Wednesday, August 31


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Amazing blog

Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves

Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves:

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A useful blog that I love !

Leaving on that Midnight Train to Paris !

My daughter delights me with the things she comes up with like this subway style train to Paris. I do not have a fancy camera so it is impossible to see the details but a lot of hard work went into this project. She is so cool ! I am so excited the twins come home tomorrow and I can not wait to see how they like their new rooms ! I was suppose to go see the Plain White Tees at noon but I just do not feel like getting Norah and fighting the crowds although there is only one thing to say ! I love you ! We love the Plain White Tees so Much ! The midnight train to Paris will have to suffice as the Summer winds down and fall blows in ! I can not wait to blog the leaves.

Little Nerd Style

petit bateau skirt , old navy tee , and havaianas flip flops all she needs is some cat eye glasses , she dressed herself she is just not real into lace and frills ! I love it

Tuesday, August 30

About « Renegade Craft Fair

About « Renegade Craft Fair:

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All you hip and happenin Chi-town mommies

Mohammed and Hamzah's Vintage room make over

The past few weeks I have been searching for records Beatles is so so hard to find and finally I sprung one. The boys will get a record player soon but for now the records are safely on the wall next to their vintage Star Wars comic collection. So I spent $10 on the room , even the bright purple paint is recycled from the dumpster pile. The majority of the art is home made by their sister . I think it looks cool !

Sunday, August 28

Sunday Morning Stroll

This charming little bunny is a piece of graffiti that is painted under a metra train bridge it is just on of the charming elements that makes our neighborhood special and makes for a wonderful stroll.

This bird cage is also a whimsical dream that really makes you think about a little birdy in a cage. I wish I could think of something clever to write about this little bird . Perhaps this is his home and he often flies away to visit the children at the park or at school and then returns to his home on the wall of our city street.

There is a charming old movie cinema about one block from my apartment building. This place is unique because of the array of movies they play which range from old black and whites like the ones in this poster , Rocky Horror and of course classics like Ghostbusters and the Goonies which are usually free or inexpensive. The parking gets rough but I would not have it any other way. Many have asked me why the city when I could raise my kids in Alabama with my family. This stroll is just some of the many reasons why I stay in the city ! I would not trade my small apartment for a huge ranch style house with a yard any day. The city is our play ground and the park across the street has a tree that the twins love to climb. They are missing nothing and gaining everything.

Sunday dress according to my blurring old mirror yes i DO CLEAN IT

Thursday, August 25

We Are off the see the Wizard !

Movies in the Park are one of the events we really look forward to all year long. This was the Wizard of OZ in OZ park and it was a thrill. A basket of junk , glow stick ,pillows and a pretty blanket. There was a also a huge visitor who hung out with us at our little site , I would have taken him home but he is bigger than a couple of my kids.

Back to School

milk mag

Two issues to address here today ! Early Childhood and To Home school or not !
Chicago Public Schools start next week , I have chosen Magnet Schools if you live in the Chicago area you can go here and apply I would love to have the energy and patience to home school , but I just can not be responsible for the complete education of my three children on the level. I trust that well established schools have the resources to educate my children. I am not saying that parents do not have the colossal responsibility of enriching education and adding concepts that we feel are lacking this is what being a parent is all about. I feel that the reading , writing and mathematics are best handled by the experts and I can focus on art , science and the areas that I know best. It is really a partnership between school and parents and the teacher is a guide a helper if you will in the daily education of your child. I had the advantage of being able to send Norah to one of the best pre-schools in the city and I am certainly happy about her jump start on school. I published a link to a Chicago tribune article on her pre school. Pre school was a journey that I started thinking about when Norah was about two years old , I knew I lived in a big city and despite my limited resources I wanted her in a great pre school. Illinois had just implemented the pre school for all program which I can not rave about enough about this program. I also can not rave enough about CPS's English as a second language program which brought Mohammed and Hamzah up to speed in less than a year. I will save that for another post this week. I hear so many negative things about CPS however when Norah was accepted to magnet kindergarten we changed our plans to enroll her in a pricey private school and went with the magnet option. My boys are now set for a top magnet school as well. I am excited , I researched pre-school and got her in the best of the best so I am sure I will not go wrong with my instincts to enroll them in magnet schools. Magnet schools in Chicago is a lot of work I remember driving downtown on the next to the last day of the application deadline and fighting with traffic and parking to get my application into the office of academic enhancement , however the work will be rewarded.

