Friday, December 28, 2007

End of year check-list...

Schools - checked.

Hanna's going to S*i A*an next year. She didn't get any offer to go to boarding school. We wanted to appeal, but, Hanna said she was happy that she didn't get the offer. So, after much thought, Ayah and I decided that we would just accept it as a blessing in disguise. We didn't want to force her into anything. There must be a reason for her not getting the offer. Insya Allah, ada rezqi, maybe after her PMR?

While Hasya and Hilman will continue at SS* - great school.

School books - checked.

As everybody's getting Buku Pinjaman next year (textbooks AND activity books), we only needed to get exercise books for the kids. I gave a mandate to Hanna to make sure she and her adek-adek write their names nicely on the covers and that all books are wrapped while I went to the office this afternoon. I came back just before 6:00pm, and everything was nicely wrapped and arranged in their schoolbags.

Stationeries - checked.

School bags - checked.

Hanna and Hasya are using their old ones. Hilman's old bag does not look like a bag anymore, so, he's using the Spiderman bag which he got for his birthday in September. Hasya's pink Disney Princess roller bag which Daryati washed this morning looks brand new. Hanna's Billabong is still good, and we're not getting her a new one (even though she has been hinting for a "spare" bag, just in case. Yeah, right...)

School uniforms - semi-checked.

We got the uniforms for Hanna and Hilman three days ago, but, we had to send Hilman's trousers to Khatijah, our tailor at Pasar Taman Tun. We had no choice but to buy size 9-10 for Hilman because his waist could only fit in those, and of course they're quite long for him. So, off they went to Khatijah to be altered. (FYI - it's a yearly affair for us when it comes to Hilman's trousers!). They will only be ready on Monday. And I have personally sewn their school badges on their shirts and baju kurungs yesterday - my only personal touch to their school stuff every year...:D

As for Hasya, we collected her uniform from the school this morning. They're tailor-made for her as she's going to be a school prefect next year. Ayah and I can just imagine how strict and bossy she's going to be. Gila kuasa...Hahaha!

School shoes - checked.

Haircut - pending.

Ayah's bringing Hilman to the barber on Sunday. Hasya is pretty adamant that she's keeping her hair long. Fine with me as long as I don't have to brush and tie it up every time she goes to school (DARYATI!!! Ini satu lagi kerja kamu, ya?!) Hanna - she's still trying to decide (in other words, she's waiting to see if any of her friends are cutting their hair for school next year. She'll just follow them....and here I am thinking that I have trained my kids well to have minds of their own. Sigh...)

RM1 notes for duit belanja - checked.

I think I have enough to last for the next 2 to 3 months - for Hasya and Hilman, that is. I've been collecting all the RM1 notes that I've been getting as change for the last 2 months or so. I know...I know...I could have just gone to the bank and exchange some cash with new and crispy RM1 bills...But, hey...it's just me. My way of doing things. Complicated? I guess. But, nobody died. So, no big deal...Hahaha!

As for Hanna, we've decided to give her a weekly allowance. We'll give her the pocket money every Monday morning, and it's up to her to manage it so that it'll last until Friday afternoon. It's part of our attempt to train her to be responsible for her own finances. Frankly speaking, I think the first few weeks will be a disaster...but, I'm sure she'll learn fast (albeit the hard way), insya Allah.

Following my normal practice for the last couple of years, I have in fact put the EXACT amount of money enough for 25 days of schooling for each of them in three plastic bottles bearing their names on them. I will only replenish them on the first day of each month, so, if any of them decides to belanja more than they should each day, I will know if the bottle is empty before its time. I'm one evil mom, huh?!

So, there we have it! Everybody is SO eager to go back to school!!!

(Errr...NOT really. Hanna, Hasya and Hilman are really making full use of the school holiday privileges these last few days of the holiday. Come Thursday next week, internet, handphones, PS2 and DVDs will only be a weekend thing...Such tragedy...for them...Hehehehe!)

So, all the best, fellow parents. It's the beginning of a new school year AND the whole headaches, migraines and palpitations that come with it... :D)

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I forgive you all...






DEWA 19...

You made us all wait for one and a half hours for you to start your concert at Stadium Negara last night. The concert which was supposed to start at 8:00p.m was delayed - not by fifteen, not by thirty, not by sixty minutes...BUT, by EIGHTY minutes! It didn't help that the X-Pax MC was pretty hopeless in offering explanation for the delay. His 'poyo' attempts at arousing the crowd's excitement was....well, POYO. It certainly didn't help at all when they kept on showing all the X-Pax adverts on the screens over and over again.

Ayah, my sister Yong and I left for Stadium Negara after solat Maghrib and reached there at 7:50p.m. (FYI, all this while I thought the concert was going to be held at Stadium Merdeka! Nasib baik Ayah seorang yang prihatin dan memberi perhatian...Hehehe!) We managed to get a parking space way, way, way at the back of the parking lot (which translated into us being amongst the last to get out of it after the concert!!! Sigh...)

The crowd was getting restless by the minute. I was getting restless by the second.

But, it was worthed all the waiting.

Dewa 19 - you guys were just SUPERB.

Ahmad Dhani - you're one ultra talented artist. Amazing. And hey, you're so cute, too!

Once - what can I say? Fantastic vocals. I can just melt listening to you. Love it. Love it. Love it! And if I may add - you're one sexy hunk of a guy (tough fight with Ayah ni!!)

Andra and Yuke - Electrifying guitars!

And Tyo's replacement, which I only found out the name - Agung - Genderang mau perang!!!

I salute you all. You guys raaaaawwwwwwkkkk!!!

And I forgive you all for being 80 minutes late...Even if you guys were 2 hours late, I would still forgive you all!

Great stuff - Dewa 19.

Thanks Dad of 4+1 and wifey for the tickets. We had one helluva time with all the other KL Baladewa-Baladewa last night.

P/S : Please accept my apologies for these rather blur pics. If you wanted clearer pictures, you should have been there yourself loorrr..

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My prayers answered....I hope.

No more “Gunung Kinabalu” in the ironing room.

All clothes washed, dried, ironed, folded and/or hanged.

All floors swept and mopped everyday.

All surfaces cleaned and all the dusts wiped.

All windows washed and are sparkling now.

All dishes washed, dried and put away every night.

All kitchens and toilets gleaming.

All “sawangs” gone.

And check this out – even the plaster ceilings and cornices were wiped clean.

And the table is always set up nicely for every meal.

I can sigh with relief now.

YUP! After 6 months of chaos at the home front, we finally have a helper.

Her name is Daryati. She arrived a week ago. So far, so good.

If you were to look at her, you would get the impression that she’s lazy or slow. The ways she walks, the way she (doesn’t) talk, and the way she goes about doing things around the house. So, it’s amazing to see how she gets everything done so fast. And I don’t have to repeat myself 1001 times with her!

But, more importantly, the kids like her. And I can see that she’s quite attached to them, especially Hilman.

Her time management is good. Hey, she even has time to watch Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel with the kids, AND sit with them when they play with their PS2, mind you! And she normally goes to sleep at 10:30p.m and wakes up at 6:00a.m. Even Ayah and I get less sleep than her, okay?

The only thing she doesn’t do is cook. But, I can live with that, as long as she helps me with the preparation of the ingredients and clean up the kitchen after that.

The kids' toys and books are still all over the place unfortunately. Well, what do you expect? It’s the school holiday maah…

My mind is more at peace now. Syukur Alhamdulillah.

But, it’s still early days, and you all know how it is with helpers. So, I don’t want to “puji” lebih-lebih.

I just pray that she is what she portrays herself as now.

I just pray that she will stay until her contract ends (at least).

I just pray – for that is the only thing I could do now when it comes to “rezqi” with helpers…

Sunday, December 9, 2007

YOU RAWWWWWKKKK!!!

Parenting is not a simple and straightforward thingy.

You learn through trial and error, and pray very, very hard in between.

But, more often than not, the love that we have for our kids will guide us through it all, insya Allah.

There are so many parenting tips that we get everyday, be it from well-intent friends and relatives, or from all the parenting books out there - books that we have to pay for unnecessarily sometimes.

Out of all the tips given to us parents, there are some which Ayah and I truly believe in. Two of which are :-

(1) You should always try to reward your kids for their achievements, and the reward should be something that your kids really appreciate or yearn for, so that they will feel that all their hard work and efforts were all worth it, and the reward will act as an incentive for them to strive harder and do better next time.

AND

(2) In order for you to understand your kids better, you should try to understand the stuff that they like, and try to think the way they do, and sometimes you should engage in activities that your kids are into.

And tonight - Ayah scored full marks for both of the above.

Just as I am typing this, Ayah and Hanna are at Stadium Merdeka watching the MCR Concert.

For those who do not have any teenage kids, and so probably would not have heard, and would not know what "MCR" is, it stands for -

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE

YUP!!! Ayah is at a Rock concert with Hanna!

Some of you might not agree with all these, but, oh well...

Hanna had been dropping hints for the last month or so about the concert and the possibility of her going with her friends (and their above-18 siblings, etc), but Ayah and I were not sure if we should let her go. Hanna had been asking and asking and asking and asking about it - that she sounded like a broken tape-recorder and she was starting to get on our nerves. Even though she did not sulk and was quite okay with it when we didn't say "Yes", we knew that she was disappointed.

