Saturday, November 17, 2012


Layla is my youngest child and only daughter.  She is a beautiful child inside and out, with personality, joy, laughter and play.  Too bad for me, she also has her father's temper.  This little girl can throw a mind blowing tantrum.  Her fits are loud, insane, and when it is over, the house, myself, and she look like we barely escaped the wrath of a tornado.

For the last month, I have searched for new discipline ideas for our problem.  Because I am her mother, I cannot use the same tactic that I use during one of my husband's episodes, which is ignore it, ignore it, ignore it until it is finished.  It has been proven to be ineffective to spank her, have her sit in time-out, take away her candy money, keep her inside from playing, etc.  I was in need of new ideas, fast!

My first new idea was to encourage the bad behavior.  Take her power away and laugh at her.  When she screamed, I would say, "Again!", clap my hands and laugh at her.  Boy, was she infuriated!  I kept on laughing at her.  Definitely not my finest parental moment, but at least I was in a good mood after her tantrum, instead of wanting to strangle her.  We have not repeated the performance, and never will, but Layla did apologize and quietly cleaned her mess.

I am now implementing my second idea.  Everyday she receives a star on the board for not having a tantrum.  Her job is to keep the star on the board all day, and receive another star the next day.  When she receives 5 stars, we buy a new toy.  If she has a tantrum, she loses her star for the day.  It took her six days to get 5 stars.  She only had ONE tantrum in six days.  We are taking steps in the right direction.  Now she has her eye on a more expensive toy, so today we begin our ten star journey.  Wish us luck!

Arabic Word of the Day:  Sick = Mariid

Today, Layla is home because she is sick.  All day yesterday, she did not want to go to school, because she learned that Zayna (my husband's friend's daughter, who is the same age as Layla) was not going to school while her father was visiting from America.  I tried explaining that Layla could only use that excuse when Ray was visiting.  She remained convinced she would not be going to school, and to prove it, she ran a high fever all night.

How do you say, I am sick = Ana mariidan.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Arabic word of the day:  "booboo" means "baby" in slang Arabic.


We have a new baby in the family.  How exciting!  My sis-in-law, Sana, now has a beautiful baby boy.  His name is Laith.  I know I am biased, but he is gorgeous!  (Of course, only in third place, because my two sons are tied for first place in the gorgeous boy competition.)

On another note, we have completed the apartment next to mine.  It turned out great.  I cannot tell yet whether it was worth the cleanup and aggravation.  I am still a little sore.

It is finally sweater season!  Hooray!  It seems that summer does not last forever after all.  Thank goodness!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Arabic Word of the Day:  sabanik = spinach

One of the good things about Jordan is that the government subsidizes fresh food.  Fruits and vegetables are cheap as long as you do not buy them at a chain grocery store.  The streets are filled with roadside produce vendors, markets, and even neighborhood trucks that travel from house to house selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

When you buy produce that is cheap, there is usually some work involved.  It can become what I like to call a "family affair".  Put the kids to work!

For example:  Yesterday, I bought 5 kilos (about 12 lbs.) of freshly picked spinach for 1 JOD ($1.40).  It took about 45 minutes for Layla and I to pick all the leaves, store in plastic bags for the refrigerator, and clean the kitchen floor afterwards.  The boys were grateful to have homework during this time.

But now I have 4 gallon sized bags of spinach leaves.  Green Monsters, twice a day, here I come!