Monday, March 10, 2008

What is Moonaburu?

I renamed this blog Moonaburu mostly because it sounds better than Muslimmommyworker, a name I picked quickly because I just wanted to try out the blogging thing. It was meant to be "MuslimMom & MYWorker,"—the MY stands for MAS Youth, but maybe that wasn't so clear. My children call me many things but I draw the line at Mommy.

Moonaburu is a euphemism for two insatiable, wall-coloring, energy-draining, barefoot little girls in one-and-a-half diapers, desperately in need of a good scrubbing. Kind of, but really, no. It's named after the blog's two main characters:

Moona
Moona is almost three years old. She is bouncy, giggly, and ready for an adventure all the time alhamdulillah. Her black curly hair cannot be combed and the only way I know to untangle it is with a haircut. She only wears cotton knit—no sweats, corduroy, polyester, or brushed cotton please. Moona is addicted to attention—she will do anything for it and does nothing the entire day except sit at my feet and wait for me to look at her. She has mountains of toys but hasn't the slightest clue what to do with them.

If Moona was a cartoon character, she would be Dora the Explorer. Her favorite food is blueberries. Her dream come true is to sit down and read stories about little girls. And that's it, because, man, she already gets way too much attention for her size.

Buru
Buru is one year old. She is nicknamed after the Nyumburu Multicultural Center at Univ. of Md, where I was an undergrad—huh? What can I say? It stuck.

Buru is our cuddlebug—she nuzzles and snuggles against your shoulder and makes you feel all warm inside. When I can't hold her, she makes do with holding onto the hem of my skirt or resting her cheek on top of my feet. When we sit down to play, and her sister is bouncing off the wall with excitement at the prospect of my undivided attention, Buru would rather put her head on my lap, look into my eyes, and suck her thumb. Buru is also a gifted whiner, and her whining in my opinion poses one of the formidable challenges in my experience as a mother —Nyaaaaaaaaaa!

She can say a few words: Iman, Umee, food, and water. They sound like, "Imaa? Emaa? Maaaaaaaa? and Ma`?" Buru hates bathtime and shrieks and yowls like a feline. She has a mischievous streak, we can tell, because her eyes twinkle when she pulls her sister's hair.

Buru could be the Downy Teddy Bear, but with shrieking capabilities. Her favorite food is bananas. She can down a whole banana in less than a minute. Her dream come true is to lie in my arms and eat bananas.

Umee & Abee (That's me and my husband)
Our family lives in Texas and we are working to create a family home that is warm, encouraging, healthy, creative, and rabbani­—entirely devoted to God. We sorely miss our previous home and friends in California, but are doing our best to make do in Texas.

We are members of the Muslim American Society, and as you can guess from my postings, it is a huge part of our life. I believe it is the best way to bring about positive change in American society and the straightest way for me as an individual to earn Allah's pleasure. There are several chapters in Texas, as in almost every state, so we're covered.

You will also notice that we speak to our children only in Quranic Arabic, a form of the language that is only used in formal settings, literature, and the Quran. So, yeah, our kids are going to sound like Arabian Shakespeares. We made the decision so that our kids would be able to connect on a deep level with the Quran, and also because I grew up speaking only English and the formal, academic dialect is easier for me.

I would like to consider myself a writer. Although I include other topics, especially related to Islamic activism, self-improvement, and parenting, I love to write about my kids. The doting might be tiresome for some readers I suppose. I hope my kids don't grow up and feel embarrassed that I wrote about the ins and outs of our family life, their thumb-sucking, and tantrums. Instead, I hope one day I can compile these writings, place the pages in their hands, and say:

"This is what I was thinking, feeling, learning, and doing while I was raising you. I made many, many, many mistakes. But you—and your father—were my treasures, my loves, the blessings of my life every single day. You shaped me in so many ways, and my hope is that through you I gain Allah's pleasure."

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