Friday, December 18, 2009

Laundry woes...

Bibik Dar went back to Indonesia on 29/11/09.

Two days after that I was involved in that accident.

And the whole family had put up at my MIL's place since. I was just too traumatized to drive, and staying with my MIL meant that I could tumpang rides with her driver or my BIL's driver to work and back, and also to ferry the kids for their classes, etc.

Staying at my MIL's also meant that I didn't have to worry about our laundry - my MAIN concern during Dar's absence actually! My MIL's and SIL's maids have been helping out with that. But, of course, being calculative as they are, they have not really done a proper job at that. Ironing pun macam half-past six ajer. Memang tak boleh challenge Dar's ironing. But, I AM thankful that all the clothes are folded at the end of the day.

Anyway, I've started driving again 4 days ago, albeit ONLY during daytime, and only to work and back to my MIL's, and once to send and fetch Hanna to and from her futsal session in Section 19 PJ. So, I'm still limiting my driving within my comfort zone.

Insya Allah we'll be going back home this morning, and I'm so looking forward to that. And I know the kids are excited to go home and sleep in their own rooms again, and have 24/7 access to the internet :) At their Wan's house, the wi-fi is only switched on at certain times, and Hasya finds it difficult to harvest her Farmville stuffs sometimes. Hehehe!

But, of course - 2 weeks accumulation of dusts in the house, and dried leaves on the front porch await us.

I'll be on leave until 27/12/09. That should give me ample time to get the house spick and span again, insya Allah (but, I think there'll be a lot of nagging and "blood-goes-upstairs" session with the kids in between).

The new Semester starts on 28/12/09, and we have yet to decide whether we'd be staying at my MILs' from that date until Dar comes back. I think Ayah prefers it if we were to stay in SD. He finds it easier to work on his articles and presentations when he's at home.

But, once schools re-open on 4/1/10, and if we were to stay in SD, that would mean I would have to attend to their schooling needs, etc, especially in getting their uniforms washed and ironed, and ready for school every morning. Over the years, the kids have been getting 3 pairs of uniforms each. This meant that by Wednesday, the Monday's and Tuesdays's pairs would be recycled for Thursday and Friday.

And of course, not forgetting Ayah's work shirts, too! At the moment I think he has enough to last him more than 2 weeks without any recycling needed. Meaning that in the worst case scenario, I would only have to iron his work shirts sekali gus every 2 weeks.

One way out of this is to get the kids 5 pairs of uniforms each, so that I only need to iron all of them sekali gus ajer over the weekend, Or maybe 10 pairs terus? So that I only need to do the ironing once every two weeks together with Ayah's shirts? Hahaha!

But, of course, another way is to stay at my MIL's and get the maids there to attend to the laundry/ironing and I terimalah seadanya their half-past six kerja.

OR, we stay in SD, I dump all the laundry in the washing machine every morning, send the washed clothes to my MIL's place on the way to work, and collect the folded and ironed clothes from there on the way back to SD? And I terimalah seadanya their half-past six kerja... again.

OR, I send all their school uniforms and Ayah's shirts to the laundry to be washed and ironed every Friday, so that by Sunday I can just collect them. Extra costs - but, a lot less woes.

Hmmm, the way I'm writing this - macam it's a threat to national security ajer kan?!

But believe me, laundry woes can be worse than that.

And only maidless working moms would understand ;)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Naik bukit, turun bukit...

It's 1:14a.m, Sunday 13th December 2009 - and the kids and I are still awake in our room at Aw*na Hotel, Genting.

Ayah, meanwhile is down in KL. He turun bukit a few hours ago as he was attending MC*BA's Dinner at Is*ana Hotel, and I asked him not to naik bukit balik tonight, but instead sleep at home. I just didn't want him to drive up back here alone. Not when he's not that familiar with the roads and all. Anyway, he has decided to sleep at the Hospital instead as he has some work to finish there. He knows that if he were to go back home, he would be sleeping instead :) Anyway, he should be back here again first thing tomorrow morning, insya Allah.

We checked in at the hotel on Thursday afternoon. Ayah has a Cardio meeting/conference and it will only end at 1:00p.m today. Nasib baik they only have half-day sessions in the morning ajer, so for the last two afternoons, we've been going on the rides at Genting Theme Park. Syukur alhamdulillah the weather has been really nice.

The kids have really enjoyed themselves especially Hasya and Hilman because this time around they could go on most of the rides. The last time we were here they were not tall enough for some of the thrill-rides. In fact, on the second day they actually went on some of the rides again. Me, I only went on 5 rides - itupun I had my eyes closed during most of them. Hehehe! I memang penakut...(tapi teringin jugak nak naik!)

Insya Allah we will be going back to KL tomorrow afternoon. IF Ayah larat, after checking out we will be going up again and lepak-lepak at First World Plaza, etc. If Ayah tak larat, we'll probably lepak kat OU jer. See la how it goes nanti.

Anyway, here are some jokes from Ayah sempena our Genting trip ni -


Just as we were approaching Aw*na Hotel and as the kids saw the signboard, they shouted -

Kids : Ayah! AW*NA!!!

To which ayah answered - "You wanna what?!"

Me : Errrr...?


As we were driving up, we decided to open the car windows and breathe in the cool fresh air.

And just as the cool air came through into the car, Ayah said -

"Hmmmmmm...The Late Lim Goh Tong was SOOOOO rich he actually installed AIRCOND through the whole of Genting Highlands!"

To which the girls responded, "Ya Allah... Ayah, punya ler lame your joke..."

Me : (SETUJU....)


P/S : And Ayah, if you're reading this tonight (instead of doing your work!), I just want to say "I Miss You..." :(

Saturday, December 5, 2009

7:35p.m, 1st December 2009...

It was last Tuesday evening. 1st December 2009.

Hanna was attending her school's Kem Tahan Lasak Programme in UM, while Hasya and Hilman were at their Wan's house in PJ, as they were supposed to have their Mengaji class there that evening.

I was supposed to join Ayah and his staff for Dinner at The Cu*ve, so, after work I drove back to SD as I didn't have any proper attire for the dinner kept at my MIL's. The plan was for me to leave the house after Maghrib and drive to Tr*pi*cana Medical Centre, leave my car there and Ayah and I would be going to The Cu*ve in his car.

Just before Maghrib, I received a call from Ustadz saying that he was not well, hence the Mengaji class had to be cancelled. I got ready right after solat. As I got into the car a few minutes later, fearing that I might forget later, I decided to call my MIL to inform her that the kids' Kelas Mengaji had been cancelled, and for her to tell the kids. I must have tried calling her for about 5 minutes before she finally answered - she was praying before that.

After making the call, I looked at the clock. It was 7:18p.m. I started driving to Kota Damannara using the Sungei Buloh back route/jalan lama. It was raining quite heavily, and I was driving slowly - with my wipers on continuous medium swiping mode.

By 7:35p.m, I was on Persiaran Surian with McD and Pi*za Hut on my left side, and Ayah's hospital was just about 1.5km away. I was on a 4-lane road heading towards SPK Sunway Damansara/Mutiara Damansara, etc., and was approaching the T-junction going to Uptown Kota Damansara/Selangor Science Park. The two right-most lanes are dedicated lanes for those going right to Uptown Kota Damansara and they were on red-light then, while the 3rd and 4th lanes were on green-light, and I was on the 3rd lane.

This is my tempat lalu-lalang as my parents are staying in KD, and Ayah's hospital is also there, and I am very familiar and comfortable with the area and roads and all. But, what happened after that had left me badly shaken even until now. I don't think I'll be able to drive through that stretch of road again without thinking of what happened there that night.

Right at the traffic light, as I was passing through the green-light (which apparently is on green 24/7), out of nowhere, a motorcyclist came from the Uptown direction from my right, crossing straight in front of me heading towards the flats on my left. Mind you, it's a T-junction, and there was no road opening to my left.

He gave me a shock of my life, and there was no way I could have avoided hitting him. I barely managed to press on the brakes and I knocked him straight on his left side. He literally crashed on my windscreen and fell to the right side of my car, onto the road.

I was just so numbed, but I managed to manouvre my car slowly to the left and park it there. I got out of the car, fearing the worst. It was a middle-aged man, probably in his early 50's and he was lying on the road, groaning. And bleeding really badly. His left foot was seriously injured - it must have been crushed between my kangaroo bar and his bike on impact.

The first thing I did was to call Ayah. Believe it or not, I actually forgot how to use my phone right at that moment. I was trembling non-stop, in the middle of the road, in the pouring rain. I forgot that I had Ayah's number on my speed dial, and I was trying to remember how to change my display to the "keypad" mode! Even when I had the keypad on, I actually forgot Ayah's number! It was only after nearly a minute that I remembered to call Ayah through speed dialing!

Right after calling Ayah, I tried calling 999 for the ambulance. Again, I just could not change my phone function to "keypad" mode, and I was struggling for about a minute before I got through, and gave the operator my details and the location of the accident.

By then, there was already a crowd gathering around the old man, and some of them started shouting at me, asking me to bring him to the hospital in my car and not wait for the ambulance. One of them even shouted out, "You bawak dia dalam you punya kereta la! You ada kereta. Mau tunggu ambulan jugak ka? You mau tunggu dia mati ka??!"

Imagine how I was feeling at that moment.

I was not in a state to drive as I was still terribly shaken. I was trembling like a leaf. By the look of his injuries, I don't think anybody in the right mind would want to move the poor guy. And I don't think my Kembara would be able to accomodate him, not with the injuries he had sustained.

I had never been so scared in my life.

A few men then took me to the side and asked me to stay calm and stay with them, while we waited for the ambulance to come. The other crowd was getting impatient and kept asking me if I had called the ambulance. I had in fact called the ambulance twice, and a few of the passers-by had also called for it a few times.

I felt such a relief when I saw Ayah arriving in his car with one of his nurses and and also a staff from TMC. Ayah asked me if I was okay before attending to the old man. He was conscious throughout the ordeal, but I dare not go near him, and I was advised by some of the men around me not to do so.

What I couldn't believe was the fact that the 999 people actually called me THREE times after that to ask me again where exactly the scene of the accident was. THREE times. That was excluding the time when I first made the call to them and explained to them clearly where we were.

The police came nearly half an hour after that, about 8:10p.m, and the ambulance came around 8:15p.m. They must have been stuck in the traffic jam caused by the rain. All throughout the waiting time, I was praying for the old man to be alright. It felt like the longest half an hour of my life...