We have been dilly-dallying about it, and finally we decided that this would be the reward for Hanna for getting all A's for her UPSR. The Concert was something that she REALLY wanted to go to.

Ayah managed to get 3 tickets, but, as I have been and still am bogged down with work, I decided not to join at the eleventh hour, and so Aunty Adek (my SIL) is now shouting and screaming herself hoarse in my place at Stadium Merdeka right this second.

What better way for a father to understand his daughter's taste in music than going to a concert with her, eh?!

Hanna, dear...You might think that it's NOT cool to go to a rock concert with your Ayah now...but, you will look back to tonight when you're older and I'm sure you will then agree with me when I say that your Ayah RAAAAAAWWWWWWKKKKKKK BIG TIME!!

And you should really appreciate and be grateful that for the love of his anak perempuan sulung yang sorang ni, your Ayah sanggup chaperone you to the MCR Concert tonight...

I hope you know just how much he loves you, dear...

P/S : Just for the record - I only went to my first Rock Concert when I was 21 years old, okay? It was BON JOVI... The venue - Wembley Arena. The feeling - AWESOME...

Friday, December 7, 2007

The weather is not helping...

It's amazing...

I thought there was only so much moisture that the clouds could retain... But, it has not stopped raining for more than 24 hours here in KL.

And this is NOT helping me at all with my current emotional mode : DEPRESSED.

So, much work. So, many things on my mind. So, many things unsettled. So little time.

How I wished there was more than 24 hours in a day.

But, then again, even if there were 100 hours in a day, I don't think I could ever finish doing everything that needs doing.

I pray that the new maid could do wonders and unload a lot of stuff off my mind, insya Allah.

I look forward to next Tuesday.

I hope I will have some peace of mind (which I REALLY need now) come next week, insya Allah.

Thank you, Ayah...

For bearing with me. For being there for me. For understanding. For not pushing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Langkawi 23-27 November '07

We had FUN, FUN, FUN in the SUN, SUN, SUN!

Ayah had a 2-day meeting at Sher**on Langkawi 24th-25th November, and the kids and I tagged along for a holiday in the sun with him. We arrived a day earlier, and yours truly managed to shop for a few Corningware and Corelle sets for herself. Hehehe! And the two days when the meeting was on, we just enjoyed the hotel, as Ayah could not get away from it all. Very nice hotel indeed (but, Hasya thinks The Cyberlodge is still the "bestest" ever hotel we have ever stayed at, though!)

We checked out of Sher**on after the meeting ended and checked in into Ber**ya Beach Resort for the rest of our Langkawi stay. Although the hotel on the whole was not as nice/posh as Sher**on Langkawi, the kids just loved the beach and the swimming pool at Ber**ya much better. And I think I agree with them on that. The beach and the pool at Ber**ya were very much more children-friendly. But, in terms of the rooms we had, Sher**on got everybody's vote and won, hands down.

Despite the fact that Hasya was having fever on and off throughout the 5 days, and despite the fact that Hilman threw up nearly everytime after he had his breakfast, lunch and dinner (not because of anything, BUT because he just ate too much all the time!) all in all everybody had great fun.

We rented a Mitsubishi Outlander to get around the island, and discovered Pantai Chenang which became our place to "cari makan" throughout our stay there. Food was excellent, but I have to say that I expected it to be much cheaper than KL. Apparently, Ayah said that if we were to have the same dish, say, in Kuantan, it would have only cost us half of what we paid for in Langkawi! Anyway, we still needed to stuff ourselves with all the seafood while we were there, right?! So, no choice but to eat! Hehehehe!

We managed to cover the 'wajib' attractions (Kota Mahsuri, Underwater World, Cable Car, Telaga Tujuh, etc). This time around we decided not to go island hopping or snorkelling - we're saving those for our next trip to Langkawi, insya Allah (and Hilman just LOVED the waterfall at Telaga Tujuh that we have promised him that next time we will spend more time there!)

But, I think I need another vacation to get over this vacation loorrrr...

Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hanna UNgrounded...

To some, I might have been a wee bit (an understatement?!) too emotional last week when Hanna got her UPSR results. After all, it was ONLY UPSR, right? It wasn't PMR or SPM, or STPM, and it was not even her Uni exam - all these exams being the actual keys to pave her future.

However, it may not be so much of feeling anxious for Hanna. Rather it was more of a guilt trip for me, I guess. For some of you who are new to this blog, you all might not know that I was away from the family for 7 months (November 06-June 07) - meaning for the first 6 1/2 months of this crucial year for Hanna, I was not here for her - to guide or supervise her in her studies. Everything was left to her and her tuition teacher, Puan Ya*untha, who came 3 days a week to Mak's house to coach her. My contribution in that 6 1/2 months : I would call to talk to Hanna and her adek-adek twice a day everyday without fail so that they would not feel my (physical) absence. So, I was REALLY anxious as I was worried that THAT could have affected Hanna's performance (and Hasya's and Hilman's performance, for that matter).

But, syukur alhamdulillah, all three of them did us proud...and I can't thank Puan Ya*untha, and of course all the teachers at SSP enough for all their help and guidance. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and infinity thank you from us.

Anyway, for those who have been following this blog, you would have remembered one of my earlier postings when Hanna was grounded. But, last weekend, as a reward for her 5As, and also because it was her birthday (Saturday 17th November), Hanna was officially UNgrounded, and she was allowed to have some friends over for a special dinner prepared by her Aunty Adek (my sister-in-law) at Mak's, after which they came for a sleep-over at our place in SD.

Aunty Adek who is a die-hard fan of Jamie Oliver volunteered to cook for Hanna's birthday and UPSR celebration. She slaved over the stove and oven since 8 a.m Saturday morning until 8:30pm Saturday night - preparing an All-Jamie-Oliver menu. And moi - my sole contribution was my "Spaghetti Olio" (or as my kids would call it - "White Spaghetti").



* The chef with moi.

And oh yes, that morning we all also had a special treat when AYAH (Yes, you read it right - AYAH!) prepared breakfast for all of us. For HIS standard, I think he also came close to Jamie Oliver....NOT! Hahaha!



* Ayah showing his cooking skills
** Hanna with the Jamie Oliver's spread prepared by her Aunty Adek

It was also my Mommy's birthday on 14th November, so it was a double celebration (or rather TRIPLE - if we include Hanna's UPSR celebration.



* Hanna with friends and family
** Hanna with her Jaddati - the birthday girls!

The next morning, we brought the kids to a skating outing at S**way Py**mid. Imagine supervising 7 screaming/giggling girls (plus Hasya and Hilman who only joined after their traditional dance class at 1:30p.m) from 11:00a.m until 3:00p.m!


* Hanna and friends at the skating rink.

We went back to Mak's house for Zohor and Asar, before proceeding to John*y's at Jaya Section 14 to continue with the celebration. We had the usual Steamboat, etc and sent everybody home after that. By the time the last girl was sent home, it was already 8:00p.m, and both Ayah and I were already like "kain buruk"...


* Dinner at John*y's

But, it was all worth it. Everybody had fun... HANNA had fun...after all we were all celebrating her...

Well done and Congratulations again, my dear...and Happy 12th Birthday!

Ayah and Mommy love you very, very much. And we're so proud of you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The longest Thursday morning...

I thought waiting for Ayah to come back from KB last night was suatu penyiksaan. But, this morning (or rather - yesterday morning) - I got to REALLY experience REAL torture.

Hanna left for school with Ayah at 6:50a.m, after which I busied myself with all the chores around the house. I didn't get a good sleep the night before as I kept on waking up every half an hour or so - every time checking the clock. Aduhhh...lamanya lah pulak nak daylight!

By 8:30a.m, I already had Hilman and Hasya in the car - still groggy and still in their jammies, with their unkempt hair. The jam along LDP going towards Bandar Utama seemed worse than usual, especially at the Sri Damansara end toll. Both Hasya and Hilman slept throughout the first half an hour of the journey, and it was really quiet in the car, which was rather unusual - I thought to myself. There was something missing. And then I realised - I forgot to switch on the radio, like I would normally do. Hmmmm...my mind was somewhere else... It was with Hanna, to be exact.

As I left LDP and headed towards Taman Tun, Hasya woke up and reminded me -

"Mommy, don't forget to get some Dunkin' Donuts for my class party, okay?"

And I was like - "Party? What party?"

And then I remembered - oh ya... the end of year class party!

9:o5 a.m - reached Dunkin' Donuts off the Sprint Highway opposite Eastin Hotel. Hilman was also awake by then.

Still no phone-call from Hanna, and I was starting to have palpitations...

I thought of getting Dunkin' Donuts for both Hasya and Hilman's party as I was really in no mood to go somewhere else to get some other foodstuff, but, no - Hilman did not want any freakin' Dunkin' Donuts. He wanted a cake. I tried to talk him into settling with Dunkin' Donuts. But, no - he wanted a cake. Me - breathe in, breathe out (10 times).

9:15 a.m - headed towards my office to clock-in. I received permission from the HoD to be away in the morning.

9:35 a.m - still no phone-call from Hanna, and I decided to drive to Section 14 to get Hilman his cake.

Went to Bak*r's Cottage, and Hilman could not find anything that he liked. So, we made our way to Ki*g's Confectionery. My mind was miles away, when suddenly I heard Hilman - "Mommy!!! I want this one!". I didn't even look at the cake, and just asked the staff there to write "Happy Holiday" on it and paid for it. Still no phone-calls.

