What if we say ‘yes’?

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As parents and especially as the mighty mothers, each one of us must have found many a moment in our lives when it is much more inevitable to say no to our children than the often scary, yes. Though it often does come to that after a couple of heart wrenching screams and some inevitable drama.

There are times however, where parents should say yes, even if we don’t want to, or if we have no time for anything at all.

I’m pretty sure that if we did something like that the sky wouldn’t fall down. Our children wouldn’t automatically become the worst behaved children in the world and wouldn’t start taking us for granted only because we had said ‘yes’ instead of the usually expected ‘no’.

You see, as mothers we have been conditioned to say ‘no’ to our children, often unintentionally when we find ourselves in the middle of something important, when there is a looming deadline over our head or the popular ‘I’m tired’ excuse (which is not an excuse ladies, I know but let’s just pretend for a moment only for the sake of this discussion!) I, for one, often find myself saying,

I’m really busy right now” or,

“Can we do this later? Mommy is a bit busy?”

“I’m making dinner, cant you see? We can do it some time else”.

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But more often than not, that “later” doesn’t ever come. And time flies by and we keep turning down our kids demands and wishes and before we know it they’re all grown up and we don’t understand what happened to their childhood. Problem is that we don’t really enjoy their childhood when it’s actually happening. We get so busy living our everyday life that we forget that time never stands still— that our children will not remain children forever. So what if we say yes instead of no, next time our kids want us to do something for them, or take them somewhere or just be with them for a while. The little time that we give them brings so much light to their life; we can’t even begin to imagine that sort of happiness.

So I have decided that the next time my kids want me to do something for them, I will try not to listen to the ‘no’ in me and instead will just say ‘yes’. Because I know, in the heart of my hearts that I will never regret it.

The little hugs, the giggles, all those cartoon discussions, those hour late bed times, all those special moments with my kids. These are the things that life is all about. This is when life happens.

I’m sure I’ll not regret saying ‘yes’. I’m sure of that! 🙂

By Maasi Wajo

 

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Happy New Year!! 

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2015’s last sun has set and in a few hours we’ll be welcoming 2016. We wish a fabulous and prosperous 2016 to all of our amazing readers. And thank you all for the support you’ve showed us all through 2015. We’re hoping amazing things for Maasi is Trying in the coming year and we hope we always have your support to guide us through!

There’s this apt New Year’s quote by Neil Gaiman that we thought we’d share with all of you on this New Year’s Eve.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. 

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

-Neil Gaiman-

We wish our cherished readers a very happy and rocking 2016!!

Lots of love and best wishes,

The Maasis

Baking Dilemmas

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Baking is a past time for most of us.  We enjoy it because it is usually easy, and the aroma while it bakes in the oven is heavenly, and when we taste it, it’s divine. “Usually” is the key word.  These days, with gas shortages, it is taking much longer for things to bake. I usually bake in the evenings now when I know we will have somewhat normal flow of gas for the oven to heat up and cook properly. It is taking much longer though.  And the anticipation of the finished baked good makes us all antsy. 

 When I say baking is “usually easy,” I am referring only to those recipes that don’t make me convert their measurements. It’s frustrating when the app on my phone doesn’t allow me to easily convert the measurements from grams to cups, or from ounces to tablespoons. My kids love to help me, and sometimes it’s fine. But sometimes, the added persons in my small kitchen makes me even more frustrated when I am trying to figure out the exact quantity to use and the kids are screaming to let them help me. Being kids, no one wants to wait the extra minute or so to let me do the conversion in peace. 

Hence,  I did some research last night wanting to make brownies and cakes but without having to measure butter. I haven’t bought a kitchen scale yet. In the U.S, all the recipes we used were measured in cups and tablespoons/teaspoons. So it was easy to follow recipe. Since we don’t have access to every ingredient used these days, I have to find other options on the Internet to substitute particular ingredients. It takes a toll sometimes on my over loaded brain, and half the time I give up for the day.

