Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tagged! My three "HS"s...

This is LOOOOOONNNGGG overdue!

I was tagged by Minah Celoteh earlier this month and had not been able to really sit down and come up with a proper and decent clear head to work on it until today. Sorry Minah! Wa manyak sibuk...

So, today - after more than three weeks, here goes ...

Details of the TAG are as follows -

PROPOSITION : What is the meaning of your kid'(s) name(s)?

REQUIREMENTS : Write about what or how or why you gave the name(s) to your kid(s).

QUANTITY: 5 people

TAG MODE: Firstly you leave their blog and post link and add to the list below;
and secondly you let the blogger you want to tag know that he/she has been tagged by commenting in his/her blog or etc.

The line of bloggers tagged :

msau the meaning of SQ and Kiki

shopping mum the meaning of Justin and Isabelle

Judy Chow Terry

Shannon Rachel

Samm Gordon and Malcolm

Sasha lil J

Mott 2 Monkeys

Fatty Poh's Fatty Boy


D Abg Z Abg H Princess & Litle D

DadofFour Siti Khadijah, Muhammad Yusof, Siti Kauthar, Muhammad Ibraheem and Muhammad Umar

Minah Celoteh Big Q & small q

And yours truly - Wanshana : Hanna Suhaila, Hasya Sofea and Hilman Syauqi

How did we come up with the names for our kids? Well, both Ayah and I came to an agreement that our kids should have two names. The first name should start with the letter "H" (following Ayah's name) and they should have a second name starting with the letter "S" (following my name) - fair and square, what??! That was the easy part. The hardest part was going through hundreds of names beginning with "H" and "S" everytime I got pregnant, and reaching an agreement with Ayah on the final names! (But, I seem to remember having the final say in it..Hehehe...)

Anyway, EVERYTIME I was pregnant, we had TWO names on standby. One for a boy, and one for a girl.

When I was pregnant with our first baby, we decided that if it was a girl, we would name her "Hanna Suhaila" (Happiness/Keriangan and Softness/Kelembutan), and if it was a boy, it would be "Hilman Syauqi" (Courteous/Kesopanan and Kerinduan). Hanna Suhaila came into the world on 17 November 1995.

My third pregnancy (I lost my second baby through a miscarriage in 1997) - we still kept the name "Hilman Syauqi" if it was a boy, and we decided on "Hasya Sofea" (Perfection/Kesempurnaan and Pure/Suci) if it was a girl. Hasya Sofea was born on 8 April 1999.

The last pregnancy (so far!), we also had two names on standby (the girl's name would not be revealed here - in case I may need it in the near future! Hehehe!), and after nearly 5 years keeping the boy's name, we had the chance to finally use it when Hilman Syauqi was born on 10 September 2000!

And I think, in many ways - our kids' names do reflect their personalities!

So, I hereby tag Ibu, Murni, Yeop, Mamamia and Dillazag.

Tag away guys!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

The week that was...

Last week must have been one of the most eventful/stressful week I have ever had - and that explains the non-event of this blog. To those who have been visiting this site to check on any updates - please do accept my apologies. It was just one of those weeks...

The week started off with me going back to the office and starting to do my work again there after being away for more than 7 months. Needless to say, my room was pretty dusty. I swear I had asked the clerk to open my door for the cleaning lady to come in and clean my room once a week while I was away! She probably did it once or twice in November 2006 maybe?! Anyway, when the cleaner came to the Department on Monday I insisted on triple moppings of the floor, triple dusting and wiping of all the tops in my office, and triple spraying and scrubbing of the windows! The dust....was....eeeewwwww....You wouldn't believe how dirty my room was! The spring-cleaning took half a day, and the rest of the day was spent organizing the materials that I brought back from Newcastle. Monday - gone.

Tuesday came - and I managed to do a bit of work in the morning (barely into Gear 2, though!). In the afternoon, Ibu and I, had the honour of meeting some alpha bloggers at K.Ton's (K.Ena's sister) place in Kelana Jaya. We were served with K.Ton's famous Mee Rebus, among other delicious dishes...YumYum! Great food, great company! (Thanks K.Ton, thanks K.Ena!). In the evening, Ayah and I had dinner with some friends who are migrating to the States. More good food - this time at Cable Car (Jaya Section 14).

