Saturday, 30 June 2007

A walk along the beach

This is what our beach looks like on a Tuesday in the end of June. Not many people around at 9 AM. But wait another month and this place will be CROWDED!!!! We went for a short walk and walked for over 1½ hours. *lol* Sometimes the best things in life aren't the most expensive or most complicated - a walk along the beach, picking up shells and playing in the water is more than enough.

Friday, 29 June 2007

New meme: Friday Fill In

I just found a meme at Fond of the Beach and these are the blanks for this week:

1. Such a long time without meeting my friend C!
2. Occasionally, I enjoy having a beer.
3. Unexpected new friends can be interesting!
4. Daydreaming is great, too!
5. Where do you go when you want to relax. --> To my yoga mat. *lol*
6. Oh my god, he just ate a whole watermelon!
7. What are you doing this weekend? Tonight I'm looking forward to go to bed early, tomorrow my plans include a long walk along the beach with my kids and Sunday, I want to go to church!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

WW - my church

I know I'm a day early but one of my best friends will be here Tuesday to Friday and I won't use the computer while she's here, so this is the only way i can participate in WW this week. Wouldn't want to miss it for the world!

This is the cathedral in our province and the only Catholic church. There are also 2 tiny chapels so in all you have 10 opportunities a week to go to mass. As far as I know there are no other churches in the province.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Mommy Talk 2

June 25: What was your favorite baby item that you could not live without?

I never had that many favorite baby items for my kids. B was 2½ months when he came home from the hospital. He was still a very sick little baby. While at the hospital he didn't want to be held at all. It took me several weeks to get him to accept being held in my arms. When he finally accepted that he had a total change of mind and didn't want to be anywhere accept in my arms! I even had to take him with me when I went to the bathroom! What saved my sanity was a Baby carrier. He even slept in it at night! He used to have respiratory failures at night so in the end we just figured out that the only way we would get a little sleep was for me to sleep half seated on the sofa with B in the baby carrier. That way he would breath better and I could sometimes sleep for a whole hour without having to check on his breathing.

When B got a little older he could stay in his baby sitter for a few minutes while I did the dishes or had a quick shower.

When G was born, B was still like a baby. So I had 2 babies at home and I had to carry them both. I used to put G in the Baby carrier and I tied a bed sheet to my back and carried B in that. I learned that from a neighbor who comes from Togo (west Africa).

Other than the baby carrier and the baby sitters I didn't have many favorite items. My boys just played together and they are still very, very close, almost like twins.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Summer vacation - at last!

Today my kids went to school for the last time this year. They were so happy! Both of them are having parties in their classrooms and had to bring something for the party. I hope they are having a good time because some of their class mates have to repeat this grade and a few of them will be expelled from school. The rules are fairly strict at their school, in order to make the kids learn better. I think that's okey but since there's no other Spanish school in this area I understand it's a disaster for the families who get their children expelled.

On Wednesday we're back to school to pick up the grades and the papers for next year. And then we're off to the bank to pay next year's fees. Oh, that will make my purse so light weighted because the school fee s really really to high, but then again, there is no other Spanish school in this area so we don't have much of a choice.

I'm not particularly worried about the grades. I have been talking to their teachers and I know they are good students so their grades will be more than ok. We're getting them an Eye Toy Camera and a new game for their PS2, as well as skateboards as a reward for the good grades.

So tomorrow when we wake up we don't have to rush to school. We're going to my work though, I have to finish my last class in HTML-programming. And after that, we're free for almost 2 weeks. Then summer school starts. The boys are taking a French class, 2 hours a day Monday to Friday. At the same time I'll be teaching Spanish on quite a low level. My boss wanted me to take 2 classes in the evening, Advanced Spanish and Computer Science, but I can't. I have no one who could baby sit my kids for 4 hours EVERY evening for 3½ weeks. And I would never ever leave them home alone, not even for one hour. So nope, I won't get rich this summer.... Anyway, having just one class will leave me with energy to enjoy myself with my kids. We'll be at work until noon every day, and then we'll head home to have some lunch, work a little in their summer books, take a nap and then in the evening we'll go to the beach or for a long walk along the seaside, meat friends and probably have dinner at one of the many restaurants along the "Corniche". Life is really good during summer! And my hubby comes to see us in August. That's definitely the best part of it all!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Spanish food

Paella, a Spanish rice dish.

