Thursday, March 29, 2007

Alright already...

Here are some pics from Jennahs birthday. In this pic, I had just finished her adorable pigtails. She hated the process, but she is going to have to learn about "suffer for beauty" sometime...

Look, I'm her older, fatter twin....

Mean Auntie Cindy picked her out this adorable hat, and she really worked it.

She shared some cake with Great-Uncle Jim, or "Jungle Jim" as my younger cousins used to call him.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Okay, then back in the swing....

Today, we have a busy day, and the kids aren't up yet. Jennah has a Drs appointment, and so do i, to have my braces adjusted. Jennah will be getting 4 shots, poor baby. I will have to ask about her top teeth, Cousin Romy in Egypt said she should have them by now, and he is a dentist....In adition to that fun, we will be shopping for party good s for Jennahs 1st birthday party, and going to the hell that is the local Wal-Mart Supercenter to order a cake, etc. so i gotta go folks!
I'm out-more later maybe.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back at Home, Ilhamdulillah salama.

We got back home and it is so great to be here. My mom met us at the airport, along with my Dad. It was so great to see the both of them. Then as an added bonus, my brother Alex, and sis in law Renee were here at our house to see us as well with- Tada, mexican food from a local joint, Don Luis. So good to be home.
Also, did I neglect to mention (yes.) That my baby girl turned One year old yesterday? Such a big girl, and she is walking, people. She look like she has had a few shots of Jager, but she walks . Right now both are still sleeping, but i am going to be sorting some laundry, starting a load up, YAY! I have a dryer again, and then waking the angels up. Jennah has her 1st birthday party this weekend at a Alex and Renees and I need to start planning the shindig.
So I am back. Much love to my baby bro who hooked me up with a brand spanking new wireless router yesterday before i came home. Now i can still use my new laptop to blog and stuff, in the manner i have become accustomed. Love ya , Bro. And Oh crap, thank you to my Dad for picking us up and to my mom- who should have gotten hazardous duty pay while cleaning my kitchen, and organizing it for me.... Apparently, I have some Fear Factor-style hissing cockroaches in my kitchen. (not any more, Thanks Mom.) She also spruced up the rest of the pad which was so nice to come back to.
I love you guys.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It's time to go.

Well, the month is over, for the most part. We fly out of here tomorrow morning at 0845. Today will be very busy, what with packing and all that other crap. So next time you read a post, it will be from the good ole U S of A. Ma salama.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Copyright Infringement, Huh? pt.2, and Finally, for My Dad.

This ad was on a garbage can at the country club that we went to, part of Egypt's "corporate responsibility".....
How fast would Disney shut this place down and sue them if they were in the US? And don't over look the Baby Bugs Bunny and Tweety on there too. Somehow I don't think copyright infringement laws apply here.... This is the second type of sign I have seen like this, the first one was a handmade sign by Uncle Saids house on a light post that said "Disneyland Daycare" I don't think that one would fly either.

Now this is the piece d' resistance of my "Huh?" series. Yes, my series is weak, there was only two parts to it, but hey, what can I say? This is a menu for a place Amr Al Samman took Amr and I for something called Fattah, which is kinda like a burrito bowl or something. On the bottom layer of the bowl, there is deep fried pita squares, then the next layer is saffron infused basmati rice. After that, the next layer is meat, sliced into little pieces, usually from one of those rotisseries you see in Tijuana for the street tacos. (Sorry if you haven't been to TJ, I can't think of anything else to compare it to right now.) Then, you put a sauce made of garlic and mayonnaise on top of the mixture and chow down. It was pretty good.
Where is the funny you ask? Look closely at the menu. Don't bother clicking, if you scroll down I have enlarged it for you.

Here it is! Shawerma Fart. Obviously no one who works at that restaurant is familiar with American slang. If they were, I don't think they would have worded this quite this way. My brother in law Maged tells me that fart in Arabic means loose. This doesn't just apply to meat, it can apply to anything, change , beads from a broken necklace....that type of thing. In the actual Arabic language, it is written "frt" with an accent over one of the letters to make the "a" noise. Eh, I like the idea of a Shawerma Fart. As my mom asked me: "Is that the meal or the final result?"

And finally these last two pictures are basically for my Dad, and any other Harry Potter nerd out there. I took pictures of the Harry Potter books. They are in Arabic. I didn't get the translation on all of the books but the first. The first book is called (for those of you that aren't 8 years old or a Harry Potter geek like me, I am on the down low...) 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone'. In Arabic, the title is 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Rock'. How cool is that? And no, the books aren't backward on the shelf, Arabic is read right to left, so they are just right.