Wednesday was a "ferry-the-kids-around" day - to and from school (morning and afternoon), to and piano lessons, and to and from all the other places under the sun since Ishak (Mak's staff who would normally do the ferrying around) had to drive Mak to Seremban for a meeting. The morning was also spent at Pasar Besar TTDI stocking up the freezer and fridge. The afternoon was spent with Hanna for a Mommy-daughter bonding time, and good food was still in the equation - this time it was at Laksa Shack (Jaya Section 14 - again).

I brought Mommy to see Ayah's colleague at PPUM for a cardio check-up on Thursday morning. Apparently she had been having chestpains for the last 3 months, but, had never told anybody about it. My sisters were saying Mommy was probably waiting for me to come home from the UK before informing any of her kids. But, THREE months of chest-pain?! As Ayah could not examine Mommy (formally) at the hospital, him being the son-in-law and all that, he had asked his friend NH to see Mommy, and true enough, he said that Mommy was having all the classical symptoms for angina, and an angiogram/angioplasty procedure was arranged for Mommy for Friday afternoon. So, the whole afternoon was spent sending Mommy home and helping her pack her overnight stuff, etc for her hospital stay, and informing my siblings about the planned procedures for Mommy. I had to do a bit of ferrying around again that afternoon and as Mommy was scheduled to be admitted only in the evening, I asked Mommy to just rest at home until I came back to fetch her that night.

Ayah managed to come back early from work, and both of us went to fetch Mommy and brought her to PPUM that night to prepare her for the procedure. All the registrations and admission formalities were done by Ayah and I was trying to make Mommy's room as homely as possible (knowing how anxious and nervous Mommy was about the whole angiogram/plasty thing!). I stayed with Mommy until about 4:15a.m Friday morning, while Ayah did his work in his room/office which was just a few doors away from Mommy's room. We went back at 4:30a.m and managed to get a couple of hours of sleep. Ayah had to send Hanna to school at 7:00a.m and decided to go straight to work - this is quite normal for him, by the way.

At 8:00 a.m Ayah came back and both of us went to get the keys to the new house. We had a joint-inspection of the property and while we were signing all the papers, etc. Mak called to inform that our maid was nowhere to be found. Remember Shanti? Our maid whom I said was very reliable and hardworking in my previous posting? Well, I spoke too soon - she ran away on Friday morning, right after Ayah and I left the house while everybody else was upstairs. So, from not having any headaches with her, she has left me with a splitting migraine... I just didn't have the energy to be angry. Things like this happen...and I know I'm not the only one with this problem. They, the maids are not worth my worries...It doesn't matter how well you treat them - if they have planned to run away even before they start working with you, they WILL run away. And we, the Majikans are expected to just accept this **** and pay the fine when we want to get a replacement maid... So, before my blood "go upstairs" and end up the one needing an angioplasty, I'd better stop writing about my maid...

So, Mommy had an angioplasty done by Ayah's boss - Prof W , and NH after solat Jumaat, and they found three blockages to her main arteries and an angioplasty was done on the one with a 90% blockage. The other two blockages were not as tight even though they were somewhat calcified, and Prof W decided to observe Mommy in the next couple of weeks. Should the symptoms persist, Mommy will have to come again for another angioplasty on the other two blocked arteries. As I am writing this, syukur alhamdulillah, Mommy is fine and is already home in KD, and I pray that she wouldn't have further symptoms, insya Allah.

Saturday came and went - filled with the kids' extra classes and activities during the day, and in the evening we went to my sister's place for a Pot-luck dinner (this has been our Saturday night ritual for so many years) and yours truly prepared fried Kuey Teow on my nephews' and niece's request. I got hugs all around from them after dinner - apparently they had really missed my Kuey Teow, and the Kuey Teow their Mama tried to make while I was away was not quite the same?! Anyway, I was just glad to feed my ever hungry anak-anak buah...

This morning, Hasya had her Asyik Dance class with teacher Dida (who apparently taught MK for her role in PHSM), while Hilman had his Zapin lessons with another "Cikgu" until 12:30pm. As promised, Ayah and I brought the kids to the new house in the afternoon. It felt good to just watch them going in and out of all the rooms and running around the house. And at one point, Ayah and I just hugged each other- and I know how happy and proud he is to be able to provide the family with a better home. Mommy, Hanna, Hasya and Hilman know just how hard Ayah works, and we are VERY proud of him, and we love him very, very much...

