Saturday, July 28, 2007

Matters of the heart (patients)....

I'm doing my bit to support Ayah and his team at UMMC a.k.a PPUM a.k.a UH to promote the upcoming Charity Run a.k.a Larian Kardio organized by their Cardiology Unit with the support of other units and departments at the hospital and University of Malaya.

The event will be held on Sunday 2 September 2007, with the objective of raising RM500,000.00 for UMMC's heart patients fund, to help heart patients who are less privileged and who cannot afford even the subsidised costs of treatment.

Those of us who may have had personal experience, or with our parents, uncles, aunties, relatives or friends, etc., would know that more often than not, in the event that an angiogram and angioplasty have to be performed on the patients, the costs would be REALLY high. To some, the amount may be insignificant. But, to MOST people - the fact that they could or could not afford the treatment is a matter..... of life and death...

The Larian Kardio will be a 5.5km run within University of Malaya's campus and running through its beautiful Botanical Garden a.k.a. Rimba Ilmu and DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, the Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan, and Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara have graciously agreed to be the Guests of Honour and officiate the event at 7:00a.m that morning.

There will also be a Health Fair, which will include free health screening (blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose checks, etc.,), cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demo, blood donation drive, poster exhibition, free dietetic consultation, etc.

And check this out - Zainal Abidin, Anuar Zain and Farah Asyikin (OIAM) will be there, too, to show their support by doing their bits for this charity drive, i.e. doing what they do best - SINGING!!!

In short - macam- macam ada...

It is the hope that the Larian Kardio will kickstart the effort to help these patients.

It is the hope that the public could rally around to achieve this objective.

It is the hope that YOU could be part of this noble effort.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE visit their official website to find out more about this charity event.


Be there, or be square...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"You got money, or not?!"

This year we celebrate our 50 years of independence, and the celebration comes in many forms, everywhere, and involves a lot of people at every level.

SSP (where the kids go to school) also has a few programmes lined up to mark this significant event. They are organizing a Merdekathon (a running/jogging event covering some distance which-I-have-no-idea-how-far, BUT, I know that I will definitely not be in it! Hahaha!), a Merdekarama (a Carnival) and a Merdeka Night (Charity Dinner) in August. It is going to be an all weekend affair, meaning we will not be able to go anywhere that weekend, nobody can come over to visit us that weekend, we will not have a quiet relaxing weekend, and we will not be doing any shopping that weekend (Oouuchh!!!). In short- that weekend will not be a weekend...

Anyway, as with all the "thons" you're familiar with, the SSP Merdekathon also involves the school children going around requesting for pledges from the public, in their case to fill up the school's PIBG/PTA fund. But, "public" to the kids (well, at least to MY kids) means only "family members" - their grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins. It doesn't go beyond that.

So, knowing that the usual crowd of uncles and aunties and cousins would be at my sister's place last Saturday (where we normally have our Potluck Saturday night dinner, with our side of the family and my brother-in-law's side of the family), the kids brought with them their orange Merdekathon card, gearing to collect as much money as possible from Mommy's side of the family (having collected the necessary RM from Ayah's side of the family the week before). And when I said the "usual crowd", I meant around 35-40 people (both little people and big people together) depending on if it's a fullhouse or not...

Ayah and I told the kids that they would have to ask their potential donors themselves, without any help from us, and that they should explain the purpose of the Merdekathon, and they should ask them nicely. It was a simple thing to do. If they didn't do it themselves, they would not get the pledges.

The results -

Hanna got the least collection for that night because initially she was busy chatting on the internet with her cousin K.Aliaa, and later that night she was feeling unwell. Only when we were about to leave that she started asking for the pledges.

Hasya managed to collect quite a sum, even though she was very shy to go around asking for money from everyone in the house at first. Only when she saw Hilman bagging some serious amount of buckaroos that she began her collecting mission. Not bad, considering she did it all within half an hour!

And the winner was Hilman.

You all should see him going from one person to another that night.

When Ayah and I taught him on how to ask for donations, i.e., "Excuse me, I am collecting donations for my school Merdekathon to fill up our PIBG fund which will be used to improve the school amenities and facilities. Would you like to donate, please? Thank you", he just looked at us and said - "Oh nooooo.....That's just too long! I don't know how to say it!".

And he started going around asking everybody -

"Excuse me, you got money, or not?", "You have money?", "Can you give me money?", "Have YOU given me money?", How much money do you have in your wallet?", "I want money, please...", "Can you give me X Ringgit, please?". "Have you put your name in my Merdekathon card, or not?", etc.