What was perplexing was the fact that I could actually look at the injuries, and the blood without feeling faint at all throughout the half an hour he was lying on the road. I am one who normally can't even stand the sight of a single drop of blood, and could faint just by looking at blood. Heck, I can't even visit anyone sick without feeling faint. That's just me. But, that night, syukur alhamdulillah, I was okay. It was until the man was taken into the ambulance to be brought to the hospital, that I started to feel dizzy.

After the ambulance left, Ayah asked his staff to drive his car back to the hospital, while Ayah drove my car to the Balai Polis Traffic in Kota Damansara. We made the Police Report and later was brought back to the scene in a police car where I gave the police my account of what happened.

Later I was told that those residing at the flats normally would take a short-cut from the Industrial Park straight to the flat, as they didn't want to make a U-turn further down the road. There was even a makeshift bridge crossing the drain going to the residential area at that spot.

By the time we were done at the Station, it was already about 9:45p.m. Ayah drove us to his hospital in my car. He had to review a few patients, and I waited for him in his office. And while waiting, I decided to call the hospital which the motorcylist had been sent to. Unfortunately, they could not reveal any information via the phone, and had asked me to go and see him myself if I wanted to know his condition.

I told the nurse who answered my call that I was the one who had hit him, and I just wanted to know if he was alright. If he was alive. And she said, "Yes, he's alive". I then asked her if his injuries were serious, and she said, "We can't tell you that. But, biasa lah accident macam ni..." So, I don't really know how he is exactly up until now.

I wanted to go and visit him the next day, but, I was advised not to, as the family might still be riding high on emotions. Even though it was entirely his fault, we can never know how they might react knowing that I was the one who knocked him down. But everyday, I pray for him to be well.

Anyway, that night, we left my car at Ayah's hospital and we had dinner at one of the gerais in SD before going back home. We decided that I would be in no state to drive for a few days, and my car would be sent to the workshop anyway. So, I would be immobile, and the best thing was to put up at my MIL's place. Ayah was to fly to Bangkok on Friday, too, and it was best for everybody to be in PJ.

So, we packed all our clothes and necessities to last us for at least a week stay in PJ, and by the time we reached my MIL's it was already 12:30a.m.

It just so happened that my BIL and his family are away in Perth until 15th December and his driver (Za*di) was at my MIL's disposal until then. And as she herself already has her own driver, Za*di has been heaven-sent as he has been the one driving me and the kids around in the last few days.

My car is already out of the workshop, but, it's only 98% back to normal. There are a few dents here and there which they could not repair, and my kangaroo bar is not really its old self anymore. I have yet to drive my car again since the accident. Masih terbayang-bayang how I hit him and how he crashed on my windscreen and all. And most of all, masih terbayang-bayang his injuries...

Even though I know that it was not my fault, I still feel so guilty for causing him such injuries...

I kept on thinking of all the "what-ifs", and "if it wasn't for, etc.,"... which could have made the accident avoidable.

If only I hadn't made the phonecalls to my MIL before leaving the house, and reaching that spot 5 minutes earlier, the accident might have not happened.

If only I had used the LDP way, instead of the Sungei Buloh way, the accident might not have happened.

If only I had brought my attire for the dinner to my MIL's house earlier on, and not having to go back to SD first, the accident might not have happened.

And it goes on and on and on...

But, I also believe that semuanya dah tersurat , and that whatever differences that might have happened that night, I would still be there right at THAT moment and be involved in that accident.

Setiap yang terjadi ada hikmahnya. Even though I may not see it now, insya Allah I will in the future.

But, whatever that has happened, I bersyukur to Allah SWT - HE has kept me safe in HIS Hands that night...Syukur alhamdulillah.

And I pray for the man's full recovery, insya Allah.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Life without you...

At 9:30p.m last night, I sent this SMS -

"Asslmkum. Ini Ibu Shana. Mau bertanya samada Dar sudah selamat sampai ke rumah? Pesawatnya tiba di Yogyakarta pukul 8:30 pagi tadi. Terima kasih"

2 minutes after that, came the reply -

"Wlaikmsalam. Alhamdulillah. Sudah selamat sampai. Maaf baru bagi kabar"

And I sent a reply -

"Syukur alhamdulillah. Sampaikan salam kepada keluarga di kampung. Hilman minta beritau Dar dia baru beli 2 ekor anak kura-kura!"

Those SMSs were sent to Bibik Dar's husband.

YES - Dar has gone back home for a 2-month break. And I really hope she IS coming back to Malaysia and work with us again. We've heard of stories of maids who were supposed to come back after their holidays who never came back, and this was after their majikan had paid for all the charges/fees for permit renewal and all.

So, to play safe, when she asked us to transfer all her gaji home 2 weeks ago, we told her that we would keep the amount already spent for her permit renewal, and she could send it home AFTER she comes back in January nanti. And she was okay with that.

So, we take that to mean that she IS coming back.

But, at the same time, we're not keeping our hopes too high because the cash my MIL and my Mom gave her, and all the stuff we bought for her and her daughters to bring home with her could easily be about the same amount we're keeping, if not more. So, she MIGHT feel that she could just forego her gaji that we're still keeping.

When I asked Ayah if he thought Dar was coming back or not, he said "50-50", especially when we checked her room, and saw that she had brought ALL her things with her, save for the clothes she wore the night before and the towel she used yesterday morning.

But, for now we want to bersangka baik... and insya Allah she will come back especially when we have promised her a significant increase in her pay for the next two years.

She told me that she would come back once the work to repair her house (especially the roof) is done, and that should only take about a month. And even though she is supposed to go home for 2 months, she said she would come back by Mid-January. I can only make do'a that she will come back, no matter when exactly, insya Allah.

And YES, we've bought two terrapins last night, and the kids (or rather the girls) have decided to name them Jasper and Seth. Apparently they're a couple of characters from the "Twilight" saga (?!). My 14-year old Hanna seems to think that "Seth" is such a sexy name (??!!). That worries me - giving a sexy name to a terrapin?! Hehehe... And she also said that when she gets married and have kids nanti, all her sons will have "Seth" as their first names. Hmmmmm...Sexy names for her sons...and it started with naming her terrapin "Seth", too?! Aiyoooo, Hanna...

So, the terrapins are additions to our existing pets. We already have a couple of Syrian hamsters at home - Benji and Button, and I just hope the kids will be responsible pet-owners and take really good care of them. Dar had been the one who cleaned their cage, bathed them and changed their water and food all this while, and for the next couple of months, the kids will have to be responsible for them. At least the pets will keep them occupied over the school holiday, I hope.

(A good sign this morning when Hilman woke up, and the first thing he asked me was, "Mommy, when do I feed the terrapins, Mommy?" :))

I made sure that they sit and see and help Dar to clean the hamsters' cage on Saturday night so that they know how to do it and not expect ME to clean it for them every time. I have so many other things to do without adding "cleaning hamsters' cage" to my already long list of things to do over the next couple of months.

And, oh ya - I've already cooked 6 chicken/beef/fish dishes yesterday and have frozen them in small containers for convenience. So now we have frozen Assam Pedas Tenggiri, Lemak Chili Padi Tenggiri, Daging Kicap, Daging Masak Merah, Sweet and Sour Chicken and Ayam Masak Lemak Putih in our freezer. Not forgetting the big pot of Sup Tulang/Daging Qorban on the stove :) If we were to eat at home on alternate days, those should last us for about 2 weeks, insya Allah. I only need to teach Hanna how to cook the rice now. (Yup! She never masak nasi before this - all throughout her 14-years of life...)

As for the laundry, I've made enquiries at the nearest Laundrette, and nampak gayanya I'll be a regular there. They charge 2kg per kilo, and for ironing, it's RM1.20 per piece. I would probably wash and dry everything at home, and just send the necessary clothes for ironing. But, then again - what with it raining everyday, I would probably dump everything there every 2-3 days or so and let them take care of everything. I've also bought a small pail and detergent for each kid to put in their bathrooms for them to wash whatever necessary themselves.

Hanna is now in-charge of sweeping the floor every day so that it'll be easier for me to do the mopping later on. We're so used to Dar mopping the house every day, and we have to make sure that we stick to that. Failing which, maybe we would just do it every other day (or maybe once in 3 days...or once a week ke...? See la how it goes :))

Dar had also blended all the onions, garlic, ginger, dried chillies and had put them in their usual containers in the fridge, just in case I need to use them. That should last me for about a week, that is - IF I were to cook everyday, but, I'm not, am I?;)) Anyway, IF I run out of them, I need not worry as Pasar Taman Tun has this gerai which provides all things under the sun blended. They also have pre-mix pastes for rendang, asam pedas, Nyonya/Kapitan curry, and the lot. I loike :) I've also bought some Maggi pre-mix paste last week. Just in case. Anyway, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and McDonalds are just a phonecall away, kan? :)

Anyway, it's Day 2 without Dar, and so far, so good. The kids helped me clear the kitchen and wash the dishes last night (but this morning I had to re-wash a few of them!) Hopefully they'll get better in time, insya Allah.

All we need now is luck. Loads and loads of luck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This and that, and everything in between...

"Hmmmmm....I can't remember when was the last weekend I was NOT busy..."

Ayah suddenly said to me last night while organizing his notebook before he started working on his presentation. He has to prepare 3 powerpoint presentations for a couple of seminars today it seems. Truth be told, I've lost track of how many talks he has to give nowadays.

I went quiet. Or rather, I let out a small "Hmmmm..." before I made my way to the kitchen. In my heart, I was saying, "I hope you also realized that that means it has been that many weekends that we had not had a real family time..."

For the last 4-5 weekends, Ayah had been pretty busy with stuff. If it was not this, it would be that. Vise versa. You know what I mean? He had been busy preparing for talks held nearly every weekend at different venues and function/seminars. At the same time, he had been bogged down with deadlines to meet for his weekly article with MM. And he also had to go to Kuching for a few days last week to attend a Course, after which, when he came back, he was tied down with his Primary School Alumni Dinner on Sunday. All that ON TOP of his usual clinical/hospital routines which always see him coming home way after 10:00p.m every night.

