Monday, April 26, 2010


Today marks the 26th year of our cerita chenta :)

Happy 26th Anniversary, Saudara Haizal ;)

Love ya loads!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lesser of two evils...?

The thing I discovered/realized since my "No-Rice" Lunch regime was that the lauk-pauk served and sold at the Cafeteria were/are giler salty!

It was not obvious before this, I guess, because I had always taken them with rice, and somehow they didn't taste THAT salty as the rice in a way had suppressed the taste.

But, eating the fish/chicken, etc., and the veges on their own REALLY brings out the saltiness of every single dish there was there that I've tried in the last one week or so. my attempt to cut down on sugar and carbo to avoid getting diabetes, I might just end up with hypertension instead...

Adakah ini tandanya I will have to bawak my own bekal from home from now on?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Minus-4 Mission"...

Remember last week when I decided to (re)start a healthier lifestyle?

Well, so far, so good. Syukur alhamdulillah.

I have actually worked out a schedule - for both my meals AND exercises, and have been sticking to it quite well. And if TERlanggar, I would somehow compensate it in some ways.

I have set a target for myself. I call it the "Minus-4 Mission" - i.e., I aim to shed 4kgs by 30th June 2010, and I have also called upon my MT gang to join me on this mission. It does not matter how much we weigh now. The target is for all of us to lose 4kgs.

And, I'm writing this down here as an affirmation to myself.

My regime consists of, inter alia -

(1) Rice-free lunch everyday. I've been taking extra proteins and veges instead (and my lunch costs more now!) :(

(2) Rice for dinner on alternate nights - I'm taking smaller portions than before, and will start taking brown rice this week.

(3) On nights that I'm not having rice, I take wholemeal bread - either by making myself sandwiches or dipping into whatever gravy we have at home, and proteins and veges.

(4) I'm taking more fruits now, too. Made some research on which fruits are okay for diabetics and found out that Grapefruits, Apples, Guavas and Cantaloupes are the best. And fruits to avoid include Mangoes and Bananas!

(5) I'm avoiding all sugary stuff (i.e. drinks and desserts) EXCEPT on Sundays - which I declare as my INDULGENCE DAY ;)

(6) And I've started going on the treadmill and the cross-trainer at home every morning before I go to work! YEAY!!! (They no longer serve as tempat gantung baju and place to store boxes! Hehehe!)

(7) AND I've started going to the gym again :) Had to pay RM99 last week to reactivate my Life Membership at Ce*eb*ty Fitness at OU. The last time I actually went for a workout there was 5 years ago! Quite pathetic considering OU tu is like my second home. Tersangatlah selalu melepak di situ, tapi tak terjejak kaki kat CF tu!! So, I'm making a point to go to the gym on nights when Hasya and Hilman are having their Mengaji at their Wan's house and Hanna has her guitar lessons at OU, and also when the kids are having their piano lessons. At least tak rasa guilty going to OU without them :)

And of course - this also gave me a good excuse to shop for new gym attires last week! Hehehe! Sempaaaaat... ;)

Ayah has also joined me on the meals regime, but have yet to join the exercise regime (although I know he gets a lot of exercises running around the hospital from morning till night!)

And after 7 days, I have managed to shed 0.5kg :)

The easiest part is to get rid of the excess water. It's shedding the fat after this which is going to be a major headache.

But, I know I can do this...

By 30th June, I WILL be 4kgs lighter.

Come. Join me! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Biggest Losers...Insya Allah :)

Ayah and I were just talking about all the insurance coverage that we have for ourselves and the kids thus far, and we were thinking of getting new policies, especially for the kids, considering how high hospital charges can be sometimes. Of course, kita always do'akan we'll be healthy, and dijauhkan dari masuk hospital,etc., but, of course, we'll never know these things, kan?

The kids being minors, of course their policies would have to be either under Ayah or myself. And of course, at this age, most of the times, we as Payor would have to go through Medical check-ups before our applications would go through and be approved.

