Toy Garage Sale

Alittle after Sam came home after his surgery, one of the enormous tasks pending on my to-do list was arranging the boys room and organizing the toys. Now organizing the toys also implys getting rid of that huge mountain of toys piled up for the last 2-3 years. Every 8 months, we get rid of toys that have either broken or the boys have just lost interest in them coz they have grown and moved on to a more challenging / attractive toy. There is a very nice masjid in Bur Dubai, close to the Imperial suites, which accepts toys, clothes, household stuff etc. Thats generally where I would donate the toys in good condition.

However, Bilal, having moved on to more gadgety toys, with sawaab in tow, Eman is left with a huge heap of toys. The little guy likes his tiny army men and forts and ofcourse his war hammer and stuff. So we decided to put up a garage sale.

The boys were so excieted. It was decided that the money collected would go into buying playstation cds or computer game cds. Needless to say, they all put up their socks and were fully charged up. We put up the advertisement in Le Marche, on the spinneys board and on the AR Website.  The boys even placed direction posters around the Al Reem area !!  Our sales was to begin from 11 in the morning. Our first “customer” was a couple with 6 kids who had been waiting since 10:15 !!!!!!!!

Please remember, recyling toys is helping the environment. Why dump or throw toys down the garbage bin, when some child can happily enjoy them for a couple of months or even years more.

Here are some of the pictures :

 

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Ofcourse the sale did turn out good enough to help the boys buy a handful of cds, however, it was my first time experience with garage sales and some of the things that i realized are noted below  :

  • Make sure, you have placed all your toys on the tables, shelves, chairs, cartons,  etc a night before instead of waiting for the 11th hour. It helps~ you feel more organized. An organized display is attractive even if someone is not going to pick something. Its like eye candy !
  • Never place your telephone number on the advert. You’ll be strangely surprised as to how many people call for anything but toys, inspite of writing in large bold letters “ONLY TOYS FOR SALE” !!!!
  • Keep the time short. I made the mistake of keeping it on saturday coz friday was the royal wedding so naturally the turnout would be expectedly low. But where I was wrong was that I kept it from 11:00 to 5:00. The real buyers will be there in the first two hours. So the best time for the sale should be kept between 9:00 to 12:00 or even earlier especially for toys.
  • We kept the prices in the range of max dhs 15 for furniture (and otherwise dhs 1 – 5 ) which was “extreme underpricing” .. why ? Becoz people are people and even at that, they wanted to know if it could be negotiated ?????? HELLLLLLLO !! Even a tiny dinosaur the size of my pinky, costs dhs 25 in ELC and here your getting a full size work table and two chair from Ikea in good condition and you want a discount on 15dhs ???? Solution. Dont price it at dhs 15. Keep it at 20-25 so if they insist, you can always throw it down to 15 !! satisfied ? I manged to sell the egg chair thru dubizzle for dhs 25. Original price being dhs 225 from Ikea ! Then again, the idea was not about “making” money.
  • To reduce the confusion and better traffic for the sale, make sure, you draw or print a map of your house location on the advert. Alot of people are visual based and it helps tremendously.
  • Best to keep some water ready at hand in glasses on the kitchen platform instead of rushing into the kitchen everytime someone asks for some water.

These are just a few of the points I figured from our first sale. We still have piles of toys stacked up in boxes which will be going to the Masjid soon enough for donation. But for now, we are a less loaded and crowded home 🙂

Oh and if there is anyone out there who stays in Dubai and is interested in picking up some/any of these toys, feel free to contact me. They will probably be sitting there in the boxes for atleast two weeks before they are donated to the masjid.

I hope this little article helps you in realizing :

  •  the less cluttered our house is, the more space, there is, to grow ~
  •  the more, we are relaxed ~
  •  the more, it is easy to clean and frankly,
  • there are only so many toys, a child can play with !!

If any of the points have :

  • helped you or
  • helped to make your sale successful or
  •  inspired you to put up a sale,

please do leave a comment. Your comments are always precious to me !

For now, thank you for stopping by and sparing my article, some time.

Naush

Birthday Treat bags and A special boy.

May 11 1999 My oldest son, Bilal was born, May 10 2002, exactly 3 years later, my youngest and third son, Eman was born. Now for those of you with kids placed so closely in birth dates, I dont exactly know how you go around making them feel special !  Well, in a way, I’m saved from all those complications coz we dont celebrate birthdays, well atleast not in the traditional way carried out, all over the world ~ Cake, song, birthday bumbs and whats worse is this new ‘thing” about smashing chunks of cake over the birthday persons face, clothes etc, which is not only disgusting but also being ungrateful to the food and the many bounties of the Almighty  (cake in this case).

When the kids were smaller, I would send some goody bags with them to school for their classmates and take them out for a “MOVIE” which we generally watch only on special occasions or visit their favorite activity parks like kidzania, lou lou al dagongs, magic planet etc. Now that Bilal is just entering his teens, its really difficult coz Eman being 9 still wants to do the same things while Bilal would prefer paint ball park or the bowling alley ! Now thats really a row between the two birthday boys.

