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...



(...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 :

Credit card
Driving license
Membership cards segala macam

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

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 -


Nuraina Samad

Minah Celoteh

Dad of Four