Dinner with Tant Nabila and family at the Country Club

OK, I know the title of this post is "Dinner with Tant Nabila and family at the country club" I did an absolutely crappy job getting any pictures. I didn't feel well AT ALL. I did get some sweet pictures of Jennah and one picture of an Egyptian variety crow, so enjoy this lame-assed post.

This is Jennah on the kiddie swings at the club. I have to say, for being in the middle of Giza, you would never know it. They have alot of playgrounds for children of all ages ,two swimming pools, high dive platforms, a bakery cafe, a sandwich shop, a fancy restaurant, atrium's, patios, a track with a soccer field of course, and a mosque. You can't forget the mosque. In the above picture, Jennah is gazing at her father in that way that just makes you melt. What a sweetie. Why is there no pictures of Ayman, you ask ? Well, he is still with his cousins in Banha, having a great time. The poor boy is going to be heartbroken when we leave on Sunday....Sunday, I can't believe we have been gone for a month already. Last time, the time just dragged on by, but this time, it flew. I credit this to the great company of course, satellite TV, and my kick-ass laptop.

This is and Egyptian variety Crow (Update, this is called the Hooded Crow). It has a silver body, as you can see, with a black head, wings and tail feathers. It sounds just as annoying as any other crow, but I took the picture, because I found it interesting.

Here is my darling husband deeply engrossed in conversation. I am sure it was a interesting conversation, but I am just assuming, since it was in Arabic, and I just caught a word here and there. Everyone wanted to include me, but like I said before, I make people nervous about their English, and what ends up coming out is a lot of "yanni, yanni, eih" which is a lot like saying "ummmm" in English. I think it is cute, and God knows my Arabic is atrocious.

My baby doll again. she is so sweet.

Saturday the 11th continued.

I was not kidding before when I said I was behind in posting. Having caught a cold did not make matters any better. I am better now but you don't even want to know what the stuff I am coughing up looks like.
So, to continue our Egyptian Auntie dinner tour we went to Tant Fatens, or "Toona", as she prefers to be called, for dinner Saturday night. (don't ask me why or how the nickname for Faten evolved into Toona. I cannot tell you, and my husband was of no help either) The food once again, was delicious, as it has been at all the Aunties homes, and the company was excellent too. I was terrible with the picture taking, but Ahmed wanted Amr to take a picture of him.
Here it is:

Outstanding talent, there Ahmed!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday Shopping Trip to Khan el Khalily

This is the entrance area for Khan el Khalili, a big bazaar in Cairo. I think this is a nice picture of Nancy and I. We went in on a little buying trip. I am going to be vague about what we bought because that is just how I roll. hahaha.

Nancy, Amr, and I made some purchases, then we walked a little bit to get out of the maze of shops. OOPS, we ended up here, a slightly seedier area than we had visited previously. I took a picture because the minarets in the distance looked super sweet.

I took this picture at the first storefront we stopped at. It kind of reminds me of Tijuana, with Arabic writing instead....and women wearing covers, it is slightly cleaner, so I guess the only similarity is that there is a bunch of overpriced crap for sale.
This is some serious traffic. I shot this walking back to our car. You can't see where we parked but i can give you the general idea. Look to the end of the row of buildings on the right of the street.there is a parking lot in front of the last building which by the way, is an enormous hospital. I wish i could have gotten a good pictures of Egyptians crossing the streets. There are NO crosswalks. I mean, I have seen a few, but they don't mean the same thing as in the US. The drivers want to hit you. They are practically begging for you to step wrong so they can hit you. because in Egypt, it is your fault. The pedestrian NEVER has the right of way. In fact, now that I think of it, there is no such thing as right of way; it is more like, anyway you can.

And finally we come to this gem. We stopped at this drink stand so I could get a bottle of water, (it must have been about 80 out there and all those cars are spitting out some lovely fumes) Amr and Nancy got this delicious drink (not) called 3sir asab. (sounds like AH-seer Kah-SAAB) I personally find it to be nasty, but Amr loves it. When we go to the marketplace in El Rehab, (which is just about every other day) he stops to get a glass. What is it made of you ask? Sugarcane that is put through what can best be described as two big burr grinders. Juiced essentially....gross definitely. To me, it tastes like fresh mowed grass smells. Cack.
All in all a good day had by all.