Next on my agenda school fear !

Norah has never been fearful of school knock on wood ! However when the twins returned from Morocco , I enrolled them in kindergarten at my amazing local neighborhood school which we are so sad to say good bye too this year. They would kick and scream , pee in their pants and do just about anything to avoid school. My communication with them was limited so after about a month I threw in the towel and brought them home it was early Winter so they were home until September , they did fine the next year. I have a good friend in another state who has a five almost six year old that is giving her fits about going to school he will force himself to vomit and do just about anything to come home from school. My friend is doing her best to try to make him go to school every day it is a nightmare for her ! Any suggestions on school fear ?

The ABCs of preschool - Chicago Tribune

The ABCs of preschool - Chicago Tribune:

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Sunday, August 21

Sunday Morning Stroll

Today we set out at 8 a.m. for a day at the lake watching the Chicago air and water show and a little strolling in the city. The day was divine with the sights and sounds of the city, a man by the lake was handing out fliers and it really got me to thinking about the air and water show. The flier said that people around the world get to look at these sights all the time it is just they look cooler when they are not bombing you ..............

More Car Boot and Thrift

Yesterday morning Norah and I started the day at the park across the street, I love to see her smile.

She is addicted to these Gap overalls that I picked up for a buck , all the dresses and junk I buy her and the forces that be say that my daughter is in love with an old pair of overalls. They are as cute as can be on her so if she is happy I am happy right ? I just feel like my little girl is growing to be her on person in a way my control freak nature makes it hard to let go and in another sense I welcome her becoming her. I adore her in every way and she is my best friend in this big ole world.

After the park we went to a couple of car booty sales and to about a mile thrift stores and look what I found ! This dress is amazing and I am a size 14/16 so finding my size vintage can be a real hunt. When I do find my size it is usually something worse than what my great aunt Sadie would wear. I do not think something that would look great with SAS shoes is the vintage look I crave. So here is my dress !

Join me later for Sunday morning stroll we are going to the Lake :) Have a bliss day

xoxoxoxo , Jen

Friday, August 19

Car Boot or in the US OF A Yard Sale


h and I went yard sailing and the loot oh the loot . A punch bug for $2 and this Hello Kitty doll. My favorite car booty find is this lovely Mushroom Smurf house that I was about to pay $35 for on e bay.

Thursday, August 18

Oh Miss Stefani you got a lovely husband

I am way to exhausted to write now ............... Just wanted to give you guys a nice view of the man that Gwen calls honey and Kingston and Zuma call daddy ! And yes I was this close !

I am digging it Japan !

Sushi cupcakes

Koi Fish Lincoln Park Zoo

Tower of Toyko


Hello Kitty


I am also digging that when I check my blogger stats I see people visiting from all over the world. What country are you digging ? Next stop Morocco !

Wednesday, August 17

Petite BeBe Labor of Love

A few years ago I noticed a large amount of fine french and other beautiful infant wear at the thrift store. I mean beautiful unscathed pieces that have that beautiful softness and feel that French do so well. I started creating layettes and sending them to Morocco , beautiful layettes with a couple of soft onesies , two pieces , sleepers and other pieces of take me home clothing. I took an anatomy class with a friend who is a nurse and works in the NICU at a major hospital here in Chicago , she told me how some little babies just have no one and are born addicted to drugs . It was very emotional for me to hear these stories and recently I decided to create layettes for these babies. I am on my second layette now as it takes about a month to find all the right pieces. I prefer soft French made pieces like Peite Bateau ,Janie and Jack, Feltman brothers and other beautiful layette pieces that are super duper soft. I was very picky with my own babies and I love French baby wear , it is just so soft and baby like. I am very picky about what I take it must be pristine so it takes at least a month to create one layette because it takes a few week day mornings at the thrift stores digging for a couple of hours to find even one or two worthy pieces. I prefer unisex but I will work with both. I am working a little girl layette presently and this morning Norah and I were able to find 6 pieces 2 petite bateau , a Janie and Jack soft sweater and a beautiful French made dress. If you would like to donate send me a comment and we will be in touch.