Truth be told, its a celebration for me. I turned mom for the first time. All those beautiful and traumatic memories of their pregnancy and delivery come, flooding back on these days.  Its really all too special for me coz these guys are exceptionally understanding, well behaved and just a whole bunch of fun to be around with. Ofcourse, there is that one guy who feels totally out of place coz his birthday falls in July ~ he is not made to feel special by his friends becoz schools out for summer holidays. And you see “FRIENDS” is what its all about !!!

Well, for Eman, these are the goody bags I made for his school.

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For a couple of years, after Eman was born, when they didnt understand the concept of birthdays and such,  I used to take the guys to meet this particularly special little chap who has been in Dubai Hospital from alittle after he was born and probably will stay there for the rest of his life.  His name was Aboudi.

I was having a very complicated pregnancy with Eman. I was in my 6th month when they admitted me much against my wishes,  for severe bleeding. Sawaab was just 9 months old while Bilal was around 3 years. Even now as I pass Dubai Hospital, I watch the 5th floor visitors lounge window and remember how helpless, I used to feel, knowing that both my babies were miles apart in the day and were having such a disturbed time in the evening. Those were such desperate times. Sam would struggle to keep some order in our lives between visiting me in the hospital and managing the babies. And then just as things could’nt have gone worse, Sawaab’s bronchitis devoloped into pneumonia. I remember being on the 5th floor pre-delivery ward while my baby was admitted on the second floor. What a rucous I created when I found out that evening !!! Inspite of my state, nothing in the world could hold me back from being with him. I suppose you call that a “maternal thing” but at that point, I just knew I wanted him just as much as he wanted me. What a huge fight I had with my consulting gyne to release me and release I did get !!!!!!

 It was at that time, when I shifted on the 2nd floor to look after Sawaab that I saw little Aboudi. At that time, he must ave been around 3 years. Cerebral palsy. He was tied with bandages to the cot lest he harm himself. A fair child, drooling away with eyes that I felt were imploring. The nurses communicated with him and somehow he did make some movements to respond. A large part of the day we was sitting by the corner of his cot, watching and sometimes even made to sit of the stroller.  He was a futile cause … he was another one of those, children of a lesser God. My heart ached when I saw him for the first time, I remember, hugging him and later crying away when I saw my own child. No one ever gave away any of this background until one day, one of Aboudi’s favorite attendents, who had become very attached to me told me that he was dropped off at the hospital emergency department by a driver late in the night.  What a heartless mother or did I speak too soon ? No . . . .  She was a heartless woman. To dump a 10 day old baby just becoz he was probably never going to be like all the other kids !!!!!  Nobody claimed him. He was a waif. It breaks my heart to think, that no one in this whole world loves  that little tiny boy with such a huge disease. No one even knew of his existence.  No mother to comfort him, no one to hug him, embrace him with kisses upon kisses, no one to wipe his tears and fears. How cruel. 

Aboudi made me realize that I had no pain at all.  Aboudi gave me that first time feeling of what it feels like, to be in this world ALL ALONE with a huge handicap. The sisters in the ward treated him with affection and dignity and I am so grateful that they did not do it as a part of their job but for humanity.

For the next 3 years, I kept visiting Aboudi with my boys and some toys in hand. Until we moved to the Ranches and life took on a different pace all together. Often I have seen in documentaries and movies about orphans, abused children or such and my heart goes out to each one of them but Aboudi was the child who actually made me come face to face with that situation and I realized I was really no match for his spirit and resilience. I believe he has suffered tremendously but as if it is some solace,  in the hereafter, he will be one of Allah swts blessed ones. Inshallah.

Amongst the many many things that Aboudi made me realize long back was also that birthdays, anniversaries are not for spending lavishly on parties but on fullfilling small and big dreams with those who matter the most to us. Spending in the way of the less fortunate, a hospital visit, a trip to the home of seniors and yes, also creating special memories with near and dear ones. Bilal has has only three friends through out the year and he wishes for them to somehow be a part of “his” day while Eman has an entire school which has been his “BEST” friend. Now isnt “that” a task !!

If you are interested in knowing about Aboudi’s present state, please do comment and I shall reply.

Dealing with Hernia.

Five days after returning from Umrah, Sam was admitted for his surgery. We knew what we were up against. His right kidney was removed last year by open surgery. 2 Months later he was diagnosed with a hernia. You see there are several layers of skin, tissue, fat and muscle after which the doctors reach the organs. In sam’s case, a large area had opened from the initial scar. He had around 46 stiches on his abdomin. The scar opening from the stitches was around 9-10 cm long. 20% of his intestines were already out from that opening. Hence when he stood, there was a baseball shaped and size side to his stomach. We were only worried about strangulation in those intestines therefore we delayed the operation till now. The surgeons push the intestines back in, and place a large mesh to keep it from protruding back out. The worse part about this type of hernia is that it can reoccur. The surgeon we had, was exceptionally good, but sam’s case history was not a very encouraging one, so he assured us that he would be trying out his best to do it thru laprocopy and if they were still unable to fix the issue, then they would have to perform an open surgery. Which was the worse case scenario.