A Re-enactment

Ayman- up to his mimicry. There was no sound the first time I posted this, so I trimmed it down and re-uploaded it.
I have to mention that right now as I am typing this, my boy is on his way to stay for A FEW DAYS with his Tant Nancy, Uncle Maged, and his cousins. I am not quite sure that he knows that when he chose to get into Maged and Nancy's car that he was choosing being away from his Mom and Dad until Thursday, but we will see how it goes. He has his Bica, his monkey and some diapers, so he is good to go. Good Luck Maged and Nancy. Now lets see how Mommy and Daddy do with out him.

Then of course comes Friday....

We had a dinner at Tant Nahed's house. Once again, the food was delicious, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the spread. We had a really nice visit. Tant Nahed lives in Giza, right off of the same street that the pyramids are on. So, reasonable people, (and I know you all are reasonable people, for the most part,) would think that I would get some pyramid pictures. You'd be wrong. It was getting pretty dark on our way, we were following Maged, and pictures don't turn out well from a moving auto, observe: That is a picture of Mohammed Alis Mosque, or "The Citadel" as all the street signs call it, taken from the car.

This is a pretty awesome picture of my son, who is refusing almost any picture these days. He is wearing about 3 different sets of prayer beads around his neck in this picture. He does a decent re-enactment of his sisters crying, and I will get to work on getting that on video. Like I said, he is camera resistant at this time.

Another one who is camera resistant is Kooki. It must be the age. However, Nada, Kooki's older sister got the two of them to sit together for a few pictures, which I find truly amazing. Thank you Nada, much props.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thursday night...(I am behind over here)

On Thursday night we ate at Uncle Saids house, in Nasr City. The food was just awesome. they had this kofta and baba ganooj that was out of this world. It was quite a spread. Such a spread, I took a picture of it before the feeding frenzy commenced. No, just kidding, no frenzy this time there was actually seating, so everyone behaved themselves.

Observe, Kooki and Jennah playing nice. A problem has developed in the Kooki/Jennah relationship. Kooki wants to be Jennahs big sister/mommy, and Jennnah wants nothing to do with any of it. So as a result, Jennah starts wincing or swinging when ever Kooki gets near her most of the time. Poor Kooki, her cousin is sooooo stubborn.

In between being a pain in the butt and crying, Jennah was cute at Uncle Said's house. With the teething, and the excitement, she is really unpredictable.

Observe, Noha the Skittle holder. She has a crowd of kids around her all night. The Skittles worked magic, and she is really sweet too.

And finally, we have this pose from Jennah--it is her"I want it" pose. She has been doing it all the time. She wants everything.

Friday, March 09, 2007

For all you Jennah fans

And yes, I do have a son. It just turned out, he now hates to have his picture taken, and acts like a dork when a camera is aimed in his direction.

Jennah on the other hand doesn't mind it so much right now.

Enjoy, remember this is 15 seconds of your life you won't be getting back.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Keeping up to date...

Last night we went to dinner at Tant Na3mas house, and ate waaaaaay too much. Ayman has a new thing- calling Amr by his first name. Except for he calls him OM-ber. It is so cute. At dinner last night one of the cousins, Noha (the one who had the ceremony for the marriage contract) was Aymans best friend. She had Skittles. To curry favor with Ayman, she dealt them out over the course of the evening. Very smart. Also, after almost a year in the US, Amr's cousin Amr al Samman has returned to Egypt, so he was there too. He had stayed the weekend with us a couple of times and got to drive my dads boat when he was with us last summer. Amr AS is super smart by the way, "Like brain surgeon smart?" you ask? Funny you should say that. He is a brain surgeon. So yeah, brain surgeon smart. He is also really cool and speaks super good English. Since Uncle Maged was not there last night, it was good i had someone else to talk to that wasn't afraid to speak English to me. It seem most everyone has studied english, it just depends on how much they use it. When they talk to me, i tend to speak a little fast, even though i try not to, and then they get lost in the conversation, and embarrassed. It is all really sweet that they try to talk to me though. I really appreciate (and encourage) the effort. So tonight we are going to another dinner again, this time at Uncle Saids house in Nasr City. I took pictures from his balcony a little bit ago. Anyhoo, we will chow down there tonight, and hopefully i won't forget to get pictures like last night. Also, Maged and Nancy and the kids should be coming anytime now, so that will be nice. Ayman loves to imitate Ahmed, and they really play together.
That is all for now though....
Will do my best to post again soon, hopefully a video or something.
Peace out, yo.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

By request....