I dragged Hasya and Hilman to the bank and settled the car loan instalment, and we headed to the Post Office to post some letters.

10:05 a.m - reached Mak's house in PJ and dropped the kids. Tried calling Hanna, but she didn't answer the call. OMG...is she okay?

10:10 a.m - should I call Hanna, or not? Oh well...what the he*k. I dialled her number again. Still no answer.

I called Ayah, who was already on his way to school from Putrajaya (where he had to attend to our Bibik matter at the Immigration Office). I told him that I was worried, and he said, "Hanna's probably in her classroom and has put her handphone on silent mode."

Yes, that must be it. That must be the reason why she didn't answer her phone just now- I was pacifying myself.

10:15 a.m - I called Cikgu Raz*an, and tried to sound as cheery as I could - "Assalamua'laikum Cikgu. Maaf mengganggu. Is it okay to talk? Cikgu di sekolah ke ni? Saya cuba telefon Hanna a few times, but, she didn't answer her phone. Risau jugak saya ni - Hanna senyap aje! Results dah keluar ke Cikgu?"

All that in one breath.

And I felt like he was taking forever to answer.

"Wa a'laikumussalam...Belum lagi lah Puan. Cikgu Nazr*l dah pergi Kementerian, dan dia dalam perjalanan pulang ke sekolah now ni. Dalam pukul 10:45 pagi ni dia sampai. Dan, insya Allah kami akan umumkan keputusan pada pukul 11:00 pagi di Dewan nanti. Insya Allah, Hanna okay tu. Walau apa pun keputusan dia, kita terima sebab dia dah buat yang terbaik..."

"Hmmmm...does he know something that I don't know?!" I was asking myself. Oh, please Allah...Please give me strength. Be still my 1000-beats-per-minute beating heart!

10:40 a.m - made my way to the school.

I was at the traffic light under the flyover at Jalan Universiti when my phone rang. It was Ayah. I looked at the time. It was 10:43 a.m.

"Hello, Mommy...are you on the way to school? Where are you now?"

"At the traffic light. Should be there in 3 minutes, insya Allah", I replied.

"Hmmmm...Hanna dah dapat results dah...", I heard Ayah said.

"And?!!! 5 A's??!!" - I was not breathing.

"Hmmmm..." Ayah sounded reluctant to say it, and then he said -

"Yes - she got 5 A's!", and Ayah was laughing at the other end."I knew she would get it!" Ayah said.

And all I could remember was that everything became very, very blur after that....because I was crying. And I mean - REALLY crying...

Vision blurred, I somehow made my way to the school and went straight to the hall, and saw my first born jumping up and down with her friends.

Hanna saw me and ran straight to me, and we hugged each other.

"Mommy! I got 5 A's!!! YESSSS!!!" she screamed.

I just nodded, and continued hugging her.

"Mommy, why are you crying?!!! I got 5 A's laaa!"

"I know, sayang...I AM SO, SO PROUD of you..." I managed to utter the words in between the tears.

And she gave me the biggest smile ever, and kissed my cheeks...

Syukur Alhamdulillah...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I want him to know...

Ayah is in KB tonight. He's being asked to be an external examiner for a Clinical Exam for Masters students of U*M Medical School there. He took the cab to KLIA at 4:30pm today, and Insya Allah he'll be back by 10:00pm tomorrow night. He'll only be away for just over 24 hours, but somehow I am missing him....And I mean REALLY missing him.

It's not as if he has never been away before. In fact, he's a seasoned traveller - often leaving me with the kids for days, sometimes more than a week at any one time. And more often than not, he would be away to places much, much further than KB. And, hey... we were apart for 7 months when I was in Newcastle just some time ago.

So, the only explanation as to why it is that I'm feeling extra melancholy NOW about him being away is that I've been reading Shila's, Idham's and D's latest postings tonight (especially D's) which have stirred some really deep emotions in me...

I guess there can never be enough time spent with our loved ones.

I guess sometimes we do take our loved ones for granted.

I guess sometimes we just assume that they know we love them.

I guess sometimes we do not realize just how significant the things in our lives which we see as insignificant, are.

I guess sometimes we refuse to acknowledge, or we choose not to linger too long or too much on the facts of life...that the inevitable will happen.

I guess sometimes we just don't want to think beyond today or tomorrow.

I guess sometimes we just assume too much about everything and anything.

I guess sometimes we take a LOT of things for granted.

And I KNOW that I'm not alone in being guilty of all of the above.

So, I just want Ayah to know that tonight -

I miss the sound of his car driving into the driveway.

I also miss the sound of his key going through the keyhole as he unlocks the front door.

I miss the sound of his car when he turns the alarm on.

I miss watching him hug his kids as he enters through the front door.

I miss his peck on my cheeks.

I miss his hugs.

I miss the sound of the cutleries as he has his dinner.

I miss the never-ending phone calls he receives from, and makes to the hospital.

I miss watching him wrestle with and/or tickle his kids on the floor.

I miss watching him perform his solat.

I miss his sneeze.

I miss watching him (TRY TO) do his work at home...

And hey, I have to admit - I even miss the sound of his gentle snoring...

And I miss the three little words that he would say to me every night before he says his "goodnight" and goes to sleep...

And tonight, I just want to say - I love you, too...very, very much.

See you tomorrow night, dear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I am worryingly weird...

This entry may be a wee bit late (which is an understatement!), but, hey - as they say, "better late than never", eh?

I was on my lunch break and was just blog-hopping and reading through some old postings by Ibu in her blog when I stumbled upon her "Weird Factors About Ibu At Last" which was posted in March this year which was actually in response to a tag. Ibu tagged me for that, and I promised her that I would work on it after I figured out how to create the links, etc (masa tu masih berhingus meleleh-leleh lagi in blogosphere daaaa...Eeeeewwwww!!!!) I was supposed to post an entry listing 6 weird facts about myself, and I was supposed to tag 6 others to do the same.

Due to the never-ending commitments in Newcastle and problems faced with configuring my (then Friendster's) blog, the whole thing just fell through the cracks, and I totally forgot about it....until today! (Selamat Hari Raya, Ibu.... Maaf Zahir Batin. Mintak Ampun! :D)

So, I thought I would just do it today, just to settle my debt with Ibu. However, I will not be tagging anybody because this is soooooooooo yesterday! This is just for the fun of it - and also, in a way for people to know that under this cool and composed image (that I have succesfully projected so as to fool you poor guys out there - HAHAHAHAHA!) there are some facts about me which are worryingly weird...


Weird Fact No. 1

I am a "Furniture RE-arranger".

I would rearrange the furnitures around the house (and in my office) once a month. And I'm not talking about just moving the tables and chairs, okay? I would move the beds, all the cabinets, the sofas, the dining table, the kitchen table, etc - in short - EVERYTHING! And when this "angin" comes, I would do the WHOLE house!

AND I do all these ON MY OWN - without Ayah having to move a single muscle. Not because he did/does not want to help, but because I would normally do the make-overs when he was/is not around.

(FYI, a few times he did not even notice the changes until I hinted it out to him a couple of days after that?! This happened EVEN when there was a MAJOR make-over that took place, okay?! Eherks!)


Weird Fact No. 2

I never weigh myself when I have my spectacles on.

Hmmmm.... I hear some of you saying that it's because I don't want to see the reading?!

Errrr...Hellllooooo!!! If I don't want to know how much I weigh, why do I go on the weighing scale in the first place?!! Duuuuhhhh...

Tsk...tsk...tsk....The reason WHY I don't wear my spectacles when I weigh myself is simple - so that the weight of my spectacles will not add on to the reading of my weight! So, I only weigh myself when I have my contact lenses on laaaa.... HAHAHAHAHA!!!!


Weird Fact No. 3

Still on the subject of weighing myself.

I would weigh myself a few times over a minute or so, at DIFFERENT spots in the room - hoping that at certain spots, the reading would be lower.... HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Weird Fact No. 4

I can only drive if I wear my Clarks Springers slippers. ( That reminds me, they are in such a sorry state now! Have to make note to self to go and get a new pair!)

I have tried driving with other shoes, and I have also tried driving bare foot - I totally lost confidence in my own driving when I was not wearing my Clarks Springers slippers!

I would only change to the appropriate shoes once I reach my destination. So, if you happen to be sitting at the front passenger seat, please do excuse the 4 pairs of shoes on the floor of the car, okay? I have two pairs of working shoes, one pair of casual sandals, and one pair of trainers down there.


Weird Fact No. 5

Contrary to a lot of peoples' beliefs and perception of me being a very expressive/verbal person, I don't really like to talk, at least when I'm at work. 9 out of 10 times, I would eat alone during lunch time. Due to my flexi hours, I would normally go down for lunch around 3:00pm when most of the people around me have finished tucking in their lunch, and they would only be going down to the cafeteria again for tea after 4:00pm.

Simple - nobody to eat with, SO, nobody to talk to, SO, no need to indulge in gossips, AND no need to rub shoulders with two-faced individuals or backstabbers who would be bad-mouthing others in front of you.... SO, kurang dosa.... Insya Allah...


Weird Fact No. 6

If I'm waiting for my turn to read the newspapers, I, for the life of me, CANNOT do anything else in the mean time!

