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. 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. 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...