Our First Dinner Party

So, now that we have running water in our kitchen sink and one countertop, we can use our kitchen. Still in a limited basis, but we can use it none-the-less. Thursday night, Michael and Patricia came by to bring us Michael’s truck. Our plan was for Moustapha to use the truck to do some of the loading and unloading of trash from our house. Unfortunately, Moustapha’s accident Saturday morning has left him unable to do any lifting and I’m obviously no help.

Anyway, they came over. And we were talking and having such a great time that it quickly became late. The kids were having a great time together and it was fun to see our house operating as a place where friends and family can gather, hang out, and have some fun. So, we decided to make sandwiches (our stove isn’t hooked up yet) and it was fun. Patricia helped me and everyone ate and enjoyed our time together. It gave us a taste of what life will be like when all of this is finished.

We met with a painter yesterday. He’ll give us an estimate tomorrow and then we’ll need to see his work before hiring him. We also just got another contact for a painter. So, hopefully one of these will work out, so we can get this house painted and finished asap!

Our Labor Day Weekend Trip to the ER

We started off the day with a new crew of brick layers…the first ones couldn’t keep the brick in a straight line. We had communication issues with them. We kept talking about lining up the bricks straight with the existing brick and mortar already on the house and they kept talking about it being “level.” Meaning they were laying the brick level with the earth….however, our house is not exactly level with the earth, so putting bricks on that are level, but not straight with the house, looked very very odd!

Meanwhile, after Moustapha and I went outside to examine the new brick work, we headed back inside the house. The kids had just finished breakfast and were still in their highchairs. Moustapha came in first and I was right behind him. He placed his hand in the door frame to balance himself to take off his shoes. Unfortunately, his hand was also in the hinge side of the door and when the door closed behind me, it closed on his finger. UGHH! It was horrible. I won’t go into the gory details. But, it was bad and part of his finger remained in the door….We rushed him to the Emergency Room. Thankfully there was no wait for him and they got him right in. They were able to stitch his finger back together, but we won’t know the prognosis until we meet with a plastic surgeon on Tuesday. It is unlikely that the portion that was stitched on will take, but we are hopeful and praying for healing. Hoping for some better days….

Waiting for Baby

WOW! I am so very exhausted right now! I can barely keep my eyes open. Things are moving along at home…so far we’ve had these things done this week:
1. we have a working faucet and running water in our kitchen
2. the brick was removed from half of the front of our house
3. new sills were installed and a concrete corner was poured to increase stability
4. the carpentry work was nearly completed inside and the house is ready to be painted
5. the brick is being put back on the front and side of the house as I write this….
Meanwhile, my pregnancy is full-term. I am officially due on the 18th or 20th of September, depending on which ultrasound we go by. But, I am 37 weeks pregnant now. So, that means the baby is fully developed and can be born anytime. My doctor won’t allow me to go past 41 weeks…so I’ll deliver by September 26th at the absolute latest.
I went to the doctor today. Everything is going great with the pregnancy. We are just in the waiting game now. I was told it would take 1 week for the painters to complete their work. So, hopefully she will wait to arrive until the painting is complete. 🙂 I’m not sure that she is going to arrive on our schedule, but I can hope. My doctor also said I could go into labor if the storm- Gustav comes our way. I guess women tend to go into labor when storms hit or the moon is full, etc.
Jen’s mom, Karen, made the baby’s bumper, some pillows and a bag to keep baby things in that will hang on the crib. Everything is absolutely stunning. We picked it up last night. I will take some pictures, but I have to hide the baby’s name. It is on the bumper. And is still a surprise. I can’t wait to meet her and introduce her to our friends and family. It is such a joy to hold a new baby….I can’t wait….

Musical Boys- Bakri 3 and Maddux 20 months

The boys are really into music. We all know this. They love to sing, play drums, attempt to play their child-size guitars and request violin lessons at regular intervals. They also love to entertain us all together. They call themselves “The El-Hakam Brothers!” Bakri has taught Maddux every song he knows…including the National Anthem. This one has become one of their favorites. Here they are singing it in the car today. We sure do enjoy them!

She’s a Brick House….

We really did and do love our house. When we bought it we saw so much potential and a few reddish colored flags. But, we moved forward. And still believe this was the best decision, ultimately for our family. For whatever reason, and there are a lot of them, we have been doing all the things that we’ve wanted to do to update our home and make it better. Some of those things are more glamorous than others and some are just necessary and unfortunately- costly. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Yesterday, a mason and his team began removing brick from the front of our house. It had begun to come loose from the brick ties and needs to be removed and replaced with more and better brick ties. We are going with commercial grade- whatever that means?! All I know is I am told the brick will never do this again and it is going to look so much better and be so much safer. We can actually play in the front yard when all of this is complete. Once the brick is finished, we are getting a gate that will attach to the side of the house. Bakri can now get out the back door. Which is a little bit terrifying. I will feel much better when there is a gate keeping him from getting to the street.