I thought I’d share my findings with you all.  Some recipes said to use canola oil instead of butter in baking, and others referred to olive oil.  There is this new cupcake recipe I tried, which I will share soon, and the person was discussing how she loved boxed cakes only because they were soft and raised when baked. She tried oil instead of butter because all boxed cake mixes used oil, so she made the same recipe but with oil and she showed pictures of her cupcakes using different ingredients. They looked so pretty. 

Here is a small conversion table I thought was handy. I will be printing it out and keeping it in my recipe book.  Hope it helps you out too.

Butter/Margarine

Olive oil

 

1tsp

¾ tsp

1 tbls

2 ¼ tsp

¼ cup

3 tbls

1/3 cup

¼ cup

½ cup

¼ cup + 2 tbls

2/3 cup

½ c up

¾ cup

½ cup + 1 tbls

1 cup

¾ cup

For further guidance you can click here and check out this amazing table for equivalent amounts of olive oil to be used in the place of margarine/butter if ever the need arises. Makes things so much easier for me!

Keep in mind that when you are beating butter and sugar, the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Beating oil and sugar gives it a wet, heavy look. The reason for this is that butter holds tiny air bubbles and oil does not. I can’t guarantee that your cake or cookies will turn out the same if you substitute.  Do try it and share your results. It will be helpful to everyone.  I guess as always, it’s trial and error. But I hope I have made on step easy for you by sharing these tables. 

By Maasi Saba

Another cup of tea please!

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Happy weekend friends! This week has been awfully tough and the approaching weekend was the only one thought that made me muster up the courage to face the week. But glad its over (for now), Sunday is here and I can finally relax with my cup of tea and my laptop talking to all you guys. December just gets me immensely excited for so many things. Winter, holidays, happiness all around and an uninterrupted supply of tea when tea can really be enjoyed.

In this part of the world, we get an awfully long summer spell, which usually lasts till the end of November. Days get better usually by the mid of December, but our winter typically lasts till the beginning of March and it’s mild, not very cold. So yeah, we have all the reasons to celebrate the little winter that we get to have around here.

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I just had to show off my mug collection now!

Speaking of which, I am a huge fan of tea. Even our cruel summers cannot keep me from downing my 6 cups of tea in a day. But winter is when I enjoy it the most. There is something very warm about the whole tea experience, something that reminds me of home. Maybe that’s the only proper explanation that comes to mind. No surprises there since tea has been a staple drink in my life ever since I was a little girl. And now the obsession has gradually transferred on to my kids as well, since they cannot pass a day now without their morning and evening tea. There is honestly nothing better than a quiet evening at home lazing around with my favourite people having a cup (read cups) of tea, watching television. That’s what my depiction of heaven is!

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Anyway, I will now go get myself another cup of tea and then try to catch up on my reading. Sundays have never felt this good I tell you! Exam week again from tomorrow! Wish me luck. Also, end of 2015 is upon us, how have you all fared with this year and what are your plans for the coming holiday season? I’d love to hear from you guys.

Have a nice weekend guys (or whatever’s left of it!) 🙂

Maasi Wajo

 

 

 

A Stay at Home Mom’s Dilemma

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Time is a rare commodity these days since it’s exam time and trust me, all I want right now is a few hours to myself, with myself, ALONE!! I am getting the feels a wee bit more though, since it’s my 12-year-old daughter’s first go at exams. Normally schools in Lahore begin taking exams right from grade 1, but a few (very considerate) schools including the one my daughters go to, start end of term exams from 7th grade and above. I do like their approach better since it’s given me way more time to relax and chill compared to my friends who’d just go on quarantine as soon as exams would start.

No, I wouldn’t like to change anything about it. I also feel that this approach gives our daughters much more time to grow up, understand, evolve as an individual rather than get into the exam rut when they can hardly tie their shoelaces properly. When you’re taking children as young as 5 into an examination hall, asking them to sit still for an hour or so and concentrate, how do you expect them to perform? They are not supposed to, its time for them to play and be merry. Let them grow up first. Exam can wait. So yes, I’ve always maintained that my preference for this school is firmly rooted in their lenient exam policy above all.