If somebody is reading a newspaper, and I'm waiting for my turn to read it, I can just WAIT for my turn WITHOUT engaging myself in other fruitful activities while waiting!!! I can't even go to the kitchen and make myself a cuppa tea while waiting!

I can just wait by the side and do nothing... (errrr....besides staring into space, that is!) unless there is another newspaper which I can read in the mean time.

And this only happens when I'm waiting for my turn to read the newspapers. Not other things.

Weird, or what??!!!


So, there you have it - 6 worryingly weird things about me.

I am, after all, only human... ;) (Sorry to have disappointed some of you... HAHAHAHAHA!)

Cheers, and Wassalam...


P/S : So, Ibu, ZERO-ZERO, eh?! Hutang sudah langsai...

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's the time of the year...

It's the time of the year when you fetch the kids from school, and the first thing you would ask them would be, "Did you get any results yet for your exams?"

If the answer is "Yes", and after you've been fed with all the marks they get that day, the next question would be, "Did anybody get more marks than you?"

If the answer is "Yes", the next line of questioning would be, "Who?", followed by - "How many more marks did he/she get than you?"

And you expect your kids to know the marks of EVERYBODY in the class, okay?! So that when you get back home, you could take out your little calculator, draw out a few nice columns with the names of your kids' competitors in his/her class in one column, and the marks that they get for each subject in the other columns.

But, of course, more often than not, your kids couldn't care less about the other kids' marks, and this would mean that you would be kept hanging in suspense, because you could not gauge how well (or badly) your kids have fared compared to the rest of their classmates without the full data to analyse maaa!!!

So, for the next couple of weeks, the standard first question you would ask when you fetch them from school would be, "So, have your teachers told you your position in class yet?" (while trying your very best to appear as if it didn't matter if the reply to the question was "No", when in fact you would be fuming mad while trying to comprehend WHY the teachers are taking such a looooong time to work out the kids' position in class!)

And finally, when the kids were given their position in class for their final exams, and if they get Top 3 and/or highest in any of the subjects in their class, the next question would be, "So, when is your "Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan"? - so that you could block the whole of that day to attend it and later maybe celebrate somewhere.

So far for us, it's 2 down, 1 more to go.

Hasya got 1st in her class, and top for English and Bahasa Malaysia. Syukur Alhamdulillah... She has always got 1st, except in the last exam when she got 2nd placing (which we think was due to her rigorous and traumatic rhythmic gymnastics training that she was going through earlier this year)

Hanna got 5th in her class, an improvement from her 6th position in the last exam (and her marks are much, much higher. Syukur Alhadulillah... So now we're just waiting for her UPSR results which will come out middle of next month... (and I'm already having cold sweats now...)

We are now waiting with bated breaths for Hilman's position in class. He got number 12 in the last exam (despite getting over 95% for 3 of the core subjects!). His marks this time have also improved, but of course, his friends might have also improved a lot, too!

Okay, okay....I confess - I AM A KIASU PARENT!!!!

There... satisfied?!

Now, don't tell me you guys don't do the same things?!

Errrrr...... you guys DON'T do these things?

Oooooopss..... Wowww...


30 October 2007

Latest update - Hilman got No. 5 for his final exam - that's a climb of 7 places. Yayyyy!!! AND he will go on stage (as will Hasya) on 13 November for Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan for being the best student for Science in his class! Hmmmm... He definitely got it from Ayah. Science and myself - we never see eye to eye...Hehehe!

I am so happy and very proud of all three of them :D!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Di mana kan ku cari ganti... NOT?!

I felt the urge to write this after reading Dad of Four plus One's latest posting today. I really can relate to his predicaments.

Remember I wrote some time in June that my maid ran away, right?

Since then, I had been without a bibik. The agent had been promising to get a replacement for us, but, he seems to be full of excuses - no supply, too young, too old (we specifically asked for one aged 30-34) failed medical, passports not ready, puasa, raya, etc.

It has been more than 4 months, and I think we've been coping quite well (just...).

Some of you might know that for the past 9 years, we have been staying with Mak in PJ. Even after we bought our own house in SD 7 years ago, we still stayed in PJ during weekdays, and only went back to SD during weekends. We've had, let me see...7 maids in the last 7 years.

One was sent home because she was so "gedik", and was trying to woo one of Mak's staff. She somewhat succeeded - we had to send her back.

One would have won an Oscar - she would be the best actress if she were to star in the Exorcism of Emily Rose.

One was quite good, and we had no issues with her - except that when it was time to renew her permit, she failed her Medical. She was Hep B +ve.

One followed us to the UK during my first year of my PhD. We brought her everywhere we went around the UK, we let her call Indonesia every 2 weeks (we footed all the bills), we gave her pocket money (in pound sterling) on top of her monthly salary, we let her cook whatever she wanted to eat (because she was quite particular with her diet), we bought her clothes and stuff, we even bought for her whatever she fancied at all the Car Boot Sales in Newcastle we went to. She ended up telling people that we starved her, and we found out that she also pasang a Pak Arab boyfriend there... (and until today we couldn't figure out how both of them communicated with each other!). So, when we came back home to Malaysia, we sent her back to Indonesia.

One was quite pleasant, but she just could not stand Mak's bibik who was so bossy (even bossier than the majikan, mind you!) and was subject to being bullied and ended up doing most of the work! She asked to be sent home. Our principle - if our maid asks to be sent home, we send her home. No point of keeping her.

One was another Oscar winner - faked a fall, and ended up at the A&E, and pretended to lose consciousness (from morning until the afternoon!), when all the docs (including Ayah) and the nurses could tell that she was faking it! She had to go.

One was quite okay - quite hardworking, but quite loud. But, she, too could not stand Mak's bossy bibik! This was the one who ran away in June...

(We really are at their mercy, aren't we? Mak's bossy bibik was a REALLY good cook and very hardworking, and she can do just about whatever you asked her to do! So, we just couldn't send her home just because she was bossy with the other maids, could we?! Anyway, her contract just ended in August and she's gone now)

So, for the past 4 months or so, everytime we went back to SD during weekends, I would be the bibik. I would do the sweeping, the mopping (all 3 floors AND also outside, okay?!), the washing/drying/ironing of the clothes, the cooking (including the pre- and post-cooking chores), the dishes, tidying up the mess, etc. It's not that Ayah and the kids did not help at all. They did and still do, but, it's just me. I like to do things MY way, so at the end of the day, I would re-do the chores which had been done by them! But, it's strange in the sense that when we had the maids, I just let them be and do the chores around the house, and I would be Ma'am Besar and just supervise them. Boleh pulak?!

Anyway, it's a bit of an irony and quite mind-boggling that in our dire maidless situation, Ayah and I decided that we would move from PJ to stay at our own house in SD permanently. And the decision was made about 2 weeks into Ramadhan. Can you imagine that? Elok-elok we stayed in PJ, with Mak's and my SIL's maids there to prepare for Iftar and Sahur, we decided to make our life difficult during Ramadhan.

Yes - yours truly had to set at least 3 alarm clocks just to make sure I wake up in time to PREPARE for sahur. I also had the chance of honing my driving skills going through the Ramadhan traffic jam everyday from my office, to the kids' school in PJ, to SD (going through Jalan Universiti, Section 12, Section 16, SPRINT and LDP or Penchala Link!) I also decided that alang-alang dah jadi Ibu Mithali, I would also COOK for berbuka... Smart, eh? So, I did just that.

It was quite a torture.

People might think that we were crazy - the timing was not quite right...

But, we were adamant. We REALLY wanted to experience Ramadhan with just the five of us. And we are so glad that we did it.

It has been 5 weeks now - living in our own home. It's quite exhausting, but it's nothing compared to our feel-good feelings. Even the kids enjoy their home. More space. (More like more internet access! ;)) even though sometimes it looked as if a toranado had just passed through the whole house sometimes...

What we do now is - Ayah would send Hanna to school in the morning before going to the hospital. I would send Hasya and Hilman to Mak's house before going to my office. Mak's staff would send them to school in the afternoon and also fetch Hanna and send her to Mak's house. I would fetch the kids from school straight after work, fetch Hanna from Mak's and drive everybody back to SD.

Prepare dinner. Wash dishes. Iron clothes (aaaarrrrggggghhhh!!!). Settle kids for bed. Sleep. Wake up. Do the laundry. Sweep. Mop. Hang laundry. Shower. Wake kids up. Send them to PJ. Go to office. Work. And the cycle continues.... Hmmm...I sound like a robot, no?

Hasya and Hilman are quite independent and so, when they're in PJ, the only thing that Mak's maids need to worry about is just to prepare lunch for them (which is no big deal because more often than not they would only ask for Ayam Goreng and Nasi!) What' so difficult about that? They would take their shower and get ready for school on their own.

Shouldn't be a problem, right?

Shouldn't be.

Just that - this morning, two of the maids ran away...*

Ppppfffhhh...

(*Apparently one of them has a boyfriend somewhere out there...)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An outing that was...

We took the kids skating at Sunway Pyramid yesterday.

The plan was (if you could call it a "plan" that is) - that we would send Hanna and a friend to join four other friends there, and one of her friends' parents would be there to accompany them, and Ayah, Hasya, Hilman and I would just do some (window) shopping for a couple of hours before fetching Hanna and her friends and send them to one of the friends' house where they would stay on for dinner (I know...it's pretty confusing - so many friends maaa!)

THAT was THE plan.

But, this was what actually happened.