A semi-retarded tour of our apartment, starting from the stairwell. Ayman gives a few shout outs at the end....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Random pictures from Saturday the 3rd

Ok, this wasn't from Saturday but I just had to put it in there.

Ahmed had been bugging me to take pictures so I sent him around the party to have at it. He took this picture. The lense was a little dirty, so it was hazy, but I think I fixed it later. Digital cameras are so great because you can take just about any picture that would have been mediocre at best before, and fix it, crop it, and what have you, and there you go, a nice picture.

This is Reems daughter Jennah, I don't know how she spells it, and i will probably have to edit this later. So cute, i love the hat.

And here of course, is Mr. Ayman looking quite fetching in Jennahs (from above) little red chappeau.

This is a nice shot. I should have cropped it though. Oh well.

Banha Aqeeka Weekend Part Deux

So here is the final result- After the butcher did his thing, Amrs mom and Tants 3ayda and Zooba got in there and did some cooking. There was mashy (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice) lamb, salad, lamb, rice, lamb, macarona beschamel, and of course, some lamb. I also want to add that when you have a buffet style dinner, there is no nice little line to get plates then food. HELL NO. You jump in there and grab a plate,
then as much food as you can. If you try to be nice about it, you are gonna end up hungry.

Jennah sleeping on Uncle Mageds lap at her aqeeka.

Cousin Reem and Tant Nancy enjoying the meal.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Banha Aqeekah Weekend

This is the backyard (really more of a courtyard) at Amr's Nenah's (nenah is another word for grandma) house in Banha. We sacrificed two lambs here before, (click here, here, or here,)
Unfortunately, I didn't get the super sweet angle on this or the "money-shot" so to speak. I can tell you, dude has a super sharp knife and he is saying "bism Allah ir rahman ir rahim" (in the name of God, the compassionate and merciful) while he slits the throat. I have to say, that this sheep seemed to croak quicker that the previous ones. Thankfully.

Then, with the warm blood of the sheep sacrifice still on the butchers hands, he marked Jennahs cheeks and forehead. Gr-ossss! By the way, all of my family that is freaking out right about now, there was no religious (or otherwise) significance to this act, (according to Amr, you can ask him.) The butcher just knew the sheep was being slaughtered for her aqueekah, so he thought it would be fun to put the blood on her face....(again, Amr's words, not mine)

And look! She is totally cool with it.

In this picture, we have l-r: The butcher, the butchers assistant hose-holder-guy-who-sits-around-and-smokes-cigarettes, Amr, Ayman, Ahmed, Nancy, and Kooki. Everyone watches, It's a fun time y'all!

And finally the skin is removed, and it is hung up. In this picture there is still some stuff left in the abdominal cavity of it, but for the most part, the only thing left to do was chop it into pieces that fit in the pot. Fresh and yummy. Although, I did not get pictures of the butcher squeezing the poo out of the small intestine. That was SUPER SWEET. As part of his fee, he kept the small intestine, and the skin.

But wait! There is more! I just have to go to the mall first. hahaha. to be continued.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Not for the faint of heart (Suck it, PETA)

Say Hello to what is left of Jennahs sheep--Actually we had the whole thing butchered, but i figure if you can deal with this disgusting image, you should do alright with the rest of what i will be posting in the future. We just got back from Banha, where we did Jennahs party, and we sacrificed a sheep. (more about that later) Anyhoo, I am exhausted from travel and kids and crap so I won't be posting til later today. Which is Sunday for you nice people in the US. It has been Sunday for 19 minutes now as i write this and we are waiting on delivery for extremely late dinner then it will be beddy-bye time for all.
So, I will sign off for now and leave you with this awesome picture, by the way, those are brains at the bottom of the tray.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Good Times Go Bad 2007

OK, so this is Ayman and Jennah playing on the floor. It starts off with "Where's Jennah", then we go on to "Where's Ayman", then as some added Mean Mommy fun I have her daddy say "No, Jennah, no, Sissy!" and she bursts into tears, which are fake by the way. She does get a little butt hurt, but mostly the tears are for show. It is so cute. If you listen close you can hear Amr tell her "no."

And real quick, I want to take this time to thank everyone for their comments, I love them, and encourage them. I don't care if I have met you or not--(this means you, Katy from VPPS) just comment away. I am not always agreeable (Me? nawww.) But hey, the choice is always yours. So keep it up people, I am so glad someone is reading this.