Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wee hours rambling...

It's 4:25a.m now, and here I am wide awake - for two reasons.

Firstly - Ayah was woken up by a phonecall from Sri Ko*a Medical Centre, Klang just over an hour ago, and he had to leave immediately to attend to an emergency heart attack case. He left within 15 minutes of the call - after taking a quick shower to freshen up and gulping down a mug of Ali Ca*e coffee I made him - as an added measure to make sure he stays wide awake and alert on the road at this hour of the night/morning.

He has brought along his work attire with him, just in case his Klang patient needs an emergency angioplasty which would probably, give and take, take 2 hours to complete, after which it would already be time for Ayah to go to TMC for his ward round and later – clinic.

It has become a norm for Ayah to either come back VERY late and/or being called in the middle of the night to attend to his patients for the past 6 months or so. The reason being - he is now covering four hospitals. On top of TMC where he is a Resident Physician and Cardiologist, he's also a Visiting Consultant at 3 other hospitals - Col*mbi* As*a (Puchong), Ass*nta Hospital (PJ) AND Sri Ko*a MC (Klang). He has also been accredited to practise at Su*way MC, but, as it is, he has his hands full with the said four hospitals and has yet to start his sessions at Su*way.

So, you can just imagine the amount of to-ing and fro-ing he has to do on some days if he has patients to see at ALL four hospitals! It's just like you doing your current job, but, four times more at four different offices spread out at four different locations. Almost everyday.

Attending to his scheduled clinics and ward rounds at these hospitals is not much of a problem, as Zaidy, can drive him around. It's answering to emergency cases like this morning that is making his life topsy turvy now (and my life, too, for that matter!) The calls could lead to him going to Kota Damansara (which is not too bad), or Puchong, or PJ, or even Klang at godforsaken hours, like this morning.

But, Ayah did warn me early last year when he was leaving PP*M to go private that the first couple of years would be hell as he would have to establish himself in the private practice first and get his patients base in a few hospitals as he would not be able to survive just on income coming from one source. And true enough, he has to do just that now.

Syukur alhamdulillah, his earnings since leaving the government hospital has been pretty steady without too much fluctuations between the months, but to guarantee that, he has to work twice as hard as when he was in PP*M. (and as it was, he was already working like 14-18 hours a day then! But, it wasn't too bad then as he was only covering PP*M, and was not running here and there between four hospitals like now!)

The kids and I have gotten so used to Ayah's crazy schedule now, and what little time we have with him would be maximized with whatever family outings we could go on.

It has not been easy for both parties – Ayah, and me and the kids. But, over the years, things have become relatively easi-ER.

I know a lot of people out there are thinking just how on earth does he do that? And, maybe a LOT MORE are probably thinking – “How on earth does she know that his coming home late everyday IS because he’s attending to his patients? How on earth will she know if he is in fact up to no good with some other woman?!”

Well, I don't, and I probably won't know.

I’d be lying if I were to say that these thoughts had never crossed my mind – especially in the early years of being married. Hell, I have to admit that as recent as maybe 5-6 years ago I still had doubts about that!

But, like all couples, we would have our arguments, and more often that not, they were always because of him not spending as much time as I wanted him to with the kids, and me doubting if he was really at work during all those long hours he was not home. Hati perempuan, kan…?

But, Syukur Alhamdulillah… things are so much better in that department now. I guess we grew up… Or rather, I grew up.

I guess, as long as I focus on fulfilling my duties as his wife well, and as long as I bersangka baik with him, and trust him with all my heart, and as long as I appreciate just how hard he’s working to provide for the family, and as long as (and I make sure he does! Hehehe…) he appreciates the sarifices the kids and I also have to make over the years for him, insya Allah, we will be okay. In fact, MORE than okay :)

It is strange, but, I do find our relationship has reached another level whereby there are better understanding and tolerance between us, since Ayah went private, even though as mentioned, he is so, so much busier now.

I now see and focus on how hard he works for the family, rather than on how little time he spends with us. BIG difference there.

And apart from focusing on how hard it was for him to be where he is now, I think Ayah now also focuses on how hard it was for me and the kids to go through life with him not being around for most of the time, and I know that he appreciates that fact.

Experiencing life as a doctor, and even more so, as a cardiologist, AND seeing how it has affected us as a family, Ayah is forever trying to discourage the kids to follow his footsteps. His latest attempt at this was made last weekend when he had to give a talk to a group of students aspiring to become doctors, whereby he had dragged the whole family to listen to his talk which covered his journey to becoming a doctor and what he had to give up along the way until now.