When we reached Sunway Pyramid, the friend whose parent was supposed to accompany the kids was not there yet, and we waited a while. As luck had it, the ice rink was being resurfaced and everybody had to wait for half an hour before they could go in and skate. Half an hour gone. We noticed all of her friends who were supposed to join the skating session were there - but...no parents around.

Apparently, Hanna told the friend concerned that Ayah and I were there, so THE parent concerned just dropped her daughter and left! You would have thought that after what happened to Nurin Jazlin, parents would be more alert and cautious, wouldn't you? Apparently NOT. None of the parents made any efforts to call Ayah and I to make sure their kids would be under adults supervision.

What if the girls were making up stories that there would be adults around, when there were none? What if the girls wander off somewhere, instead of spending the time skating at Sunway Pyramid? What if there were perverts around preying for their next victim(s)? Nauzubillah.... I just cringed to think of all the possibilities...

Honestly, we don't mind keeping an eye on the kids IF somebody were to tell or ask us to be there and supervise them. We wouldn't have minded to keep an eye on the kids IF it the outing was properly planned and organized, and we were tasked to be there for 4 hours in the first place, or if we were to take turns with another parent to supervise the kids. No problemo.

But, apparently, Hanna and her friends had planned the outing on their own, and they took it for granted that ONE of their parents would be there throughout their skating outing. And, it just so happened that we were there.

We had no choice, but to stay on. And Hasya and Hilman joined their big sister and her gang gliding on the ice (well...in Hilman's case, it was more like "walking" on ice... Hehehe!). We were quite surprised that both Hasya and Hilman took the whole thing like duck to water (or is it "penguin to ice"?), being first-timers on the ice. Of course, Hilman probably fell down more than 20 times maybe? Hasya, being a gymnast that she is, she was quite poised, even though she also had her fair share of falling down flat on her b**t. But, they were okay with the whole thing. They didn't cry, they just laughed it off. They had fun. Hanna was quite good at it as she had gone ice-skating before.

When Ayah left for Solat Jumaat at 12:45p.m, I was left alone to look after the kids. They were resurfacing the rink again, and the kids took a 30-minute lunch break while waiting for the rink to be re-opened. Another friend joined the party at 2:15p.m - this time around, the mother called to speak to me to make sure that there would be adults around. Hmmm...there's still hope. There are still responsible and cautious parents out there, I thought to myself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Ayah and I are perfect parents. Far from it. But, come on laaa... All these are basic parenting know-hows, and sheer common sense. It's called p-a-r-e-n-t-a-l r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-i-e-s. What happened before this should stay in the past. We could not change what was in the past, but we should have learnt our lesson. If we used to be quite laxed with our kids whereabouts before the Nurin Tragedy, we should have a different attitude now.

The outing which was supposed to end at 3:00p.m, dragged on until 4:00p.m because one of the girls' driver could only come and fetch her at 4:00p.m. So, all of us had to wait to make sure that she would be safe and sound in the car before we were to make our way home. 4:15p.m - still no driver in sight. 4:20p.m, the friend got a call. The driver was waiting for her in front of OUR house in SD! Somewhere somehow there was a miscommunication, or rather, everything was not clearly planned. We had to make arrangements for the driver to fetch the girl at Hanna's friend's house in Section 11.

By this time Ayah and I were starting to lose our patience. Ayah especially, as he had his clinic to go to at 5:00p.m! We were supposed to be there only from 12:00 p.m until 3:00 p.m, and the girls were still dilly-dallying behind us. We hurried everybody back to the car, and drove them to Hanna's friend's house in Section 11, PJ. We dropped everybody there - EXCEPT Hanna. We decided that because the outing was not properly planned, and because she had taken both Ayah and I for granted the whole time, she would not be joining her friends for dinner at Section 11.

Hanna, everything said and done, we did all these because we love you VERY much, and we want you to learn a valuable lesson in respecting us, and also to be more responsible. Mommy knows that it may not be your fault totally that the outing was poorly planned, BUT, Mommy and Ayah care about you, and we want YOU to appreciate that, okay?

Anyway, we went back to Mak's house in PJ, and Ayah went straight to the hospital after Solat A'sar. Mak had invited a few friends and relatives for a Raya Dinner at her place, and as yesterday was our final day for Puasa Enam, we decided to celebrate it with a feast in PJ (having said that, Ayah only managed to join us at 8:15p.m as his clinic only ended at 8:00p.m last night!).

And what a feast it was - Mak had ordered Nasi Dagang with Gulai Ikan Tongkol, Ayam Percik and Jelatah, Sambal Tumis Udang, Daging Dendeng, Egg Salad, and what do you call that Jawa dish - with veges, tofu, tempe, soohoon tu? She also ordered the famous Sate Sa**ri Kajang (from Uptown, by the way...), and of course, complete with Mak's bibik's yummylicious Sambal Belacan and Ulam Timun... Yummy! Yummy! Yummy... (All weight lost in Ramadhan, gained again last night! Whatever....Hahaha!)

We reached SD just before midnight. Eventhough Hanna had apologised to both Ayah and I earlier, we decided that there will not be anymore outings with friends for her - until further notice. She knew she was at fault and she accepted the punishment willingly.

The moral of the story - just be with your kids ALL the time.

The moral of the story- kids will be kids, and you cannot trust them to be responsible and take responsibilities.

The moral of the story - kids will be kids, and they will always take us for granted - intentionally or unintentionally.

The moral of the story - you must be understanding enough to forgive them...but, you must also be strict enough to punish them...(because you can't be punishing other kids, can you?!) ;)

(And finally - if you want to have a really good feast, go eat at your parents' or in-laws' house...)

Wassalam.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The raya that was...

1st Syawal came and went...Somehow this year it was like a non-event (at least for me that is!)

We had our last berbuka puasa and spent malam raya at Mommy and Abah's in KD. However, after Isya', Ayah had to go back to PJ with Hasya and Hilman to play host as the surau people would be going to Mak's place for Takbir. Hanna and I stayed on in KD to help Mommy and Abah around the house.

Mommy does not have any maids, and what with her health condition nowadays, we do not let her do anything around the house. But, Mommy being Mommy, if nobody's around or if nobody's looking, she would be doing whatever chores she could think of just to make sure the house is spick and span for Raya! So, I stayed on to make sure that she didn't lift a finger that night. To be able to have done that, that meant I had to lift all of my ten fingers and ten toes tidying up the house with my Sis Y. Adoiiii....it didn't help that I, myself didn't/don't have a bibik!! Alhamdulillah, by 10:00pm, the house was as how Mommy wanted it - ready for Raya.

This year, my Brother E went back to Kelantan to my sis-in-law's kampong for raya, while my Brother J only arrived from Taiping on Raya Eve after Isya'. Both he and his wife, N, went straight to the kitchen as soon as they arrived and started cooking the rendang for Mommy. It is understood - the rendang for raya is always under their wardship :). My Sis L who was in KD with her whole clan in the afternoon had to go back to her MIL's in Keramat for berbuka. Our eldest Brother I - sigh .... long story....

It rained cats and dogs that night and Ayah was reluctant to let me drive back to PJ alone with Hanna. So, we stayed on until he came to fetch us around 12:00 a.m. By that time, I was already like a "kain buruk"... It has been a practice that we would sleep at Mak's house in PJ on malam raya. Thank God I had ironed all the baju raya a few days earlier. If not, I would be spending the whole night burning all the bajus in between all my "senggok sessions"!

Pagi raya - the usual hustle and bustle, getting everybody ready, bersalam-salaman session with Ayah's side of the family. And of course - the mandatory photography sessions! As our camera was jammed (hmmmmm...I wonder whose fault it was?!), we had to rely on Mak's camera. And as (bad) luck has it, when my SIL went beraya with her friends the next day, an Einstein of a friend of hers accidentally deleted ALL the photos!! Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!! That explains why I have not posted any pics this time. Will have to ask my other SIL to download the pics from her camera one of these days.

Anyway, the plan was to go to back to KD around 12:30 p.m, but all the cousins and aunties and uncles from the "Kachar" clan came swarming Mak's house non-stop until about 4:00 p.m! My kids were getting restless and impatient as they were worried their cousins on my side would have left their Jaddi and Jaddati's house by the time we were to reach KD. So, right after the last cousin left Mak's house, we went straight to KD. Much to the kids' delight, everybody was there (safe for my Brother E and family who were in Kelantan, and my Brother I and family - who were there earlier and had left).

Mak came to beraya at KD later that night and later together we went to visit Ayah's Mak Long in Dato' Keramat. It was nearly mid night when we left Mak Long's house. Went back to SD and have been here since - melingkar, doing nothing (apart from mopping the house and doing the laundry, and ironing, okay?! The story of my life...)

Ayah and I decided to Puasa Enam straight from Sunday until this Friday, and insya Allah can beraya sakan this weekend going to all the open houses! It's our fourth day of Puasa Enam today, and as yours truly is too lazy to cook, we will go back to Mak's house for berbuka... Hehehehe! Smart, eh?

But before that, Ayah will have to send me back to KD to get my car which has been left there since malam raya. The kids have their piano lesson from 6:15 p.m until 7:30 p.m, and yours truly will have to send and fetch them as Ayah who has his clinic to go to from 5:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m (hopefully earlier!) will not be able to be the 'supir' tonight.