He has been working/attending seminars/giving talks/attending courses over the last few Saturdays AND Sundays, and so, I had been attending to the kids' weekend routines/schedule. At least I had the kids with me almost all the time. That's a good thing, I guess. But, sometimes I do need him at home with me, just to talk. One to one. Without any distractions. Definitely NOT while he's busy working on his notebook. Sometimes I feel that he always could MAKE time for other stuff, but not for us... (Don't mind me. Tengah melayan perasaan...)

Anyway, just thought I'd get THAT out of my system.

Now, on to other things, shall we? :)

We went to Hilman and Hasya's Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan last Tuesday. I stayed on until the end, while Ayah had to leave right after both kids had received their awards. Hasya received an award for getting No. 2 in her class, while Hilman received two awards - one for getting No. 3 in class, and another one for getting 5A's :) Syukur alhamdulillah.

Their school starts streaming the pupils when they are in Standard 4, and insya Allah both of them will be placed in one of the top classes. That means fiercer competition for Hilman, while Hasya will probably have to face another set of children of kiasu parents... Hehehe! Oh ya, Hasya has been selected to become a prefect next year. More responsibilities for her, and I hope that will mean she'll learn how to manage her time better.

On Tuesday night, we had a small birthday do for Hanna's 14th Birthday. Her Aunty Adek cooked Roast Chicken a la Jamie Oliver, Some Yummy Baked Potatoes, and Tagliatelle with Meatballs and Cream Sauce. It was just among Ayah's side of the family. I can't believe my Hanna is already 14...And next year she'll be sitting for her PMR! Yikes!

That Tuesday, too, Hilman started to develop some rash on his hands, feet/legs, and ulcers in his mouth. The first thing that came to my mind was Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. But a visit to the doctor told us that it was not. He is not within the usual age group to get HFM, and the rashes on his hands and feet were not on his palms or soles, but rather, around his wrists, elbows and ankles, and on his groins and bu*t, and a few here and there on his body - which are atypical of HFM. He didn't have any fever, and the rashes were more like chicken-pox blisters. We were told that it was from the same family - chicken-pox, cold sores and shingles, and as contagious. We suspect that he may have contracted it at a birthday party he attended at Ki*s Zo*e on Sunday.

So, Hilman had to be quarantined. Poor baby :( He has been in his room for the last 3 days - well equipped with his PS2 and DVD Player. But, I think he misses his ASTRO. Ayah said he could only be de-quarantined tomorrow. Until then, he's only allowed to leave his room when he needs to go to the loo and take his shower. I have been applying Zovirax cream on his blisters over the last few days, and they look like they're healing. Thank God. I was quite worried that they would leave scars because Hilman is so puteh melepak!

I had bought him De*to* anti-bacterial shower gel, and De*to* anti-bacterial spray for him to spray all surfaces he touches in the bathroom/toilet. And I've also asked Dar to soak all his clothes and towels in De*to* solution before washing them in the washing machine. Of course - separately from the rest of the washing. Tomorrow will be his beddings pulak. You can never be too sure, kan? Hehehe! (Teruknya Mommy dia ni...Anyway, I have to make sure his kakaks don't get it, too, right?)

I think Hasya misses his brother. Every now and then she would pass his room and shout out, "HI, HILMAN!!!" before going up to her room or downstairs to the Study or Living Room. To which Hilman would reply back, "HI, KAK NGAH!!" from behind the door. Sedih lah pulak I tengok :( Tak per...soon he'll be okay to play with his Kak Ngah, insya Allah.

The thing about the rashes - Hilman had to miss his Class Party on Thursday, and I knew he was quite sad because he was really looking forward to it. Siap dah suruh and ingatkan his Makcik Dar to goreng Ayamas Hot & Spicy Chicken for the party since last week! Kesian dia... He also had to withdraw from a swimming competition which he was supposed to enter today. He had registered for the 25m freestyle event. I had to withdraw Hasya from the competition, too, when it just so happened that it's that time when she cannot go into the pool. She was supposed to race in the 25m freestyle and breast-stroke events. It is a pity because it would have been their first experience competing in a race. It's just not meant to be. Tak per lah...insya Allah next year.

And yes, of course - the school holidays are finally here...and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

For one, Bibik Dar will be going back to Indonesia for a 2-month holiday and her flight is on 29th November - next Sunday, and I have yet to find a temporary maid. I have stocked up my pantry with all sorts of instant meals/mixtures, just in case I would not have the time to prepare all the nitty gritty ingredients to cook a proper meal. Thank God for Maggi mixtures for Kicap Berempah, Tandoori, Ayam Madu, Asam Pedas and the likes. Having said that, I have also bought all the bawangs, halia, and chilli kering for Dar to blend and keep in the fridge for my convenience during her absence. Should all of the above finish mid-way through Dar's holiday, I will have to resort to the Nyonya in Pasar Taman Tun who prepares all blended stuffs under the sun, including all ready-made pastes. Just add Ayam/Daging/Ikan saja (and santan if necessary :)).

Either that, or Nasi Kandar Se*ap will be very rich at the end of the two months...

The pantry is also full to the brim with all kinds of snacks and light food for the kids, and all sorts of 3-in-1 stuffs. You'll find canned and packet (powdered) soups, all sorts of canned tuna, pre-mix pasta sauces, UHT Milk, Cordials, crisps, etc. You just name it, you'll probaly find it in our pantry :) The fridge is also packed with all kinds of sausages, nuggets, drummets, and ice creams. Not forgetting the full list of protein sources. Cuti sekolah ni memang grocery bill and utility bills melambung tinggi... Kids asyik bukak fridge, and search for food. And they would switch on the airconds and laptops 24/7. Same old same old...

I'm thinking of having my Mommy to stay with us and be with the kids while I'm at work over the holidays - not to take care of them, but, just to be with them. Hanna is old enough to be given the task of re-heating the meals and setting/clearing the tables and washing the dishes with Hasya (but, I will have to brace myself for a few reports of broken glasses and dishes here and there, I guess). And I might just send the kids to my Sis Lala for a few sleepovers here and there over the holidays.

We have not planned to go anywhere this time as Ayah will not be able to get away from work, and me myself will be cracking my head with a few deadlines. Anyway, we already had that Bali trip in June. That should fulfill our overseas holiday ration for the year :) We might just follow Ayah who's attending a conference some time in December for a few days, insya Allah. Just to get away from KL sekejap. Cuti-cuti Malaysia :)

I just hope Ayah will not be that busy over the next few weekends during the school holidays ni. Kesian the kids...and their Mommy, too, for that matter :(

Will update you guys on that :)

In the meantime, to all mothers out there - GOOD LUCK FOR THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, Y'ALL :)

* Click below for some photos from last week :)

Facebook | Your Photos - Last Week Before School Holidays 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday, Kak Long Hanna :)

14 years ago today, we welcomed our firstborn - Hanna Suhaila binti Haizal, into this world...

I remember that day very clearly even until today. We had the first snow in Newcastle upon Tyne for that year in that early hours of 17th November 1995, and the grounds were already covered with snow by the time I had my first contractions at 4:15a.m in the morning that day.

Being extra-cautious and extra-anxious first-time parents-to-be, Ayah and I had prepared ourselves for that moment and had rehearsed the drill over and over again (in our heads, that is) on what to do and how to do them, especially should the contractions start during ungodly hours (as it was in fact fated to be!). But of course, nothing could have prepared us for the real thing. For one, we didn't expect it to snow (and quite heavily, too!) on the day I went into labour!

It must have been just before 4:00a.m when I had to go to the loo to ease myself when I noticed a show and I immediately woke Ayah up. The EDD was 19th November 1995, and we were hoping and praying that the baby would stick to the EDD (Hehehe...wishful thinking, right? But no - she decided to come out 2 days early!) Barely 15 minutes after that, the contractions started.

I immediately asked Ayah to get the hospital bag and call the hospital to expect us within the next 15 minutes. But as fate had it, the icy and snowy weather which started a few hours earlier had led to the windscreen of our car to be covered with ice, and the roads with snow that morning.

While anxiously monitoring the intervals between the contractions, I tried very hard not to panic while watching and waiting for Ayah who had to spend nearly 15 minutes scraping the hardened frost off the windshield of the car. Ayah being Ayah, he was pretty calm throughout the time, and I have to admit that THAT in a way had helped me to remain calm as well.

Once the ice came off, we started our drive to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI). The journey to the hospital from our place in Forest Hall which normally would have taken us only 10 minutes, had taken us about 40 minutes due to the snow-covered roads. Syukur alhamdulillah, the baby was quite comfortable and quite contented to stay put in my tummy throughout the journey which seemed to be like the longest journey of my life ever.

We reached the hospital just after 5:00a.m and I was immediately wheeled to the Labour Room where I was given a change of clothes in the form of a hospital robe, and the nurses started to take some readings and monitor my progress, and I was prepared for the actual delivery.

I remember so vividly when the waterbag broke while I was sitting on the sofa. I've read about it, and I've heard about it from others. But experiencing it myself was another thing. I was drenched from the waist down and my whole body suddenly felt very light. The nurses took this cue to give me a change of robe, and immediately after that sent me straight to the Delivery Room.

The contractions became more regular and more painful within the next hour, and as it was happening too fast, they were not able to give me the epidural fearing that it would take full effect at the wrong time and might cause complications during delivery. And throughout the whole time, I was only relying on Enthonox to relieve the pain.

As the intervals between the contractions became shorter and shorter, the labour room became more crowded with nurses and doctors as the medical team realized that the baby's heartbeat was going down to abnormal level everytime I was having the contractions. At one time, there were 5 doctors attending to me and the baby in my tummy, and in my enthonox-induced dazed situation I was praying hard in my heart for everything to be okay.

Concerned with the possibility of complications while delivering the baby, the doctors had asked our consent to extract some blood from the baby's crown for some tests to determine the actual cause of distress, and to eliminate other possible factors so as to prepare them for any unexpected labour room crisis. Ayah gave them the green-light and they did whatever needed to be done. I couldn't quite comprehend what really happened within the next 1 hour or so after that, but, what I remembered was when I was told that there was nothing really wrong with the baby. It was just that she was too lazy to work her way out of her mommy's tummy, it seems :)

Ayah was beside me throughout the whole time, and everytime the contractions became unbearable, I would squeeze his hands like there was no tomorrow... In retrospect, he probably was in more pain than I was then, I think. Poor thing...

And at 7:10a.m on 17th November 1995, I safely delivered Hanna Suhaila, weighing at 3.54kg. She came out with thick, black spiky hair, and lips like rubies. And the wail that she gave out when the world welcomed her was the sweetest music to my ears...