A typical Spanish breakfast - churros, leche manchada (hot milk with a small amount of black coffee) or café con leche (coffee with milk).

Mommy Talk 1

I just joined Mommy Talk and this will be my first post on that Meme.

Mommy Talk Question for June 11th - What was it like going home from the hospital for you? Did your baby have any medical issues?

My oldest son, B, was born with an emergency C-section and was very, very sick. He suffered from asphyxia before, during and after birth so they almost declared him dead. He suffered from very severe meconium aspiration syndrome (he had heart issues, his lungs collapsed, he had bleedings and neumonia in both lungs, his liver didn't work too well, he had a strong infection and his body retained too much liquid). To make a very long story short he was put on ECMO for 3 days and then had to stay in the hospital for another 2 months. Coming home with him, 2½ months after giving birth was very scary. He was still a very sick baby, who needed medication day and night, who had respiratory failures all the time and was too weak to nurse, so we had to give him formula. Well, he didn't gain any weight because he had been on the g-tube for over 2 months and didn't understand what hunger was, so he refused to eat! We had to bend his mouth open and make him take the formula. That was really, really HORRIBLE and I still cry when I think about it. My poor baby! After 3 months of bottle feeding I managed to make him breastfeed instead and then finally, he started gaining some weight. But he has always been a very, very skinny and small child. So coming home with him was not an easy thing and I think I missed his first years due to all his medical issues.

2 years later I had G by planned C-section. He was a healthy, chubby baby who was always hungry and started nursing in the operation room! Isn't it funny how different brothers can be? I spent 3 days in the hospital with G so I would recover from the C-section. Coming home with him was so different because finally I had a healthy baby and that was something new to me. Unfortunately he started developing food allergies so within a week I had a baby who cried all the time, never slept and had a constant tummy ache. I had to change my food and for over a month I only had pasta, with no sauce, no meat, fish, vegetables or milk... Just plain boiled pasta. And then our journey through the food allergies began.

So to me, becoming a mommy has not been easy. Both my boys are/were special needs and although they are both ok now there still are some issues that need extra attention. More about that another time.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Party time!!!!

Welcome to my cyber party!!!

Today we're celebrating the first month of my blog Mayogi @ Home. Please step inside and have some Moroccan cookies and a glass or two of Moroccan mint tea! Don't worry, there are cookies for everyone.

In this first month I've written 38 posts and so far 289 visitors have come by. Not bad, huh? This is not my first blog, not even in English, but it's the first one that I really see as a way to make friends worldwide. Because that's my intention with this blog - make friends, have fun and keep my English "alive". Not many people around here speak English so I never get a chance to practise and if I don't, I will end up forgetting everything and I just don't want that to happen.

A party without music isn't really a party, is it? So let's turn on the music and listen to it LOUD!!!! First some Mika:

And I can't have a party without some Spanish music so here's one of my favourite artists, Manolo García:

And since I live in Morocco there has to be some Arabic music at my party so here comes Cheb Khaled, the king of rai:

I hope you're enjoying yourself at my party. Please, have some more tea. Don't be afraid, step up on the dance floor and have some fun! It really isn't that complicated to dance to Arabic music - just move your hips and move to the music.*lol* Here's a class in belly dancing. *rotflao* You'll learn some Japanese at the same time.

Please, write something in the comments so I know you came by. And don't be shy, have another cookie! Try one with almonds in it. Or maybe one with figs. Or do you prefer chocolare? Just help yourself, there are plenty of cookies.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Are you looking for gadgets?

When I first started making web pages, back in 1998, I joined BravenetAffiliate Program to get all sorts of gadgets for my pages. I really enjoyed that experience of having so many things to chose from. I think I tried EVERYTHING! And I liked every feature they offered. Ok, there were things I liked more and things I didn't like so much.*lol* But since I tried them all I can truly say that I never had any problems what so ever with any of the gadgets I used. Ok, the cartoon thing did not work out at all on a web page in Swedish but other than that I liked them all. And no, I have not been payed to write this! *lol*

Since I first started I've done several web pages and I've been blogging for about 2½ years. I usually build my own gadgets when I need them, so I haven't been a member of Bravenet for a long time. But today I happened to find it again and that brought back so many good memories. It feels like it has been there forever. It's good to see that there still are things out there, free of charge, for people just starting out, making their first web pages or forums.