This time around, I could sense Sam was far more nervous and had made more preparation with all the house and bank docs etc, Which really puts me in panic mode. Luckily for us, his surgery went very well. The surgery lasted 5 hours and after a stay in the hospital for a week, we could get him home. As in almost all surgeries and especially with a hernia, doctors always advice that the patient should refrain from carrying heavy objects.  Sam still has swelling, probably water retention. Our concern always is that he has only one kidney which also has an arterial block as well. But I am an optimist. I believe in giving the body some time and space to heal. Inshallah. Heal, he will.

Bilal my oldest son born premature. He was underweight like most premature births and unfortunetly devoloped bilateral anguinal hernia at age 2 months. The swelling above private part was very severe. We were asked to have him operated immediately. He was so anemic and underweight that they had to first infuse blood and then perform the surgery. However, it was a simple surgery ~ ofcourse to a first time nervous mom, It was simply a nightmare. Since I had dealt with hernia before, I did a little research about it on the internet as well to keep myself prepared.

What I found strangely annoying later on, is that naturally people are limited by their own knowledge and experience. I had not mentioned about samie’s surgery to alot of people until the day of his surgery. Later however, when I had advised the near and dear ones, I felt so ridiculous when I had one person actually tell me that her cousin had a hernia which takes just half an hour and its ridiculously a simple procedure !!! Inspite of explaining his entire abdomine case, she just kept compairing it to her “cousin”. Honestly, if there is one thing that I have learnt from my experiences in dealing with a traumatic surgery is that when you visit someone who is so seriously ill, it would be best to lend your emotional support (which is so desperately seeked) and BE QUIET !!! It can be so damaging to the relationship, when you tend to belittle a certain situation.  

We have changed quite a bit of sam’s eating habits. Ofcourse he has been on low sodium salt for a little over a year now. He’s having salads for lunch and a healthy breakfast. We have been going on late night walks everyday, Which, I think, is the best part of the evening instead spending the evening being a couch potato.  I suppose dinner is the only meal, when I let him get away with rice. He is a typical rice eater.  He is making several changes, so I think, I am letting him get away with the rice in the night deal !

Here is sam with the boys 3 days after the surgery and the other picture, is that of sam with the boys, 2 weeks after surgery.

Second Umrah 2011

I know, I havent been around for so long. Alot of events have happened, since March 2011. One of which was samie’s surgery and the other was our Umrah. I think, I’ll dedicate both of these different posts with pictures. However in the middle of all this, one thing that was sorely neglected, was the boys’ studies. Just havent been able to give them the kind of attention, I used to give them.

Last year, after sam’s operation, we wanted to perform Umrah.  I believe, Umrah/Haj is the best way to reinforce our deen and emaan, provided finances are available. Samie has been in relatively good health, except for the swelling in his right lower abdomin, which has been giving him cramps recently.  We decided to perform the Umrah while the boys had their spring holidays of 10 days. So on 30th March, we visited Jeddah and the additional joy, was that Sam’s sister, sheema was joining us with her family too for a couple of days. The trip per se, was tiring but the joy and calm and satisfaction is truly beyond words.

On the first day we arrived, we rested and since we were in Ahraam, performed our Umrah in the evening after Isha. The crowd was huge. BaituAllah was blessed with thousands upon thousands of pilgrims as always.  I dont remember a moment in our tawaaf’s around the Kaaba, when I was not crying like a baby in repentence, in gratitude, in sheer joy, feeling like, what have I done to deserve this huge gift from Allah swt !! Surely He knows best. Inspite of all the overwhelming feelings, I remembered to pray for every single person I had known !! All of my Ummah, all of my newly reverted sisters and brothers and all those specially chosen dae’s by Allah. I was so overjoyed that I remembered to make duas for  absolutely everyone from family, relative, neighbours, friends, collegues and even for the taxi driver who had dropped us !!! 

My main worry was Sam. I had been such a pain for the kids thru out the air travel, making sure the boys did not let sam carry any of the luggage but thankfully Sam complained of no pains thru out the Tawaaf and sahi. I did my sahi with Sheema.  The tiny book that I carried with the english translation and proper pronounciation made it easy to connect and “FEEL” what I was begging of Allah for.

This time, all the boys including Sam, decided to go bald naturally becoz  it is Afzal.

For those of you’ll who plan to visit or wish to know more about what to expect in a similar travel to Mecca, apart from sheer exhilaration. I must advise you to really wear comfortable slippers or sandals, carry a small bag to keep your slippers in everytime you visit the haram and try to leave atleast 20 minutes earlier than the salat time so as to find a place as forward as possible. In every corner of Haram, you will find abundance of drinking water “the blessed zam zam” so dont worry about water. Please remember to wear clean ~ comfortable clothes as opposed to silkish or synthetic fabrics. Ofcourse we wish to be presentable in Baituallah but one must also consider the heat especially since we women wear an abaya. 

I wish to share my beautiful experience in the most supremely majestic of all places in the world with you. Please do share if you have had any experiences as well.

Here are just some of the pictures of that memoriable trip :

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