Our countertop finally arrived on Friday (four days after our expected day.) We finally had a break from the rain and the marble fabricator was able to come over with his crew of FIVE people! This picture shows them thinking about how they are going to lift that thing into place. B.C.- the fabricator, said the marble piece weighs somewhere between 600 and 700 pounds! No wonder they didn’t want to bring it over in the rain…

After some bigtime lifting and cutting and sawing, they managed to make it fit! It’s in! Yeah!!!!

The plumber came over on Saturday and installed the faucet and insinkerator (disposal.) We our amazed to have running water in our kitchen again. We never had a garbage disposal, so this is very exciting and we never had water or a working icemaker in our refrigerator. And now we have both!

Here is our island with a working sink and faucet. I am looking forward to washing lots of dishes!!!!

Thank you for all of your prayers that this would be completed before baby sister’s arrival. There are only a few more things to do now before we can have everything finished and painted.
Keep praying that it will get done in time.

My first Haircut by Maddux El-Hakam

Well, my mommy finally gave in and decided to take me to get a haircut. I am 20 months old, so it was about time. Not that I am complaining. I really liked my long curly hair. But, I was getting a little tired of the “would she like some apple juice?” or “she is so beautiful” comments. I am cute, yes. I will even tell you how cute I am. But, I am a boy boy. I am into everything. I like to throw things and stomp around the house. I love to take off my shoes and occassionally I will throw myself on the floor banging my head if I don’t get my way. I am definitely a BOY!

I enjoyed my first haircut and even got a lollipop. How do I look???


So, we are up and going this morning and headed to Deer Park…Deer Park? you may ask, where is Deer Park? Well, I just looked that up and it seems that it is about 20 minutes from my house. So, it’s not that far, but not really somewhere I want to go!
Bakri is starting preschool at PoeCo– 2 blocks away from our house, in 2 1/2 weeks. To prepare for this, Moustapha and I both have to have extensive background checks and have to go to this place called “Drug Screens Etc.” to get fingerprinted this morning. 🙂
We also have a home visit scheduled with Bakri’s teachers next Friday. That was the latest possible time I could schedule. I’ve basically given everyone I know that date as the absolute date that everything must be finished in my house. So, I am demanding…errrrr….requesting that I have a kitchen and working bathroom downstairs by that day.
It’s one thing to be living in a house with no kitchen and no running water downstairs. I know it could be a lot worse and I am very blessed. I just can’t stand the look on people’s faces when they come in and see how we are living. It’s depressing. I’ve had really sweet people bring us meals or a new contractor come and give us a price on work and I just see the shock on their faces that I am for one- 9 months pregnant and dealing with this and two- that my two boys are running around in the middle of it all. Truthfully, the boys seem to be doing great. They are a lot more flexible than we are. And, once the kitchen floors were finished and that area was no longer off-limits, they’ve been so much happier. In their little lives with controlled freedom comes happiness.
Wish me luck on my background check…. and pray the contractor shows up today. If he works all week, we will surely meet our next Friday goal. I’ll post pics if there is ANY progress today.

Eduoard, where are you???

We woke up this morning to discover that Eduoard had made landfall…in Louisiana. When we went to bed last night Tropical Storm, Eduoard was supposed to hit straight at Galveston and hit Houston hard. Well, it looks like the weathermen (I’ve only seen men reporting on this…where are the weatherwomen???) got it wrong…again.

Who really can predict the weather? We know who controls the weather. We know who can calm the storm and settle the sea. But, who can really predict it? It’s pretty unpredictable, clearly. It confirms to me our dependence on God. There is so much uncertainty in life. God is our only Rock in a world of unpredictable weather.

Mr. Bakri and I are going to head to swim lessons in a few minutes. Supposedly its going to be raining a lot today, but they are still planning on having lessons. I’m not sure exactly why, but Bakri is determined there will be no backfloating for him. Who knew that 3 was such a strong-willed age!? And he is so funny- literally coaching himself before swim class “I’m going to float on my back by myself. I will not get scared…” We will see….

Have a great day…and stay dry if you are in a storm!

The Baby’s Room and Guest Room

Moustapha finished work on Maddux’s room shortly after Maddux was born. The room that is now Maddux’s room will soon belong to our daughter. It also operates as our guest room. So, I thought I would share pics of our inspiration room along with pics of the finished product.

We are going to leave the room as it is for our baby girl. My dear friend Jen’s mom- Karen- made Maddux’s bumper and now she is making a bumper for baby Girl. Along with a few other things to add some pink to the room. But, other than that, the room will basically look the same.

Here is the pottery barn room we used as our inspiration….

And here is our baby’s room…..

Didn’t Moustapha do an amazing job? I absolutely love it and know that our Baby Girl will be very happy in this beautiful room. Thank you, Moustapha!!!