And that's another thing! Ayah who is supposed to be on leave until this weekend, has been going to the hospital for 2-7 hours (depending) everyday without fail (even on 1st Syawal, okay?!) to check on his patients. Hmmmmm...serupa tak cuti! Well, that's what you get for marrying a doctor who is (annoyingly? Hehehe....no laaah) too dedicated and too committed sometimes - but, I still love you to bits, okay, Ayah... :)

And oh yes, did I tell you guys that my office room is flooded? Yup! Apparently the downpour on 1st Syawal led to a major leakage on the ceiling of the Seminar Room opposite my office, and the water somehow managed to find its way to my room, and my carpet is now drenched. There are still puddles of water in my room. I just couldn't be bothered to go and check. Ayah had been going to my office to see if it has gotten worse over the last couple of days - what with continuous afternoon downpours we have been having and all. Apparently, according to Ayah, my office stinks big time... Well, nothing much I can do this week. Most of UM's "Pejabat Harta Benda" people are on leave until Sunday anyway. Hmmm...could this be a good excuse for me not to go back to work next week? Hehehe...

So, that was basically it - our raya this year.

Anyway, I look forward to completing my Puasa Enam this Friday, and celebrating another round of Raya this weekend, insya Allah.

That, and, oh yes - RUGBY WORLD CUP 2007 FINAL!

GO ENGLAND!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Syawal empty nests...


I was reading Brother Id's latest entry in his blog just now, and suddenly I felt a lump in my throat. Planning for their Raya Open House, Brother Id and his lovely wife, K.LiL thought of three of their children who would not be celebrating Raya with him and his family in Dubai this year. I really feel for them. And it struck me there and then - how would I cope later in life when it would be my turn to not have all of my children with me under one roof to celebrate Raya?

One day Hanna, Hasya and Hilman will be leaving the nest. One day they will have their very own nests with their own little chickadees. One day they will also have their in-laws' nests to go back to. And one day there will come a time, when ALL three of them might not be able to be home with Ayah and I to celebrate Raya...

But, I guess - wherever they may be, as long as they feel and ALWAYS know that they have our home to come back to anytime they feel like it - no matter what hour of the day or night it is, all year round, no matter if it is Raya or not, it's okay.

As long as they love and respect their spouses and their families like they love and respect me and Ayah, and are willing to spend time away from our family to be with the spouses' family - just as we would wish for their spouses to ALWAYS love and respect us the same way, and willing to do the same, it's okay.

As long as being away from us would mean that they would have a healthy, tolerant and happy relationship with their spouses, it's okay.

As long as they ALWAYS be Mommy and Ayah's Chinchin, Chimin and Chiman - even when they are way over 40 (Yikes!!!), it's okay.

And more importantly - as long as their thoughts, their hearts, and their doas are ALWAYS with me and Ayah all year round, Raya or not, it's okay.

I pray to Allah swt to give my children the strength and wisdom to do and accept what is right when the time comes.

And I pray to Allah swt to give me the strength and wisdom to do and accept what is right when the time comes.

And to all parents out there who are pining for your children this Syawal, wherever you are, wherever your children may be, I pray for your strength and wisdom to be happy....just be happy. Syukur Alhamdulillah for the wonderful and beautiful family that you have, even if you're not physically together...

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Maaf Zahir Batin. God Bless.

Wassalam.
* Picture taken on 1st Syawal last year - Mak's place in Section 17, PJ *
From left - Ayah, Hasya Chimin, Hilman Chiman, Hanna Chinchin, and Mommy

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Catch 22...

I was driving Hasya and Hilman to school just now, when Hilman asked me -

"Mommy, coconut is a seed, right?"

"Yes, Hilman - it's a seed. Coconut trees grow from coconuts."

He just had his Science exam yesterday, and I guess he was still thinking about what he had been revising before that - all about plants and living things, etc.

"What other seeds are there, Mommy?", he asked.

"Depends on what trees - if durian trees, we have durian seeds. If rambutan trees, we have rambutan seeds", I explained.

"Oooo....Okay", he said, and asked, "How do we make seeds, Mommy?"

"We don't MAKE seeds, dear...", I said.

Before I could continue with my explanation, Hasya who had been listening all these while, said to Hilman, "What la you! You don't know anything!! Seeds come from fruits laaa!"

Hasya being Hasya, she just didn't have any patience with her lil' brother, especially when he starts asking questions which to HER should be a no-brainer!

"Okay", Hilman replied. "But, how do we make fruits? Where do fruits come from?"

"From seeds la!!!" Hasya was really losing her patience with her brother.

"I know...I know! BUT, where do seeds come from, K.Ngah?!!" Now HILMAN was losing his patience with his sister (which is VERY rare indeed!)

By this time, I had started to laugh uncontrollably, and both of them looked at me, and both yelled, "Why Mommy?!!!"

Hilman then looked at Hasya, "K.Ngah, I want to know!!! Where do seeds come from?!"

"From fruits laaaa!!!" Hasya replied and she started laughing with me, realizing at that point, that she for once could not give an answer to her little brother's queries!

By that time, Hilman was also laughing at the backseat of my car!

And in between laughters, I told both of them -

"Allah swt made the first seeds for ALL living things, Hilman...Hasya..."

"Oooo...okay," came a short reply from Hilman.

"You're right, Mommy - ALL things are created by Allah, right?" Hasya looked at me.

"Yes, from the first seed, we got the tree, the fruit, and some more seeds, and it goes on and on..." I explained to both of them.

"Okay...thank you, Mommy!" Hilman thanked me for making him understand (I think!)

By that time, we had already reached the Balai Menunggu in front of the school. I dropped them off, the two of them kissed and salam my hand, and I kissed their heads.

I said to Hilman, "Tonight you will have to revise for your Bahasa Arab exam, okay?"

To which he said, "Okay, Mommy....but, Mommy, who made (created) Bahasa Arab?"

Oh no...here we go again....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Food...oh, glorious food!

I've been tagged by Spena - and I must say, it's not an easy one on the will-power. But, on the other hand it's somewhat easy in the sense that I don't really have to think hard because all the answers are already right there on my mind :D (tsk...tsk...tsk...nipis pahala puasa! Hehehe!)

Anyway, here goes -

Name 5 favourite food that you feel like having now -

(1) Johnnys' Steamboat
(2) Victoria Station's or Jake's Spare Ribs
(3) Little Penang Cafe's Assam Laksa
(4) Laksa Shack's Sarawak Laksa
(5) My regular Cantonese Kuey Teow (from Beragas Tom Yam in SD)

(My tummy is starting to rumble and growl now....)


Name 5 food you would like to have for breakfast if you could -

Hmmm...I'm not really a heavy breakfast person because I can't afford to gobble all those calories and cholesterol so early in the morning, but kalau ikutkan hati -

(1) Nasi Lemak with Sambal Sotong
(2) My mom's Roti Air Panas with Fish Curry
(3) My MIL's Lontong
(4) Teow Chew Rice Porridge/Congee with all the condiments!
(5) Assorted Dim Sum

(Spena...Spena...why do you want to torture me, dek oiii?!!!)


Name 5 food you would most likely buy for berbuka today -

Hmmm... my visit to Bazar Ramadhan would normally be to buy Ayah's and the kids' favourites.
So, today will not be any different, I guess?

(1) Roti John - for Hasya and Hilman
(2) Char Kuey Teow Pulau Utara (Bazar Ramadhan Section 17 PJ - Fuyoooo!!!) - for Hanna
(3) Kueh-mueh for Ayah (Popiah basah, apam balik, putu piring, putu bambu, murtabak, badak berendam - NOT all at the same time, eh? I would buy different ones on alternate days la... okay?! Have not decided on which one for today, though...
(4) Assortments of drinks (air kelapa, air tebu, air soya, etc)
(5) Maybe some kind of noodles with soup or just soup for me? (sup tulang, sup kambing, sup perut?)

Aduhhhh.... chobaaaaannn....

Hmmm... who shall I tag/torture now? I think my victims this time will be -

Ibu
Murni

Minah Celoteh
Mamamia
Mahariz

and, I would like to add another person for me to torture (hehehe...)

Kea

Sorry, guys...Hehehe... ;) and thanks!

Selamat Berbuka...(Errrr...make sure AFTER Azan Maghrib, okay?)

Wassalam...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

She ain't heavy...she's my...?




It was bad enough for Hanna when some people told her that we looked like sisters. It was worse when some even said that Ayah and Hanna looked like they were brother and sister. But, what could possibly be the worst thing for her (with somewhat an endearment tinge to it?) people could say than what was said last night?

Read on... :)



We were having our berbuka puasa at E****n Hotel in Section 16, PJ last night - courtesy of a drug company who had organized it for Ayah's cardio unit staff and their families. I have to say that I was really impressed with the berbuka puasa spread which they had there, and more importantly the place was not as crowded as other hotels which we had been to for berbuka.





Anyway, being more vigilant than ever now after the tragic and cruel death of Nurin Jazlin, yours truly was more than willing to bring the girls to the toilet a few times myself when previously I have to admit I would ask Hanna to bring her sister to the toilet when Hasya wanted to go oh so many times... The toilet was not situated where I could monitor or keep an eye on the door to see who goes in and out of it. So, I felt safer for me to accompany the girls even when they had to go a few times.





