Prayer Schedule for Ramadan 2016

Ramadan Kareem Friends!

It is the first day of fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan 2016, hopefully it is going well with you all inshaAllah.

Meantime I decided, why not share with you my prayer (water and food) schedule or prayer tracker, as I call it. It could be useful to you, your family members, friends, etc. Please feel free to share the table if you wish to.

I have completely personalized the Food & Water columns, except for the prayer times. The prayers times shown on my schedule are based on local source in Dubai, and are accurate for Dubai, UAE. Therefore, if you are going to utilize this table for your own prayer tracking, kindly ensure you double check all 5 prayers’ timings based on your location.

 

Ramadan 2016

This is a screenshot of my personalized prayer, water tracker. As you can see Food and Water come before FAJR prayer, to ensure that I have had plenty of time to drink enough water.

 

Ramadan 2016

Screenshot of the schedule. You may use this table for Dubai prayer times. For other locations, cities or countries please refer your local authorities for appropriate/relevant prayer timings.

The above schedule is based on Dubai timing,

Prayer timing may differ depending on your city, country, region. Please make sure you check your local prayer timing with reliable authority/source.

I am attaching an xl version of the table to help you change the prayer timings easily. Click Prayer Tracker. A pop up message will appear asking either to open or save as. I recommend you save the document so that you can make changes to the table or even personalize to suit your needs.

Please note that this is my personal prayer, water and food tracking schedule, hence, you may or may not wish to use it. However, if you find it useful, please share with family and friends.

Seraphine Store in Dubai Festival City Mall

Seraphine Flagship Store opens in Dubai

“Seraphine, Dubai’s one-stop store, fulfilling all your maternity & babymoon fashion needs “

Seraphine Dubai

Breathtaking interior décor

 

Dubai Festival City, 1st floor

Dubai Festival City Mall, 1st floor

 

A Seraphine frame group photo with fellow bloggers in Dubai.

A Seraphine flower frame group photo with fellow bloggers in Dubai.

 

Seraphine002

Girls having fun during the opening of Seraphine store in Dubai Festival City Mall

 

Canapés served

Canapés served

 

Love. Dubai. Seraphine.

Love. Dubai. Seraphine.

Seraphine Maternity Wear

Most mothers will agree that prior to becoming pregnant and giving birth, wardrobe shopping in Dubai is a paradise on earth; whereas maternity wear options become painfully limited when a woman becomes pregnant. Not any more, ladies. Seraphine, one of a kind luxury maternity wear store is now open in Dubai’s most popular Festival City Mall.

During the official opening of the Seraphine store a couple of days ago I discovered stunning maternity collections. Speaking of high-end & glamorous fashion, Seraphine gowns & dresses are some of the most loved picks of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. She has been spotted wearing Seraphine’s popular dresses on several occasions, which caused a massive hype among the fashion fans.

 

Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge wearing Seraphine dress

 

Kate Middleton spotted wearing Pink Fuchsia Knot Front Maternity Dress

So mamas-to-be, if you run out of stylish maternity wear options in Dubai, or are looking to rejuvenate your mama fashion, you need look no further than Seraphine store for all your babymoon shopping needs.

 

Stylish & Versatile Breastfeeding Shawl

Nursing Shawl in Ice Blue Bamboo Summer

Luxury Knitted Nursing Shawl can be used for layered look

 

Nursing Shawl Ice Blue Bamboo Summer

Stylish Nursing Shawl Ice Blue Bamboo Summer

 

Seraphine’s maternity fashion line does not end there; it extends from Maternity Dresses to Maternity Jeans, from Maternity Swimwear to Exclusive range of Baby Clothes & many more. Explore the entire collection on Seraphine website http://www.seraphine.com/

Long Sleeve Pink Trim Cotton Baby Grow

Long Sleeve Pink Trim Cotton Baby Grow

 

Seraphine Maternity Jeans

Seraphine Maternity Jeans

 

Seraphine Dubai 3

Mother of 2 Photoshoot campaign

Mother of 2 Photoshoot campaign: The 2nd Annual Natural Birth & Breastfeeding CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION by Nature’s Way

It’s been such a pleasure working with the founder, her little bundle of joy, my son Sultan and of course the highly talented photographer Asha from Velvet Images. The photoshoot took place at the comfort of Asha’s apartment studio in DSO, where we completely felt welcomed and relaxed throughout the photoshoot. Asha is specialized in newborn, maternity & family photography. I hope you love the photos as much as I do. See for yourself.