So, the week that was - my Mommy underwent an angiogram/angioplasty procedure, and syukur alhamdulillah she's fine.

The week that was - my maid made a disappearing act, but, I just don't give a **** about my maid problem.

The week that was - my planned schedule went haywire, and I know I have to make up for all the work not done.

But, the week that was, was also a new and great beginning for us with our new home, insya Allah...

So, to those of you out there who might have had a worse week than yours truly, wherever you are, I'm sure it was not that bad at all if you just look at ONE good thing that might have happened to you... That ONE good thing may just make all the other problems seem so, so trivial.

So, don't worry, be happy.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Home Sweet Home...

Yep! I'm finally home with Ayah and the kids...

Well, theoretically speaking - I've been home for a week now, but the last one week was spent at Mak's house in PJ. Tonight, I'm home "home" in Sri Damansara.

Mak had organized a small makan-makan at her place on Sunday night - the first night I was back in Malaysia. So, I managed to see Mommy and Abah, and some of my siblings, their spouses, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces, and a couple of friends, all at one go at the "khenduri". It was really good to be able to see most of the family members at one sitting. And the food?! Wow! Glorious food! Need I say more?! I think I have gained at least 1kg since I came back! No kidding!

I was getting over my jet-lag, organizing my stuff at the office (which is very near Mak's house), meeting the kids' teachers, and basically ferrying the kids around the last one week. And of course, stealing time here and there to have lunch at some of my favourite spots in Section 14 PJ. (That explains the 1 kg gained...Hahaha!) So, basically - the last one week, I had been in PJ - in transit before really going home.

So, tonight is the first night I'm back in our Sri Damansara house - our humble abode - our "Home Sweet Home". And I feel so at home when Ayah still keeps to our Saturday night routine - i.e. Ayah going around asking everybody what they would like for dinner, and then he would make his way to Beragas Tom Yam and order the food, while I set the table with the maid, and when he comes back with all the yummy food, the kids would just tuck in like they have not eaten for a week! And it's amazing that Ayah and Hanna still stick to their Nasi Goreng USA, while Hilman would ask for his Kuey Teow Ladna - no sayur, no chilli, and I would go for my usual Cantonese Kuey Teow. Hasya has somewhat changed her order - instead of having her usual Kuey Teow Ladna - no sayur, no chilli, tonight she ordered Mee Goreng "tak pedas". So, that's one thing that has changed since I left for Newcastle 7 months ago. Surprisingly - the new maid asked for Mee Goreng, the same order our previous maid would normally ask for. No change there.

Speaking of change - both Hasya and Hilman have put on a bit of weight, and they look chubbier now. Maybe "chubby" is an understatement when it comes to Hilman - he has GROWN, upwards AND sideways! Hahaha! Hasya looks "fuller" than before - maybe because she's no longer training for the State rhythmic gymnastics team. And it's official - Hanna is definitely taller than me now. She doesn't look like an eleven year old girl - more like a 15 y.o!

And Hilman - whenever he's not in school, he would be with me, following me everywhere I go around the house. He would be beside me, holding my hands, sitting on my lap, and whenever I'm lying in bed, he would lie down ON me - basically clinging on me as if I'm his "bantal busuk"! So, you can imagine - all 30kgs of him on yours truly! And of course - K.Ngah Hasya would also fight with Hilman for whatever space left around me. So, that's another 22kgs, mind you! And Hanna being Hanna, she is ever so excited everytime she's home with me... Thank God she doesn't join her adek-adek in their "sitting-on-mommy" session, too! If not - that would be all Xkg of them on me! ( I won't write what their total weight would be here because that would reveal Hanna's weight - and she wouldn't like that! Hehehe!)

Anyway, in the last one week, I managed to fulfill their request for lamb chops and "Big Chicken" (i.e. roast chicken, to the rest of us). It felt really good to be able to cook their favourite dish for them again. And, thankfully I have to say - I still have not lost the touch even though I had not been cooking proper meals during my 7 months stint in Newcastle! And, to be able to just have a relaxed conversation with Ayah again - in our own house...Nice...

And it was fun to be able to play a few rounds of the game UNO with the kids tonight. Both Hanna and Hasya were ganging up against me, while Hilman repeatedly asked his sisters to help him hold his MANY cards. He apparently did not get the concept of the game...He thought the more cards he had, the better chance he had to win! Hahaha! Anyway, both sisters took that opportunity to come up with a strategy to make sure Mommy lose - it was basically 3 players (Hanna and her adek-adek) against 1 (me!). And yes - Hanna won in the end...much to her glee!