And he did that even while his "victims" were having their dinner (that was BEFORE he got the "if-looks-could-kill" stare from Mommy that is!). And his victims' ages range from 1 1/2 to 69 years old! Yeap, even his 1 1/2 year old cousin Aariz was not spared!!! At the end of every round, he would check his card to make sure that EVERYBODY has donated. Thank God he did not ask my sister to donate on behalf of the Cat a.k.a Abu a.k.a Lembu (long story....)

Well, I guess the best and most confident (and may I add - muka paling tak malu?! Hahaha!) man (in this case - boy) won.

But, I cringe to think if he ever goes around asking for donations from the REAL public....


Friday, July 20, 2007

Mission accomplished...

Last night - at GSC One-Utama.

This time around we managed to drag Ayah along (despite him still having loads of work to finish for his Kuantan meeting this weekend!).

The tickets were bought a day earlier, whereby yours truly had to go to the GSC counter after failing to book them online and/or over the phone. I dragged Hanna along and made her promise not to tell her sister and brother that we had tickets for the movie.

Brought the kids' change of clothes and shoes and kept them in the car yesterday, and brought Hanna to my office straight after school. We had lunch there and she did her homework, etc. We went to fetch Ayah from the hospital at 6 p.m and went straight to SSP to fetch Hasya and Hilman, who were quite puzzled when they saw Ayah fetching them! They were even more confused when I asked them to change into their "nice clothes" in the car. They somehow suspected that we were going to see a movie because I also packed their jackets to wear.

We reached the cinema 10 minutes before the show started and both Hasya and Hilman kept on asking what movie was it that we would be watching and I said, "Just wait and see laa..." All throughout the adverts and trailers, both of them were tugging on my arms asking me - "Are we watching XYZ?", "Is it ABC?", "Is it DEF?". Hasya kept on asking to see the tickets, and I just told her to just wait for the movie to start. Hanna played her part and kept telling them that we were going to watch Harry Potter again because Ayah did not watch it last week. And her siblings somehow "semi-believed" her.

Only when the movie finally started, I could hear both of them giving a gleeful, "YESSSS!!", and both of them tugged on my arms and whispered, "Thank you, Mommy!"

The look on their faces - PRICELESS...


Only one word to describe it - AWESOME!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A night out with the kids...

Hasya and Hilman just finished their monthly test yesterday, and I thought it would be nice to just bring the kids out for dinner and a movie last night. Ayah could not join us as he was attending a Cardio Conference in KL (has been since Tuesday, and will only be free after the weekend). Next week, Hanna will have one of her many UPSR trial exams - and if we were to wait for everybody to be totally free before going to the movies, that would mean having to wait for at least two more weeks, and until then I would be bombarded by this standard question endlessly - "When are we going to see Transformers, Mommy?!!!"

Going on a weekend, would be a "No-No", as the cinemas will be full of people of all ages and all walks of life, and, it would not be "fun-fun" at all, so, Ayah asked us to go without him. Hanna was a bit reluctant to go without Ayah initially, but we decided that we could go and see the movie again with Ayah, maybe later this month, when he's free(er). So, off we went to One Utama at 7:45pm, right after Maghrib prayers - Mommy, Hanna, Hasya and Hilman, hoping to catch the 8:30pm show. Yep - you guessed it right, we went there without making any ticket reservations! And, the truth be told - I didn't even have any idea as to the scheduled times for the movies at GSC!

Driving from Section 17 to One Utama was really crazy - the Sprint Highway in front of Eastin Hotel was jammed, and I managed to just swerve out of the queue and used the Damansara Utama route via NKVE, BUT once again, we met with an even worse jam in front of One Utama! My guess was - ALL of the most inconsiderate drivers in Klang Valley were at One Utama last night - because there were cars parked on both sides of the roads in front of One Utama, causing the 3-lane road to become a 1-lane road, creating a massive jam there, which in turn earned continuously swearing from yours truly! (mind you - all were lip synch swearing, away from the kids' ears!)

We only managed to find parking at the New Wing at 8:30pm (it would normally only take 15-20 minutes). We rushed to GSC, only to find >100 people queing in front of us - and horror, horror, there were only two counters opened! The kids were looking at the screen anxiously, and became increasingly worried when they saw that the tickets for "Harry Potter - The Order of the Phoenix", were selling fast!

Errr...Hang on?! Wait a minute!! Did they say "HARRY POTTER"? I thought all these while we were supposed to be watching TRANSFORMERS?! So, Mommy had to take a vote, and asked everyone what his/her preferred movie was. It was unanimous (well, at least among the kids), they wanted to watch Harry Potter. So, Harry Potter it was - and Mommy was SO frustrated because Mommy was REALLY looking forward to watch TRANSFORMERS! And Mommy was really hoping Hilman would vote for TRANSFORMERS! If it was 2 against 2, I could have used my veto power and decided on TRANSFORMERS, instead! Eherks...