The thing is, it has been quite some time since I last went for a thorough Medical Check-up : the whole blood tests, etc., and frankly speaking I'm quite anxious to go through one now, for fear of discovering any illnesses. I know, it's rather strange coming from the wife of a doctor!

The thing is, I have quite a family health history on my Mom's side. Both my arwah maternal grandparents had diabetes, hypertension and heart problems/complications. My Mom is also diabetic (she's on insulin) and she had a stroke in 2004, and also a double angioplasty done on her 3 years back. All three of my brothers are diabetcs, too. So far, syukur alhamdulillah, my sisters and I have been spared.

On my Abah's side - my grandfather was also a diabetic, and he probably also had a heart problem. He passed away when my Abah was 12 years old. We have a photo of him at my parents' house. He was a BIG man, he was. My arwah grandmother pulak passed away 3 months after my grandfather. And we don't really know the cause of death.

As for my Abah, apart from his recurrence of nose cancer, and his hypertension (which came naturally with old age), syukur alhamdulillah, he's quite healthy.

But, I worry of course. Just in case, I might discover that I am diabetic, etc., too, after the Medical!

Ayah had wanted me to just do a self-test first, but, even that - I takut nak buat! So, the next best thing is to UP my efforts in jaga makan and exercising BEFORE (IF, that is) I'm called for a Medical lah kot?

And the efforts officially started yesterday.

Below are excerpts taken from my SMSs with Ayah yesterday after I came up with a regime which BOTH of us should follow religiously from now on -

Me : Treadmill n X-trainer at least 20 mins each everyday. Rice 4 dinner only, plain water from now on, n we indulge in sweets and stuff on Sundays only. Deal?

Ayah : Deal! :) P/S - Everyday? ;p

(See how sceptical he is of my willpower?!)

Me : Yes. Everyday. Hv 2 make time for daily execrcise now. Startg 2day. Don't wanna die b4 all kids get married! Who will uruskan their khenduri? Can't harap u 2 do it :p

Ayah : Whoa...dat's deep! Wokay then...Starting?

Me : Startg now. Jz puttg on my trainers :) Hope it's not too late!

Ayah : Have fun! :)

20 minutes later -

Me : Thx! 2 km done. Cals burned : 155. X-trainer next.

Ayah : Add a few more n u will reach TMC! :)

Half an hour later -

Me : Only went on X-trainer for 7.5 minutes. Giler semput!! Cals burned - 20 only! Huwaaaaa!!! :(

So, I was a bit disheartened yesterday, but, I did try to stick to the regime.

Masalahnya, I cooked Sweet and Sour Ketam, Sup Kepala Ikan Merah, and Lemon Chicken for lunch yesterday! In other words, it was quite a feast lah jugak!

But, to stick to the once a day Rice regime, I cooked Kuey Teow Goreng lah pulak for dinner!

And in between, I managed to squeeze in some Shortbread Cookies and Turkish Delights which Ayah got from one of his patients!

(But, actually I was still sticking to the regime, kan? Coz' in the deal - we are allowed to indulge in sweets on Sundays. And yesterday WAS Sunday, innit? ;) Hehehe!

Adakah ini tanda-tanda awal that the regime will go down the drain soon?! Kita tunggu dan lihat perkembangan Biggest Loser Sri Damansara, okay? ;)

Anyway, I'm off for my treadmill and X-trainer session now.

Wish me luck, and doa'kan that both Ayah and I can maintain and stick to the regime...(and by June, you'll get to see a healthier and slimmer and toner us, insya Allah :)

* And that reminds me - I'd better make full use of my membership at a certain fitness centre at One Utama. Life membership konon...but, the last time I worked out there was 5 years ago!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Makcik confused... :)

Hasya is upset that she's not in the same 4x100m Team that won 1st place in last year's SSP's Sports Day. She said the team has been split into two now. So, there'll be two teams representing Green House this year, and she said she she's very sure that neither team would win the top three placings!