I have modeled the clothes in Norah's bitty twins so that you can see how small and delicate the clothes are.

If you have ever been a mom you know how incredibly selfish a person has to be abuse drugs while their is a tiny being growing inside of them. As a mother we offer our body as a home and our little ones are honored guest for nine months therefore we must be a good hostess and some people missed the memo on this and could care less. These babies deserve to start life surrounded by softness and this is why I started doing this . I am even hoping to include some soft organic diapers in the new layette and a handmade baby doll . I could go to Wal Mart or Target and buy brand new clothes for all the time that I spend looking for pieces one the mother may try to return them so see can get the money and buy drugs and two I imagine the care that they mommy who first owned these lovely pieces went through to find them in the first place. It is truly a labor of love :)

5 a.m !

Norah has a new bed time all summer especially since it is Ramadan she has been getting away with going to bed at ten or eleven p.m.. Now that school is going to start in a couple of weeks I feel like it is my parental duty to enforce a eight p.m. bedtime. We have a little deal since she wakes up super early she can stay in her room and play at whatever time she wakes up as long as the sun is up. I heard her about five a.m. and I walked in to her own personal little photo shoot. She informed me that she was making a blog about the Smurfs.

She said that they were having a meeting at the table which came out of a pizza box and that Jokey was playing a joke in these two photos that I have included. I thought that this was creative and cute. There were at least fifty pictures on my phone that she swiped of course ! What cute things they do !

Tuesday, August 16

Happy Birthday to my Almost grown Son ! Birth Story

I wrote the twins birth story on their birthday last week so I think I will continue the tradition and write the birth stories of my children on their birth days to honor them on their special day. I am terrible at scrap booking but after reading Foster hood in NYC I think I need to get on it and make some type of life book for all of my children. My hope is that I can put these stories as the first page of their life books.

The age that we live in is so different than it was seventeen years ago. The world is almost another lifetime ago if we compare , inflation has increased many times over and the decline of the Western world seem inevitable, like the Romans we one day may crumble. Yea yea another thing that has happened in the last seventeen years is that my son Bader which means full moon have grown up together. Today he lives with his father 1000 miles away and there are many nights that I stare at the moon so full and bright and miss him. I know he needed this time with his father so I bury my feelings and my sorrows and wake up and smile the next day. I will I had cool photos to show you of my birth story , but all I have in the memoirs from my heart to type upon this page of what happened that changed my life forever seventeen years ago .

So about eighteen years ago I found out I was pregnant , it was a rough pregnancy and to skip right to the birth . I went in for a check up at 38 weeks and was told that I had preeclampsia and that I needed to be induced right away. My own mother lived in another state and my grandmother that raised me was very ill and on hospice . It was one of the most scary and lonely feelings of my life I just wanted my granny or even my mommy . Someone , I had my best friend , and I will never forget her for the calm before the storm that she helped provide that day. I had recently became very active in the local masjid so one of the my new friends had offered to see me through the birth. I quickly called her and told her that I was on my way to the doctor's office. My friend Stacey was with me and the appointment and she drove me to the hospital. The conversation was strange I mean we had been to Lolla in New Orleans the week before our last hoorah before my eminent doom which by late teenage standards was motherhood. I will spare some details as I realize my son one day may peek at this blog. Our conversation was mostly silent and we listened to 4 Non Blondes on cassette tape in her old mustang.

