to wake myself up and discovered that while
there IS hot water in the hot water heater, it comes out in a trickle. So because
I was really funky and sweaty, I had to take the world's fastest freezing cold
shower. I couldn't even wash my hair because I couldn't stand how cold it was.
I don't even know how to go about fixing this.

Ismail broke his glasses fighting with Hamo and I put them on top of the fridge
to fix them later. I cannot find them anywhere. I am afraid Randa found them
and threw them in the trash. That's all we can figure...they still haven't turned
up. That's gonna cost me another 250 pounds.

Now before all of this damage (except the slide bolt lock) I went shopping for
underwear because all of us needed them. I only buy cotton underwear. It's
healthy and it breathes and it lasts. I spent 172 pounds on underwear for all
5 kids, me, three undershirts, and one bra! Just one pair of underwear for me
was 17 pounds! Can you imagine???? Would you spend 17 dollars on one pair
of cotton panties for yourself? Outrageous.

Also, some idiot in the Egyptian government has decided to pad his bank
account or that of his relatives by killing off all the chickens in the country.
I'm 100% convinced that someone in the govt has some sort of investment
in the frozen poultry business. Since no one ever buys frozen chicken because
the fresh is cheaper, they're slaughtering all the chickens to force us to buy frozen.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't care. However, Randa has quit eating anything in the
protein dept except for chicken. So I'm forced to spend 12 pounds for a chick-sized
chicken that wouldn't feed one of us, let alone all of us. I hate corruption.

Oh, and one last thing.....I have FUSCIA hair. I know this has nothing to do with
my expensive high-maintenance home or my kids or my husband working abroad.
But I have FUSCIA hair. I'm 40 yrs old and I dyed my hair FUSCIA....What the hell
is wrong with me? I'm an American with 5 kids (one of which is autistic and shouts
a lot to herself in public) living in Egypt...THE LAST THING I NEED IS TO

I wonder if I can afford a week inpatient at the local mental institution.