Here are few of our fun moments captured in amazing photos:

Photoshoot

Photoshoot

Photoshoot

Photoshoot

 

Photoshoot

About Nature’s Way:

If you are a mother, father, a baby’s or child’s relative, or even just affectionate about baby developmental stages, then Nature’s Way, a Dubai’s established organizer of exclusive Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting events and workshops is certainly the answer to all your mother, birth and baby related concerns.

Founder of Nature’s Way:

The inspiration behind Nature’s Way are 2 adorable angels, whose warm-hearted mother, Umm Muawiyah (Mother of Muawiyah) who also happens to be the founder & owner of Nature’s Way is of British and Arab background. Umm Muawiyah is very passionate about empowering and supporting women throughout her life. She is a generous woman and mother with vision who has been involved and worked in various charitable jobs. Remarkably, she is also a certified AMANI Child Birth Educator and Blossom & Berry Baby Massage Instructor as well as a KG Hypnobirthing Instructor. Have I missed to mention any of her great accomplishments as a woman and mother?

Yes, you are yet to read on and explore more about the conference on your own (for more detailed information), that was initiated by Nature’s Way back in 2015, which was likewise inspired by her personal birth experience.

Nature’s Way website link

Show her some love on Instagram: @natures_way_international

 

My Non-Negotiable List

Although it has been over a week or two since I was tagged by MummyOnMyMind to share my list of non-negotiables, I had taken my own sweet time to contemplate and identify my most no-no give up list. Like most busy moms who run errands with their babies/kids tacked by the side, I too have a BIG list of my non-negotiables (don’t worry, I have limited it to just a few).

I appreciate MummyOnMyMind for nominating and passing this Non-negotiable list to me, and the initiator of this must-have and must-share list, Kate, author of Pouting in Heels blog, for their efforts in encouraging me to take part as well.

And here is my list:

  1. Frequently driving my car – is definitely on my list of non-negotiables. I have pledged myself that being a busy mom and running my own business won’t restrain me from my all-time favorite independence stimulating capability- driving. I am really good at it. I am not ready to give this up ever, not at any circumstance. I have always received positive comments on my driving skills (it’s indeed a compliment for a female driver). So yes, I am never ever giving up on my driving skills. Practice makes perfect.
  2. I have made a self-commitment to take Sultan out for dedicated, quality and fun time on weekly basis (if not every other day), without excuse. I know this is a stale one for most parents, but I want to have it included on my list lol, just to remind myself every time I check back my blog page.
  3. Get over judgmental expressions and opinions. I have learned and educated myself to completely ignore and get over others’ unsolicited points of view, be it on my parenting tactics, skills etc or anything to do with me. I totally do NOT welcome any such opinions, nor do I rush to offer mine to others. Just to pinpoint
  4. Cooking at home. I love to cook at home, although I can’t tolerate the mess created during the cooking process and get the urge to clean up after myself immediately even before the cooking is done. It is so tempting to take away/home delivery from a restaurant when you are exposed to so many cuisine varieties in Dubai. However, I am all geared up to prepare meals at home whenever I have a chance for as long as I can.
  5. No stress – no problem. Becoming an overwhelmed mommy and wife may trigger lots of stress. I have been there when I first became a mother. I have trained and promised myself that no matter what I will stay calm and peaceful at times of hardship. Taking things serious won’t solve the problem. My key to staying calm is to think back to hard times which I have presently forgotten of. All that stress is not worthwhile. So undoubtedly, efficient stress management is the way for me.

 

As I had mentioned, I have limited my list of non-negotiables to a few, however, I have couple of others, which I will keep to myself at this point.