I remember holding her immediately after that, and putting her on my chest and she suddenly stopped crying, and I looked at Ayah. He was smiling at me and squeezing my hands. And while kissing my forehead, he whispered to me -

"Our baby..."

And my eyes just welled up and I started crying - out of the undescribable joy and love I felt at that moment.

And Hanna, no matter what happens, no matter how old you are, and no matter where you are, you will always be our baby, my dearest...

And please know it in your heart that Ayah and I love you so very much, and we will do anything for you.

Mommy do'akan your life be filled with love and happiness and people who truly care about you. You have brought so much joy not just to Mommy and Ayah, but also to so many people - friends and family, with your special ways, and your kind heart. Semoga Hanna menjadi anak yang solehah, berbudi pekerti dan mempunyai akhlak yang mulia, dan berjaya dalam kehidupan, insya Allah...

Again, please remember that you'll always be our baby, and if you ever need us, we'll be there...

Happy 14th Birthday, sayang...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

And the results are in!!!

It’s that time of the year again – exam results time.

Ayah and I already knew Hasya’s and Hilman’s results last week, but, we only knew Hanna’s today when I attended Sr* Am*n’s Open Day this morning to collect her report. Ayah couldn’t make it as he is now in Kuching and will only be back on Saturday night. But, I have been giving him ‘Live Feed’ of the results and everything else religiously :)

The Verdicts –

Hanna has improved (depending on how you look at her results).

Hasya has also improved (also depending on how you look at her results).

Hilman pulak, merosot (whatever way you look at his results).

Hanna :

For her Form 1 Mid-Year exam last year, she got #17 in her class and #40 in the whole Form, and for her Finals, she got #3 in her class and #7 in the whole Form. There was a vast improvement in her performance last year. Last year’s results were, by the way, based on the traditional percentage-based ranking.

However, Sr* Am*n has changed their policy this year and now rank their students based on their CGPAs. Meaning, even if you score 8 very high A’s and you get 1 high B, you still will be placed lower than your friends who get 9 straight A’s, even though their overall total marks and percentage may be less than you. The more A's you get, the higher your CGPAs, the higher your ranking will be.

So, based on the new CGPA system, for her Mid-Year this year , Hanna got #17 in her class, and #36 in the whole Form 2 (with 6As and 3Bs) and for her Finals (which I just got to know today), Hanna got #10 in class and #18 the whole Form (with 8As and 1B). I guess for a school like Sr* Am*n, that’s not bad a position to get at all :)

Apparently, according to Hanna, if the ranking were to be based on total percentage, she could have gotten a better position. Well, Hanna. It is NOT. So you’d better make sure you aim for all A’s next time, okay? You will just have to work harder for Sejarah, and at the same time maintain your A’s for all the other subjects.

So, if we were to look at her position in Class and Form now, and compare them with her last year’s FINAL exam – she dah merosot. But, if we were to compare between her Mid-Year and Finals this year, she has improved. A lot. :)

Her current CGPA is 3.79, which will be brought forward to next year. There is still room for improvement, and I make do’a that she’ll do better every time, insya Allah.

It’s your PMR year next year, girl... You’d better work hard(er) and smart(er), okay? (Goshhhh!! Baru macam semalam I blogged about her UPSR results! How time flies...)

Hasya :

Here’s the tricky one. If we were to look at Hasya’s Mid-Year and Final Exam rankings since she was in Standard 1, they were #1 and #1 (Std 1), #2 and #1 (Std 2), and #1 and #2 (Std 3). However, for her Mid-Year this year, she slipped to #5! Anyway, syukur Alhamdulillah, for her Finals this year, Hasya got #2.

Yes, she has improved when it comes to her position in class this year, i.e. naik 3 mata anak tangga, BUT, she didn’t get all As for her subjects. For the main UPSR subjects, Hasya got 4As and 1B (No prize for guessing what subject she got B in...YUP! Pemahaman... :( But, she has improved in terms of her total percentage. So, I’m okay about it (but, I’m not sure about her Ayah, though!).

Hasya has been banned by her Ayah from using her laptop and/or going on the internet since we got to know that she got a ‘B’ for her Pemahaman. And that means, she has not been FB-ing for the last 2 weeks. And I think all her plants and animals in Farmville have wilted away, died and gone to heaven. And all the food in her Restaurant City dah basi and berkulat and dah jadi tapai kot?! :)

She kept on asking when the ban will be lifted without telling me in so many words that it’s her Farmville and Restaurant City which she’s so worried about. But, I’m her mother. I know. :)

I just want to prolong her agony at least until Tuesday next week, coz’ that will be the school’s Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan when she’ll get to go on stage and receive her prize. Unlike the previous years when Hasya would also get prizes for getting highest for 1 or 2 subjects (normally English), this year, she’s only going on stage for getting #2 in her class.

Hilman :

Now, Hilman ni pun tricky jugak ni.

If we were to look at his performance since Standard 1 – his positions in class had been #12 and #5 (Std 1) – meaning he improved a lot that year! He maintained and got #1 and #1 (Std 2), and for his Mid-Year this year, he got #1, too. However, for his Finals this year, he has slipped dua mata anak tangga to #3! And for that, his Ayah has banned him from playing his PS2 and PSP indefinitely. His total percentage has also gone down :(

And unlike the previous years when he would also receive prizes for getting highest for Science, this year he’s only going on stage to receive his prize for getting #3 in class. Just like Hasya, there will be no prize for best in subjects this year...

But, but, but...To make up for it, he will be getting another prize called the “Hadiah Kecemerlangan” which has just been introduced by the school, for getting all As for his exam! Yeay!!! :) But, then again, he got all As for his last exam anyway, so, no "improvement" as such in that department lah this time, kan? Only 5 pupils from his Class got all As apparently. I’m not sure about the rest of the Standard 3 classes. So, insya Allah, Hilman will be placed in the best class next year.

Anyway, I have to admit - this time punyer exam, both Ayah and I were pretty tied up with work and stuff, and neither of us had the time and the chance to come up with our normal mock papers for Hilman and Hasya. In fact, for Hasya we basically left it to her tuition teachers to go over her subjects. And as for Hilman, I only had time to go through his workbooks the nights before his papers :( (Maybe...JUST maybe, the mock papers could have made the difference?!)

Anyway, Mommy just want to say that I am so proud of all three of you!!! Keep up the good work, and Mommy hope to see a lot more improvement for next year, okay? MMMUUUAAAHHHSSS AND (((((HUGS)))))!!!

So, next Tuesday will see both Ayah and I attending SK Sr* Pe*al*in*’s Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan to cheer Hasya and Hilman on when they walk up the stage to receive their prize(s). That is - IF Ayah tak mogok and doesn’t want to go because his kids didn’t get #1... Hehehe!

If that’s the case, I’ll be there... still :)

And a big shoutout to Hanna's friends who read my blog:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nice car. Shame about the driver :)

We were on our way to an open house last Saturday, and were driving along the LDP when I saw a yellow Lotus cruising from behind us, and for about 15 seconds we were side by side, moving through the traffic.

I turned to look at the driver, and jokingly said out loud -

"Hmmmmm...Nice car. Shame about the driver".

All eyes automatically turned to look at the driver, and Hilman had this to say -

"Mommy, rich people are usually fat, right, Mommy?"


Okay, mana orang-orang kaya kat luar sana nak tolong jawab??!! Silakan :D

Monday, October 19, 2009

The (mad-rush) weekend that was...

Last weekend could not be more representative of my life as a doctor's wife , and the kids' lives as a doctor's kids.

It started on Friday night when Ayah had to work late to meet the dateline to submit his MM article to the editor. Ayah knew that he would be very late, but he wasn't sure as to when exactly he would be coming home that night. So, the kids and I decided to have our dinner at One-U, and then tapau some for Ayah and join him at the hospital like we would sometimes do on Friday nights.

Our first stop was MPH as we had to get some workbooks for the kids to practice in preparation for their Final Exam this Friday. But, seperti biasa we ended buying books which were not in our original list lah kan... Anyway, after MPH we decided to have dinner at TCRS, after which we left One-U to join Ayah at the hospital, with some tapau-ed chicken rice for him. Mind you, it was already 10:15p.m, and he had not had his dinner yet, and his lunch was taken after solat Jumaat earlier that day.

We reached Ayah's office at about 10:30p.m, and he was still working on the article. Every now and then his focus would be disrupted when he would be called to the ward and/or ICU to attend to his patients. The kids and I decided to just do our own things as we did not want to disturb Ayah.

We would normally go home separately in our own cars after our Friday visits to Ayah's office, when the kids would choose who they would want to follow in the 15 minutes journey back to SD, and we thought that night would be the same, too.

However, by 12:00a.m, Ayah was still with his patients, and his article was not even halfway done yet! I thought of just driving back home with the kids first, but, Ayah was not keen on the idea of me driving alone with the kids at that hour. So, we decided to just take a short nap while waiting for Ayah to finish his article. He was not keen to bring his work back as he knew that if once he was home, he would be tempted to sleep, and he could not afford that to happen!

Anyway, our short nap in Ayah's office turned out to be an overnight stay when I woke up the next morning at 6:00a.m! I saw Ayah still working on his article, and the kids were occupying different parts of his room - sound asleep. Hilman was sleeping on the patient's bed, and Hanna and Hasya were sleeping on the L-shaped sofa where I was also sleeping on earlier.

Ayah finally finished writing his article at about 8:00a.m, after which he had to do his ward-round, while I struggled to wake the kids up! Syok sangat tido kat Ayah's office, kot? :) Anyway, the kids and I just washed our faces, and luckily Ayah had some Listerine stocked in his office. We brushed our hair - trying our best to look fresh - like we already had our shower, etc, but of course, our wrinkled clothes actually gave everything away... Hehehe!

Ayah has his own toiletries, towels and some change of clothes in his office for days like this, and he managed to shower before we decided to have that rare breakfast together at the Cafeteria, before he had to go see his patients at another hospital in Puchong. Thank God, it was a public holiday on Saturday and there were not many people at the Cafeteria :)We finished our breakfast at 10:00a.m, after which we went our separate ways, with the kids and I going back to SD.

The plan for Saturday was "Open Houses Marathon" from 12:00p.m until late at night. We had 4 open houses and 1 wedding to go to, and we had to strategize so that we could go to each in good time.