That said, the fact remains; my whole day is spent being a driver for my girls who have very different schedules these days because of the elder one’s exams. Most of the time I’m on the roads and the fact that the school is at a 30-minute ride from my place adds much to the misery. There are days when I can hardly stop and catch my breath for a little while. But I don’t mind much. Hey, I do enjoy the driving (to some extent!)

But that also gives rise to this question that has always been lurking somewhere at the back of my mind. You see, I am an Accountant, I worked for some time but then eventually decided to quit work because I wanted to stay at home to raise my girls. It does unfortunately have a very negative connotation these days but I did not regret my decision once, back then. Now however, I feel that I am constantly being judged for this decision of mine. People don’t say it to my face, but I know they feel it’s odd for me not to be pursuing a career of some sort. They’ve somehow convinced themselves that just because I’ve decided to stay at home, I am “doing nothing” or am a loser of some sort who didn’t get the chance to get up the corporate ladder. I feel that this “doing nothing” phenomenon is what’s the most devastating of all. Only because I’m not adding much to the overall financial figure of my household, does not mean that I am “doing nothing”.

I read. A lot. I’ve taken it upon myself to further educate myself (trust me, there is life beyond organised education). In my commuting hours I usually listen to philosophy podcasts and am reading Camus these days. I also write; I contribute to a couple of literary journals on a freelance basis. So just because I don’t go out, sit in a cubicle nine hours a day to achieve someone else’s goals, doesn’t mean I am “doing nothing” and “wasting myself”. What is the exact definition of wasting yourself anyway? I am sorry if this sounded too harsh but trust me; I have been subjected to harsher verdicts only because I’ve decided not to join the rat race.

It’s just that my priorities right now are just different; or maybe my personality is, I don’t know. But I’m happy doing what I am; it’s as plain and as simple as that. I don’t understand why people have to underestimate or berate people who are doing something different from them. One of the things I shall never be able to understand I guess.

Anyway, bottom line is, just live and let live. You do your own thing and I’ll do mine. Why judge people when you don’t know their story? Be happy and contented with whatever you do/ whoever you are/ wherever you are in life and that’s what should matter the most. Even if that means playing with your cats or driving your kids to and from school; it’s the little things after all!

Maasi Wajo

My Beloved

By Maasi Saba

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After six years, my dua was finally answered when I became pregnant with my fourth child.  I was so happy because I had always wanted four kids. It’s just a nice round number.  I prayed all through out my pregnancy for the baby to be a girl.  I wanted 2 and 2. And alhumdulilah again, my dua was answered.  When I actually had my baby girl, I  was sort of in a daze. I remember the ward being overly crowded because many women were there for several reasons, and there were renovations being done at the hospital.  My kids were having their midterms, and i remember dropping them off and then driving to the hospital.  It was December, and the weather was bringing me down.  It was the first time I felt any sort of depression after giving birth.  My siblings were arriving for our youngest brother’s wedding.  All of our kids were having a ball chasing each other around the house, which I think helped me to not sink further into a depressing mood. I even went out of the way and called up my brother saying, I am overwhelmed with the baby, the weather, and getting the kids ready for their exams to come to your wedding.  I wanted to relax during those days since the exams would be done. Lol!  He thought i was insane.  I did manage to get to his wedding which was here Lahore.  I got their late. Made  a sloppy entrance and was dazed meeting everyone and handing my child over to relatives who wanted to see her. Since I was the groom’s sister, I was supposed to be needed elsewhere.  I showed my face, and then I left early with my kids because I still had to pack our suitcases because I was supposed to be following the Barat out of the city.  Well, my dear Chachu (Uncle), came to my house in his empty car and had to wait a little while longer because my little one had leaked, and my other kids were running around excited to be going to Nana’s house for a few days.  I think the rest of the wedding is a blur. I was there physically.  I wish I was in better health and state of mind, but oh well. It wasn’t my wedding, so it’s okay.  Whenever my brother says anything to me I always remind him that I was there!!!!! It should be enough.  