By the time everybody was ready for desserts, I was still having my main meal due to the frequent chaperoning of the girls to the toilet! So, when the kids wanted ice-cream, I asked Hanna to bring Hasya and Hilman to the ice-cream station and help them with whatever flavours they wanted, while I tried to finish my main meal and get it over and done with. As the ice-cream station was merely 6-7 metres away from the table we were sitting at, and I was sitting directly facing it, I let big sister bring her small siblings herself under my watchful eye.





I was watching them queuing up for their turn, and I saw a couple of guys talking to Hanna. And when she came back, she was half-smiling and half-frowning, and she said -





"Mommy, you know what those guys said to me?"





And I asked her, "What did they say?"





"I was telling Hilman to sabar and wait for our turn to get the ice-cream, when one of them asked me, 'Are these (Hilman and Hasya) your children?'"





Both Ayah's and my mouth dropped open, and we somehow said it at the same time, "WHAT??!!!"





"Yeah, that was what they asked me", Hanna said.





"And what did you tell them?" Ayah was curious to know.





"Well, I told them - 'I don't look that old. I'm only 12 years old, and these are my brother and sister!' and one of them said to the other - "There...I told you she was not their mom!!"'



(By the way, just for the record - she'll only turn 12 in November)

And all of us just broke down and laughed! We thought that was SO funny!!!




Duuuuhhhh!!! Were the men blind or what?!!



But then again - what do you think, guys? Just look at the pictures... :D


* Pix of Hanna with Hasya and Hilman.


** Pix of Hanna, Hasya and Hilman and their cousins (Ayah's side).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ramadhan...Part 2

(Continuation from my last entry... I did say I had a long day, didn't I?)
On Wednesday, after sending the smaller kids and fetching the big kid to and from school, I rushed to KD to fetch my Abah who had an appointment to see his doctor at PPUM at 2:00pm. I got a few missed calls from him on the way. I could not answer his calls as I didn't have any hands-free or blue tooth with me then . Apparently he was anxious because it was already 1:35pm and he thought that I had forgotten all about his "date" with his doctor at RUKA PPUM.

We JUST made it before 2:00pm and I dropped Abah in front of RUKA before going to find a parking spot - which is a nightmare around that time. I had to wait in the car for half an hour before somebody finally decided to leave the hospital and vacate a spot at Menara Timur. I decided to make a dash to Ayah's ward before joining Abah at RUKA - mind you, I was not checking or spying on Ayah, okay? Hehehe... I went to see a senior sister from my alumni who was (and still is) in the CCU after suffering a stroke. She was intubated and ventilated (and still is) and I make do'a for her speedy recovery, insya Allah. Ameen.

After 15 minutes, I rushed down to be with Abah - which turned out to be another wait. I was looking for him high and low and could not see him anywhere. Tried calling his handphone, but the reception was pretty bad and I kept on getting "Error in Connection" over and over again, either that, or my phone kept on hanging! Aaaaaarrrgggghhh!!! If it wasn't Ramadhan, and I was not supposed to keep patience and beristighfar, all the *^&%$^!@# words would be muttered under my frustrated breaths, and my phone would have ended on the floor in thousand pieces after a traumatic experience of being flung onto the wall by its frustrated owner...

The receptionist was not much of a help when I asked her if Abah has gone in to see the doctor. She just looked at me and said, "Macam mana saya nak tau? Saya bagi nombor saja..". I tried to describe Abah to her, and she just stared at me... I asked her if she could just check if Abah's folder has been sent to the doctor's room - at least that would be an indication as to which room Abah may be in. And she said, "Maaf, saya tak boleh buat tu...". And I was like - "Errr...why? You penat sangat ke puasa hari ini?!!!" (in my mind la...) And I had to remind myself that I should keep my patience. It IS Ramadhan.

I made at least 4 rounds going in and out of RUKA, and up and down the stairs, while at the same time trying to call Abah, which ended up with me getting a few rounds of "Error in Connection" again. Exhausted and frustrated, I went back to the reception and voila!!! Abah was sitting there, registering for his next appointment. What a relief...

And then - another wait. This time, it was to join the queue at the Pharmacy to get his 2 months stock of medications. He was given the number 5330. They were serving number 5269. It was 3:30pm and I was supposed to fetch the kids from school at 5:30pm - AFTER sending Abah back to KD. Will I make it in time to fetch Hasya and Hilman? With all the horror stories and crazy people roaming the streets preying on small children, I was anxious to be there at 5:30pm - on the dot.

Had to come up with Plan B. I called up my sister Yong and asked her if she could be on standby to fetch Abah from the hospital in the event that the queue at the pharmacy were to take forever. You guessed it - my phone kept on hanging while I was talking to her and she could not understand what I was trying to say. Tried SMsing instead, and my phone went dead in the middle of me keying in the message....A FEW TIMES. Aaaaarrrggghhhh!!! And I told myself... keep patience....It IS Ramadhan...

Syukur alhamdulillah, Abah got his medication at 4:20pm, and we made a dash back to KD. Reached there at 4:35pm, and then made a crazy dash back to PJ to fetch Hanna and took some drinking water, cookies and kurma for bekal berbuka puasa as the kids had piano lessons from 6:15pm until 7:15pm. I must have done 100km/h from KD to PJ (on the highway AND non-highway route!) Believe it or not, I reached Mak's house at 4:45pm! I guess I have my SmartTag to thank for, too! If I were to join the "Tunai" or even the "Touch n Go" counters, at 4:40pm at Damansara Toll... I would have to continuously tell myself to keep patience while inching away in the queue. It IS Ramadhan...

We had to queue along the One Way Street to the school, and managed to fetch the kids only at 5:50pm. Thank God there were still a lot of children and parents around. We rushed through the traffic (well, if you could call a 0 to 30km/h drive through the jam as "rushing", that is!). Hasya and Hilman were unusually quiet in the car. Suddenly, I heard Hasya taking a deep breath and said, "Mommy, Hasya and Hilman tak puasa hari ni...".

I just looked back at her and asked, "What do you mean by "Hasya AND Hilman"? Don't get me wrong - I was not and am not forcing my kids to fast, and it was not the fact that Hasya berbuka at school which made me ask her that question. I would never allow them to puasa if they could not take it. But I was just curious as to why BOTH of them berbuka. Her explanation was -

"Well, I was feeling very tired and thirsty, so I went to see Hilman in his class during recess and asked him if he wanted to berbuka. I told him that I wanted to buy a drink and asked him if he wanted to berbuka, too. Hilman just kept quiet but he followed me to the canteen. I bought a drink and offered him, but, he refused. BUT, he kept on following me around! I asked him again and he asked me to buy him another drink. So, we berbuka together la!" She was telling me all these in ONE breath.

I would have said to her that it was sweet of her to offer Hilman the drink if it was not Ramadhan, and if I didn't know my second daughter better.

She has been keeping tabs of how many days both of them had fasted, and if she were to break fast ALONE, that would mean that Hilman would beat her AGAIN this year. And being a choleric, she cannot and will not let her brother win AGAIN. It was 22-17 last year - favouring Hilman, and Hasya is making sure that this year it should at least be a tie.

Having had a long day, I was slightly upset, but I told both of them -

"Next time, if either of you feels tired and feels that you cannot fast, please do not tempt the other to breakfast with you, okay? Puasa is an individual task and it depends on each and every one of us whether we could go through it or not. I know that both of you are still small, but, when you become an adult, berdosa to tempt other people to berbuka with you, you know? It may become a bad habit which you might carry with you until you all besar nanti, if you were to do it now while you're still small. Understand?!" I was looking straight into Hasya's eyes.

She looked back at me, and nodded her head, and said, "Sorry, Mommy..."

And I said, "It's Hilman that you should be apologising to, okay Hasya? Not me."

And she turned to Hilman, and said, "Sorry, Hilman..."

To which Hilman replied, "It's okay, K.Ngah. I was thirsty, too..."

There was a lump in my throat.

Both of them were very quiet throughout the drive to their piano class. We reached there exactly at 6:15pm and all of them went in for their lessons.

At 7:15pm, Hanna came out after finishing her lesson, and both of us went into the car and broke fast with kurma, a drink and some Oreo cookies. At 7:30pm, Hilman and Hasya came out and Hilman asked me, "Mommy, is it already buka puasa?".

To which I replied, "Well, berbuka puasa for you today was at 3:15pm, dear...Remember?", and I kissed both of them forgivingly.

After all, it IS Ramadhan...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ramadhan...Part 1

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a rather long and full day for me (not in the sense of "after food full", okay?!)

We spent the night before (Tuesday) sleeping in SD as I felt the need to have my own family space in our own family home this Ramadhan. Ayah was a bit reluctant initially as he didn't want me to fret and work myself up preparing for berbuka - and worse, for sahur! But, I was determined to have some time alone with Ayah and the kids at home, and nobody was to say 'No' to me.

Hilman and Hasya finished school at 5:30pm on Tuesday, and right after fetching them, I went straight to fetch Hanna from Mak's place. By the time I got everybody in the car, it was already 5:50pm. The traffic jam from Section 16 to Taman Tun was like nobody's business. It has always been congested during peak hours, but it is worse during Ramadhan.

Hilman kept on asking me, "Mommy, when is buka puasa?", Hanna kept on asking me, "Mommy sempat ke Mommy nak masak nanti?", while Hasya kept on asking, "Is Ayah going to buka puasa with us at home?". My reply to all three - "Buka puasa is in about 1 hour 10 minutes time, and if Mommy tak sempat masak we will just go to Secret Recipe, and Ayah will join us there nanti, okay?"