I had to have a look around to see if things were like in "the good old days". *lol* They were, and they are even better now. There are some new features, like a blog and guest maps, and then the "old stuff", like different polls, chat rooms and lots more. And it's all for free! I'm actually thinking about adding a few new features to my blog. Like a poll.... I don't know why but I've always liked the polls. I think it's a funny way to get to know more about the people who read you.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Birthday party

We’re having a party this weekend. My boys were born in July and August and since most of their friends are either abroad or on some other beach that time of year, they have never had a party since we came here. So now I’m desperately trying to organize a small party for them.

First of all, we’re on a tight budget because in 2 weeks time we have to pay next year’s school fee and it’s EXPENSIVE! If I tell you that the fee for the first child costs more than what the average Moroccan earns in over 3 months, I guess you can get an idea of how expensive it is. The second child “only” pays 70% of the fee and the third child pays 50%. We’re sort of lucky, because we’re Spanish and Spain pays half of the school fees for all the Spanish children going to Spanish schools abroad. But it’s still a lot of money for us. So there will be no entertainment at the party and no special theme. But I think the kids will have fun anyway.

The boys have invited 14 of their friends. I hope their mothers will call me and let me know if their kids are coming or not, it would make things a lot easier. So far only one mother has told me her son is coming. We're having a few games and I hope the kids will enjoy them. Moroccans usually don't have birthday parties, since some Moslems think it's against Islam. Those who do have birthday parties for their kids usually think more about the grown ups and not about the kids, so there are not any games or entertainment of any sort. So I guess our party will be a little bit different.*lol*

These past days I've bought lots of stuff - candy, tiny toys, chips, etc. Tomorrow I'll take a photo of the living room table where I put everything and then I'll take a photo with the left overs (if there are any *lol*).

Do you have any suggestions for games? They have to be easy to play and not requiring too many things. I'd really appreciate a few new games, since I feel too stressed out right now to remember any... :-(

Summer lunch

It's really hot here in Morocco now. The average temperature during the day is around 30 degrees C and maybe around 20 degrees at night. The boys still have another week of school so when we get back home they are hungry but not in the mood for a "real" heavy meal, so this is what we usually have for lunch during summer:

Lots and lots of fresh fruit, sandwiches with tuna, tomatoes, mayo and fresh cheese, rghaief (moroccan pancakes - I will give you the recipe one of these days, i promise!) and lots of juice and water. As you can see, we had cherries, melon and apples yesterday. *lol*

Sunday, 10 June 2007

A walk in the Medina, part 2

These are some pictures from a former palace, called the Bouhlal. All the old palaces in the Medina are built around a central patio and the bedrooms are usually upstairs. This palace must have been very,very beautiful in its glorious days. It still is, but it's not the same anymore. Nowadays it's a restaurant and a popular place to celebrate parties, especially marriages.

A walk in the Medina, part 1

I live in a city called Tetouan in French and Tetuán in Spanish. Its' history goes back to around 300 B.C. and both Romans and Phoenicians lived here.

The old town, called Medina, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997. I love the Medina and I can spend hours and hours just walking around, watching people, houses, shops, etc.

Many people from the West get a bit scared when they first enter the Medina. The streets are narrow and always crowded. In some places the streets are so narrow and the houses are actually built over the streets, so there is no daylight coming through. Walking in the Medina is like being transported back to the Middle Ages and either you love it or you hate it. I personally LOVE the Medina and I wish I could learn it totally by heart and find out everything about it's history.

Walking buddies

When I lived in Stockholm (Sweden) I had a "walking buddy". One of my best friends and I used to meet really EARLY in the mornings, around 5 - 5.30 AM, and go for long walks. My husband stayed at home with the kids, who of cause were still asleep, so it was just me and my friend. We used to walk for an hour and a half or two hours about 2 or 3 times a week. Usually my friend would go straight to work afterwards. Those walks were great because everything was still quite silent (not many people in the streets at that time of the day), the air was crips and clean and we got the chance to wake up slowly while our bodies were working out. We usually didn't talk much for the first half an hour, we were just enjoying the silence, but then when our brains were fully awake and refreshed our conversation would be really deep and sincere. We both really enjoyed our morning walks and I miss them terribly! Unfortunately I don't have a "walking buddy" here but I'm still looking to see if I can convince someone to take walks with me.