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Fast forward and it is three years later and my little darling is learning a lot of english, (courtesy of her cousin from Pennsylvania).  She has responses for everything! And sometimes I’m just amazed because my other three kids weren’t this vocal and confident.  I guess, daayr ayee daroost ayee. Or something like that.  She is one of those kids who knows everything about our cell phones and ipads.  I seriously didn’t know about a few things but this one likes to press everything and open everything and voila, she has discovered something else.  She is also one of those selfie addicts as well.  Or, hmm, I’m not sure if it qualifies as selfies.  I have put a lock on my phone because a few times in the past, she had called some of my friends and siblings overseas at odd times and finished my balance.  Then she also likes to delete apps and pictures I don’t want her to do.  And who can forget the many times she has disabled my phone.  Sometimes she makes me frustrated. But then she tells me that she was just trying to see something or she was trying to do something to help me, and then I can’t stay mad long.  She is my baby after all.

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One of her favorite past times other than going through her siblings’ drawers for some treasure, is to take pictures.  Sometimes when I finally get my hands on my phone, I have about 40 pictures.  Some are bursts of 14, or even 30 pictures of absolutely nothing.  Sometimes its half of her head, or the fan above her head,  or its her feet, or the walls or the floor.  There are just so many pictures that she is amazed at her talent.  My little doll knows how to change the tone and the style of her pictures so usually they aren’t so boring.  These days, when she sees that the camera app is open, she asks if we need to smile quickly.  I wanted to share some pictures she took the other day.  In one, she cut my head off, which was very considerate of her since she should know I hate having my pictures taken.  She did ask me to smile, which I did, but hey, she is too smart to bother me with cropping my head off.  The next is the classic pic of her socks and shoes.  She loves taking pictures of her bed, my bed and the walls.  She’s an amateur photographer.  It made me smile at how amazing life is when you have a toddler to share it with.  

My adorable baby girl, is no longer a baby, but she is my youngest, kissable, and huggable being.  I have those off days when she tires me out, but alhumdulillah, the good outweigh the bad.  And even now, when I stop occasionally to think about what to write next, she insists I type the ABC’S quickly as possible.  For those who have kids, we have all been told to sit back and enjoy them.  To take each moment with them and cherish them because soon they will be too old to sit with us.  It’s amazing how some people do exactly that.  But I am not one of those people.  Well not yet.  I’m not sure if I ever will be. I would love to be one of those people. But I am not sure I’m built that way.  But I am trying. So I must end this because she wants to watch her mickey mouse show right now. Even though she should be asleep at this moment, she is resting her head on my arm and waiting impatiently for me to stop my work and put her show on.  

So enjoy her pictures. I hope they put a smile on your face like they did on mine.  Kids are kids!  May Allah SWT guide them to be good muslims, and protect them from all harm.  

The Hiatus

thank-you-clothesline-752x483You must have noticed this blog’s eerie silence of late. Sigh. Well firstly, our sincerest apologies for not being able to regularly visit the blog. A lot has been up with the Maasis lately and as much as we’d like to be regular at this forum, one thing or the other comes up, always and it just slows us down. But that does not mean we have forgotten you and hopefully it’s the same at your end too.

Okay so we are back (hopefully… As you may have guessed there’s a lot of hope going on here, which is a good thing anyway!) And with any luck we won’t be going anywhere now. As you all know, this is a very young blog and we are in the process of learning ourselves; which means, we may make mistakes and we may not be able to blog as much as the “blogging guidelines” suggest or as much as we’d like to, but we are here and we are trying, we are going no where and hopefully we’ll be here for a very long time.

That said, thanks for reading our blog guys. We can’t even begin to express how much your readership means to us. I mean seriously, we wouldn’t be anywhere without your constant support even when we vanish for weeks. It’s seriously a lot of love and we love you too for putting up with us! J That is what makes us want to do more for you and to better the blog in such a manner that is infinitely more useful for you all.

We will try to be more regular from now on. We promise.

So, bear with us a little more. For Maasi is Trying is slowly evolving and needs a lot of support and love from you guys! Thanks for being here for us! We love you all 🙂