I asked her the reasons why the Green House teacher had split the team knowing that they would have a very strong chance to win 1st place again this year? And she said, "EXACTLY! That's why!! I don't know!!!"

And she was quite visibly upset about the whole thing.

Well, what do you expect from choleric Hasya, kan? She always wants to win!

And I was upset for her, too, knowing her capabilities. And knowing that she and her original team would win, given the chance, insya Allah.

But, on the other hand, I had this bit of conversation with Hilman.

Hilman : Mommy, I'll be running in the 200m event for the Sports Day!

Me : Wow! Congratulations! Well done! Have you practised for it? Do you think you can win?

(Frankly speaking, I was a bit surprised because Hilman is more of the Lontar Peluru and Tarik Tali type of athlete. You know what I mean? Hehehe!:)

Hilman : I don't know. I fell down while practising, and got second last.

Me : It's okay. Nanti masa Sports Day, you have to run REALLY fast and be careful not to fall, okay?

Hilman : Okay. But, I always got second last bila practise la, Mommy. Even before Puan Anuradha chose me. I don't know why she chose me la?

And at this point, Hasya butted in and said -

Hasya : Teacher said she wants to give everybody a chance to participate masa Sports Day!

Hilman : I guess so. But, Mommy, how can I make sure I run fast and win the race, Mommy?

Me : Hilman, just run to the finishing line. Run as fast as you can, okay?

Hilman : Okay, but, I think I'm going to get No. 7 or No. 8 again.

Me : It's okay, Hilman. Just run. Who knows? On that day you can win with me cheering you on?

And Hilman just laughed away at that thought! :)

Hilman : It's okay lah, Mommy. But, if I don't win, tak per, right?

Me : It's okay, Hilman. As long as you try your best, okay?

Well, Hilman is a phlegmatic boy, and very laid back about everything anyway :)

And I'm happy for him, because I know he would try his level best, and he would enjoy the experience of running for his Green House, insya Allah :)

I feel bad for Hasya, but, I feel happy for Hilman.

In other words, I am bit confused really - on how I should feel between the decisions made by the Green House teachers on the 4x100m event AND the 200m event because BOTH involved my kids, but both with probably different implications on and outcomes for them...

Anyway, let's just wait for Saturday next week, shall we? That's when their Sports Day will be held ;)

All the best Chimin and Chiman!! :)

And just remember to have fun, okay?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Been there, but...

It's 5:37pm, on a Wednesday.

I've just finished going through the final drafts of two of my students' dissertations, and have sat down with them and discussed the required corrections and amendments to be made.

I'm halfway done with another one, after which I have to go through another draft, and I hope to sit down with the respective students by tomorrow afternoon.

One student has decided to submit her dissertation before going through her final drafts with me. I had gone through her first and second drafts and had given my feedback to her last week and I hope she had done whatever it was that needed to be done as per my last instructions to her.

However, another student has never submitted any proper drafts. The only thing I got from her were bits and pieces of unfinished works. Heck! I have not even seen her full dissertation proposal. They are supposed to submit their bound copies this week, and this student decided to submit her FIRST draft of her First and Second Chapters on Friday last week. Mind you, even those drafts were NOT complete.

I REFUSED to accept her drafts, and I have decided to put a disclaimer on her work. I have nothing to do with whatever it is that she plans to submit. Good Luck to her.

Their dissertations are supposed to be their final works to be submitted before they sit for their exams later this month, and graduate in August. It's a partial requirement before they get their B.A. (Strategic and Defence Studies). Their first Degree. If they don't submit, they will fail. If they submit a mediocre or a bad piece of work, they will get really bad grades for it. Or they will fail. Either or, it'll affect their CGPAs. If they have to resit the paper, they'll lose out on one year of working life.

I have six students under my supervision, and all of them, except for the last girl, had managed to produce at least up to their second drafts, while a couple had even managed to work up until their fourth drafts. So, I just don't understand why this last student of mine couldn't even submit her PROPOSAL.