We knew that it was going to be a mad rush as we were planning to go to Section 14 (PJ) - Damansara Heights - Kajang - Shah Alam - Rawang within 8 hours, with the hope of reaching our last destination by 10:00p.m. So, we had packed some spare clothes, especially for the kids, just in case we needed to change mid-way through the marathon.

Ayah came back from Puchong at 11:50a.m, and we left the house at 12:20p.m, reaching the first house in PJ at 12:45p.m. We left at about 1:50p.m and made our way to the second house in Damansara Heights for a Deepavali do. And just as we were leaving for our third house at 2:50p.m, Ayah received a call from the hospital, and he had to rush back. And of course, seperti biasa di dalam kes-kes sebegini, WE also had to rush and tag along with him.

The kids and I waited in Ayah's office while he attended to his patient. A half hour wait ended being a 2 hour wait, and we only left for our third open House in Kajang at 5:00p.m! We reached Kajang at 5:25p.m, and spent quite some time chatting with the hosts who were back from the UK for a short break. The original plan was to stay from 3:30p.m until 5:30p.m, but the fact that we only reached the place at 5:25p.m, all our plans had gone haywire lah kan? (Mu*ni, if you're reading this, nanti kita catch up later this week, okay?)

Ayah and I had a wedding to go to in Shah Alam that night, and we knew that we had to leave Kajang by 6:30p.m the latest to go back to SD and get ready for the wedding. And of course, there was that final open house/birthday do at Ibu's place in Rawang which we would be going to after that. Logistically, memang sakit badan lah we all, if we were to go back to SD after the wedding to fetch the kids to go to Ibu's. And the kids would miss out on most of the birthday party.

So, tukar strategy. Nasib baik Sh*dy and On*ir (Mr and Mrs Engineer) were also at the Kajang Open House, and as they were also going to Rawang that night, we decided to deposit our kids so that they could follow their Uncle Sh*dy and Aunty On*ir to the birthday do first, while Mommy and Ayah gi makan khenduri. Luckily we had all their spare clothes with us in the car, maka bermulalah sesi mengeluarkan beg-beg baju from our car to be brought by Hanna to their car :)

Ayah and I left Kajang at about 6:40p.m and reached home just after 7:00p.m. We got ready for the wedding, solat Maghrib, etc, and only left the house at 7:55p.m (and the wedding was supposed to start at 8:00p.m!). Satu hal lah pulak coz' we were not sure where Kelab Golf SAAS was, and with a bit of sesat larat, we only reached the place at 8:30p.m! Pengantin dah dok bersanding kat pelamin!

Luckily, it was a free and easy buffet style wedding, and our tardiness was unnoticed as people were going in and out of the hall going to the buffet stations. We stayed on until 9:40p.m, after which we had to leave as Ayah was again called to the hospital. We reached TMC just after 10:00p.m and Ayah had to review his patients at the ICU, and we only left for Rawang at about 10:40p.m.

Sampai ajer Rawang, Ayah just had to catch up on his sleep. Remember? He had not slept at all since the time he woke up on Friday morning because he was working on his article,on top of his usual hospital routine, right? Meaning at that point in time, he had not slept for over 40 hours! He went up to the room (which is one of the rooms at Ibu's reserved for MT members for out late nights in Rawang. Hehehe!), while the kids continued with the party funs, and the Mommies engaged in meaningful activities - basically borak-borak and kraoke-ing :)

By 2:30a.m, everybody decided to call it the night, and one by one of Ibu's guests started to bid good night. And we thought that we should also make our way home. I went to wake Ayah's up, and I had a tough time to make him open his eyes!! He was really catching up with the last 2 nights sleep which he didn't get. So, finally, we decided to just stay the night at Ibu's... (Errrr, macam tak biasa, kan?! Hahaha!) Again, nasib baik ada spare clothes for everybody in the car. And as always, Ibu being such an efficient host was always ready with all the spare toothbrushes and items yang sewaktu dengannya. Hehehe!

The next day, we left Rawang just before noon - but not before being fed with some Yummylicious Nasi Lemak cooked by Ibu's Bibik - siap dengan Sambal Kerang and Sambal Udang, Ayam Goreng, Ikan Kering Bulu Ayam, etc! (Mana lah nak kurus, kan?!)

Thank you so much for having us over, and being such lovely hosts, Ibu and Mr. Ibu... ;)

We reached home at 12:30p.m, and Ayah had to again go to the hospital at about 2:00p.m. We were planning to go to a khenduri do'a selamat-cum-Raya open house at Bukit Jelutong which was supposed to be from 1:30p.m until 5:00p.m, after which we had planned to go to our BJ house to do some cleaning and mopping and have our shower, and then go out for dinner around there like we normally would do.

However, by 4:30p.m, when Ayah was still not back, I SMSd to the host to apologize and tell her that we would not be able to go to her do. I asked the kids to change (from their Baju Kurung, etc, to some casuals) and help themselves to the Macaroni Goreng I fried earlier. She immediatly called and said that we could still go, even later as they were still receiving guests at that time. Even then, I still tak berani nak janji coz' I wasn't sure when exactly Ayah would be home.

Ayah FINALLY came back at 5:05p.m, and the kids were asked to change back to their Baju Kurung, etc, after which they were bundled into the car, and we headed to BJ. We reached our friend's place at 5:25p.m and met some other friends there and caught up with them over some delicious Briayani spread.

We left our friend's place at 6:30p.m and headed to our BJ house and Bibik Dar and I started to sweep and mop the floors, while Ayah and the kids took their shower, etc. We were done by about 8:30p.m, but instead of going out for dinner, we decided to go to my brother's new place (also in BJ - at Tr*pi*a), and ended up staying there until about 10:50p.m.

We reached home at 11:15p.m and by then, everybody was like kain buruk already...

And I was gone to the world as soon as my head hit the pillow, and only woke up at 6:00a.m this morning...

And it's already Monday...



Friday, October 16, 2009

No visuals! No audio! Please!!!

Please, I hope nobody will be offended by me writing this. Just to share :)

Ayah and I are quite open when it comes to showing our affections to each other in front of the kids. But, of course within limits lah, kan? Hehehe...And of course, when we're at home lah kan? :)

Just the normal hugs, a peck on the cheeks, a brushing kiss on the lips, etc. You know, the usual normal things which you would do naturally, without having to think about it to do it. On reflex.

The kids are so used to these as we've been doing this sejak azali lagi. And I guess they see it as a normal thing for their Ayah and Mommy to do this, and also for other married couples to do the same.

Some may not agree with me, but, I do believe that it is okay for kids to see their Moms and Dads show their love openly, as this exudes warmth, love, respect and happiness in the family which I think is very important for their growth and development. Happy thoughts in children really can do wonders, especially to their psychological development which will determine how well these kids will do in life later.

But, we don't really see this as a norm in our society. Which is a shame.

Anyway, yesterday was just like any other day, except that Ayah came back earlier than usual. Hasya was in the living room with me then. I greeted Ayah at the door when he came in. We hugged, and we kissed lightly before walking to the sofa.

Hasya, who all those time was sitting on the sofa and observing us, suddenly said -

"Ohhh, Mommy!! Ayah!! Please...NO VISUALS, please!! NO VISUALS! And NO AUDIO, too, please!!!"

Ayah and I just looked at each other, trying to figure out what it was that she was talking about, and realizing that she was referring to the light kiss we had earlier, both Ayah and I just had to gelak besar after that!

What?! No visuals?!! No audio??!! What??!

Why the sudden change in her reaction to all the "openness" thingy, ya? (Have to ask her about this nanti!)

And of course, Ayah responded by hugging (or rather - squeezing her) and giving her a big kiss on her cheeks - with AUDIO set at full volume!


Much to Hasya's annoyance, of course!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thank You, ALLAH, for the dawns and the dusks...

It's 1:54a.m, and I'm finding it hard to sleep.

Even the cool air of the aircond is not helping.

I have a full day today. I have classes from 9:00a.m until 12:00pm, 2:00pm until 3:00p.m and 4:00p.m until 5:00p.m. I desperately need to sleep, unless I don't mind my students seeing me sleeping in class today!

And as always, when I can't sleep, the deafening silence of the night would make me reflect and remember the things I've done or said, and the things others have done and said which have been there at the back of my mind, waiting for a night like this to knock on my head again.

And tonight, I remembered a conversation I had with Hilman last week.

We were on our way home to SD and I was driving along the normal route we would take from the school, and as we were approaching the flyover besides the Bukit Kiara Cemetary, Hilman asked me,

Hilman : Mommy, when is dusk and dawn? What's the difference?

(Can't blame him - I think I got confused between those two, too, when I was his age :))

Me : Dawn is when the sun rises, and dusk is when the sun sets. Solat subuh masa dawn, and solat Maghrib masa dusk.

Hilman : Ohhhh, okay? What is your favourite time of the day, Mommy?

Me : Hmmmm, I don't know. I don't have any favourite times. They're all the same kot? But, I love it when it rains, and then it stops, and the sun comes out again - especially in the late afternoon. It feels so fresh and nice. Why do you ask?

Hilman : Errrrr, nothing.

He was silent for about 10 seconds, and then he said -

Hilman : My favourite time is dusk, Mommy - because that's when you can see all the beautiful clouds in the sky...

I looked at him and I saw him staring at the vermillion sky in front of us - his eyes fixed on the clouds above the skyline.

And just then, it dawned on me just how long it had been since the last time I sat down, and appreciated, and I mean REALLY APPRECIATED the fact that I had woken up at the dawn of a new day, and had been given the chance to live through that day to see the sun sets at dusk, EVERYDAY for every single day of my life until now. And not just appreciating the colours they bring with them. But,even more so, to have been given the chance to share those days with those who matter most in my life.

Thank You, ALLAH, for giving life to me, and to my loved ones...

Thank you, ALLAH, for still giving us our dawns and our live another new day, every day...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ada satu cerita kelakar...

Tapi, I tak tau nak gelak ker...or nak nangis...

Ayah and I had a wedding invitation yesterday. It was a reception for the son of my colleague at the Faculty - Prof Fa*zi, and his wife Dr. Fa*i*ah. It was to be held at Gr*nd Bl*e Wa*e, Shah Alam.