And next came, "But, Mommy!!! I want to go to Pizza Hut", from Hilman. "But, Mommy!!! You said we could go to Secret Recipe! I want to go to Secret Recipe!!!", from Hasya. And from Hanna, "Mommy, can we not just tapau food anywhere and just eat at home?!!", and they went on and on and on and on..... And from me - (a long) "Sigh...." And throughout the car ride back home to SD, the three kids were debating on why their choice of berbuka puasa venue was the best.

Instead of using the TTDI/LDP route, we took the TTDI/Penchala Link way, and alhamdulillah managed to bypass the massive jam at TTDI/LDP/Bandar Utama and reached home at 6:35pm, and I asked Hanna to call Ayah and inform him that berbuka would definitely be at home.

First thing first - cooked the rice, defrosted the fish, fry the kids' favourite Ayamas "Hot and Spicy Chicken", stir fry the vegetables, reheated some leftover we had in the freezer, put the fish in the steamer, etc. and by 7:15pm, we had a full course for berbuka! Ayah reached home just minutes after Azan Maghrib, and the kids were so excited to see him. It's quite rare to have him berbuka in time with the rest of the family at home. Most of the time, he would have a mini berbuka at the hospital and would only reach home around 8pm or so. So, everybody was pleased... I was pleased...(even though I had to clean up the mess in kitchen and dining room, and do the dishes, etc. after that!)

So, THAT was the "berbuka puasa" part...

Then came sahur. Without any bibik around, yours truly had to wake up at 4:40a.m and prepare the food (aduhhh!!!). Thank God for microwave ovens (I agree with you Helena!!). Woke the family up at 5:10a.m and by 5:35 a.m everybody was filled up. While Ayah and Hanna got ready for work and school respectively, Hasya and Hilman went back to sleep, and yours truly had to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen (again....). We just used the breakfast table in the kitchen during sahur instead of eating at the dining room, so, cleaning up was relatively easier and quicker for me.

Solat suboh was performed right after Ayah and Hanna left the house, and I busied myself with the laundry and sweeping and mopping the house right after that. I also managed to do a bit of ironing (Aaaaahhhh...so proud of myself...Hehehe...) and by the time the house was spick and span (well, at least to MY "bibik-less" standard la...Hahaha!) it was already 9:30a.m.

Hasya and Hilman woke up at 9:45a.m. and after taking their shower and all, we left SD for Mak's house as the kids needed to pack their schoolbags for the day, and they also needed fresh school uniforms which I forgot to pack the day before. FYI all their school books, uniforms and spare school shoes were/are kept in PJ - naturally, as it is our primary place of abode on weekdays.

By the time I sent them to school at 12:30pm yesterday, and fetched Hanna from school, I was already feeling the dugaan of Ramadhan and feeling dead tired! But, I was REALLY happy - for the first time this Ramadhan, I got the chance to prepare BOTH for berbuka and sahur, on my own, for my family in my own home...

Bliss...

Wassalam...

(...To be continued...)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Letting go...now?


Life had been pretty hectic the past couple of weeks - what with Ayah's Larian Kardio, Hanna's UPSR exam and organizing Hilman's 7th birthday party which went very well indeed last Sunday 9th September - which also marked our 13th Wedding Anniversary.

Reminiscing the years we have been married, I looked at K.Long Hanna who was born slightly over a year after Ayah and I got married and I see just how much she has grown - not just physically, but also in the way she thinks. So many times, friends and families had to ask us twice (sometimes thrice!), just to make sure that they had heard us right when we told them that Hanna is only 11 years old. Most would just gawk at her and said, "My God...I thought she was in Form 3 or 4!", and Hanna would just smile at them (sometimes I'm not sure whether she likes it or hates it when people mistake her for a 15, 16 year-old!)

Hanna is a very sanguine, happy-go-lucky child, and she is very independent. But, of course, being an 11-year old, most of the times she behaves like an 11-year old - which sometimes get on my nerves because looking at her, physically I expect her to behave like a 16-year old! Yes, I have to admit - sometimes I do forget her actual age... Only when she is with her girl friends from school, giggling and gossipping away, and pulling and tugging at each other like small kids, I remember that she's only 11.

The first time experience of having a child taking the government UPSR exam last week was something else. Hanna being Hanna, was so relaxed about the whole thing. She seemed prepared - the "Hanna Way". She is not the type who studies 5-8 hours a day. For her, 1 hour is enough and on the days that she has her 1 1/2 hour tuition sessions at home, the max she could go would probably be 2 1/2 hours. And when she does her revision - she would also be listening to the i-Pod, etc. It seemed to have worked for her and she had been getting good results for all her exams all these while, and I did not want to change her style of studying in the last 2-3 weeks before the exam... But, I have to admit that I had a very strong urge to ask her to do away with the i-Pod and to make her study 4-5 hours a day in the 3 weeks running to her UPSR. But, I finally decided against it when I thought that it would better for her to maintain her studying pattern, and not disrupt her studying rhythm (and I pray to Allah swt that I was doing the right thing!).

It is just so difficult when it is your first time experience having a child taking a big exam...You want to do the right thing, you want your child to do the right thing, but, you don't really know if what both of you are doing is the right thing! You get what I mean? You don't really know how exactly she needs to prepare herself, to be 100% ready for the exam. And you can't be asking her to do things your way, fearing it would not work for her! So, how? Answer - I prayed (and pray) hard...

Everyday after her papers, I would fetch her from school and ask her how they were, and she would say, "Ok!", and started to switch on the radio and sing along to whatever tune on air. And I would ask again, "Was it more difficult than your normal exam papers?", and she would either say, "No lah...quite easy", or "Quite difficult, but I think I can get an 'A'", or just a one word - "Alright!", while doing a "mini head-banging" to whatever songs on the radio at that time. And I had to refrain myself from asking her more about her papers, fearing that I would stress her out when she was evidently "stress-free" at that point in time! So, at the end of the day, I was more stressed out than her! Aaaaiiihhhh....

Hanna has had a pretty full schedule after her UPSR - a sleep-over at her friend's place, going skating, going bowling, etc. with her friends, and she's in Genting Highlands today on a school trip. Sometimes I feel reluctant to let her go on outings with friends (even though I know that there would be parents or teachers with them all the time). But, at the same time, I know that I should and could trust her....

I know that I should start letting her go bit by bit from now on, especially when I know that, if given the rezqi, insya Allah, she might get the chance to go to a boarding school next year. Knowing Hanna, I know she will be okay, and insya Allah she will do well with her "Hanna Way" in a boarding school. But, the real question now is - will I be okay with her not being at home with me?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

with all my love...and more...

If I were given a chance
to change my life -
I wouldn't...

for my life is beautiful...
my life is blessed...
my life is a dream come true...
and my life can never be more special
than what it is now....
because my life is you...

Happy 13th Anniversary, my dearest...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Larian Kardio...

The media coverage tells it all.

It was a success - do read about it here.

Thank you to all who had supported this noble cause.

The amount collected as stated in the newspapers was as it stood on the event day itself. Contributions are still coming in.

Something that I want to share that really touched Ayah's heart - DYTM Raja Nazrin, Raja Muda Perak, donated RM100,000 to the Tabung Kardiologi, which brings the total collection to more than RM340,000! Ayah also relayed to me that the organizers had a pleasant "shock" when they opened the collection box a day after the event. They found a personal cheque for RM10,000 written by the son of one of the heart patients treated by the Cardiology Team at PPUM... God bless him, and all who had donated - big or small.

To those who still want to contribute, it is still not too late. The fund is still open. Please visit their website for details.

Thank you again, and Wassalam...

Tagged - WSR Version 5.0...

I've been tagged by Mamamia (and I only knew about it two days ago because I had not had the chance to open my blog for the last 10 days or so before that! Sorry, Mamamia...) I had been pretty busy with stuff. Insya Allah, if time permits I will post an entry on the happenings.



5 things in my handbag/bag - hmmmm...that's a tricky one - to pick five out of 1001 stuff in there! I guess I'll just put in the 5 things I can never leave home without :


My purse
My handphone
My basic make up of loose powder and lipstick
My cheque books
My Equal sweetener



5 things in my purse :

Cash
Credit card
Mykad
Driving license
Membership cards segala macam



5 favourite things in my favourite room - which is our living room in SD :


TV/ASTRO
Air Cond
OSIM I-Squeeze
Family photos
My 3-seater sofa


5 things I would like/love to do :

Perform Haj with the whole family (just like Mamamia!)
Round the world with the whole family (also just like Mamamia!)
Retire at the age of 46, and become a full-time Mommy
Renovate, decorate and furnish our new house by February 2008
To move into our new house by March 2008 (before Ayah's birthday!)


5 things I'm currently doing :


Praying that Hanna will get 5As for her UPSR ... insya Allah
Writing up my thesis
Writing this entry
Working on renovation plan for our new house
Organizing Hilman's birthday party (have to make it slightly grand this year because he will not be having birthday parties for the next 2-3 years as his birthdays will fall in the month of Ramadhan until 2010! By the time he's 11, he might not want to have birthday parties anymore!)

So, that's done - WSR Version 5.0!

Hmmmm.... I think I will now tag -


Ibu

Nuraina Samad

Minah Celoteh

Dad of Four

DNAS



Wassalam...