Believe me. I understand just how difficult it is to do research and even more difficult to write an academic work, as I had gone through hell (and I'm still not sure if I'm back!) doing it.

I had gone through very challenging rollercoaster rides working on a certain research of mine, many a times I was met with dead-ends. Many a times - frustrated. Many a times too depressed to even talk about it with anyone. Not even with Ayah. And many a times, I would just shut everything down, wishing that I didn't have to pursue it anymore.

Many a times, everything else had to be sidelined, even things which were more important to me than my research. And many a times I would ask myself if it was all worthed it, whether it was really what I wanted.

At the end of the day, weighing everything that needed to be weighed before deciding on whether to continue or not with it, I finally made my decision. It was a difficult decision to make initially, considering the substantial amount of work I had put in it, and the considerable long time I had spent on it. And of course, because whatever decision I made, it would have major implications on me. Implications that I have to face.

But, frankly, it was an easier decision to make in letting it go, than to pursue with it.

And I finally made my decision because I knew that I was READY to face the implications, come what may. But, more importantly, I made my decision because I knew that it was not really what I had wanted to do all along.

I had come to realize that I am at a stage in my life whereby any pursuits to further enhance my career is not really a necessity, but rather, a frill.

I had come to a stage in my life whereby whatever that comes my way after this is a bonus.

I am contented as I feel that I had achieved whatever it was that I needed to achieve. Well, at least according to my own, personal wish and target. Syukur alhamdulillah. Nothing else matters. Nothing others might think of me, matters.

And I know that I have made the right decision.

Maybe this student of mine has been or is going through the same things. And having gone through similar experience of doing research, albeit at a different level, and probably facing similar obstacles and challenges as she is/has, I can empathise with her, and I can understand some of the issues which might have made it difficult for her to persevere.

But, empathising will not change the fact that she still has a long way to go in life.

There's only so much I can do to help her, and even that will not amount to anything if she doesn't want to help herself.

She probably had made the same decision I had made in not pursuing or not persevering...but it does not necessarily mean that she would come out of this the same as I did.

I hope this student of mine has also thought of the implications of her actions, or rather - inactions.

I hope she will not have any regrets...

Because, just for the record, I don't.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cupcakes 101... :)

Salams and Hi, y'all :)

Guess what? Our cupcakes project? Well, we actually went ahead with it last Sunday. Sungguh tidak percaya! :)

Thank God I didn't have to go out and get myself a new oven, or a new mixer because I found out that my 6-year-old Microwave could actually be used to bake cupcakes, cakes and the likes, too. This, I found out after 6 years of just using its re-heating and de-frosting functions, and also using the normal microwave function to cook my Honeyed Chicken Casserole and Bread and Butter Pudding. Should have known that if I could cook those stuff in it, baking should not be a problem, kan? Well, that's just me. Kalau dah tak minat, no point to probe further into things which have no relevance to my life. Hehehe!

And neither did I have to get a new mixer, as I suddenly remembered that I had an electric Mixer set which we bought 14 years ago to blend/mash up Hanna's food when she started on solids! The mixer was then boxed up and stashed away on top of my kitchen cabinet 10 years ago and I totally forgot about it!

Anyway, with the microwave checked, and the mixer checked, I still didn't have a proper Mixing Bowl. So, last Saturday, the kids and I made a trip to IKEA and bought a bowl, together with other baking utensils which we thought might come in handy. The kids basically had a field day choosing what to buy, etc.

I was also looking for a kitchen scale - the simple one, but, they only had the digital scale which costs RM99/=. I NEARLY bought that thing when it dawned on me that it would be such a waste if my interests in baking were to dwindle even before I started with the first project!

So, armed with a recipe book (which I also didn't know I had!) the kids and I chose a simple recipe (which didn't really use complicated measurement), and the results can be seen here :)

We had fun - that's the most important thing!

And we didn't burn the kitchen down ;)