It was noon on the fourteenth of August I was admitted into the hospital and placed in a holding area with three other women who were laboring. The hospital was small back in those days and I was on medi caid for my pregnancy so that is what was offered. The girl next to me was HIV positive, and in those days that was a death sentence for her and her baby. It made me really nervous when the doctor came in and started yelling at her because she neglected to mention her status. In those days she would have been isolated no question about it. I feel this is of mention to this story because it shows how things have progressed especially HIV and AIDS.

This story is not about teen age pregnancy don't do it , although it may not be a good idea and I do not really advise anyone to get pregnant until you have given it a lot of thought and are completely ready to get over yourself and allow the love of your life to be chubby and bald. I would like to point out that women giving birth later in life instead of in their early reproductive years is a fairly new Western concept and if I had lived 200 years ago it would no big deal really. Birth is a natural part of living and I have always respected life and the right for what is growing inside to be no matter what , this is why as liberal as I am on some issues I am totally against abortion unless it really must be like mom will surely die.

So after waiting a couple of hours on a drip in the holding room my labor was induced. I was not sure what was going on or what to expect . I had not been so interested in reading " What to Expect When You Are Expecting", I did however play Counting Crows , slow cure on my Sony Walkman and Classical music on my Sony Walkman and let the little guy listen in the womb. So Bader if you are not the sharpest tack in my shed do not blame me I exposed you to classical music. I was induced and it was a good two hours before the crazy pain started. The pain was crazy I insisted that I wanted nothing and that I wanted and all natural child birth. Yea I was crazy even back then ! So I waited !

My bff was there and my friend/doula showed up and I was in some kinda pain no idea what a contraction was , told you I did not read the memos at all. So at one point my BFF who had an abortion only months before whispered in my ear that she told me I should have taken care of this at Planned Parenthood. I know that sounds cruel but it was just us and it made my resolve even stronger. I would have this baby without drugs....

Nowadays I see all these reality shows about teenage pregnancy and let me tell you it is not fun at all I wish I could have got my reality gig back when. Instead I had a shot gun wedding and a shower and now I was roughly 4 cm and it was the next day the 15th of August 1994. I dilated very little over the next eight hours and when I was finally begging for a epidural twenty four hours into my labor I was told that the only anesthesiologist in the whole hospital was in surgery and that I would have to wait. I remember saying let the person just die. Yea I was evil and in so much pain more pain than I have ever felt since. Finally 26 hours into my labor the doctor came told me to make my back like a shrimp and put the needle in my back. That was pretty painful in itself , but the almost instant relief that I felt was worth it !

By 2 a.m. on the 16th I was ready to leave the holding area and go into the birthing room. I was 8 cm and in more pain than I can even remember. My friend/doula was wonderful but I think I became to much for her many times over, she never gave up she stayed the course. Unlike modern birthing suites I was in a room with a couple of other young girls and had to listen to the sights and sounds of their struggle before they were taken away to delivery. So this was in no way the blissful birth tales that I get to read about ever so often. This was however happening , I had made a choice and I was excited and ready to meet my son. I was hours away from leaving childhood behind , my body was about to be altered forever , at 19 I just did not think of it that way at all. I look back and I think wow I did not know , I had not a clue what was happening, maybe I would have cherished the silence more , I guess in a way when we give birth it is a transformation something that changes who we are , the other person that we once were dies and with the death comes a mother , someone's mother and life is no longer our own. Our mere existence becomes a beautiful shared life and no matter our age a mother's instinct to guard her young takes over.

I spent a couple of hours pushing , and the pressure was like nothing I had ever felt before. It is so remarkable a women's body and the pains of childbirth that she must feel as her body prepares itself to morph into a mommy. I pushed and pushed , and I do not remember much about being finally taken to surgery . I do remember seeing my son and feeling comfort from his presence as I was wheeled past a few friends in the hall way to the recovery room. I wish I had more memories I just do not I remember pressure and the doctor's face and that is about all I can recall.