The 9:00pm show was sold out right in front of our eyes while we were queueing, and tickets for the 9:30pm show were selling fast. I asked Hanna to queue up at the Golden Class Counter just in case they still had tickets for the 9:00pm show, and she came back saying that the only tickets available were for the 12:30a.m show! I could see that the kids were really anxious as I told them that if there were no tickets for the 9:30pm, then we would only go and have dinner at either Johnny's or Secret Recipe at One Utama, as any show later than 9:30pm would be too late for them. I could see Hilman muttering some do'a/mantra (probably do'a makan?!!) praying that the tickets would be available. And voila, suddenly the screen flashed - stating that there would be two 9:30pm showings of Harry Potter and there were 119 tickets available! The kids started counting the number of people queing in front of us - only 23! "YESSSSS!!!", the three of them exclaimed! (Hilman's mantra must have worked wonders!)

We only got our tickets at 9:25pm, and we had no choice but to have 1901 takeway Hotdogs for dinner in the cinema, instead. The kids managed to gobble everything down while watching the adverts and trailer, and from 9:45 until 11:55pm, we were enchanted and awed by the amazing wizardry of Harry James Potter and his fellow trainee wizards of Hogwarts (some of them who have been with Harry since "The Philosopher's Stone" have turned up to be quite good-looking and charming in their own ways!)

We left One Utama at 12:15a.m and reached home 15 minutes later. Ayah was waiting with Special (Ramli) Burgers for the kids, and they had a late supper together (probably one of the few times Ayah has had the chance to eat with the kids in the last few weeks!). After giving his "Nighty-nights" kiss to the kids (and their Mommy! Winks*), Ayah went back to his hotel room in KL, as he was scheduled to chair a breakfast symposium at 7:30a.m today. If he were to sleep at home and drive from PJ, he would have to leave the house by 6:30a.m this morning!

The kids only went to bed at 1:15a.m. (Sekali-sekala it is okay - but, tak boleh buat selalu!)

As for me, I can't remember when exactly I dozed off, but I remember asking myself this - "When are we going to see TRANSFORMERS, Mommy?!!!", right before I fell asleep...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mi Casa...Su Casa? Errrr...NOT!!!

Remember when I wrote that we had Vacant Possession of our new house about two weeks ago? Well, looks like it is going to be null and void, because we discovered that we were not the ONLY party who had the sets of keys to the property!!!

We signed up all the paperwork, etc when the keys were handed over to us on Friday 22 June 2007 and we inspected the property with the representative of the Developer and also the sub-contractor. There were quite a number of hairline cracks around the house and we were advised to fill in the property defect form within 18 months (from the date of VP).

We were just so happy that the keys were finally ours and we were officially, the legal owner of the property with the handing over of the keys to us. Meaning - we have exclusive rights to the property. Right?

Well, apparently NOT!

We went to the house last Saturday and discovered that someone had opened the main door with THEIR OWN set of keys to the property, and had started working on the hairline cracks - and mind you, we have NOT even lodged a formal complaint on any of the defects to the property yet! Nobody had contacted us to seek permission to enter the property to work on the defect! And even worse, whoever who was working on the defect had actually left the main door, the kitchen door, and a couple of sliding doors wide open! And the house was filthy, with marks on the wall and rubbish strewn all over, and horror, horror - these people actually used the toilets - and I just don't want to go into details on THAT! AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

To say that we were fuming mad would be an understatement! Ayah called the Technical Supervisor who gave the assurance when we were given VP that the three sets of keys handed over to us were the only keys around. So, how do you explain all these? Apparently when the Supervisor came, he himself was shocked! We spoke to the chap who was the liaison officer between the house owners and the sub-contractors and guess what he told us - the honcho of the sub-contractor actually has duplicate copies of keys to ALL of the houses there!!!!

We are lodging a formal complaint and are demanding the Developer to declare that the handing over of Vacant Possession on 22 June 2007 is rendered null and void, and we are changing ALL the locks using our own contractor BUT all the costs involved should and would be borne by the Developer.

So, to all property owners who are moving into your new house, wherever you are - heed my advice. Change ALL locks to your property before you move in. Would you want to move in to your new house if you knew someone else also has access to YOUR home? I think NOT!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Tagged - for a worthy cause...