Anyway, however good it feels to be home again, needless to say - a mega serious spring cleaning is required...When? Errr...when I feel like it, I guess?! Thank God that our new maid, Shanti (who just started working with us in May) is quite hardworking and reliable (in the sense that I don't need to constantly give her instructions on what to do and when to do them! Phew...) That's one huge headache I'm glad I will live without.

Hmmm, change or no change, headaches or no headaches - it's good to be home again, especially tonight - in Sri Damansara...

And oh yes! Come Friday next week we'll get the keys to our new Home Sweet Home, insya Allah...


Saturday, June 9, 2007

My last day in Geordieland... least for the year 2007.

It's 1:45a.m now, and my cab for the airport will be here in 2 hours time. I will first have to drop off the keys to my flat and laundry room at the Accommodation Office before making my way to Newcastle International.

I'm feeling very happy and excited, but at the same time somewhat sad for the friends I'm leaving behind. But, I guess we should look at this as a new beginning because it definitely is not the end. I will come back again for a couple of months next year, and Insya Allah will get to see them again.

Today has been pretty chaotic - what with trying to finish a piece of work for ICC, and also with the shipping company collecting the boxes in the morning, after which I had to make sure that everything that needed to be put in the luggage was in fact IN the luggage (and not lying around somewhere in the room). I then had to go to the Law School to collect the comments from the Postgradute Panel, after which I headed to Northumberland Street and Eldon Square for my last chakuk of shopping...As my luggage was already brimming 30kgs, I just could not take the risk of shopping a bit more for the kids to bring home with me, so, I settled with just getting them some YUMMY Millie's Cookies. Their stuff which I have shipped home will only reach KL some time in Mid-August, insya Allah...

Had lunch at Bangkok Cafe as there was nothing left in the fridge/freezer/pantry for me to cook and/or eat. This place is highly recommended - if any of you ever come to Newcastle. Reasonable price, HUGE portion, VERY generous with the ingredients, Authentic Thai, friendly and great service. It's just at the end of Lowfriar Street - at the edge of Chinatown.

Came back to the flat around 3:00pm and continued working (managed to negotiate with ICC to let me e-mail the draft tonight, instead of this afternoon - so thechnically I had till 11.59pm to finish it...Hehehe...And for the record - I e-mailed the draft at 10:36pm. Not bad, huh?! ;D).

M and H, Aunty S and Iman and Irfan came to fetch me for dinner at 7:00pm (Well...I still needed to eat even when I had not finished my work, right?!!) We went to Basha - a Lebanese Restaurant - another round of big helping of good food... The food I had today should make me feel full until my first meal on the flight to KL tomorrow! I was touched with the fact that H came along - on his crutches and all, for the "farewell" dinner. Thank you, H...Thank you M...for being there for me all these while. I owe you guys BIG TIME! It is sad to say "Goodbye" - so, I won't...

I was back at the flat around 9:00pm and managed to finish my work at 10:35pm, and Paulette, Jani and Eva came home from their dinner out at the same time, and all of us just sat around and chit chatted in my room until 12:30a.m. We said our bye-byes, tears welling, but we know that we will meet again... Plans have been made for 2009, insya Allah... If there is rezki, and if they are still in Newcastle next year when I come back for my short stint, I'll get to see them then...

So, here I am...all packed and ready to go home...


Friday, June 8, 2007


One VERY BIG hurdle down today. Syukur Alhamdulillah...

Had THE crucial meeting with the Postgraduate Panel for the Law School this morning. On hindsight, all those sleepless nights were unnecessary, I guess?

I underestimated my work. But, one of the Panels commented - "Sharina, you write beautifully". I take that as a very HUGE compliment - coming from a very senior Professor of Law. But, having said that, I ALSO know that "writing beautifully" will not get me my PhD... They have worked out a new time-frame for me to wrap everything up - this time around - no leeways - Na'ah...

I managed to do a last minute shopping for the kids after this morning's meeting. As always - I ended up buying them more stuff than I originally intended. Hey...I was on Cloud 9 - for sure I am allowed to throw some dosh away to celebrate?! Ayah asked me to give myself a treat and buy myself something nice. But, I told him - I didn't need to get anything for myself - the outcome of today's meeting was the best thing I could want for myself. Thank you anyway, Ayah...