And as the original tradition suggests, I would love to pass on this responsibility to these beautiful souls:

Nadine as a MUM: @nadineasamum

Mommy Z: @mommyzdiaries

Nourhan Elgouhary: @motherbabyclub

Waheeba: @dubaimother

Working Mother of 2: @working_mother_of_2

Sassy Mama Dubai: @sassymamadubai

Tarana Khan: @sandinmytoestk

Farhana: @farhanabodi

 

I would love to read your list of non-negotiables ladies. Just think of the list, write it down, elaborate and mention myself for nominating you as well as check out Kate’s original blog post. Extend the positive hype by sharing and inviting your friends to participate.

 

Thank you for reading:)

 

Missed your period? What to do next?

Quick few things to do when you know (or suspect) you are expecting, mama:)

Double check that you are indeed pregnant

It may not be so important, however, it would not harm using a home pregnancy test to detect whether or not you are indeed pregnant. This is probably the first step to confirming that you are expecting. You may use the pregnancy test in the week after your period is normally due – two weeks after you ovulate. If the test shows a negative or a faintly positive result, wait another few days or a week and try again if you still haven’t gotten your period.

The importance of your prenatal vitamin

If you have tried or are trying to conceive, you would have already been told the necessity of taking your folic acid. It is one of the most critical to-dos during the first trimester. It is known that folic acid helps reduce your baby’s risk of developing neural tube birth defect, such as, spina bifida. So, if you haven’t started taking a prenatal vitamin yet, speak to your caregiver/doctor to prescribe you one.

Have you chosen a Hospital / Caregiver yet?

Most married women would already have a favorite doctor. If you are one of them and are comfortable and trust your doctor, then you are all set. However, if you have not had the chance to explore and know a good doctor, then best way to find one is to talk to your friends, colleagues and relatives, who could refer you to a credible caregiver.

Schedule a prenatal appointment with your Doctor

Since many caregivers won’t see you until you are at least 8 weeks pregnant, you might still want to get on their schedule well before this, as appointments can fill up fast.

Beforehand, make sure you have noted down the first day of your last period so your doctor can determine your due date. You may as well want to jot down a list of questions/concerns you would like to bring to your doctor’s attention. It would also help your doctor eliminate any future disorders in your baby, if you would know of any family medical history. Talk to your relatives on both sides about your families’ medical histories. It may help your caregiver to know whether any chronic conditions or genetic abnormalities run in either of your families that might affect your baby.

Discuss any medications you’re taking with your doctor

You might have already heard of this, however, it is important to reiterate and remind that any drugs – even some over-the-counter ones – aren’t safe during pregnancy. If you take any medications to treat a chronic condition, don’t just oversee this matter but do call your caregiver right away to go through your medication list and find out what’s safe and what’s not. Mention everything, even vitamins, supplements, and herbs you are taking.

 

Many women get so excited when they realize that they are pregnant, that they often overlook the importance of going through the above list of to-dos during the first few months (first trimester) of pregnancy.

Please feel free to share, comment and let me know your opinion on this topic.

Separation Anxiety Tips

I always envisaged that I would master the motherhood skills once I become a mother. I day dreamt of the days I would wake up all fresh, get some alone time for my morning coffee, peacefully prepare breakfast for my little family (just the 3 of us) and tackle any domestic and motherhood obstacles throughout the day, all on my own. However, once I stepped into the motherhood, all things became reorganized overnight, priorities had to be changed, and plans for the day split over the span of the week days.

It would amaze me how many women with infant (or more kids) would manage to stay chic, get some “me time” and still tick off lots of tasks for the day. But little did I know, that many of those beautiful women had a reliable source of help and support. As days went by after the birth of my son, I started to realize that there is still a chance to bring back some liveliness and radiance back to my life, my new “motherhood” life. The secret behind this was to easily accept any help and support offered by family and relatives. Luckily, we have our family with us in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, who are constantly arguing who will be looking after Sultan the next week:)

I convinced myself about 5 months post birth to allow my baby to visit my husband’s family every other day. It was a torturing process, having to see my husband take Sultan in his car seat with a pre-filled bottle of milk and a few dangling toys attached to his car seat. Although I knew he will back in couple of hours, but back then it felt like I was not supposed to let him go anywhere without me. On the other hand, in his absence, I managed to get back on track, do the house chores more efficiently, such as cleaning, laundry and cooking etc. Other days I would pump and store away some milk for Sultan to go with him the next time he was taken to the grandparents. It helped me become more organized and anticipate what other plans I could make to fit during those so needed hours of alone time.