I went to get the wedding present on Saturday while waiting for Hanna to finish her guitar lesson at One-U. Jenuh jugak lah nak memilih the present because nearly all of the items which I berkenan semua dah out of stock. They should have tagged on the display items that only the display items were left lah kan? I think I asked for about 8 items, before they finally had one in stock. Wasting my time only!

Anyway, I had chosen our Bajus to wear for the wedding - sedondon, etc. Had asked Dar to iron them nicely, together with a matching samping for Ayah and tudung for me. I later had to go through my accessories collection to find a matching clutch handbag, and later asked the girls to find a matching pair of shoes to go with it. Finally, I took out some bling-bling to be worn to the wedding. By 3p.m all the bajus had been ironed, and Ayah's songkok had also been brushed.

I decided to cook Honeyed Chicken Casserole for the kids' dinner. Ye lah kan? Ayah and Mommy nak makan khenduri, takkan anak-anak mak makan Maggi ajer kat rumah, kan? Dinner was ready by 5:30p.m.

Ayah came back from the hospital just before 7:00p.m, and we left for the wedding at 7:40p.m. We reached GBW at 8:05p.m and was amazed when we actually found a parking slot in no time at all. Ayah and I joked - hmmmmm, maybe we were the only guests at the wedding because everybody else was busy waiting for the by-election results in Teluk Kemang. Hehehe!

We went up the lift to the 2nd Floor where the Grand Ballroom is, with the wedding present in our hands, and as we walked out of the lift, it suddenly dawned to us if we had got the date of the wedding wrong. It was eerily very quiet. Too quiet for a wedding. We walked towards the Grand Ballroom, and saw a group of workers clearing up the tables and stuff there.

I stopped in my stride, while Ayah continued to walk straight to one of the staff there and asked if there was any wedding reception in another Hall at the hotel, and the staff said 'Nope'. She then asked Ayah the name of the hosts and when Ayah gave the name, this was what she said -

"OOooohhh... Dr Fa*i*ah punya function buat petang tadi. Dia buat Hi-Tea from 2:30 sampai 6 petang tadi!"

And at that point in time how I wished the floor under me would just open up and swallow me - all of me, together with my matching handbag and shoes, tudung, and bling-blings!

It was just SO EMBARASSING, okay?!

We got the date right. We got the venue right. But, we got the time wrong!!

But, Ayah being Ayah, dia selamba ajer tanya -

"Oh, ye ke? Hmmmm, You tau tak, if there's any wedding tonight which we can go to? Alang-alang dah pakai Baju Melayu ni. Boleh jugak we all bagi hadiah ni kat they all..."

And I was like ???!!!

We walked back to the lift, went down to the basement parking, and Ayah called Prof Fa*zi to explain and apologize to him for not going to the wedding that afternoon. After which, we got into the car, and we started laughing!!!

Only Haizal and Shana are capable of doing these things, you all!!

Anyway, on the way back we started to come out with names of eating places to go to for our dinner, and we decided that it had to be a place which serves dishes similar to Nasi Khenduri as we, or rather I, had already set our minds to makan Nasi Khenduri that night.

And we settled for d'Ta*do*r in Damansara Utama.

But before we went out of the car, we obviously had to dress down lah kan? Giler apa nak masuk d'Ta*do*r with what we were wearing, kan?

So, Ayah took out his songkok and samping, unbutton a few of his butang Baju Melayu, sengseng lengan baju (biar nampak macho lah kan?),and changed to his chapal which fortunately were in his car.

As for me - I couldn't do much dressing down, except to take off my bling-blings. And I just couldn't bring myself to carry my clutch bag yang glamour giler to d'Ta*do*r. So, I kept my jewelleries in it, put it under the car seat, and berdo'a that nobody would take them, and lenggang masuk the restaurant.

We ordered Pilau Race and Garlic Naan, Chicken Jalfrezi, Mutton Roghan Josh and some Brinjal dish and some Mango Lassi. The Poppadums were complimentary. Kira okay lah tu...Lebih kurang macam Nasi Khenduri lah tu! HAHAHAHAHA!

We finished our dinner at 9:45p.m and headed back to Sri Damansara and reached home at 10:00p.m.

The kids were still up.

And barely a minute after we went in, Hilman asked -

"Ayah, you have not given the present yet?! Why?"

Hmmmm...That's what you get when you have a very observant child in the house.

And we ended up having to tell the kids our embarassing story...

The moral of the story, you guys -

(i) When you get an invitation, make sure you read it properly, and don't just assume that just because it is a Malay Wedding held at a hotel somewhere, it would be a sitting down dinner reception.

(ii) Make sure BOTH you and hubby read the invitation from A to Z, and put a reminder in BOTH your phone Calendar/Schedule. And of course, make sure that ALL the details are CORRECT.

(iii) Do not misplace the invitation card (like we did!). It'll do you good to CHECK it again a day BEFORE the function/event.

(iv) Make sure you have spare casual shoes/attires in your car, or you might end up having dinner at Kayu dressed macam nak gi meminang anak raja...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Surat Tunjuk Sebab :)

Hmmmm, we're into our third week of Syawal, and I had not posted anything on our Raya celebration this year. So not me!

Well, life pre, during and post-Raya had been pretty hectic for all of us, me included, and on top of that I have been spending more time on Facebooking than blogging (which I think quite a number of bloggers are guilty of, too!) But, I hope to be able to balance between the two soon, insya Allah.

A summary of what had happened in the last couple of weeks -

The first day of raya, my MIL cooked Lontong and Macaroni Goreng, on top of the usual Lemang, Rendang, Nasi Impit, Satay, etc. While my Mom cooked Mee Rebus, on top of the usuals. And I also cooked some Asam Laksa for both. Malam Raya was spent at my parents' for our last berbuka, after which we went to spend the night at my MIL's. Pagi Raya was spent at my MIL's and we only left for my parents' around 4:00p.m and stayed till late. Everybody was there except for my second brother, Jame who spent his Raya in Taiping as he had to work.

Oh ya, the theme for First Day Raya was Turquoise Blue :) The following days - semua carca marba :)

I lost 2.5kgs during Ramadhan, and gained 1.5kg back in the first week of Syawal. Sedey tau ! :( I'm still trying to make sure that it stays at that, or hopefully go down from now on. I'm on my third day of Puasa qadha' (some say, can also be considered as part of Puasa 6). Thinking of doing a proper Puasa 6 after that. That is IF there's enough time to do that. Syawal dah half-way dah ni...

The whole family is fasting now. Just as how it was last year, I'm very heartened when the kids, especially Hilman and Hasya decided to join us to puasa. Nobody pressured them or anything. They decided to do it on their own accord. And so far, so good. Imaan masih kuat di sekolah even though the temptations must have been great when they see their friends eating and drinking during recess.

We have also been dining out a lot after raya, AND buying food for our meals - the reason being, my MIL's and my SIL's maids (both staying at my MIL's) ran away on first raya! My MIL left the house at 6:15p.m to beraya at her sister's place in Keramat, and by 7:00p.m., when the guard came for duty, he could not get in as there was nobody to open the gate for him! Within 45 minutes - the maids lesap. That was after we gave them 2-3 pasang Baju Raya each and duit raya! Big mistake - with the cash in hand, panjang lah lagi kaki they all :(

Anyway, so, now my Bibik Dar kena kerja lebih sikit coz' kena cover 2 houses. But, my MIL is paying her extra for the extra chores/responsibilities. And everybody in the house chips in to wash the dishes, iron the clothes, sweep and mop the floors, etc. I would help with the cooking if I finish work early. If not, my MIL would just buy lauk dah siap, or we would eat out.

My MIL had a temporary maid last week on Thursday, but decided to send her back to the agent on Monday morning. So many things yang memeningkan kepala and menaikkan darah my MIL. That maid refused to eat leftover rice, and would cook fresh rice for HERSELF every day, and would also serve the DRIVER the fresh rice. BUT she would serve leftover rice to my MIL! Ada kah patut?!

On top of that, she spent more than half of her time eating whatever she could find in the kitchen, in the fridge, in the freezer, etc. She even finished the food meant for the toddler at home, Qadri! And she actually cooked one whole packet of Meehun and ate the whole thing herself for breakfast on Sunday! The whole KUALI of Meehun... Can you beat that? She refused to do other things EXCEPT cook. Even then, she would cook ikut selera dia even though my MIL had taught her how to cook the way the family likes it.

She didn't know how to iron properly, she didn't know how to use the mesin parut kelapa (even though dah diajar a few times), and she refused to cook the fish/chicken/meat which had been in the fridge for more than 4 days. According to her - dah tak sedap! Lawan tokey betul...The majikan tak kisah, pembantu rumah lah pulak yang memilih!!! Tak sakit jiwer kitorang?! Anyway, good riddance - my MIL asked her to pack her bag and sent her to the agent on Monday morning.

Another thing yang memeningkan my kepala, Bibik Dar wants to go back for a 2-month holiday in November, but, I'm trying to persuade her to go back in January 2010 instead. So many things to settle at work year end, and having her around while the kids are on their school holiday would really help ease a lot of things. She's keen to come back and work for another 2 years after that, but, she said she has to ask her husband first...I REALLY hope she'll get the geenlight from her hubby. She has been the best maid we've had so far, and the kids are close to her. We're giving her a substantial raise if she comes back, and we hope that will convince the hubby to let her come back and work with us. Pray for us, please. Thanks! :)

Okay, I guess that's all for now - Surat Tunjuk Sebab why this blog has been idle for a while :)

But, before that, you can click here and here for some of our Raya pics :)


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya :)

It's Wednesday...or should I say, it's ONLY Wednesday...

This week is REALLY taking it's time to reach the weekend, huh?

I am so looking forward to Raya.

But, before that I still have today and tomorrow at work before I can really start enjoying the break. I have 5 hours of tutorial classes tomorrow - the first one starting at 9:00a.m, while the last class will only end at 5:00p.m. I know that many of the students would have already gone back to their kampung by tomorrow afternoon, and I'm contemplating whether I should just cancel all the classes and reschedule all replacement classes after the break. Hmmmm...I might just do that. After all, I was a student once and I know that those who will be in class tomorrow will not be able to concentrate and give 100%, anyway :)

My leave starts on Friday, and I plan to go for serious retail therapy with the kids. We have not been doing any shopping over the last month because of Ramadhan and H1N1. We did most of our raya shopping before puasa, but, I still need to find kasut raya for Hilman, and I'm thinking of getting the girls new earrings/earstuds for Raya. Hasya had just pierced her ears 3 weeks ago (for the THIRD time), and she needs to get a gold set as she's allergic to non-gold studs (that was the cause as to why the last two attempts at piercing and wearing earrings failed). (Sambil-sambil tu, if mood Ayah baik, I boleh gak get a piece of bling-bling for myself, too, kan? Hehehe!)