If I don't manage to convince any of my friends at least I have my kids. Luckily enough they enjoy walking almost as much as I do. I'm really, really happy about that! I think walking is one of the best exercises in the world because it's free and you can do it any time you want. When you are a bit upset with someone it's better to talk it out while you're walking because the brain and the soul are more at ease if you're not in a crowded place with lots of other things going on.

My kids and I always walk a lot during summer. Like when we go to the beach.Our favourite spot on the beach is about one hour walking from our home - and of cause, one hour walk back! When I decided to accept Amys challenge I had my kids in mind. I knew they would love it. G (almost 8) said: "Great mummy! Let's win this challenge! I will be your coach. Today we'll walk for 8 hours and tomorrow we'll walk for 10 hours." *lol* Nooooooo, I don't think so! But hopefully we'll walk for at least half an hour a day when not going to the beach and more when we're actually going to spend the day at the beach.

Yesterday we had a great walk! We walked for a little over one hour (75 minutes) along the Corniche (the beach walk). We talked a lot. That's the best part, I think. My kids and I have a really close relationship and we always talk a lot about big things and small things and they share their little secrets with me. I hope we can keep this close relationship even as they grow, and that we can keep on walking together.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Summer 2007 Exercise Challenge

I have accepted a challenge: the Summer 2007 Exercise Challenge. Everyone participating has to chose her own challenge and let us follow her progress throughout summer. The challenge starts NOW and ends on September 3.

My goal for this summer will be doing some kind of exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That makes it about 2000 minutes and that's the goal I've put on my ticker. You can follow my progress here on my blog. I think this is something I'll achieve easily since I love to take long walks along the beach and I love to do yoga in the morning. Only 2 more weeks before the stress is over and we'll have more time to play, rest and exercise. *lol*

I don't really want to lose weight, I think I look OK the way I am right now. But doing exercise is much more than just losing weight, it's a way of life. And more than that, it's a way to survive almost 3 months with the kids at home! They get bored and restless after a few days so doing exercise is really good for them as well, especially long walks along the beach and yoga. Hopefully I'll be able to take it more seriously this summer and really do yoga with the kids on a regular basis, because we all love it and yoga is great for family fun.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

A load a day

That's what FLY Lady tells us to do: just one load a day but once you start it you have to finish it as well - all the way to it's proper place! Well, today I have not been obedient - I have washed 3 loads of laundry and most of it is still on the sofa waiting for me to fold it. Well, now I'm just too tired to fold and shine my sink. I just need my bed! So I'll leave the house work until tomorrow. I bet it won't go away... *lol* I KNOW I feel better in the morning if I find my sink sparkling and my home more or less clean, but UNFORTUNATELLYI just can't have it that way right now... Oh well, only 2 more weeks and we're on summer vacation!!!!

I'm this months Mama!!!

I almost forgot to tell you that I have been chosen to be this month's Mama and also the very first Mama ever at Mamas Coffee Corner! *proud* Don't forget to visit Linda and have a look at her place. It's well worth a visit!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I just joined the meme Wordless Wednesday, or at least I think I did. *lol* I feel really stupid these days, maybe because I work way too much and in so different things that my brains just go blank all the time. I really should try to take it slower and do some yoga instead. Well well, only 3 more weeks to go before my kids are on summer vacation and I get a break from my teaching job. Or at least, that is what I think... I haven't talked to my boss yet, maybe he'd like me to have another class of HTML-programming during the summer. Not that it would be too hard to do, since I'm working hard on finishing my notes now and I'll hopefully finish the website in a few days.

Anyway, enjoy the bowl of strawberries! I love strawberries but I'm allergic so I can only drink them in milkshake a few times a year. :-( The Moroccan strawberries are really the best! So sweet and full of taste... Now I sound like that ad for Carlsberg - "Probably the best beer in the world". *rotflao*

Wordless Wednesday - yummy!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Moving by plane

My children and I moved to Morocco almost 2 years ago. At first, the idea was to live in Morocco for a year to see if we liked it here or not. Because of that, my hubby did not come with us. So it was just the boys and me who went on the great adventure of moving to an almost unknown country, which language we didn't speak, and with a culture quite different from ours.