I woke up the next day asking for my baby and a phone to call Saudi Arabia , that is where his father was during this ordeal. I was given a telephone and I called a billed the at least 2 buck a minute call to my grandparent's home phone. The voice on the other end was not warm it was his mother screaming at me in Arabic. I was never allowed to speak to him and I left a message with his brother that they baby was born.I could write about baby daddy drama for days but I do not want it to take away from the of the birth of my baby. My blood pressure went up the nurse said no more calls and must have given me some knock you out drugs because it is to this day a blur. I do remember that I was alone and that feelings of lonely still pierces my heart and soul until today, I was so very afraid but I was trying to be so cheeky and hard. I thought I was a real bad ass giving birth and having a baby when everyone around me said adoption or abortion. At this point it was still not sinking in that there was a little person down the hall that would soon be the center of my universe. I named Bader which mean full moon in Arabic but his name should have been Sun in Arabic. The five months of colic let me know that the world truly did revolve around him.

The first time my child was put in my arms to feed he was a few hours old , he suckled my breast and all the pain of the birth and the heart aches of the past nine months vanished. Two days later I sat in a small lounge in the middle of the 4th floor still in the hospital overlooking the helicopter pad. I wondered what he would be like as a teen as he nursed I looked in his huge black eyes and it was pure bliss. I now realize as I sit here writing that the time that seemed so far off so many years ago was so close and that time is now.

Monday, August 15

May the Force Be With You and You

My boys are obsessed with Star Wars and yes I am aware that it is violent and I should be more responsible , but I love Star Wars. It is total flashback to childhood . I found Star Wars as a way to bond with the twins after they arrived from Morocco. They could not speak English and it was an extremely trying time for us , so the force was with us and it gave us comfort . I found an adorable cafe in our vintage district in Chicago that has a vintage Star Wars theme . They have old nintendo game consoles and ataris that you can play on an old wood grain tv set. They also have pretty awesome coffee and bottled Coca-cola. The birthday party is planned for this place so keeping with the theme I ordered a set of Star Wars vintage men in a case that is as old as I am. I am so excited and to top it off I found a pack of Star Wars pencils at a local super nifty thrift store. Hey have you guys read the Stephen King book needful things ? Have you ever notice when you want something then you go to a thrift store that it is by chance right there ? The Salvation Army in Bucktown has just this feeling that I have been here before. Creepy ........

They are going to love these because there is nothing like the real thing baby ! I am super excited to have this party anyone have any ideas on cool star wars treats ?

On a sour note my oldest son will be 17 tomorrow and we are in a bit of a tiff ! So hopefully he will speak to me again once he gets his birthday cash ! I will be writing his birth story tomorrow and it will be full of drama and suspense like only a teen age backseat pregnancy can provide. I told him on his facebook today that I was in labor forever and a day and there is nothing that will erase that. I try to avoid drama on my blog this is my happy place , my bliss and my escape from the world. I try to scrap the healthy memories of us.

Another very sour gummy bear note the twins on web cam informed me that their stepmother told them that we never really went to the moon. It was filmed in an L.A. studio ...... wooooooooow ! Are f%$king kidding me ? I mean really how can my ex even allow this right ? So they told me that if I do not believe it , that it is just because I can not handle the truth. Wow ........... my ex husband taste in women really amazes me , of course he informed me early on that he wants her soul for Allah so we shall see. Good Luck with that dear ex , you have fun with that . The twins also informed me that Starbucks was going to give me cancer has anyone else heard of this?

I am still just as in love with him today as I was 17 years ago when I first laid my eyes upon him. No matter how big he gets he is still may baby. Sadly we were not so high tech back in the early 90s so I do not have many baby pictures scanned . He was real cute and I am not just saying that because I am his mama ! He is still quite a cutey pie !

I mean can you even believe all these miracles came from me ? Children truly are a blessing no matter how many bumps you encounter it is a road worth the walk.

xoxoxo, Jen