Listening to him that day had made me realize that I should have appreciated him more as a very good and responsible husband and father all these years and should have given him 200% more support than I had given him all this while. I should have given him more credits…

Anyway, I don’t think he did a good job at discouraging the kids to do medicine – cardiology in particular, as I think Hasya is more determined to become a cardiologist now after listening to her Ayah’s talk!

In a way, I guess it is not fair for us to discourage the kids to become doctors, and even more so - cardiologists. So, we have agreed that we will not discourage them, but, at the same time, we will not ACTIVELY encourage them to follow their Ayah’s path. We have gone through the trials and tribulations as a family in medical life conundrums - and we know that not everyone will be able to go through it like we did/do.

However, if Allah SWT has determined their paths to be so, then we as parents will embrace it whole-heartedly, and will support them and their families all the way, insya Allah…

So, THAT was one of the reasons why I’m still wide awake at this hour – being woken up by the emergency call for Ayah at 3:30a.m!

A blessing in disguise, I guess, because I have somehow managed to come up with this entry :)

Now, the SECOND reason why I still can’t go back to sleep is that in less than 5 hours, Hanna will be getting her PMR result!

I’m pretty nervous even though I have every confidence in her, insya Allah…But, Moms, being Moms, we just can’t help feeling the jitters, kan?

Come what may, I know she has worked hard, and I’m very, very, very proud of her.

And as my senior at school, Along Faezah would say, “Usaha sudah, tawakal sudah. And now kita redha with anything that comes our way…”

All the best, my darling Hanna! Mommy and Ayah love you VERY, VERY MUCH! And don’t you ever forget that…

And (after all that was said! :)) even when your PMR results would mean that you probably would get good SPM results, too, insya Allah, and can probably go ahead and pursue medicine after school, do think about it twice (or maybe, three or four times, or more, okay, dear…?) ;)

* By the way, Ayah's MM article for this week can be read here :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cerita choti...and such...

God. I'd better not get used to NOT blogging for more than a month!

All rusty already.

Ayah has been asking me every now and then, "You ada blog posting baru tak?"

I guess, with him being so ultra-busy nowadays, reading my blog might just be the only way he could keep up with what's happening with me and the kids kot? Hehehe...

The last one month had been okay. In fact, more than okay!

Did I mention that we went to Gold Coast?

Well, yeah, we did. We were there for a week - terbang there on 19 November, and terbang balik on 26 November.

It was a really nice break for just us family, and we had a wonderful time there.

We stayed at Mark*am Court, Broadbeach - which was just about 5 minutes walk to the beach and The Oasis Shopping Centre, and 5 minutes drive to Surfers Paradise and Pacific Fair Shopping Mall. We rented a 2-bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms, a kitchen (fully equipped), a living room, a dining hall, a utility room (with washing machine, dryer, and ironing facilities), with a secured basement parking - only accessible by residents. Worked well with us as we had rented a car for the full one week we were there.

We had booked our car online from Coolangatta Her*z Car Rental and we didn't have to pay any booking fees at all. Right after clearing the customs check-point, we just walked to Her*z Counter at the airport with our rental reference code, and within 15 minutes we got our car - a Camry Sportiva(o?). And on the day we were flying back to KL, we drove to the airport, parked the car at the parking lot, dropped the key at Her*z counter and went straight to the AA Check-in Counter. All done within 10 minutes!

Mark*am Court is located just off the Gold Coast Highway which brings you straight-ish to all the Theme Parks - Movie World and Wet n Wild (20 minutes drive), Dream World and White Water World (25 minutes drive) and Sea World (10 minutes drive). We bought VIP tickets to all the Theme Parks (valid until 30 June 2011 - a good excuse to go back to GC before the tickets expire, huh? ;)It's cheaper getting the Family VIP tickets + 1 Adult ticket compared to getting individual tickets for all) and we did in fact go to Movie World and Dream World TWICE over 4 days - the first time just to go on the rides and do a bit of shopping, and second time - to indulge in more shopping there! Hehehe... :)

Even though it was mostly gloomy throughout most of our stay there - with intermittent showers and sunny intervals here and there, that didn't spoil our fun at all. Well, we just didn't linger on the weather facts even though we only had ONE full sunshiny day in the 6 days we were there. We made sure that, came rain or shine we were on the rides at the parks for most of the times! (Well, at least the kids were :)).

The day we arrived (we arrived at Coolangatta Airport at 7:50am, and at the apartment at 9:30am) we just spent the time resting and lepaking at the apartment, and later that afternoon, we went to The Oasis to shop for our one week grocery stock, and also to purchase our Theme Park tickets.

The next day was spent at Movie World and later at Broadbeach (even though it was freezing cold!)