We moved by plane, because we didn't know how long we would stay in Morocco, so why take too many things, right? Below you can see what we brought with us - which is not much for 3 persons moving to a new place. Basically, we brought the boys' favorite books and toys, some clothes and medicine. No scrap toys for me. :-( You scrappers probably understand my feelings of despair - I spent a whole year without scrapping! Luckily enough I was able to bring a few rubber stamps and some ink so I guess you can say I'm more of a stamper than a scrapper these days...

Well, we're still here! And we're staying... I don't now for how long but probably at least until the boys start university because by then they'll move to Spain and I'd love to return home so I guess that's a good time to make that move. *lol* My hubby's still in Sweden, because he has a good job and as you know, good positions don't grow on trees. :-( So right now we have a long distance relationship and yes, it works but nothing I would recommend for people not sure about their feelings. Anyway, this is not forever! Sooner or later we will be a "normal" family once again and until then, life just goes on....

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Long time, no see

Yesterday I went to work for a while, just to see what was going on. I work as a volunteer teacher at a Spanish cultural center and library, so there is always something going on: workshops, meetings for different volunteer groups, movies, poetry, theater, etc. It's a great place and I really enjoy being a part of all that.

Well, a friend of mine was making tea in the kitchen and while I was waiting for my cupa I noticed someone was staring at me from a distance. You know, that creepy feeling you get when someone stares at you.... I turned around and saw this man staring at me like he'd seen a ghost.... There was definitely something familiar about that man so I stared back at him. So there we were, staring at each other for several minutes. *lol* And then I realized it was a very dear old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in ages. Actually, last time I saw him we celebrated his 20th birthday and there he was, all of a sudden, 35 years old. It was a very odd feeling because he's now a grown man and not the kid I used to know. Somehow I couldn't get the idea of him growing up. To me, he has always been that funny kid and I could never have imagined him as a grown up. It was so nice to meet him again!!! Unfortunately we couldn't talk for long because he was off to a meeting but we exchanged phone numbers and we will try to meet sometime soon. That's great! Old friends are nice friends, most of the time. *lol*

Friday, 1 June 2007

Blog for money?

To tell you the truth, I have always been against the idea of blogging for money because I've visited one too many websites that were ONLY publicity and no content. Booooring! But lately I've changed my mind and I've realised that blogging for money doesn't have to be something bad. You can still make an interesting blog and write about stuff you like. It's not like you ONLY have to write about other people's stuff. You are entitled to your own opinion, which for me is the most important thing about blogging. I would never accept to lie or cheat for money. Basically, it's just like keeping on doing your own thing but with a little extra every now and then.

I've found this site, Blogvertise, which pays you for giving your opinion on website products and services. Isn't that great? I mean, I visit different pages and blogs all the time and I don't get paid for that. If I can do the same and get some cash for doing so every now and then, then why not? I could definitely use the extra money, because I will never get rich working as a volunteer teacher. *lol*

I'm totally and utterly new to this whole "blog for money"- business and frankly, I still don't know really how it works, but according to the information on the website it's a piece of cake. They give you the link and tell you what you shold look for. Then you write an entry about the product/website and talk about what you think. That doesn't seem too hard. Especially since you're allowed to your own opinion. Oh boy, this sounds like so much fun! I just love surfing on the net and I think you can learn things from just about every page you see on the net, so I think I'm really going to enjoy this.

If you want to know more about blogging for money or about
Blogvertise, take a look at their FAQ.

Playing with my kids

My boys are almost 8 and almost 10 years old. Now that they are getting bigger we have several interests in common, so we really do enjoy our quality time together. Since I'm a SAHM I try to finish all my boring chores before they come home. I try to spend as much time as posible with them in the evenings, helping them with their homework, teaching them English and other things that can be useful in the future. Poor things, it can't be easy to have a mom who's a teacher. *lol* Luckily enough they are book worms, just like mummy, so we really enjoy our visits to the libraries.

We all enjoy scrapping, making cards and little projects so there's always something going on on our living room table. I hope I'll live to see the day what my home will be completely "company ready". I guess I'd better start saving money so I can buy a bigger house... A scraproom would be a nice thing to have.

Movies is another hobby we have in common. Almost every weekend we make popcorn or buy potatoe chips and watch movies together. "Stuart Little" is the favourite at the moment.

Today it's Friday and we've all taken a few hours off our homework, class preparation and chores - we're going to play Playstation!!!! So tada, I'm off to Radiator Springs.... *lol*

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This policy is valid from 01 June 2007

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