I learned to ignore judgmental opinions of strangers, since, when asked where Sultan was, I openly told them he was away at parents’. Not too many strangers would know that I rarely bring in maids to do the house chores for me, since I am a cleanliness freak and do not trust anyone doing my duties and responsibilities. Managing to clean, cook and look after an infant all on your own is literally a race, which anyone will fail without additional help and support. It was a very important lesson I learnt, go with the flow, do as I think is right and do NEVER listen to strangers’ opinions, unless “They have walked in my shoe for a mile”.

I started experiencing and cherishing the true meaning of so called mommy “me time”. Very practical and well utilized time.

Gradually, Sultan stayed with our families over nights. This meant I could begin planning bigger things to accomplish. However, there were quite many tips that were helpful in making sure Sultan’s stay away from us was tantrum and stress free, for him, as well as for us. I would love to share these tips with every parent who is doubting or planning to send their baby to grandparents or nursery / daycare etc.. Here they are:

Be Consistent To Avoid Separation Anxiety

Business concept image of a hand holding marker and write Consistency is The Key isolated on white

Although it was very hard to leave Sultan or let him go to grandparents without me, especially that he was still an infant, it is always easier to teach a baby from early on that mama will sometimes be away. The baby might not be realizing the absence of the mother at infancy, however, if you stick to a routine he will grow up to understand that it is actually fun spending some day with his parents and others with grandparents or other relatives (who you trust of course). It is said that babies up to 6 months do not make out the concept of object permanence (the fact that the mother/father exist when they are not with them). That’s why it is best to start early on, even for couple of hours, since by 8 months children become aware that when you leave, you’re somewhere out there, so they’re much more prone to separation anxiety. In our case, Sultan has never experience such anxiety due to our absence, as he stayed at grandparent’s’ regularly for at least 3 times a week.

Make Sure Baby Is Familiar With The Caregiver

Since there is probably no people other than a family we can trust, we only entrust to keep Sultan at grandparents’, either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Both the families are well aware of Sultan’s night sleeping & nap routines, what dosage of medication to be given at what intervals (if any), as well as when and what he eats. Sultan knows and recognizes each and every family member, and there has never been a problem with that. Although, in my absence, he tends to seek comfort either at my mother’s or my mother-in-law’s armsJ It is probably his instinct that the woman who feeds, cuddles and plays with him, is the most similar to his mama.

Talk To Your Baby About Why You Going To Be Away

It is no secret that parents and family are encouraged to talk to their children although they are still not capable of understanding every word. Generally, it is very important to talk or to read to your child. However, talking to your child is even more important during separation (short or long). Every time before he goes away from you, since he relies on your voice tone and attitude from birth onwards, tell him he is going to grandparents and that he will have so much fun there. But also make sure to tell him that mommy is going to come back.

Wave And Say Good-Bye

No wonder Sultan has learnt to understand and wave us a good-bye and a blow kiss. Every time he goes away, I make sure to kiss, hug and wave him good bye. This way he adapted to separation easily. Sometimes I sing him his favorite rhyme before he goes, just to reassure him that everything is okay.

 

 

The most important lesson Sultan has learned is that when I am away, he will be safe and will have fun regardless whether I am around or not, and that eventually when mommy is back she will take him out to a playground.