And oh ya...I have yet to collect our Baju Raya from Kh*ti*ah at Pasar Taman Tun, and also Ayah's and Hilman's Baju Melayu from Om*r Al*. The girls have 4 Baju Kurung each, while Hilman has 3 Baju Melayu. On top of that we've also bought a few new tops and jeans/pants for them. Ayah has 2 new Baju Melayu, while I have 3 myself. Gila sakan nak raya...Hahaha! And of course, after collecting my Baju Raya, I will then have to go and find matching tudungs, too. Wajib. Mesti:)

We've already got new notes for Duit Raya, and also the Raya Packets. Two bundles of last year's RM5 notes still tak berusik, so we only tukar some RM10 and RM50 this year. Not a lot - just for the kids and immediate nephews and nieces.

I've also sent some money back to Indonesia for Bibik Dar, and hopefully her family will have a good raya this year, insya Allah.

Hilman needs a haircut, too. Badly. And I'm thinking of getting one myself, and if I feel like it, I might also get some henna done. My white hair is fast becoming more prominent than my black ones. Yikes!

I also need to sort out the girls jewelries. I've forgotten where exactly I've kept them. Whether at my MIL's or in one of my drawers at home. They only wear the jewelries once a year - during Aidilfitri. Tu yang sometimes boleh terlupa where I've kept them.

Hmmmmm....macam tak cukup masa ajer to settle everything by Saturday...

Raya this year seperti juga Raya-raya sebelumnya.

Last berbuka, insya Allah I will berbuka with my parents in KD, while Ayah will berbuka with my MIL in PJ, and the kids can choose where they want to berbuka. I will be busy helping my Mom kemas-kemaskan rumah, etc., and will only go back to my MIL's late at night. We will all sleep in PJ, and spend first raya morning with my MIL and Ayah's siblings, and late afternoon baru beraya at my parents and be with my siblings pulak, and we'll stay there until late at night. We normally would go back and sleep in SD, and the second raya will depend on what my parents and my MIL plan(s) to do, and we'll schedule everything to cater for both sides, insya Allah.

Menu for first day Raya, normally my Mom will cook Mee Rebus and Laksa Penang, on top of all the ketupat rendang. While my MIL will cook her Lontong and Macaroni Goreng. Also on top of the usual ketupat rendang. Meaning - by the second Raya I will have gained back all the kilos I shed over Ramadhan... :( Tsk...tsk...tsk...

Well, that's what Raya is all about, kan? ;)

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you -


Sekiranya ada terkasar bahasa and tersalah kata, jari sepuluh saya susunkan, memohon ampun maaf.

Drive safely, and enjoy your Raya break with your loved ones.

And don't forget to come back!!! :)

Take care, you all :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 revisited...

9/11/2001 - the day the world stood still when the unthinkable and the unexpected happened.

The day which changed the whole landscape of international relations and security as we suddenly realized that we were faced with non-traditional threats, and we didn't really understand the whole situation, and we didn't really know as to the next course of action.

The whole world was shocked and everybody still remembers vividly the image of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre, and how it crumbled in front of our eyes...

I will always remember that day. Not just because of its significance to international relations, nor because of those vivid images etched in my head, but, because we as a family were also affected by the whole thing at a personal level.

We were in London when it happened. We had just arrived two days before that, with plans to spend a short break in London, while Ayah was to attend a cardio conference in Washington D.C. We had travelled to London together - both of us, and the kids, accompanied by my MIL and SIL. Hanna was just 6 years old then, while Hasya 2 1/2, and Hilman had just celebrated his 1st birthday a day before that.

The plan was for us to spend 2 days together in London, before Ayah was to fly to and stay in Washington for 3 days, and he would then join us again in London for the last 5 days before we were to fly back to KL together.

On that fateful day, we bade Ayah farewell before he left our London apartment early in the morning to catch the tube to the airport. Never did we think that that would be the start of one the most anxious times in our lives.

Ayah was supposed to get on the 9:15a.m Vi*gi* At*an*ic flight which would have taken him straight to Washington. He called just before boarding the plane just to say that he was fine and the flight was on schedule. And that was that. And he said he would call me once he reached the hotel in Washington.

I was busy preparing breakfast in the kitchen later that morning, when images shown on TV of this building into which a plane had crashed, caught my eyes, and I remember running to the adjoining living room to turn the volume on to find out what exactly had happened. I called out to my MIL and both of us just sat there watching the image being repeated over and over again over BBC1 and we were trying to gather what was that all about. Not much was disclosed at that point in time, and we were glued in front of the telly watching the live coverage of the tragedy.

Imagine our shock when just as we were thinking that it was just an unfortunate plane crash, we saw the second plane crashing into the second tower while we were watching the coverage! And right then, we knew that something was terribly not right...

In the middle of the chaotic reporting and total disbelief amongst the media reports, we saw the flashes across the TV screen stating that it was a terrorist attack on the USA, and that all airspace and all airports would be closed, and all flights into and out of the USA would be diverted elsewhere and all lines of communication were also blocked until further notice.

I remember feeling very faint, and finding it difficult to breath for a good 15 seconds after reading the news flash, as my mind was immediately thinking about Ayah who had left the UK just over two hours before that! He was already somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Washington, and he would be amongst the hundreds of thousands of flight passengers to be re-routed to numeorus airports all over the region.

I began dialling the numbers for Vi*gi* At*an*ic to find out where Ayah's flight was to be re-routed to, and all I got were engaged tones and computer-generated voicemails asking me to hold on or try again later. And THOSE were the only things I got from the airline company for the next 2 days...

Imagine my state of mind at that time - not knowing whether Ayah was okay, or where he was at that time - or whether there were more attacks being attempted or planned on more flights...And I had 3 small kids with me who were oblivious to what was happening, and I was trying my best to not show my anxieties to them. And I was also with a mother who was worried sick about his second son. My MIL was on her sajjadah almost throughout the entire waiting period...

It was only on the second day when we managed to call the airline and we were told that Ayah's flight had been diverted to a small town in Newfoundland, by the name of Gander, and they were waiting for clearance from the US authorities before deciding on whether to continue their flight to Washington, or fly back to the UK. And over the next 2-3 days, they kept changing their flight plans and schedule, and I was already feeling the strain of being in the dark and being treated like a yo-yo. One minute they would say that his flight was scheduled to fly back to the UK on that particular day and the next minute they would inform that the flight had been delayed, or had been given clearance only to fly to Washington, and the next minute they would tell me another thing. I was on the worst roller-coaster ride of my life... And all those times, there was no communication whatsoever between me and Ayah...

It was also on the second day that I received a phone-call from my biras who was in KL at that time to inform us that Ayah finally managed to e-mail him and he had asked him to assure us that he was fine, and there was no need to worry about him. E-mails were the only mode of communication available to Ayah then, and I, on the other hand, had no ready access to the internet at that time.


THAT was like asking us to continue having our dinner calmly in the middle of a hurricane, I tell you.

Anyway, I was so relieved to get a little news as to his well-being, and for the next couple of days (i.e. 4 days after he left London) my biras who was keeping in touch with Ayah via e-mails, would be the one who would update us on how Ayah was doing in Gander. At least we knew that he was safe.

And after waiting for 3 days, Ayah finally managed to call us from Gander. And the moment I heard his voice, the strain just gave in and I broke down and cried like nobody's business...Unashamedly in front of my MIL. In front of the kids. It was more of uncontrolable sobs, I think.

I could somewhat sense the strain in his voice, too. He was the one who had been stranded in a middle of nowhere, with strangers, makan tidur tak terurus for days...But, he sounded calm and cheerful. I guess he was trying not to make his mom and his wife overly worry about him...

The days after finally being able to hear his voice were much easier to face, and Ayah managed to call a few times after that to update us on his flight plan. Even then we were disappointed after initial plans for him to fly back straight to the UK were postponed and later cancelled. Several times. Within one day.

Finally, after nearly 5 days of being stranded in Gander, Ayah's flight continued its journey to Washington, and from there, he took the next flight back which took him straight to London.

And never had I felt so happy to see my haggard-looking, unshaven, sunken-eyed hubby's face as I did that day when he arrived in front of the door of our London apartment that Sunday.

THOSE were the longest 5 days of my life. And I pray that I would never ever have to go through that again...

And everytime 9/11 comes, I would be reminded as to how lucky Ayah was, and how fortunate we had been. Even though we were amongst the hundreds of thousands of people directly/indirectly affected by the tragedy, and had gone through hell during those nerve-racking times, there were those who had perished, and their loved ones would never see them again...

May they rest in peace...Amin.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary, my darling :)

As I felt your warmth against me, and all emotions that it brings - the sense of belonging, peace, calmness, and assurance your love has brought to my life for the past 15 years, I pray for this to last...and I wish you all my love and much, much more, forever and a day.

Thank you for being there for me all these years, and making me complete...

Happy Anniversary, sayang.

I love you.

So. Very. Much...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our puasa so far...

Salams and Hi, you all.

I know, I know... This blog of mine has been ignored for the longest time. My apologies.

Even though I have been quiet on the blogging front, I've been quite active FB-ing. And those who are my FB friends have been getting updates on what the family and I have been up to for the last 3 weeks or so, which has been makan, makan, dan makan lagi...(Errrr, during berbuka, okay? ;))

Ramadhan has been smooth-sailing so far, syukur alhamdulillah. Hanna, Hasya and Hilman all have performed their Puasa dilligently, without any complaints at all. It helped that the first week of Ramadhan was during their school holiday, and the weather has been kind to us.

Sahur, too, has not been a war zone so far. Bibik Dar is indeed a blessing. She would prepare everything and wake all of us up at 5:00a.m for Sahur without fail. And surprisingly, we have not had much trouble waking the kids up. Even Hilman :) Every Sahur has been a simple affair so far. We only had rice once. Corned Beef Fried Rice, to be exact, courtesy of Meen's recipe.