The day after that was spent at Dream World and White Water World, and later that night we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Pacific Fair Mall. Like la cannot watch the movie in Malaysia, kan? But, the kids insisted on watching it there that night! Aiyooo... But, Ayah said, "This holiday is mainly for the kids, so, we just do the things they want to do to make them happy lah, kan?". So, the Boss (who's also the Menteri Kewangan) won, and the kids got their movie treat :)

The day after that was spent at Wet n Wild, Movie World (again!) AND Dream World (again).

The day after that - it was my turn for some thrilling "rides" at Harbourtown Outlet Centre, and later that night, we spent some time souvenir shopping at Surfers Paradise.

The day after that - we went to Broadbeach again, and we later went to Sea World, and then shopping (again) at Pacific Fair. And of course - being our last night there - malam tu pulun shopping for souvenirs at Surfers Paradise again!

Hanna and Hasya went on MOST of the BIG THRILL rides at the parks. You just name it, they were on it (except for the ones which were under maintenance on the days we were there). THEY DEFINITELY DO NOT HAVE MY GENES, unlike Hilman who was rather selective when it came to choosing his rollercoaster rides. He opted to NOT go on the ones which would leave one with a zero-gravity sensation and those which would make one feeling ultra-dizzy, post-ride. So very like his Mommy... Hehehe! :)

Apart from the Theme Parks and the occcassional shopping trips, we didn't really go out that much as the kids preferred to just sleep and rest at the apartment. And what with Ayah subscribing to a week Wifi connection to the apartment, the kids had a field day going online in the evenings!

Anyway, as we were not really rushing to go to all the places around Gold Coast and Brisbane recommended for tourists, all in all it was quite a relaxing break for us, for Ayah especially, as he managed to catch up on some sleep over there. (But, having said that, he had to spend a few hours on Tuesday to work on his MM article which he had to submit that night for the Wednesday issue! What to do? Orang Gila Kerja like that lah!)

After spending 6 days in Gold Coast, we checked out of Mark*am Court on Friday morning, took the 9:50 am flight back to KL and by 3:30pm (Msian time) we were back on home soil.

Syukur alhamdulillah, everything dipermudahkan for us from the day we left KL until the day we came back :)

If it's a relaxing but fun break in GC that you're looking for, I think 1 week is just nice with you renting an apartment and a car (with a GPS), and do as what you please in your own time, having a good nap here and there. Just like what we did.

BUT, if you feel like you want to explore a bit more of what GC and Brisbane have to offer, you should rent an apartment and a car (with a GPS, of course!) and stay for 10 days. OR if you can't afford to stay that long due to limited cuti and all, then, alternatively you can go for a 5D4N OR 6D5N packaged tour (which will be pretty hectic as there are so many things to do and so many places to go to (on top of the 5 Theme Parks!) within that 6 days.

Anyway, I had wanted to post an entry on our GC trip earlier, but, after coming back to KL I was pretty buried in an avalanche of exams invigilations, and of course - with the task of marking the exam scripts lah pulak after that. And on top of that, two days after we came back, it was my MIL's turn to go for a vacation, and we were "house-sitting" for her for a couple of weeks, while she was in London.

Nak jadikan cerita, her maid ran away last Friday, 2 days before my MIL was due to come home!

I was not at home when it happened. In fact I was on my way home from the office. My SIL Rubiah was there with her kids, along with Hasya and Hilman, and Bibik Dar. Everybody was inside the house, while the maid - Eton - was sweeping outside. We checked the CCTV recording after she cabut and it showed her tawaf the compound a few times, looking out to the main road nervously every now and then, and at 4:57pm, she went down to the garage with the penyapu lidi, pretending to sweep there, walked towards the garbage closet, walked through it, and never came back in!

And I reached home at 5:25pm.

And we only knew she was gone at 6:45pm when Dar could not find her when she was supposed to start cooking dinner then! All those while everybody was thinking that she was outside watering the plants, and doing some gardening.

And the recordings also showed that the guard was standing about 30 feet from the garbage closet when Eton went out. He was looking out at the back, probably enjoying a breather of the angin petang, watching the golfers doing their thang. And he was oblivious to the fact that Eton had cabut lari right under his nose...

Anyway, like Hilman (maybe rightly?) put it, "The guard is supposed to make sure nobody comes INTO the house, NOT goes OUT of the house, Mommy..."

My MIL came back on Sunday night, and with her being maidless now, we are extending our stay at her place so that Dar can help her out around the house.

So, begitulah ceritanya...

So, that's all for now. Hopefully, there'll be another update from me soon, insya Allah.

In the mean time, here are some pics from our Gold Coast trip. Enjoy!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

P/S :- Please be warned : A friend took nearly 3 days to go through the pics (in between his free time and work schedule, of course :))