My Motherhood

3 Milestones I Have Overcome As A New-Mom

Almost 2 years ago, during my entire pregnancy I was all absorbed in so called “internet knowledge“, which consisted all about what to expect during and post pregnancy as first time mom. Whether I had to know all of that information beforehand or not, in a way it prepared me to deal with anxiety and geared me up for what was going to happen to me “the first time” in my life. By then I had been exposed to sufficient enough mommy-to-be tips from my family and friends. Of course all that helped me, theoretically. However, the real “first time mommy” instincts kicked in on their own soon as I delivered Sultan.

1. Milestone: Unscheduled (UNEXPECTED)  C-Section

As painful as it is recalling those countless hours of continuous labor pain and unforeseen circumstances, through which we (me and my baby) had to suffer together; I believe there is absolute beauty in overcoming those hardships.

I was always regular on my monthly pregnancy check ups, prescribed medications and ultrasounds etc. There was absolutely no sign of complication as such, and I was more than confident that my baby would come out all healthy and naturally when he is ready. Unfortunately, not everything takes place as planned and despite of being advocate of “all natural”;  I was almost forced into accepting to go through an emergency C-section during my failed labor and contractions.

My baby was well delivered within an hour of anaesthetics dosage given to me. As you may have read in my previous posts, Sultan was born weighing whopping 3.9kg (MashaAllah), which could well be the reason for unscheduled C-section.

All is well that ends well.

It was a great challenge taking care of a newborn, managing to endure the incision pain (not an enthusiast of pain killers), breastfeeding for straight first 5 months, continuously pumping milk for storing for later and of course not forgetting the all needed attention that any husband requires.

Ultimately it was all worth it; especially now that my baby is showing great milestones progress on monthly, if not, daily basis.

2. Milestone: Breastfeeding

The urge to have my baby latch on to have some milk about 30 minutes post his birth was undoubtedly an instinct that I never envisioned doing during my pregnancy; although I had read a lot about lactation tips. I had completely ignored the fact that I just came out of operation room. All that did not matter a bit.

I remember requesting the nurse to bring me my baby for feeding, when she gently smiled and replied, “Your baby isn’t hungry yet. You need to rest”. This sounded to me somehow pushy; (relax we know better than you what and when your baby needs!). Frankly speaking I did not have much power to resist her, but I kept insisting and raised my tone this time, “I feel he is hungry, so please bring him now!”. Obviously, she would not be in the position to argue with me any further.

Shortly I had my son in my weak arms and he immediately latched on and sipped of some fresh colostrum (first milk). This was one of the check points I promised myself not to miss on, as I had read lots of great things about allowing baby to drink the first milk, rich in vitamins and nutrition.

 

3. Milestone: Weaning

I was all equipped with baby feeding bottles, milk storage containers and breast pump prior to giving birth. I was not sure whether I will require some or all of these products, but I decided to stock up for emergency situations.

Luckily, all of the bottles, containers etc, came in handy when I felt the need to pump and store for when my husband would take my son for short walk on his own (without me); or for visiting his grandparents for over night stay. Thankfully, there was always oversupply of milk and I never faced shortage whatsoever.

However, as time went by, I started to feel locked up at home, mainly due to the reason that I had quit my permanent job after getting married and was all soaked up in diapers, milk and homemaking commitments. My partial post partum depression started fading away when Sultan began showing interest in powdered formula milk while he was away from me for couple of hours.

The weaning process began naturally on its own; but mainly with the aid of Sultan it was made easy on both of us (if not all of us in the family). He never refused or fussed being offered formula milk and he was fast accustomed to bottle feeding. It was in a way heartbreaking to realize that I did not complete 2 years of breastfeeding him as recommended worldwide, however, I was somehow relieved of the guilt when doctors did not interfere nor discouraged me from weaning process. Honestly speaking, toward the 6th month my milk supply was lower than ever before, mainly because I started pumping more infrequently and gradually milk supply went down.

It makes me proud to be a mama who managed to (at least) stick to breastfeeding for continuous 5 months, which I know for a fact is not a necessary aspect for many women who for some or the other reasons cannot breastfeed at all. It is a personal choice every individual mother makes, no one is to be judged at all.

 

Thank you for reading my most heartfelt confession on my experiences as a first time mommy. Please feel free to share your personal motherhood experience, knowledge and/or advice.