The rest of our sahur have been either Toasted Sandwiches (Egg or Tuna), Half-boiled Eggs with Toasts, Campbell Soups (Chicken or Mushroom) with Bread, or Cereals. And of course, whatever kueh-mueh left from berbuka the night before. And I would make sure the whole family take their MultiVitamins, Scott's Emulsion, and Vitamin C every Sahur.

As for Berbuka, I think we've only broken fast at our home in SD maybe 3-4 times? The rest, we either berbuka at my MIL's, my parents', or outside - either at friends' place, or Hotels/Restaurants - the latter, mostly sponsored. I loike :)! Syukur Alhamdulillah. Oh ya, once Ayah's Heart Centre at TMC organized a Berbuka for his staff, catered by the hospital's F&B Department. Not bad at all (considering that they normally cook hospital food for their patients :))

Here are some reviews of the places we've been to -

Puteri Restaurant (Taman Tun) was so-so. I think I must have had quite high expectations after all the raves I heard about this place. I was a bit disappointed with the spread. I was hoping for more varieties and not just Traditional Malay dish. I know, I know... that's what they're famous for anyway, right?

Sari Ratu (Kota Damansara) was awesome. Puas makan :) We had Gulai Otak Sapi, Gulai Tunjang, Gulai Ayam, Gulai Pucuk Ubi, Gulai Nangka, Tenggiri Balado, Terung Balado, and of course their Sambal Ijo. Yummeh! Oh yes! Not forgetting their Chendol Durian! Terangkat I tell you :) Tapi, tak boleh makan selalu kat situ. Cholesterol-laden food, meh... :)

One World - they had an amazing spread. Memang tabik spring. But, the taste was a bit bland (at least to me, that is).

Le Meridien - I only tried the Chinese and Japanese spread. Very nice. I like :) They also have a Middle-Eastern and Indian Corner, and a Noodle Booth which looked good, but, I can't really comment as I didn't have any of those. Oh ya...their Burnt Coconut Drink was simply divine...

If we berbuka at home or in PJ or in KD, the wajib Bazaar Ramadhan dish would include Roti John, Otak-Otak, and Air Tebu. We normally go to the ones in Section 17 PJ (near my MIL's), Kota Damansara (near Ayah's hospital and my parents') and of course in SD itself.

There's one stall in Section 17 Bazaar which sells all sorts of kueh-mueh which I like. Their kuehs are tasty, and nicely made (comel) and clean. They sell very nice Kueh Kochi and another kueh which I don't know the name (made with tepung pulut and salut with gula - macam gula Kueh Keria?).

In Kota Damansara - there's one stall which sells Hot Soy Bean Milk which is a hit with the kids.

In Sri Damansara - one stall sells quite nice Otak-Otak. (Come to think of it, all the Otak-Otaks which we bought from these three Bazaars taste the same! From the same Johore supplier, maybe?)

Even though Taman Tun and Section 14 are within the radius of our lalu-lalang route, we have yet to go to the Bazaars there. Parking is madness, I tell you. And the jam... Gosh, pening kepala! I'd rather not stress myself by going there :)Some people sanggup queue for more than half an hour for the Popiah Basah in Section 14! Errrr, sorry no thank you...

For this week, we have two berbuka outside lined-up. Tomorrow will be at Baiti's in Taman Tun, and Wednesday night after the kids' piano class which ends at 7:45p.m, Ayah MIGHT bring me/us out for berbuka. This Wednesday 9th September 2009 will be our 15th Wedding Anniversary, by the way :)

And next Monday will be another sponsored berbuka for us. Venue yet to be announced :)

Will update you all on that, insya Allah ;)

Till then, I make do'a for the second half of this Ramadhan to bring more blessings to us, insya Allah.

Selamat beramal-ibadah :)

Oh by the way, as of 6:35a.m this morning, I've lost 2kgs this Ramadhan. A miracle - considering the food I've been indulging myself with all this while :)

* I will try to create a link to photos already uploaded on FB for your viewing and drooling pleasure soon... ;)

UPDATE - Okay, here are the links! Happy Drooling... ;)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Being married to Doktor Ayah...

Somebody made a comment on my FB a couple of days ago as to how patient I have been. As a wife.

Oh, boy... She couldn't be more wrong than that. Hehehe! I'm afraid I have to disappoint her, because I AM SO NOT A PATIENT WIFE, OKAY?

Well, maybe now it's a bit better. But before, when we first got married, "patience" was not in my vocabulary. But, after a while I got used to being a doctor's wife and the whole jim-bangs that come with it. And I realized, one of the things that had made it easier to accept life as a doctor's wife actually was seeing OUR KIDS accepting THEIR lives as children with a doctor as their father in the last few years. Yup, that was how long it took me to FINALLY stop whining. But, of course, sometimes ada jugak whine here and there now. I'm no saint, okay? I'm a normal human being.

I can safely say here that the causes of about 99% of our arguments or "Cold Wars", when we had any, that is, had been due to Ayah's work. I say "Cold Wars" here because when I'm angry or merajuk, I turn VERY quiet!) That means, I had been the one who would trigger the "Cold War" button most of the times. So, I guess that would definitely mean that I WAS NOT A PATIENT WIFE when it came to his work as a doctor.

It's bad enough for a doctor who works with Kementerian Kesihatan. Try being a doctor at a teaching hospital, under Kementerian Pendidikan. Ayah was not just busy with the normal tasks of a doctor of attending to his patients at the clinic and the wards, doing invasive procedures, etc., but, he also had to teach medical students (giving lectures AND carrying out clinical teachings), get involved in research, present papers, publish papers, go to conferences all over the world, go for postings at some sub-urb hospitals every now and then, and of course he also had to deal with admin work, as well. And he also had to layan his whiny wife, at the same time.

Some of the things that used to rile me up once upon time, but, we, as a family had experienced and have learnt to accept, were the following. This was always the case when Ayah was with UM*C dulu. It's not that bad now, but, certain times of the month, monchong jugak lah I...

Try to be in my shoes, and imagine how YOU would feel in the following situations -

(1) When we had made plans to go somewhere, be it khenduri, shopping, dinner, outing, etc., you name it, and at the last minute we had to postpone, or worse - cancel the whole thing when Ayah was called to the hospital to attend to emergency cases.

(2) When we were already out, and Ayah was called to the hospital. We either had to be sent home first, or wait at wherever he left us, and we had to wait for Ayah to finish his work at the hospital before he came back to fetch us.

(3) Sometimes, he would bring ALL of us to the hospital while he reviewed his patients. We would either wait in the car, or in his office or at the lounge, or at any of the eating joints at the hospital. Sometimes sekejap ajer. Sometimes berjam-jam lamanya...

(4) The endless phonecalls he got from, and he made to the hospital when we were having our family outing. Tension betul...Couldn't they just leave him alone and let him have his weekend?!

(5) He said he would be back by 9:00p.m and he reached home at 11:00p.m (or worse, and for most of the times, even later than that).

(6) Ayah NEVER came back before 9:00p.m. If he came home earlier than that, it was a bonus for us, and good for him. Even until now. And they say him doing private would allow him to have more time with the family... Duh... But, Insya Allah, soon I hope :)

(7) Many times, we would wait for him to have a family dinner, and I would cook some special dish only to be disappointed, and I would ask the kids to go ahead and eat without him because Ayah was caught up at the hospital. I would still wait for him, but, of course bila perut dah berkeroncong, sorry dear...I also had to eat first!

(8) In the middle of the night, the hospital would call, and he would ask his staff to fax whatever test results (ECG readings bagai) to him, and then he would have to leave and attend to his patients at the hospital, only to come back to catch up on his sleep for 15-30 minutes, only to have to wake up and go to work again.

(9) Whenever any of our kids fell sick, Ayah would be so nonchalant about it (when I would be worried sick macam nak gila), and the only thing he would say would be, "Just give them some panadol, and see how he/she is tomorrow..." I guess I can't blame him. He has seen worse cases at the hospital. But, aaaaaarrggghhh!!!

(10) Sometimes, we couldn't really plan for the weekend because Ayah was on-call and he couldn't really promise that it wouldn't be busy at the hospital, could he? Syukur alhamdulilah, the kids understood this, and they didn't complain if we couldn't do the things that they wanted to do for the weekend. Bless them.

(11) And, of course - being late for events or functions...countless times, I tell you, because Ayah had to attend to his patients first.

(12) And I can't remember when was the last time he DIDN'T go to the hospital to see his patients during weekends. Saturday AND Sunday. But, one thing about Ayah - he knows how I treasure time with the family masa weekend, so, normally he would make a point to go to the hospital early in the morning, when the kids and I belum bangun lagi, and he would be back by 10 or 11 a.m when we are all ready for whatever impromptu plans we make.

(13) And when he was involved as the principal investigator in drug trials/research, he would be on the phone continuously with the reps from the drug companies to update them on every single development of the research in real time, even in the wee hours of the morning when he had to do emergency procedures which he had to report there and then. Memang sakit jiwer I...MAJOR sakit jiwer, I tell you...

And I would be lying if I said that I never had doubts on whether he was really working during those long hours. Jahatnya I, kan?! But, as a wife, of course we would be worried about all that, kan? Hati perempuan...when we feel we're being neglected, we automatically will think that our husbands have some distractions elsewhere. Normal lah kan? Tu yang kekadang tu "Cold War" tu...but, after a while I stopped melayan all those doubts. Tidak bagus untuk kesihatan mental :) Hehehe!

And it goes without saying lah kan, mulut I dulu memang selalu monchong 4 batu when all these happened. But, syukur alhamdulillah, the monchong is now reduced to 1 batu ajer... Still working on how to not monchong at all...Getting there, getting there...insya Allah :)

When the kids were smaller, I found it hard to understand the nature of his work because I felt so overwhelmed with everything - work, house chores, kids and he was rarely at home. Selalu rasa lonely and frustrated coz' tak leh nak mencurah perasaan when I needed somebody to talk to. I never could understand why it was always the patients first, and the family second.

But, now I do, especially when the kids are older and independent and they themselves have accepted their life as it is. It's much easier, especially when I have them around to layan perasaan I. Hehehe!

So there - bukti-bukti bahawa I WAS NOT A PATIENT DOCTOR'S WIFE, and still NOT 100% patient yet now :)

But, insya Allah I will try my best to improve and be more patient from now on. I'm working on it. And, my do'a that Allah SWT will tingkatkan tahap kesabaran I to be a better wife, insya Allah. Amin.