I first got tagged for this worthy meme about two weeks ago by Mamamia , and again yesterday by Nuraina Samad (K.Ena) - and I said to myself, "Hmmmm....I'd better work on it soon before somebody else tags me to do the same tag! It IS a tag with a very noble cause, and it would look bad (on me!) if I don't do it soon! (In case you guys didn't know, my middle name is "Procrastinate", by the way). Hehehe... Thank you Mamamia and K.Ena for including me as one of the taggees in this wonderful tag.

This tag was initiated by Idham who has pledged RM127 for every blogger tagged up until August 26 - his birthday, and he was aiming to get at least 100 taggees by then. The money would be given to the Darul Izzah Orphanage in Bangi. The date has however been brought forward to the end of July 2007 (as the planned visit to the Orphanage has been rescheduled to 11th August 2007 on the request of the trustees to the beneficiary), and I visited Idham's blog today and by the look of things, the number of taggees has way exceeded the original target! Syabas Saudara Idham. Semoga usaha mulia saudara diberkati Allah swt, insya Allah. Aamin.

So, the rules of the tag are as follows -

All taggees have to do is to complete at least 17 of the 27 sentences below and then tag as many people as you wish by leaving a comment in their blogs about the tag, and also tell Idham about it.

So here goes - the ins and outs of me, myself and I. These are what I think, feel and hope - for everybody to read. Feels like I'm being stripped bare here, but it IS for charity...

1. A person is only as good as ...his conscience.

2. Friendship is always ... about feeling comfortable even if you are in your tattered pyjamas.

3. To love is to ... make the one(s) you love happier than you are.

4. Money makes me ... think of those who are less privileged, and thank Allah swt for His rizq.

5. I miss ... being a Size 10!

6. My way of saying I care is by ... being there with my loved ones.

7. I try to spread love and happiness by... loving and being happy with my life.

8. Pick the flowers when ... you need colours to brighten up someone's life.

9. To love someone is to ... accept him unconditionally as he is.

10. Beauty is ... what is in your heart.

11. When I was thirteen, what I remember the most was ... starting life at a boarding school.

12. When I was twenty one, I remember...being very much in love.

13. I am most happy when ... I don't have anything to distract me away from my family.

14. Nothing makes me happier than ... seeing my kids happy.

15. If I can change one thing, I will change ... the way wealth is distributed around the world.

16. If smiles were the smiley and happy people (and those whom they smile to!) will be filthy rich!

17. Wouldn't it be nice if we could ... make everybody happy with his/her life.

18. If you want to ....lose weight... then you have to it yourself, for yourself!

19. Money is not everything but ... it sure goes a long way to ease a lot of worries.

20. The most touching moment I have experienced was ... the moment Ayah lafaz the akad nikah and I became his lawfully wedded wife.

21. I smile when ... I think of all the cute and frank remarks made by my kids.

22. When I am happy, I ... laugh a lot!

23. If only I don't have to then...I can spend more time with my kids.

24. The best thing I did yesterday was ... successfully performed the last day of my 7-day Puasa Nazar. Syukur alhamdulillah...

25. If I ever write a book, I will give it this title ..."The Life That Was, Is and Will Be", or "Very Married, with Kids".

26. One thing I must do before I die is ... see all my kids get married and have their own family. (Errrr...that's more than "one" thing!)

27. Doing this meme, I feel like ... I'm liberated!


And now, I tag DNAS and Spain. Tag away guys!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Working out time...

Guess what? Last Friday night I went for my first belly-dancing class!

YEP!!! You read it right - "B-E-L-L-Y-D-A-N-C-I-N-G"!

I have no excuse whatsoever NOT to join the class, because -

(i) It is held just two doors away from Mak's house in PJ.

(ii) It is held on Friday nights, 8:00pm - 9:15pm, i.e. during the kids' Kelas Mengaji (Hmmmm...what a dichotomy - kids mengaji, and Mommy goes belly dancing! HAHAHA!)

(iii) Ayah normally finishes his clinic after 9:00pm on Fridays anyway.

At least all of us will have our own thing to do during that time, and I would feel less guilty leaving the kids at home!

(iv) Ayah has given the green light - in fact he's encouraging me to go! (Hmmm...exclusive private performance on the agenda?! HAHAHA!)

(v) I am in dire need to join a fun but effective sweat-producing workout.

And it WAS FUN, and boy...did I sweat! It's not as easy as it looks, especially when you have to do a "double/triple hip"! Errr....the next day - I sakit pinggang... Hopefully after a few lessons my muscles would relax and I would be more agile, insya Allah.

I look forward to the next session, and I also hope to start going to CF again this week. The last time I went for a proper workout at the gym was in November 2006 - before leaving for my 7 months Newcastle stint! Horror...horror... Needless to say, I could feel the kilos coming back...(with a vengeance) Eherks...

Wish me luck, guys! I hope my will-power will carry me through...