My boxes will be shipped out tomorrow (well, at least they will be taken away from my flat tomorrow). I have sealed three boxes up. My fourth box - the final one will have to wait. I need to use the printer tonight to finish up some work. Insya Allah, by 8 a.m tomorrow, the printer will be packed, the fourth box will be sealed, and all my boxes will start their 8-weeks sea voyage halfway across the world...(I hope my Blue Ceramic Pyrex and my Eternal Beau sets will still be in one piece when they reach PJ! Yep - shopping for those stuff was part of my PhD requirement, by the way...Hehehe!)

I have a relatively short draft to submit to ICC by 5pm tomorrow.

And THEN only can I look forward to my flight back home to KL this Saturday.

Come Sunday - I will be home with my Little darlings and Big Darling, insya Allah.

One week break -

...And the following six months will be HELL...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

What do you call...?

What do you call a wreck of a headless chicken with books and papers all around her, who has been sleeping (ON the books and papers on her bed) for 3 hours every night for the past couple of nights; who has not had rice for the last 2 days; who still has not finished packing her stuff; who doesn't even know what day it is today; who wishes she could just blink her eyes and EVERYTHING is hunky dory and she is back home with her rooster and chics?


Friday, June 1, 2007

Aihhhh...I just can't wait to be home...

Ayah was here for a 5-day visit on his way back from a Conference in Barcelona and he just went back to KL this morning. This time around I don’t really feel that sad – mainly because I know that just over a week from today, I will be back home with him and the kids. And this time around, too, I just can’t afford to linger on with my emotions as I have a tight schedule to follow right until the day I fly home! So little time…so much to do! (As I’m writing this – I’m also having my dinner!)

I spoke to the kids just now and told them that Ayah was already on the plane on his way back, and they were so excited – NOT so much because they have missed him, but more so because they know that Ayah is bringing back with him some cool stuff that Mommy and Ayah have bought for them in Newcastle! Hehehe…

I will not be bringing anything back with me for the kids when I go back next week. As it is my luggage as it stands now weighs at 26kgs (11kgs being the weight of the suitcase + my clothings + miscellaneous items AND 15kgs of reading materials!) and I still have about 2kgs of reading materials to add on to it. It could have been more if Ayah had not brought back with him my other reading materials weighing at 8kgs! Thank you, my dear – for lessening my ‘burden’!

Ayah has also brought back with him all the cool stuff for the kids and I have forewarned Hanna, Hasya and Hilman that “Mommy is not bringing anything at all for them next week!” My luggage will only be filled with bulks of papers and maybe 6 pieces of clothings! The rest of my stuff will be shipped back to Malaysia a day before I fly back to KL and will only reach KL between 7 to 9 weeks from now.

Hasya was telling me, “Mommy, it’s okay if you don’t bring back anything else for me, but I just want you to bring back your lips so that you can kiss me!!!” Aaaawwwhhh… Bless her! :D

And I was joking with Hilman and was just pulling his legs and told him that I would be going back in 12 days time, instead of 10 days – and he got so worked up and all upset about it as he had been doing the proper countdown for the last two weeks! Only when I told him that I was joking, that he cried out a very loud, “Yippee!!!!” :D

As for Hanna – she’s just looking forward to Mommy coming back so that Mommy could be the “Negotiator” between Ayah and her, and I think she also misses my cooking, and I think she somehow misses my naggings, too! :D

As for Ayah – I think he just can’t wait to re-delegate all the chores that he had taken over from me for the past seven months, especially in keeping track of and settling all the bills that need settling. I think that must have been the biggest headache for him! And I think he is just waiting for me to take over the task of keeping track of all of the kids’ schedules in and out of school. Not forgetting of course - for me to be with the kids when he sometimes cannot be with them, especially to oversee their studies.

But from now till the day I fly – there are chapters to finish, bills to pay, utility companies to call to arrange for disconnection of services, interviews and meetings to attend, more stuff to pack for shipping, more materials to search for, and maybe…just MAYBE, I could squeeze an hour to shop for one (or two?) more cool stuff for each of the kids to be shipped home…I just don’t have the heart to see them all excited when the boxes arrive in KL only to find out that there’s nothing at all for them in any of them …I just hope I will have some time to do just a little bit more of shopping, insya Allah…

Aihhhh…I just can’t wait to be HOME…